Rebuttals of the Week! #5: Metaphorical shark… meet your trans/non-binary/twin spirited/ gender fluid jumpers! (part 1)

There was a rare sighting last week of what had long been thought to be merely a creature of myth and fantasy. No… it wasn’t bigfoot, a unicorn or a women’s studies graduate with a useful job. It was a prominent academic from a major university with the guts and integrity to publicly oppose the tyranny of politically correct, SJW-style, “progressive”, Left-wing ideology.

Honest to God. I saw it with my own eyes.

untitledGlobe and Mail: U of T professor’s stand against genderless pronouns draws fire

Jordan Peterson is a popular and prominent psychology professor at the University of Toronto who has found himself on the receiving end of some intense hostility from the tolerant, non-judgemental, morally superior champions of diversity at his esteemed institution of higher learning.

His offence was to use a series of video lectures to present a detailed and reasoned critique of how anti-rational, politically correct ideology has infiltrated the legal and education systems and how it poses a real threat to the values of freedom of thought and speech. But what really drove the PC crowd nuts was his rejection of the premise that he is obligated to affirm the subjective self-conception of people who identify as transgendered by adopting their preferred use of pronouns. Peterson went to great lengths to justify his refusal to submit to this expectation on the basis of logic, principle and the right to intellectual autonomy.

The self-anointed enlightened class responded to all this logic and carefully reasoned argument by chucking the label ‘bigot’ at him, attacking his character and generally calling for his head on a platter.

As is evident from the sample of comments below and in the next Rebuttals of the Week!, the catalyst for their outrage was not the quality of Peterson’s argument, but his unwillingness to conform to concepts they deem to be supreme and sacrosanct.

As I have pointed out in other Rebuttals of the Week!, it is this intolerance of nonconformity that drives the aggressive emotionalism that is so characteristic of the progressive’s response to dissenting points of view. And it is the privileging of the pre-rational urge to attain social affirmation above all other considerations – including objectivity, reason and the pursuit of truth – that determines the progressive’s opinion and makes him immune to  interventions of reason.

Here is the first sample of my interactions with Professor Peterson’s critics….

M CW

freedom of speech is still fully intact. you still have the complete right to say things that are blatantly ignorant (like the idea of this event…) and not risk persecution from your government.

what free speech DOESNT let you do is literally DENY someone’s gender identity because its you dont believe in it and have no one call you out for it.

you people are a goddamn joke.

Going to Getugly Freedom let’s people do all kinds of things other people dislike. Your apparent inability to tolerate that represents the real problem here.

M CW

no the real problem here is that people like you want a world where you can say whatever you want without any thought to the harm it will do to already marginalized people without. that, i have an inability to tolerate.

Okay. Now the next comment from WR is a perfect example of how NOT to confront the assertions of ‘progressives’. It isn’t that the point he is trying to make is incorrect. It’s that simply presenting an alternative opinion to the one being expressed by a ‘progressive’ doesn’t accomplish anything. Remember, they’ve already decided that not sharing their opinion is the same thing as being wrong and stupid. They don’t assess the veracity of your opinion in contrast to their own… they just react to the insolence of not submitting to the absolute perfection of their position.

William RutherfordW R 

Except that this is about a law that turns ANY statement against trans people a hatecrime… that’s not equality.

Compare that response to the one I present below. Notice that I don’t offer a contradictory set of subjective assertions about the topic. Instead, I address the specifics of MCW‘s reasoning process. I highlight objective inconsistencies in his logic. How he takes for granted his own entitlement to indulge in the very freedoms that he advocates should be denied to others. How his lack of hesitation to insult, generalize and dismiss the validity of other people’s perspective and experience demonstrates not only a profound hypocrisy, but a crude and genuine nastiness that reflect the very character flaws he claims to revile.

Going to Getugly

Nope. The problem is that you don’t recognise that insisting that principles apply only in certain circumstances according to your personal preferences and biases is irrational, unethical and only appealing to hypocrites.

For instance… you have expressed your contempt for ‘people like me’ who you characterise as expecting the freedom to “say whatever you want” without regard for the negative feelings it may inspire in other people. You have even written: “you people are a goddamn joke”.

But it is perfectly obvious that you grant YOURSELF the freedom to make sweeping negative generalisations; to issue insulting, unproven condemnations of character; to be deliberately antagonistic and insulting …. and essentially say “whatever you want” with no regard for the feelings of the people to whom you’ve directed those harsh comments. You’ve even expressed the sentiment that ‘people like me’ don’t deserve to be recognised as existing…. since we are nothing but a “goddamn joke”.

Now either it is wrong and worthy of contempt to “want a world where you can say whatever you want without any thought to the harm” it may cause other people…. or it’s only wrong when people other than YOU do it in whatever context you’ve personally decided makes it okay. Clearly, you take for granted it is the latter. Which makes you unprincipled and a hypocrite.

And as is so often the case when you challenge the absolute certainty of a progressive’s sense of moral and intellectual superiority by applying his own judgements back at him… MCW spewed a couple weak insults and ran away.

M CW  yup play victim

M CW   get your sympathy likes fam

The fact that the only response to my argument you feel you can offer is this transparently weak ad hominem should inspire some serious reevaluation of your position.

Stay tuned. We’re just getting started and there is a lot more to come on this issue in the next Rebuttals of the Week!

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Michael Harris

Michael Harris is an oil painter, photographer, song writer and blogger from Toronto Canada. Michael's work is influenced by his interest in psychology, media, consciousness studies, politics and philosophy.

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