The Instigator
Pro (for)
19 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
12 Points

The Bible Contains No Genuine Contradictions of Consequence

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/28/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,084 times Debate No: 17316
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (37)
Votes (5)





  • The Bible - The 66 books of the established cannon recognized by the Christian Church.
  • Contains - Contradictions that are WITHIN the text. It is not a viable argument to present the Old Testament as contradicting with anything outside of the text, including Science, the Church, Other Religions, Other Documents from the Ancient World, etc.
  • Genuine Contradiction - An actual contradiction. An example of two texts that cannot both be true.
  • Consequence - A contradiction that poses actual threat to the meaning of Christian doctrine. The converse would be trivial contradictions, such as slight variations in dates or counting. Such trivial contradictions are typically easily explained, or pose no challenge to the truth being taught or the accuracy of the historical retelling.

    Rules and Debating Procedure
  • Round 1
    • Con must present any contradictions they believe are insurmountable. Please label them for clarity of response (Contradiction A, B, C, etc).
  • Round 2
    • I will respond to the contradictions and attempt to explain how they are either A) Not Genuine Contradictions, or B) Not Contradictions of Consequence.
    • Con may respond in round 2 either with challenging my response, or presenting new contradiction (or both).
  • Round 3
    • I will respond to his challenges or new contradictions.
    • Con may only respond to my answers.
  • Round 4
    • I will respond to his challenges.
    • In the close of round 4 Con may not present new arguments or responses to my challenge (that gives us each 3 rounds since my first round is being used only to describe rules). In Round 4 Con will enter "Closing Round" or something similar. If Con presents new arguments or rebuttals in Round 4, they are in violation of the terms of this debate and forfeit all 7 points to Pro for the debate.

A note about Burden of Proof
This debate does not have burden of proof in the way normal debates do. My burden of proof will be to reasonably explain any apparent contradictions that Con identifies. Con's burden of proof is to provide adequate biblical citations so that I may find the passages he is referencing. In addition, please use the ESV as the translation (It can be found at as it is both accurate and readable, and using only one translation prevents us from slipping into confusion over variant readings in different translations. If space is a premium, ESVonline provides a link shortening service to link to verses. Simply type reference and you will get a link. For example. will link to John 3:16. This stipulation does not cast the original Greek texts out of bounds, and is simply to avoid falling into conspiracy over varient modern translations.

Limitation of Space
Since it takes more space to answer an apparent contradiction than it does to claim one, My opponent will be limited to 5 active contradictions. If he wishes to add a new contradiction, he will be required to drop a prior contradiction. Dropping a contradiction equates to acknowledging that contradiction as invalid.

If there are any questions, please pose them in comments prior to accepting the debate. By accepting you agree to all the stipulations and rules that have been given above.



I am glad to be debating with ReformedArsenal. I saw his other debates on the same subject and am glad to have the Old Testament (OT hereafter) for my arsenal. I shall point out that my sources will be made into a tinyurl.

I have a few new rules to add.

1) Do not go beyond what is written.

I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written that none of you may be puffed up in favour of one against another. 1 Corinthians 4:6

2) Do not add anything to the scriptures

Every word of G-d proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. –Proverbs 30:5-6

With those rules added, let’s start finding contradictions!

Contradiction 1: Does atonement require a sacrifice?

A. No! In fact, G-d doesn’t even want your sacrifice!

In sacrifice and offerings You have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offerings and sin offerings You have not required.—Psalm 40:6

B. Yes! In fact, without sacrifice you can’t be forgiven!

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. –Hebrews 9:22

There is a clear contradiction between those passages.

Contradiction 2: Is death final?

A. No; death is not final. Reincarnation is possible.

It’s riddle time! What comes out of the mother’s womb and returns? Reincarnation, of course!
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”—Job 1:21

B. Yes; death is FINAL!

…And as it is appointed once for man to die, and after that comes judgment…--Hebrews 9:27

Contradiction 3: Can someone die for the sins of another?

A. Yes

While we were still weak, at the time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but G-d shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of G-d.

B. No

Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.—Deuteronomy 24:16

The chapter of Ezekiel 18 is all about this principle and how it is impossible.


I have shown incidences where the Bible contradicts itself on the most basic principles. I understand I am allowed 5 contradictions, but since this requires deep theology; I will stop here. However, I reserve the right to add new contradictions in the next round that I did not get to in this round.

Thanks, I am looking forward to your response!

Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for his contribution to this debate and to this site. My hope is that this will be a lively and engaging debate that is enjoyable for all who read it.

On with the debate!

First, I would like to address my opponent's exhortation to remain in the text. I would like to clarify what this means. This mean that the contradictions and their resolutions should be inherant in the text. However, it is impossible to do any sort of hermeneutical interpretation without appealing to things outside the text (namely logic). If we wish to be hyper literal about this, my opponnet has violated this in his opening argument. However, since he himself has engaged in interpretation that is beyond the text, I shall assume that what he means is that all of our answers should be rooted in the text and should be supported not only by the text in question, but also by the rest of the corpus of scripture.

Contradiction 1) My opponent seeks to show a contradiction between a passage that parabolically exclaims that God does not require Burnt offerings or sin offerings and a diactic passage that teaches that God does require these offerings for the forgiveness of sin.

Whenever we approach a passage we must recognize the genre of writing we are working with, and then interpret it within the conventions of that genre. When we look at the Psalms, we must recognize that these are written in poetic form. They represent ancient poems and songs. Just as in our songs and poems, there is a high degree of parabollic and hyperbollic language used. Another phenomena that, although not unique, is prominent in Hebrew poetry is parallelism. In Hebrew parallelism there are several constructions that are possible. One such construction, that is present in this text, is where two different concepts are placed next to each other in order to make them synonymous (typically giving the second term the definition of the first).[A] In this passage we see "Sacrifice and offerings" is parallel with "Burnt Offierings and Sin Offerings" and "You have not delighted" is parallel to "You have not required." So we must ask ourselves, what is this passage talking about.

My opponent seeks to tell you that it is refering to the forgivness of sins (which is what Hebrews is talking about). The passage in Hebrews is refering to a foresic/legal transaction that happens in salvation. There is a debt of sin that must be paid for, and the sacrifice in question pays for it thereby clearing the debt. However, that is not what the passage in the Psalms is talking about. We see that in the Psalms that the Psalmist is seeking more than just the forgivness of his sins. He is seeking to "delight" the LORD. The answer to this contradiction is simple, they are talking about differint things. The Author of Hebrews is strictly speaking of how to achieve forensic/legal pardon from sins, while the Psalmist is talking about how to delight or please the LORD.

2) My opponent seeks to draw a distinction between what he interprets as reincarnation in Job and the finality of death as represented in Hebrews.

To be frank, my opponent's interpretation of Job 1:21 is ridiculous. No one who has studied this passage would argue that Job is refering to reincarnation. This is a poetic statement made by Job stating that he came into this world naked, and he would leave it naked. My opponent is going to have to provide some sort of evidence of any respectable scholar who believes this refers to reincarnation in order for this contradiction to be valid.

3) My opponent seeks to show a contradiction between Hebrew Bible's declaration that one person cannot die for the sins of another, and the New Testament's assertion that Jesus died for our sins. There are three responses to this issue that I wish to address

A) In order to unravel this mystery we must understand what the passage in Deuteronomy (and Ezekiel) is talking about.

The passage in Deuteronomy in question is placed in a section discussion various laws and punishments. These punishmets range from restitution (repaying for damages) all the way to capital punishment. This section is essentially a civic code for the fledgling nation of Israel as they are about to enter into the Promised Land and become a full nation. The passage in Ezekiel is refering to the same kind of civic regulations. This reveals the nature of the punishment that these works is mandating a person must serve themselves. What these passages is saying is that if a person commits a crime, the earthly punishment (in this case corporal) must be served by them. That is to day that a father could not simply offer up his son to die in his own place. This is not analogous to what is happening in the New Testament. The Christian Bible teaches that Christ died to purchase our salvation by satisfying the wrath of God. This is analogous to the OT Sacrificial system in which a Lamb or Goat is sacrificed to purchase forgiveness, albeit fleeting, for our sins.

B) There is a difference linguistically between "for" in the OT passage and "for" in the New Testament passage. In the Deuteronomy passage we see earlier in the passage that they are using "for" in a resultative way. That is, "Each one shall be put to death as a result of his own sin." In many Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) cultures, a father could be put to death as a result of sins that their children committed. Similarly the son can be forced to bear punishment as a result of the father's sin. We see this in the Code of Hammurabi. Law 28 says "If a chieftain or a man be caught in the misfortune of a king, if his son is able to enter into possession, then the field and garden shall be given to him, he shall take over the fee of his father.[B] However, in the New Testament, the preposition "for" is the Greek "hyper/huper." This word is not a resultative "for" it is more accurately translated as "on behalf of." [C] The two words have different definitions and are refering to different things.

C) The sense of Deuteronomy, seeing that it is responding and guarding against the kind of forced punishment transfer that was common in the ANE, is one where one person is forced to take on the punishment of another. However, this is not the situation that presents itself in the New Testament. In the New Testament we see Jesus willingly laying down his life on behalf of others. He is not doing so as a result of someone elses sin, he is doing so on behalf of another. He is choosing to give his life to make payment for the sins of those who would follow him.

To summarize my point: The kind of unwilling punishment transfer that is being prohibited against in the Deuteronomy and Ezekiel passages is not analogous to the vicarious atonement death represented in the New Testament. This is attested to linguisticlly by showing a difference in the word "for" (As a Result of vs. on Behalf Of) as well as theologically and historically.

Thank you to my opponent for this debate, I look forward to the next round.



Thank you, ReformedArsenal, for such a quick response. You have always challenged my mind and gave me many things to think about. I sincerily hope we can be friends and debate throught the life of our accountson DDO. Anyway, on to the debate.

RRC1) My opponent contends that Psalms and Hebrews are talking about two completely different things. Psalms is talking about delighting in G-d while Hebrews is talking about salvation. This explanaton fails because the verse plainly says that G-d does not desire a sacrifice--he hasn't even REQUIRED one!

Let's re-examine the verse in Hebrews.

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood tehre is no forgiveness of sins.

This verse can't be more clear. Under the law, you can be purified with blood. In fact, that is one of the most basic fundaments of Judaism. Sacrifices WERE a means to be forgiven; however, keep in mind that the reason we no longer do sacrifices is because the temple was destroyed in 70 CE; therefore, there is no place we can do sacrifices. It would be blasphemy and a disregard to G-d if you would sacrifice anywhere. The problem: That raises up a whole NEW Contradiction

For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. --Hebrews 10:4

Kee in mind that it wasn't just the phsysical act of the sacrifice; but more of the mental. If your mind was in the wrong place, the whole sacrifice could become WORTHLESS--OR WORSE!

RRC2) My opponent laughs at my contradiction that states that Job is talking about death and not reincarnation. Well, the religion of Judaism clearly does teach reicarnation. That's not the point. Let's examine this chapter in the Hebrew language.

The word "return" in the Hebrew is the word shuwb. According to the Strong's Dictionary, this is what it means:

1) to return, turn back

a) (Qal)

1) to turn back, return

a) to turn back

b) to return, come or go back

c) to return unto, go back, come back

d) of dying

e) of human relations (fig)

f) of spiritual relations (fig)

1) to turn back (from God), apostatise

2) to turn away (of God)

3) to turn back (to God), repent

4) turn back (from evil)

g) of inanimate things

h) in repetition

b) (Polel)

1) to bring back

2) to restore, refresh, repair (fig)

3) to lead away (enticingly)

4) to show turning, apostatise

c) (Pual) restored (participle)

d) (Hiphil) to cause to return, bring back

1) to bring back, allow to return, put back, draw back, give back, restore, relinquish, give in payment

2) to bring back, refresh, restore

3) to bring back, report to, answer

4) to bring back, make requital, pay (as recompense)

5) to turn back or backward, repel, defeat, repulse, hinder, reject, refuse

6) to turn away (face), turn toward

7) to turn against

8) to bring back to mind

9) to show a turning away

10) to reverse, revoke

e) (Hophal) to be returned, be restored, be brought back

f) (Pulal) brought back


Therefore, a more accurate translation of this passage is as followed:

And he said, "From my mother's womb, I emerged naked, and I will return there naked. The Lord gave and the Lord took; may the name of the Lord be blessed."


However, I must stick with the ESV since that is the version we agreed on. I just wanted to point out that the translation above is most correct.

There is another part in the Torah (OT) that may hint to reincarnation. It is Ecclesiastes 1:4

A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.

Now, you may be thinking "Were do you get reincarnation out of that!" well, think about it If this would refer to the normal flow of generations, a generation cannot come after the previous generation has gone. Rather this refers to the same soul(s) returning in consecutive lives.

Sadly, most of the theology of reincarnation is in the oral Torah and not the written Torah.

RRC3) I great am sorry to my opponent. I quite do not understand your point. Can you please give me a better understanding of your rebuttal? Also, if needed I will drop this one since I added a new one in this round. What would you say is better?

Thanks again and good luck!
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to again thank my opponent for his contribution and look forward to what he has in store for us in his final post.

I would also like to ask my opponent to wait until the last day of his posting period to post his argument. I will be traveling this weekend due to the 4th of July holiday and will not have access to a computer on Saturday, Sunday, and most of Monday. If he waits until Saturday then there shouldn't be a problem.

On with the argument.

RRRC1) My opponent actually makes my argument for me, and also proposes a new contradiction.

However, he has not refuted my argument. We see from the parallel structure of the Psalm references that the sacrifice is not required {to delight the LORD}. This passage is not refering to the forgiveness of sin. The Psalmist is telling us that the LORD does not require a sacrifice in order for him to be delighted or pleased with us. We see the Psalmist confirm this in Psalm 51 when he writes "For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it // you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. // The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; // a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51:16-17). My opponent even validated this when he commented that a sacrifice without a correct mind, heart, and attitude was worthless. However, the author of Hebrews is not talking about how to please the LORD. He is talking about a forensic/legal sanctification and atonement.

In regard to my opponent's comment that there is a new contradiction, he has not provided a verse that has said that the blood of bulls or goats takes away sin, so he has not presented a new contradiction. Until he does, there has not been a contradiction presented.

RRRC2) Hebrew operates on a system of verbal infleciton called a Binyan system. This is similar in concept, although not identical, to our concept of verbal voice. If a verb appears in the Qal stem, it is a slightly different connotation than if it appears in the Polel. The verb in question appears in the Qal, so we are limited to the definition listed under the Qal section of the definition. None of these verbs necessitate or even imply reincarnation, and given that my opponent has noted that this teaching does not appear in the written Torah, it is not a contradiction inherant in the text. As such, I am considering this contradiction resolved unless my opponent has more to add in his final round.

RRRC3) Simply put, when the translators say "For" in Deuteronomy and Ezekiel, what the word means is "as a result of." It was common, as seen in Hammurabi's Code, for children or parents to be punished because of the transgressions of the other. It was a form of "Guilty by Association." This kind of transfered punishment is what Deuteronomy and Ezekiel is forbidding. However, in the New Testament, the word For means "On Behalf Of" and represents a voluntary acceptance of death on the behalf (not necessarily in the place of or as a result of) the other person. The kind of substitution that Deuteronomy forbids is not the same kind of substitution that takes place on the Cross.

I would like to remind my opponent that Round 3 is his last chance to rebuttal my arguments. Per the terms of the debate, my opponent may only respond to my arguments and cannot present new contradictions in this round. I will make an exception if he wishes to pursue the "Blood of Bulls and Goats cannot take away sin" that he alluded to but did not present in round 2.

Thank you for reading, I look forward to your responses.


Thank you for such a fun debate!

Review of contradictions

1. Does G-d require a sacrifice? -DROPPED
2. (To replace 1) Can animal sacrifices take away sins? (My opponent allows me to elaborate on this one in this round; thanks!)-In play
3. Is death final? -dropped
4. Can someone die for the sins of another? -In play

Now that I got this out of the way, I will be glad to refute some of your arguments.

Can animal sacrifice take away sins?

My opponent made the exception and allows me to elaborate. The contradiction arises when Hebrews says the following:

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. –Hebrews 9:22

And all its fat he shall remove as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of peace offerings, and the priest shall burn it on the altar, on top of the Lord’s food offerings. And the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed, and ...-Lev 4:35

Then he shall offer the second for a burnt offering according to the rule. And the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin that he has committed, and he shall be forgiven. -Lev 5:10

You see, sacrifices were a means of forgiveness--but not the only way. They were more than just a representation of Christ (sense I know that is what you'll argue), but rather it was a way to atone for sin.

Why don't we do sacrifices today? Because the temple does not exist.

Okay, I dropped two contradictions and will rebute number 4

My opponent contends that there is a substitution on the cross and it is not forbidden because of that. However, you must understand that G-d is just. Remember, Moses wanted to make a similar substitution; but G-d wouldn't allow that because everyone was to be punished for their own sins.

Thank you and good luck.

Debate Round No. 3


I will make this brief and conclude this debate.

I would like to thank my opponent for the time he has put into this debate, and look forward to future debates with him. I would also like to remind him that he is not allowed to post rebuttals or new contentions in round four, per the original stipulations of the debate.

1) My opponent has dropped this contention.
2) My opponent is mistakingly conflating the terms "Forgive" and "Remove (or Take Away)." I shall expound on this further.
3) My opponent has dropped this contention.
4) My opponent has poorly supported his argument, and does not respond adequately to mine. I shall expound on this further.

Response to Contention 2) My opponent cites a passage hat declares that God forgives sin when animals are sacrificed. He then uses this passage to indicate a discrepancy with a later verse that states that God does not remove sin because of the blood of bulls and goats.

However, in the Bible we see a distinction between forgiving sins, and removing sins. We have a similar distinction in our concept of forgiveness, in at we see a difference between "Forgive and forget" and simply "Forgive." We also see this in our criminal justice system in that a judge has the ability to have someone simply pay a fine and have the punishment remain on their record, or to have them pay the fine and then remove the transgression from their record.

The sacrifices in the Old Testament were like the first situation, where a law-breaker pays a fine but the record of wrong remains. They may not suffer the penalties of that transgression, but the fact that the transgression is still on their record. This is what the author of Hebrews is saying does not happen with the blood of bulls. It does not clear the record, it simply pays the fine. However, the author of Hebrews makes allusions to Isaiah's declaration that Messiah will wash us white as snow, and not only will he pay our fine (to bring about forgiveness) but he will also remove the record of wrong doing. Paul also attests to this in 1st Corinthians 11 when he says "Love keeps no record of wrong doing."

There is no contradiction here because Hebrews is not talking about JUST the forgiveness of sins, but also the expunging of the record, while the Levitical law is only referencing the forgiveness of sins.

Response to Contention 4) My opponent has made two mistakes. The first mistake is that his explanation has no support whatsoever, he simply asserts that God will not allow this because of his justice, alludes to a situation in which Mose proposes a similar substitution, and then asserts that the situations are parallel... however he has not proven this in any way.

His second mistake is that he has not understood my argument. M argument is that the type of substitutionary death described in Deuteronomy is not analogous to the substitutionary death on the Cross. Deuteronomy was written into a culture that commonly enforced punishments involuntarily onto those who did not commit the crime. The prohibition was there to do two things: A) Ensure that punishment was enforced, and B) Ensure that someone was not made to serve someone else's punishment involuntarily (As it was common to do in surrounding cultures).

However, Christ's sacrifice on the cross does not fit this description. He was not simply being punished instead of someone else. He was voluntarily laying down his life to purchase the right to forgive humanity. He was not being forced to take on our punishment (although he did take on our punishment), he was willingly doing so. Now, while someone may argue that this is fundamentally unjust, it is not contradictory to the Biblical prohibition of imposed vicarious punishment found in Deuteronomy.

To summarize

1) My opponent has dropped this contention, and therefore the contradiction does not stand.
2) I have shown that the references to "forgiving sins" via animal sacrifice do not represent the same thing that Hebrews is referring to when it says that the blood of bulls and goats does not "remove" sins. Since my opponent has not provided any citations that show that said sacrifices remove sin in the way that Hebrews discusses, there is no contradiction present.
3) My opponent has dropped this contention, and therefore the contradiction does not stand.
4) I have demonstrated that the prohibition against vicarious punishment in Deuteronomy is a reaction to imposed substitution in the surrounding cultures. Since the substitution undergone in the crucifixion is voluntary and therefore not imposed, it does not fall under the prohibitions seen in Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, and other places in the Hebrew Bible.

As my readers can see, I have fulfilled my burden of proof to demonstrate that the contradictions presented by my opponent either A) Do not represent a contradiction of consequence, or B) are resolvable when proper exegetical and hermeneutic analysis is applied. My opponent has not, however, provided a single contradiction of consequence that cannot be resolved. He has therefore not fulfilled his burden of proof in this debate.

I urge you to vote Pro in this debate and thank you for reading this debate.


Thank you for a wonderful debate. I am so glad you got back in time. I wish to debate with you soon.
According to the terms, I caanot respond to any of pro's arguments.
Debate Round No. 4
37 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by GMDebater 7 years ago
I am sorry a good debate goes wrong cos of bozo v bombers. RA, let's do this debate again
Posted by ReformedArsenal 7 years ago
Bozo... if it's just semantics... it should be easy to overcome. You're welcome to take any of these debates any time you want.
Posted by izbo10 7 years ago
I didn't vote bomb retardedarsenal used semantics which he always does no real arguments.
Posted by Man-is-good 7 years ago
It appears that Reformed Arsenal is ignoring my comments. Oh well...At least there are others to converse with...
Posted by GMDebater 7 years ago
is fine.
Posted by Man-is-good 7 years ago
My apologies. I was busy trying to hone my debating skills so I decided to block my friends from sending messages. I will un-block you now. Sorry for the inconvience.
Posted by GMDebater 7 years ago
MIG I cannot send you a message
Posted by Man-is-good 7 years ago
Well, contradictions might be either intentional, as part of God's will, or rather the work of human fallibility in its attempt to preserve/represent the teachings of God.

Reformed Arsenal, I am glad to see that you finally have proof that GMDebater is Kohai. Now you can use his confession against him if he ever claims that he's not Kohai (although he could state that it was the result of pressure and coercion...)
Posted by GMDebater 7 years ago
lol--There, you happy now?
Posted by ReformedArsenal 7 years ago
Victory is mine!!!
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by SkepticsAskHere 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: pro dropped two contradictions because he claimed that Pro dropped them when he had responded in the previous round. Con seemed to take verses out of context rather than observe the context and Pro pointed that out. Easy win for pro
Vote Placed by Gileandos 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Counteracting Vote bomb from Izbo. Very Mature.
Vote Placed by izbo10 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: semantics shouldn't win debates.
Vote Placed by Dimmitri.C 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con dropped nearly all of his contentions while Pro held greater conduct by supplying convincing arguments.
Vote Placed by tudaloo 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had better conduct but con had the more convincing argument with better sources.