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good move right?
Well I never.
'The Central Council of Jews in Germany called the ruling an "unprecedented and dramatic intrusion" of the right to religious freedom'. Short memories.
The European Court of Human Rights will - rightly - overturn it.
Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights – Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, and to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
1.The person who has the operation hasn't consented if they aren't yet of an age where they can do so.
2.They're doing it for the protection of health.
I'd suspect the fact they're letting people be circumcised if and when they choose to might let them argue against both those articles.
"Everyone has the right ... to manifest his religion or belief, in ... practice and observance." It's a manifestation of the religious belief of the parents, and that article seeks to protect that. You can't say it violates the child's religious freedom because, as far as I know, there is no religion that necessitates a foreskin.
As for the second bit - again, as far as I'm aware - the risk to the child's health has to be of a sufficient degree if it is to supersede the first bit, and I can't believe the European Court would consider it to be.
Surely the point when your right to express your religious people affects other people (i.e. your children) is the point where it stops being about your religious freedom?
I'm almost tempted to do you the respect of not replying to that. Take how Jews are prohibited from working (in the very broadest sense, so no driving, no heavy lifting, no using electrical products, etc) on Saturdays - there are endless trivial ways in which that could affect other people. You're saying the very first, most trivial of those stops religious freedom being the issue?
I'm saying I'm not sure an issue that affects your child more than you can be your personal religious freedom issue, rather than the child's.
or how it can be your personal religious freedom issue rather than the child's personal freedom issue in general? If the latter, I agree 100%. I've not disputed that, I don't think. What's in question is, in this particular instance, who is affected more? In a tangible, physical sense, it's of course the child, but we shouldn't underestimate the subjective value some people place on their right to practise their religion, nor should we disregard it. After all, it's the subjective value placed on these things by the individual, and the emotional impact they have, that really matters. Take a man who was religiously circumcised as a child, but does now not consider himself a member of the associated religion, and a parent who believes their child is going to be an outcast for the rest of their life - who's going to be bothered by their circumstance more? That you and I think the parent believes in some hokey bullshit is neither here nor there.
can't extend to chopping stuff off infants who can't consent to it and don't necessarily hold the same religious views.
It won't be overturned because religious circumcision of children violates their rights and freedoms.
But I don't think they can overturn it based on those articles.
when circumcision is and always has been an intrusion of personal freedom
personal freedom > religious freedom for me. Let 'em decide themselves if they want part of their bodies ripped off for no good reason
they should say that children above 10 can consent to it maybe
not even sure why they're meddling in this, circumcision isn't exactly dangerous or life-changing, just means you can pee straight
does it desensitise the glans though? someone answer me QUICK
in my mind it's mutilation, it should be banned without consent everywhere
i thought circumcision was good for you?
10 This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of a covenant betwixt Me and you. 12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any foreigner, that is not of thy seed. 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant.
the mystical, theological and philosophical ones I can't get enough of
but surely Leviticus, for instance, is completely irrelevant in light of a contemporary morality
These things have to be taken on a case-by-case basis, where the prominence of the specific religious law within the relevant religious text is considered alongside the effect of enforcing it. In this case, the religious implication is a pretty big one: if you are not circumcised, by one interpretation at least, you are not a Jew. Do people really want to deprive others of that? Not just the ability to practice their religion, but the right to be a member of that religion at all? Imagine being a devout Jew and being told you're children cannot also be Jewish, because of something that doesn't affect anyone outside of their community and is considered to be an issue by a very small minority of people within it. And as you say, in physical terms, it's nothing really: I'm certainly not sitting here thinking "I wish I could have stronger orgasms". Well, I am, but not for that reason.
You can't enforce a broad, overarching principle where religious freedom either always triumphs or always fails. That may be seen as hypocrisy - it is, I suppose - but it's one the people who matter are happy with.
Maybe the government should compromise by making festival provisions (Pesach lamb, for instance) freely available at certain times of year, thus phasing out one ritual while strengthening others
Some would say, if you're not circumcised, whatever else you do in an effort to be a good Jew is rendered irrelevant because you're not actually Jewish. "The uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people".
And nothing is stopping someone from being circumcised at an age when they choose to.
OK - it doesn't fit in with the 8 days part of the Bible and that's unfortunate but unfortunately ethics and morality do change over time and personally I think that's something that religions have to adjust to.
In this case I personally think the basic legal principles involved that
a) you should not operate on a child if it isn't necessary
b) a child has the right to choose their religion at the age when they're old enough to do so
are perfectly reasonable. Obviously it'll be incredibly difficult to do this because of the level of social change involved, and it'll have massive consequences, but I don't think that actually makes the principles wrong.
It may compromise their right to choose to have a foreskin, but that's it. They may have to practice some Jewish rituals up to that point, but it's not like there's a completely neutral alternative. Presumably you're considering secularist atheism to be one, but within a religiously-loaded society, going down that route is just as much of a choice as subscribing to an organised religion.
As for it conflicting with modern standards of ethics, I can only reiterate what I've already said - it's a very minor violation. It's not stoning or animal sacrifice. In fact I'd barely call it a moral concern. An idealistic one, sure, but not a moral one, and even further from being a practical one.
I think it's entirely legitimate to find it reasonable that losing part of your body for religious reasons is a decision that someone should be allowed to make themselves once they're old enough to do so.
Schroedinger's cat. If you want, we can do a survey of all devout Jews and their adult children, to see what proportion of their children go on to practise the religion themselves, and then just play the odds.
And pretty sure you could find a significant number of men who feel violated by the act.
(see also: all religions). I'm not particularly constructive in this discussion, but your ideas are dribbling nonsense Zapsta.
See you back in the commune.
Or was it done before you could consent?
but think maybe the argument from children's bodily integrity is not adequately served by a specifically anti-circumcision law that targets only one religious ritual; can't help but feel it would be more consistent (and would come with less of an unpleasant discriminatory flavour) to advocate a general law against all medically unnecessary body modifications and surgeries on children who can't consent, which would include ear piercings and cosmetic genital surgery on intersex children (as some obvious commonly-practiced examples)
with the caveat that I'd like to see more evidence that circumcision categorically depreciates one's quality of life - because it IS very risky to threaten an established and supportive community-identity
ear piercings heal up.
The court's grounds are permanent and irreversible changes the child's body and takes away the ability to make their own decision away from them later in life. Certainly unnecessary cosmetic genital surgery would come under that but ear piercings clearly wouldn't.
i would still prefer a more generally worded ruling against all 'permanent and irreversible changes' performed on children rather than targetting one specific example of such
(piercing children is also not really a cool thing to do tho)
It'd create a huge grey area over what a permanent and irreversible change is - especially given that most legitimate medical operations are permanent and irreversible but also entirely necessary. Obviously with some things it'll be pretty obvious but there could also be cases where there's debate over whether something is medically necessary and you could wind up with a law that inadvertently prosecutes people medical calls that come down to a matter of opinion. So the wording has to be specific.
*seldom a good idea when the law gets involved.
* a law that inadvertently prosecutes doctors for making medical calls that come down to a matter of opinion.
Ironic that that's the post where I insist on specific wording....
on the one hand, it makes your end less sensitive, which whilst allowing Sting-esque bouts of prolonged lovemaking also reduces the pleasure. On the other hand, your knob probably smells better. And my dad bought me a He-Man when i got it done
Like i say, I'm torn
I'm suprised this isn't having more support. There is absolutely no reason for mutilating a childs genitals because their parents happen to be a certain religion.
The ''oh it's mentioned in religious texts therefore we should respect it'' is exactly the kind of thing people say to justify homophobia etc
I mean, pretty problematic and bound to cause one hell of a shitstorm, but: good.
."the ruling, which applies only to the Cologne area"
So probably less shitstorm more... light spattering of urine.
everyone else looks about 100 years out of date in their thinking.
I'm much more on his side than almost everyone else, and I wouldn't go that far
there IS a lot to be said for the community-identity, and the sense of purpose and fulfilment it can engender
circumcision is at present an integral part of the Jewish community-identity, so a ban would be damaging to this identity, and besides, who wants to be seen at a HOOP rally?
I'm usually against prohibitive laws and I'd hope there would be a better way - perhaps delaying circumcision age until bar mitzvah, and letting the child choose (although the problem of coercion might uncloak its head)
regardless of the ramifications for themselves and others is a dumb 60s hippy ideal which doesn't work.
No worries. We all make mistakes.
I just find it hard to respect people in arguments when they start to misrepresent the views of the people they're arguing against.
and the views expressed are purely coincidental? I'm not saying you all worship Lenin, just... you know... you probably think history has treated him harshly.
Lenin the Communist who, what with being a Communist and all, believed that individual should always submit to the good of the majority?
Which is the literal, exact opposite of what Bamnam accused us all of believing when he said *the idea that the individual's wishes for themselves are the only thing that matters , regardless of the ramifications for themselves and others is a dumb 60s hippy ideal which doesn't work*?
Do you even understand what you're typing anymore?
that I wasn't replying to that post. I mean, we all know about the technical foibles of DiS, but yeah... Pretty confident.
by further misrepresenting people who were arguing against you.
My mistake, clearly.
to be connected with the notion of individuals submitting to the good of the majority?
I could equally counter to you that you're arguing for individuals submitting to the good of the majority within a particular religion so, given that both sides can use that argument equally well, it clearly isn't going to be that useful or relevant for either side.
I thought you'd be quite willing to accept that your concern is the good of the majority (in some utilitarian sense), and I'd be quite willing to accept that my concern is similar. It's an incredibly broad statement, and I agree, not a very useful one here. My worry is there's an attitude that we should dismiss the feelings of those being circumcised, even if they have no problem with it, because they are objectively wrong not to have a problem with it: it is immoral behaviour, and therefore impacts on the moral state of our society. That is not aimed specifically at your comments but at the tone this thread is perilously close to taking, if it has not taken it already. I suppose you could cite examples of institutionalisation and Stockholm syndrome, and things like that, as situations where intervention is merited even when it's not desired, and I'm far from being a staunch proponent of cultural relativism, I just don't think this situation is clear-cut enough to justify external interference. It's a case of promoting ideology even at the cost of net harm to those affected. Like André Villas-Boas at Chelsea (who maybe would have been able to improve Chelsea in the long term, but the short-term damage he did in attempting to do so was rightly considered too high a price. This is a good analogy).
Certainly I don't think it was what lay in the reasons of the court.
I don't think it's immoral behaviour - it isn't. I don't think it impacts on the moral state of society - clearly it doesn't. If anything, I'd say promoting ideology even at the cost of net harm to those affected would, if it had any place at all in this thread, be aimed at organised religions in general but even then that's a grey area as I don't think there are any individuals doing that.
My position, or perhaps even problem, in this thread is one of ethical consistency. My general beliefs around this area are hat
a) I don't believe it's fair to operate on children without necessity,
b) I don't think it's fair to make long-term physical changes to your children until they're old enough to consent unless it's absolutely necessary
c) All decisions should be rational evidence-based
d) Faith, history and tradition are not in themselves rational reasons to continue a practice.
e) My personal, moral position on any principle should be based on whether, if someone tried to introduce it now, I'd think it was a good idea.
On that basis, in order to be consistent with my position, I'd have to conclude that - now that this discussion's come up in a court - my position would have to be that the court has made the right decision.
At the same time, I'd agree that circumcision is not in any sense a massive problem and the risks are pretty low (even if I still think, from a rational perspective, they outweigh the benefits) and, to be honest, I think it would be better all round if this whole thing hadn't come to court and a court hadn't been asked to make a ruling. But, now that they have, I think they either had the choice to make a rational, consistent decision based on the evidence or to make an irrational, inconsistent on based on faith and I feel they had no option but to do the former.
Whose decisions? The decisions of courts or the decisions of every human being? If the decisions of courts - I agree, although it's never going to happen. Insofar as it can and does happen, is evidence of the emotional well-being of those involved not evidence worth giving strong consideration to in this case? I'm just reading the article again - who even wanted this ruling? Surely the parents were the ones who brought the case against the doctor? And the parents can't have wanted the judge to ban circumcision. The doctor must have a right not to perform the operation, so he couldn't have felt strongly about it... I'm very confused, actually. I certainly don't see how the decision to ban circumcision here is a rational one from the judge. As a response to parents suing a doctor for medical malpractice? How is it the place for a judge to make such a ruling? Seems like he/she let his/her emotions get the better of him/her.
If the decisions of every human being... well, I still agree. They should be. I'm not sure I see the significance though. If a person won't eat pork because of their religious beliefs, should we shove it down their throats because pork is yummy and a good source of protein and it's therefore rational to eat pork (ethical reasons aside)? Of course not. You don't think that. No reasonable person thinks that, because we don't seek to force rationality upon people. Discuss or encourage, sure, but bind them to it by law? No. That is the very essence of the article from the European Convention on Human Rights I quoted above. What you or I think of rationality has no relevance here. When we see people's irrationality consistently or significantly adversely affect those around them - or even if it's jeopardising their own well-being - we can intervene, but it until then, it's live and let live. In fact if we see people's *rationality* consistently or significantly adversely affecting those around them, we have reason to intervene. Whether the underlying belief set is rational or irrational is neither here nor there; all you can do - as I and others have already said numerous times - is weigh up the impact on one party against the impact on the other. That's it.
Can you genuinely not see a difference between the decision as to whether or not to press ahead with an unnecessary medical procedure and the desire to shove pork down somebody's throat?
If I couldn't see the difference, I probably wouldn't have mentioned it. The difference, though, is not rooted in one being rational and one not being rational (or rather, in the underlying reasons being rational or irrational). They are both equal in that regard. You're not inclined to suggest we shove pork down people's throats though, because that equality is irrelevant. "All decisions should be rational and evidence-based" has nothing to do with this. I don't think it's even a case of having to draw the line somewhere, other than (roughly) the point just before the suffering you'd inflict on a person by depriving them of the ability to practise their irrationality would fall short of the suffering they inflict on others by practising it, but again, you can replace 'irrationality' with 'rationality' in that and you'd draw the line in exactly the same place.
Two people, if that?
It's definitely not something the public is massively in favour of banning, clearly.
But, if German law is like UK law (and I don't actually know if it is btw) then laws are interpreted based on previous legal precedents. By which I mean that a decision a court makes on a particular issue will be influence by previous rulings on comparative issues and also influence future decisions on comparative issues regarding children's rights, parents' rights to permanently change the child's body based on their own beliefs etc.
Legally ruling that parents' personal beliefs and wish to change their child's appearance should be an acceptable reason for surgery that's not medically indicated would set a precedent for future cases that I'd personally rather wasn't set.
As I say, I don't think circumcision in itself is a big deal and I'd rather a position hadn't arisen where a court had to make a ruling one way or the other but, given it has, I'm glad this is the way they went.
but I think we can safely assume that it wasn't a group of Jews and Muslims large enough to be considered representative of both those religious communities within Cologne. So again, I think you've introduced something irrelevant to the discussion: Jews and Muslims have not asked for circumcision to be banned any more than they've asked for the consumption of pork to be made compulsory.
I've not said that Jews and Muslims have asked for circumcision to be banned. The repeated points about who's asked it to be banned are something you seem to want to bring up - I haven't done this.
So I'm not sure wh you're accusing me of introducing something irrelevant to the discussion when you're the one who's introduced it. I don't see the relevance of who's asked to be banned.
Getting kind of narrow up here. See you in a bit.
I think he's taking the piss
But you seem to have begun to believe that time flows in a different
The idea that it takes religion to make good people do bad things is served well by the idea that it's fine to practice genital mutilation on an unwilling child.
i mean, word for word, exactly like him
but I agree with what MrBones is saying. (In regards to circumsision)
It's no skin off my nose
This podcast is always a fascinating listen anyway.
like, when they can think and stuff. Cos as far as i'm aware most people that have been circumcised don't really seem to give a shit, but I might be wrong.
If they don't give a shit though, the claim that it's mutilation isn't really on, since the whole bad thing with mutilation is the emotional side effect.
because it's wrong and a bit weird, and see how we get on.
it's a cultural practice that's existed for millenia. If there's no emotional harm caused from circumcision, what right do we have to impose our entirely arbitrary cultural values on another culture.
I mean, jesus, this is pretty basic stuff, right? Right?
It's tradition! It must remain!
amongst a specific group of people, connected by genetics, cultural values, shared experiences and a sense of identity at the expense of basically absolutely nothing.
in a situation that i have described regarding harm, we have no right to challenge other people's traditions. To do so isn't left wing or progressive or anything like that, it's just a form of cultural imperialism.
all I care about is the little kids' weenies, what about their rights? Who's going to stick up for the weenies?
sadistic, short-sighted or don't give a shit about their kids. They do it out of love for their children you dumbasses!
to the issue believe it is morally wrong?
belonging and sacrifice are far too important in the human psyche to neglect on the basis of something as trivial as a foreskin.
How did we end up in a position where there had to be a law in place to ensure that some children aren't deprived of their foreskin
And actually wishes they weren't? I like my deskinned member, normal cocks look weird to me. Just seems fresher
The naysayers might stop pitying people for something they have no experience of
When were you circumcised? If you were 16+ when it happened then it adds a bit more weight to your opinion that it's fresher or whatever.
It's just an issue that has come up on the Practical Ethics blog, which I read daily, a few times before. And I follow one of their writers on facebook.
And people started telling me my own emotional experiences of how I subjectively experience my own body were wrong
he got the sack.
Genuine question. Obviously Zapsta quotes scripture indicating that it is important up there somewhere, but I'm looking for more than just 'because scripture says so'. What is it supposed to mean or symbolise?
The ruling as described in the Reuters articles sounds completely unworkable and virtually impossible to enforce.
It's important because scripture says so. That's basically how religion works, isn't it? Whether you find it satisfying or not, that is the answer. There are some suggestions with regard to the symbolism of it on Wikipedia though: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brit_milah#Reasons_for_circumcision
I think points 2 and 3 of that Sefer ha-Chinuch answer the question that I was asking. Perhaps I should have asked *why* scripture says what it says, if there was a context that I miss by reading only the lines that relate to circumcision.
so where's the limit on this?
Don't want to seem absurd but I have witnessed more trauma from a 3 year old getting their hair cut than from either of the circumcisions of friends' sons that I have been present at (though one dad did faint with his son in his arms)
It occurs to me anyway that there is an entire raft of actions from parents on children that are more damaging than removing the foreskin at 8 days and almost all of those aren't legislated against.
I mean, how fucking traumatic is childbirth to a baby? We gonna ban that? Wait till the child can consent to having the umbilical cord cut?
In short (though this is legally not so enforcible) a law like this probably does a lot more damage than the act it's designed to put a stop to
it's about removing a part of their body without their consent.
And there are people who having been circumsised then wish they haddn't as an adult, I saw some programme ages ago about some people in America who were having some operation or something to get their foreskin back.
Which actually raises another point. What's up with most American men being circumsised regardless of relgion? What's that all about? What would happen if a similaer law was passed there?
social pressure to conform? Rejection of a previous generations ideology?
and as for removing part of their body without their consent - see my comment re: haircuts
historically MANY MANY instances of cultural imperialism began with decrees that the 'ritualistic' behaviour of tribes or nations was barbaric and had therefore to be outlawed
Be able to wank without lube? The feel that part of their natural body had been taken without perimission? I doubt it was social pressure as it was in America and like I said it's much more common to be circumsised there.
And bringing in imperialism is just really irrelevent. No one's saying it's a barrbarric practise performed by savages we need to civilise. More that maybe the owner of the penis should have a say about it first yeah?
And anyway, are there not certain ritualistic practices that are barbaric and should be banned? What if female circumsision was practiced in the west, when they were a baby as opposed to 8 or 9 and under medical conditions as opposed to a rusty knife? Would you be saying it's ok due to cultureal reasons to remove a baby girls labia and clitoris?
that practice is a misnomer and should always be referred to as Female Genital Mutilation. There is NO mention of it in the Qur'an and it has only been used as a means to subjugate women. There are THOUSANDS of examples of its catastrophic consequences for its victims.
In the case of male circumcision think of it as a field test; 3000+ years of a practice which has had minimal negative medical consequences while embedding itself as a symbolic ritual of continuity and belonging to that culture and history
A court in Cologne is gonna need some pretty compelling evidence to put a stop to that
I'm not convinced
and you shouldn't really dismiss a logical arguement for being obvious.
you're ignoring the point anyway, suppose female genital mutilation was performed under hospital conditions and was deemed totally safe. In that circumstance are you're saying that you'd be in favour of allowing it? I don't see the difference.
and just because people have been doing something for 3000+ years doesn't make it right. terrible arguement.
and foreskins don't grow back. stop being a bellend (lol)
And female ''circumsision'' (I totally agree that it should be called mutilation - I'm glad we agree that remove parts of a childs genitals is mutilation) isn't a islamic practise as far as I'm aware. More one done by certain tribes in Africa. But you miss the point entirely - I realise mentioning FGM is a loaded subject and I did it deliberatly. You talk about circumsision not being trumatic for the child - so I said well what if FGM was practiced at a young age and under medical conditions so it wasn't trumatic and harmful. And you said that it ws ''colonial attitudes'' to ''barbaric rituals'' that make people against circumsion so I'm just drawing a paralel with something that *is* a barbaric ritual.
is not only that the former is usually vastly more physically damaging and traumatic; it's also the fact that it's performed not just for ritualistic reasons but for the *express purpose* of suppressing female sexuality. even if there were a form of 'female circumcision' that was equivalent in physical terms to foreskin removal, the symbolic value of the practice remains a misogynistic one, while there is no comparably oppressive meaning behind the ritual of male circumcision. this is, of course, not an argument against circumcision being wrong in all cases; it's an argument against the suggestion that circumcision can be regarded simply as a quantitavely less harmful version of FGM, that they're just different points on the same spectrum, when in fact the two practices are qualitatively different in purpose and meaning as well as effect
I was taking BITT's logic to an extreme conclusion. In that to what extent do we respect anicent cultural practices.
Yes, FGM is used to control women (you don't sleep around when sex is really painful) but I seem to remember hearing that with circumsision the foreskin was seen as ''female'' and the clitoris ''male'' and so the removal of these parts happens when the child is around 9 or 10. And in both cases are painful and can lead to to infection or even death.
But that's off topic really. I think we can all agree FGM is fucked up.
is that the extent to which we respect ancient cultural practices should be based on the level of harm and oppression caused by those practices. in his opinion, the level of harm caused by circumcision is not high enough to justify forcibly outlawing something with so much cultural/religious significance, while the harm caused by FGM is. and i'm arguing that even if FGM were practiced safely and painlessly, it could still be considered more 'harmful' than circumcision in that it signifies the misogynistic repression of female sexuality in a way that male circumcision does not, so it doesn't logically follow that to oppose FGM one must also oppose circumcision
if I'm a jew and I circumcise my son then it's fine. but if I'm not religious at all but expressly want to try and repress his male sexuality then I shouldn't be allowed to?
like I said up thread, I don't think the reasons why it's done matters. It should be banned until the person is old enough to decide for themselves.
i didn't make any statements about the legality or morality of circumcision, religious or otherwise (partly because i'm not entirely sure of my stance on that issue). i'm only saying that comparisons to FGM are innappropriate, because as cultural practices the two are qualitatively different, and it can be perfectly consistent to oppose FGM on grounds of its misogynist context without also being opposed to circumcision. and you can also oppose both on the principle of a universal right to bodily integrity, but that is not the only principle on which to oppose FGM, so it's tiresome when people wheel out the 'if you're fine with safely practiced circumcision you logically have to be fine with safely practiced FGM too' line because they are completely distinct issues with different political and cultural and medical contexts
not least cos it wouldn't be a terribly effective method... as far as i know most non-religious circumcision is motivated by perceived medical and sexual benefits, if anything
66 even if there were a form of 'female circumcision' that was equivalent in physical terms to foreskin removal 99
I took that to mean you would oppose FGM on grounds of it's intent alone, regardless of the physical harm done. Just pointing out that in my hypothetical situation then surely you would also have to oppose male circumcision if done for that same reason.
If that is the case then you get to the point where it's ok for some people and not ok for others depending on your reasons, which I don't think is a good idea.
i'm talking about the overarching cultural values and ideologies that are contained in and perpetuated by practices and traditions on a macro level. i'm saying that FGM *as a cultural practice*, regardless of the individual intent of the person performing it, at this point in history is inextricably encoded with misogynistic values, not because of some intrinsic immorality of the act of cutting a body part but because of its history and context and meaning, while male circumcision does not have any such oppressive significance, even if some individual somewhere for some reason carries it out with oppressive intent
this is only an argument against talking about FGM and circumcision as though they're the same practice except for the fact that FGM is not done in nice medical conditions, instead of treating them as separate moral issues with separate values and historical realities informing them
more just posing the hypotheical that if it was done in the same way as western circumsision would we accept it as a cultural norm. (ignoring the gender issues for a moment - see below)
there might be it's more down to the moral question as to whether it's right to remove part of a childs body without their consent or any medical need.
Especially for something as arbitatry as tradtion/culture which quite happily gets attacked when it's something someone doesn't like.
eg: We had a ''fucking christians'' comment in that thread about something as irrelivant as saying prayers at council meetings.
1. I bet that if it was a 3 year old not a baby who has no idea whats happening getting circumsised you'd see a whole lot more truma than the haircut.
2. Haircuts don't hurt and aren't a medical procedure.
3. Hair grows back - foreskins don't.
Seriously that's the most idiotic argument I've even seen on DiS and there's a lot!
I think part of the problem of this case is the imposition of western modern christian assumptions about the sexualised nature of this surgery/act
hair was given as an extreme example to point out the absurdity of judging from this position but you can take any example you can think of in preserving the 'sanctity' of the whole of the child - dentistry, appendix removal, any surgery that corrects to the 'norm' or pleases the social condition or view of the parent and/or state, society etc.
And please explain the: ''western modern christian assumptions about the sexualised nature of this surgery/act''
I genuinely don't understand what you mean. Circumsision is sexualised by western society???
done at 8 days
then again in the hospital aged 4
Did it grow back the second time?
But I'm pretty sure most peoples doesn't cos they'd have to have it done constantly and circumsision would just be a money making scheme for the people weilding the scalpel.
i.e. that it sometimes appears to happen in children as they start to develop body fat if puppy fat builds up around that area but that it's not actually a real foreskin (hence why it can appear to grow back in children but will be gone in adulthood).
As someone who had plenty of operations around that time, I'm surprised if you remember what the Doctors said. Theoretically it may be possible that if initially the doctor failed to remove all the foreskin then it could grow back but, even assuming you're right (which I'm not at all convinced by as it's not a phenomenon I've ever known to be reported in medicine, and it's unusual enough that you'd think it would be) you're describing something that's so rare that it's not really relevant to the fact that, in most cases, circumcision will cause a permanent and irreversible change.
but I can't believe that I'm the only one as that would make me the second coming or something
Plus, this case in Germany came as a result of complications arising from a circumcision that meant the boy had to be submitted to hospital - which I would say, to use your own words, is so rare that it's not really relevant
but the bottom line is all surgery is always going to carry an element of risk, which is why I'd rather it wasn't carried out on children unless it's necessary to do so.
has made any comment about the sexualised nature of the act.
That has nothing to do with any of the reasons for banning it, or anyone arguing for it to be banned.
It simply comes down to whether it's acceptable to put children through surgery for something that isn't a medical condition (haircuts can't cause post-operative bleeding, for example) and whether it's acceptable for parents to decide to make a permanent and non-essential change to a child's body based on their beliefs before the child is old enough to have a say in the matter.
Everyone's obviously entitled to their own view on this but I really don't think you're understanding the arguments being made here.
parents often make permanent and non essential change to their childs' bodies based on beliefs before the child is old enough to have any say in the matter
here's an example that often includes bleeding, permanent removal of a body part and severe discomfort in order to conform to a societal norm
my point is that IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE ABSOLUTIST about body integrity where do you draw the line? Our hair is a part of us (and rituals involving shaving and hair cutting are part of many cultures) our fingernails? Appendix? Tonsils? - often these are removed in the name of 'convenience' or 'caution' or because it will hurt a lot more when the person is older rather than any medical need
If circumcision, or rather the cornerstone of identity within a particular religion or tribe was a case of removing a piece of skin from an entirely non-sexual part of the baby's body then I don't think the reaction would be the same
I'm all for banning braces for cosmetic reasons (although braces of course aren't solely for cosmetic reasons - often they're used to reduce tooth damage, the potential for pain in later life, plus they're obviously usually applied from the age of ten onwards, which was around the point when the court in Germany was going to allow a child to have circumcision if they wanted so this is a moot point in any case.
Once again, fingernails and hair aren't actually operations nor case permanent change so you're making a false comparison there. Nowadays doctors (in the UK at least) no longer remove tonsils or the appendix as a precaution and only do it if there's a medical need to do so there's not really a comparison there either.
I KNOW fingernails and hair cutting aren't operations - one of the arguments in this conversation (in this thread and elsewhere - on radio 4 for example) is for the preservation of the body integrity of the child until they can make decisions themselves. This argument ignores a whole host of 'lesser' actions that are routinely taken by parents to help them help their child to conform to societal standards but we totally take them for granted or don't even see them because they are the NORMS.
Imagine that a condition of acceptance into a community was straight teeth. That straight teeth had a long historical tradition within that community and that the community prided itself and measured itself by that tradition - a tradition that arose incidentally out of a combination of increasing hygiene, functionality and aesthetics.
Now imagine that in order to achieve straight teeth the child had to endure painful surgery, occasional removal of teeth, bleeding, risk of infection, and the wearing of a painful and frankly embarrassing device. A painful procedure but one that is endured - and ritualised in order that the endurance of the ordeal is shared in the community - as the resultant straight teeth are the desired outcome.
Now imagine that after 3000 years the prevailing wisdom of the time is that the teeth-straightening ritual is inhumane.
This denies the culture their straight-teeth identity AND condemns their millenia old ritual.
It becomes quite clearly an attack on that community's cultural identity
And in doing so it creates a danger
The question is; Is the danger to the individual in continuing the practice GREATER than the danger to the community in banning the practice??
I would suggest, and it is my argument, that 3000+ years of a practice without hugely negative consequences and with some communal benefits is hard to rule over and in the case of a German court ruling over a Jewish tradition there is obviously a modern cultural err... friction that throws the court decision into even sharper relief
And if your answer is that the child can have it done when they're 10 if they want then you fail to appreciate the communal significance of the 8th day ritual
if we're gonna ban stuff why don't we ban cluster bombs or white phosphorous or tactical nuclear weapons instead
or junk food or smacking or 1 million other things that cause daily harm
It doesn't change my opinion but I'm happy to draw a line under it there as otherwise we'd just get into a needless circular argument.
there's nothing else really to add from my side
we agree to disagree
in that one is intrinsic to coming into existence and that one is completely capricious.
is entirely subjective
male circumcision is intrinsic to Jewish culture and regarded as highly important in Muslim cultures
just let the person decide when they are old enough.
i was circumcised. think my great-grandparents were Jewish or sutin, idk. it seems that it was being advised a lot around the time i was born (the early 80s) on the grounds that it was a lot more hygeinic, which i think has now been proven not to be the case. certainly going off porn and shit, it would appear that more people are than aren't, right, or is that an industry thing?
what would the advantages be to actually having a bit of mouldy skin around the end of your member? probably just makes non-lubey wanks a lot easier, eh?
what's everyone having for dinner?
There was a huge social panic and a great deal of misunderstanding around what caused it, how it was passed a long etc.
I'm getting a pizza in for the football, cheers.
and it is a lot more common in America hence most porn actors being circumcised. Also in sex and the city they're really surprised when someone isn't circumcised. don't think I've ever slept with someone who is though.
I'm making some bread and dips and things to take round to my friends for the football.
to be more vulnerable to HIV infection than other tissue types, but not to the degree that circumcision represents any significant protection against infection. It is an advisable preventative measure only where AIDS is epidemic and far more proven and successful means of prevention may not be readily available.
Circumsision DOES offer significant protection against HIV in men. Recent studies have indicated that it can decrease acquisition by up to 50% and there are widespread campaigns to increase uptake in huge international programs as it is one of the only proven public health interventions in reducing HIV. That includes interventions like education and condom dispersal.
Actually I feel quite strongly about this. I am currently working in Swaziland where the HIV rates are around 20 - 30% and not showing any signs of falling and circumcision could make a massive impact. The problem is that because of this perception of circumcision as mutilation or somehow making someone less of a man, uptake is far too low.
Given the global disaster that is HIV I would like to see all boys circumcised but I'm a woman so that's easy for me to say!
Feel free to point me (I don't mean quote the result - actually link me to the actual write-up with the methodology, process and results) of any research that proves me wrong on this btw but I thought generally the low numbers of people with HIV within the random samples allow a large margin for error, that there were often other possible explanations for low HIV rates amongst circumcised people in studies (i.e. abstinence from alcohol, engaging in less risky sexual behaviour) that could also explain the results and so forth.
I mean I think there's plenty of evidence people who've been circumcised are less likely to have HIV than people who've been circumcised but insufficient evidence that the circumcision itself, rather than other lifestyle factors, are what's caused the low HIV rates.
The recent randomised controlled trials that have led to circumcision being an accepted intervention among most HIV programs - No.
I don't have the time for a literature review on here but;
- Study of acquisition in men in Nairobi after contact with sex workers - Cameron et al Lancet 1989
- Study of acquisition among male partners of HIV + females in Rakai, Uganda - Quinn et al New England Journal of Medicine 2000
- A whole bunch of others (recent meta analysis of 8 observational studies and 7 less reliable population based studies put the summary RR of 0.4 (CI 0.34 - 0.52)ie circumcised men have a 60% reduced chance of aquiring HIV. As you can see most of these studies looked specifically at men who were practicing high risk behaviours)
The most important studies if you are concerned about the confounders - or for proving the efficacy of any medical intervention - are the RCTs;
- Gray et al 2007 - Lancet 369 657-66
- Bailey et al Lancet 369 643-56
- Auvert et al PLoS med 2 (11) e298 - This one should be searchable even if you don't have access to medical journals.
Summarised risk ratio of these three - 0.42 (0.31-0.57) p<0.0001
Also there have been studies in men who have sex with men. Cochrane review found an odds ratio of 0.27 for aquisition of HIV among men who have insertive anal sex with other men.
Other findings include reduced STI rates (which itself reduces the chance of acquiring HIV with obvious confounders controlled for) and reduced HIV rates in women.
In short - No
Circumcision seems to reduce infection by 50%; condoms reduce infection by about 98%. If you have the resources available, the most successful means of reducing infection rate is physical contraception- circumcision pales in comparison. So it's a useful means of lowering the odds of infection in areas that have limited access to physical contraception or where it is taboo to use physical contraception, but relatively ineffective in virtually every other scenario.
I accept fully that circumcision would be sensible, even necessary, where you work. As a global health policy ... Nah.
you can reduce it by 148%!
You said that circumcision offers no significant protection against HIV and weight of evidence states otherwise. You seemed to imply that there was evidence that the tissue type was more vulnerable to infection but that this didn't translate to higher rates of HIV in uncircumsised men. This is wrong.
I agree condom use is the best way to protect yourself on an individual basis, but in terms of public health interventions, education and promotion of condom use with dispersal of condoms just isn't as effective (in terms of cluster randomised trials) an intervention as circumcision. In fact, though it seems to be obvious that this should be the case which is why it is still the backbone of most HIV the evidence for education programs are weak. This is obviously because these things are more nebulous and difficult to prove in terms of cause and effect but the point is that the two are not comparable in the way you have tried to compare them. The issue is more complex.
The problem with condom promotion isn't some kind of cultural taboo (except where the catholic church has helpfully intervened to make this the case - though this is fairly rare). Men simply don't like using them and changing sexual behaviour is notoriously difficult. Especially where women aren't sufficiently empowered to take control over the situation.
My statement that all men should be circumcised was in part tongue in cheek but to my mind the global health benefits (for men and women) vastly outweigh the downsides, so from a purely health point of view this would be no bad thing.
Obviously as with all public health interventions this has to be carefully weighed up against personal freedoms which are more delicately considered up thread. I wasn't trying to comment on that side of the arguement but instead offer a different perspective on circumcision and its role in society as well as to counter some misapprehensions about the science behind it.
However, where I would get involved with the debate about freedom of choice to circumcise or not is to try to point out the potential public health impact of propagating the idea of it as an act of "mutilation". Personally I find this inaccurate, over emotive and unhelpful. But like I said, I'm a woman with no immediate access to the impact that having a foreskin has on my life which is why I am tentative about making any objective claims about this.
*higher rates of HIV acquisition in men
Your gender is irrelevant if we're discussing culture and public health.
I can see how the wording of my initial post gave the message that circumcision does not lower HIV and AIDS infection rates. What I meant and later clarified was that it lower rates far less significantly than modern physical contraception. Logically, the best course of preventative action to implement would be the one with the best success rate. Some situations don't allow for that logic to be followed, so another course of preventative action should be taken.
Personally, I'd say that simply not wanting to wear a condom IS a cultural taboo, but that's another matter.
148% aside, you're presenting it as an either-or situation.
I'm dismissing the idea that all men should be circumcised to prevent HIV infection by pointing out that, in many cases, there is another far more effective means of protection available.
You can double up and be extra safe if you want, but that's beside the point. Circumcision is being advocated as a preventative action by an increasing number of experts essentially because too many people are not using the far more effective means.
and this has been the case for years. Unfortunately HIV is still killing millions. Go figure.
not that I think circumcision will turn in around on its own. No one intervention will solve the problem but circumcision is a vital part of the armory.
As a practice - No, it hasn't. And where it has been around for years HIV rates have been much, much lower from the off.
As an intervention to prevent HIV aquisition - Yes it has. And where it being introduced aquisition rates are dropping.
It's no more a silly and no less a reductive post than the one it is a response to.
instead of condoms, fair enough.
I do think you're belittling the significance of the 50% though. It only takes one person who wrongly thinks they're uninfected to have unprotected sex and create a potentially exponential increase in the number of people thinking the same thing. Or a drunken fumble or whatever. To expect people to always be protected is unrealistic no matter how dogmatic about it you're going to be. Plus a 2% failure rate isn't insignificant either. Expecting everyone to be circumcised is also unrealistic, but at least once it's done, it's done. You can't forget to put on a circumcision. Of course, presenting it as an alternative to wearing a condom is ridiculous, but I don't think describing opting for both simultaneously as 'extra safe' is much less so. As far as the numbers alone are concerned, it's playing it safe, and no more.
I was never, and would never, see it as an alternative. DanielKelly has set that up as a bit of a straw man. Condom promotion is vital. My argument is that it's not enough.
I just thought he was suggesting it's an outlook that's gaining general prevalence. Like I said though, I don't know anything about that.
if you're comparing interventions, unless your intervention is to physically put a condom on a man every time he has sex and make sure it stays there, you can't dismiss circumcision as a lesser intervention. You have to look at the real world results.
If you want my input on the value of personal freedom to circumcise it goes like this;
If there's evidence that it reduces sexual pleasure or impacts on life - offer it as a choice to all sexually mature men with education about the benefits in terms of STIs and HIV.
If there's not good evidence that it has any long term impact on a man in the long run, circumcise all boys in HIV endemic countries at least and promote the choice elsewhere.
'Real world' results very clearly indicate that HIV and AIDS infection rates are significantly lower in countries where condoms are readily available and commonly used.
I think I might have spent enough time talking about foreskin.
Condoms are readily available in pretty much all countries where HIV is highly prevalent. Usually for free.
As an intervention on a public health level they are patently not enough.
I need to do some work now. I will not unveil myself from my lurking without freeing up an entire week in future!
we put wire taps on every man who hasn't been circumsized. And rightly so, ya damn uncircumsized terrorists!
Why do you do it? And don't say it's cleaner cos it ain't.
Can you imagine a thriving porn industry led by unsightly uncircumsized penises? I think not.
(although I hear that cut or uncut they don't really look any different when erect)
What happens to the foreskin after it's been cut off? Is there a really gross bin at the synagogue? Hmm I'll just empty this bin OH MY GOD
I didn't know that
I enjoyed it when a guy up there^ claimed that foreskins grow back in order to validate his argument that circumcision was a bit like having a haircut ;D
and he genuinely thought this was true
For reasons outlined up there in response to Daniel Kelly I a very for circumcision. I just couldn't not post this. Even as a lurker.
its a tough one for germany to have called.
This sort of thing extends beyond just one culture.
Let me elaborate
In several saharan countries there is a lot of child mutilation (to both sexes) in the case of males it is not too bad, but for the girls is is horrendous.
Here there is the belief that children are born not completely male or female and therefore they cut off the foreskin off the boys (cos its a female like part) and they cut off the male like part off the women. This happens to up to 7/10 females in some of these countries.
This is such a horrendous violation that I think that the general outlawing of child mutilation for cultural or religeous reasons is a perfectly legitimate course if it is done to prevent harm to future adults.
Its a difficult thing to decide to do given the recent horrendous persecution of jewish people.....but consider this...if the jewish people had not been persecuted then you would not have the same issues with moves to ban this practice, and so you must then consider why and what you will allow, because of other things (two wrongs not making a right etc)
I've been reading around "that soul shall be cut off from his people" a bit, and the prominent interpretation seems to be that any Jewish male who is not circumcised on his 8th day will be ostracised from the Jewish people in heaven, rather than in the material world. But heaven doesn't exist anyway, right? So no biggy.
Shorthand. With regard to your other point, to quote myself from earlier in the thread, you can't enforce a broad, overarching principle where religious freedom either always triumphs or always fails. That may be seen as a hypocrisy - it is, I suppose - but it's one the people who matter are happy with.
Did anyone say it did? I said it meant you weren't a real Jew, and it kind of does - it stops you getting into Jewish heaven. Still welcome in gentile heaven. Could be a tough sell to the parents though. Who doesn't want their child to go to the same heaven as them?
To be less flippant, as I've said elsewhere, it's unfortunate when laws, ethics and conceptions of morality change and previous traditions or religious predictions no longer fit in with modern needs, but I don't accept that as a reason not to change things.
Unnecessary surgery on an infant? Yeah, there's no excuse for that. If I asked the doctor to snip off my newborn's earlobes because it fit into my religious agenda, they'd tell me to do one, regardless of the fact that the procedure may not adversely affect the child as they grew up (and the medical arguments for and against circumcision seem pretty moot to me).
As for the idea that you cannot be Jewish without it? Hmmm. Being Jewish is the summation of dozens, hundreds of different factors, religious, social, cultural, etc. Millions of Jews around the world don't feel their faith suffers because they don't keep kosher, or eat dairy products with meat in the same meal, or wear wool and silk at the same time. In a generation, circumcision would seem as outdated for validating a faith as stoning people for adultery.
maybe tiramisu second
guyhousername and robluvsnic. pure logic, stoic and insurmountable.
In your face, Critical Thinking AS!
I couldn'r give a shit though, rip what bits you like off your child, I'm all for pointless religious ceremonies ingrained in some mental bullshit invented 3,000 years ago
like, if Germany asks. Quite a busy day today so might be away from the internet, that's all.
I asked you why you wouldn't be inclined to make pork consumption compulsory, and you said because "you'd be forcing something on people (Jews and Muslims?) they hadn't actually asked for". You would be inclined to ban circumcision though. If the absence of a general request for compulsory pork consumption is the reason you're not inclined to support it, I took the implication to be you support the ban on circumcision because there has been some equivalent request. There hasn't been. If, however, you're saying the difference is compulsory pork consumption would *require* a request, whereas a ban on circumcision does not, because... its result is an absence of something? You're taking circumcision away? The equivalent to making pork consumption compulsory would be making circumcision compulsory, whereas this ruling gives children the opportunity to make a choice? Is that what you're saying? I'm only going by the words in that one post: you're not inclined to force-feed Jews and Muslims pork "cos you'd be forcing something on people they hadn't actually asked for".
But if that is what you're saying distinguishes the two - fair enough - you're nonetheless returning me to my original point, namely that the rationality or irrationality of either is not the distinguishing factor, so I don't think you can relevantly include your preference for evidence-based rationality as part of your position. Further, I think your other tenets, e.g. "I don't believe it's fair to operate on children without necessity", fall down without it, because when you say "without necessity", you presumably mean "without rational necessity". As far as a devout Jew is concerned though, their sons must be circumcised on their 8th day in order for parent and son to be reunited in the afterlife. If you believe that, you're likely to believe that it's a necessity for your sons to be circumcised on their 8th day; to prohibit the parents from making arrangements pertaining to such is to force your conception of necessity on them. You could then say that otherwise, the parents are forcing their conception of necessity on the son, so the question becomes, which is worse? It's only a rephrasing, however, of the question we've both been trying to provide an answer for right form the start, to which I was interpreting the general response to be "It's always worse to allow a parent to force their conception of necessity on a child - we should force our conception of necessity on the parent first". You said it was unfair/inaccurate of me to interpret the response in such a way, but if you are to insist on the significance of "All decisions should be rational and evidence-based", I don't think I was being unfair (or inaccurate) at all.
if I was to get into the argument about what's the difference between psychosis and religion? A: the number of people sharing the same idea . . . .
would it be right to deny *insert crazy serial killer's name* right to disembowel a hooker in the name of God, if we give the Jews right to mutilate their children?
even if it was explicitly stated in the Torah that it was essential for achieving passage to heaven. I think we've covered this sort of thing already.
So all I'll say is I'm not talking about forcing our conception of necessity. I'm (very literally) not asking the parents to do anything.
I'm saying Doctors shouldn't approve (and shouldn't be expected to approve) medical procedures unless they see a direct medical benefit to the child. There's clearly no rational or evidence-based reason for the operation (except perhaps in areas with high HIV rates) so therefore Doctors shouldn't carry it out unless the child specifically asks for it.
All I'm asking for is something that's a cosmetic procedure (albeit one requested for religious reasons) should be treated like a cosmetic procedure and hence only be carried out at the request of the patient themselves at an age when they're old enough to ask for it.
child mutilation = bad *
* unless there is a clear physical,medical reason for mutilation that would undeniably improve or save the child's life.
right to mutilate other people in the name of religious practises, for no medical or practical reason = bad
the rights of religious people to hold onto to thousands of years old practises that hurt other people and ignore said thousands of years of development of human civilisation = bad
but there's a guy up there that says foreskins grow back so it's the same as getting a haircut. and another guy that's saying banning circumcision is the same thing as force feeding people pork.
guess this is what happens when you argue with people from the internet...
"last time I saw him we got into a really nasty argument about circumcision. He even went so far as to insult my actual, personal hose. "
Y'all muthafuckas get real humourless when your dicks are in the firing line. The fact that what someone's penis looks like can determine membership of a religion is LOLz.
Cutting a baby's dick off is fucking stupid but Germany probably went too far with an outright ban, owing to their recent history with The Jews.
Have never missed my foreskin and can't imagine that changing anytime soon. I also had it long enough to know the difference between life with and without it and ... there is none. I know the main argument here is about choice (I needed to get it done, so effectively had no choice), but do the people who've had it done as children really feel that hard done by? I know a few other people who have had it done for medical reasons (and presumably a fair few people who've had it done for religious reasons too), so I'm guessing its more common than people think. The amount of crap people used to say at school/6th form about circumcision, without knowing what they were talking about was depressing. I think there's a general misunderstanding about what it actually is.
the only people in this thread to have been circumcised as kids are me and douchebag. Neither of us are religious (I don't think) and neither of us could care less about it.
That would have been a hassle too. Just want a quiet life, really.
tbh the only time I've ever really thought about it in modern times is when there's been a thread on DiS about it
need lube to wank.