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Thread: Pronouns and References

  1. #1
    chriscase's Avatar Chairman Miao
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    Default Pronouns and References

    Suppose I'm a nihilist/pessimist. Suppose I'm also profoundly doubtful about the axiomatic nature of existence. By this I don't mean I doubt the existence of some particular thing, but rather I doubt the validity of the concept of existence itself. Since the coherence of the existence property is generally assumed as part of the axioms of modeling the world, this doubt might corrupt my reception of existence arguments. That is to say, at a fundamental level I doubt whether identity or existence are anything more than conventional fictions we use to facilitate communication.

    Not unlike pronouns.

    There is plenty more to say on this but let me keep it brief: Suppose after some number of negative interactions, I decide that if I'm going to get got I may as well get some of my own. I declare that references to my supposed existence are in violation of my dearly held belief that I don't exist. Any attempt to refer to what others might believe is "me" are therefore unforgivable acts of violence and should be condemned.

    So, you know, where that little footer that says "he/him/her/she/they/them" goes just put "null/don't even go there" for me.

    But, one might say, isn't this a self-refuting statement? If you don't exist, who is making the argument?

    To which I say, logic no longer matters. Haven't you heard? The only thing that matters is my independent right to decide what my identity is, including my right not to have one.

    But, another might say, isn't this terribly inconvenient for anyone who simply has to interact which you?

    To which I say, how dare you place your convenience before my right not to exist?

    Etc.

    Yes it's petulant and quite possibly the product of some near-geriatric irritation, but on the other hand I think there is some genuine discussion that can happen here.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by chriscase; September 28, 2022 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Let's make it a little less personal

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    basics's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    chriscase,

    Oh dear, how does one reply to such a thing? Surely that you do exist enough to write such things is evidence of your existence? Now as far as having the right not to exist is concerned how does your family feel about that, your mum, dad, wife and children?

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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    To which I say, how dare you place your convenience before my right not to exist?
    Too which reply I reserve the right to turn to the other person on my other side at the bar and say so who are you for in whatever sporting event is on the TV.

    But if you are family/friend than eyeroll
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  4. #4
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    Ahh yes, the classic arguement of "If transgender people get to use their preferred pronouns and get treated like a person I should be able to force people to call me an Apache Helicopter".

    I figured you guys would get tired of making the same joke over and over again but here we are.

    Suppose I'm a nihilist/pessimist.
    Do you think that nihilism or pessimism is a gender identity?

    There is plenty more to say on this but let me keep it brief: Suppose after some number of negative interactions with snotty, conceited, self-absorbed mini-ideologues (present company excluded, of course), I decide that if I'm going to get got I may as well get some of my own.
    You think referring to someone by their preferred gender pronouns is "getting got", what? Do you feel that way when you call Big Bubba at the bar he/him, or your wife she/her? Or is it only when a non-binary or transgender person wants to be called they/them or he/him or they/her or whatever that you find it "snotty, conceited, and self absorbed"?.

    If you start calling Bubba she/her and he gets upset and asks you to call him "he" or "him" instead is he being a snotty conceited self absorb mini-ideologue or does he just want you to respect the social contract and not be an ?

    If you don't get butthurt about "not being allowed" (of course, you are allowed you just have to deal with the social repercussions of your abhorrent anti social behaviors, oh no!) to call Big Bubba she/her instead of he/him but you are butthurt about having to call a transgender or non-binary person they/them or she/her then that tells us more about you than it does this hypothetical "snotty conceited and self absorbed mini-ideologue".

    I can't think of anything more snotty, conceited, and self absorbed than refusing to fulfill the bare minimum aspects of the social construct and respect your fellow humans.

    To which I say, how dare you place your convenience before my right not to exist?
    It's convenient for me to never bother remembering anyone's name and just referring to them as "hey faggot" but that doesn't mean that I'm not an anti-social for doing it. If you feel respecting people's identity is "inconvenient" then you've got a serious issue that you need to take a look at.

    But, another might say, isn't this terribly inconvenient for anyone who simply has to interact which you?
    Respecting people is so very inconvenient.

    Oh dear, how does one reply to such a thing?
    By recognizing it for the thinly veiled phobia that it is.
    Last edited by Akar; September 18, 2022 at 02:54 PM.

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  5. #5
    Dave Strider's Avatar Dux Limitis
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Ahh yes, the classic arguement of "If transgender people get to use their preferred pronouns and get treated like a person I should be able to force people to call me an Apache Helicopter".
    These people really do only have one joke, don't they?

    The fact of the matter, OP, is that the two are incomparable because one situation has an objective truth and the other doesn't. We all exist, whether you, I, the guy high on crack in Kensington, or the newly crowned King Charles III, like it or not.

    "Transgenderism", or "being trans", on the other hand, has a long and storied history across cultures, civilizations, and the span of human existence, and is recognized as a legitimate experience that some human beings go through - again, whether you like it or not. The objective fact here is that transness also exists, even if it makes you want to wag your finger and grumble about the youngsters.

    You can jerry-rig a crude and ill-fitting analogy to trans people in order to vent your disapproval over their existence as much as you like, but your hypothetical denial of your own existence is not comparable to a trans person studying a wealth of scientific and historical material and learning a new, life-changing, cathartic fact about themselves and deciding to pursue it.
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  6. #6
    chriscase's Avatar Chairman Miao
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    No, no, I’m not saying I want to cease to exist or anything like that. After all, if I cease to exist this implies I once existed. I’m suggesting the concept of existence is a fiction. A convenience. A lie.

    Why do I “have to” call anyone anything? Why do I “have to” submit to being named when I don’t believe in names? If anyone can prove that the concept of identity is coherent without circularly invoking the identity concept itself in the proof, I’ll concede the argument.
    Last edited by chriscase; September 18, 2022 at 08:15 PM.

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    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    If this is the circuitous and illogical thinking that it takes for you to internally justify your transphobia more power to you, buddy.

    Why do I “have to” call anyone anything?
    Because not using names or pronouns is ing confusing? What the are you talking about? If you're so opposed to respecting a transgender person's personhood that you refuse to call anyone by any name I don't want to tell you.

    If anyone can prove that the concept of identity is coherent
    What?

    Dude just say you hate trans people lmao

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  8. #8
    chriscase's Avatar Chairman Miao
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    Hey I'm a lover, not a hater. Why not celebrate the dubious miracle of our supposed existence? Seems like a better use of time and effort than policing our pronouns.

    But to my point:

    Naming is the canonical act of violence. Before I was named, I could have been any and all things. I was all things in possibility. Then the multitude of possibility collapsed and I was cast into a cage of words, pinned down by signifiers and references, like a fallen bird nailed to a plank. Naming is the root of mastery and subjugation. So, like, that's why I'm against it.

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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    Quote Originally Posted by chriscase View Post
    Hey I'm a lover, not a hater. Why not celebrate the dubious miracle of our supposed existence? Seems like a better use of time and effort than policing our pronouns.

    But to my point:

    Naming is the canonical act of violence. Before I was named, I could have been any and all things. I was all things in possibility. Then the multitude of possibility collapsed and I was cast into a cage of words, pinned down by signifiers and references, like a fallen bird nailed to a plank. Naming is the root of mastery and subjugation. So, like, that's why I'm against it.
    That assumes that naming you had an effect on your being. What you describe there is not grounded in reality. You were you and you were named accordingly. The act of naming did not decide who you are.
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  10. #10
    chriscase's Avatar Chairman Miao
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    So you say, but how would you really know? If I doubt the principle of identity in the first place, why would I want a name?

    Has there ever been a colonial power that subjugated a people without first putting a name to them? I think not. Coincidence?

    Why is it that mysteries are always about something bad? You never hear there's a mystery, and then it's like, "Who made cookies?"
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    There's a simple way of dealing with people who deny the principles of logic.

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  12. #12

    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    Quote Originally Posted by chriscase View Post
    So you say, but how would you really know? If I doubt the principle of identity in the first place, why would I want a name?
    Common sense. Do tell me what is the principle of identity though.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    Quote Originally Posted by chriscase View Post
    how dare you place your convenience before my right not to exist?
    there is only one way to apply your right not to exist, its called suicide. you can choose between that and try to learn to tolerate the minimum interactions necessary to survive in this society (the horror! ). Anyway, I hope you are enjoying this talk that you have started. Very productive. Very honest.

  14. #14
    chriscase's Avatar Chairman Miao
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    OK so seems you missed my earlier clarification on this point. I have no interest in terminating prematurely whatever this thing is that we call existence. I just doubt the validity of the concept.

    If you would like to raise the level of honesty somehow then please, be my guest. It's your thread now as much as mine.

    Why is it that mysteries are always about something bad? You never hear there's a mystery, and then it's like, "Who made cookies?"
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    Quote Originally Posted by chriscase View Post
    OK so seems you missed my earlier clarification on this point. I have no interest in terminating prematurely whatever this thing is that we call existence. I just doubt the validity of the concept.

    If you would like to raise the level of honesty somehow then please, be my guest. It's your thread now as much as mine.
    I have quoted your own words. If you expressed yourself wrong, correct the OP. You've ignored comments (Akar, Dave Strider) and direct questions like mine or POVG's above. Honestly, I have the impression that you have tried to be sarcastic and have failed miserably. Honestly, I would like you to clarify your intentions in this discussion.

  16. #16
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    Honestly I feel like if anyone else had made this post and responded (or, rather, not responded) in the manner that chriscase has here the post would have been locked long ago.
    Last edited by Akar; September 20, 2022 at 03:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    Quote Originally Posted by chriscase View Post
    OK so seems you missed my earlier clarification on this point. I have no interest in terminating prematurely whatever this thing is that we call existence. I just doubt the validity of the concept.
    If you would like to raise the level of honesty somehow then please, be my guest. It's your thread now as much as mine.
    Will you not define that concept?
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  18. #18
    chriscase's Avatar Chairman Miao
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    I'd go with the usual assumptions in first order logic. Anywhere you see the phrase "there exists" or a mirror-image "E" the concept of existence is being used axiomatically, i.e. with an assumption that it's a valid property to assign (or not) to an object of consideration.

    Not sure why I'm being accused of evasiveness here. What have I refused to answer?

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    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    How about responding to me or Dave Strider's posts for a start?

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  20. #20
    chriscase's Avatar Chairman Miao
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    Default Re: Pronouns and References

    I think I have responded. Were there any relevant points you brought up that I missed?

    Why is it that mysteries are always about something bad? You never hear there's a mystery, and then it's like, "Who made cookies?"
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