by Don Franks
Are some of us born into the wrong body? The possibility is sometimes offered as a clinching argument that some people need to, and are able to, change their sex.
With one proviso, the answer has to be, yes, such a thing is possible. The only requirement for accepting the proposition is a belief that we have a pre existing essence prior to our birth. The belief that our true essence, fully formed, enters our material body at some stage of its development in our mother’s womb. To be later ‘assigned’, on the basis of its outward appearance as female or male by the medical workers attending our birth. This true essence of ourselves, which some call our soul, apparently contains gender inclinations quite independent of our physical make up.
Because we’re unable to see, weigh or measure someone’s true essence or soul, it’s not possible for an outside person to question any aspect of it. We can only take a person’s word that ‘they’ have been erroneously been born into the wrong body.
In point of fact, none of us are really ‘born into a body’ at all. Our birth is one link of many in the process of our journey from conception to death. We become the beginning of a human body after our father’s sperm has joined our mother’s ovum. At what stage we actually become a person in our own right is somewhat arbitrary, as debates over women’s right to abortion have shown. It’s known that human development to full potential takes several years, that’s why young people shouldn’t use alcohol because it can damage the proper completion of their brain formation.
Our whole lives are a process of change; our appearance, characteristics, views and preferences alter continuously through our teens adulthood and our old age. The idea that the true ‘we’ can appear fully formed out of nowhere and be misplaced in the ‘wrong body’ is a purely religious belief, totally at odds with a materialist world view. It is a mystery why some self described Marxists uncritically support the idea of people being born into the wrong body. Nothing in Marxism – or in biological science – in any way supports such a belief.
In a civilised society, we should respect people’s religious beliefs. We’re all just trying to get along and make our way through the world as best we can. We all have our idiosyncrasies and should treat each other with tolerance and consideration. No religious belief should be constrained, unless it negatively impacts on the lives of other people.
It goes without saying that noone should be punished or disadvantaged for refusing to uphold a religious belief that they find untenable.