Showing posts from December, 2015

Is transgenderism healthy?

Tonight I commented on an article about the hot-button issue of transgendered people and locker rooms , and it got me thinking. I'm very much a civil libertarian: I support people's right to dress, behave, and alter their bodies however they wish so long as they don't harm others. But saying I support their civil liberty doesn't mean I think their choices are wise or healthy. I tried to find studies on long-term mental outcomes for individuals who've undergone a sex change; there's very little research, unfortunately, but what exists is not encouraging : Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population. So this raises an issue: in support of people's civil liberties, we left-leaning types tend to deny that transgenderism is a mental disorder. But it seems that even if we don't think there's anything mora

Sorry, Franklin Graham: it's perfectly American to believe terrible things

Neo-conservative fluff emporium WND reports that Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelical preacher Billy Graham, has echoed the concerns of Donald Trump and his supporters by suggesting that somewhere around 144,000 U.S. Muslims tacitly condone terrorism: Graham’s comments have been posted over the last 24 hours on his Facebook page, where he noted the mantra from “political leaders and world experts” that “the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people.  Some have suggested that as many as 99 percent fall into this category. Well, we don’t have to guess or estimate; the Pew Research Center has released extensive research on how Muslims in the U.S. self-identify on questions of violence – and the conclusions are frightening.  Graham cited the 1.8 million Muslim adults in the United States.  Pew Research released that eight percent of adult Muslims in the U.S. said that suicide bombings and other forms of violence in the name of Islam are ‘sometimes’ or ‘often’ justified. T

Why didn't philosophers predict the quantum universe?

Anyone who's read my blog(s) over the years knows that I'm very skeptical about 'metaphysics' as an intellectual and academic discipline — particularly the notion that a 'study of metaphysics' can reveal any stable truths about reality. There are many reasons why, but I'll recap the most important ones: 'Metaphysics' as a concept has never been consistently and clearly defined The notion of what constitutes a metaphysical problem has never been consistently and clearly defined; indeed many past 'metaphysical' conundrums have been subsequently subsumed under scientific inquiry A clear and consistent methodology of solving metaphysical problems has never been established. Instead, to quote Lakoff, "For the most part, philosophers engaged in making metaphysical claims are choosing from the cognitive unconscious a set of existing metaphors that have a consistent ontology. That is, using unconscious everyday metaphors, philosophers see