Tuesday, November 05, 2019

The Fences Are Down

... and society is finding out that there are no boundaries to behavior or belief.

Alice Roberts is a professor with an excellent resume. From her website:
I make programmes and write books about human anatomy, physiology, evolution, archaeology and history. I passionately believe that universities are about generating and spreading knowledge to the widest possible audience.

I’m a medical doctor, and went on to become a university lecturer. I taught human anatomy to students and doctors, and did research into human origins and disease in ancient skeletons - which formed the basis for my PhD.
She has also discarded rational thought when it comes to the transgendered.

Here, Alice is comparing the mental illness of transgendered people with the biological reality of clown fish changing sex.

If you were wondering about the difference, clown fish can perform as their new sex after the transition. The mentally ill cannot. That's biology. That's science. That's fact. Alice, who by all rights ought to know better and in her heart, surely does, denies this. Her analogy is ludicrous, prima facie.

How have we gotten to the point where a legitimate, educated, accomplished science-woman is deliberately spouting twaddle and then defending it online? When she can't defend it, she blocks people who try to engage in rational debate.
After which she blocked him.

I would argue that she blocked him because his line of questioning leads to a fence, a boundary on human behavior. She's not defending transgender people so much as she's defending the right to do whatever you want, say whatever you want and espouse whatever you want without contradiction or limits to your actions. I don't mean First Amendment stuff here, I mean disagreement or disapproval.

No one knows where this is going to lead. Like Modern Monetary Theory, discarding objective reality and rational conversation can lead anywhere.

We now allow sexual perverts ready access to our children. When we discarded rational conversation, we found we lost any reason why not.


tim eisele said...

"We now allow sexual perverts ready access to our children"

When did we not? They were just under cover so no one knew what was going on until it was too late. Is a pervert who is hiding it, pretending to be a normal person, setting themselves up as a respected member of the community, and working their way into a position where they have unsupervised access to children, and then use their position in the community to threaten or bribe the kids to keep it quiet, somehow better than one who is open about it?

K T Cat said...

First, please propose a statistical comparison of sexual perverts in the population of story time readers for children in, say, 1985 and the set of drag queen readers in 2019.

Is it better to have 1% of your readers be perverts with their identities hidden than 80% of them with their identities out in the open?

Second, I read a commentary from a career social scientist who specialized in sexual abuse of children say that drag queen story hour was the greatest mass-grooming effort he had ever seen. Why is he wrong? Were the hidden perverts you mention doing the same grooming with the same effect?

Thirdly, isn't your fundamental argument, "Why not?" That is, aren't you really asking, "Why not let X do Y? Why not let drag queens read to children?" That then leads to the question, "Why is pedophilia wrong?" Can you derive an answer to those from first principles?

I'm not being snarky, I'm being serious. This is the direction my thinking has taken me lately. For example, what was wrong with what Katie Hill did in having sexual relations with her subordinates and a throuple with her husband? Can you derive your moral stance from first principles? If you can't, then you end up with no fences.

tim eisele said...

1. Yes. It is better to have a larger number of potential threats that you can see, than to have a few threats that you cannot see. If I have to walk across a minefield, it isn't the mines that have been flagged that I need to worry about, no matter how many of them there are.

2. About this "deriving your moral stance from first principles": a while back, I decided to take your advice and have a look at the Catechism to see what the absolute moral code of the Church looks like. And this is what I found, as the ultimate source of morality[1]:

"1776 "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment.... For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God.... His conscience is man's most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths."
1777 Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil. It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking."

Which, as far as I can see, boils down to "if it feels wrong, it is wrong, and if it feels right, it is right", justified by the idea that it is God that makes it "feel right" or "feel wrong". But, at its core, how is this any different from the "if it feels good, do it" that you always complain about? If there is a God, then surely everyone would agree on what feels good and what feels bad, because God would have implanted the same conscience in everyone, right? And if there isn't a God, then we just have a bunch of old dudes at the College of Cardinals voting on their personal moral prejudices and telling everyone else to follow them, but at their core they aren't doing anything different than anyone else is doing.

So, why do you accept it when the Church says it, but not when anyone else says it?

[1] http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
Part 3, Section 1, Chapter 1, Article 6, paragraphs 1776-1777

Foxfier said...

We're not choosing between perverts you can see and perverts you can't see.

We're given the choice of perverts who are hidden because if they are discovered in even the grooming stage, much less completion, they will be destroyed-- and perverts you are not allowed to criticize even when they are caught in active predation rather than grooming, unless you are the Right Person or they are no longer useful enough. (Epstein, paging Epstein.)

Foxfier said...

As far as your reading of the Catechism, you might want to read the rest of the chapter.

It answers your question on the difference.

Foxfier said...


II. The Formation of Conscience

1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. the education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.

1784 The education of the conscience is a lifelong task. From the earliest years, it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law recognized by conscience. Prudent education teaches virtue; it prevents or cures fear, selfishness and pride, resentment arising from guilt, and feelings of complacency, born of human weakness and faults. the education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart.

1785 In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path,54 we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord's Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.55

tim eisele said...

Foxfier: The example you just posted is a perfect example of obfuscating the point. So my conscience needs to be informed... By who? Enlightened... By what? Educated... based on what criteria? If it isn't innate, and has to be trained in from elsewhere, then their initial statement that it is innate, must be at least incomplete if not wrong. And where is this training coming from? Apparently from authorities in the Church, who get it by... consulting their own innate conscience? What makes their conscience so special? Aside from spending more time meditating on it, and comparing notes with other people doing the same, there should be no substantive difference between their conscience and anyone else's.

In the end, it all comes down to the same thing as they said at first: morality is based on an innate human conscience, and is decided based on what people think "feels" right and "feels' wrong. And the whole moral code is based on the group consensus.

Which, to be clear, I am not saying is wrong, or a bad thing. What I am saying, is that this is exactly how people have been establishing morality for as long as our ancestors have been able to entertain the concept. What is wrong, is the Church's denial that this is what they are doing, and their insistence that they are doing something unique.

Foxfier said...

The example you just posted is a perfect example of obfuscating the point.

If that is all you can get out of the explanation, then there is nothing that I could possibly say that will get through your choice. It would be one thing if you simply disagreed with the reasoning, but insisting it doesn't exist is a sold dead end.

Ilíon said...

not Prof Alice Roberts: "I’ll bet your school biology told you [that sexually reproducing] species couldn’t [parthenogenetically produce viable] offspring either... biology is, quite simply, messier and more wonderful than some people would like it to be. Ask a [Beltsville Small White turkey]!"

So, obviously, Prof Alice Roberts affirms the Virgin Birth of Christ.


Ilíon said...

"I'm not being snarky."

I can supply the deficient "snark".