Antivax: Behind the Stupid (and Other Notes)

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I totally believe in vaccinations, despite the attempts here to paint me with a scarlet letter. I just don't think they are endangering anybody by not being vaccinated. And my stats on the number of unvaccinated adults proves that and your hypocrisy. Where is the outcry over millions of negligent adults walking around without their booster shots? Where are the torches and pitchforks for these millions more? It's clear to me this smacks of oldfashioned genocidal intolerance. Ostracize a tiny minority as evil. Spread urban legends about their malicious practices. Connect them to a disease outbreak. Exaggerate the deadliness of the disease. And then claim they are a danger to children. That's always the clencher. Refer to gays being claimed to molest kids and Jews poisoning wells and sacrificing babies.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Then I suggest you may be wrong.
    You argue very well so well that you convince yourself that your point is correct.
    Its nice how you give respect for folk who are antivax and argue for their freedom of choice but after we cut thru the propaganda, on both sides, it seems to me that antivaxers can and do cause problems... Do you reject my generalization?
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  5. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Who are they causing problems for? And how does that even remotely compare to the vaster problem of the 40-80% of unvaccinated adults? I'm not up on all my vaccinations. Are you? But the chances of me getting sick from any of the vaccine-diminished diseases are so low I don't worry about it. I worry about real threats like obesity, and heart disease, and diabetes, and stroke. That's the conditions I strive to avoid.
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  7. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    I would think for folk they influence on the one hand and perhaps for their children.
    Let's address one problem at a time but I say you have a point and can only say if the number of unvaccinated adults number so high that matter should be addressed.
    I don't know why they are that way but in a country such as USA I am surprised that problem is tolerated.

    You know I don't know if I need top ups but thank you for raising the question because I will ask my GP what my needs may be and ensure that I am up to date.

  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    He makes a good argument for his ignorance, with his comments on how "I'll stay home when I am sick and therefore not expose anyone else." There may be other people who really believe that sort of nonsense - and such ignorance gives false support to anti-vaxxers.
  9. Bells Staff Member

    Mod Note

    You are wrong. I don't fear what you have to say. I fear the repercussions of the words you spout. Primarily the fact that your position and argument in this thread endorses a conspiracy that endangers the health and safety of others.

    You might think that anti-vaxxers pose no risk to others and that's all well and good for you to believe that. The rest of us live in reality and are fully aware of the dangers they actually face. Our argument is backed up by science and by the repeated outbreaks in countries where many of these diseases had been eliminated and were no longer endemic and now are specifically because of the loss of herd immunity due, directly, to people refusing to vaccinate.

    Which brings me to your position. It is dangerous. Your arguments on this issue have raised eyebrows in the past and continue to do so. Not because you are telling us anything new. But simply because you continue to spout the same ideology and dangerous arguments that saw you get into trouble the first time.

    More troubling is the dishonest method you employ. What? You think that because you claim that you believe in vaccinations, while peppering your posts in this thread with anti-vaxxer sentiments, mocking those who actually do believe in vaccinations, makes you a non-anti-vaxxer? The fact is that when you push the ideology you have been pushing in this thread, pushing the same conspiracy theories, and launching new ones, I might add, it makes you an anti-vaxxer. Diminishing the dangers of these diseases as you repeatedly have is dangerous. And yes, it can have deadly repercussions.

    Do you understand that?

    Do you understand that you do not exist in a vacuum? Do you understand that your arguments on this issue is dangerous and can have terrible repercussions for real people in real life?

    Your comparison of people being against anti-vaxxers for the real and present danger they pose to those around them to attitudes towards gays, for example, is dishonest and frankly vile.

    You were given many chances to cease and desist and you refused to adhere to our requests that you stop with these arguments. As a result, I will ban you from participating in this thread. If you return to this thread upon the ban expiring and continue with the same behaviour, the ban from this thread will be permanent.
    Kristoffer and Xelasnave.1947 like this.
  10. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    Speaking of herd immunity, I now have to rely on other people being vaccinated as I've been on immunosuppressive medication for the last year or so. Which means that I'm unable to get all the vaccinations for myself that I'd like, as well as being more susceptible to any contagions that irresponsible people think they'll never contract.
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    It seems worth mentioning an analogy. It's not quite the same thing; the human toll worked differently. Still, though:

    ▸ We ought not complain about MR, because he believes in vaccinations; he just wants to make certain excuses for other people.

    ▸ In 1990s and probably pushing on until Windsor, though many of them started settling out after Lawrence, there was an argument that went, "Hey, don't look at me, you know, 'cause, yeah, I believe in gay rights and all, but, you know, it makes other people uncomfortable so the best thing to do is for you to wait for your human rights until those people are comfortable." That is to say, it was a weird middling crowd that claimed to support gay rights but asked us to wait so the bullies and bigots wouldn't feel uncomfortable about the revocation of their privileges. We still do this to women and people of color, by the way.​

    Look at what the closet does. Waiting for our human rights costs lives. True, though, it's a different pathology than the human toll of antivax.

    In both cases, if one totally believes in whatever, then what's the problem?

    See, I never understood why Em's mother wanted to delay↑. I mean, even setting aside the weird reversal in which she and her parents want to blame ... well, me? ... it never really was clear to me why anyone was objecting.

    Actually, it's funny, my mother and I were talking about this yesterday, and I think part of the grandparents' reversal might have been the obvious question, "Well, you got your daughter vaccinated, right?" Oh, yeah, that's right.

    But it was never clear why in the first place.

    I honestly think that until this recent flare-up in which we saw American presidential candidates getting involved on the wrong side of the science our domestic antivax discussion remained extraordinarily sympathetic toward conscience. Maybe the change was taking place beneath the surface, but I didn't see it openly until the GOP started gaffing up the issue.

    And in that context, I sometimes wonder how much of it is a simple empowerment scheme. Look, I can tell you all about my former partner's psyche; I can tell you all about how it exactly makes sense that for her it was about wanting to assert some influential authority over some major decision in her child's upbringing. She did this a few times, and it was always inexplicable and shot through with illogic. I mean, consider the idea of standing outside a local school, buckling your four year-old into her car seat after having her hearing tested in order to make sure that isn't why she speaks so little―her hearing was just fine, and six months later, well, right, you know how it goes―and listening to your fellow parent explain that maybe you should skip public school and send your child to a conservative Christian―Creationist, purity-ownership, dietary, conspiracist―kindergarten instead of sending her to a religious school when she's a teenager and can't defend herself.

    (I feel like I've used that line in this thread; I might have used it in an unposted draft. At any rate, yes, she really said that. And consider, she ruled out an award-winning private school in which I have legacy on the grounds that it is Catholic. Yeah, one of the finest high schools in the state, and ... no. Because, well, it's a Catholic school. Don't get me wrong, this isn't an atheistic, anti-religious thing. This is a specifically anti-Catholic thing. Because we certainly shouldn't send her to the top-shelf Jesuit school when she's a ferocious teenager with a conscience who can't defend herself; we should, instead, send her to a brainwashing cult school when she's five and, apparently, can whoop the hell out of any of 'em. But I digress ....)​

    The thing is I can't tell you where this crew occurs in the antivax spectrum; their emission and absorption lines are, shall we say, erratic. But it does feel like Mama, at least, hooks onto certain ideas because they feel empowering. Like the people telling you about their awesome, superior-to-yours dietary plan that you unenlightened people need to get on because you're irresponsible wastes of humanity if you don't, and Goddess grant I don't know a single one who ever stayed with it or doesn't regret it. (Atkins, baby! Oh, holy shit, Atkins ....)

    Or the gelatin capsule, pyramid scheme dietary supplements.

    Or ... look, you know, I don't doubt the naturopathic research showing certain correlations between blood types and carbohydrate metabolism, or, more precisely, I don't doubt the general concept. But that doesn't mean I'm dropping ionized silver every day, or relying on a high citrus diet to ward off Ebola.

    Just out of curiosity: Do antivaxxers use antihistamines?

    You know, fuck it, that just occurred to me. And the cat ... the cat is nineteen years old, and her circadian rhythm has her demanding my attention in the middle of the night. Every two minutes, now, and it's two in the morning.

    So much for thinking. Yeah, that's what happened to the last several paragraphs.

    But, yeah. Something about cheap-thrill empowerment. If astrology was easier, people would still seek the same illusory empowerment by telling you what your stars say.
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


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    Well, of course he did:

    Donald Trump has not only spread dangerous misinformation about the links between vaccines and autism, but he's also given money to the anti-vaxxer cause.

    His monetary support for the conspiracy theory came in the form of a $10,000 check to an anti-vaccine charity run by former Playboy model and television host Jenny McCarthy.

    Trump's monetary and moral support for McCarthy's discredited ideas have real, harmful effects—they contribute to the mainstreaming of a conspiracy theory at a time when parents are increasingly deciding to opt out of vaccines despite medical advice.

    McCarthy has been a vocal opponent of chemicals in vaccines since 2007, citing discredited studies and experiences with her autistic son. “The University of Google is where I got my degree from,” she once said in an interview.


    Kimberly Ricci↱ of Uproxx notes Donald Trump tweeting antivax in 2012 and 2014.

    And ... yeah. Donald Trump, Jenny McCarthy, and the glamor of stupidity―it seems a predictable nexus.

    And, yes, there is an obvious joke waiting; let's not and just pretend we did so we don't have to repeat it.


    Mak, Tim. "Donald Trump Charity Gave to Jenny McCarthy’s Anti-Vaxx Crusade". The Daily Beast. 29 September 2016. 6 October 2016.

    Ricci, Kimberly. "The Trump Foundation Donated To Jenny McCarthy’s Anti-Vaccination Charity". Uproxx. 30 September 2016. 6 October 2016.
  13. Bells Staff Member

    Trump is feeding the anti-Government sentiment. In other words, a large portion of his voter base believe that the Government should not dictate how they 'raise their children', thereby health departments advising parents about vaccination and the importance of ensuring their children are vaccinated, sees these people believing that the Government is interfering with how they raise their children. And so they rebel. Add the conspiracies these people generally tend to believe in, they believe that the whole thing is unnecessary and is a mere intrusion into their parenting.

    So his anecdotal 'stories' about how a child he knows of "contracted" autism, not only feeds the conspiracy, but also re-affirms these people's views about the Government 'pumping these little bodies with huge doses' which in his and their minds, opens up these children to somehow or other catching autism.

    That anti-Government sentiment, the belief that vaccine schedules is an imposition of Government ideology on families was most evident in the Republican debates, when Ben Carson, previously someone who was outspoken about the need for vaccines and its importance in keeping the community and individuals safe from these diseases, came out and parroted Trump's anti-vaxx sentiment. And the reason for that is simple. Conservatives, even ones who believe in vaccination, do not wish to anger the Republican base by even suggesting a Government backed vaccination schedule.

    If you want to know why antivaccinationism has found another home among small government conservatives and why neither of the two physicians (Ben Carson and Rand Paul) standing on the stage with Donald Trump was willing to tell him in no uncertain terms that he should stop spreading misinformation about vaccines, there you have it in that statement. It’s distrust of government. Vaccine mandates come from government, and that’s why resistance to vaccine mandates resonates strongly among the Republican base. Antivaccine views are relatively uncommon, regardless of politics, but the concept of “health freedom” provides a banner that antivaccinationists can wave that will draw support from small government conservatives. Thus, freedom from vaccine mandates becomes conflated with “freedom.”

    The statement of course, was Ben Carson's response to a question during a debate, about Trump's anti-vaxx sentiment.

    But, you know, a lot of this is—is—is pushed by big government. And I think that’s one of the things that people so vehemently want to get rid of, big government.

    Now consider what Ben Carson had said in the past about vaccines and vaccination schedules:

    I am very much in favor of parental rights for certain types of things. I am in favor of you and I having the freedom to drive a car. But do we have a right to drive without wearing our seat belts? Do we have a right to text while we are driving? Studies have demonstrated that those are dangerous things to do, so it becomes a public safety issue. You have to be able to separate our rights versus the rights of the society in which we live, because we are all in this thing together. We have to be cognizant of other people around us and we must always bear in mind the safety of the population. That is key and that is one of the responsibilities of government.

    I am a small-government person, and I greatly oppose government intrusion into everything. Still, it is essential that we distinguish between those things that are important and those things that are just intruding upon our basic privacy. Whether to participate in childhood immunizations would be an individual choice if individuals were the only ones affected, but as previously mentioned, our children are part of our larger community. None of us live in isolation. Your decision does not affect only you — it also affects your fellow Americans.

    He was just as defensive about school vaccine requirements and schedules.

    Trump and his inane stupidity merely pushes the conspiracy and this time, because of his political ambition, he has found a use for said conspiracy among the anti-vaxxers and he and others within the right, push the notion that vaccine schedules is "big Government".

    Anti-vaccination is now about personal freedom. That is how the Conservatives are playing it. Vaccination schedules is "big Government". So even pro-vaccine doctors like Ben Carson are willing to condone anti-vaxxer sentiments if it ensures votes and support for Conservatives.

    Trump is merely among his peers in that regard. He is a conspiracy theorist driven lunatic and the Conservatives embrace him, because they are anti big Government. You know, the whole 'big Government does not get to tell me how to raise my kids.. something something' goes here.

    Rand Paul also bought into it when he was asked to respond to Trump's anti-vaxxer attitude:

    So I’m all for vaccines. But I’m also for freedom. I’m also a little concerned about how they’re bunched up. My kids had all of their vaccines, and even if the science doesn’t say bunching them up is a problem, I ought to have the right to spread out my vaccines out a little bit at the very least.

    And he isn't the only one. The whole party has gotten behind this ridiculous notion.

    Vaccine schedules are being interpreted as being "big Government" telling parents how to raise their kids. It's no wonder that Trump has such support within the base they are pandering to. Not only does he get to push his anti-vaxxer sentiment from a much bigger stage, but he also gets to feed the fears plaguing the Right about "big Government" in the process.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
  14. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Let's all for a moment imagine a world that banished all governments, police and policing and laws and such, for just 24 hrs!

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  15. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    Isn't that basically the plot of the movie The Purge?
  16. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Hmmm, am not aware of that movie, but will see if I can find it this weekend.
  17. Kristoffer Giant Hyrax Valued Senior Member

    Yep 'tis.

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