As many people are finding out, there is a popular spell called "SCIENCE!"
It can be cast without a wand, by wizards and muggles alike.
It costs no mana.
And upon casting, it wins the caster any argument, instantly.
All you have to do is shout the word "SCIENCE!" at your opponent, and you've won the debate.
Of course it does require the context of a grammatically correct sentence, with subject, object and predicate - for example, "My position is based on SCIENCE!" or "The SCIENTISTS agree with me!"
But you get the picture.
There are also some slight variations, involving the words "FACTS," and "FACT-BASED" and the like. It's the same magic.
Today, someone cast this spell on me.
It was a conversation on Facebook, and it was about vaccines. Specifically the Covid-injection. He had an openly contemptuous attitude towards what he calls "anti-vaxxers" (and which I call "people with the common sense to recognize the sketchiness of injecting disgusting biotech cocktails with mercury and formaldehyde into your veins,") and he said this:
I think you are the one––ones, as I lump your fellow science deniers [there's that spell] in with you––who is doing nothing but pointing and shouting. I have a very good comprehension of the basics of science whereas you do not (as proven by the fact that you are an antivaxxer); of my seven years in college three were devoted almost entirely to science and I managed to be awarded a summa cum laude and a phi theta kappa along the way. What expertise do YOU have? I'm sure I can refute any antivax [a hex, following similar magical principles as the aforementioned charm] claims you care to put forward with whatever flawed evidence you can muster, but you offer NO substantiation of any kind. Christopher Hitchens said, “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” So I'm not going to waste energy finding chapter and verse in the world of ACTUAL science [casting a second time, just to make sure] to present to you. I've no hope of and no interest in convincing you of anything true; trying to reason with an antivaxxer would summon the famous analogy of trying to teach a pig to sing: not likely to succeed and only annoys the pig. To end on an encouraging note for you, I have had TWO vaccines in recent weeks: the regular flu vaccine (which does seem to offer somewhat improved odds against Covid) and a pneumonia vaccine. Once I get the Covid vaccine I'll have had three within about a month, so if I am EVER going to succumb to the risks posed by vaccines, now would be the time. So pray or chant or interpretive dance to whatever powers you think there may be that I pay the price of my ill-considered faith in science [do you also pray to it?] I can't help feeling the curses and condemnation of antivaxxers will bring me good luck.
Three charms, four hexes. All in one reply.
Every wizard knows that if you had to cast a spell multiple times, it means you didn't cast it right the first time. Pay more attention in Professor Flitwick's class, buddy!
But thankfully, I'm well-versed in Defense Against the Dark Arts, so I knew exactly what to do.
Here's my reply:
Science is not a person. It's not a group. It's not a building with an address. It's not a plaque on a wall, or a series of abbreviations after someone's name. It's not an institution. It's a method.
It is impossible to over-emphasize how little I care about your summa cum laudes and your phi beta kappas. Science is not an institution.
It's a method for gathering knowledge. Are you using it?
Let's talk about how to use it.
The first principle is Reason. Science is based on Reason. All methods used within a scientific inquiry have to align with the principles of Reason. They have to be rational. Science is a branch of rational inquiry. Reason is the bedrock upon which science stands. If a method is not rational, then it cannot be science.
And here's one of the first, most important principles of Reason:
Judiciousness is the quality of being willing to listen to both sides of an argument before passing judgment on it. To reserve judgment until you've heard all sides. This is why, in court, we have TWO attorneys presenting cases. One for the prosecution, and one for the defense. We don't have a case where we ONLY listen to one of the two, and then enter deliberations, do we? So I ask you... have you listened to the other side of this debate? Have you read articles from the "anti-vax" side? Watched documentaries? Listened to talks and lectures?
Perhaps a few people have sent you a link or two, and perhaps you grudgingly clicked them, skimmed for a minute, and then closed the window. Maybe you've done that.
But that doesn't count.
I want to know if you've done any INQUIRY, whether you've taken INITIATIVE to SEEK OUT this information, on your own time.
And going by the level of contempt and disdain I can feel dripping from your fingertips every time you type a sentence with the word "anti-vaxxer" in it, I find it highly unlikely that you've done that.
You've only inquired into information that you already know confirms your existing belief system. You have not researched the other side of this debate.
We've all been exposed to one side. The pro-pharma side. That side has all the money, and is able to mobilize the censors of mass-media to ensure full narrative compliance on TV and major newspapers. It's now reaching into social media as well. That side is very well-represented, and always has been. There is no one in this world, outside of the deep jungles, who has not been exposed to Pharma's side of this story. And that includes me. I'm well aware of your side, and all of its claims, evidence, and arguments.
But I'm also aware of the other side. I'm aware of TWO.
You're only aware of one.
This makes you inherently less qualified to have an opinion on the subject. One-sided awareness is less qualified to judge a matter than two-sided awareness. This is the principle of JUDICIOUSNESS. This is how REASON works. And it works this way regardless of what your alma mater is, or how many arrogant authoritarians have bestowed you with their approval and praise.
And if you didn't know any of this, then your expensive "education" was useless, and you would have been better off going to trade-school. At least when you work with your hands, you have a direct relationship with physical reality.
If he doesn't block me, and actually does respond, I'll continue this post with his reply. Stay tuned!