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What Social Animals Owe to Each Other

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Can't We All Get Along?

We ought to be able to discuss how to reasonably accommodate "trans-gender" people without gaslighting the public about well-established fundamental and immutable biological facts, muddying the language, smearing opponents as phobic bigots, or violating anyone's rights.


Thomas L. Knapp said...

Well, yes, we should.

But we probably won't.

For one thing, many "well-established fundamental and immutable biological facts" turn out not to be facts at all, but are "well-established" enough that people will cling to them even after they're disproven, because they're comfortable (for example, the "fact" that and XX chromosome makes one female and and an XY chromosome makes one male -- there are verified biological instances of the opposite).

For another, even for actual facts, it's easy to fall into non sequitur conclusions from those facts.

Most of us, whether we admit it or not, will hold onto our priors for dear life and get angry at anyone who calls those priors into question.

Anonymous said...

Thomas, sexual categories (male and female) are typically defined by biologists based on gametes, not on chromosomes. But the minute difference between those concepts (and how laypeople understand/approximate them) is irrelevant to the current issue.
The debate is between a well-established biological/objective/immutable concept and ill-defined subjective/fluid concept (and the claim that individuals and various institutions should obviously care about the latter rather than the former).

Thomas L. Knapp said...

All kinds of horrors have been perpetrated on claims of "well-established biological/objective/immutable concepts."

And the story of humanity is pretty much a sequence of "ill-defined subjective/fluid concepts."

There are always some who are impatient with the pace of adoption of the latter, and there are always some of the former trying to slow the pace of adoption with the former.

That's just how things are. And those things will work themselves out if both sides can resist the temptation to use force (or be prevented from or defeated in using force) to settle matters.