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bazzy

Debating scientific facts with the simple

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This seems to be the most appropriate place to put this one, I have been confronted by a someone who from what I can tell is a conservative Christian, he places the claim that transgender people are not a thing and that they are assigned their gender at birth and that human gender is exclusively for reproduction and hormones and sexuality and psychological factors are irrelevant. I provided a paper from the Harvard University on the subject, it shows the issue to transcend basic reproduction, yet when I provide that all I get in reply is that I am wrong because doctors assign gender at birth and that even surgery won't change that. I ask them to back that up with evidence of the same quality to that I provide, but all I get back is "I am right because it is the TRUTH." 

 

How do you put your position across to an argument like that? he could not possibly have read the paper i provided because it was long and it took me nearly 35 minutes to read it and I knew what it was about and I am a fast reader he, however, took less than 5 minutes.

 

Is this a situation where it's just a matter of giving up?

also, this debate is being played out on a public forum (twitter) so i feel compelled to correct him.

Edited by bazzy

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It's difficult using logic and evidence to argue someone out of a position at which they arrived using neither. 

 

Remember, though, that others may be watching and you have the opportunity to take the high road, approach the situation with respect and kindness, and potentially even convince them of the merits of your stance (even if you never know you have). 

Edited by iNow

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yeah, i guess. he is really making a jack of himself to be honest because now he has jumped to another thread and started arguing with me that Same Sex Marriage leads to polygamy 

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Attack the weaknesses. Point out the fallacies. Stick to the facts and don't let your emotion drive you (even though you're sure to get frustrated and exasperated).

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i think i am just going to stop debating him he is saying that my position that is based on the general scientific consensus is "full of holes" then just repeats his argument. 

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Here's a post from me nearly 8 years ago. It could probably be updated and tightened up a bit, but maybe the information contained within will help you focus your argument in a new way:  

In context of your post, this quote from the Kinsey Scale wiki page is the money shot:

"The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories... The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects."

Edited by iNow

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Politely ask him to point out the "holes" so you can fill them ... with facts. Naughty pun optional. But more seriously, ask him for how the information you've provided supposedly fails. He will likely just repeat that he is right. Others reading will hopefully see that he doesn't understand the subject well enough to point out those supposed failings.

If he ignores your request, you could even ask if he's not replying with the 'failings' because he's not understanding something and can he say what part that is you you can try to explain it to him - assuming you are up for doing such explanations since someone else might ask for clarifications if the discussion is open to others.

 

iNow, thank you for the link.

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What iNow said. People who arrive at a position via ideology and emotion actually "dig in" and have their belief strengthened when it's attacked with logic and facts.

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1. Expose them to the fact that someone disagrees with them. People with those kinds of beliefs have often spent most of their lives surrounded by people who unquestioningly think the same. 

2. Abandon all hope that you can actually alter their belief, because that's what it is: a belief, not a hypothesis.

3. Focus on exposing people who are not yet entrenched to a variety of perspectives. This guy probably wont be convinced, he may gradually find himself in a less aggressive stance, or may not. Hope for his children remains.

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I had a family member tell me that she believes we landed on the moon, but that the US government hired Stanley Kubrik to shoot the footage we see because the real footage didn't look as good. I mentioned that Snopes had debunked that particular bit of dishonesty, and told her about confirmation bias and how insidious it was since most people who emotionally believe something can't be talked out of it with reason and facts. 

She told me she wasn't like that at all. That's when I reminded her that we'd already had this conversation two years ago, the last time I heard her make that ignorant, asinine statement about Kubrick faking the moon landing. I described that incident as well, and I could tell she remembered it, but still chose to re-tell the misinformation whenever the subject comes up.

The most bizarre part is, I could tell she was skeptical the second time I told her about the Snopes debunking as well. She will continue to spread the Kubrick lie.

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15 hours ago, Phi for All said:

I had a family member tell me that she believes we landed on the moon, but that the US government hired Stanley Kubrik to shoot the footage we see because the real footage didn't look as good. I mentioned that Snopes had debunked that particular bit of dishonesty, and told her about confirmation bias and how insidious it was since most people who emotionally believe something can't be talked out of it with reason and facts. 

She told me she wasn't like that at all. That's when I reminded her that we'd already had this conversation two years ago, the last time I heard her make that ignorant, asinine statement about Kubrick faking the moon landing. I described that incident as well, and I could tell she remembered it, but still chose to re-tell the misinformation whenever the subject comes up.

The most bizarre part is, I could tell she was skeptical the second time I told her about the Snopes debunking as well. She will continue to spread the Kubrick lie.

There's a name for this phenomenon as well, though I can't recall it ATM. You remember the story better than you remember the veracity of it. Which is why repeating lies while debunking them often backfires. 

When I was teaching we called this the "not filter". Never tell the class "X is not true" because the first thing they forget is the "not".

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Let me preface this by mentioning that I don't care what people do in the pursuit of personal happiness; Gender reassignment and same sex marriage don't affect me in any way. Just so you don't get the wrong impression that I'm opposed to them.

I often take a contrary view to stir up discussion, so you can attack my argument as 'practice'.
This is the argument...

I walk into a doctor's office and tell him/her I'm Napoleon.
Yet I'm not a short, balding man. I don't have a curved nose nor a French accent. And I don't keep my hand tucked in my vest/jacket.
They put in a padded cell.

I walk into a doctor's office and tell him/her I'm a woman.
Yet I don't have the biological traits of a woman, but rather, of a man.
They schedule me for sex reassignment surgery.

Why is one a mental disorder, and not the other ?

Edited by MigL

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A significant number of humans are born intersexed, neither male not female and possesing genitalia parts from both sexes. How does your friend dismiss this? 

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Migl, that is easily countered. Just ask the person posing such a question to provide a definition of "biological traits of a man/woman" that works in all cases.

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'Hey, you're not Bazzy !

I would reply...
" Sure , as soon as you define MAN and WOMAN."

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8 hours ago, MigL said:

I walk into a doctor's office and tell him/her I'm Napoleon.

Yet I'm not a short, balding man. I don't have a curved nose nor a French accent. And I don't keep my hand tucked in my vest/jacket.
They put in a padded cell.

I walk into a doctor's office and tell him/her I'm a woman.
Yet I don't have the biological traits of a woman, but rather, of a man.
They schedule me for sex reassignment surgery.

Why is one a mental disorder, and not the other ?

I think I know this one. The second isn't a mental disorder because few transexuals invade Russia.

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bazzy, I spent three years debating informally on a Christian-run forum that focused on the theory of biological evolution, which led to discussions of origin of life, the fossil record, intelligent design (or not) and such.

With this in mind, I ask, respectfully, you to provide a link to the paper you submitted to Harvard so that I--and we--can give you specific advice. Thanks.

For the record, I identified as an "I don't know" Agnostic on the aforementioned forum and was tolerated for three years without warning points. What I would suggest to you, in lieu of you providing the paper you reference in your OP, that you evaluate the content of the arguments being presented to you by the "conservative Christian" for it's truth-value. He should be evaluating YOUR content for it's truth-value. You might identify yourself as an "atheist" to that Christian and that might be considered detestable to that Christian. None of that informs anyone as to the truth-value of their statements.

Edited by scherado

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6 hours ago, scherado said:

With this in mind, I ask, respectfully, you to provide a link to the paper you submitted to Harvard so that I--and we--can give you specific advice.

I think you meant from, not to.

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On 7/24/2017 at 9:47 PM, bazzy said:

I provided a paper from the Harvard University on the subject,

 

15 minutes ago, Area54 said:

I think you meant from, not to.

In that case I request the content of the Harvard U paper that was provided to the conservative Christian. Thanks.

10 hours ago, Area54 said:

I think I know this one. The second isn't a mental disorder because few transexuals invade Russia.

The reader who thinks the reason the person who claims to be Napoleon has a mental disorder for the reason that person does not resemble Napoleon, just might be applying for a bed in the room adjacent to the Napoleon impersonator.

Edited by scherado

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19 hours ago, MigL said:

Let me preface this by mentioning that I don't care what people do in the pursuit of personal happiness; Gender reassignment and same sex marriage don't affect me in any way. Just so you don't get the wrong impression that I'm opposed to them.

I often take a contrary view to stir up discussion, so you can attack my argument as 'practice'.
This is the argument...

I walk into a doctor's office and tell him/her I'm Napoleon.
Yet I'm not a short, balding man. I don't have a curved nose nor a French accent. And I don't keep my hand tucked in my vest/jacket.
They put in a padded cell.

I walk into a doctor's office and tell him/her I'm a woman.
Yet I don't have the biological traits of a woman, but rather, of a man.
They schedule me for sex reassignment surgery.

Why is one a mental disorder, and not the other ?

They're both mental disorders, the difference is, one is due to physiological reality and the other isn't. 

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