Guest post: Back to the Argument from Damage

Originally a comment by Sastra on Verification.

when a trans person says they are male or female, that is what they are and that is how we should treat them. It is damaging to them to say otherwise.’

If the second statement is removed, would that change the truth of the first statement? In other words, is “a transwoman is female and a transman is male” dependent on “ trans people are damaged when other people say otherwise?”

If so, then the damaged trans people would be conclusive evidence of their sex, in the same way the fact that people believing in God is conclusive evidence that God does, in fact, exist. Or, a closer argument: because religious people need their belief in God to buttress their morality and provide comfort and meaning, then 1.) atheists should keep their views to themselves and 2.) God exists.

If a TRA thinks those Arguments for the Existence of God are crap, then they’re going to have to separate the presumed neediness and fragility of trans people from the question of what sex those transpeople are. They’re going to have to make a scientific case for something which did not come out of scientific investigation, but emerged from the social justice concern over protecting vulnerable people — with the science then playing catch-up to the moral mandate.

It doesn’t work. And they know it doesn’t work because they keep going back to the Argument from Damage.

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