Challenge Match: SonoftheSun vs Skyfloating: Witchcraft is alive and well all over the world[winner]

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posted on Nov, 5 2012 @ 08:26 AM
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A Big Thank you to Skyfloating (The Con Position) for accepting to debate this great topic.

*****


Opening Statement




*****


Witchcraft


Such a powerful word. Such a controversial word. For centuries, witchcraft has been labeled the tool of the Devil and, not too long ago, you still got burned at the stake for being even suspected of practicing witchcraft. Just about anyone today has heard of Salem’s Lot. The expression “Going on a witchhunt” is freely used nowadays but it carries roots that are deeply and regrettably covered in blood. Most will agree that witchcraft has been coloring our history with mind blowing stories. Is there anyone one around who hasn’t heard of Merlin? Or, more recently, Harry Potter? Witchcraft is a powerful word but it’s much more than that and way more than just tales and legends.

Most dictionaries will describe witchcraft as a practice of magic through the use of summoning and spells. Interpretations vary as some will see this magic as white or black, good or bad, a reality or a fantasy. The truth is that it exists. It always has. It still does. It is an ideology (not a religion) that embraces its followers with energies that have always been present.

But summoning and spells? Oh no...It is much more than that. My position in this debate is to show you that it is still alive and well, still practiced all over the world. In doing so, it is my intention to show you what witchcraft is and what it isn’t. It is much more than the hocus pocus summoning and spells that fancy authors push on our bewildering teenagers.


Witchcraft is a way of life


Practitioners worldwide carry knowledge that has been taught to them throughout generations. Many witches (male and female) are born and raised and shown the arts, much like a geographical religion would do. Knowledge is transferred down the lineage, through Grimoires, Book of Shadows and Compendiums that have had the luxury of being tested throughout centuries.


Witchcraft is seeking knowledge


One does not need to be of a bloodline to seek knowledge. Solitary practitioners worldwide do indeed gather information through different mediums. Books are available, magic shops are present, mentors are freely helping and covens exist, for those who wish to join them. The knowledge is there, from incantations to medicinal herbs and practices.


Witchcraft is not a religion


Even though many of its historical facts were stolen from different religions, witchcraft itself isn’t one. Even though many call it “The Old Religion”, it is not. Often times, its very structure is based on the principles of a God and a Goddess. From Greek mythology to modern academia, its foundations are as varied as structured religions. The paths are different, from Paganism to Santeria, from Wicca to Voodoo but they all have one thing in common: there are no authority figures or hierarchical features, counting aside what are called Priests or Priestesses that have a teaching merit which isn’t founded on power or money values.


Witchcraft is worldwide


All continents have their witches and while they do carry different names and backgrounds, they share one thing in common: A personal quest, the seeking of knowledge to better themselves, to better the Earth through practices that use energies that – for the common man – exist and/or do not. Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Spirit are their common tools. The Chinese have substituted Air and Spirit for Metal and Wood but the tools supply the Air for the Spirit...which comes to the same results.

*****

In concluding this opening statement, I would like the viewers to put their beliefs aside, for the course of six different little posts and to read what will be supplied, historical facts that have survived the time factor and the various links that will be issued to show the worldwide existence of a phenomenon that is much more than just Merlin or Harry Potter.

Oh yes, witchcraft is very real, very alive and well all around the world.

And it isn’t – as many would think – a bad thing. To the contrary.

*****

Thank you for reading.

edit on 11/14/2012 by tothetenthpower because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 6 2012 @ 02:31 AM
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Witchcraft is a "third path" for those at variance with the two pillars of civilization: Science and Religion. It is these two that have built and dominated culture, industry and education of mankind for a long time and it has always been the "third paths" that have rebelled against these (male-) dominant institutions.

Not everything that Religion and Science have brought forth has been good and stood the test of time.But that is many times more true of Witchcraft. That's why witchcraft is a dying art. Witchcraft - as a means for the individual to manipulate reality in accordance with the urges of the Ego, is not alive "around the world", and in the few backwards places it is still alive, it is not at all well. In South Africa for example, there is a rape epidemic based on the teaching that raping virgins will give you magical youth and special powers. A sorcerer that subscribes to such false and backward teachings contributes nothing to society, he only extracts from it. In parts of Europe there is the superstition that chopping up peoples bodies and eating them in a ritual-magick manner, imbues one with magical powers and the ability to summon more powerful entities.

I am not saying that everything taught in various traditions is bad as these examples. Neither am I saying that all taught in various traditions is fantasy. Indeed some of the most fantastic sounding ideas have their basis in reality:

Scientists say drinking blood can reverse aging

That link provides an example that what is considered the stuff of fantasy novels by many, actually has basis in reality. And indeed many practitioners of magick and witchcraft have been telling us this "forbidden knowledge" since thousands of years. However, just because it might be possible to gain special powers, doesnt mean that its alway good and wholesome to do so. If doing everything that is possible were "good" we might as well drop nuclear bombs everywhere, "because its possible". That is why all religions place such emphasis on restraint and choosing between what is good and what isnt.

Beyond witchcraft in a fun fantasy Harry-Pottereqsue frame (which have no bearing on this debate, despite my opponents repeated invocation thereof), there are cultures which take it quite seriously. Many of these cultures are underdeveloped or uneducated tribal cultures. Educated in what? Hygiene, critical thinking, scientific inquiry, logic, psychology, physics. Such studies require a little more effort than sprinkling potions and casting spells. Then there are more developed societies who use "witchcraft" as a fashion- and lifestyle statement or in rebellion to the dominant consensus-reality or in search of the fulfillment of some desire such as getting back a lost partner or summoning bucket loads of money.

The primary difference between spirituality (of which one aspect is Religion) and Witchcraft, is that the former seeks to serve a higher creator and other humans, whereas the latter seeks to serve the self/ego.
This is the main reason witchcraft has been seen as something dark. The Buddha and Krishna teach selfless service to others. Jesus taught selfless love of others. The same goes for countless other spiritual traditions. Witchcraft on the other hand is primarily involved with magic which is the manipulation of reality through ones own will. While there must certainly be some merit to exploring the impact of ones will on the fabric of reality- and I certainly dont blanket-condemn witchcraft as the religious would - it is easy to see why witchcraft is dying. It is dying because it is limited in scope and intent. Life is so much richer than ones personal desires and a number of spells cast. I therefore inquire...

What has witchcraft done for building civilization, infrastructure, education, technological progress, society?

And when does witchcraft become superstition?

And is it not naive to summon forces one cannot see and knows nothing of?

And what can witchcraft offer that traditional spirituality cannot?

Is witchcraft "all over the world" or is it only a small minority that seriously practices it?

Is witchcraft "alive and well" or does it many times fail to produce desired or wholesome outcomes?

I mean no disrespect to those practicing these ancient arts, but implore you do bring a more balanced view into the mix than SonOftheSun is offering.

Thank you.



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 01:38 PM
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Dear viewers,

As I mentioned in the opening statement, witches use energies that are here and real. Not seeing them, not believing in them doesn’t make them go away. They just are.

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A Brief Look at Witchcraft Worldwide



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Witches around the world take advantage of the old ways. Through rituals, circle casting, spells, divination, they use natural elements that are at everyone’s disposal. They understand the powers of the air, the fire, the water, the earth and the spirit. They use those energies to conjure up love, health and wealth. Not solely for themselves but for others, for their friends and family, for the community, for the planet, in an altruistic way. Very often, no one knows that natural forces are being used as a lot of witches are still “in the closet” and prefer to not making themselves known. That doesn’t make them any less real. Love, health and wealth.

Love

Many wiccans, pagans and healers will use tools from the art to soften a love relationship gone wrong. They use divination to see what is ahead, through tarots, runes, scrying mirrors. They use rituals at certain phases of the moon to ease up the pain. They use spells to attract love for themselves, for others, for mankind. Those witches are everywhere, on all continents.

Health

This is probably the aspect of witches that is the most used and known.




Shona Witch Doctor


Witch doctors are everywhere, from America to Africa, from China to Europe, from Japan to Australia. While they carry different names, like Shamans – as an example – which are our native American witch doctors, to the Shona witch doctor in Zimbabwe, to the Cunning Man or Wise Man or White Witch in England, to the Kitsune-mochi that uses the power of the Fox in Japan. Not really traditional medicine. They do heal and cure however, using secret methods that have been transferred to them trough the ages.


Wealth

Wealth is not meant as money only. Wealth is abundance. Rituals and spells are used to garnish wealth of happiness, love, health, to summon energies that nourish the mind, the body and soul. This purpose is also obtained through the use of stone magic, color magic and circle casting. Circle casting being the way to thank for the love that does bring health and wealth, to thank for the health that does bring love and wealth and to thank for the wealth, the wealth of all that is needed. Gratitude being the greatest power of them all. No matter what the mythology it descended from, whether it be Babylonian or Greek, or Celtic, or Roman or Sumerian, the practitioner – the real practitioner – does it for the benefit of all and he does this on a global scale.


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


I know that my esteemed opponent hasn’t put forward any Socratic questions but questions were raised just the same and it would be fair to try to answer them:


What has witchcraft done for building civilization, infrastructure, education, technological progress, society?


Perhaps, the right question would be what has witchcraft not done...

The Religions around the world have used the old ways but renamed them to their advantage. We know the power the Religions have held over the population ever since and still does. In ancient times, even pharaohs used magicians to forecast what was ahead. Many politicians still use seers. Witchcraft, pagans, druids, ancient magis were the very foundation of everything that followed in building our civilisations.


And when does witchcraft become superstition?


When one believes that it doesn’t exist or is dying.


And is it not naive to summon forces one cannot see and knows nothing of?


Those traditions have been tested trough centuries or perhaps even millenniums. I would think that if it has survived for such a time and endured...well...I’ll let the viewer come to his/her own conclusion on that one.


And what can witchcraft offer that traditional spirituality cannot?


Most traditional spiritualities derive from the ancient arts. They do. But traditional spirituality is still honorable, as long as it supplies for love, health and wealth. Nothing wrong there.


Is witchcraft "all over the world" or is it only a small minority that seriously practices it?


Answers to this question are in this post and the links supplied below.


Is witchcraft "alive and well" or does it many times fail to produce desired or wholesome outcomes?


I will answer this question in my closing statement.

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

en.wikipedia.org...

www.witchcraft.com.au...

www.witchcraftandwitches.com......

Thank you Skyfloating for an interesting debate so far and thank you, the reader, without whom this would not take place !
edit on 11/8/12 by Hefficide because: Added in missed link - approved edit - Hefficide



posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 03:52 AM
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Witchcraft doesn't work

The future is not set in stone...you can determine the future!

My opponent says that witches use divination to see how their relationship is. A confident and educated person doesn't use divination but instead determines the flow of a relationship him/herself. Anyone with any sense in them will create their own success rather than asking a tarot-card layer whether they will be successful. Do you consult the horoscope to determine whether you will have a good day or not, or is it up to you how your day will go? You can see how SonoftheSuns worldview sets you up for lack of responsibility and superstitious fears?

Would you vote for a President or CEO or marry a person or give your money to someone who uses an Oracle to make important life decisions? Not likely. Lucky that these days most prefer common sense/education to superstition.

Would you rely on a witch doctor for surgery?

My opponent says that witch doctors can be used for health. So how many of you, if they had a serious illness, would choose a witch doctor over a medical doctor (or at least an alternative medicine healer)? Do you want your surgery to be performed by a surgeon or a witch doctor? I think the answer is obvious and drives home the gist of this entire debate. Stories of people who have died because they preferred witch doctors over hospitals abound.

Wealth is tangible!

My oppnent says witchcraft is used to get weatlh. The problem with that is, it doesnt work. It is not a tool anyone can universally rely on to get wealth. Thats why both my opponent and many witches hilariously proclaim "Well, wealth is not only money. If you have a good friend, thats also wealth". This they usually announced days or weeks after the promised money has not come in.


Apart from the traditional monentary advice is given in the Vedas, the Quran, the Torah, the Bible, modern society knows that money making is to study the various principles of wealth building: Investment, Savings Selling, Marketing, generating value, customer service, etc. No need for something as ineffective as witchcraft.

I would like readers to note that my opponent has thus far provided zero evidence and zero examples of witchcraft working. And if you look into it a little you will notice that beyond the Placebo Effect witchcraft does not work. In fact, recommending witchcraft as a means to more health, love, money, sex, power can be seriously harmful. Im sure we all know someone who has placed their reliance and trust on witchcraft to provide for them and been sourly disappointed when that prince/princess, super-career, mansion, private jet, yacht did not show up.

My opponent (and many witches) claim that Religion is a copy or continuation of witchcraft. This is verifiably false and can only come from someone unfamiliar with traditional spirituality. All the big religions emphasize the difference between spirituality (service to a higher power and humanity) and witchcraft (service to self/ego). One is ultimately empowering, the other isn't. One is dying, the other is alive and well.

I implore all readers not to give your health to the hands of a witch-doctor, not to manipulate relationships with spells, and to make your money with honest work instead of witchcraft. You will be much happier with your wealth if it came about through your own hands-on effort. In fact, you cant really gain lasting wealth through witchcraft. Otherwise you'd find a plenty of documented reports on it.

As of now we only have SonOftheSuns word that "Witchcraft is alive and well all over the world", a few links to witchcraft-sites claiming the same and a picture of some witch-doctor in a remote village in Africa. Thats painfully flimsy "evidence". If you were to argue that witchcraft is alive and well you would not only say that "many politicians use witchcraft" but actually show who exactly - witch famous politician uses witchcraft and what exactly - what witchcraft do they use and what were the results? But you don't. Most witches and sorcerers I have talked to speak in vague generalitiesbecause witchcraft lacks impact, influence or any sort of tangible results.

The reason witchcraft is dying is because humankind is advancing. We use highly specialized tools for surgery instead of witchcraft. We use online-dating and meet someone in mutual respect instead of trying to gain their favor with magic spells. We use space shuttles to fly to Mars and see whats their instead of relying on the witch doctor to make up stories about the planet. With the exception of a few teenagers experimenting and a few pagans looking into a religion-substitute, and a few tribal elders, witchcraft is totally out of fashion.
edit on 8-11-2012 by Skyfloating because: fixed coding error



posted on Nov, 8 2012 @ 11:45 AM
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Dear viewers,

My esteemed opponent’s point of view (or opinion) is interesting yet seems a little off track regarding the topic of this debate. The topic here isn’t whether witchcraft has done something for politics, education or technology, it isn’t about witchcraft being a minority or not, it isn’t about whether surgeons are more qualified than healers or witch doctors. While I gladly answered questions that, really, were sort of irrelevant to the topic at hand, I wish to remind my esteemed opponent that this topic is:

Witchcraft is Alive and Well All Over the World




Closing Statement


You see, I live in a little town off the suburb of Montreal. There are four thousand souls in this little place here and One Magick Shop. It is called “L’Arbre de Vie” or “Tree of Life”. Now, I have a hard time thinking that this little shop which carries every supply needed for a witchy life is just there and making money off our delusional teenagers. Actually, having been there a few times, I can say that their customer base is much older than that. And that’s just my little town.

Montreal has Two Great Magick Shops. They are called “The Magical Blend” and “Charmes et Sortileges” which would translate to “Charms and Spells”. I have been to both. And again, not too many deluded teenagers there either. But don’t take my word on it, as my word doesn’t have much value according to my esteemed opponent and he’s right. Google them for yourself, see what they carry; see what courses they offer, what they organize, from rituals to divination classes.

Now if you feel a little more adventurous, look into shops that exist in bigger places like New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Moscow, Rome or Paris. Check out London, Berlin or Sydney. Don’t take my word for it, google it. I have but won’t link dozens and dozens of places just to make my point; but it’s all there for the one who looks into it.

However, I would recommend avoiding looking into Kenya or Saudi Arabia as witches there get executed if they are found guilty of anything related to witchcraft. While witcraft is active in those countries, I wouldn’t claim that all is well. Here are two interesting ATS threads about those two countries:

Saudi woman executed for witchcraft

Christians Burning people alive in Kenya suspected of witchcraft


Finding links for witchcraft is a challenge, I admit. Most links and websites have witches as their webmaster so finding news related articles aren’t a dime a dozen but they do exist. I have talked about Magick Shops around the World, showing that witchcraft is still here, still alive and well; and not dying at all. But perhaps National Geographics would show to be a little more serious for the inquisitive mind. Here are excerpts of an article they’ve done with Denise Zimmermann, a Modern Day Witch that lives in Baltimore, Maryland:


"You've probably been around witches and not even realized it—we're just average everyday people," says Zimmermann. "We're in all walks of life: lawyers, doctors, nurses."


This is something I have said when stating that many Practitioners are still “in the closet”. It doesn’t make them inexistent, or imaginative or dying. They are everywhere.

Alan Fiske, an anthropologist at the University of California also has an interesting thing to mention:


those who believe in the healing power of witchcraft could feel their physical health has improved as a result of "white magic”.


Placebo effect? Really??


"Everybody would like to understand the world a little better than they really can," he says, "and witchcraft and magic beliefs can make you believe that the world is controllable and understandable in a way that it is not for people who don't believe."


I could not have said it better myself. It will work for the one who believes and won’t for the one who doesn’t.

news.nationalgeographic.com...


In conclusion, witchcraft is still around, from voodoo to paganism, from witch doctors to divination, it is still alive and well, all over our world. There is no denying that this is a fact and not an opinion.

But I should let the viewers decide that for themselves. It’s all there.

Thank you for reading.


And once again, a Big Thank You to Skyfloating for accepting a fun challenge that deserved a good debate. Looking into this further was exciting!



posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 04:27 AM
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Grand Final Rebuttal


Originally posted by SonoftheSun

The topic here isn’t whether witchcraft has done something for politics, education or technology, it isn’t about witchcraft being a minority or not, it isn’t about whether surgeons are more qualified than healers or witch doctors.


The topic isnt whether witchcraft has contributed anything whatsoever to society? Is not the definition of something being "alive and well" that it has an impact on something...anything...and the definition of something being dead means it ceasing to have any impact.





Now, I have a hard time thinking that this little shop which carries every supply needed for a witchy life is just there and making money off our delusional teenagers.


There are quite many shops that sell novelty items with no real impact or usefulness whatsoever. See souvenir shops for example, which are filled to the brim with useless junk.



see what courses they offer, what they organize, from rituals to divination classes.


Each of us must make that important choice whether to mold and shape our future ourselves or believe the future is set in stone and must be figured out by "divination". One path is empowering, the latter is disempowering.




Now if you feel a little more adventurous, look into shops that exist in bigger places like New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Moscow, Rome or Paris. Check out London, Berlin or Sydney. Don’t take my word for it, google it.


The existence of shops does not prove that Witchcraft works just as the existence of Halloween custumes does not prove that all these monsters are real.



However, I would recommend avoiding looking into Kenya or Saudi Arabia as witches there get executed if they are found guilty of anything related to witchcraft.


Thanks for supporting my case that only very few countries with backward policies take witchcraft seriously.



Finding links for witchcraft is a challenge,


Indeed! Not that mere links could be used as "evidence", but they would have at least been a start in building your case.


"You've probably been around witches and not even realized it—we're just average everyday people," ."


Precisely. Just average, everyday people and by no means keepers of special powers.


those who believe in the healing power of witchcraft could feel their physical health has improved as a result of "white magic”.


Indeed...the placebo effect in action. I must admit Im surprised how, in your final post, almost everything you say supports my side of the debate.


"Everybody would like to understand the world a little better than they really can," he says, "and witchcraft and magic beliefs can make you believe that the world is controllable and understandable in a way that it is not for people who don't believe."


Witchcraft as a psychological coping tool? OK.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers,

Witchcraft has been in steady decline since hundreds of years. The age of enlightenment and science has all but replaced witchcraft. And its easy to see why. Take for example this chart of Tuberculosis decline over time:


Source

Modern medicine has achieved much, much more in the healing of illnesses and the advancement of civilization than witchcraft ever has or ever will. Because sane people generally go with whatever works, witchcraft is in decline whereas the use of science is steadily increasing. In medieval times - indeed the dark age - politicians, economists, philosophers, poets, artists, clerks, public officers, kings, queens, peasants and the populace in general held on to fearful superstitious beliefs. They went to witches seeking "protection" against a number of illnesses and misfortunes. Life in those days was unhygienic, unsafe and generally ignorant compared to our times. With the advancement of higher thinking and empiricism and the shedding of irrational fears, witchcraft and superstition fell into decline. Today witchcraft no longer plays a role in society, family, politics, economy, universities and news-media. And the small minority that still does adhere to it, fails to deliver any tangible results...which is why my opponent could not post any, nor even link to examples.

My opponent has spent a large amount of writing-space defining what witchcraft is but has offered no evidence of its usefulness nor widespread acceptance as a reliable tool. I have shown how witchcraft either has no effect at all, or in some cases, may even generate harmful outcomes.

Thank you for reading, thinking and considering what was said by me and my esteemed opponent.



posted on Nov, 14 2012 @ 11:22 AM
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The judges have had their say, and here they are:


The premise of this debate was whether or not Witchcraft is alive and well in modern times. SonoftheSun opened with a position of Witchcraft being:

A way of life.
Seeking knowledge,
Not a religion.
Worldwide.
and
Very Real.

I was left to see if Son could fulfill his opening. I continued reading.

Skyfloating responds by defining Witchcraft as:

A third path, aside of Religion and Science.
Fed by Ego.
A dying craft.
Limited in scope and Intent.

Both openings were well worded. Skyfloating finishes with a series of hard-hitting rhetorical questions, and pulls doubt into my mind. For the questions produced in his closing, round one goes to Skyfloating.

Son goes further in his second post attributing Love, Health, and Wealth to aspects of Witchcraft. It is a comfortable position, but I think he underestimates his opponent....

As I read further into round two, Sky moves in for the kill, stating the acceptance of a Witchdoctor to perform surgery, and that wealth is earned through investments and savings to summarize, and not produced by a magical formula. The nail is driven into the coffin by this one simple line:



The reason witchcraft is dying is because humankind is advancing.


Round two to Skyfloating.

Round three has Son telling stories about a shop that sells trinkets, which does nothing to support his floundering position. He actually gives the debate, and admits defeat with this quote:



witchcraft and magic beliefs can make you believe that the world is controllable and understandable


As a judge, I know I am not supposed to interject my personal beliefs, and that I am to remain impartial, but that statement defies my own logic as I read it. You cannot control a tornado, a hurricane, nor an earthquake.

Regardless, Skyfloating is not content with merely keeping the debate open. He goes further, with a vicious tenacity, to make sure there is no doubt about the death of Witchcraft, and his opponent:



There are quite many shops that sell novelty items with no real impact or usefulness whatsoever. See souvenir shops for example, which are filled to the brim with useless junk.



The existence of shops does not prove that Witchcraft works just as the existence of Halloween costumes does not prove that all these monsters are real.



Indeed...the placebo effect in action. I must admit I'm surprised how, in your final post, almost everything you say supports my side of the debate.



And the small minority that still does adhere to it, fails to deliver any tangible results...which is why my opponent could not post any, nor even link to examples.


Round three, Skyfloating.

Needless to say, three rounds, and thus the debate.

The winner is Skyfloating.



Challenge Match: SonoftheSun vs Skyfloating: Witchcraft is alive and well all over the world

This was an enjoyable read and both debaters fought their respective positions with admirable fortitude.

There seemed to me to be some disparity between the fighters as to how to prove their individual positions. This was very evident all through the debate and actually served to make a decision as to the winner much easier.

SonoftheSun’s postings were clear in that he appeared to put forth that the mere presence of witchcraft was indicative of it being “alive and well” in the world. Skyfloating was very effective in stating his position that “alive and well” has a much deeper and more significant meaning. As such SF was able to further his position and more concisely state and prove his position.

That being said, the win goes to Skyfloating, hands down.



The winner of this debate is:

Skyfloating.

Congradulations to the winner and to SonoftheSun for outstanding performance.



~Tenth





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