In a homogeneous society , where everyone has roughly the same background, religion, values, and goals, people will generally agree on what it means to be a good person and live a good life.
However, there is a whole constellation of discrepancies in the intensity of some values, even in their application; and above all there will be differences regarding data, objective information, because not everyone can or knows how to turn to reliable sources and ends up confused by infoxication. That explains, in part, that yesterday, on Twitter, the hashtag #YoNoMeVacuno against COVID-19 was TT.
How to convince? Spoiler: can’t
The problem with information overload is that it is difficult to find the truth, but also that it is tremendously easy to prop up any idea, theory or quirk with mountains of data. As proof, a button of some of the images that were shared yesterday on Twitter under the hashtag #YoNoMeVacuno :
A key principle of liberalism is pluralism – the idea that different people, traditions, and beliefs can not only coexist together in the same society, but must also coexist together because society benefits from vibrant heterogeneity. However, hierarchies have been established regarding the sources of information that we can go to: a study published in a peer-reviewed journal with a high impact index is not the same as a digital newspaper .
A pluralistic society nurtures innovation and progress, where diverse people with unique life experiences develop and share ideas. If people stayed in discrete and homogeneous communities, how many lives and ideas that would change the world would never have existed? The problem is that there are claims that, at all levels, including the epistemological, are false.
These are statements, at least so false, that to be sustained (and respected), it is not enough to appeal to freedom of expression: the statements must be supported with the same epistemological strength as the idea that is being refuted : for For example, if you say that vaccines are dangerous, provide scientific literature on the same level as that claiming that vaccines are safe.
The opposite would be like asking all passengers on an airplane, democratically, what kind of maneuver the pilot should perform to tackle an impending storm.
When it comes to vaccines, scientifically we know they are safe. Scientifically we know that they are useful. Scientifically we know that they will do more good than bad . However, half of the population would not be willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 right now because they do not trust, because of fear, because of conspiracy theories, because they put the shit into it , or whatever …
COVID deniers aside, in the percentage of the population with a negative response it seems that the key word is not "vaccine" but "immediately". Many trust science, but show doubts about deadlines and, above all, fear of adverse reactions .
We could try pedagogy, try to inform people, even try to persuade them with the best possible rhetoric. However, if this does not work and we are in a hurry, if there is no time to get philosophizing because we have to get the vaccine and shut up … what do we do to avoid falling face down into a totalitarian state or to force people to commune with millstones? There is a more effective trick than forcing people (which sometimes has unexpected and counterproductive consequences): libertarian paternalism . You can know more about him in the following video: