A few weeks ago, Ben Shapiro released a video of himself after a campus speech in which he responded to a question about abortion in the case of rape. It was undeniably effective and many pro-life people shared it.
I can’t imagine any reasonable person suggesting that the pro-choice student got the better of him in their exchange. But I am concerned that pro-life students may take the wrong message from the video.
Shapiro is an incredibly skilled debater, and a Q&A after a speech is clearly a setting for debate, not dialogue. A speaker’s primary responsibility in that setting is to convince the audience, not the person with whom he is arguing. My purpose in this article is not to criticize Shapiro for debating the way he does, it is to explain why it would be a huge mistake to emulate Shapiro’s debate strategy in a one-on-one conversation (and, to be fair, I have no idea how Shapiro handles a one-on-one conversation without an audience).
Here are the three ways pro-life students should dialogue differently than Shapiro debates: