The Rhetoric Of Hope And The Rhetoric Of Fear Essay

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The techniques and beliefs held by both the proponents and opponents of vaccines are worthy of study due to their shocking similarity. This suggests that this debate may be the precursor for a new form of scientific public debate and is therefore worthy of more study than it has been given. The proponents and the opponents of the modern vaccine debate both use a wide variety of rhetoric techniques, and it is not uncommon to read two articles written with different opinions but identical in their rhetoric nature. Most of these rhetorical techniques fit within Mulkay’s (1993) system of the Rhetoric of Hope and the Rhetoric of fear. Mulkay (1993, p. 721) discusses how both sides of debates surrounding science often rely on what he describes as the Rhetoric of Fear, a rhetoric which attempts to disparage the opposing side’s argument by making it seem as though following their method will cause harm in either to individuals or to humanity as a whole. This is in contrast to, and often used alongside of, the Rhetoric of Hope, a rhetoric which present their own argument as either a moral high-road or, in the case …show more content…
The rhetoric of hope is used a lot by the proponents of vaccines, though not as much as the rhetoric of fear. The proponents of vaccines often talk about how vaccines have been used as a helpful cure for hundreds of years, suggesting their benefit to humanity (Omer et al. 2009, p. 1981). They constantly link to references surrounding how many diseases have been successfully eradicated or almost eradicated by the use of vaccines. They often have personal stories about how vaccines have personally helped someone and the trials they faced before becoming vaccinated (Sandlin, 2015). This use of the rhetoric of hope by the scientific community is not a shocking development and is to be expected, as it is how the rhetoric of hope has been used

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