Friday, October 26, 2018

Lying is not a difference of opinion

David Marcus
David Marcus|via The Federalist
Friday, David Marcus is complaining about a Google decision to whack a video for being transphobic.

David Marcus has a problem with LGBT people. It's odd because he is involved in an off-Broadway theater project (Blue Box World). Take LGBT people out of New York City theater production and you are probably left with a theatrical presentation of The Apprentice (with Anthony Scaramucci as Trump).

Readers of SBF know that I am friendly with a number of people with whom I have considerable differences of opinion. I have learned a great deal from people I disagree with. They force us to construct better arguments and to find more evidence to support our opinions. Sometimes they are right. Being proved wrong is as beneficial as being proved correct about something.

I made a career out of hiring people who would tell me when they thought I was wrong and diplomacy was never required. What is required is intellectual honesty.

David Marcus seems unable to construct an argument to support his opinions without some factual misrepresentations. Intellectual honesty cannot exist with factual dishonesty.

Marcus claims that the subject video is satire and that Google is in error. I think that Google was correct but that is not relevant to this post. Within David Marcus' arguments he makes this assertion:
Soh, who holds a PhD from York University, has also been a critic of the transgender movement’s claims that there is no scientific, biological difference between men and women.
Who comprises the so-called “transgender movement?” More importantly: Who has ever claimed that there is no difference between men and women? This meme (which probably originated with a hate group) has been uncritically repeated over and over again.

Aside from the fact that the argument is factually wrong, it makes no sense.

Those differences between men and women are at the core of gender dysphoria. Were there no difference there would be no incongruity between gender and sex. Thus there would be no such thing as gender dysphoria. If gender dysphoria ceased to exist then transgender people would cease to exist. No one believes that chromosomes do not exist.

Falsely asserting that an opponent makes certain claims is a straw man fallacy. That represents intellectual dishonesty per se.

Transgender people are a particularly vulnerable minority group. They face a staggering amount of derision and continuous efforts to marginalize them. Arguments attacking transgender people are, on the whole, arguments from ignorance engendered by religious disapproval.

The scientific fact is that gender exists. It is a separate construct from, and independent of, natal sex. Further complicating the matter is the fact that gender and sex are both continua. I state those things as facts because they represent the overwhelming consensus of medical science.

I find the complexity fascinating. It scares the crap out of religious conservatives. Ideologically they require a gender binary where sex and gender are synonymous. Only then does their (alternate) reality conform to their ancient texts.

The Republican party has become captive to these same religious conservatives. They create cognitive dissonance by claiming that their religious BS is based on science when it is a complete rejection of the science.

The point is that transgender people have enough problems without some amateur satirists piling on. Fortunately, Google is sensitive to the issues and is doing their best to treat anti-transgender material comparable to anti-Semitic or racist material. As a gay man I have seen this all before.
Satire does not license bigotry.

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