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June 03, 2015

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Can I be defined as transfinancial?

If I believe the only way to self actualize my view of myself is to spend as if I was wealthy, should society not support me and not restrict my spending ability?

Not spending in this way causes emotional pain by causing me to deny my true orientation.

This saddens me. But we cannot let it deter us from our work of presenting a defense for Christianity and the Christian worldview.

We know that one day all of the false worldviews will fall away and Christ will set everything right. But until that time, we must keep talking to people and finding different ways to engage them.

Francis Schaeffer once wrote "Regardless of a man's system, he has to live in God's world."

>> But for a culture that believes human nature and society evolved—not by the reasons and purposes of Another, but by chance and human construct—there’s no human nature, moral reality, or created institutions to which we’re obligated to conform ourselves. Instead, we create our endlessly malleable identities and customs for ourselves.

The ability to make logically rationale distinctions -- a true application of discrimination -- is the foundation of the multiple choice test. Of four options, one is the correct one. And in my experience of teaching, I have seen children's rationalizations for the choices they picked: the answer that sounds "good," the answer with the greatest number of words, the shortest number of words, the answer holding the longest word, etc.

Now all that can be dispensed with with trans-whateveritis-ism. Now we just need the resolve to shade in the ovals for A,B,C, and D (even if D is "all of the above). No fair showing any preferential treatment ... or thought.

This was the nightmare G.K.Chesterton imagined in his novel "The Ball and the Cross." No side is worth fighting for, no principles to maintain ... and all of society finds itself sliding into the asylum which in Chesterton's vision is deemed a perfectly amiable situation, almost politically correct. An asylum you could easily leave, until you come to learn that it is actually an asylum.

Of course it sounds awful, but if those people really want to cut off their own arms, what do you really care?

Oh, I see. If we legitimize Body Integrity Identity Disorder, that changes the definition of the human body, and it demeans those of us who insist on keeping our God-given bodies intact.

Pretty soon the government will fine or imprison those who refuse to cut off their body parts. If the BIID lobby has its way, I'll have to put little armless dolls on the birthday cakes I bake. I'll be forced to take commemorative photos of their amputated stumps. And if I refuse, the government will come and get me!

But actually, BIID is given holy sanction in the Bible. It says right in Matthew 18:9 that "If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you." So I really don't see why Christians get upset about this issue.

"Of course it sounds awful, but if those people really want to cut off their own arms, what do you really care?"

Would it not cost society, and employers, money due to a duty to accommodate their condition?

This is a response I got from sharing this on facebook. How do I respond?
The author is using inflammatory language to make equity seem absurd. The first example implies that abortion is ever performed 5 minutes before birth and that anyone is arguing for infanticide. Neither are true and it reads as just using trying to discredit anyone pro-choice. The second example is attempting to discredit same-sex marriage and the need for gender neutral bathrooms. The discussion of transableism isn't actually what the author claims it is about. Rather, the author is using the example to stir up inflammatory responses to trans surgeries. The author is using this term to discredit trans people as was previously done with their false framing of abortion and infanticide and their homophobic and transphobic arguments. I would urge folks not to get distracted by their tactics-- the topic is not what the author claims it is, it is just a transphobic dismissive strategy.

John Moore,

>> But actually, BIID is given holy sanction in the Bible. It says right in Matthew 18:9 that "If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you." So I really don't see why Christians get upset about this issue.

What nonsense. The Bible has great regard for he hands, the tools needed for valuable service. The positive use of the hands is repeated throughout the Bible. "that you make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, even as we charged you." (1 Thess. 4:11); "Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need." (Ephesians 4:28)

Such abused hermeneutics boils down to what Greg calls "Never Quote a Bible Verse." That is, out of context, without any regard for the pint Jesus was making at the time. In your citation (Matt. 18:9), Jesus was teaching about dealing with temptation. In the simplest of explanations, what Jesus says if given the choice of, let's say, pulling a trigger of a high-assault rifle that could cause death to a large number of innocent people or having the hand removed to avoid the massacre, what is better (the e.g. is mine of course, my way of explaining the clause "if your hand or foot causes you to sin.") The avoidance of sin was the point under discussion; the extremity of self-mutilation is the emphasis of the importance of fighting temptation, a choice of I could fight temptation or make temptation more difficult to choose. I'd fight temptation and keep the hand.

To be consistent, Jesus moves on to this point of lopping off limbs from careful treatment of children to not give them an opportunity of falling away from the faith. In verse six, we read "But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea." What if a child reads one of your posts and rejects the faith. How terrible! if you begin to understand the ramifications of our thoughtless words. It's either keep our words in check or take the big plunge. Again, I'll guard the tongue and use the millstone to grind the wheat.

Now, John, I'll never suggest the "big plunge" for you, but ask that your citation of Scripture is not some cherry-picking, but more of a careful study of the full context of the Bible.

Again, BIID and the point Jesus makes in Mt. 18:9 have nothing in common than a bare similarity. It's like executing a person because he sports a mustache like the felon.

Kimberly,

The first example implies that abortion is ever performed 5 minutes before birth and that anyone is arguing for infanticide. Neither are true and it reads as just using trying to discredit anyone pro-choice.

The article gives two examples of people actually arguing for infanticide. So the Facebook commenter is wrong to say "neither are true". The article doesn't say anyone is trying to argue for abortion specifically five minutes before birth (maybe there are some who argue for that though: those who support partial birth abortion), the point it is that "there is no relevant difference" to allow one and not the other. And if infanticide is permissible, why not five minutes before birth? So clearly some would support both.

The second example is attempting to discredit same-sex marriage and the need for gender neutral bathrooms.

The article is not trying to mount an argument against either position. It's showing how society collapses on both sides and how STR correctly anticipated that.

The discussion of transableism isn't actually what the author claims it is about. Rather, the author is using the example to stir up inflammatory responses to trans surgeries.

Nope... again the article is just pointing out the collapse of moral logic. Or rather, how society is willing to follow its moral logic off cliff. As society embraces things like abortion, same-sex marriage, and transgenderism we see it pushing for more and more absurdities. Society finds itself heading towards a moral cliff without any moral breaks.

I would urge folks not to get distracted by their tactics-- the topic is not what the author claims it is, it is just a transphobic dismissive strategy.

The Facebook commenter is asking you to put on a blindfold so that you wont pay any attention to the cliff ahead of you. I would urge folks not to get distracted by this commenter's tactics. Take off the blindfold. Ask yourself, if I embrace transgender logic, why not transableism?

John M,

Of course it sounds awful, but if those people really want to cut off their own arms, what do you really care?

If we care about the health and well-being of the person, we should care about this person overcoming their disorder. If we care more about our liberal ideology than the person, we should try to find some way to ignore these people (as you're doing) or embrace their disorder and have them slowly destroy themselves so that it doesn't mess up the sexual revolution we're trying to wage.

But that does raise another good question: if atheism, why should we care about someone trying to destroy their health and well-being? Shouldn't.

What if a person really wants to live without a head? Oops. That’s impossible. At first blush, it seems sort of unfair that once the physical head is gone, another problem enters the picture. Specifically, the ability to go on living. The person doesn’t want to kill themselves, but being headless is an attractive idea. All the cursory research I’ve done seems to indicate that doctors wouldn’t perform the procedure.

Even if they would, why should we care about it, right John Moore?

Let’s look at a more reasonable idea: What if a person wants to have both arms and both legs chopped off? Good idea? Bad idea?

Would doctors do it?

Maybe it would take four doctors? One for each limb? Asking one doctor to do all 4 would be asking a lot. That would be an awkward follow up visit.

A good joke from the doctor would be, “I would ask how your arms and legs are feeling but they’re gone!”

I bet the patient and doctor would be yukking it up.

Tremendous article, Amy--thank you--as someone once said, "reality is what you “bump” into (and sometimes get injured by) when you don’t take it seriously." I would think that using examples of this when we dialogue with others, would be helpful in making our point. One such example is that of one of your previous articles, Amy, re John Hopkins Hospital no longer performing sex-change operations because of the 'reality check' of the negative affects that it had on those on whom such operations were performed--your article can be found at: http://www.str.org/blog/why-the-first-hospital-to-do-sex-reassignment-surgeries-no-longer-does-them#.VXBdeNJVhBc

A potential problem:

What if the patient doesn’t like the clean lines of the scalpel? Perhaps the patient likes a more rugged look. You know, something that looks like a real accident.

Would a doctor use a chainsaw to achieve the desired effect?

Lots of possibilities.

Kimberly, Coca-Cola is correct. If you follow the links in the post above (I try to add links to back up what I say as much as possible, so always check them!), you'll find this paper from a scholarly journal wherein they argue that "after-birth abortion" should be allowed. Here's the abstract from their paper:

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

You can see from the abstract that their reasoning is exactly what I said: There's no moral difference between a newborn and an unborn, therefore since it's acceptable to kill the unborn, it's acceptable to kill the newborn. We argue the opposite way: Since it's unacceptable to kill the newborn, it's also unacceptable to kill the unborn. Peter Singer is a bioethics professor at Princeton who also argues that infanticide should be allowed.

Coca-Cola did a great job answering the rest of your questions, and he's nailed the key point with this:

Ask yourself, if I embrace transgender logic, why not transableism?

The point is that the logic for endorsing both is the same. In the end, if a person wants to be consistent, he will endorse both or neither.

Lane, thanks for drawing attention to McHugh's article I quoted at that link. I also recommend you follow the link I attached to the word "endorsing" above for a couple more relevant articles.

We can no longer appeal to absurdity in order to challenge our culture’s consistent conclusions, because in a world we create, nothing is inherently absurd.

Not only can you not appeal to absurdity, you will be made to celebrate it.

In the image of God...He created them male and female...I have no more right to harm myself than I do to harm another. No one owns their body or person beyond what semi autonomy God has given...to purposely disfugure and harm, such that the proper use and function is defaced/ruined, that freedom has not been ever been given man.

I once met a woman who had bitten her arm off... To escape a collapsed building after a catastrophic earthquake

BradB, I agree (and not to push off topic) but how about another application of the principle……
E.G. To purposely break/ruin the proper function of the body through vasectomy for my convenience seems to me to push beyond the semi autonomy God has given. (Not to say the broader concept of birth control is right or wrong, but just the specific method) Would you agree with the application?

minor correction "for one's convenience"
Don't want anyone to be thinking that engaging in answering to the application I used in any way commits them to giving (me or anyone)specific advice.
Is the application NOT a logical conclusion?

Amy:
Why do you think someone wanting to cut off an arm is the same as a person who doesn't think that their genitalia should determine the role they occupy in society?

You've displayed a shocking lack of knowledge about an issue you just wrote a painfully long article about. Why didn't you do even the bare minimum of research into actual transgender perspectives before writing this mess?

Why do you think someone wanting to cut off an arm is the same as a person who doesn't think that their genitalia should determine the role they occupy in society?

I think you've misunderstood the point here. The reason being given right now for having a sex-change operation is not about roles, it's about bodies. They say they're in the wrong body—that their true self has different genitalia. That is, that some of their body parts must be removed in order for their body to match their true self. If this were merely about roles, there would be no reason to remove anything in the body. This is about changing the body to match the perceived self.

This is the exact same reason being offered by the transabled for having their body parts removed. That is, their true self does not have an arm, therefore, they must undergo surgery in order to match their true self.

If changing our bodies to match our true selves is what we must do—and what we must affirm in others in order to be compassionate—then it applies equally to both situations.

You do realize that the National Post is satire, yes?

Beverly, as much as I wish you were correct, I think you have this newspaper confused with another one (maybe this one?). This story isn't satire. Look up transabled, look up Body Integrity Identity Disorder. Here's a story on the Huffington Post about one of the people described in the article. It's a real story in a real newspaper.

John Moore,
"But actually, BIID is given holy sanction in the Bible. It says right in Matthew 18:9 that "If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you." So I really don't see why Christians get upset about this issue."

Methinks you are deliberately twisting figurative language.

What is TRUTH? Francis Schaeffer saw what was coming years back. We call these group of people as " Postmodern ( PM )." They can be divided into Hard and Soft PM. Transabled are indeed Hard PM. Because to them they DO NOT BELIEVE in ABSOLUTE TRUTH OR TRUE TRUTH. Indeed Truth is a social construct.
For Christians who indeed Truly believe in God we are grounded in True Truth. We are able to say that is wrong not because I say -- not by my authority-- but by the Creator.
It is amazing as well as sad to see as a human race how we have perverted what was created as Good to ....

Because of this "basic worldview difference" the way to demonstrate their error is to compare and contrast worldviews. We need to do an internal critique of their worldview and show that if followed to its logical conclusion, it leads to absurdity. And then invite them to do an internal critique of the Biblical worldview and show that it and only it makes sense of the world. The common ground we have with the unbeliever, in spite of differing worldviews, is that we both are made in God's image and we both live in God's world. Our common ground with unbelievers is not neutral ground but God's ground.

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