Skeptic’s Play Open thread

Since I moved away from Skeptic’s Play, I permanently closed all comments there.  But for the most persistent, I offer the opportunity to instead leave comments here.  I do not expect this thread to be very active.

If you are leaving comments in reply to a specific post, please link to it.  I’ve written so much stuff over the years that I won’t know what you’re talking about otherwise, and I will delete your comment.

As usual, I am not obligated to reply to comments ever.


2 thoughts on “Skeptic’s Play Open thread

  1. brianpansky October 13, 2015 / 6:54 pm

    I was trying to respond over here:

    You’re right, I was disappointed.

    Ignoring for a moment whether or not my questions could be classified as “ontological” questions, I think answers to those questions would actually be useful (for gender, not for shoes).

    I also (unlike you) think the ontology itself would also be useful. Just as meta-ethics is vital for ethics (which you seem to disagree with for some reason). Just think about using the commands of a god as the basis for ethics VS a naturalistic meta-ethics and you should be able to see how vital this can be.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Siggy October 13, 2015 / 10:55 pm


    Yeah I think the practical question of how to determine whether something is gender is an interesting & important question, just not one I have much insight to. I only have my personal experience of first not understanding what it feels like to be a man, given how little I like masculinity, but then realizing I strongly preferred being a man anyway. So I guess that’s what it feels like to be cis? (This experience was mentioned in my other posts on gender.)

    I will go back on what I said before. The meta-question of gender is useful, but not directly so.

    The way I think about gender is… one time I heard this metaphor of gender being a house with a bunch of colored lights. If the pattern of lights is orange, purple, blue, red, etc. that’s male, and if it’s yellow, green, purple, blue, etc. that’s female, and there’s no real logic to the distinction. But for some reason we’re intimately familiar with the two patterns and the differences between them, because we’re just hard-wired to fit housing light patterns within some sort of dichotomy, and to decorate our own house within that dichotomy, even though there are clearly lots of other patterns possible, and even though different cultures come up with different dichotomies. And I see the shoes in the same way, but without the hard-wiring part. If any of that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

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