There a problem I’ve noticed and it seems to be particularly bad within the COVIDiot crowd. You can see it when they make their arguments about why they don’t want a life saving vaccine, or why they shouldn’t wear masks. Tell me, how many times have you come across something like the following:
“Even vaccinated people are getting sick. I’m not going to get vaccinated if it’s not going to give me immunity.”
or perhaps even
“People wearing masks still get sick, so masks have no effect on the virus. It’s just a mechanism to make us compliant to big government intrusions.“
You can see it within the Christian community when they offer up Pascal’s wager and make the assumption that it’s either Christianity or atheism, without considering the possibility of other choices.
All of these are examples of binary thinking. Binary thinking can be dangerous because it ignores the nuances of situations, or in the case of vaccines where it ignores that there may be benefits beyond the simple “get sick”, “won’t get sick” dichotomy. Even when it comes to mask wearing we know that there are benefits even if they aren’t going to completely protect you (and yes, before anyone gets into it, there are good studies showing that masks do have some protective effect against transmission of the virus.)
On the “get sick – won’t get sick” dichotomy, to think of it only in binary terms would also ignore the benefits that getting the jab is known to have, even if it doesn’t offer complete immunity from the virus. We already know that the majority of new cases, and in particular hospitalizations and ICU admissions, are coming among those who have not yet been vaccinated, even though they now represent a minority of the population. States with the lowest rates of vaccination are the ones with the highest case loads and the most at risk of hospitals being overrun. We know that those who are most likely to die of the virus are those who have not been vaccinated, again representing a minority of the population.
False binaries are an easy, but seductive, trap to fall into. We, as humans, seem to like to think in binary terms, but it isn’t always correct to do so.
 I’m not even going to get into some of the insane depths of conspiracy thinking that people will engage in.