2 months ago
Which side makes a better case?
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  • Pro
  • Draw
  • Con
  • 2 months ago

    I voted "draw." I think Con had a bit of a better performance in that he stayed on point with his central thesis each time he spoke, using very concise phrasing; while pro rambled a little in his attempt to get to his point. He would get there, but in trying to find his wording I think he stood the risk of losing the audience.

    Pro continued to point out scandinavian countries which are mostly secular but actually better off than most religious countries. Con's early responses were to deny this fact ("It's because they have religion, it's just not part of the government"). Pro had to point out to him that this is false. Ultimately pro got con to concede this point. The reason this doesn't gain him the victory in my view is that the debate was not over whether religion is essential for a community, but important. Obviously bringing up scandinavian countries proves religion is not essential, but con continued to argue that it was important anyway.

    Pro conceded on the idea that religiosity enhances personal happiness. Personally, I don't think he should have. Discussing that matter goes into some psychology that I'm not sure either debater was very knowledgeable about. I don't agree that it enhances happiness, but I am not analyzing the issue here, but the debate. I disagree with pro that "personal happiness for individuals" is unrelated to "important for betterment of a community." The topic was not "betterment for community" meaning "better at bringing people together" but better for a macro-grouping of individuals as a whole. By conceding that religion enhances happiness for individuals he was conceding the argument in that respect.

    When pro spoke of leaders using religion to manipulate people he didn't tell us why it is bad to be manipulated. I honestly don't think con considers manipulation a bad thing. His premise is actually based on the idea that it is a good thing. So this idea needed to be addressed, and it was not.

    I think pro conceded that religion is useful but didn't concede that it is important. Con conceded that religion is not essential but didn't concede that it is not important. Con presented himself better, but Pro got con to concede a little more, since I think his initial position (unlike what the title says,) is that religion is essential. I call it a draw.

    Good attitudes from both gentlemen. Very polite exchange between two nice guys. *applause*