Thursday, July 06, 2017

Vaccines, who needs them?

I recently had to spend time and discuss both serious and not so serious themes with a seemingly well educated and rational man who traveled the world quite a bit. I fully expected that we won't agree on a lot of things, but was looking forward to a healthy exchange of viewpoints. However, it was obvious that's not going to happen as soon as I realized that this person doesn't believe man landed on the moon, believes that vaccines cause Autism and thinks Donald Trump is going to "drain the swamp".

Conspiracy theorists, armchair philosophers and paranoids are a dime a dozen, but this fellow didn't quite fit the bill of your average crackpot. He seemed like a man who knows how to follow logic and rules of rational thinking, yet when it comes to those themes (and I'm sure many more) his thinking was so twisted and full of logical fallacies that it made me wonder how he managed to survive to his middle age. I read somewhere that a typical believer/practitioner of "alternative medicine" is a well educated, middle aged, upper middle class, professional woman. Go figure.

Survive or not, you say, what's it to you? Well, many people don't realize that there is serious direct as well as collateral damage from this kind of non-thinking, and it's both immediate and long term. It doesn't restrict itself to non-thinkers, but it devastates their children, families and society as a whole. John Oliver explained it on the example of "vaccine deniers" much better and more entertaining than I ever could:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VG_s2PCH_c

It all boils down to child abuse and public health endangerment. Do what all rational people do or go live on a deserted island (leave your kids behind, you are not worthy of them anyway).