What IS it with Republicans and not wanting to get vaccinated?

Is that the conservative definition of an elitist? “Somebody who thinks being smarter than me somehow makes them smarter than me.”

My employer initially promised not to require vaccination. Then, when OSHA announced the rules, they said they had to follow them, and now we need to vax or test, by the OSHA deadline. We just got an update responding to the circuit court ruling saying, “yeah, we are aware, but we’re still doing this. We will continue to monitor our policy to make sure it complies with all relevant laws.”

So i think there’s something to that fig leaf. My guess is they are happy to reduce absenteeism and medical costs, but didn’t want to be the bad guy.

Everyone i know at work is vaccinated, so i haven’t heard any chatter. But i live in the Northeast, where most adults have gotten vaccinated. Honestly, I’ve heard more chatter about how to get appointments for the kids.

A C+. His favorite drink?

The head of the People’s Party of Canada refused to get vaccinated (and travelled around the country politicking). If he had won his seat, he wouldn’t have been able to occupy it.

Good on them!

Another thing which may make many larger firms clamp down is that they are self-insured for a portion of their employees health expenses. ‘Self insured’ means that (simplified example) that Walmart (example) pays up to a specified dollar amount of their employees medical bills, whereupon Aetna (or whoever) starts covering the expenses beyond that dollar amount.

So if you represent Walmart and enter an agreement with Aetna which says ‘We, Walmart will cover the first $2 billion of covered expenses, you cover any excess, and you also act as our TPA (Third Party Administrator)’… do you prefer your employees to get the government-subsidized vaccine or would you rather pay thousands out of pocket to support their ideological dedication to the ex-President on whose watch America was struck by this very plague?

It is also the definition of rationality… I would go so far to say, if my own interests were not advanced by being vaccinated, I would not have done so. But it is my non-expert opinion that being vaccinated provides significant personal protection from life-threatening disease. It is also my opinion that being personally vaccinated provides marginal protection against the spread of life-threatening disease to people around me, who I have a personal interest in seeing as healthy. Furthermore it is my opinion that being personally vaccinated contributes in a small way to the resilience of my community, nation, and the human race - each of which I have a personal interest in, economically and psychologically.

It is my opinion that the benefits of becoming personally vaccinated outweigh the costs, but I make a point of this: the conclusion is not forgone. In different circumstances, I might be against vaccination; in different circumstances, I would go so far as to say vaccination is irrational.

For example, if vaccines were not free but were prohibitively expensive, it would be irrational for me to obtain one. For me personally, considering my financial situation and my limited understanding of the risks I might draw a line at $800.00.

Or another example, if the prevailing opinion among people I know is that a vaccine is unsafe, I would ask my doctor (who I trust as an authority in the sphere of healthcare). If for some reason my trusted doctor advised me the vaccine was too dangerous to me personally, but the government and media says it is safe, I might seek a second opinion. If the second doc were to advise me against getting the vaccine, it would be irrational of me to get vaccinated. Case-in-point, a person with a history of egg induced anaphylaxis and certain flu vaccines. Our doctor (at my workplace) has in the past advised such people against recieving certain flu vaccines, and recommended an alternate that does not use the egg protein. We presently field patients who claim to have PEG allergies and are concerned about the Pfizer-BioTech vaccine, although the next step is to order allergy testing, and I don’t think we have had any who came back positive. If they had, I’m sure the Moderna vaccine would be recommended as an alternative.

Now put two-and-two together. If I thought I had a PEG allergy (perhaps on advice of a doctor for a reaction to some drug in the past), and the cost of seeing these doctors and being tested exceeds $800, then all other things equal, it would be irrational of me to get the Pfizer-BioTech vaccine.


Sounds like you have a logical and thoughtful process for analyzing risk and making decisions.

Whereas the antivaxxers for Covid are merely going “Nu uh, don’t wanna” for no good reasons, other than a toddler like petulance.

Please find me that definition, for it’s obvious to me that you are mistaking selfishness for rationality.

And given this, the rest of your argument falls, as it assumes a radical redefining of the word ‘rational’.

BUT! You find a reputable cite which defines rationality as ‘Putting your own interests above everyone else’s interests’ and I’ll concede this point.

(Some convoluted argument does not a definition make, btw.)

It is my personal opinion that self-interest and rationality are synonymous, dictionaries and other people’s opinions be damned.


Oh, ok. So your statement of fact was merely an opinion.

Got it.

I reject your argument as baseless as it requires one to conform to individually redefined words, and I have no desire to reconceptualize the English tongue in which to have a simple message board chat.


I’m sorry to have given you the impression that I was making a statement of fact.


You started out with a definition of a word which is not the definition of the word and then wrote… something resembling a statement, that is true.

I didn’t make an argument - but if you would like me to, I’ll open a GD about whether rationality means promoting self interest.


No thank you. I appreciate the offer though, but I can read my own dictionaries.

I will add to this conversation, the definition of rationality I was using in post #208 is most similar to definition 2. from my dictionary of choice,

Consistent with or based on reason or good judgment; logical or sensible: rational decisions.

Compare with the second entry from dictionary.com, which you cited. Contrast with Miriam-Webster which seems to lack the moral (“good”/“sound” judgement) component.


Methinks you’re conflating rationality with objectivism. You can have rational altruism just as much as rational selfishness.

If not obvious, I consider myself an egoist, so far as philosophy goes. My opinion is that rational “altruism” is underpinned by self-interest.


I’m not very familiar with objectivism, and had to do some reading just now for background. But I don’t think rationality is an objective standard, quite the opposite. I wrote, above, that under different circumstances the act of getting vaccinated could be rational or irrational. One of the circumstances is my personal knowledge of the facts - as personal knowledge is subjective, so too is my opinion on the rationality of getting vaccinated.

To be perfectly clear about my opinion, if a person has every reason to believe a vaccine causes autism (which to my knowledge none do), and if it is rational to avoid getting vaccines which cause autism (which IMO is rational), it is not rational to get that vaccine. My knowledge that no vaccine causes autism does not necessarily make someone else any less rational for refusing a vaccine.

Another way of making the same point: when asking if as person is acting rationally, I put myself in their shoes. I don’t put them in my shoes.


I think that’s a limited form of rationality.

People, as individuals, benefit from living in a peaceful well-ordered society. So it’s in their self-interest for individuals to follow a collective set of rules in expectation that everyone else will be following the same set of rules. You, as an individual, might give up some possible benefits due to these rules but you gain a greater amount of benefits due to the mass of people around you following those same rules.

A problem is the self-centered individuals who agree that people in general should follow the rules but regard themselves as an exception to whom the rules do not apply.

And when I think following the rules doesn’t provide a greater amount of benefits, it is rational for me to stop following the rules.

For example, I have written this in previous topics, I would steal food from a store if the alternative is to starve. And just above I put a dollar limit on what I’m willing to sacrifice, monetarily, for the communal benefit of COVID-19 resilience.