For many years I have watched from across the pond in awe of the mental prowess of your arguments. The lethal logic you deployed against countless theists both impressed and inspired me in so many ways.
But then, slowly, things changed. The subject of trans came up more and more. I watched as it came from the religious due to their dogmatic biblical hatred of gays and agreed with you as you batted their bigotry away. Homosexuality you see is as natural as leaves on a tree.
But then the new left came along. Fueled by the pandemic and grown by the media, more and more extreme views were adopted and then something inexplicable happened. A union was formed between the ‘new atheists’ (I saw myself as part of this group, but not any more) who were mostly classically liberal free-thinking humanists and the new left, neo liberal postmodernists who utilize literal fascism to get their own way while simultaneously declaring that anyone who disagrees with them or doesn’t say the correct thing are fascists. The irony is delicious. There are clear reasons for this of course, one group is naturally virtuous, the other pretends to be virtuous, and as the old saying goes birds of a feather flock together.
And then it happened…
The great Matt Dillahunty fell, hook line and sinker, for the same theistic traps you have fought against for decades. Anyone who disagreed with you on the subject of trans was now a transphobe. Anyone having an opposing view was a bigot or worse and the debate was shut down immediately. Lies trumped truth. I imagine, and forgive me for being presumptuous, that you know lots of lovely kind hearted trans folk and you feel you must defend the underdog. All this proves, if true, is that you’re human, but it’s human psychology that gives religions their power. There are troubling parallels with religion and the wider trans ideology and if you bear with me I’ll try and make the argument with as few references to trans as possible.
The old words used to demonize or silence free minds or outspoken critics of the religion or it’s dogma, words like heretic or blasphemer, have been replaced with new catch all words like bigot, fascist, transphobe or terms like hate speech have risen and are used in exactly the same way heretic or blasphemer were used.
Indeed, those deploying these words do so under the vail of virtue just as the religious have done for millennia. They’re self-righteous and thus immune to criticism but the underlying motive, ultimately, is just to silence the opposition. Because actual debate or conversation betrays the weakness of their belief system, that it cannot withstand scrutiny. To declare the emperor has no clothes on is sheer blasphemy and must be decried as hate speech.
New laws and the modern Spanish inquisition.
Truth is lethal to religious dogma old and new. Truth then must be controlled or even outlawed. In order for statements of obvious truth, (truths taken for granted just a few years ago as so basic they wouldn’t even be a subject for discussion), to be criminalized you have to introduce new laws in the religion’s favor. For classical religions you have blasphemy laws, you have tax exemption, you have religious indoctrination in schools, and you have religious proclamations everywhere, in the military, citizenships, literally on currency and so on.
The new religion has it’s own new laws, new hate speech laws, new compelled speech laws, laws compelling governments to house biological males in female prisons, for example. Compelled speech in North Korea declaring love for the dear leaders was seen as a nightmarish Orwellian crime against humanity and yet we see more and more compelled speech in law. If something was objectively true you would not need laws to compel speech but in the end forcing individuals to say what you want them to say is abhorrent and deeply toxic.
But force they will, and come for anyone who dissents they do. Cancel culture is the new Spanish inquisition, jobs, lives, all are disposable because the new heretics are subhuman and must be obliterated by the activist heroes of the new left and the cynical media exploiting it all for financial gain. An old tweet is enough to utterly destroy a career or a life.
Emotion is the new faith.
Like classic religions of old the new religions have no basis in reality. Cutting the plums off a dog does not make it a bitch. What is left are feelings based on the emotions of decent humanists, or the delusions of the mentally ill, or the claims of sexual fantasists. Emotion, you see, is the new faith, it’s all that matters and is held as the highest virtue but, properly scrutinized the dogma is utterly baseless. This is why free speech is under attack, why the ridiculous power of made-up pronouns has taken center stage. Humanists have joined forces, slowly over time, with abject narcissists. But why should I use the chosen pronouns of a perfect stranger? Well, because of emotions, because it would be rude not to, it would even be hateful and bigoted, and nobody wants to be called a heretic and burned at the steak on social media.
The truth however is the opposite, we cannot choose our pronouns, they are external to ourselves, they’re descriptors that refer either to the participants in the discourse (I, you) or to someone or something mentioned elsewhere in the discourse (she, it, this). New third-party personal pronouns is a category invented and adopted to service only the new religion and is forcing fractures in language itself, if we no longer have objective things we agree on in language and the language can now change according to the emotional whims of strangers then the language itself fails as a tool of common discourse.
Lies as a new foundation of society.
Gods, demons, hell, sin, the resurrection, vicarious redemption…all lies once, and often still, underpinning society itself. The new religion is no different. Chosen pronouns are now lies taken as gospel. The argument ‘why do you care?’ or ‘it’s none of your business’ are staples of the religious. Many do care, and when it comes into our lives uninvited it becomes our business. As an atheist I care that the slogans of a cult are chanted at my kids school assembly, for example. The new religion is no different. Children in schools, places of literal fact and education are being taught that, depending on the feelings of others, lies and falsehoods are virtuous. Lies lead to misery, as with classical religions they provide the cure. Suicide rates are high, they say because of society not openly accepting the lie, but 70 years ago the suicide rates were miniscule with zero acceptance. The truth is, transitioning isn’t a path to happiness, only addressing the underlying mental health issue is a viable path. Indeed, on the one hand a gay person cannot choose to be straight, which was the horror of so-called conversion therapy, but simultaneously you can choose your gender and from that your sex. This makes no sense. So…Gay is immutable fact (it is, by the way) but biology is a whimsical social construct? You can’t change your biology, and if we can’t change our biology then everything that follows is merely pretend, even if the pretense is extreme and in some cases flawless. But then we get to the maze of internal inconsistencies rivalled only by the bible. Genitals don’t tell you your gender, but cutting off a penis makes a man more of a women? Again, it’s none sensical.
As you’ve said yourself, what matters is the truth, the goal is the well being of others and well being that relies on lies is nothing but an illusion.
With all of that said, I’m not anti-trans, in fact I don’t know anyone personally who is. I’ve had transsexual, transvestite and cross dressing friends over the years, without an issue or moment of disrespect. But there in lies the issue doesn’t it? I can’t hold the reasonable position, that there are 2 sexes, with a spectrum of human temperament from feminine to masculine, and that a man pretending to be a woman has every right to do so if he chooses but can never actually be a woman. This requires no change in language, no new laws depriving people of their freedom of speech, no indoctrination in schools confusing an entire generation. No, you see this position is taboo, we must chant the lie, we must call him a ‘her’ and know in our hearts it’s a nonsense. Just as the preacher addressing his flock on a Sunday morning knows in his heart that he’s lying through his teeth.
I ask you to take a step back and reassess, It’s understood by most that you come from a place of kindness but the over all damage being caused, needlessly, in the name of goodness, isn’t something that good comes from. Just like Christianity. Right at this minute, you’re guilty of heinous hypocrisy. And remember the new left eat their own.