|Stefonknee Wolscht: 52-year-old father of 7, now a 6-year-old girl with "parents"|
For additional thought:
I have noticed time and again that many intelligent people don't understand the nature of the logic that appears in the third portion of my above article (and in several of my other columns). The logic being used in the third portion of my article is called reductio ad absurdum. In a reductio ad absurdum argument, we assume, temporarily for the sake of argument, that the view under investigation is true (in the present case, we assume the truth of "what I feel is who I am," i.e., that personal identity—what I am—is wholly a personal matter, a matter wholly of subjective feeling/ intuition, i.e., my feelings about myself and my identity are trump). We approach the view in question with the attitude, "Okay, let's say it's true. What follows logically?" If the logical consequences of the view's assumed truth are false or logically contradictory, then it follows that the view under investigation is false or at least deeply problematic. (Because valid deductive argument disallows the possibility of true premises and a false conclusion, the known falsity of the conclusion/ consequences gotten by valid deductive argument means that we also know the premise/ view can't be true.) In other words, the examples (above) are not arbitrary, disconnected, or "all over the map." They are the logical consequences of the view under investigation. If we accept the truth of feelings being trump over reality, then the truth of the examples should all follow. But clearly they aren't all true. The proper response/ conclusion, then, should be this: the view that feelings are trump over reality is false.
For further reading:
- Hendrik van der Breggen, "Reductio ad absurdum"
- Paul McHugh, "Johns Hopkins psychiatrist: It is starkly, nakedly false that sex change is possible"