Biological determinism etc.
Nat F Brown

“It’s a matter of law whether something is an entitlement and, a matter of opinion whether it should be.”

The same could be said for the right to set other people’s houses on fire. This is a rather empty rebuttal if that is what it is supposed to be. My point was that people are not automatically entitled to many things. We are talking about natural justice more than legislation. Most people would agree that you do not have the right to burn someone else’s house down whether it is legal or not. It is not therefore considered an entitlement.

Entitlements in America at least could be summed up I suppose as the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Your founding father’s never mentioned the right to the taxpayer to fund whatever free stuff you might happen to want.

“That it isn’t an entitlement in the US implies that people who believe it should be, have a right gather, speak and march to seek it being put into law. There’s nothing controversial about that.”

Nothing controversial at all: Just inexplicable in this instance. The protests happened the day after the new president was sworn in. It was clearly an anti-Trump march. So where were these marches when Obama arrived in the White House for the second time? Whatever these people think is the problem, happened on Obama’s watch. It had nothing to do with Trump.

Where were the hissy-fits when the Obama administration were deporting illegal immigrants by the hundreds of thousands or when he was banning immigration from specific countries. I am not saying he was wrong to do that. I happen to think it was perfectly valid when Obama did it and it will remain so if Trump continues to do so.

“Do you think it’s ridiculous that people would want to have paid family leave broadly available to the population?”

No: I also do not think it is ridiculous that people would want to have free trips to Paris and free i-phones and free chocolate bars; but I do think it is ridiculous to demand that other people pay for it all.

Now that is entitlement. Entitlement is thinking you can stamp your feet and scream and scream until big daddy state pulls out his gun and exhorts more money from others to pay for your lifestyle choices.

My comments about the vagina hat were motivated by two things. First my visceral revulsion at feminism’s constant obsession with female body parts especially when it contrasts so sharply with their constant pity-parties about objectification. Second because the whole emphasis of the march was on women, yet many of the “oppressions” they were shrieking so incoherently and so illogically about, were ones that primarily affect men. In other words feminists yet again contradicting themselves right through a bunch of loud-hailers and still not understanding that themselves:

Feminism ignores the biological differences between men and women, burned into our genes millions of years ago, which influence everything we do.

I will just repeat that because that statement is clearly not a statement of biological determinism; at least not to anyone who knows what biological determinism is. I used the word “influence” not “dictate.” There is a huge difference. I explained this to the other poster, although it went completely over her head. It is easily demonstrable fact that out biological imperatives are what drive the species. It is also a fact that our cultures are moulded by that biology. That does not dismiss other factors too. The biggest ones being climate, terrain, resources etc:

Islanders tend to eat a lot of sea food and inlanders tens to eat more meat. But they both have the same need to eat. The Chinese have different diets and rituals around food than the Russians; but those rituals are simply cultural trimmings around a biological imperative.

“Someone elsewhere in this thread called you out for biological determinism.”

No: They just called me a biological determinist. Calling names is not in my opinion calling out an argument.

“Big deal. You tried to refute too, but give that up.”

I didn’t give up. I refuted it twice now.

“The quote above could be over the entry way to the biological determinism club house.”

Well then the real biological determinists would probably have a protest. Your contention that there are many other factors that figure into the genetic equation is a straw man. That is not in dispute. I think you over-blow it but basically I agree. You are constructing a giant straw man, first my misreading the quote above in order to cast me as a biological determinist; and then by bashing away at biological determinism which is something I am not a proponent of.

For the record I think biological determinism is almost as stupid as social constructionism.

“Is it the only thing responsible for differences between genders?”

No: It is not. That is why nobody made that claim. The claim was that it was enormously influential, not that it was the only variable.

“But millions of people aren’t taking to the streets to protest men communicating among themselves with intent to keep women down.”

The march was organised, sponsored and supported by feminist organisations. Feminist theory is very clear on patriarchy theory. It is taught to millions of students in colleges and schools and it is ingrained in every public institution.

Furthermore the poster I was responding to was echoing that theory when she, like many of the people on the marches, continuously tried to claim that disparities in choices leading to disparities in outcomes is evidence of gender discrimination. This is feminist bread and butter. It has to be because they ran out of any real dragons to slay half a century ago.

“Funnily enough you criticise someone else in this thread for that sort of thing.”

I have no idea what you mean by “that sort of thing.”

“Ironically, you follow this statement with the example of women and men differing in their choices of university subject. Given the context, you necessarily imply that this difference is decided exclusively by genetics.”

Oh this again! If that is your understanding of what I said then you didn’t read my post. I was very careful in my post to claim that the differences in choices were motivated by different expectations, priorities and aspirations. I further claimed that those things were heavily influenced by our biological imperatives. I did not claim that they were “dictated exclusively” by any one factor.

You sure do like your straw men.

I also find you rhetorical style rather tiresome. If you do not agree with the claim above: If you can make a case to show that male and female choices are not heavily influenced by biological drives then please do so.

“I can easily give examples of environmental experience that would shape how someone would decide their educational specialisation.”

Bully for you. So could I. In fact I did already. I can think of about ten off the top of my head. But that is kind of irrelevant isn’t it?

Look women tend to get cheaper car insurance in most countries because we are more risk averse. That fact is born out by every study ever done. We are a lower risk. It doesn’t mean the insurance companies do not take other factors into account and it doesn’t mean that we all get cheaper insurance or that we will never crash the car.

But it does mean that as a group statistically speaking we are a lower risk because of our biology.

It isn’t complicated.

“It would be hyperbolic to say genetics have absolutely no role:”

That is an understatement but OK.

The first human instinct is to survive. That overrides all our other instincts. The second is to mate and reproduce and this instinct dominates directly or indirectly almost every thing we do.

“I’m not sure whether the above statement is the bleakest sentiment I’ve ever considered with respect to myself.”

The statement isn’t about you. It is about the species in general. Before you get carried away with pointless pedantics; yes; I know people do commit suicide so I know that we can overcome our biological imperatives. I said biology was a huge influence on our behaviour. I did not say it was dictator.

I am talking in generalisations here because that is what we must do when talking about general trends.

“Do you think of how you treat others in only these terms?”

Of course not: We are not constantly aware of biological drives. When a woman sees a man she finds attractive she does not conciously think –

OK: — He has strong squarish features which are a sign of good bones. He is tall and fit looking so he would be able to protect his family and would likely sire strong healthy offspring. He is behaving with confidence and appears to have the respect of his peers. He is well dressed and appears to be successful, so he would be cable of supporting his offspring. In view of all of the above I would consider copulating with this specimen.

No: She just thinks — “he is kinda cute.”

When I get a drink of water because I am feeling thirsty; I am not consciously thinking of all the things going on in my body as a result of de-hydration. I just feel thirsty.

I have no idea what you were trying to say with your last two paragraphs. It was just a lot of vague word-salad that didn’t actually say anything relevant.

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