Defending Freedom of Speech

OK – this is tough for me to admit:  I actually agree with something the McGuinty government’s policy on something!

Whenever this happens, I check my position – again and again…and I did so here.  Still, it is inevitable that even a government as misguided as McGuity’s will, eventually, get something right!

So, what is this singular policy of the McGuinty regime that I support?

It is their curriculum on sexual education, of course.

By the time they are 5 or 6 years of age, each and every child should be fully aware of the scientific facts surrounding reproduction – as well as of the effects sex hormones have on brain development, including all forms of atypical hormonal effects.

Why?

Because shortly after this age, a third phase of sex-hormone-driven brain differentiation will take place.  This third phase (the first take place in utero, the second shortly after birth) is, perhaps, the most nuanced in that it will greatly emphasize the gradations that demonstrate the continuity – rather than discreetness – in the gender ‘category’.

In other words, the more science we know, the less able are we to define what is ‘male’ versus what is ‘female’.

The old ‘X’ and ‘Y’ chromosome convention simply fails, especially when we have ‘XX’ individuals with external presentations as ‘male’ and ‘XY’ individuals with external presentations as ‘female’.  And don’t even get me started on ‘XXY’ individuals, who can present as either male or female – and who are fully capable of reproducing as such.  Then there are ‘XXXY’ males, who are typically unusually prone to cruelty and violence.

In addition to these many variations along the line between male and female, there are numerous hormonal effects that have nothing to do with the genetic makeup but with maternal health during pregnancy, which will also affect the hormone-caused brain differentiation:  the variations here are numerous – and all are shown to become more prominent (and more consciously comprehended by the individuals affected) in this age-group.

Of course, this does not account for more typically male/female ‘reasoning’ associated with non-hormonal effects, but, say, things like Aspergers’ syndrome and other perfectly naturals states of being!  Those effects, too, become acutely felt at this stage of development.

In other words, I think it is essential that, at the latest by grade 1, sex education must inform children that ‘male’ and ‘female’ are cultural constructs of convenience, which nobody really properly fits in – and that this is natural and normal.  (I would add to this that we should all boycott all events, cultural or sports, that continue to differentiate against individuals based on this artificial and unnecessary group construct – but, then again, I have a deeper sense of fairness than most people!  After all, a person’s a person, no matter where they fall in the ‘sexual differentiation’ continuum…)

Having explained my position, it will, perhaps, be clear just how abhorrent and irrational I find the advertisement that Sun media is running – and which has got a lot of people up in arms – for the right and the wrong reasons.

What I find even more abhorrent is the tactics employed by some opponents of this ad in order to intimidate and silence those who made the ad, approved the ad and aired the ad!!!

Having said this, here is a link to Brian Lilley talking about – and showing – the ad in question!

Nothing is more essential in a society than preserving the freedom of speech.  I find this speech particularly foolish and destructive – but, I will fight to the death for the people who made the ad and paid for it to be aired to be able to do freely speak their foolish minds!!!

To do anything less would be standing by and not stopping evil – and we know where that leads!

The ends never justify the means.  To the contrary:  the means define the ends!

If we permit evil methods to pervail, even when they are employed to oppose an evil, destructuve message, we have already lost the war!

H/T:  BCF

8 Responses to “Defending Freedom of Speech”

  1. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    You are, of course, technically correct in saying that there is no clear cut boundary between male and female.

    Indeed, all boundaries between categories are fictions. In the real world, categories are never separated by perfectly precise, infinitely thin boundaries. They always overlap in fuzzy transition regions that only look precise when viewed from the right distance.

    It is this appearance of crispness, when viewed at the right level of detail, that renders these fictions useful. We maximize their usefulness by adopting the convention that the (precise but fictitious) boundary equally bisects the (real but fuzzy) transition region between categories.

    The right level of detail, of course, depends on context. Sometimes we need to look at individual trees, and other times we need to consider the forest as a whole. By adopting the convention above, we minimize the uncertainty introduced at any given level of detail. Any other convention would impair our ability to reason optimally in the face of uncertain information.

    Thus it is disingenuous to dismiss the categories defined in this way as mere “cultural constructs of convenience.” This is a phrase introduced by cultural Marxism to imply that any other convention would yield equally valid constructs – most particularly constructs which are convenient to the cultural Marxist agenda.

    Indeed, without these “cultural constructs of convenience” all practical reasoning becomes impossible. By allowing them to be dismissed as arbitrary, we are deprived of any well-grounded epistemology with which to resist cultural Marxist sophistry.

    To see this, apply it to the distinction between night and day. Around dawn, it gets gradually lighter as night fades imperceptibly into day. Around dusk, the opposite happens. It is impossible to define the exact moment at which the sun appears or disappears on the horizon, which is itself impossible to locate with perfect precision. Therefore, night and day are nothing more than arbitrary “cultural constructs of convenience.”

    Should we therefore teach children that day is night?

    How does this differ from teaching them the Orwellian slogans “truth is falsehood,” “freedom is slavery,” and “ignorance is strength?”

    These pairs of categories, like all others, shade imperceptibly into each other across fuzzy transition regions without well-defined beginning or end. Are they all, then, just “cultural constructs of convenience?”

    Cultural Marxists would have you believe just that – for reasons which become crystal clear by reading George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four. Or by looking around you at Western society today.

    Children emerge from the womb with no grasp of any distinctions at all. Even the elementary distinction between self and other must be learned in infancy. From there, a child’s learning progresses by drawing increasingly fine distinctions. Only once the distinctions at a given level are mastered can a child progress to the next level of detail.

    To burden children too early with too many fine distinctions does no good at all. On the contrary, it only confuses them, makes them feel stupid, discourages them, and robs them of the joy of learning.

    And this brings us to the root of the problem: you support the Government of Ontario in advocating an approach to sex education which is the equivalent of teaching relativistic quantum field theory in elementary school science class.

    At a time when children are not yet anywhere near mastering the meaning of the basic concepts of male and female, you want to overload them with all kinds of subtle borderline cases, dredged up from the fuzzy transition region between male and female, and thereby convince them that the categories, male and female, are illegitimate and meaningless – mere “cultural constructs of convenience.”

    Xanthippa, I know that you support this out of egalitarianism, but in this case your egalitarianism has been co-opted by a quintessential application of critical gender theory – otherwise known as queer studies.

    The only possible outcome is to prevent children from ever mastering the concepts of male and female, leaving them hopelessly confused about their own sexuality and precariously gender disoriented.

    And this, of course, is exactly the outcome intended by the cultural Marxists who run the global governance machine.

    Xanthippa says:

    With all due respect, CodeSlinger, you could not be more wrong!!!

    This needs to be addressed on two completely separate levels.

    First: social/developmental

    It is the very society that forces all children to conform to cookie-cutter patterns of ‘male/female’, punishing some males for being ‘not masculine enough’ and ostracizing females for ‘not beining feminine enough’ that seriously fucks kids up – for life.

    (And, I do not use the strong language lightly!!!)

    It is essential for kids to learn that, even if they fall one or more standard deviations from the mean, this does not make them monsters whose self-identity ought to be dominated by self-loathing!!!

    This formative age, at which most kids ‘know’ they do not conform to a ‘gender stereotype’, tends to fall somewhere between ‘full self-awareness’ and ‘gender-stereotype-imposition’ by theis parents or the greater society.

    It is therefore essential that the society must arm young people – from the age of self-awareness – against societal gender-stereotype imposition. Arming them with the knowledge that gender stereotypes are an artificial construct of a pre-scientific past is the best (if not the only) means of empowering all of our young individuals to develop into their full potential!

    This has nothing to do with ‘Cultural Marxism’: it has everything to do with individualism and with not subjugating individuals to ‘group membership’!

    The second level on which this needs to addressed is a matter of law: if we know – scientifically – that there is no clear-cut divide between ‘female’ and ‘male’, it is simply ‘bad law’ or ‘sloppy law’ to base any ‘absolute’ legal distinction on what we can prove to be a ‘variable’!

  2. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    My discussion of categories above is also pertinent to your reply to my last comment on your post about the BC Supreme court ruling on polygamy.

    Xanthippa says:

    CodeSlinger,

    as I have said before: any time you reduce individuals to ‘group identity’, it is time to re-examine your premises…

  3. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    You mean, when we encourage them to be ‘smart enough’ or ‘strong enough’ it does them good, but when we encourage them to be ‘man enough’ or ‘woman enough’ it does harm?

    That’s absurd!

    You mean, we should erase the boundary between categories and prevent the many who clearly belong to one or the other from feeling good about themselves, just so the few who fall into the grey area might feel a little better?

    That, too, is absurd!

    Look, normal people have two arms. But some people have only one arm, or dysfunctional arms, or even no arms at all. These people are deformed or crippled; all the euphemisms in the world won’t change that. It would be unkind to make their lives any harder than they need to be, but it would be insane to pretend it’s not so.

    What you are saying is equivalent to saying that those who have two normal, healthy arms should be deprived of the benefits of having them, just so those who don’t have them won’t feel so bad.

    How is this different from never letting anyone win, just so the losers won’t feel so bad?

    It does little or nothing for the losers, but it utterly destroys the motivation of the winners.

    And thereby it turns everyone into losers.

    And this is the very essence of cultural Marxism!

    Xanthippa says:

    First of all, CodeSlinger – thank you for describing me so eloquently as a ‘looser’!

    Secondly, let me thank you for saying that the school and social systems ought to be promoting as ‘ideal’ those who easily fit into ‘gender stereotypes’ and thus feel validated by ‘gender politics’ into bullying all of us who do not fit patly into a caricature of a category (like, say, girls who excell in ‘unfeminine’ subjects like ‘physics’ and who win both the science fair for several years running (even though they have been told it is ‘unfeminine’ to even enter),and who win the school quarterly competitions for both sniper-shooting and variety of gun dissambly/reassembly (even if they are the only female to have ever entered, to much derision, jeering and abuse).

    Indeed – the bullies among our contemporaries ane insufficient to drive us to the brink of suicide: we should institutionalize the abuse of people like me into both the educational and the social institutions governing our society, just to ensure not one of us deviants escape extermination! We would not want freaks like me to reproduce, would we…

    Yes, let us denigrade the girls who beat boys at physical ‘masculine’ sports because they enjoy competition (from soccer to martial art) and let’s not let them prove, on the world stage, that they are, indeed, the ‘best athletes’: because the best they should be limited to being able to prove is that they are ‘the best female athlete’!!! Then, with a pat on their heads, they can return to their needlepoint, or whatever it is proper little wome do…

    I turned down a spot on Canada’s international judo team (they really, really wanted me) because, even in ‘open’ competitions, I was banned from competing against male athletes…all of whom I was quite capable of defeating (it seemed self-evident to me) if only I were given the opportunity to!

    Of course, this worked against males, too, who excelled in female-dominated fields (one of whom was a very close personal friend – who tried to commit suicide during high-school due to the ‘official dissaproval’ he got).

    Yes – we are all losers and we do not deserve any recognition at all – driving us all to kill ourselves before we reproduce and pass our ‘flawed’ genes on!

    Thanks for pointing out that wanting to be treated like human beings, with our existence at least recognized, is a major threat to society!
    Thanks you, indeed!

    • CodeSlinger Says:

      Xanthippa:

      Whoa!

      None of this has anything to do with what I said.

      I’m very surprised that you would try to put such words in my mouth.

      Being hard to classify is not the same as being a freak, in the pejorative sense.

      I did not say or imply otherwise. Anywhere. Ever.

      The people who treated you badly did so by refusing to treat an exception like an exception.

      They did the exact opposite of what I advocate.

      These people deserve your contempt.

      But the concepts of male and female do not.

      Xanthippa says:

      CodeSlinger, every time you single anyone out as an exception, you are labeling them as a freak!

      • CodeSlinger Says:

        Xanthippa:

        I’m sorry you’re reading it that way.

        I’m certainly not writing it that way.

        Xanthippa says:

        It is not about ‘reading’ or ‘writing’ things with specific intent: ANY time you ‘legally’ label a person in society as an ‘exception’, you ensure that they WILL be treated as freaks!

        That is why it is essential that laws are written in such a way that all citizens are treated by them equally: ‘exceptions’, by the very nature of being exceptions, mean ‘un-equal’.

        Yes, it is a high ideal, but one we must strive for: that is the only principled position.

  4. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    The law simply cannot avoid category-specific language, if for no other reason than because the purpose of every law is to separate people into two categories – guilty or innocent.

    Everywhere you look in a legal proceeding you find purportedly discrete categories. Actions are voluntary or involuntary, rightful or wrongful, legal or illegal. Evidence is true or false, relevant or irrelevant, admissible or inadmissible. People are alive or dead, adult or minor, male or female.

    Of course, none of these categories are actually discrete. In the real world, there is no such thing. They all overlap in fuzzy transition regions and only look discrete when viewed from the right distance, as I carefully explained in my first comment above.

    A competent judge knows this. He treats categories as discrete when he can, and closely examines the grey area when he must. To do otherwise is to make a travesty of the law.

    Yet you want to do otherwise in the case of male and female.

    It makes no sense at all.

    Xanthippa says:

    Dear CodeSlinger,

    ANY time you can replace ‘group identity centric laws’ with ‘invidual centric laws’ is a victory for individualists against collectivists!

    The fact that you cannot seem to understand this is unfortunate: you seem like an individual-centric type person who truly wishes to pursue individual-centric laws in opposition to group-identity-centric laws. Except, indeed, when it comes to gender-centric-laws….

    I am sorry, but this is seriously inconsistent with the rest of the ideas you so eloquently represent.

    (Here, I do not mean that you have been inconsistent on the ‘gender issues’: rather, I do mean that your stance on the ‘gender issues’ is inconsistent with many of the other philosophical ideas which you take.)

  5. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    There is no inconsistency in practice, because it is only when we are actually in the grey area that we need to take careful account of shades of grey. The difference between continuous and discrete categories loses relevance as we move away from the midpoint of the transition region.

    Far from the transition region, it effectively makes no difference at all, so we may as well take the simpler approach and treat the categories as though the were discrete. It makes thinking easier, and therefore less error-prone.

    Even though it is never possible to establish any external fact with absolute certainty, it is often possible to present such strong evidence in support of an assertion that we can be confident that negligible error will result if we treat the assertion as though it were an established fact. Thus we often speak (approximately, but effectively) of having established some fact.

    And this does not magically cease to apply when the assertion concerns membership in some category or group.

    It applies to male and female just as it does to day and night.

    In the overwhelming majority of cases, we deal with individuals who are clearly male or female.

    We need not clutter our thinking with the detailed nuances of the borderline cases unless we are actually dealing with one.

    Borderline cases are rare exceptions.

    Only cultural Marxists benefit when we pretend otherwise.

    They want us to treat rare exceptions as though they are not rare, and thereby to confuse us about what is normal.

    This makes it easier for them to subvert the definition of normality to suit their own agenda.

    Xanthippa says:

    ‘Borderline cases’ are nor ‘rare’ – each one of us is an individual who falls somewhere onto a continuum. But, even if they were, so what? A good law applies equally to all citizens and does not treat some as ‘normal’ and some as ‘freaks’ – not in the eyes of the law!

    That is the whole point of our legal system: ALL citizens are equal in the eyes of the law, even those judgmental people would consider ‘rare’ and ‘freaks’.

    To keep this information (about being an individual before any group identity) from children from the earliest possible age – to try to make them feel freaks precisely because they are individuals, by udermining their very individuality in favour of group identity: that is very, very wrong.

    If preferring to treat people as ‘individuals’ and opposing ‘group-identity politics’ is part of ‘cultural marxism’, then sign me up!

  6. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Yes, borderline cases are rare.

    This is because we place the borders between categories in the most sparsely populated parts of the continuum – precisely because this makes the hard-to-classify borderline cases as rare as possible.

    If the borderline cases are not rare, then the borderline is in the wrong place!

    Now, there are times when we need not divide the continuum into categories, and there are times when we must.

    Whenever we have a decision to make, we must.

    That’s what decisions do.

    They divide the continuum into categories.

    The whole purpose of the law is to guide people in making decisions – whether they be private citizens deciding a course of action, or judges deciding a case.

    And therefore the law cannot avoid dealing with categories.

    This has nothing to do with equality before the law.

    Equality before the law does not mean pretending that there are no differences between people.

    Equality before the law means that all people have the equal rights, regardless of their differences.

    This demands that the process of law must be as objective, impartial, and consistent as possible in all cases.

    But the inability to decide on categories is the inability to reason.

    And objectivity, impartiality, and consistency are impossible without reason.

    Therefore a law which pretends that real and relevant differences don’t exist will provide justice for no one.


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