I had an interesting exchange with Matt Dillahunty about one of his videos on his YouTube channel. In his video he was talking about his dialogue with Jordan Peterson. In this video, Dillahunty said that all words are made up, in response to Peterson implying that pronouns like "zhe" are meaningless.
Keep in mind that the impression that atheists like Dillahunty often try to give is that they're logical, science-based, and skeptical. Here's our exchange:
"Matt Dillahunty is an uneducated pseudo-intellectual who has tricked buffoons like you (the viewer of this video) into thinking he's an intellect. I watched a few minutes of this video and then stopped it because I couldn't stand another moment of his irrationality.
Take for instance his brief comment about the pronoun "zhe."
Dillahunty claims that all words are made up, and so that wouldn't be a good way to critique a pronoun like zhe. But while it is true that words are man-made, they still refer to objective aspects of reality; and when they don't refer to objective aspects of reality, they cease to be words and are instead referred to as gibberish, nonsense, or babble. An "apple" could be called a "bapple," but the word bapple would still refer to an intangible: a round and red piece of fruit. One could even tie "bapple" to a completely different fruit like an "orange," but bapple would still be tied to an objective aspect of reality: what we currently and normally call an orange.
The pronoun "he" refers to an aspect of reality as well; namely, a human being with XY sex chromosomes. This immediately raises the question: what aspect of reality does zhe refer to? The word is certainly not referring to sex chromosomes, biology, or DNA. Instead, it seems to be referring to purely a mental state with respect to how one wants to be identified in regard to pronouns. In other words, if I think or want to be a zhe, then that makes me a zhe. This means the word zhe is by definition arbitrary. On the other hand, one couldn't say they were an orange because the aspect of reality that a orange refers to isn't what the aspect of reality that the term human being refers to."
"Mike Doe Maybe because I'm bright enough to point out that "he" doesn't exlusively refer to folks with XY chromosomes...and educate you on the fact that humans aren't limited to only XX and XY...and to point out that people call their boat "she", to preemptively cancel your next objection and then close with a note that zhe does point to something real - people who do not indentify with either traditional gender.
But, hey, maybe I'm the one who isn't very bright or very well informed. I'll just keep calling people by the names and pronouns they prefer while you desperately try to defend an antiquated binary view while pretending other views don't exist. Don't worry, only most of the population will notice that you started with an ad hominem and then made an awful argument to try to defend it.... you'll still be at home with the other Peterson Acolytes."
"'Mike Doe Maybe because I'm bright enough to point out that "he" doesn't exlusively refer to folks with XY chromosomes'
That's begging the question and avoiding the very controversy surrounding this matter. Normally, "he" and "she" do refer to human beings who possess XY and XX, respectively; and sex chromosomes are objective. One can't wish their sex chromosomes away anymore than they can wish their human DNA away. That's because sex chromosomes aren't contingent upon one's beliefs. Sex chromosomes are just concrete aspects of reality, and we use words to refer to these concrete aspects.
Conversely, the pronoun zhe is based on... what exactly? It's purely based on what another person wills or wants. That makes it arbitrary (hint look up the word arbitrary).
'..and educate you on the fact that humans aren't limited to only XX and XY...'
It doesn't matter if a person possesses XY or XX sex chromosomes or if one of their Xs or Ys is damaged because these aren't requirements for the pronoun "zhe." That's because "zhe" is purely person-relative and is thus arbitrary. It's not based in logic, biology, or physics.
'and to point out that people call their boat "she", to preemptively cancel your next objection'
But both "boat" and "she" in this context refer to a concrete aspect of reality: a piece of matter in the shape and nature of what we normally call a boat. So, again I ask, what does zhe refer to? It refers to absolutely nothing. It's completely arbitrary. The only concrete aspect of zhe is its arrangement of letters and it being categorized as a pronoun.
'with a note that zhe does point to something real - people who do not indentify with either traditional gender.'
Based on your reasoning, I can use the letters b, l, and u to form "blubub," and then arbitrarily call it a pronoun, and then arbitrarily refer to myself as blubub. And if somebody asks me what are the constraints of the definition of blubub, I can just simply say that those who call themselves blubub are those who don't refer to themselves as "he" or "she." Obviously, this is complete nonsense because this tells us nothing about this new word blubub other than it isn't "he" or "she." Instead of telling me what blubub or zhe isn't, why don't you tell me what it is? If a person asks you what the sun is, it makes little sense to say it isn't a glass of milk, or a dog, and then leave it at that. Notice that the pronouns "he" and "she" do not have the same issue. When a person asks me what are the constraints of "he," I can simply say "One who is human and possess XY sex chromosomes." Notice that my definition of "he" isn't, "One who chooses not to label themselves blubub."
'But, hey, maybe I'm the one who isn't very bright or very well informed. I'll just keep calling people by the names and pronouns they prefer while you desperately try to defend an antiquated binary view while pretending other views don't exist.'
You can do whatever you want, but don't pretend that's it's rational or logically coherent.
'that you started with an ad hominem'
Matt, you throw around ad hominems all the time. Toughen up, snowflake.
'and then made an awful argument to try to defend it....'
My argument is logical and succinct and you were unable to properly rebut it.
'you'll still be at home with the other Peterson Acolytes.'
I believe Peterson is a pseudo-intellectual as well. You guys can have each other."
Thoughts? Do you guys agree with Dillahunty?
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