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If you do not believe in the law of identity (i.e that A is A); that you do not believe in what your sense’s reveal to you: if this is your personal functional axiom then you are forced by necessity to believe that nothing exists but change. The next step is to ask is what changes, from what to what? But it is the concept of indentity that allows such questions to be asked in the first place!

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8 minutes ago, Collectivist said:

If you do not believe in the law of identity (i.e that A is A); that you do not believe in what your sense’s reveal to you:

You are dealing with a contradictory philosophy here, so it's important to acknowledge the contradiction. Some people deny the validity of the senses, while others deny that A is A... however those people usually rely on the thing that they don't deny.

Many people deny the validity of the senses, including those who say that senses are untrustworthy, they don't directly show us reality but something else. (I.E. just "our brain's interpretation of reality.") However, I don't think most of them would deny that A is A... they would deny that we are capable of percieving A qua A.

Some of the quantum mechanical mystics would posit that A is not A... for instance that it is possible for a subatomic particle to have two contradictory attributes at a single time. But far from denying the validity of the senses, these same people actually posit that the senses, AKA observation, creates reality. That by observing a particle, we force it to collapse into having particular, definite attribute.

 

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I also note the contradictory aspects of quantum mechanics in the sub-atomic world but we don't live or function in that world. Cars, skyscrappers and tomatoes are not born sub-atomicly. They are born from man's mind and ideas in that world of our reality. If you believe in Plato's "shadows" (read quantum) are/is the one true reality (no disrespect intended) then objectivity will not help you nor will it pay your salary . Thank you for your comment!

Edited by Collectivist

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11 hours ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

You are dealing with a contradictory philosophy here, so it's important to acknowledge the contradiction. Some people deny the validity of the senses, while others deny that A is A... however those people usually rely on the thing that they don't deny.

Technically everyone relies on both the law of identity and the senses at all times, since both are axioms that stand at the foundation of all knowledge. You can't make a claim that doesn't presuppose both of those axioms.

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Identity is a social construct don't ya know? You could be whatever gender or race you want nowadays. In fact, at birth I was assigned a racist white male identity, but now I'm a self-confirmed beautiful brown female.

Viva Heraclitus!

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Some males today are asserting their right to "pee" in a woman's bathroom! A=A, you can't escape from reality even if a social contstruct negates the obvious! I see these kinds of things as the Left's attempt to blur the lines of morality as Hillary did in the last election which is a "textbook" Marxist agenda. Me? I am a self-confirmed radical Objectivist.

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Whatever the merits of the wider point here, the participants show a shaky understanding of Heraclitus. He lived and wrote before philosophy had the sophistication to express a notion such as the law of identity. What people nowadays think are his positions are actually the work of soi-disants Heracliteans of later generations.

Aristotle distinguishes between the historical Heraclitus and "Heracliteanism" a couple of places in the Metaphysics:

- For it's impossible for one and the same both to be and not to be, as some think Heraclitus said (IV 3, 1005b23);

- Further, seeing that nature is in motion, they all thought that of what changes nothing can be said truly and that what is always changing in every respect does not admit of the truth. From this supposition grew the most extreme of the foregoing views, namely the view of those who claim to Heraclitize, such as Cratylus, who in the end thought nothing could be said, but only moved his finger and criticized Heraclitus for saying that there's no stepping into the same river twice; he [Cratylus] didn't think we could even do it once. (IV 5, 1010a6)

(emphasis added) though not always:  1012a24, 34, 1062a32, 1063b24.

When I studied H. I hit on a reading that I was later flattered to hear from Julius Moravcsik, a famous academic. He observed diversity and change in the world and yet wanted to find some way to see it at once and to pronounce stable truths about it. That is to say, ,he was struggling to identify conceptual thought, but nobody could grasp this until Plato came along. The nearest Heraclitus could get was simultaneous perceptual awareness of everything, in the mind of god. Thus he was like the man in Anthem, struggling to identify the first-person singular, but he never quite got there.

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17 minutes ago, Reidy said:

What people nowadays think are [Heraclitus'] positions are actually the work of soi-disants Heracliteans of later generations.

Viva soi-disants Heracliteans! Thanks to them I am now a self-confirmed alcoholic Eskimo ladyboy.

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A is A helps draw the focus to defining exactly what A is.  

It is natural human curiosity to perceive a barrier and challenge it.

I am a human, my plumbing will work with the plumbing in either bathroom.  At times the line to the women's is too long, and if I feel safe I will slip into a vacant mens restroom.  I won't however go into the mens bathroom at a sleazy bar because of the risk that an ape with his frontal cortex offline will get the wrong idea, also it stinks of beer piss.  

Can you define why restrooms are segregated in the first place?  

Safety.  I have met trans people in the women's bathroom and never felt threatened.  If you want a little perspective... every male I have known who has ever walked around in women's clothing has much more empathy toward women's safety than the average man does.  

You can choose to believe Trans people are immoral for defying their "true" identity, but I think the identification of human is much more a priority than the lesser identification of male/female.  If you believe being a trans person disqualifies their self from being defined and treated as human please elaborate.  

What about your own self identification is challenged when another person identifies differently? i.e why is white maleness so threatened by the increasing self assertions of the other 6 billion people on the planet?  

Will you make it your mission to harass any trans person who takes an interest in objectivism?  Should a trans person who is interested in objectivism refrain from making it known?

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Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -- Process Philosophy --Johanna Seibt (2017)

The Activity of Being --Aryeh Kosman (2013) / From the publisher: For Aristotle, to ask “what something is” is to inquire into a specific mode of its being, something ordinarily regarded as its “substance.” But to understand substance, we need the concept of energeia―a Greek term usually translated as “actuality.” In a move of far-reaching consequence, Kosman explains that the correct translation of energeia is not “actuality” but “activity.” We have subtly misunderstood the Metaphysics on this crucial point, says Kosman. Aristotle conceives of substance as a kind of dynamic activity, not some inert quality. Substance is something actively being what it is.” / This book from Kosman is not an argument over what is true in the matter, only over what Aristotle thought true in the matter. As for true in the matter, I think Aristotle (under this interpretation of him) was wrong, although one doesn’t have to go back to Plato or Parmenides and pals to get things right. And I take Rand as by her philosophy to agree with me in all that.

I’d like to add to the other thought in this thread that on the mere face of ‘A is A’ one can say ‘change is change’ even while ignoring ties of change to stasis or to other categories of existence, such as entity (in the Randian sense of that term). But one is then saying much less than one who is saying ‘change is change’ while keeping those ties in mind. At Metaphysics 1030a25–27, Aristotle allows ‘nonbeing is nonbeing’. But he takes such a statement to say far less than were one to say ‘substance is substance’. Those of us who, like Rand, take ‘A is A’ to be making an assertion about existence of A, take A to have ties to other things (counting its own parts as one type of other thing), to have a nature, to have identity (in Rand’s broader sense of the term). For us, saying ‘nonexistence is nonexistence’ is only a sameness of words, a metaphysical zero.

 

Edited by Boydstun

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On 11/20/2017 at 12:56 PM, Tenderlysharp said:

You can choose to believe Trans people are immoral for defying their "true" identity, but I think the identification of human is much more a priority than the lesser identification of male/female.

Interesting. Isn't gender a more fundamental biological characteristic than species? Is it even possible to be human without having a gender?

On 11/20/2017 at 12:56 PM, Tenderlysharp said:

If you believe being a trans person disqualifies their self from being defined and treated as human please elaborate.

It doesn't disqualify them from being defined and treated as a human. It does, however, disqualify them from being treated as mentally healthy. I'm curious where you would draw the line? Is it also rational to believe that you are transracial or trans-species? Hell, there are people who believe they are aliens from outer space. Should we go along with their delusions too?

 

On 11/20/2017 at 12:56 PM, Tenderlysharp said:

What about your own self identification is challenged when another person identifies differently?

Nothing. I'd like to be able to tell the truth to someone, though, without being fined or arrested for calling a penisless man in a dress a penisless man in a dress. The trans fantasy movement is starting to affect the legal system.

On 11/20/2017 at 12:56 PM, Tenderlysharp said:

why is white maleness so threatened by the increasing self assertions of the other 6 billion people on the planet?

When did this become a white male thing? My white maleness is doing fine. It's my white free speechness that's being threatened.

On 11/20/2017 at 12:56 PM, Tenderlysharp said:

Will you make it your mission to harass any trans person who takes an interest in objectivism?

I don't make it my mission to harass anyone. But if having an argument or debating is what you call "harassing", then I guess I would be guilty.

On 11/20/2017 at 12:56 PM, Tenderlysharp said:

Should a trans person who is interested in objectivism refrain from making it known?

That's up to them, isn't it? If they don't want to discuss it, why bring it up?

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That's just silly. These are all scientific questions. Without reference to specific data, these pronouncements are arbitrary. Biologisists are increasingly finding out more and more that gender has biological, psychological, and social components. Accordingly, emphasizing the strictly biological components is overly narrow. Moreover, assigning legal and civil rights and authority based merely on genitalia is wrong, as we objectivist should rightly agree with. 

Announcing that transgenderism must somehow be a violation of the law of identity is like Galileo's accusers making a priori pronouncements while refusing to look through the telescope.

As far as your free speech goes, that's a false dichotomy isn't it? It's not as if your choices are limited to either recognizing the psychological phenomenon of gender diaspora or not having freedom of speech. The point being that regardless, it should pose no threat to you one way or the other what science definitively says. 

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27 minutes ago, 2046 said:

Without reference to specific data, these pronouncements are arbitrary. Biologisists are increasingly finding out more and more that gender has biological, psychological, and social components.

I need to reference specific data to show that gender is an innate physical trait? I'm not talking about personality here. There are feminine men and masculine women. That doesn't make them the opposite sex with which they were born.

And I'm not talking about mixed-genders, like hermaphrodites. I'm talking about people born a man or born a woman, then deciding later in life they are the opposite sex.

I think it's incumbent upon the transgenderists to present their data, as they are the ones denying long-established science. I've looked at the studies, and they are unimpressive.

What I really care about is the free speech issue. In California there is a law requiring health care workers to use a patient's preferred gender pronoun. And in Canada it's a "hate crime" to use the "wrong" pronoun.

But since this thread is about the law of identity, I'm happy to take the free speech discussion elsewhere.

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Well certainly, there is the science of the issue, and then there is the free speech issue. From an objectivist viewpoint, the free speech rights of anyone to disagree with anything is unassailable.

But let us not confuse opposing incursions on free speech with the facts of the issue. 

Of course it is incumbent upon scientists to make a case by presenting data. But once such data is presented, the naysayers have a responsibility to address it, and not prattle about as if it were self-evident that the law of identity means there are only two possible gender identity types that must needs coincide with genital referencing. 

Now certainly you can say something like "well I'm not talking about mixed genders, or personalites, or cultural ideas about gender, just genitals!" But precisely! This is defining yourself into victory.

The XY system, (which has more than just two options anyway!) is but one dimension regarding gender identity. There is much more that has little to do with this one aspect. There is psychological states, that is, ones own experience of ones gender, that don't line up to just two options, and done necessarily align with ones genitals. And indeed, who aligns genitals with gender roles anyway, for genitals are just fleshy appendages? It is the social aspect too, that of cultural practices, rituals, widely accepted values, assignments of roles, duties, prescriptions, and institutions, rights, and choices, all that have no necessary intrinsic tie to fleshy appendages.

We know some of these things are metaphysical, some are man made, and some are a combination. An example would be pre-and post natal hormone levels, we think, can influence ones psychological states. Other research shows that certain environmental factors can influence brain structure and cause a tendency to shift away from birth assigned gender to a preferred one, which may be more like a continuum of gender than a binary. 

Whats clear is that all of this is okay. Just like we don't fully know what makes one homosexual, we think it's a combination of nature and nurture, of biology and environment and psychology and various associations formed early in life. But it's okay to be gay, and it's okay to be trans. There's literally nothing in the world wrong with it.

What is clear is that, just like the free speech issue, there's also the issue of trans folks being discrimated against, feared, or hated as being some kind of abberation, or outright laws passed to violate their individual rights. Just like we oppose cultural Marxist incursions against free speech, we also oppose transphobic conservative attempts at denying the humanity and rights of trans folks. We are individualists (yes it must be explained.)

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4 hours ago, 2046 said:

But once such data is presented, the naysayers have a responsibility to address it, and not prattle about as if it were self-evident that the law of identity means there are only two possible gender identity types that must needs coincide with genital referencing. 

That isn't at all what I'm saying. The law of identity doesn't tell us how many sexes there are. It tells us that a male is a male, and a female is a female. And I'm going to stop using the word "gender" to refer to sex, because it's really a linguistic term improperly applied to humans. I think it is an anti-concept intended to destroy the valid concept of sex.

5 hours ago, 2046 said:

There is psychological states, that is, ones own experience of ones gender, that don't line up to just two options, and done necessarily align with ones genitals.

This is consciousness, not sex. I'm also aware of my age. Mentally I feel like I'm a teenager. Does that mean I should transition into a sixteen year old and date high school girls again?

5 hours ago, 2046 said:

It is the social aspect too, that of cultural practices, rituals, widely accepted values, assignments of roles, duties, prescriptions, and institutions, rights, and choices, all that have no necessary intrinsic tie to fleshy appendages.

I see. So the fleshy appendages don't have anything to do with "gender." But rituals and values and institutions and rights do.

Now who is defining himself into victory? With all those variables there must be a thousand different "genders." Which is what happens when you define by non-essentials.

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10 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

Does that mean I should transition into a sixteen year old and date high school girls again?

If it were possible, why not?

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26 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

If it were possible, why not?

Oh, it's possible. I could make myself look real young through surgery and cosmetics. I could also get a fake ID and talk about Jesus and my feelings. Sixteen year old girls like guys with cars and money. So that part shouldn't be a problem.

Of course, I'd have to deal with all the jerks who claim that the law of identity says that a forty year old isn't a sixteen year old. But I'll just reply that there is more to age than how many years you've lived.

Edited by MisterSwig

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The issue looks to be you don't know the factors of one's personal identity. Age is only measured by one thing, the time you've been alive. That cannot be altered even if you tried. Since there is no way to alter this in any sense and there are no other factors, it would be a violation of the law of identity to say cosmetics alter your age. It'd be lying to yourself. If it could be changed, it would be a different discussion.

As 2046, one's gender identity (or as I'd rather call it, the sense of one's sex) is measured in many ways because there are many factors that contribute to it - not all of which are essential. To be sure, your genitalia are essential to that, as far as recognition. But the other stuff matters, in particular the unknowns like why is there a conscious state about all this. Some transgender people may -say- they "feel" like the wrong sex, but that's not the full depth of it. When one of the factors "goes wrong", it make more sense to say people should look for a resolution. In rare cases that may involve surgery.

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

But the other stuff matters, in particular the unknowns like why is there a conscious state about all this.

Transitioning is the belief that you can change the sex or race with which you were born. This is not merely the idea that you can make yourself look very much like a different sex or a different race, which is certainly true. Rather, it is the full-blown delusion that the fake sex or race is the real sex or race, that the artificial one is the natural one, that the man-made thing is the metaphysical thing. 

Many transition advocates are hard subjectivists who believe that reality is determined by their thoughts, i.e., wishing makes it so. In this view, if a white man believes that he is a black woman, then in truth he is an actual black woman, despite what anyone else says. Despite even what his own eyes tell him! He could look into a mirror and see a white man, yet still validly believe that he is a black woman, because, you know, he feels like a black woman, and he has always felt that way since childhood.

Still, there is always that pesky image in the mirror. And to resolve the clear conflict between body and mind, one of those things must be altered for the sake of personal integrity. This is where the man's subjectivism motivates him to change his body to reflect his mind, rather than change his mind to reflect his body. After all, it's much easier to let a doctor work on your flesh and bones than it is to question your own belief system. And so this mixed-up white man undergoes surgeries and hormone treatments to look like a black woman.

Other transition advocates present a soft subjectivist position. They begin by saying that sex and race should be understood as spectrum conditions. There is a range of non-binary sexes, they say, just like there is a range of non-binary races. At first this sounds somewhat rational and objective, because, of course, mixed sexes (hermaphrodites) and mixed races (mulattos) have been identified by scientists long before the transition advocates came along. But then something weird happens. These advocates evade or simply reject established biological knowledge, when they claim that sex and race are determined partly by psychological factors, i.e., how the mind develops. And since only the subject knows his own mind, we must accept whatever sex or race he claims to be as the truth of reality.

Both the soft and hard subjectivists make sex and race a quality of the mind, rather than of the body. And this is why you cannot argue rationally with them about the finer points of biology and chromosomes and matter and consciousness. They simply don't care about objective reality. To them, the mind is primary. Sex and race are out. Gender and ethnicity are in. And that's that.

Edited by MisterSwig

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5 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Age is only measured by one thing, the time you've been alive.

Age is measured by several factors, including chronological, biological, psychological, and social. Some gerontologists also combine the factors into a functional age. Chronological is the least important measurement, as it merely counts years and days.

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10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

But the other stuff matters, in particular the unknowns like why is there a conscious state about all this.

Ok but there are allegedly conscious states about the following: God, near death experience, astral projection, reincarnation.  That's just off the top of my head.  Isn't it special pleading to make sex transitioning an exception?   You're an Objectivist for crying out loud.  Act like one.   

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