Friday, February 6, 2015

Living In An Age Without Reason

Bumpersticker, Pittsburgh, 2014

As a young child I had measles, more than one form.  My older brother was exposed to chickenpox, mumps, and measles at school, and he basically infected our household.  We'd all been vaccinated against smallpox, which left a flat shiny scar on your upper left arm, and been given the oral vaccine against polio.  All of the other maladies that can plague childhood had yet to have their vaccines developed and readily available.
By the time my children were born (1989, 1991) there were vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, diptheria, pertussis, hepatitis A&B, polio, tetanus, and probably other stuff too.  I know that there's been a growing paranoia that vaccinations cause autism, and a myriad of other ills as well, but the simple truth is there is ZERO science to back up this claim.  Nada, nyet, nil.  So why does the anti-vaxxer movement continue to grow, and diseases that my children's generation didn't have to contend with are making a come back?  Is it simply paranoia mixed with idiocy?  No, it's much more insidious than that because you have parents - parents who were vaccinated as children, it should be noted - unwilling to accept the responsibility of what their infected child can do to any other person they come in contact with.  This indicates a lack of empathy, and by extension, a lack of humanity, a severing of the ties to community.  Without a sense and support of community, humans would never have evolved into the glorious beasts we are today.  So how have some of us so disenfranchised themselves from what is done for the greater good of the community?   I'm not quite sure.  There isn't a simple or easy answer, I'm convinced that it's multi-layered with a thick glaze of distrust for the government on top with anti-science sprinkles thrown in for good measure.  You cannot talk reason to these people.  No amount of 'proof' that you might show them will have any impact.  They embrace fully that which they believe, and YOU are the fool, the one who buys into all that crap about vaccinations being good.  It's a logic that only they can understand.

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