In this post I cover moral arguments vaccine skeptics make for non-medical exemptions. Skip to Part 3 if you’re just interested in the argument. In Part 1, I briefly make some general comments on the norms and practices for engaging vaccine skeptics and hesitants. In Part 2, quickly outline the strongest possible interpretation of medical […]Read More Vaccine Skeptics are Pro-Vaccine: Moral Arguments Part 2
This article is written for those who have friends or family that have been mislead by anti-vaccine propaganda but aren’t yet fully indoctrinated. Those who dogmatically oppose vaccines will not change their minds so spend your time elsewhere. There are, however, many fence-sitters that can be reached through intermittent, careful, patient, and kind interactions. Changing […]Read More Vaccine Skeptics are Pro-Vaccine: Moral Arguments
Welcome to Part 2 of my mini-series on better reasoning (Lesson 1). In today’s lesson we’re going to learn how to prove that you are right every single time–even when you’re not! You will learn about two important concepts: confirmation bias and counter-exampling. Confirmation bias is our brain’s tendency to see only confirming evidence for […]Read More How to Ensure You Are Always Right
The internet is a fantastic place. You can find some of the most intelligent ideas and some of the most fantastically stupid ideas. Lately, the internet has been providing more of the latter. My response hasn’t been what I’d like it to be. For over ten years I’ve been studying conspiracism, science denialism, and political […]Read More The Skeptic and The Fool
We’re entering election season in the US of A, so it’s time to pollute the internet’s comments sections with fear mongering, bad arguments, strawmen, and knee-jerk reactions. Of course, these rhetorical techniques and fallacious argument forms pervade all domains of discourse. But when it comes to political discourse in ‘Murica, expect to find these cranked […]Read More IF YOU LIKE SOCIALISM SO MUCH, WHY DON’T YOU MOVE TO VENEZUELA?
I. Introduction Imagine that you can only know what you discover by yourself through trial and error. There are no websites, no books, no teachers, not even other people to talk to. How much could you know about the world? Do you think you could figure out which chemical molecules compose your food? What was […]Read More How and Why Anti-Science Propaganda Works
Introduction It’s nearly impossible to understand contemporary ethics without understanding the word ‘normative’ as it’s used in philosophy. Since this post is mostly about a kind of argument in ethics, I’ll get the definition out of the way. Perhaps the easiest way to understand normative statements is to contrast them with descriptive statements. “She hit […]Read More The Emperor of Fallacies: The Is/Ought Problem