“Google, show me the naturalistic fallacy”


Here we go, Rob Schmitt, an announcer on Newsmax illustrating not just the naturalistic fallacy, but also diving deep to show us how conservative news networks are in a competition to represent the dumbest possible take on everything:

Obviously, I’m not a doctor. But I’ve always thought about vaccines, and I always think about just nature, and the way everything works. And I feel like a vaccination in a weird way is just generally kind of going against nature. I mean, if there is some disease out there…maybe there’s just an ebb and flow to life where something’s supposed to wipe out a certain amount of people, and that’s just kind of the way evolution goes. Vaccines kind of stand in the way of that.

Then he brings on Dr. Peter McCullogh, the latest “expert” who has been making the rounds of the conservative talking heads talk on TV about how we don’t know about the side-effects of vaccines and you don’t really need to be vaccinated and COVID-19 isn’t that dangerous, and he doesn’t push back at all on that garbage — instead he tells us that “natural immunity” is superior.

I can’t watch Fox News, so I’m sure not going to be able to avoid death by apoplexy if I started watching Newsmax or OAN. Fortunately, other people do. Here’s Sam Seder and his crew dismantling this nonsense — really, you don’t need a Ph.D. in Science to see what’s wrong with that argument, or to list a whole lot of “unnatural” things that people naturally do.

Unfortunately, pointing out the bad science doesn’t address the real problem in that “news” cast, which I think is embodied in the statement that he thinks about the way everything works. He’s got a larger model in his head of what Nature is that incorporates all these assumptions about teleology and purpose and the proper functioning of the world, and the reason he’s embracing this absurd notion of vaccines being an intrusion on nature is that that clicks with all of his priors. It’s not that he’s actually thought about vaccines in any coherent way, it’s that he’s cobbled up a way of thinking about the world from non-rigorous, ideologically anti-science institutions and authorities, that make him more comfortable with adopting a lie than with accepting an idea that would shake up his notions of how the world properly works.

He’s also driven by tribalism and fear. Schmitt also complained that it is despicable that the high and mighty Left and the media [are] ridiculing so many people for questioning vaccines, and look, he’s getting ridiculed, confirming the truth of his beliefs!

He’s also indulging in an amazing amount of projection.

It’s become so politicized, and many liberals will pump these vaccines into themselves and to their children simply to prove their loyalty to ‘science,’ ’cause that’s the in-thing to do right now.

Uh, I don’t want my children vaccinated because I’m virtue-signaling at science, or because it’s fashionable. It’s because I do have an ideological commitment to accepting the facts, and right now 99.5% of the COVID-19 related deaths are hitting the unvaccinated. That’s the brute reality that’s pounding on Rob Schmitt’s head, trying to tell him his mental model is invalid.

Well, also, there’s an emotional revulsion against the idea that a certain amount of people need to be “wiped out”, which is a sociopath’s creed.

Comments

  1. blf says

    (This is a reconstructed and slightly edited cross-post from poopyhead’s current [Pandemic and] Political Madness All the Time thread.)

    I stumbled across this by accident, whilst searching for something else entirely. Apparently, in September, a book by the notorious genocidal child-killer Robert F Kennedy Jr, the anti-vax loon, will be released, The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health (Children’s Health Defense). A snippet from the description:

    Working in tandem with his long-term partner, billionaire Bill Gates, to corral Americans toward a single vaccine solution to COVID, Dr Fauci committed zero dollars to studying or promoting early treatment with various drug combinations that could dramatically reduce deaths and hospitalizations. Meanwhile, in an assault on our First Amendment guarantee of free speech, Dr Fauci’s Silicon Valley and media allies dutifully censored criticism of his policies on mainstream social media and collaborated to muzzle any medical information about therapies and treatments that might end the pandemic and compete with vaccines.

    Yadda, yadda, yadda. Sadly, at Amazon it’s the “#1 Best Seller in Immunology”.

  2. says

    Vaccines kind of stand in the way of that.

    No, medicine stands in the way of that. All of it, from band-aids to by-pass surgery. It’s literally what it’s for; to prevent the otherwise natural loss of human life.

    Arguably, vaccines are our most natural form of medicine, since all they do is prompt out immune system to do exactly what it would normally do if we became infected.

  3. cgm3 says

    Ironically, that is how evolution — natural selection — works. Those that cannot/do not adapt to changing conditions tend to fall by the wayside, those who do adapt tend to survive.

    Of course, by mentioning the forbidden concept of evolution, Mr. Schmitt will now be castigated as a secret minion of the “high and mighty Left”.

  4. gnokgnoh says

    Why doesn’t anyone ever ask these announcers if they’re vaccinated? I understand that most of them are. It is the very first thing I would do…

  5. Larry says

    gnokgnoh@#4

    Because they will flat out lie about it. They aren’t about to get off that gravy train they’re on, even when it is causing the illness and deaths of thousands.

  6. blf says

    @4, A more targeted question could be better, e.g., “When did receive your second vaccine shot?”

    An honest answer — presuming one is given is an obvious flaw here — may help drive home the point that not only are they fully-vaccinated, but also that they did it awhile ago (and in some cases, possibly jumped the queue to do so?).

  7. robro says

    An infinite number of chimpanzee talking heads on an infinite number of TV talk shows will produce an infinite quantity of BS…at least as long as someone is watching the ads or donating money.

    Sadly the real problem isn’t the knuckleheads shilling this crap, but the army of citizen viewers sitting in their Barkas, munching on party mix, and nodding in agreement at the Tee Vee. The scam artists and shills found their marks long ago and have cultivated them to the point where there are millions of people willing to forgo good sense in this country alone.

    I try not to despair.

  8. raven says

    The average life span of an American a century ago, was 46 years.
    Thanks to science and modern medicine, it is now 76 years and we’ve gained 30 years of life expectancy.
    That is a lot and almost all of us are glad for that.

    Without modern medicine, half of us wouldn’t be here right now. Including me for sure.

    The latest talking point of the fundie xians/GOP is to attack modern medicine.
    I don’t even know what to say.
    It’s cosmically stupid but that just doesn’t seem enough to sum it up.

  9. raven says

    I mean, if there is some disease out there…maybe there’s just an ebb and flow to life where something’s supposed to wipe out a certain amount of people, and that’s just kind of the way evolution goes. Vaccines kind of stand in the way of that..

    This is gibberish.
    They don’t even believe in evolution.

    I’m sure when they say the infectious diseases are supposed to kill a certain number of people, they don’t mean themselves and their families.
    As many have noted, most of the right wingnut leaders pushing Covid-19 antivax propaganda are…vaccinated for the Covid-19 virus. They don’t want to die, they want you to die. Hypocrites and murderers.

  10. says

    So with that logic, those of us in northern climates should die cold and naked until we evolve fur. Don’t bother with fire or clothing.

  11. donfelipe says

    “And I feel like a vaccination in a weird way is just generally kind of going against nature.”
    Said by a man being recorded with electronic cameras that capture light and reconstructed into an image through mathematical algorithms. His images and words were then modulated and transmitted on a network of copper wires, fiber optic lines, and radiated through free space and watched on cellular phones linked to satellites. That sure sounds natural to me! These people say this garbage without a hint of irony or awareness of what makes this modern world. I’d like to see these people attempt to live a natural life foraging for edible plants while drinking water out of puddles and cloudy rivers. I’m sure they’d live a long and healthy natural life with their incredible mental skills.

  12. raven says

    I’d like to see these people attempt to live a natural life foraging for edible plants while drinking water out of puddles and cloudy rivers. I’m sure they’d live a long and healthy natural life with their incredible mental skills.

    People do try this occasionally.
    The usually live for a few months and then die.

    That is how Chris McCandless became famous.

    We do have an ongoing experiment in what happens to Americans who reject modern medicine.
    The fundie xian faith healers.
    The probability of their children dying age 0 to 18 is 25%.
    This is 50 times the rate for children in the general population.

  13. unclefrogy says

    It’s not that he’s actually thought about vaccines in any coherent way, it’s that he’s cobbled up a way of thinking about the world from non-rigorous, ideologically anti-science institutions and authorities, that make him more comfortable with adopting a lie than with accepting an idea that would shake up his notions of how the world properly works.

    substitute the natural world for vaccines and you have the broader truth . I remember having conversations with my Mom many many years ago that centered around that very problem. The fear new information generated took me by surprise. That inability to look at reality and instead accept only things that reinforce their own notions and desires for stability is at the root of much of the failure in confronting all of the problems we are facing . It is the same in the social/political world as well.
    uncle frogy

  14. says

    The average life span of an American a century ago, was 46 years.
    Thanks to science and modern medicine, it is now 76 years and we’ve gained 30 years of life expectancy.

    I guess that’s why he doesn’t like it. If the plebs live longer, then they have more time to figure out how much they’re getting screwed.

    That’s not just a joke. I’m quite serious. The average person takes a long time to figure out that what they were taught as a child is bullshit. If they die before they get there, it’s much easier to control them.

  15. kome says

    The phrase “loyalty to ‘science'” jumps out as me as particularly right-wing. This is something you say when you want to mock and deride the idea of expertise. This is what we’re up against. An entire political party and collection of media empires who are vehemently against the idea that we can know anything about the universe independent of their specific feelings about how the universe should work.

  16. garnetstar says

    “I feel like a vaccination in a weird way is just generally kind of going against nature.”

    You know what’s natural? Half of all children dying before the age of five. That’s what it used to be, for centuries if not millenia. All parents lost one or more children. That’s the natural balance between disease and humans.

    My sister, a pediatrician, used to tell that to anti-vax parents who wanted to treat their children “naturally”. Until she threw up her hands and just banned all unvaxxed children from her practice (her waiting room was previously a target-rich area). If parents won’t vax, they must leave.

  17. PaulBC says

    In a weird way, it goes against nature that I and millions of other people can hear this idiot’s voice. Not that I would suggest abolishing TV or the internet, but Rob Schmitt as nature intended him would be far less annoying.

  18. blf says

    @17, “Rob Schmitt as nature intended him would be far less annoying.”

    Sadly, I expect he’s too slimy & foul even for sabertoothed tigers.

  19. outis says

    Hey, putting aside all the ways humans of today go against nature, these people are not wrong.
    Problem is… are they, personally, ready to accept fate and quietly, “naturally” die when their number comes up?
    ‘Cause such as they tend to brag a lot, until they see that skeletal finger pointing at them (and the other hand of the skellington hefting that big big scythe). Then it’s “I dunt mean it like that”, or “was not talkin about me“, and run like fückery.

  20. robert79 says

    ‘Problem is… are they, personally, ready to accept fate and quietly, “naturally” die when their number comes up?’

    We evolved brains to be able to deal with all the stuff nature throws at us.

    By their own argument, if you choose to not use your brain, you should be willing to accept the consequences.

  21. antigone10 says

    It is literally wrong, as well. Natural immunity is weaker to re-infections than immunity brought about by vaccines (at least the 3 we can get in the USA) and the vaccine immunity so far does not have the “long haul” symptoms of COVID infections.

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