{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "[Serious] Why do people who are otherwise smart and thoughtful make such illogical arguments when it comes to political/societal matters?\n\nExhibit A: the people only citing the chance of death from covid for an INDIVIDUAL and when we’ve known since about week 2 in this pandemic that it’s the AGGREGATE deaths which we are worried about. \n\nI think/hope a lot of these people would never make such clueless statements at work so why is it acceptable when it comes to very serious societal matters?", "post_id": "61021bf0b586f00021d30364", "reply_count": 69, "vote_count": 19, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

[Serious] Why do people who are otherwise smart and thoughtful make such illogical arguments when it comes to political/societal matters? Exhibit A: the people only citing the chance of death from covid for an INDIVIDUAL and when we’ve known since about week 2 in this pandemic that it’s the AGGREGATE deaths which we are worried about. I think/hope a lot of these people would never make such clueless statements at work so why is it acceptable when it comes to very serious societal matters?

likefunnyhelpful
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Perhaps because I can only control my life as an individual, and not broad societal patterns? And because I’m infinitely more concerned about my own life than those of random strangers?

likesmart

Fair point. I evaluate the data, and it’s not from Tucker Carlson. Honestly I don’t watch the news, I have mask-hysteria friends and conservative friends. Here’s the data: 1) 99.998% chance I will be perfectly ok IF I contract COVID (which I already had) - given that I am early 30s, in good shape with no health conditions 2) quite literally vaccinated people are still getting and spreading the virus 3) we’ve worn masks for 18 MONTHS. And nothing, they’re useless. There is ZERO direct evidence that masks do anything to stop the spread of COVID-19. Save your observational data from the 1st 6 weeks of the pandemic that is confounded by other variables such as shutdowns for someone else 4) We have been told soo many different things time and time again that I’m done, I’ve lost trust. Vaccine companies aren’t liable for any side effects. Not even 12 months to get a vaccine is a miracle - I just want some more data. It’s quite clear that COVID overwhelmingly effects obese, old people - your precious CDC data confirms this. How about they mask and lock down? Because if the mask works then we’re good right? To name a few.

likesmart

Serious response - I think it all comes down to the fact that most people (yes, myself included) are primarily looking to support their “priors” (foundational beliefs) when evaluating new information. You can be plenty smart and well informed, but that doesn’t change the fact that you filter information through a lens that is your foundational beliefs. We aren’t balanced or dispassionate in general. Not to say we can’t be dispassionate sometimes, but honestly it’s rare. And I say this as a critique to myself as well, even though I really do try to be unbiased when presented with new facts.

likesmart

Yes, that makes sense. Thank you

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I mean, what?? Look, first of all, just because someone disagree with you regarding a sociopolitical topic, doesn't mean they're dumb and you're a genius - or vice versa Second, what do you mean by aggregate vs individual chance? It makes no sense from an epidemiologic POV - we do care about several things regarding contagion, OER/AER and R0. Each person has their own individual chance of getting infected and developing severe symptoms (around a month ago there was an article on nature regarding how different biologic characteristics can influence covid spread)

likesmarthelpful

I mean, if you're talking about the idea that, if I would have to analyze pros and cons of taking the vax, I'd also have to out into account that my decision might affect others? That a 0.3% mortality rate is one factor, but 2k dying daily is other and I would also be contributing to that? I mean, since I'm taking the devil's side - Yeah sure, but one doesn't control that. His/her/they decision to take or not take the vax wouldn't necessarily influence the others. You decide to ride your car everyday knowing that you have a very little chance to out the other's lives in dangerous (and so does they). Do you account for that over your priorities? How many people die yearly from traffix accidents? I mean, it's just a 80/20 thinking - yeah not taking the vax might start a chain of events that we enter a nuclear war with russia, but do you think it's feasible to account for it?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you fit exactly into the type of person you refer, and can’t even realize it.

likefunny

Haha I’d say I try to do enough research to ensure my arguments are within the realm of sophisticated debate.

Because risk perception is hard and something about your question tells me you don’t quite get it either…. Where do these aggregate numbers come from anyway? A whole bunch of individuals.

likefunnysmart

War has made some individuals very powerful and rich, but the collective cost on humanity is undoubtedly gruesomely negative. And yet, wars still occur. K2 is right - few societies, and certainly not America, are full of people who primarily think about the collective benefits and risks of any action - especially of any burden - before they first think about the individual impact of it. That’s human nature, like it or not.

helpful

Because us consultants feel that we know everything - including explaining medical facts based on ‘data’ that we ‘read’

likefunny

Also a great take!

Maybe your logic isn't as tight as you think.

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Also, I would like to thank everyone here (even the losers and haters) for helping me get my pro badge!

uplifting

They're not actually that smart and thoughtful. They do make stupid comments at work. They either just get corrected or don't get written down in the first place.

like

Here you go OP. It’s a good watch, like much of his other content and answers your exact question: https://youtu.be/_ArVh3Cj9rw

like

I appreciate you P1!

funny

Scoreboard!

Exhibit B? You should at least be balanced here.

How do you respond when they say: I'm just 1 person, my individual decision is negligible to overall deaths/herd immunity. From a policy perspective they may agree that we need herd immunity and its good. This is not inconsistent with believing that 1 more person (themselves) being vaccinated is has a negligible effect. I'm sure you believe both positions as well. It's not illogical. If they believe that herd immunity would never be attainable, theoretically they may never decide to get vaxxed. The most egregious mistake exhibit A is making is that the personal benefit of getting jabbed is negibile. Covid is going to be endemic, exposure rate IS going to be 100% in several years and that death rate calculation WILL apply to you eventually, it's foolish not to shift the balance from dying to living anyway you can.

OP - sad as it is, you can't make the assumption that everyone places value on benefit to others/society. If they don't, the herd immunity arguments doesn't work at all from a logical perspective. And again: What is the downstream effect of ONE person not getting a jab? Yes 20% of the population not getting vaccinate is a big deal, but 1 person the numbers are gonna be miniscule

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