We’re on a mission from God.

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Discussion (38)¬

  1. Quine Duhem says:

    An interesting example of conflating “the veracity of our identities” with the “veracity of our beliefs.” We often see this manoeuvre in the various trans/identity/race debates, and frequently in modern political discussion, too. Similarly, using the phrase “my truths” as a synonym for “my beliefs” is a great starting point for ignoring evidence and avoiding any possibility of rational change to one’s beliefs.

  2. Laripu says:

    I recall that Bertrand Russell was touring a foreign country; China, I think, but I’m not certain anymore, it’s been a long time since I read about it. He was accompanied by his lover, to whom he was not married. When his Chinese hosts found out that they were not married, they started treating her with disrespect. He then had to insist to his hosts that they treat her as though he and the woman were married. Ever polite, the Chinese hosts then treated her with respect.

    The issue with trans people isn’t what you believe that are. You are free to believe anything. The issue is that they wish to be treated a certain way. If you treat them as they wish to be treated, out of mere politeness, you can believe that they are male, female, neuter, John Cleese, or a seagull. Your belief is internal, therefore immaterial. Your behavior is external and therefore affects others.

    I encourage politeness. But then, I was born in Canada, so maybe it’s a cultural imperative.

  3. Toast in the machine says:

    The issue with the trans movement is exactly that it demands not that people who identify as trans are treated with respect – which most people do anyway – but that their claims about reality are treated by everyone and encoded in law as being literally true.
    Simple observations of empirical fact – ‘transwomen aren’t actually women’ – become ‘genocide’ by their definition.

  4. Paul T Seed says:

    Toast in the machine :
    “Trans women are not women” is true or false depending on how you define women. And , as we speak English, the meaning of words is the meaning people generally give to them. Referring to the “true” meaning of words does not work. It is however, not disputed that Trans women were once boys, nor that they have a Y chromosome, if that makes you feel any better.

    And of course, changes to the law can amount to changes to the meaning of words, particularly as used in courts.

    That said “genocide” is rather extreme language. I have not seen it used in this debate.

  5. Shaughn says:

    There is a wikipedia lemma on “transgender genocide”. The phrase is under debate, not without reason.

    As for veracity of identity and of belief – instead of transgenderism, how about vegans? There seem to be people who identify and want us to identify mashed vegetables as ‘meat’burgers or ‘sausage’ or ‘chicken’ nuggets and want us to believe veggies equal meat. They go as far as storing their veggies for sale in the meat department… Yikes.

  6. Donn says:

    What I’ve seen is the opposite – vegetarian meat alternatives forbidden to use the terminology of meat products, like “sausage” (France), even though the labeling is crystal clear that there’s no animal parts involved.

    No one thinks anyone’s going to believe veggies equal meat. If you don’t think veggies are better than meat, you’d have no reason at all to buy the stuff. The use of a word like “sausage” is simply informative.

  7. Toast in the machine says:

    Paul T Seed:
    Linguistic sophistry doesn’t alter reality, and however righteously intentioned and however loud, intransigent and violent a small number of ideologues are we are a sexually dimorphic species: people born male will remain male; people born female remain female whatever they might believe or fantasise. You’re correct that lawmakers can change the accepted usage of words; unfortunately as we’ve seen in too many cases in the last few years often to the disadvantage of real/true/biological women or however else you prefer to differentiate them from gender dysphoric or gynephiliac men who prefer to imagine themselves as women. When actual women can no longer win sporting events, safely use lavatories or changing rooms, receive medical treatment or rape counselling, be housed in prison accommodation in which they can’t be raped by biological men who ‘identify’ as women, many people reach the conclusion that the law has erred and should be corrected.

  8. paradoctor says:

    The trouble with identity politics is that it is attachment (politics) to an illusion (identity), and attachment to illusion causes suffering.

    I propose that gender identity be protected by the First Amendment; for gender identity is subjective; it must be taken on faith; it involves the forms of sexual practice; and Americans worship sex. However, sexual anatomy and genetics are objective, and therefore merit appropriate public administration.

  9. Donn says:

    When it comes to the meaning of words, linguistic sophistry is reality. If you want to be an effective advocate for sensible policy, you have to understand words – policy is built out of words, and if you’ve been elected the arbiter of what they mean, you’d have been told.

  10. Deimos says:

    I remember the first time I saw the term TERF and after looking it up, I was amazed. Surely absolutely NO feminist would include former males in their orbit. Suddenly though TERF’s were considered some sort of feminist monsters who ate little trans for dinner, roasted on hardback JKR novels.

    The whole thing has not only gone completely toto but is destroying my belief in human survival beyond September.

    I’m off to watch the whole Harry Potter series in order whilst wearing last year’s winter solstice dress.
    Toodles Chums

  11. Laripu says:

    In Florida, where I live, a law was passed and signed that makes it a crime to use the bathroom or changing room of a gender you were not assigned at birth. It excludes restaurants and gas stations. It targets state and local government buildings, schools, colleges and detention centers.

    Imagine a trans male who has breasts removed, and having had bottom surgery has artificial male genitals, and due to hormone therapy has male musculature, body hair, and beard. This person must now use a woman’s bathroom in a government building.

    Imagine a trans female, with breasts and an artificial vagina, and no body hair, but a luxurious mane on her head. In prison, in Florida, she must shower in the same common shower room as the various horrible men that end up in prison. That’s white supremacists, gang members, drug addicts, abusers and rapists.

    My guess is that they excluded restaurants and gas stations because they wanted to avoid those obvious difficulties in public, but really wanted to look like they were doing something, punishing trans people, to right wing fü¢ks that want to criminalize non-standard sexuality/gender.

    Here’s the story:


    I’d be ok with just banning trans women from competing in some women’s sports.

    This is happening in a world in which every person, including pregnant women, has a diet rich in endocrine disrupting microplastics.



    Expect the coming years to have increasingly greater percentages of sexually non-standard people.

  12. Imagine a woman in prison with a male cellmate.

  13. Toast in the machine says:

    Donn: for me or any man to inform women that they belong to the same biological category as men who wish or fantasise that they were women would indeed be condescending and mysoginistic.

  14. Toast in the machine says:

    We don’t need to imagine women in prison with male cellmates, unfortunately.

    A woman incarcerated at New Jersey’s Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women (EMCF) alleges she was battered by a male transfer after she repeatedly refused his sexual advances. Speaking with Reduxx, inmate Shakira Reed described how she was assaulted by Jermaine Gibson, who identifies as transgender and uses the name Cyntara, after repeated instances of sexual harassment.

    The horrific incident is said to have taken place on April 17, when Gibson was witnessed repeatedly punching Reed in the head. According to witnesses of the attack who spoke exclusively to Reduxx, blood was “everywhere.”

    As a result of the injuries Reed sustained, she was removed from the correctional facility and taken to Hunterdon Medical Center, where she received medical care before being transferred to Edna Mahan’s on-site hospital unit. Reed stated that she was being treated for a broken nose and that she had two black eyes that remained swollen for weeks afterwards….

    “I was attacked because I didn’t want to have sex with him,” Reed told Reduxx. But disturbingly, Reed found herself penalized for defending herself against her assailant.

    Another female inmate who has repeatedly been placed within the same cell block unit as several of the male transfers spoke to Reduxx about the incident under the condition of anonymity. Pamela* expressed her incredulity and outrage at the circumstances involving the men being held at EMCF.

    Pamela added that she felt the wave of transgender male transfers to the women’s prison was “obscene” because most are still intact, and many have criminal convictions for violence against women.

    “The recent events here are just unimaginable and honestly if I wasn’t living them I wouldn’t even believe them. People need to know what this has been like for us because no one has ever come to ask us how we feel about them being here. This is misogyny within misogyny.” 


  15. Donn says:

    OK, that’s a sorry mess, wherein the ACLU fights for something could only harm everyone concerned. As in the Florida example, we find that prison isn’t a good place to model any societal standard. And in both cases, most of the problem is simplistic reliance on a selected meaning of the word “woman.”

  16. Son of Glenner says:

    I have just seen a news item about a “trans man” who became pregnant and subsequently gave birth to a baby (boy). His name is Logan Brown and his story appeared in an american magazine, if you want to check. He stated that he is a pregnant trans man and is neither the first, nor the only one, so proving it is not an impossibility. He is described as having a (male) partner and there is no suggestion of a virgin birth.

    I make no comment, I just thought some of you might be interested.

  17. M27Holts says:

    When somebody uses the words “my truth” it is a self admission that it is fabricated wish-thinking…ok when harmless, less so when malign….

  18. Son of Glenner says:

    M27Holts: OK … if that’s what you want to believe.

  19. Laripu says:

    Apparently people need to be told the blindingly obvious. Pope Francis says Francis that Virgin Mary apparitions are “not always real”. He should have reversed the order and said “always not real”.

    The woman who claims they are real has been convicted of bankruptcy fraud. Her name is Maria Giuseppe Scarpulla. She says the statue of Mary was crying blood. It turned out to be pig’s blood. (A miracle! Statue of human cries pig blood! A miracle change in statue DNA!! 😉 )

    She set up a foundation and scammed people for donations. One person gave her €123,000. I hope he’s learned something, but I doubt it. People who give away large sums of money to scam artists may not have the capability to learn important lessons.

    She said “I won’t budge an inch because I’m in the house of God and have the Madonna on my side.” What do you think… a tattoo? 😀


  20. M27Holts says:

    How can anybody be so stupid? And hoe can anybody respect the pope? The geezer should be made to wear a clown face…coz him and his catholic cronies require to be ridiculed publicly for their ridiculous state sponsored confidence trick…

  21. Laripu says:

    M27, “How can anybody be so stupid?”… Statistics indicate that approximately 63% of the population has an IQ under 105.

    That’s how. Most people are stupid.

  22. Son of Glenner says:

    Half the population (ie 50%) are below average intelligence (ie less than 100 IQ) – by definition, ie because of the way IQ is defined! You could say the same about average height, weight, athletic ability, musical skill, and so on.

  23. Son of Glenner says:

    If I could extrapolate from Laripu’s comment, I suspect that approximately 63% of the population have an IQ over 95, ie a large proportion of the total population, say 63%, are bunched near the average of 100. So most people are of middling intelligence and middling stupidity!

    “Normal” distribution usually takes the form of a “bell-shaped” curve, peaking in the middle around an average and tailing off into tiny numbers at the very high and very low extremes. Please note this is a particular, technical, meaning for “normal”. I think Laripu is well aware of all this, M27Holts is also a “numbers guy” and really ought to know about it, if he doesn’t.

  24. Donn says:


    For modern IQ tests, the raw score is transformed to a normal distribution with mean 100 and standard deviation 15. This results in approximately two-thirds of the population scoring between IQ 85 and IQ 115 and about 2.5 percent each above 130 and below 70.

    So to me it really doesn’t look like evidence of anything much about the population – it says 2/3 of the people are in the middle 2/3, but we don’t need the tests to know that.

  25. Mr Paul Seed says:

    Toast in the machine:
    You seem really upset about this. Take a chill. There are more important hills to die on than what people choose to call themselves.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Son of Glenner and Donn, yes, I’m aware of elementary facts about the normal curve. (I did grad school in math in the 80s, before becoming a software engineer. While doing that, and for a couple of years afterwards, I taught many undergrad math courses. All the first and second year courses.)

    Here’s a table from which you can work out percentages:

    My point was only that most people are pretty dim. Even 105 IQ, (which is above average because 100 is average), even that’s pretty dim. Moreover, dim people often feel (correctly) that smart people look down on them. That makes them easy marks for people peddling goofy fringe ideas. Because if they think they know something that none of the smart people know, it makes them feel like they’re not stupid after all. Competent con artists take advantage of that.

    There’s a novel about people like that, by Philip K Dick, called “Confessions of a Crap Artist”. It’s a pretty good read.

  27. Laripu says:

    Sorry, that was me. I submitted without the name.

  28. Shaughn says:

    Laripu, perhaps it’s not a matter of IQ. This 63% might just as well suffer from Kruger-Dunning. Managers usually do.
    Or, those 63% behave stupid because of their inclination to use EQ instead of IQ.
    (EQ is invented by people with IQ, to give those without Q also a Q to boast about *devilish grin* )

  29. M27Holts says:

    You can usually tell.a person’s intelligence by the music they listen to classical/Jazz/prog/technical metal , all require a lot of effort to listen to. The eejits just listen to stuff they can dance round their handbags to…stuff that they have been told to listen to by fucking Simon Cowel….

  30. Donn says:

    I’m a little skeptical that the intelligence problem in question is measured by the intelligence tests. The COVID phenomenon being a fair example – is it not true that people of reasonable measurable intelligence were caught up in fantastic follies?

    I know people who seem to have mental abilities above average but don’t think all that well. It isn’t easily taught, but it would sure be worth a try.

  31. Rob Barnett says:

    And everbody knows that 99.565% of statistics are made up on the spot…

  32. M27Holts says:

    My wife always tells me that you can’t question religious beliefs, because people get upset…with tnis mindset the shysters can get away with anything…

  33. M27Holts says:

    People tell lies, to themselves and to others. I was in a group, one of them was a smoker, his claims that he knew four super fit iron-men who all died in the first wave of covid are of course, completely un-verifiable when I asked him for their names he just told me that I wouldn’t know them…such lies do comfort the numpties…

  34. Laripu says:

    M27, it could very well have been true that the smoker you know knew fit people who died of covid. Instances don’t tell you as much as statistics.

    What he told you amounts to “it is possible for fit people to die of covid”. It doesn’t tell you whether it’s more or less likely.

    As a side note, my wife and I have had every available covid vaccination. In mid-2021 she had the middle lobe of her right lung removed due to a local lung cancer. (All’s well now on that front.)

    In Nov 2022, age 71, she caught covid from her dentist. Her doctor told her that she would have died if not for the vaccinations. She got various medications, including a steroid to keep her lungs open. After two weeks she was ok.

    I never got any symptoms at all despite being around her 24/7 with no mask, sleeping in the same bed etc. In my case the vaccinations worked better, but I’m only 66 and have never had lung cancer. Or maybe I was just lucky? Instances tell you get little, except that the facts of the instance are possible.

  35. jb says:

    Most people — including most smart people, even very smart people — aren’t using their intelligence to try to discover the truth about the world, they are using it to try to get ahead in the world, to gain status and the respect of their peers, to feel good about themselves, to feel like they matter. Whatever they may tell themselves, for most people the pursuit of cold truth is not a priority.

  36. jb says:

    I distinctly remember early in the pandemic reading stories about how smoking appeared to be protective against covid. These were not crackpot articles; they all acknowledged that this would be a strange and difficult to explain result; but that nevertheless there seemed to be studies indicating it was so. I stopped seeing this claim after a while, so it clearly didn’t pan out, and a quick search didn’t turn up the articles I had read, but it did turn up this article in Nature, which offers an explanation of what was going on.

  37. M27Holts says:

    JB. The tobacco industry shit themselves when covid hit. Thus the insertion of fabricated bullshit into the media…hoping that the great unwashed would buy the “smoking protects you from covid” to boost sales…
    Laripu. I know dozens of super-fit iron men and women, not one of them even showed symptoms when contracting the virus, though a few complained that it took a few minutes off their training times..but all trained as normal. It was bullshit that people with good cardio-vascular systems were more likely to die than unfit sluggards, yet the media was full of such bullshit in project fear….

  38. M27Holts says:

    Covid mainly drop-kicked the numb-nuts who had neglected their cardio-vascular fitness into the oblivion where, without modern science , they would have been years ago…


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