In apologetics, arguments are important. But whoa man, disposition/attitude is even more important. If you want a great example of this point, please listen to this story from the CBC radio show “As it Happens.” Don’t worry: it’s only 7 minutes. Just broadcast yesterday, it tells the story of a “vaccine-hesitant” mother who was eventually persuaded that her concerns were unfounded. As she notes in the story, she had legitimate concerns about vaccines. And the pedantic and condescending way that healthcare professionals often dismissed those concerns merely served to retrench her in her suspicions.
This is not a psychological reaction that is restricted to vaccine-hesitant moms, by the way. We all tend to react negatively when people treat us in a pedantic and condescending manner. In this case, it was only when a fellow mom treated her with respect and dignity and then carefully addressed her concerns that this vaccine-hesitant mom changed her mind. (Alas, that change came a bit too late for her children, but you can listen to the show to learn more.)
Yes, folks, there is a life lesson here for all of us, and it is goes far beyond vaccines.