The Philosophy of Gender

28 thoughts on “The Philosophy of Gender”

  1. The homosexual agenda has obliterated four salient categories of truth found in the gospel:

    God – The biblical God is supreme Creator, Redeemer, personal, arbiter of right and wrong, good and bad, and judge. All other gods derive from the created order
    Authority – Authority is one of the most challenged issue with humanity. A break with God is a break with His authority and the creation of one’s own authority. Once the break occurs, anything goes, and one does whatever is right in one’s eyes. That also applies to the body as much as anything else.
    The Human Condition – Rejection of God and His authority leads to a fallen human condition, alien from God, others, and the world as Schaeffer used to say.
    Remedy – This category depends on the god one accepts, the authority one establishes, and the perspective of humanity’s condition. Humanity selects a remedy from the created order that best fits what seems to be the problem In selecting the remedy, God’s remedy for the human condition is rejected: Jesus the Redeemer.

  2. You’ve nailed it very well, Doug. I can’t imagine what could be added to make a stronger argument.

  3. How true. Our culture has the audacity to believe that all knowledge is accessible through our five senses and there is nothing beyond our reach. And through this wisdom, we can’t even figure out what gender we are.

  4. First of all, it is not true that: “The tradition of the human race that male and female are fixed.” In fact, transgenderism in various forms is deeply antique and universal in all cultures.

    I am at a profound loss to imagine how you understood the idea that God created “them man and woman” to mean that transgenderism is therefore invalid. Surely, the very created nature of a person means that the individual can no more deny their gender than deny God. When a transgender person transition to their gender, becoming a woman, let’s say, then she is affirming the gender she was created by God to possess. Notice that it is “man and woman” that is created, not “those with penises called man, and those with vaginas called women.” The Bible, therefore, joins modern society by saying that “man and woman” is not about biology; it is about that created gender that cannot be denied, despite biology, culture, or circumstance.

    Also, I am at a profound loss to imagine how you understood the idea that man leaves his mother and father and is united with his wife to created a definition of heterosexual experience to the exclusion of homosexual experience in the world. Does the same passage also condemn those men who live at home with their wives? What about those men whose mother or father have already died when they leave home? What about men who chose to die bachelors? Are these all Biblically condemned? Of course not, that would be silly! And, of course, to imagine that a very easy to understand portrait of adulthood (leaving home and marrying) should not be misconstrued to condemn those same-sex persons who are exprience the exact same adult experience in the world.

    Furthermore, your suggestion that, “Gender is only a placeholder for the will of the identifier, who chooses gender not on the basis of anything stable or trustworthy, but only through erotic eccentricity,” is simply not consistent with the narratives of transgendered persons. Therefore, it is merely unscientific, and opinion offered without an familiarity with facts.

    1. Genesis 2 endorses traditional marriage. It does not exclude being single; there are numerous singles in the Bible, such as Jesus himself. The Bible never condemns singles. It does condemn same sex eroticism. See Leviticus 18 and the texts I cited.

      The narratives of transgendered people is not the final word. Many are now claiming to switch gender at will.

      1. I find it strange that one would use Leviticus 18 to support their claim that homosexuality is condemned by Christ. Leviticus condemns a lot of things, and Christians do not follow what it says in any other area except to condemn gays. No one is being condemned for wearing clothes that have more than one fabric in them.

        Genesis does not support hetero only marriages. And if we are going off the Old Testament for examples of marriage, then polygamy should be a norm. However, we have rejected the Old Testament as a basis for morality because it supports things such as slavery and executing children. To use the Old Testament to condemn others is to make a hypocrite of yourself.

        No where in the Gospels does it ever mention homosexuality. In fact, when Jesus talks about eunuchs in Matthew 19 one easily supportee interpretation is he is talkong about homosexuals, because one use of “eunuch” in those times is simply a man who does not sleep with women.

        Paul in Romans 1 is using language that relates to temple prostitution and pederastry. These are things that most people today think of as wrong. It wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that people started interpreting any passage of the New Testament to speak against homosexuals.

        Also, if you sincerely believe those passages are anti-gay, and are going to use Paul to rail against gays you also need to make women cpver their hair, prevent them from speaking in front of men, and support slavery. Seriously, the amount pf hypocrisy there is astounding.

        Lastly, I think you should spend more time doing an honest study of gender theory and the science behind the idea that sex and gender are socially and linguistically constructed. God may speak to your heart as you take the time to grow your knowledge and perhaps you will understand things differently. Honest study is very important!

    2. Theodore,

      You raise several points I believe can be easily addressed from a biblical view. To address an issue, it is important to come to a definition of terms so that the parties can understand one another. One of the first terms you introduce in your reply is “transgenderism.” First, let us discuss origin of terms. That word is extremely early in usage in the English language (1970-1975). It actually replaced the word transsexual, and arose from the homosexual community. It actually joins a word with a word fragment: “trans” and “gender.” In fact, it is so new, that the Oxford American Dictionary (2003) does not include a listing for it. If it is “antique and universal in all cultures,” then it would have crossed over languages as a borrowing or by translation. However, given its etymology, there does not appear to be any support for such a usage or linguistically from other languages or language groups and consequently no evidence that individuals in previous cultures or groups identified themselves by this word or its philosophical concept. You fail to give any evidence to the contrary.

      A more important point is your authority for claiming true or false. The fact that you make a truth claim that Dr. Groothuis is wrong or makes a false statement, you assume that what you claim is the truth. What is your authority: part from “experience” and your own definition? You claim that Dr. Groothuis is simply stating his opinion and offer the caveat of “scientific” to support your claim that his statement is simply “opinion.” However, again, you fail to offer any scientific support for your truth claim. You also posit what is scientific on one side and opinion on another as though they are opposites when they are not, thereby creating a false dichotomy. Additionally, in claiming something as true and something else as false, you establish an objective absolute by which to evaluate the distinction between true and false. Again, the issue of authority arises. What do you claim as your authority for this objective absolute? Furthermore, on what basis do you appraise what is true and false?

      In reply to one of Groothuis’ statements, you state, “…is simply not consistent with the narratives of transgendered persons.” It appears that you accept the “narratives of transgendered persons” as your authority. On what basis are such persons the authority for your truth claims? Previous to this, you appear to cite the Bible as your authority, “The Bible, therefore, joins modern society by saying that “man and woman” is not about biology; it is about that created gender that cannot be denied, despite biology, culture, or circumstance.” What do you mean that “The Bible…joins modern society?” How so? Do you mean that the biblical authors somehow anticipated the philosophical concepts of “modern society” and concurred with it although they knew nothing of such a philosophy described by “transgenderism?” Can you cite any passage from the Bible that supports this truth claim?

      Lastly, concerning your reference to a man leaving his father and mother, have you considered why God gave such a command to a couple who had no mother or father? Consider that God had a reason for giving Adam and Eve this command and that was to pass it down to their offspring for the purpose of bonding as husband and wife apart from their mother and father. That was the whole intent of “one flesh” spoken not only in Genesis but also in Matthew 19 from Jesus and Ephesians 5 from the Apostle Paul. God made them man and woman for the purpose of becoming one flesh. Only a man and woman could do this. Paul affirms this kind of bond when he compared marriage to Christ and the Church with the Church being the Bride of Christ. There is no mention of any other kind of union of marriage in the Bible. Therefore, again, I ask, “What is your authority?” Your authority will determine not only your allegiance or commitment but also the direction of your life.

      1. I fail to see how a false dichotomy is created when saying something is an “opinion”. An opinion is a belief not rooted in “truth” but can still be true, but only by coincidence. Science is a field that uses verifiable evidence, and is very useful in fields like philosophy, theology and religion. Not using science to inform one’s beliefs in our day and age seems to be cognitive dissonance, something unbecoming of academics like Groothuis.

        Your dismissal of the claim that there has always been transgenders because the word is recent shows you have not studied languages much. Words signify ideas, so in saying transgenderism has been here long one is saying the thing that the word signifies has been around a long time, not the word itself. In fact a simple google search can provide one with evidence to support that.

        Authority, you never actually made a point when you started discussing authority, though I will take it to mean that you assume the bible is the ultimate authority. I disagree with that, on the grounds that I believe in god differently than you do. I use many sources to inform my religious beliefs. For me to dismiss your ideas because you believe differently than me would be very wrong of me because I believe we should respect one another. I think you should treat others with the respect you believe they should treat you with.

      2. Andrew,

        Allow me to address the difficulties you seem to have with logic and reason. You admit that you do not understand my claim of false dichotomy. I understand why in your reply. You concentrated only on one side, “opinion,” and ignored what Theodore posed as its opposite – “scientific.” That is the false dichotomy to which I referred. Theodore’s argument traded on these two as false opposites, and he was logically incoherent in his application.
        You then stray into three unrelated directions in the same paragraph. In doing so, you make three unsupported claims while accusing Dr. Groothius of not subscribing to your unsupported claims. Your first one is incoherent by claiming that an opinion is not rooted in “truth” [sic] can be true. If I claim the factually false formula that in my opinion 2+3=6, it can still be true according to your claim. That is incoherent and a violation of the law of non-contradiction that A cannot equal non-A or something cannot be true and false simultaneously.

        You then proceed to you second unrelated claim of the absolutism of science for one’s beliefs as “cognitive dissonance.” I assume you believe what you claim. If so, what science informs your belief of this claim? You give no scientific evidence for it. The claim that science is “useful” is not evidence and really irrelevant for your claim. You do make a qualifier for this claim – “in our day.” This qualifier suggests that in any other days prior to “our day and age,” not using science to inform one’s belief may not lead to “cognitive dissonance. However, you give no explanation as to why.

        Your attempt to refute my etymological claims for transgenderism trades on incoherence. That is, I cannot make sense about what you said. Therefore, I will simply ignore it.

        In your last paragraph, you claimed I never made a point about authority (I assume you meant to Theodore) when in fact I made several. Apparently, you overlooked my opening sentence. I also suggested claims and “objective absolutes” point to an authority. I argued in paragraph three the logical conclusions for Theodore’s authority, elaborated on that conclusion, and posed a number of questions. Not only did you seem to overlook these proposals, but you also must have overlooked my final sentence. Therefore, you are mistaken.

        In your last paragraph, you stated that you “disagree with that.” However, I do not really understand with what you disagree because your pronoun does not have a clear referent. However, given your disagreement with me on something nebulous, on what basis do you disagree? If you disagree, you make the claim of being right. On what basis do you stake the claim of being right? Your belief in your “god” is irrelevant to your disagreement since I am not sure with what you disagree, and you do not make clear what your “god” has anything to do with your hazy disagreement.

        You write unrelatedly of “wrong” and “respect,” but you fail to identify what informs these values. On what basis do you judge right and wrong or the value of respect? You also make an absolute claim of the treatment of others by claiming what we “should” do. On what basis or criteria do you apply such values? What if I disagree with your claim of right and wrong or your value of respect (which you left undefined)? Who will arbitrate who is right or wrong? If there were indeed an arbitrator, on what basis would that arbitrator decide between conflicting claims of right or wrong or values? What criteria would such an arbitrator use for such decisions? How do you know you are not on the wrong side of any right and wrong claim? On what authority do you claim the basis of right or wrong or good and bad? You cited unidentified sources for your belief systems of your god. How do you know if your sources are right or wrong or good or bad? What criteria do you use to evaluate these sources for validity of values? If we are in conflict over our religious beliefs, who is to say who’s belief system is right or wrong (You interchange “beliefs” and “ideas.” They are not the same)? Additionally, why should I respect something I believe is wrong or bad? What if someone believes lying or mercy or honor killing is right and good? Should I respect that belief and corresponding belief system?

        I look forward to your answers.

    1. Olivia,

      A personal attack is not an argument on the merits toward whatever you are addressing your comment of “bigotry and hypocrisy.” If you disagree with Dr. Groothius on a specific point, your rebuttal or counterclaim needs to identify with what you disagree. Otherwise, the merit of your reply has little value and fails to enlighten the audience not only concerning your disagreement but also how your disagreement attaches to Dr. Groothius’ argument. The value of a reply comes in a sound refutation and not in logical fallacies. Ad hominem has little value, fails to enlighten, defeats whatever you attempt to convey, and does not persuade anyone about your disagreement.

      1. First of all, my previous comment was not an Ad Hominem by virtue of the fact that it was aimed at his arguments. You should know better than an Ad Hominem is a direct attack to the PERSON. How, in any way, have I attacked Dr. Groothius directly?

        But, you know what? What I find appalling with this article is his essentialist/fundamentalist interpretation of Bible passages that ONLY seemingly say anything normative about gender and sexuality. I’ve encountered a lot of people who speak, write, and -dare I say-‘preach’ like Dr. Groothius.

        “Gender is only a placeholder for the will of the identifier, who chooses gender not on the basis of anything stable or trustworthy, but only through erotic eccentricity.” This particular line shows how Dr. Groothius’s argument about gender is very much inclined towards fundamentalist/essentialist readings of the bible.

        I’m not going to spend any more time nitpicking each of his arguments, because it will just inevitably go back in circles through constant reference to sacred scripture (i.e. “because it’s in the Bible”). Call this a preemption; that’s not my problem. I have a suggestion, however. Try reading Existential Thomism and see if it could shed some light to you and Dr. Groothius.

      2. Olivia,

        Again, you raise another logical fallacy called a straw man by attributing to Dr. Groothius a “fundamentalist/essentialist” position without identifying what you mean by those terms. Your first comment was indeed a personal attack in that a written word cannot be assailed in such manner since it is not a living entity.

        You see, most people who oppose the biblical teaching of gender fail to research and gather the evidence from all of Scripture to arrive at the truth that God disclosed.

        When God created man and woman, He brought them together as complementary. Genesis declares that when God created Adam (man), He created them in such a manner that Adam found none of the other animals complementary to him. God then presented Eve to him, and that settled the issue for Adam, because he then proclaimed, “bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23). The next statement elaborates on God’s plan, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (24). However, that is not the entire story. Jesus also affirmed God’s plan of the marriage of man and woman (Matt. 19) as did Paul the Apostle (Ephesians. 5). Now Paul took the relationship to a higher level in declaring that God desired this relationship to reflect that of Christ and the Church. It was God’s plan all along that the marriage between a man and woman should reflect this spiritual reality (John 3:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 18:23; 19:7). God chose no other relationship to reflect this spiritual reality. To seek to change and obliterate this relationship is to destroy not only God’s authority and declaration but also the whole realm of redemption. The bride represents all those who believe Jesus as Savior and who wait for the Bridegroom (Jesus) to go to the house prepared for them.

        Now you can argue that you do not believe the Bible and reject its authority, but that would be a rabbit trail and an entirely different argument. To successfully counter an argument, you must address it directly without taking rabbit trails into ad hominem and straw man arguments (logical fallacies). Otherwise you would be presenting an apples and oranges argument, an evasive maneuver that does nothing but sidetrack. Such an argument is unpersuasive and unsuccessful. You can talk about something being “appalling” or refer to interpretation all you wish, but unless you can counter Dr. Groothius’ argument on its face, then you have not successfully presented a counter claim, and your argument fails and his stands.

    2. Olivia,
      I would like to return to your original statement with some questions for you. I would like to narrow this discussion down to this statement so that there are no rabbit trails. Your original statement consisted of the following: “Bigotry and hypocrisy at its finest.”

      Now, on its face, the statement is unsourced. That is, it does not point to any specific source or context. Second, as a reader, I am uncertain how you are using the two terms, “bigotry” and “hypocrisy,” since the statement is unsourced. Therefore, I would like to ask two questions at the outset:
      1. What is the source for your claim of bigotry and hypocrisy?
      2. How are you defining your two terms since they are unsourced?

      In identifying your source, please be specific and use syllogistic form as to how this source reflects bigotry and hypocrisy. Use the same syllogistic form to identify the criteria you use for making your judgment.

      Another thought that comes to mind for me refers to your reply concerning your disagreement of your statement being a personal attack. You said it was not since it did not attack the person. That is unclear from your statement since it is unsourced.

      Therefore, I have a set of questions. Can one guilty of hypocrisy not be a hypocrite, or can one guilty of bigotry not be a bigot? Allow me to expand. Can one guilty of lying not be a liar? Can one guilty of slander not be a slanderer? Can one guilty of murder not be a murderer? Can one guilty of theft not be a thief? Let me bring this line of questioning back to bigotry and hypocrisy. Can one’s words express bigotry in your opinion without the person saying them not being a bigot? Can one’s words express hypocrisy without one being a hypocrite?

      Please explain how each case is possible by using syllogistic form. Furthermore, please explain in syllogistic form how using bigotry and hypocrisy is different from the examples I gave of lying, slander, theft, or murder. Before you proceed to this step, you must first define how you are using and applying the terms of bigotry and hypocrisy. Otherwise, you would not be able to advance to this step.

      The statement you make is of an absolute sense. That is, to whatever you refer as hypocrisy and bigotry is what you establish they are. Since you do apply absolutes, you establish an absolute standard by which to make your judgments. I would like to know the following from you:
      1. Please identify the source for your standard and present a reasoned reply in syllogistic form in defense of your standard.
      2. How do you know you are right or wrong in your assessment of Dr. Groothius words?
      3. On what basis do you make your judgment?
      4. If someone disagrees with you, is that person wrong in his or her disagreement?
      5. If so, on what basis would such a person be wrong?
      6. What is your authority for making your absolute judgment?
      7. What standard informs your judgment?

      Please defend the above with syllogistic form. Of course, you would not be able to reply to the above until you define your terms.

      Now, I have laid out a course for discussion of your claims of bigotry and hypocrisy. If you do not or cannot reply, then I assume this discussion over. If you launch into personal attack, then the discussion ceases.

      As a Christian myself, I attempt to crystalize my own positions for my faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord of my life. He is my hope for this life and the next. When people ask (or even demand) that I defend my faith, I am very happy to do so. If I cannot, that means I do not have a very good answer and that I have a lot of homework to perform for giving a ready reply for what I believe and why. I believe my faith has sufficient value to give an answer for what and why I believe. The above outline I pose for you is the process I actually use for replying to others concerning what I believe. If a person cannot defend their claims, then their claims cannot stand for them.

      Remember, the focus of my questions and inquiries is very specific and refers only to your first statement, “Bigotry and hypocrisy at its finest.” I am not addressing any subsequent claims you made and therefore will not return to them until we have addressed your initial claim. I like dealing with one claim at a time and do not like taking rabbit trails. Therefore, I will ignore any sidetracking onto rabbit trails and always return to your original statement.

      I look forward to your reply.

      1. Your rebuttals are full of assumptions and rabbit trails themselves. You are also committing a strawman by focusing on only my first argument, which I have clearly supplemented with other compelling arguments.

        Please allow me to commit an ad hominem and tell you to study logic and grow some balls. Have a nice day!

  5. “a written word cannot be assailed in such manner since it is not a living entity.” Where in the world did you get that? Nevertheless, I was talking about a whole argument.

    And my ‘failure’ to justify why I claimed his arguments to be essentialist/fundamentalist does not warrant a Strawman fallacy. I was speaking loosely for the sake of MY TIME. I’m being charitable to both you and all of the readers in that we all know where Dr. Groothius’ line of argument is going. In your previous comment, you, in fact, were providing enough evidence for me to claim that both you and Dr. Groothius’ give a fundamentalist reading to the Bible.

    “God desired this relationship to reflect that of Christ and the Church. It was God’s plan all along that the marriage between a man and woman should reflect this spiritual reality (John 3:29; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 18:23; 19:7). God chose no other relationship to reflect this spiritual reality. To seek to change and obliterate this relationship is to destroy not only God’s authority and declaration but also the whole realm of redemption.” NOW, if you read carefully, it doesn’t really say that homosexuality, cissgenders, same-sex marriage, etc. should be condemned, or that ‘man’ and ‘woman’ are the only ‘categories’ which we should identify ourselves with. It simply talks about how the relationship of man and woman should reflect that of Christ and the Church. I dare you to find a bible passage that completely refutes what I just said.

    Moreoever, yes I may argue that I do not believe in the Bible. But to argue this does not necessarily yield to a Rabbit Trail as you claim to be. WHO WROTE THE BIBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE? Haven’t you considered that your beloved bible might be a deified propaganda against certain behaviors deemed immoral — which may turn out to be socially constructed after all? Also, don’t believers follow of the teachings the bible out of faith?

  6. I wish a person would certainly have informed me I would certainly start to externalize men, build
    up pictures in my mind and also think about sex everyday, to the point where I could not
    remain focused on anything else.

  7. I agree there is not enough science on the subject and scienice is not found in the bible or in the imaginings of some ethereal being.

    Pleading to authority is a vacuous argument and falls far short of any further consideration.

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