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Thread: Catholics and the HPV vaccine

  1. #1 Catholics and the HPV vaccine 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    This really annoyed me, mostly the last paragraph:
    http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/...611/story.html

    It is an editorial written by a catholic bishop trying to defend the descision not to give out HPV vaccines in catholic schools.

    What I don't understand is how someone could risk their child's life if they decide to not heed the advice for abstinence. It also seems to contradict John 8, in that it advocates risking someone's life if they "sin".


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  3. #2  
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    You won't get any sense from a cleric. All you get is religious rhetoric.

    If you want to be immunised - get immunised, pay no heed to what some berk in a fany frock in the Vatican is saying.


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  4. #3 Re: Catholics and the HPV vaccine 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Golkarian
    This really annoyed me, mostly the last paragraph:
    http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/...611/story.html

    It is an editorial written by a catholic bishop trying to defend the descision not to give out HPV vaccines in catholic schools.

    What I don't understand is how someone could risk their child's life if they decide to not heed the advice for abstinence. It also seems to contradict John 8, in that it advocates risking someone's life if they "sin".
    While I agree with you keep prespective. To a Catholic abstinence isn't "advise," it's a command. Failure to follow will lead to all sorts of bad things both in this world and the next. From that perspective not issuing HPV vaccine isn't any risk at all since you shouldn't be having unmarried sex anyways. Though I haven't been a practising Catholic in many years, I think I still understand their position and why they aren't willing to teach or support anything that could be contrude as support for sex outside of married.

    I think it is a dangerous and unrealistic like many blind religiously-based idiological positions.
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    It's not that simple though. In Canada the school boards are traditionally divided into Protestant and Catholic, since religion is still taught in Canadian schools, although somehow we still manage to come out the other side more secular than Americans. There aren't too many Catholics in Alberta, but removing the vaccination program from the Catholic public schools would make the government's attempts to vaccinate children a lot harder. It's easy to convince parents to sign a paper and have their kid vaccinated while at school, it's a real pain in the ass to try and get them to come to a doctor and do it.

    Thankfully, Quebec did away with the religious school system when I was in primary school. I was still had "moral and religious studies" in high school .

    Edit: It's important with the HPV vaccine that the girls get vaccinated before they become sexually active.
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  6. #5 Re: Catholics and the HPV vaccine 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    While I agree with you keep prespective. To a Catholic abstinence isn't "advise," it's a command. Failure to follow will lead to all sorts of bad things both in this world and the next. From that perspective not issuing HPV vaccine isn't any risk at all since you shouldn't be having unmarried sex anyways. Though I haven't been a practising Catholic in many years, I think I still understand their position and why they aren't willing to teach or support anything that could be contrude as support for sex outside of married.

    I think it is a dangerous and unrealistic like many blind religiously-based idiological positions.
    But what about the possibility that a person will not choose to be catholic? Isn't this cleric essentially claiming the right to visit a material punishment upon unbelievers?

    "Do what my religions says, or I'll force you to get a horrible disease for defying it."
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  7. #6 Re: Catholics and the HPV vaccine 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    "Do what my religions says, or I'll force you to get a horrible disease for defying it."
    Pretty much. If not HPV, than at risk for something else in this life, and an eternity of torture in the next.
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  8. #7 Re: Catholics and the HPV vaccine 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    "Do what my religions says, or I'll force you to get a horrible disease for defying it."
    Pretty much. If not HPV, than at risk for something else in this life, and an eternity of torture in the next.
    Psychological threats (such as uninformed statements about the afterlife) are allowed. Withholding a vaccine, though, is corporeal in nature, and modern society doesn't grant religion power over the body (anymore), only the mind.

    The disease may have consequences that will last past the point where the child reaches adulthood and thereby gains the right to choose their faith for themselves. (I think it's kind of weird that parents/guardians retain that right throughout one's childhood.) Essentially that crosses the line by allowing the church to physically influence a person's adult life without their consent.
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  9. #8 Re: Catholics and the HPV vaccine 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    "Do what my religions says, or I'll force you to get a horrible disease for defying it."
    Pretty much. If not HPV, than at risk for something else in this life, and an eternity of torture in the next.
    Psychological threats (such as uninformed statements about the afterlife) are allowed. Withholding a vaccine, though, is corporeal in nature, and modern society doesn't grant religion power over the body (anymore), only the mind.

    The disease may have consequences that will last past the point where the child reaches adulthood and thereby gains the right to choose their faith for themselves. (I think it's kind of weird that parents/guardians retain that right throughout one's childhood.) Essentially that crosses the line by allowing the church to physically influence a person's adult life without their consent.
    That was very nicely said and I'm not sure there is a good answer, because there are other health reasons why parents might not want to vaccinate their children. That's also a very controversial subject with good arguments on both sides. The reason I even bring it up is because a catholic parent could use that argument and not even bring religion up as the main issue.
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  10. #9  
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    In the other hand it's private Catholic schools, not publicly funded which gives them considerable discretion. Parents can in most states get the vaccine at public clinics and other health service providers. While I completely disagree with the Catholics position on use of condoms, HPV vaccine and other issues, I'm not willing to trump their rights to opt out of doing things against their faith; that's all the more true if it's available from public funded sources.



    The child as they grow up can also get the vaccine, in many places without parental consent at 15 or 16 from outside the school anyhow. Obviously at 18 they can also get it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    In the other hand it's private Catholic schools, not publicly funded which gives them considerable discretion. Parents can in most states get the vaccine at public clinics and other health service providers. While I completely disagree with the Catholics position on use of condoms, HPV vaccine and other issues, I'm not willing to trump their rights to opt out of doing things against their faith; that's all the more true if it's available from public funded sources.

    The child as they grow up can also get the vaccine, in many places without parental consent at 15 or 16 from outside the school anyhow. Obviously at 18 they can also get it.
    The article was referring to public Catholic schools though, just to reiterate. Alberta, like most of Canada, maintains the public funding of religious schools.

    18 might be a little late for some girls though, I think the figure is that most girls who has had more than 1 sexual partner have been infected with one of the major HPV strains covered by the vaccine.

    The other concern in Canada is that with a public health system, a girl putting herself at risk for developing cervical cancer is increasing the potential burden on the public expense that the vaccine helps reduce. We have an invested interest as a society to promote vaccine adherence for the good of the girls as well as the public at large.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    The article was referring to public Catholic schools though, just to reiterate. Alberta, like most of Canada, maintains the public funding of religious schools.
    Didn't know how Canadian schools are set up--interesting and it changes my perspective a bit. Is school also considered a primary source of health care for young adults in Canada?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    The article was referring to public Catholic schools though, just to reiterate. Alberta, like most of Canada, maintains the public funding of religious schools.
    Didn't know how Canadian schools are set up--interesting and it changes my perspective a bit. Is school also considered a primary source of health care for young adults in Canada?
    Not generally, but schools are often used for vaccination campaigns. I got all of my school age vaccines at school, except for 2nd and 3rd inoculations of Hep. B since I had a small reaction and had the later doses in a doctor's office instead.

    Both health care and education are under provincial control though, so things will vary from province to province.

    I looked at the Government of Alberta's website, specifically specifies that in a certain community served by a school district, a protestant or Catholic minority has the right to establish a separate school board. This is because it would be expected when that law was written that Christian theology would be taught in the school boards no matter what and was likely created with the intention of preventing tension between Catholic and Protestant communities over what should be taught in school religion classes.

    "When Alberta became a province in 1905, section 17 of the Alberta Act, 1905 affirmed the right of minority faith communities, either Protestant or Roman Catholic, to form a separate school district. This provision is continued by section 29 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which preserves existing constitutional rights. This right is also enshrined in our law as a result of section 93 of the British North America Act, 1867 (now the Constitution Act, 1867). The School Act sets out the procedures to be followed when exercising the rights provided for in the other two pieces of legislation."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    In the other hand it's private Catholic schools, not publicly funded which gives them considerable discretion. Parents can in most states get the vaccine at public clinics and other health service providers. While I completely disagree with the Catholics position on use of condoms, HPV vaccine and other issues, I'm not willing to trump their rights to opt out of doing things against their faith; that's all the more true if it's available from public funded sources.



    The child as they grow up can also get the vaccine, in many places without parental consent at 15 or 16 from outside the school anyhow. Obviously at 18 they can also get it.
    That's a fair argument, so long as they make no effort to actively prevent anyone from getting the vaccine, I wouldn't coerce them into helping. (At least fully private schools. Publicly funded schools ought to concede to the public's interest, as tiredsleepy was pointing out.)
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    There is a question about reasonable protection of children who cannot decide for themselves. For example, it's a parent's choice whether or not they beat their kids, but the state has a right to step in to protect the child when necessary. At what point does failure to vaccinate and failure to offer proper medical treatment become a form of abuse where the state can come in to protect the child? Does religion have to trump the state 100% of the time?

    I could share a few stories about parents who let their kids die from easily treatable illness because they felt prayer was best and god didn't want their kids to have something as basic as insulin. This discussion on HPV reminds me a bit of that.
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    few points;
    saying things like 'lets get these girls vaccinated before they become active' is a bit creepy, treating the girls like animals or cattle to be controlled and vaccinated.
    Since many schools are run by religious and parents want their children in those religious schools and the schools are run on religious principles, then you cannot expect to run roughshod over their rights.
    Nor can you expect a religious group to denounce/renounce their beliefs for your convenience.
    The vaccine can be given to young women even in their 20's, when they have their own job and can pay for it themselves, and not worry about being a burden on the state 8). It costs the parents, what, 500 dollars if they go to a doctor themselves and its free if they are vaccinated at school.
    I think that since the girls are not sick before they get the vaccine and the disease is not like an airborne contagion there is no crime in refusing to be part of a vaccination scheme. The girls parents can at any time bring their daughter to be vaccinated whenever they wish by their doctor though it will cost them 500 dollars and the worry about why their 15 or 16 year old daughter wants to be vaccinated.
    I don't see what is wrong with helping to produce healthy and well controlled young adults, after they leave school and home they are free to do what they wish.
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    As premarital sexuality is not a natural state, according the church, it doesn’t approve condoms, etc.. Yet, the natural state persists, as it ever did and will, incurring sexual diseases, sometimes. There were other diseases before HPV/HPV. Nature usually wins out, not doctrine.
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    The decision to vaccinate should be based on science and reason, not superstition. Regardless of the superstitions of the parents and faculty of public schools, vaccinations that can prevent diseases in adulthood, particularly those that can be fatal and are anything but uncommon, is a good decision.

    Statistics show that, in spite of religious superstition, people have sex. Most in their early adulthood. To argue that offering a preventative medicine somehow prevents superstitious adults from continuing to indoctrinate their children with their superstitions is not only fallacious, it's ridiculous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by questor
    As premarital sexuality is not a natural state, according the church, it doesn’t approve condoms, etc.. Yet, the natural state persists, as it ever did and will, incurring sexual diseases, sometimes. There were other diseases before HPV/HPV. Nature usually wins out, not doctrine.
    Nature also has swans. Monogamy is also a natural state.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    The decision to vaccinate should be based on science and reason, not superstition. Regardless of the superstitions of the parents and faculty of public schools, vaccinations that can prevent diseases in adulthood, particularly those that can be fatal and are anything but uncommon, is a good decision.

    Statistics show that, in spite of religious superstition, people have sex. Most in their early adulthood. To argue that offering a preventative medicine somehow prevents superstitious adults from continuing to indoctrinate their children with their superstitions is not only fallacious, it's ridiculous.
    The preventative medicine is freely available for anyone who wants it. In a religious context the question is only one of the correctness of forcing a religious to to act against their will and conscience. The medicine is available from doctors not from religious.
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    Should the religious be permitted to claim it's against their superstitions to vaccinate against diphtheria, measles, rubella, and polio? These are some of the diseases for which we have very good vaccinations to prevent and the prevention has been highly successful. HPV is no different. It's a disease that exists in reality whereas religious motivations are driven by superstitions which are not part of reality.

    It's a very significant and costly disease that can be prevented with a relatively inexpensive (relative to the treatment and hospice that accompanies the disease) vaccination in childhood. Vaccinations work by treating populations. If the religious want to be members of the population of rational society, they should be mandated to receive vaccinations (which they are in the case of diphtheria, measles, rubella, and polio).

    Religious nuts are free to send their kids to private schools or homeschool, thus making them free to remove themselves from the population of public school children. But as long as my tax dollars are to be spent on public education, the children sent there to interact in this very large population deserve to be vaccinated.

    There simply is no good, rational reason to not vaccinate that isn't grounded in superstition. Which is the same as being willfully ignorant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Should the religious be permitted to claim it's against their superstitions to vaccinate against diphtheria, measles, rubella, and polio? These are some of the diseases for which we have very good vaccinations to prevent and the prevention has been highly successful. HPV is no different. It's a disease that exists in reality whereas religious motivations are driven by superstitions which are not part of reality.

    It's a very significant and costly disease that can be prevented with a relatively inexpensive (relative to the treatment and hospice that accompanies the disease) vaccination in childhood. Vaccinations work by treating populations. If the religious want to be members of the population of rational society, they should be mandated to receive vaccinations (which they are in the case of diphtheria, measles, rubella, and polio).

    Religious nuts are free to send their kids to private schools or homeschool, thus making them free to remove themselves from the population of public school children. But as long as my tax dollars are to be spent on public education, the children sent there to interact in this very large population deserve to be vaccinated.

    There simply is no good, rational reason to not vaccinate that isn't grounded in superstition. Which is the same as being willfully ignorant.
    What you insultingly term superstition is the apple of someone else's eye.
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    Hi Mise.

    apple…


    Newton showed that the apple falls to the ground according to the same laws that govern the moon’s orbit of the earth. And with this he made the old differentiation between earthly and heavenly phenomena obsolete.


    Eden’s Long Line

    Methuselah lived for 969 years. He died on the 11th of Cheshvan of the year 1656 (anno mundi, after creation), 7 days before the beginning of the great flood. According to Rashi on Gen. 7:4, the holy one delayed the flood specially because of the 7 days of mourning for the righteous Methuselah in his honour.

    The recent find of Austi 2:5 scroll tells us that Adam was yet alive on that day, he, too, boarding the ark of Noah. In fact, I ran into him just the other day, looking innumerable years old, but aging quite gracefully. Eve was at his side, yet gleaming with the ripeness obtained from Eden’s apple. They revealed the formula for true apple cider, which would result in an elixir not vinegar: Eden’s sinful apple, the cause of it, made for harsh apple cider, but, when it was heated with sulfurous brimstone it soon turned smooth, the hell boiled out of it!

    (Methuselah was son of Enoch and the Grandfather of Noah.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    What you insultingly term superstition is the apple of someone else's eye.
    Whether you find it insulting or not, it is, in fact, superstition.
    An ignorant or irrational worship of the Supreme Deity; excessive exactness or rigor in religious opinions or practice; extreme and unnecessary scruples in the observance of religious rites not commanded, or of points of minor importance; also, a rite or practice proceeding from excess of sculptures in religion. [1913 Webster]
    Or, in short, just an irrational belief. I see no good reason to tip-toe around reality to accommodate your own irrational beliefs. If you're going to pretend to have apples that don't exist, you shouldn't feel insulted when you're looked upon as strange when you pretend to eat them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    What you insultingly term superstition is the apple of someone else's eye.
    Whether you find it insulting or not, it is, in fact, superstition.
    An ignorant or irrational worship of the Supreme Deity; excessive exactness or rigor in religious opinions or practice; extreme and unnecessary scruples in the observance of religious rites not commanded, or of points of minor importance; also, a rite or practice proceeding from excess of sculptures in religion. [1913 Webster]
    Or, in short, just an irrational belief. I see no good reason to tip-toe around reality to accommodate your own irrational beliefs. If you're going to pretend to have apples that don't exist, you shouldn't feel insulted when you're looked upon as strange when you pretend to eat them.
    But people will feel insulted ...you may call that irrational if you wish.


    haha.. I really like the stuffy portentious "...from excess of sculptures .." ...haha
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    There are those for whom it should be one's duty to insult. But, again, the feeling of insult is not my responsibility. Superstitious is the most concise and complete description of the religious, particularly when it pertains to important issues of human health. In this matter alone, superstition has so often left the poor and marginalized in an increasingly marginalized and oppressed condition as it deems condoms, planned parenthood (which isn't exclusive to just abortion), sex, sexual preferences, and preventive medicines "evil" or contrary to their superstitions.

    Such human ignorance deserves no less than ridicule and insult.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    There are those for whom it should be one's duty to insult. But, again, the feeling of insult is not my responsibility. Superstitious is the most concise and complete description of the religious.
    So you were'nt trying to insult, skinwalker?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    There are those for whom it should be one's duty to insult. But, again, the feeling of insult is not my responsibility. Superstitious is the most concise and complete description of the religious.
    So you were'nt trying to insult, skinwalker?
    I've edited my post above for clarity. The insult is not my problem. The truth and reality are very often insulting to those who chose not to believe them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    There are those for whom it should be one's duty to insult. But, again, the feeling of insult is not my responsibility. Superstitious is the most concise and complete description of the religious.
    So you were'nt trying to insult, skinwalker?
    I've edited my post above for clarity. The insult is not my problem. The truth and reality are very often insulting to those who chose not to believe them.
    I don't think you'd last very long in an Islamic state, skinwalker.
    So now you know you might be insulting people I guess you could call people by the terms they call themselves.
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    In debate, ideas are here to be factually insulted in that they can be torn apart, which often can be seen as a kind of reflection on the idea holders, as some have become their ideas, one and the same; yet, for me anyway, I don't know anyone personally here. It's just that a shorthand notation is often used, rather than saying 'your idea', 'your thinking' etc., I guess, it may get shortened to 'you'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    I don't think you'd last very long in an Islamic state, skinwalker.
    I've been to Islamic countries on several occasions. Came home alive and intact each time. I don't go to someone else's house and insult the way they set their table for diner. [/quote]

    But you're in our house at a science forum, and there's no need for us to pretend here that religious superstition isn't deserving of anything ridicule and insult for the way it treats human health, which is the topic at hand.

    So now you know you might be insulting people I guess you could call people by the terms they call themselves.
    I decline your offer. If only for the reason that I'm insulted by your irrational arguments and insulted by the very superstitions you cling to as reasons for your positions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    I don't think you'd last very long in an Islamic state, skinwalker.
    He'd do fine. I was somewhat delicate about the issue but had no problem living among the Iraqi, working with them, eating with them, doing many military missions with them, sharing in some of their private celebrations for a year. While I was somewhat careful, I never shied from religious discussions, and many of the officers, who tend to be the intellectuals, have a strong and sincere interest in other religions and how it relates to culture and every aspect of family life.

    Our one dimensional image of Muslims as just that--and it's often wrong. Among other shortfalls in the American educational system is serious lack learning about this great religion which effects so much that’s in our security interest right now.
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    oo don't do it skinwalker, don't call militant Islamics irrational and superstitious; one of my neighbours went on a dhow with some men in Saudi they cut his throat from ear to ear - I don't believe he insulted them.
    You can talk to people about this topic and that topic without trying to insult them, if they are Islamic call them Islamic not irrational and superstitious; if they are Christian, call them that; if they are Jewish, call them that.
    And everyone will get along fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    oo don't do it skinwalker, don't call militant Islamics irrational and superstitious; one of my neighbours went on a dhow with some men in Saudi they cut his throat from ear to ear - I don't believe he insulted them.
    You can talk to people about this topic and that topic without trying to insult them, if they are Islamic call them Islamic not irrational and superstitious; if they are Christian, call them that; if they are Jewish, call them that.
    And everyone will get along fine.
    By definition all religious people are irrational.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjmounes
    By definition all religious people are irrational.
    Close, but not quite. Religious people are often very rational people. The issue is that they hold a belief in the absence of (and sometimes in direct contradiction to) evidence, and THAT is not a rational act. However, as for the rest of their life, or them as a human being, they can be very rational people, indeed.
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  36. #35  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,035
    Quote Originally Posted by mise
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    The decision to vaccinate should be based on science and reason, not superstition. Regardless of the superstitions of the parents and faculty of public schools, vaccinations that can prevent diseases in adulthood, particularly those that can be fatal and are anything but uncommon, is a good decision.

    Statistics show that, in spite of religious superstition, people have sex. Most in their early adulthood. To argue that offering a preventative medicine somehow prevents superstitious adults from continuing to indoctrinate their children with their superstitions is not only fallacious, it's ridiculous.
    The preventative medicine is freely available for anyone who wants it. In a religious context the question is only one of the correctness of forcing a religious to to act against their will and conscience. The medicine is available from doctors not from religious.
    Really it's a question of whether a religion has the right to do harm to those who choose not to follow it. Withholding the vaccine only harms the child if they violate religious law, but it does hurt them if they do so.

    Does the church have the right to hold that kind of punitive power over people who have not yet decided whether they want to participate?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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