Podcast Episode: Curtis Chang and David French | Christians and the Vaccine

Well stated!

And I think you were being plenty charitable in your own turn by even allowing the descriptor: “dubious”.

A better way to phrase this is:

The trick is to identify which individual freedoms enhance our collective freedom and which individual freedoms lead to collective loss of freedom.

Economists and sociologists speak of the tragedy of the commons, which refers to the fact that individual decisions which seem rational and uncontroversial can collectively lead to tragedy. If I let my sheep munch the grass in a park, it seems like no big deal. The little that is eaten will grow back, right? But if every herd of sheep eats the grass in the park, the grass disappears. And then no one’s sheep can eat any more grass. That is the the tragedy of the commons.

Which side of the road to drive on and how fast people drive in neighborhoods are good examples of the tragedy of the commons at work.

Other good examples are wearing masks during a pandemic and getting a COVID vaccine. It might seem to be my concern as to whether I should wear a mask or get vaccinated. If it’s my concern, then I have the liberty to enjoy the commons by breathing the indoor air maskless and going unvaccinated, right? But if enough people decide to avail themselves of the commons in that fashion, tragedy can ensue. Indeed, we have already experienced 500,000+ tragedies in the USA alone from the decisions to enjoy indoor, maskless communal gatherings during the pandemic.


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My wife has been using that analogy since earlier last year. Would antimaskers (and antivaxxers) please drive on the left. ←Tongue firmly in cheek, and if we could discount the danger to those in oncoming traffic. :grin:

In reading and interacting with some folks on the “freedom,” anti-mask side, it sometimes seems that they think a few deaths here and there are necessary sacrifices for freedom (they always underestimate the deaths, as John Macarthur did, who put it at two thousandths of a percent. Interestingly, his university is strongly YEC).
I don’t know how to reason with people who think this way.

John MacArthur made a simple math mistake: He confused two thousandths with two thousandths of a percent. Two thousandths is in the right ballpark; two thousandths of a percent is off by two orders of magnitude.


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You’re right. Thanks.
Here’s from Up to Date

The case fatality rate only indicates the mortality rate among documented cases. Since many severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections are asymptomatic, the infection fatality rate (ie, the estimated mortality rate among all individuals with infection) is considerably lower and has been estimated by some analyses to be between 0.5 and 1 percent [51-53].

Thanks for the info, Randy!

I was thinking in terms of total population of the USA, so deaths divided by population would be 500,000 / 320,000,000 = 0.00156, which is fairly close to two-thousandths. As a percentage of cases, though, 0.002 is much lower than the actual mortality rate.


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Thanks. Your conversation helped me.

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Question. I am not opposed to vaccines. I do have concerns at the possible long term side effects. Why is it looked down on for people to ask these questions? It is not FDA approved and the trials are still going on until 2023.

Also- I have gene mutation MTHFR, and I am prone to blood clots. I know clots have been linked to one of the vaccines, so I am leery of taking a vaccine that could have adverse side effects due to this gene mutation.

I am tired of being labeled as uncaring because I have these questions. My husband is a scientist, and I thought the whole premise behind science was to ask questions. I ask these questions and I am immediately labeled as anti-vaccine, anti- science and selfish. That is so frustrating. I think these questions would be welcomed. I hope to have some answers here…


Welcome to the Forum, Sarah! I hope that you can find some kind encouragement here.

It does look like the clots may be connected to the AstraZeneca vaccine. I do not know where you are located, but it looks like the US does not expect to receive this brand (if that’s any consolation?). With your condition, I think it would be safe to assume you may fall into the category of people that we all need to protect by all getting vaccinated to protect you who can’t!

As far as long-term side effects, I, too, am looking forward to more information to come out regarding these, as I think that is a major factor for many people. However, here is a summary of initial conclusions from CHOP that may be useful: https://www.chop.edu/news/long-term-side-effects-covid-19-vaccine
It appears that most long-term side effects will be evident within the span of a couple of months, and the trials have gone on long enough by now to know what those risks look like.

What kind of long-term side effects are you most worried about? For me, the long-term side effects of COVID (permanently damaged lungs/other organs) were far too concerning to me to risk contracting it.

Has your spouse been helpful or encouraging to you? Wishing you the best! I think there’s nothing wrong in asking questions, as long as we don’t come to bad conclusions through false information! (ie the unfounded rumor about infertility, etc.)

Welcome, Sarah! Ultimately, vaccine side effects are considered in the overall risk to benefit ratio. In your case, I would be far more concerned about the huge risk of blood clots resulting in pulmonary emboli, strokes and heart attacks that are associated with COVID infection. I think if you consider the relative risks, you will find the balance is overwhelming in support of vaccination. You make a good point in that that aspect of vaccination is not explained well enough and is often not given clearly as background information,


From sociologist Samuel Perry:

Knowing how vaccines work correlates with white evangelicals getting vaccinated. Share those educational videos, people. :slight_smile:


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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