Matt Dillahunty, The Atheist Experience, and SJWs

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myusernamekthx's picture
Matt Dillahunty, The Atheist Experience, and SJWs

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:

ME:

"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."

DILLAHUNTY:

"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."

ME:

"'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?

Just wonderin'.

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Myusername

Myusername

"Normally, "he" and "she" do refer to human beings who possess XY and XX, respectively; "

Nope, you have no idea when you look at a person what their chromosome make up consists of: there are different mixes.

Similarly when you use "he" or "she" you are referring to your perception of the "correct gender appearance" to enable you you to use the label.

Maybe you haven't visited Thailand or the more entertaining parts of San Francisco where I am sure your arbitrary uses of pronouns would be totally destroyed in seconds of walking into just one night club.

And lastly what the fuck business is it of yours if someone wants to be addressed as she? Or Zhe, or Bulburb, or Xena warrior prince?

Toughen up princess, gender fluidity is here, and our language will (as it always has) change and redefine according to the prevailing acceptance.

And, yes, you come across as an ignorant bigot.

myusernamekthx's picture
"Nope, you have no idea when

"Nope, you have no idea when you look at a person what their chromosome make up consists of"

I also don't know that you have human DNA; yet, I assume you're human based on appearances. Should I stop doing that as well?

There's nothing wrong with assuming a person is a man if they look like a man or a woman if they look like a woman. And the fact that people are sometimes wrong or are tricked is of little consequence and shouldn't mean that they throw the baby out with the bathwater. Testosterone affects the way people look, sound, and act, which is why 9/10 times people can determine what a person's sex chromosomes are.

"And lastly what the fuck business is it of yours if someone wants to be addressed as she? Or Zhe, or Bulburb, or Xena warrior prince?"

You've answered your own question. In order for a person to be addressed in a certain way, they must bother me. For a person to be entitled to being addressed in a certain way, I must be forced to address that person in a certain way; and I'm not big on authoritarianism, so I'm against that idea. It's also pure nonsense and a waste of my time.

This has been very very interesting though. So the atheist movement has been hijhacked by SJWs.

I'm not an atheist, but for some reason I find that to be sad.

TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
Perhaps you could be a good

Perhaps you could be a good bayesian and know the probability that one person is indeed human is 99.9% likely,
there serves no purpose in continuing the process of testing for something else.

However, in regards to the chromosomes, it is known, tested and proven, that there are more then then the two generic types most people are aware of.

myusernamekthx's picture
"However, in regards to the

"However, in regards to the chromosomes, it is known, tested and proven, that there are more then then the two generic types most people are aware of."

There aren't more than two "generic" types. There are two generic types and then there are genetic disorders of those two types.

Despite these disorders, which are the exceptions, people can usually tell if a person is a man or a woman based on looks, behavior, and sound.

Also, for a person to use a pronoun like "zhe" or whatever, one doesn't have to have a genetic disorder. That's part of the problem with these pronouns. They aren't based on anything besides the whims of each person. If "zhe" referred to a person with Klinefelter syndrome, then I'd be more sympathetic.

TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
My point is not that there

My point is not that there exists MORE than 2 types, i.e. 3 or 4 generic types.
But that there IS more then just the two types that are considered by the average lay person.

They are caused by genetic mutations, but the fact that evolution in itself is a sequence of genetic mutations (and natural selection etc..),means we ought not to simply push away the other types because preconceived notions make us feel all warm and fuzzy.

The moment you think you completely understand nature is when you confirm that you do not.

myusernamekthx's picture
"My point is not that there

"My point is not that there exists MORE than 2 types, i.e. 3 or 4 generic types."

And my point is there isn't. There are two generic types and these generic types have disorders.

"They are caused by genetic mutations, but the fact that evolution in itself is a sequence of genetic mutations"

They're genetic disorders, similar to Harlequin-type ichthyosis. They're called disorders because they fall outside of the two generic types.

"The moment you think you completely understand nature is when you confirm that you do not."

By your own logic that would mean that you don't understand nature, for here you are trying to explain to me the number of generic types and what the meaning of a genetic mutation is.

Of course, I don't believe your quote for a minute, but it's amusing to see somebody contradict themselves in their own post.

Also, you seemed to have glazed over my other point that people can call themselves "zhe" or whatever without having any one of these disorders. So your whole response is red herring.

TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
The disorders are caused by

The disorders are caused by genetic mutations, For example the XXXY syndrome is inherited via a new mutation in one of the gametes of the parents.

I didn't contradict myself, and I fully admit to not understanding nature.
The point being no one fully understands nature, if one was to think they did, would be grossly incorrect.

It isn't a red herring, its pointing out the obvious mistakes in the argument before you even get to the pronouns.

On that point however, I can see it being difficult if an entire unending number of multitudes came into play,
In which case if I was in that position I would simply ask that person their name and only refer to that, thus cutting out the middle man.

Sheldon's picture
"I must be forced to address

"I must be forced to address that person in a certain way; "

Or you could just mind your own business? You strike me as a bigot who wants to insist the have a right to be bigoted, and you're using semantics to justify it.

Note there are words people once thought perfectly acceptable which are now unconscionable. What's changed is not the word but our perception of it. See how that works?

myusernamekthx's picture
I have no problem minding my

I have no problem minding my own business, but how can I mind my own business when people are telling me that they're entitled to being addressed in a certain way? That includes me, making it my business.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Myuser

@ Myuser

Oh agreed, I think I will call you "Petal Breath." You know, just to reserve my rights n' all . You mustn't tell me what I can call you after all. thats SJW behaviour.

Sheldon's picture
No it's not "your business"

No it's not "your business" at all. You're making it your business instead of acknowledging someone else's right to identify themselves in a way that makes you uncomfortable.

Are you seriously claiming your objection is limited to incorrect language? I'm afraid I don't believe you.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Username

@ Username

Despite your obvious and odious prejudice here is some free and friendly advice:

This site is not linear. When replying to a comment always address the person as in @ soandso
Its also good practice to address the part or parts to which you are replying with a quote as in
"quote from post"

If you do an post edit after publication always add that in brackets underneath and what you changed. Not spelling or punctuation unless it changes the meaning of the post.

" This has been very very interesting though. So the atheist movement has been hijhacked by SJWs."

There is no "atheist movement" It cannot be hijacked. There are right wingers here, socialists, apoliticals. Do not go chucking labels and generalisation around, it will end in tears.

SJW is a pejorative term used by wannabe right wing neo cons to denote something they do not have the capacity to understand. Don't use it otherwise you will look even more foolish than your first post has me believing.

"Social justice warrior (commonly abbreviated SJW) is a pejorative term for an individual who promotes socially progressive views, including feminism, civil rights, and multiculturalism, as well as identity politics" Wikepedia

myusernamekthx's picture
"This site is not linear.

"This site is not linear. When replying to a comment always address the person as in @ soandso
Its also good practice to address the part or parts to which you are replying with a quote as in
"quote from post"

If you do an post edit after publication always add that in brackets underneath and what you changed. Not spelling or punctuation unless it changes the meaning of the post."

I'm not interested in your petty rules. Get back on topic, snowflake.

"SJW is a pejorative term used by wannabe right wing neo cons to denote something they do not have the capacity to understand. Don't use it otherwise you will look even more foolish than your first post has me believing."

It's interesting seeing a person call one label pejorative while alleging that all people who use that term are [insert pejorative term here]. I'm libertarian, by the way.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Myuser

@ Myuser

"I'm not interested in your petty rules. Get back on topic, snowflake."

Just trying to make your stay comfortable. Suit yourself. You'll find out soon enough.

"libertarian" LOL....

myusernamekthx's picture
I'm not staying anyways.

I'm not staying anyways.

Like I said before, I just wanted to know if the atheist community was hijacked by SJWs. As an added bonus,I asked a few questions to see how you guys think.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Whatever label I want to

@ Whatever label I want to use, I think I will call you Lucinda...

Of course you're not staying.

The threads started are fucking retarded, the concepts mediaeval and behaviour just fucking boorish.
Of course "libertarians" run off like whipped curs when they realise their puerile and outdated ideas are intellectually dishonest and incapable of implementation.
That's why there are catholics, baptists and all sorts here, but "libertarians" do the cowardly hit and run so they can scoot back to their pathetic website and hug themselves claiming a hollow 'victory'

As soon as you realised there were people on this site who could best you in any debate, you run. well done. Oh is that great big yellow streak still wet? You should have a sign.

David Killens's picture
@myusernamekthx

@myusernamekthx

Are you a coward, one who runs in, performs nonsense and insults, then runs away to avoid consequences?

Your actions will define you as a coward and one of reprehensible character if you run away.

Which would make Dillahunty much more morally superior to you. He does not do the coward thing.

Tin-Man's picture
@myusername Re: "I'm not

@myusername Re: "I'm not staying anyways."

Hey, just a reminder, when you leave, do not forget to take your flag with you. You know, the white one with the yellow stripe running down the middle of it. Certainly would hate for you to lose THAT.

Sheldon's picture
" to see how you guys think."

" to see how you guys think."

At least most people here do think for themselves, maybe you can try it some time, parroting archaic superstion doesn't really compare.

"I'm not staying anyways"

Damn, every time I open my heart...

Sheldon's picture
"I'm libertarian, by the way.

"I'm libertarian, by the way."

But you're fine with us describing you in ways that make us comfortable right?

That's irony by the way...

myusernamekthx's picture
"But you're fine with us

"But you're fine with us describing you in ways that make us comfortable right?"

Of course. I have no right to tell you what to write or speak.

That being said, libertarianism actually means something while "zhe" doesn't.

Sheldon's picture
Again I'm not sure why you

Again I'm not sure why you care what someone calls themselves.

Zhe, a proposed gender-neutral pronoun.

New words in common usage are added to the dictionary all the time. Calling yourself or someone else gay means something different than it once did.

I'm sure some people pretended to be angered that they could no longer use gay in the old sense of the word, but I'm inclined to believe their anger had another origin.

Either way it's irrelevant now as common usage of gay hasn't utterly negated it nuanced definitions. The world went on and no one was harmed.

Sapporo's picture
@Sheldon

@Sheldon
I almost want to say that Petal Breath has arbitarily replaced the word "asshole" with "libertarian".

Sushisnake 's picture
@Myuser

@Myuser

" I'm libertarian, by the way."

Are you? Then your attitude to an individual's right to be addressed by their preferred pronoun is at odds with your philosophy:

Libertarianism (from Latin: libertas, meaning "freedom") is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle.[1] Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association, and individual judgment; they believe in individual rights.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism

I suspect you're an economic libertarian, not a social one.

Sapporo's picture
Human, I don't see much of an

Human, I don't see much of an issue with going along with someone's self-naming.

David Killens's picture
I go one step further, I

I go one step further, I support those who desire to be identified by a name they choose.

History has shown us that when one group applies a label on another, and that party does not identify with or approve that label, trouble follows.

Racist whites applied the N word to those of black color. Those same people choose to call themselves as "African-Americans". They are proud of that label, it is of their choosing. Up here in Canada the indigenous peoples were just called "indians", or worse "natives". But the label "First Peoples" was what the group proudly call themselves. And of course, we could get into the myriad LGBTQ , gay, and many other labels to those with their personal gender identity issues.

I may not agree with anyone's agenda or beliefs, but as long as they are not hurting anyone, live and let live.

It's no skin off my ass whatever one wishes to be called. But it may mean a lot to the person who desires their own identity. It all goes back to respect, or lack thereof.

Sushisnake 's picture
@Sapporo and David

@Sapporo and David

" Human, I don't see much of an issue with going along with someone's self-naming."

" I go one step further, I support those who desire to be identified by a name they choose."

I'm with you guys. It's just common courtesy, from where I'm standing.

A relative by marriage insists on dead naming a transitioning transgender barista all the time - to the barista's face. The relative does it out of...who the fuck knows? The relative ( male, white, over 65- quelle surprise) brags about it. He laughs about it. He puffs his little chest out with pride about it. The bizarre part is he really likes the cafe AND the barista.

I hope the barista spits in his coffee. Appeals to my relative's sense of common courtesy have failed, so fantasies of the barista spitting in his coffee are all I've got left. I doubt that she does, though. I've been to the cafe and the she's too much of a lady to do such a thing.

Sheldon's picture
"I may not agree with anyone

"I may not agree with anyone's agenda or beliefs, but as long as they are not hurting anyone, live and let live."

Bravo!

It's funny how so many people's morality doesn't encompass the simple precept of trying their best to avoid causing harm or hurt.

Sheldon's picture
I'm with Matt, I don't see

I'm with Matt, I don't see your point here. I also think you're misrepresenting a position as irrational because you view it as such.

Word definitions reflect common usage, and this can and does sometimes change over time. What's the big deal here?

I also don't see why you felt the urge to commence with a rather puerile ad hominem while we're at it?

Terminal Dogma's picture
Not all words describe some

Not all words describe some objective aspect of reality, where did you get this nonsense OP?

New words are made up every day and old words die. All words are made up and many do not describe an objective anything. Meaning of words change with time and place and can have multiple meanings.

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