iSoul In the beginning is reality.

Category Archives: Relating

Relating as persons: psychology, society, politics

Sex and gender

Let us untangle the words sex and gender, which have become so confused and adulterated. In the past they were almost synonymous but today are quite different. The Online Etymology Dictionary notes:

As sex (n.) took on erotic qualities in 20c., gender came to be the usual English word for “sex of a human being,” in which use it was at first regarded as colloquial or humorous.

Academic theorists have successfully tied gender to culture, which can change with one’s place, time, or personal inclinations. Today there is no reason to use gender as a substitute for sex, for example on forms. Also one should not say sex when one means gender.

Let us then accept the simple distinction between sex, a biological term, and gender, a cultural term. In accord with this, let us distinguish male and female sexes from masculine and feminine genders. The former is fixed at conception, recorded at birth, and an aspect of physical embodiment throughout life.

Let us also acknowledge that there is no simple relation between male and female on the one hand, and masculine and feminine on the other hand. We could posit as a definition that masculine means the cultural expectations for males, and feminine means the cultural expectations for females.

But it would be simplistic to speak as though males are always masculine and females are always feminine. We are all a mix of masculine and feminine aspects, although their definition suggests that most males are mostly masculine and most females are mostly feminine.

What if a male is mostly feminine or a female is mostly masculine? Some societies would not permit it, but most find a way of accommodation. This has been the source of humor as, for example, the not-so masculine husband with the not-so feminine wife who appear to act in socially expected ways but really do not.

What if a male is so feminine they want to be addressed with a feminine pronoun, or a female is so masculine they want to be addressed with a masculine pronoun? On the face of it, masculine behavior and masculine pronouns might seem to go together, as might feminine behavior and feminine pronouns. But that would make society captive to personal behaviors that have changed and may change again. One purpose of culture, that is, social conventions, is to make things simpler for society. Conforming society to the changed and changing behaviors of individuals would make society the pawn of individuals. That would be counter to social solidarity.

So let us use pronouns that correspond to sex, not gender. A similar argument holds for what should be obvious, public accommodations such as public bathrooms that are related to biological functioning, in which public safety and comfort are also at issue.

Deception technique

A common method of deception is for the deceiver (or group of deceivers) to strongly accuse someone else of doing what the deceiver is doing. The deceiver is attempting to deflect attention about what they are doing away from them. They want others to think that the deceiver is the last person who would be doing such a thing because they are so against others doing that.

Self-deceived deceivers do this as well, though unconsciously. They “do unto others what they do not want others to do unto them” in reverse of the Golden Rule. Beware: “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” (Mt. 7:2)

The clue that there is deception (including self-deception) is the emotion behind the deceiver’s accusation. The deceiver has little rational argument to offer but much suggestion, innuendo, and exaggeration. The deceiver may also tell lies about others (and themselves), which they might believe if they are self-deceived. There may also be “fellow travelers” and others who are duped into promoting the deception.

The mass media and social media unwittingly promote deception by sharing it with others as if it they were endorsing it. With many unsubstantiated accusations being spread by the media, people don’t know whom to believe. That allows even more deception to be introduced. It’s very difficult to find the truth in all of this. People even lose hope that there is truth somewhere. Disaster is the only way out.

Hopefully, this scenario won’t play out in contemporary life, but in the 20th century several countries experienced such a disaster, notably Russia, Germany, and China. May it not happen here.

Speaking of reality

Anti-realism has been popular among the elites for some time. This has led to anti-realist speech spreading to the mass media and general culture. It has also led to much confusion and foolishness. One wonders how it will end, but reality can be averted only so long.

As a start toward speaking of reality the following terms are offered. Note that “pseudo” has been added to anti-realist conceits. If not now, then at some point people will be speaking of reality and will need some terms such as these.

Many terms could be used for the sexual obsessions of the elites. There is pseudo-sex, which means the false couplings of same-sex duos; and the pseudo-sexed, which means the false identities of those who reject biological sex. There are male and female variations of these false couplings and identities as well.

Since these pseudo-couplings have been legalized, there are pseudo-marriages, pseudo-weddings, and pseudo-spouses, too. Some claim to be in transition between their sex and a pseudo-sex, as if there were a middle ground between true and false. The law of the excluded middle has no exceptions so we have pseudo-trans, which is a kind of pseudo-squared.

Politics is much infected with anti-realism as well. There are the pseudo-progressives, who want western civilization to return to something like its pre-Christian condition. Pseudo-liberals want less liberty for the people and less protection for the unborn. Pseudo-conservatives are trying to change things back to a non-existent past.

Even science has fallen for anti-realism. There is pseudo-time, sometimes called deep time, which is the invented world that supposedly existed before time began to be measured (so much for empiricism). This leads to pseudo-history, which is history supposedly turned into a natural science, or rather a pseudo-science. This includes many pseudo-events that no one ever observed and pseudo-dates that no one ever recorded.

To this may be added the attempts to turn reality upside-down with pseudo-heros and pseudo-villians, the pseudo-art, pseudo-music, and pseudo-literature that turn from reality, and the pseudo-religions and pseudo-scriptures that worship a pseudo-god.

One wonders if any area of culture has not been infected with anti-realism. While few will accept these new terms today, there will come a time when many will return to reality. This is written for them.

Logical centrism

Other posts on centrism are here.

A moderate is one who takes two opposing positions and selects something in between. The opposing positions may be anything, so there are many people who call themselves moderate (or sometimes centrist). But moderation in this sense is dependent on the different positions one selects as the ends of a spectrum of positions. Thus anyone can call themselves a moderate.

A logical centrist is one who starts with positions that are contrary opposites, that is, they are opposites that pre-suppose one another. For example, one cannot have up without down, forward without backward, tall without short, etc., so these pairs are contrary opposites. Also included are functional contraries, such as libertarian and egalitarian, since generally speaking increasing one leads to decreasing the other.

Note that contrary opposites do not include the contradictory pairs true and false, good and evil, beautiful and ugly, etc. since they do not pre-suppose one another. That is, the true, the good, the beautiful, etc., stand on their own, whereas their contradictory opposites do not.

What is the contrary of a market economy? One says there is no market for something if either its demand is nil or its supply is nil. So, the contrary of a market economy is one without demand or supply. But that does not mean socialism, the state control of supply and demand, which is contradictory to a market economy.

A market economy tends to encourage greater demand and greater supply by stimulating demand through advertising and increasing production through capital investment. Its contrary opposite would encourage less demand and less supply by promoting conservation, frugality, and living simply. The centrist then selects something in between the contraries of an economy that encourages production and one that encourages conservation.

Notable webpages

One of the original purposes of a blog was a web log, that is, a log of the interesting sites one has visited. This posting is a list of links to webpages that are notable in some way.

* Voting and Elections *

Approval voting – Voting each candidate yea-or-nea

Demeny voting – This is the idea that parents (or legal guardians) have a proxy vote for their children so that children have a political representation.

2016 Presidential Election Results – No candidate won the popular vote in 2016 since no one received a majority of the votes cast.

Washington Initiative 1000 – Washington State legalizes discrimination based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, age, etc. George Wallace would be pleased

* Reverse Chronological Order *

Medieval cure for modernity – As modernity ends, pre-modernity is looking better

The New Family Violence – Canada criminalizes sanity

A Revolution in Time – Time as a timeline

Truth-telling and Big Abortion – Pro-choice deception

Neo-Segregation at Yale – A new form of racial segregation

It’s time to recognise anti-Christianism – Persecution today

Has the Postmodern Revolution Come Full Circle? – Post-truth politics is failing

Read more →

Geography and democracy

I’ve written about this before, here.

The old monarchies are as much about a geographic region as they are about a people. There is a strong identification of people and place. It’s the king of France, not the king of the French, though both are correct. The patriotic song God Save the Queen (or King), is as much about the land as the people who happen to live there. A monarchy is a geocracy, we could say.

A democracy, in contrast, is about people, with their location secondary. There is an openness about the boundaries of place, or even the limits of the electorate, in a democracy. The more people, the merrier, as in universal suffrage. Political liberals (or left-liberals) emphasize democracy. The more liberal U.S. Democratic Party supports more open immigration, and has the best support in large population centers.

Conservatives are the heirs to monarchy and landed gentry, while supporting democracy. But what is there between monarchy and democracy, the land and the people? In earlier times there was suffrage based on land ownership, a form of limited democracy. Nowadays, there is a division of population based on the land, such as what separates every nation. The U.S. Senate is based first on geography, and second on democracy. The combination of geography first and democracy second could be called geodemocracy. The more conservative U.S. Republican Party has greater support in the Senate and in more rural states.

The U.S. Constitution combines democracy and geodemocracy. The House of Representatives is a democratic institution, but the Senate, as noted, is a geodemocratic institution. The Electoral College for the election of the President preserves this combination. In this way the Constitution is a centrist document, combining elements of conservatism and liberalism.

Sane slogans

We live in a political time. Politics intrudes everywhere because the state intrudes everywhere. So the political stakes keep getting higher. And the political rhetoric keeps getting louder and more vulgar.

The only way to lower the intensity is for the state to back off. More issues need to be taken off the political agenda and put on the social agenda, the business agenda, the neighborhood agenda.

Meanwhile we need to reaffirm sanity — and have sane slogans. Here are a few:

Belief is more than knowledge.

Identity politics is hate speech.

Imaginary insults are no offense.

The only race is the human race.

Peace is an attitude. Freedom is a goal.

Society is sovereign.

Male and female are parallel.

vertical parallels

Centrism

Centrism: A compilation of posts

The centrist

In my usage, centrism is distinguished from moderation as follows:

The moderate seeks the relative middle so if the winds blow in one direction, the moderate moves in that direction to a moderate degree.  In contrast the centrist stakes out a position in the long-term middle so if the winds blow in one direction, the centrist leans against the wind.  The centrist may seem contrarian in two directions at the same time depending on the issue but their focus is always on maintaining a place between the extremes.

Centrists are aware there are always trade-offs and oppositions:  liberty vs. safety, property vs. equality, big business vs. big government, present generations vs. future generations, economic stability vs. economic growth, etc.  Centrists seek a middle way between these extremes, a compromise that is aware of the tension between these extremes and expects adjustments in the future.

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Geodemocracy

I introduced the term geodemocracy in a previous post here. In this post I expand on the concept.

A country is comprised of two basic elements: people and land. Both of these must be present for a country to exist. The government in some way must represent both the people and the land. For example, the interests of the land may be represented by a landed gentry.

A geodemocracy is a form of government with two elements: (1) elected representation of the people, democracy, and (2) elected representation of the land, geocracy. A geocracy is elected representation by geographical region, regardless of the population, whereas democracy is elected representation based solely on population. To combine democracy and geocracy into one legislature requires a bicameral system, with one chamber elected by population group and the other elected by geographic region.

The United States government is a geodemocracy in two ways: (1) Congress is a bicameral legislature with democratic and geocratic chambers; and (2) the President is elected by the Electoral College, which is comprised of state delegates representing population and geography. The geocratic chamber is comprised of 100 representatives of the fifty states in the U.S. Senate. The democratic chamber is comprised of 435 representatives in the House of Representatives. The Electoral College is comprised of 535 members, and each state has the number of delegates equal to their number in Congress, which gives states with lower population a boost in the number of delegates.

A geodemocracy naturally tends to have two political parties: (1) one that is oriented toward the populace, that is, large city interests, and (2) one that is oriented toward the land, that is, rural and small city interests. In the U.S. these parties are called (1) the Democratic Party and (2) the Republican Party.

The two elements, people and land, are reflected in patriotic hymns. For example, the hymn America the Beautiful speaks of the land: the mountains, the plains, and the extent “from sea to shining sea.” It also speaks of the people: brotherhood, liberty, and “the alabaster cities.”

Christian marriage

I have written a number of times about marriage, especially about the oxymoron “same-sex marriage.” Do a search on the word “marriage” to find them.

Marriage is a social matter; societies formalize and recognize marriages within a society. There have been significant differences between societies, such as including polygamy or not. Modern societies have civil procedures to ensure the minimum qualifications are met: age, sex, and no other concurrent marriage. Recently this has been relaxed so that sex is no longer a requirement for civil marriage in many countries.

Christianity honors marriage and acknowledges that it was established by God for our first parents. But marriage remains primarily a social matter: it is society that decides who is married and who is not. While same-sex marriage expands the concept of marriage to an extreme, if that is what a society decides, then members of that society should accept that, though not necessarily approve of it. Such a dilution of marriage is worse than polygamy, which has been widely condemned.

What is most difficult about this is the misapplication of the language of marriage. It is like society deciding that parents are no longer mother and father but parent 1 and parent 2 — which is taking place in some birth certificates (see here and here). Will Mommy and Daddy be replaced by Oney and Twoey? The long tradition of marriage between a man and a woman cannot be jettisoned so easily; it will no doubt return someday.

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