This question came to me when I was designing the culture of a fictional country.  I was wondering outside of the life sciences, why do we use gender, and should we keep it in our daily lives.  In my own view the division of people by physical gender is pointless and serves only to create conflict.

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Yes, a good book & movie or series (I forgot which), and not just about gender roles.

I am sure that the logical reasoning for gender and the differences in genders is due to the fact that we are suppose to reproduce and have offspring? Also, attraction?

Edit: My keyboard made me put support instead of suppose...thanks Windows 8

I think that with human babies requiring such a lengthy period of care and human adults being so prone to war the social division between the sexes (gender) just came about through selection as a means of dividing people into caregivers and warriors, gatherers and hunters.  It also seems that most people are rather predisposed to assuming gender roles, even though such roles have become much less conventional.

What’s the purpose of gender?! Is that a serious question? What an incredibly naïve and silly question. I’m sorry, but this kind of mental masturbation is all very nice for cerebral exercise, but to actually contemplate it as reality based discussion is nuts. There’s a reason why the genders have fallen into their roles, and it’s because there is a difference between the sexes. DUH! It wasn’t engineered that way by any divine being. It was decided by nature long before there was a social consciousness. Isn’t this self-evident, as it is with just about every mammal? There may be the odd species that has the odd reproductive methods, but that’s not us. There is a clear physiological difference, and, therefore, mental and societal difference. Of course not every man is more masculine and/or stronger than every woman, and not every woman is more feminine and/or weaker (physically) than every man, and the range of each gender overlaps, but they do start on opposite ends of the spectrum. Did I mention that, with most species, the female choses the mate, while the males compete for her affections, by wooing her and/ or being that last male standing. Sound familiar? Regardless of how any animals reproduce, if there’s a male and a female in the equation, then there is a difference between them.


I don’t understand why most atheists are liberal. It’s as if whatever is as far away from religion as possible is where you go. In your minds, Conservatism = Religious Right. Liberals have no understanding of human nature. Your visions of society are all unachievable, when taken to their logical conclusions. Questions like this one, or the non-competitive world vision, where everyone is at the same level/status (or at least a regulated separation) put a childlike naivete on display, which goes against everything that makes an atheist not believe in any gods. John Lennon’s “Imagine” is a great song and a nice dream, but every verse is pie-in-the-sky fantasy that, if actually put into practice would lead to utter self-destruction. People will always compete for possessions, congregate into groups (or countries) of people they identify with, and (sadly) there will always be people who hope for a better, alternative reality in some form of religion. If you kept your dreams of what the world can become within the confine, that is the reality of human nature, you’d be conservatives.


I’ve only been on this site for a couple of weeks and, at first found a haven of fellow atheists to read from or trade stories or whatever. Over the last several days, though, I’ve have noticed a lot more politics----and it’s ALL left. Having been in burned out stage the last few years, with regard to politics, I’ve no ambition to engage, and still don’t really. However, when I saw this discussion posted, and saw supporters actually entertaining the question over whether gender in the human race is negligible, or even artificial, except for actual genitalia, I just couldn’t let that go. Being exponentially outnumbered here, politically, I expect to get bombarded by you all. I obvious won’t have the time, and probably won’t have the desire to have a right/left debate with all of you. I really would rather keep it to why I came here---religion and lack thereof.

Was it cathartic? Yes. I really didn't (and don't) want to turn this site into a political debate. I'd been seeing cheap shots to the right thrown out, and was debating to myself if I want to stay here and be subjected to this or maybe find another site more suitable to my leanings. Either way, I wasn't going to engage, and start something that experience tells me NEVER ends. When I saw this post, and then saw multiple people giving the thought credibility, I couldn't hold it in any longer, then vented.

I fully expect to be bombarded on this, with me being 1 of about 100, and all. No, I don't want to play anymore, but I will take my beating and read the responses. I only hope I have the will power to not get dragged into a constant left vs right debate. That's sooo not why I came here and I'll burn out on this site, but it'd be my own doing. That's why I winced as I was hitting "add reply" last night. lol

Thank you, Kris. I have to say that the responses were kind. I fully expected an onslaught, ranging from reasoned & polite to rude teenage name-calling. I'm impressed, relieved, and thankful to you all.

@ David Proulx:

Hi, welcome to the site.  I'm not an Atheist nor a Theist, I am a self described Realistic Absolutist (my own label, my own meaning).

I enjoy the site, there are several fairly smart people who post here and I sometimes (not always) agree with their views, mostly I take a contrarian view (tis my nature).

Personally I have zero use for the labels Conservative & Liberal, these days they seem to find most use as curse words for the purpose of devaluing others POV's.

Again, welcome to the site.


Thank you, Gregg. You'll have to define that Realist absolutist label (hmm) for me sometime. Again about human nature. Categorizing is how our brains work and what we humans do----places, events, philosophies, and yes, people, but with an infinite number of variations of each, the trick is to not to assume it's cookie-cutter. All words can have the "curse words" tone, but this changing the names to change the tone is nauseating PC to me. George Carlin would always rail against that, and articulated it well.

@ David Proulx

I believe in self-reliance and personal responsibility and accountability.  I also believe there should be a minimum level of existence (food, shelter, healthcare) that we as a society shouldn't let a single one of our citizens fall below.  I have a pretty good understanding of human nature, and I recognize that any system or program can and usually is abused by someone trying to get something for nothing.  I also recognize that human greed knows no bounds, and the haves use what they have to ensconce themselves in their positions of power and to keep the playing field slanted in their favor.

My personal bias against conservatism stems from the fact that, since before this country was founded, conservatives of the day have fought tooth and nail against every attempt at social progress.  They were anti-independence from England, anti-abolition, anti-suffrage, anti-Social Security, anti-civil rights, anti-gay rights, and yes, anti-atheism/agnosticism.  At every stage, the last one standing and shouting "No!" to someone else's equal rights, has been a conservative.

On a more macro level, the liberal v conservative battle in this country can be viewed as a giant tug-of-war.  It is in the best interest of the country as a whole if the outcome is in the middle - a tie, so to speak.  For that to happen, someone has to be pulling from both ends equally.

I don't necessarily believe in the "minimal level of existence" philosophy, unless it's assured on a strictly voluntary basis (in the form of charities), and even then, while I love the humanitarianism of it, there are big picture consequences to it, because there is always going to be a percentage of the population who just WILL not pull there own weight, and handouts will not change any individual's behavior.

That is true about greed. At the same time, putting caps on earnings puts caps on human progress. Money is earned, for the most part, by achievement, and that is largely unrecognized by the left.

Lastly, while conservatives do fight social "progress", I too don't always agree that it is progress, so, if you're 100% on board with all that has happened and continues to be pushed, then we'll agree to disagree on many of those.


"...while I love the humanitarianism of it, there are big picture consequences to it, because there is always going to be a percentage of the population who just WILL not pull there own weight..."

Humanitarianism is a fine thing as long as it doesn't cost anything. What percentage of system abusers is small enough to make it worthwhile to help all the others who don't abuse the system? Have you ever researched the actual percentage that exists, or does it just feel true that most of them must be lazy or dishonest?

I'm not 100% on board with anything. Instead of straw-men, will you respond to the points I did make about conservatives fighting social progress? Which of those would you have fought, without the benefit of hindsight?

Sorry for the delayed response. Work, holiday, life, etc. left me little time for a thoughtful reply.

Humanitarianism is a fine thing as long as it doesn't cost anything? The mantra that there is a very small percentage of abusers of the various welfare programs, and that their actions shouldn't be held against the rest of those enrolled, is an overly optimistic and apologetic position, in my view. The concept of any welfare program is inherently corruptible.

I don't know if you've ever been on unemployment, but I have twice in my life, and I've known many others who have as well. Unless you're in immediate dire straits, your first thought often is to take the first week off, then pound the pavement after that. You tell yourself that you've certainly earned that free week. Then, if you don't find a job within the first few weeks, after you've looked in a lot of places, you start to do "drive-by's" of places, and write them down on the weekly claim form, as places you've looked, because you get a little pessimistic during the job hunt. Eventually, although you're keeping you're ear open for tips on jobs, you start to fudge those places on the form. It's not hard to do and you're looking real hard anymore, if at all. All the while, you start going to bed later and later and waking up later and later, because there's no reason to get up in the morning. All of a sudden, when you see that your benefits are about to run out, you start to panic and look for work really hard again. You'll take anything. Yes, I abused the system and have watched it abused by plenty of pretty good workers, but a program that gives you a free paycheck with no true accountability practically begs for abuse---and we were the ones who didn't start off dishonest. Plenty of others did. My nature, and many of those I witnessed, is not to take handouts dishonestly, but that's how these things work. Again, human nature, folks. There's a reason the SPCA doesn't give away animals, and it's not just to cover the cost of housing, shots, etc. It's also to combat the mentality that nothing given for free is appreciated, and that even includes jobs, training, and school.

As far as which specific social programs I would have fought, this is exactly what I don't want to get sucked into, especially on a thread that is supposed to be about the purpose of gender. I will say this. I would have been and will always be against special rights for any groups, especially those special rights that trample on others' rights in the misguided name of fairness.


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