The Instigator
Ogan
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
Cerebral_Narcissist
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Unlimited Consciousness

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/31/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,162 times Debate No: 12868
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (6)

 

Ogan

Pro

Consciousness cannot be either circumscribed or comprehended by intellect or reason. Therefore only individual conscious experience can prove or disprove anything - the rest is faith, be it religious or scientific. So opinion matters not a jot.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for posting such an interesting concept to debate. The issue of Consciousness is a perplexing and confusing one and my opponent clearly has some very abstract and deep views on the matter.

Defintions

Consciousness: This article provides a detail exploration of that the term means, http://en.wikipedia.org.... My opponet speaks of "individual conscious experience" which is in line with the article and seems like a farly good common sense defintion.

Argument 1: Consciousness cannot be either circumscribed or comprehended by intellect or reason

Rebuttal
Modern science has suggested that in actuality consciousness is an observable and physical aspect of our brains.
http://www.newscientist.com...

Section II of this article also categorises consciousness and experience as an understandable function of the brain.
http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk...

To quote "Conscious states are caused by lower level neurobiological processes in the brain and are themselves higher level features of the brain. The key notions here are those of cause and feature. As far as we know anything about how the world works, variable rates of neuron firings in different neuronal architectures cause all the enormous variety of our conscious life. All the stimuli we receive from the external world are converted by the nervous system into one medium, namely, variable rates of neuron firings at synapses. And equally remarkably, these variable rates of neuron firings cause all of the colour and variety of our conscious life. The smell of the flower, the sound of the symphony, the thoughts of theorems in Euclidian geometry -- all are caused by lower level biological processes in the brain; and as far as we know, the crucial functional elements are neurons and synapses. "

I therefore consider my opponents statement to be invalid.

Argument 2: "only individual conscious experience can prove or disprove anything"

This is a deeply flawed argument for the following reasons.
1: The issue of halluncinations.

"Someone may for instance take hallucenogenic drugs and imagine that they flying or talking to God. Sober companions will not notice either phenomana. It is clear in such an instance that the individual conscious experience can not prove or disprove anything."

2: False Memory Syndrome.

In which the victim 'remembers' (which is an individual concious experience) that which is not true. Such as false memories of sexual abuse or alien adduction.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

3: Eyewitnesses Clash.
Due to simple ignorance or stress the same event may cause conflicting eye witness accounts. There were various conflicting accounts of what struck the pentagon during 9-11. Eyewitnesses variously stated it was a car bomb, a small missile, a missile like plane, a 12 seaer and a boeing 757. Not all these witnesses may be correct.

It is therefore clear that individual conscious experiences are not an accurate measue to determne truth at all as all these example would be solved by obtaining third party advice.
Debate Round No. 1
Ogan

Pro

May I also thank you for being an excellent protagonist. I do hope we both learn at least something and our time is not wasted. Forgive me if at times I don't follow the usual methods of communication or cite sources or my ‘authorities', as I refused to do my degree at University because of the implications, or if you like, straitjacket it would place upon my Thought and Imagination etc., I was a young naive enthusiast who should have been told " a degree is only a bit of paper to get you a worthwhile job, not True Education!" But I am pleased I did what I did as I am now bearing much golden fruit. But to the debate.

Modern science has suggested that in actuality consciousness is an observable and physical aspect of our brains.

I would contest the words ‘in actuality', as this ‘suggestion' of science is merely an unproven theory regarding the proven fact of bio-chemical activity within the brain having a direct relation to certain modes of thought, feeling and activity. We know there is a definite relationship. But am I to accept the ‘suggestion' that my True Consciousness - rather than activity within my brain - can be observed by a mere scientist, when it is plainly obvious I myself have not yet discovered my own consciousness fully. How could another individual have my ‘knowing' and prove it? How could they, by looking at some impulses in grey matter know anything at all about my true Identity, or yours?

…consciousness and experience as an understandable function of the brain.

It would be a waste of time debating the obvious proven fact of the whole complex arrangement of the human brain and nervous system, along with its direct connection with animal consciousness, intellect and physical experience via the senses. But I will again contest the use of a particular word ‘understandable' But then, I know the dilemma, and will now bravely state it clearly and simply:

The consciousness and experience they speak of is only an aspect of the True Consciousness, which uses this body and animal ‘mind' as its instrument for learning purposes. Therefore, the area of our debate is how anyone can prove the existence of a superior Consciousness that uses the body, it senses and intellect for an unknown Purpose – that Purpose only being known when that Individual Consciousness either reveals itself to the lower intellect or is freed from the restrictions of the body and brain etc., But that's the point I made earlier in a comment – only that individual who experiences such a thing KNOWS it as it is! The fact that people have dreams, hallucinations, crazy notions and a kind of blind faith bears no relationship at all with this Superior Consciousness which cannot be known by intellectual debate - though intellectual discussion is one of the methods of awakening it – or eventually being Informed by it!

A little analogy: It's a bit like a scientist studying all the electrical phenomena in a television ‘nervous' circuit and accurately relating the results to actions taking place upon the screen. My question is: could the experimenter by an intense study of the same, either know or prove anything at all about the actual lives of the real Actors and their actual Purpose?

The issue of hallucinations.

We know when we are awake, just like we do now while reading this. We know – unless we have faulty thinking through drugs, blind belief or accident – what our state of normal perceptive wakefulness is, and KNOW we are not hallucinating and can agree on certain unshakable principles and remain sane. Now, if that normal knowing or consciousness began to expand and intensify in your life and reveal a Knowledge and a Beauty beyond the scope of your normal thinking faculties, then would you suffer for awhile - until you achieved a fully accurate and undistorted assimilation or copy of the Great Insight giving a sense of Balance to whole thing – or shake it off as an unwanted fearsome intruder into your life. The latter action is like putting on a blindfold to hide a dazzling sun – but would also hide all the Beautiful Forms of its Revelation. But in any case, it would be impossible for you to prove such a thing to any normal thinking person – unless they had Awakened too. But even then, the proof would be limited by the mode of communication.
We may be fooled while we are asleep and dreaming that a monster is real, and run from it in great fear, but when we Awaken, with relief we KNOW we were only dreaming. Similarly, but only as an analogy, when the Individual Consciousness Awakens, he or she realises that the world it has been living in was merely an aspect of limited consciousness connected with the physical senses. But, again, this cannot be proved by any known mode of communication, nor should it be attempted within the wrong company, as it causes pain and irritation in the ‘unready'.

False Memory Syndrome.

The reality of this false memory bears no relation to the Actuality of True Memory. Nothing else can really be said as it does not effect our debate. We may say we have a bad memory, but who forgets pay day? The only true memory is LOVE. What I mean is, the most important things that really matter to us are stamped far deeper and more accurately and are never forgotten. A so-called witness has a brief moment to recall something new and exterior through limited or even faulty senses, and therefore rarely reports a thing accurately. All memories are not the things themselves but only good or bad recordings. All human history is recorded, therefore, the only Time travel possible is the reading of these past records or studying the blueprints of the future – which future blueprints however are constantly being adjusted by us in the present. The only place you exist is HERE, and HERE can become deeper and deeper and more marvellous – a great Mystery indeed – and again unprovable from one to another, as BOTH must be Conscious of it.

Eyewitnesses Clash.

Their can be no other witnesses to your Consciousness - which Consciousness is our debate.

It is therefore clear that individual conscious experiences are not an accurate measure to determine truth at all..

True, the lower, exterior intellect of a single person cannot determine truth, nor even a massive group of intellects. But they will form alliances with one another and after much experimentation discover some of the laws underlying nature, and by manipulating them, gain a certain amount of understanding and control over nature. They will attempt to count the number of stars in the sky and sand particles upon the beach and every so often discover something important. But Truth is unknown by any, even those who are Conscious of an even higher aspect within themselves. Truth is infinite and only seemingly limited by the present consciousness – in truth we are forever evolving and so is our conception of Truth.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

"Forgive me if at times I don't follow the usual methods of communication or cite sources or my ‘authorities', as I refused to do my degree at University"

That is fine, I never debated at university!

My opponent states that,
"I would contest the words ‘in actuality', as this ‘suggestion' of science is merely an unproven theory regarding the proven fact of bio-chemical activity within the brain having a direct relation to certain modes of thought, feeling and activity. We know there is a definite relationship. But am I to accept the ‘suggestion' that my True Consciousness - rather than activity within my brain - can be observed by a mere scientist, when it is plainly obvious I myself have not yet discovered my own consciousness fully. How could another individual have my ‘knowing' and prove it? How could they, by looking at some impulses in grey matter know anything at all about my true Identity, or yours?"

However experimentation has shown that consciousness can be detected and observed, True Consciousness is a concept for which no evidence exists. The onus is on my opponent to show some form of evidence to suggest that there is a form of consciousness outside the realms of the physically observed.

If reference to this my opponent explains that,
"True Consciousness, which uses this body and animal ‘mind' as its instrument for learning purposes. Therefore, the area of our debate is how anyone can prove the existence of a superior Consciousness that uses the body, it senses and intellect for an unknown Purpose – that Purpose only being known when that Individual Consciousness either reveals itself to the lower intellect or is freed from the restrictions of the body and brain etc., But that's the point I made earlier in a comment – only that individual who experiences such a thing KNOWS it as it is! The fact that people have dreams, hallucinations, crazy notions and a kind of blind faith bears no relationship at all with this Superior Consciousness which cannot be known by intellectual debate"

Here my opponent seems to state that,
a) This debate concerns proof of existence for a true or transcendant consciousness.
b) Such proof can not be presented in a debate.

Therefore I feel that my opponent has conceded the debate.

Hallucinations
My opponent states that,
"We know when we are awake, just like we do now while reading this. We know – unless we have faulty thinking through drugs, blind belief or accident – what our state of normal perceptive wakefulness is, and KNOW we are not hallucinating and can agree on certain unshakable principles and remain sane. "

Hallucinations can occur when fully awake, sober, rational and uninjured. In such instances we can only know that we are hallucinating when such visions conflict with logic, or the rest of a given reality. In the absence of these we can not know the true nature of reality. Should I suddenly hear the voice of God in my head how will I ascertain at that point if I am hallucinationg, speaking with my sub-concious, insane, or talking to God?

I do not feel that this issue, nor the issues of False Memory Syndrome or eyewitness clash have been addressed.

To summarise my opponent argues for a true consciousness, he provides no evidence for this, my opponent claims that only personal experience can reveal this higher state, but fails to address the issue that personal experiences are subjective and falliable.
Debate Round No. 2
Ogan

Pro

Ogan: Thank you so much for your reply, it is truly an honour to debate with you.

(However experimentation has shown that consciousness can be detected and observed,)

Ogan: Surely you mean evidence of the correlation between lower mental activity and the brain can be observed? Even over a century ago and still true today, Martineau answers:
"The passage from the physics of the brain to the corresponding facts of consciousness is unthinkable. Granted that a definite thought and a molecular action in the brain occur simultaneously; we do not possess the intellectual organ nor apparently any rudiments of the organ, which would enable us to pass by a process of reasoning from one to the other. They appear together, but we do not know why. Were our minds and senses so expanded, strengthened and illuminated, as to enable us to see and feel the very molecules of the brain; were we capable of following all their motions, all their groupings, all their electric discharges, if such there be; (which science now knows them to be – my words) and were we intimately acquainted with the corresponding states of thought and feeling, we should be as far as ever from the solution of the problem, 'How are these physical processes connected with the facts of consciousness?' The chasm between the two classes of phenomena would still remain intellectually impassable."

(True Consciousness is a concept for which no evidence exists.)

Ogan: True Consciousness is not a concept but is its own evidence to those who Awaken. Reality is only a realisation of the senses. True Consciousness is the awakening to Actuality.

(The onus is on my opponent to show some form of evidence to suggest that there is a form of consciousness outside the realms of the physically observed.)

Ogan: Evidence of this Higher Consciousness is out of all relation to reality or a realisation of the senses of the temporary body, which is a mere reflection of Actuality. And therefore, the evidence received by many recipients cannot be communicated from one to another, but some of the more important evidence given to skilled Doctors regarding NDE may be of assistance… should one wish to research.

(If reference to this my opponent explains that,
"True Consciousness, which uses this body and animal ‘mind' as its instrument for learning purposes. Therefore, the area of our debate is how anyone can prove the existence of a superior Consciousness that uses the body, it senses and intellect for an unknown Purpose – that Purpose only being known when that Individual Consciousness either reveals itself to the lower intellect or is freed from the restrictions of the body and brain etc., But that's the point I made earlier in a comment – only that individual who experiences such a thing KNOWS it as it is! The fact that people have dreams, hallucinations, crazy notions and a kind of blind faith bears no relationship at all with this Superior Consciousness which cannot be known by intellectual debate")

(Here my opponent seems to state that,
a) This debate concerns proof of existence for a true or transcendent consciousness.

Ogan: I repeat: only that individual who experiences such a thing KNOWS it as it is, and therefore gains direct evidence! And there are many such individuals!

( b) Such proof can not be presented in a debate.

Ogan: I agree that no proof can be communicated regarding that actual Conscious state to anyone, whether in a debate or not; but there is important evidence given by many NDE subjects. One I recommend is Dr. Kenneth Ring's NDE Research of the Blind "People Born Blind Can See During a NDE". Patients born blind who had this NDE are then able to understand all concepts of light, colour and perspective which others born blind could never do. Not only could they see after leaving the body, but saw in a far more superior manner to the rest of us. In any case, an old quote, I forget where from: "Concrete consciousness (normal consciousness – my words) cannot be predicated of abstract Consciousness, (True Consciousness – my words) any more than the quality wet can be predicated of water -- wetness being its own attribute and the cause of the wet quality in other things". Or in other words, normal consciousness etc., during our imprisonment with a body, is merely an aspect of a more unified Consciousness, or in the analogy, wetness being only an aspect and therefore unable to comprehend water.

(Therefore I feel that my opponent has conceded the debate.)

Ogan: The debate is not conceded

(Hallucinations can occur when fully awake, sober, rational and uninjured. In such instances we can only know that we are hallucinating when such visions conflict with logic, or the rest of a given reality. In the absence of these we can not know the true nature of reality. Should I suddenly hear the voice of God in my head how will I ascertain at that point if I am hallucinating, speaking with my sub-conscious, insane, or talking to God?)

Ogan: I am fully experienced in the power and nature of hallucinations from certain dangerous experiments and can definitely say that the brain, nerves, logic, reason etc are but weak protectors against such things and are quite easily shaken to their foundations. However, True Identity stemming from True Consciousness, sees them as mere child's play, while the less fortunate among us become lunatics and messengers of some voice or other. They, reason, logic, wide experience etc., are only useful when dealing with exterior crisis in the lower consciousness. Also, the nature of reality is only a realisation of the senses and animal brain, whereas, Actuality is quite unknown to those senses and brain… unless the brain is given memories, say, from an NDE or any other means.

(I do not feel that this issue, nor the issues of False Memory Syndrome or eyewitness clash have been addressed.)

Ogan: I thought I had addressed them? I think if you check I have stated numerous times the difference between the lower personal consciousness, with its memory, senses and brain, such being subject to all kinds of weaknesses, faults and hallucinations, and the only part subject to direct experiment here, whilst, Higher Consciousness being subject to non of them, rules over them completely.

(To summarise my opponent argues for a true consciousness, he provides no evidence for this, my opponent claims that only personal experience can reveal this higher state, but fails to address the issue that personal experiences are subjective and fallible.)

Ogan: I am in full agreement, personal experience is indeed subjective and fallible and that's the point. Person - from the Latin Persona… actor's mask, character in a play, human being; - is merely a ‘sounding board' for the True Individual and only an aspect of the Real Actor, who is, for the most part, unconscious during incarnation and is only conscious of concrete reality through the bodily brain and senses, yet awhile!

In summary: True Consciousness of our actual Individuality cannot be known by a process of reason, brain or senses, but can be fully experienced by those able or ready to receive it. That this Knowledge or Revelation cannot be communicated from one to another but must indeed be experienced. I would go further and state all units of true Consciousness form as a unity an unknown ASPECT of God's Mind. Therefore, the Kingdom of God is WITHIN You!

I await your you reply.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

"Ogan: Thank you so much for your reply, it is truly an honour to debate with you."

Why thank you sir, it has been an interesting debate. Frustrating as well as the the subject matter is by definition so subjective and personal.

My opponent states that,
"Ogan: Surely you mean evidence of the correlation between lower mental activity and the brain can be observed? Even over a century ago and still true today, Martineau answers:
"The passage from the physics of the brain to the corresponding facts of consciousness is unthinkable. Granted that a definite thought and a molecular action in the brain occur simultaneously; we do not possess the intellectual organ nor apparently any rudiments of the organ, which would enable us to pass by a process of reasoning from one to the other. They appear together, but we do not know why. Were our minds and senses so expanded, strengthened and illuminated, as to enable us to see and feel the very molecules of the brain; were we capable of following all their motions, all their groupings, all their electric discharges, if such there be; (which science now knows them to be – my words) and were we intimately acquainted with the corresponding states of thought and feeling, we should be as far as ever from the solution of the problem, 'How are these physical processes connected with the facts of consciousness?' The chasm between the two classes of phenomena would still remain intellectually impassable."

I do actually agree with my opponent on this, the correlation between brain activity and some functions of consciousness is clear, the sticking point is this true or higher state of consciousness, what it is, how can it be detected, does it exist at all. It is these questions that my opponent has not fully adddressed.

Until he does so I will argue that all evidence indicates that consciousness is a physical phenomana. We only have evidence that it is a function of brain activity, we have no evidence (that can be presented) that their exists any state outside or beyond that.

"Ogan: True Consciousness is not a concept but is its own evidence to those who Awaken. Reality is only a realisation of the senses. True Consciousness is the awakening to Actuality."

In which case my opponent may not successfully present it in a debate such as this. I am not 'awakened', no evidence has been shown that anyone has been 'awakened'. My opponent can not demonstrate by logic or publically observed evidence that there is such a thing as True Consciousness.

"And therefore, the evidence received by many recipients cannot be communicated from one to another, but some of the more important evidence given to skilled Doctors regarding NDE may be of assistance… should one wish to research."

Near death experiences are a fascinating phenomana, and could potentially offer evidence for True Consciousness. However many of the reports can be explained away. The visions of heaven or hell could just be halluncinations, the memory of conversations in the operating theatre can be explained away by the fact that the unconcious patient still heard them. Much in the way that a person's dreams may be influenced by the output of a TV they left on in the room.

"Ogan: I repeat: only that individual who experiences such a thing KNOWS it as it is, and therefore gains direct evidence! And there are many such individuals!"

If such direct evidence of the experience, or the 'credentials' of the individual can not be recreated and observed by myself and the voters than my opponent has failed to make a sufficient case.

"Ogan: I agree that no proof can be communicated regarding that actual Conscious state to anyone, whether in a debate or not; but there is important evidence given by many NDE subjects. One I recommend is Dr. Kenneth Ring's NDE Research of the Blind "People Born Blind Can See During a NDE". Patients born blind who had this NDE are then able to understand all concepts of light, colour and perspective which others born blind could never do."

This is an utterly fascinating point with respect I feel that my opponent should have offered this earlier, with the support of a link.

The brain is naturally set up to understand and interpret light, perspective can be intelluctually understood. Therefore someone born blind could in theory experience both when halluncinating or experiencing a NDE.

In addition such experiences are personal, to what extent are they experiencing visuality, are their recollections coloured by interview bias. With respect to Dr Ring, he is not merely a researcher into NDE's, but a believer that they are spiritual experiences.

It is difficult for third parties to verify his research.

"In summary: True Consciousness of our actual Individuality cannot be known by a process of reason, brain or senses, but can be fully experienced by those able or ready to receive it. That this Knowledge or Revelation cannot be communicated from one to another but must indeed be experienced. I would go further and state all units of true Consciousness form as a unity an unknown ASPECT of God's Mind. Therefore, the Kingdom of God is WITHIN You!"

My opponent position is a difficult, or indeed impossible one to present in any argument. I am not convinced he has met the burden of proof. Therefore I urge a vote for CON, but look forward to future debates with my opponent.
Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Hehe, thanks.
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
At first i did just tie things up, then i thought i would give you an engagement gift ;-) Congrats by the way.
Posted by jupiter 6 years ago
jupiter
how unlimited could i be, i agree with you about observing the thought streams and actions, i surpose it could have been how life affected you, mmm, and sparked such a strong sence of being, it is better than hiditng behind other people theorys, and better than using them as your own. interesting concepts.
Posted by jupiter 6 years ago
jupiter
ogan: what do you mean form a unity?
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Haha, I thought you gave us equal points just to wind us up.
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
That "more convincing argument" thing carries a lot of weight ;-)
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
I will never forget this slight. *Narrows eyes*.
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
Better ;-)?
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 6 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Vote or I shall burn your eyes.
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
So, i'm reading this debate, and i like it a lot. However, i cannot get passed the initial agreed upon definition of what consciousness is. I might have missed something, but the Wiki reference did little to find a clear, single, understandable definition. Awakeness? Kind of fuzzy. The explanation of the neural activity within the brain doesn't really define what it means but rather that it seems to exist. I'll read it over again.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
OganCerebral_NarcissistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Ogan's case was interesting, but it failed to truly establish evidence for unlimited consciousness (mainly because it cannot be proven), as Cerebral pointed out. Ogan also loses points for sources since his mini-conversations are not accompanied by any sort of source or justification.
Vote Placed by Justin_Chains 5 years ago
Justin_Chains
OganCerebral_NarcissistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The 2nd round influenced me greatly. The third round sealed the deal. Ogan receives my points in this debate.
Vote Placed by Lionheart 5 years ago
Lionheart
OganCerebral_NarcissistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: A great debate, but I side with Ogan. We exist, we know this. Even when others observe us to be unconscious, we think, we dream. The only truth you can truly know is that you exist and you experience existence. This awareness would be considered proof of consciousness. Since I do not believe that this awareness can simply arise like magic from non-conscious mass... I can only assume that it is created from some other consciousness. The revolution of this would seem unlimited.
Vote Placed by Anacharsis 6 years ago
Anacharsis
OganCerebral_NarcissistTied
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Vote Placed by Atheism 6 years ago
Atheism
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Vote Placed by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
OganCerebral_NarcissistTied
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