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Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 1:49pmSanction this postReply
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Bruce (Caitlyn Marie) Jenner is now officially a woman, whose new name and gender change was approved by an LA Superior Court judge on Friday.

 

Nevertheless, despite conventional wisdom and legal certification, Bruce Jenner is not biologically a woman nor a "transgender person" (there is no such thing). He is still a man, albeit with some feminine accoutrements -- artificial breasts, surgically removed Adams apple, hormone injections, etc. Does he still have a penis? Even if he doesn't, he is not a woman; but a castrated male, for he will always lack the female organs essential to womanhood -- an endometrium, a vagina, a cervix, fallopian tubes, an ovary and a uterus; and his DNA is still male. So what is he exactly? I'd say that he's simply a gender dysphoric feminized man.

 

Why then has such a person not only been recognized legally as a woman, but also received the Arther Ashe award for courage by ESPN and the athletic community? The short answer is: conformity to popular culture. It's now trendy and hip to back the LGBT community, and Bruce Jenner is a famous athletic addition to it. If he's done any "transitioning" at all, it's from track and field to golf. Women's golf? Does this strapping, broad shouldered feminized male athlete really qualify for that too??

 

But we dare not object. He is, after all, considered by ESPN to be a real woman.  If he becomes as good at golf as he was at track and field, then we can only await his appearance on the women's circuit. Will they accept him (her?) as a bona fide female competitor?  Evidently, they'll have to.

 

Unfortunately, Jenner is now being taunted and bullied whenever he steps on the Thousand Oaks Country Club golf course.

 

By the way, this issue should not be confused with a lesbian, gay or bisexual orientation.  There is nothing wrong with an LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) alliance, but gender dysphoric surgery should not be part of it.  The latter is an aberrant condition that is properly addressed psychologically not surgically. The surgical option should not be celebrated as an entirely normal and healthy choice, for that choice does not (and cannot) achieve its objective, which is a bona fide transition from one gender to another.

 

(Edited by William Dwyer on 9/29, 2:42pm)



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Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 7:15pmSanction this postReply
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In the near future, you will be able to change your gender with a pill or even more easily.  In times gone by, in Medieval Europe, the length of the toes on your shoes was legally regulated by class.  Seems silly... but the man's necktie, the cravat, was originally worn by women in ancient Egypt. Transmogrified by the priests, it became man's garb. Similarly, in modern times, Catholic priests wear "cassocks" i.e., dresses over their pants.   In our time, girls in private school uniforms wear neckties.  What is that?  Clothing is only the external expression of gender.  

 

Sex and sexuality are no different than any other body parts.  I have had my heart repaired and one of my thyroid lobes removed.  Millions of people have their appendices and tonsils removed.  I am not sure that that is always the best solution, easy as it is, but it beats dying from appendicitis.  In a weird society based on endocrinology or cardiology, someone might declaim against my surgical choices.  We have a weird society centered on genitalia. We need to put that in context. Sexual organs are just another kind of elbow. 

 

One time in a class in social psychology in 2009, this young girl and I got the highest scores on the weekly quiz. So, we walked out together. (Actually, I made a point of walking out with her...)  I asked her out for coffee, but she had to goto a birthday party. Turns out, we have the same birthday.  Great opportunity... So, we eventually go out. She has a rainbow on her backpack. I get that...  So, ok, we go out for coffee and nothing else.  Fine.  We talk about gender and sex and she says, "Sex is what is between your legs.  Gender is what is between your ears.  Orientation is what goes on between the sheets."

 

Gender is no more permanent than a necktie.



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Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 9:23pmSanction this postReply
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Sexual organs are just another kind of elbow.

 

Either Marotta isn't using his organ the way he should, or my elbow has pleasure capacities I never suspected :-)
-----------------

 

Sex and sexuality are no different than any other body parts.

 

That's just silly.  Reproduction and the reproductive urge and the accompanying drive to care for our offspring are powerful urges rooted deep in the evolution of so many living creatures.  It is fundamental to the survival of the species (which species?  All of them!)

 

Our parents had sex, and their parents had sex and so forth... all the way back to beginning of life on earth.  And in every single generation they were successful or we wouldn't be here.  Sex is the means of the genes leveraging themselves through the generations and doing it in a way that introduces the genetic variation that evolution works on.  Only Marotta would equate sex and sexuality with an appendix or tonsils.  We humans are both reason and emotion, both spritural and biological, and it is a mixture that our culture reflects - I see few magazine covers or commercials or novel or plays about tonsils.

 

Tell you what, Marotta, type "sex" into Google and see if you get more results than, say "tonsils"
-------------

 

Assuming Marotta is using "gender" to mean ones sexual identity ("between your ears") then he knows something about a magical pill that none of the rest of us have heard of.

 

Sexual identity is so much more complex than his simplistic post implies and the thought that you can separate what is between your legs from what is between your ears and what you do between the sheets (to say nothing about how you feel about all of that) is absurd.



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Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 12:18pmSanction this postReply
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     "Sex is what is between your legs.  Gender is what is between your ears.  Orientation is what goes on between the sheets."

 

What goes on "between your ears" changes nothing about reality. Anybody can be anything in their own mind. Orientation and so called "gender identity" are not in the same category; attraction to the male sex or the female sex is dependent on genetic factors outside of our control and change very little about the values of sex itself, while pretending to be the opposite gender is borderline sexual schizophrenia.

 

     In the near future, you will be able to change your gender with a pill or even more easily.

 

The near future still hasn't happened yet. In the meantime, "sex change" surgeries cause suicide and are commonly reversed latter on.



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Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 4:30amSanction this postReply
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Sociology courses routinely teach that sex is biological while gender is social.

 

This explains why I never took sociology and opted to CLEP it for credit instead.

 

Perhaps our own Bridget Armozel can share a transgender viewpoint here from inside "zir" hide.

 

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 10/01, 1:48pm)



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Post 5

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 5:08pmSanction this postReply
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Hello, William Scott!  You write some quite categorical opinions about gender and sex and 'sex changes.'  This has been a bone of contention at 'the other place' I post at these days.  I hope no one minds me quoting myself.

 

I think four things need to be kept present in the mind when dealing with "transexuals" or "transgender" people.  The first is the so-called 'sex' chromosomes, X and Y. The second is so-called 'sex hormones' (including precursors). The third is physical development of a human being -- in the womb, in childhood, at puberty. The fourth is the historical record of so-called 'third sex' people in pre-modern cultures (including the term 'berdache').  Subsidiary, but inter-implicated are the terms 'gender' and 'sexual identity' and 'sexual orientation' ...

 

Ordinarily  (or 'normatively') a zygote has either XX or XY sex typed in its development 'plan.' In the womb, a fetus carrying XX genes normatively develops from an indifferentiated physical state; in other words, a fetus is at one point -- despite it carrying XY genes or XX genes -- not yet fully 'sexed.' A fetus at that point does not have a penis, scrotum and gonads, whether XX or XY. The precursors to both organ-complexes are present in the developing organism (here you can look up Mullerian ducts and Wolffian ducts if you like). Here's a simplified illustration:

 

 

-- now, it should be no surprise to anyone that this particular 'differentiation' can fail in some percentage of fetal development. The reasons are many, but one important to this discussion are the groups of 'precursors' which influence or guide the normative development of the gonads from indifferent to 'different.'

 

There are a variety of syndromes in which a  deficiency or inefficiency make differentiation impossible or partial. Some are related to the sex hormones as such -- in one such syndrome, the flush of hormones fails to register on the XY fetus. The result is a baby being born with an apparent female sexual organs:  a clitoris, a vaginal opening, labia, female-style urethra. It is a 'boy' by genetics, but it is a 'girl' by ordinary perception at birth.

 

You can find this kind of developmental kind of 'error' described in detail under the rubric androgen insensitivity syndrome (a simplified explanation here at MedlinePlus).  

 

Bear in mind that not all of these syndromes in the new baby can completely or reliably predict what will happen when the person reaches puberty. In some, the 'wrong' hormones effect a body-sculpting: the adolescent begins to develop secondary sexual characteristics -- but these breasts/ovaries/vagina ... testicles/penises/musculature do not follow the normative developmental path according to XX/XY.  

 

In rarer cases where the simple bifurcation of XX v XY is not what the chromosomes show, development can throw up obstacles to any further development at all. An adolescent can fail to develop particularly 'masculine' or 'feminine' features ... and thus need additional targetted hormonal assistance depending on the syndrome.

 

I won't get too far into the details of other developmental syndromes, but quote from the other place:

In another thread, Adam remarked upon intriguing cases of 5-alpha-reductase deficiency, the genetic mutation that leads to "guevedoche" -- 'eggs at twelve'/balls at twelve.'

 

One of the older explanations of homosexuality was that a person of gender A was actually a gender B 'trapped' in the wrong body. In some ways, lay opinion continues to use this as a heuristic:  A woman like Rosie O'Donnell then may have a 'male mind' in a female body.  And a person like Jazz Jennings would have a girl's mind in a boy's body (and in this case, the parents accepted that Jazz's gender identity did not 'match' her body, and allowed her to begin a gender transition at puberty).

 

Jazz:

 

i-am-jazz-low-touch-banner.jpg

 

I think Greg would be satisfied with an explanation that God made these people, that the intersection of gender/sexuality/sexual orientation/physical conformity with gender is part of God's plan.

 

What makes this even more interesting (or puzzling) are the several distinct situations wherein the actual genetic sex (ie, XY or XX, but  Klinefelter syndrome XXY and others, including Androgen Insensitivity SyndromeXX male syndromeXXYY syndromeXYY syndrome) does not lead to normal/expected development of secondary sexual characteristics in the womb or later at puberty. 

 

This can result in situations in which a child is assumed to be male or female, but at puberty, the opposite development in genitalia occurs. 

 

Some developmental disorders for which there is no particular genetic marker  of course can result in 'intersex' babies, whose genetic gender does not unfold in the flesh, so to speak.

 

I do think there is a marginal utility in thinking about the 'male mind' in a 'female body' and vice-versa.  Does research support this? Yes and no (details on request).  

 I will leave that material for consideration, and raise the next part of the topic that can focus the mind -- on those folks who claim 'gender dsyphoria ' -- and who wish that they could have plastic surgery,  to adapt their physique to what their heart tells them is their 'true' gender.


Here I mention the other perplexing sexual organ, perhaps the most important sexual organ, the brain.   The brain itself takes a 'normative' developmental course under the influence of sex hormones.  This occurs during the first floods of development in the womb. An otherwise 'female' body develops a brain that will anatomically resemble the prototypical male brain, and vice  versa. Note that some disorders 'kick in' only at puberty.

 

I invite William Scott Dwyer to spend some time researching a few of the ways that development can 'go awry' in the interplay of development.  I hope he might spend a little bit of time musing over the situations in which sexual organs appear of one 'sex,' but the holder has the opposite-sex genetic identity -- or as above has unusual chromosomal sex 'typing.'.  One can also explore the kinds of challenges that 'intersex' people face, when their genitals are at some point on the continuum between wholly 'male' and wholly 'female.'

 

Imagine yourself a parent of an intersex child. Do you support plastic surgery to 'normalize' genitals?  Do you wait for the child to tell you which gender it identifies with?  Do you raise them as a boy or as  a girl? Which marker of sex is the 'correct' one -- the brain, the genes, or the genitals?

 

How do you decide?

 

-- it's nice to see some of the old gang still active here. Thanks for the opportunity to pitch for Team Reason . Hope all are well and happy, learning and growing,

 

(Edited by William Scott Scherk on 10/06, 10:51pm)



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Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 7:03pmSanction this postReply
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In one of those sociology classes that Luke Setzer refused to take, the professor declaimed against young men who point to lions as their excuse that they need to mate with lots of females.  "You are not a lion. You are a human being," she said, going on to speak of free will...  But even here, frequent contributors like Steve Wolfer cite other animals (though not plants), in order to claim that "sex is deep within us."  Well, so it is... and if you google for "animals that change their sex" you find that sex is not iron-clad. 

 

Sexual identity among humans is largely social.  Back about 1985-1989, the town of Lansing, Michigan, took in 1100 Hmong families, quite an injection for a town of less than a quarter million...  One time, we watched some Vietnamese men scouring the cemetary behind our home for worms.  (Yum!)  They also carried women's purses. I explained to my daughter (about 8 or 10) that the fashion cues were lost on them: they were not yet American enough...  She got that.  Apparently, some philosophers here lack the cultural insight of a nine-year old girl.



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Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 8:04pmSanction this postReply
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Marotta, you said,

In one of those sociology classes that Luke Setzer refused to take, the professor declaimed against young men who point to lions as their excuse that they need to mate with lots of females.  "You are not a lion. You are a human being," she said, going on to speak of free will...  But even here, frequent contributors like Steve Wolfer cite other animals (though not plants), in order to claim that "sex is deep within us."  Well, so it is... and if you google for "animals that change their sex" you find that sex is not iron-clad.

So which is it? Are we like other animals or not? Its pretty easy to see that sex is in all animals, save those whom reproduce asexually, while the ability to change genders is a very rare trait. A human might be able to have sex as frequently as a lion on a very good day, but it is clearly impossible to naturally change genders. Some animals have wings, that says nothing about what human's should do to their bodies or how they should behave. However, the fact that all mammals breath air would be a significant fact if we were talking about the human respiratory system.

 

Sexual identity among humans is largely social.  Back about 1985-1989, the town of Lansing, Michigan, took in 1100 Hmong families, quite an injection for a town of less than a quarter million...  One time, we watched some Vietnamese men scouring the cemetary behind our home for worms.  (Yum!)  They also carried women's purses. I explained to my daughter (about 8 or 10) that the fashion cues were lost on them: they were not yet American enough...  She got that.  Apparently, some philosophers here lack the cultural insight of a nine-year old girl.

Carrying a purse is not comparable to pretending to be a woman or to having your sexual organs removed. If you were to actually look more closely at asian culture (beyond fashion), you would see that most asians are very conservative regarding gender roles and what a man ought to look like (look at Japan). The only asian country where transgenderism is well known is in Thailand, and that is really just for prostitution. A purse is just a bag with a strap, its not significant when talking about gender and masculinity.



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Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 8:55pmSanction this postReply
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Sexual identity among humans is largely social.

Sure, if you don't believe that, just ask the sociologists.  NOT.  There is a great drive underway that is collectivist in nature, progressive-socialist in political application, and it is to make everything about society.  Society is the new god.  Progressivism is to become the political arm of the new religion.  Altruism will, as it has always been, remain common to traditional religion and to totalitarianism - they both are adamant that everyone understand their moral duty to sacrifice when called upon.  (They squabble with each other over who is to be the recipient of the sacrifices... over who gets the power).

 

Get it?  People will still be called upon to sacrifice, but the moral drive will be for the good of society.  In religion, God was seen as omincient and omnipotent... now society has to be given a PR upgrade to make it more important.  Just as the priests spoke for God, the Progressives will speak for society.  Bow thy head before the power and the glory that is Society, for though it may act in mysterious ways, it knows better what is the holy truth and will always place the many before the one.  And know thee this, that Society shall strike down the unbeliever like a dry blade of grass in a great fire.

 

Marotta is, and always has been, very much inthralled with various far-left influences and this often shows through when he talks about things being "social."

The far-left is always working with unstated premises that people don't think independently.  Hard to say if they really believe in behaviorism or is it just wishful thinking.  And the only ideas that are out and about, as long as they control the centers of learning, will be the ones they want to program 'society' with.
--------------

 

Steve Wolfer cite[s] other animals (though not plants), in order to claim that "sex is deep within us."

 

Yes, I did.  But I would NOT exclude plants which are also sexual.  Some plants, and some animals have both male and female organs.  Some plants and some animals change their sexual organs during during development.  Dogs on occassion will hump couches.  Sex is bizarre in all of its manifestations. 

 

Evolution is breath-takingly inventive and blind to any sense of "what ought to be" when compared to unrelenting experimentation with which result will leave behind the most viable offspring.  Sex is the pulse of evolution - its the transmission belt carrying genes through time, and the place where they mix to make new experiments is each single act of conception... Evolution doesn't even notice if some of the experiments are failure, if some are just laughable.  What is different about man is his unique consciouness that lets him reason and choose - if some guy humps a couch, the motivation might be the urge to be sexual (genetic), but the act was his choice (no matter what today's sociologists and progressives might want or not want).

 

Notice that none of what I've said lends any credence at all to the far-left's ongoing propoganda-drive towards socializing everything.  They want to take what is biological and make it sociological (Race, they say, is a social construct, sexual identity, they say, is a social construct) and then make it PC-toxic (how the elites' ideas become 'society's moral guidelines) and then political (converted into laws that tranfer power from individuals to 'society') - the transformation is growing ever more active.



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Friday, October 9, 2015 - 8:19pmSanction this postReply
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We control our evolution.  Humans are - or on the verge of "are" - in possession of the technology of genome expression.  Here in the Objectivish subblogosphere  of RoR you can find Ed Hudgins posting as well as our local celebrity Dean Michael Gores on "transhumanism."  To say that human sexuality is this or must be that is to limit human habitats to the modalities of bees and ants or (generously granted) hummingbirds, swallows, and (among my favorite) the piratical mockingbirds (State Bird of Texas, ya'll!).  Gorillas build nests each night, yet we live in permanent dwellings. The architecture of our cities is no less an expression of human free will than is the still-difficult problem of "sexual identity."  Those who deny the variability of sex and gender - and our control of those - would limit humans to the behaviors of apes... or ants...

 

People are born with a range of biochemical realities. Some gonadic boys have girl brains and vice versa.  (See "Sex Differences in Brains" from The Scientist here.)

SW:  There is a great drive underway that is collectivist in nature, progressive-socialist in political application, and it is to make everything about society.  Society is the new god.  Progressivism is ... 

 

It is individualism. As a psychological conservative who fears change and who seeks to maintain the status quo, Wolfer is threatened by the fact that science has come to understand some of the complexities of sex and gender.   Gender among humans is not identical with sex among other ("lower" - an arguable pejorative) animals. While the behaviors of fish that change their sex is informative, the fish themselves apparently do not choose their sex -- or their gender.  Among humans, sex and gender are differentiated. Apparently, that is not true among less complex organisms.  (I would love to query whales. However, I point to the work of The Mind of the Dolphin by John Cunningham Lilly.  Males dolphins hit on female humans... really, they do (or so it was claimed).)   

 

Some students of Objectivism attempt to understand and bridge the gap between humans and other anthropoids. Indeed, we have a lot in common with chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, and gorillas -- and much separates us.  The difference is qualititative, not quantitive. 

 

Attempting to force-fit human behavior to the modalities of other animals - informative as they can be - is to deny volition.

 

 

LJT: "Some animals have wings, that says nothing about what human's should do to their bodies ..."

 

 

I have 100 hours in the cockpit, 50 of them solo. I never completed the private pilot, unfortunately, but I flew a biplane, a lot of Cessnas, an ultralight, and a sailplane... Do not presume to tell me about wings. And I must insist that to deny Bruce Kardashian his womanhood is to deny me my time aloft slipping the surly bonds of earth and reaching out and touching the face of the God whose existence we all deny.

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 10/09, 8:34pm)



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Friday, October 9, 2015 - 9:27pmSanction this postReply
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Marotta believes Progressivism is individualism!  This is a man who is severely confused.
---------------------


He says, "We control our evolution."  In Marotta's fuzzy mind, if he says something, that makes it true.  He is someone whose psychology functions as if consciousness generated reality.  What even a child knows with but a moment's thought, is that we control some aspects of what biology presents us with, and other aspects we don't.  Our volition, and reason, and knowledge have to take into consideration that there are still large parts of biology that we can't change at this time.  Is this a frontier that is constantly be pushed back?  Of course.  But only a fool prattles on as if all change that we can imagine is now possible!  Just say that it is, and that will do it!  Or, let a sociologist say it, then it has to be true!
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He says, "As a psychological conservative who fears change and who seeks to maintain the status quo, Wolfer is threatened by the fact that science has come to understand some of the complexities of sex and gender."


Only someone blinded by their far left leanings would see me as a "psychological conservative." 


I've been an athiest since age 14.   I left home and went adventuring at age 16,  I've been a radical for Capitalism since age 19.  I've voted Libertarian in nearly every election since age 21.  I majored in Natural Sciences and have had considerable formal training in biology.  I single-handedly sailed a small boat across the Atlantic in my thirties.  But the resident ding-a-ling thinks that I'm afraid of change and am threatened by science?.  What an ass!

----------------


Mr. ding-a-ling, lord of the floating abstraction, says, "Attempting for force-fit human behavior to the modalities of other animals - informative as they can be - is to deny volition."
 

I have no idea how to communicate in a way that penetrates his foggy mind, but to others that might be reading this I'll say that we share biology with other organisms (I've made a strong point of just that), but we do have voltion and I've always been one the most vocal advocates of that view and what it implies.  What I have never said, but what the ding-a-ling is saying is that volition will determine race or gender.  He can pretend that neither exist, and buy into the far-left's exciting fling at using sociology to rewrite biology to suit Progressive dogma, but it won't change facts.  Medical science and technology continually push the back the fronteirs of biological limitations.  But what is going on in many of the soft-sciences isn't science.  It is just muddled nonsense (Marotta-stuff).

------------------


Marotta seems to think that I, out of some bizarre fear of change, want to deny people the opportunity to break new ground, using medical interventions, in being who they want to be.  I don't.  On a political level, based upon individual rights, I would never tell someone what they can do or not.  Unlike Marotta, I have 10 years as a licensed, practicing psychotherapist, and understand a little about identity disorders.  Some people are going to be less unhappy after a medical intervention, but others are going to be more unhappy.  Because it is their choice, and because medicine will accomodate some changes, doesn't mean their choice will prove to be in their self-interest.  I wish there were a pill that would change Marotta into an Objectivist.



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Post 11

Saturday, October 10, 2015 - 10:44amSanction this postReply
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Marotta,

 

     All you've been making is blanket statements about humans controlling evolution and being freed from our biological origins (apes). Well here are some actual facts for you to consider:

 

    -Transgender suicides.

 

    -Sex changes regrets.

 

    -Transgenderism is considered disorder by at least one psychiatrist who is not afraid of the gay lobby.

   

    When your ready to defend your position with facts let us know. And I don't just mean defending your progressive "scientific" position about human evolution and biology, I mean actually talking about the specific issue being addressed.

I have 100 hours in the cockpit, 50 of them solo. I never completed the private pilot, unfortunately, but I flew a biplane, a lot of Cessnas, an ultralight, and a sailplane... Do not presume to tell me about wings. And I must insist that to deny Bruce Kardashian his womanhood is to deny me my time aloft slipping the surly bonds of earth and reaching out and touching the face of the God whose existence we all deny.

    Transgenderism is not the same thing as piloting an aircraft. One is an act to defy an aspect of reality that you cannot overcome, the other is an act requiring that one observes reality and obeys its rules. To deny Bruce Jenner's womanhood is to recognize the reality of physiological gender beyond just fashion, hair and and the genitals (which he still holds on to). It is to recognize the Entire reality of gender, not just the parts you want to look at. Flying a plane, as you should know, involves a lot of preperation; studying the weather, checking your instruments, doing repairs, etc, etc. You can't simply jump off of a high cliff with a wingsuit and hope to fly.

 


 

 

Steve you said,

 

He says, "We control our evolution."  In Marotta's fuzzy mind, if he says something, that makes it true.  He is someone whose psychology functions as if consciousness generated reality.  What even a child knows with but a moment's thought, is that we control some aspects of what biology presents us with, and other aspects we don't.  Our volition, and reason, and knowledge have to take into consideration that there are still large parts of biology that we can't change at this time.  Is this a frontier that is constantly be pushed back?  Of course.  But only a fool prattles on as if all change that we can imagine is now possible!  Just say that it is, and that will do it!  Or, let a sociologist say it, then it has to be true!

and

 

I have no idea how to communicate in a way that penetrates his foggy mind, but to others that might be reading this I'll say that we share biology with other organisms (I've made a strong point of just that), but we do have voltion and I've always been one the most vocal advocates of that view and what it implies.  What I have never said, but what the ding-a-ling is saying is that volition will determine race or gender.  He can pretend that neither exist, and buy into the far-left's exciting fling at using sociology to rewrite biology to suit Progressive dogma, but it won't change facts.  Medical science and technology continually push the back the fronteirs of biological limitations.  But what is going on in many of the soft-sciences isn't science.  It is just muddled nonsense (Marotta-stuff).

------------------


Marotta seems to think that I, out of some bizarre fear of change, want to deny people the opportunity to break new ground, using medical interventions, in being who they want to be.  I don't.  On a political level, based upon individual rights, I would never tell someone what they can do or not.  Unlike Marotta, I have 10 years as a licensed, practicing psychotherapist, and understand a little about identity disorders.  Some people are going to be less unhappy after a medical intervention, but others are going to be more unhappy.  Because it is their choice, and because medicine will accomodate some changes, doesn't mean their choice will prove to be in their self-interest.  I wish there were a pill that would change Marotta into an Objectivist.

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Saturday, October 10, 2015 - 6:16pmSanction this postReply
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The small number of dysphoric agitators forcibly setting the terms of engagement for the rest of us reminds me of this Latin proverb:

 

"Beware the tyranny of the minority."



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Friday, October 16, 2015 - 10:09amSanction this postReply
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Post 14

Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 9:13pmSanction this postReply
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Kudos to William Scott for another great post.  He wrote,

 

"Imagine yourself a parent of an intersex child. Do you support plastic surgery to 'normalize' genitals?  Do you wait for the child to tell you which gender it identifies with?  Do you raise them as a boy or as  a girl? Which marker of sex is the 'correct' one -- the brain, the genes, or the genitals?"

 

"How do you decide?"

 

Good question, William Scott.  I would say that it is the physiology of the person rather than the psychology, but it is tricky if the genes and genitals don't match.  There you would have a true intersex person, but not a transgender one.  My main point was that someone who is in all respects physiologically male, as Bruce Jenner clearly was, cannot change his gender to become fully physiologically female -- in other words, cannot transition from one clear and distinct gender to the other.  At best, he can acquire some characteristics of the opposite sex, but cannot literally change his gender.

 

The fact that we have adopted the term "transgender" to describe the kind of thing that Bruce Jenner did suggests the opposite.  It suggests that a true transition from someone who is fully physiologically male to one who is fully physiologically female is possible.  It is not.  We have, in other words, deluded ourselves into thinking that there is such a thing as a full and complete transition from one gender to the other. 



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Post 15

Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 11:00pmSanction this postReply
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Bill,

 

The fact that we have adopted the term "transgender" to describe the kind of thing that Bruce Jenner did suggests the opposite.  It suggests that a true transition from someone who is fully physiologically male to one who is fully physiologically female is possible.  It is not.

 

One problem is that we don't know, at this time, how to determine what 'fully physiologically male (or female)' is.  We can look at the sex chromosomes and we can examine external genitalia and other obvious physiological markers, but we don't know about the brain.  We know that the there are differences between male and female brains (e.g., the midsagittal corpus callosum cross-sectional area is proportionally larger in females).  Science records about 100 differences between males and females and some of these are structural or chemical.  But we have no clue as to what aspects of the genetically determined brain have on the more primitive aspects of the human mind (e.g., aspects of sexual orientation).  This is why the psychological sense of being a different gender than the external genitalia is still puzzling. 

 

Our psychology, as a whole, is always a mixture of two sources:
- One being the organic (including things like the genes, development through embryology, and including the mediating neurophysiology of the mind).
- The other being our past experiences and choices, including the full range of our mental/emotional processes. 

 

We don't yet understand much of this interface between the hardware and the software.  Neurophysiologist are making blinding progress, but they aren't nearly as far along as they would have one believe - not towards any real understanding of a neuropsychology (apart from a limited understanding of some neurophysiological disorders), and they don't yet grasp how far they still have to go in understanding how the brain is mediating normal human mental processes.

 

Once we are much further along in determining what is what physiologically in 'transgender' situations, and what effects are transmitted from that physiology to the resulting mental/emotional state, then we can tackle the problem from the point of view of knowing what can or can't be changed, but also what would it be effective to change.  Always from the premise that the long-term happiness of the individual is the goal.



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Post 16

Monday, November 9, 2015 - 5:38amSanction this postReply
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still scared of ending up in the wrong pigeon-hole ... nothing new under the sun - objective, objectivist or otherwise ...

Thanx to William Scott for some factual elucidation on the multitudes of sexes, genders, genetics - social, historic or otherwise :) far better received than the many slanders and false statistics on promoting deviants' early and unnatural demise on this discussion :)

PS: the most intriguing sex I ever came across is 'I'm not telling' ;)

(Cecilia Tan - Genderflex)



Post 17

Monday, November 9, 2015 - 7:48amSanction this postReply
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Vera, what are the current laws where you live regarding restroom usage and gender and how do those laws vary from what you think they should be?



Post 18

Monday, November 9, 2015 - 8:47amSanction this postReply
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Hello Luke,

laws are restrictive as to be expected from 'pigeon-holers' ;)

However I always saw laws more as a 'suggestion' to avoid legal trouble rather than sth carved in marble - in German we say 'wo kein Kläger da kein Richter' (no accuser, no judge), so I take the liberty of using whichever bathroom I find most convenient :P

(usually that's the girl's room as it's the cleanest - however I have no problem with men using it when they leave it this clean and don't stare openly as I find is the custom in men's rooms - and I've used men's rooms when the lines of the girls got ridiculously long ;)

And just a personal anecdote: I vary between the long hair you see in my profile photo and completely shorn to the skin every two to three years - with my scratchy voice and androgynous clothing I often get asked if I'm in the wrong place - no I'm not :P

I'm in the bathroom that suits my needs best and I respect the rules of those rooms so they remain in that way that suits my needs :)

(and if my presence is really offensive to some woman with a traumatized past I also have no problem leaving and using another room even if I'm legally entitled)

Vera

PS: what's bathroom rules got to do with transsexuals and their sexual status? in some countries they still get sent to the men's prison where they are raped just like normal women with a vagina - there they don't care if it's an artificial one ... compared to that battle a little notoriety in some flashy papers is of very little consequence and nothing to get worked up about

 

(Edited by Vera S. Doerr on 11/09, 8:48am)



Post 19

Monday, November 9, 2015 - 9:20amSanction this postReply
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Vera asked:

what's bathroom rules got to do with transsexuals and their sexual status?

 It is becoming a hot legal issue in the United States so it is actually quite relevant.

 

See this George Reisman article for an example from an Objectivist "pigeon-holing" economics scholar.

 

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 11/09, 9:47am)



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