I then went on to defend the premises in that article focusing primarily on caloric deficits and nitrogen balance. In this post, I will shift the focus toward physical activity, or resistance training, more specifically–and when I say ‘resistance training’, I mean lifting heavy things.
Before I get into that, there are two basic types of training, or exercise, that are categorized by the primary type of metabolic pathway being utilized. There is anaerobic training that relies primarily on anaerobic metabolism and there is aerobic training that relies primarily on aerobic metabolism. Steady-state cardiovascular exercises such as running a 10K, a mile swim, or cross country skiing are great examples of aerobic exercise while heavy lifting and sprinting are great examples of anaerobic exercise. Continue reading Lifting While Trans: How to Get a ‘Feminine’ Physique (Part 2)
Why do I think revelation being open to interpretation is okay? Because it being otherwise would be to defeat God’s very purpose for us: to become like him. It’s the same reason why God rejected Lucifer’s plan: we must be free to choose, even radically free. Without that freedom, we cannot be responsible for our choices. We cannot be like God, who is also radically free. There would be no opportunity for us to truly learn about the world or ourselves. There would be absolutely no point at all, for without the ability to create meaning in a world devoid of inherent meaning, life would just be a big, sad joke.
Consider the story of Abraham and Isaac. Recall that God blessed Abraham with a son, Isaac, at a very old age after Abraham pleaded with the Lord to give him a child. God, hearing Abraham’s pleas, gave him Isaac. Then one day, God asked Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, a request that Abraham really struggled with. Continue reading I Am Transgender (Part 3: Section 5): What It Means to Be A Woman
And so it is for ‘revelation’. You can believe that you have a connection with God and that he reveals truth to you through the Spirit. I won’t deny that belief. But what neither of us can deny is that whatever you’re experiencing (be it revelation or something else), it must be interpreted by you for it to make sense. You must give it meaning. This doesn’t just apply to you and me, it applies to everyone, even those who claim to be prophets, seers, and revelators. That does not mean that these people do not have power or authority. It does mean that they are communicating their interpretation of their experience and you are then interpreting what they are saying. Stated differently, there is the object of experience (in this case, the Spirit) and the experience itself (in this case, revelation). There is also speaker meaning (in this case, what the prophets intend to communicate), and there is audience meaning (your interpretation of their words). Can they be wrong? They are fallible. So it behooves both of us to admit they can be. Can we also be wrong about our interpretation of what they are saying? We are also fallible. So it behooves both of us to admit that we can be. They have been wrong before, they even occasionally admit this, and we can admit where we have gotten them wrong. My point is this: there is a lot of intersubjectivity, and things are very open to interpretation, including what is asserted as doctrine or revelation. Continue reading I Am Transgender (Part 3: Section 4): What It Means to Be A Woman
The story of Batman, at least to me, is the most compelling and explicit articulation of existentialism, and the story arc that best illustrates existential struggle in light of the absurd is the one between Batman and the Joker. In order to understand either one of them, you need to understand what motivates them.
As a young Bruce Wayne, Batman was confronted with the absurd and the existential angst that followed from the death of his parents. During this confrontation, what he refers to as staring at ‘the abyss’, he ultimately chooses to embody conventional forms of morality and justice in a Gotham that is coming apart at the seams. In other words, Batman makes the choice to live authentically by deciding what he values and what it means for him to embody those values as Batman. Continue reading I Am Transgender (Part 3: Section 3): What It Means to Be A Woman
I can imagine that you would find my articles of faith agreeable, and I am sincere when I say they are my articles of faith. I do not believe it’s practical, or rationally defensible, to assert that reason and faith are distinct from one another. I believe that it is inevitably true that we live by faith. I won’t deny it because doing so would be inauthentic of me. Faith, therefore, comes first and is bound up with reason as reason is merely a tool we use to make sense of the world through our feelings (or our ‘passions’ as David Hume called them). Faith precedes any sense we can make or knowledge we can have. You may consider this my primary maxim that rules over all the others. Continue reading I Am Transgender (Part 3: Section 2): What It Means to Be A Woman
There was so much uncertainty and randomness as the storm came and went. It made me reflect on a lot of things such as who I am and why I’m here and all the things that follow from pondering those two fundamental questions–questions I have pondered as long as I can remember. People have come up with their own answers to those questions. They find meaning. Some people have relied on religion to give them that meaning. Some have not. When pondering this question of meaning, I have come up with many different answers for myself–some of them more satisfactory than others. My parents did their best to help me in my search for meaning, but I ultimately went in directions they undoubtedly found unsatisfactory, or disturbing. I realize this, and I take no pleasure in the pain they experienced in response to my choices. It was a practically inevitable consequence of the choices I ultimately felt I had to make to be authentic and cease pretending to be something, or someone, I am not. I wanted my life to actually mean something. It felt sad and empty before. Continue reading I Am Transgender (Part 3: Section 1): What It Means to Be A Woman
Competing paradigms, i.e., mine and the mainstream’s, cannot be decided by purely rational or empirical means. There are evaluative judgements we make that come from our personal preferences, feelings, beliefs and culture. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy summarizes philosophical debate around something called “The Underdetermination of Scientific Theory”. In short, problems surrounding the underdetermination of scientific theory have cropped up throughout the history of philosophy and science from Descartes’ skepticism to the work of Duhem and Quine. The theme remains the same: determining what we believe about the empirical world cannot be decided by purely rational reasons and evidence. Other things, such as our own biases, determine what we ultimately believe is true. Continue reading I Am Transgender (Part 2): Response to Criticisms