The Instigator
atheistman
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
InquireTruth
Con (against)
Winning
63 Points

There is No God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 15 votes the winner is...
InquireTruth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,230 times Debate No: 8621
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (53)
Votes (15)

 

atheistman

Pro

There is not a thread of evidence that a god has ever existed, and it is physically impossible for a god to exist.
InquireTruth

Con

=========
Introduction:
=========

My opponent has made the categorical statement that God does not exist. Since my opponent did not provide a definition for God, I will assume he means a creator of the universe.

=========
Absolute Knowledge
=========

Since the statement, "God does not exist," is an absolute statement, in that my opponent is contending that there is absolutely no possibility that God exists, my opponent must provide an exhaustive proof that he has scaled every inch of the universe – looking under every rock and in every chasm. He must show that he has considered every proposition and found that there is NO God. Since this is quite literally impossible, my opponent cannot fulfill his burden and had lost the debate the moment he submitted the resolution.

As long as it remains POSSIBLE that there is indeed a creator of the universe, then my opponent loses.

=========
God cannot exist because there is no evidence?
=========

Aside from it being completely untrue that there is no evidence (perhaps my opponent confuses evidence with proof), there is absolutely no reason to assume that something cannot exist if there is no evidence. There is no evidence that a cure for the common cold exists, this, however, does not mean that no cure ACTUALLY exists. Evidence does not determine existence. 2,000 years ago we had no evidence that atoms or bacteria existed, does that mean they did not exist at that time… there certainly was no evidence for them?

=========
It is impossible for God to exist?
=========

I await my opponent's groundbreaking proof that it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to exist.
Debate Round No. 1
atheistman

Pro

"my opponent must provide an exhaustive proof that he has scaled every inch of the universe"
You don't need to scale every inch of the universe to recognize a failed hypothesis. Do you need to search the universe to prove that the flying spaghetti monster doesn't exist? No, because it is easy to see that the flying spaghetti monster is a ridiculous idea, and if you can see that, then why shouldn't you be able to see that any god is a ridiculous idea?

"my opponent is contending that there is absolutely no possibility that God exists"
This quote should be enough to answer your question: 'We cannot, of course, disprove God, just as we can't disprove Thor, fairies, leprechauns and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But, like those other fantasies that we can't disprove, we can say that God is very very improbable.' - Richard Dawkins

"Aside from it being completely untrue that there is no evidence (perhaps my opponent confuses evidence with proof),"
Please present some "evidence" that a god has ever existed

"there is absolutely no reason to assume that something cannot exist if there is no evidence"
That statement is certainly true for a lot of things, but not for a god. That statement is not true for a god, for two reasons: 1, with all of the advancements in technology throughout human history and the complexity that a god what need to exist, it would be extremely probable that a god would have been discovered by now if it existed. 2, if a god existed and was all-powerful and wanted people to believe in him, then wouldn't he want to be sure humans had a reason to believe in him? Certainly a god would want to leave behind evidence if the god wanted people to believe in him.

"I await my opponent's groundbreaking proof that it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to exist."
You don't need groundbreaking proof that a god is impossible, any idiot could figure it out. If something is all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good, then it must be a living thing. A law of science states that all living things die, so an immortal god is impossible. There would be nothing for a god to exist on before he supposedly created the universe. Also, if a god could listen to prayers, then the only range of hearing would be on earth, which would rule out the possibility of a god being in another universe or even in space.

God was only a hypothesis by primitive man on how the earth and universe were created, a failed hypothesis shouldn't be believing in the 21st century.
InquireTruth

Con

=======
Introduction:
=======

It is necessary at this point to inform the readers that my opponent has already conceded the debate. My opponent writes, "this quote should be enough to answer your question…" Aside from the fact that my opponent is answering a question that I never asked, his quote from Richard Dawkins serves to illustrate my point. Since the resolution reads, "God does not exist," my opponent has the burden to prove that this is the case. Even if he was able to ACTUALLY show that God is improbable, it would still be quite a distance away from proving that God does not exist –instead, he would have only shown that God probably does not exist.

=======
The Call for Evidence:
=======

"Please present some ‘evidence' that god has ever existed."

My opponent believes that there is no evidence for the existence of God. Since Dawkins disingenuously compared God with fairies and my opponent is fond of using Victor J. Stenger's "failed hypothesis" quip, I will quickly present a cumulative case for the existence of God.

As a preamble, Richard Swinburne, in his own cumulative case, pointed out that there are two types of explanation for phenomena: scientific and personal. Scientific explanations involve natural laws and previous states of affairs. Personal explanations involve persons and purposes. When a scientific explanation is insufficient or not possible, we should consider a personal one.

.;'*^?.;'*^?.;'*^?.;'*^?.;'*^?

THE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT argues from the existence of an extremely complex universe. While science can account for things based on previous states of affairs within the universe (mostly), it cannot account for the "first" state or why matter and energy exist in the first place for the laws of nature to effect. God is the hypothesis of the simplest kind of person with the power and knowledge to bring about the universe. William Lane Craig, in his infamous, "The Kalaam Version of the Cosmological Argument," illustrated that it is impossible for an actual infinite to exist. He gives the following syllogism:

1. An actual infinite cannot exist
2. A beginningless series of events is an actual infinite
3. Therefore, a beginningless series of events cannot exist

If today was preceded by an infinite amount of days prior to it, how did we arrive at today? We could not have. Therefore, the universe had a beginning that could NOT have been the universe itself and the causer must have been non-contingent, eternal and uncaused. This is evidence for God.

.;'*^?.;'*^?.;'*^?.;'*^?.;'*^?

THE ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN essentially states that observed complexity is best explained by positing a designer. It has been said that the probability of life arising by chance is "billions of times more remote than the probability of a copy of Oxford Dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing shop." Alternative theories have to explain observed complexity using innumerous assumptions to explain unobserved processes. The most parsimonious explanation is to the God hypothesis.

A variation of this is the Fine-Tuning argument. By using the logical tool known as the Prime Principle of Confirmation, the God hypothesis succeeds by leaps and bounds. The Prime Principle essentially states that the explanation that is prima facie simpler or more obvious is correct. Imagine I go hiking and stumble upon a rock formation that spells out perfectly, "Matt Conniry is gorgeous." It is possible that – by sheer accident – natural processes occurred in such a way as to form this remarkably accurate rock-formed phrase. Or, I could postulate that such intricacy supports the hypothesis of intelligent intervention. The syllogism - from the prime principle of confirmation – looks something like this (from Rob Collins):

P1 The existence of the fine-tuning is not improbable under theism
P2 The existence of the fine-tuning is very improbable under the atheistic hypothesis
C From premises (1) and (2) and the prime principle of confirmation, it follows that the fine-tuning data provides strong evidence in favor of the design hypothesis over the atheistic hypothesis.

Some examples of fine-tuning are as follows:

1. If the strength of the initial expansion of the big bang was different by as little has 1 part in 10^60 (from "The Accidental Universe"), the universe would have simply collapsed back or expanded too rapidly for a sustainable universe.

2. If the strong nuclear force varied by as little as 5%, life would be impossible ("How to Draw Conclusions from a Fine-Tuned Universe").

3. If gravity was either weaker or stronger by 1 part in 10^40, life-sustaining stars could not exist (from "Superforces")

4. If the neutron had a difference in mass (from the 1.001 times the size of the proton) all protons would become neutrons or vice versa (from "Universes").

5. The electromagnetic force, if slightly stronger or weaker, would render life impossible.

Moreover, science cannot explain why there are such general laws and no such wider law can explain their operation. Such an ordered universe can be explained via the God hypothesis.

.;'*^?.;'*^?.;'*^?.;'*^?.;'*^?

RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE argues that God must exist in order for Him to be experienced. There is an old saying that I find to be particularly pertinent to this argument: The man with an experience is not at the mercy of a man with an argument. If I stood before a jury and gave my experiential testimony for the existence of God, is it equally as reasonable for you to come forward and give your experiential testimony for the nonexistence of God? Similarly, if I witnessed the murder of a man, and you did not, does your testimony really rebut my own? I dare say it does not!

God must exist for me to experience Him. If I experienced God but God does not exist, there is a contradiction. The logical conclusion is to believe that God exists. It would be absurd for me to deny the existence of pyrosis given my habitual experience of it. By the same reasoning, it would be equally absurd for me not to believe God exists.

This experience by itself may not be much, but consider the following statistics:

A recent survey showed that approximately 75% of youth (globally) believe in god and many contend that it was their experience that led them to such a belief (1).

The global statistics show that there are approximately 80.58% people who believe in god (this excludes Buddhism entirely given that it does not explicitly worship any deity, though most adherents probably do believe in a type of deity)(2).

The fact of the matter is that the endemic belief in a personal god is evidence that God exists. It would be epistemic imperialism to deny this fact. We can asses the verity of such a claim by replacing "god" with "cancer," "love" or "Madonna." Insofar as the widespread belief that Madonna exists is evidence that she does.

.;'*^?.;'*^?.;'*^?.;'*^?.;'*^?

LOGICAL/MORAL ABSOLUTES are used as positive evidence for the existence of God.
The very fact that all cultures, near and far, indigenous and advanced, can make moral propositions is evidence that God exists.

Logical absolutes are conceptual by nature and are in no way contingent upon time, space, or matter. The argument is essentially that since logical absolutes are not contingent upon time, space, matter or the human mind, then there must be a transcendent mind behind them.

Since moral propositions and logical absolutes are consistent in all societies – it is positive evidence that God exists.

===============
Cumulative Case
===============

All the aforesaid arguments (twas but a few) are inductive insofar as they confirm the conclusion (though not necessarily PROVE it). However, when taken together as a cumulative case, the existence of God is, overall, significantly more probable than not.

Conclusion:

My opponent argues against a God not inherent in the resolution.
Debate Round No. 2
atheistman

Pro

First of all, I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting my debate. I'd also like to mention that Richard Dawkins, a brilliant evolutionary biologist, has disproved many of the arguments you have stated. That is why I will mention a lot of his arguments as rebuttals.

You mentioned that I've already conceded the debate because I claimed that there is no god, but there will always be a possibility that a god exists. Technically, there's a probability to some degree that anything claimed by humans to exist either exists, or doesn't. There's a chance the mermaids, dragons, or sea monsters exist. Since gravity is a theory, maybe it doesn't exist, maybe we're all being held down by a system of invisible ropes. No matter how crazy something sounds, there's always a possibility that it's true. But when a probability is so low that it's almost certainly not true, has no evidence, and overwhelming evidence against it, then it's logical to say it doesn't exist.

You mentioned that an extremely complex universe is evidence of god. What doesn't sink in with a lot of people is that the earth and universe didn't happen overnight. It took billions of years for everything in the universe to form, and it still is forming. There wasn't a "first state," the matter in the universe always existed. There is a theory that one atom or partial atom always existed which the big bang happened upon, or the different types of matter in the universe always existed, which the big bang happened upon.

'God is the hypothesis of the simplest kind of person with the power and knowledge to bring about the universe.' William Lane Craig, in his infamous, "The Kalaam Version of the Cosmological Argument," illustrated that it is impossible for an actual infinite to exist.

How could a god be simple? To be all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good, and with the ability to create the universe, (which goes against the law of conservation anyway) among other things, a god would have to be extremely complex. Even more complex than the universe. I doubt that "The Kalaam Version of the Cosmological Argument" is true, but even if it was, then it would disprove god because a god would be too complex to have just poofed up out of nowhere.

The Argument From Design is a favorite creationist argument. What creationists fail to see, is that it actually disproves god. There are many analogies of it, including the Watchmaker argument (disproved in Dawkins' book The Blind Watchmaker) and the Ultimate Boeing 747 argument. In the Dawkins' book The God Delusion, he proves that God is the Ultimate Boeing 747. No matter how improbable evolution or abiogenesis is, God is billions of times less probable to have formed from nothing, than life forming on a planet. It is also a lot more probable than you think for life to form, because there a quadrillions of planets in the universe and we may be the only planet, or one of the few planets, that has life.

It is unclear what you are referring to with the fine tuning argument. I assume you're referring to the 'fine tuning' of the human body and earth, or you may be referring to coincidences in nature. I'll refute them both. The 'fine tunings' of the human body are products of evolution. But the human body isn't as amazing as the intelligent design argument claims it to be. There are many flaws including the vulnerability to disease and injury, among other things. You go through many routines each day and many things needed to be invented because if the flaws in the human body. Some examples are brushing your teeth, flossing, bathing, shaving, haircuts, medicine, surgery, exercise, and the large amount of food and sleep the body needs. If the 'design' of the human body is so great, then why do we need al the things I mentioned? Flaws of the earth include natural disasters, harmful rays from the sun, uninhabitable zones, polar shifts, ice ages, imperfect time measurement, (the need for leap years) among other things. There is a word for the rock formation you described, it's called a COINCIDENCE. Also Dawkins explains in The God Delusion how the mind can construct an altered image opposed to the actual thing the eyes are seeing. Optical illusions are a great example of this. Another example, is people thinking they saw the face of the devil in the World Trade Center Explosion. A few jagged edges in a rock formation may trick the mind into thinking it says "Matt Conniry is gorgeous." I haven't even heard of these examples in nature before, and I see no reason why a God would write random statements on rocks.

'If the strength of the initial expansion of the big bang was different by as little has 1 part in 10^60 (from "The Accidental Universe"), the universe would have simply collapsed back or expanded too rapidly for a sustainable universe.'

It happened to turn out in our favor, what else can I say?

Your other statements about how this could affect life, or how that could affect life, actually don't prove a creator at all, those statements only describe life as we know it. If the nuclear force or gravity varied, then life could have evolved differently.

'Moreover, science cannot explain why there are such general laws and no such wider law can explain their operation. Such an ordered universe can be explained via the God hypothesis.'

Science keeps discovering more and more things about the universe, we probably will one day discover the reason for the laws in the universe. If a god existed, due to it's needed extreme complexity, there would be evidence of it. Yet, in the 200,000 years mankind has existed, no evidence that a god has ever existed has been found. And the laws don't keep a generous amount of order in the universe that one would think would come from a god. What about black holes and asteroids that could wipe out earth at any time?

'if I witnessed the murder of a man, and you did not, does your testimony really rebut my own?'

Murder is an action, god is a being. (assuming a god exists) Let's switch the analogy with the murderer instead of the murder. if I witnessed a murderer, and you did not, does your testimony really rebut my own? If this murderer wanted people to believe in him, what he show himself or leave behind evidence? Logically, yes. If many humans searched for this murderer for thousand of years, would they find him? Almost certainly. And now, to refute your analogy: Is this murderer immortal? That is impossible, so the murderer does not exist. Also, your original analogy does not make sense because you have not seen the murder (god) either.

'If I experienced God but God does not exist, there is a contradiction.'

You have never experienced god, so there is no contradiction.

Your statistics do not prove that a god exists simply because the majority of people think a god exists. Before Galileo's time, the majority of the earth's population believed that the earth is flat. But if you want statistics, here: Sweden, one of the most advanced and peaceful countries in the world, with a higher HDI than the U.S., is over 80% atheist. The number of atheist youths have increased in the U.S. from 10%, to 40%.

Dawkin's gives a great explanation for the origin of morality. When humans started living in tribes, they discovered that helping the other members of the tribe made them a stronger tribe, and more likely to survive. Also, when meeting another tribe, they discovered that if they were more friendly, the tribe would like them better. These instincts were passed down throughout the following generations. It is also common sense that people don't want to be killed or stolen from, so a government was created.

Conclusion

Since there is no evidence that a god has ever existed, and a god is extremely improbably and almost entirely impossible, it is logical to say that there is no god.
InquireTruth

Con

===========
Introduction:
===========

My opponent has admitted that it is possible for God to exist – thus conceding the debate. As long as it is possible than the resolution is incorrect and should be stated, "It is POSSIBLE that god does not exist."

What my opponent does not know is that Richard Dawkins and his flawed reasoning have already been refuted in full by Mensa-genius, Vox Day, in his exhaustively researched, "The Irrational Atheist." Dawkins is indeed an evolutionary biologist… and he has strayed far from his field. The philosophical nonsense he has produced is why scientists should remain in the lab, not writing books on metaphysics.

===========
Is God too Complex?
===========

"There is no reason why a designer must necessarily be more complex than his design. The verity of the statement depends entirely on the definition of complexity. While Dawkins doesn't specifically provide one, in explaining his ‘Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit,' he refers to the Argument from Improbability as being rooted in ‘the source of all the information in living matter.' Complexity, to Dawkins, is therefore equated with information…." (TIA 163)

A certain game designer said, "mass quantities of information can easily be produced from much smaller quantities of information. A fractal is perhaps the most obvious example of huge quantities of new information being produced from a very small amount of initial information. For example, thirty-two lines of C++ code suffice to produce a well-known fractal known as the Sierpinski Triangle (4)." So to assume that God must therefore be complex is an unfounded assertion and contra-observation.

===========
The Kalaam Version of the Cosmological Argument
===========

This has to be true. William Lane Craig is a respected analytical philosopher who specializes in the philosophy of time. He has shown that it is IMPOSSIBLE for an actual infinite to exist in reality. Since my opponent contends that there is a theory that suggests an atom has always existed, however, this would be an actual infinite and therefore impossible. It contradicts causality and all known qualities of present and past states. Craig breaks it down as follows:

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
2. The universe began to exist.

2.1 Argument based on the impossibility of an actual infinite.

2.11 An actual infinite cannot exist.
2.12 An infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite.
2.13 Therefore, an infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist.

2.2 Argument based on the impossibility of the formation of an actual infinite by successive addition.

2.21 A collection formed by successive addition cannot be actually infinite.
2.22 The temporal series of past events is a collection formed by successive addition.
2.23 Therefore, the temporal series of past events cannot be actually infinite

=========
Fine-Tuning
=========

I fully admit that it is logically possible for the universe to emerge by chance. But that is not what we are questioning. We are questioning whether the God hypothesis is a more parsimonious hypothesis than alternatives.

Moreover, and using a dice analogy, given what we know about our universe's constants and life itself, the numbers rolled would have to be exactly 1,2,3,4,5…billion…trillion – all sequential – all in one try – or the universe would not be sustainable. The fact of the matter is that we do not merely look and say "this number is improbable," because it is no less probable then anything else that could have been rolled, but rather that we look and say "Wow, if these numbers were ANY DIFFERENT we would not have existed." This sort complexity and order is the mark of intelligence – therefore observed complexity can be explained by positing a designer.

Similarly, if I walked in the woods and saw a fully assembled log cabin, I would not insist that the trees happened to fall in such a way as to construct the cabin – I would rightly posit a designer – even if he be unobserved. In order for somebody to explain the log cabin without positing a designer, they would have to posit numerous assumptions and unobserved phenomena. Which is more parsimonious?

So when my opponent suggests that it just so happen to occur that way, I cannot help but respond like Alice to the incredulous Red Queen:

Alice laughed. "There is no use trying," she said. "One can't believe impossible things."
"I care say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age I did it for half an hour a day. Why some times I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

=========
Conclusion
=========

I feel no compunction in stopping here. My opponent has unknowingly admitted defeat in both his 2nd and 3rd round. As long as he maintains that God is possible then the resolution is of no avail.
Debate Round No. 3
53 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by atheistman 6 years ago
atheistman
@gamemaster Actually everyone is agnostic by definition, since no one can 'know' whether or not god exists. Being an atheist means you don't BELIEVE that god exists, not that you claim to know that god doesn't exist.
Posted by gamemaster 6 years ago
gamemaster
extremely improbably and almost entirely = Giant Fail. When an atheist uses these words, it is instantly revealed that he is an agnostic.
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
"Just because something is ridiculous doesn't mean it isn't true. u being an atheist is ridiculous."

What do you base this off? Not believing in fairy tales that have been outdated for thousands of years is ridiculous?

"last time I checked u existed."

I assume you're confusing atheism with nihilism, nihilism is the belief that nothing exists, while atheism is simply a disbelief in god(s)
Posted by silntwaves 7 years ago
silntwaves
You don't need to scale every inch of the universe to recognize a failed hypothesis. Do you need to search the universe to prove that the flying spaghetti monster doesn't exist? No, because it is easy to see that the flying spaghetti monster is a ridiculous idea, and if you can see that, then why shouldn't you be able to see that any god is a ridiculous idea?"

Just because something is ridiculous doesn't mean it isn't true. u being an atheist is ridiculous. last time I checked u existed.
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
to atheistman,
"t's impossible, because a law of science states that all living things die" Really? Which law is that? I'd really like to know what scientific law states that.

way12go,
LOL!

InquireTruth,
I think way12go was joking, right? I mean it was supposed to be humorous, right?
Posted by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
That is a pretty haphazard syllogism - most of which is an argument from ignorance. Neither substantive nor informative.
Posted by way12go 7 years ago
way12go
http://sagargorijala.blogspot.com...
Fundamental Theory Of Existence.
1. Zero can not exist as denominator.
2. Anything can not be created out of nothingness, only change of form is possible and change is everywhere.
3. Anything can not be destroyed into nothingness, only change of form is possible and change is everywhere.
4. Existence of anything can not be infinite.
5. There is no beginning and an end to the existence of the World.
6. There are finite absolute laws.
7. Velocity of light is relative.
8. There are three dimensions and three dimensions only.
9. Time Travel can not exist.
10. Tan 90 can not exist.
11. God(s) can not exist.
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
Well InquireTruth certainly didn't deserve all of his points either.
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
You've got to be kidding. You didn't deserve all seven points.
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
Because at least two people who voted in this debate had some sense in them.
15 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
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tBoonePickens
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