The Instigator
Andromeda_Z
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points
The Contender
Mirza
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

To Prohibit Moderate Consumption of Alcohol Would Negatively Impact Health

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,150 times Debate No: 17358
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (8)

 

Andromeda_Z

Pro

Definitions
Prohibit - to forbid by authority or law [1]
Moderate consumption of alcohol - no more than 9 drinks per week for women and 12-14 for men [2]
Negative - lacking positive qualities, unfavorable [3]
Impact - to have a direct effect on [4]
Health - freedom from physical disease or pain [5]

Sources
[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://www.moderatedrinking.com...
[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[4] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[5] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

If there are any other definitions that my opponent would like to include, or if he would like to define any of these words differently, that can be done in this round before the arguments begin. Thank you in advance for accepting this challenge, and good luck!
Mirza

Con

Thanks to my opponent for instigating the debate and challenging me.

Clarification

We are debating the health effects of alcohol. It's not a debate about the effectiveness of a lawful prohibition. We assume that alcohol is effectively banned, and fewer people drink it. Keep in mind that the debate is also not about the medical use of alcohol. If alcohol is used as a medicine, then that does not count as moderate consumption. That is called necessary consumption. The resolution has nothing to do with that.

My opponent is not allowed to argue that e.g., alcoholics are in need of moderate consumption of alcohol in order to get rid of their disease over time, and that they would not be allowed to get healthier because the state does not allow them to rehabilitate in a known-to-be-effective way (i.e., lesser consumption over time). As I said, this is necessary consumption. I'd also like to clarify that this is not a debate about my stance on the legality of alcohol, hence my position as Con in this debate has nothing to do with my political stance on alcohol.

Burden of Proof

My opponent has the highest share of the burden of proof in this debate. As the resolution implies, she will have to prove that lack of moderate consumption of alcohol will necessarily have a negative impact on health. My share of the burden of proof will be rather minimal, as I will have to show facts which demonstrate that any health benefits alcohol might bring can be replaced by something else, hence one is not forced to be dependent on alcohol for the sake of good health if he does not consume it. To give an example:

1: Vitamin C is important for good health.
2: Drink X contains Vitamin C.
3. Drink C contains Vitamin C.
4. .: Abandoning Drink X does not necessarily cause lack of Vitamin C.

In this example, it is clear that if Drink X is alcohol, and it contains healthy ingredients, then clearly neglecting it would only impact the health in a negative fashion if there is no other food to replace it. However, in this example it is also clear that there is an alternative to Drink X, and in the following rounds I will demonstrate those alternatives.

Definitions

I have no objections to the definitions that my opponent provided. However, I would like to expand upon their meanings and usages in this debate. Taking a look at "impact," my opponent chose to define it as "to have a direct effect on," even though her source listed more loose interpretations of the term. In this case, my opponent has necessitated a strict interpretation of the resolution, which is that a restraint from alcohol will necessarily have a direct negative effect on the health.

That being said, I hope this will be an enjoyable debate for both parties and for the readers. Please don't read and vote here if you drink alcohol in the meanwhile.
Debate Round No. 1
Andromeda_Z

Pro

In A1, I will attempt to show that alcohol has a beneficial effect on health. In A2, I will attempt to show that the prohibition of alcohol will have in a negative impact on health.

Argument 1

Studies have concluded that moderate consumption of alcohol has a protective effect on health, reducing the risk of diseases such as coronary heart disease, total stroke, and ischemic stroke. This is attributed to a higher ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol and altering the effects of enzymes involved in lipoprotein metabolism. [1] [2] [3]

Argument 2

As alcohol is legal now, it can be assumed that people drink it, causing them to experience the positive health effects described in A1. Making the alcohol illegal would result in a significant number of people not drinking it, and the health benefits from alcohol would no longer be present.

Sources
[1] http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org...
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[3] http://cel.isiknowledge.com...
Mirza

Con

Pro has not lived up to the requirements I put forth in Round 1.

Rebuttals

1. Irrelevant argumentation

Pro split up her arguments into two parts. Both speak of the health benefits of alcohol. There was no need for the split. If you analyze, all my opponent did was to affirm that moderate consumption of alcohol tends to come with certain health benefits to some individuals. However, the topic is not whether or not moderate drinking is beneficial in itself - it is whether or not the health benefits can occur without the use of alcohol. Are the health benefits unique to alcohol? No.

Coronary Heart Disease [1]

My opponent argued that alcohol reduces the risk of suffering from Coronary Heart Disease. It has been made clear that whether or not this is true has no impact on my position. The question is whether or not the reduction of the risk of suffering from Coronary Heart Disease is unique to alcohol, to which I clearly say no. According to a Coffee-Tea website, a large part of the British people consume Black Tea, which brings certain health benefits, including the reduction of risk of suffering from Coronary Heart Disease and cancer.

"Black tea is consumed by around three quarters of the British population. It is known to have many important influences upon health; these include positive ones such as reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease and cancers, and negative ones, which are mainly thought to be as a result of the caffeine content of the product." [2]

Since such a large amount of people in a modern country drink black tea, which is likely to bring many health benefits, including the one my opponent connected to alcohol, there is no need to believe that only alcohol would protect people from this disease. The point is irrelevant, and the argument does not meet the burden I laid upon Pro.

Strokes

Strokes occur very often, and the issue of their effects is a severe one. My opponent argued that alcohol reduces the risk of certain strokes occurring. Fine, but so what? Is it unique to alcohol? Absolutely not. Fish oil and Vitamin E have been found to reduce the risk of strokes occurring. [3]

"Vitamin E may have a protective effect against ischemic strokes, researchers reported on April 20 2000 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Toronto, Canada. Their study showed that vitamin E supplements can reduce stroke risk by 53%."

"A study released in the January 17, 2001 issue of the "Journal of the American Medical Association" suggests that fatty fish and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, such as that found in fish oil and flaxseed oil, may be as effective as aspirin therapy at reducing the risk of thrombotic stroke, but without the side effects of aspirin therapy."

Fish oil can be consumed through fish oil pills or complete fish. The health benefits of eating fish are too many. Vitamin D, which functions like a hormone, is vital to us, and eating fish is equivalent to consuming good amounts of Vitamin D. [4] Though in America, fish is not eaten as much as recommended, but the amount is relatively high.

"The average American ate 16.3 pounds of fish and shellfish in 2007, a slight decline from the 2006 consumption figures of 16.5 pounds, according to a NOAA’s Fisheries Service study." [5] Considering how many people abuse alcohol, one should not be too worried that Americans do not eat enough fish. It is better to eat fish about once a week than to create a habit for alcohol drinking, which often leads to alcoholism, accidents, violence, family problems, and much else. Fish hardly do that. Neither does any non-intoxicating food. That's not the case with alcohol.

Vitamin E is also found in many types of foods, and a health website lists top 10 foods which contain the highest amounts of Vitamin E. Paprika and peanuts among many, and these two are consumed in relatively high amounts too, at least if you combine them. [6]

2. Irrelevant sources

Not only did my opponent argue pointlessly, but her sources did not help much for anything good either. She simply confirmed to us that certain sources back up her position. Good, but it doesn't matter. Do Pro's sources tell us how necessary alcohol is for prevention of diseases? Do they mention what would happen if nobody consumed alcohol? Not the least.

3. Conclusion

There is too much evidence in my favor. Alcohol is not unique when it comes to certain health benefits and prevention of diseases. Sure, it can be a contributor, but it is often a fatal one, hence it is unnecessary in most cases. Drinking tea doesn't impair your mind. Eating fish boosts your brain. All of these are safe. They don't cause family problems, nor do they make you wonder why you woke up where you should've never been. Alcohol often does that. It's often fatal and unnecessary, hence the benefits do not matter at all, because one can argue for quite the opposite effects of alcohol, or one can simply do as I did: find safer alternatives.

My arguments remain sound and valid.

References

[1] Coronary Heart Disease: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov...

[2] Black Tea and Coronary Heart Disease: http://www.coffee-tea.co.uk...

[3] Stroke Prevention, Fish Oil and Vitamin E: http://www.healingdaily.com...

[4] Vitamin D and Fish: http://www.nytimes.com...;

[5] Americans and Fish Consumption: http://www.thefishsite.com...

[6] Vitamin E in Foods: http://www.healthaliciousness.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Andromeda_Z

Pro

1. I apologize for unnecessarily dividing my arguments. You are incorrect about your interpretation of the debate, it is about whether prohibiting moderate consumption of alcohol would negatively impact health.

2. Although drinking black tea may decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, black tea consumption and alcohol consumption are not mutually exclusive. This is irrelevant.

3. Again, it is perfectly possible to consume alcohol, fish, and Vitamin E. My opponent has also failed to show that the amount of alcohol I specified in Round 1 is sufficient to cause alcoholism and other problems. It is only the minimum amount necessary to benefit from the healthy proprieties of alcohol.

4. That was not the purpose of my sources, they were intended to demonstrate the effects alcohol has on health.

5. As I stated, the amount of alcohol specified in the definition is, for most people, not enough to cause the adverse effects my opponent describes here. That small an amount of alcohol will not cause healthy people to "wonder why you woke up where you should've never been".
Mirza

Con

My opponent has completely failed to address the issue at hand.

1. The interpretation of the resolution I gave is correct, and even if I gave a wrong one, Pro has not done anything to prove my case wrong. She has not explained how not consuming alcohol impacts the health negatively.

2. No, alcohol and black tea are not mutually exclusive, but that is completely irrelevant. The point is that when so many people consume black tea, then the effects of it will remain even if those people abandon alcohol. It's plain simple logic. If alcohol is good for the heart, and black tea is good for the heart, then it doesn't matter which one you drink, does it? No. Therefore, if you avoid drinking alcohol, you do not increase the risk of having heart disease because you already drink black tea, which has the same good effects as alcohol when it comes to reducing the risk of a certain heart disease.

3. This point fails to address anything relevant. I didn't say that fish and alcohol are mutually exclusive - I am saying that all the foods most people eat bring the same benefits as alcohol, and many more. Therefore, if you neglect alcohol, you do not become unhealthier because you have alternatives.

4. The sources are irrelevant to the burden of proof that my opponent has, which she has not lived up to. It doesn't matter whether or not alcohol is beneficial. In this debate, I even agreed that it can come with benefits. However, the question is whether or not it is unique to the benefits it brings - to which I say no. My opponent has not proven that alcohol is necessary in any way.

5. I said that alcohol often turns into a disease, while the alternatives I listed are far less likely to turn into diseases. Alcohol often causes traffic incidents, family problems, and many other such catastrophes. Black tea doesn't. Neither does fish. And they are good alternatives to whatever benefits alcohol brings.

It is clear that my opponent has barely lived up to any of the criteria for proving her case right. Sure, alcohol brings some benefits - but are the benefits unique to alcohol? No.
Debate Round No. 3
Andromeda_Z

Pro

1. If they are not mutually exclusive, which we both seem to agree on, then there would be additional health benefits if you consume both alcohol and black tea. You would get the benefits of both, while you would only get half the benefits if you chose to drink only black tea.

2. In saying that thy are not mutually exclusive, I meant that you could theoretically consume both fish and alcohol. Fish is healthy, but it doesn't necessarily have to be limited to use as an alternative.

3. At higher concentrations and at inappropriate times, alcohol can cause problems. I have defined the amount of alcohol for this debate as "no more than 9 drinks per week for women and 12-14 for men". Spread out over a week as the definition implies, it would not be enough to cause the problems that you specify.
Mirza

Con

Pro argued that there would be additional health benefits from a combined consumption of both black tea and alcohol. Yes if you stack health benefits upon health benefits, of course you get more benefits. But that doesn't mean that if you don't exaggerate that your health will be impacted negatively in any way whatsoever. Also, Pro says you will only get half the benefits by drinking black tea. Please look at this: http://www.the-color-of-tea.com...

There are tons of health benefits from black tea. Nonetheless, who says that there has to be a battle (i.e., choice) between black tea and alcohol? I already said that black tea is one of the many healthy foods that people consume and benefit therefrom. All of that is very good for one's health, and there's no need to alcohol. Pro has not cited a single source to actually support her position. There are also health benefits in foods people eat in Ukraine but not in Japan. Doesn't mean the Japanese are negatively impacted by the food they don't eat. They're one of the healthiest people. Why? Because they got alternatives to healthy food that other cultures consume.

Additionally, Pro keeps arguing for the health benefits of alcohol and what moderate consumption is. This is irrelevant. I am saying that you can replace alcohol benefits with alternatives. If you're allergic to say, fish, that doesn't mean your body will be impacted negatively by that because you don't consume the Vitamin D from fish. You can eat other food, or take a sunbath. That's called an alternative.

Basically, Pro has not done anything useful to support her position, her sources are irrelevant to the burden of proof that she has, and my arguments are literally not refuted at all. Pro thinks that alcohol cannot be replaced by alternatives. This is wrong. The resolution is weak.
Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by makhdoom5 4 years ago
makhdoom5
well alcohol is proved is very bad for sexual power.
well it also bad that when one person uses the alcohol in moderation is likely will abuse it some day like when has something bad in his or her life. it is very much possible.
well actually the alcohol is toxic.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

its moderate intake is moderate toxication to body.
in longer run it might have pro.
like heroin.
if u use some time and leave it will not cause pro but that dosent means it will not damage ur body.

see the alcohol relax ur body coz it effect ur nervous system. from which pain u are relieving ur self ur own real body become less immune than u always need alcohol for that.
well if u would be doing debate than i would be going further.
i have studied chemistry and i am teaching it.
so i am not expecting any non sense.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
The population includes people at all level of alcohol consumption. The scientific evidence is that "Risk of death from all causes has been found to be significantly lower among men who drink moderately, compared to abstainers.." [Pro R2 1] I think what Con is arguing is that even though the population as a whole shows the group that drinks to better off, we don't know with certainty what would happen if the group of moderate drinkers became abstainers. For example, suppose there is a gene that helps guard against heart disease, and that gene also makes those people enjoy alcohol more than others. That's not impossible, because the pleasurable effects of alcohol derive from physiological changes, and the gene might also affect the physiology causing heart disease. So the Con position is possible. The question then is whether Pro has met the burden of proof.

I think Pro has met the burden of proof, because it is the job f medical researchers to study indirect effects and there is no evidence of any expert doubt about alcohol being the cause of the improvement. In jury terms, that's the standard of "reasonable doubt" being met, but not "beyond possible doubt."

A study showed that children who had night lights in their rooms had worse eyesight than children who did not have night lights. Later investigation revealed that parents who have poor eyesight put night lights in their children's rooms, so the parents genes caused the poor eye sight, not the lights. Indirect causes do occur and elude researchers.

Note that alcohol benefits are studied in those consuming Western high-fat diets. Rsults might be different for other diets. Also, lifestyle changes like weight loss and exercise are no doubt more beneficial than alcohol, but the debate assumed all other things equal.
Posted by Mirza 5 years ago
Mirza
wiploc, name a point where I tried to change the rules.

For other voters, it is clear that Pro has not been close to proving her case. It is true that if you take less of something healthy, then it "should" make you more unhealthy. But that's not necessarily the case. For example, let's say I consume oranges and get a lot of vitamins from them. If I stop consuming them, I do get less of their vitamins, but how does that make me *less* healthy? How do you know that it is healthier for me to actually take fewer oranges? Name one scientist who tells you to eat unlimited fruits. So, if I stop eating oranges, I might NOT necessarily be unhealthier, simply because my body might be better off without all the fruit.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Arguments: Until round 3, I was sure that I was going to give Con the arguments because Pro never really refuted any of his points that the benefits of alcohol could also be had from other sources. However, Pro clearly shows that benefits from anything other than alcohol is not relevant to this debate.

If alcohol is banned, people would have to switch to something else like black tea. Now the question is: do they want to switch to black tea from alcohol. It isn't as simple as just replacing alcohol consumption with black tea consumption. There is a conscious effort that needs to be made, which Con doesn't address. He simply says it doesn't matter which one you drink.

That point lost the arguments for Con. Sources and SG tied. Conduct to Pro because Con was attacking Pro too much.

I would like to thank Mirza for posting this up in the forum. It was a really good debate on both sides, it was competitive, and it was an interesting read. Kudos to both debaters.
Posted by Mirza 5 years ago
Mirza
That does *not* impact health negatively. As long as you have alternatives, the health impact will be minimal whether positive or negative. You think that if you take 5 mg Vitamin D per week instead of 5.5 that it directly impacts your health negatively.

Moreover, even if the logic sounded right, Pro would still have to prove that those people who drink alcohol and benefit from it would actually need alcohol over anything else. Fact is, she hasn't done so. She's done nothing to prove her case right.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Abstaining doesn't effect your health. But that isn't the debate, is it. If alcohol became illegal, all the people that were, at that time, drinking moderately would lose that benefit, and they would thus be negatively impacted. Those that choose to abstain from the getgo would not be effected.

Just as if you were to ban oranges, many people that don't eat that won't be effected, but those that do eat them, will be.
Posted by Mirza 5 years ago
Mirza
Ore_Ele,

I mentioned specific problems that fish does not cause whatsoever, while alcohol often does that. I didn't say fish never cause problems. I once almost sunk a bone when I was younger, it was a bit bad. But that has nothing to do with the specific problems I mentioned. Certainly it didn't make my family hate each other...

Moreover, the question is not whether or not alcohol is beneficial. I agree that it can be. However, if you abstain from alcohol, does it mean that your health will be negatively impacted by that? No. There are alternatives. So if alcohol helps in Area X, then as long as people consume something which will help in Area X (of the body), alcohol is *not* necessary.

Also, you clearly didn't focus on my point which was that even if you don't stack heavily with health benefits of different foods, that doesn't mean you are being negatively impacted by that. The definitions provided don't agree with you at all. By your logic, everyone's health is impacted negatively because they don't eat all the good food in the world. That is extremely fallacious. We're talking about approximates and not absolutes. And we're talking about alternatives, which exist and people benefit from them. Abstaining from alcohol does not impact health negatively for the average person. For it (the absence) to have a negative impact, one would have to abstain from alternatives, or simply not benefit from them enough that his health not negatively affected.

Pro proved no such thing.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
RFD - Con had no real argument about the alcohol and other things being mutually exclusive, and even agreed that they weren't. Pro could have done a better job defending Con's interpretation of his burden, by mentioning that people don't drink alcohol for the benefits, so they are not likely to replace it with something that has the same benefits. Therefore causing a decrease in health. If people were drinking only for the benefit, then by removing said alcohol, they would naturally replace it with something else.

However, by arguing that they are not mutually exclusive, Pro essentuially points out that reducing stroke is not a dichotomy (you are either reducing it or not), but a scale (you can have different degrees of reducing risk). As such, removing alcohol, while you can still reduce your risk by eating fish or drinking tea, you are no longer reducing your risk by as much, and so, that is a negative effect.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
who says fish can't cause problems? I had a girl friend that I told her that her lady parts smelled like a rotting flounder and she left me!
Posted by Mirza 5 years ago
Mirza
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
Andromeda_ZMirzaTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: con change the rules and wrongly read the resolution. Since he goes for a case where alcohol is beneficial, obviously prohibiting it would negatively impact help. Don't HELP the opponent!
Vote Placed by bozotheclown 5 years ago
bozotheclown
Andromeda_ZMirzaTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Total pwnage!
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Andromeda_ZMirzaTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro met a "reasonable doubt" standard of proof. See comments.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
Andromeda_ZMirzaTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's opening argument was lucid and persuasive. Con kept trying to change the rules rather than argue on point.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Andromeda_ZMirzaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: See the comments section.
Vote Placed by ohnoyoulost 5 years ago
ohnoyoulost
Andromeda_ZMirzaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con stated that alcohol has health benefits. This wins Pro the argumentation points
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
Andromeda_ZMirzaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not provide adequate support for her resolution but Con acknowledged that alcohol has health benefits and thus made her case for her. Con's case rested on the concept that there were other alternatives but failed to show why any of these alternatives would actually replace alcohol if it were prohibited, thus his case fails to negate the resolution. Conduct to Pro for Cons insulting depiction of Pros case.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Andromeda_ZMirzaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con had no real argument about the alcohol and other things being mutually exclusive, and even agreed that they weren't. Pro could have done a better job defending Con's interpretation of his burden, by mentioning that people don't drink alcohol for the benefits, so they are not likely to replace it with something that has the same benefits. Therefore causing a decrease in health. If people were drinking only for the benefit, then by removing said alcohol, they would naturally replace. cont.