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About SFreeman89Vision

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  1. If a cat was altered so that it had the genes of a dog, every appearance and function of a dog, such that it was absolutely indistinguishable from an organism that was born as a dog by any means actual or imagined, then surely it would in fact be a dog. Please justify why a 'man' or a 'cat' should retain its original identity from birth regardless of any subsequent reconfiguration of its constituent matter, when it does not retain its identity from when that constituent matter was a star or a tree, and why this is different to how a butterfly loses its identity as a caterpillar when it goes th
  2. The original topic focused on men/women who 'identify as' or 'wish to live as' or 'prefer to be referred to as' the sex opposite to that indicated by their genitalia. Post-operative sex change patients who have had the genitalia they were born with surgically altered to resemble the other kind of genitalia are a different matter because as well as the identity and trait issues, they have also undergone physical change. Now of course one thing can become another thing. When a tree becomes paper it is then paper, not a tree. But is this what happens with sex-change patients? Certainly not right
  3. As you can read above, I don't buy the brain thing either. We could certainly invent some new word to describe people with male/female brains (which presumably could be identified by scans), or indeed for people who have breasts and people who don't, people who naturally have dense facial hair, and so on. In principle the former might be more ever day conversation since we're more interested in people's traits than what's in their pants, and we might assume that 'female traits' will more reliably match those with female brains than those with female genitalia. But since not everyone has a s
  4. Sex and gender are not (as a matter of dictionary definition/common usage) the same thing. Webster defines sex as: (and if you follow through to 'male' and 'female' you get a definition based on biology i.e. the production of sperm/eggs) It defines gender as: So it is possible to have all of the traits associated with one sex, while actually being of the other. My issue is that while it is possible to talk generally about masculinity and femininity (e.g. "That man seems very feminine," or "My wife can be quite masculine sometimes,"), I can't see any meaningful way to say (or de
  5. See my comments. I agree things can be 'masculine' or 'feminine' e.g. dresses = feminine and ties = masculine because these things tend to be found in people of the corresponding sex. These things contribute to one's femininity/masculinity. But as you say, neither necessarily makes a person 'female' or 'male' gendered. How do you determine if someone's gender is male or female? Is it when someone has more traits/habbits that are masculine/feminine than they have traits/habbits of the opposite gender? But how do you count them all? What about traits/habbits that some people think fall into one
  6. That was just one potential example for simplicity's sake, I was not suggesting that would actually be the likely definition. But you see, you talk about things that are commonplace or 'the norm' for people of that sex e.g. it is the norm for male children to play with trucks and guns, you played with trucks and guns so you are male gendered. Clearly such a simplistic formulation as this is absurd though because people can (and most people do) have traits or tastes that fit both traditional roles. A female may wear pink dresses and love sewing and baking and all other kinds of things that p
  7. An interesting point. But I don't think that 'sad' and her/this conception of 'female gender' are defined in the same kind of way. Although someone identifies themselves as sad, they have an objective criteria against which they can make that decision. I can ask "Am I sad?" consider how I feel, and then compare that to the definition of sad. Equally, other people can observe my behaviour and come to their own conclusion about whether I am sad or not. It may be that this external observation is less accurate than internal identification, but it is still possible. To complete the point I suppose
  8. You are right that many languages have 'grammatical gender' but this is quite separate from the concept I discuss. Grammatical gender can have its uses such as clarifying that an object is associated with one sex or the other e.g. skirts are feminine. But grammatical gender is often nothing more than convention and serves no purpose. Objects that have no relation to the sexes are referred to as either male or female (e.g. in German the moon is masculine and the sun feminine) and sometimes objects which are related to or themselves of a particular sex are referred to as a different gender or no
  9. I've been having a discussion with a friend of a friend, and the course of this discussion has led me to think that 'gender' is an anti-concept or something very like one. I would be very interested in what you think. Quoting Rand: And: [The second quote is less relevant than the first, but I include it for completeness.] The discussion went as follows: My friend observed a news article about a man who is currently/was previously a man, and his decision to live 'as a woman' from now on. He has not had surgery to alter his sex. The article referred to the subject thro
  10. Scholars in recent years have tended to conclude that there is no clear line that can be drawn between all humans and all animals because the various delineating characteristics that might be considered are either present in many animals, or are lacking in all animals but also lacking in children and severely mentally disabled human beings. If this is correct then it appears to leave two possible conclusions: either animals have a moral standing comparable to humans and we must seriously rethink our treatment of them, or animals have no moral standing but neither do children or the severely re
  11. Thank you for your replies. Here is an updated presentation. Bluecherry, I won't be making the presentation until January so I've got ages yet. I just want to get it out of the way now so it won't be interfering with exam preparation, essay writing etc later on. I agree about the recognition of rights versus 'deciding' who has rights. I think your idea of putting the axioms first and then addressing consistency afterwards is a good idea. So I now start by saying that the following are self evident: existence, consciousness, and identity. I may be wrong, but I assume that some philo
  12. Hi, I'm doing a class presentation at university on rights, which I will be making from an objectivist standpoint, and I have some points I would much appreciate some help with. I have been told specifically to say what I think about the subject, not just give a literature review. It is for a class on applied political theory (with a heavy ethical/philosophical emphasis), my topic is 'theories of rights', and the suggested points to explore are: What are rights? What rights do we have? What should happen if rights are violated? Are there such things as group rights? What are human
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