Can you spot the fallacy of this guy's (Caplan's) argument about the so called "vaccine passport"?

The fallacy is probably easy to spot but I can't figure out how to classify it. (see

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@Pat in order to be a fallacy something he said would have to be incorrect... what exactly do you think is incorrect about what he said, sounds all factual to me.

The issue, I suspect, is that you disagree with the weighting of concerns.. something about greater good makes it justified to you.. that wouldnt mean its a fallacy only that your priorities are different than theirs.

It's a type of rhetorical fallacy, I think. He said that disclosing your vaccine status is a positive thing because it allows you to do something (e.g., attend events, get a job), whereas when he talked about disclosing other heath info he phased it in the negative (it prevents you from getting a job, etc.) Actually they are both either negative or positive depending on how the preposition is stated, so they are logically equivalent -- but he favored the one case just because it was stated in the positive. (The two may have qualitative differences, but their logical consequence (e.g., being able to get a job, etc.), are the same.)

@Pat ahh I see.. while I do agree that both are bad, I am not quite sure there is a logical fallacy there.. maybe, let me think on it.

Maybe this reverse argument will help...

"Disclosing your vaccination status in negative and harmful because it can prevent you from attending events or getting a job."

"Disclosing your health history is positive and beneficial because it can get you discounts on life insurance and make you more appealing to potential employers."

@Pat That doesnt change my stance, which is that I agree with you that its a bad thing (to either be at an advantage or disadvantage due to medical decisions)... but agreeing that it is a bad argument doesnt mean its a logical fallacy is my point.

I understand now. Yes, I was just referring to that specific rhetorical argument that the guy made, not the actual conclusion, which flows from many other considerations and separate arguments.

I haven't actual thought about it enough to reach an opinion one way or another, but my instinct is to just allow people the freedom to disclose or not to disclose their vaccination/health info and allow others the freedom to include or exclude people -- but there are likely many other considerations (such as discrimination based on health status)...

One more thing...

I think one of the factors that differentiates the two is that vaccine status is something that people (eventually) will have control over (in most cases), while preexisting health conditions are often not under the control of the moral patient.

@Pat regardless we are still talking about societal privilages granted along the lines of ones medical history, which people would be forced to disclose in order to function within society. This alone is unacceptable. At no time should a person in any way should have any obligation to disclose their medical history.

Yes, privacy comes before any possible discrimination, both chronologically and logically. In the US it used to be mandatory to disclose health history when applying for health insurance, but I think they changed that now.

Disclosure may also be necessary if one needs to request reasonable accommodations for a disability (e.g., from an employer), and there are specific rules on how that all works in the US.

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