Not even atheist humanists are safe from the long, punishing arms of the transgender mafia. Recently, Angelos Sofocleous was fired from his job at Durham University’s philosophy journal Critique for retweeting a tweet that fellow students called “transphobic.” The tweet in question included a link to an article from the Spectator called “Is it a crime to say ‘women don’t have penises’?” The article is about women’s activists who had police called on them for placing stickers saying as much around their city in protest of men usurping women’s rights.
In a typical 2018 overreaction, Sofocleous’s retweet of that article caused great gnashing of teeth and loud weeping in the outrage corners of the internet. As a result, Sofocleous was dismissed from his position at the Durham publication and forced to resign as president-elect of the Humanist Students group. “Humanists,” Sofocleous told PJM, “strive to have a rational and logical approach in life, and face issues with evidence and claims, not with belief and faith. As such, humanists have trust in the scientific method, which they believe to be the only source of truth in the world.”
Strangely, the extremely scientific fact that women do not have — and have never had — penises didn’t seem to sway the humanist students toward rational thought. They kicked Sofocleous right out of their sphere. Criticisms of Sofocleous were swift and mostly unintelligible. Responding to Sofocleous’s true statement that engaging in debate does not mean your opponent has equal moral status, a writer at the ironically named “Freethoughtblogs” wrote:
This is where the fetishizing of free speech and debate goes bad. I get to deny your basic humanity and your right to exist, and you now need to convince me otherwise. I get to freely make assertions that don’t challenge my privileged status but do potentially do great harm to you, and I have no responsibility or obligation to others — others who may even consider those statements “wrong beyond doubt” — to make defensible statements, and the onus is entirely on you to address them, and if you don’t, you are an intolerant tribalist. Why do you get so angry when I merely want to deny your civil rights, or enslave you, or kill you? That’s not very logical.
“The author of this piece is making incredibly illogical and irrational statements, as well as a number of logical fallacies,” Sofocleous said. “This reveals the problem in regards to people who try to silence others because they are ‘offended’ or because they have received ‘politically incorrect’ criticism.”
Sofocleous explained that “an attack to some ideology (e.g. trans ideology) or some concept (e.g. gender) does not constitute an attack to individuals who hold that ideology or to people who claim to belong to the opposite sex or gender because of how they feel, appear, or behave.”
That’s news to anyone who has ever been on the wrong side of this debate, where you can be accused of trying to literally kill your opponent with your words.
“‘You’re denying my right to exist’ is a very common response from trans activists, albeit completely unsound,” continued Sofocleous. “No one denies anyone’s right to exist if they disagree with how one chooses to identify themselves, or disagree about the very concepts of identification,” he said. “Transgender individuals are human beings, like all of us, and deserve equal respect and treatment. The fact that some gender-critical theorists argue that gender should be abolished since it enforces gender stereotypes is not, in any way, connected to threatening anyone’s existence or right to exist.”
Being against the ideology is not being against trans people. It is not denying them rights or discriminating against them. It is not "denying their existence" or some-such nonsense. It is about protecting sex-based rights – for women – and all. https://t.co/VJUwuQr0ui
— Corvid-19 (@lecanardnoir) September 20, 2018
Why do LGBTQWTF activists always jump right to extermination fantasies when anyone questions their philosophy?
Sofocleous says, “It is important to note that gender is not a human right, and thus cannot be ‘taken away’ from someone. This is not because gender is ‘coercively assigned’ but simply because it does not fall within the scope of human rights.”
“People’s sex, gender, nationality, ethnicity, age are empty terms, [and are] merely descriptive. By challenging those notions one does not challenge anyone’s ‘right to exist.’”
But don’t try explaining that to a foaming-at-the-mouth transgender “rights” activist if you want to keep your job. Sofocleous has received “overwhelming support,” some public and some private. “I’ve received considerable support from academics, researchers, journalists, and activists who are supportive of free speech and who had faced problems in their universities or organizations due to views that they expressed,” he said. “It is also the case that dozens of people have messaged me individually to express their support. It is saddening and concerning that many of these individuals did not feel safe to publicly announce their support.”
As for where this is all going, Sofocleous expressed sadness at the loss of our basic right to express ourselves. “It is extremely sad that we have reached an era in which feelings determine the nature of debates — not arguments, not facts. It is also concerning that emotional reactions to arguments matter more than the arguments themselves.”
This type of popular philosophy dominates everything from university culture to the #MeToo movement currently sandbagging a Supreme Court nominee.
Sofocleous is concerned that the West is moving toward a scary future. “This instantly reminds me of Islamist regimes who punish individuals for blasphemy and for insulting morals,” he said. “The fact that we, in the West, find this so atrocious, yet some support that certain individuals need to be punished and face consequences because they are ‘offensive’ or because they behave in a ‘politically incorrect’ way is appalling.”
“The West is heading towards a dangerous future,” said Sofocleous. “The post-truth society where feelings matter more than facts is essentially going to harm individuals and civilization as society will shift it away from reason, rational thinking, and science, and towards belief and feelings which will keep dictating government policy.”
Sofocleous says free democratic debate will save the West from this bleak future. “We need to keep to our democratic principles and allow debate to take place, even on the most controversial issues.”