Debating with liberals, as we've discussed in our Liberal Rhetoric 101 Series, is fraught with tricks to hide the fact that the average liberal has few actual arguments to back up their arguments. One of the biggest tactics is verbosity...simply shouting down your opponent.
It's happened many times in my own debate life. I remember one time when I was in high school I attempted to explain the conservative opposition to abortion to a girl I worked with at my part-time job. We'll call her "Stella." I tried to explain to Stella that my concern that it may be a human life, and that human life was sacred, and that it wasn't ok to just destroy a human being for personal convenience. Her response? She shouted at me "Keep your laws off my body!" That was her ENTIRE ARGUMENT. Stella completely ignored the fact, central to my entire point, that the baby's body ISN'T her body.
Actually, I tried to explain that point. Stella simply repeated that it was her body and I had no right to say what she could do with it. She had no intention of engaging in a discussion of whether or not what she was saying held one ounce of water, which is particularly important since my argument centered entirely upon the idea that the unborn child, while residing IN her body was not in fact PART of her body, and she was in fact destroying SOMEONE ELSE'S body. She had no intention or desire of discussing this topic with any level of logic, facts, or even hearing my opinions. She just wanted to shout me down.
(This person also felt she was a crusader for free speech, but had no problem with pulling my "Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Democrat" bumper sticker off my car. I bring this up because I want you to understand the level of logic...so none...she was working with when debating me.)
I tried very hard to explain that I had a deeper concern than her tropes about "a woman's body," specifically ensuring that no human being is destroyed indiscriminately. I tried to explain my firm belief that it was not acceptable to destroy an innocent human being. Her response? "You're not a woman, so you don't have a say in this issue." Except it was more like "HOW DARE YOU! YOU'RE A MAN! YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND HOW A WOMAN WOULD FEEL SO SHUT UP!"
Right. In an issue pertaining to human life, only women get a say. If I have a child and my wife wants to smother the baby with a pillow, I have no say, because I'm not a woman...because reasons. This is the logical equivalent if one is assuming that an unborn child is human. That's my concern. That is my reason. Stella, however, had nothing to argue with except for yelling catchphrases.
Unfortunately, the only way to combat verbosity is to simply refuse to debate if they don't stop shouting...deal with the first point they make without letting them change the point of the debate.
- Liberal Rhetoric 101: Verbosity
- Liberal Rhetoric 101: The Fallacy of Consensus
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