Thursday, January 16, 2014

The thin line between writing about what you know and what you think you know...

Ooooh, this blogging world...thine are but a tricky mistress...
A former co-worked posted a link on facebook today that a friend of her's had written. It was about vaccines - very anti-vaccine talking about the medical problems that her son had faced and alleging that it was all related to vaccines. I'm not going to repost it here and I'm not here to debate about vaccines...I happen to have no problem with them, my children are fully vaccinated, and that's my business. I'm not here to debate the medical validity of certain claims or whether people's beliefs are right or wrong. This lady certainly had the right to compose her post, recite her story, talk about what she believes caused all of this, etc. If that was where the story ended, then I wouldn't be writing right now. But her final sentence (and title of the post for that matter) is basically where the whole thing goes haywire - to paraphrase her, she contends that all children who have been vaccinated are injured, that all children who have been vaccinated have some sort of illness - ADHD, asthma, spectrum disorder, allergies, etc etc. - that are a direct result of vaccinations, even if their parents don't want to admit it.
I won't even go into the complete and utter fallacy and, what I perceive is delusion, of this statement. What I will say is that's where you lost me. Write about what you, personally, know, not what you think you know. I write about my experience, my cancer, my family. If I hear something from a friend, then I will write about that also, disclosing that it is the opinion of someone else. I enjoy reading other's blogs and their personal experiences, even, and sometimes especially, if they contradict my own opinions or experiences. How on earth can we hope to be convicted in our own beliefs if we do not try to understand the opposite viewpoint? What I do not enjoy is someone presuming to tell me what is going on in my body, in my family, in my personal world.  
When you start writing about what you *think* you know, that's when credibility flies out of the window faster than pants off of Anthony Weiner in front of a phone. You turn into the people who troll cancer sites extolling the virtues of hemp oil as the cure-all - you turn into Todd Akin talking about a woman's body closing down production during a rape -  you turn into someone who closely resembles a fanatic.

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