My heresy? I don't believe transwomen are female. This should be incredibly obvious: they're born with male genitals (by definition -- otherwise what are they "transing" to?), they have XY chromosomes, they cannot get pregnant and gestate babies, they do not make ova, etc. No amount of surgeries or drugs can change this -- they just aren't female. And that's okay! But the distinction between male bodies and female bodies is important!
In other words, you think that Baronelle should simple cooperate, and make Jesus a tool of the cultural Marxist and the lgbt movements. The old moral equivalency argument– a familiar tactic.
Barronelle has been used as a scapegoate and made an example of, to frighten and intimidate the rest of us. But I guesd that really doesn’t bother you.
He calls this the “equivalence” thesis, ..
Russ Roberts: C-o-m-i-t-y. I heard that. I just have to say one thing--that was beautifully said. I just have to say one thing, being the representative of Adam Smith at EconTalk. And it's interesting: you gave this example of the earthquake and the finger: he says--he actually talks about surgery on your finger: If you are going to lose your little finger, you are going to sleep badly; whereas, if you hear that a million people are killed in an earthquake in China, you are going to be--you might be a little bit upset but you are still going to sleep that night. And I think that's true even today with the Internet. The tragedies we are in right now of Hurricane Harvey and Irma, horrible, horrible things happening to human beings, even if you watch them on TV or on the Internet, you probably care more about your own personal wellbeing, because that's the way we're wired. What Smith went to say--and this is, I think, a nice way to end our conversation--what Smith went on to say is that: So, why is it then, that if you have a chance to save your finger by killing a million people, you wouldn't think about doing that for a second? No one could be that monstrous. Because, you've already revealed that you more about your little finger in some fundamental sense than you do about the lives of strangers. And yet we don't behave that way. His answer, of course, was that social norms develop that prevent us from being monsters, even though in our heart we have some darkness; we have a minimal--we don't have as much benevolence as we'd like us, perhaps, to have. It just isn't the way the world is. So, while people may be basically nice, benevolence is a higher standard. Somehow, we act, frequently, benevolently, even though our natural impulse is to look out for our finger. And we see this right now--it's a very inspiring thing--that people who have freely chosen, voluntarily, to go save lives, spend money, and help other human beings when they don't have to is one of the glorious things about being a human being. So, I like to think we can develop those social norms at the right level. But, we're struggling right now.
Is there a difference between killing someone and letting them die ..
Russ Roberts: So, let me put it in a different framework. Because, I think--this is what I was trying to get at earlier, and I think will help us organize our thinking about it. And I want to come back to your point about whether this is something different that we have to deal with--and this is really the point of your piece, by the way, which I haven't really focused on yet. Which is that: This is a form of coercion. And since, as classical liberals, we should be worried about coercion, we should be worried about this. So, I just want to--I want to rephrase some of the, pull together some of the things we've been saying. So, I think there is a temptation in life to punish things we don't like. And that leads to a--that's not a bad idea, on the surface. The bad idea is to say, 'The bigger the punishment, the better, because then there'll be less of the thing I don't like.' And that forgets the fact that, that will lead to other behavior--and this, to me, is a very Coasean--this is one of the things I have learned from the Coase Theorem, and Coase's article, I should say, on social cost, because I think it's just--this insight is deep and very unappreciated and very unintuitive. Which is: If you raise the cost of something, you do get less of it. And if it's something you don't like, you'd say, 'Well, that's good.' But you forget the fact that that sets a whole 'nother set of incentives in motion. Which is really, I think, what Coase's point was in externalities and how, if we punish them, we don't just get less of the externality. You get less of other incentives for behavior. And if you punish the externality, you get different, you get incentives for behavior. And you want to look at the whole picture. And that, I think, is the deepest insight of that article. And I'll take the opportunity here just to mention that it can--the Coase Theorem is not usually what people say it is. Listen to my EconTalk interview with Ronald Coase and his frustration with that. We'll put a link up to it. But, my point is this: If you don't think it's a good thing for airlines to lose bags, lose your luggage--which everybody agrees that's a bad thing--you don't want a fine of a million dollars for a lost bag. Because, what that means is the airline--maybe they'll just stop flying, for starters. But it certainly means they are going to spend a lot more resources to not lose your bag. And you might think, 'Well, that's great!' You forget the fact that someone has to pay for those. That's usually--not usually; it's almost always the customer. And so the is now being told, 'I'm not going to lose your bag, but it's going to cost you now the equivalent of an extra $500, say, or $300, or $200 dollars to fly.' In which case, you'd say, 'I think I'd rather take a chance' now that you'll lose the bag and not have to pay a higher price. And when we a million-dollar fine, we are basically saying to the company, 'You have to be at one end of this tradeoff.' And that, I think, is the problem of what we're talking about. The shaming is generally a shaming because, as you said, it's a huge part of civilization. Disapproval, the raised eyebrow, the ending a friendship over, perhaps tragic but may be justified over some horrible misbehavior. That might be the right thing to do in certain situations. But, if the punishment for thinking a bad thought and uttering it is exile--joblessness, no longer part of socially acceptable society--what you get is--what we came talking about before is: 'I better not say much.' And you talk about this in your essay: 'I'll just stick to the weather.' And what that does--and you could say, 'Well, that's okay. That way nobody's feelings get hurt.' And, 'Nothing offensive is said.' But what it means is: Nothing creative is said. Nothing innovative is said. It's better to keep your mouth shut. And you end up with a culture and a society that is--a bunch of sheep. A bunch of people with their nose to the--they are trying to stay under the radar all the time--from these phenomena. So, that, I think, is the true cost of this. It destroys thoughtful discourse. And thoughtful discourse is what makes civilization.