Skepticism as a specific pursuit is the questioning attitude toward opinions or beliefs that are stated as facts. In other words, skeptics do not take people’s opinions and beliefs as fact; they use science and verifiable and reproducible research as their guides for what is “true” and “real.” Science has shown in many ways that the human brain cooks up all kinds of crazy things that are verifiably not true or real. So skeptics are supposed to get it when humans come up with crazy things and try to pass them off as reality.
So given that there is a religious devotion to “gender identity” in pro-trans* political arguments, it is odd that some people who call themselves skeptics are accepting those arguments and promulgating them as truth.
In fact, we have no more evidence for “gender identity” than we do for “god.” How do I know this? Because “gender identity” means as many different things over time and culture as “god” does. And because brain studies have shown both that belief in “gender identity” and belief in the existence of “god” map to specific parts and activities the human brain. Therefore, believing in “gender identity” is pretty much exactly like believing in “god.” And that’s perfectly fine if you want to believe in those things, and many nice people do, but it doesn’t mean that “gender identity” is any more real in a factual way than “god” is. Religious devotion to “gender identity” is no more proof that it actually exists than religious devotion to “god” is proof that he/it/she exists. And just as anyone can define “god” and the experience of “god” any way they want to, so too can anyone define “gender identity” any way they want to.
Here’s an excellent example of this:
“Gender identity is an internal sense of self and what one fundamentally is. It’s the sense of being a man or a woman (or both, or neither, or in-between, or something else). It is divorced from concepts of what a man or woman is or isn’t supposed to be like, and appears to be very much innate and unchanging. It also appears to be related to the neurological “body map” and relationship to one’s body- feelings of either comfort or alienation.” — someone who is a skeptic of god but who believes in gender identity
That is no different from this:
Religious identity is an internal sense of knowing what God fundamentally is. It’s the sense of knowing God in oneself. It is divorced from concepts of what God is or isn’t supposed to be like, and appears to be very much innate and unchanging. Awareness of God in the body also appears to be related to human neurology (brain studies have shown a relationship between specific brain activity and religious feelings and beliefs); acceptance of this in oneself (or lack thereof) can cause either comfort or alienation.
Let’s be clear. Just because your brain tells you something is true and real, doesn’t mean it is. I learned that from science.