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I thought this was an interesting article on the development of "us vs them" debates and the harm caused by the lack of discussion of grey areas.

The main example is "flat Earthers" but vax/anti-vax gets a shout out.

http://gu.com/p/4g33k?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
 
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My take:

People promote polarisation because they have something to gain by it.

I suspect those who promote vaccinating on schedule and vaccine compliance actually have the most to gain by it (Messages of they are stupid/conspiracy theorists/anti science/selfish...you don't want to be associated with them might work with fence sitters.)

OTOH, vaccine critics are pissed off with this kind of treatment, and livid over the erosion of parental rights and with those who support vaccines mandates, and are not overly inclined to want to be associated with pro-vaxxers.

Note how none of this is about science.

Pro-vaxxers play offensive, and vaccine critics are defensive/reactionary...but I do not see either side laying down the gauntlet any time soon, either here or outside MDC.

I will say that pro-vaxxers will have to lay down the gauntlet first, and it will have to stay down for a long time, for vaccine critics to have any sort of trust in them. The reason they have to go first? They started it. No one is going to be nice (or identify with ) a group they perceive as abusing them, that is non-sensical. The abuse has to stop first.

As an aside, I met a flat earther the other day (he also questions the moon landing). He was the first flat earther I ever met. I think he is wrong on all counts (although my position is not particularly informed and just based on what I have been told). I also found him to be smart, kind and harmless.
 

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This was a great read. Thanks for sharing.

I'm constantly warning my peers to beware of issues presented as having "two sides." Most issues have a lot more than two sides, making polarization dishonest.
 

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I'm constantly warning my peers to beware of issues presented as having "two sides." Most issues have a lot more than two sides, making polarization dishonest.
Polarisation is dishonest.

And yet...almost all controversies end up this polarised. I think there are more powerful forces than honestly - fear is one. Anger might be another.
 

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The folks I see insisting that there is only one side to the vaccination debate are mostly on the side pushing vaccines. I'll find a few examples.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/re...dc1f586c1?sv=41609a772b9a77afd2dec64cbd03d020
To win over the tiny minority of ‘conscientious objectors’ (actually, conscience has nothing to do with it)?
I don’t want to win them over.
I want them to feel ashamed of their own stupidity. I want them to know they are vastly outnumbered because they are wrong.
And I want to give voice to the righteous fury of the rest of us that a small group of selfish people are jeopardising the health of all our children.
http://www.bluntmoms.com/vaccination-debate-one-side-facts/
I am tired of people discussing the vaccination “debate” or “both sides” of the vaccination discussion. There are not two sides to this issue. There is one side: The facts.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...ism-ebola-perspec-0213-jm-20150212-story.html

Balance? There is no balance. There is mainstream, superstrong consensus about the value of vaccination, and on the other side ... nothing else, since there is no other side. The media have made parents worry about vaccines in a lame effort to provide balance and all points of view.
So, there you have it. There is only one side. The other side should be totally shut down. Complete censorship. Definitely no grey areas!
 

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Returning to the OP, it is an interesting article and makes some good points.

One fun bit of info that is often overlooked in the arguments about heliocentrism is that the ancient ideas about the earth being at the "center" are almost always misunderstood. The ancient concepts had the earth as the "bottom" with finer substances and higher beings out there in the "spheres". The earth was generally perceived as a sort of muddy garbage dump of debris that had fallen into darkness, matter and, when you bring Judaism and Christianity into it, sin.

So the earth centered universe was by no means elevating human beings as special.

Modernism gets all excited about the specialness of people...sometimes...when we aren't hating and despising them as destroying everything.
 

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My take:


I will say that pro-vaxxers will have to lay down the gauntlet first, and it will have to stay down for a long time, for vaccine critics to have any sort of trust in them. The reason they have to go first? They started it. No one is going to be nice (or identify with ) a group they perceive as abusing them, that is non-sensical. The abuse has to stop first.
This is why polarization will never end. Because each side will just say the same thing. The other side started it. And they have to stop first, then maybe in time we will stop too. Which means it will continue forever.

Reconciliation and Peace will never happened when each side says the other side has to stop first, it can only happen simultaneously.
 

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Reconciliation and Peace will never happened when each side says the other side has to stop first, it can only happen simultaneously.

The numbers really matter here. IMO
One side had a high number of dead kids, adults too, severely disabled kids & adults and there is the other side.....

I say.....dream on to peace simultaneously! The scales are not balanced and one side is gaining weight.
 

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Reconciliation and Peace will never happened when each side says the other side has to stop first, it can only happen simultaneously.
And that works when both sides have equal power.

That people are required to do any more than say "no thanks" to vaccines shows you where the power is. Until the people in power stop infringing on human rights, it is irrational to think those whose rights are being trampled on can change the minds of their oppressors by ceasing vocalizing their opposition to being oppressed.
 

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This is why polarization will never end. Because each side will just say the same thing. The other side started it. And they have to stop first, then maybe in time we will stop too. Which means it will continue forever.

Reconciliation and Peace will never happened when each side says the other side has to stop first, it can only happen simultaneously.
I am simply being honest and real.

Are you personally interested in working to achieve peace at this moment? Or do your feeling of frustration and anger run too deep?

I rarely throw the first punch (which can go far in keeping things civil) but I do not forgive without apologies especially for repeat offenses, forget, or have any interest in letting my guard down/being a doormat.

Do you think the pro-vax movement as a whole is interested in peace? I do not think they are. I don't think non-vaxxers are either, atm, and there is no hope of it until coersive vaccine laws are off the table.

ETA: I am interested in hearing from anyone regarding these questions, not just Dakotacakes.
 

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As a lifelong nonvaxer, I want to be completely left alone.

I have done very well without Modern Medicine.

If a family wants to vaccinate, go ahead. I will not stop anyone from getting what they want in the way of health and a happy life, but keep your latex laden claws off me.
 

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It might be possible to have friendlier conversations on this forum, but those who support vaccines would have to lean over backwards to avoid linking to anyone supporting mandatory vaccination. Many of the favorite blogs and sources used are pretty hardline at this point.
 

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From the article in the OP:

As Garwood says, ultimately we all “choose our own truth”. You probably haven’t determined first hand that the Earth is a sphere and that it orbits the Sun. You (rightly) trust the people, books, photographs and whole fields of endeavour that indicate that these things are so. It is one hell of a conspiracy if they are not. Yet, it is right to admit that you do take certain people’s expertise on trust, and to think harder about why others might place their trust elsewhere. It is not, I promise you, just because they are stupid.
I don't completely agree with this. I do think it's possible to not just defer to your preferred "expert" and take their word as gospel. I was able to form my own opinion on vaccines (strong proponent of selective vaccination here! :) ). I was able to debunk the "HIV denialists" completely on my own with google scholar searches. On climatology, I am completely unable to grasp that science, and I do defer to the international scientific consensus there, but I'm well aware that I'm just kinda taking it on faith, combined with knowing there are plenty of countries with oil exports as the main drivers of their economy, who have every incentive in the world to try to debunk the consensus.

It is not, I promise you, just because they are stupid.
I agree with the author there.
 

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I can defer to experts, but only to a point. I do not, ever, shut off my own observations and reason.

For example, while as a child I accepted what I was taught (the Earth is round), if TV or movie scenes contradicted that, I would question it. I think an example will help explain my point.

A movie starts with a man on a donkey riding in an arid, flat location. It is a distance shot. He is far away. If he and his donkey simply get larger, I might question the idea that the Earth is round. The reality is that, in addition to getting larger, they seem to rise up out of the ground. That supports the claim that the Earth is round.

So while I agree that we can choose to accept expert opinion, it is the fool who discounts personal observations that discredit the "expert".
 

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Curious if anyone has further thoughts on this problem.

It is a problem.
 
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I wanted to add to this thread that it is my observation that the vaccine "controversy" is largely a manufactured problem.

Let's imagine an alternate future.

The pharmaceutical companies crash and burn because their collected scandals go beyond what anyone is willing to tolerate. They are shut down and replaced by hundreds of non-profit organizations which specialize in producing particular classes of drugs. The push to develop new vaccines dies down and the loud noise from governments and international agencies also quiets down without the behind-the-scenes pushing from pharma. Without high-paying jobs to turn to when their stint in government ends, and without a steady flow of pharma dollars influencing research, vaccine critical research expands and some of the problems that occur with vaccines begin to be admitted.

The public hysteria over various vaccine connected illnesses also begins to quiet without constant inflation from the news media (which is basically out of business as their last source of income in the US dies) and parents begin to tolerate each other again even though some vaccinate on schedule and some do not. The occasional outbreak of illness is dealt with as needed. The push to remove exemptions and force vaccines is quietly reversed. Nothing terrible occurs. There are no big outbreaks of illness, the childhood death rate in the US doesn't increase (it might even drop a bit) and chronic illnesses of children decline slightly.

For many years the US did not force vaccines to attend school. For many years the US did not have vaccination rates anywhere near as high as the current rates. No catastrophes ensued.

Lets just relax.
 

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Bumping up this thread because it is something we are working on...or not...as the case may be.
 
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This is an interesting and valuable thread. Thanks to @sciencemum for finding and sharing the article.
 
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The difference between this and other polarizing topics is that you can never ask questions, and when you do you are met with vitriol and looked at like you are dangerous or stupid or both. Why cant I ask about long term side effects? Why was I lied to about a polio outbreak in Ontario that never happened? Why was I asked if I wanted my child to die? Why was I lied to about enrolling my child in school? Why was I told that my childs reaction wasnt a big deal, when if on any other day I brought her to the clinic with those same symptoms they probably would have treated it like an emergency? And after all this, my questions were never answered. I will never trust them, because they have shown they are not trustworthy. There is no discussion, only lies and fear mongering.
 
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