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The Law of Identity

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On 12/20/2017 at 5:53 AM, Tenderlysharp said:

Some scientists claim DNA is 3.8 Billion years old.  Could there be DNA memory? Maybe one of his distant ancestors was a black woman, and his DNA enjoyed being her immensely.

Could be. Or possibly Kieffer Sutherland injected him with fabricated memories.

On 12/20/2017 at 5:53 AM, Tenderlysharp said:

Are nose jobs, augmented breasts, steroids, tweezing your eyebrows, shaving a lie/immoral?

Not necessarily. It depends on why someone is doing it. I've learned to not judge such things out of context. If there is evasion or deception involved, then a case might be made for immorality or even fraud.

On 12/20/2017 at 5:53 AM, Tenderlysharp said:

Is it ironic that Ayn Rand paved the way for a society free enough to allow for fanatics of individualism to own their own bodies and do with it what ever they want?

People have been mutilating their bodies long before Rand was born.

On 12/20/2017 at 7:19 AM, Tenderlysharp said:

If he ever wants to transition I will be heart broken, but what can I do to ‘help’ him?

Teach him the difference between male and female. Keep him away from transgenderism until he's gone through puberty.

23 hours ago, Tenderlysharp said:

If someone were to change genders privately and convincingly, and cut all ties with the people who knew who they once were, move to a new town or country, transgender debates wouldn’t apply to them, they could live more fully in their new identity.

That would be a good plot for a transgender Disney princess movie.

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On 12/24/2017 at 3:40 PM, Grames said:

Transgender surgery to make the body conform to the mind is one way, the other way is to reinforce the existing sex with hormone supplements and behavior modifications.  For example to help males feel more at home with masculinity and its various secondary sexual characteristics give them testosterone, and have them lift and join Fight Club.  But there is little money, fame or glamour in helping people be more healthy as they are compared to a dramatic sex change.

You see, it is fine to talk about treatments that work. I mean, part of the issue is -what- is being fixed. There are people who insist being transgender is itself delusional, rather than as a psychological conflict like anorexia. Your last sentence though sounds like people who say pharmaceuticals want to make people sick rather than healthy. More testosterone may be the thing that's making the problem in some - as long as we don't then say that SRS is therefore bad, or that more testosterone is any less a violation of identity. "Dramatic" doesn't matter in medicine.

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8 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Teach him the difference between male and female. Keep him away from transgenderism until he's gone through puberty.

You don't need to. Honestly, kids enforce gender norms and what male and female mean more harshly than adults.

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

You see, it is fine to talk about treatments that work. I mean, part of the issue is -what- is being fixed. There are people who insist being transgender is itself delusional, rather than as a psychological conflict like anorexia. Your last sentence though sounds like people who say pharmaceuticals want to make people sick rather than healthy. More testosterone may be the thing that's making the problem in some - as long as we don't then say that SRS is therefore bad, or that more testosterone is any less a violation of identity. "Dramatic" doesn't matter in medicine.

"Dramatic" shouldn't matter in medicine.  I don't think sex changing is medicine.  It is a medical procedure but so are face lifts, breast implants, liposuction, etc... .     Surgery for a psychological conflict, we've heard that before with the frontal lobotomy procedure.   

And yes I do think there is an ideological push behind transgenderism, and it is not concerned with the health of individuals but sees transgenders as fighters for an abstract cause.  

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On 12/25/2017 at 9:01 AM, MisterSwig said:

Could be. Or possibly Kieffer Sutherland injected him with fabricated memories.

... or possibly there is a hologram of a mountain over my favorite village

Its interesting the subtle difference between exploring an argument and trying to win an argument.

Mankind wanted men who could fly like angels, we got the Wright Brothers.  Mankind wanted Omniscience, the internet is approaching it at greater speeds than my ten year old self ever dreamed.  Mankind wanted eternal life, stem cell research is starting to clone organs from wisdom teeth.  

On 12/7/2017 at 9:10 PM, MisterSwig said:

Rand called femininity a kind of hero-worship.

When women have equality Ayn Rand might take her rightful place among the great philosophers of history.   I haven’t read of male philosophers who worship women as Ayn Rand worshiped men. Maybe that is a key deficit in the struggle for sexual equality.  

This fired up some thoughts.  If a man transitions to a woman is he worshiping women, or does he want to make his body a vessel for worshiping a man?  Some kind of ultimate expression of self love.  

The derisive tone and discomfort many misogynists feel toward transgender people is a general hatred for women, as though men are better than women, and they are somehow being mocked and degraded by trans people.  

There is danger for the person who wants to transition.  Finding a physician they can trust.  They imagine how it is going to be, and once they have gone through the surgery it may not feel as they had hoped it would feel. (Michael Jackson’s nose)  The fantasy was better than the reality.  Nerve endings might not be as sensitive.  They have to decide when or if they tell their partner the truth, and decide when its the right time.  The statistics of prostitution are greater.  

How many examples of hero’s, to identify with, does a transgender person have?  How many transgender people are living better lives than they had before, and how can they access one another stories for support and guidance?  How many objectivists with personal transgender insights are adding crucial perspective to conversations like this one?  

If a man transitions to a woman what feminine aspects are high in his priorities?  The science isn’t yet advanced enough for him to bear a child and breast feed.  Those are aspects of my femininity that are very important to me.  My femininity has been shaped by my mirror neurons helping my body to move and speak in ways that are similar to the close female friends and relatives I value.  As I said earlier some aspects of femininity that are important to some seem superficial to me, but there is a wealth to learn from many individuals when one looks past superficial things.  

I have a friend who looks strikingly beautiful without makeup on.  The paleness of her eyelids and lashes make her iris stand out like the deeply conscious sensitive pools that they sometimes are.  But she hates herself without makeup.  I mentioned it once twenty years ago, and it had the effect of an attack on her sense of her own identity.  I will never hurt her like that again.  It isn’t my place, her body isn’t mine to decorate.  I am lucky she gives me any of her time at all and we have more interesting things to talk about.  

Ayn Rand didn’t bear children.  Was this critical to her philosophy as an individualist?  I believe there is a branch of her philosophy that is severely lacking that did not pay homage to the 3.8 billion years of evolution that culminated and ended in her family line.  Exploring parenting and child development are crucial to passing consciousness to future generations.  

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19 minutes ago, Tenderlysharp said:

Ayn Rand didn’t bear children.  Was this critical to her philosophy as an individualist?  I believe there is a branch of her philosophy that is severely lacking that did not pay homage to the 3.8 billion years of evolution that culminated and ended in her family line.  Exploring parenting and child development are crucial to passing consciousness to future generations.  

You bring a fascinating perspective to this discussion, and I am thankful for it. That said, I'd like to highlight this (quoted portion), because I believe it says something with which I disagree strongly.

I have found associated with discussions of transgenderism and gender -- and things regarding man's "nature" more generally -- that several people finally wind up coming to the conclusion that people (or women more specifically) have some sort of moral duty to bear children. I think this is both wrong in itself, and it points to some earlier error with respect to conceptualizing morality.

An individual's only moral duty is to himself (or herself) and to his own happiness. He owes nothing to evolution, nor to his family line, nor to future generations. That a person has some physical architecture to have children -- or do anything else -- does not make it some moral imperative to have children, and it does not make it immoral to choose not to have children.

Edited by DonAthos

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On 12/25/2017 at 10:14 PM, Grames said:

   And yes I do think there is an ideological push behind transgenderism, and it is not concerned with the health of individuals but sees transgenders as fighters for an abstract cause.  

Are you trained in psychiatry? What have you studied about medicine regarding transgenderism? I ask this because there is no reason yet for me to believe your claim that as a whole, medical concern or treatment of transgenderism only care about money and fame. I have no training in psychiatry so my claims are only: 1) being transgender is not a delusion, and 2) SRS is one possible answer albeit not a cure. I'm fine about questioning whether SRS is any good, but so do some transgender people.

What does the frontal lobotomy procedure matter as a comparison? Besides, there were issues about consent there. Look, I don't doubt that there are ideological issues. I'd say no scientist is absent an ideology. I just do not believe or trust that this means SRS is bad or wrong. You need to evaluate the procedure itself.

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Does 'The Law of Identity' include the context of how you were made?  

On 12/27/2017 at 8:24 PM, DonAthos said:

That a person has some physical architecture to have children -- or do anything else -- does not make it some moral imperative to have children, and it does not make it immoral to choose not to have children.

How does an objectivist differentiate one's self from the impulses of DNA?  Objectivists offer the fortitude to keep your own counsel regarding offspring.  Objectivism offers personal justification to escape from an irrational family, but how does it value a healthy sense of family?  Objectivism seems to attract the random strays who's frontal cortex is developed enough to find the unreasonableness of the world intolerable.  The fact that Objectivists gather together at all seems to be evidence of a human need for intimacy.

Over the ages morality has been based largely on using shame as a tool for population control.   

Mystics grant their followers the moral imperative to procreate, offering protection and the self righteous obliteration of non-followers to make enough room for their flock.  

Environmentalists work together tirelessly to ostracize breeders, while instilling a sense that one should not have children because it would add to the overcrowded human waste on the planet.  

Have Objectivists shielded themselves from a witch hunt by seeming to refrain from entering the debate?  Will the current objectivist stance on procreation foster a world that allows objectivists to continue to exist over the next ten thousand years?  Or is 100 years the most context an objectivist ought ever to aspire to?  

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5 hours ago, Tenderlysharp said:

Does 'The Law of Identity' include the context of how you were made?

I don't believe that the law of identity, as such, has much to say about anything particular. It says that a thing is what it is (and that it is not what it is not), but it makes no further demands as to what a thing is or ought to be.

With that said, does my identity include how I was made? I think so. I think my identity sensibly includes everything that is true about me: I am everything that I am, and my history is a part of that.

5 hours ago, Tenderlysharp said:

How does an objectivist differentiate one's self from the impulses of DNA?

Insofar as one's DNA is fundamental to all of one's physical being, I'd say that there is no "differentiation" between DNA and the self... except that the self (including "impulses" as normally understood) is experienced on a "higher level," in terms of thoughts and emotions and sensations and etc. Objectivism as a philosophy addresses itself to those thoughts and emotions and sensations and the stuff of living as a human.

If your contention is that DNA makes some other demand on us through other means, then I guess that's the matter that needs to be investigated, though I would consider myself skeptical... just as I would be skeptical if, say, someone made a claim that, because we are composed of atoms, we should all be buzzing around like electrons.

5 hours ago, Tenderlysharp said:

Objectivists offer the fortitude to keep your own counsel regarding offspring.  Objectivism offers personal justification to escape from an irrational family, but how does it value a healthy sense of family?  Objectivism seems to attract the random strays who's frontal cortex is developed enough to find the unreasonableness of the world intolerable.  The fact that Objectivists gather together at all seems to be evidence of a human need for intimacy.

If you're saying that the core Objectivist literature doesn't fully address itself to everything that people routinely desire or need, I heartily agree. There's much, much more to be said and written and investigated (and I think Rand said as much, as well) -- and then any given individual must discover all of this for himself, regardless of what's been written by others.

Are people "social/political animals"? Is there a need for intimacy? I'd say so. There's much value in family, too, or potentially so. (For context, I'm married and I have a child.) But it's still another kind of claim to make that people owe something to their DNA, or their family line, or to future generations, or etc. The pleasures I take in both intimacy and family are selfish; I pursue them fundamentally for the sake of enjoying my own singular experience of life on earth, not because I believe myself to be beholden to humanity's past -- or future.

5 hours ago, Tenderlysharp said:

Over the ages morality has been based largely on using shame as a tool for population control.   

Mystics grant their followers the moral imperative to procreate, offering protection and the self righteous obliteration of non-followers to make enough room for their flock.  

Environmentalists work together tirelessly to ostracize breeders, while instilling a sense that one should not have children because it would add to the overcrowded human waste on the planet.

Yes, there's a lot of nonsense on the topic... which is only to be expected, I suppose, given how close the topic of procreation strikes at the heart of humanity. It's bound to draw out people's most highly charged responses, for better and worse.

5 hours ago, Tenderlysharp said:

Have Objectivists shielded themselves from a witch hunt by seeming to refrain from entering the debate?  Will the current objectivist stance on procreation foster a world that allows objectivists to continue to exist over the next ten thousand years?  Or is 100 years the most context an objectivist ought ever to aspire to?  

What is the "current Objectivist stance on procreation"? I'm asking honestly; as far as I'm concerned, Objectivism has no stance on procreation, as such, neither encouraging nor discouraging, but arguing that people should be free to pursue their own interests. If you find value in fighting for the world of 12017 CE, and think that your procreative decisions today speak to that far future, then I'm not going to try to talk you out of it...

But in my experience, fighting for the next hundred years or so (or hell, the next few years, the next month, or with a five year old, a single night's rest) is plenty to keep me occupied.

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On 12/29/2017 at 5:34 PM, Tenderlysharp said:

How does an objectivist differentiate one's self from the impulses of DNA?

Impulses come and go, one's self conception ought to be based on what is consistent.   But some features of the self are caused by DNA and are consistent, in which case there is no reason to seek differentiation.  

On 12/29/2017 at 5:34 PM, Tenderlysharp said:

Will the current objectivist stance on procreation ...

There no particular Objectivist stance on procreation as far I know.  If you have an idea of what you think it is please elaborate on it.

Objectivisism does recognize productiveness as one of the primary virtues.  Certainly raising a child to be civilized, independent, and an otherwise virtuous person is an accomplishment and example of productiveness.   

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On 12/28/2017 at 8:05 PM, Eiuol said:

Are you trained in psychiatry? What have you studied about medicine regarding transgenderism? I ask this because there is no reason yet for me to believe your claim that as a whole, medical concern or treatment of transgenderism only care about money and fame. I have no training in psychiatry so my claims are only: 1) being transgender is not a delusion, and 2) SRS is one possible answer albeit not a cure. I'm fine about questioning whether SRS is any good, but so do some transgender people.

What does the frontal lobotomy procedure matter as a comparison? Besides, there were issues about consent there. Look, I don't doubt that there are ideological issues. I'd say no scientist is absent an ideology. I just do not believe or trust that this means SRS is bad or wrong. You need to evaluate the procedure itself.

There do exist people compiling data on this subject.   I generally never read more than the abstracts of their papers when a noteworthy one comes to my attention because it isn't my field.   But if psychiatry isn't your field either then how much can we accomplish by discussing this topic?  I guess we can exchange authorities. Let me hand you off to ...

Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences

Executive Summary 

Lawrence S. Mayer, Paul R. McHugh

This report presents a careful summary and an up-to-date explanation of research — from the biological, psychological, and social sciences — related to sexual orientation and gender identity. It is offered in the hope that such an exposition can contribute to our capacity as physicians, scientists, and citizens to address health issues faced by LGBT populations within our society.

Some key findings:

Part One: Sexual Orientation

● The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings — the idea that people are “born that way” — is not supported by scientific evidence.

● While there is evidence that biological factors such as genes and hormones are associated with sexual behaviors and attractions, there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation. While minor differences in the brain structures and brain activity between homosexual and heterosexual individuals have been identified by researchers, such neurobiological findings do not demonstrate whether these differences are innate or are the result of environmental and psychological factors.

● Longitudinal studies of adolescents suggest that sexual orientation may be quite fluid over the life course for some people, with one study estimating that as many as 80% of male adolescents who report same-sex attractions no longer do so as adults (although the extent to which this figure reflects actual changes in same-sex attractions and not just artifacts of the survey process has been contested by some researchers).

● Compared to heterosexuals, non-heterosexuals are about two to three times as likely to have experienced childhood sexual abuse.

Part Two: Sexuality, Mental Health Outcomes, and Social Stress

● Compared to the general population, non-heterosexual subpopulations are at an elevated risk for a variety of adverse health and mental health outcomes.

● Members of the non-heterosexual population are estimated to have about 1.5 times higher risk of experiencing anxiety disorders than members of the heterosexual population, as well as roughly double the risk of depression, 1.5 times the risk of substance abuse, and nearly 2.5 times the risk of suicide.

● Members of the transgender population are also at higher risk of a variety of mental health problems compared to members of the non-transgender population. Especially alarmingly, the rate of lifetime suicide attempts across all ages of transgender individuals is estimated at 41%, compared to under 5% in the overall U.S. population.

● There is evidence, albeit limited, that social stressors such as discrimination and stigma contribute to the elevated risk of poor mental health outcomes for non-heterosexual and transgender populations. More high-quality longitudinal studies are necessary for the “social stress model” to be a useful tool for understanding public health concerns.

Part Three: Gender Identity

● The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — that a person might be “a man trapped in a woman’s body” or “a woman trapped in a man’s body” — is not supported by scientific evidence.

● According to a recent estimate, about 0.6% of U.S. adults identify as a gender that does not correspond to their biological sex.

● Studies comparing the brain structures of transgender and non-transgender individuals have demonstrated weak correlations between brain structure and cross-gender identification. These correlations do not provide any evidence for a neurobiological basis for cross-gender identification.

● Compared to the general population, adults who have undergone sex-reassignment surgery continue to have a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes. One study found that, compared to controls, sex-reassigned individuals were about 5 times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.

● Children are a special case when addressing transgender issues. Only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.

● There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents, although some children may have improved psychological well-being if they are encouraged and supported in their cross-gender identification. There is no evidence that all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender.

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On 12/28/2017 at 8:05 PM, Eiuol said:

... Look, I don't doubt that there are ideological issues. 

Keeping in mind that the Objectivist/Peikoff theory of history is that ideas are the root cause of history, here is a link to an article at American Thinker Why Leftists Hate Masculinity.    First 3 paragraphs:

 

Quote

 

An ongoing mantra of the left is that everyone is a victim, with a singular carve-out for white men.  A large group of the female population has embraced this chant.

While there may be a number of grievances put forth by this movement, there also comes a theme that is particularly dangerous: the feminist attack on masculinity.  This is derived not only from feminists; it comes from the left in general.

There has emerged a war on masculinity.  Why?  Because masculine men are harder to control under tyrannical socialism.  The modern beta male, on the other hand, craves socialism.  This is why the left has branded masculinity as toxic: it stands as a roadblock to their endgame. 

 

 

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