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New Ideal - Reason | Individualism | Capitalism

How to Deal with Arbitrary Claims: Lessons from the Pandemic

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Nikos Sotirakopoulos and Mike Mazza are joined by Dr. Amesh Adalja to discuss the phenomenon of skepticism towards COVID-19 vaccines. They argue that this skepticism is based on arbitrary claims made in disregard of actual evidence and explain how to assess and respond to such claims.

Among the topics covered:

  • Adalja’s analysis of alleged dangers and actual side effects of mRNA vaccines;
  • Why claims made without real evidence are arbitrary, and how to respond to arbitrary claims;
  • Why anti-vaccine attitudes have increased even as vaccines have demonstrably quelled the pandemic;
  • How to assess claims to “evidence” one finds online or in the culture;
  • Why arbitrary claims are usually presented with the pretense of evidence;
  • What might be motivating those spreading false information;
  • Adalja’s response to several common worries about COVID-19 vaccines;
  • How one should think about unknown risks, and why worrying about the unknown amounts to arbitrary speculation;
  • Adalja’s projection of the future with regard to the COVID-19 virus.

Mentioned in this podcast and relevant to the discussion is Onkar Ghate’s “A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease.”

This episode was recorded on January 24, 2023. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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