Monday, August 2, 2021

On Medium: How to Defuse Trumpian Trolling on Vaccines

Read on for why Trumpian anti-vaxxers are only trolling and why they should be treated by intellectual elites like "acts of God" or like wayward children throwing a tantrum.


  1. My stomach hurts when I read from typical progressivists that they are in favor of science.

    On the other hand, to be totally favorable to science or to what it has-been constituted is scientism.

    I've already read that the anti-vaccination movement is ideologically diverse.

    But it seems that it is predominantly right-wing at least nowadays.

    The only potentially valid point of the anti-vaccination movement is that it limits the number of vaccines that an individual takes during his life perhaps needs to be determined whether the human species may become more and more weaker or more excessively-dependent on vaccines.

    The increase in vaccines also means that the human species has probably increased the number of bacteria, viruses that are circulating in our species than decreasing.

    The typical Trumpist conservative is identical to the typical progressivist: predominantly dependent on the ideology of the group they belong to, to interpret reality in a more sophisticated way, superficially speaking.

    This means that if most of their leaders said the opposite they might have opted for vaccination and the same for the typical progressive.

    See the situation in Sweden.

    1. There are vaccine-hesitant folks, such as many African-Americans and Latinos who are distrustful of the government, and then there are anti-vaxxers who say they won't take the vaccine no matter what. The latter have made a purely political or tribal decision as a move in the culture war. Just to clarify, my article is about the second group, not the first.

  2. That's an interesting theory. Do you think that fundamentalists might also be trolling both unbelievers & mainstream members of their own faith? I ask because I often get the feeling, when listening to fundies, that not even they believe their own creed. Like Answers in Genesis might just be one massive trolling campaign against professional debunkers like Aron Ra & Richard Dawkins to divert them from productive work & waste their time in endless debates.

    Sometimes I suspect that cult leaders might not just be after wealth & power, but may also just want to see how far down the rabbit hole they can lead their followers. Maybe they actually spend a significant amount of their time trying to come up with ever stranger & more incredible dogmas, in a vain attempt to find the bottom of human credulity. After reading No Man Knows My History I came away with the impression that Mormonism may have begun as nothing more than a boyish prank on the part of Joseph Smith that was just taken too far. Maybe JS just didn't appreciate how gullible some people were until it was too late & he had amassed all these cultists who had staked their entire lives on his innocent little hoax.

    1. That's certainly a possibility. I'd put this together with the mass hypnosis/hallucination hypothesis. Trolling here isn't just the conscious decision to mislead and to waste someone else's time. The broader question is one of bad faith or what the Frankfurt School called "false consciousness."

      Especially when we're engaged in a protracted culture war, we might be inclined to exaggerate our beliefs, to push the envelope to demonstrate our fealty to the tribe, or we might just get caught up in the ecstasy of serving an idol. What we say we believe when we're temporarily crazy or carrying out some cultish agenda isn't likely what we'd believe in a calm and collected moment of philosophical self-examination.

      It's not just religious fundamentalism, then, but what Jung called our "persona" in general, our public self-image that's often phony. Fundamentalism would be an extreme case, though, a galling and obnoxious mask because it's so anachronistic in the modern world.

  3. You might like this.