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Church of England and a "Gender-Neutral God"


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46 minutes ago, Nofear said:

Your post painted the non-mainstream position as a just Christian thing. That is factually incorrect and that was the point. I am glad you acknowledge that (albeit indirectly).

Moreover, "Mainstream" doesn't equate to correct. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. "Appeal to majority" is another logical fallacy that can be added to smac97's list.

Ah.  Argumentum ad populumI overlooked that one.  Good catch.

46 minutes ago, Nofear said:

That aside because being logically fallacious doesn't necessarily mean one is incorrect, when a interlocutor resorts to mockery, dismissive, and "unserious" rhetoric (such as very nicely exemplified by your responses in this thread) that person basically become an unserious distraction who should be dismissed "ad hominem" because very little is added by their participation. Indeed, smac97 may need to take Mark Twain's advice seriously: “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

https://heterodoxacademy.org/the-problem/

I don't think Nehor is a fool.  I think he has resorted to the provocateur (foolishness is a prominent facet of this) and righteously indignant White Knight schtick so long that it has become a crutch.  Think Michael Cera (awkward angsty boy-man), Joe Pesci (loud bad guy), Christopher Lee (the evil villain), Michelle Rodriguez (the tough girl), Clint Eastwood (the gritty tough guy), etc.  He has played the part so long that he has typecast himself.

I would much prefer that he contribute something substantive to these conversations, most of which are about serious topics that merit serious scrutiny and analysis.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

Ah.  Argumentum ad populumI overlooked that one.  Good catch.

I don't think Nehor is a fool.  I think he has resorted to the provocateur (foolishness is a prominent facet of this) and righteously indignant White Knight schtick so long that it has become a crutch.  Think Michael Cera (awkward angsty boy-man), Joe Pesci (loud bad guy), Christopher Lee (the evil villain), Michelle Rodriguez (the tough girl), Clint Eastwood (the gritty tough guy), etc.  He has played the part so long that he has typecast himself.

I would much prefer that he contribute something substantive to these conversations, most of which are about serious topics that merit serious scrutiny and analysis.

Thanks,

-Smac

I agree. He's not a fool. There have been individuals that I pretty much ignore. But, I'll actually read Nehor's posts most of the time. :)

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3 hours ago, Nofear said:

Your post painted the non-mainstream position as a just Christian thing. That is factually incorrect and that was the point. I am glad you acknowledge that (albeit indirectly).

Moreover, "Mainstream" doesn't equate to correct. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. "Appeal to majority" is another logical fallacy that can be added to smac97's list. That aside because being logically fallacious doesn't necessarily mean one is incorrect, when a interlocutor resorts to mockery, dismissive, and "unserious" rhetoric (such as very nicely exemplified by your responses in this thread) that person basically become an unserious distraction who should be dismissed "ad hominem" because very little is added by their participation. Indeed, smac97 may need to take Mark Twain's advice seriously: “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

https://heterodoxacademy.org/the-problem/

When you present a source as authoritative as smac did it is fair to share that it is a minority position. While popularity doesn’t make the argument correct or incorrect it does determine whether it is mainstream or not. The view is predominantly Christian. It is not exclusively Christian nor do I think pointing out atheists who agree works as any kind of rhetorical “gotcha”.

I reject the charge that I appealed to the majority. I just clarified that Smac’s article was not part of the majority. The idea that the two of us are going to work out and definitively prove which view is correct is absurd. If we were qualified to have that discussion Smac wouldn’t be posting mediocre explanatory articles. He would also be making arguments beyond appeals to scripture.

Edited by The Nehor
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28 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

When you present a source as authoritative as smac did it is fair to share that it is a minority position.

I presented a source as a persuasive authority, not a mandatory one.

You, meanwhile, have presented nothing but invective, taunts and snark.  Nothing of substance.  

And you are just perpetuating your use of the Argumentum ad populorum fallacy.

28 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

While popularity doesn’t make the argument correct or incorrect it does determine whether it is mainstream or not.

"{W}hether {an argument} is mainstream or not" has precious little to do with its validity.  That is the essence of the Argumentum ad populorum fallacy.

28 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I reject the charge that I appealed to the majority.

That is precisely what you have done, along with committing a number of other fallacies.

28 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I just clarified that Smac’s article was not part of the majority. The idea that the two of us are going to work out and definitively prove which view is correct is absurd. If we were qualified to have that discussion Smac wouldn’t be posting mediocre explanatory articles. He would also be making arguments beyond appeals to scripture.

This is a Latter-day-Saint-themed message board, so "appeals to scripture" are quite valid in this context.  And I have made a number of arguments "beyond appeals to scripture."

You, meanwhile, have provided nothing of substance, as is your wont.

Thanks,

-Smac

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On 2/8/2023 at 11:30 AM, MiserereNobis said:

And also that LDS teach that God the Father is literally a father, where for Catholics that is a metaphor used to describe that which is very difficult to describe.

In fact, impossible to describe.

Just as impossible as to say that he is female, or both or neither. 

The paradigm is that the Ideal Human emulates God/Christ, because we are in his image.

Our ideal for society is the model of a nuclear family, mother, father, children.  How can we be called children of God if there is no ideal family upon which we should emulate our own lives?

If God is a cloud of love and intelligence, how can we emulate Him and his Family?

I used to attend "Holy Family" Catholic church.  I never was able to figure out WHICH "Holy Family" we were supposed to worship. Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus?  "JMJ" on the top of your homework? ;)

And so I eventually found a paradigm/model/theory/metaphor to which I could relate, the LDS paradigm.

Describe God as He/She "really is" in human words ?  Not going to happen.  We see ourselves in a mirror, seeing only our own images darkly,  when we even try to see more. Human minds can only see things the way human minds see them, but I believe WE ,(LDS) have the best paradigm likely to perfect humanity, which of course would include immortality and eternal life, and the ability to become like Mom and Dad.

To me, THAT is the best paradigm to get through ordinary life.

Pick a paradigm and ask God which works for you best.  Moroni 10, Alma 32, James 1, are all good starters.

:)

For "never been Catholics:"  https://thecatholicpost.com/2019/08/14/the-jmj-on-the-blackboard/

Demonstrates the importance of the Holy Family as a model- and yet God is "substance"?

Doesn't fit my paradigm.  Maybe JEM?  I like that better.  Jesus, Elohim, Mother ;)   

Quote

 

Archbishop Sheen wrote and spoke of the Holy Family often. His Spiritual Adoption Prayer begins “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you very much. . . .”  Sheen dedicated each of his books to the Blessed Mother and wrote many times about the role of St. Joseph. Letters and signed copies of his books often can be found with the phrases “JMJ” and “God Love You” as part of the message. Fulton Sheen knew his mission was to share the life of Christ with others, and he did so widely and deeply.


 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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12 hours ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

I agree with Pogi, that the feminine divine in Mormonism remains minimal, and I believe that it’s a reflection of a male-dominated theology. Suppressed is an appropriate word in some circumstances. Conversation about heavenly mother has traditionally been discouraged, for example.

The doctrines of the Church are not based on "conversation," but on revelation.

Baseless assertions about "male-dominated theology" and "suppression" (of what?  revelations about Heavenly Mother?) don't do much for me.  Until and unless we can point to further revealed light and knowledge on a given topic, we are better off acknowledging the limitations on what we know.  Excessive conjecture is how we end up with problematic conflations of doctrine with suppositions, worldly philosophies, and even falsehoods.

12 hours ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

I also agree with Nehor’s sentiments that anyone who doesn’t easily fit the two genders physiologically or psychologically has typically been marginalized in society.

We should treat each other with kindness and respect.  

I don't think such kindness and respect requires subjugation to flawed ideologies, or acquiescence to falsehoods and confusion arising from mental illnesses such as gender dysphoria.

12 hours ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

I think the movement we’re seeing to improve their status is appropriate.

I think some aspects of "the movement we're seeing" are deeply problematic.  

12 hours ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

The conservative backlash is expected, just like they fought civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights. 

We're not supposed to post political stuff.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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Just a general comment:

Typically books and classes on "logical fallacies" and dependence on them can be very hazardous in "real" philosophical arguments since such "rules of logic" are typically NOT "rules of logic" as philosophers see them.   For a real philosopher fallacies in logic are the same fallacies that one might find in misuses of mathmatics, and not simple "false" linguistic tricks.

"Appeal to the Stone" is one such argument:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_the_stone#:~:text=Appeal to the stone%2C also,absurd%2C without providing further argumentation.

It is often used against ideas implying that reality in some way cannot be "all in the head" as perhaps someone might argue against visions and spiritual experiences or insights, by arguing "Reality is all in my head? Go kick a rock if you think reality is just in your mind".   Calling this a "logical fallacy" can become a dubious proposition in discussing spiritual matters.

There are always exceptions and different points of view which elude most "logical fallacies", and this is how Analytic Philosophy was born.  One must look at an entire context to find flaws, not single sentences.

 

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On 2/8/2023 at 2:17 PM, smac97 said:

{g}ender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

Did eternal intelligences have eternal identities of either male or female?

Edited by theplains
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19 minutes ago, theplains said:
Quote

{g}ender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

Did eternal intelligences have eternal identities of either male or female?

Hard to say.  We don't know much about "intelligences."  From the Encyclopedia of Mormonism:

Quote

The word "intelligences" (plural) occurs frequently in LDS literature, having reference to the period of the premortal existence of mankind. The term has received two interpretations by writers within the Church: as the literal spirit children of Heavenly Parents and as individual entities existing prior to their spirit birth. Because latter-day revelation has not clarified the meaning of the term, a more precise interpretation is not possible at present.
...

While the revelations leave no doubt as to the existence of intelligent matter prior to its being organized as spirits, speculation sometimes arises regarding the nature of premortal existence and whether there was individual identity and consciousness prior to birth as a spirit. Some hold that the terms "intelligence" and "intelligences" have reference to a form of prespirit conscious self-existence, which included individual identity, variety, and agency (so reasoned B. H. Roberts, pp. 401-423). Others maintain that while these characteristics, attributes, and conditions are eternal, they essentially came together for each individual at the spirit birth. The question of whether prespirit intelligence had individual identity and consciousness remains unanswered. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith gave this caution in 1936: Some of our writers have endeavored to explain what an intelligence is, but to do so is futile, for we have never been given any insight into this matter beyond what the Lord has fragmentarily revealed. We know, however, that there is something called intelligence which always existed. It is the real eternal part of man, which was not created or made. This intelligence combined with the spirit constitutes a spiritual identity or individual [p. 10].

No formal pronouncements have been made by the leading councils of the Church to clarify what additional meanings and attributes may be assigned to the word "intelligences," beyond that which identifies intelligences as spirit children of God.

As Commander Data put it: "“The most elementary and valuable statement in science, the beginning of wisdom, is ‘I do not know.'"

Thanks,

-Smac

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3 hours ago, theplains said:

Did eternal intelligences have eternal identities of either male or female?

Quote

""It isn’t a question of who said it or when; the question is whether it is true" (Boyd K. Packer, 1977, Follow the Rule, speeches.byu.edu)."

No, the real question is what was their theory of "truth"?  That involves a fully metaphysics about what "reality" is.

Tell me your metaphysics and epistemology, then I can tell you if it is "true" according to your paradigm and why that is the case, unless you can't do that for me.  :)

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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21 hours ago, smac97 said:

An issue I find eminently debatable, and far from established.

I'm not sure what you are saying here.

That seems to be a fairly distinct issue from "continuing sexism and discrimination against women."  And I also don't think it is correct.  See, e.g., the "Heavenly Mother" article in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism:

From the Proclamation:

From Elder Renlund's 2022 remarks:

You seem to be implicitly claiming that the Church's instruction to "not pray to Heavenly Mother" is evidence of "continuing sexism and discrimination against women."  I see no particular evidentiary or logical connection between these two concepts.

This also seems to be a fairly distinct issue from "continuing sexism and discrimination against women."

Again, a distinct issue.

This seems to fundamentally undermine your implied argument.  If we as a church are governed by revelation, and if no revelation (or insufficient amounts of revelation) has been given to us by God, and if we have been given instruction on this issue by living prophets and apostles, and if following prophetic counsel is an intrinsic part or our system of beliefs, then this set of circumstances is the far better explanation for our limited interaction/communion with Her.

"Suppressed" by whom, do you think?

Latter-day Saints can "argue" whatever they like, but the evidence for this is essentially nonexistent, and the reasoning is weak, tendentious, and accusatory (and hence not particularly compatible with Latter-day Saint belief in relation to prophets and apostles).

I don't think so.  See, for example, Intersex: What It Is And Is Not:

"Intersex is a colloquialism..."

"The term intersex leans to the ideological..."

"{Intersex is} a medical condition is something one has, not who one is."

"{Intersex is} not a third sex."

"Biological sex rarely may be phenotypically unclear in a given individual, but this does not represent a third one."

These clinical statements were, until very recently, quite unremarkable.

"Intersex is a condition—something someone has—and neither an identity nor a third sex."

The scriptures are pretty darn clear on there being man and woman, that's it.  No third sex.  So modern notions about a third sex, about intersex, etc., can be safely set aside as not pertinent to our eternal disposition.

Thanks,

-Smac

You may suggest that this is all a distinct and separate issue, but many don't see it that way.  All I am saying is that your claim that we have resolved all questions and concerns regarding these issues isn't really accurate.  

To say that being intersex is not an identity is simply not fair to the lived experience of those who don't fit into to the male/female checkboxes. 

Quote

The scriptures are pretty darn clear on there being man and woman, that's it.  No third sex.  So modern notions about a third sex, about intersex, etc., can be safely set aside as not pertinent to our eternal disposition.

Yes, lets just set them aside...put 'em on the shelf, if you will. 

If you think that these intersex individuals are either biologically male or female, than please define male and female and explain how these individuals fit with that definition.   The problem is that they don't fit with any standard definition of male or female.  Genotypically and often phenotypically, they are something else.  But I guess our mortal life isn't included in our "eternal" nature of gender for some reason.  

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56 minutes ago, pogi said:
Quote
Quote

While we believe in heavenly parents, we don't refer to heavenly mother as our "God". 

This also seems to be a fairly distinct issue from "continuing sexism and discrimination against women."

You may suggest that this is all a distinct and separate issue, but many don't see it that way. 

That's fine.  But there's not much of a discussion to be had when an opinion is merely stated or asserted, rather than explained and demonstrated to be reasonable.

56 minutes ago, pogi said:

All I am saying is that your claim that we have resolved all questions and concerns regarding these issues isn't really accurate.  

I did not say "we have resolved all questions and concerns regarding these issues," or anything like that.

56 minutes ago, pogi said:

To say that being intersex is not an identity is simply not fair to the lived experience of those who don't fit into to the male/female checkboxes. 

I am not diminishing the challenges inherent in DSD.  But I reject the notion that intersex is a third sex.  That is factually incorrect and incoherent.

I also disagree with characterizing DSD as an "identity" at the expense of its status as a medical condition, and/or in an attempt to rationalize falsehoods.

An individual's "lived experience," however poignant, cannot supersede biological reality.  Again, from the article I have quoted: "Biological sex rarely may be phenotypically unclear in a given individual, but this does not represent a third one."

Instances of actual DSD are statistically very small.  It enters into popular conversation because it is being conflated or intermingled with various aspects of Gender Dysphoria and trans ideology.  There is zero indication that Bruce Jenner had any sort of DSD prior to undergoing cosmetic surgical procedures to facilitate his "identifying" as a woman.  As compassionate and kind as we ought to be with each other, such things cannot be coerced, nor can they come at the expense of denying biological reality.  Caitlin Jenner is a biological male.  A man.  There is no changing that.  Not for him, nor for anyone else.

So, with genuine respect, I don't see DSD as an "identity."  It is a medical condition - an exceedingly rare one - which someone has, and not what that someone is in any particular ontological or spiritual sense.  It is for this reason that I dislike seeing DSD (mis)appropriated by people who do not have it, but want to act or pretend as if they do.

56 minutes ago, pogi said:
Quote

The scriptures are pretty darn clear on there being man and woman, that's it.  No third sex.  So modern notions about a third sex, about intersex, etc., can be safely set aside as not pertinent to our eternal disposition.

Yes, lets just set them aside...put 'em on the shelf, if you will. 

Strawman.  Appeal to Emotion.  Appeal to Pity.  Appeal to Guilt.  Galileo Gambit.

I never said anything about "set{ting} them aside" or "put{ting} 'em on the shelf."

56 minutes ago, pogi said:

If you think that these intersex individuals are either biologically male or female,

I do.

56 minutes ago, pogi said:

than please define male and female

Male:

Quote
adjective
relating to or being a man or boy.
Biology.
  1. of, relating to, or being a person with a certain combination of sex characteristics, commonly including an X and Y chromosome pair in the cell nuclei, a penis, scrotum, and testicles, and facial hair developed at puberty.
  2. of, relating to, or being an animal, plant, or plant structure of the sex or sexual phase that normally produces sperm cells during reproduction.

...

noun
  • a male person.
  • Biology. an animal, plant, or plant structure that normally produces sperm cells as part of the process of reproduction.

Female:

Quote
adjective
relating to or being a woman or girl.
Biology.
  1. of, relating to, or being a person with a certain combination of sex characteristics, commonly including two X chromosomes in the cell nuclei, a vagina, a uterus and ovaries, and enlarged breasts developed at puberty.
  2. of, relating to, or being an animal, plant, or plant structure of the sex or sexual phase that normally produces egg cells during reproduction.

...
 

noun
 
Biology. an animal, plant, or plant structure of the sex or sexual phase that normally produces egg cells during reproduction.

Humans are bipedal hominids.  And yet some folks would point us to someone like Frank Lentini and deny the categorization of humans as bipedal hominids because some are born with three legs, or one leg, or no leg at all.  This is equivocation and obfuscation, and in the context of biological sex, this ideology gets special treatment in the Culture Wars where no such special treatment is warranted.  To the contrary, I think much of trans ideology is riddles with falsehoods, logical fallacies, and coercive measures.

56 minutes ago, pogi said:

and explain how these individuals fit with that definition.

Again, from the article:

Quote

Intersex, Round Two
The nomenclature “intersex” acknowledges something between two sexes and not a third sex. The term is intersex and not “extrasex,” therefore acknowledging the binary nature of human sex. Biological sex rarely may be phenotypically unclear in a given individual, but this does not represent a third one.
...

Evolutionary biologist Colin Wright rejects the “sex is a spectrum” mantra with clear reasoning: “a spectrum implies a continuous distribution, and maybe even an amodal one (one in which no specific outcome is more likely than others). Biological sex in humans, however, is clear-cut over 99.98 percent of the time.” Dr. Wright continues, “any method exhibiting a predictive accuracy of over 99.98 percent would place it among the most precise methods in all the life sciences. We revise medical care practices and change world economic plans on far lower confidence than that.”

I decline to "revise" the binary nature of sex because there are, in a vanishingly small percentage of instances, a lack of phenotypical clarity.

56 minutes ago, pogi said:

The problem is that they don't fit with any standard definition of male or female. 

Again, from the article: "Biological sex rarely may be phenotypically unclear in a given individual, but this does not represent a third one."

People with DSD are either male or female.  There is no third sex.  From the "Letter to the Editor" responses in the British Medical Journal, which I quoted previously here:

Quote
Dear Editor
 
Alpert and colleagues report in a BMJ Editorial 5th June 2021 that characteristics of external genitalia at birth are 98% accurate in defining sex at birth. They go on to say that these are ‘flawed constructs’ around sex assigned at birth. Never before have I heard of a test with 98% sensitivity being regarded as a ‘fl[aw]ed construct’. Would the authors please explain the reasoning which lead them to this conclusion.
 
Dr Peter Phillips FRCP
Consultant Geriatrician
East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust

The sexual binary is not a "flawed construct."

Quote
Dear Editor
 
Sex assigned at birth: the difference between the biological fact and its social interpretation
 
It is good news to find articles like the one by Alpert et al.1 in which, from a multidisciplinary perspective, he studies scientific aspects with a humanistic approach. Thus, the aforementioned work shows great sensitivity to issues, beyond scientific ones, that affect a particularly vulnerable sector of the population.
 
However, there is one aspect of the article that I would like to draw attention to, and on which I would like to contribute another view. I am referring to the risk of confusing biological or physiological data with its meaning or social interpretation. Specifically, I find it worrying that, from a scientific point of view, the fact of sex assigned to a human being at birth is relativized, considering it an irrelevant fact and without any consequence.
 
It is true that different authors, mainly related to the ideology of gender postfeminism and from philosophical dialectics, have been affirming for years that biological sex is an artificial construction that must be discarded. Nonetheless, it is a serious danger that, on a clinical and healthcare level, a piece of data that is biological is relativized. This means being left at the expense of the meaning attributed to sex based on certain interests or feelings.
 
It is false that the sex assigned to a human being at birth is an invention or social construction, devoid of reality. On the contrary, we are facing a verifiable fact, not only by the physiognomy of some genitalia, but also by genetic evidence provided by analytics, etc.
 
This same type of verification is the one carried out with the rest of the animals and is the one that, for example, allows detecting a sex-linked hereditary disease, or indicating to a mother in the delivery room if she has had a son or a daughter. Are we really in reality when we think that a mother can be told that the sex of her newborn is not known and that we will have to wait for the newborn to state it?
 
The sex assigned at birth (derived from the consideration of the genitalia, the proportion of circulating hormones, etc.) is a fact that may have different meanings for different people or for different currents of thought. And that is where, in my opinion, the research and debate on the interpretation of what sex and gender means in society should be based.
 
The work referred to, by Alpert et al., ends up stating that “recognizing gender without reference to flawed constructs around sex assigned at birth allows us all greater personal autonomy and key to eliminating transphobia in medicine and beyond”. I believe that the previous statement, in accordance with what is indicated in the previous paragraphs, can be disputed, since, among other things, it can have effects contrary to those that the author seeks. Precisely, considering the sex assigned at birth as a social construction contradicts the autonomy of the person (based on complete and real information), and also the normalization of trans people. In reality, denying that transgender people have a biological sex at birth is stripping their own requests for gender reassignment of foundations.
 
José López-Guzmán
Professor of Pharmaceutical Humanities
Pharmacy Faculty, University of Navarra
Research Building. University of Navarra. 31000 Pamplona (Spain)
  • "I find it worrying that, from a scientific point of view, the fact of sex assigned to a human being at birth is relativized..."
  • "It is true that different authors, mainly related to the ideology of gender postfeminism and from philosophical dialectics, have been affirming for years that biological sex is an artificial construction that must be discarded. Nonetheless, it is a serious danger ..."
  • "It is false that the sex assigned to a human being at birth is an invention or social construction, devoid of reality. On the contrary, we are facing a verifiable fact, not only by the physiognomy of some genitalia, but also by genetic evidence provided by analytics, etc."
  • "Are we really in reality when we think that a mother can be told that the sex of her newborn is not known and that we will have to wait for the newborn to state it?"
  • "{C}onsidering the sex assigned at birth as a social construction contradicts the autonomy of the person (based on complete and real information), and also the normalization of trans people. In reality, denying that transgender people have a biological sex at birth is stripping their own requests for gender reassignment of foundations."

Yep.

56 minutes ago, pogi said:

Genotypically and often phenotypically, they are something else. 

No, they are not.  Again, from the "Letter to the Editor" stuff:

Quote

The truth of the sex binary is anchored in the mechanism that brings every human into existence.[1] Humans have two different types of gametes, two types of reproductive systems, two discrete reproductive roles: two sexes. As a result, we have given these two sexes different names: female and male. These will exist whether or not the clinician writes them down, or asks a transgender patient “what is your sex?” The fact that 0.02% of babies[2] have differences in sex development that cause the usually easy identification of sex to become a more complex affair, does not invalidate sex as one of the most clinically useful categorisations in medicine. To suggest that it does, and therefore sex should not be recorded, is absurd.
...
Healthcare cannot collectively discard words for the two biological sexes. 

That a statistically tiny percentage of instances make "the usually easy identification of sex ... a more complex affair" does not create a third sex.

56 minutes ago, pogi said:

But I guess our mortal life isn't included in our "eternal" nature of gender for some reason.  

I don't understand what you are saying here.

Thanks,

-Smac

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5 hours ago, smac97 said:

That's fine.  But there's not much of a discussion to be had when an opinion is merely stated or asserted, rather than explained and demonstrated to be reasonable.

That's a two way street.  You are simply stating your opinion  - which is what I was responding to and noting that there are other opinions besides your own.  

5 hours ago, smac97 said:

I did not say "we have resolved all questions and concerns regarding these issues," or anything like that.

Well, you did say something "like that" (hence my response):

Quote

Latter-day Saints appear to avoid these issues by teaching that "all human beings, male and female, are beloved spirit children of heavenly parents, a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother," and also that "{g}ender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

 

5 hours ago, smac97 said:

I am not diminishing the challenges inherent in DSD.  But I reject the notion that intersex is a third sex.  That is factually incorrect and incoherent.

I also disagree with characterizing DSD as an "identity" at the expense of its status as a medical condition, and/or in an attempt to rationalize falsehoods.

An individual's "lived experience," however poignant, cannot supersede biological reality.  Again, from the article I have quoted: "Biological sex rarely may be phenotypically unclear in a given individual, but this does not represent a third one."

Instances of actual DSD are statistically very small.  It enters into popular conversation because it is being conflated or intermingled with various aspects of Gender Dysphoria and trans ideology.  There is zero indication that Bruce Jenner had any sort of DSD prior to undergoing cosmetic surgical procedures to facilitate his "identifying" as a woman.  As compassionate and kind as we ought to be with each other, such things cannot be coerced, nor can they come at the expense of denying biological reality.  Caitlin Jenner is a biological male.  A man.  There is no changing that.  Not for him, nor for anyone else.

So, with genuine respect, I don't see DSD as an "identity."  It is a medical condition - an exceedingly rare one - which someone has, and not what that someone is in any particular ontological or spiritual sense.  It is for this reason that I dislike seeing DSD (mis)appropriated by people who do not have it, but want to act or pretend as if they do.

Strawman.  Appeal to Emotion.  Appeal to Pity.  Appeal to Guilt.  Galileo Gambit.

I never said anything about "set{ting} them aside" or "put{ting} 'em on the shelf."

I do.

Male:

Female:

Humans are bipedal hominids.  And yet some folks would point us to someone like Frank Lentini and deny the categorization of humans as bipedal hominids because some are born with three legs, or one leg, or no leg at all.  This is equivocation and obfuscation, and in the context of biological sex, this ideology gets special treatment in the Culture Wars where no such special treatment is warranted.  To the contrary, I think much of trans ideology is riddles with falsehoods, logical fallacies, and coercive measures.

Again, from the article:

I decline to "revise" the binary nature of sex because there are, in a vanishingly small percentage of instances, a lack of phenotypical clarity.

Again, from the article: "Biological sex rarely may be phenotypically unclear in a given individual, but this does not represent a third one."

People with DSD are either male or female.  There is no third sex.  From the "Letter to the Editor" responses in the British Medical Journal, which I quoted previously here:

The sexual binary is not a "flawed construct."

  • "I find it worrying that, from a scientific point of view, the fact of sex assigned to a human being at birth is relativized..."
  • "It is true that different authors, mainly related to the ideology of gender postfeminism and from philosophical dialectics, have been affirming for years that biological sex is an artificial construction that must be discarded. Nonetheless, it is a serious danger ..."
  • "It is false that the sex assigned to a human being at birth is an invention or social construction, devoid of reality. On the contrary, we are facing a verifiable fact, not only by the physiognomy of some genitalia, but also by genetic evidence provided by analytics, etc."
  • "Are we really in reality when we think that a mother can be told that the sex of her newborn is not known and that we will have to wait for the newborn to state it?"
  • "{C}onsidering the sex assigned at birth as a social construction contradicts the autonomy of the person (based on complete and real information), and also the normalization of trans people. In reality, denying that transgender people have a biological sex at birth is stripping their own requests for gender reassignment of foundations."

Yep.

No, they are not.  Again, from the "Letter to the Editor" stuff:

That a statistically tiny percentage of instances make "the usually easy identification of sex ... a more complex affair" does not create a third sex.

I don't understand what you are saying here.

Thanks,

-Smac

Our language is inadequate at describing and categorizing phenomenon in nature despite our best attempts at nomenclature.  Language always falls short.  The fact is that sex chromosomes are not manifested in nature in a binary fashion (XY or XX).  Neither the genotype of phenotype are binary.  That is a fact.  And the whole current classification system is not absolute and unchangeable truth. 

Quote

Classifications are always historically and socially situated, which allows for subversive reimaginings of medical classifications. Resistance can also take the form of new and different orders of classification, for example those that prioritise the lived experience and shifting social consequences of being classified. The 1950s provided an example of a previous attempt to ground the difficult business of sorting out intersex classifications in genetics (at the level of the chromosome). However, grounding intersex in chromosomes in the 1950s did not improve clinical care for individuals with variations of their sex characteristics. The current DSD classification system is insufficiently attentive to the social and ethical needs of the present and relies on a vague promise that, sometime in the future, classification, diagnosis, and clinical practice will be sorted out for the benefit of both the medical profession and for individuals affected by classification. The history of the shifting understandings of Turner and Klinefelter’s syndromes illustrates that this faith in promissory genetic classifications may be misplaced. Instead, resistant social and historical classifications (always living) of bodily difference and the situated experience of the medicalization of difference may be more useful to do justice to the historical and contemporary lived experience of those affected by classifications of intersex.

While there is no officially recognized "third sex (a straw man you seam keen on attacking)" that I am aware of, there is no good reason why there can't be a third sex to recognize Klinfelter's syndrome or a fourth sex to recognize Turner's syndrome etc. as distinct in genotype and phenotype from the the binary "male" and "female" social construct.   The statistically small instances of intersex individuals is a moot point. 

Quote

I also disagree with characterizing DSD as an "identity" at the expense of its status as a medical condition, and/or in an attempt to rationalize falsehoods.

You can disagree all you want, but as you stated, "there's not much of a discussion to be had when an opinion is merely stated..."

How the lived experience of this identity somehow is at the "expense of its status as a medical condition", is beyond me.  My children have a medical condition known as albinism.  They identify as albino.  This is deeply part of their identity.  There is a large community of albinos who value their shared identities and life experiences.  Sharing this identity helps people cope with being "different".  To say that you disagree with those who's medical condition (their reality and lived experience) becomes their identity (my children) doesn't change the fact of their identity or life experience.   It's really not your place. 

So, no, our theology does not address or answer these issues as you claim.  

 

Edited by pogi
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10 hours ago, smac97 said:

I don't think such kindness and respect requires subjugation to flawed ideologies, or acquiescence to falsehoods and confusion arising from mental illnesses such as gender dysphoria.

What an incredibly loaded and toxic statement filled with insinuations and malice.

If the kindness and respect were there anyway maybe it wouldn’t be a problem. It is not. And you know that. You want to pretend charity abounds so the problem will go away and your simple worldview can go on without being confronted by exceptions. These people need to shut up and stay unnoticed so they don’t disturb the peace of mind of the good and normal people who are made uncomfortable by their existence. And these weirdos need to stop asking questions as to how they fit into God’s plan.

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13 hours ago, The Nehor said:

What an incredibly loaded and toxic statement filled with insinuations and malice.

If the kindness and respect were there anyway maybe it wouldn’t be a problem. It is not. And you know that. You want to pretend charity abounds so the problem will go away and your simple worldview can go on without being confronted by exceptions. These people need to shut up and stay unnoticed so they don’t disturb the peace of mind of the good and normal people who are made uncomfortable by their existence. And these weirdos need to stop asking questions as to how they fit into God’s plan.

Nothing of substance.  Just invectives and accusations and bullying.

There is an unhealthy attitude prevalent in some quarters of our society, namely, that to disagree is to disrespect, or even to hate.  This is a feckless and facile attempt to coerce, to shame and shun, to punish, to silence opposing viewpoints, to avoid having to interact with or respond to opposing viewpoints.

You have repeatedly advocated, and gleefully so, for wanton extralegal physical violence against anyone you arbitrarily designate with pejorative labels (your favs being "Nazi" and "Fascist"), even up to an including an old woman crossing a street to listen to a speech.  You play the provocateur and bully on a regular basis, while essentially never offering anything of substance of meaning.  I have read far too many of your dependably vacuous taunts and attempted provocations, to give any appreciable weight to your moral pronouncements.  I am utterly indifferent to what you think.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
Link to comment
16 hours ago, pogi said:
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That's fine.  But there's not much of a discussion to be had when an opinion is merely stated or asserted, rather than explained and demonstrated to be reasonable.

That's a two way street.  You are simply stating your opinion  - which is what I was responding to and noting that there are other opinions besides your own.  

That is not so.  I have done considerably more than state an assertion or opinion.  I have substantiated my position and laid out reasoning for it.  And I have tried to avoid logical fallacies in the process.  

16 hours ago, pogi said:
Quote

I did not say "we have resolved all questions and concerns regarding these issues," or anything like that.

Well, you did say something "like that" (hence my response):

Quote

Latter-day Saints appear to avoid these issues by teaching that "all human beings, male and female, are beloved spirit children of heavenly parents, a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother," and also that "{g}ender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

No, I did not.  You have done two seriously wrong things here.

First, you have heavily decontextualized my statement.  Here is my comment in context (which you omit above) :

Quote
Quote

‘God is not sexed, unlike humanity’

However, the Rev Ian Paul, a member of the General Synod and the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, warned against any departure from the original scriptures, saying: “The use of male pronouns for God should not be understood as implying that God is male – which is a heresy. God is not sexed, unlike humanity.

“The Bible uses feminine imagery and metaphors of God, but primarily identifies God using masculine pronouns, names, and imagery. Male and female imagery is not interchangeable.

“The fact that God is called ‘Father’ can’t be substituted by ‘Mother’ without changing meaning, nor can it be gender-neutralised to ‘Parent’ without loss of meaning. Fathers and mothers are not interchangeable but relate to their offspring in different ways.

“If the Liturgical Commission seeks to change this, then in an important way they will be moving the doctrine of the Church away from being grounded in the Scriptures.”

This is an interesting perspective.

Latter-day Saints appear to avoid these issues by teaching that "all human beings, male and female, are beloved spirit children of heavenly parents, a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother," and also that "{g}ender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

In Latter-day Saint thought, "God" is Heavenly Father.  He is male.  The Anglicans apparently say that this "is a heresy" and that "God is not sexed, unlike humanity,"  These are the "issues" that the Latter-day Saints have avoided.

Second, here is the subsequent context of my comment about having "avoid{ed} these issues":

Quote

{Pogi}: While we believe in heavenly parents, we don't refer to heavenly mother as our "God". 

{Smac}: This also seems to be a fairly distinct issue from "continuing sexism and discrimination against women."

{Pogi}: You may suggest that this is all a distinct and separate issue, but many don't see it that way. 

{Smac}: That's fine.  But there's not much of a discussion to be had when an opinion is merely stated or asserted, rather than explained and demonstrated to be reasonable.

{Pogi}: All I am saying is that your claim that we have resolved all questions and concerns regarding these issues isn't really accurate.  

{Smac}: I did not say "we have resolved all questions and concerns regarding these issues," or anything like that.

Again, by "these issues" was referring to doctrinal issues about God being "sexed" (that is, He is male).  I was not speaking about "continuing sexism and discrimination against women."  It was you who attempted to conflate these two topics, and I was disagreeing with that conflation.

16 hours ago, pogi said:

Our language is inadequate at describing and categorizing phenomenon in nature despite our best attempts at nomenclature.  Language always falls short.  

Here you are committing the False Precision Fallacy, described here:

Quote

False precision (also called overprecision, fake precision, misplaced precision and spurious precision) occurs when numerical data are presented in a manner that implies better precision than is justified; since precision is a limit to accuracy (in the ISO definition of accuracy), this often leads to overconfidence in the accuracy, named precision bias.

"Language always falls short?"  Well, no. 

"The shape of the earth is round" pretty much gets the message across.  Anyone sufficiently conversant in English can grasp the information found in those seven words.  "Humans are bipedal hominids" is another example.

What you are doing here seems to be a variation of the Sorites Paradox, or the "Fallacy of the Heap."  Perhaps also the Fallacy of Logic Chopping.  That is, because biological sex cannot be absolutely and unequivocally defined with absolute precision in each and every circumstance, it cannot be defined in any circumstance.

So using your rationale of "language always falls short," I am free to reject the statement "the shape of the earth is round" because the shape of the earth is, technically, an oblate spheroid.

"Humans are bipedal hominids" is, by your reasoning, falsified by Frank Lentini.

Well, no.  "Intersex" is not a sex.  Human biological sex is binary, not a spectrum.  People with DSD are either male or female.  There is no third sex.  I have not just asserted this, I have substantiated it.  

I understand that, in the context of people with DSD, there are some real complexities and nuance.  This article does a pretty good job of laying them out: Is sex binary? Let’s look at the biology

So does this one: Biological sex is binary, even though there is a rainbow of sex roles

Some excerpts:

Quote

Yet another misconception is confusing biological sex with sex roles. Biological sex is binary, but sex roles can be flexible within and among species (Figure 1). For instance, in two-spotted gobies (Gobiusculus flavescens) sex roles of females and males change within one breeding season. In the beginning, males fiercely compete with each other and court females. Male-male competition, paternal care, and predation leads to higher mortality in males than in females, thereby shifting the adult sex ratio towards females as the breeding season progresses. In turn, females now start competing over mating opportunities and they court the males.[38 ] This example shows that “competition” and “courtship” are not by definition “male” sex roles. Likewise, parental care is not by definition a female trait. While parental care is a typical female trait in mammals, it is typical for males in fish.[39 ] Although comparative studies suggest that sexual selection is on average stronger in males than females,[40–43 ] female competition, dominance and courtship are far more common than previously thought.[41,44–46 ] The sex roles of many animals respond to environmental and social conditions with a much greater flexibility than classical Darwinian theory conceded. Hence, if anything “should be treated as context-dependent categories with flexible associations to multiple variables”,[6] it is sex roles but not the biological sex.

I think this "confusing biological sex with sex roles" is a common error these days.

And this one: The Dangerous Denial of Sex

Some excerpts:

Quote

Yet it’s one thing to claim that a man can “identify” as a woman or vice versa. Increasingly we see a dangerous and antiscientific trend toward the outright denial of biological sex.
...

The argument is that because some people are intersex—they have developmental conditions resulting in ambiguous sex characteristics—the categories male and female exist on a “spectrum,” and are therefore no more than “social constructs.” If male and female are merely arbitrary groupings, it follows that everyone, regardless of genetics or anatomy should be free to choose to identify as male or female, or to reject sex entirely in favor of a new bespoke “gender identity.”

To characterize this line of reasoning as having no basis in reality would be an egregious understatement. It is false at every conceivable scale of resolution.

In humans, as in most animals or plants, an organism’s biological sex corresponds to one of two distinct types of reproductive anatomy that develop for the production of small or large sex cells—sperm and eggs, respectively—and associated biological functions in sexual reproduction. In humans, reproductive anatomy is unambiguously male or female at birth more than 99.98% of the time. The evolutionary function of these two anatomies is to aid in reproduction via the fusion of sperm and ova. No third type of sex cell exists in humans, and therefore there is no sex “spectrum” or additional sexes beyond male and female. Sex is binary.

There is a difference, however, between the statements that there are only two sexes (true) and that everyone can be neatly categorized as either male or female (false). The existence of only two sexes does not mean sex is never ambiguous. But intersex individuals are extremely rare, and they are neither a third sex nor proof that sex is a “spectrum” or a “social construct.” Not everyone needs to be discretely assignable to one or the other sex in order for biological sex to be functionally binary. To assume otherwise—to confuse secondary sexual traits with biological sex itself—is a category error.

Denying the reality of biological sex and supplanting it with subjective “gender identity” is not merely an eccentric academic theory. It raises serious human-rights concerns for vulnerable groups including women, homosexuals and children.

Pogi, I am concerned that you have bought into the above-described ideology (the one being critiqued by the authors).  

And this one: A defense of the binary in human sex

And this one: Sex in humans may not be binary, but it’s surely bimodal

Some excerpts:

Quote

There seems to be repeated confusion, willful or otherwise, about the nature of sex (here I’m talking about biological sex, not gender, which is one’s perceived identity). I’m fine with anyone calling themselves whatever they want, except that it may not be so easy for sports divided into “men’s” and “women’s” events (but I’m glad I don’t have to adjudicate that issue).

But with sex, well, biological sex in our species, and most other sexually-reproducing animals, does fall into two classes, male and female. The Oxford English dictionary defines “male” in biological terms as

That which belongs to the sex which can produce offspring only by fertilization of the opposite sex (contrasted with female); characteristic of or relating to this sex.

or

Of the reproductive organs of an animal or plant: characteristic of the males of a species; producing gametes (such as spermatozoa) that can fertilize female gametes (ova). Also: designating such gametes, which are usually smaller and more motile than the corresponding female gametes.

Female” is defined similarly with respect to fertilization and gamete size:

A person of the sex that can bear offspring; a woman or a girl.

or

Of the reproductive organs of an animal or plant: characteristic of the females of a species; producing gametes (ova) that can develop into a new individual, usually (but not always) after fertilization by a male gamete (as a spermatozoon). Also: designating such gametes, which are usually larger and less motile than the corresponding male gametes.

Now of course you can find some exceptions among some species. In seahorses, for instance, males can “bear offspring” because they raise the fertilized eggs in their pouch, but nevertheless they still produce sperm.  But in humans it’s rarely doubtful whether an individual is a male or a female. Males have a chromosomal constitution XY, produce small gametes that fertilize the large eggs of females, and have male genitalia (penises). Females produce fewer but larger gametes, are XX in chromosomal constitution, and have female genitalia (vaginas).

Of course there are some exceptions to all of these. We have humans with chromosomal constitutions XXY and XO; we have developmental intersexes that have characteristics of both male and female, we have females and males with all the traits above but which are sterile and so can’t produce eggs or sperm, and so on.

The point is that these exceptions are rare. I don’t know the figures for males and females that fit neatly into the classes I’ve given above, but I’d guess it would be about 98% of humanity; the Intersex Society, lumping chromosomal and developmental exceptions together, gets a frequency of non-binaries of about 1-2% (Fausto-Sterling gave roughly the same figure in 2001). So yes, sex isn’t truly binary in that every individual can’t be unambiguously slotted into either male or female—but the vast majority can.
...
Yet Anne Fausto-Sterling, an emeritus professor of biology and gender studies at Brown university, conflates the issues of sex and gender in her op-ed piece in the New York Times (below), implying that because sex is not “binary” (i.e., there are some exceptions), that it is not bimodal. Now she doesn’t use the word “bimodal”, but the implication here is that somehow science has decided that there are more than two biological sexes, and implying that there is just two is somehow damaging to those individuals who are intermediate.
...

Let me reiterate what I’m trying to say here, because I think Fausto-Sterling’s essay is motivated by good will and is not blatantly wrong, just misleading.

1.) Human sex is not absolutely binary because there are exceptions no matter how you define “male” and “female”.

2.) Those exceptions, however, are rare, so considering most individuals, sex is binary. And for the population of humans, sex is strongly bimodal: most people, no matter whether you define sex using chromosomes or morphology or gamete structure, fit into the classes of either “male” or “female.”

3.) I agree with Fausto-Sterling that it’s unwise to try to impose an absolute binary system on all human beings. That’s hurtful to intermediate or non-binary individuals, who, as I’ve always maintained, should be treated with respect, dignity, and as much accommodation as is compatible with social well-being.  But we simply cannot maintain that sex is a social construct like gender. 


And this one: Once again: Why sex is binary

Some excerpts:

Quote

The shameful part of all this is that the scientific journal Nature, as well as three evolutionary biology/ecology societies, who should know better, made statements or editorials that neither sex nor gender are binary. That’s a flat-out abnegation of both their responsibility and of science itself. Evolution itself produces a binary of sex! To be anthropomorphic, evolution wants a binary of sex.

Why, then, do people harp on the non-binary nature of sex? It’s clear: because if they see sex as a spectrum, then that supposed continuum will help eliminate discrimination against transgender people (who still, I should add, adhere to one biological sex or another) or against those rare intermediate folks who don’t fall into the sex binary. But, as Byrne points out, you don’t need to twist biology to construct a caring and inclusive morality. But have a read:

screen-shot-2018-12-11-at-4-42-27-am.png

 

Byrne’s definition of “sex,” which leads to his binary, is that of Simone de Beauvoir herself in The Second Sex, one of the founding documents of modern feminism:  the sexes “are basically defined by the gametes they produce.” Big gametes = female, small gametes = male; these are, in our species, eggs and sperm, respectively.
...

He concludes that yes, there are some intersex conditions, but also that, arguably, “there are no clear and uncontroversial examples of humans who are neither male nor female”. By that that he also means that there are no humans who are both male and female, though I’d think that if there are true hermaphrodites and intersexes—which there appear to be—those would qualify.

But it doesn’t matter. If you adhere to the gamete-based definition used by most biologists, sex is effectively binary. In his footnote #2, Byrne argues that intersex individuals have a frequency of 0.015%, or about 1 individual in 6700. That would be the number of individuals falling in the “valley” between the male and female frequency peaks, making sex almost a pure binary.  And that frequency, or even the 1% touted by Fausto-Sterling, neither effaces the binary nor should have any bearing on how we treat transgender or intersex individuals.
...

And so Byrne, as a philosopher, points out the obvious (my emphasis below to make it even more obvious):

That sex is not binary is evidently something that many progressives dearly wish to believe, but a philosophically sound case for treating everyone with dignity and respect has absolutely no need of it. People with intersex conditions have historically been subject to ethically dubious genital surgery as children, or deceived about their medical status by (usually well-meaning) doctors. It would be a huge mistake to think that such surgery is unjustified because the patients fall outside the binary, and so should not be surgically fashioned to appear to be within it. The main arguments against surgery (there are risks with little compensating benefit, and patients are too young to consent) have nothing to do with whether the patients are female, male, both, or neither.

Further, the issue of whether sex is binary, although of academic interest, is of no relevance to current debates about transsexuality and the changing models for treating gender dysphoria. To those struggling with gender identity issues, it might seem liberating and uplifting to be told that biological sex in humans is a glorious rainbow, rather than a square conservatively divided into pink and blue halves. But this feel-good approach is little better than deceiving intersex patients: respect for autonomy demands honesty. And finally, if those advocating for transgender people (or anyone else) rest their case on shaky interpretations of biology, this will ultimately only give succor to their enemies.

As a (former) scientist, it’s distressing to me to see my fellow progressive scientists twist and deform biology out of all recognition so that it buttresses their ideology.

Also this from the "Comments" section to the above article:

Quote

The awkward truth is that nobody is really arguing about intersex because of the rights of intersex people. There hasn’t been a sudden increase in the numbers of intersex people, nor have intersex people become more politicised or radicalised.

There aren’t clusters of intersex children appearing among school children, there aren’t YouTube channels pushing intersex ideology onto vulnerable children, and there aren’t publicly funded charities claiming that intersex conditions are the cure for autism or eating disorders.

There aren’t intersex thugs punching 60 year old women, denying gender-critical feminists a platform, shutting down meetings by making bomb threats or setting off fire alarms.

We don’t have large numbers of intersex category A prisoners in the UK demanding to be housed in the female estate, nor have we got intersex murderers and rapists demanding hormone treatment that would be denied to natal menopausal women.

The whole damn argument is a proxy for transgenderism. It has nothing to do with intersex. Intersex is just the smoke transgender rights activists are blowing up our a^&%s.

I think this is where the rubber hits the road.  Discussion of people with DSD is most often a pretext, "a proxy for transgenderism" that "has nothing to do with intersex."

See also these comments from this article:

Quote

In any case, intersex is not the same as individuals who identify their gender as different than their biological sex which falls strongly in the binary (that is, nearly all transgender individuals, by definition of the word transgender). The worst part about the SSE statement is the conflation of gender, gender identity, and sex which any biologist should know need to be TOTALLY separated when discussing the incredibly messy human situation.
...

If someone has XX chromosomes, but testicles and a penis, what do you call them? What about XY chromosomes, testicles and a vagina? There are lots of ways that people can clearly and unambiguously belong to one sex in some ways, but to the other sex in other ways. In case of a conflict, what takes precedence?

You describe here two examples of where karyotypic and phenotypic sex do not correlate. Those instances are rare, and have a name: intersex. Most intersex cases are relatively mild, and most intersex individuals strongly identify with the sex of their prevailing characteristics.

So let’s not conflate intersex conditions with transgenderism. In the latter, the individual’s karyotype & phenotype are decidedly either male or female, yet the individual ‘identifies’ as something else (usually the opposite sex.)
...

Intersex Society of North America:

… these two groups [transgender & intersex] should not be and cannot be thought of as one. The truth is that the vast majority of people with intersex conditions identify as male or female rather than transgender or transsexual. Thus, where all people who identify as transgender or transsexual experience problems with their gender identity, only a small portion of intersex people experience these problems.

http://www.isna.org/faq/transgender

And this one: A Biologist Explains Why Sex Is Binary - In an effort to confuse the issue, gender ideologues cite rare ambiguous ‘intersex’ cases.

Some excerpts: 

Quote

The transgender movement has left many intelligent Americans confused about sex. Asked to define the word “woman” during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings last year, Ketanji Brown Jackson demurred, saying “I’m not a biologist.” I am a biologist, and I’m here to help.

I was quite disappointed in Judge Jackson's "I'm not a biologist" response.  I strongly suspect that if she were presiding over a trial where a witness tried to pull a stunt like that, she would not have put up with it.

Quote

When biologists claim that sex is binary, we mean something straightforward: There are only two sexes. This is true throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. An organism’s sex is defined by the type of gamete (sperm or ova) it has the function of producing. Males have the function of producing sperm, or small gametes; females, ova, or large ones. Because there is no third gamete type, there are only two sexes. Sex is binary.

Intersex people, whose genitalia appear ambiguous or mixed, don’t undermine the sex binary. Many gender ideologues, however, falsely claim the existence of intersex conditions renders the categories “male” and “female” arbitrary and meaningless. In “Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex” (1998), the historian of science Alice Dreger writes: “Hermaphroditism causes a great deal of confusion, more than one might at first appreciate, because—as we will see again and again—the discovery of a ‘hermaphroditic’ body raises doubts not just about the particular body in question, but about all bodies. The questioned body forces us to ask what exactly it is—if anything—that makes the rest of us unquestionable.”

In reality, the existence of borderline cases no more raises questions about everyone else’s sex than the existence of dawn and dusk casts doubt on day and night. For the vast majority of people, their sex is obvious. And our society isn’t experiencing a sudden dramatic surge in people born with ambiguous genitalia. We are experiencing a surge in people who are unambiguously one sex claiming to “identify” as the opposite sex or as something other than male or female.

"We are experiencing a surge in people who are unambiguously one sex claiming to 'identify' as the opposite sex or as something other than male or female."

Yep.  And they are using a suite of medical conditions - DSD - as a pretext for rationalizing their putatively atypical "gender identity."

Quote

Gender ideology seeks to portray sex as so incomprehensibly complex and multivariable that our traditional practice of classifying people as simply either male or female is grossly outdated and should be abandoned for a revolutionary concept of “gender identity.” This entails that males wouldn’t be barred from female sports, women’s prisons or any other space previously segregated according to our supposedly antiquated notions of “biological sex,” so long as they “identify” as female.

But “intersex” and “transgender” mean entirely different things. Intersex people have rare developmental conditions that result in apparent sex ambiguity. Most transgender people aren’t sexually ambiguous at all but merely “identify” as something other than their biological sex.

"Intersex people have rare developmental conditions that result in apparent sex ambiguity. Most transgender people aren’t sexually ambiguous at all but merely 'identify' as something other than their biological sex."

Yep.

Quote

Once you’re conscious of this distinction, you will begin to notice gender ideologues attempting to steer discussions away from whether men who identify as women should be allowed to compete in female sports toward prominent intersex athletes like South African runner Caster Semenya. Why? Because so long as they’ve got you on your heels making difficult judgment calls on a slew of complex intersex conditions, they’ve succeeded in drawing your attention away from easy calls on unquestionably male athletes like 2022 NCAA Division I women’s swimming and diving champion Lia Thomas. They shift the focus to intersex to distract from transgender.

"They shift the focus to intersex to distract from transgender."

Yep.

Quote

Acknowledging the existence of rare difficult cases doesn’t weaken the position or arguments against allowing males in female sports, prisons, restrooms and other female-only spaces. In fact, it’s a much stronger approach because it makes a crucial distinction that the ideologues are at pains to obscure.

Crafting policy to exclude males who identify as women, or “trans women,” from female sports, prisons and other female-only spaces isn’t complicated. Trans women are unambiguously male, so the chances that a doctor incorrectly recorded their sex at birth is zero. Any “transgender policy” designed to protect female spaces need only specify that participants must have been recorded (or “assigned,” in the current jargon) female at birth.

Yep.  As soon as the rubber hits the road, all the rhetoric about DSD-induced ambiguity in biological sex is tossed aside, and transgender ideologies step in.

Quote

Crafting effective intersex policies is more complicated, but the problem of intersex athletes in female sports is less pressing than that of males in female sports, and there seem to be no current concerns arising from intersex people using female spaces. It should be up to individual organizations to decide which criteria or cut-offs should be used to keep female spaces safe and, in the context of sports, safe and fair. It is imperative, however, that such policies be rooted in properties of bodies, not “identity.” Identity alone is irrelevant to issues of fairness and safety.

Ideologues are wrong to insist that the biology of sex is so complex as to defy all categorization. They’re also wrong to represent the sex binary in an overly simplistic way. The biology of sex isn’t quite as simple as common sense, but common sense will get you a long way in understanding it.

Yep.

And here: Race Is a Spectrum. Sex Is Pretty Damn Binary

And here: Sex Is Not a Spectrum

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There are two main arguments typically offered in defense of the claim that sex is a non-binary attribute that exists on a “spectrum.” The first is based around the existence of intersex conditions—people with intermediate or indeterminate sex characteristics. This argument claims sex cannot be binary if some individuals have sexual anatomy that appears to fall somewhere between male and female. This argument is frequently illustrated with figures that plot intersex conditions along a continuous axis that ranges from “typical female” to “typical male”—as with this widely reproduced figure from the 2017 Scientific American article, “Visualizing Sex As a Spectrum.”

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The second argument typically offered in defense of the sex-spectrum model is based around secondary sex organs and characteristics. Secondary sex organs encompass all elements of our reproductive anatomy—apart from the gonads, which are the primary sex organs. Secondary sex characteristics, on the other hand, are sex-related anatomies that differentiate during puberty, such as enlarged breasts and wider hips in females; and facial hair, deeper voices, more musculature, and broader shoulders in males. Because the distribution of these secondary sex characteristics can overlap between males and females, it is argued we should therefore view biological sex as a continuum.
...
Both of these arguments—the argument from intersex conditions and the argument from secondary sex organs/characteristics—follow from fundamental misunderstandings about the nature of biological sex, which is connected to the distinct type of gametes (sex cells) that an organism produces. As a broad concept, males are the sex that produce small gametes (sperm) and females produce large gametes (ova). There are no intermediate gametes, which is why there is no spectrum of sex. Biological sex in humans is a binary system.

"There are no intermediate gametes, which is why there is no spectrum of sex. Biological sex in humans is a binary system."

Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

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It is crucial to note, however, that the sex of individuals within a species isn’t based on whether an individual can actually produce certain gametes at any given moment. Pre-pubertal males don’t produce sperm, and some infertile adults of both sexes never produce gametes due to various infertility issues. Yet it would be incorrect to say that these individuals do not have a discernible sex, as an individual’s biological sex corresponds to one of two distinct types of evolved reproductive anatomy (i.e. ovaries or testes) that develop for the production of sperm or ova, regardless of their past, present, or future functionality. In humans, and transgender and so-called “non-binary” people are no exception, this reproductive anatomy is unambiguously male or female over 99.98 percent of the time.
...
That above-cited 99.98 percent figure falls short of 100 percent because of the roughly 0.02 percent who are intersex. (The actual figure is estimated to be about 0.018 percent.) But the claim that intersex conditions support the sex spectrum model conflates the statement “there are only two sexes” (true) with “every human can be unambiguously categorized as either male or female” (false). The existence of only two sexes does not mean sex is never ambiguous. But intersex individuals do not demonstrate that sex is a spectrum. Just because sex may be ambiguous for some does not mean it’s ambiguous (and, as some commentators would extrapolate, arbitrary) for all.

By way of analogy: We flip a coin to randomize a binary decision because a coin has only two faces: heads and tails. But a coin also has an edge, and about one in 6,000 (0.0166 percent) throws (with a nickel) will land on it. This is roughly the same likelihood of being born with an intersex condition. Almost every coin flip will be either heads or tails, and those heads and tails do not come in degrees or mixtures. That’s because heads and tails are qualitatively different and mutually exclusive outcomes. The existence of edge cases does not change this fact. Heads and tails, despite the existence of the edge, remain discrete outcomes.

Likewise, the outcomes of sex development in humans are almost always unambiguously male or female. The development of ovaries vs testes, and thus females and males, are also qualitatively different outcomes that for the vast majority of humans are mutually exclusive and do not come in mixtures or degrees. Males and females, despite the existence of intersex conditions, remain discrete outcomes.

The coin flip analogy is a good one.

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The existence of intersex conditions is frequently brought up in an attempt to blur the line between male and female when arguing for the inclusion of trans women in female sports and other contexts. But transgenderism has absolutely nothing to do with being intersex. For the vast majority of individuals claiming either trans or non-binary identities, their sex is not in question. Primary sex organs, not identity, determines one’s sex.

Yep.  Some transgender advocates really want to use intersex/DSD to advance their ideology, regardless of the fact that the vast majority of trans folks do not have any DSD condition.

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Because biology is complex, people can be easily swayed with graphs and drawings, especially if they purport to prove something we want to believe anyway—such as the supposedly liberating notion that sex is a spectrum instead of a binary. But a spectrum implies a quantitative axis and, when this is taken seriously, leads to troubling conclusions. One particularly popular graphical depiction presents sex as bimodal—meaning that there are two maxima representing “male-ness” and “female-ness,” around which most people tend to cluster. A viral tweet by Twitter user @ScienceVet2, now with over 17,000 retweets, conveyed the bimodal sex spectrum model using a figure similar to the one below.

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You can see why this sort of representation would prove popular: It accords with our intuitive sense that most of us cluster around a male or female typology, while also preserving the conceit that there is a vast, inhabitable continuum between these two categories. Presumably, one could even take various measurements to determine exactly where along the spectrum we reside.

Again, this all sounds very progressive in theory. But the consequences are regressive in practice, since the indicia of male-ness and female-ness invoked by sex-spectrum enthusiasts will always be based on sexist ideals and stereotypes that our grandparents would have recognized.

Yep.  Dylan Mulvaney is an excellent example of the potential downstream ramifications of transgenderism, as he is making a fortune by trading off grossly sexist caricatures and stereotypes of "female-ness."

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Another worrying corollary of this notion is that surgical intervention on intersex infants (sometimes called intersex genital mutilation) can change an individual’s actual location along a pseudo-scientific sex spectrum. A parent may then feel more justified in opting for other “corrective” surgeries, sometimes at odds with an infant’s true (gonadal) biological sex, in order to make their child “ideally” (in their minds) more male or more female. To be fair, most sex-spectrum advocates decry surgical intervention on intersex infants (and rightfully so, in my opinion), but fail to consider how their doctrines may encourage such practices.

The promise of sex-spectrum pseudoscience—that one’s sex is impossible to definitively determine—has a natural appeal to those who already find themselves wrestling with issues connected to their identity. It’s empowering to imagine that we may have control over something so basic as sex. In Sex Redefined, a 2015 article that appeared in Nature, authored by sex-spectrum advocate Dr. Claire Ainsworth, the final paragraph reads:

“My feeling is that since there is not one biological parameter that takes over every other parameter, at the end of the day, gender identity seems to be the most reasonable parameter,” says Vilain. In other words, if you want to know whether someone is male or female, it may be best just to ask.

Here Dr. Eric Vilain, a clinician and the director of the Center for Gender-Based Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles, claims that since biological sex cannot be reduced to “one biological parameter” (not true), we should therefore abandon sex classifications altogether in favor of one’s entirely subjective gender identity. This is a baffling conclusion since, even if the sex spectrum model were correct, it in no way follows that one can choose where along the spectrum they reside. Furthermore, in Ainsworth’s interpretation of Vilain’s words, we see a not-so-subtle shift from the claim that sex is a spectrum to the much more extreme claim that sex is arbitrary and meaningless. According to this understanding, a person may literally reimagine their biology, as if by alchemy, by merely stating so. What an astounding power for humans to claim. If only it actually existed.

Some trans–rights activists have asked why it should be that people like me are so fixated on an issue where the stakes seem so small. But the stakes aren’t small: If the idea of biological sex can be overturned in the domain of athletic competition, where differences between male and female are abundantly obvious, then the battle to push back sex-spectrum pseudoscience in every other area will be lost—from the admission of males into female prisons and rape-crisis centers, to the facilitation of sex-change surgery for schoolchildren. As Thomas Sowell succinctly stated in his book The Quest for Cosmic Justice, “there is only so much divergence between prevailing theories and intractable reality that a society can survive. Yet theories of equality are unlikely to be re-examined—or examined the first time—when they provide a foundation for the heady feeling of being morally superior to a benighted ‘society.’”

Advocates of the sex-spectrum model no doubt meant well when these theories originally were developed. After all, who wouldn’t be partial to an explanation of human biology that validated all of our shifting forms of self-conception and understanding? But over time, it’s become clear that they created a false theory of biology that distorts human nature and harms vulnerable individuals. When one attempts to achieve equality and justice by distorting reality, inequality and injustice are never eliminated, just relocated.

The whole thing is worth a read.

On the topic of transgenderism (since, frankly, transgender ideologues keep invoking DSD/intersex in their reasoning), see here: Transgenderism Is the New Blackface

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In the 19th and 20th centuries, minstrel shows featuring white actors in blackface — dark makeup worn to make them look black — spread throughout the United States. This practice was laughed off as entertainment. Today, it’s considered to be racial appropriation and stereotyping. But aren’t men who impersonate women similarly guilty of appropriation and stereotyping? If blackface is racist, then surely “womanface” is sexist.

I think this is a potent point that merits discussion and examination.

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Theatrical cross-dressing has been around for centuries. On the stage, these performances were often ironic and humorous. But there is also a more sinister kind of female impersonation, one that serves to advance the anti-woman ideology of transgenderism.

It was not uncommon in minstrel shows for white people to portray African Americans as ignorant and criminal, reinforcing racist sentiments. And with transgenderism, it is not uncommon for men to portray women as hypersexualized and airheaded.

Perhaps the most prominent example is the Jim Crow of “womanface” — Dylan Mulvaney, the male TikTok influencer, currently on his tour celebrating “365 days of girlhood.” Mulvaney has enjoyed phenomenal success. He has been picked up by major brands from Bud Light to Kate Spade. But many women find his prancing around in dresses and carrying tampons to be deeply insulting. What does he know about female experiences?

I think it is important that we not take Dylan Mulvaney as indicative of all transgender advocates.  However, if there are advocates who dislike or disagree with his schtick, I haven't seem much public expression of that.

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On social media, some women have responded by celebrating their days of womanhood. One social-media user wrote that she has “been a woman for 27,088 days. I’ve given birth to two boys, miscarried once, survived breast cancer. A man can never be a woman.” Another wrote: “Today I celebrate 21,191 days being a woman. I have 3 beautiful children. I have also suffered 2 miscarriages.”

Another woman, celebrating “12,065 days of being a woman” wrote: “I’m a sister, aunt, daughter, granddaughter, and now a mother. I’ve endured 229 menstrual cycles. I’ve been pregnant one time & gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. My body grew a human child, and my body is now feeding a human child. No man can say he has done these things because you cannot change your gender.”

Another woman wrote: “I celebrate 20,756 days of being a woman. I’m a former women’s college athlete, a daughter, a sister and a lesbian [who has] survived breast cancer and been through early menopause.”

Obviously, there are challenges and sacrifices unique to being a woman. Being a woman, by definition, means having female anatomy. Having female anatomy affects everything from a woman’s fertility and sexuality to her physical vulnerabilities relative to men.

I agree with this.  Biological sex is not the sum total, but it is the root, the sine qua non, of "being a woman" (or a man).  

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Men impersonate women for all sorts of reasons, not all of them ideological. Some are tormented by gender dysphoria and hate their bodies. Others are uncomfortable with their sexuality. Some get a sexual thrill out of putting on women’s clothing. Others are opportunistic and have figured out it’s easier to win sympathy or even sports competitions by impersonating a female.

This is a pretty good summary.

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With blackface, we don’t discriminate based on a person’s intentions. When Rachel Dolezal identified as black, despite having no black ancestry, going so far as to change her hair and darken her skin, she was widely condemned. She had no ill intent. She merely “identified” as black. Besides, race is arguably much more of a social construct than sex is. Yet for some reason with sex, it’s a different story. Female impersonators are not only tolerated, they’re glorified as representing the pinnacle of womanhood.

A very solid point, this.

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In the late 20th century, feminists argued against “biological essentialism,” the idea that a woman’s behavior, interests, and abilities are all predetermined by sex. Some made the mistake of conflating sex with sexism, and attacking both. What we need is a movement of biological realism. An acknowledgment that women and men are sexually distinct and complementary. That one sex cannot become the other, and that it is harmful to pretend otherwise.

Perhaps the greatest silver lining of the transgender movement has been how it exposes the follies of disregarding sex and sexual difference. “Womanface” is the new blackface. It’s time to get outraged.

I echo the call for biological realism, but not "to get outraged."  We need to be civil and respectful.  Anger and outrage are not, I think, required.

16 hours ago, pogi said:

While there is no officially recognized "third sex (a straw man you seam keen on attacking)"

This from the fellow arguing against the sexual binary.

"Intersex" is a vague term covering A) a variety of DSDs, and B) an ideologically-driven label being used in the transgender debate (to, IMO, equivocate and obfuscate).

It is my understanding that Germany allows for people with DSD to be legally recognized as having a third sex (see also here and here).  See also here.  And here (regarding Austria).

Look, my point is that "sex" is binary: male and female.  You seem to be arguing against that, so the alternative options seem to be:

  • Option 1: There is no such thing as "sex" in any sort of empirically testable sense.  (I assume you, being in the medical field, aren't going along with this one).
  • Option 2: People with DSD conditions ought to be categorized as neither male, nor female, but as a "third" sex.  (See this story about Alex Juergen, an Austrian "who is intersex" and who in 2019 "{won a} three-year legal battle for recognition, {and} now has a passport with the sex classification 'X' instead of 'M' or 'F' and a birth certificate saying 'divers', which roughly translates as 'other'."  The article goes on to note that "{a} growing number of U.S. states, as well as countries including Germany, Pakistan and Nepal, now allow people to choose a third sex option on official documents."  So you blowing this off as a "strawman" seems a bit incorrect.
  • Option 3: Sex is a "spectrum," so there are an infinite number of sexes.  

I had previously surmised that you subscribe to Option 2.  Is there some other option I am overlooking?

16 hours ago, pogi said:

that I am aware of, there is no good reason why there can't be a third sex to recognize Klinfelter's syndrome or a fourth sex to recognize Turner's syndrome etc. as distinct in genotype and phenotype from the the binary "male" and "female" social construct.   The statistically small instances of intersex individuals is a moot point. 

Wait.  So my comments about a "third sex" are attacking a strawman, but here you are advocating for additional (third, fourth, etc.) categories?

16 hours ago, pogi said:
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I also disagree with characterizing DSD as an "identity" at the expense of its status as a medical condition, and/or in an attempt to rationalize falsehoods.

You can disagree all you want, but as you stated, "there's not much of a discussion to be had when an opinion is merely stated..."

Again, I haven't merely stated an opinion.  I have provided reasoning and analysis and evidence and persuasive authorities.

You have not.

16 hours ago, pogi said:

How the lived experience of this identity somehow is at the "expense of its status as a medical condition", is beyond me.  

The misappropriation of it to advance some trans ideologies is a good example of what I have in mind.

16 hours ago, pogi said:

My children have a medical condition known as albinism.  They identify as albino.  This is deeply part of their identity.

And if someone were to come along and exploit their albinism to advance an ideology with no connection to it, I think that could be problematic.

16 hours ago, pogi said:

There is a large community of albinos who value their shared identities and life experiences.

Sure.  And there are sports teams for amputees, and various social gatherings for deaf people, and so on.  I respect these groupings and the right of individuals to join in with them.  

16 hours ago, pogi said:

Sharing this identity helps people cope with being "different".  To say that you disagree with those who's medical condition (their reality and lived experience) becomes their identity (my children) doesn't change the fact of their identity or life experience.   It's really not your place. 

It would help if you stopped misrepresenting what I have said.  I did not say that I "disagree with those who's medical condition (their reality and lived experience) becomes their identity."  Rather, I said: "I also disagree with characterizing DSD as an 'identity' at the expense of its status as a medical condition, and/or in an attempt to rationalize falsehoods."  I then followed up with this:

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An individual's "lived experience," however poignant, cannot supersede biological reality.  Again, from the article I have quoted: "Biological sex rarely may be phenotypically unclear in a given individual, but this does not represent a third one."

Instances of actual DSD are statistically very small.  It enters into popular conversation because it is being conflated or intermingled with various aspects of Gender Dysphoria and trans ideology.  There is zero indication that Bruce Jenner had any sort of DSD prior to undergoing cosmetic surgical procedures to facilitate his "identifying" as a woman.  As compassionate and kind as we ought to be with each other, such things cannot be coerced, nor can they come at the expense of denying biological reality.  Caitlin Jenner is a biological male.  A man.  There is no changing that.  Not for him, nor for anyone else.

So, with genuine respect, I don't see DSD as an "identity."  It is a medical condition - an exceedingly rare one - which someone has, and not what that someone is in any particular ontological or spiritual sense.  It is for this reason that I dislike seeing DSD (mis)appropriated by people who do not have it, but want to act or pretend as if they do.

I will amend the first sentence of the third paragraph above.  I am okay with DSD as an "identity" (a pretty amorphous concept, anyway), but not one that A) arises at the expense of DSD's status as a medical condition (or used in an attempt to supersede biological reality), B) is used to rationalize falsehoods, and/or C) is misappropriated by ideologues who do not have DSD conditions.

16 hours ago, pogi said:

So, no, our theology does not address or answer these issues as you claim.  

You are, once again, misrepresenting what I said.  I do not appreciate it.

Again, by "these issues" was referring to doctrinal issues about God being "sexed" (that is, He is male).  I was not speaking about "continuing sexism and discrimination against women."  It was you who attempted to conflate these two topics, and I was disagreeing with that conflation.

Nor was I referring to DSD/Intersex "issues." That said, I will again state that I think our doctrine does address/answer Intersex/DSD issues to an extent, if not to your personal liking.  As I noted here:

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I am saying that Christianity offers no answers to these people {with DSD}

Yes, it does.  Particularly the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  See the above excerpt of the Family Proclamation, and FAIR's treatments here and here, and also Genesis 1:27, and Genesis 5:2, and 2 Nephi 26:33, and Abraham 4:27, and Moses 2:27, and Moses 6:9, and Alma 11:44, and D&C 20:18, also section 38.7.7 of the Handbook.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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