Thursday, June 18, 2015

Everything is Everything

I’m a staunch Ironyc: everything is ironical. Objects, actions, various parts of speech – each of these individuals are sets, a congeries or combination, system or agglomeration, but at any rate a collection of ironies.

People, for example, are what they aren’t - how obvious this is in the case of this very post! - and ironically, no two are what each other is. Several romantically inclined students, and a few professors as well, have complained that “this makes your wife merely a set of ironies.” Well, so it does. This suits me, for I am a set of ironies too. And those who complain also are as they aren’t, which is especially ironic.

Secularists like Aristotle admitted that individuals cannot be ironies. But I will show what several of my critics ironically consider paradoxical; to wit, persons are ironies. The simple justification is this: in the Bible, God and men mock each other. That must mean both are capable of being objects of ridicule. So they must metaphysically just be objects of ridicule. Further, God cannot be an object of ridicule for what He is, only for what He isn’t. And when men are mocked, it must be for what they are not, which must mean they are being mocked for what they are. Of course, per the above, this exegetically proves persons are ironies.

Far from my making it impossible for God to mock human beings, it is rather my critics who do so. Their view of the self is that of some Spott-an-sich. But Leibniz, whose words we must absolutely take into consideration, suggests that the ego is a complex irony. This definition is ironic in essence, and God mocks it because he determined what it should not be. On the other hand, it is something that the person himself may not laugh at, at least in this life.

Now, there is a philosopher who has argued that “if a word meant everything, it would mean nothing.” Apparently, for this philosopher, everything means nothing. How ironic!

But let’s seriously entertain his view for a moment, as it applies to ironies:
If a predicate can be attached to everything without exception, it has no distinct meaning, and this is to say that it has no meaning at all…Here then in the conclusion: The predicate ironical can be attached to everything real or imaginary without exception. Dreams are ironical, mirages are ironical, the square root of minus one is ironical. These statements, however, are meaningless; they tell us nothing about dreams and the square root of minus one…Anything is ironical, so far as the term has any faint meaning at all. But it makes a great difference whether God is a dream, a mirage, or the square root of minus one. (link)
Perhaps this philosopher can riddle me this: if a thing's metaphysical makeup isn't ironical, how could God laugh at it? Why, that's like saying God could know what a thing is even if that thing's metaphysical makeup isn't propositional! And I'm pretty sure Leibniz wouldn't agree with that. Clearly, just because the predicate "ironical" - and we can throw the predicate "propositional" in for good measure - can be attached to everything real or imaginary without exception doesn't mean these words are meaningless or mean nothing.

Transgenderism and Brain Activity

I've been discussing transgenderism recently. One argument that keeps making rounds is that some individuals experience brain activity which is more appropriately identified with the opposite sex than with their own. This allegedly validates said individuals identifying their gender, which is related to but distinct from sex, with the gender usually associated with the opposite sex. A few thoughts:

How is it that one sex has been classified as having certain brain activity and another sex has been classified as having different brain activity if there were supposed counter-examples (transgenders) in the first place? Is the argument that transgenders are outliers rather than examples of the range of diversity within each sexes' respective brain activity? Well, what is the basis for that argument?

Also, the extent to which transgender advocates are willing to argue that transgenderism is more commonplace than assumed is the extent to which this kind of evidence mitigates against their cause. The more commonplace you think transgenderism is, the less reason you have to say brain activity actually varies between the sexes.

If gender is a social construct, when did society construct the idea that brain activity determines gender? I must have missed that. 

Obviously, there is a public policy aspect to all of this. We're already seeing it in whether transgenders are allowed the use of opposite sex bathrooms. The reason we have opposite sex restrooms in the first place is the same reason we don't allow public nudity: it's an issue of public [in]decency.

Do we take people at their word? Or even after people are already applying arising "gender" issues to race, maturity, species, etc., are transgender advocates so naive as to think there won't be abuses - peeping Toms and the like? 

If brain activity really is a sufficient method for determining gender, will professing transgenders be made to verify themselves through brain scans in order for society to have to treat them as such, using opposite sex restrooms and the like? Will gender validation cards be dispensed, and gender policing enforced to ensure no systemic abuse occurs? Apparently not. But why?

I think advocates are afraid that brain scans wouldn't pass muster. Scans would leave out some people who come out as transgenders, and that would lead to accusations of intolerance or bigotry, which is the last thing such advocacy groups want. 

It's very convenient for secularists to be able to shift classifications to suit their public policy agenda at whim. They prefer to be able to broaden the tent than provide real boundaries. Again, as I said above, this eventually undercuts the evidence they will initially use, including brain activity.