Friday, April 2, 2021

Frege on objectivity

It can be an interesting exercise every now and then to reread something that had a profound effect on you earlier in life.  In my case, Gottlob Frege’s grand 1918 essay “The Thought” is a piece that I find always repays renewed study.  I think I first read it almost 30 years ago, and it was one of several philosophical works on thought and language that began to break the hold on me of the metaphysical naturalism I had picked up as an undergraduate – though that was a slow process, taking a decade fully to unfold. 

At first blush, Frege’s subject matter – the nature of propositions, their truth values, and logic as the science concerned with the study of these – couldn’t be further removed from political philosophy.  But Frege was something of a Platonist, and as Plato knew well, metaphysics has political implications, not least when it is not directly concerned with politics at all.  For there can be no sound political order that does not recognize something non-political existing beyond it, by reference to which it can be judged. 

In “The Thought,” Frege reminds us that truth and the laws of logic are timeless and discovered rather than made – that, though they are grasped by time-bound human minds and conveyed through contingent human languages, they are independent of both.  Lacking an essential connection to any particular human mind, they constitute neutral territory on which all minds can meet.  The lesson is basic, but depressingly needed at a time when it seems there is almost nothing that is not becoming politicized, and where ideas are evaluated in terms of the motives, party affiliation, race, sex, or other irrelevant circumstances of the person presenting them, rather than by reference to disinterested criteria of truth and logical argumentation. 

Frege’s essay is very rich, and there are well-known secondary themes in it that I will pass over for present purposes, such as Frege’s anticipation of what is now called the “redundancy theory” of truth, and his treatment of indexical expressions.  What I want to focus on is the main theme, which is the objectivity of truth and logic.

Propositions

First let’s get clear on what Frege means by a “thought.”  He characterizes it as the “sense” of a sentence, and contemporary philosophers and logicians tend to prefer the word “proposition.”  To take some stock examples, consider the English sentence “Snow is white” and the German sentence “Schnee ist weiss.”  Being in different languages, they are different sentences, but they convey the very same proposition – namely the proposition that snow is white. 

A proposition is therefore not to be identified with a sentence or indeed with any other set of physical marks or sounds, linguistic or otherwise.  For not only can the same proposition be conveyed through different sentences, but it would remain either true or false even if there were no sentences to convey it through.   For example, the proposition that snow is white was true before English, German, or any other language existed, and it would remain true even if all languages went out of existence tomorrow.  Indeed, even if there were no material world at all, there would still be true propositions, such as the proposition that there is no material world.  Logical relationships between propositions would still hold as well.  For example, the proposition that all men are mortal and the proposition that Socrates is a man would entail the further proposition that Socrates is mortal whether or not Socrates, mortal things, or any other material thing existed.

Again, Frege refers to propositions as “thoughts.”  Consider the way that, if an English speaker uttered “Snow is white” and a German speaker uttered “Schnee ist weiss,” we might say that the two speakers had the same thought or were thinking the same thing.  What Frege is talking about, then, is not a thought in the sense of a particular psychological episode in the history of some individual mind – which is unique to the individual and thus cannot be shared by different minds – but rather the content that is grasped in the episode, which can be shared.  It is because of the psychological connotations of the word “thought” that many prefer the term “proposition,” and I’ll follow that usage here.

So, propositions, their truth values, and their logical interrelationships stand apart from human minds and language, and even apart from matter.  All the same, it is through the medium of language that we “grasp” them, as Frege puts it.  He writes: “The thought, in itself immaterial, clothes itself in the material garment of a sentence and thereby becomes comprehensible to us.  We say a sentence expresses a thought” (p. 292).  Because sentences function as the means by which propositions are grasped, and because we grasp them in particular psychological episodes that may have various contingent causes, people sometimes fall into the trap of supposing that truth, falsity, and logic are artifacts of human psychology or language.  Frege is keen to emphasize the fallaciousness of this inference.

Psychology and language

Psychology and logic are like apples and oranges.  When I reason from the propositions that all men are mortal and Socrates is a man to the conclusion that Socrates is mortal, there may be any number of psychological factors that bring about that episode of thinking.  Maybe someone put drugs in my coffee and that, for some reason, triggered the episode.  Maybe I have a deep-seated hatred of Socrates and secretly delight in the thought of his mortality.  Or maybe it has something to do with the way my psychology was molded by natural selection, or by capitalist economic institutions, or by the phallocentric heteronormative patriarchal hegemony, or whatever.  None of that is in any way relevant to whether the inference is a good one.   The conclusion does indeed follow logically from the premises, and that is that.  As Frege emphasizes, laws of psychology (if there are any) are one thing, and the laws of logic another.

Similarly, a sentence may have various connotations, and the uttering of it or entertaining of it in one’s mind may be associated with various moods, feelings, mental images, and so on.  None of that is at all relevant to the truth or falsity of the proposition expressed by the sentence, or to its logical relations to other propositions.

A written or spoken sentence is also a material entity, embodied in ink marks, sound waves, light patterns on a computer screen, or the like.  We can see and hear these.  But you cannot see, hear, or otherwise perceive the proposition expressed by the sentence, nor can you literally see or hear the truth or falsity of a proposition (even if you can see or hear things that lead you to judge it to be true or false) or the validity of an inference like the one about Socrates.  Truth, falsity, validity, consistency, and other logical properties and relationships are not material properties and relationships. 

So, again, human psychological states and processes and language are merely the vehicles through which propositions and their logical relationships are conveyed to us.  The latter cannot be reduced to the former.  The supposition that logical relationships are reducible to psychological ones is often called psychologism, and Frege’s essay is a classic attack on this error.

The three realms

Frege famously argues that these facts yield the result that there are really three kinds of reality:

1. The “outer world” of material objects

2. The “inner world” of sensations, mental images, feelings, wishes, inclinations, and other psychological states and entities

3. The “third realm” of thoughts or propositions

Realms 1 and 2 differ in four key ways.  First, material objects are public entities, equally accessible to all observers.  By contrast, psychological states and entities are private.  Anyone can see the tree outside your window, but no one but you can “see” the mental picture you might form of the tree outside your window.  Anyone can hear you stub your toe and the yelp you emit as a result, but no one but you can literally feel the pain in your toe.  And so on.

Second, psychological states and entities have no reality apart from consciousness, whereas material things would exist whether or not we are consciously aware of them.  Third, psychological states and entities therefore require an owner, a subject in whose stream of consciousness they are to be located.  Material things, by contrast, exist independently of such subjects.  Fourth and finally, each psychological state or entity has only a single owner, and cannot be shared with others.  For example, your feeling of pain may be similar to mine, but it is not literally the same feeling. 

Now, the entities of realm 3 are in some respects like and other respects unlike the entities of realms 1 and 2.  Like the psychological entities of realm 2, propositions cannot be objects of perceptual experience.  You cannot literally see the proposition that snow is white any more than you can see another person’s mental images or feelings.  But like the material objects of realm 1, propositions are nevertheless equally accessible to everyone, are independent of consciousness, and have no single owner but are the common possessions of all.

To appeal to the traditional Scholastic distinction between the mind’s faculties, we can note that the objects of realm 1 are known through the senses, those of realm 2 are known through the imagination, and those of realm 3 are known through the intellect.

Needless to say, Frege’s talk of a “third realm” is reminiscent of Platonism, and he is typically regarded as a kind of Platonist.  However, to accept the basic point he is making in the essay – the irreducibility of the entities of realm 3 to those of realms 1 and 2 – does not require that one endorse Platonic realism, specifically.  One could instead develop the idea along either Aristotelian realist or Scholastic realist lines.  (See chapter 3 of Five Proofs of the Existence of God for discussion of these alternatives.)

As Frege notes, if, as psychologism claims, realm 3 were reducible to realm 2, there could in principle be no communication or disagreement between people.  Suppose, to take an example from Frege, that a sentence expressing the Pythagorean Theorem conveyed nothing more than a psychological state or entity rather than a proposition.  Then what I was referring to when I uttered this sentence (namely, some private denizen of my subjective stream of consciousness) would be completely different from what you were referring to when you uttered it (namely, some different private denizen of your own, different subjective stream of consciousness).  We would not be talking about the same thing when we used the sentence.  Hence one of us could not really teach the Pythagorean Theorem to the other, we could not really disagree about whether the other had properly understood it, and so on.  Indeed, the supposition that we even genuinely understood each other would be an error, because there would be no common meaning we were both grasping.

Frege does not develop the point much further, but as other philosophers have argued, psychologism and other forms of relativism are ultimately simply impossible to formulate in a coherent way.  They cannot possibly be correct.  Indeed, the very attempt to formulate them presupposes their falsity.  When you say, for example, that there are no true propositions independent of this or that particular human mind or collection of human minds, that claim is put forward as if it were itself true independently of the mind of the speaker and of anyone else’s mind.  When you say that what we take to be true, and the laws of logic, reflect nothing more than the way that natural selection, economic or cultural forces, or the like contingently molded the human mind, you appeal to claims (about how natural selection and the relevant economic and cultural forces work) that are put forward as if they were true before human minds ever came on the scene.  In defending such claims, you appeal to standards of logical argumentation as if they had an objective status that made them normative for all listeners, including those you are trying to persuade to endorse psychologism.  And so on.  (See chapter 3 of Five Proofs for further discussion.)

Practical and political implications

Frege says nothing about any practical or political implications his abstract metaphysical reflections might have.  But there are such implications, and profound ones. 

Politics is always to some extent given to ad hominem discourse, sentimentality, tribalism, and the like.  But in recent years these tendencies seem to have spiraled out of control.  Social media encourage kneejerk responses, groupthink, and relentless sarcasm and manufactured outrage in place of rational engagement.  Traditional news outlets have largely abandoned the aim and even the pretense of being objective.  Ideologies which rationalize the demonization of vast numbers of one’s fellow citizens and the peremptory dismissal of their views and concerns without argument now dominate mainstream politics.

Frege’s analysis reminds us of how literally illogical all of this is.  Consider how typical it is today to evaluate claims and arguments in terms of how “offensive” they are to this or that group, or in terms of their association with some purportedly disreputable person or political persuasion.  None of that matters in the least to whether a claim is true or false or an argument for it is cogent.  A claim can be true and an argument a good one even if they are offensive, and a claim can be false and an argument bad even if they are pleasant.  A disreputable person or party can put forward a true claim or a good argument, and an admirable person or party can put forward a false claim or bad argument. 

In short, the truth and falsity of a proposition and the strength or weakness of an argument are entirely independent of the character and motivations of the people who present them and the feelings and concerns of those to whom they are presented.  Deep down everyone knows this and is even happy to acknowledge it when doing so costs him nothing.  But we can be extremely reluctant to do so when it might entail admitting that a political opponent has a point, that one’s own side is not as virtuous and well-informed as one likes to suppose, or that one’s tender sentiments are irrational and ought to be ignored rather than coddled.  All the same, doing one’s best to acquire the habit of such objectivity is absolutely essential to being civilized and grown-up. 

Or consider the imbecilic notion of “cultural appropriation.”  As Frege reminds us, truth and logic float free of contingent human languages, and they float free of every other aspect of human culture as well.  The denizens of the “third realm” are not anyone’s private property but rather the common possession of all rational beings.  Naturally, there are moral reasons why a person might reasonably claim proprietary rights over some particular way of expressing an idea, as in a copyrighted book or movie.  But ideas themselves are not the sorts of things it makes sense to regard as the property of any individual or group.  Jewish, Christian, and Islamic thinkers of the Middle Ages who borrowed freely from the ancient Greek philosophers and from each other were not “stealing.”  Rather, they were simply accessing the same ocean of truth that belongs to all of us equally, and in doing so increasing our understanding of it.

Most dangerous of all, however, is the “hermeneutics of suspicion” that evaluates ideas and arguments in terms of some hidden sinister group interest they are alleged to serve.  This is analogous to the psychologism attacked by Frege, but writ large.  For Marxism, the hidden interest in question is always that of some dominant economic class.  For Nazism, it is that of some race or ethnicity that purportedly threatens the health and safety of one’s own Volk.  For Foucauldian postmodernism, it is that of some ever elusive but omnipotent and omnipresent “power” that frustrates the indulgence of desire.  And for Critical Race Theory and other brands of “wokeness” – which are essentially a synthesis of Marxian class analysis, Nazi racialism, and Foucauldian liberation from sexual and other social norms – it is “whiteness,” “colonialism,” “patriarchy,” “heteronormativity,” and other fantasized devil figures.  Objectivity itself is dismissed by this insane worldview as a mere tool by means of which these bogeymen maintain their “oppression.”  For the hermeneutics of suspicion, power alone, and not rational persuasion, is what matters.

The Marxists and the Nazis showed us where that mentality leads.   We can be saved from a similar disaster only if enough of us have the clarity of mind and courage to refuse to concede a single inch to those who refuse to acknowledge and abide by standards of truth and logic that transcend all individuals, all races, all cultures, all class and political interests.

Notoriously, Frege himself privately held repellent anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic attitudes.  That does not entail that he too ought to be “cancelled,” but, on the contrary, merely reinforces the lesson we ought to learn from him – that the value of a thinker’s philosophical ideas bears no essential connection to the defects of his personal character. 

Related posts:

Frege on what mathematics isn’t

Popper’s World 3

The absolute truth about relativism

Rucker’s Mindscape

Think, McFly, think!

Aristotle and Frege on thought

245 comments:

  1. I'm becoming increasingly irritated by politicization of everything. For example, here in the UK, anyone who watches commercial TV will have likely noticed that the nation's ethnicity is no longer accurately represented in commercials (not only commercials, but it's most noticeable here). On first observing this, and being something of a stats nerd, I noted over several days how many commercials featured one or more black or Asian people. According to the last census in 2011, the proportion of White British, Asian and Black is roughly 87% : 7% : 3% respectively. Yet the proportion of blacks in commercials is about 20%. The number of Asians is far fewer. True, this may be a reflection of "London centricness" of the UK (another source of irritation!), but there's no doubt that black people are over-represented on TV. Am I irritated by this fact because I'm a racist? Not at all. I'm irritated because it's a lie, and I'm inclined to think that, ironically, in the eagerness to come across as non-racist, the effect is actually going to create racism and division.

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    1. Why on earth would you be irritated by this, you rather obvious racist? Until relatively recently, black and other ethnic minority groups were virtually invisible on UK TV, other than in highly stereotypical and negative roles. An effort has been made to redress this, and of all things this is something that irks you.

      If your figures are correct, the proportion of blacks in uk commercials may not track their proportion in the population at large, but both are smallish numbers ( stated by you to be 7% and 20% respectively), so this could easily be just a small numbers effect ( eg independent makers of commercials wanting a black face among the handfull that appear in their productions ), or if conciously done, it may be to ensure that blacks do not continue to be almost invisible.

      What kind of person , instead of celebrating the great strides that have been made in race relations and the portrayal of minorities in the UK, becomes triggered by there being - supposedly - a higher small number of blacks in commercials than the smaller number that would be representative? Well , a racist certainly would.

      Incidentally , the last national census for which data is available was conducted a decade ago - the proportion of blacks in the UK will be higher now. Also, where did you get your info from about the proportion of blacks in UK commercials? In the absence of a statement from you about that, why should anyone attach any credence to it?

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    2. . I think you're the one who has been "triggered" (to use that ghastly woke term). And I guess you're assuming I'm white British; how do you know I'm not black or Asian? Only whites are racist, right?

      The last census was in 2011 (and I got the figures from a govt. web site, so they are accurate). And if you had bothered to actually read my post - instead of rushing to virtue-signal (BTW, condoning misrepresentation isn't a virtue) - you will see that I obtained the data myself. If anything, it's an under-estimate, and certainly not attributable to random variation.

      The fact is, companies are terrified of being labelled as racist (which apparently these days is a more heinous crime than being a serial murderer). It's for that reason that we see blacks being over represented, not because of any attempt to redress the former representation of ethnic minorities in negative or stereotypical roles.

      The political climate is such that an increasing number of people are afraid to speak their minds for fear of being ostracized or fired. That was my point.



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    3. Your point- that companies over-represent ethnic minorities to avoid being accused of racism and that anyone who questions this will inevitably be accused of being a racist themselves- is ironically confirmed by "Unknown"s response.
      The reason why anyone who challenges certain things (e.g. mass immigration) is branded as a racist is that it's an extremely effective political tactic- not because anyone, even on the far-left, actually believes it to be true. No-one wants to be associated with disgusting things like racism, so they'll inevitably avoid discussing anything that could even open them up slightly to such an accusation. It's a good way of shutting down discussion by people who don't want the norm to be called into question.

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    4. I am obviously not certain of your ethnicity, but it is a good bet that you are white British, as it is very improbable that an ethic minority person would be triggered to moan about their small representation on UK TV being larger than their even smaller true presence in UK society as
      a whole.

      I certainly did not misrepresent what you wrote. It was clear that you consulted the last ( now decade old ) UK census to obtain your population statistics, but my uncertainty was over how you arrived at the proportion of Blacks and Asians appearing in commercials. It sounds like you conducted your own study, so to attach any credance to these numbers we would need to have full disclosure of your methodology and statistical analysis.

      Assuming that your numbers are anywhere near accurate, are you certain that what you see as over representation is not a small numbers effect? Companies have a vested interest in promoting themselves to all groups in society, and being seen as modern and inclusive. They could hardly do this if 3% of the actors that appeared in each of their commercials was black, as 3% of the small number generally appearing would be none!

      Much of what reactionaries label as 'political correctness' and vent about is actually just politeness, common decency and fair play. Companies have every interest in portraying themselves in this light, and what a good thing that is too. How you can imagine that this will create further racism and division I cannot imagine.

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    5. I suppose that since diversity and inclusion are dogma today them putting minorities in comercials is just natural, you know. Even if whites are still the large majority in your country it just feels weird to not have non-white people involved, for they are there normally in white people daily lives.

      Not to mention, looking inclusive, non-racist and all that gives the company a good image, so even if the people in charge are a bunch of racists*, the desire for profit will speak higher.


      *not impossible

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    6. Quoth Unknown:

      Until relatively recently, black and other ethnic minority groups were virtually invisible on UK TV, other than in highly stereotypical and negative roles. An effort has been made to redress this, and of all things this is something that irks you.

      In other words, you are saying that because somebody told one lie, that requires you to tell an opposite lie. Truth has no relevance in your view. Which is exactly what Dr. Feser was going on about.

      Thanks for the example of wilful imbecility!

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    7. Median Joe says: "Am I irritated by this fact because I'm a racist? Not at all. I'm irritated because it's a lie, and I'm inclined to think that, ironically, in the eagerness to come across as non-racist, the effect is actually going to create racism and division."

      Were you irritated by the almost non-existent representation of Black and Asian Brits on any TV ads a number of years ago? Where were you in objecting to the showing of adverts that had no Black and Asian Brits, let alone numbers proportional to population?

      The fact that you're 'irritated' now speaks to objection of seeing more Blacks and Asians on TV than you would like or are prepared to accept. That in itself speaks of an aversion to watching others not of your skin. Suddenly, you now object, to over-representation of Black and Asians in ads, branding it a lie. And this is the basis of your argument?

      If the effect of over-representation of Blacks and Asian British citizens in TV ads is now going to create racism and division, knowing full well as you would (or should, more's the point) the historical context in which Blacks and Asians were largely invisible, speaks to me of someone who is itching to unleash a latent and deeply rooted racism, prepared even to use the utterly disingenuous and mis-begotten notion of statistical 'over'-representation as an excuse. Who really fucking cares about the over-representation of fellow Black and Asian human beings stuffed into a bloody TV ad, of all things, for god's sake. I don't, not for one moment. And I, for one, am as white as the driven slush of winter. If it really was that important to ensure balanced coverage of the population in TV ads [truly the utter bane of every genuine TV viewer/watcher I know], where have you been over the last 70 years of TV coverage? No, you're not fooling anyone Median Joe. Go and get a life rather than pretend you're not a racist twerp.

      Accept people for who they are, is my motto. You would do well in character building to consider the advice.

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    8. Papa, what an extraordinary outburst. Rather than simply repeat myself and indulge in troll-feeding, I suggest that you would do well in character building to consider being more objective, which is subject of Dr. Feser's post.

      Try to cultivate 'The 7 Habits of Highly Objective People', as recommended by philosopher David Kelley. Ask yourself the following questions, which provide an actionable operating guide:

      1. What is my purpose?
      2. How do I know?
      3. Am I sure?
      4. Is that the real reason?
      5. What would I take as evidence that I'm wrong?
      6. Does anything matter more to me than the truth?
      7. Can I be objective now?

      It's not easy, but I'm sure, with some practice, that you can improve. Perhaps in time you may actually be capable of making a positive contribution to the blog.

      P.S. It's ok to be white.

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    9. @Talmid, "...the desire for profit will speak higher."

      Studies have shown that if people see others like them buying or endorsing a product, they are more likely to buy it. If so, it doesn't make sense, profit-wise, to over-represent certain groups in a population; the most profitable course of action would be to represent them in proportion to the actual population (stratified sampling reduces variance).

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    10. Median Joe,
      You have not responded to any of the points I have made which were directly drawn from your commentary.
      Where were you when Black and Asian British citizens were so abysmally under-represented in British life, pilloried and abused over decades by the likes of Nigel Farage simply for being different from him?

      I'm pretty sure one can deduce the 7 points above were actually addressed in my response. There is no argument about the quantum of representation favouring minorities in today's TV ads, but more telling is the egregious omission of the historical context which your response should have properly addressed had you been even-handed. But no, you didn't even bother to mention let alone set the context because it did not suit your purpose or slant. That is dishonesty writ large.
      Now had you done so, that WOULD have made 'a positive contribution to the blog'.

      Of course it's OK to be white. You're preaching to the converted here. But it's not OK to bad mouth minority groups because of your or my whiteness.

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    11. MedianJoe,

      We're seeing the same over representation here in the USA too. It's meant to promote a political ideology and a phony image of 'fairness'. It will create more extremism on both sides. I predict a big political backlash is on the horizon, which is unfortunate, because it's going to favor politicians no country should tolerate.

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    12. @Don Jindra, exactly -- more extremism. Already we've seen a large increase in 'hate crime' here in the UK over the last few years. I fear it's only going to get worse.

      @Papa, you were determined to portray me as a racist even after I explained the point of my initial post to 'unknown', so why should I bother with a response? As Tom Simon said - two wrongs don't make a right, and two lies don't make a truth, but you seem to be arguing that they do.

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    13. @Median Joe

      That is a interesting information, but you are forgeting that puting minorities do make the company look more diverse and inclusive. That is a good image today.

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  2. Consider how typical it is today to evaluate claims and arguments in terms of how “offensive” they are to this or that group, or in terms of their association with some purportedly disreputable person or political persuasion. None of that matters in the least to whether a claim is true or false or an argument for it is cogent. A claim can be true and an argument a good one even if they are offensive, and a claim can be false and an argument bad even if they are pleasant.

    Generally speaking, how offensive a statement is, is connected to whether it's false or not. Because truth = beauty, people perceiving a statement as ugly is evidence that it might be false.

    A disreputable person or party can put forward a true claim or a good argument, and an admirable person or party can put forward a false claim or bad argument.

    Because truth = goodness, a person who is of morally bad character is more likely than not to utter falsehoods and not believe what is true.

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    1. Balanced,

      The offensiveness of a statement is not merely a product of whether the statement is true or not. For one thing, we may have wrong-headed or muddled ideas about what is true and good that inform our offense. The journalist may be offended by certain religious statements because those statements contradict his worldview, but that journalist’s worldview may be false or even incoherent.

      The offensiveness of a statement may be also affected by the way a sentence is conveyed or who is speaking as well. For instance, if a white nationalist starts talking about the demographic decline of the native population of Britain, a journalist will take offense to that. But that same journalist may turn around and start cheering on the latest census data showing the increase in “diversity” in British society. The white nationalist and the British census are talking about the same proposition – the proportion of white Brits as a percentage of the overall population is decreasing. The journalist took offense to the white nationalist’s pronouncements because of who said it, why he said it, and how he said it. What the white nationalist said doesn’t offend the journalist, but nuances like this are often lost when we make offense the criterion for evaluating statements.

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  3. Miguel CervantesApril 3, 2021 at 3:13 AM

    Truth and logic would serve mankind well. But, as the example of Frege's own anti-truth hatred towards the Church shows, the goddess reason is a terrible tyrant without the fact checker of the Church. This post's reference to the need for any healthy political order to recognise something beyond it is the whole point.

    The seeming craziness of today's politically correct is a reflection of their pseudo-religion and its phobias, but such things are not novel. Throughout history masses of "others" have been demonised in every culture, seen as guilty by association. Cultures of suspicion have always thrived. The new religion has its own logic, as even the Aztecs had: if whites, for example, have been the purveyors of all kinds of evil, it's only logical they should be demonised, and the sensibilities of others be the only ones that count. Likewise, the vices rejected by the religion of "whites" should be glorified. Of course the main culprit is really the Faith, for these loonies. Their perverse logic has a method and a motive, that of those who have hated and persecuted the Faith since the beginning.

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  4. The point of the OP cannot be argued against without assuming the truth of its methods and claims. History (and certainly the history of philosophy) is a war of heresies against the one true Church, and the new religions (psychologism, Marxism, . . .ism, . . .ism, . . .ism) are just bad attempts to copy it. In doing so they, as the linked Catholic World Report article says, merely act “precisely like the oppressive God and Church that haunt their imaginations.”

    “People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There was never anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy . . . To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.” –G.K. Chesterton

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    1. Are you quite certain that history.- and the history of philosophy in particular- does not predate the emergence of your 'one true church' TN?

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    2. Try thinking instead of typing.

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    3. Evidently a lesson that you have never learned.

      History did not begin with your church, but since it has been around for a good while, it is hardly a revelation that subsequent philosophical perspectives have often been in tension with it. But so what? Its great age is hardly a guarantor of the correctness of its views and claims, indeed, the truth is likely quite the opposite.

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    4. As the Church is the continuation of the religion revealed in the Old Testament, going back to our first parents then, yes, our Church did precede history in that sense.

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    5. Cervantes

      Ha, ha, ha , ha, ha.

      After ten years of 'research' William Lane Craig is about to publish a book in which he claims that all the puzzling questions about Genesis can be resolved if Adam and Eve were members of Homo heidelbergensis, , living in a special reservation with divine protection from natural corruption and decay some several hundered thousand years ago and ancestors of Homo erectus and the Neanderthals. You would be proud of him.

      This is the kind of apologetic rubbish I was talking about - shoring things up in a logically possible but desperate manner, with no reason at all to think it true! Still it demonstrates that there are no problems with the Adam and Eve story, so all is well!

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    6. Miguel CervantesApril 4, 2021 at 7:47 AM

      Strange. Somebody appears to have only now discovered what the Church has long taught - that Adam and Eve are our first parents and the revelation of our religion began in those remote times. Don't see what Craig has got to do with the Church.

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    7. TN: "... History (and certainly the history of philosophy) is a war of heresies against the one true Church, and the new religions (psychologism, Marxism, . . .ism, . . .ism, . . .ism) are just bad attempts to copy it."

      So many 'isms' Theism?
      I'm reminded of Benjamin Barr Lindsey (died 1943), an American judge and social reformer in Colorado, who oversaw significant reforms there creating juvenile courts and reduction in election fraud, who eruditely noted, "The churches used to win their arguments against atheism, agnosticism, and other burning issues by burning the ismists, which is fine proof that there is a devil but hardly evidence that there is a God."

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    8. So what was yer boi Stalin's excuse burning the non "lacks belief in 'ism" there Paps you old Kangaroo?

      Decades and you haven't learned any atheist philosophy to formulate defeaters for Classic Theism? Yer still stuck in anti-YEC mode.

      Pathetic.

      Delete
    9. Just read S of Y's outburst above. Could someone translate it please?

      Delete
  5. "Frege does not develop the point much further, but as other philosophers have argued, psychologism and other forms of relativism are ultimately simply impossible to formulate in a coherent way."

    I think it depends on whether the claim is high level, close to human psychology, or low level, close to scientific or logical truth. If I say "trans women are women" this is highly dependent on the mass social consensus (psychology) rather than a scientific statement about sex or sexual variation. When we cross between high and low level assertions is when everything gets confused. Political claims do this routinely.

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    Replies
    1. Excellent observation. Take note all you absolutist reactionaries.

      Trans women are clearly not biological women, but as to whether they are women - well, that depends on what we mean by 'women' rather than 'biological women', and is a matter for mass social consensus.

      When one holds in mind the distinction drawn by Hunt above, we see that leftists are not always engaged in the flight from reality that many contributers to this site frequently claim.

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    2. That language is in large part socially constructed doesn't mean it cannot be cynically manipulated in order to obscure the reality it refers to. To go with the example of trans women you've given, to take a term that has typically been associated with objective, biological characteristics - "woman" - and say we actually need to pull the term apart into an objective biological and subjective psychological sense, but then also demand that the latter sense get some genuine objective recognition, is to actually be falling prey to the very error Hunt describes. We are conflating these high-level claims with low-level ones.

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    3. Whether trans women are women depends on whether Jean Paul Sarte was right.

      Does essence precede existence? Then trans women are obligated to discover their innate gender, as informed by looking at the accidents of their birth body.

      Does existence precede essence? Then there's no difference between asserting that one is a woman and ontologically being a woman. Now someone who asserts themselves to be a woman but has all the accidents of a man will probably not feel very womanly, but she must be an ontological woman because her choice to exist as a woman (by self-assertion) gave rise to her essence.

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    4. I'm glad someone brought the trans issue up, because it was the first thing I thought of when I read this post. I had a debate with a young woman online about the trans movement and getting into (what seemed to me) the incoherency of the whole concept. She replied, "Trans people aren't trying to formulate some philosophy that makes sense to you. They're just people trying to live their lives as best they can, just like anyone else."

      This kind of thing is depressingly common. It was like the arguments just did not matter to her. She probably has trans people in her life, loves them and has compassion for them. Empathy and compassion can be good things, but I also think they can distort reason.

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    5. Seems to me that in this case we are simply adding to the variation encountered in the catagory 'women'. The vast majority of women would be biological women, and a very tiny minority would not be. These facts are known by everyone and are would hardly become secret knowledge, known only to the enlightened, while the masses labour in ignorance. It really is no big deal. Get over it.

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    6. Anonymous...

      What do you mean by 'women'?

      Delete
    7. Dr Yogami 9.07am

      Sorry, go back to 'Anonymous' at 7.39am.

      Delete
    8. Dr Yogomi

      I was replying to ccmnxc. Yours and Trytes comments appeared before I had finished.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous,

      The line of attack you are taking is going to put you in the horns of a dilemma, for either,

      1. The category "women" (or "men") is purely a socio-linguistic construct, or
      2. The category "women" has objective, mind-independent content which fixes it as such-and-such a category.

      Now, your posts seem to be pushing more explicitly for 1. The problem here is that socio-linguistic consensus doesn't actually track with reality except by accident. So if we say there are some biological women who are not women, that cashes out to a claim about how society uses the word, not about the reality of the situation. Thus, there is no motivation to say that it is good medicine to do reassignment surgery, or to say that biological women who identify as men should be able to use male bathrooms and locker rooms (and vice-versa), or that another person should be obligated to use particular pronouns for a trans person. For there is no reality grounding the truth of a biological woman not being a woman aside from linguistic consensus...which is very flimsy.

      On the other hand, if we opt for 2, then all of a sudden, appealing to how the word "women" is used isn't going to be nearly enough to establish that some biological women are, in fact, no women. We will then need to appeal to some extra-mental feature of the world which makes this true, which means social and linguistic consensus and even the psychological state of the trans person, will not be enough to ground whether or not they are a man or a woman.

      In short, to opt for 1 is a pyrrhic victory that doesn't actually get you where you want to go, and to opt for 2 requires a good deal more argumentation than you've provided up to this point.

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    10. Ccmnxc 10.12am

      Our sociolinguistic conventions will define what a women is, and that will be the end of the matter. For particular conventions to be widely agreed upon and written into law is a matter for agitation, persuasion and political action. The trans-activists and those of a leftist or liberal persuasion have been very successful in this activism.

      Within a particular catagory such as 'women' , there can of course be sub-catagories, and the base ones ( eg biological female ) will have an objective existance independent of our acts of decision, but not so for higher level ones.

      There may not be an objective feature of the world which obligates people like you to respect the desire of trans people to be treated and addressed in a certain manner, but there may be laws which compel you to do so, or social pressures from the rest of us to push you in that direction. Our social behaviour has always incorporated a great deal of convention - eg dress codes, such as those which serve to distinguish the sexes - and this is no different in principle . However, it serves to address the oppression of those who may not presently be recognised for who they are, and this consideration is of infinately greater importance to me than the beliefs of religionists about essences and teleology.

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    11. @Anonymous

      However, it serves to address the oppression of those who may not presently be recognised for who they are

      God didn't make a mistake. Go back to Discord and dilate.

      Delete
    12. Ha, ha, talk about making a huge assumption. If your God exists , he evidently made mistakes all over the place, which suggests that he does not exist after all. Remember Tryte, basic classical theism does not oblihate you to accepting Christianity let alone Roman Catholicism. As I see it, people overwhelmingly start off believing these things, then if they are philosophically inclined , they will look up all the explanations invented by Christians in the past to remove one area of doubt after another. But making your scheme internally coherent ( often in ways which sttike outsiders as desperate ) does not make it true, something you all frequently seem to forget.

      By the way, sorry for being dumb, but what on earth does your very last sentance mean? Doesn't sound very charitable to me.

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    13. Anonymous,

      However, it serves to address the oppression of those who may not presently be recognised for who they are

      If what you are saying is true, there cannot have been or ever be oppression of trans people with respect to recognizing who they are precisely because up until recently, social convention was that all biological women are women, and even now, not all would recognize the new norm as being legitimate. This has been my entire point. To ground all this merely in social construct is to remove all objective content from the claim that a biological woman can be a man, and hence, there is also no legitimate claim to oppression, violation of rights, or anything of the nature at all (at least in terms of not recognizing or affirming their identity and the practical aspects that go along with doing so). To go this route is to fully embrace the "We want it because we want it, reason and reality be damned" approach, which just is the retreat into the subject that you denied taking in your first post.

      You are free to make that move if you want, but then trying to argue about this issue further is the height of irrationality, since reasoning doesn't enter into the process to begin with.

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    14. ccmnxc,

      Exactly. His comment about 'addressing oppression of those who are not presently recognized for who they are' only makes sense if one already accepts the metaphysics of trans claims. Because trans activists in reality want to make a claim that's stronger than the 'social construct' model.

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    15. Well, it seems to me that if someone self identifies as a member of the opposite biological sex and wishes to be treated as such , feeling great unhappiness and distress in their birth sex role, it is cruel and oppressive for society not to respect their wishes. All this is especially so for individuals who are so unhappy with their condition that they self harm or attempt suicide , and wish to transition. Of course people like that are being oppressed by not having their identities and desires recognised. And whether we do this or not is a matter of decision.

      I agree that arguing the matter is of very limited use. I do not know if you really think that trans activists should be in the seminar room debating philosophical niceties with Thomisrs and otber religionists. I personally think they are correct to be engaging in the most vociferous activism and aggitation, on the streets and in the unions and universities, in a so far very successful attempt to influence the law and culture.

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    16. The problem with the transgender position is that there isn't a transgender position. Rather, there are three positions that trans apologists switch between depending on circumstance. Performative transgenderism, medical transgenderism, and psychological transgenderism.

      Performative transgenderism follows Judith Butler's idea of gender as performance. You are a woman if you act like a woman according to the standards of "woman" set by society.

      Medical transgenderism holds that gender is determined by brain structure. A transgender woman would, in this case, be someone who resembles a physical male but has a "female brain" according to science.

      Psychological transgenderism holds that you are a woman if you believe you are a woman, and that's that. Questioning this is questioning one's identity and therefore one's existence.

      All of these positions contradict each other, and they all have problems from a Left-wing perspective. But all of them are used by transgender activists to justify their worldview, sometimes simultaneously.

      Delete
    17. https://babylonbee.com/news/arkansas-bans-chopping-off-kids-legs-if-they-think-theyre-a-mermaid

      Arkansas Passes Controversial Bill To Ban Chopping Off Kids' Legs If They Think They're A Mermaid
      March 30th, 2021 - BabylonBee.com

      LITTLE ROCK, AR—In a huge blow to trans-species rights, Arkansas has passed a controversial law banning the dismemberment and surgical altering of children if they want to be a different creature.

      "I'll never forget the day my daughter Belle was splashing in the tub and said, 'Look at me, Mommy! I'm a mermaid!'" said local progressive mother and part-time librarian Zindy Derple. "I knew that day she was different. A mythical fish-creature trapped in a human girl's body."

      Belle's dismemberment surgery has now been canceled due to Arkansas's new law.

      "Now, we can't even get her the compassionate leg-removal medical care needed to turn her into her true mermaid self," she said, fighting tears.

      The bill will also prohibit whisker implants for kids who want to be cats, pouch surgery for kids who want to be kangaroos, and "dunking in a vat of chemicals" treatments for kids who identify as Batman's arch-nemesis, the Joker.

      "This is a cruel and inhumane bill," said Derple. "It denies the proven science that species is a fluid thing and denies essential treatment to children, who are obviously old enough to understand what species they are."

      Hollywood has also spoken up, vowing to never film in Arkansas again. "Arkansas needs to learn we will never support a state that normalizes such hate and bigotry," said one director.

      "We will be filming Cuties 2 elsewhere, thank you very much.".

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    18. Cudos to you for your erudition Mr Geocom, but it does not seem to me that these approaches are necessarily contradictory ( if not held absolutely rigidly ) or that the truth might not be an amalgam of them all. The medical model might apply to a subset of transgender people for example, perhaps those most likely to seek transition.

      That different theorists have different perspectives is hardly surprising when the psyvhology and neuroscience of this area is so under developed, but this hardly matters if the final political goal is to have a person's sexual self identification be recognused by law.

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    19. Anonymous,

      If someone has some kind of body dysmorphia, ought we recognize their psychological state as legitimate over and above their bodily state? Obviously, they are suffering some pretty significant psychological anguish, but it looks like a prime example of treating the symptom rather than the disease to simply accommodate said dysmorphia. It seems like we are doing something wrong if we, for example, let an anorexic person live on the threshold of malnutrition simply because having them eat more will cause greater anguish psychologically.

      This has practical applications with transgender people as well. Like I said above, whether or not it is good medicine to give hormone blockers, do surgery, etc. is going to have an objective basis grounded beyond a merely psychological state. Or, to put it in other terms, if you treat a mental illness with surgery and hormones, you may not actually be helping the patient much. Or again, how does someone's right to be treated as the sex they identify with square with those of the opposite biological sex they have to share bathrooms and locker rooms with? Likewise with pronoun usage.

      You are all jacked up on this political agitation stuff yet cannot actually provide reasons for why your position is right! I won't deny your position has been effective at bringing about results; I'm simply disputing that there is any sanity or legitimate moral underpinning to it. Am I wrong in reading your posts as being far less concerned with such things than with simply getting what you want?

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    20. An anorexic may be in danger of malnutrition or even death because of their condition, so treating their symptoms ( ie failure to ingest nutrients ) is critical to helping them. Even so, I do not think that this should be done against the will of otherwise competent adults. The situation with body dysmorphia is completely different. In the absence of other medical interventions that an individual may or may not consent to, the alternatives are to try and talk the individual around to accepting the dysmorphia and living with it, or ( if the individual wishes it and directs things in this direction ), resolving the issue surgically and hormonally. Of course we should recognise a person's long held and consistant psychological state over their physical one, where the individual is rational, mentally unimpaired and able to assess their situation. This is a matter of respect, and could only be opposed by someone with notions of gender essentialism, human teleology and the sinfullness of tampering with this. Well, good for you if you believe that stuff, but news flash - most of us do not, and we do not want our options and legal system held captive to what we see as your erroneous and superstitious world view.You even imply that body dysmorphia is a mental illness, which is just a way of denegrating feelings and desires that you are uncomfortable with and which do not comport well with your religion. Trans people are perfectly insightfull of their condition and appreciate full well what their biological sex is, and simply desire to live and identify otherwise.

      When dealing with young trans people, deciding how to proceed is obviously problematic and involves making difficult decisions. On the one hand, terror of impending puberty and the irreversable skeletal changes that this brings in males especially ( plus the advent of all the other bodily changes in both sexes ) may well lead to depression, self harm and suicide attempts ( or indeed success ), but it is always possible that an individual may regret a medically proactive approach later on ( this is especialky the case of course with gender reassignment surgery ). The only course is for clinicans to proceed on a case by case basis, making the best decisions they can in the light of the history of a particular case and their clinical experience.

      I agree that fully fleged trans rights can comflict with those of other groups ( eg biological women in safe spaces like refuges, lesbians in gay women's spaces, where trans women - actually mostly straight biological men - would have to be seen as largly lesbians too ), and I am honest enough to admit that I find these cases problematic and do not presently know how to handle them properly.

      As to my position, it is simply that if an individual wishes to identify and live as a member of the opposite biological sex and be recognised as a species of such, they damn well ought to be able to , and not be impeded in this by the outmoded oppinions of reactionary religionists. Getting there is not primarily a matter of intellectual disputation but of political struggle.

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    21. "mass social consensus"

      So you are a woman if other people consent? And not if they withhold consent?

      I don't see its obvious that 'consensus' has anything to do with definition, but since you think it does, what equivalency is there between my reality-based definitions and identifications and your 'consensus'-based ones? It's not obvious to me that a consensus definition does any work, but has obvious coercive powers to the quorum. Can you explain what I'm missing?

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    22. What you are missing is that although the term 'biological women' has an objective meaning, the catagory 'women' could be larger than this and include non-biological ones too. This is just a matter of sociolinguistic convention and decision, ie of societal attitude and praxis. We would like to shift the consensus, so that you would sound odd and reactionary to insist that trans women are not women, though they are clearly not biological ones.

      There are probably a multitude of factors which can generate gender dysphoria, but in some cases it would not surprise me at all if neurodevelopmental factors were significant, in which case the condition may be physical and so have an objective basis. This would make at least some trans people an oppressed group in a sense that some people on this thread might recognise, in oppose to just people with deeply held identities, feelings and desires which should be roundly ignored and labelled as psychopathological because they do not comport with the RC/Thomist schema.

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    23. I think people tend to conflate not believing in transgender ideology and denying the rights of "trans people" to exist, in part because of the rhetoric of these activists.

      The truth of these claims and what a Christian society should do with people who believe in these claims are two separate questions.

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    24. The opinions of those who doubt the rationality of theism and Christianity don't much concern me given that most of them couldn't hold their own for five minutes in a discussion with a decently informed Christian. But I'm not sure why you're complaining given your advocacy for subversive political maneuvering and coercion, which is at least as anti-intellectual as anything you are decrying. "Fine for me but not for thee" and all that, apparently.

      One point I do want to focus in on though is your comment on mental illness, which I think exemplifies one of the most serious issues surrounding this discussion. It's important to nail down that mental illness is not an insult or derogatory epithet. That you and others treat it as such is part of what makes this discussion so fraught with problems and contributes to the broader issue that such things should be side-stepped or not talked about. So sorry, but your psychoanalysis misses the mark. My point in calling it a mental illness just is that if we focus entirely on fixing the somatic side of the equation when it is a fundamentally psychological issue, then we are preventing development and growth in psychological treatment (whether it be cognitive-behavioral therapy or whatever) and wasting resources on areas that are, at the end of the day, not the root issue. For every other ailment where the mind and the external reality don't match, we classify it as a mental illness. Not sure what's so magically different about gender dysphoria that we treat it as as a bodily illness instead.

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    25. Could I inquire Mr Geocom what the rights and status of trans individuals would be in your ideal Christian society, which I believe from a previous thread would be an authoritarian RC one, with an integralist relationship between church and state ( apoligies if I have midunderstood/misremembered your positiom, or used the wrong terminology here ).

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    26. Anonymous,

      Rather than ccmnxc's example of body dysphoria, I think a better analogy would be that of Body Integrity Identity Disorder. Such people believe that they are disabled and actually seek to have legs amputated or eyes blinded. In some cases doctors have carried out their wishes. Should they do so?

      Race is also a social construct. In some cases people have been referred to as 'identified as white' or having a 'black identity'. So what about someone identifying as 'transracial'?

      I don't belong to any church or religious system. Do I count as a 'reactionary religionist'?

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    27. comncc

      The differences between many cases of body dysmorphia and most other conditions ( your 'ailments ' prejudges the issue ) where mind and external reality do not match are perfectly obvious. The individual is fully functional and able to proceed with their life, has full insight into their condition and may actively wish to live out their life by "persuing' the dysphoria rather than being compelled to try and extinguish it - through CBT or whstever - to comport with the requirements of your essentialist, teleological ethics and metaphysics. They are not psychotic for goodness sake! Of course, the term 'mental illness' is not inherently an insult or derogatory epithet, but when used to describe a condition in which an individual is functional and insightful and capable of making informed choices about their treatment, it is just a way of pathologising them and legitimising your abbhorance of the physical interventions they may well desire.

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    28. Dr Yagomi

      I am genuinely not very familiar with the conditions you mention, but I must say that whereas a person is perfectly able to live out their life as a member of the opposite biological sex ( with or without transition ) and essentially loose nothing in the process, clearly active disablement leaves people physically diminished, and so should not be medically performed without a great deal of discussion and exploration of the case first ( as with gender reassigmnent surgery too ) - after all, it is irreversable. Now in the end it will be a clinical decision whether to proceed or not ( and I am sure there will be data indicating the likelyhood of subsequent regrets ), but I can well imagine that in some cases it will be the clear best thing to do. An individual who is desperate to have a limb or eye removed may be so upset or disgusted at its presence that they may hack at it or attempt to remove it themselves in some other manner, so clearly endangering their life. Now it seems to me that in such cases ( where the individual is otherwise 'normal', insightful and capable of making autonomous decisions - in oppose to psychotic and requiring temporary restraint), their desire should be respected.

      Frankly Dr Yagomi, people can identify in whatever way they wish as far as I am concerned, but unusual examples are just that, and should not distract from the topic at hand ( trans sexualism ) which is the live topic of the day.

      As to whether you are a reactionary religionist, I have no idea - that depends on the basis for your opposition to the trans ( and maybe gay ) agenda. If it derives from notions of essentialism and teleology, and the sinfullness of transgressing these, so you would have us all follow your metaphysical line if you could but impose it, then yes you are.

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    29. Anonymous,

      Could I inquire Mr Geocom what the rights and status of trans individuals would be in your ideal Christian society, which I believe from a previous thread would be an authoritarian RC one, with an integralist relationship between church and state ( apoligies if I have midunderstood/misremembered your positiom, or used the wrong terminology here ).

      I’m not sure what you mean by “authoritarian.” If by “authoritarian,” you mean that I reject liberalism or that I respect authority, then sure. Otherwise, I’m not sure what you mean by that term.

      Regardless, if we were talking about how people with this condition would be treated in an Integralist society, I’d say that such an order would have therapists trained to deal with this sort of thing. Someone who feels like their body doesn’t match what they feel it “should” be would be encouraged to seek treatment. This treatment would seek to reconcile one’s feelings with the good of the person rather than seeking to conform one’s body to one’s feelings, regardless of that person’s good. I imagine that there’d be charities donating large amounts of money to research in developing this form of treatment. Those transgender people who suffer from dysphoria severe enough to cause suicidal thoughts, self-mutilation, or other such symptoms would have to be institutionalized for their own good. Otherwise, people with this disorder would have to seek out medical help.

      Delete
    30. I see, so the answer is that in your ideal Catholic society , trans people would receive psychological treatments ( which may well not work ) or, if they became too distressed at your treatment of them, they would be banged up in an institution. I dread to think what would happen to gay people , especially recalcitrant ones who ignored your repeated injunction to desist from carnal relations.

      At least you are honest, so thank you for that!

      Delete
    31. @ccmnxc

      My point in calling it a mental illness just is that if we focus entirely on fixing the somatic side of the equation when it is a fundamentally psychological issue, then we are preventing development and growth in psychological treatment (whether it be cognitive-behavioral therapy or whatever) and wasting resources on areas that are, at the end of the day, not the root issue.

      Trans people are no more (or no less) mentally ill than Jean Paul Sartre.

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    32. "The individual is fully functional and able to proceed with their life"

      But

      "who is desperate to have a limb or eye removed may be so upset or disgusted at its presence that they may hack at it or attempt to remove it themselves in some other manner"


      ...?


      I'm sure you mean something vaguely sympathetic but are you speaking from experience or vicariously?

      Delete
    33. Anonymous,

      You're just being silly.

      Delete
    34. Trans people are no more (or no less) mentally ill than Jean Paul Sartre.

      That may well be true. So sad for Mr. Sartre.

      To be more fair: since you didn't know Sartre, and don't know how sane he was or wasn't, and neither do I, the statement is like saying "that car is as red as a granolinster." Since the redness of a granolinster is unknown, the statement does not convey much.

      An assumption that trans people are not (by that fact) mentally ill remains an assumption no matter how many people ascribe to it. Making it so by simply choosing to define terms to make it so changes language without changing the reality, and is an act of mere power over words, not an act of apprehension of reality.

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    35. Teppy 5.55am

      You have provided quotes from two different posts of mine, one about trans people and one about extreme cases of BIID, and run them together in a manner that suggests a contradiction, when in fact none exists. You must have done that knowingly. How shameful. Be off to the priest with you now for penance and absolution!

      Mr Geocon 6.05pm.

      Why am I being silly?


      Tony 6.57PM

      According to my reading on the subject, trans people ( like gays ) do not exhibit indications of psychopathology other than those that can be reasonably attributed to consequences of the condition itself, such as anxiety or depression when in the pre- transition state, or arising from ostracism or worse from friends, relatives and the world at large. Where these things do not exist and the individual is supported and fully accepted by a network, they are as high functioning as anyone else. Ofcourse, that still leaves the status of the condition itself to consider, but that just shows that the labelling of someone as mentally ill can sometimes be a case of societal prejudice and oppression. I would suggest that if you have a high functioning individual who has a 'condition' which they accept and desire and which is central to their identity, and which is perfectly able to be integrated into the social order, labelling it as a mental illness is clearly a prejudiced and oppressive act. This kind of thing could be done with the same (lack of ) justification ofcourse with religious people who believe that the universe is populated by a host of completely undetectable disembodied intellects, some of which they believe they have a relationship with and which they spend a great deal of time chatting to or propitiating in some way.

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    36. Mr Geocom

      Just for the sake of clarity, suppose that in your ideal RC society 1. a trans person ( trans women say ) refused to accept your kindly offer of psycholigical treatments for her illness, and proceeded to dress in a stereotypically feminine manner and go shopping, to work etc so attired, and 2. a gay person ( gay man say ) also refused your psychomedical interventions, and proceeded to walk about the streets hand in hand with his mate, and indeed set up house with him.

      What would happen to them?

      Delete
    37. What causes me grave concern is not adults who make this choice, but the kids who are encouraged or even pressured to do so against the will of their parents. Canada seems to be going down this road. A pubescent child may go to a guidance counselor and receive a diagnosis that they are misgendered and immediately be put on hormone blocker without parental knowledge or consent. And when parent object or try to intervene, it is the parents who are taken to court. Then in court, if a parent refuses to use the child's preferred pronouns, they are put in jail on contempt charges.

      This is really happening in a British Columbia case.

      The other problem is that real science does not seem to be allowed. I have read the now banned books that reveal what is happening in the medical field, and it shows doctors being uncritically forced to accept only one approach to gender disphoria. And if you question this manufacturered consensus the doctor become subject to cancel culture and can lose their job. The Toronto doctor pioneering gender transition for adults had always advocated a wait until adulthood approach for children. After the issue became a subject for the moral elites to express their moral outrage on, he was quickly fired from the clinic he had founded. This is not science.

      This website has the story of some detransitioners. https://detranscanada.com/personal-testimonials/

      Something is definitely going bad here.

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    38. Another case happened closer to where I live. I was taking the bus to work and saw a trans man. Later on I googled trans woman plus my city and was surprised to find his picture in my local newspaper. It described how he had transitioned. What gave me pause is that he had first transcitioned his son into a girl before deciding he wanted to transition as well.

      Earlier on last year, I met a family and their two kids at the park. Their kids were playing with my own kids. My daughter came up to me and asked me if that girl was a boy. I looked, and it was indeed a four year old boy in girls clothes. The parents had obviously either decided their child was gender fluid or had their five year old child diagnosed by some professional.

      All of this screams a social phenomena. A fad. Parental conscent and rights are only advocated for when they are deciding to transition their parents or proactively deciding to label their children as gender fluid or even transitioning their children. Courage and bravery and moral approval is, in the liberal media I'm surrounded with, only extended in that one direction. But the parents who oppose their child's diagnosis, or who want a second opinion for their child's diagnosis, are taken to court and then sent to prison for not using the proper pronouns?

      Surely you can see how messed up this is?

      Also, if you read through the cases presented in the website I posted above, you will see stories about presure being directed on people going through the transition process. Once they have been diagnosed by a professional of some sort, it becomes very difficult to change directions or to stop or reverse the process. The woman described said she had to leave her doctors and completely change her medical team to do so. This seems more akin to changing your religion or political party. You get all the support you need, until you leave the home team. Then you are completely on your own. This is not how medicine should be conducted.

      Delete
    39. I share some of your concerns Daniel. Being supportive of people who wish to self identify as a member of the opposite biological sex, or even to transition, does not imply that I support an unregulated free for all . However, while each of your concerns must stand or fall on its own merits, I feel that you are being a little disingenuous as I suspect that you oppose all specifically trans rights in principle, and indeed dismiss the very notion of a trans person.

      One point that I really think that you should take on board is that waiting for adulthood before transitioning, at least without the use of puberty blockers, is a horrifying prospect for many trans children/youth, who are then compelled to experience the development of secondary sexual characteristics such as breasts and particularly in biological males an irreversable changes to bone structure. This leads to much suffering, self harm and attemped ( and successful ) suicides. Surely , each case has to be dealt with on its own merits by the clinicians involved, looking at such factors as the longevity and constancy of the trans self identity, the urgency of the desire to arrest sexual development and move towards transition, and any psychopathology or self destructive behaviour exhibited by the trans person. Not using puberty blockers and waiting until adulthood for transitioning can be deadly.

      Do not be so black and white in your thinking.

      Delete
    40. Your argument rests on the assumption that the suicide rates get better after transitioning. As far as I can tell, this is not the case. Quite the opposite seems to be occurring if you trust the studies I have seen. Again, if what you were saying were true, I would have far less concerns.

      Delete
    41. An assumption that trans people are not (by that fact) mentally ill remains an assumption no matter how many people ascribe to it. Making it so by simply choosing to define terms to make it so changes language without changing the reality, and is an act of mere power over words, not an act of apprehension of reality.

      You're missing my point. The assumption behind the assertion that trans people are insane is that people are born with a male essence or female essence (which trans fail to recognize), and that proposition is not universally acknowledged.

      If existence precedes essence, then the tables are turned: it is YOU who is reasoning according to feelings, not trans people! Because you are letting the feeling of being in a particular type of body guide your choice of gender. Which is mauvaise foi.

      Delete
    42. Just to give some backup to my claim above about suicide reates, Cecilia Dhejne et al., "Long-term follow-up of transsexual persons undergoing reassignment surgery: cohort study in Sweden," PLOS ONE 6 (February 2011)"
      "People who have transition surgery are nineteen times more likely than average to die by suicide."

      Anne P. Haas, Philip L. Rodgers, and Jody Herman, "Suicide Attempts Among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults: Findings of the Natrional Transgender Discrimination Survey," Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law (January 2014)

      Suicide attempts among people who identify as transgender is at 41 percent, compared with 4.6 percent of the general population.

      Delete
    43. Other studies that compare suicidality in gender refered children (those undergoing treatment) compared to siblings and non refferred children. So siblings, I presume, do not have gender dysphoria, and the non refferred kids have gender dysphoria but are not undergoing treatment.

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27238070/

      "Results: The gender-referred children and the referred children from the standardization sample had significantly higher scores than siblings and nonreferred children in terms of self-harm/suicidality, total behavior problems, and poor peer relations. Based on logistic regression analyses, gender-referred children were 5.1 times more likely than nonreferred children to talk about suicide and 8.6 times more likely to self-harm/attempt suicide, even after overall behavior problems and peer relationship problems were accounted for. In the final models, group, older age, and more total behavior problems, but not poor peer relations, were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of self-harm/suicidality."

      This studie, if I am interpreting it right, is shocking, because it seems to show in increase in suicidality in children undergoing treatment.

      This is also a socking study:

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27539381/

      "Abstract
      Prevalence of suicide attempts, self-injurious behaviors, and associated psychosocial factors were examined in a clinical sample of transgender (TG) adolescents and emerging adults (n = 96). Twenty-seven (30.3%) TG youth reported a history of at least one suicide attempt and 40 (41.8%) reported a history of self-injurious behaviors. There was a higher frequency of suicide attempts in TG youth with a desire for weight change, and more female-to-male youth reported a history of suicide attempts and self-harm behaviors than male-to-female youth. Findings indicate that this population is at a high risk for psychiatric comorbidities and life-threatening behaviors."

      Delete
    44. Daniel

      I am hardly a specialist in this area, and do not have a command of the relevant peer reviewed research, so I will have to take it on trust that these studies of yours were properly conducted, subject to peer review and were generally found to be sound by the relevant academic community. Even so, the rates of suicide and attempted suicide will vary greatly across countries, depending on the degree of social acceptance shown to trans people, and the medical and psychological services available to them. It will also vary over time, as the above and other factors change.

      That a generally ostracised group of people who frequently undergo relationship breakdowns with family and friends, and rejection in their community, should have an enhanced suicide rate is hardly surprising. You would no doubt still find this among gay people, though not to the same extent as in the past. But what follows from this? I would suggest that trans people need far more support and social acceptance (as well as provision of services ), something that will come over time through continuing legal and political activism. What they certainly do not need is religionists and bigots ( I do not necessarily equate the two ) claiming that they are insane, evil, unnatural and the rest of it, opposing their generally increasing rights and trying to close down clinics. And informing them that they must pass through the horrors of puberty - undergoing irreversable structural changes in the process - and then have to jump through endless hoops in order to transition, would I suggest make things much worse.

      I am not sure what all of this has to do with the right of people to self identify sexually as they wish, for this to be respected legally and for transition to be possible for those trans people who so desire it. All that is quite independent of the psychosocial difficulties that some trans people ( especially ones of low socioeconomic status, or originating in faith or other traditionalist communities ) experience.

      Delete
    45. Tryte 6am

      I do not think that even here many people will take your claim seriously that trans people are insane. Other than the misalignment of their biological sex and the one they self identify with, they are just like you and me,including cognitively. Is this another of those occasions where you Thomists have your own private meaning of an everyday word that to 'normal' people means something completely different ?



      If you wish to call

      Delete
    46. @Anonymous reread my comment again

      And my understanding of philosophy, while largely shaped by the classical theist tradition, goes off in its own direction.

      Delete
    47. BalanvedTryteOperators ( BTO )

      My humblest apologies BTO. There is often a lot to read here, I am extremely busy and I catch it when I can on my iphone and so often skip read of necessity. Evidently I need to try harder!

      Sorry for misrepresenting you.

      Delete
    48. Anonymous,

      The reason why you’re being silly is because of your paranoid, hyperbolic nonsense.

      I wrote that, in the ideal Christian society, I believe trans people would be treated like this:

      Regardless, if we were talking about how people with this condition would be treated in an Integralist society, I’d say that such an order would have therapists trained to deal with this sort of thing. Someone who feels like their body doesn’t match what they feel it “should” be would be encouraged to seek treatment. This treatment would seek to reconcile one’s feelings with the good of the person rather than seeking to conform one’s body to one’s feelings, regardless of that person’s good. I imagine that there’d be charities donating large amounts of money to research in developing this form of treatment. Those transgender people who suffer from dysphoria severe enough to cause suicidal thoughts, self-mutilation, or other such symptoms would have to be institutionalized for their own good. Otherwise, people with this disorder would have to seek out medical help.

      This is pretty reasonable to me. If someone were having body image issues, they ought to have some way to deal with these feelings that does not involve self-harm. And if these feelings are so extreme that it drives the person to self-harm or even suicide, then institutionalizing them is a reasonable step to prevent such self-harm.

      Now, what was your response to my reasonable, commonsensical position?

      I see, so the answer is that in your ideal Catholic society , trans people would receive psychological treatments ( which may well not work ) or, if they became too distressed at your treatment of them, they would be banged up in an institution. I dread to think what would happen to gay people , especially recalcitrant ones who ignored your repeated injunction to desist from carnal relations.

      If you cannot see the difference between what I wrote and your “summary” of it, then I don’t know what to tell you.

      Just for the sake of clarity, suppose that in your ideal RC society 1. a trans person ( trans women say ) refused to accept your kindly offer of psycholigical treatments for her illness, and proceeded to dress in a stereotypically feminine manner and go shopping, to work etc so attired, and 2. a gay person ( gay man say ) also refused your psychomedical interventions, and proceeded to walk about the streets hand in hand with his mate, and indeed set up house with him.

      What would happen to them?

      Imagine if someone went around today wearing a Swastika tattoo on their forehead and greeting black people by calling them some ethnic slur. What would happen then?

      I’d imagine the same thing would happen to the trans woman and the gay man who went around in a Christian society acting as they did.

      Delete
    49. No, your notion of the ideal political order is not reasonable Geocon, but is a terrible warning to anyone not signed up to the RC Taliban to confront and oppose you and your ilk at every turn. You must never obtain real political power again, and we will prevent that by all means necessary.

      Not long ago in a different thread you were unable to express a preferance between fascist Germany, Taliban controlled Afghanistan, Stalin's Russia and a modern liberal democracy, such is your hatred of liberalism and need for RC authoritarianism NOW at all costs. You are a dangerous extremist Geocon - a member of the Christian Taliban.

      In your ideal Christian society trans people would not be allowed to live authentic lives, but would be subject to psychological interventions designed to 'normalise' them. If - through horror and distress at their enforced state - they began to self harm or there waa a danger of worse, they would be institutionalised. Well, that is all very reasonable then!

      Geocon then goes on to compare a fascist with a Swastika tattoed on his forehead walking up to greet a black man with gay and trans people trying to live authentic lives, as if there is some kind of equivalence here.

      Of course, non of this is a sutprise, but it does underline the fact that religionists must never gain political power in the west again, and we must do evetything in our power to marginalise them.

      Out of curiosity, do other RC people on here concur with Geocon?

      In your ideal RC order trans people would not be able to lead authentic lives let alone transition

      Delete
    50. Anonymous,

      It's pretty clear that you aren't arguing in good faith, considering you aren't capable of being reasonable with someone who disagrees with you. Since you are now making appeals to someone to take your over-the-top rambling seriously, allow me to make my own appeal.

      Everyone: look at this person. See how the slightest disagreement with him causes him to accuse you of being a terrorist. See how he lies about my position to fit his preconceived notion. How he calls me dangerous. What we have here is clearly a liberal extremist. Those he disagrees with must be the moral equivalent of the Taliban and treated as such. The idea of empathy – real understanding of someone different from him – is lost on him.

      So, tell me, who you would prefer your society to be run by – empathetic Christians who understand the plight of trans people and seek to help them the best they can without the use of expensive self-mutilation? Or people who have a narrow idea of what “freedom” means and will treat those who disagree with them like terrorists?

      Delete
    51. Mr Geocon

      There was no 'appeal' Mr Geocon, simply a question, namely ' Out of curiosity, do other RC people on here concur with Geocon?'. I suspect that many do not, and that they will find drawing a parallel between the racial abuse of a black person by a fascist in our society and the attempt of gays and trans people to live authentically in a Christian one to be utterly gross.

      I am not a liberal extremist Geocom, just liberally minded and supportive of our current liberal democratic order. What is extreme is wanting to replace that with an authoritarian religious order ( whether theocratic or integralist ) , in which our personal liberal freedoms would be destroyed in the manner you describe. In fact , it would be much, much worse than that of course. With power over ethical and religious matters in the hands of priests, and no way to democratically get rid of them, the dynamic would be towards ever stricter and more authoritarian control , with no possibility of redress. As with every theocracy in history, it would end up being a horror show. At least with our present liberal democratic order it is possible to organise and agitate against aspects of life that one finds reprehensible or abhorrant - in your case, abortion perhaps? - and with a real prospect of some success. It is a no brainer that even most Christians will appreciate and supporr the political system that we are fortunate enough to presently live under.

      You are indeed an extremist Mr Geocon. Have you been able to select a favoured system yet out of the following list - state communism, fascism, Islaamic dictatorship and liberal democracy? Or are they still all the same, a plague on all their houses? If that is not an extremist position, as well as being a potentially very dangerous one, I do not know what is.

      I have bucket loads of empathy for many others who have very different views to me, but sometimes world views and perspectives are just incommensurable and empathy is impossible. Such is the case here.

      I have no compunction in labelling you 'Christian Taliban' , not because I think you ape them in all respects ( I did not call you a terrorist any more than I did a Moslem ), but because you hate liberal democracy and would love to supplant it with an oppressive religious system which would crush anyone who did not conform. Am I wrong?

      Delete
    52. Anonymous,

      Getting back to the trans issue, it seems that you hold to something like a libertarian self-ownership argument, yes? Although with a caveat that the individual be 'fully functioning' as you've stated above. It's interesting that you're falling back on teleology even while rejecting it.

      Delete
    53. Anonymous,

      You are indeed an extremist Mr Geocon. Have you been able to select a favoured system yet out of the following list - state communism, fascism, Islaamic dictatorship and liberal democracy? Or are they still all the same, a plague on all their houses? If that is not an extremist position, as well as being a potentially very dangerous one, I do not know what is.

      You don't know what is an extremist position.

      I have no compunction in labelling you 'Christian Taliban' , not because I think you ape them in all respects ( I did not call you a terrorist any more than I did a Moslem ), but because you hate liberal democracy and would love to supplant it with an oppressive religious system which would crush anyone who did not conform. Am I wrong?

      Right, so the correct position is that I should love liberal democracy and crush anyone who does not conform to it?

      Delete
    54. Anonymous, April 3:

      The differences between many cases of body dysmorphia and most other conditions ( your 'ailments ' prejudges the issue ) where mind and external reality do not match are perfectly obvious. The individual is fully functional and able to proceed with their life, has full insight into their condition and may actively wish to live out their life by "persuing' the dysphoria rather than being compelled to try and extinguish it - through CBT or whstever - to comport with the requirements of your essentialist, teleological ethics and metaphysics.

      You assume facts clearly contrary to evidence.

      A person who has had gender reassignment surgery is NOT ‘fully functional’. The reproductive function is permanently and irrevocably lost. The endocrine functions are permanently damaged, as the body is no longer able to produce the sex hormones that assist the reproductive function; and this means that the patient requires artificial hormone treatment for the rest of his or her life, merely in order to continue to have the external appearance of his or her chosen sex.

      You could, I suppose, claim that needing permanent hormone treatments does not count as a loss of function, since the treatments are presumably available. But by the same logic, type I diabetes does not count as a loss of function either, because diabetics can take insulin shots. I don’t think you would find very many diabetics (or doctors) who would agree with that position.

      In short, your position is founded upon a lie, and I, at least, cannot in honesty take seriously any of the arguments developed from that lie.

      Delete
    55. Hey Anonymous,

      With regard to your last paragraph to me, all my posts have been focused on children and whether transitioning children will result in doing more harm than good. I'm not arguing about the rights of any adult "to self identify sexually as they wish, for this to be respected legally and for transition to be possible for those trans people [adults] who so desire it."

      So going on to your previous paragraphs:

      "Even so, the rates of suicide and attempted suicide will vary greatly across countries, depending on the degree of social acceptance shown to trans people, and the medical and psychological services available to them. It will also vary over time, as the above and other factors change."

      How do you know this? It appears to be a claim without evidence, or a request for a blank check. What could, in principle anyway, convince you that gender transitioning is ultimately harmful to children (if not to adults)?

      "That a generally ostracised group of people who frequently undergo relationship breakdowns with family and friends, and rejection in their community, should have an enhanced suicide rate is hardly surprising. You would no doubt still find this among gay people, though not to the same extent as in the past. But what follows from this? I would suggest that trans people need far more support and social acceptance …."

      I 100% agree that LGBT youth need to be accepted and loved for who they are. I don't have any LGBT children that I know of yet, but I hope that if one of my kids were to have this inclination, I would love and cherish them as much as any of my other kids without compromising my beliefs on human sexuality.

      Delete
    56. But I think there is a difference in kind between LGB and T. The T part requires medical intervention of a radical sort that causes irreversible changes to those undergoing the process. And if there is a significant increase in suicidality between those that undergo the process and those who do not ... why the heck would we do this to our kids?

      From what I understand, before 2015, the Toronto gender identity center was run by a doctor that pioneered gender transitioning for adults. But he opposed the process for kids. As part of his research, he found that 80 to 95 percent of children with gender dysphoria (GD) resolved their identity issues by their adult years, either to a heterosexual gender identity or to LGB. He was labeled an advocate of conversion therapy by various activist groups and subsequently fired in a highly public case. He then sued his former employer and won the case, receiving half a million dollars in compensation.

      The process now in Canada seems to be to affirm a child in their perceived identity and support their desire for transition without question. A parent can be charged for child abuse for opting to opposing a medical doctor that diagnoses their child and recommends transitioning.

      Now, assuming the statistics cited above are true, 80 to 95 percent of children opting for gender transitioning could have resolved their gender identity issues by adulthood, but will now be on the fast track to going through with gender transitioning. Even if we only look at the medically related downsides to delaying puberty with puberty blockers, then administering cross gender hormones for the rest of their lives, then performing mastectomies or penectomies, and then the plastic surgery for increasing breast mass or forming a penis (which doesn't happen often because the rate of success is very low) ... I just don't understand why we would even consider it!

      Plus, what if a child with GD actually wants to try to resolve their GD? What if they want to have medical and psychological care that migth help them resolve their GD? As it stands now, they cannot! It is litterally illegal to help the 80 to 95 percent of those kids now. Instead they will find their gender identity reinforced making it even harder for them to resolve their gender identity in a way that does not end up resulting in massive medical intervention.

      A blanket ban on transitioning for kids would leave the 5 to 20 percent of kids with a difficult cross to bear, but with proper love and support, they would be able to get through it, I think. At the very least, we owe it to the 80 to 95 percent to help them choose a better course.

      Delete
    57. It's pretty obvious that the Anonymous poster here arguing for the pro-transgender position is full of assertion after assertion. That liberalism is better than (say) communism is something they assume. That conforming the body of the trans person to their feelings is good is something they assume. No evidence is given for these claims.

      I expect to be called some kind of extremist again.

      Delete
    58. @Anonymous

      Stop using "religionists" as a insult. By "religion" we usually talk about a bunch of very diferent traditions. If you want to insult Mister Geocon* them use a term that does not include(to normal ears) catholicism, hinduism, taoism, spiritism etc.

      Ignoring the distinctions between all the world religions and lumping them all in a homogeneous mass composed only of the bad in these traditions is a pretty common rethorical trick of secularist bigots, try to be better than that if you want to be treated serious by "religionists".


      *leaving aside what we should think about catholic integralism, you can be a liberal and agree with my point here.

      Delete
    59. Tom Simon 4.28pm

      By 'fully functional' I meant psychologically so , in that trans people have full insight into their condition and often make a free, concious and informed decision to embrace it and even proceed to transition. I had been asked why we should treat body disphoria differently from other 'ailments' where mind and external reality do not match, and was drawing attention to the rather obvious difference between the psychological state of trans people and that of psychotics.

      Delete
    60. Talmid 9.40PM

      You are quite correct of course - clearly, the term 'religionist' obscures the huge difference between traditions and peactitioners -and I will keep what you say in mind in future.

      I actually know a few Quakers, Unitarians, New Age types and a Therevada Buddhist, and although I disagree with the specifically religious/metaphysical aspects of what they have to say, in general we get on very well and concur about a great deal regarding social issues.

      Delete
    61. Daniel

      As stated previously, I share some of your concerns and am not a zealot in this area. Clearly, with irreversable medical interventions we must proceed with caution, and the area should be properly regulated. However, whereas I think that you are opposed in principle to such interventions in children, I am not. That should be a clinical decision, and it is easy to imagine that in some cases action is required relatively quickly to avert a highly probably tragedy.

      You have presented a great mass of statistics and other claims which obviously cause me concern, and I will make a point of researching these further. From other posts of yours on previous threads I have the strong impression that you are a bit of an activist around abortion, medical interventions in trans children and euthanasia. Now that does not necessarily mean that you are misrepresenting the situation by pulling poorly conducted and heavily criticised studies from activist websites, lifting them from the popular right wing press or just not interpreting them correctly, but that might be the case. So I will look into all this much more closely, with an open mind.

      I must say that some of your claims seem quite unbelievable. For example, is it really the case that in Canada young kids are accepted for immediate medical intervention without parental consent, and then parents who try to halt the process are taken to court and end up in prison for using the wrong personal pronoun as you claim , or is that either a highly anomalous incident or some made up story that you have read in the press and credulously accepted uncritically? I will find out.

      You know, it might be the case that in a sub-group of minors ( applying a much stronger, research based filter to select these ), medical intervention will generate much better outcomes than you allege, and actually reduce suicidal and other undesirable behaviour. Would you still be against such intervention in these cases, and if so why?

      Delete
    62. Mr Geocom 3.41pm

      So , the answer to my question is yes, you are still unable to draw a distinction between and express a preference between fascism, communism, Islaamic dictatorship and modern liberal democracy ( concretely, say Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, Afghanistan under the Taliban and the UK right now ). No matter, any reasonable pecking order of desirability has not been demonstrated apparantly. You are clearly no extremist Mr G, and I am obviously at great fault for not being able to empathise with your position.

      Delete
    63. On the GIC situation:
      https://www.thecut.com/2016/02/fight-over-trans-kids-got-a-researcher-fired.html

      Here is the Canadian ban on conversion therapy that are being used to go after people. The bill is broad, so in addition to going after groups that want to pray the gay out, or snake handlers, or extreme aversion therapy folks.

      https://www.canada.ca/en/department-justice/news/2020/09/federal-government-reintroduces-legislation-to-criminalize-conversion-therapy-related-conduct-in-canada.html

      As you can see, the law is broad as described. As written, it would condemn Zucker's GIC wait and see approach. It also attacks parental rights.

      Here is an article about the BC situation.

      https://nationalpost.com/news/b-c-father-arrested-held-in-jail-for-repeatedly-violating-court-orders-over-childs-gender-transition-therapy

      Delete
    64. Anonymous @ April 4, 2021 at 7:23 AM

      Bravo.

      Delete
    65. Here is an article on what is going on in Sweden currently. "Teenage transgender row splits Sweden as dysphoria diagnoses soar by 1,500%"


      Notice the only person interviewed in the article is a leading Trans Activist.

      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/feb/22/ssweden-teenage-transgender-row-dysphoria-diagnoses-soar

      Delete
    66. Anonymous,

      I have to come out front and say it: you seem like a very compassionate person. And I think that's the problem. Some people lack compassion. That's a vice of deficiency. Some people have an excess of compassion (which is also a vice), to the point where it distorts their ability to reason well. I honestly think that's what's going on here.

      Delete
    67. Daniel

      So you are saying that the Canadian situation stems from a badly constructed law , originally intended to ban gay conversion therapies, but now being used in other areas too, beyond the original remit. If so , I am not sure what we can conclude from this other than the need to frame laws very carefully indeed, and perhaps to modify this one.

      As I said, I will do a great deal of reading in this area, especially in relation to your various claims. I may well discover areas of great concern as regards practice in particular countries, but to repeat, I am not opposed in principle to medical interventions on young trans people if they are judged to be appropriate and desirable for psychomedical reasons by the clinicians concerned. There seems to me to be the world of difference between someone approaching adolescence who has only quite recently developed trans inclinations and who does not hold them with any great obsession and intensity, and another who has felt that way with constancy and intensity for years and who is self harming through fear of approaching puberty.

      So I have made clear my fundamental, 'ground-zero' attitude here. In the interests of transparancy, could you please do the same? Is your opposition to medical interventions on trans children ( such as puberty blockers ) a rigid one of principle, regardless of any great benefits that this may bring to carefully selected sub-populations, or are you more pragmatic than that?

      Delete
    68. Hey Anonymous,

      In principle, I am against all transitioning, period. But my attitude when seeing a trans adult is one of sadness but acceptance. For children, my attitude is more one of horror. It seems tantamount to child abuse. And in Canada, it seems tantamount to state sanctioned child abuse impeeding on parental rights.

      I can imagine the terror of a parent though, seeing their child with GD get progressively worse and more suicidal and my heart goes out to them. But I believe that transitioning is not a cure in any way shape or form. Having said that, if parental rights were respected, and at least parents had the right to seek alternate appproaches to GD other than gender affirming approaches, such as the wait and see approach, my anxiety would be greatly aleviated. I don't think this request is unreasonable in a pluralistic society.

      Delete
    69. Dr Yogami 5.56am

      Thank you for seeing some merit in me, rather than dismissing me as an evil secular liberal extremist! I hope that I am compassionate , but equally, I would not agree that I am reasoning incorrectly at all, indeed at base, my contention that trans people should be able to self identify and live out their lives as they wish, is not an intellectual position at all. It is a statement about how I and countless others desire the world to be politically organised and structured, and that in turn has to be the the object of political/legal action and struggle.What has reason and the seminar room got to do with this? I am not making any clearly erroneous factual claims about fundamental issues ( eg that human biological sexes do not objectively exist but are constructed socially ), and when it comes to the desirability or otherwise of medical interventions on trans children I agree that the area has to be evidence based, which is why I intend to look into the various disturbing claims made by Daniel, which may or may not pan out in quite the way he presents them.





      Delete
    70. Daniel 6.21am

      Do you not appreciate that many trans people see their transition as a wonderful thing which allows them to live far more authentic lives, especially if they are surrounded by caring, supportive and accepting people? With that in mind , and putting aside the issue of medical interventions on trans children which generates issues of its own, why on earth do you feel sad when you see a trans person? They do not need your pity Daniel, but your unconditional acceptance, as well as a recognition of their right to exist. For my own part, when I encounter a trans person, or a gay one ( it is not uncommon in England now to see gay couples hand in hand in the street - more so with lesbians as it happens, as rough young men are far lese likely to react adversely to them, indeed the encounter may well excite them ), it is a 100% non-issue. You need to get over it.

      Delete
    71. Hey Anonymous,

      I am a naturalist in the sense that I believe human flourishing must be in accord with human nature and can only occur under these conditions. I do not deny transgender people the right to exist or to be accepted, but I do believe that they are harming themselves by doing what they do.

      But again, my main concern in this discussion is children and parental rights to seek alternative treatments for their kids with GD. This has a potential to directly impact me as the parent of seven kids. One wrong interaction in a guidance councelor's office and my child could be on the fast track to hormone blockers and myself to jail for daring to oppose them.

      Delete
    72. @Anonymous, please explain, if you would, how it is that gender is a social construct, but at the same time each individual should be free to choose his own gender?

      Here is my difficulty: suppose that gender arises and exists because a society decides to organize itself by making these classes. Arguably, society (a) formed these class based on something actually distinct in the real world, or (b) formed these classes out of whole cloth as pure imaginative art; and then chose to assign people to these classes (c) based on something actually present in people themselves as they are, or (d) based on purely imagined and wholly made up bases that have no basis in any fact. There are 4 different ways these two societal acts can be modeled: either (a) & (c), or (a) & (d), or (b) & (c), or (b) & (d). However, as far as I can tell, not one of them logically implies that each individual person should replace society in the second action by assigning themselves to one of the groups. Still less would it be the case, assuming (b), that some individuals just are in a class of their own choosing. And even LESS true would it be - assuming (b) - that "there ARE" more categories than the ones society itself made: if the classes exist SOLELY because society made them up, then nobody BUT society as a whole can say "class Z exists".

      Here's an example to clarify: The US chooses to make its federal court system align by location - each federal court covers a specific geographical area. And it chooses to make access to them by your residence (at least in part). These are at least in part arbitrary: they could have decided to make access to them alphabetically by the last two letters of your first name, or by your blood type, or by simply a lottery system and let random chance assign you to one of the courts. It would be idiotic for a person living in a state overseen by the 4th appellate district to claim that "just is" really under the 9th district for no other reason than he chose it so. Granted, these are societally constructed classes, but that means society sets the rule, not each individual.

      To suppose that gender is a system of classes constructed by society simply does not imply that each person gets to choose which class he belongs to.

      Delete
    73. If one supposes that the gender classes are constructed PARTLY from real facts and partly from purely imaginative art, this leaves even LESS room to claim that there "are" more classes than the ones society already set forth, and/or that each person gets to choose which class to belong to.

      And taking the idea to other arenas, the silliness becomes more obvious still: if a person were to claim "being 'school-aged' and 'a minor' are arbitrary, societally-constructed classes, at age 10 I now choose to be an adult and not be 'school-aged', I will prefer to be 'school-aged' when I am 37," such a claim is obvious nonsense. A person aged 10 (or ANY age, for that matter) doesn't simply get to determine whether they are school-aged by their own will. Even if a person aged 37 can decide to get some more education, they don't get to decide to be put into an elementary school.

      Delete
    74. Tony 7.20am

      Perhaps I should read your post several more times and give it more thought before responding, in case I have not properly understood, but life is short and I am very busy, so here goes.

      Traditionally , gender has tracked biological sex, though there have been complications in some societies involving a small percentage of people. Society has therefore based the concept of there being two genders on something objective, but this hides a great deal of psychological variation between individuals, who may not feel comfortable at all with this binary scheme. Simply because there is a predominantly accepted , socially constructed view of gender ( based on something objective ), does not mean that this cannot evolve and change, and that people cannot challange it. It is up to society at large to decide what is should recognise in this area, or for individuals and groups to agitate for change if to begin with society is hostile to it.

      I must admit that many of the plethora of genders that some people identify as today do not seem to be tied to anything objective, but on aspects of self image, feelings and membership of social groups, so some of the new gender catagories are probably best seen as free creations, like imaginative art. But so what?

      I am not sure how all this relates to the right ( in the sense of the legal right- if activism is successful ) of members of one biological sex to self identify as a member of the other ( so requiring an expansion of the meaning of the terms 'man'and 'women' , though of course there would be subcatagories within each group, by far the largest one being its biological members ). If this violates an existing notion of gender, so what? Activists are fighting for the acceptance of new ones and will use these in any case in their sub-cultures until the battle is won.

      Delete
    75. Anonymous,

      You aren't good at sarcasm.

      On the question of gender, I'd question whether it exists or means anything. It seems to me like some kind of feminist newspeak.

      Delete
    76. Geocon 8.53AM

      Ha, ha - it home did it Mr G? Poor, sensitive soul.

      On the question of gender, of course it doesn't exist ( as in 'out there' , independantly of our construction of it ). Forget about feminist newspeak - the concept of 'gender roles', in oppose to 'biological sex', has been around for a long time you know. But within the catagory of 'male gender' we have straight, gay and bisexual males ( pansexual ones too! ), extremely feminine straights, transverstites and trans people, and this is just to state the more obvious variations. So the 'male ' gender is a very coarse catagory indeed, which does not do justice to the underlying human reality.

      Delete
    77. Anonymous,

      This is one of my problems. The trans movement likes to draw a distinction between 'sex' and 'gender' where 'sex' refers to the biology and 'gender' refers to psychological or social roles such as 'masculinity' or 'femininity'.

      I don't think this distinction is completely honest. The comparisons they always draw are sex-related: they point to intersex individuals or other species such as clownfish or seahorses to try to obfuscate the issues. After all, if it's simply about gender roles, what is the deal with hormone treatments, vaginoplasty and the like? This is clearly an attempt to blur sex differences.

      With regard to child transitions, I'd like to ask how far you go here. In your view should a prepubescent child be allowed to engage in sexual encounters, perhaps with an adult? What if the child says he/she (gender whatever) really enjoys it and wants to keep doing it? In that case what right do you or anyone else have to interfere with that child's bodily autonomy?

      Delete
    78. Anonymous,

      Don't flatter yourself. Being an annoying, bad-faith actor isn't something you should be proud of.

      I'm not sure how you can, under your view, justify the view that the current regime of "transition surgery" is what allows transgender people to be their authentic selves. Rather, shouldn't it be when their feelings about their bodies disappear and they come to accept those bodies for what they are?

      Delete
    79. Hi Dr Yogomi

      A trans individual self-identifies as a member of the opposite biological sex, and a minority seeks medical intervention to bring their body more into alignment with it. There will of course be reasons why a minority feel the need to do this ( it is plausible for example that neurodevelopmental factors are at play, in which case trans people who seek to transition would constitute an objectively identifiable oppressed group ). I suppose that wishing to be artificially transformed as closely as possible ( anatomically and hormonally) to being a member of the opposite biological sex, and then being allowed legally to live out ones life as that sex, is blurring the difference between the sexes very slightly, but does not alter the fact that biological sex is clearly overwhelmingly binary. I'm sorry if I am not ubderstanding something, but I do not see the problem here. If some trans activists deny the binary nature of biological sex in humans, and argue that this is a social construct, then I think that they are wrong.

      As regards prepubescent kids engaging in sexual encounters, we of course do not allow this because they are so immature physically that such encounters would be dangerous, not to mention the fact that they lack the psychological maturity and necessary life experience and insight to properly consent, and so would be prayed upon and exploited by paedophile adults. For all these reasons we restrict their autonomy in this area. Now in the case of medical interventions on trans children, I do not support automatic recourse to the knife or hormone injection at all, but only when it is judged necessary by the clinicians and parents as part of the resolution of a very difficult and perhaps dangerous situation. As such it is a medical proceedure like any other. I am bemused at how you could draw a parallel between such an intervention with trans kids and allowing them to engage in sexual relations.

      I hope that you do not mind me asking Dr Yogomi, but are you a medical doctor ( just curious )? Regardless of whether you are or not, I would be interested to know your take on the issues that have been discussed on this thread, both philosophically and in terms of how they should be handled societally.

      .

      Delete
    80. Anonymous,

      Haha, no I'm not a medical doctor (It didn't hit me that anyone would make that connection until just now). My username (Dr Yogami) is based on a character in the classic Universal monster movie 'Werewolf of London' played by Warner Oland. Had a passion for the old monster films since I was a kid and just always loved the name!

      I'd say transitioning is more than blurring it slightly. I think people keep forgetting that the whole reason for the distinction between the sexes has to do with their reproductive ends, otherwise we'd just reproduce asexually. A female to male transgender is not going to make another person pregnant and the hormones and surgery only create a simulation of the real thing.

      I agree with you that we don't allow children to have sex due to psychological and physical maturity, but that's exactly why I drew the comparison. Hormones and surgery are an invasive procedure and frankly we don't rely on the consent of children for a whole host of other things and I just don't see why this case would be the exception.

      Delete
    81. Mr Geocom 10.17AM

      Fortunately, we do not live in your RC theocratic or integralist order, so it is up to trans people how tbey persue what they take to be their authentic selves. This generally involves idenyifying and living as the opposite biological sex, or sometimes transitioning. Trans conversion therapies are not greatly in demand, and thankfully you are in no position to impose them.

      Delete
    82. Anonymous,

      I like how, rather than appealing to the good of the trans person, you instead appeal to the fact that people who agree with your perspective have more power at the moment. The old Leftist habit of power to truth shines through in your every word.

      Delete
    83. It's unfair that God gets to pick my gender. What happened to my right to autonomy, sovereignty, and self-determination?

      Delete
    84. Mr Geocon 2.18PM

      You are misrepresenting me Mr G.

      A trans person in the liberal world is not compelled to dress and otherwise live in a manner traditionally thought to be appropriate for the opposite biological sex, let alone transition, yet this is what they frequently choose to do. However, in your ideal political order, there would be no choice to be made at all. They would desist from their trans behaviour , either 'voluntarily', or with the aid of "therapy" that you would kindly put their way, or they would presumably be incarcerated, either in a prison or psychistric unit. Transitioning would be impossible. Am I wrong here? You never actually told us explicitly what would happen to a recalcitrant trans person ( or gay ) who insisted on living an authentic life as they saw fit, though you did inform us that the same would happen to them as would happen to a fascist in our liberal world , who engaged with black men, complete with racial slurs and Swastika tats. The mind boggles. It is not me who wishes to use power to compel Mr Geocon , but you. Fortunately, you are not able to do so.

      Delete
    85. Anonymous,

      If you think that the liberal order doesn't compel people to conform to it, you are either outright lying or deliberately ignoring the events of the past several hundred years. Heck, 2020 alone should make it clear that the libertarian ideal of "leave everyone alone" is absurd.

      You make reference to a majority of trans people choosing to transition. But what you fail to realize is the power of authority. The majority chooses what they feel is the acceptable choice, which is what you promote. In the ideal Christian order, the majority of trans people will probably choose differently. And in that society, people like you will scream about how they aren't given enough freedom. We know this because that's what happened in the past. People like you talked about how traditional standards were unfree. Such standards are done away with. Then the liberals become the new authoritarians. This is precisely why I don't consider liberalism to be that different from communism or fascism. If anything, liberalism is actually worse because it's dishonest authoritarianism!

      Balanced,

      Your right to autonomy ends where morality begins.

      Delete
    86. Balanced T.O. 2.43PM

      Are you being serious or sarcastic here? I can imagine that you are being serious if you really meant to use the term 'gender', but if you had biological sex in mind, perhaps you are being sarcastic. If so, I would like to ask what makes you think that God 'picks' your biological sex in a way any different from how he 'picks' horrific birth defects, or selects the electrical fire that burns an unfortunate baby alive? The standard way theologens deal with such horrors is to say that God 'gives permission' for them to happen by ensuring the continuous operation of natural laws over time, but he does not actively intend them. Are you sure that your biological sex is not like this, produced ultimately through the outworking of divinely imposed natural laws, but not actively intended at all? What makes you think then that God will care one hoot if humans select their own gender or transition?

      I apologise if your post was serious rather than sarcastic, but if so my own is addressed to those who would say the same thing in sarcasm to convey their belief that we have no right to tamper with such things.

      Delete
    87. Mister Geocon,

      Getting to choose your gender is not immoral. It's just impossible (for Homo sapiens anyway). But why is the universe such that getting to pick my gender is impossible? Why wouldn't God give us the privilege to choose our gender, if he values the autonomy, sovereignty, and self-determination of his creatures?

      Delete
    88. @Unknown

      It was meant as a serious reflection on the unfairness of having little to no control over our biological sex.

      Delete
    89. Mr Geocon 3.05pm

      Sticking to the topic at hand, there can be no freedom in a given area without the right to dissent and to persue an alternative path. Today, trans people are perfectly free not to embrace their inclinations, and only a minority choose to transition.In your ideal order there would be no choice at all. Saying that in it many gay and trans people would make different choices is disingenuous, as there would be no choices to be made! Fear of the morality police and incarceration would ensure that most did the 'right thing' though!

      Delete
    90. BalancedTryteOperators 3.27PM

      Ah, I see , but you can see why I might be unsure. As someone who does not call by here very often , I do not know the general outlooks of all the people who post here.

      Are you a theist, or like me, do you tend towards naturalism? If you are a theist, your post suggests that you are a very liberal one.

      Delete
    91. Unknown,

      If I weren't a theist, then why would I bother with this issue to begin with? All gender would just be an accident, and so would any choice to be a particular gender. That too would be meaningless.

      Delete
    92. Balanced,

      Yes, it is immoral to embrace falsehood. God doesn't value autonomy to the extent that you can choose what is true and good.

      Anonymous,

      First, I'm not sure how much "choice" is relevant considering all of the authorities in liberal society teaches that transitioning is the path for happiness for a trans person.

      Second, maximizing choice at all costs isn't a good thing. Again, your autonomy ends where morality begins.

      Delete
    93. Unknown @ 3.21PM

      You write: "The standard way theologens deal with such horrors is to say that God 'gives permission' for them to happen by ensuring the continuous operation of natural laws over time, but he does not actively intend them."

      This stance, if it is indeed how Christians seriously defend or justify their god's approach to such horrors, descriptively fits closely to how one would define, 'depraved indifference'. But it's not your garden variety form of depraved indifference of the psychopath. It is best understood through the theological lens as, Divine depraved indifference, a beatific perspective as are all HIS attributes seen.

      Call me skeptical of the epistemological basis for such belief. But then all attempts at a theodicy to explain these horrors by the church have been nothing more than a cynical and dangerous exercise in apologetics.

      Delete
    94. @PapaLinton Classical theism still has a better answer to the problem of evil than Buddhism.

      "Oh, you're a twelve-year-old Jewish girl suffering in an extermination camp? Well that's because you deserve it! For something you did in your past life. Why bother sending in troops to liberate you?"

      Delete
    95. Balanced 8.07pm

      In Buddhism, the position of the girl might indeed be due to the outworking of accrued karma, but what happens to others in the future will be due to theirs too. So everyone has an incentive to behave well, and that will include being compassionate and doing everything possible to help the girl. Also, desert really does not enter into the Buddhist analysis, as karma is seen as an impersonal 'force', certain kinds of human actions engendering a certain kind of karmic response.

      I am not a Buddhist - there are all sorts of logical and other problems that one can raise against their scheme ( also, no positive reason to accept it ), but I just thought that I would challange the idea that it implies active indifference in the face of human suffering.

      Delete
    96. Mr Geocon 6.58PM

      Only a minority of trans people seek to transition in our liberal societies so clearly, even if it is true that all the authorities claim something as unnuanced as transitioning is the path to hapoiness for trans people ( which they do not ), that is still leaving much active choice. If there is no real choice here, how come only a minority seek to transition?

      Could I inquire what proportion would transition in your ideal RC integralist order?

      Also, we still have not heard what would happen to recalcitrant gays and trans people in your system who refused to comply with the directives of your morality cops ( priests ) to abstein or receive 'treatment'. What would be their punishment?

      Delete
    97. Balanced @ 8.07PM

      "@PapaLinton Classical theism still has a better answer to the problem of evil than Buddhism."

      I'm not sure why you would direct that response to me. There is no 'better answer' here, in what you assert, Balanced.

      I also think, no, I KNOW you have done a great disservice to the Dalai Lama and Buddhism in claiming the utterly false equivalence between Catholicism and Buddhism. You have impugned, without evidence, Buddhism, and in bad faith no less.

      The Dalai Lama notes: "If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview."
      SEE HERE.

      If I were a faithiest, Buddhism would be my choice.

      I cannot imagine an instance where Catholicism would ever make such an honest observation in the long search for truth. Why? Because it has already self-declared to be the only purveyor of the 'real truth'. Right, Balanced?

      I think we can all see the trending nature of Catholicism, as with all religions, that is ineluctably shrinking in significance, meaning and influence as humanity emerges from its somnambulant childhood. Throughout history religions have flourished and eventually faded. If one learns from history, one of the very first great systemic and systematic religions, the Egyptian religion, around which a great civilisation was built, lasted for some 3,000 years. The longevity of so many other religions have been far less. Putting my futurist hat on I simply cannot envisage Catholicism lasting another couple hundred years let alone another 1,000 years to match the Egyptian experience.

      But I can see a Buddhism or a future variant sustained over the long term with a little more certainty, as fleeting as that certainty might be.


      Delete
    98. Papilinton

      What is your analysis of the future prospects for Islaam, which is much more central to the life of Moslems than Christianity is to most Christians, and is much more confident, political and self conciously set on expansion ( and expanding ' naturally' through population flows , which will only increase in future ), and willing to defend its gains and oppose liberalism? I must say that as a left liberal in the UK I do not forsee any near future threat from fascism, revolutionary socialism or RC theocracy/ integralism, but Islaam does worry me. Am I misperceiving things and being paranoid here? Do you really anticipate that Islaam is set to effectively 'fizzle out' in the same way that RC is likely to?

      Delete
    99. I know I'm making a mistake by even replying to him, but....

      Papalinton

      "I cannot imagine an instance where Catholicism would ever make such an honest observation in the long search for truth. Why? Because it has already self-declared to be the only purveyor of the 'real truth'."

      Catholicism does not claim to settle specific issues in various fields of science. It simply asserts that science has its limits for truth detection given its methodology. This should not be hard to understand.




      Delete
    100. Unknown, in my considered opinion, I don't think Islam is going to take over the UK, or Europe let alone the world. The evidence is just not there despite what politicians and malicious others might cobble. Yes, Muslim population growth in the UK will continue to increase for some time into the future but my understanding is that it will grow at a slower pace than over the last couple of decades. Pew Research is my source on this trend. And that growth is triggered largely by geographic flow, that is immigration, not because they want to take over but rather families are wanting to escape the utterly parlous current existential conditions in search of a better life. And Britain and Europe offer a chance of that better life. For mine, it is not a question of a battle over civilisations but rather a clash of cultures and that clash is perpetuated by misrepresentation and sheer neanderthallic humbuggery. It is perpetuated by the ignoranti in, in this case, the UK who see a mischievous political or personal advantage in falsely selling Islam as some sort of monolithic agent-de-change against British social values and mores. This is completely batty thinking of course. Much of the reactive responses from the Muslim community I believe seems to be a product of unjust, discriminatory and downright unsocial behaviour from those with little social grace who have clearly made it plain they are unwilling to recognise and appreciate cultural diversity as a great strength and a possible path to increased social enrichment. It's all in the mindset. Indeed the ignoranti, either by lack of understanding or sheer deliberate wantonness, feed their primal instincts with no understanding that we do have the capacity to use our so-called 'thinking brain' to bat away all forms of batshit nonsense. And I find religion and faith neither a good nor reliable source as an explanatory model for distinguishing the good from the batshit. Morris R Cohen, former professor of philosophy and of law at City College of New York, got it right when he noted: "If religion cannot restrain evil, it cannot claim effective power for good."

      As I understand it, the behaviour you walk by is the behaviour you accept. It behooves all of us to be actively engaged in challenging the fearmongering and redressing discrimination on the basis of colour, creed or race, wherever we see it. And such discrimination must be rejected and marginalised with our reasoning founded in fact and not in fiction.

      So no need to panic. Be alert but not alarmed. Showing a little decency and friendliness to those who appear different to us reaps incalculable rewards of safety, security and well-being.

      Unknown, for what it's worth. :)

      Delete
    101. DrYogami @ 3.12AM

      "Catholicism does not claim to settle specific issues in various fields of science. It simply asserts that science has its limits for truth detection given its methodology. This should not be hard to understand."

      That is true. It failed miserably and has continued to do so even as late as when Georges Le Maitre postulated the 'Big Bang'. Le Maitre made his position absolutely clear how pissed off he was when Pope Pius XII declared that Lemaître's theory provided a scientific validation for Catholicism sometime in the early 1950s.

      Pope Pius's claim? Now, that's chutzpah in spades.

      And yes, that 'limit for truth detection' assertion is precisely that, a baseless assertion with no grounding or epistemological foundation. But granted, it does fit seamlessly with the rest of theological piffle.

      Delete
    102. Papalinton 5.14am

      Thanks Papilinton - interesting. Of course, I was not envisaging a Muslim take over any time soon, and fully appreciate the principle reasons why large numbers of them are heading in this direction ( something that will accelerate in future I believe because of population flows resulting from climate change and also the need of the country for workers in the face of an aging population ). However, Muslims do take their religion very seriously indeed as it is integral to all aspects of their life, and are generally very traditionalist and conservative about social matters, so my concern was really for the medium and long term future. Unless Muslims can be fully integrated into UK society and undergo some type of 'Islaamic enlightenment' , I think there is an obvious problem in the making here for the stability and even continuation of our liberal political order, and it is being duplicated in many other western countries too. But beyond that, what evidence or reasons have you for thinking that Islaam will go into decline and fade away as you imagine will happen with RC Christianity?

      Delete
    103. Unknown,
      I forgot to add the Muslim experience in New Zealand in my response.

      SEE HERE

      Delete
    104. Papalinton, indeed it's easy to see why LeMaitre was unhappy. Having been ordained by Cardinal Mercier, he well understood that Big Bang Cosmology wasn't necessary for support of Catholicism.

      And no, the limits of science are not a baseless assertion. It's a rather obvious point and you don't even need to be Catholic or Christian to see it. The fact that you view it otherwise reveals more about your psychology than about the claim.

      Delete
    105. at 8:20 am April 5, Anonymous suggested:

      Simply because there is a predominantly accepted , socially constructed view of gender ( based on something objective ), does not mean that this cannot evolve and change, and that people cannot challange it. It is up to society at large to decide what is should recognise in this area, or for individuals and groups to agitate for change if to begin with society is hostile to it.

      If these classes, and each individual person's choice, are simply driven by preference, then there is no claim of JUSTICE in these regards. People who have, till now, been "assigned" to the male class, but who would prefer to be assigned to some class of his own designation like "nutrois", can have no more demand on me or on society than just that: "I would prefer it to be assigned differently". All of the arguments attempting to assert that it is a matter of social justice to allow a person to choose his class are mere twaddle, empty words and noise. And none of that twaddly noise gives me any good reason to want to grant someone else's wish when - demonstrably - the former system with two classes has worked just fine and the new approaches bring with them an enormous number of social problems with no clear solutions. And when I (and most people) are entirely comfortable with the old system so it suits OUR preferences NOT to accept a change based merely on the wishes of a small minority.

      Delete
    106. Well said Tony and DrYogami.

      Delete
    107. Tony 6.46AM

      You are evidently completely lacking in empathy and compassion, being utterly oblivious to the perfectly legitimate desire of others to self identify in the manner they wish, because you are 'comfortable with the old system' and their perspectives are 'twaddly noise'. You come across to me as a reactionary, stuck - in- the -mud, over intellectualised cold fish, who cannot even register the fact that your old catagories are ludicrously coarse grained and so obscure vast human variation which can be important for people to express and have acknowledged and recognised. Trouble is, a great deal of this natural variation - to do with sexual identification and sexuality - are facts about humans that you loath, condemn as sinfull and wish desperately would just go away. But they are there, ubiquitous, out now and set to remain extremely visible.

      This disagreement of ours will not be resolved through disputation, but by legal and political agitation and activism, and I think it highly likely that you will loose, indeed I would suggest that you already have.

      Delete
    108. Hey Mr. Geocon,

      Just wanted to go through some of your posts:

      “I think people tend to conflate not believing in transgender ideology and denying the rights of "trans people" to exist, in part because of the rhetoric of these activists.

      The truth of these claims and what a Christian society should do with people who believe in these claims are two separate questions.”

      Yes. I agree with this. Just because we believe that transitioning does more harm that good to a person, on the whole, does not mean we hate such people or lack empathy.

      Delete
    109. @PapaLinton

      Buddhism does teach that every Holocaust victim deserved it because of karma. Catholics would never say such an absurd statement.

      Delete
    110. Daniel 8.00AM

      If you claimed that transitioning MIGHT do more harm than good to a person, that would be reasonable, but your absolutist claim is clearly erroneous, unless ( as I imagine you do ) you include imagined 'off world' harms in your list.

      Have you ever engaged a happy, well adjusted, transitioned person in conversation - one surrounded by supportive friends and family, and for whom the transition waa the beginning of the end of a nightmare - and informed them that the proceedure did them more harm than good? You would quite rightly be judged to be out of your mind, and speedily sent off with a flea in your ear.

      Delete
    111. Daniel,

      Indeed. I strongly believe that the best thing for a person does not necessarily involve letting people do whatever they want. Sometimes, we have to do thing we don't want. That's life.

      Anonymous,

      You may not ask. It would certainly be a lot less than what happens now. And quite frankly, I have no reason to believe your assertions.

      Recalcitrant gays and trans people are purposefully disturbing public morals, just like the man who goes around liberal society wearing Swastikas and calling black people ethnic slurs. What is a just punishment for this kind of behavior?

      Delete

    112. Mr Geocon,

      I do think a lot of heat is being generated relating to your ideas on integralism. What is in essence a discussion of the best way to treat people with Gender Dysphoria, also has this underlying discussion. At least when discussing with the Anonymouses and Unknowns on the thread.

      It seems like a bit of a red herring. But I think it's worth pointing out that the medical world has a pretty strict and authoritarian regime, at least as it is practiced in the Western world. Not following established protocols can lead doctors to lose their license and even be subject to prison terms on malpractice charges.

      The question I have is whether the medical industry should be subject to activism from special interest groups? The situation in Canada with the Toronto doctor seems to have been entirely orchestrated by trans activists who want to equate any other approaches to GD treatment with conversion therapy. And for the most part, they were successful at ousting an authoritative voice that disagreed with their position.

      What do you think? Of course, a counter example would be pro life activism. Both of these issues involve very deep philosophical questions about the nature of gender and personhood that perhaps the medical world is not fully equipped to deal with on their own.

      Cheers,
      Daniel

      Delete
    113. Balanced 8.26AM

      Why is the notion that every holocaust victim ended up that way because of accrued bad karma inherently absurd? Please explain.

      Now you might not like the idea ( not that your own Christian explanations strike me as very palatable, nor the notion that holocaust victims might find themselves in eternal hell immediately after their gassing ) , but absurd? Why?

      I might add that I do not think that the Buddhist explanation is correct, anymore than I do your numerous theodicies.

      Delete
    114. Hey Anonymous 8:28

      "If you claimed that transitioning MIGHT do more harm than good to a person, that would be reasonable, but your absolutist claim is clearly erroneous, unless ( as I imagine you do ) you include imagined 'off world' harms in your list."

      Actually it is based on Aristotelian Ethical principles and he did not have an established view on the immortality of the soul. So no, I'm not just basing this on off world consequences.

      "Have you ever engaged a happy, well adjusted, transitioned person in conversation - one surrounded by supportive friends and family, and for whom the transition waa the beginning of the end of a nightmare - and informed them that the proceedure did them more harm than good? You would quite rightly be judged to be out of your mind, and speedily sent off with a flea in your ear."

      A drug addict feels really good and happy when they inject themselves with their drugs. Its not a perfect analogy, but you get the idea. Even without discussion of the amputations and plastic surgery required, the hormone blockers and cross gender hormone therapy for life is just brutally problematic from a health perspective.

      And please understand, once again, I am only proposing a ban on transitions for kids.

      Delete
    115. Daniel,

      Any scientific field that could possibly generate more power for the regime will be co-opted to milk more power out of it. That's generally how things work, unfortunately. The key idea to take away from this is that, while it's possible to be objective, it's impossible to be neutral with regards to morality, even in fields that are "scientific." Science is especially infected by politics given how important it is as a justifying principle to the modern regime. The moral fiction of "scientific expertise" is the justifying principle of bureaucratic infrastructure of modern liberal democracies.

      At the core of it is the question of what is the "compassionate" answer. The liberal side, represented by Anonymous, claims maximizing autonomy is the answer while I claim that doing what is good for the trans people is the answer.

      Delete
    116. Hey Mr. Geocon,

      This seems to be the Thrasymachus position:

      1- Justice is nothing but the advantage of the stronger (338c)
      2- Justice is obedience to laws (339b)
      3- Justice is nothing but the advantage of another (343c).

      We could also point to Machiavelli.

      I assume you are Catholic. So from a religious perspective, how can you square this idea with the doctrines of Vatican 2 or the life and teachings of Jesus?

      Cheers,
      Daniel

      Delete
    117. Daniel,

      Why should I square a view that is false (that of Thrasymachus and Machiavelli) with a view that is true (that of Catholicism)?

      Delete
    118. Mr Geocon 2.22PM

      I like your characterisation of our difference as being one of how to be compassionate to trans people, the liberal answer being to maximise their autonomy, and yours being to do what is good for them. The big problem here though is that what is good for them will be highly contested, and your assessment of that includes ethical ones of a kind alien to most modern people ( based on Aristotelian notions for example ) or religious ones from your tradition ( alien to secularists and many non-RC religious people alike ). So unless you are really happy to foister alien notions of the good on adults against their will, making them angry and miserable, is not their autonomy important? Do you not see their active insightful consent over what happens to them as having any value at all?

      It seems to me that you think that you can be compassionate to a trans person - let us say for the sake of argument that they are intelligent and insightful, and having considered the matter carefully over a long period of time in consultation with their family have decided to undergo a long desired transition - by denying them their autonomy, blocking their decision and making them miserable, in your persuit of what is good for them. Can you not see that to those not in your ethical and religious tradition ( and I am not just talking about secularists or liberals here ), you are doing violence to the meaning of the terms 'good' and 'compassionate', and so do not present as being good and compassionate at all ?

      Delete
    119. Hey Mr Geocon,

      Its just that your position seems to have more to do with the sophists than with Catholicism. I grant that I don't know what your fully fleshed out position is though.

      Delete
    120. Anonymous....

      May I ask a question? Do you happen to be male or female or are you transgender yourself?

      Delete
    121. Unknown April 6, 2021 at 5:42 AM

      You ask: "But beyond that, what evidence or reasons have you for thinking that Islaam will go into decline and fade away as you imagine will happen with RC Christianity?"

      I think the trend is already there, Unknown. However, even in of all places, Saudi Arabia, the denizen of all things Islamic, and mindful of the difficulty of getting an accurate estimate, a 2012 poll by WIN/Gallup International, indicated that 'around 5 percent of its citizens described themselves as “convinced atheist” while 19 percent self-identified as “non religious” '. WIN/Gallup also noted in its summary that that 5% was the same as for the US. And this is despite the capital nature of the offence of apostasy punishable by death. That in itself is an encouraging sign. With the so popular and inexorable advent of social media and modern communication technology the opportunity has provided previously unheard-of avenues of accessibility to news, current events and communication between like-minded non-believers despite the heavy regulatory controls in place. The Post-Arab Spring period has also prompted a renewed interest and effort in re-thinking the current social landscape. And I don't think that event will be so easily forgotten, bubbling away under the surface. HERE is an interesting article about some of the changes in Saudi Arabia.

      So, while Saudi’s religious conservatives may still currently hold the whip hand of political power, I believe, they too, will find that the repression of thought is one fight that will be increasingly difficult to win. It's not a question of if but a question of when.

      Delete
    122. Anonymous,

      The liberal notion of autonomy has no way to distinguish good autonomous actions from bad ones without appealing to something outside of autonomy. Thus, when liberals focus on autonomy over all else, they confuse what a person wants and what is good for them.

      Daniel,

      I'm not sure how my position resembles the sophists.

      Delete
    123. Hey Mr. Geocon,

      Let me try this. Since you reject classical liberalism, what alternatives would you prefer? What is your ideal society?

      Delete
    124. Dr Yagomi 5.37PM

      I am biologically male and self identify as such. I have no trans inclinations myself at all. What I do have is a huge aversion to religious people (and facists , though I do not necessarily conflate the two )with extremely long noses poking them into other people's lives and trying to control and regulate how they live in accordance with what I see as their delusional beliefs. No offence meant to you in saying this - you seem to be a very pleasant and reasonable person, and not what I would typify as an absolutist extremist like Daniel and Mr Geocon.

      In the interest of full clarity and disclosure I would also catagorise myself as bisexual, though the female interst aspect is very predominant, and I have a long standing biologically female partner and two kids. I do find certain types of more feminine men sexually interesting though and had a several year relationship with one while at university. Other than that, all my sexual relationships have been straight.

      I know many gay people, both through meeting them naturally during the course of everyday life and through political activism. Far fewer trans people though.

      No problem in asking me about this Dr Yogomi. How about you?

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    125. Daniel,

      I think the way I'd describe my worldview is neoabsolutist, integralist, and communitarian. In my ideal society, the commonly-held faith in the Church is the social bond for the society. The sovereign's power would be secure to prevent conflict and it accountable, so that it doesn't feel the need to subsume subsidiary institutions like the family or the Church. And the state would be recognized as having the goal of ensuring the common good of the community - ensuring its virtue and peace.

      Delete
    126. Mr Geocon 11.54PM

      This view of the ideal social order involves a very particular and partisan conception of the 'common good' does it not, with control over ethical and religious matters in the hands of a morality police ( ie priests ), and no possibilty of fundamental dissent and consentual change to the order over time?

      Now the above is self consistant, but I wondered if you recognised that your ideal social order has absolutely no chance of emerging, as it is inconceivable that a free population would consent to such a thing in the first place ( and even RC extremists are not noted for their revolutionary courage and activism, lest their soul be endangered), while if one could be materialised from thin air under modern conditions, it would be subverted by internal and external activism and pressures very quickly and destroyed. The only way that it could persist is by changing radically as a 'holding operation' and becoming even more authoritarian and dictatorial internally, and insular on the world stage - in other words,
      a pariah state.

      All this is an entertaining exercise in fantasy, and tells us a great deal about you psychologically, but I thought that I would just check that you understood that is what it is, and that your ideal social order has absolutely no chance of coming about.

      Delete
    127. Anonymous,

      I'm biologically male myself. The reason I asked was because I was curious about your particular demographic. I had forgotten to ask how old you were as well.

      I'm about to turn 41 in a few days and I'm getting the impression that younger generations have a VERY different sense of the gender and sexual landscape than anything I grew up with. Especially young women. When I got into my teens I was aware of LGB activism (Ellen coming out of the closet was pretty controversial at the time) but transgenderism was a whole other planet of discourse. I also grew up around rural and small town areas. When I lived in a city I was astonished at how different the culture was on some of these matters.

      Delete
    128. Dr Yogami

      I am 56 and have always lived in a big town and spent much of my time in large cities, especially Leeds, Sheffield and Msnchester.

      When at university in the '80s I was very active politically on the left, and we organised in support and defence of the local gay pride march each year, which at that time was extremely political and guaranteed to be hassled and even attacked by fascist, outraged 'macho' young blokes and some religionists. Things are very different now, both in a good and bad way. Good in the sense that so much has been won in the area of gay rights in the UK and the level of acceptance and visibility of gay people, but bad in the sense that with so much yet to be gained, the area has become much less political, and gay pride marches reduced to largly celebratory festivals rather than centres of struggle for social change. Local councils love them as they bring money into the local economy, and many families attend them with the kids just to have a good day out.

      I have had much less personal experience of the transgender movement because of my age. It grew in confidence much more recently of course. You are quite correct that younger people tend to be far more liberal and accepting in this area, which is of course a problem for proscriptive religionists and religions such as Roman Catholicism. I do not wish to offend you here, but not only is your church bleeding members and failing to anywhere near maintain its priestly numbers, but it is becoming ever more alien , bizarre and irrelevant in the eyes of young people. I appreciate that truth does not track popularity, but as someone who does not see much truth here, you can see why I find these trends so heartening. Your big problem though is how to reverse them .

      Delete
    129. Papalinton April 6 5.44PM

      Thanks for that. Very interesting and encouraging information. Perhaps there really is reasonable hope for a secular future then, though of course with Islaam in particular much remains uncertain and will depend upon geopolitical factors and the effects of climate change. People freqiently turn more to their religion in times of dire need or as a response to oppression, real or imagined, and they can then be all the more easily manipulated by clerics and demagogues, so we will just have to see how this plays out, doing what we can to intervene in the most constructive manner possible . Keep up the good fight in whatever way you do that. I imagine that you are an activist of some kind.

      Delete
    130. Hey Mr. Geocon,

      Thanks for elaborating on your views. I think they make sense in an ideal world. Here is where I think Catholicism and Christianity need to pay close attention to their Lord and Savior - He came into a pagan and Jewish world that was in many ways similar to our own. But first he came primarily to the Jewish people, the holders of the law. Those who putatively followed the 10 commandments. I think there was a reason he did this.

      The commandments make laws centered around how we should love and more importantly, who we should love. There is no country at the time that has had similar perscriptions. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not just want to rule the people of Isreal - he wanted to rule their hearts as well. Some folks view the Bible as God's love letter, and in many ways, that is true - he enters into a relationship with the people of Isreal, and the primary metaphor for the coming of Jesus Christ is the bridegroom and the bride. The Lover coming to claim his beloved. Falling away from the law and from a relationship with Yahweh in the Old Testament was described in many prophets in terms of adultery. The bride of God's youth having discarded her first husband to worship other gods. The infidelity of Isreal described in terms of fornication.

      So what gods did they abandon Yahweh for? Astarte, Moloch, the Baals. Various death gods requiring human sacrifice, fertility sex gods making an idol out of sex, and gods of power and wealth, such as the Baals. They all sort of overlap, but you get the gist.

      From a psychological perspective, these gods are internalized by excessive desire for material wealth, and unbalanced focus on sex unmoored in human nature, and a will to power that will sacrifice any and all to achieve its ends, even human sacrifices of children to the god Moloch.

      And when Jesus came, he had the most hatred for hypocrites - those who claimed to follow God, but in their hearts they fell short and were often secretly worshiping (at least psychologically) idols of wealth, power, and sex. He came with the most compassion for the poor, the outcast, the marginalized, the lepers, the prostitutes, and the dregs of society - they at least knew they needed help. And his healings and miracles where most often directed to them.

      He came, not as a conquering lord, imposing the ten commandments on all by force, but as a king whose kingdome was not of this world. He told Peter to put down his sword in Getsemany - he told him that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. He and John the Baptist did not tell soldiers that they should stop being soldiers, but that they act with integrity and justice.

      In short, Jesus was not interested in being a political ruler of an earthly kingdom. He wanted to be God, and drive away sin and death. His aim was and still is, to radically alter our fallen human nature and to return it to a proper ordering and orientation to Himself (Love God above all things and love your neighbor as yourself).

      And this is how the disciples of Christ conducted themselves. For the first three hundred years of Christian existence, there was no Christian state. Not until Constantine legalized Christianity, was it freed from constant persecution. And not until Theodosius did a purging of the pagan order and pantheon begin.

      The political order you envisage would only be possible with a primarily Christian and Catholic population. But, for the most part, Catholics and Christians have rarely been a majority in any state or kingdom. And when they do, it typically does not last long. I would suggest that the reason for this is original sin and the fact that an authentic Christian life is impossible without a deep relationship with Christ, and specifically with Christ in holy communion. And a society that you picture could only work well with a saint at the helm, and even then, human nature being as it is, would probably get overthrown fairly quickly.

      I think the best Christian community to emulate is the early church.

      Delete
    131. Anonymous,

      Okay thanks. I think I had pictured you as being in your twenties, ha. I'd also like to ask why you're debating on this site? Because it seems that the metaphysics of the issue just don't matter to you all that much, the feelings are what count and that's that. You've also got a pretty extreme notion of bodily autonomy that isn't going to find much agreement among people here and you've said yourself that the political clash will sort itself out anyway, apart from what drawing room intellectuals think.

      I think your point about power struggles is perhaps exactly what concerns a lot of people here. LGBT+ is really a movement that originated in the western world (though it seems to be making some headway in places like Japan). To many on the political left this looks like progress: we're gradually casting off the manacles of hoary superstition and entering a new age of tolerance, love, enlightenment and acceptance. To the more conservative-minded this looks like civilizational decline. I hate to bring up the cliche of the fall of Rome, but I guess I just did. If (I'm just using the conditional IF here) LGBT+ really is disordered, then the increasing acceptance of it is likely an indicator of a disordered culture. We see these categories like 'genderfluid, non-binary, genderqueer, demiboy' and so on. The question is how long this can last.

      Delete
    132. Dr Yogami 6.55am

      I raised the transgender issue on April 12th in response to a post by Hunt, as it seemed relevant. People replied and the discussion took off. I did not come here to debate the issue, but the debate having started I was hardly going to vacate it and leave it in the hands of a bunch of reactionaries. Very many more people read these threads than contribute to them, and it is important that they read different perspectives, not just the RC party line.

      As regards gay and tras rights as harbingers of civilizational decline, that is a ludicrous notion. There are things to worry about which might cause this - eg the dislocation of vast populations and competition for resourcess wrought by possibly ruinous anthropogenic climate change - but the fact that the minority of people who display same sex attraction or self identify as members of the opposite biological sex can increasingly live authentic lives free of bigotry and oppression is hardly one of them!. And if this accellerates the decline of religion because of a generational wedge being thrust between the young and their priestly would-be indoctinators, what a wonderful thing that will be!

      Delete
    133. Dr Y

      Sorry, that should be April 3rd!

      Delete
    134. John 15:2- Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

      Delete
    135. Anonymous,

      I don't actually think transgenderism will directly bring about civilizational collapse but I worry about the instinct behind it. At 3:19 you state that traditional religion is increasingly becoming bizarre alien and irrelevant in the eyes of young people. Understood. I have problems with some aspects of organized religion myself. But I hope you can understand how alien and bizarre the trans viewpoint is to many here. A man wishes to identify as a member of the opposite sex and you argue that even though he is objectively NOT a member of the opposite sex we should all pretend as if he were to make him happy. This really doesn't seem kinda nuts to you?

      And where do you see this going? It's very unlikely that the progressive left is going to stop at LGBT. There's always some new 'right' they think the rest of us should adhere to. I'm wondering what the next thing is going to be...

      Delete
    136. Dr Yahomi 9AM

      No it does not seem nuts to me ( and many others ), just a matter of empathy and respect. It would be nuts if a biological man wished to be recognised as a biological women , in oppose to a 'women', but that is not what is happening. And we are talking about a minority of individuals.

      I do not see this as leading anywhere else necessarily - why should it? Other issues that may arise and cause controversy in the future will have to be dealt with on a case by case basis.

      Incidentally, although it is clear where your intellectual sympathies lie in this matter ( though I also feel that you are a compassionate person too ), you have been very fair in seeking to understand me perspective and presenting the different legitimate concerns of both progressives and conservatives, and all without recourse to preachings and quotations from the Bible ( a senseless, virtue-signalling act when interacting with a leftist atheist ), and I thank you for that.

      Delete
    137. If there are any young people on this thread, I urge you to read this article:

      Correction: Transgender Surgery Provides No Mental Health Benefit
      https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2020/09/71296/

      It offers a horrifying look at how ideology and political activism is trumping science. How scientific studies are being unethically falsified in support of gender transition surgery. People supporting gender transition on the basis of empathy and respect have been deeply indoctrinated in their beliefs and are harming those they are empathizing with.

      Delete
    138. Dr Yogami

      One final thing. Some trans kids show a strong identification with the opposite biological sex from a very early age, so for example , a biologically male child may manifest stereotypically female behaviour, play with his sister's toys and desire to wear her clothes, and insist that he is a girl. Such behaviour , identification and desires may be extremely stable over time. Now it is at least possible ( probable I would say ) that neurodevelopmental factors are at play here, in which case these trans people would constitute an onjectively identifiable and oppressed group. Put aside the question of whether or not this scenario actually pertains for a second. If it did, most of the arguments made here for why we should not acknowledge the gender preferances of trans people would not apply in these cases. Just something to bare in mind as research and knowledge progresses.

      Delete
  6. @Edward Feser,

    You say: "Naturally, there are moral reasons why a person might reasonably claim proprietary rights over some particular way of expressing an idea, as in a copyrighted book or movie. But ideas themselves are not the sorts of things it makes sense to regard as the property of any individual or group.


    So wait, are you implying that intellectual property at least in the form of copyright is morally legitimate and reconcilable with natural law?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He can argue that, although some might disagree.

      Delete
    2. Like other goods to which the state has taken the step of restricting for some and not for all (at least, not all at the same time), in order to increase the total good, in the case of copyright the state has restricted the right of sale to the creator of the work for a time so that more total goods of this sort will be generated. The copyrighted work is, in its own nature, a good capable of being enjoyed by many at the same time, and is not per se a private good. But the state allocates a monopoly on it for a limited time for a (at least believed) overall benefit to all.

      (The state may be in error about whether the said monopoly granted to the creator is for the overall benefit of all, (and some claim just this) but that is an estimation / judgment call. Few argue that the grant of temporary monopoly is an act that no state ought to have the right to assert.)

      Delete
    3. A post about how intelectual property fits with natural law would be pretty helpful. I personally tend to agree with libertarians about it more(not a habit of mine).

      Delete
    4. @Tony,


      A distinction should be made between discoveries - which naturally have a short patent lifespan due to the fact they are discoveries and are generally useful - and copyrighted personal creations. Those things which are one's personal lifework or creation and aren't the same thing as generally applicable discoveries seem more analogous to private property than not.

      Delete
    5. @Tony,


      To give an example, the person who first invented the wheel could have patented it and had copyright on it, but soon after his death the discovery becomes generalized so that everyone can use it. Generalisable discoveries like that are different from other forms of personal creation that are physical works.

      Delete
  7. it is “whiteness,” “colonialism,” “patriarchy,” “heteronormativity,” and other fantasized devil figures. Objectivity itself is dismissed by this insane worldview as a mere tool by means of which these bogeymen maintain their “oppression.”

    The people that are sane have been caught off guard by the speed of the spread of the cult. Like the body's immune system, it will take some time for sanity to recover.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Makes you wonder how it happened, doesn't it?

      Delete
    2. Like a stealth virus, it has been growing almost unnoticed in universities for a long time, incubating.

      Delete
  8. "Thought" in English tends to get interpreted as meaning a mental act or state-- as a verbal noun for the verb "think" it is analogous to the Latin gerund or supine. This tends to confuse readers! Frege meant "Gedanke" in something more like the sense of a past participle. Frege's thought, to put it a bit paradoxically, is not a thought, but rather THAT WHICH IS THOUGHT in a thought.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Since we are speaking about realism, how exactly the thomistic view of universals differs from the more eastern view that we see from the greek-speaking christians?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Unfortunately, while I agree with the basic idea here about truth and the like, it doesn't have nearly as much significant for politics as you're making it seem.

    The mistake is in ignoring just how powerful the animalistic aspects of our souls are. I've made this mistake several times myself. Even when I thought I'd gotten the hang of it, I would still be surprised by it, "Nope. Try harder. Even *more* animal in there than you thought." I don't know if I've reached the point where I can finally embrace the truth yet, but I think I'm getting there.

    Of course, this applies to myself as well. The animal parts of myself are something I need to come to terms with, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you be more specific please Anonymous, perhaps with a couple of examples, so that we properly understand what you mean? Hard to agree or disagree, or properly reply otherwise. Cheers.

      Delete
    2. This is a huge topic, but for example, the self-referential nature of human psychology, which, rather than being the result of some recent anomalies, seems to be universal.

      "Most men are so thoroughly subjective that nothing really interests them but themselves. They always think of their own case as soon as ever any remark is made, and their whole attention is engrossed and absorbed by the merest chance reference to anything which affects them personally, be it never so remote." - Arthur Schopenhauer

      Delete
  11. Dear Dr. Feser!

    Please accept my congratulations on Easter. I wish you and your family all the best and all the mercies from the Lord.

    With best wishes
    Paul,Russia

    ReplyDelete
  12. People who hate Christianity (whether Pagan nationalists on the right or postmodernists on the left) seem to dislike the idea that there is an objective, universal, mathematics-like structure to reality, that does not belong to any one person, group or ethnicity, but is the common property of the logos. Nietzschean nihilism is pretty popular these days, in which chaos forms the baseline of the universe and everything is up for grabs by whomever can take it. And so the world becomes a battlefield of ideas, where there can be no fundamental harmony or union. This is why, from a Christian perspective, order and reason must always be placed higher than chaos and power in the metaphysical hierarchy. The world does not emerge from and return to formless chaos, it emanates and manifests from higher realms according to universal ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The reason they don't like it is because they think that such a belief leads inevitably to liberal cosmopolitanism, which both of these groups finds intolerable for different reasons.

      Delete
    2. @Adil

      It depends on the pagan. If by the term you mean these ethnical nationalists that only see their religion as a relic from their ancestors(pretty much atheists that REALLY like RPG stuff), them yea. If by "pagan" you mean the ones that actually believe in what they preach them no, these guys agree with us on the world being shape by a eternal Logos. They usually don't extend that universal aspect of truth to the Divine, of course*.


      *i'am saying that in the sense that to they the Divine appears in diferent ways to diferent people, so all traditions are the same one looked in diferent ways, of course


      @Mister Geocon

      I guess that the reverse order of rejection is true.
      The thing is more that these groups see that the enlightenment view leads to a radical skepticism that ends in a complete nihilism, so you end up with no way to have a absolute truth and has to give up on the liberal cosmopolitarism, which depends on absolute truth and the particular ideas of the classical liberal worldview. After that, them the will to power takes over.

      Delete
    3. How would you handle those people who claim that absolute truth leads inevitably to liberal cosmopolitanism?

      Delete
    4. @Mister Geocon Maybe it's evidence that liberal cosmopolitanism isn't that bad?

      I remember reading a study that said that moderate left-of-center people have the highest intelligence, with it decreasing as one approaches either the extreme left or the center and by extension the right-wing.

      Delete
    5. Balanced,

      Liberal cosmopolitanism is pretty bad though? I mean, it's based on the falsehood that multiculturalism works.

      Delete
    6. Multiculturalism fails because there are actual differences in intelligence between human population clusters, and importing low IQ peoples to run a technological and information economy is a comically bad idea, not because liberal cosmopolitanism is unsound.

      Delete
    7. Balanced,

      The problem with liberal cosmopolitanism is the problem with liberalism in general - that it offers a false neutrality and then has people with totally different groups and worldviews to come together. These groups then "assimilate" by joining into political factions and fighting against each other because liberalism not only sucks at managing conflict, it actually creates conflict where none exists.

      Delete
    8. If belief in absolute truth has a natural tendency toward lib. cos., then that means that the neutrality offered by lib. cos. is NOT false but is actually fair, balanced, and impartial. Furthermore, that implies that any alternative to lib. cos. can only succeed to the extent that it discourages belief in absolute truth, that is, to the extent that it encourages solipsism.

      Delete
    9. @Mister Geocon

      "How would you handle those people who claim that absolute truth leads inevitably to liberal cosmopolitanism?"

      Well, mostly by pointing out that liberal cosmopolitanism actually requires little knowledge of truth. The liberal worldview explicity depends on the idea that we don't have a 100% superior way to live or that we don't know it well enough. By this, they argue, we need to respect the diferent views that people have of the good life, for theirs are as good as our own. Remember the "pursuit of happiness" thing on you guys Declaration of Independence? Another example would be Locke view of religious toleration between diferent non-catholic christians, dude knew that protestantism was too pathetic to don't dissolve in anarchy, so religion had to become irrelevant to society to function. If protestants where capable of mantaining unity liberalism would probably never existed.

      Sure, the classical liberal tradition does believe in a objecive truth, but they clearly saw this as more limited that we catholics do, toleration started by that ignorance. And we do have more skeptic liberals like Hayek and Mises. We catholics and others groups that believe that there is a objective good life are way less tolerant of other opinions. Even classical liberalism is a good show of this. When these guys were dealing with what that perceive as really wrong, like the Ancient Regime, the toleration talk was gone.

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    10. One problem with liberalism is that it can actively undermine itself, so I do not think that it can be rationally applied fully consistantly.

      One example of this is my desire to embrace immigration into the UK from all populations in order to avoid unjust discrimination and racism, but my realisation that the increasing Muslim population often does not share my liberal values, especially as regards secularism and the rights of gays, trans people and sometimes even women, and one day may undermine them through their own activism and force of numbers in some parliamentary constituancies. Now the standard response to this is to say that young Muslins will integrate into uk society and become more liberal and tolerant of others, but Islaam is so central an organising force in these peoples lives that this notion may turn out to be just a pious hope.

      I believe that liberal democracy is the best political system available in a pluralistic and uncertain world, but thought that I would be honest in pointing out that if carried through too consistantly, it is quite capable of undermining itself. To my mind, the clearest threat to liberalism comes from large scale immigration of Muslims into western societies, and their huge concentration into certain population centres and frequent failure to integrate properly. However, it is next to impossible to raise these concerns without being lambasted as a racist and risking being on the receiving end of Muslim activism. It is one of those issues too where one is in the uncomfortable position of holding the same perspective as fascists, but for completely different reasons of course.

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    11. Adil, actually there are people on the left who hate Christianity yet consider themselves to be mathematically rational, and there are people on the right who like Christianity but put it on the same level as myth and the irrational.

      Among the former, the liberals during the French Revolution were justly famous. For the latter, conservatives are an incorrigible example. Roger Scruton best explained this attitude. He was partial to science and reason when it came to the material world. The non-material dimension, which he believed evolved out of nature (an irrational idea in itself) was not subject to science and logic. Religion was on the level of myth, its doctrines to be understood in the light of Hegelian philosophy; no miracles, no eternal individual soul or personal God.

      So, for this kind of conservatism (by far the most common) religion is a useful myth, not an evil one. It's easy to understand how conservatism, and romanticism in general, has done far more harm to faith over the last two hundred years that all atheistic ideologies put together.

      It is a parasite that the West has allowed into its house because it likes the appearance of religion while denying its core. This is the most dangerous ideology of our age for Christians.

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    12. Balanced,

      "If belief in absolute truth has a natural tendency toward lib. cos., then that means that the neutrality offered by lib. cos. is NOT false but is actually fair, balanced, and impartial."

      I mean, someone could use modus ponens on that. Liberal neutrality is obviously not fair, balanced, and impartial. Therefore, there is no absolute truth.

      That said, I don't think liberal cosmopolitanism is true at all, so I find those people who think that absolute truth leads to cosmopolitanism to be a bit ridiculous.

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    13. @Mister Geocon

      "Liberal neutrality is obviously not fair, balanced, and impartial. Therefore, there is no absolute truth."

      How would you handle people that make a similar argument but with globalism and Christianity? I remember hearing before from pagans that the Christian idea of a superior religion that has to be everyone religion is the door to the destruction of traditional cultures and of national sovereigty. Think of the modern idea of the capitalistic, secular and individualistic social organization being so superior that the other societies have to make part of it too or the murican idea of "spreading democracy". Both ideas that did legitimate dramatical changes on weaker societies being made by the stronger and both do come from societies that were born Christians.

      I guess that what i could answer is that non-christians empires like... pretty much every stronger ancient society did conquer other peoples and that the catholic west did have a pretty organical social organization, but i want to know if there is anything you would add. By the videos i saw you do find organical social organization pretty important.

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  13. Anonymous @ April 3, 2021 at 7:39 AM in response to Hunt @ April 3, 2021 at 6:44 AM posits something interesting that I think my fellow "absolutist reactionaries" have glossed over when responding to him. Namely, even if we grant womanhood as largely socially constructed -- even say completely socially constructed with biology being irrelevant -- it does not get to where he thinks it does. Indeed, it's a road to nowhere, a case of metaphysical Penrose steps.

    In the OP, Feser outlines Frege's distinctions between the "'outer world' of material objects" [1] and The “'inner world' of sensations, mental images, feelings, wishes, inclinations, and other psychological states and entities" [2]. Anonymous contends that transgender women with their [2]-type of self-identification are in a real [1]-type sense "women," conflating the objective with the subjective in intellectual defiance of the point Feser was making via Frege. In short, he is stubbornly committing the same fallacy of psychologism that Feser identifies!

    As such, it's impossible to make sense of how Caitlyn Jenner is really a women in an objective sense the same way Meryl Streep is a woman in an objective sense with both their self-identification as women being coextensive. If society determines what's the essence of femininity though norms and customs, then how can Caitlyn Jenner claim genuine womanhood as her own the same way Streep does? It's nonsense.

    Consider Caitlyn Jenner was "Bruce Jenner" for a very long time and experienced femininity as a 3rd-person observer. Objective womanhood could only possibly be understood as an object for Jenner. As Bruce, he competed in men's Olympic triathlete competitions, an experience reserved for those society only deems as men. Meryl Streep, on the other hand, was nominated and won Oscars for Best Actress, an experience exclusive to those society deems as feminine. To borrow from Thomas Nagel, she knows "what it's like to be" a woman. She's been and is a 1st-person subject of it and not merely a 3rd-person observer of it because she's had the qualia of a socially constructed woman throughout her life.

    On the contrary, Caitlyn Jenner simply has not and cannot have the same 1st-person experience. His [2]-type self-identification as a genuine [1]-type woman is missing the necessary [2]-type experience of which Streep has as a genuine [1]-type socially constructed woman.

    Even when Bruce became "Caitlyn" Jenner and influential institutions feted him as a real woman, it struggle to conceive of Jenner as a 1st-person subject of womanhood in the same sense Streep is. Coming out as a transgender "woman" puts an asterisk or scare quotes on that person's alleged gender. "Transgender" functions as a qualifier in "transgender woman." Even among the progressives and leftists who accept this stuff, they treat a "transgender woman" qua transgendered as something very different than a "cis-gendered woman" like Streep.

    So Anonymous, it's not always so much that we are accusing leftists of a engaging "in a flight from reality." Try an assault on intelligibility. Even conceding the ontological point that gender is for all intents and purposes socially constructed, playing by your own rules, I can't make sense of what you mean when you refer to the transgendered as "those who may not presently be recognised for who they are."

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    1. Modus Pownens,

      I've thought much the same thing and the analogy I thought of was John Howard Griffin's 'Black Like Me'. Griffin was a white journalist who decided to tour the southern United States during the civil rights movement by darkening his skin and passing as black to get an understanding of the 'black experience' in America.

      As you can imagine, there was criticism of this. For one thing, why not listen to actual black people tell their stories of their experiences? A white man passing as black is still not going to have the same 'lived experience' as a man born and raised black, particularly in those times. And this is the same sort of criticism that feminists have made of transwomen. Transwomen and drag queens have been accused of indulging in a caricature of womanhood just like Griffin has currently been accused of blackface.

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  14. Modus Pownens 7.11PM

    Hi Modus. You are clearly the real one this time , not StarDusty! Incidentally, I wonder where StarDusty is these days as it would be fascinating to read his take on the issues at hand even if it is different from mine.

    We obviously do not have access to other people's qualia and so lived experience, but we can listen to their self reports and on that basis conclude that - for example- "women's" lived experience/qualia is a ludicrously coarse catagory, hiding great diversity and masking huge differences from one biological women to another ( there are 'butch' and 'girly' biological women for example, straight and lesbian ones ( bisexual and pansexual ones too ), and those who self identify as males. Now I suppose that you could stick with the notion that there is but one female gender which tracks the female biological sex, and that the lived experience of biological women (= women)is extraordinarily diverse, or you could say that seeing one gender here is ludicrouly simplistic as well as deeply hurtfull and oppressive to those biological women for whom recognition of the nuances is personally important.

    When it comes to biological males ( to follow your example ), of course they do not have direct access to the lived experience/qualia of biological women, any more than anyone else does ( or better, the lived experience/qualia of any of the myriad varieties of biological women ), but they can observe female dress and behaviour, and hear their self reports, and in some cases they self identify with these in a deeply meaningful way that suggests they may well have similar 'qualia' in some respects, which could be strengthened and deepened by living with a more female identity as they see it. This is perfectly possible, and frankly seems more likely that they are grossly in error. In any case , whether they are allowed to persue their self identification and have it legally recognised is a matter of decision for society, and hardly rests on the accessibility or otherwise of the qualia of biological females to trans ones.

    You know Modus, sometimes logical certainty is important ( as with a putative theory showing how electricity is related to gravitation - apart from anything else, the theory had better be mathematically coherent and consistant ), but our social life and politics is not like that. Some of you people intellectualise far too much in areas where it is not necessarily appropriate to do so ( or at least not necessary ) and come across as cold fish. Some of you may well be autistic ( absolutely no insult implied or meant here ).

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  15. I'm afraid this doesn't adequately address what kind of being man is. By way of example, let's take a look at someone you often mention as a representative of - in broad terms - your school of thought, Maimonides. Let's see what kind of moral views he holds when it comes to Gentiles:

    “As for Gentiles with whom we are not at war: their death must not be caused, but it is forbidden to save them if they are at the point of death; if, for example, one of them is seen falling into the sea, he should not be rescued, for it is written: ‘neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy fellow’–but [a Gentile] is not thy fellow.”

    If even someone like Maimonides can't escape narrow, particularist interests, this should tell us something about humans.

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