Vaccinations are more beneficial than harmful
Debate Rounds (5)
Looking for someone who is against vaccines and can at least somewhat spell.
Also, I will do my best at spelling!
First off, I would like to state what vaccines are, and how they work.
Vaccines definition: a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease. (Google search: vaccine definition) Usually, vaccines contain a virus, although there are vaccines that shield against bacteria as well. For now, I'll just talk about virus vaccines, more specifically the live virus vaccine. Put simply, the virus is weakened and injected into the recipient. The weakened virus is unable to do any major damage (unless it mutates or wasn't properly weakened somehow), and the body creates antibodies to kill it, which then allows it to create antibodies faster for future infections. In some cases, a booster shot is required, usually because A: the virus mutates very quickly, or B: since the antibody production decreases after a certain amount of time, a fast-moving virus can take advantage of that and do serious damage. The booster shot increases antibody levels once more to make sure the recipient is as safe as possible. (http://www.cdc.gov...)
That was a brief overview of how vaccines work. They are one of the best preventative methods for deadly diseases. Since they can prevent deadly illnesses while (almost always) not creating any, they are efficient and safe.
My opponent might say that vaccines are deadly because they contain "deadly ingredients." I would imagine that the ingredients that my opponent might talk about are thimerosal, aluminum, and formaldehyde.
Thimerosal, the infamous mercury-containing product, does not actually contain any deadly mercury. Instead, it contains a harmless version of organic mercury, Ethylmercury. (http://www.cdc.gov...) Ethylmercury is broken down and leaves the body quickly.
Aluminum has been shown to be toxic. However, quantity does matter here. According to the FDA (http://www.fda.gov...), "Using the updated parameters, the authors found that the body burden of aluminum from vaccines and diet throughout an infant"s first year of life is significantly less than the corresponding safe body burden of aluminum, based on the minimal risk levels established by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry."
Formaldehyde is something that has shown to be a possible carcinogen to humans. However, just like Aluminum, quantity does matter, and most of the formaldehyde is removed from the vaccine before it is packaged. (http://www.cdc.gov...) There are only used for toxoid vaccines, because they can inactivate bacterial products.
Hopefully, my opponent will not start spewing conspiracy theories.
If my opponent were to argue that vaccines cause deadly side effects, I would counter by saying that these side effects only occur 1 in every million vaccinations. (http://www.historyofvaccines.org...)
theisticscuffles forfeited this round.
Are vaccines worth the risk of infection from contaminants that could intentionally or unintentionally be found within the vaccines?
We do need to be able to answer that question before we can answer the question about whether vaccines provide more benefit than harm or vice-versa.
Historians of medicine have noticed that diseases began declining well before vaccines became widespread in society. So, is it possible that vaccines are just attempting to maintain a certain degree of immunity after the immunity was already conferred through some other agent? Perhaps, some other mechanism is helping to confer immunity, such as better hygiene and living conditions.
As Ivan Illich demonstrates in his treatise on the inefficacy of modern medicine: "The combined death rate from scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough, and measles among children up to fifteen shows that nearly 90 percent of the total decline in mortality between 1860 and 1965 had occurred before the introduction of antibiotics and widespread immunization."  Thus, vaccines did not cause diseases to go away. The diseases were already going away by the body's natural ability to fight off invaders and through improved living conditions.
One school of thought that is pro-vaccine holds to the "herd-immunity" theory. This is an attempt to rescue belief in vaccines because it is acknowledged that vaccines do not really accomplish anything except to keep the same number of people uninfected in society. If the number of uninfected were to decline, then disease might spread contagiously to others and cause an epidemic. Only vaccines will keep this number of uninfected statistically high. On this view, vaccines historically did not eliminate any diseases but people who were already healthy were enabled to remain healthy by hanging around other people who were healthy and (presumably) vaccinated. people recognize that vaccines did not accomplish anything historically in terms of the prevention of disease. These folks argue that somehow "herd immunity" might provide continuing justification for subjecting people to infection by vaccine chemicals since it is believed that if a greater number of individuals have immune protection against a disease, then it may confer benefit on others in the "herd." 
In a great number of cases, it has been determined that not vaccinating may be better for people, particularly in case of the chicken pox vaccination where there are greater risks to adults who had been vaccinated as children than it would have been had they never been vaccinated at all. 
Moving onto that dreaded connection between the Mumps-Measles-Rubella vaccine and autistic manifestations, medical journals do like to dismiss very quickly the connection. There has been much controversy swirling around the figure of Andrew Wakefield. 
A great deal of concern surrounds whether the possible side effects from neurotoxins added into vaccines, such as Thimerosol, are worth the supposed benefits of vaccination. 
One study which claims that there is not a causal link between the MMR vaccine and the onset of autism does show some interesting figures when you look at the actual data in the study which examines children vaccinated and non-vaccinated in a Danish Health Registry.  When you scroll down to page 1480, you get the raw results of the study. Out of 1,647,504 who do receive the MMR vaccination, the number who develop autism is 263. Compare that ratio to the ratio that emerges from the control group of 482,360 non-vaccinated children, of whom 53 develop autism. That is not a very proportionate ratio. If we multiply the 53 cases times the 3.42 (ratio between the total unvaccinated and total vaccinated), we arrive at a figure much below the 263. Thus, there is a connection between the MMR vaccination and the autism disorder.
To be fair, they could have very conservatively worded the conclusion of the empirical study by stating that there is a somewhat or slightly greater chance of developing autism after an MMR vaccination.
Admittedly, if science were perfect and not influenced by the profits of the pharmaceutical industry, there might not be as big as concern as otherwise. But science is not perfect. The polio vaccine has been produced in rhesus monkeys and after researchers realized that this vaccine cultured within the monkey flesh was generating cancer in other animals injected with the vaccine, they still refused to pull the vaccines from the market. 
Therefore, if we cannot guarantee that the the link between the M-M-R vaccine and the onset of autistic disorders is merely coincidental and if we cannot guarantee that the government and other scientists who are being driven by pharmaceutical profits are not removing tainted vaccines such as those cultured in monkeys with the SV40 virus, then, in all honesty, we cannot maintain that more benefit is being done by vaccines than harm.
Again, thanks for the opportunity to engage on this topic.
 Ivan Illich, Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health (New York: Pantheon, 1976) p. 16.
 Kreesten Meldgaard Madsen, et al., "A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccination and Autism," New England Journal of Medicine 347 no. 19 (Nov. 7, 2002): 1477-1482.
I welcome Pro back into the debate.
First off, rebuttals.
"As Ivan Illich demonstrates in his treatise on the inefficacy of modern medicine: "The combined death rate from scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough, and measles among children up to fifteen shows that nearly 90 percent of the total decline in mortality between 1860 and 1965 had occurred before the introduction of antibiotics and widespread immunization."  Thus, vaccines did not cause diseases to go away. The diseases were already going away by the body's natural ability to fight off invaders and through improved living conditions."
Con makes the mistake of comparing mortality rate and incidence rate. A decrease in mortality does not mean a decrease in incidence rate. Better hygiene and sanitation is a huge reason why mortality rates were going down.
Take a look at this graph. Yes, measles rates were going down. But the moment the vaccine of '63 was introduced, measles rates dropped dramatically. It wasn't just some lucky incident either, or else measles rates would have gone back to where they were. Instead, as you can see, the incidence of measles stayed down. Due to all this, it is safe to say that measles have gone down not solely because of better hygiene. NOTE: Before someone tries to hit me with a "causation doesn't mean correlation" argument, I would like to say that all this was simply refuting Con's argument. (http://www.software3d.com...)
"it is acknowledged that vaccines do not really accomplish anything except to keep the same number of people uninfected in society."
Incorrect. During a diseases incubation period, vaccines can be used to prevent already-infected people from suffering even more. The main disease I'm thinking about here is rabies. Rabies postexposure vaccines are used after someone has been infected, and it's a good thing that it exists. If you do a Google search inquiring how many people have survived rabies without a vaccine, the numbers may range from about 8-10. 8-10! Only 8-10 people, of all the people who were infected with rabies without a vaccine, survived. (http://abcnews.go.com...). Admittedly, rabies is not very common, but neither is vaccine failure for rabies (about 47 in 15 million vaccinations. http://www.livescience.com...).
"These folks argue that somehow "herd immunity" might provide continuing justification for subjecting people to infection by vaccine chemicals since it is believed that if a greater number of individuals have immune protection against a disease, then it may confer benefit on others in the "herd." "
I am confused. Are you saying that vaccine chemicals cause diseases, or that the "folks" you are talking about are medically inapt? If I may shed some light onto this, herd immunity works by surrounding people with a disease with people who have been vaccinated for the disease. It's almost like a medical buffer zone. The disease has nowhere to go, and if it's not very severe, it will die without infecting anyone else. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...) That's not to say that vaccines work 100% of the time. Vaccine failure is a thing. However, it is also very rare, and varies among vaccines.
"In a great number of cases, it has been determined that not vaccinating may be better for people, particularly in case of the chicken pox vaccination where there are greater risks to adults who had been vaccinated as children than it would have been had they never been vaccinated at all. "
Your logic is not backed up by statistics. According to this website (http://www.cdc.gov...), mortality rates went down by about 100 deaths annually (meaning that 100 deaths were prevented per year, to avoid confusion). I assume that by "there are greater risks to adults who had been vaccinated as children than it would have been had they never been vaccinated at all.", you are talking about lifelong immunity. However, you are seeing things in the short run and not considering that, if everybody was infected to gain lifelong immunity, many people would die instead getting the golden reward. With vaccines, the death rates have decreased as well as more people getting immunity. It's an almost perfect upgrade. I predict that you will say that "vaccines don't give lifelong immunity." It may not always give lifelong immunity, but it sure does give more people a chance.
"Moving onto that dreaded connection between the Mumps-Measles-Rubella vaccine and autistic manifestations, medical journals do like to dismiss very quickly the connection. There has been much controversy swirling around the figure of Andrew Wakefield. "
This is possibly because the "connection" has been disproven many, many times. There's also the factor that Wakefield's study got retracted for falsification. Here are some sources:
"Thus, there is a connection between the MMR vaccination and the autism disorder."
If you are using the higher ratio as a proof that the MMR vaccine causes autism, then that is an example of a false-cause fallacy. (https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com...) Statistics can only go so far to strengthen an argument. Using statistics as a proof is a logical fallacy. For example, I could say that "As ice cream sales go up, so does the rate of drowning. Therefore, ice cream causes drowning" and convince a few people. The main reason for this situation is that, in the summer, more people buy ice cream and go swimming. Therefore, the incidence of drowning and ice-cream buying goes up. When looking at the "link" between autism and the MMR vaccine, the statistics you provided may have strengthened your case. However, I don't really see any actual proof that there is a link. You have the burden of proof now. Have fun. Here's a website that links to a whole bunch of other studies saying that there is no link: http://justthevax.blogspot.com...
"The polio vaccine has been produced in rhesus monkeys and after researchers realized that this vaccine cultured within the monkey flesh was generating cancer in other animals injected with the vaccine, they still refused to pull the vaccines from the market. "
Despite all this, polio has been eradicated from the US, and soon from the world. Which side you believe is worse is more or less opinionated. Obviously, they should find a new way to prevent any possible cancer being done, but until then, the polio vaccine is probably the best we have against polio.
"Therefore, if we cannot guarantee that the the link between the M-M-R vaccine and the onset of autistic disorders is merely coincidental and if we cannot guarantee that the government and other scientists who are being driven by pharmaceutical profits are not removing tainted vaccines such as those cultured in monkeys with the SV40 virus, then, in all honesty, we cannot maintain that more benefit is being done by vaccines than harm."
Your argument would make sense if we discredited the total amount of lives they have saved. Take smallpox, for example. According to http://www2.cdc.gov..., As late as the 18th century, smallpox killed every 10th child born in Sweden and France. During the same century, every 7th child born in Russia died from smallpox. Today, after many vaccinations, smallpox is completely gone. Choosing between a "possibility" of autism against a very high likelihood of death, the decision should be very obvious. Which confused me until I watched this YouTube video (you should look at it, it's very interesting! I recommend it for both pro- and anti- vaxxers). https://www.youtube.com...
Let's talk about the Illich statistic/argument. It sounds to me a bit like you are "splitting hairs." Mortality rates and incidence rate are somewhat interrelated but if deaths decline in the category of those infected by a particular disease, then that would be relevant to the discussion. So, in these instances where death is traceable specifically to a particular pathology and those deaths due to that pathology are declining before the immunizations are introduced historically, then the obvious question is as follows: Are vaccines doing any good that was not already being ameliorated beforehand? If we cannot document that or the improvement is attributable to healthy living environments, better exercise, more vitamins in food, etc., then we cannot know that the vaccines are not creating more harm than benefit. That is, after all, the resolution before us.
Also, your rebuttal touched on what happened with the introduction of the measles vaccine. What about the other pathologies mentioned by Illich? Is there any evidence to show that vaccines did any better than what was occurring naturally? Just curious!
Using the rabies vaccine as a counter-example to the case when the infected can become better is not quite valid since that vaccine is not recommended for the general public, unless there is specific reason to believe that rabies contamination may be imminent and it does have enough risks to the point that it is not even recommended for pregnant women. 
I probably should have been a little clearer about why I believe the "herd immunity" theory to be flawed. Allow me to elaborate. The whole analogy gets people too focused on a "quick fix." People actually start to believe that if 80% or 90% of the population has gotten this "quick fix" then the rest of the population can become infected and they will be fine. That's just not true. It's highly misleading. The immune system is the major component in health, not what "herd" you belong to in society. Thus, people's attention is wrongly diverted away from maintaining a healthy lifestyle to getting some "quick fix" that is supposed to work if the majority of other people in the herd have also gotten this "quick fix." That's totally absurd! In fact, unless the immune system is healthy, no immunization can perform the theoretical function that it is supposed to. Therefore, a healthy, vital immune system is preconditional for the notion of a vaccine to be meaningful. Emphasizing the latter through "herd theory" is highly misleading to the general public.
With regard to the problems inherent in the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, you seemed to have missed the argument presented. Getting vaccinated to prevent natural chicken pox infection in childhood leads to greater complications, including death, in adulthood. Thus, your statement as follows: "if everybody was infected to gain lifelong immunity, many people would die instead getting the golden reward" is countermanded by the empirical evidence. I'll cite the reference again so that you can check out the sources. 
Next, Andrew Wakefield. His study has been attacked but now it is been replicated and the ad hominem attacks including threats to terminate employment him and his colleagues are not a valid argument against his studies. Just to refresh. I'll cite that source again: "Dr. Andrew Wakefield is used as the standard scapegoat being presented as a "disgraced doctor" who supposedly got caught fabricating his study. Of course, Dr. Andrew Wakefield"s study has been replicated in at least 28 other studies, and no case has ever been won against Dr. Wakefield in a court of law. Litigation is still pending, and one of the doctors who was a co-author in the study has been completely exonerated in the U.K." 
The MMR vaccination and autism link from the study that I cited is real and I think you dismissed it rather quickly since I did provide the data from the study. The math is right there. You can do the homework and it adds up to a greater risk for parents who choose the MMR vaccine for their infants versus those who do not, specifically within the Danish Health registry. It's a longitudinal study and it's published in a peer-reviewed medical journal called the New England Journal of Medicine (Nov. 7, 2002). Thankfully, this journal, unlike others, always publishes the financial connections between researchers and the private, pharmaceutical firms who would be funding the study so that there can be no doubt about obvious conflicts of interest. Oh, and I had already pointed out that the causal link is not the same as a probabilistic link; that's why I had indicated the following: "To be fair, they could have very conservatively worded the conclusion of the empirical study by stating that there is a somewhat or slightly greater chance of developing autism after an MMR vaccination."
You refer to the eradication of polio through a vaccine that the U.S. Government has been forced to admit is contaminated with cancer-causing agents. Let me ask you the question: "Is it better to avoid polio infection, even if it's 100% avoidance, if you increase your chances for untold suffering through cancer?" Come to think of it, that is pretty compelling evidence against your proposition. If we are willing to subject ourselves to cancer in order to avoid polio, up to the point where we allow our government to lie to us about the risks, then, clearly, we cannot show that vaccines produce more benefit than harm!?!
Your last paragraph is subject to dispute, for sure. We certainly cannot by definition know that vaccines produce more benefit than harm if the government will not be honest with people about the contaminants in vaccines. I think that you would agree with that, if you thought it through adequately. Your counter-argument is creative, I will give you that. You maintain that when we bear in mind how many lives are saved by vaccines we could know this to be true. That is a fairly bogus argument but it is creative. First, nothing justifies the government lying to its citizens; it just makes people suspicious. Second, we are now back to Ivan Illich (rather fitting that we circle back to the beginning!). Where's the evidence that these diseases were not being eradicated already before the introduction of vaccines? Now, you are face-to-face with the correlation and causation problem. You have to show that vaccines actually produced the decline in mortality rather than improved living conditions.
Without that, we are left with a government who lies about what is in the vaccines and a very suspicious American public who has been lied to.
Your welcome for welcoming you back.
"if deaths decline in the category of those infected by a particular disease, then that would be relevant to the discussion."
It is somewhat relevant, but making the conclusion that the diseases are going away completely based on the mortality rates is incorrect.
"death is traceable specifically to a particular pathology and those deaths due to that pathology"
"So, in these instances where death is traceable specifically to a particular pathology and those deaths due to that pathology are declining before the immunizations are introduced historically, then the obvious question is as follows: Are vaccines doing any good that was not already being ameliorated beforehand?"
Con mistakenly thinks that death is the only bad outcome of a disease. There's a reason why we want the diseases to be eradicated, not just the mortality rate. For example, measles can cause permanently damaging encephalitis and pneumonia . Polio (as you may know already) can cause lifelong paralysis (hopefully I don't need a source for this. Everyone should know this already). Shingles can cause post-herpetic neuralgia . If you need more, feel free to research terrible symptoms caused by diseases. So, to answer your question, yes! Vaccines are pulling down infection rates, not just the mortality rates you cling on to. As I've said before, those mortality rates are dropping most likely due to health and hygiene advances.
"If we cannot document that or the improvement is attributable to healthy living environments, better exercise, more vitamins in food, etc., then we cannot know that the vaccines are not creating more harm than benefit. That is, after all, the resolution before us."
We do know that vaccines are creating more benefit than harm. I've described how the vaccine works in normal biological terms. Since you like to talk about how the mortality rates are decreasing before vaccination, take a look at the graph I've shown you. It actually has two graphs, one about cases/year, and the other about deaths/year. As you can see, your claim is correct; mortality rates have gone down. However, the incidence rate has not shown any signs of steady dropping until the vaccine was introduced. After that, incidence rates fell to the floor.
"What about the other pathologies"
I think you mean "pathogens," not "the sciences of the causes and effects of diseases." In any case, here are graphs of the other pathogens.
Here is a nice graph of the exact same diseases you mentioned, minus typhoid. As you can see, these are deaths per 100,000, not cases per 100,000.
Wow, I actually can't find any graphs about scarlet fever cases per year. I genuinely apologize for this.
Here is possibly the only (good) graph I could find about pertussis cases/year. As you can see, when the vaccine was introduced in the 1940's, cases went down. Picture source: http://holisticsquid.com...
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Here is the diphtheria cases/year graph. The trend follows the other graphs well. After the vaccine was introduced, incidence rates went down.
Hopefully, I've proven my point that looking at mortality rates only is not a good argument.
Did that satisfy your curiosity? ;)
NOTE: If you do find a scarlet fever case/year graph, go ahead and show us, because every single graph that I could find was about mortality rates.
"Using the rabies vaccine as a counter-example to the case when the infected can become better is not quite valid since that vaccine is not recommended for the general public, unless there is specific reason to believe that rabies contamination may be imminent and it does have enough risks to the point that it is not even recommended for pregnant women. "
How is it not quite valid? You asked for a vaccine that could allow someone to be better, and I gave you an example. A vaccine that is recommended to the general public would be a preventative vaccine. You asked for a vaccine-related cure, and I delivered. Don't just sweep it away because it's "not recommended for the general public." I found your original argument about herd immunity: "This is an attempt to rescue belief in vaccines because it is acknowledged that vaccines do not really accomplish anything except to keep the same number of people uninfected in society." My (second) reply to this would be: Isn't that what preventative measures are supposed to do?
"it [the rabies vaccination] does have enough risks to the point that it is not even recommended for pregnant women."
You and your source do not specify whether the "rabies vaccination" in question is a pre-exposure or post-exposure. According to sources  and , being pregnant is not a contraindication to rabies postexposure prophylaxis. Also, rabies poses a 100% risk of death to the mother, as well an indeterminate risk to the fetus. 
"People actually start to believe that if 80% or 90% of the population has gotten this "quick fix" then the rest of the population can become infected and they will be fine. "
If you think about it, it makes sense. But for it to make sense to you, you must accept that vaccines have a high success rate in preventing diseases. According to , 90-95% of the population must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. If this many people have a high percentage chance of being immune to a disease, than the disease in question can only infect so many people before running out of options. Think of it like a biological buffer zone.
"That's totally absurd!"
Here, Con uses an example of the "personal incredulity" fallacy. 
"In fact, unless the immune system is healthy, no immunization can perform the theoretical function that it is supposed to."
It is generally accepted that your immune system has to be strong enough to defeat a nearly harmless virus inside your body for your vaccine to work.
"With regard to the problems inherent in the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, you seemed to have missed the argument presented. Getting vaccinated to prevent natural chicken pox infection in childhood leads to greater complications, including death, in adulthood."
You seem to have missed the refutation I presented. If you didn't understand, allow me to clarify. The link I showed you in my refutation from last round showed that mortality rates were going down. You, on the other hand, suggest that getting vaccinated would cause death in adulthood. According to your logic, that means the mortality rates should be going up. But they're not, which means (to put it bluntly) you're wrong. Also, your source recommends getting children infected with chicken pox. Don't believe me? Look at this line I took from your source. "vaccination renders the elderly more apt to shingles infections, because the herd has now lost the continued and benign re-exposures to children with chicken pox." Here's some more fun quotes from your source. " Vaccinators miss the point that the body defends most efficiently as a result of ongoing re-exposure." Basically, Suzanne Humphries, M.D. wishes for diseases to stay. The statement seems harmless, until you consider the fact that she is indirectly campaigning against the eradication of certain diseases. Here's more. "Vaccinated mothers may have vaccine immunity, which is not the same immunologically, as natural immunity. One of the major differences in the vaccine-induced immunity is that it cannot be passed from mother to infant." Mrs. Humphrey forgets that to get natural immunity, you first have to be infected, which is what we're trying to stop. I could probably go on, but I have about 2000 characters left and I want to address your other points.
About Andrew Wakefield's study, take a look at source . You can just skim over it, but it shows details about how Wakefield's study was proven wrong. This source is free from ad hominem attacks (at least I hope so, I skimmed over it too).
Now, about the study that showed there may have been a link, the percentages were so close together it could have been some other factor that caused the unvaccinated to have a higher percentage. If I compare the two ratios, the two numbers were off by only 0.00005! That number is so small that it's too early to jump to conclusions and say "the vaccinated has a higher rate. Therefore, the vaccine caused autism." In fact, I would say that, since the numbers were so close together that there was no real difference at all! Also, since the amount of unvaccinated children was relatively small, I could say that, according to the law of large numbers, it was not accurate enough to be completely sure.
Oh geez, 900 characters left. I better make this quick.
I have done further research on the SV40 virus, and have found out the evidence on SV40 does not suggest a link to cancer in humans. 
About the government lying to us, people have been using vaccines before the government started turning corrupt. If the government has been lying to us about vaccine effectiveness, we could see it in the graphs. I agree, nothing justifies a government lying to it's citizens, and part of me wonders if this conversation would have existed if the government kept a clean profile. I have refuted most, if not all of your arguments, and hopefully I have done a good enough job. Please don't vote solely on forfeiture. Good luck to Con and vote Pro!
First, a response to the video which you cited on some of the common biases involved in what the author called the "anti-vaccination" movement. Lest we use too many fancy terms, it would probably be more proper to say "parents question the efficacy of vaccination." Sometimes, these parents might organize themselves and become a movement; other times, they may be simply making a personal, family decision.
It was interesting to note that the speaker argued that parents are more likely to not vaccinate after they researched vaccinations. Why is that? Well, he certainly provided some biases which could possibly be involved in evaluating risks of vaccinating children. However, he did not note that these biases could well be involved by scientists themselves in promoting vaccines as effective. Also, a significant omission from the video was the lack of interacting with the history of decline of diseases and death due to disease before the advent of widespread vaccination use. Interacting with that history might have helped the speaker correcting his own biases.
Regarding the correlation between deaths due to disease and better sanitation/living conditions/diet, I agree with you that death and incidence rates are not the same phenomenon. But death due to disease is more fundamental in terms of what medical science is trying to eradicate. Medical science would seek to answer questions like: "Why is the U.S. the most child-vaccinated country in the world with such a high infant and pediatric mortality rate vis-a-vis other developed countries?" 
But the real point of Illich's argument is that when various diseases were debilitating, even to the point of death, this condition was improved historically by better hygiene and living conditions, not the introduction of vaccines. Of course, you are correct that this is correlation, not necessarily causation, but that would certainly be true of vaccines and incidence rates of diseases as well. Correlation, not causation, is the order of the day. Another confounding variable would be whether the incidence rate is diagnostically subjective. That, of course, depends upon accuracy of diagnosis. Analysis of diagnostic data of a condition such as measles show that it has been highly misdiagnosed and over-diagnosed, even up to 74 times.  Obviously, it would be misleading to cite that sort of statistic in a debate like this.
By the way, thank you for finding those other mortality tables and reproducing them here in this debate. I am awe-struck by how little vaccines had to do with the big picture of declining mortality from disease.
I will concede your point on the bat vaccine. However, I think that you might find that doctors do promote this sometimes as a "preventative" cure rather than just ameliorative of symptoms. Perhaps better communication between doctors and patients would be recommended in this regard.
That segues nicely into our larger dispute over the "herd immunity" metaphor which doctors can and do misuse to salvage pro-vaccination theory. You seem to concede my point that the "herd immunity" metaphor can be misleading. The fact is that one must have a healthy immune system in order for the body to fend off any diseased organisms which you don't deny. Thus, focusing on the "quick fix" of a vaccination misleads the person into thinking that this "shot" is more important than their overall immune system strength which is conferred by both genetic and environmental variables, as your YouTube video rightly points out.
You misquoted my statement of incredulity, i.e., "that's totally absurd." That was in the context of my statement that being in the right herd is sometimes touted as a better solution than maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I don't know of a single doctor who would actually defend that notion, given the fact that our bodies are fighting against micro-organisms all the time that have nothing whatsoever to do with any real or imagined "herd immunity." That is what is so amazing about the "herd immunity" metaphor.
Regarding your argument on chicken pox, I think that we may be overlooking one factor. Wouldn't the deaths in later adulthood have more to due with Shingles complications than Chicken Pox? So, no, it would not logically follow that greater exposure to children with the live chicken pox vaccination virus in their bodies would engender a correspondingly greater number of older adults who are sensitive to that virus to experience death from chicken-pox. It would register as death due to any number of diseases to which people are subject when their immune systems are compromised. 
Regarding the Danish health registry study, I think that you may be not reading the fine print. Out
of curiosity, where did you arrive at that figure of .00005? As I pointed out, we would expect the
ratio of 3.42 times 53 to be the number of autistic children in the experimental group which would be
around 181, not 253! The difference between the numbers 181 and 263 is certainly not .00005. That's
a greater risk for parents, no matter how you slice it.
As to how or whether we can know that vaccines present greater harm than benefits to recipients
and government deception, it is fair to deduce that, if vaccines did not present some substantial
injury, the government would not need to cover up the presence of carcinogenic agents in
While it is possible to exaggerate the risks of vaccination, it is also very difficult to demonstrate
as reasonably true that their benefit outweighs their risk.
Thanks again, SK, for taking the time to debate this topic.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by MarsUltor 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con lied about autism and vaccines being linked it was debunked. It hard enough for people like me to live with autism without you imbeciles screaming about random links and then getting scientists to check way to many times. Stop it and let scientists find out the real cause of Autism, and stop screaming about bullshit reasons.
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