Author Topic: I'm a woman and you're all scientists  (Read 4264 times)

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2016, 09:06:21 AM »
I guess the bottom line for me is that if you want to call yourself a woman, I've got no problem with that. I have no need to confirm or falsify your statement, and no interest in going so. GodSlayer says she's a woman. Ergo, she is. (A very strong women, if the pictures she's posted are really her.) I'd have guessed her to be a man from the aforementioned pictures, but I'm perfectly willing to be corrected.
Daniel
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Online Johnny Slick

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2016, 09:34:07 AM »
Ok you're a woman. It's no skin off my back if you want to self identify as female.

did you just call me female? how rude! possibly.
Are you actually offended by this or are you trying to be edgy again?
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Offline superdave

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2016, 10:54:04 AM »
If we consider being a woman a state of mind,then I can accept a person's self identity. That requires some new concepts,like a man who has periods or women with penises.  But so what? Having a penis, menstruating, those are objective facts.  If someone with a penis claims not to have one, you can call them out. But if we allow for self identity to be subjective, why not let them have it.

Offline GodSlayer

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2016, 06:03:05 PM »
I guess the problem stems from definition. First we have to agree to speak english and use accepted norms for words.

sure, but just as we used to call people computers, until those electronic computing machines were invented, maybe what we used to call or not call woman also needs to change.

Is that what we are arguing? I agree. All definition should be fluid and change over time. That doesn't make you any less a woman now.

the issue is, if I call myself POTUS or woman or your dad, should society accept my labels, or see me as misappropriating them? and if there's no scientific manner of deciding whether or not someone is using a word appropriately, in what sense is there a word at all anymore?
Quote from: Nietzsche
the inequality of rights is essential to the existence of any rights at all.--A right is a privilege.
Quote from: Ligotti
One cringes to hear scientists cooing over the universe or any part thereof like schoolgirls over-heated by their first crush.

Offline Morvis13

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2016, 09:51:34 PM »
greater public consensus or the panel that accepts words into the dictionary would decide. I'm sure they have a process. Since I'm not on the panel, nor do I want to be, I don't know what that process is.
Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Morvis' Law: Anything that does go wrong is my fault.

Offline GodSlayer

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2016, 10:56:48 PM »
greater public consensus

that's what discourse is all about. otherwise it's just idiocy that dictates the consensus.
Quote from: Nietzsche
the inequality of rights is essential to the existence of any rights at all.--A right is a privilege.
Quote from: Ligotti
One cringes to hear scientists cooing over the universe or any part thereof like schoolgirls over-heated by their first crush.

Offline Pusher Robot

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2016, 11:56:15 PM »
The issue isn't whether the definition can change.  The issue is whether we are changing to a definition that is completely circular and therefore void of meaning.

"Are you a woman?"

"Yes."

"What is a woman?"

"A woman is what I am."
A novice was trying to fix a broken Lisp machine by turning the power off and on.
Knight, seeing what the student was doing, spoke sternly: “You cannot fix a machine by just power-cycling it with no understanding of what is going wrong.”
Knight turned the machine off and on.
The machine worked.

Offline GodSlayer

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2016, 12:09:05 AM »
The issue isn't whether the definition can change.  The issue is whether we are changing to a definition that is completely circular and therefore void of meaning.

"Are you a woman?"

"Yes."

"What is a woman?"

"A woman is what I am."

I assume when people say this they have an actual explanation.

if I say '[I think] I'm depressed', there's a series of questions you can ask me, and then say 'actually, I think you're right about that'.
if I say '[I think] I'm a woman', everyone who has that as a word in their vocabulary should be able to ask me a set of questions, or even just one question, if such is their definition.

whose set of questions are the right ones [for today in our everchanging world where future information or reasoning may change what we have to consider to be right tomorrow] is the philosophical question (only after which can political questions be appropriately considered).

Daniel was willing to throw down/own up/participate/contribute, and he offered his questions, in effect, though only vaguely (does 'physiology' mean a uterus? a vagina? XX chromosomes? _only_ something and definitely no presence of something else (e.g., a definition that requires 'intersex' rather than a binary, or a broader definition of 'male' than one might anticipate for completing the set), or so forth.).

people of the more contemporary view have apparently not seen this thread yet, or any other thread/comment/post on the internet I've ever posed it, because they don't seem to have a response. If I say I feel like an octopus, they'd readily say 'trust me, you're not an octopus', but they won't say 'naa bro you're not a woman', which implies a definition beyond or even independent of physiology, but which they haven't been willing to state. If I said 'I think I'm a neonazi', they could happily pose a set of questions and come to a conclusion. so the cognitive nature of the issue shouldn't impede being so straightforward/proving that they do indeed have an alternative definition to challenge the status quo with, rather than just a lip-service condemnation of people who adhere to the use of the word that has an explanation for its use.

in the atheist/agnostic definition debate, whether or not people agree about the historical or correct or best or easiest term to use, they can at least acknowledge 'when he says x, he means this', and 'when I say x, I mean that'. With the 'wo/man' debate, it's not clear there's actually a disagreement/a competing position that can be stated, which very much makes it like the impossibilists vs the free will'ists debate ... to all appearances, the opponent hasn't even shown up with an argument in order for a debate to exist.

do we even have anyone here who can play Devil's advocate for them?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 12:20:58 AM by GodSlayer »
Quote from: Nietzsche
the inequality of rights is essential to the existence of any rights at all.--A right is a privilege.
Quote from: Ligotti
One cringes to hear scientists cooing over the universe or any part thereof like schoolgirls over-heated by their first crush.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2016, 08:57:17 AM »
There are words in natural language that have very clear and near-universally accepted definitions. There are other words that have a wide variety of definitions. POTUS has a pretty clear definition, though some people will dispute if they suspect election fraud. Octopus has a very clear definition, with possibly some fuzziness around the edges, but very clear boundaries beyond which it clearly does not apply. Fifty years ago, "woman" was clearly defined by physiology, but languages change, and "woman" has come to mean different things to different people. The consensus is much weaker today than it once was.

Here's an example: The word "witch." At one time the word was universally used in English to refer to a person who possessed magical powers derived from Satan and used those powers to cause harm to others. In a world where we no longer believe in magic, it came to mean a type of character from fairy tales. And today many people use it to refer to a practitioner of the Wicca religion, without reference to magic or Satan or anti-social desires to cause harm to others.

If you claim to be an octopus I can point to the fact that you are not an eight-tentacled mollusk with three hearts, and your claim is effectively refuted. If you claim to be POTUS I can point to the fact that you were never inaugurated into that office. But if you claim to be a woman, and you allege that a person with a penis can be a women, there is a large community of people who will agree with you. There is no consensus, and natural language is not a cut-and-dried matter. It's a matter of usage. A word means what people intend it to mean, and with many words there is ambiguity.
Daniel
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Offline superdave

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2016, 09:06:01 AM »
We are at a turning point where the definition of woman is changing.  But I don't really understand it fully to be honest.  There always seem to be a paradox here to me,  if a woman can be masculine, and have a penis, and man can be feminine and have a vagina, are man and woman even useful terms anymore?  I really have trouble wrapping my head around this stuff, but I have to defer to experts in the field.

Offline Morvis13

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2016, 09:39:31 AM »
greater public consensus

that's what discourse is all about. otherwise it's just idiocy that dictates the consensus.

Literally the reason the definition of literally changed.
Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Morvis' Law: Anything that does go wrong is my fault.

Online Johnny Slick

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2016, 10:00:17 AM »
"I don't like the fact that language evolves, therefore people are dumb!"
If we don't discover the mistakes of the future we are doomed to repeat them for the first time. - Ken M

Online Andrew Clunn

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2016, 10:17:42 AM »
"I don't like the fact that language evolves, therefore people are dumb!"

Not sure who you're supposed to be quoting there...

It's the issue with attacking gender roles as out dated social constructs and lifting up gender identity as valid and distinct from sex.  Eventually the term "gender" either represents something or it doesn't.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2016, 10:21:23 AM »
We are at a turning point where the definition of woman is changing.  But I don't really understand it fully to be honest.  There always seem to be a paradox here to me,  if a woman can be masculine, and have a penis, and man can be feminine and have a vagina, are man and woman even useful terms anymore?  I really have trouble wrapping my head around this stuff, but I have to defer to experts in the field.

In this field, I don't think there are experts. Unless you mean linguistics generally. But as for what it means to be a man or a woman, no.

My vague understanding is that there are some people who feel very strongly, deep down inside, that they were born the "wrong" gender. But to explain more clearly what they mean by that, you'd have to ask them. Perhaps if there are any trans folks reading this they could join the conversation. I believe that among the Native American peoples, there were individuals who were physiologically male, but who felt themselves to be female, and who took on the role of women, and were accepted as such. While not able to become pregnant, they dressed as women and did women's work and were accepted as useful members of the tribe in the role they chose. So transsexuality is nothing new, even though gender reassignment surgery is.
Daniel
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Offline GodSlayer

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Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2016, 10:48:50 AM »
Fifty years ago, "woman" was clearly defined by physiology, but languages change, and "woman" has come to mean different things to different people. The consensus is much weaker today than it once was.

or possibly nothing to some people, and it's possible they want us to have it mean nothing to us, because that means so much to them...

no one here at least has yet attempted to contribute an example of a change (again, a parallel to the determinist's concern).

Here's an example: The word "witch." At one time the word was universally used in English to refer to a person who possessed magical powers derived from Satan and used those powers to cause harm to others. In a world where we no longer believe in magic, it came to mean a type of character from fairy tales. And today many people use it to refer to a practitioner of the Wicca religion, without reference to magic or Satan or anti-social desires to cause harm to others.

but apply 'woman' (or 'man', of course) onto this pattern.
today, what?
today, long myriad of things answer? fine, use as many sentences as you think you need to. the 'alternative definition' people don't seem to be quite as forthcoming with an alternative definition as anyone else for any other word.

A word means what people intend it to mean, and with many words there is ambiguity.

if there's so much ambiguity that one can't even say 'it's everything' like people do with the most worthless useless 'definition of god', I would argue we probably don't have an ambiguous term, but no term at all ... sound and fury signifying nothing, until further evidence comes to light to the contrary.l
Quote from: Nietzsche
the inequality of rights is essential to the existence of any rights at all.--A right is a privilege.
Quote from: Ligotti
One cringes to hear scientists cooing over the universe or any part thereof like schoolgirls over-heated by their first crush.

 

personate-rain
personate-rain