Tonight, in a debate about vaccines, against a fervent anti-vaxxer, I was informed by a third party that I shouldn’t say anything to the person. I should just “agree to disagree.” Let’s look at what that means.
When you agree to disagree, the conversation ends. When you agree to disagree, no one learns. When you agree to disagree, you’re giving silent consent to the perpetuation of harmful ideas.
If you agree to disagree about the proven science of vaccines, you give silent consent to an ideology that kills children. I find that inherently immoral.
If you agree to disagree about evolution, you allow an ideology that forces teachers to lie to children about science. I find that inherently unethical.
If you agree to disagree about the important of the Catholic church, you allow an ideology that permits priests raping children. I find that reprehensible.
So really, why would you ever agree to disagree? It goes far beyond being intellectually dishonest. It can be harmful too.
Contributor: Robert Sacerich
Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.
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