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Not sure if you've seen this news, but Richard Dawkins sent out a Tweet about discussing transgender and was instantly set upon by the Twitter mob.  This lead to the American Humanist Association saying they will retroactively strip the humanist of the year award from 1996.  I saw this link via Rationality Rules, where Hemant Mehta expresses his dislike of the Tweet and posts the supporting posts from many of the most influential atheists:

 

Here’s How Well-Known Atheists Are Defending Richard Dawkins’ Anti-Trans Tweet | Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist | Patheos

 

If you don't want to bother following the link, the Tweet in question reads:

image.png.ac06b8d91b8d9dd570d80de341f6396f.png

 

So two days after his Tweet he posted a follow up clarification, but this was not considered acceptable by some groups.

 

Personally I think his intent is perfectly clear, and more discussion on such subjects is a good thing.  Complaints mainly seem to be around the use of the word "choose", but rather than engage and explain, they leap to the belief that it must be anti-trans and he is evil for saying it.  While I agree "choose" is not the right word to use, I also understand what he means and take his clear intent in the good faith behind it.

Thoughts?

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I can see the argument against the term choose, in that you can't choose your beliefs. Sure you have the choice on how you wish to present yourself and how you wish to talk about it but how you feel i

Some days you just can't win, and it is better to remain silent than even broach the topics we see daily. I'm facing something similar regarding the violence in Portland. We had protests over legitima

I believe 'choose' is a perfectly acceptable word there. Even if everyone agrees that one can feel dysphoria about the sex of the body they inhabit, whether they identify their gender according to the

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Some days you just can't win, and it is better to remain silent than even broach the topics we see daily. I'm facing something similar regarding the violence in Portland. We had protests over legitimate concerns about police violence become hijacked by anarchists who like to break windows and start fires. Police and federal troops used that as an excuse to flood the area with tear gas, beat and arrest journalists, beat black homeowners in the area who complained about the tear gas harming their children, etc. I ranted online about this being an evil thing since a small part of the group were engaged in violence. But I have family that defended the troops treating the entire crowd as anarchists, saying "play stupid games, win stupid prizes". 

 

Now that the protests have largely gone dormant, we have anarchists still running around smashing windows and starting fires. And we have some in the black community saying that the anarchists have just as valid a reason for protesting as the blacks, which other black leaders are absolutely decrying the violence and arson of the anarchists. A LOT of us are fed up with the graffiti, vandalism, and arson and have spoken out about the trashing of the city. Just yesterday I posted that the violence of the anarchists (smashing windows at the museum and Starbucks, and lighting things on fire) is not supported by the black community. A lady pontificated and said that I should talk to the local blacks instead of assuming. I said the news is full of both sides of the Blacks already voicing their opinions and that there is no unified "Black" message. Some seem to take the stance that all voices and actions are equally valid, even if they make no sense. It is like me being pissed at my brother, and then I go to Starbucks and smash their windows because I'm upset. Anarchists locally are whiny white punks that need serious felony charges and years in jail for arson and daily vandalism. 

 

I asked a black lady on Facebook about some of the odd statements I'd heard regarding racism (e.g., Blacks can't be racist because they aren't in power), and I guess I chose the wrong one to ask because she just reinforced the odd stance and then said it wasn't her job to educate me. She cussed at some others that posted in the same thread and then defriended me. 

 

So mostly, I keep my mouth shut and have mostly gone silent on social media because everyone has "the right" opinion and are too willing to scream it at me. Some may take it further, so what's the point if I don't want a fight? Such is our current culture. 

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8 hours ago, Wertbag said:

Complaints mainly seem to be around the use of the word "choose", but rather than engage and explain, they leap to the belief that it must be anti-trans and he is evil for saying it.  While I agree "choose" is not the right word to use, I also understand what he means and take his clear intent in the good faith behind it.

Thoughts?

 

I believe 'choose' is a perfectly acceptable word there. Even if everyone agrees that one can feel dysphoria about the sex of the body they inhabit, whether they identify their gender according to their sex or according to their feelings is still a matter of choice. Even if we all agree it should be a free choice or that they should choose to identify according to the feelings, it's still that: a choice.

 

Even if I'm somehow wrong about that, there's still the degree of this infraction to consider. It definitely isn't so unreasonable anyone should be getting angry about it or cancel decades old awards over it. That kind of treatment is obviously what's actually unreasonable here.

 

I believe Dawkins' true infraction was the fact that he questioned the dogma, not really the way he did it.

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8 hours ago, Wertbag said:

Not sure if you've seen this news, but Richard Dawkins sent out a Tweet about discussing transgender and was instantly set upon by the Twitter mob.  This lead to the American Humanist Association saying they will retroactively strip the humanist of the year award from 1996.  I saw this link via Rationality Rules, where Hemant Mehta expresses his dislike of the Tweet and posts the supporting posts from many of the most influential atheists:

 

Here’s How Well-Known Atheists Are Defending Richard Dawkins’ Anti-Trans Tweet | Hemant Mehta | Friendly Atheist | Patheos

 

If you don't want to bother following the link, the Tweet in question reads:

image.png.ac06b8d91b8d9dd570d80de341f6396f.png

 

So two days after his Tweet he posted a follow up clarification, but this was not considered acceptable by some groups.

 

Personally I think his intent is perfectly clear, and more discussion on such subjects is a good thing.  Complaints mainly seem to be around the use of the word "choose", but rather than engage and explain, they leap to the belief that it must be anti-trans and he is evil for saying it.  While I agree "choose" is not the right word to use, I also understand what he means and take his clear intent in the good faith behind it.

Thoughts?

 

Nobody is allowed to have an opinion in America anymore.

If you say something differing from political correctness, or challenging PC, you must be fired and hated forever. 

Free speech is dead. 

 

So I guess we cancel Dawkins this week. :) 

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9 hours ago, Wertbag said:

Personally I think his intent is perfectly clear, and more discussion on such subjects is a good thing.  Complaints mainly seem to be around the use of the word "choose", but rather than engage and explain, they leap to the belief that it must be anti-trans and he is evil for saying it.  While I agree "choose" is not the right word to use, I also understand what he means and take his clear intent in the good faith behind it.

Thoughts?

 

This is cancel culture at it's finest. 

 

The bottom line is that when Rachael Dolezal chose to put a lot of conscious effort into portraying herself as black, people came down on her hard. Why did they do that? Seems a double standard. 

 

Dawkins was making a logical observation and asking people to discuss. Doesn't look like hate speech. Doesn't seem very inappropriate. Because there are both biological males and females who are making 'similar choices' in terms of how they put conscious effort into manipulating their personal identity. These are just factual statements. Dawkins is a fact based thinker. 

 

If nature presents you as male or female and then you put conscious effort, for whatever reason, into manipulating your natural body, that's a very conscious choice on your part. This doesn't speak to any right or wrong moral issue. It only speaks to the fact that people have reacted very differently to two different examples of choosing to alter one's natural identity. 

 

Because a white women chose to identify as black, or rather someone from a majority race chose to impersonate a minority race, people were furious. These are good questions. Where race is concerned they were furious. 

 

Would the same be applied to a black women who chose to identify as white under similar false pretenses? 

 

Not likely. They'd probably not even care. Just as no one seems to care much about cross gender identification opposing one's natural body. There'n no public outrage. If anything, people are pandering to the gender situation. While hateful towards the racial situation. 

 

My personal take is a very liberal attitude toward both the racial and gender identity issues. I'm for freedom of these choices. And to each their own. I don't judge them as immoral. And I'm all for equal rights for everyone involved. But I won't pretend to myself or anyone else that choices aren't being made when they clear are. 

 

Choices are being made and people have the freedom to choose. Even Rachael. Either everyone's allowed to identify as whatever, or there's no equality involved in the freedom of choice. 

 

 

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"Woke" is an unforgiving mistress.

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4 minutes ago, florduh said:

"Woke" is an unforgiving mistress.

 

New slogan: 

 

"Woke is Broke" 

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5 hours ago, Fuego said:

Some days you just can't win, and it is better to remain silent than even broach the topics we see daily. I'm facing something similar regarding the violence in Portland. We had protests over legitimate concerns about police violence become hijacked by anarchists who like to break windows and start fires. Police and federal troops used that as an excuse to flood the area with tear gas, beat and arrest journalists, beat black homeowners in the area who complained about the tear gas harming their children, etc. I ranted online about this being an evil thing since a small part of the group were engaged in violence. But I have family that defended the troops treating the entire crowd as anarchists, saying "play stupid games, win stupid prizes". 

 

Now that the protests have largely gone dormant, we have anarchists still running around smashing windows and starting fires. And we have some in the black community saying that the anarchists have just as valid a reason for protesting as the blacks, which other black leaders are absolutely decrying the violence and arson of the anarchists. A LOT of us are fed up with the graffiti, vandalism, and arson and have spoken out about the trashing of the city. Just yesterday I posted that the violence of the anarchists (smashing windows at the museum and Starbucks, and lighting things on fire) is not supported by the black community. A lady pontificated and said that I should talk to the local blacks instead of assuming. I said the news is full of both sides of the Blacks already voicing their opinions and that there is no unified "Black" message. Some seem to take the stance that all voices and actions are equally valid, even if they make no sense. It is like me being pissed at my brother, and then I go to Starbucks and smash their windows because I'm upset. Anarchists locally are whiny white punks that need serious felony charges and years in jail for arson and daily vandalism. 

 

I asked a black lady on Facebook about some of the odd statements I'd heard regarding racism (e.g., Blacks can't be racist because they aren't in power), and I guess I chose the wrong one to ask because she just reinforced the odd stance and then said it wasn't her job to educate me. She cussed at some others that posted in the same thread and then defriended me. 

 

So mostly, I keep my mouth shut and have mostly gone silent on social media because everyone has "the right" opinion and are too willing to scream it at me. Some may take it further, so what's the point if I don't want a fight? Such is our current culture. 

 

Facebook is a mishmash of a million different opinions. You will always get bitched out. My wife says Instagram seems to be way less negative. lol

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53 minutes ago, ToHellWithMe said:

I believe 'choose' is a perfectly acceptable word there. Even if everyone agrees that one can feel dysphoria about the sex of the body they inhabit, whether they identify their gender according to their sex or according to their feelings is still a matter of choice.

I can see the argument against the term choose, in that you can't choose your beliefs. Sure you have the choice on how you wish to present yourself and how you wish to talk about it but how you feel is outside of your control. You cannot chose the feeling of wrongness. 

 

Even if this was the argument that they wished to put forward, doing so by declaring the person a hateful bigot is not the right way to do so. And stripping awards is just ridiculous. He won the award fair and square for his many books, seminars and work with the foundation. A single tweet 30 years later doesn't invalidate any of that previous work. 

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Per OP's article link, Rachel 'brazenly lied' about her racial identity?  Really? If she feels black she 'is' black. Otherwise there is a double standard going on. 

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51 minutes ago, midniterider said:

Per OP's article link, Rachel 'brazenly lied' about her racial identity?  Really? If she feels black she 'is' black. Otherwise there is a double standard going on. 

 

Dawkins point exactly!

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2 hours ago, midniterider said:

Per OP's article link, Rachel 'brazenly lied' about her racial identity?  Really? If she feels black she 'is' black. Otherwise there is a double standard going on. 

There should be no questions that can't be asked and there should be no topics that are off the table. Dawkins is neither racist nor transphobic, but he dared to open a topic for academic discussion. It's a quite valid topic, judging from the responses and backlash he got!

 

Yes, she lied. Race is a real thing and quantifiable. Ask a doctor about the different weaknesses, strengths and unique vulnerability among the races.

 

Yes, there are other lies. A guy with the two testosterone producing boys and a schlong decides to identify with and live life as a female - how is that different than a white person pretending they're black, a black pretending to be white, or everybody pretending to be Asian because it's cool...

 

Perhaps we old guys can identify as teenagers, the bald guys as hairy hunks and the short folks as towering, lanky giants among humans. We MUST accept them for what they claim to be, not what they are, right? Or maybe just sometimes?

 

It's the discussion Dawkins wanted us to have. Have it.

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14 hours ago, Wertbag said:

Personally I think his intent is perfectly clear, and more discussion on such subjects is a good thing.  Complaints mainly seem to be around the use of the word "choose", but rather than engage and explain, they leap to the belief that it must be anti-trans and he is evil for saying it.  While I agree "choose" is not the right word to use, I also understand what he means and take his clear intent in the good faith behind it.

Thoughts?

 

I wasn't aware of this controversy until seeing this thread, but as the father of a transgender child, I agree that it appears to be mainly an issue of a poor choice of words. I don't see it as indicative that Dawkins is transphobic, and the backlash appears to be an overreaction. In fact, even though being transgender is not a choice, Dawkins' comment says "choose to identify," which, if he meant how they publicly identify, then that could be seen as a choice. There have been plenty of people for generations with gender dysphoria who chose not to publicly identify as the gender they personally identify with. Of course, that's out of fear of how they'd be seen and treated, so it's not much of a choice, but it could be argued to be a choice.

 

5 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

If nature presents you as male or female and then you put conscious effort, for whatever reason, into manipulating your natural body, that's a very conscious choice on your part. This doesn't speak to any right or wrong moral issue. It only speaks to the fact that people have reacted very differently to two different examples of choosing to alter one's natural identity. 

 

Nobody chooses gender dysphoria. NOBODY. So, while you could argue that following through with bringing their bodies in line with their gender identities is a choice, the underlying dysphoria is not a choice. They go through pure hell, which nobody would choose. It makes far more sense to allow them to flourish and be their true selves than to torture them by urging them to continue to be trapped in the wrong body and deny who they really are. There is a very good reason for why the suicide rate is very high among transgender people.

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59 minutes ago, Citsonga said:

Nobody chooses gender dysphoria. NOBODY. So, while you could argue that following through with bringing their bodies in line with their gender identities is a choice, the underlying dysphoria is not a choice.

 

No, I wouldn't think it is. And doesn't speak to any right or wrong moral issue either way. 

 

59 minutes ago, Citsonga said:

They go through pure hell, which nobody would choose. It makes far more sense to allow them to flourish and be their true selves than to torture them by urging them to continue to be trapped in the wrong body and deny who they really are. There is a very good reason for why the suicide rate is very high among transgender people.

 

The gender dysphoria doesn't look like a choice. The public identity is a choice as you point out. 

 

59 minutes ago, Citsonga said:

In fact, even though being transgender is not a choice, Dawkins' comment says "choose to identify," which, if he meant how they publicly identify, then that could be seen as a choice. There have been plenty of people for generations with gender dysphoria who chose not to publicly identify as the gender they personally identify with. Of course, that's out of fear of how they'd be seen and treated, so it's not much of a choice, but it could be argued to be a choice.

 

The problem is that Dawkins can't even make a comparison to illustrate the double standard going on without people trying to rip his head off. If we concede that it's ok to both have gender dysphoria and also make an identity to match the gender dysphoria, and point out what hell it is to live with a dysphoria issue, then why isn't the same grace granted to Rachael? Gender dysphoria is no one's fault, but racial dysphoria is a 'brazen lie?' That's quite a double standard. 

 

This is where Dawkins was trying to direct some discussion. 

 

What do you think? Was it a brazen lie for Rachael to express her racial dysphoria and self identify as a black women? And follow her inner beliefs to the NAACP? Or is it true that if she identifies as black then that makes her in all honesty, black? 

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10 hours ago, ToHellWithMe said:

Dawkins' true infraction was the fact that he questioned the dogma

Just to state that a dogma is open for discussion will send a real dogmatist into a frothing frenzy of hate.

 

When a dogma has power, talking about it in a rational way is off limits.  Dogmas get applied, not debated.

 

If you don't automatically share the dogmatic emotional reaction, you too are suspect of having inadequate faith.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

Was it a brazen lie for Rachael to express her racial dysphoria and self identify as a black women?

I have been reading up on Rachel Dolezal and unfortunately she is an untrustworthy source. She wrote on official documents that she was of mixed ancestry and that she had a black father, both of which were lies and resulted in her being found guilty of perjury and getting community service. She also claimed to have received hate mail, but it turned out to have no postage marks on it, so it never went through the system and the investigation believed she probably put them there herself. 

To this day she admits she has white parents but still claims to identify as black. With her past history it's hard to know if it's attention seeking or real mental issues. But I guess whether she is lying or not doesn't change the fact she claims to identify as something, and that is enough in other cases, so shouldn't it be enough here too? We don't demand others justify their identity, so shouldn't the same rules apply? 

The other variation I've heard of are people who claim to be an animal spirit trapped in a human body. If they identify as a wolf is that acceptable to society? If not, how are we drawing that line? 

8 hours ago, Citsonga said:

as the father of a transgender child

Can I ask if you see this as a mental illness? There seems to be this hatred of applying the term, but I don't understand why it would be so controversial? 

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3 hours ago, Wertbag said:

To this day she admits she has white parents but still claims to identify as black. With her past history it's hard to know if it's attention seeking or real mental issues. But I guess whether she is lying or not doesn't change the fact she claims to identify as something, and that is enough in other cases, so shouldn't it be enough here too? We don't demand others justify their identity, so shouldn't the same rules apply? 

 

I watched a documentary about her a few years ago. Her parents and siblings were interviewed. She's just as white and they are. And she did apparently send false hate mail to provoke claims of racism. The evidence goes in that direction. That's one of the red flags that led to people looking at her closer and then controversy broke out about her being white. 

 

There shouldn't be double standards. If some people don't have to justify their identity, like Bruce Jenner for instance, why does Rachael? 

 

3 hours ago, Wertbag said:

The other variation I've heard of are people who claim to be an animal spirit trapped in a human body. If they identify as a wolf is that acceptable to society? If not, how are we drawing that line? 

 

I saw a show about a woman who identified as a wolf. And I've seen where some people identify as horses and like to pull their partners in horse drawn carriages. 

 

I think it's tough to get into the issue of not letting people do as they please as long as it doesn't pose a danger to others. Clearly people like Ted Bundy were born mentally ill. It was no doubt hell to grow up that way - lusting after murder. But the big line is drawn where it concerns the safety of others. We could argue that Bundy and Jenner are both mentally ill case studies. But Bundy is a threat to society and Jenner isn't. 

 

And Rachael isn't. Wolf girl and horse guy aren't either. Unless they cross a line and start hurting others. 

 

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My 2 cents, if transgender is seen as mental illness, then wouldn't homosexuality also be? For years it was classified that way and "treated" horrifically. Are fetishes (unusual things that people find sexually stimulating)) illness or just biodiversity (nature rolling the genetic dice to see what adapts best)? Some like to pretend they are animals, some like the look and feel of latex, some like articles of clothing, some like popping balloons. Most fetishes stay hidden, so we don't tend to talk about them as issues. 

 

I have friends who are gay, lesbian, trans, bi, queer (a sort of catch-all for sexually "different"), and have met "ace" (asexual) people. The latter have a physical gender but find the idea of sex repulsive or alien. It has been a learning curve for me to see how people can be wired so differently from me, and apparently are this way from a young age. One of my best friends is a gorgeous lady who had been married to a buff athletic guy, and then realized that she was mostly attracted to pudgy butch females. It was a total life-changing shock to her to figure this out later in life, but she never looked back. And of course there are pudgy butch females that are strongly attracted to her, and one married her about 10 years ago. My own sexual wiring looks at that and doesn't "get" it, but I can see balance of nature in the existence of each of them.

 

My own wiring makes me feel really creeped-out by guys in drag or trans-females but I have adapted to not react negatively. I know one trans female fairly well and have learned a ton talking with her, but way back in my firmware there is a red flag saying "warning, not genuine female". Her main problem in society are guys that also have that red flag and then want to harm her for just existing. She has to be careful every time she goes out in public because it could mean death or maiming. There are also guys that like to beat and rape butch women. Hannah Gadsby is a comedian that talks about her own repeated experiences with this. There seems to be a lot of this monolithic attitude of fix-it-by-shaming-and-violence worldwide (for political issues also). They don't want to live and let live, they want to make the world be "normal" like them. Maybe religion is popular because of the same tribal normalizing conformity attitude and horrific punishment of anything "other".

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I don't like pineapple on my pizza.  I know some people who do like pineapple on their pizza; and they are good people.  I have no problem with them having pineapple on their pizza as long as they don't try to force their pineapple on my pizza.

 

I don't like dick in my ass.  I know some people who do like dick in their ass; and they are good people.  I have no problem with them having dick in their ass as long as they don't try to force their dick in my ass.

 

See how easy that is?

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14 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

See how easy that is?

 

This makes it easy for me - I don't use twitter (or facebook or google or the other mainstream social media). I don't get upset by these people, and more importantly, I won't mindlessly contribute to the left-hive-mind or the right-hive-mind.

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57 minutes ago, Extant said:

 

This makes it easy for me - I don't use twitter (or facebook or google or the other mainstream social media). I don't get upset by these people, and more importantly, I won't mindlessly contribute to the left-hive-mind or the right-hive-mind.

 

Facebook is good for some of my hobby interest pages. But I've blocked a bunch of FB friends who are political posters, even one who shares my political bent. I just dont want to see that stuff scroll by. Never been on Twitter, thank goodness. :)

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I feel I should also add that I don't like dick on my pizza, just in case anybody got any weird ideas (looking at you, @florduh).

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8 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

I feel I should also add that I don't like dick on my pizza, just in case anybody got any weird ideas (looking at you, @florduh).

 

You seemed to only mention 'your ass' as the prohibited dick destination. 

 

edit: added 'prohibited'

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

I feel I should also add that I don't like dick on my pizza, just in case anybody got any weird ideas (looking at you, @florduh).

I'm insulted. And after he was so nice to me in the men's room.

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8 hours ago, Fuego said:

My 2 cents, if transgender is seen as mental illness, then wouldn't homosexuality also be?

I had thought the separation was made as to whether your mental image matches the real world.  If you think you are Napoleon then clearly the delusion your mind is telling you does not match reality.  By this definition eating disorders are a mental illness and trans-anything would be as well.  Homosexuality wouldn't be, as there is no difference between your thoughts and reality, there is no mis-match there.  However I have seen a lot of backlash about having that label applied to trans folk but I'm still not clear on why that is.  Some say there is a stigma around the phrase, which is true, but sweeping it under the rug and hiding from it does nothing to reverse that stigma.  Depression used to be badly stigmatized, and its only in more recent times that we've opened up about talking about it and got support lines and people to understand.  More support is a good thing and rejecting that support due to fear of the label seems detrimental to those in need.

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