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newstasis :: a blog about improving wellness » Blog Archive » “No, You’re Not Entitled To Your Opinion”

“No, You’re Not Entitled To Your Opinion”

“No, you’re not entitled to your opinion” by Patrick Stokes is a very interesting read that tackles the notion that people are entitled to their opinion. He isn’t saying that you are not free to hold whatever opinion you like, he’s just saying that when you don’t know what you are talking about or cheery-pick the evidence to bolster your opinion, you should probably keep your mouth shut. To do anything other than that is intellectually dishonest at best and dangerous at worst.

He is speaking about the anti-vaccination movement and to some of the untrained people who spearhead the movement. The article is well thought-out, presents a clear point of view and is supported by enough evidence to make this POV compelling enough to consider.

His point is clearly demonstrated in the comments. One of the anti-vaccination advocates makes a statement to the effect of “you bring your evidence and I’ll bring my evidence and we can debate the issue.” This is a little frightening given the abundance of research that has been done on vaccination over the years how there is no link to autism - Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 study linking MMR to autism and bowel disease has been shown to be fraudulent and it has also been show that he has a conflict of interest when publishing the releasing the study.

The numbers don’t lie, vaccinations are safe and societies that have the highest uptake of vaccinations have the lowest incidents of the diseases that they target. And make no mistake about it, the measles, mumps, rubella, small pox, diphtheria, pertussis and lockjaw are serious and potentially fatal. Reducing the incidence rates for these diseases is not a bad thing regardless of the growing number of immunized people who don’t want their own children immunized from them.

When someone is spouting off about things they don’t know anything about without being clear that they don’t know anything about it, they have forfeit their right to have an opinion and should stop talking about the topic.

I am pro vaccination and pro science, and I believe the world is better off preventable diseases that cause suffering.

2 Responses to ““No, You’re Not Entitled To Your Opinion”

  • 1
    Tony
    November 3rd, 2012 21:20

    TedTalk (About Research Fraud) — What doctors don’t know about the drugs they prescribe. — Dr Ben Goldacre

    http://www.wimp.com/doctorsdrugs/

  • 2
    Pat
    November 5th, 2012 15:42

    Hi Tony,

    Great TedTalk!

    The autism vaccination myth is exactly what Ben Goldacre’s talk is about. Andrew Wakefield got a study published in Lancet that was freakish - it demonstrated that MMR vaccinations were linked to autism. But there study was flawed, the conclusions that were drawn were baseless and the author may have had a conflict of interest. No other study was able to replicate the findings and over the following years the truth about the study came out.

    This Tedtalk It goes a long way to reinforcing Patrick Stokes opinion.

    Thanks for providing it.
    Pat