Oct. 20th, 2009

joreth: (Silent Bob Headbang)
http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2009/10/19/UPI-NewsTrack-Health-and-Science-News/UPI-96371255988640/

Gardasil OK'd to stop male genital warts
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it has approved the use of the vaccine Gardasil to prevent male genital warts due to the human papillomavirus.

The FDA said it approved Gardasil (condyloma acuminata) to stop warts caused by HPV in boys and men ages 9-26 years. Genital warts are diagnosed annually in approximately 2 of every 1,000 men in the United States, the federal agency said.

The FDA previously approved Gardasil for use in girls and women ages 9-26 for the prevention of cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancer caused by HPV, as well as pre-cancerous lesions and genital warts.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and most genital warts are caused by HPV infection.

"This vaccine is the first preventive therapy against genital warts in boys and men ages 9 through 26, and, as a result, fewer men will need to undergo treatment for genital warts," said Dr. Karen Midthun, acting director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Gardasil is manufactured by Merck and Company Inc. of Whitehouse Station, N.J.
joreth: (Dobert Demons of Stupidity)
Today's Atheist Meme of the Day:

Making an argument is not the same as forcing your beliefs on others. Many atheists would like to see a world without religion.... but we don't want to accomplish that by making religion illegal, or in any way forcing people out of it. We want to accomplish it by -- snicker -- persuasion. We're crazy dreamers that way. Pass it on: if we say it enough times to enough people, it may get acros
s.

When people are confronted with someone who is passionate about his beliefs, who genuinely cares for the people he's talking to, people often mistake that enthusiastic position for imposing or forcing his will onto others.  These are not the same things.

I have been called argumentative in the past.  No, it's true!  When I hold a belief strongly, I hold it because my investigation and the available evidence has led me to believe it is true, or at least, reasonable to operate as if it were true.  And when one of those beliefs includes a concern for the physical, mental, emotional, or psychological safety of another human being, particularly a person I care about, I may argue relentlessly to try and persuade that person that my viewpoint is the correct one.

Many people do this.

The difference is that I am not trying to *force* them to do things my way, I'm trying to show them that my way is actually the right or best or optimal way so that they *agree* and then will *want* to do it that way too.

If I were trying to force my belief system onto someone, I would try to pass a law, or I would use my authority over them in whatever capacity I might have, to make them do things my way whether they wanted to or not.

This is what parents do when raising children (I'm not saying it's an entirely unwarranted method, just that arguing is not the same thing).  When a parent takes the time to argue with their child, to explain to them why this is the best course of action, that's not imposing their will onto the child.  When a parent says "because I'm the parent, that's why.  Now don't talk back", that's forcing their will onto the child.  Both methods have an appropriate time, place, and subject matter.  But they are not the same method.

When the radical right-wingers pass laws outlawing abortion and birth control because they somehow believe that a book written 2,000 years before abortion and birth control existed actually says to outlaw abortion and birth control, and they make everyone who holds different beliefs about abortion and birth control conform to the same rules - that's forcing one's beliefs onto someone else.

When the radical left-wingers try to pass laws banning genetically engineered food products that save millions of lives from death by starvation because they believe there is some connection to Mother Earth and we are messing with the "natural harmony", completely in the face of all evidence to the contrary, and prohibiting the rest of us, including the poor and starving, from the choice to eat or die -  this is forcing one's beliefs onto someone else.

But when I sit with you and present my point of view along with the reasons why I hold that point of view, even if I get angry, even if I get frustrated, with the intention of changing your mind - this is not forcing my beliefs.  This is argument and persuasion.  You might not like it.  You might wish I'd just shut up and go away, and that's reasonable.  I certainly don't wish to sit still to listen to a fundie or a newager spew what I consider to be complete and utter bullshit (although I did listen long enough to know that what they're speaking is bullshit and didn't just ignore them because their opinion differed from mine).

But do not confuse my argument with force.  It is not the same thing at all.

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