The Instigator
SkepticsAskHere
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points
The Contender
shajahanahmed
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points

The Qur'an was a revelation from God.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/18/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,625 times Debate No: 16580
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (36)
Votes (8)

 

SkepticsAskHere

Con

Hello DDO! This is Taylor from Skeptics Ask, and welcome to this debate. I have agreed to debate the topic of - The Qur'an was a revelation from God. I will be taking the Con stance on this (saying that the Qur’an is the words of men) and for the sake of time I will simply post my two favorite arguments. I will start by laying down the foundations for the debate.

Burden of Proof

My opponent has the burden of proof of showing evidence that the Qur’an was a revelation from God.

I however will have to give reasons why it is more likely that the Qur’an was made by men.

For the Qur’an to be a revelation from God it cannot have any flaws or else we would have to assume that it was made by men. If there is a single flaw that the Con can point out that cannot be logically resolved by the Pro, then the Con should win.

Contention 1: The Qur'an and the formation of sperm error.

"Now let man but think from what he is created! He is created from a drop emitted-Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs," (Qur'an 86:5-7).

At first reading of this Qur'anic verse, it is obvious that the error is that sperm comes from a man's chest. After all, the chest is "between the backbone and the ribs"? The abdomen is below the backbone and ribs, and the male testicles are far below that.

This error is important because in Islam, if one thing in the Qur'an is false, then Islam is false. In Islam the Qur'an was supposedly transmitted directly to Muhammad from God through the angel Gabriel. Therefore, it cannot have even a single mistake. But, as you can see, it does.

A drop

The verse says that it is the "drop" that is emitted from the chest area. It is not referencing the testicles that descend from the abdominal area (not the chest). In addition, by definition, a drop is a small quantity of liquid that is separated from a larger body of liquid. Gravity acts upon it and it drops; hence, the term "drop". Drops are not in the human body. They are outside of it. Human blood flowing through the veins is not in drops, neither is the seminal fluid, which is emitted from the prostate, in drops. It is the seminal fluid that carries the sperm from the testicles as it exits the body that then forms drops. Therefore, what the Qur'anic verse is talking about is not the testicles, but the seminal fluid and sperm mixture that has left the body during sexual intercourse. It is the drop that the Qur'an says is formed from "between the backbone and the ribs." This is an obvious and blatant error.

Where do testicles form?
  • "The testicle originally forms in the back of the abdominal cavity, similar to the position of the ovaries in girls. Near the end of pregnancy, the testis begins to descend to the scrotum."1
  • "The testicles begin inside the abdominal cavity."2.
  • At seven months, "The testicles begin to move down from the abdomen into the scrotum."3
  • "Normal testicular development begins at conception and the testicles first appear in the abdomen at about the level of the kidneys."4

Even if it can be surmised that the testicles were formed in embryonic development in the very lower part of the chest area, it still does not solve the problem wherein the Qur'an states that man is formed from the drop that is emitted from between the backbones and the ribs. The drop, the liquid, is not formed in embryonic development and does not begin such development until the testicles begin to mature. This occurs after the birth of the baby and after the testicles have descended out of the body.

Therefore, the Qur'an (also known as Quran and Koran) is incorrect in its statement that a person is formed from a drop that is emitted from between the backbone and the ribs.

  1. 1.The Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh: www.hmc.psu.edu/childrens/healthinfo/c/cryptorchidism.htm.
  2. 2.Penn State Children's Hospital: www.hmc.psu.edu/childrens/healthinfo/c/cryptorchidism.htm.
  3. 3.Allina Hospitals and Clinics: www.medformation.com/ac/crswa.nsf/file/crs-wha-obg_normal.fetal.growth.
  4. 4.Long Island Jewish Medical Center, http://www.lij.edu....


Contention 2: The Qur’an says the Bible is not corrupt
  • Torah - "We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of messengers," (Sura 2:87).1
  • Psalms - "We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and solomon, andto David We gave the Psalms," (4:163).
  • Gospel - "It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong)," (3:3).
    Also, "And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him:We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah," (5:46).

We see that the Qu'ran states that the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel were all given by God. With this we Christians heartily agree. But, the Muslims claim that the Bible is corrupted and full of contradictions. If that is so, then it would seem they do not believe the Qu'ran since the Qu'ran says that the Word of God cannot be altered:

  • "Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those messengers," (6:34).
  • "The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all," (6:115).
  • "For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme felicity," (10:64).

Now let’s compare gospels to the Qur’an

Bible

Qur'an

Monotheistic, Trinitarian, (Matt. 28:19).

Monotheistic (5:73; 112:1-4), denies the Trinity (5:73).

Jesus is God (John 1:1, John 1:14, John 8:24, John 8:58)

Jesus is not God (5:17, 75).

Holy Spirit, 3rd person in the Godhead. He will bear witness of Jesus (John 14:26; 15:26).

The Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel (2:97; 16:102).

Jesus was the Son of God (Mark 1:1).

Jesus was not the Son of God (9:30).

If Allah’s words cannot be changed then, then why are they so many key contradictions here? According to the Qur’an the Gospels were the words of God and they cannot be changed? If the words have been changed then the Qur’an is flawed and made by men, if they haven’t been changed then the Qur’am is still flawed due to the many contradictions.

I wish my opponent good luck in the next round!

shajahanahmed

Pro

I thank my opponent for choosing me as a worthy opponent.

Firstly, I shall deal with Con's contentions against the Qur'an being a revelation from God.

His first Contention: regarding Qur'an 86:5-7, where we read "5Now let man but think from what he is created! 6He is created from a drop emitted 7Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs". He claims this verse is inconsistent with scientific study. And if this one verse is wrong he claims then Islam is wrong.

I shall analyse this passage of the Qur'an so my opponent and readers can see if this verse is really inconsistent with science or not.

The passage mentions first "from a drop emitted". My opponent has a problem with this mentioning, he says: "a drop is a small quantity of liquid that is separated from a larger body of liquid. Gravity acts upon it and it drops; hence, the term "drops"" and I have no problem agreeing such does not happen inside the human body. Maybe the word ‘drop' is slightly problematic for my opponent. I notice Con has used the Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation of the Qur'an (86:5-7). In this translation ‘drop' is translated from the Arabic word ‘maa-in' which can better mean ‘water' [1]. The Yusuf Ali translation is the only translation of the Qur'an I know of which translates ‘maa-in' to ‘drop'. Other translations have chosen not to translate to ‘drop' but other words such as: fluid, water [2].

For making such arguments, I advise Con to try study the Arabic of such Qur'anic verses and look at several different translations rather than looking simply at one single translation. Translations of the Qur'an (even the Bible) are not always perfect, certain translations could be better in particular aspects/verses than others. Also the Qur'an was revealed in Arabic which is now what can be called classical Arabic, it is easy to recognise Arabic is difficult to translate into English.

The passage then goes on to say "Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs"(Qur'an 86:7). Cons argument here is simple, he says: "it is obvious that the error is that sperm comes from a man's chest. After all, the chest is "between the backbone and the ribs"? The abdomen is below the backbone and ribs, and the male testicles are far below that". I would argue that verse 7 is not referring to the sperm as verse 6 is. Verse 7 is mentioning specifically about the reproductive organs of the male and/or female. If verse 6 and 7 were one single (joined) verse then there would be a problem, but they are two separate verses. And scientific study has taught that the reproductive organs have proceeded from an area between the backbone and ribs as 86:7 of the Qur'an states.

So verse 86:6 of the Qur'an is correct in stating that man is created from a fluid, water etc eject (referring to the sperm). And also the Qur'an is rightful in stating: "Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs" which is referring to the reproductive organs of both male and/or female (Qur'an 86:7).

Con's second contention is that 'the Qur'an says the Bible is not corrupt'. Correction: ‘the Qur'an does not mention the Bible is corrupt' because the word ‘Bible' does not even appear in the Qur'an even once. Yes the Qur'an mentions of the Torah revealed to Moses (pbuh), the Psalms revealed to David (pbuh), the Gospel revealed to Jesus (pbuh) and also the Qur'an (or Fur'qan) revealed to Muhammad (pbuh). But Muslims rightfully argue that the Torah, Psalms and Gospel of which the Qur'an mentions are not properly found in the Bible. Due to limited space, I shall explain why Muslims take such a position in full detail in further rounds if needed.

Once we understand the Torah, Psalms and Gospel in light of the Qur'an, it is clear such scriptures are not fully present in the Bible today. And it is wrong to say or give the impression that Qur'an refers to the complete Bible by mentioning the Torah, Psalms and Gospel. Yes Muslims claim that these three scriptures have been corrupted in the Bible, changed or even added to through time, and that the Bible may contain some true passages which haven't been changed. But this doesn't mean the word of God has been changed/ altered, the word of God has always been the same. If one changes/adds to the revelation of God on a piece of paper this doesn't change the actual word of God. God's words are His will and His decree in Islam and they can never be changed, "and none can alter the Words (Decisions) of Allah" (Qur'an 6:34).

After the corruption of earlier revelations, the Qur'an was sent with the intention to verify the proper and original message and safeguard it or act as a check to its explanation. Whatever matches with the Qur'an, Muslims have no problem in agreeing with it. The Qur'an being the final revelation, Muslims believe God has chosen to preserve it and guard it from alteration, as we read: "Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Quran) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)" (Qur'an 15:9).

For the last part, I will provide some brief arguments (as I have limited space) to prove the Qur’an to be a revelation from God. I will go into more details in later rounds.

The Qur’an is extremely accurate when it mentions regarding science. Such passages in the Qur’an are enough to prove that it cannot be the handy work of a man but a revelation from God. It is impossible to think an illiterate man (Muhammad pbuh) could come up with so many correct/accurate scientific facts fourteen hundred years ago, at a time when scientific knowledge was primitive. Below are provided some scientific facts stated in the Qur’an so many years back, but scientists have come to know only recently.
  • The Qur’an talks about the expansion of the universe in 51:47. This is only recently known but the Qur’an mentions this fourteen hundred years back, that the universe is expanding [3][4].
  • The Qur’an mentions about seas not mingling with one another in 55:19-20. Seas that come together but do not mingle with one another has very recently been discovered in context of history [5], yet this fact is mentioned in the Qur’an fourteen hundred years ago.
  • Qur’an 75:3-4: in this verse ‘finger tips’ is specifically emphasised. Fourteen hundred years ago no one paid so much attention to this verse as no one understood why 'finger tips' was emphasised. But we know now only recently, that on our finger tips we have finger prints each and every one unique.
There are many more scientific facts found in the Qur’an regarding embryology, zoology, astronomy etc. as I have limited space to write, I will mention more on Science and the Qur’an in further rounds if needed.

When we read the Qur’an, one would notice that it gave news of new events that would take place in the future. In other words prophesies, and fulfilment of prophesies in the Qur’an is a solid sign that it is from the God. For example: the Qur’an foretold the victory of the Byzantium Empire as we read 30:1.

When studying the Qur’an and its unique literary form one would find it extremely problematic to attribute it to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), as he was illiterate, and it would have been impossible for him to stay consistent in the matters regarding within the Qur’an for 23 continuous years.

I have run out of space and it’s over to my opponent, thank you.

[1] http://corpus.quran.com...=(86:6:3)
[2] http://quran.com...
[3] http://skyserver.sdss.org...
[4] http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov...
[5] Richard A. Davis, Principles of Oceanography
Debate Round No. 1
SkepticsAskHere

Con

I thank my opponent for the good first round!

The passage then goes on to say "Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs"(Qur'an 86:7). Cons argument here is simple, he says: "it is obvious that the error is that sperm comes from a man's chest. After all, the chest is "between the backbone and the ribs"? The abdomen is below the backbone and ribs, and the male testicles are far below that". I would argue that verse 7 is not referring to the sperm as verse 6 is. Verse 7 is mentioning specifically about the reproductive organs of the male and/or female. If verse 6 and 7 were one single (joined) verse then there would be a problem, but they oare two separate verses.

And scientific study has taught that the reproductive organs have proceeded from an area between the backbone and ribs as 86:7 of the Qur'an states.

I have four different sources for scientific studies that contradict the reproductive organs proceeding from the backbone and ribs. You didn't provide any evidence for this claims.

So verse 86:6 of the Qur'an is correct in stating that man is created from a fluid, water etc eject (referring to the sperm). And also the Qur'an is rightful in stating: "Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs" which is referring to the reproductive organs of both male and/or female (Qur'an 86:7).

However I have presented evidence to show that the reproductive organs do are not located in this area.


Con's second contention is that 'the Qur'an says the Bible is not corrupt'. Correction: ‘the Qur'an does not mention the Bible is corrupt' because the word ‘Bible' does not even appear in the Qur'an even once.

I only mentioned Bible once in my contention but as you can see I only quoted from the Gospel, so my argument still stands because the Qur'an claims that the Gospels are not corrupt.

If one changes/adds to the revelation of God on a piece of paper this doesn't change the actual word of God. God's words are His will and His decree in Islam and they can never be changed, "and none can alter the Words (Decisions) of Allah" (Qur'an 6:34).

I don't necessarily agree with y opponent in the manner he interpreted those verse because they were written in the context to reassure the audience that the words of Allah (the Qur'an) would not be changed. However let's say the verses were written in the sense my opponent would like everyone to believe. Then how do we know that the Qur'an hasn't been altered or been corrupted. What makes this document any different from the other holy texts that haven't been corrupted? I would like to ask my opponent for evidence of the reliability of the Qur'an. And I don't expect him to quote from the Qur'an to prove the Qur'an hasn't been altered (circular reasoning), he's a competent debater who has presented good arguments, but I do ask for evidence for the validity of the Qur'an.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


After the corruption of earlier revelations, the Qur'an was sent with the intention to verify the proper and original message and safeguard it or act as a check to its explanation.

  • The Qur’an talks about the expansion of the universe in 51:47. This is only recently known but the Qur’an mentions this fourteen hundred years back, that the universe is expanding [3][4].

This verse could very easily be referring to the afterlife. After all the word for heaven is singular in this passage, instead of stating the heavens (referring to space).

  • The Qur’an mentions about seas not mingling with one another in 55:19-20. Seas that come together but do not mingle with one another has very recently been discovered in context of history [5], yet this fact is mentioned in the Qur’an fourteen hundred years ago.

This could be something that would very easy to observe because at the time there was an understanding between fresh and salt water. So logically one could assume there was a barrier.

  • Qur’an 75:3-4: in this verse ‘finger tips’ is specifically emphasized. Fourteen hundred years ago no one paid so much attention to this verse as no one understood why 'finger tips' was emphasized. But we know now only recently, that on our finger tips we have finger prints each and every one unique.

The context of the entire passage is not referring to fingertips in the least.

My opponent has taken several verses out of context to support his world view without any real evidence of the Qur'an being the words of Allah.

When studying the Qur’an and its unique literary form one would find it extremely problematic to attribute it to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), as he was illiterate, and it would have been impossible for him to stay consistent in the matters regarding within the Qur’an for 23 continuous years.

It appears as if my opponent is making the claim that the Qur'an was not even written directly by Muhammad, I don't wish to take this out of context so could you please elaborate?

And since my opponent has made a point of showing the Qur’an to be the word of God through scientific accuracies, I must offer this counter proposition to him. The Qur’an must not be the word of Allah because it says that the Earth is laid out like a carpet. My opponent will most likely come back and say that the verse isn’t saying the Earth is flat, however that would be radically different from how the people of the time understood this passage. If the accepted theory at the time was that the Earth was flat, then why didn't Muhammad be more specific?

Who has laid out the earth as a carpet for you and has traced highways on it for you, and sent down water from the sky, We have brought forth every sort of plant with it, of various types. - Q. 20:53

Good luck in the next round.

shajahanahmed

Pro

shajahanahmed forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
SkepticsAskHere

Con

Sadly, my opponent forfeited his last round so I shall extend some of my arguments and I also shall readdress a few of the key points.

I have four different sources for scientific studies that contradict the reproductive organs proceeding from the backbone and ribs. My opponent didn't provide any evidence for these claims about the scientific issue involving sperm. My opponent cannot refute this.


"When studying the Qur’an and its unique literary form one would find it extremely problematic to attribute it to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), as he was illiterate, and it would have been impossible for him to stay consistent in the matters regarding within the Qur’an for 23 continuous years"

My opponent seems to suddenly agree that the Qur’an has not been consistent and therefore is flawed.

“What I had meant to say is that for Shajahanahmed to win this debate he will have to try and show that the New and Old Testament can be properly and plausibly appropriated and grounded by and through a Qur'anic approach and premises. Merely stating that a verse says one thing in the Qur'an leaves the differentiated Christian bridge logically unamended. If this is the case (My opponent claiming the Bible is corrupted) you merely have to reject this declaration as an unsubstantiated declaration which begs the question--the codices and New Testament papyri positively contradict this assertion made by Mohammed.” –Dimmitri.C

This goes to show that the Qur’an says that the Gospels are not corrupted. This is a problem for my opponent because the Gospels directly contradict the Qur’an.

My opponent still needs to answer the following question:

Then how do we know that the Qur'an hasn't been altered or been corrupted. What makes this document any different from the other holy texts that haven't been corrupted? I would like to ask my opponent for evidence of the reliability of the Qur'an.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have shown that all of my opponent’s “scientific accuracies” are quite invalid and I have present a verse where the Qur’an claims the Earth is flat like a carpet.

Who has laid out the earth as a carpet for you and has traced highways on it for you, and sent down water from the sky, We have brought forth every sort of plant with it, of various types. - Q. 20:53

I have extended my arguments and because of the forfeit Con should win this debate. However, I still wish to see how my opponent responds. I extend good luck to him in the next round.

shajahanahmed

Pro

shajahanahmed forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
SkepticsAskHere

Con

My opponent has forfeited another round.

I extend all of my arguments, and vote Con
shajahanahmed

Pro

shajahanahmed forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
SkepticsAskHere

Con

My opponent has once again forfeited, I extend my arguments.

Vote Con
shajahanahmed

Pro

shajahanahmed forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
36 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SkepticsAskHere 5 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
Oh well my apologies then, I thought I put a link
Posted by Mirza 5 years ago
Mirza
Where did you cite a source in the first round? I don't see it.

And plagiarism is a *far* bigger issue than forfeit.
Posted by SkepticsAskHere 5 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
Haha no not really i cited my sources, it's not like I just claimed it was me who wrote any of it at all. And the fact that you voted against me just exposes how bias you are. Pro forfeited 4 out of 5 rounds. I think thats more important
Posted by Mirza 5 years ago
Mirza
Ever gonna apologize for the plagiarized arguments, perhaps? Or admit that you do not deserve 7 votes whatsoever?
Posted by SkepticsAskHere 5 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
Yes because II contacted my opponent before hand we discussed the topic. Getting upset on this comment thread is not helping anything
Posted by Mirza 5 years ago
Mirza
But your very two contentions in the debate were put forth not as defense for the Bible, but an assault on the Qur'anic approach to science and the Bible. That is why I ask you to name a few topics you would like to debate about Islam. Women's rights? Violence? Preservation? Science?
Posted by SkepticsAskHere 5 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
Not well Versed as in I can't cite most of the things I have read. Way to go taking my comment out of context
Posted by baggins 5 years ago
baggins
"Well I have several opinions about the Qur'an ranging from the incompetence of Muhammad to it's violent instructions, however I am not well versed in the Qur'an ..."

It figures!
Posted by SkepticsAskHere 5 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
Well I have several opinions about the Qur'an ranging from the incompetence of Muhammad to it's violent instructions, however I am not well versed in the Qur'an and I am much better at defending the Bible. So I am always hesitant when attacking other religions
Posted by Mirza 5 years ago
Mirza
You and Dimmitri made claims about the Qur'an supporting the validity of the Bible. I already said we can debate that.

List your other objections to Islam/the Qur'an.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
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Reasons for voting decision: F.F.
Vote Placed by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
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Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF. If Con did sample, I'm sure it was inadvertent... and it is Pro's job to point that out. He didn't even respond after the first set of arguments.
Vote Placed by baggins 5 years ago
baggins
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Reasons for voting decision: Mirza called it!
Vote Placed by Mirza 5 years ago
Mirza
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Reasons for voting decision: Con plagiarized. Whoever votes for him needs to quit taking votebombdrugs.
Vote Placed by Dimmitri.C 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by GMDebater 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeit