Robyn Blumner on truth and humanism

December 3, 2022 • 12:00 pm

I didn’t know that the Center for Inquiry (CFI) magazine Free Inquiry was online, but it is. And reader Nicole sent me a link to this article by Robyn Blumner, CEO of the CFI—an institution with a long history of fighting for humanism and secularism—as well executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Each of those organizations is a rara avis: a liberal organization that has not caved in to the woke “progressives”. (I keep getting tsouris, in the form of chastising emails, for using the word “woke”.)  Here we see Robyn taking out after the tendency of some Leftists to efface or hide the truth, and explaining why humanists above all should care about the truth.

Click on the screenshot to read (there are footnotes and references in the original text):

I’ll give a few quotes, but realize that I’m not scratching Robyn’s back because she scratched mine. It’s a good piece, and counteracts the woke “progressive” excesses of organizations like the ACLU (which Robyn used to work for).  Excuse my blushing here.

But the truth is under a sustained assault right now, and secular humanists need to stand up for it, even when that is hard.

It was relatively easy for most of us to condemn the allergic-to-truth rantings of former President Donald Trump. His lies were so transparent and prodigious that anyone outside the MAGA-verse could easily see through them. Many of us collectively recoiled at the reality-distortions he spun and how they were lapped up with religious-like zeal by his followers.

There are plenty of examples of how America’s right wing is a danger to truth-seeking institutions and standards. That is not what I want to focus on.

Because there is also truth-slaying happening in progressive circles generally in the name of social justice. And because so many secular humanists lean toward liberalism, it is here that we need to shine a light and, frankly, stop the insanity.

Agreed. So don’t give me tsouris for calling out the Left! Read on, though I’ve redacted one word in the first sentence below.

I commend to everyone Jerry Coyne’s terrific blog website Why Evolution Is True (https://whyevolutionistrue.com/), which you can subscribe to for free. An emeritus biology professor at the University of Chicago and a classical liberal himself, Coyne has been closely following the excesses and illiberalism of the woke Left.

There is no more stark example than the ways science has been twisted to conform to a social justice agenda.

Coyne describes the controversy in New Zealand where there is an official government effort underway to equate the indigenous Maori system of knowledge called “Matauranga” with the scientific methods of conventional Western science and that this different way of knowing be taught in science classes.

An appalled biology colleague of Coyne’s in New Zealand described some of the god stories of the Matauranga: “Tane the god of the forest is said to be the creator of humans, and of all plants and creatures of the forest. Rain happens when the goddess Papatuanuku sheds tears.”

There is some practical knowledge as part of the Matauranga, but much of its “science” is laden with superstitions, story-telling, and myths.

An obvious parallel is the teaching of creationism in science classes in the United States, which humanists reasonably decry as the injection of religion into a secular subject. As Richard Dawkins bluntly stated in a tweet on the issue: “Equally daft case for teaching Viking ‘ways of knowing’ in Norwegian science classes, Druid ‘ways of knowing’ in British science classes … Navajo, Kikuyu, Yanomamo ‘ways of knowing’ etc. All different. Truths about the universe don’t depend on which country you are in.”

Truth must be of higher value for secular humanists than acceding to equity demands from a minority group, no matter how sympathetic to them we may be.

Note that Richard will be visiting New Zealand last year, and the “other-ways-of-knowing” people are already sharpening their knives, for he enraged them by weighing in when the spineless Royal Society of New Zealand defended Matauranga Māori as being a valid “way of knowing”. Richard sent them an excoriating letter and also wrote to “New Zealand friends of science and reason.” It will be a magnificent clash between the eloquence of Dawkins and the determination of those who want to valorize an indigenous “way of knowing” that is largely legend, superstition, and religion.

But wait! There’s more from Robyn:

A prime [example] of science under siege by the social justice police—those who seek to impose their own view of social justice at the expense of free inquiry and the open-ended search for the truth—is in behavioral genetics. It’s a field that could not be more fraught. Any scientist who chooses to enter it risks being called a eugenicist or racist.

She goes on to praise Kathryn Paige Harden’s book on behavioral genetics, a book I praised in the WaPo for taking on the subject, but also criticized for not specifying how we can use genetics to achieve “equity”.

And one more bit. How often do you read stuff like this in the newsletter of a liberal humanist organization? I can’t think of any group, including the FFRF, that would say stuff like this (Blumner even goes after her old organization, the ACLU):

Then there is the current most radioactive subject of all: What medical interventions are appropriate for minors who may be suffering from gender dysphoria? This is a medical question with immense consequences, and the correct answer may depend on a range of individualized factors, making this highly politicized issue a medical quagmire.

Politics has elbowed in in disgraceful ways such as the order by Texas Governor Greg Abbott sending state investigators to inspect homes where minors are receiving gender affirming medical treatment, equating it with child abuse. As if these families aren’t facing challenges enough.

But the political Left has also gotten ahead of the science in ways that could be seriously harmful for children. For instance, James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project, promotes puberty blockers for children as a hormonal way to pause puberty while a minor is gaining clarity on their condition. He calls the intervention “completely safe and totally reversible.”

Unfortunately, that’s not a scientifically supportable statement. The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom says there is not enough data to draw that conclusion. The NHS website on treatment for gender dysphoria says “little is known” of the long-term side effects of puberty blockers and it is “not known” whether puberty blockers “affect the development of the teenage brain or children’s bones.”

Legitimate questions have been raised not only about the appropriate age of medical interventions but whether young girls are at risk of being unduly influenced by social pressure to claim transgender status. This is not a big deal if all we are talking about is pronouns, but it is a very big deal once medical science is employed. Statistics from the United Kingdom indicate that 70 percent of those seeking to transition in the past decade are girls wanting to become boys, which is significantly different from the past when by large margins males wanted to transition to female.

These questions are about getting at the truth. Yet just raising them is enough to bring down the wrath of the political Left and get you labeled a transphobe.

A recent column by the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who cofounded Heterodox Academy, said he warned back in 2016 that “the conflict between truth and social justice is likely to become unmanageable.” Well, that time has come.

Indeed it has, indeed it has.

Oh, and Robyn recommends a book that deserves its encomiums:

Finally, I urge every secular humanist to read Jonathan Rauch’s important book The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of TruthIn clear terms, Rauch explains the dangers to our social order of abandoning not only the truth but the objective rules we use to test whether a claim is valid.

The end:

. . .choking off dissent damages the essential underpinnings of a reality-based community. These actions, no matter how good the intentions, are helping to dismantle the knowledge-based world. The world that secular humanists are committed to supporting and protecting, and most importantly the world we need for all of us to continue to thrive.

I like that phrase: “reality-based community”. For that what secular humanists are, and what believers are not. I suppose you could call the religious (and many Republicans) “the fantasy-based community.”

40 thoughts on “Robyn Blumner on truth and humanism

  1. > a classical liberal himself, Coyne

    Professor, do you identify as a classical liberal?

    Classical liberalism is a political tradition and a branch of liberalism that advocates free market and laissez-faire economics; civil liberties under the rule of law with especial emphasis on individual autonomy, limited government, economic freedom, political freedom and freedom of speech. -Wiki

      1. Classical liberalism, contrary to liberal branches like social liberalism, looks more negatively on social policies, taxation and the state involvement in the lives of individuals, and it advocates deregulation. -Wiki: Classical Liberalism, Para. 3

        I don’t want to be accused of casting aspersions; I do consider myself to be a classical liberal. Given how often people have tried to shift the meaning of the term ‘liberal’ in the US, Australia, and a few other places, qualifiers like ‘classical’ are important. Watching how the PC crowd keeps rebranding itself, they will inevitably claim to be ‘liberals’, forcing whatever ideologies previously identified as ‘liberal’ to qualify their own terms, too. I prefer using European terminology like “social democrat” for people who want to democratically adopt/enhance social services like socialized medicine, welfare, military, emergency services, etc., rather than private adoption of similar services.

      2. As the Wiki definition notes, an essential component of classical liberalism is a belief in laissez-faire economics, i.e., the non-involvement of the government in economic policy and decision making. So, if you believe in the social safety net started with the New Deal, such as social security, unemployment insurance, Medicare, and Obamacare then you are not a classical liberal despite the other aspects of the definition. If you believe that the government should take an active role in attempting to mitigate the extremes of the economic cycle then, also, you are not a classical liberal. It is not correct to define such a person as a classical liberal despite that person’s strong belief in free speech. If one believes in both free speech, civil liberties, and the necessity of government to play an active role in improving the lives of people, including regulation of the economy, then that such person would be best defined as a modern liberal whose political philosophy came to full fruition under Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.

        Another definition of classical liberalism comes from the conservative Mises Institute: “’Classical liberalism’” is the term used to designate the ideology advocating private property, an unhampered market economy, the rule of law, constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press, and international peace based on free trade.” Here, once again, we see the importance of economic laissez-faire to the definition of classical liberalism.

        https://mises.org/library/what-classical-liberalism

        A Politico article says this about classical liberalism. “The tradition of the use of the term ‘classical liberal’ within conservative circles dates back to (and is largely because of) the movement’s youth. The movement conservatism that still flickers at the heart of the Trump-era Republican Party was born just within the last 70 years, roughly, whereas the tradition of liberalism as understood by most of the world outside America, and as embraced by these conservatives—unfettered free markets, the rule of law, civil liberties (with qualifications, frequently)—is defined by the work of 17th and 18th century heavyweights such as Thomas Hobbes and Adam Smith.”

        https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/06/16/why-the-classical-liberal-is-making-a-comeback-218667/

        Any claim that the term “classical liberal” is limited strictly to issues such as rule of law or free speech is wrong. For the classical liberal, their conception of so-called economic freedom cannot be separated from other freedoms such as free speech. They are inseparable in a “free” society.

        1. For the classical liberal, their conception of so-called economic freedom cannot be separated from other freedoms such as free speech.

          But a capitalist, laissez-faire, market economy is fully compatible with a welfare state funded by redistributive taxation. (And supporting that combination is common in the Western world.) I think you’re wrong to say that a classical liberal most oppose a welfare state.

          1. Perhaps in Europe a laissez-faire market economy is compatible with a welfare state. But, that is certainly not the tradition in the United States. This is why almost all Republicans have always voted against the programs of a welfare state. Compulsory programs such as social security have been viewed as government constricting individuals from making their own economic decisions. Indeed, it seems to me that theoretically a welfare state is incompatible with laissez-faire capitalism since in a welfare state some individuals have their wealth transferred to others via taxation. For believers in almost complete economic freedom, this is an act of government tyranny.

            1. Hi Historian,
              you are totally wrong. Multiple self-described classical liberals support welfare programs (including many professors from the libertarian George Mason University). Support for free trade means merely recognizing the fact that tariffs and protectionism are not an effective way to make people better off. And there is no reason why people shouldn’t support a combination of freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and some type of welfare program for those who are old, sick, poor, etc (Steven Pinker is also a classical liberal who supports all those things).
              I believe your misrepresentation of classical liberalism comes from not reading people who identify as such, but rather reading only their critics.

              1. It’s just arguing about definitions., not substance.

                Let’s agree to call them classical classical liberals and welfare-state classical liberals. If that sounds too emotional, just call them classical liberals a and classical liberals b. It’s clear that there are many persons in both camps.

        2. Classical Liberalism is an Enlightenment tradition broad enough to encompass the entire center of the political spectrum. It has historical precedents for both the center-left to the center-right — a tradition that runs the gamut of philosophers and theorists from Edmund Burke to Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It requires a commitment to free-thought, to free-speech, to civil liberties, and to free enterprise (though not to hardcore laissez-faire, caveat emptor, devil-take-the-hindmost black capitalism. There’s plenty of room in the classical liberal tradition for the social safety-net, consumer and worker rights, and a mixed economy.)

          In recent times, the hard-right has endeavored to coopt the term “classical liberalism” — just as it has endeavored (and, to an unfortunate degree, succeeded) in coopting terms such as “liberty” and even “freedom.”

          Screw that, I say. It’s high time those of us on the center-left to reclaim these terms, and these venerable “classical liberalism” antecedents, for the entire center of the political spectrum.

          I’d like to think that that’s what Robyn Blumner had in mind when she referred to our host as a “classical liberal.”

          1. > I’d like to think that that’s what Robyn Blumner had in mind when she referred to our host as a “classical liberal.”

            My impression is that someone in the chain of interviews/editing was grasping for a term for “people who identified as liberal before people whom we identify as ‘woke’ identified as ‘liberal'”. It is an easy error to make if you are not aware how the term ‘liberal’ has been misappropriated throughout the last century (by the Right in Australia and the Left in the US).

            I suppose that people from the right or left are as free to identify as “classical liberal” as they are to identify as “male”, despite millennia of precedent proving them wrong.

          2. When are discussing the concept of classical liberalism, we are really debating how we define the term. Ken, your comment prompted me to go to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy to see how it defines classical liberalism. In Section 2.1 of the article, it discusses the term. Here are some pertinent quotes:

            ———————————–

            “For classical liberals — ‘old’ liberals — liberty and private property are intimately related. From the eighteenth century to the present day, classical liberals have insisted that an economic system based on private property is uniquely consistent with individual liberty, allowing each to live her life —including employing her labor and her capital — as she sees fit. Indeed, classical liberals and libertarians have often asserted that in some way liberty and property are really the same thing; it has been argued, for example, that all rights, including liberty rights, are forms of property; others have maintained that property is itself a form of freedom (Gaus, 1994; Steiner, 1994). A market order based on private property is thus seen as an embodiment of freedom (Robbins, 1961: 104). Unless people are free to make contracts and sell their labour, save and invest their incomes as they see fit, and free to launch enterprises as they raise the capital, they are not really free.”

            “Classical liberals employ a second argument connecting liberty and private property. Rather than insisting that the freedom to obtain and employ private property is simply one aspect of people’s liberty, this second argument insists that private property effectively protects liberty, and no protection can be effective without private property. Here the idea is that the dispersion of power that results from a free market economy based on private property protects the liberty of subjects against encroachments by the state.”

            “Although classical liberals agree on the fundamental importance of private property to a free society, the classical liberal tradition itself is a spectrum of views, from near-anarchist to those that attribute a significant role to the state in economic and social policy.”

            https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/liberalism/
            ————————————–

            From these quotes I draw the following conclusions:

            1. The right to private property is at the heart of the concept of classical liberalism. Government that attempts to abridge this right is tyrannical.
            2. Some (but certainly not all) of those that profess to be classically liberal will allow for some state intervention in the economy.
            3. But, the vast majority of people living in western democracies believe in both private property and freedom of speech, etc. and to some degree the necessity of government intervention in economic and social policy. In this case the vast majority of people can call themselves classical liberals rendering the term meaningless. In reality, in the United States today, the term classical liberal refers to the hard right, such as the lunatic senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul. These are the folks that believe the government should barely interfere with business and certainly pass no legislation that helps the common folk. It is because of this that people that believe in the value of government intervention should not be calling themselves classical liberals. They should call themselves something else so they are not confused with the libertarian right.

            1. I think the term classical liberal should be reclaimed from people like Rand Paul. It can be reclaimed by pointing out that old liberals like John Locke and the Founding Fathers believed in the role of Law and government in protecting people’s fundamental rights.

            2. > in the United States today, the term classical liberal refers to the hard right

              It’s definitely interesting to hear our host referred to as a ‘Classical Liberal ‘ in the original article.

              Historian, I believe that your final paragraph falls victim to the idea of there being a one-dimensional (left-right) political spectrum, rather than a two-dimensional spectrum (Nolan Chart). I prefer charts of a higher dimension (global, federal, national, local, and family governments should have different powers), but I’ll leave that for another time.

              NB: In any case, to avoid excessive posting in this thread, Historian, I have enjoyed reading your posts in this thread. We don’t always agree, but they are always insightful.

          3. If anybody is implying I’m on the Right, or the Hard Right, by using the term (in truth, I don’t remember calling myself that, though I could have), then they’re dead wrong. People who read here know that I’m on the left, but further toward the center than, say, the “progressives”. This is a semantic argument that has nothing to do with me; I never even looked up a definition of “classical liberal”. Enough already!

    1. Some sneaky libertarian must have written that definition for Wikipedia. I am surprised no one has challenged it, especially the part on “limited government’ and “economic freedom”. If I were writing it I would include “tolerance of dissent” and “belief in equality of all before the law”. Economics is entirely separate. Liberalism believes in universal values and the Enlightenment, not in economic ideologies invented by some humans in order to increase their wealth and power. Today neither left nor right believe in universal values or the Enlightenment. Apparently it is only the atheists who do so.

      1. I disagree with you that economics must be separated from those values. If the state or the corporations makes all economic decisions for you, you are already in a totalitarian government and you will most certainly lack other freedoms.

  2. I was very surprised to see CFI Facebook page featuring the intersectional flag (the old pride flag with intersectional triangles imposed on top). Not sure if they’re aware that this flag represents woke beliefs (i.e., intersection of race and gender power structures supposedly oppressing marginalized groups)

    1. I had the colors & design of the new LGBTQ+ explained to me thusly:
      Pink & Blue Gendered BS —> appropriating the struggles of Indigenous & Black people —> in order to stick it to —> Gays, Lesbians, & Bisexuals.

      It does help me remember it.

  3. “Coyne describes the controversy in New Zealand where there is an official government effort underway to equate the indigenous Maori system of knowledge called “Matauranga” with the scientific methods of conventional Western science and that this different way of knowing be taught in science classes.”

    How strange is this intrusion of religion in to public education…from of all things a side of the political spectrum normally inclined to defend the separation of Church and State!

    I guess there is something to the Horseshoe theory after all….

  4. I have watched skeptic, atheist, and humanist groups and organizations split over social justice issues and tried to look back at earlier divisions which might have lead to these more obvious fractures.
    Considering just the lectures I attended, I can roughly categorize many of them this way:

    1.) those which focused more on the rational arguments against fundamental claims vs those which focused more on the harm done by such things as alt med, religion, or conservative politics and what to do about it.

    2.) those which focused on how similar to us the believers in alt med, religion, and conservative politics were in human fallibility vs. those which made the case for a fundamental divide in ethics, reasoning capacity, or gullibility of believers in order to plan how to avoid engagement with the True Believers & attack in more fruitful ways.

    My own personal preference was for the first type of lectures, but the others were popular and seemed to became more so. Both approaches are valuable and they don’t necessarily contradict each other. But the latter seem to align more closely with an increasing commitment to social justice and an increasing impatience with needing to respect the other side.

    Of course, I could have looked at the same data and divided it in other ways. And not everything fits.

  5. Blumner: “Secular humanists are the people who looked at thousands of years of received authority and said, ‘Yeah, sorry, no.’ We needed more than ancient books and the near universal buy-in by everyone else to convince us that supernaturalism is real. We needed empirical evidence.”

    So what Blumner says is under assault by both Left and Right is a consistent commitment to empiricism, best exemplified by science, a commitment which overall tends to produce practically effective beliefs – factual truths about the material world. Such success certifies that commitment as rational. Most folks are basically empirical in everyday matters (cars, dentists, plumbing) but sometimes abandon that commitment under the influence of religion, other ways of knowing, political affiliation, social justice, identity politics, etc. etc.

    What is to be done? How can the rational commitment to empiricism be promulgated? One way is to challenge those who make factual claims at odds with science to articulate the evidential basis for such claims. Assuming they agree some sort of evidence is necessary, does it have a track record of being a reliable basis for effective action (prediction, control, explanation)? Why do they prefer it to the evidence adduced by mainstream, peer-reviewed science? Do they apply it across the board in deciding other factual claims? If not, why not? Such a challenge can help to expose the evidential inadequacies of claims that depart from science, and it operates over what’s usually epistemic common ground: that beliefs about the material world need some sort of justification to have merit.

    1. “…if not, why not?”

      I think it’s because a belief doesn’t have to be “true” in some universal sense to “work” in some particular sense. Indeed, if a false belief leads to good personal outcomes, and a true belief leads to bad personal outcomes, what’s the motivation for adopting the true belief? E.g., the average, middle-aged, American male Christain earns more status, approbation, maintains strong social networks, and, perhaps, avoids self-destructive behaviors by his false supernatural beliefs than he otherwise may. These outcomes are every bit as empirical to the casual observer. It’s only when we look closely do we see that whatever pro-social benefits accrue to fiction-based communities are not worth the antisocial costs it places on fact-based communities.

      1. Yes, good point, but of course they would not answer the “why not?” question as you have, which refers to the social and status benefits of holding false beliefs. They would have to come up with a rational sounding explanation as to why they are not good empiricists when it comes to certain questions. And that’s difficult to come up with!

  6. Puberty blockers “…pause puberty while a minor is gaining clarity on their condition.”

    Does not a glaring contradiction arise? An adolescent’s ‘condition’ is to experience the body and hormone expression for their sex as it morphs into an adult. This transformation includes the brain — in which the mind and (self-made) soul reside. … and surely the “clarifying function.” How might one gain clarity on one’s condition while stifling it body mind and spirit?

    To drop the ironic tone … “Hey, bring on the game … level up the boy parts or girl parts (and set off the burning aching fire) and discover what all that jazz is about!”

    To be rude: “the only clarity while squelching the explosion into adult sex is how it feels to be a prepubescent for life … or a eunuch.”

  7. I like that phrase: “reality-based community”. For that what secular humanists are, and what believers are not. I suppose you could call the religious (and many Republicans) “the fantasy-based community.”

    But then you could also assert that the Woke (and many Democrats) are a different fantasy based community.

    So much of politics is posed as a ‘my fantasy vs your fantasy’ battle that the reality based community doesn’t get a look in. I blame the media – if it bleeds it leads.

  8. So proud of Richard Dawkins use of the word bollocks, really puts it on the line. Sadly this is almost never used in the US or Canada (or understood) and I really wish they could adopt it into their lexicon of filthy vocabulary.

  9. Blumner’s article is so obviously correct that it’s sad to think that it might be controversial. Essentially, she tells us that facts count. I knew that before I even went to kindergarten. We all need to be warriors for truth. Participating on this web site helps. Believers in truth are not alone.

    1. Exactly right: the same pattern of utopian aspirations turning into a dictatorship of sloganeering. The history of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics illustrates a natural outcome: the dictatorship of slogans evolved with remarkable smoothness into the Russia of apathy and corruption—and through that into even worse.

  10. Most importantly, Free Inquiry has finally behaved rationally, and switched back to a print-readable serif font! Sanserif is tolerable, perhaps even necessary still, like here, on computer screens with limited pixel resolution but is insufferable (a la Wired) in page after page of text to be read. FI ignored my pleas when Tom Flynn was in charge (bless his memory, but totally wrong defending their font). Got my print copy a couple days ago, and decided I will renew! I has not going to continue my paper subscription. Secular Inquirer, smartly, has (so far) stuck with the rational, tried ‘n’ true serif font.

  11. I recently had dinner with some dear friends who are very thoughtful and intelligent, and especially pretty far left and very plugged in to and supportive of the various LGBTQ+ issues.

    I was asking about this whole gender vs sex stuff and it was explained to me how sex is your assigned “sex” at birth (with the ream of caveats applied), gender is how you identify. So if you were born “male” but “feel you are female” then you are female.
    I inquired about what exactly it meant to “feel like I was a female?” Because if this means that I have a male body, but somehow like things traditionally associated with being female…what..I like dolls? Dresses?…that seems to just be playing in to the old stereotypes about “what it is to be female.” And didn’t feminists have to fight a long war of attrition so that they could break OUT of those old stereotypes? In other words, you could be born female, but have interests that had been traditionally associated with men, and could do jobs that previously had been seen as “male only” etc.

    “Oh no, you don’t need to have any stereotypically female feelings or desires…it’s not about stereotypes…”

    Then…what is it, I asked? What is the criteria? Can I have a male body, as I do, have all the same stereotypical hetero interests and sexual desires that I do…and still be a “female gender?” What would that even mean anymore? How does one “know” what gender they are in this case?

    My friend admitted it was a hard question, that they didn’t really know the answer except to say “Well, it’s just how you feel, and so we should respect how anyone feels.”

    Ok. Uhm…Glad that was cleared up.

    Again…I put no blame on my wonderful friends for not having an answer; they are simply struggling with what seems to be a somewhat incoherent ideology, and accepting it for good-hearted reasons. Though if someone out there knows the answer to these questions, I’m all ears…..

    1. I think “feeling” that he is a woman allows a man who doesn’t have all the stereotypical hetero interests (like sex with women) to believe he is not gay, so a form of homophobia about himself. If you and all your friends are comfortably straight and don’t have gender dysphoria, it might be for you like imagining what colours are if you had been blind from birth. Maybe your gay friends could illuminate the feeling, even if they personally had adapted easily to the discovery of their orientation. (I can’t ask any of mine: they all died of AIDS in the 1980s.)

      As Meghan Murphy says, “Gender affirmation therapy is the ultimate homosexual conversion therapy.”

      But if a trans person vehemently and angrily denies that he is gay and insists he is a straight woman and that’s why I should want to have sex with him, probably not a lot we can do if your friends want to go along with it. Until he hurts one of them, I suppose.

  12. The far left is incoherent. Social sciencism (because I will not use the ‘science’) has as a base assumption that truth is relative and depends on context and the obervers set of social intersectionalities. Then freaks out when the crazy right talks about ‘alternative sets of facts’ when the crazy far left has gone one further because it states that every observer has their own set of alternative facts.’ as mentioned above. Principia Mathematica? Duh! It’s a rape manual! Fluid mechanics lags behind solids mechanics, beacuse, Duh! Sexism! Crazy left: ‘Science is a system devised by white straight males to enslave the world’ Crazy right ‘Science is a conspiracy to destroy Christianty and peoples belief in God.’ Which one is crazier? Tell you something, they are both as nuts but one controls the universities, the other ones don’t. One side paid upwards of a $100K each in tuition fees to get this nuts, the other ones paid nothing but the gas to get them from their trailer park to their crazy right church..

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