Guest post: The popular apologetic of Sloppy Analogies

Originally a comment by Sastra on The toxic meaning attached to “woman.”

I’ve come to the conclusion that the Sloppy Analogy is one of the major players in turning otherwise reasonable people unreasonable. I’ve long noticed this when it comes to religion and believing in God. A direct examination of the god concept requires too much light on a blurry idea based primarily on emotion. Enter then the popular apologetic of Sloppy Analogies.

“Remember how your mother would put something out for you to find and do something she wanted? God works like that. Think of your mother. God is like that. Think of your mother in another room so you can’t see her. Now you’re starting to understand. God’s like that. Now think of quantum physics. Hard to wrap your mind around, huh? God’s like that, too ….”

Once they start playing Sloppy Analogy, they can go on and on. The game is for them, as much as it is for you. And it seems to me that TRAs play it all the time.

“Think of knowing something true about yourself and not being believed. Being trans is like that. Think of black women not being able to use a bathroom reserved for whites. “Sex-based” spaces for women is like that. Think of religious conservatives disgusted over homosexuality. Opposition to trans folks living according to their Gender Identity is like that. Think of Jews hiding from the Nazis. That’s how trans people feel when Gender Identity is treated like a theory…”

And on and on. Sloppy Analogies are intuition pumps.

“Asking me to define ‘God’/define ‘woman’ is like asking me to reduce someone I love to a math equation. It just can’t be done. You’re making a category error.”


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