On Thursday night, after much leftist hysteria and some $600,000 spent on security, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro finally gave his highly-anticipated “Say No To Campus Thuggery” speech at the University of California, Berkeley.
As usual, Shapiro ended his speech with a question-and-answer segment in which leftists are told to go to the front of the line at the conservative intellectual’s request.
A couple of way-too-confident leftists came at Shapiro with abortion arguments they thought would for sure stump the conservative. Of course, they were sorely mistaken and quickly eviscerated by the speaker with ease.
The first exchange was concerning the “moral value” of an unborn baby and “sentience.”
“My question was about abortion, and I just wanted to know why, exactly, do you think a first-trimester fetus has moral value?” the student asked Shapiro.
A first-trimester fetus has moral value because whether you consider it a potential human life or a full-on human life, it has more value than just a cluster of cells. If left to its natural processes, it will grow into a baby. So the real question is, where do you draw the line? So, you’re going to draw the line at the heartbeat — because it’s very hard to draw the line at the heartbeat? There are people who are adults who are alive because of a pacemaker, they need some sort of outside force generating their heartbeat. Are you going to do it based on brain function? Okay, well, what about people who are in a coma? Should we just kill them?”
He continued, “The problem is, any time you draw any line other than the inception of the child, you end up drawing a false line that can also be applied to people who are adults. So, either human life has intrinsic value or it doesn’t. I think we both agree that adult human life has intrinsic value — can we start from that premise?”
The student replied: “I believe that sentience is what gives something moral value, not necessarily being a human alone.”
“So when you’re asleep, can I stab you?” said Shapiro, setting up the student’s demise.
“I’m still considered sentient when I’m asleep,” answered the student, a sense of hesitation in his voice.
Shapiro answered, “Okay, if you are in a coma from which you may awake, can I stab you?”
“Well then, uh, no,” replied the student, as the crowd erupted in laughter.
“I’m glad you answered that because I have no interest in actually murdering you,” quipped Shapiro.
But the student gave it another shot: “But, there’s still potential sentience and it’s still a potential —”
“I agree it is potential sentience. You know what else is potential sentience? Being a fetus,” said Shapiro.
One last time, the student tried to trip-up Shapiro by changing the argument to the level of “burden” an unborn child can have on another human.
“If I’m in a coma and I’m not, like, doing anything to anyone, I’m not causing any issues amongst the world, whereas an unwanted child may or may not be a burden to people,” said the student.
“There are lots of people who are unwanted,” said Shapiro. He joked, “There are a lot of parents that are unwanted; you’re a bunch of college students.” The crowd laughed.
Shapiro continued, “The problems is now you’re shifting the argument, right? Before you were making the argument based on the intrinsic value of a life based on sentience and now you’re talking about the level of burden somebody presents as a separate moral argument. I don’t believe that you being a burden on somebody is justification for them killing you, as a general rule.”
The student, knowing it was now over, said he’d “leave it at that” and thanked Shapiro for allowing him to question him.