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Never Confuse Logic And Emotion

September 6, 2021

I had two extended family members contract COVID last week. My sister-in-law and my son-in-law. The two of them are on opposite ends of the COVID-response spectrum.

My sister-in-law has been extremely cautious. She never quit wearing a mask. She’s limited her exposure. She always social distances. She got COVID anyway. (And so did her isolated family.)

My son-in-law doesn’t like shots. He doesn’t like medicines. His opinion was that antibodies are stronger than vaccines. His job requires some COVID responses, but outside of work, he isn’t one to mask or social distance.

I’m not equating the two. Not at all. Masks will keep you from spreading COVID better than not masking.

Vaccines will help prevent you from getting COVID (slightly) but will reduce the likelihood you will get severely sick and die.

These views are not universally shared. Although they are supported by mainstream science.

No doubt you’ve had discussions with people about COVID and how best to keep yourself safe. And no doubt you’ve had disagreements with people. Those people, are wrong, of course. You’re a smart person. You’re not interested in anyone getting hurt. And the fact that those people are trying to tell YOU that you’re wrong is maddening.

The odds are that you and the person you are talking to are speaking different languages. Not English/Spanish, but logic/emotion.

One is not better than the other. But, if you are arguing using an emotional appeal and your opponent is arguing based on logic, there is no way you will ever agree.

Logic/emotion conflict in any debate. Someone who thinks Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time, is not going to compare stats. They are going to talk about “moments.”

Vaccines have been around for over 100 years. Pro-vaccine supporters are going to talk about efficacy rates, and pandemic infectious ratios.

Anti-vaccine supporters are going to talk about freedom, and choice.

You cannot counter someone who is worried about losing a constitutional freedom by explaining how a vaccine works. Similarly, you cannot counter the efficiency of vaccines by talking about body autonomy.

People often claim to just be talking about facts. A temperature of 100 degrees is a fact. Is that temperature high or low? That takes context. 100 degrees for a person is high, 100 degrees for an engine is low.

Next time you find yourself at odds with someone, either on COVID or anything, ask yourself if you are both speaking the same language?

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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