Instigator / Pro

The Transgender Idea is Philosophically Contradictory


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 2 votes and with 10 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
One week
Max argument characters
Voting period
One month
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

I believe THIS was the Debate Juice wanted to have? I will be helping Juice out and challenging the transgender idea.

Round 1
Famous news source says: “The thinking of transgender activists is inherently confused and filled with internal contradictions. Activists never acknowledge those contradictions. Instead, they opportunistically rely on whichever claim is useful at any given moment.
On the one hand, they claim that the real self is something other than the physical body, in a new form of Gnostic dualism, yet at the same time they embrace a materialist philosophy in which only the material world exists. They say that gender is purely a social construct, while asserting that a person can be “trapped” in the wrong gender.
They say there are no meaningful differences between man and woman, yet they rely on rigid sex stereotypes to argue that “gender identity” is real, while human embodiment is not. They claim that truth is whatever a person says it is, yet they believe there’s a real self to be discovered inside that person.
They promote a radical expressive individualism in which people are free to do whatever they want and define the truth however they wish, yet they try ruthlessly to enforce acceptance of transgender ideology.
It’s hard to see how these contradictory positions can be combined. If you pull too hard on any one thread of transgender ideology, the whole tapestry comes unraveled. But here are some questions we can pose:
If gender is a social construct, how can gender identity be innate and immutable? How can one’s identity with respect to a social construct be determined by biology in the womb? How can one’s identity be unchangeable (immutable) with respect to an ever-changing social construct? And if gender identity is innate, how can it be “fluid”?
The challenge for activists is to offer a plausible definition of gender and gender identity that is independent of bodily sex.
Is there a gender binary or not? Somehow, it both does and does not exist, according to transgender activists. If the categories of “man” and “woman” are objective enough that people can identify as, and bemen and women, how can gender also be a spectrum, where people can identify as, and be, both, or neither, or somewhere in between?
What does it even mean to have an internal sense of gender? What does gender feel like? What meaning can we give to the concept of sex or gender—and thus what internal “sense” can we have of gender—apart from having a body of a particular sex?
The challenge for the transgender activist is to explain what these feelings are like, and how someone could know if he or she “feels like” the opposite sex, or neither, or both.
Even if trans activists could answer these questions about feelings, that still wouldn’t address the matter of reality. Why should feeling like a man—whatever that means—make someone a man? Why do our feelings determine reality on the question of sex, but on little else? Our feelings don’t determine our age or our height. And few people buy into Rachel Dolezal’s claim to identify as a black woman, since she is clearly not.
If those who identify as transgender are the sex with which they identify, why doesn’t that apply to other attributes or categories of being? What about people who identify as animals, or able-bodied people who identify as disabled? Do all of these self-professed identities determine reality? If not, why not?
And should these people receive medical treatment to transform their bodies to accord with their minds? Why accept transgender “reality,” but not trans-racial, trans-species, and trans-abled reality?
The challenge for activists is to explain why a person’s “real” sex is determined by an inner “gender identity,” but age and height and race and species are not determined by an inner sense of identity...Gender identity can sound a lot like religious identity, which is determined by beliefs. But those beliefs don’t determine reality. Someone who identifies as a Christian believes that Jesus is the Christ. Someone who identifies as a Muslim believes that Muhammad is the final prophet. But Jesus either is or is not the Christ, and Muhammad either is or is not the final prophet, regardless of what anyone happens to believe.
So, too, a person either is or is not a man, regardless of what anyone—including that person—happens to believe. ...Which is it? Is our gender identity biologically determined and immutable, or self-created and changeable? If the former, how do we account for people whose gender identity changes over time? Do these people have the wrong sense of gender at some time or other?
And if gender identity is self-created, why must other people accept it as reality? If we should be free to choose our own gender reality, why can some people impose their idea of reality on others just because they identify as transgender?...A transgender future is not the “right side of history,” yet activists have convinced the most powerful sectors of our society to acquiesce to their demands. ”
Opening Statement

Thanks, Seldiora for the debate. First things first, let’s clarify some things:

  • Definitions: Pro failed to provide any

Transgender - “having or relating to a gender identity that differs from the culturally determined gender roles for one’s birth sex … or for one’s sex as surgically assigned at birth.”

Gender - “the condition of being male, female, or neuter. In a human context, the distinction between gender and sex reflects the usage of these terms: Sex... refers to the biological … of maleness or femaleness, whereas gender .. the psychological, behavioral, social, and cultural aspects of .. male or female..”

Philosophy - “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”

Contradiction - “a situation in which inherent factors, actions, or propositions are inconsistent or contrary to one another”

  • Objections: Pro does not actually provide an argument, instead they copy and paste an argument from the Heritage Foundation, this should be grounds for automatic conduct penalty. 

Transgenderism is Logically Consistent 

Due to the lack of valid argumentation from Pro I will introduce the idea of a syllogism into this debate. 

  • A syllogism is a formatted deductive argument, where each idea draws from the last to lead to a conclusion that logically follows. 


P1:  car is red
P2:  rose same color as the car
Con: Therefore; rose is red

  • Whenever your premises lead to a conclusion that is the only logical conclusion one can draw from such premises, that argument is valid.
  • Whenever each premise is factually correct as well as valid, the argument is sound. 
Therefore, a sound and valid argument is an argument that all premises are true and where the premises logically justify the conclusion of the argument. 

  • P1: Gender and Sex are two different words that refer to different things
  • P2: One’s gender is able to not be the same as the sex they are assigned at birth
  • P3: If P1, P2, then transgenderism
  • Con: Therefore, transgenderism is true

  • Recall: The definition of Transgender - from definitions 
  • In order for this definition to be true, all that needs to be true are sex and gender to be separate things, and for one to be able to have a different gender from the sex they are assigned

Demonstrating P1 & P2:

Demonstrating Premise 1 is actually very straight forward. All I must do is prove gender and sex different things.

  • Recall: The definition of Gender - from definitions.
  • The definition itself makes a distinction between sex and gender, and seeing as how Pro has not provided any definitions, the Voters should prefer Con’s definition’s inherently.

Perhaps that doesn’t convince you, the voter, however. You ask, “Why should we trust your definition at all?

  • “The APA Commission on Accreditation (APA-CoA) is recognized by both the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, as the national accrediting authority for professional education and training in psychology.”

Due to the psychological credence that is given to the APA, one should prefer their definitions to others, therefore my definition stands. 

To Demonstrate premise 2 



  • The levels of specific hormones within the brain/body, especially in early development, are what primarily affect how people’s sex phenotypes.  [x] [y]
  • However, research has shown that these chemicals are not what impact someone’s gender identity. In essence - Physical evidence that gender doesn’t equal sex
  • The study I cite says the following: “particularly ..but relatively minimal effects on gender identity.”

Note: Voters should prefer Con’s (My) sources due to their scientific nature, whereas my opponent cites an opinion piece. Therefore in the case of any contradicting facts, favor should be taken on Con’s information. 


Due to the unreasonable character restrictions, rebuttals will be posted in r2, quotes/definitions are shortened


Round 2
All of cons arguments are based on science and not philosophical and thus completely invalid. It would be like saying people who agree with utilitarianism have a specific brain system and thus utilitarianism can be enforced, and is valid. Let’s assume in this alternate universe utilitarianism did have a specific brain system. In fact, let’s go so far to say that those who believe in utilitarianism gain the most dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. This is basically the most basic idea of utilitarianism. This does not automatically make it valid that they are a utilitarian. If all utilitarians have this dopamine brain structure rather than believing in Mill’s theory, then this falls apart as they are not truly a utilitarian. (Remember how religion is based on belief rather than brain structure) If they are utilitarian because they believe in Mill and not because of their brain, then this is just a construct based on society and you would be equally valid to try to convince them to believe in Immanuel Kant, rather than agreeing perfectly with their utilitarian stance. Or having them say they are utilitarian and you arguing about Kant’s ideals is denying their Moral Identity. 

Quotes are shortened - Responding to claims sequentially from r1

  • “... they claim that the real….. “trapped” in the wrong gender.”
The first claim is a strawman, not at all what being Transgender is at all. As defined in definitions and further on in my constructive, Transgenderism is related to your identity of gender, which is of a psychological and therefore physical basis. Gender roles and gender itself is a construct, which identifies you is not. They do not fundamentally contradict. 

  • “They say... no meaningful ….inside that person.”
When has that ever been claimed? The argument is that the difference is not enough to be purely dichotomous. Gender identity is not necessarily based on “rigid sex stereotypes”. As I proved in my case for Transgenderism above. More strawmen. 

  • “They promote a …...of transgender ideology.”
First of all, this is a red herring. Second of all, there is no evidence for either claim.  Thirdly, simply telling people one’s gender identity is not “radical expressive individualism” that would be like saying, “I am white” or “I am gay” is REI, It is simply a statement of self-identity. 

  • “If gender is a social construct,...., how can it be “fluid”?”
Because the overall concept of gender isn’t founded on sex, it is chiefly the roles and societal expectations of gender are arbitrarily defined by society. The second question is an inherent misunderstanding of sex and gender, not an actual criticism of transgenderism.

One’s gender identity isn’t fixed or constantly changing necessarily, it depends on the individual’s gender identity, claiming this a contradiction is false. A group of people can be both tall and short, and this does not contradict an average height, just tell you that the group’s height is more nuanced than 5’8”. 

  • "The challenge for activists is to offer a plausible definition of gender and gender identity that is independent of bodily sex.”
Why? Why can one’s gender identity not be tied to the body? Sex perhaps, but one’s gender identity need not be constrained to only environmental/societal concepts. Though they would be the main influence.  This is more straw-manning

  • “ Is there a gender binary or not?........ neither, or somewhere in between?”
This is simply embarrassing, if something is on a spectrum, one can be either extreme. For example: On the color spectrum something can be all the way to one side: blue, to the other side: Red, no color: Black, all color: white, etc.. 

  • “What does it even mean ….having a body of a particular sex?”
This isn’t even a valid criticism this is just the author making a claim to ignorance. I.e: I don’t know what it feels like to have a separate gender from my sex, therefore there is actual feeling regarding it. 

  • “The challenge for the…. opposite sex, or neither, or both.”
No, they don’t, this isn’t something necessary to prove the efficacy or even the logical consistency of transgenderism. They know because it is literally their gender identity, it’s how people know they are gay, heterosexual Because it is literally their own identity. 

  • “Even if trans …….identify as a black woman, since she is clearly not.”
Once more, the answer to how it “feels” is a red herring and a non-sequitur, the aspect of reality? I’ve already demonstrated that in my r1 constructive. You don’t even have to go that far, you can just agree that the psychological condition is known as “Gender Dysphoria” exists and your point is bunk,

Our age is a number we assign to a certain amount of time that has passed and is not something uniquely attributable to humans. Height and ethnicity is a physical phenotype that is once again not comparable to gender. 

  • “If those who identify……. reality? If not, why not?”
Except gender does not determine sex at all, this is the problem trans surgery seeks to correct. Once again a complete strawman. A trans person is someone whose gender does not match their sex.

As for all of the other things? Trans-species? This isn’t at all comparable - as a different gender is not at all a different species, given that a large part of gender is societally constructed. 

  • “And should these……. and trans-abled reality?”
As for trans-racial and trans-abled, wouldn’t we want people who are disabled to get surgery that fixes them? That would be a good thing and would improve their lives. Trans-racial is literally just saying changing the pigment of your skin. Again - not. Comparable. 

  • “So, too, a person either ……...wrong sense of gender at some time or other?”
An argument from ignorance. It is not biologically determined, this is the author’s own claim. No, it simply means a person’s gender identity has changed, similar to how a gay person could become straight under certain circumstances or vice versa. 

  • Repeated Argument/strawman of Pro

R2 Rebuttal:

Science was only used to justify each claim, not justify transgenderism itself. Either way, Science is applicable philosophy, the rest of R2 can be dismissed


Round 3
Nicely done, I now know how to win the con side.

Just one more question: if the scientists can back up gender with chemicals in the brain corresponding to biological problems (ex. Woman body having male chromosome and can be called “they”), wouldn’t their gender be still based on what’s inside of their body rather than what they say? The other problem I can think of is, if genetic modification exists should we allow people to identify as non human? Do they still deserve human rights?

Constructive: Extend

Rebuttal: Extend

Rebuttal R3:

"f the scientists can back up gender with chemicals in the brain corresponding to biological problems (ex. Woman body having male chromosome and can be called “they”), wouldn’t their gender be still based on what’s inside of their body rather than what they say? The other problem I can think of is, if genetic modification exists should we allow people to identify as non human? Do they still deserve human rights?"
This question could be broken down into 2 parts:

  • If gender is correlative with biological problems, wouldn't gender be based on what's inside the body than what someone reports.
  • If genetic modification exists, should they be able to identify as non-human, do they get human rights
Firstly, one must note that neither question points out the supposed contradictory nature of transgenderism, therefore regardless of my answers Pro has not fulfilled their BoP.

Second, both of these questions are made of false equivalences. 

  • What someone reports is what their gender identity is from the inside. Just like whenever a gay person says they are gay, they are reporting what they are
  • Changing your sex to match your gender in the same species is not comparable to changing to a different species.


While Con has sufficiently fulfilled their BoP, Pro going as far as saying, "Nicely done, I now know how to win the con side. One more question", to agree. Pro has dropped all of their arguments and failed to rebut any of Con's positions from r2. Therefore Pro has not met their BoP, while Con has.

Vote Con