Anti-Vax Logic

Why do some people think that vaccination is unwise?

Answer 1. Don’t chance a bad side effect from the vaccine. God is already protecting the righteous (self).

Answer 2. It’s bad ethics to get the vaccine.

The trolley ethical dilemma. If you do nothing, five die. If you pull the switch, they live but another one dies.
A Dreadful Choice

Other anti-Vax arguments remind me of the Trolley Problem in ethics. The trolley is barreling down the tracks, heading towards five people. If you do nothing, the five will be killed. However, there is a switch you could throw. It causes the trolley to change its path. That would save the five, but  would kill another person who is standing on the other track.

Even professional philosophers disagree on the trolley problem’s ethical solution. 70% would throw the switch, reckoning that one dying versus five is an ethical tradeoff, but 8% said they would not throw the switch and 22% couldn’t answer yes or no. That is 30% opt for no action.

Although the situation is different, it has strong similarities. If one chooses the vaccine, There can be a high impact (although with low probability) of the decision killing oneself, while no choosing have a low chance of being the identified cause of a person dying from covid-19.

That nearly mimics the 2/3 of adults who have accepted the vaccine (act) and the 1/3 that hasn’t (don’t act).

Of course, that earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and fires are acts of God are not countenanced when the vaccine is discussed among anti-vaxxers.

Usually they stay into the same memory dust heap as all the other precautions taken without second thought. Examples such as many other vaccines, seat belts, not leaving loaded guns where children can pick them up, and locking the door would fail the “don’t take action” posture of anti-vax.

Trolley Problem Image. Original: McGeddonVector: Zapyon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


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