Vax and fiction

 There seems to be a fair bit of anger in the community directed towards the prime minister. As far as I am aware she did not introduce Coronavirus to this country, nor is she trying deliberately to ruin everyone's day. To resort to name calling and personal attacks is, I feel, unworthy of the people of this great country. If someone has a better idea the way into politics is open - go for it.

Now, anti-vaxxers; I've heard a couple of people recently who have said, apparently quite seriously, that a healthy diet will be sufficient to protect against Covid 19. I have also heard of people finding friendships strained by the issue. How does one react to the revelation that one's friend, a hitherto seemingly sensible person, is of the view that vaccination is a bad idea? Or to look at it the other way, how does one deal with a friend who takes the illogical view that vaccination is a good idea? 

Of course it all depends on one's own view. The reasons for differences of opinion are many and varied and there are, rightly, as many opinions as people who hold them.

It all becomes a bit cloudy when people begin to confuse opinion with fact. At one end of the spectrum facts are pretty well indisputable: If I hit my head against a brick wall the action will result in a painful injury. This is a fact.  If I concentrate very hard on a rock I will be able to cause the rock to rise, unaided, into the air. This is not a fact, moreover it is demonstrably untrue.

If a person is to take an objective position on an issue, and particularly if they wish to defend it, is it not their responsibility to avail themselves of some evidence? Evidence may come in the form of supporting facts. This is the best kind of evidence. Alternatively, evidence may be circumstantial or anecdotal; it may simply be a situation or sequence of events which 'tends to suggest' that a proposition is true.

If an adopted position is subjective, like for instance, my view that Eric Clapton is the greatest living guitarist, then facts don't come into it. This is an opinion.  My teenage son and I regularly clash over our differing opinions on a range of subjects and we do occasionally have to remind each other not to present  opinions as facts. To do so diminishes what starts as a healthy discussion into verbal ping pong : "Yes it is - No it's not" which invariably leads nowhere

So where do science, religion, medicine, quackery, literature, and politics, for example, sit in the wide realm between opinion and fact?

I, personally,  attach more credence to factual evidence than circumstantial, but I wouldn't want to compel others to do the same. That is why I am a secularist. It is also why I believe that vaccination against Covid 19 is a good idea. And that's an actual f... opinion.


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