There is an ancient philosophical position that goes by the name of voluntarism, which is to say, the systematic favoring of the will over the intellect; where desire trumps truth. Broken down simply what voluntarism means is that what a person wants to be true becomes what is actually true. Of course, what I want to be true and what is true are two very different questions. In other words under voluntarism, if a person holds to a deep desire from within, that desire becomes an actual reality in the external world and can override the laws of nature. So, if I want to be a millionaire, all of a sudden I really become a millionaire. It’s a kind of a wish-fulfillment way of thinking. This idea of voluntarism has been thoroughly refuted by philosophers and common sense over the years. However, I’ve noticed that it has popped up again thanks to the “brilliant” logic of the pop-culture. Apparently, the pop-culture has decided that there is a new way for someone to determine who they are. All one has to do is to "self-identify" who they are based on their internal desires, and then their self-identity becomes an actual reality over and above their genetic makeup. I’m in between jobs and have been filling some applications. I can’t help notice how now the gender section reads “how you self-identify gender.” So, if you are biologically a male, but you “feel” like a woman, you really are a woman. Of course, this is all news to your DNA and to biology itself. By checking female your XY chromosomes doesn’t magically turn to XX – nor does your reproductive organs and chemical makeup magically change as well. In other words, your feelings of what you want to be true have no effect on what actually is true.
Of course, this way of thinking is not new. It is a re-packaging of the dated and debunked philosophy of voluntarism. Under voluntarism what someone wants to be true based on desires within becomes reality over and above the laws of the universe. But, how is it that your feelings know more than the very physical laws that made you? Wouldn’t it be the other way around? Because if your feelings know more than the laws of the universe, we wouldn’t need to think anymore to obtain truth we would just “feel” our way to truth. No sane person uses their feelings as a way to knowledge. If this were the case, we wouldn’t need schools to learn. We would just consult our feelings to obtain knowledge and truth. Most people acknowledge that their feelings are ever changing and are ultimately flawed. If your feelings are flawed why the heck would you use a flawed source to determine the critical question of your identity? That would be like betting your life savings on the advice of an inept financial advisor. Not only are our feelings flawed, but feelings also have nothing to do with understanding the truth. The fact is that feeling is a response to truth. It is not a way to get at the truth. So, feeling only kicks in after truth has been established. And truth is established by knowledge, not feeling.
The voluntarism philosophy also reverses the notion that instead of discovering the laws of the universe, mankind actually creates the laws of the universe. However, basic logic will tell us this is impossible. For example, Isaac Newton did not create the law of gravity. The law of gravity was governing the universe and the rotation of the planets long before 1687. Newton merely discovered the mathematical formula that describes how the law worked. In other words, Newton uncoded the message that explains physical reality. Newton did not determine how the law worked and certainly did not create it into existence.
So, voluntarism is nothing more than a child saying I determine how reality should be. Instead of following the laws of the universe, I make the laws. Suddenly, the self is the author of it all. This idea is nothing more than old-fashioned self-worship. I get to play god. The idea of voluntarism destroys a person of their true identity and ushers in the death of their soul with a bland self-centered absorption of oneself. With self-worship instead of discovering the truth and being bound by physical laws, the self overrides the physical laws and tells the laws what to do. Can this idea be any more self-centered and arrogant? To show how backwards and bankrupt this way of thinking is I’ve compiled a list that uses the same “brilliant” logic that a job application uses with how one self-identifies. So, let’s now see if what I want to be true suddenly becomes what is true.
I told my bank that I identify as a millionaire - it didn’t work.
I told my flight attendant I identify as a first class passenger - it didn’t work.
I told my perspective employer that I identify as the VP of Sales and will start tomorrow - it didn’t work.
I told the law of gravity that I identify as Superman and can fly - it didn’t work.
I told the Tennessee Titans that I identify as their starting quarterback and look forward to being on the team this year - it didn’t work.
I told Columbia Records that I identify as the next greatest musician - it didn’t work.
I told my doctor that I identify as the healthiest man alive - it didn’t work.
I told all of matter that I identify as being invisible - it didn’t work.
I told Major League baseball that I identify as the starting pitcher for the Cubs - it didn’t work.
I told the law of thermodynamics that I identify as always being age 32 and will never physically age - it didn’t work.
I told my digestive and reproductive organs that I identify as never needing to go to the bathroom again - it didn’t work.
I told my DNA that I now identify as a 5 feet tall Chinese woman - it didn’t work.
Notice in all examples that my internal desires of what I want to be true have absolutely nothing to do with what is actually true in reality. In all areas we see how problematic this logic is, but what it comes to sex all reason goes out the door. In fact, Dr. Paul R. McHugh, psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital, said “Transgender is a mental disorder that merits treatment.” He later indicated that “sex change is biologically impossible, and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.” see quote here
Additionally, in a recent article published by the American College of Pediatricians titled Gender Ideology Harms Children it states:
“A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking." see full report here
Both articles also stress the sad fact that depression and suicide rates are 35-50 times higher in transgender individuals and this fact is linked precisely because of their confused mental state of who they are. Additionally, numerous studies show that sex change is not effective for people and will cause more confusion and harm for these people in the long run. (links to other studies included) study 1 study 2 study 3 study 4 study 5 study 6
Furthermore, what these studies conclude is the people that believe they are another gender are extremely confused and suffer from gender uncertainty disorder. The people who want to identify as someone else need to be helped. What they don’t need is to be cheered on to continue their confused and self-destructive thought process and slowly loose grip of who they are. We don’t want them to continue in this self-destructive pattern of gender confusion. Yet, those who are proponents of transgenderism are doing just that. The proponents of transgender probably don’t know they are simultaneously cheering for trans-people’s slow demise. What they’re really doing is using trans-people so they can look like a grand hero for the little guy, when, in fact, they are crushing the little guy. I’ve become skeptical of these so-called “heroes” for transgender people. Frankly, they are just using trans-people so they can look good. When in fact, they really don’t care about the confused nature of trans-people, but just care more about themselves and their precious image.
The psychology of gender misunderstanding reveals that there is something troubling within the trans-person that has created this identity confusion. As the John Hopkins study indicated the confusion of trans-people is usually the result of some trauma from their childhood in which they want to run away from (bad relationship with parents, being bullied, etc.) Instead of dealing with their past scars they create a fantasy world to leave the past behind and start fresh with a new identity. However, when they are living in their fantasy world they are going to be confused, overly emotional, easily traumatized, and highly depressed. Why? Because their fantasy bubble doesn’t match up with the reality of who they really are. Thus, the on-going mental disorder is the by-product of this fantasy.
Additionally, Cognitive Dissonance Theory in psychology shows that when people make up their own truth, they’ll constantly be in an anxious, edgy, emotional state because they have a nervous understanding that the truth will eventually come and expose their fantasy as a fraud. Trans-people will always be running scared away from reality. However, the problem is reality won’t go away. They won’t want to talk about or deal with the elephant in the room (reality) but eventually the elephant will talk. Once the elephant talks they have to give up their fantasy world and listen to reality. While it might be hard to deal with the truth, it is better for them to accept the truth and face reality so they can avoid further emotional turmoil. On the surface, the truth may scare them because they will have to face traumatic emotional scars from their past. However, as they dig deeper, the truth will show them who they really are as a person and offer them resolution to their past wounds. In other words, the truth will offer them much better healing than a manufactured fantasy can ever provide. Once they deal with their internal struggles and accept reality, they will be at peace. And ultimately, peace is where we want people to be. Once people know who they are as a person they can begin to be themselves - not some fake version of what they are not.
To help people out of this confused emotional state we need to take them out of what is not true – the idea of voluntarism and into what is true. To better understand who a person is, that person needs to listen to the entity that made them – God. Voluntarism is dead. Let’s not let some outdated, debunked philosophy govern people’s lives. Instead, let the entity that created your life govern your life– God. God created you so to best understand who you are, ask your Creator. Don’t let your flawed feelings determine who you are as your feelings didn't create you. Therefore, the logical thing to do to know who you are is to listen to the entity that created you, not some bizarre idea like voluntarism. Don’t run away from God and live a fantasy. Run towards God and live in reality. Jesus said he was the truth (John 14:6 18:37), and he also said “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Wiser words cannot be said in today’s confused culture.