COURSE PODCAST CLIP: Social Media Dialogue Part 2: How to Think About Virtue-Signaling

Every other Wednesday we publish a new episode of the Equipped for Life Podcast, available to everyone who purchases our course, “Equipped for Life: A Fresh Approach to Conversations about Abortion.” Generally, these podcast episodes won’t be available to the general public, but we plan on releasing short clips from the episodes every Thursday, to give you a sense of what these podcasts are like.

In this episode of the Equipped for Life Course Podcast, Tim, Rachel, and I continue a multi-part series on how to be an effective pro-life advocate on social media. Tim discusses virtue-signaling. What is it? Are there different types? Are some of them actually okay? And when is it a valid or helpful accusation?

Download Audio MP3 | 00:08:16

In this clip, Tim explains how the philosophy team has organized the way that we think about different kinds of virtue-signaling.

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New Blog Moderator

This is just a quick announcement that ERI Speaker/Writer Rachel Crawford has been added as a moderator to our blog comments, and she will be the primary moderator for the time being. The other two moderators are Josh and Timothy Brahm.

You can always read our comments policy by clicking on the link at the bottom of the blog. We have a more rigid comments policy than some other sites because our goal is to host interesting conversations with caring, honest, and respectful people. We believe this simple comments policy will facilitate this.

PODCAST: Fellow Pro-Lifers: Please Stop Sharing This Straw Man Meme

Download Audio MP3 | 00:05:44

“My body, my choice” is possibly the most common slogan in defense of abortion right now, and an embarrassing number of pro-life people completely misunderstand it. This misunderstanding is so common, and it is so destructive. For me, and the rest of the team at ERI, it is a point of particular frustration. This piece is a response to a particular meme that completely misunderstands bodily rights arguments, and is therefore really harmful to the pro-life cause. Please stop sharing it.

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Debate vs. Dialogue: How Do They Differ?

John Ferrer debate

John Ferrer debates David Smalley on the problem of evil for The Bible & Beer Consortium.
Photo by Hillary Morgan Ferrer. Used with permission.

Debate is fun for me, but I’m odd like that. I’m an academic and ethics teacher, so I’ve debated abortion formally and informally, in academic settings and elsewhere. The subject arises most every time I’m in a panel discussion, too. In that time, I’ve come to learn that debating is radically different from casual conversation. It’s miles apart from almost every kind of interaction we can have on campus, around the lunch table, walking to class, or hanging out over coffee.

Even with all that debate experience, I’m still a novice when it comes to casual conversations about abortion. I’m a little weird like that. Thanks to Josh, Tim, and the rest of the ERI team, I’m learning how to not be weird. One advantage of my experience, however, is that I can help explain the pitfalls of debating abortion, especially when the other person just wants a dialogue. I know those pitfalls by experience; I’ve tripped across almost all of them. I’m painfully aware that academic debate is entirely different from the street-level, day-to-day conversations regular people have about an issue.

Debate can be incredibly valuable in formal settings, in classes, or on certain websites that facilitate that sort of structured exchange. Most of the time, however, people aren’t looking for a debate, and so we can overpower and ruin a conversation if we try to force it into that mold. I’d like to offer some counsel on how to distinguish debate from dialogue so you can keep your conversations healthy and persuasive.

COURSE PODCAST CLIP: Social Media Dialogue Part 1: The Obstacles

Every other Wednesday we publish a new episode of the Equipped for Life Podcast, available to everyone who purchases our course, “Equipped for Life: A Fresh Approach to Conversations about Abortion.” Generally, these podcast episodes won’t be available to the general public, but we plan on releasing short clips from the episodes every Thursday, to give you a sense of what these podcasts are like.

In this episode of the Equipped for Life Course Podcast, Tim, Rachel, and I begin a multi-part series on how to be an effective pro-life advocate on social media. We begin the series by talking about some of the obstacles that often prevent good dialogue from happening on social media, like image management.

Download Audio MP3 | 00:05:35

In this clip, Tim introduces the idea of image management in public conversation online.

Click here to subscribe to the ERI podcast in iTunes.