Why Peter Hotez Should Debate RFK

Joe Rogan provides Dr. Peter Hotez an opportunity to debate and defeat RFK on the largest talk show in the nation.

The dispute would be over covid vaccines, but knowing the two men’s previous history, it would inevitably include childhood vaccinations. And Rogan promised a lot of money to Hotez’s preferred charity. He’s also promised unlimited time so that cheap debate tactics like the “Gish Gallop” (a favorite of conspiracy theorists) won’t work. Yet…

Hotez won’t take the opportunity. Why?

The New York Times says it’s because “You can’t win a debate against someone who disregards facts.”

Well, that shoe might fit on both of these debaters! This episode features a funny illustration of that.

But public debates are not necessarily won by changing the mind of your interlocutor. There are three ways a debate can be valuable…

  • You can enlighten someone
  • Your vast ignorance is cured
  • You can teach an observer to the discussion

Debates that don’t do one of these three things are mere contentiousness. Perhaps this debate would be a “teach an observer” moment.

Peter Hotez should debate Bobby Kennedy

One of the things we strive to do on Gracearchy is to steelman each side (the opposite of strawmanning). In this case, we explain to Dr. Hotez why accepting this offer is proper and how it will be beneficial to the advancement of his values.

I even coach him with ways to turn the debate to his benefit. Why?

Because national healing is needed. And we explain why part of that process will require an admission of things the authorities got wrong and the lessons they learned from them.

The opposite approach – the current refusal to dialogue – is neither respectful nor healing. Instead, it will leave tens of millions of people suspicious and even angry.

Surely, we can all recognize telling people they are stupid and they should shut up won’t heal things.

If such a debate occurs, which side do I want to see win? My answer might surprise you. And it’s revealed in this “two-commute” length episode.

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ZAP The State and have a nice day,

Jim Babka
Host, Gracearchy with Jim Babka
Co-creator, Zero Aggression Project

Gracearchy is hosted by Zero Aggression Project’s co-founder, Jim Babka, but the views expressed in the show are not necessarily those of the board, staff, or supporters of the Zero Aggression Project (Downsize DC Foundation).

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