You’ll totally wanna catch up – go catch up! Caught up? Good.
PZ has an excellent post up, which I hope you’ve seen already, regarding the hatred of the Catholic bishops. I want to call out a small piece of that larger statement here:
Children especially are harmed when they are told that they can “change” their sex or, further, given hormones that will affect their development and possibly render them infertile as adults.
If you read this as the bishops obviously intend you to read it, this portion of their statement says:
You can’t actually change your sex, so telling this to children is bad. Also, it’s even worse when you change the sex of another human being, particularly a child.
So, Politico has just the story we need in the contemporary USA: a how-to for blaming everything Trump on a woman.
Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump’s behavior—as much as, or more than, any policy he’s advanced—stands as a subject of consternation, fascination and speculation. Psychology experts read and watch the news, and they have the same basic curiosity lots of people have: What makes somebody act the way he acts? None of them has evaluated Trump in an official, clinical capacity—Trump is pretty consistently anti-shrink—but they nonetheless have been assessing from afar, tracking back through his 71 years, searching for explanations for his belligerence and his impulsivity, his bottomless need for applause and his clockwork rage when he doesn’t get it, his failed marriages and his ill-tempered treatment of women who challenge him. And they always end up at the beginning. With his parents. Both of them. Trump might focus on his father, but the experts say the comparative scarcity of his discussion of his mother is itself telling.
Crafty ‘Cubi of Candy Corn! This is going to be terrible, isn’t it?
Oh, yes. Oh yes indeed.
Though the two apologists in the title of this post are both Christians*1, there is a general problem for those asserting knowledge based on religious texts that is frequently a motivation*2 for epistemological inconsistency and even epistemological dishonesty.
The problem is this: all religious texts diverge from reality at multiple points. When this occurs, it becomes obvious that either one must compare text to reality to determine the truth of the text, or compare reality to the text to determine the truth of reality. Sye ten Bruggencate takes the position that reality is to be compared with the text to determine the truth of reality. Where reality differs from text, reality is wrong. Though ten Bruggencate would prefer to phrase this as “we are wrong about reality,” for him there is no evidence, there is nothing about reality that could ever be contradictory of the text. The text is the standard against which all else must be compared.
We are, of course, all familiar with the ontological arguments of St. Anselm, in which he uses the existence of something greater than whatever you’re currently thinking about to prove that there must be a single greatest thing, because no one thing is ever greatest because there’s always something greater. Or something. I’m told it logics quite a bit, actually.