The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Bathroom bills, showers, and “gender identity”

There are really two different aspects to the quarrel we see between the sponsors of “bathroom bills” and so-called “transgender” individuals. There is actually a difference between bathrooms and showers: it is hard to enforce a “bathroom bill” on people simply entering a bathroom — are we going to have police examining everyone's genitalia as they enter? I can't imagine anyone, whether “transgender” or not, putting up with such an examination. On the other hand, in a shower, where everyone gets naked, the true sex of an individual becomes obvious. And what of dressing rooms, where everyone is naked at one point in the process of getting dressed or undressed?

When I was in high school, and again when I was in college, the physical education program required a year of swimming, which was done in the nude. I don't know whether nude swimming classes have everywhere been abolished, but even if they have, the students have to get dressed and undressed; you do not swim in street clothes. And usually students are expected to shower in a communal place. It is things like this that give me pause when “transgender” individuals want to be able to use the facilities of the sex opposite to their real sex. What is fair to all involved in such cases?

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