Some years ago, when forums were all the rage on the internet, I used to spend hours online debating atheists. To be honest, debating things on the internet was always a frustrating experience. Firstly, all the participants (including myself) did it not because we really cared about the other person, but because we wanted to be right. We wanted to win an argument! That’s never a healthy position to debate anything meaningful.
The other problem with the Christian-atheist debates I used to participate in was the distinct impression that, whatever I said, it would never be good enough. I could never produce enough evidence, or make a good enough argument. In fact, I often felt that I had been judged as ‘wrong’ before I even opened my mouth. The atheist in question had an ideological commitment to me being wrong which could not be changed with facts or argument.
Of course, this shouldn’t have come as a surprise me, or to anyone who’s read Romans 1:21-23 (in short: mankind substitutes God for a god of his own choosing – unbelief is a spiritual thing. We actively want to find reasons to reject God). Unfortunately, we tend to think most people are rational and can be persuaded if you give better arguments – it’s an easy trap to fall into.
These days I tend not to participate in online debates – too often I think debate on the internet reveals more about someone’s prior ideological commitments than it does about their desire to engage. Whether it comes to religion or politics, or any contentious issue these days, people tend to go with what feels right rather than what the evidence actually says.
There are all sorts of reasons this could be the case – I’m sure it’s always been like this to some extent. But I think it’s very much in evidence with the covid vaccines.
Tweeting about VAERS
The other day I posted up a tweet about VAERS statistics. VAERS is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System for the USA (Britain has its own system called Yellow Card), and the idea is that if there is a problem with any particular vaccine it should be picked up. For example, if a new vaccine was introduced which caused a nasty (perhaps lethal) side-effect, even for a small number of people, this could be picked up and the vaccine withdrawn.
Anyway, a few days ago I read an interesting blog piece by Prof Norman Fenton, which contained a piece of information I found hardly believable:
When I read this, I just had one of those moments of clarity. I mean, three times as many deaths for covid vaccines in 18 months than in 32 years combined for ALL OTHER vaccines! It might help to see it on a graph – courtesy of someone who replied:
Do you get that impression when you listen to the media? Do they even mention this kind of information?!
What was most interesting to me, however, was the response the tweet got. This is one of the few tweets I’ve ever posted which has gone a little bit ‘viral’ – it’s been retweeted over 100 times at the time of writing. I got some pushback from a couple of people.
A couple of people took me to task for being misleading. The main criticisms were that (1) people are encouraged to report anything to VAERS; (2) it’s easier to report now due to the internet than it used to be; (3) VAERS contains an unspecified number of obviously spurious claims about vaccine deaths – i.e. just because it’s reported doesn’t mean it’s a confirmed vaccine death. (One person in particular provided a number of examples).
Frankly, I found it pretty astonishing that people would argue in this way. I appreciate that just because something is logged on VAERS doesn’t mean that it’s a confirmed vaccine injury. At the same time, the system didn’t massively change in 2020. I don’t think all of a sudden a bunch of “anti-vaxxers” have been staging a co-ordinated campaign to try and game the system! And even if only, let’s say, 10% of the reports of vaccine deaths are legitimate, it would still be far higher than for any previous year. (And many people estimate that VAERS and other systems actually under-report vaccine injuries by up to a factor of 10).
Additionally, we do know that there are many legitimate reports – for example, the HART group recently published reports of child deaths in VAERS. We know that some people have been killed by the vaccines, for example Vikki Spit’s fiance. We also know that there have been many injuries from the vaccine – there are many testimonies of the vaccine injured on the Real Not Rare website. There are also worrying statistics about non-covid excess deaths in the UK, which might coincide with the vaccine rollout.
It just seems completely logical to me that a new vaccine (not just a new vaccine, but a new type of vaccine using technology which hadn’t been deployed like this before), which is licensed only under emergency usage, which hasn’t gone through its full safety trials, could cause problems. This has happened before – vaccines have had to be withdrawn. It’s not unprecedented. Big Pharma get it wrong – in fact the biggest two criminal fines in history have been against vaccine companies.
So, why is it that many people seem so unwilling to even countenance the possibility that the vaccine might be to blame? Every time a sports start drops dead, or a presenter collapses on TV, or an adult suffers “sudden adult death syndrome” – people are falling over themselves to say they don’t know what the problem is, only that it’s definitely NOT the vaccine because they are “safe and effective”. Any time anything negative happens, it’s explained away as a mysterious coincidence. This doesn’t seem to be looking at the data fairly or with an open mind.
What’s the problem here?
A religious commitment
All of this reminds me of my discussions with atheists back in the day. The experience is very similar. I’ve had the same feeling many times over the last couple of years when it comes to covid: people are willing to give anything the government / ‘experts’ say a free pass, but if you try to quote a scientist about covid it is treated with suspicion. It’s like I am disturbing a religious commitment: you’re not allowed to question the lockdowns, because that’s ‘dangerous’. You’re not allowed to question the vaccines, because that’s ‘anti-vaxx’.
The arguments in question, or even the authority of the sources quoted, don’t matter: all that matters is that people who believe in the official line need to find a way of justifying what they already believe – that the official line is correct.
It seems to me the evidence is insurmountable now that covid vaccines are dangerous. At the very least, the government should be urgently investigating. The media should be looking into it – it should be front page news. But that’s not happening – almost all you hear is “safe and effective”.
Why is it like this? Many people, myself included, have observed that the way covid has been dealt with by the government and media has been very religious in nature (I talked about this here and here, for example). When people don’t have a religion, it’s easy to fool people into accepting a secular religion so long as you don’t actually talk about “god”.
It’s complicated. But it seems to me that the reason we can’t have an honest conversation about the covid vaccines is because people believe in them with a kind of religious fervour. In my experience, this is something which can’t be defeated with mere facts and logic. But I do believe and trust in a God who is able to raise the dead, so I am confident that this period of madness will not last forever.
In fact, I think he is our only hope.