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Vaccines, ethics and science

Vaccines, ethics and science

“Vaccination is a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and caring for one another, especially the most vulnerable.” The timely words of Pope Francis came, that Renaissance chest. Remember, the Pope was vaccinated in March, saying at the time that it was a moral obligation.

Fortunately, refusal to take a vaccine against COVID-19 in Portugal is very rare. But this rejection in other countries is making itself felt. This is the case in France, for example.

Those who demand the right to freedom not to vaccinate – the so-called “deniers” – do not realize that they are subject to selfish reactions. It is liberal individualism to the extreme. The same applies to the use of the mask. It works to protect not only the wearer but others as well.

In France, as in many US states ruled by Republican politicians, the refusal of the vaccine and the mask is sometimes defended by a denial of the importance of either for the general good of the population. This is an illogical reaction to what science says. It’s the same attitude that exists in rejecting the gravity of climate change.

There, religious fundamentalists (Christians who literally read the Bible) join defenders of the most absurd conspiracy theories — such as, say, the belief that those who inoculate us will inoculate us with a lethal substance.

This is how he passes from an exaggerated veneration of science, which appeared in the twentieth century. The nineteenth, when some believed that he would give answers to all the doubts and problems of men, to deny reason, already in the century. XXI, but it is a typical position in the times preceding the Enlightenment.

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It is curious to note that this postmodern devaluation of reason has intellectual roots in France. French philosophers and sociologists have sought to deconstruct scientific data, referring to mere power relations.

The ideas of these critics of reason have been accepted in many American universities, where the dictatorship of the “politically correct” has been installed in recent decades, in contrast to the spirit of the free debate of ideas. There, intolerance is revealed for those who think differently, which is neither rational nor scientific – because science advances by replacing previous beliefs with new ideas, in a process with no end in sight.

This is how 200,000 people gathered in Paris two weeks ago in a ferocious protest against the use of masks and vaccinations, demanding vaccination certificates to enter restaurants, shows, etc. An affirmation of selfishness, disguised in invoking a misunderstood right to individual freedom.