Published on February 8th, 2015 | by Rayne2
22 Things We Should Be Saying to Mums Who Don’t Vaccinate: Part 2
It’s no secret that I dislike anti-vaxxers. I dislike their opinion. I dislike their warping of science. I dislike their proud wilful ignorance and I’m done being nice to them. I don’t respect them or their ideas. It’s tiring having to repeat myself to people who don’t want to learn, the same people who can’t recognise that they are the ultimate manifestation of the Dunning-Kruger effect. The same people who disregard hundreds of studies from decades of research by thousands of scientists with thousands of hours of training and research and knowledge between them.
I’m done with you. Done with the return of preventable diseases. Done with anti-vaxxers hiding behind “parental choice“. I’m done with anti-vaxxers proudly proclaiming their wilful ignorance to the world and being too damn stupid to understand that wilful ignorance is a bad thing. I’m done with the arrogant elitist cult who let this shit loose on the Internet for me to tear apart. I’m sick of the cult who thinks they’re a revolutionary counter-culture by not adhering to modern medicine like the rest of us – those same people who feel that evidence equates to whatever further reinforces their original belief system.
Newsflash: The definition of “fact” is not: “a circle-jerk echo chamber of an individuals confirmation bias“. Stop popping painkillers and taking insulin if modern evidence-based medicine is so terrible.
In an effort to stop repeating myself when engaging with anti-vaxxers (and by extension, all science deniers), I present to you 22 Things We Should Be Saying to Mum’s Who Don’t Vaccinate:
1. You’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. Your inability to understand anything about science doesn’t mean you get to fill the gaps in your knowledge with whatever conspiracy theory that makes you feel elite and superior about knowing nothing.
2. You have the right to an opinion, we have the right to scrutinise you. This is how the peer review process works. We have the right to call you on your bullshit. If you want your precious freedom of speech to promote the idea that vaccines cause everything because you really have no fucking clue what is going on – prepare for backlash.
3. You’re entitled to your own opinion but if you want to assert that opinion, you need to defend your assertions. The Burden of Proof is on the claimant. The Burden of Proof is not on us. If you demand to see our research, we will demand to see yours. No wiggling out of it under the guise of “Do your own research!”. This is disingenuous.
4. You need to understand that not all studies are created equal.
5. And the dose makes the poison.
6. Also that correlation does not imply causation.
7. As soon as you use the word “sheeple” or “conspiracy” or “Big Pharma” or “profits“, your opinion is lowered to nothing more than conspiracy theory. If you believe there is a conspiracy against you, you are the problem, not the hundreds of thousands of imaginary people who would need to be involved in the conspiracy for your conspiracy to be plausible.
9. Logical fallacies are not facts. An Appeal to Nature is not an argument against vaccines. “Nature equals good and chemical equals bad” is not a valid argument. The naturalness of a substance is not an indication of its safety.
10. There isn’t “two sides of the story”, this is called the Balance fallacy. There is scientific fact and there is baseless opinion.
11. Your inability to understand how the scientific method works is not evidence against it.
12. There are always people who know more than you, learn from them. The idea is to critique evidence to update our knowledge, not desperately hold onto opinions because you have an inability to admit when you’re wrong. The aim of science is to constantly update knowledge and be self-correcting. Science adapts to new information. This helps in producing an effective and safe product or technology.
13. Learn what a fucking toxin is.
14. Learn what fucking chemicals are.
15. Your friends have a right to protect their children from a child who has an increased risk of catching diseases due to your choices. Especially if their child is immunocompromised. You are not being persecuted because of your choices. You’re not bloody Galileo. Galileo was smart.
16. When you make a choice for yourself or for someone else that can and will have direct effect on the wider population – there are consequences. If you want the choice to not vaccinate your child, you need to live the consequences of that. No schooling, no entry to certain university degrees, some doctors won’t see you or your children because you have placed your child and your community at risk and now in Australia – no access to certain government financial assistance payments.
17. Your child deserves the best medical care (like all children) however, be aware of the blinding irony of demanding that medical science treat and save your child from a vaccine preventable disease that could have prevented in the first place by using medical science. If it isn’t your job to vaccinate your children to protect others – why do you expect others to help yours? I’m certain anti-vaxxers don’t understand that if everything thought “It’s not my job to protect the community from disease“, we’d all be fucking dead.
18. When you deny that vaccine preventative diseases have killed people – you spit in the fact of every man, woman and child that has died from vaccine preventative diseases. This makes you an arsehole. No exceptions.
19. Your child was always going to be autistic. Stop saying “I lost my child to autism“. You child is still fucking alive but they may not be if they catch measles or whooping-cough. Stop thinking of your child as tragedy. Children are not tragedies, parents who think their children are tragedies are the real tragedies.
20. Understand that the statement “(insert illness) was unknown until vaccinations” will be met with laughter. Disease causing viruses and bacteria and other medical issues have been around for a very long time before the invention of the scientific method and medicine – they have just been unknown due to limited knowledge or they were known by another name. Epilepsy has been around a long time and before medical science created anticonvulsants the treatment was to perform an exorcism. Before medical science found the cause of Epilepsy, it was thought that Epilepsy was caused by demons. We now have updated knowledge that we can share across the world to help people. Medicine constantly updates its knowledge using the scientific method.
21. Understand the difference between a side effect and an adverse reaction. Understand the concept of risk-benefit ratio which should be analysed with proper scientific knowledge, not the pseudoscience of the anti-vaccine movement. How can one make a fully informed risk-benefit analysis when the anti-vaxxer movement is denying the existence of herd immunity and denying the dangers of vaccine preventable diseases?