The Story of a Great Delusion: In a Series of Matter-Of-Fact Chapters (Classic Reprint)by William White
There are few matters among educated people upon which opinion is so absolute and so ill-informed as vaccination. They will tell you it has stopped smallpox and does no harm, and if you venture to question either assertion you are set down as an abettor of "those ignorant and
Excerpt from The Story of a Great Delusion: In a Series of Matter-of-Fact Chapters
There are few matters among educated people upon which opinion is so absolute and so ill-informed as vaccination. They will tell you it has stopped smallpox and does no harm, and if you venture to question either assertion you are set down as an abettor of "those ignorant and fanatical anti-vaccinators." If undeterred you inquire when smallpox was stopped, and which is the harmless variety of vaccination, you will probably be told that these are medical questions, whilst the facts are indisputable; the answer running in the line of Old Kaspar's to Little Peterkin, inquisitive as to the good of Blenheim -
Why that I cannot tell, said he,
But 'twas a famous victory.
I am not complaining of this attitude of mind. We all accept more or less on bare authority. In the multiplicity and unsearchableness of knowledge, it is unavoidable. Some years ago a venerable friend urged me to write against vaccination, which, he said, was working endless mischief to the public health. He would have the book published, and provide whatever was requisite for my satisfaction. I pleaded prior engagements, and turned the conversation, thinking how sad it was that one so good, and, in other respects, so enlightened should be subject to so strange an illusion - I, then, taking vaccination on trust as one of the numerous blessings conferred upon mankind in the course of the present century.
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