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’m proud to announce that I have been blocked by a far-left facebook page for my skepticism about the current rampant conspiracism surrounding the Iowa caucus. All I really said was that it’s much easier to explain it with incompetence and poor planning instead of some long-winded conspiracy. Are we really supposed to believe that […]Read More Conspiracism Right And Left: The Iowa Caucus Debacle
What is It? Selective sharing involves sharing and promoting independent research to frame an issue in a way that is congenial to the propagandist. Drawing on independent research avoids people’s natural suspicions of interest-group funded or produced research (see: biased production). It also makes it harder to detect as propaganda. For a full set of […]Read More Selective Sharing
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
The Vaccine Debates Part 2: With Whom Is the Debate? Intro As I’ve been looking more into the vaccination “debate” (I’m using quotes because amongst scientists and physicians there is no debate) I’ve discovered a wealth of literature. Because I am far from an expert in biochemistry I will not discuss the individual […]Read More The Vaccine Debate Part 2: With Whom is the Debate and Should We Listen?