The Instigator
PublicForumG-d
Con (against)
Tied
40 Points
The Contender
Renzzy
Pro (for)
Tied
40 Points

The Bible Teaches Total Depravity

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/11/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,547 times Debate No: 3597
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (24)

 

PublicForumG-d

Con

I saw this topic already, and was dissapointed that I could not take the challenge, as it was already filled. So, I'd like to challenge Renzzy to a match under the same topic.

In fairness to him, I have not read his arguments on the other version of this topic, so he can pretty much repost.

My points are

1) Scripture gives priority to love and peace.

2) Men twist, corrupt, or badly carry out the Scripture. This is not, however, the fault of the Scripture in any way.

3) Logistically, the Aff doesn't make sense.

To begin,

In Matthew 22:34-40, the Bible clearly and openly states its main theme, and then explains that it is the one to be valued highest within the Bible.

The Greatest Commandment

34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.

35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'

38This is the first and greatest commandment.

39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Jesus specifically said in Verse 40 of the Scriptures that all Law and Scripture should be judged against these two criteria and that anything that violates this mentality is not something to uphold.

I don't really see the depravity in "love G-d" and "Love people".

And its not just friends. Its enemies too.

Romans 12:14-21

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
20 On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

So...repay evil with good, and good with good. Be humble, kind and generous...
I do not see the depravity.

I now move to my second point. My opponent is probably going to jump on the flash points of Christianity. The Crusades, the Inquision, etc. I regret these things. I am sad that so many suffered for a false pretense. But thats just what it was - a false pretense. The wars and invasions under the 'name' of religion were in no such way a religious war! They were a facade, to try and gain political advantage, or to persecute enemies. Never ever was there a Scriptural imperative.

This leads me to ask for the Scriptural justification for any of this. At all. Show me the verses. Show me where it says "Yea, lie and enter neighboring countries for political reasons, but mask it with religion." If my opponent provides me with a single verse that says this, I will immediately concede.

Finally, I move to my last point - It just doesn't make sense that its evil.

If Christianity is a means of total depravity, structured around evil, why are there over 2.1 billion followers? I don't think that ANY religion with so many followers can be considered evil - I just don't believe that that many people can be completely terrible, horrible human beings, and I do not think that it is reasonable to think that either.

The question is whether or not the Bible teaches total depravity. The Central theme of the Bible is love - love G-d and love people. This is better explained by saying, Even enemies, even hated people must be loved. They then go on to talk about the importance of humility, and peace.

There is no depravity here. There is peace, and love.

I John 4:8

G-d is love.
Renzzy

Pro

PublicForum,

I think we have two diferent definitions of total depravity...I do not believe the religion of Christianity is totally depraved, but rather that MAN is totally depraved. If the religion was depraved, there would be no point in it.

Allow me to define it so as to clear things up.

Depraved--- Marked by corruption or evil; perverted.

Having said this, I believe that MAN is TOTALLY depraved, and cannot do any good work with a pure motive on his own. So depraved in fact that he is unable to accept the love of God on his own.

This is my standpoint, so if you are arguing that the religion itself is depraved, then I'm afraid we agree and cannot debate.

Thanks!

Renzzy
Debate Round No. 1
PublicForumG-d

Con

Righty-O. I looked at your profile and saw you were a Christian, and I was like...."Ok..."

Thank you for taking this debate. I'll address the topic as you had intended in this round then.

I guess the best place to start is the start. In Genesis, man was created perfectly.

Genesis 1:27
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he
created him; male and female he created them."

Genesis 1:31
"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."

So, man was a being created in the image of the Almighty, to reflect and worship Him. And, G-d viewed them as being "very good".

Both of these establish man's existence as a being very much separated from "total depravity". Man was actually something good, who mirrored the Almighty Himself.

Of course, we all know what happened next - man fell. The Fall came about in the Garden of Eden, and made all of mankind 'slaves to sin'.

I think this is where my opponent would try to come in. However, I'd like to point out the nature of slavery - it does not change the enslaved being. In the 18th and 19th Centuries in America, many African Americans were enslaved. However, this absolutely does *not* mean that they were any less human beings - only that they were in a condition of bondage.

Similarly, after the Fall of man, we became bound by sin. But, like the African slaves, our nature, the "image of G-d" was not destroyed, but rather covered up by the bondage of slavery. We were not corrupted to the core; who humans were did not change because of sin.

For many hundreds of years, this cycle continued unbroken. Then, Jesus came about.

His sacrifice on the cross came and cleaned us of sin.

Romans 3:23-25
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood"

If humans were so totally depraved, if there was *nothing* in them that was good, then could G-d, who according to Habakkuk 1:13 cannot even LOOK upon sin, bring us all into heaven, to live with Him in eternal paradise? How could G-d - without completely and wholly altering the nature of what man was (which renders the entire process pointless) - have brought these beings into heaven?

G-d took man, and saw him for who he truly was - a good being covered in a bad shell. Jesus' sacrifice 'washed away' the coating of sin upon man, to reveal by grace the true nature of man: The Image of G-d Himself!

We hear the phrase, "washed away" in connection with Jesus' sacrifice. We don't hear, "Completely transmuted" or "Scrapped the lot of them and started over."

If man were rotten to the core, what is left over to bring redeemed to heaven after the "washing away"? Nothing.

To conclude, man began in G-d's image, but his true nature was covered by sin. He was covered in it. But because of the sacrifice of Jesus the Christ, the covering was removed, and who man really was all along came about. That is why we can enter the kingdom of God - we have been redeemed. Not recreated. Redeemed.

Thank you. And thanks to my opponent for this debate. I love theology, and needed something to do. :)
Renzzy

Pro

First I would like to thank my opponent for the debate. I too enjoy debating theology, and will enjoy this debate.

First off, I don't deny what the verses that you quoted out of Genesis teach, and I believe that God created man perfect. I believe that what God created in the garden was in fact perfect in every way, and a perfect likness of God. I also believe that man fell into sin, but I understand this differently then my opponent does. My opponent believes that sin only left its mark on us, and that we have power to overcome our fallen nature if we want God. This, however, is not what I believe the bible teaches.

I believe the Bible taches that man, when he was in the garden, was perfect. When he fell, He became completely and utterly seperated from God. My opponent asks the question "how could God accept us into heaven if we are completely lost in sin?" The answer to this is simple: God is a God of mercy.

Lets not get ahead of ourselves though, and lets see what the Bible has to say on the matter.

My opponent quotes Romans, saying that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross cleansed us from sin. I believe this to be completely true, because I know His sacrifice did cover sins, but the Bible says more then that. Yes, His sacrifice was a sacrifice of atonement, but we cannot in and of ourselves accept this atonement. Why not? The Bible says we are justified freely, doesn't it? Yes it does, but we are not ABLE to accept it freely.

Gen 6:5---
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

Jer. 14:10---
"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil."

One might argue that this was the state of man before the flood, but it would be completely wrong to say that we today are better than them. It says here that man is ONLY EVIL CONTINUALLY. This is harsh language, but true. Man, when completely seperated from God (which has been our state since the fall), can do NO GOOD WORK without selfish motivation. The Bible even says:

Matt. 7:16-20---
"By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and A BAD TREE CANNOT BEAR GOOD FRUIT. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."

How could we, in our fallen state, claim to be somewhat good? You say that man is not rotten to the core, but look what Jeremiah and the Psalmist have to say about the sate of man.

Jer. 17:9---
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

Psalms 51:5---
"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."

If we were shapen in iniquity, and have been desperately wicked from conception, how can you claim that we, in our fallen state, are not rotten to the core? One might argue that these verses are all all taken from the Old Testament, and do not bear as much weight since the death and resurection of Christ. To stop this argument in its tracks, lets look at some verses in the New Testament.

Rom. 3:10-12---
"There is none righteous, not even one; 11There is none who understands. There is none who seeks for God; 12All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one."

There is NO ONE WHO DOES GOOD. Nope, not even one. Man is DEAD in transgressions and sin.

Eph. 2:1---
"And he has mad you alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins."

Note that it says "He has MADE you alive". Jesus' death did not make salvation a do-it-yourself sort of thing. It couldn't be, becuase man, in his fallen state is DEAD in transgressions.

Lets think for a second on what exactly "dead" means. When someone is dead, can they do anything for themselves? Can they ask for anything from these living? Can they even communicate with the living? The answer to all of the questions is a resounding NO. God compares man in his fallen to dead people, because they cannot do anything for themselves. Man is TOTALLY and COMPLETELY depraved. Even Paul admits it in Romans:

Rom. 7:18---
"For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not."

Only through the power and goodness of God can we as fallen men do any good work. We, in our fallen state, cannot even turn to God for help (but this is an entirly different debate). Once regenerated, God begins the work of justification in our lives. It is this justification that makes us fit for heaven. You say that God could not accept us in our fallen state, and your right.

Eph. 2:8-10---
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

It is by grace we have been saved. Nothing that we have done saves us, because we CAN DO NOTHING THAT WOULD SAVE US. We cannot even do anything good! There is no way we can come to God becasue we are totally depraved.

John 6:44---
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."

The Father has to draw us, because we have become blind and deaf to God in our sins.

Matt. 13:13-14---
"This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: 'You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive."

"If man were rotten to the core, what is left over to bring redeemed to heaven after the "washing away"? Nothing."

EXACTLY!!! What an amaznig God! He sees man, totally depraved and in constant rebelion, and yet He finds in Himself the mercy and grace to love us SIMPLY BECAUSE HE CREATED US! What an amazing God! We will hav nothing to present to God when we get to heaven but ourselves, yet God will accept us as we are, because He loves us!

Rom. 6:23---
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

But we are made in God's image, aren't we? Yes, we are, but that does not make us good. We were created in God's image, and we fell, causing us to be completely seperate from God. The fall did not take the image away, but we are still completely depraved. Remember, just because we were made in the image of Gos does not make us like him in goodness and purity.

Thank you, and I await your reply!

Renzzy
Debate Round No. 2
PublicForumG-d

Con

Thanks again for taking this. I'm going to go right down your argument.

Established premises:

1) We both agree that G-d created man perfect, and that the verses in Genesis are valid premises.

What this means is that we both understand that man came about as a perfect being, but we differ how man was affected by sin.

He says that man was "completely and utterly seperated from God".

And for a period of time, known as the Old Testament, we were.

But the current state of Christianity, after the entire time of Jesus is contrary to that.

Before, man could not "see the face of G-d and live." Man could not "speak the name of G-d" and live. There was a 40 foot curtain surrounding the holy temple, and no man except for the Levites, who were a tribe of priests bread to be pure of heart and mind, could enter the inner temple where G-d resided. Any man who did, was struck dead by G-d himself, because according to Habakkuk 1:13, "[G-d's] eyes are too pure to look on evil; [He] cannot tolerate wrong."

If this was the current state of man in relation to G-d, my opponent should and would win this debate. However, everything changed in Matthew 27:50-54 when Jesus broke the barrier that had existed between man and G-d.

"
50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.

52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.

53 They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"
"

After Jesus' death, the veil of the temple, which had symbolized man's separation from G-d, was destroyed by G-d Himself. Remember; this is the same G-d who cannot look upon, or tolerate evil. This is the same G-d who looked away from His own Son Jesus the Christ when he took the sins of the world!
This same G-d, who so abhorred sin, allowed man to now come close to Him. If man was completely depraved, and there was no good in him, G-d could not have allowed man near him. But G-d allowed man to come. Jesus took away the sins and left the original beings that G-d had created. The perfect beings, with the sins removed by Jesus, as if they had never sinned.

This ties in to my other argument. My opponent misses that if man were rotten to the core, there would be nothing left for Jesus to redeem.

Here's an example. I have two clods of dirt. One clod has a rock at the center. The other rock is just a bunch of sand, compacted together.

I submerge both of them in a running river. The river quickly strips the dirt away.

My first hand has a rock remaining.

My second hand has nothing.

Because there was nothing good at the core of the second clod, it was all washed away, leaving me with nothing. But the first clod had something solid at the core, which is why something was left over.

Similarly, man is good at the core. Covered completely in sin? Yes. Degraded
exponentially from the original state? Yes. Rotten to the core? Impossible.
The fact that G-d can redeem us shows that there was SOMETHING good in us for him to redeem in us.
The fact that Jesus could, like the river and clods, wash away all our sins and have something left to redeem indicates that there MUST have been something in us to redeem!

I go back to what I said before. Jesus didn't "scrap humans and start over." He didn't say "screw it, this sucks." He washed away our sins, and cleansed us. And once we were cleansed (not recreated) from our sins, we came to be who we were initially, and were now permitted to enter the presence and Kingdom of G-d.

We are not depraved. We are enslaved by sin, and made clean through Jesus the Christ.
Renzzy

Pro

"everything changed in Matthew 27:50-54 when Jesus broke the barrier that had existed between man and G-d."

Well, something changed, but not the state of man. You say that my position is what the state of man was like BEFORE Christ, but I think you should look again at what the Bible has to say about the state of man in the New Testament even AFTER the death of Christ.

Rom. 3:10-12---
"There is none righteous, not even one; 11There is none who understands. There is none who seeks for God; 12All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one."

Eph. 2:1---
"And he has mad you alive, who were DEAD in trespasses and sins."

1 Cor. 2::14---
"The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned."

These verses are AFTER Christ and still speak of man in a way that say there is NOTHING good in fallen man. I have already quoted a verse saying that every intension of the ehart of man is completely evil. There is another that I will post for your benefit though, because it also says in plain terms that the heart of man is completely evil.

Gen. 8:21---
"The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: 'Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.'"

Every inclination of his heart. You use a ball of mud with either mud or sand in the middle to illistarte man, so I will use that as well.

What, throughout the whole Bible is said to be the "center of the ball of mud"? The answer to this question is "the heart". So, if the intension of mans heart is only evil continually from birth...

Psalms 1:4---
"Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away."

Chaff that the wind blows away, or sand that the water washes away. Either one is a suitable analogy. Mans heart, the very center of his being, is wicked from birth. From conception actually. If our hearts are wicked, then EVEN THE VERY CENTER OF MAN IS NO GOOD. We have NOTHING to offer God.

I find it amazing that you believe an almighty God need something in man to work with. God is ALMIGHTY! He made the universe from NOTHING! God does not need anything good in man to work with. Just as God hardened Pharroh's heart, he can soften the hearts of others. The fact of the matter is, man CANNOT offer anything to God. If the heart is in fact as evil as the scripture says it is, how could we? I have already quoted a verse in Ephesians that explains my point.

Eph. 2:10---
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, WHICH GOD PREPARED IN ADVANCE FOR US TO DO."

God must CAUSE us to do good works, because it is utterly impossible for us to do them on our own. Only through the power of Jesus Christ that is given to us after regeneration can we do anything acceptable to God.

"And once we were cleansed (not recreated)..."

Not so. We are in fact recreated.

John 3:5-8---
"Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.'"

Jesus Himself says we must be born again. This is not all the Bible has to say about this matter though. Take a look at this verse.

2 Cor. 5:17---
" Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATION; the old has gone, the new has come!"

yes, we're new creations; the Bible tells me so! (musical notes)

You quote a verse in Habakkuk saying that God's eyes are too pure to look on evil, and you are correct. God's eyes are still too pure to look on evil. This is why Jesus had to come; He came as a mediater.

Yes, Jesus is the same God as the Father, but Jesus humbled and humiliated Himself to the point where He would come down not only to look at the sin, but also to live in a world completely deranged by it.

Rom. 5:5-8---
"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

The Father cannot and will not look at sin. It even says that when Jesus took the penalty of sin on Himself while He was on the cross, the Father turned His face away. He would not even look upon His own Son while He was bearing the sins of man. That father did still love us though, and that is why He sent Jesus Christ as the mediater; the only way for man to come into the presence of God.

If God would not look at sin in ANY way, as you say, then even if we were somewhat good we could not make it to heaven. God would still have that "barrier" of sin. The fact of the matter is, God has no barriers He cannot cross. If man being rotten to the core could stop God from saving us, then He would simply not be God.

When the curtain was torn, it was representing the fact that man now had free access to the throne room of God. Before the death of Christ, only the high Priest could enter into the presence of God, that is, in the Holy of Holies. When the curtains tore, it showed that God was now giving all men access to Him through PRAYER. People would no longer have to go to the priest to confess sin, and then have the Priest confess that sin to God, but they could go to God and confess the sin THEMSELVES. This was the significance of the tearing of the curtain. Do remember that confessing sin is a good work, and cannot be done without the influence of God.

"If man was completely depraved, and there was no good in him, [God] could not have allowed man near him. But [God] allowed man to come."

My friend, you could not be more right. The amazing thing is, God did not need anything good to work with.

Eph. 2:9---
"not by works, so that no one can boast."

Man can do mothing good outside of God. If we could, then we could boast!

Well, I don't think I have anything more to say, although I'm sure I must have missed something. If I remember anything I was going to say, I'll put it in the comment box.

Thank you for the lively and interesting debate! I would almost like to continue in another debate! I look forward to reading yur final reply, and may the best arguments win!

Thank you again!

Renzzy
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Renzzy 8 years ago
Renzzy
Yea! I really enjoyed this debate. I wish all of my debates could be this fun...
Posted by PublicForumG-d 8 years ago
PublicForumG-d
I don't get final arguments lol

Great debate bro!
Posted by Renzzy 8 years ago
Renzzy
Whoops...lol...I had the final argument...lol...oops! Oh well!
Posted by PublicForumG-d 8 years ago
PublicForumG-d
I do not like to write the name of G-d. Its just a respect thing.

I explained this, I think, somewhere else, its like not calling your mom "Shirly" or your dad "Tim". Its just a respect thing.
Posted by Renzzy 8 years ago
Renzzy
Just a question: why do you not put the "o" in God?
Posted by PublicForumG-d 8 years ago
PublicForumG-d
NP bro. I posted my 2nd arg. Go for it.
Posted by Renzzy 8 years ago
Renzzy
THANK YOU!! My last debate on this topic was a flop...as you probobly saw... so this should be a good change!

Thank you again! I will accept shortly!
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Vote Placed by GleefulJoker 8 years ago
GleefulJoker
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Vote Placed by JeffGordon 8 years ago
JeffGordon
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