There is no need to watch them completely; but merely scan through them.
Both videos record evangelist Ray Comfort confronting random pedestrians on a street corner.
In the first debate Mr. Comfort dominates the conversation by asking questions.
In the second video the pedestrian dominates the conversation by 'returning' the questions.
When we engage in debate we must always remember this key point: The person who asks questions controls the conversation.
As you review these impromptu debates, set aside the topic at hand and focus exclusively on the technique used by Mr. Comfort. Notice that he 'wins' the debate in the first video when his 'opponent' allows him to control the conversation. Then notice that he fails to 'win' the debate in the second video -- not because the woman is correct -- but because she takes the upper hand by asking questions forcing Mr. Comfort to defend his position.
Again, the fundamental rule for winning a debate is this: THE PERSON WHO ASKS QUESTIONS CONTROLS THE CONVERSATION!
Many of my readers agree with Mr. Comfort's views. Others disagree.
Try not to allow your agreement -- or disagreement -- to skew your observation of the technique he uses.
• From leading to dragging
When your opponent realizes he/she cannot lead you by asking questions, they will usually attempt to drag you by talking incessantly. That is, he/she will attempt to dominate the conversation by not allowing you to 'get a word in edge-wise.'
(To his credit Mr. Comfort does not attempt to 'drag' the woman, but courteously allows her to express her views.)
There is no need to resort to a shouting match.
First, if no one is listening other than your opponent, there is no reason to continue the conversation.
Your options are (1) walk away or (2) ignore them.
When your opponent resorts to drag mode you have several counter strategies that are particularly important when others are listening.
Second, calming ask a question while your opponent is talking.
Keep in mind that, at this juncture, you are not talking to your opponent but to other listeners. This is particularly important if the conversation is being recorded for others to hear at a later date.
Repeat the question several times. Remember your are talking to the listeners, not your opponent. You are effectively telling your listeners, "This guy can't answer a simple question."
Third, ask a series of questions while ignoring your opponent's rambling.
Keep in mind that most people like to dominate a debate with volume; volume of words and volume of sound. They resort to rudeness rather than reason.
Fourth, use the person's obnoxiousness against him/her by emphasizing their rudeness with questions.
Suggested generic questions include: "Would you give me the courtesy of a reasonable answer?" "Why are you all talk and no listen? Are you afraid of encountering the truth?" "Do you know the difference between communicating and making noise?"
Fifth, repeat the person's name.
"John? John? John? Hello?! Anyone home? John? John?" etc.
Sixth, ask the person to repeat something, as if you didn't hear them correctly.
As the person is repeating the question, throw them off by asking another question.
Seventh, challenge the person's credibility.
Ask a question such as, "What do you know about ___?" Again, be mindful you are merely addressing your opponent but you are talking to listeners.
• Practice asking questions
Invite a friend to engage you in a friendly one-on-one debate to practice asking questions.
• Don't answer
When engaged in an impromptu debate, there is no rule that requires you to answer every question. You may, however, answer each question with another question.
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