Ben Shapiro on Alex Jones

Dating back to Aug 2, 2017, Ben Shapiro went on Joe Rogan’s podcast and Alex Jones came up almost immediately. Discussing John Oliver’s show, particularly the segment about Alex Jones, Shapiro said “Well it’s almost impossible to make something not funny about Alex Jones. Joe then asked Ben Shapiro if he would want to meet him and Ben said, “I don’t know that, given how much I’ve made fun of him..”

It’s true Ben Shapiro has been extremely vocal about his disdain for the controversial entertainer. This includes, among other things, some run-ins on social media that blew up in the form of a twitter feud on May 2, 2018. Shapiro chimed in that people such as Kanye West and Candace Owens, who were slated to appear on his show, would be fools to appear on Alex Jones’ show.

Jones immediately fired back that Ben Shapiro was a member of the “thought police” thereby implying that Shapiro was hypocritically limiting free speech. To this, Shapiro came back with a forward assault on Alex Jones:



Should Ben Shapiro Debate Alex Jones? 

This is where things got a little redundant/vicious with Ben finally saying “Dude, they shouldn’t come on your show because you are awful. Have I been unclear about this in any way?” Though it’s limited subject matter, there’s some interesting things to note here. Ultimately, Alex would challenge Shapiro to a debate with the latter ultimately declining.

Shapiro cited two pieces of evidence for refusing the debate. Both of which were quotes from Alex Jones. One of which showed that Alex Jones not only believed 9/11 was an inside job but asserted that it was “just a fact.” The other quoted Jones stating that “the reason there are so many gay people now is because it’s a chemical warfare operation. I have the government documents where they said they’re going to encourage homosexuality with chemicals so people don’t have children.”

Ever since David Hume’s spellbinding defense of free speech in On Liberty, absolutist positions of free speech have found logical reasons to resist censorship at any cost. Hume argued, among other things, that the free exchange (and therefore competition) of ideas is the best way to find truth because ideas will ultimately win. Furthermore, since no single idea or position is the totality of truth any argument may contain some breadcrumb of truth. This breadcrumb can then be viewed by the observer and incorporated in the refinement and improvement of their own ideas.

Obviously there’s more to the Hume argument than we have time for here and one should read the Hume book (it can be read in about an hour) or the newly released version of the book written by Jonathan Haidt that’s more suitable for general audiences. All of that said, the question over platforming still remains: if Shapiro knows he can win the debate and Alex Jones has a tremendous following, is Ben compelled to go through with the debate?

Readers will have to make up their own mind, but we’re going to make the case that he shouldn’t, with caveats. To be clear, the debate isn’t whether Ben is obligated to debate Alex Jones. As an adult in America, he can do whatever he wants. Rather the question is whether Ben should be compelled by his principles. The reality is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson or Ben Shapiro, it’s simply not possible to debate every person on every subject. The human lifespan is simply too short. There has to be some type of filter that dictates the who, where, when and what one should be debating.

But the question isn’t whether Ben should be compelled to debate any given person, but Alex Jones specifically. Alex Jones isn’t some random person, but a public figure that has a tremendous audience with presumably ludicrous arguments. Perhaps his arguments are unfounded and easily dismissed, but where does one draw the line? Why not easily dismiss them?

On the other hand, as Philosopher Danniel Dennett once said “there is nothing I hate more than a bad argument, for a position that I hold.” In accordance with this view, the worst thing (for the pursuit of truth) that could happen is that someone attempting to debunk an outrageous position comes into a debate unprepared with a massive audience. This only serves to provide fuel to those open minded viewers observing the conflict in action.

Therefore when given all of the debate prep that should go into a debate with Alex Jones, it’s fair to grant Ben a pass if he believes it’s not worth the time investment. But if not Ben, then who?

Outside of the disclaimer below about updating Ben’s position as new information comes in, we’d love any feedback on this subject. In the meantime, we’ll work for a mechanism on the site that provides some of this functionality. Perhaps a comments section? 

As always, should we become aware that Ben has changed his opinion or should new evidence be submitted that we have either misconstrued his opinion or failed to include important statements from him, we will 1) make the correction, 2) note the correction here, 3) issue a mea culpa that attempts to explain and improve on how we missed this. 

Ben Shapiro vs Cenk Uygur Full

Watch the full debate at Politicon between conservative Ben Shapiro and progressive Cenk Uygur. They touch on issues ranging from healthcare to the economy in a raucous debate. 

Ben Shapiro on Abortion

For Ben Shapiro, abortion has long been in his crosshairs as a major position of his as a political commentator. A stern opponent of   However, Shapiro’s position is not without nuance.

Sam Harris on Eckhart Tolle

Though the two have never sparred in person, they haven’t be shy about offering an opinion on each other’s work. 

Ben Shapiro on Gay Marriage

Ben Shapiro’s views on Gay Marriage have been fairly consistent in that he opposes the legalization of gay marriage within the larger, libertarian position, that the Government should “not be in the marriage business” at all.

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