I recently had a very pleasant online debate with an old High School friend who is less conservative them myself. The chain of context goes like this:
“Hmm…wondering, would you rather have a person with a vagina but who lives life and very much looks like a man sharing a public restroom with your daughter?”
Because I did not understand exactly what she was trying to tell me, I replied “Not sure if I understand your question Christine. Are you suggesting a lesbian?”
My friend then gave me some clarity on what she was referring to:
“No – a transgender male is a person born with female parts but who identifies as male – and who likely lives life as a male and looks like a male. In other words, you’ll likely never they have female parts. The NC law (which your meme is referencing) “
With that information, I was able to begin my logical analysis,:
“Well I would disagree with your definition of transgender in the context of identity. The first law of logic is the law of identity. A transgender in the context you gave me, would be a person who is in denial of reality because they failed to genetically identify themselves. Failing to accept the reality to which their chromosomes have allotted them. Short answer is yes, they should use the lavatory they are genetically identified with and not psychologically confused with. With respect (in other words don’t hate me for this, I know you are a well informed intellectual) would you not think that the phrase “who lives life as a male in every other way” is a hasty generalization? I mean can a genetic female really have the same biological reactions as a male and vice versa being that the biological organs, chromosomes, hormones,…etc are different and by extension “live as a male”?
Please let me point out the obvious problem with the transgender community. The are Psychologically confused and they suffer from what Atheist John Searle called “anti-realism.” They, being so conditioned by entertainment and social constructs, are not able to rationally identify their genetic form; overwhelmed by a perverse emotion to satisfy a need that is founded in fantasy so reality could never fulfill.
My good friend that (and rightly so) analyzed my rebuttal, and said:
“as your statement shows, gender identity formation is incredibly complex. As a society, we are just beginning to dissect what this means and as with most forms of progress, it will take a while to get it right. But thank goodness we are working on it! I’ve worked directly with many transgendered young adults and can assure you it is not a choice nor rooted in simple confusion. Oh, if only life were that black and white… My initial point was simply that the very “law” in NC that proposes to protect the “rights” of the majority non-transgendered public restroom goers, actually will prove to have the opposite effect as it mandates highly uncomfortable, awkward short-term social situations between strangers that can not possibly be accurately dissected visa vi a brief public restroom interaction. Time will tell how this plays out. Just as gender identity formation is too complex to restrict/define via a simple “use the restroom that matches your biological parts at birth” law, it is likewise to complex to discern here on social media. I just wanted to present an opposing view to your meme – to bring to awareness the complexities of this topic that most persons have absolutely no idea about – and sadly little to no desire to try to understand. I do appreciate your willingness to engage in a surface discussion of the topic – you always make me think (something else our society doesn’t do well) and I hope I do the same.”
With good solid logic on my side, I was able to show her that her thinking was flawed. She commits the fallacy of Appealing to Consequences and I point that out to her:
“With that, allow me to think through your response.
You said “actually will prove to have the opposite effect as it mandates highly uncomfortable, awkward short-term social situations between strangers.” I fail to understand your meaning here and I apologize for that. First, it appears to be a logical fallacy known as an Appeal to consequences. This is an informal fallacy where someone ascertains an unproven consequence (whether true or false after testing) in order to convince through emotion instead of reason. Second, does not the law simply uphold the current common practice? If so, I do not recall any reports of awkward feelings from people except for arrest reports of cross dressing men in women’s bathroom, such as this reported out of Southern California: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Secret-Recording-Store-Mall-Antelope-Valley-Palmdale-Restroom-207541101.html
There does appear to be a language barrier between us. “Progress” is moving toward a goal or destination. I fail to see even how pragmatic thinking could conclude this as a beneficial goal. My pragmatic questions would be:
1. What is the goal of this progress and what would be the social cost and philosophical consequences?
2. If this is the will of the majority of people in North Carolina, then isn’t a protest undemocratic?
3. Is this not a minority inflicting rule on the majority?
4. If the minority can have this power, why vote at all? (the death of democracy?)
Now I will leave pragmatism aside and look at this through objective moral principles. In this area of reasoning, I question the principles and values behind the transgender movement:
1. What is the standard that a person uses to define themselves as transgender? Feelings or Reason?
2. If feelings, is this not an arbitrary standard?
3. If reason, what is the logical flow of that reason and what justified true belief am I missing? In a collective society such as ours (republic), the individual is only allowed influence and not rule. Same applies to minority opinions.
4. If a person cannot define their sexuality by an objective moral standard, how can they define the N.C. law as moral or immoral?
I would argue that this is a feelings based reason, one that has no consistent absolute justification. Recently I read an article on the BBC news (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-36010664) about a transgender clinic in the U.K.: “But we do need to consider whether there are some ways in which being male and having a male body is particularly attractive in 2016, the beginning of the 21st Century, whether there are any ways in which the social landscape shapes and influences how people feel about their role in life, their body and how they’re going to live in that body for the rest of their lives.” The key words being “feel about their role” sums up the rationality behind the movement. Also note that the article seems to allude that the feelings toward a certain gender preference changes with the times, which is another indicator of inconsistent emotional base justifications.
Sexuality is not so much an expression of feelings (yet a driving force) but a bodily expression of what someone believes to be ultimately true. The beliefs of the transgender community do not seem (to me) to comport to reality but instead is a form of anti-realism. Gender confusion is thus one powerful expression of psychological and spiritual confusion and a rebellion against reality (reality being that which comports to facts).
You are right to say that it is a complex issue and that we do need to discuss this further collectively. I think an even deeper look is necessary by all. Best estimates, based on surveys by the Center for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr077.pdf), shows that only a total of two percent of Americans identifies as gay. So what really is behind this push? It seems to be an attack on morality, objective (christian) or subjective (otherwise), in favor of confusing emotions such as lust, rebellion and social pressures.
It is inconceivable to me that as a nation, we would abandon rational thought in favor of arbitrary emotions. My MEME stands as an expression of the value I have for my daughter and the society in which I live, to uphold moral laws based on reason, morality, natural law and also democratic rule.”
One other fallacy that I also observed in her writings was the Equivocation fallacy. Words have meaning and we should avoid stretching that meaning beyond it’s intent. Progress is not a virtue as my friend seemed to allude to. The value of progress is found in the goal and the goal of transgender bathrooms has no value that I could see, nor any value my friend could defend.