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Fantasy By Force

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By Myrhaf from Myrhaf,cross-posted by MetaBlog

George Reisman looks at a new rule being considered in New York City. From the New York Times:

Separating anatomy from what it means to be a man or a woman, New York City is moving forward with a plan to let people alter the sex on their birth certificate even if they have not had sex-change surgery.

Under the rule being considered by the city’s Board of Health, which is likely to be adopted soon, people born in the city would be able to change the documented sex on their birth certificates by providing affidavits from a doctor and a mental health professional laying out why their patients should be considered members of the opposite sex, and asserting that their proposed change would be permanent.

Applicants would have to have changed their name and shown that they had lived in their adopted gender for at least two years, but there would be no explicit medical requirements.

Dr. Reisman goes beyond politics and ethics to examine the epistemological meaning of this law. Among the points he makes:

What is present in the rule being considered by New York City’s Board of Health is an attempt to
forcibly impose
the fantasy of some people on everyone else. It is an attempt to elevate fantasy to the level of actual reality and to
everyone else to accept it as though it were reality.

In this rule New York City will force people to recognize A as non-A.

This is the logical end of the premise of egalitarianism. Fantasy is inherent in egalitarianism, which wipes out distinctions and treats all people as if they were metaphysically equal. If a man wants to call himself a woman, who are we to deny him that right? Who are we to say, “No, that is false”?

A generation ago this ruling would have been a reductio ad absurdum argument against egalitarianism and multiculturalism. People would have responded, “Oh, come on -- the New Left will never take it to that extreme.” Yesterday’s absurdities are becoming today’s laws in New York City.

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I was thinking today about this brand of collective primacy of consciousness and it how it relates the gay-marriage issue. (Note: Obviously, gay couples should not be barred from enjoying the same rights as married straight couples do, as long as said rights are rightfully rights. And also, I don't think it is essential to the concept of marriage for it to be heterosexual. But that is beside the point. My point here is the motivation of those who wish to get metaphysical justification from the gov't.)

What the gay rights movement is trying to do, with their crusade to have their civil unions CALLED marriage, and to have them CALLED whatever gender they want by the gov't, is to gain a favor from the all mighty collective consciousness, embodies in the gov't, which is the creator of reality. "If the gov't says it, it is so" these people think, and in order to gain for themselves the metaphysically false, they fight for the omnipotent decree of the gov't.

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  • 1 month later...

CNN today has a video about another, similar situation. Women who suffer stillbirths (where the foetus dies in utero and is then passed out of the body) want birth certificates for their dead foeti. They're pushing for a California law to issue "special" birth certificates by which to memorialize the "birth" of their "babies."

Of interesting note is the caption under the name of the first interviewed mother; "Baby Died During Birth." The caption appears immediately after the narrator finishes telling us that doctors failed to detect a foetal heartbeat a full day before the stillbirth.

If you give something (a dead foetus) a birth certificate, even a "special" one, isn't that the same thing as the law recognizing that these dead foeti were in fact born? They weren't. Another example of people trying to use the law to foist their fantasies (in this case, that their "child" ever actually lived) onto other, more sane members of society.


PS: I hope that link works. I had to jump through hoops to figure out how to do it.

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And if (like me) you want to be a pretentious git and use the latin foetus, well then you just have to follow it up with the even more obtuse and esoteric plural, foeti, don't you?



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