The Instigator
DATCMOTO
Pro (for)
Losing
22 Points
The Contender
JustCallMeTarzan
Con (against)
Winning
86 Points

Without Jesus Christ life is ultimately futile.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 17 votes the winner is...
JustCallMeTarzan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/2/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,340 times Debate No: 6732
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (87)
Votes (17)

 

DATCMOTO

Pro

It is only by entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that our lives may acquire meaning.
Without the Grace, ( unwarranted mercy ) atonement ( reconciliation with God ) and the promise of eternal Life that Christ alone can offer, we have only the futility of temporal pleasures and diversions.
I assert that nothing in this earthly life, if it is apart from Christ, holds any value in and of itself.
I therefore challenge my opponent to justify 'life without Christ'.
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

There are two ways to attack this silly notion:

1) Life without Christ is not futile.
2) A life WITH Jesus Christ is STILL futile.

Futile (http://dictionary.reference.com...)
Adj.
1) incapable of producing any result; ineffective; useless; not successful
2) trifling; frivolous; unimportant.

*************************************

1) A Life without Christ is not futile.

One of the fundamental purposes in any organism's life is to prolong its genetic material. A successful organism is one that advances its genes into a new generation. Unless my opponent is willing to hold that belief in Christ has anything to do with my virility and ejaculatory capacity, procreation is easily enough to fulfill the resolution.

Furthermore, measures of success are up to an individual. My opponent has no grounds for asserting that his definition of successful, useful, or effective is correct. I may consider my life to have been effective if I serve others in any capacity. I may consider my life to be useful if I accomplish anything that benefits others. Belief in Christ is completely immaterial to both of these points.

**************************************

2) Life WITH Christ is STILL Futile.

There is no real purpose that can be the result of living, even with Christ. Consider:

* If the goal of life is to glorify God, we can simply go straight to heaven and spend more time glorifying God in a much more effective way.

* If the goal of life is to get to heaven, we can simply go straight to heaven.

* If the goal of life is to help others, we can do so much more effectively as an immortal spirit that could contact people still on earth.

Thus, it is clear that there is no purpose in being alive on Earth that cannot be more effectively served by intervention by God. This qualifies as being ineffective, and thus futile.

********************************

Responses:

>> "It is only by entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that our lives may acquire meaning."

That's your opinion. I am of the opinion that you have a strange notion of meaning.

>> "Without the Grace, ( unwarranted mercy ) atonement ( reconciliation with God ) and the promise of eternal Life that Christ alone can offer, we have only the futility of temporal pleasures and diversions."

There is nothing inherent in the Grace of God, Atonement, or Eternal Life that in any way changes the pleasures we have here on Earth. Our temporary Earthly pleasures are still temporary regardless of whether or not there is an afterlife, or whether or not one believes in Christ.

>> "I assert that nothing in this earthly life, if it is apart from Christ, holds any value in and of itself."

Again - your opinion. Not compelling argumentation.

********************************************

I have shown at least two ways that this resolution can be negated. My opponent has put forth no evidence other than his own assertion that "nothing in this earthly life, if it is apart from Christ, holds any value in and of itself." This is obviously just his personal opinion.

I have no relationship with Christ, and I do not view my life in any way futile.

NEGATED.
Debate Round No. 1
DATCMOTO

Pro

Before I begin I would like to thank my esteemed opponent for accepting this debating challenge and also for kindly doing all the 'definitions' etc.

You state that self propagation, serving others and any other activity that benefits others can refute the futility of life 'without Christ'.

How exactly does self propagation give your life meaning? Does your own life somehow 'transmit back' meaning to your great, great, great , great, great Grandfather? Then why should your descendants bestow meaning to you?
Your uniqueness is actually lost the more descendants you have,(as each successive generation intermarries with other family lines..) so the opposite of your statement is true.
As for serving/benefiting others etc, is not any endeavor ultimately meaningless if everybody you help and all their descendants (and everybody they ever help and so on) eventually die?
As I will show, acceptance of Jesus Christ IS ETERNAL LIFE and so cannot be separated from giving the above activities (pro-creation, charitable works etc) real, eternal meaning.

In considering your next statements, headed "Life WITH Christ is STILL futile." A simple explanation of what heaven actually is, is all that is required to explain your understandable error.
Heaven, simply put, is to be in the presence of God.
The problem, Tarzan, is that we cannot send you straight to heaven.. Because God is utterly Holy, and cannot by His very nature have sin in His presence. Every one of us is born into sin and continues to sin.. If you don't believe your sinful then you have not heard the criteria (another thing we have Jesus to thank for..) If you have ever looked at a woman with lust in your heart, lied or called your fellow man a fool :) then you, just as I, are guilty.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. ROMANS 3:23

We are all naked before God, He sees directly into our hearts, all the petty vengeful rivalries that dominate our inner lives.
The solution to this nakedness is simply to 'clothe' ourselves in righteousness.
( In this life people mask themselves with 'self-righteousness' :" that terrorist/dictator etc is a vile, evil man.." is really "they are bad so I am 'good' " )

There is only One who is righteous before the Father, His Son.

SO.. If life without the promise of heaven is futile AND we cannot enter heaven without being clothed in righteousness AND, if there is only One who is righteous, Then it stands to reason that without Jesus Christ life IS ULTIMATELY FUTILE.
In this sense, the goal is to help others properly clothe themselves for when they stand before His judgment seat, as we ALL must.
We work toward this goal with God's help and the Spirit of Jesus in our hearts, to win others for the Kingdom.. I make no bones about it.. I'm doing it RIGHT NOW.. Every man has a seed of eternity in his heart, a seed that is watered WITH TRUTH..
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

Responses:

>> "How exactly does self propagation give your life meaning?"

Knowing that one has succeeded in passing along pieces of oneself in others is a meaning of the highest sort. It's not only metaphorical evidence, but PHYSICAL evidence that you existed and actually DID something with your life. Completely independent of Christ.

>> "Does your own life somehow 'transmit back' meaning to your great, great, great , great, great Grandfather?"

In some ways, yes - I have traits in common with all my ancestors, and all my progeny will have traits in common with me. It's not that meaning is "transmitted" back - it's that my great (x5) Grandfather found meaning in creating offspring.

>> "Your uniqueness is actually lost the more descendants you have."

That may be, but it is never lost entirely. Furthermore, the fact still remains that procreation gives meaning.

>> "As for serving/benefiting others etc, is not any endeavor ultimately meaningless if everybody you help and all their descendants (and everybody they ever help and so on) eventually die?"

No, because life is what matters - not death. It is silly to say that you have meaning to yourself or others like you after death. Meaning to who? Do you talk to dead people? You can still have plenty of meaning to those who are alive.

>> "As I will show, acceptance of Jesus Christ IS ETERNAL LIFE and so cannot be separated from giving the above activities (pro-creation, charitable works etc) real, eternal meaning."

This is laughable. Animals procreate all the time. Do all animals believe in Christ?

>> "A simple explanation of what heaven actually is, is all that is required to explain your understandable error."

Considering you have no proof for the existence of heaven, and I have abundant proof for the existence of Earth, your entire argument on this point is moot.

>> "The problem, Tarzan, is that we cannot send you straight to heaven.. Because God is utterly Holy, and cannot by His very nature have sin in His presence."

God can't send me straight to heaven and wash away my sins all in one fell swoop? Some God... I thought he was supposedly omnipotent? Furthermore, the Bible holds that God knows our nature and our being before we are born - thus, we as persons exist before we are born, and God could send the un-born, non-sinful us straight to heaven. This is a pretty simple notion.

>> "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. ROMANS 3:23"

Rom 5:14 - "Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned."
1 John 3:9 - "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. "

>> "We are all naked before God, He sees directly into our hearts, all the petty vengeful rivalries that dominate our inner lives. The solution to this nakedness is simply to 'clothe' ourselves in righteousness."

So in other words, cover up our sins with good deeds - you make no mention of repentance.

>> "There is only One who is righteous before the Father, His Son."

1 Pet 2:8 - "For that righteous man [Lot] dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;"

************************************************

After these painfully immaterial, but still somewhat humorous assertions, my very befuddled opponent finally outlines his argument:

1) If life without promise of heaven is futile; AND
2) We cannot enter heaven without being clothed in righteousness; AND
3) If there is only one who is righteous
----------------------------
:. Life without Christ is futile.

This argument has some obvious logical flaws. For one, the first and third premises are If-Then statements. Second, all three conditions are tied by an AND. Thus, negating any one of the conditions causes the entire argument to fall apart.

I have already shown that God considered Lot to be a "righteous" man (Or at least the Holy Spirit did when it guided Peter in writing am epistle).

Also, Jesus is very explicit about what one must do to have eternal life: "but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" and "go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me" (Matthew 19). This obviously says nothing about being "clothed in righteousness."

Furthermore, the analysis of futility is a subjective consideration. One's life may not be futile to oneself, though it may seem futile to others. Datcmoto obviously considers life without Christ to be futile. However, by the same token, I am free to consider life without Christ to be NON-futile. Since I am a better authority on my life than Datcmoto is, my consideration obviously takes precedence.

I would next like to point out that my opponent has done nothing to actually refute the positions I put forth in the first round. He offered a very weak argument for why God can't simply send people straight to heaven, but this argument utterly fails unless God is not omnipotent. On my first point, my opponent has not addressed in any substantial way the notions of a successful organism in passing on one's genes, or the effectiveness of my life at affecting the lives of others.

All of these considerations are completely independent of Christ.

NEGATED.
Debate Round No. 2
DATCMOTO

Pro

I cannot believe that you personally nor anyone else actually derives meaning through their descendants. I believe they may derive temporary meaning through their children's (and to a MUCH lesser extent grandchildrens) achievements such as academic or buisness sucess etc.
This applies to the (X5) grandfather finding meaning by creating offspring back whenever. Listen to any conversation and you will hear the things that give humans meaning: Ones immediate offspring are mentioned often.. one's far off progeny, never.
I believe the vast marjority of people derive meaning from culture which by it's very nature is transitory and fickle. (had you been born 30 years earlier it may have been 'the bay city rollers' and not 'the killers' on your profile.)

You state that 'life is what matters'. I agree and here I think we have arrived at a central point.. what is life? Is life really just born/grow/breed/die? We may in all likelihood 'have few laughs' along the way but in actuality death is the real focal point of our lives.
Does someone on death row have the same quality of life as you and I? (if we set aside the actual prison conditions and the question of his guilt etc) Because just as his impending execution colours his every waking (and unwaking) hour then so does the fact that we, and our children and so on, must perish..
So in the same way that you and I might observe the death row inmate's existence as 'not much of a life' -Our own lives IF WE CONSIDER ETERNITY must take on the brittle and mettalic flavour of defeat and death. Which of course in one of the reasons for NOT considering eternity.
Real Life, as God intended it, is eternal. The focal point of the next Life is eternity itself. The focal point of this 'life' is our own demise.

As much as animals 'believe' in anything at all they believe in Jesus Christ. A better way to describe it would be they 'recognise' Him. Afterall, He created them. Jesus Christ is the Word of God. The Word became flesh.

Adam and Eve were created perfect but they were also given a choice..(or else they would be robots) And that choice really came down to 'Trust my Word or the devils.' They chose the devils and they did indeed 'surely die' both spritually and, eventually, physically.
As I'm sure your aware the word gospel means 'good news' and the GOOD NEWS is that God HAS washed away your sins in 'one fell swoop' as you say.. The cross of Jesus Christ! GOOD FRIDAY! He bore YOUR sin, paid YOUR debt.
You seem to know your way around the Bible pretty well so you understand that 'blood sacrifices' (the life is in the blood-'lifeblood') were used in the judaic culture as atonement (reconcilliation to God) for the sins of israel.. It had to be a spotless lamb. Christ is our 'spotless Lamb' . His blood alone has the divine worth to pay the debt.

Rom 5:14 This passage shows the purpose of the Law! to expose sin! (we've been here before have we not?) They didn't sin from there own perpective because they didn't know it was a sin. (not explicitly anyway)

1John3:9 This refers EXACTLY to the clothing of oneself with Christ, being born-again.. God CHOOSES to see our iniquity no longer. The word repentance simply means to turn from something to something else. So you could not possibly turn from your sinful life to new Life in Christ without repentance.. There may be an emotional element attached to that but that is not what is at the center of the process, it's Spiritual not emotional.

Regarding Lot, I can only say that we only compare with what we have at hand.. compared to Hitler I'm a real swell guy! compared to Jesus Christ I am an absolutely hopeless wretch.. Compared to his generation Lot was righteous.

In conclusion I assert that life that is not eternal is meaningless and eternal Life can only be gained by the acceptance of Jesus Christ's attoning sacrificial death.
JustCallMeTarzan

Con

Responses:

>> "I cannot believe that you personally nor anyone else actually derives meaning through their descendants."

So you get no meaning in your life from having children?? That is what really sounds unbelievable...

>> "I believe they may derive temporary meaning through their children's (and to a MUCH lesser extent grandchildrens) achievements such as academic or buisness sucess etc."

Again - so you would get no meaning in your life if you had a completely unsuccessful child?? I don't think you grasp the concept that PROCREATION ITSELF gives a life meaning.

>> "Ones immediate offspring are mentioned often.. one's far off progeny, never."

.... That would be because one's far off progeny don't EXIST YET. One's ancestors, on the other hand come up fairly often. I know several people who mention things about people they're related to. For example, I've probably heard the story of how my friend Culver can trace his heritage back to Charlemagne a dozen times. If he didn't get any meaning in his life from that, why would he mention it?

>> "what is life? Is life really just born/grow/breed/die? "

Throw some interaction in the middle between grow and breed and you've got life in a nutshell.

>> "in actuality death is the real focal point of our lives."

How can that be? Birth is a prerequisite for death. Thus, birth is more important.

>> "Does someone on death row have the same quality of life as you and I?"

No - but that is by virtue of his misdeeds....

>> "Real Life, as God intended it, is eternal."

Then why do we spend a bunch of time suffering for a finite time if we could just live eternally with God? Is that somehow beyond his power?

>> "As much as animals 'believe' in anything at all they believe in Jesus Christ"

You have GOT to be kidding me. The jellyfish recognizes Jesus as its creator..... This is for sure going on my website.

>> "They chose the devils and they did indeed 'surely die' both spritually and, eventually, physically."

Then are they living eternally or not?

>> "Christ is our 'spotless Lamb' . His blood alone has the divine worth to pay the debt."

What debt? If I don't recognize God, I surely will not recognize any sort of debt...

>> "Rom 5:14 This passage shows the purpose of the Law! to expose sin! "

You don't seem to understand that Rom 5:14 and 1 John 3:9 are in direct contradiction to Rom 3:23....

>> "Compared to his generation Lot was righteous."

Compared to Alexander and Cortes, Hitler was righteous... In fact, in terms of pure body count, Hitler was probably more righteous than God himself, considering God has killed some probable 30+ million people (counting the great flood - http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com...).

***********************************************

My opponent's conclusion:

>> "life that is not eternal is meaningless and eternal Life can only be gained by the acceptance of Jesus Christ's attoning sacrificial death."

Eternal life may have more meaning to some than finite life, but that does not make finite life meaningless. Furthermore, My opponent's argument completely ignores the fact that Jesus himself was the savior of the Jews, and the Jews don't even accept him as the son of God. The Bible, which has been around a lot longer than Jesus, states that the Jews can be saved. The entire Old Testament is about this. Take for example, Elijah, who supposedly ascended to heaven (for eternal life) on a chariot of fire.

Elijah did not accept Jesus Christ, yet was granted a place in heaven for eternal life. Thus, even from a Biblical point of view, the resolution is negated.

Let us re-examine the definition of futile:

1) incapable of producing any result; ineffective; useless; not successful
2) trifling; frivolous; unimportant.

Does any voter out there who does not have Jesus consider his life to be any of these things? Even a reader who knows Christ would consider this notion to be fairly silly, as it is obvious that atheist and Jews' lives are not meaningless, useless, unsuccessful, trivial, frivolous, or unimportant.

One does not need Christ to have a meaningful life. As I pointed out in Round 1:

"Measures of success are up to an individual. My opponent has no grounds for asserting that his definition of successful, useful, or effective is correct. I may consider my life to have been effective if I serve others in any capacity. I may consider my life to be useful if I accomplish anything that benefits others. Belief in Christ is completely immaterial to both of these points."

Datcmoto has not responded to this contention, other than to assert that there is somehow an objective standard of futility that he failed to elucidate. He also failed to respond to the notion that there is no purpose in being alive on Earth that cannot be more effectively served by intervention by God - for example, if the purpose of life is to glorify God, we can simply go straight to heaven and spend more time glorifying God in a much more effective way.

I have shown three different ways this resolution fails:

1) Biblically (example of Elijah).
2) Personally (meaning/futility is subjective)
3) Spiritually (Spiritual purposes do not require living on Earth)

My opponent has not responded to any of these in a satisfactory manner. Much of his argumentation is regarding how one should accept Jesus because that is the only way to have meaning, NOT whether or not this will actually GIVE your life meaning, OR whether it is NECESSARY to have meaning in one's life.

NEGATED.
Debate Round No. 3
87 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DATCMOTO 8 years ago
DATCMOTO
Yes, hence the 'our bodies are temples' doctrine. The fact that you find that intellectually challenging PROVES my point entirely. Faith is a gift, God loves to give us gifts so just ask Him. And I STILL love you.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Dwells where? In your HUMAN body? You claim that one cannot believe with human qualities, yet hold that the spirit of God dwells in your human shell.... really?
Posted by DATCMOTO 8 years ago
DATCMOTO
The Holy Spirit of God now dwells within me. So if, for example, some 'pretend atheists' start trying to denigrate the argument with talk of leprechauns etc I may feel a twinge of emotion, that old pride, but I now have a choice and I, for the most part, choose the spiritual.. which is to say I love you.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
>> "Yes, YOUR heart.. YOUR emotions, YOUR thoughts etc.. You do not (cannot) believe with these human qualities."

Well then what the hell do YOU believe with?!?!? The only think you CAN believe with are these human qualities.
Posted by Blessed-Cheese-Maker 8 years ago
Blessed-Cheese-Maker
Can't wait.....

However your claim that God is anything more than your emotions and hope, is completely unsupported by anything other than your hope.

When Christians talk about submission and being 'born again' it is typically used to define themselves as different or more 'true' than other Christians and especially former Christians. It is an argument from faith, just as the argument for God is an argument for faith. What most of you don't stop to considder is the effect it has on the nature of your God. Can't wait to get into it with you on the debate.

When arguing against the proponets of benevolent Leprechauns, it is useful to counter claims of benevolence in order to undermine the claimse of existence, because as we all know arguing against a person who doesn't require evidense is a doddle.
Posted by DATCMOTO 8 years ago
DATCMOTO
You at once reveal the problem in your answer> "I believed with all my heart.."
Yes, YOUR heart.. YOUR emotions, YOUR thoughts etc.. You do not (cannot) believe with these human qualities.. when things are going well they will just about suffice but as soon as you encounter problems (as we all must) they let you down.
Christianity is predominantly about denying ourselves and allowing the Holy Spirit to govern us (Being born again!) and to allow Him to renew and transform every aspect of our lives, both internally and externally.
So who is God to you now? Is He now YOUR creation? (how amazing that only YOU could fathom Him!)
No.. He created you.. and as I'm going to show you in the up coming debate you cannot begin to judge Him.. Because again, you have it PRECISELY upside down.
Posted by Blessed-Cheese-Maker 8 years ago
Blessed-Cheese-Maker
Sorry, I must have missed your categorization of me as a backslider...will go back and check. However, if you mean that I was once a believer. You are absolutely right. In fact I was very much just like you. I believed with all my heart, and love God to the point of alienating my friends and family. I feld no compassion for people who disagreed with my positions, because clearly, they were being led by the enemy. I was in a battle.....I was a bad person, plain and simple.

Having that knowledge of who you are, and what your life is 'truly' like, I believe I know why you are being so contentious. Its frustraiting having 18 year olds confound you isn't it. I am sorry your internal struggle is so great that you feel the need to go after 17 year old Girls, but do understand why you are doing it.

As for me. I am a better person, now that I have embraced reality and truly asked God to reveal himself to me in an empiracle way. Until you do that for yourself, you will continually be nagged by that little voice, the one you assume is the enemy right now, that tells you it doesn't quite match up.

So please, before you harm your family, ask God to reveal himself in a tangible way, and when he doesn't know that your dogged activism on his behalf and against humanity has been a mistaken one.

p.s. where is the challenge? I would love to debate you.
Posted by DATCMOTO 8 years ago
DATCMOTO
most-dairy-products..
I notice you have not answered my earlier charge of being a back slider.. nor accepted my challenge to debate.
The enemy LOVES (yes he loves too, funny how so many people wrongly equate love with 'niceness' including many Christians) back sliders who, like yourself, then join the fray against the Word of God.
Want to know some famous back sliders? Darwin, Marx (first name of Moses) Nietzsche and more recently Richard 'the dawk' Dawkins.. Who between them have done more damage than all the vilest dictators put together.
You've joined the losing side.
Posted by Blessed-Cheese-Maker 8 years ago
Blessed-Cheese-Maker
: "SERIOUSLY though, to be called rude by you guys is a joke. You continually 'but in' and gang up on believers IN the 'religious' debates, And then start whining like adolescent girls when you finally come across someone with a little back-bone and some of the answers.."

The difference of course is that non of us non believers claim to be transformed by the love of Jesus. That is a claim made by a person coincidentally also claiming to be gifted with revelation by the spirit of God, who wouldn't be able to reside in a person who revels in getting a young girl to erase her online account.....

You see, your claims of Christian life, force your behavior to be above those you deride, yet your actions simply indicate that the claims aren't supported by reality.

Its very difficult to take a person claiming to be the vessel of God seriously when he states "Goodbye Glitchy.. I'll never forget you.. Oh and if you ever bump into a young lady by the name of Maya9 give her our regards from the front line."

Something about picking on underaged females smacks me as ungodly for some reason, and frankly a little creapy, but what do I know I am an Atheist. I guess unwarrented attacks on women isn't exactly anti biblical is it?
Posted by DATCMOTO 8 years ago
DATCMOTO
what, your next debate will be " Debating the existence of God is ultimately futile" ? Which means whoever submits the most futile arguments.. wins!
I'M JUST KIDDING! I'd love to debate you on the existence of God, please couch the debate as you see fit.
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