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Some evidences indicated clearly that vaccinations have the potential to prevent a wide range of diseases that affecting human being. In 1900s, the vaccines were used to control various diseases that threatened human beings such as measles, tuberculosis, and diphtheria.
Most of the diseases were controlled through the use of vaccination. The specialist tried to practice more in order to save more lives of people. The pain that associated with different diseases such as measles were unimaginable.
So many people are currently disregarding the importance of these vaccines. People strongly believe that vaccinations have the potential to cause autism. The reasons why more people believe strongly that such vaccinations cause autism among young children are based on motivated reasoning, denial arguments, conspiracy theories and logical fallacies.
The occurrence of numerous cases of autism among the targeted children has raised numerous questions. This essay uses different concepts to explain why more people believe strongly that such vaccinations cause autism among young children.
Every emotion-biased process of decision-making is known as motivated reasoning. This kind of reasoning has been observed to result in denial. Autism is a major condition that affects many children. Normal children have been observed to develop the condition at a time when it is least expected.
People have developed much fear about the disease because it is clearly understood. According to Monica Prasad, she discussed about the definition of motivated reasoning.
According to the article, “motivated reasoning is a descendant of the social psychological theory of cognitive dissonance, which posits an unconscious impulse to relieve cognitive tension when a respondent is presented with information that contradicts preexisting beliefs or preferences” (Prasad et al. 5). That means people always confirm the information that they already believed with ignoring any kinds of evidences or scientific theory or data.
They believe deeply in their mind that the vaccine will cause Autism to their children and they do not want to change or challenge their “theory”. The reading goes further to argue that “people avoid inconsistency, ignore challenging information altogether, discredit the information source, or argue substantively against the challenge” (Prasad et al. 5).
People also refuse to counter argue with their believe even without any supportive evidences as Prasad et al. mentioned “no evidence had currently been found linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11 but nevertheless believed that Saddam was responsible for 9/11 and were able to give a reason for that belief” (15). Cognitive dissonance leads people feelconfident when they come across two contradictory ideas and stand on their belief.
A motivated reasoning forces people to dictate the decision-making processes and attitude changes of the individual. The individual will therefore rely on a specific evidence or motivation to make the most desirable conclusion. However, people psychologists have also presented powerful denial arguments to explain why human beings resist information.
Denial arguments have emerged whereby human beings engage ininferred justification. Denial arguments are opinions or ideas presented by individuals without giving accurate reasons to support them. This method usually occurs when an individual decides to infer any evidence capable of supporting his or her beliefs.
Inferred justification can therefore be used to explain why more people have established new ideas regarding the use of vaccines (Washington and Cook 2). Such people believe strongly that vaccinations can cause autism. The situation discourages them from vaccinating their children.
The article “Denial and the Nature of Science” by Haydn Washington and John Cook argues clearly that human beings are capable of denying. They discussed about people’s ability. They write “We all deny, and the ability to deny is an ‘amazing human phenomenon” (Washington and Cook 2).
In my opinion, the emotion of human is the reason why individuals will always deny. For example, many Norwegians were observed to avoid engaging in various thoughts associated with climate change.
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According to Washington and Cook, they write “People in Norway avoided thinking about climate change because doing so raised feelings of ‘helplessness’ and ‘guilt’ that threatened individual self-identity” (Washington and Cook 6).
The situation appeared to affect the people thoughts and identities. Similar approaches have been embraced in different regions whereby individuals decide to ignore the facts about vaccination.
Moreover, more people continue to deny the existing facts about the use of vaccines. They strongly believe that the use of vaccines is something that is not real and healthy. They will have to develop more faith and trust in order to accept some drugs from different doctors, pharmacy companies, and public health workers.
The increasing cases of autism cause the feeling of guilty for some people who think vaccine is good and change their mind (Specter 3). As the result more and more people ignore the scientific evidences and the use of vaccines.
This fact explains why the percentage of vaccinations in the United Kingdom has fallen drastically. As well, many parts of Wales and England recorded new cases of measles from 2006 and 2007 (Prasad et al. 97). Similar observations have been recorded in the United States.
Conspiracy theories and logical fallacies
Conspiracy theories and logical fallacies are also the reason for people why they engage in denial. For instance, a logical fallacy is an illusion or trick used by leaders to deceive individuals. A conspiracy theory is a hypothetical argument explaining how some individuals, groups, or organizations might have been involved in a certain harmful situation (Washington and Cook 2).
According to Washington and Cook, they write “If one disagrees with a view held by the great majority of the world’s scientists, the most common response is to assume all those scientists are involved in a vast conspiracy to deceive” (Washington and Cook 4).
That means individual person disagrees with some of the argument or fact, he will think that will be a unacceptable lie to deceive people just like the climate change mentioned by Washington and Cook.
For example, some people might state that the safety of different vaccines is nothing but a conspiracy just in order to increase the benefit of the vaccine companies (Washington and Cook 2). Also, some people may believe that the argument is a logical fallacy.
Some people might ignore the ideas with the safety of different vaccines even with the powerful medical or scientific reports just like the climate change mentioned by Washington and Cook that “climate has changed naturally in the past and therefore current climate change must be natural” (Washington and Cook 13).
People always focus on the illogically phenomenon but the supporting evidences. So more people refute and ignore the evidences supporting the effectiveness and safety of vaccine and will think drugs or other medication provided by the doctors will be the best way to treat Autism rather than taking the vaccine.
People are always the skeptics and will always work hard in order to approach the truth. According to the article “Denial and the Nature of Science” byWashington and Cook, they write “Skepticism is about seeking the truth and realizing the world is a complex place.
Skepticism is about stepping away from superstition and dogma. Genuine skepticism in science is one of the ways that science progresses, examining assumptions and conclusions (Washington and Cook 1).
People can improve themselves, even the world with a real skepticism which address the questions with logic, statements and evidence. But sometimes individual person will also question various evidences and eventually ignore the suggested theories or arguments.
This practice becomes a true action of denial. Therefore, the increasing cases of Autism among the immunized children have led to a new form of skepticism. Then denial has been used widely to reject the effort of a well-established occurrence and fact on the use of the vaccine on Autism.
That is one of the reasons why people strongly believe that vaccine cause Autism (Specter 1). Some medical and scientific report has indicated clearly that vaccine is secure.
The concepts of fallacy, motivated reason, and conspiracy have encouraged more people to disregard the use of vaccinations. However, failing to vaccinate children is something that can affect their health outcomes (Specter 3).
Scientific evidences also show conclusively that such vaccines are healthy and safe. It is therefore necessary for parents to consider every scientific fact in order to embrace the benefits of vaccines. The practice will support the health needs of many children.
Prasad, Monica, Andrew Perrin, Kieran Bezila, Steve Hoffman, Kate Kindleberger, Kim Manturuk and Ashleigh Powers. “‘There Must Be a Reason’: Osama, Saddam, and Inferred Justification.” Sociological Inquiry 79.2 (2009): 1-20. Print.
Specter, Michael. Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens our Lives, New York: Penguin, 2009. Print.
Washington, Haydn, and John Cook. Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand, London: Earthscan Ltd, 2011. Print.