Challenge match: SonoftheSun vs Sheepslayer247: Reincarnation – Could it possibly exist?

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posted on Jan, 13 2013 @ 09:59 AM
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First and foremost, I wish to thank Sheepslayer247 for accepting the challenge and also wish to thank the viewers, members, moderators and judges for making all of this possible.

I will be taking the pro position of this debate; in demonstrating that reincarnation is indeed a possible scenario of life after death while Sheepslayer247 will be holding the con position.



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Reincarnation – Could it possibly exist?




Reincarnation in Hindu Art





The word "reincarnation" derives from Latin, literally meaning, "entering the flesh again". The Greek equivalent metempsychosis (μετεμψύχωσις) roughly corresponds to the common English phrase "transmigration of the soul" and also usually connotes reincarnation after death


Source


Reincarnation is in fact a very old concept. Its origins are vague and could possibly go back as far as the sixth century B.C. Historical figures such as Pythagoras or Plato believed in its premise; the eternal soul reincarnates multiple times.

Many would see it as a religious concept as some religions are in fact based on the reincarnation possibility, such as Hinduism, yet it goes further than that. Life itself is made of cycle movements, everything we see, everything we perceive has a beginning, an end and a beginning again, through a natural occurrence that is part of the evolution. Nothing dies, it just changes form.

Stories of reincarnation in religion, even if interesting, are for most, in the eye of the beholder and I will be avoiding those. Stories that the Bible has been modified from its original documents which talked of reincarnation is highly speculative and I don’t wish to go there either. Stories of reincarnated souls such as the Dalai Lama are also interesting and yet, highly debatable and again I will avoid that particular case. Stories that we could be reincarnating in animals or plants or insects are, for me, laughable and have no place in this debate.

So how could I possibly prove my point, being that reincarnation is a possibility?

Well, while history itself has great stories of reincarnation and although some of them would certainly be questionable, my goal in this topic challenge is to supply scientific and medical evidence that reincarnation is not only possible but highly possible !!

In order to do so, during the course of this debate, I will bring forward evidence that should get you, the reader, to scratch your head, to wonder about the possibility and maybe, to realize that there could really be something to the reincarnation concept:


Past Life Regressions

When looking deeper in this scenario, you will find out that some members of the scientific community take this evidence very seriously and that it adds up to much more than just imaginary tales. The key here, being in finding the previous life human being – and – it has been done.

Phobias

What is your deepest fear? Where does it come from? What triggers it? What I will provide may shock you.

Physical Ailments

Often times, a sickness is carried over from the previous or multiple previous lives and I will show you the evidence.

Physical Evidence

No, not the “Nicolas Cage was a Vampire” type of evidence, as supplied in various ATS threads. Matching scars, birthmarks, missing limbs, corroborating evidence, now we’re talking.

Speaking Unknown Languages

This is a rare phenomenon but it has been observed, researched and archived.

Children Recalls

Geniuses at three or four years old? You’ve heard the stories, musical geniuses that play Bach or Beethoven symphonies at four years of age? Actually, it’s much more than that, is wider spread than just the musical field and I will present the evidence.

Scientific evidence

In concluding, I will bring forward decades and decades of study, research and methodological analyses by the scientific community which is hard to ignore or avoid. I will provide the results and the links for everyone to see, to read and to enjoy.


As you will find out, throughout the match, the cases, the studies, the research is very serious and even though I will do my very best to have you wonder; the question will remain.

Is reincarnation a certainty? No, and this is not the purpose of this match.

Is reincarnation probable? Perhaps but again, it is not the premise of this debate.

Is reincarnation a possibility? You bet.



SS, the floor is yours.




posted on Jan, 15 2013 @ 08:41 PM
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Many thanks go to ATS, the Mods and the readers. I’d also like to thank Son for the topic idea….this subject is somewhat out of my “realm”, but I accept the challenge ahead.

I think it’s safe to say that each and every one of us, at some point in our lives, question what happens after we die. Is it designed for our “soul” to go onto Heaven, Hell, reincarnate or simply turn to dust? These answers are still being sought, but there is no shortage of theories.

Reincarnation is just one theory and it is the belief that the “soul”, after death, moves on to inhabit another physical entity, such as a human or animal. There is no doubt that reincarnation IS a belief. My opponent is correct in that its origins are somewhat unclear, but throughout its inception reincarnation has been part of many olden religions, and has even made its way into the modern Christian faiths…..as well as many others. It’s also important to note that reincarnation has become popular in the New Age religions, such as Scientology. To toss aside the religion connection would be folly, for it helps us understand that the belief in reincarnation requires a blind faith in that which cannot be seen, heard, felt or measured by any scientific standard.

One name we will most likely see throughout this debate is Ian Stevenson. As a proponent of reincarnation, Stevenson has written many books on the topic, documenting the claims of children who are said to remember past lives or have physical traits similar to those that have passed on. But Stevenson himself recognizes the very thin line his work rests upon. We will delve deeper into his work as this debate continues and we will explore how the “belief” of reincarnation is dependent on the religion and culture of the people claiming to have been reincarnated.......just as Stevenson himself has posited.

We will also discuss how many of the pro-reincarnation researchers and authors are biased; meaning that they form their conclusions and opinions around a predetermined outcome that fits their personal beliefs.

Possible?

What is...... possible?


a : being something that may or may not occur b : being something that may or may not be true or actual



Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.
Mark Twain

It is important that we discuss the word "possible" right from the start of this debate.

On a site such as ATS, we speculate and converse on topics that are real and tangible that play a role in our everyday lives, but we also discuss topics that are easily thrown to the side because there is no empirical reason to believe it exists at all and is nothing more than the manifestation of Man's imagination. Considering that reincarnation was born from the imagination of Man in a time long ago, and cannot be substantiated by hard facts and data, it falls into the category in which it can easily be dismissed.

Just because Man can think and believe in something that cannot be dis-proven, does not mean it is "possible".

I'm sure we will touch on that issue again, but for now I relinquish the podium to SonoftheSun.

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posted on Jan, 16 2013 @ 09:15 AM
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No doubt that the reincarnation theory has been around for a very long time, embellishing nice stories from our past history or entertaining our past illustrious philosophers or even partaking some of its principles into some religious beliefs.

Now, my opponent had a nice going in his first statement, until he mentioned this:


Considering that reincarnation was born from the imagination of Man in a time long ago, and cannot be substantiated by hard facts and data, it falls into the category in which it can easily be dismissed.


Hard facts and data.


Is there good evidence for reincarnation? Researchers say yes.


Now that is the real description of possibility and not a straw man’s argument on beliefs. While philosophers of our past relinquished the stories, researchers nowadays collect data and corroborate the hard facts and I am of the opinion that it would be quite unwise to dismiss it.

Anyone that has read the book or seen the movie “The Search for Bridey Murphy” knows that it was based on true events, the recollection of a previous life, through hypnosis, the subject being Ruth Simmons. She remembered her past name, she remembered living in Belfast in the 19th century, she remembered the names of two grocers nearby where she lived. This happened in 1952 and everything checked out. Belfast librarians found records of all names from 1865-66.

Is this just a belief? Or is it possible (yes, possible) that Ruth Simmons really remembered a past life? I will agree that hypnosis is not necessarily considered a reliable tool but this story is nevertheless more than just an imagination scheme. Facts corroborate.

Dr Michael C Pollack, PhD, wrote a book in which he describes that he’s healed his lower back pain after regression therapy. The pain having its foundation in past lives, where he had been stabbed and speared in his lower back area. Those same methods are used to conquer phobias as one’s deepest fears could be rooted in possible previous lives. A phobia is the summit of fear, where it affects someone on a daily basis, disabling reasoning and normal life.


Where do such fears come from? The answer, of course, can be psychologically complex, but researchers think that in some cases there might be a connection to a previous life.


They think. They don’t claim, they don’t prove, they research into the possibility. And the answer is always the same: It could be...

One such possibility is the physical evidence, such as ailments, atrophies or birthmarks that could be residual circumstances of a previous life. Those accounts are in the hundreds and surprisingly, are being researched from a very early age, the patients being children.

As characters run short, I will conclude this second post by linking two cases and provide a video that is only six minutes long, which describes the extraordinary journey of the Leininger Family, whose two year old boy changed their perception of life after death, forever.


In one fascinating case, an Indian boy claimed to remember the life of a man named Maha Ram, who was killed with a shotgun fired at close range. This boy had an array of birthmarks in the center of his chest that looked like they could possibly correspond to a shotgun blast. So the story was checked out. Indeed, there was a man named Maha Ram who was killed by a shotgun blast to the chest. An autopsy report recorded the man's chest wounds -- which corresponded directly with the boy's birthmarks.



In Beirut, a young boy described in detail his past life of being a mechanic killed by being thrown from his car. The specific facts he provided, including his age and family members’ and friends’ names, checked out to be true. He was even able to recall the exact location of the accident which took his life.


This is the key of the research, children having vivid recollections of previous lives. Author Thomas Shroder says it best:


"These children supply names of towns and relatives, occupations and relationships, attitudes and emotions that, in hundreds of cases around the world, are unique to a single dead individual, often apparently unknown to their present families.


Please take six minutes of your time and watch the following video which tells the extraordinary story of James Leininger; an extraordinary quest to find a WWII fighter pilot who died in aircraft combat as memories resurfaced in a young boy’s life:



Finally, my esteemed opponent has mentioned Dr Ian Stevenson, a gentleman that has dedicated his entire life to the study of this phenomenon and this debate could not be complete without talking about him and his finds. I will keep this for the closing statement.


paranormal.about.com...

paranormal.about.com...

haigobaigo.hubpages.com...


SS, back to you.



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 05:35 PM
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Researchers say yes? That’s not entirely true. Some of the most renowned reincarnation researchers will not even go as far as to say reincarnation exists…..but they would like to. As I mentioned in my opening post, many of these “researchers” are biased in how they collect, interpret and present their so-called data. Let’s take a look at a couple of reincarnation researchers.

Ian Stevenson:


He came to believe that neither environment nor heredity could account for certain phobias, illnesses and special abilities, and that some form of personality or memory transfer might provide a third type of explanation. He was never able to suggest how personality traits might survive physical death, much less be carried from one body to another, and was careful not to commit himself fully to the position that reincarnation occurs.

Stevenson's position was that certain phobias, philias, unusual abilities and illnesses could not be explained by heredity or the environment, and that personality transfer provided a third type of explanation, though he was never able to suggest what kind of physical process might be involved.


Jim Tucker


Tucker felt unfulfilled by his work in child psychiatry, but was open to the possibility that humans are more than their physical bodies and wished to investigate the matter further.[19] Though raised as a Southern Baptist, Tucker does not subscribe to any particular religion, and claims to be skeptical about reincarnation,[7] but sees it as providing the best explanation for phenomena associated with the strongest cases investigated to date.[8] After reading Ian Stevenson's work Tucker became intrigued by children’s reported past-life memories and by the prospect of studying them.[20]


As we can see from the quotes above, both of these researchers, whom are considered to be at the forefront of reincarnation research, are unwilling to state publicly that they believe in reincarnation but at the same time say that reincarnation is the best possible answer.

But why is that? If their research and data was as conclusive and empirical as some claim it to be, why are they still distancing themselves from the “results”?

I think the answer is that both Stevenson and Tucker realize that their “evidence”, while interesting, is complete speculation, hearsay, false-equivalencies and nothing more than a myriad of loosely connected coincidences that make for a great read….but hold no empirical weight.

In other words, its pseudoscience and these men are careful not to discredit themselves completely by acknowledging their belief in the conclusions they publish, but still claim that reincarnation is the best answer available. They also fail to realize that there are many other explanations that could be applied, but reincarnation is their pre-determined conclusion of choice.

Culture and Religion

Another interesting finding in much of the reincarnation research is that it only seems to occur, in the majority of cases, in geological regions and within cultures in which reincarnation is accepted and believed through their religions. Is it possible that the children within these cultures are taught through religion about reincarnation, told of the amazing stories passed down through generations, and then subconsciously come to believe that they are in fact a reincarnation themselves?

Children are easily manipulated and it is much more logical to believe these kids have been indoctrinated through religious belief and whimsical tales of fantasy than it is to believe that they are, truly, a reincarnated soul.

In closing this post I would like to be direct and honest.

There is no proof of reincarnation! There are no imperial facts of data that specifically elevates reincarnation from the realm of fairy tales to the arena of possibilities.

Just because Man can create something out of pure imagination, does not make it possible.

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posted on Jan, 20 2013 @ 12:41 PM
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Rebuttals and Conclusion




Dear viewers,

While I submit the evidence of scientific and medical research that makes reincarnation a possibility, I also wish to discuss my opponent’s bias belief that it is not possible, as stated here:


There are no imperial facts of data that specifically elevates reincarnation from the realm of fairy tales to the arena of possibilities.


Wrong. The data is abundant. The problem is that thousands and thousands of cases have been studied and as with any study, there are cases that prove to be fraudulent, exaggerated or simply invented by those who submit them. It doesn’t mean the other real cases don’t exist. Three thousand cases are archived as evidence, twenty of those are troubling enough that Stevenson wrote a book about them.

And here’s another one of my esteemed opponent’s bias belief:


Just because Man can create something out of pure imagination, does not make it possible.


Wrong again. Imagination ???

That is not only wrong but I think it would be considered an insult to those who look into this phenomenon with integrity and decades of dedication. My opponent would gain from reading the research put forward on reincarnation by scientists and researchers such as Keene and Walter Semkiw, MDs, Norm Shealy, MD, PhD, Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis, Claire Francomano, MD, Adrian Finkelstein, MD, Linda Backman, PhD, Brian L. Weiss, M.D, Michael C. Pollack, Ph.D., CCHT, Dr. Helen Wambach and so many others.

Regarding Stevenson, I wonder if my opponent would consider the case of Anne Frank / Barbro Karlen as being an imaginary fairy tale or a case of geographical belief:


Anne Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. Less than ten years later, in 1954, Barbro Karlen was born to Christian parents in Sweden. When she was less than three years old, Barbro told her parents that her name was not Barbro, but Anne Frank.




Maybe my opponent can explain why Barbro had a past life recollection at three years old. Or maybe he can explain the personality traits from both Anne and Barbro as the latter got older. Or maybe he can also explain why there is physical evidence between the two. Or perhaps, he can explain why they both had extraordinary and identical literary skills and writing attributes.

I really wish he could, because I can’t. But Stevenson has tons of cases like this one and he attributes it to a possibility of the soul reincarnating. After forty years of research, I think he deserves the right to be treated with respect.

I have shown that reincarnation is seriously researched across the scientific field. The use of past life regressions, phobia therapy, healing of residual illness, physical evidence such as birthmarks, all tend to the same possibility; past lives transmuted into a new life is possible.

But not a single one of those comes close to the new studies at hand, from the twenty first century:

DNA Evidence.




The challenge is to prove reincarnation using scientific methods, such as DNA analysis, which may show that certain portions of DNA sequencing are unique to an incarnating soul. This observation suggests that the soul provides an energy template, like a hologram around which the body forms.


Described as the soul genome, these new studies are not imagined fairy tales but extremely serious studies, peer reviewed by medical authorities such as Psychologist Joe H. Slate, Ph.D., NDE Researcher P.M.H. Atwater, Philosopher-psychologist Jeffrey Mishlove, Ph.D., Reincarnation foundation director David McAlpine and others.

Once again, does it prove without a doubt that reincarnation exists? No.

Does it prove that reincarnation is probable? No.

Does it show empirical evidence that reincarnation could be a possibility? A Resounding YES and this is what this debate is all about.

As I come towards the end of this conclusion, I wish to present Philosophy professor Dr. Robert Almeder of Georgia State University who talks of the evidence supplied by Ian Stevenson, in this video that lasts seven minutes.

THIS is a must watch :




I will also let Dr Almeder conclude and have the last words on the pro position of this debate:


If you have a very commanding argument that you can’t refute, not to accept the argument is to act irrationally.


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Sources

www.iisis.net...

www.awarenessmag.com...

www.reincarnationexperiment.org...

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I hope everyone enjoyed this match and that it gives you something new to think about.

Thank you for reading.


~Son.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 12:34 PM
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My opponent is correct in that I am biased in my opinion, as we all are, but it is not a belief. Belief is what is required to accept these examples of pseudo-science as proof that reincarnation is a possibility.

While reincarnation may be investigated by many of the people SonoftheSun has listed, why has there not been enough evidence collected over the many years of study for the scientific community to come out in public and state that reincarnation may be possible?

Answer:

That's because there is no hard evidence!

For example, let's look at the case of Barbro Karlen.

Sure, I'll admit that it's an intriguing story but it is just that.....a story. There is no consensus between researchers that Karlen actually made those statements at 3 years old. In fact, many researchers posit that Karlen didn't even know of Anne Frank until her family went on a trip to Amsterdam and visited the home of Anne Frank. At that time she was 10.





Maybe my opponent can explain why Barbro had a past life recollection at three years old. Or maybe he can explain the personality traits from both Anne and Barbro as the latter got older. Or maybe he can also explain why there is physical evidence between the two. Or perhaps, he can explain why they both had extraordinary and identical literary skills and writing attributes.


As you can see from the horrible cut and paste job I did on the pic above, there are similarities......but many differences as well. Are we supposed to believe that similar traits between people are somehow proof of reincarnations possibilities?

Must great writers be reincarnates of writers since passed and is that automatic proof that reincarnation is possible?

If someone has similar personality traits to a deceased individual does that mean reincarnation is possible?

No, of course not.

Soul Genome

Has any sort of genome ever been found or is this search for a soul genome, in and of itself, an exercise in possibilities? Science and researchers cannot prove the possibility that this genome even exists, but why are they positing that this validates the possible existence of reincarnation? The logic is faulty.

So let's put this in perspective:

None of the pro-reincarnation evidence can be substantiated or proven to be nothing more than conjecture and theory, yet we are using unprovable theories to suggest reincarnation is possible?

In other words, we are using that which cannot be proven possible to prove the possibility of reincarnation?



Yup, that is where the heart of this debate lies. What each person sees and what each person believes will dictate what they feel to be possible.

You may see Jesus in toast and know in your heart that Jesus existed to save mankind from their own sins.

I may see Jesus in toast and think...."damn, who burnt perfectly good bread?".

It's all about perception and what each individual wants to believe when empirical evidence cannot be provided. As in the case of reincarnation, despite what my opponent has posited, there is no evidence to support the possibility of reincarnation. Researchers are still trying to figure out whether the possibility is possible.

Oh, there are plenty of personal stories, coincidences, loose associations and attention seekers that appeal to those open to the possibility of reincarnation...but in no way does that prove the possibility itself. Just like the existence of Jesus.....and those who see Jesus in toast. It's all in the eye of the beholder in the absence of evidence.

Therefore, we must conclude that until real, tangible evidence can be provided, we have no way of knowing or proving that reincarnation possibly exists.

In closing, thanks again to my opponent and to those reading this debate. Thanks for your time and I hope we have provided a through-provoking discussion.

Thanks!



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 06:20 AM
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Judgments;




SonoftheSun wins this debate. SonoftheSun was smart to keep emphasizing that it "could be"and is "possible". Had the phrasing of the debate title been "Reincarnation exists" Id have given the debate to sheepslayer. Therefore a debater should pay attention to the way debate titles are phrased because it sets the tone for the debate. SonoftheSun did fairly good documenting some of the best cases for Reincarnation. While I am not yet convinced of Reincarnation I liked the presentation and feel that sheepslayer could have done a little more to buffer his stance. He instead spent most of his time simply refuting whatever came up on the basis that there are no hard facts. In Debating a mere possibility however, he would have had to show why Reincarnation is not a possibility with a little more passion.





My judgment SonoftheSun vs Sheepslayer247 Both provided a really good read on the subject. Both provided compelling arguments for the topic. But in the end, there can be only one What sold it for me was this line from Sheepslayer. "In other words, we are using that which cannot be proven possible to prove the possibility of reincarnation? " I would award the win to Sheepslayer.



This Debate was a tie. A third judge was brought in:



posted on Jan, 24 2013 @ 06:21 AM
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am glad to have been given the opportunity to judge this thread. This has been an excellent debate and I fully appreciate the efforts of both sides.

In round one:

Both posters appropriately gave a simple definition of what reincarnation is.

SonoftheSun smartly approaches the pro position that reincarnation can be proven to be a possibility. Sun brings up the viewpoint that all life is cyclical and repeated.Sun deftly avoids the religious connection by choosing the tougher approach that it can be proven as a possibility through different scientific methods

Sheepslayer247 mentioned the human question and curiosity of what happens after death. Sheep chose to bring in the religious element, claims that reincarnation is a belief as a result. And inaccurately claims that the Christian beliefs believe in reincarnation, which is incorrect. While there may be Christians that believe in reincarnation, it is not part of the standard religious doctrine, even though it is mentioned briefly in the old testament.

While both posters made the point and agreed that the origins of reincarnation are unknown, Sheep makes a bold and contradictory statement that it was born from the imagination of man.

Round 1 goes to SonoftheSun

Round 2
In round 2, SonoftheSun provides a lot of evidence and sources that explain the probability for the existence of reincarnation.
Interestingly, Sheepslayer uses evidence of one of the same researchers for their con position to dispute the validity of the science behind it. But speculates as to why the researchers will not out right say that it is reincarnation with this statement:

"I think the answer is that both Stevenson and Tucker realize that their “evidence”, while interesting, is complete speculation, hearsay, false-equivalencies and nothing more than a myriad of loosely connected coincidences that make for a great read….but hold no empirical weight."

While Sheep makes a very interesting and valid argument on how that these stories occur in regions where reincarnation occurs, he contradicts his previous statement on how it occurs in many religions and how it is accepted on every continent, worldwide.
Sheep also makes a valid point on how the children could possibly be manipulated into believing that they were reincarnated.

Sheep further claims that there is no proof of reincarnation, without any evidence to back this statement up.Speculation into the motives of reincarnation researchers is not proof.

Round 2 goes to SonoftheSun

Round 3
SonoftheSun makes a compelling argument by listing dozens of scientists who have researched into reincarnation. Sun further counter-argues Sheep's point on how many cases there are of children who's past life was collaborated. While pointing out that the ages of the children would of made it hard to influence, this statement could of been made stronger by providing information as to how a child, no matter what age, could of gained this information without tampering.
Like an ace up the sleeve, Sun provides information on how DNA evidence, by serious scientists, on how information can be possibly be found on DNA segments.
Sheep continues in the third round riding on a previous statement that reincarnation is a belief system. And claims that none of the researchers have come out with hard evidence and therefor, have not outright claimed that reincarnation exits.
Sheep deftly disproves the Barbro, Anne Frank connection, that there is no evidence to back it up. And how similarities is not proof. And accurately depicts and supports their previous stance that scientists and believers alike will see evidence where they want too.
Round 3 goes to Sheepslayer247

In summary:
Sheepslayer had the very difficult position of debating a subject that is already framed to be unwinnable, since there is no science to disprove that reincarnation exists. There is no way to prove scientifically that reincarnation doesn't exist. But the debate wasn't about hard evidence, it was about possibility. But instead of profiting on this point, and stay with scientific viewpoints, Sheep chose to attack from a belief standpoint, and instead speculate on the science itself.
SonoftheSun also chose a hard target by going with scientific method and viable scientists, they seem to focus more on the amount of proof out there.

Because this is just about possibility, and not absolute proof, Sun did show us that reincarnation is a possibility. While Sheep was able to discredit the proof somewhat in his final round, they seemed focused on absolutes, and not possibility, with a whole lot of speculation thrown in.

The winner of this debate is SonoftheSun




The winner of this Debate is SonoftheSun.





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