The history of vaccinations and their developed is dated back to hundreds of years ago as stated by Immunization Advisory Centre. The first vaccine was designed to not only prevent future diseases but to mainly give immunity to infectious illness in humans. While vaccines have saved and prevented significant disease outbreaks, it has also stirred up and received an adequate amount of criticism. The battle between prevention, side effects, and allergic reactions, as well as the claim of the potential onset of autism, are just a few allegations that have been fought in the more recent years. The argument presented and discussed in this paper will be against the use of vaccines due to their potential ability to cause diseases and a condition referred to as autism. By careful observation and with credible references I will attempt to present argument to determine the quality of the claim.
Presentation of Argument
Reasons to not vaccinate are many, however, in this argument the claim that demands attention is that vaccinations can cause autism and other harmful diseases. The argument is justified by scientific data that supports the claim that autism, neurological disorders, and learning disabilities were between 2.4 and 5.2 times more likely to be observed in children after being vaccinated compared to unvaccinated children (Pope). This statement alone is alarming and causes many parents and adults to question the purpose of vaccinations.
An article in a study written by Scott supports the claim that vaccines can cause a reaction or a behavior change that is typically seen in autistic children. It proves that vaccines such as MMR have been known to cause “side effects” in individual children. However, this was only made public due to parents speaking up and about shared with medical staff after they have observed these changes in their children. Therefore, science must include personal experiences in scientific research without a doubt. To get a clear picture of the danger of vaccines, one has to cover every angle to make the right judgment. The argument relies much on the appeal of emotion and fear. However, it certainly cannot deny the approved scientific back up by the CDC when it comes to the facts of the vaccine MMR and the influence it has on the neurological system (Scott, 2016). Admittedly, vaccines have potential to slow down or even stop the spread of diseases. However, there are many instances that challenge the many cases in which vaccines have done just the opposite, add an illness or permanent neurological damage. With that in mind, this argument against vaccinations due to its potential permanent harm is as follows:
P1: Vaccinations compromise natural immunity and life-changing side effects.
P2: The elements found in vaccines are harmful to the neurological system and present dangerous outcomes; specifically MMR (Mumps, Measles, and Rubella).
P3: Research is defined by more than pure numbers and their outcomes.
P4: Personal experiences and patterns in the change of behaviors, in children, after administering vaccinations, are credible research findings and bear weight just as much as any numbers and data collections.
C: Research and its information cannot always be solely based upon scientific findings. It does not include personal experiences and its detrimental conclusions, to research, which cannot be observed on a graphing scales, labs, and surveys. There are known vaccines that have been related to neurological problems and autism-like behaviors after administration, such as MMR vaccines.
Justification of Argument
Many professionals argue that vaccinating children has the strength to keep society and its spread of illnesses on a mostly safe level. For many years, beginning in 1946 when the first vaccine hit the market, scientists pride themselves to have found so many different vaccines that have kept humans safe from various illnesses (Cave). Vaccines have since decreased the number of deaths by thousands, to say the least, and has increased the number of years a human can live by large. While that alone is a tremendous and vital part to advocate for the reason to vaccinate, downfalls have been witnessed and made its appearance. For example, in 1998 Dr. Wakefield discovered that the components that are administered in the vaccine MMR (Mumps, Measles, and Rubella) bear influence on the observation that it can cause symptoms that relate to the autism spectrum disorder (Cave). Many parents reported that children after being vaccinated had shown typical behaviors one can observe in children who have autism. Sadly enough, even after many other cases have been reported, tested and found the court of vaccines has not been able to establish proof in this claim as it was based on data, graphs, and numbers instead of taking into consideration the experience and observations that apply to real everyday life (Kolodziejski).
In the article written by Scott, the definition to science and research are as follows, “The labels “scientific” and “nonscientific” are powerful markers…useful for scientists’ pursuit of authority and material resources…” (p.62) and therefore are ultimately the final drawings of any result of any test given; even in the claim on vaccinations. With this definition in mind, it is rather easy to understand that such imperative elements as a parent’s observation and daily life experience, are lacking and must become a part in the alarming matter of vaccinations and its side effects.
Another point to consider when choosing to vaccinate is that the natural ability to fight off diseases is compromised. The human body has the potential to heal and restore itself and therefore its own best immunizer. There is no need to prematurely inject a live virus to merely force immunity, objecting the body to an illness to establish protection byways of unnatural elements found in a vaccine. Allowing the body to use its resources to fight off and fight for its immunity against illnesses merely is the best way to ensure that one is not subject to the extreme side effects such as autism or other neurological disorders.
Validity of Argument
Each argument has presented claims that are reasonable and proven by research. By using scientific proof, every claim has the potential to build a reliable foundation for the case to be accurate and cogent. However, in the opposing argument, the appeal to emotion and fear becomes more transparent as the discussion has little to no evidence that a child is indeed better off without vaccines. Nowhere in the argument can one identify the validity of the facts, even though research is presented by known and knowledgeable scientists and research methods. While one case shows efficacy (for the argument), the opposing side is lacking much needed, “… connection between the premises and the conclusion” (Hardy et al. sec. 3.1). Furthermore, the opposing claim has many instances that rely on the bias. This comes from the fact that the research that is presented in the form of human observations, i.e., parents reporting, personal experiences which in this case is not enough to bring this argument into valid reasoning standing. As stated in the textbook written by Hardy, Foster and Zúñiga y Postigo, “A cognitive bias is a psychological tendency to filter information through our own subjective beliefs, preferences, or aversions, a tendency that may lead us to accept poor reasoning” allowing for the opposing argument to be lead to assumptions and erroneous conclusion rather than valid.
Overall, the argument presented in this paper is one that is highly deductive on the disadvantages of vaccines. While many medical professionals, have the ability and indeed already have proven that vaccines are of utmost importance to society, the other side of the argument has yet to prove their point of view. For instance, Dr. Wakefield’s argument has left key information in his assertations thereby making himself vulnerable to future claims that vaccines can cause autism and other illnesses. This issue can be addressed by focusing on some fundamentals of philosophy such as critical thinking, rational arguments, questioning and simple logic. However, the theory that was applied in the opposing case may lead to other evaluations and conclusions later on down the line. One cannot dismiss the claim entirely as it does offer some views that may lead to different results. The facts that are presented demand more and in-depth explanations to become stronger and potentially valid.
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