Even if you’re not into politics, Ben Shapiro’s debates are entertaining to watch. In this video, I discuss Ben’s debating skills. I’m going to tell you seven strategies that you can utilize regardless of which side of a debate you’re on. Precautions: First, I am not arguing Ben’s position on any of these topics. I’m going to explore some of his persuasive rhetorical methods, even if they aren’t always logically sound.
Whatever your position on the topics, there’s a lot to learn from Ben’s argument technique.
Second, you shouldn’t focus on debating in your relationships because the purpose of debate isn’t the same as most partnerships. – alternatively you’re debating someone on stage and your purpose is to humiliate them as much as possible. Third, Ben clearly undertakes a lot of research, which is difficult to counter without your own data. – Rich people tend to stay married longer whereas impoverished ones likely to divorce. Where did you obtain that? -Census Now, study is required, but I’m more interested in the debate’s tactical side than the prep, so I won’t go into it.
Let’s start with Ben’s defensive discussion methods, catching non-arguments because not everything that appears convincing is truly correct.
For example, saying nine out of 10 people believe something doesn’t necessarily prove it. This is a persuasive authority argument that needs more proof to be conclusive. We encourage you to listen to the American public and the law enforcement community and support a ban on the further manufacture of these weapons. That was Reagan.
-I can now disagree with Ronald Reagan. You keep in front of recent right-wing presidents agreed with me -So? Getting emotional is another typical discussion approach that isn’t intentional and isn’t a good argument, especially when the other person is upset or insulted.
Piers Morgan offended Ben, but that doesn’t prove anything. How could you accuse me of standing on the graves of children.
-I’ve seen it before, Piers. That’s OK, but you’ve done it before. I’ve seen you do it on the show. In the words of the late Christopher Hitchens, “If someone tells me I’ve wounded their feelings, I answer, well, I’m still waiting to hear your point.” You don’t have to be that direct, but pointing out that an argument requires more than just emotion to be valid can frighten other debaters, which leads to the third defensive strategy we’ll explore in this video: pressing for specifics.
People often have wide, strong beliefs without being able to communicate them clearly, and this happens on all sides of the political spectrum.
As a result, when Ben is confronted with an overarching charge, he demands concrete examples. -I mean, you’re a young man, but you remember two years ago when their opinions were absolutely opposite. – But which? -Free trade.
This is vital. If any sort of blanket label is asserted against your stance or huge institutions that are being labeled one way or another, battling against that one term is already buying into an argument You don’t comprehend and that would be absurd. Instead, ask the other person to clarify their meaning, like in this example:
Institutional racism is too broad. At least name the institution. Which is racist? Which group is racist?
Tell me what you think so we can fight it together. Let me be on your side. Yes. I despise racists. I suppose race I think racism is bad. I want to battle it with you, but I can’t till you show me what it is. Finally, Ben knows his arguments inside and out, so he doesn’t waste time arguing things that his argument doesn’t require.
For example, in this next film, Ben discusses how Trump will say ridiculous things knowing that it will enrage the media, and how Trump does this on purpose to control the news cycle. When Don Lemon says Trump shouldn’t be doing that, Ben doesn’t defend his acts’ morality.
He’s only referring to their function. -says absurd things like the media isn’t patriotic, knowing the media would immediately ramp it up to 12. But Ben, don’t you believe he should be honest in his comments even if he’s hilarious and if you give him any? Of certainly, and here’s my suggestion to journalists.
Now, that may seem apparent, but it’s difficult to do when someone insults you. A common rule of thumb is that if the other person attacks you, you’ve won the debate.
Ben rarely defends his own honor, and he exemplifies that here: Writer Jane Coaston thinks you have phony bravery, your campus speeches are shadowboxing, and if you wanted to be truly brave, you’d dispute quote: some of your right-wing admirers’ wrongheaded beliefs What do you say? One: I’ve never considered myself brave. I don’t think it’s gutsy to stroll onto a college campus and talk to students. I think becoming an officer or a firefighter is gutsy and amazing.
I don’t think it’s brave of me to walk on stage with a security crew.
I wouldn’t do it if I knew I’d be shot and murdered. So I’m not in that category. This leads to Ben’s Offensive Strategies where he intelligently avoids defending his own bravery in favor of sticking to his argument’s strongest grounds. Using hidden premises is one of his favorite techniques to stump opponents. Using creative language, you establish the particular issue of contention as a given. This isn’t a dig at Ben because we all do it.
Find the hidden premise in this case: -from planned parenthood. As you may have guessed, I’m anti-abortion. Go to Planned Parenthood and acquire a contraception. Who cares? Unless you start killing infants.
This bothers me. Again, a tight premise assumes a disputed point. So, in the context of the abortion argument, pro-choice against pro-life, what is the basic premise that Ben just stated? “Kill infants” would be the words.
The dispute revolves with the infant/fetus’ personhood, because the phrase baby implies personhood.
Because most of his opponents would undoubtedly disagree with that word, Ben can sneak it in without them noticing, and they are trapped arriving to the same conclusion as he does. Also in a debate about the morality of socialism, communists and other economic models: -Isn’t income disparity quite high in the US? There are Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, and then there is your local grocery store checker. But if the grocery store cashier is growing richer, I don’t see why they should be complaining about the economy. They don’t own Jeff Bezos’ money. They don’t own Bill Gates’ money any more than Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos own theirs.
What is the case’s snuck premise? It’s the idea it’s their money. A socialist or a communist may view the money of a producer, i.e. another wealthy person, as stolen. While his opponents may disagree with his assumption that it is their money, they won’t know where to punch a hole in it because they immediately adopted it. Now, most debates are won or lost on fundamental principles.
We can get there without the other person understanding exactly how they disagree with us, but still be stuck. So, if you want to win a discussion even if you’re wrong, this is a great strategy.
But if you can prevent it, it’s typically more informative and healthier for the relationship, as we explore in our video on Jordan Peterson, which I’ll attach below. Again, not picking on Ben, just citing an example. Moving on to another successful rhetorical tactic I notice from Ben.
It goes like this: I think focusing on poverty is a wonderful idea. Because income disparity has no association with relative rates of poverty, I believe focusing on it is a bad idea. There is considerable economic inequality in many areas on Earth, if not all.
If you travel to Sudan, you’ll find a wealthy warlord and people surviving on $6 per year. Because the individual case seems to establish the broader argument, even though it cannot prove a rule. It can be used for explanation and persuasion.
This is fairly typical with the examples I provide you in these videos. Adding humor to a statement makes it more compelling since people can be so caught up in laughing that they don’t necessarily consider if they agree or disagree with the point expressed. Those now involved in the drug battle aren’t going to be model citizens. Many of those people will commit other crimes because, as history shows, when a substance is made illegal, the criminals are already criminals.
After Prohibition, Al Capone would not become a banker.
This video’s final point is to highlight scenarios under which you might agree with your opponent. What proof do you need? We’ve seen Ben do this before with institutional racism: -racism is bad. I want to battle it with you, but I can’t till you show me what it is. He mentions Trump’s impeachment and the Muller probes: [Applause] I’ll gladly await Muller’s indictments if they target Trump.
I’m glad he’s gone, but I need proof. Where’s the proof? Toss it in the bin. And if he trashes it or shuts down Mueller’s probe, impeachment should be considered.