Consider – a good1 person hears something from another good person, and takes it to be correct because, good person. And yet another good person hears it from the first good person, and takes it to be true … Suppose that, unfortunately, what the good people are telling each other is mistaken, and has unfortunate consequences. It is profoundly human to be influenced in forming ones opinions by who-is-saying-it, tempered by bonds of respect, friendship, liking. Unfortunately, people telling each other something, no matter how good the intentions, does not make-true.
Lookit.. it is an odd turn of history that vaccination has not been embraced as the most natural of natural medicine – enabling a person’s immune system to recognize and resist disease, wow. There is merit to using our bodies evolved ability to fight off disease.
Opposition to vaccines may have been inevitable.
For one thing, it would be fuelled by an honest if mistaken human impulse to protect our children, when the diseases they would be vaccinated for no longer seem to be a threat because vaccination worked. Protecting children is a value that has the strength to unite people, in caring and loyalty. Perhaps also – I wonder from my peculiar point of view – perhaps there is some not-particularly-unconscious resistance at play, against our common experience of people in white coats doing stuff to our bodies, a resistance that finds inappropriate expression in this mess.
So.. as vaccine-preventable diseases begin romping around making people sick, there is bound to be a reaction. I would like to see it handled well.
It would be unfortunate if the issue were to be handled by compulsion, by a diminished respect for individual choice in treatment. One factor: people may be more inclined to vaccinate their children after they hear about cases of resurgent disease, causing the percentage of not-vaccinated to fall.
Could leadership arise within the community of good people who oppose vaccination, to turn or help turn the situation around? I consider: a good person hearing an opinion from a good person who has reconsidered in light of careful study and consideration of developing circumstances..
To work our way out of this mess, it might help to hear the voices of those who would speak only if they were convinced it were right and necessary to correct a mistake, who were not at all predisposed to support vaccination but had come to an honest conviction that it is necessary.
And then, how about some honest and constructive discussion of the process of scientific evaluation, seeking a consensus between honest and humane people on both sides.
1.Hey, what about the many not-so-good people on both sides of this polarized mess? And, yeah, “good” is fluid in its meanings.