Infant Circumcision

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

Elliot
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:52 am UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Elliot » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:06 am UTC

The difference is that you don't cut the living part of the nail.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:07 am UTC

I find that to be a meaningless distinction considering a lack of pain. If injury is "any alteration to living tissue", then I find your definition of injury meaningless. In which case, why should there be a justification for every alteration of living tissue? It certainly doesn't equate to harm. And if inconsequential alterations of tissue constitute harm to you, then harm becomes meaningless as well.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Elliot
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:52 am UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Elliot » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:27 am UTC

Pain seems like a meaningless distinction, considering a lack of life.
Look I'm not trying to be clever, but I really think that if someone were to cut your skin, even if they anaesthetised you, that would constitute an injury. That's how I use the word, anyway. But perhaps it would help me to understand if you were to set out exactly what the requirements are for 'harm' in your view? Given the centrality of harm in your argument I think it's probably reasonable to provide a clear definition, and there doesn't appear to be one so far.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:33 am UTC

Harm is something that does damage. Commonly accepted, purely aesthetic changes do not constitute harm because it doesn't do any damage. There isn't pain, there are no lasting dysfunctions, the only change is aesthetic.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Elliot
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:52 am UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Elliot » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:09 am UTC

Well I disagree with your conclusion about damage for the same reason that I disagree about harm. I think skin is damaged by being cut. But if your point is that 'harm' requires some change in either function or sensation, then I guess that answers my question about whether you were using the term in some other sense.
But surely there is a loss of sensation in respect of the foreskin itself. In the sense that the foreskin loses all sensation when it is removed from the body. Why is that not harm?

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:25 am UTC

Elliot wrote:Well I disagree with your conclusion about damage for the same reason that I disagree about harm. I think skin is damaged by being cut. But if your point is that 'harm' requires some change in either function or sensation, then I guess that answers my question about whether you were using the term in some other sense.

How do you differentiate "damage" and "change"? It's apparently not by a reduction in actual function.
But surely there is a loss of sensation in respect of the foreskin itself. In the sense that the foreskin loses all sensation when it is removed from the body. Why is that not harm?

Because there's no perceived loss of sensation by the individual. Or, at least, there is insufficient evidence to show that there is perceived loss of sensation by the individual.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Elliot
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:52 am UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Elliot » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:12 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:How do you differentiate "damage" and "change"? It's apparently not by a reduction in actual function.

I guess I'd say that breaking something constitutes damage. Defining damage purely by reference to function means that non-functional things cannot be damaged, which doesn't seem like how the word is normally used.
But I'm not sure how continued discussion of how I use various words is actually contributing to the debate about circumcision. Your definition of 'harm' is relevant to an understanding of your argument, but mine is not. Even in the very unlikely event that I convince you that all wounds are instances of harm, that would just mean that you had used the term incorrectly and would need to rephrase your argument. Seems like a waste of time, I think.

Because there's no perceived loss of sensation by the individual. Or, at least, there is insufficient evidence to show that there is perceived loss of sensation by the individual.

That might be true of sensation in the rest of the penis, or sensation overall, but I am referring here to the foreskin itself. The level of sensation in the foreskin is zero when it is removed, and greater than zero when it is not removed. What additional evidence do you need to show a loss of sensation? Assuming that he is aware of what a foreskin is, I really don't see how a circumcised individual could fail to perceive that his foreskin is less sensitive as a result of being removed.

BattleMoose
Posts: 1993
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:42 am UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:22 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:
Because as a species we have done some seriously fucked up things to our kids to force them to fit into a preconditioned society ideal of aesthetic and have subjected them to such horrors as foot binding, we cannot be trusted with such decisions so we really ought to have a moral code that dictates what kind of interferences are acceptable.



I don't believe anyone in this thread would argue with this statement. What some disagree with is your implicit suggestion that this moral code be based upon the naturalistic fallacy, which is what you mean when you say that cosmetic procedures that bring appearances out of line with the "natural norm" are morally unacceptable. If you have a justification for why we should prize the natural appearance of our children over the way in which we as a society generally like them to look, I'd love to hear it.


Someone is going to have to explicitly explain what you guys mean about naturalistic fallacy, because it certainly is not what I understand it to be. I think its a definition issue. As I have stated many times so far, there is no judgement of good or bad when it comes to natural form, I support interference in natural development, to be fair, so far as to correcting abnormalities for cosmetic reasons and for all instances where function can be increased. If I held the position that what is natural is good or moral, I could not hold this position, ergo, I am not committing the naturalistic fallacy. :-/

Yet it keeps coming up.

I like what I have put forward in so far as what could be considered acceptable interference in a child or infants body. It works too, it allows for necessary intervention yet limits interferences such as footbinding, earlobe lopping, circumcission. I challenge you to come up with such a simple and clear cut construct for allowing and disallowing interferences.

Izawwlgood wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:
I maintain that it was done for aesthetic reasons


Yes, but I provided part of the wiki, which you yourself read, and even made a comment vaguely deriding me for not having performed 'a light read' of the wiki, that said it was also done to limit functionality. But, again, in this case, the end goal (aesthetics vs limiting functionality) is irrelevant, what is relevant, is that foot binding severely hampers functionality, and circumcision doesn't. You yourself acknowledged this, yet you persisted in trying to use it as an analogy. So, whether or not it is primarily about the aesthetic or the functionality, it is still a procedure that is NOT cosmetic, has demonstrable negative impact on an individuals life, and causes long term pain, none of which can be said of circumcision, and none of which are things that any of us have suggested are acceptable to inflict upon a child.


Ah, this is where we diverge. See I hold motive or end goal as an incredibly important aspect when considering any action and you consider it as irrelevant. We have such a different moral code on this I don't think we could reach any kind of common ground, on pretty much any topic. :-/


Izawwlgood wrote:
This is not something that society defines. Normal as in, how do babies normally arrive, is it common to have cleft palates, is it common to be conjoined and is it expected for them to have foreskins, it is about numbers, statistics and what is to be expected.


Cleft palates occur in 1 in 750 children. Polydactyly in 1 in 1,000 or so (I think, offhand that number may be wrong). Crooked teeth in... I dunno, more? Birthmarks in nearly everyone. I would never suggest that foreskins aren't natural, or that removing them is the default state, but given the range of changes we put our children through, I find, and maintain, that removal of said foreskin flies well beneath the radar of 'horrible genital mutilation'. And hey, Downs Syndrome occurs in like, every 100 babies; at what point do you call something 'normal'? What birthrate would you feel meant something was a 'normal' occurrence?


I would probably go with an occurrence rate of 10-30% to qualify as a normal attribute, but I don't think it matters too much, I think we all have a fairly similar idea of what constitutes as normal, in a numerical sense, I hope.

thc wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Normal; . usual; regular; common; typical
This is not something that society defines. Normal as in, how do babies normally arrive, is it common to have cleft palates, is it common to be conjoined and is it expected for them to have foreskins, it is about numbers, statistics and what is to be expected.

In the U.S., circumcision is more common and typical. Therefore, parents in the U.S. should have their children sacrificedcircumcised to be more normal. ... How is this not a naturalistic fallacy? I honestly do not understand your reasoning when you say it is not.


I think you will find on closer examination that babies in the US are indeed in fact, normally, born with their foreskins in place. See my previous comments on naturalistic fallacy.

User avatar
lutzj
Posts: 898
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:20 am UTC
Location: Ontario

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby lutzj » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:47 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
I would probably go with an occurrence rate of 10-30% to qualify as a normal attribute, but I don't think it matters too much, I think we all have a fairly similar idea of what constitutes as normal, in a numerical sense, I hope.

thc wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Normal; . usual; regular; common; typical
This is not something that society defines. Normal as in, how do babies normally arrive, is it common to have cleft palates, is it common to be conjoined and is it expected for them to have foreskins, it is about numbers, statistics and what is to be expected.

In the U.S., circumcision is more common and typical. Therefore, parents in the U.S. should have their children sacrificedcircumcised to be more normal. ... How is this not a naturalistic fallacy? I honestly do not understand your reasoning when you say it is not.


I think you will find on closer examination that babies in the US are indeed in fact, normally, born with their foreskins in place. See my previous comments on naturalistic fallacy.


It's fallacious because you arbitrarily assume a trait is superior because it is more "natural" or "normal," defined by an arbitrary level of frequency. Crooked teeth and attached earlobes meet your 10-30% standard, but I'm pretty sure it's okay for parents to correct those traits in their children. Braces are easily more painful and humiliating than circumcision.
addams wrote:I'm not a bot.
That is what a bot would type.

BattleMoose
Posts: 1993
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:42 am UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:01 pm UTC

lutzj wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:
I would probably go with an occurrence rate of 10-30% to qualify as a normal attribute, but I don't think it matters too much, I think we all have a fairly similar idea of what constitutes as normal, in a numerical sense, I hope.

thc wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Normal; . usual; regular; common; typical
This is not something that society defines. Normal as in, how do babies normally arrive, is it common to have cleft palates, is it common to be conjoined and is it expected for them to have foreskins, it is about numbers, statistics and what is to be expected.

In the U.S., circumcision is more common and typical. Therefore, parents in the U.S. should have their children sacrificedcircumcised to be more normal. ... How is this not a naturalistic fallacy? I honestly do not understand your reasoning when you say it is not.


I think you will find on closer examination that babies in the US are indeed in fact, normally, born with their foreskins in place. See my previous comments on naturalistic fallacy.


It's fallacious because you arbitrarily assume a trait is superior because it is more "natural" or "normal," defined by an arbitrary level of frequency. Crooked teeth and attached earlobes meet your 10-30% standard, but I'm pretty sure it's okay for parents to correct those traits in their children. Braces are easily more painful and humiliating than circumcision.


I have stated about over a dozen times that I DO NOT HOLD ANY TRAITS SUPERIOR. Do I really have to shout this? :-/ And I have explained about a dozen times too also.

And as I mentioned before also maybe we should question the correcting of crooked teeth.

And this is where I exit this thread, this is beyond insane.

User avatar
thc
Posts: 643
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:01 am UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby thc » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:52 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:I have stated about over a dozen times that I DO NOT HOLD ANY TRAITS SUPERIOR. Do I really have to shout this? :-/ And I have explained about a dozen times too also.

We heard you, but it just doesn't jive with the arguments you are making. Half a dozen people here have pointed out that they believe your arguments fail to naturalistic fallacy - maybe its time to re-evaluate.

You stated that circumcisions are not the same as cleft palate operations because the latter reverts to a more natural/common state. Forget whether or not this fits your definition of "superior". It should be clear that you gave preference to the second operation because it converts a state to one that is more natural/common. This is the naturalistic fallacy.

And this is where I exit this thread, this is beyond insane.

It's probably for the best. I just don't get why people make such a big deal about it. Comparing circumcision to foot binding and FGM is just silly and inflammatory. And now for a Godwin:

"Although deliberately framed as if it were a law of nature or of mathematics, its purpose has always been rhetorical and pedagogical: I wanted folks who glibly compared someone else to Hitler or to Nazis to think a bit harder about the Holocaust."

User avatar
Gopher of Pern
Posts: 250
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:28 am UTC
Location: Central Coast, Australia

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Gopher of Pern » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:17 pm UTC

I think my main disconnect here is with the phrase:

sourmìlk wrote:He says that means parents shouldn't be allowed to do it, I'm saying that's not sufficient to override parental discretion, citing other examples of when we allow parents to take more harmful but less beneficial options.


You seem to be putting parental discretion up as a right, when it clearly is not. It is not as important as bodily autonomy. The only reason we have parental discretion is because there is simply no better way to treat the young. My stance on this matter is one should not alter the body of anybody, without their permission (which infants obviously cannot give), unless it is for a medical necessity.
Look In My Face
Stare In My Soul
I Begin To Stupefy

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:15 am UTC

Gopher of Pern wrote:You seem to be putting parental discretion up as a right, when it clearly is not. It is not as important as bodily autonomy. The only reason we have parental discretion is because there is simply no better way to treat the young. My stance on this matter is one should not alter the body of anybody, without their permission (which infants obviously cannot give), unless it is for a medical necessity.
How do you define medical necessity? Obviously, if the infant's going to die without treatment, that's a necessity--but what if it's merely a quality of life issue? What if it's a situation where it could go either way--maybe 20 years down the line, the kid could hate us for either decision?

I'd go with 'no circumcision' because I like to err on the side of safety, and I can imagine a situation where my child grows up to regret having no foreskin. But I neither blame nor spurn parents who can't, or can even imagine that the presence of a foreskin makes their children a cultural and (eventually) sexual pariah.

We have two issues here; the right of infants to bodily autonomy, and the right for parents to pass on their culture, beliefs, and mindsets on their children--indeed, the right for parents to inflict these things on their children. I think both rights have significant weight, and I'm willing to let the latter overcome the former when I perceive that the potential for harm is very small. Remember that the right for parents to inflict their culture on their children is tied to the right of a race and culture to pass on their legacy. This is important to them, and so long as their children don't regret their circumcisions, I'm fine with respecting that importance.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:56 am UTC

Gopher of Pern wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:He says that means parents shouldn't be allowed to do it, I'm saying that's not sufficient to override parental discretion, citing other examples of when we allow parents to take more harmful but less beneficial options.


You seem to be putting parental discretion up as a right, when it clearly is not. It is not as important as bodily autonomy.

I have already explained why the potential for harm in circumcision is too negligible to override parental discretion, and why giving children the right to bodily autonomy is harmful and not even commonly accepted as a right for children. They can't get tattoos without their parents' permission, their parents have to consent to operations, etc.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

distractedSofty
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:29 pm UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby distractedSofty » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:58 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:We have two issues here; the right of infants to bodily autonomy, and the right for parents to pass on their culture, beliefs, and mindsets on their children--indeed, the right for parents to inflict these things on their children. I think both rights have significant weight, and I'm willing to let the latter overcome the former when I perceive that the potential for harm is very small. Remember that the right for parents to inflict their culture on their children is tied to the right of a race and culture to pass on their legacy. This is important to them, and so long as their children don't regret their circumcisions, I'm fine with respecting that importance.

This right is an interesting question: in Wisconsin v. Yoder, it was ruled that Amish parents could not be compelled to send their children to high school, since that impinged on their first amendment rights to freedom of religion. The right of the children to freedom of religion was explicitly said to be irrelevant (In response to the lone dissenting Justice, who agreed with the ruling, but believed that the children's rights were more important).

Personally, I think that thinking in terms of parental rights is backwards: parents should have no rights concerning their children. Rather, children's rights should be the most important thing: a child has the right to know their parents, and their parents' culture. This deals with most situations we have today: governments don't generally take children from their parents, because children have a right to know their parents. But they also have a right to be fed, and to not be abused, which is generally considered the more important right.

The parent, conversely, has only responsibilities: the responsibility to provide for their children, and to hold certain rights in trust for them. (For example, the right to own property)

To take away a child's rights in favour of the parent's rights seems to go counter to the very first sentence of the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human rights*: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." There is no fine print at the end saying "Provided they have passed an 18 year cooling off period."

In that contex, the circumcision question seems clear to me: it should only be done if there is a clear benefit to the child. Since there doesn't seem to be a clear benefit, I don't think it should be done. On the other hand, since the incidence of harm is low, I don't support doing anything more than perhaps providing information for new parents. And I reserve the right** to look down on anyone who does it to their children.

*And if you don't like the UDHR, the second sentence of the US Declaration of Indpendence also has no such disclaimer.
**Article 18 of the UDHR, if you're interested.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:01 am UTC

distractedSofty, feel free to read the past few pages and page 2 to see why your view of parental rights would be problematic.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

distractedSofty
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:29 pm UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby distractedSofty » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:11 am UTC

I've read the whole thread, care to point out where the view falls down? It's supported by some fairly significant declarations (rights are inherent, unless we have damn good reasons to take them away).

In the abstract, a parent has no rights that supercede those of their children. But, I am ok with the default assumption (seems likely, due to biology), that they are acting in the best interests of their children.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:17 am UTC

distractedSofty wrote:I've read the whole thread, care to point out where the view falls down? It's supported by some fairly significant declarations (rights are inherent, unless we have damn good reasons to take them away).

See specifically my arguments about the consequences of overriding parental discretion at the slightest possibility of harm and my recent examples of the problems with giving minors (and particularly infants) full rights to bodily autonomy.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Gopher of Pern
Posts: 250
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:28 am UTC
Location: Central Coast, Australia

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Gopher of Pern » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:19 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:We have two issues here; the right of infants to bodily autonomy, and the right for parents to pass on their culture, beliefs, and mindsets on their children--indeed, the right for parents to inflict these things on their children. I think both rights have significant weight, and I'm willing to let the latter overcome the former when I perceive that the potential for harm is very small. Remember that the right for parents to inflict their culture on their children is tied to the right of a race and culture to pass on their legacy. This is important to them, and so long as their children don't regret their circumcisions, I'm fine with respecting that importance.


Why is there a right for parents to pass on there culture, beliefs and mindsets on their children? I'm probably missing something here, as I don't see much reason for that to be enshrined as a right. If a parent has a belief that physically punishing people for disobedience is ok, do we allow that to be passed on to their children? I mean, you even use the word inflict, which suggests that it could be a negative thing. I understand that it is almost impossible to stop people from passing on their culture to their children, but that is by no means enough to make it a right.

Admittedly, medical necessity is where the big grey area is. A rule of thumb I would go by is that the procedure should have a significant increase in the quality of life of the patient. So that would likely include things like cleft lips, and exclude things like birth marks and circumcision. I understand that there would be considerable debate on what "significant increase in the quality of life of the patient" would mean in certain instances, but I think we can all agree that circumcision does not increase the quality of life for an infant.

Edit* ninja'd twice:

Sourmilk: Yes, you've explained that there is minimal 'harm' involved in circumcision. And just because parents have veto rights over some decisions, does not mean they can simply do whatever they want to the child. The fact is, a child may not be able to get a tattoo now, but will in the future. A child can't get their foreskin back, at least not completely.

distractedSoftly: Yes, thats exactly my point, thank you.
Look In My Face
Stare In My Soul
I Begin To Stupefy

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:23 am UTC

Gopher of Pern wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:We have two issues here; the right of infants to bodily autonomy, and the right for parents to pass on their culture, beliefs, and mindsets on their children--indeed, the right for parents to inflict these things on their children. I think both rights have significant weight, and I'm willing to let the latter overcome the former when I perceive that the potential for harm is very small. Remember that the right for parents to inflict their culture on their children is tied to the right of a race and culture to pass on their legacy. This is important to them, and so long as their children don't regret their circumcisions, I'm fine with respecting that importance.


Why is there a right for parents to pass on there culture, beliefs and mindsets on their children? I'm probably missing something here, as I don't see much reason for that to be enshrined as a right. If a parent has a belief that physically punishing people for disobedience is ok, do we allow that to be passed on to their children? I mean, you even use the word inflict, which suggests that it could be a negative thing. I understand that it is almost impossible to stop people from passing on their culture to their children, but that is by no means enough to make it a right.

That right does not extend to a right to substantially harm the child, nobody is making that argument. But unless you're going to take away a parent's right to preach to their children about their religion or political views, yes, parents have a right to pass down their culture.

Sourmilk: Yes, you've explained that there is minimal 'harm' involved in circumcision. And just because parents have veto rights over some decisions, does not mean they can simply do whatever they want to the child. The fact is, a child may not be able to get a tattoo now, but will in the future. A child can't get their foreskin back, at least not completely.

Now you're making the permanence argument, which is an entirely different argument to the child rights argument. Everything a parent does affects their child permanently. At least, that's certainly the intent of the parent. Time moves forwards: there is never a way for a person to erase the effects of his childhood.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

distractedSofty
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:29 pm UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby distractedSofty » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:53 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:See specifically my arguments about the consequences of overriding parental discretion at the slightest possibility of harm and my recent examples of the problems with giving minors (and particularly infants) full rights to bodily autonomy.

Ok, so I went back, and despite not finding any issues with specifically an infant's right to bodily autonomy, I'm going to assume you're generally referring to this point, because you've brought it up multiple times:

sourmilk wrote:Okay, I disagree. Parents are unable to do almost anything not vitally to taking care of their children if _any_ possibility of harm is counted. They are not allowed to take them outside the house except for the purposes of school. They are not allowed to feed their children food they didn't explicitly prepare. They are not allowed to let them use any form of entertainment that, even by an iota, increases the child's chance of coming into harm. Parental discretion can't be overridden by any negligible chance that exercising such discretion might theoretically cause harm.
sourmilk wrote:I've always thought it was accepted that parents could assign their children certain after-school activities, like sports or piano lessons or whatever. And are you telling me that it's immoral for a parent to have her child eat food that it's possible he could be allergic to? There are far more people who are lactose intolerant than who have suffered due to circumcision, and yet parents might have their kids eat dairy foods prepared for them because it's easier than buying soy everything just in case.

Although, now I'm confused, because they don't really deal with issues of giving children rights, rather, both of these quotes illustrate a problem with an absolutist view. Everything we do in life involves risk management, and if you don't accept any risks, of course you're going to have problems. (Or, in the words of a much wiser man: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes")

And, as I said, my objection has nothing to do with the risk, and everything to do with the lack of any clear benefit. A parent shouldn't force a child to do something that won't benefit them, like circumcision, ear piercing or baptism. I'm perfectly fine, though, with saying "Yes, you violated their rights, but you were only perpetuating a cycle of violations. Let's focus on breaking the cycle, rather than demonising you, who just happens to be the most recent."

I have an additional objection to anything you do to an infant over, say, child sport which is that the child is able to object to, and not play, sport if they want. Not so when they're an infant.
Last edited by distractedSofty on Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:56 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:56 am UTC

distractedSofty wrote:[
Although, now I'm confused, because they don't really deal with issues of giving children rights, rather, both of these quotes illustrate a problem with an absolutist view. Everything we do in life involves risk management, and if you don't accept any risks, of course you're going to have problems. (Or, in the words of a much wiser man: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes")

I love the irony in that quote, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes."

As I said, my objection has nothing to do with the risk, and everything to do with the lack of any clear benefit. A parent shouldn't force a child to do something that won't benefit them, like circumcision, ear piercing or baptism.

I've covered that as well these past few pages.

I have an additional objection to anything you do to an infant over, say, child sport which is that the child is able to object to, and not play, sport if they want. Not so when they're an infant.

Parents have the right to make their child play a specific sport.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
LaserGuy
Posts: 4585
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:21 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Parents have the right to make their child play a specific sport.


Not really. The parent can register their child in lessons/leagues/whatever, but once they actually get to the playing field, there's not much they can do to stop the child from refusing to participate if they really don't want to. They can't physically force them to actually play.

distractedSofty
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:29 pm UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby distractedSofty » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:22 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I love the irony in that quote, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes."

Well the Jedi are, in general, not the best role models. But all moral pronouncements should be aware of their own flaws. It keeps them honest.

distractedSofty wrote:As I said, my objection has nothing to do with the risk, and everything to do with the lack of any clear benefit. A parent shouldn't force a child to do something that won't benefit them, like circumcision, ear piercing or baptism.
I've covered that as well these past few pages.

I certainly can't see it. Unless you mean that there would be a problem if we declared "You must not violate any individual's rights, ever", but that's the same no matter who you assume has the rights. I'm fine with accepting that sometimes peoples rights are violated. (As I was editing into this quote while you replied to it) In general, we are ok with rights being violated for cause, I mean, no one is concerned over convicts' right to liberty or the pursuit of happiness. (Depending on the state, life, too)

Parents have the right to make their child play a specific sport.

Do you mean that you believe that they should? Because they really can't.

A child is perfectly capable of not playing the sport. A parent can only influence their childs decision. Example: Little Timmy hates football. Tim (his dad, of course) wants him to play football. If Timmy refuses to play it though, all Tim can do is attempt to change Timmy's mind, say by cutting off his allowance, grounding him, promising him something cool, or whatever. In the end, only Timmy can make the decision to play. Short of some kind of powered exoskeleton, Timmy will always have the deciding vote. (And, if you have the powered exoskeleton, Timmy might be on the field, but he's still not playing football.)

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:56 am UTC

Gopher of Pern wrote:Why is there a right for parents to pass on there culture, beliefs and mindsets on their children? I'm probably missing something here, as I don't see much reason for that to be enshrined as a right. If a parent has a belief that physically punishing people for disobedience is ok, do we allow that to be passed on to their children? I mean, you even use the word inflict, which suggests that it could be a negative thing. I understand that it is almost impossible to stop people from passing on their culture to their children, but that is by no means enough to make it a right.
If parents don't have this right, then who does? Someone has to impose their values on children; otherwise, children will grow up with no values (indeed, if we're serious about not inflicting our culture on children, we can't even teach them to speak--language is loaded with cultural value). Obviously, we need to give someone authority on which values to emphasize. Who do you think should have that authority? At what point do you think that we should take that authority away?

I believe that the authority should rest in the parents; that strikes me as reasonable. It also seems reasonable to challenge that authority in instances where the parents are clearly behaving in a way that's highly detrimental to the child.

If something isn't a right, that means it can be taken away. If I have no right to life, the consequence is that I can be killed. If parents have no right to pass their culture on to their children, we can stop them from doing so. Are you comfortable telling a religious couple that they can't raise their child to be religious? What about an atheist couple that they can't raise their child to be an atheist?

When we talk about banning circumcision, it's those sort of things that are at stake. I want to make sure that circumcision is a sincere evil before I yet again tell parents how to raise their children.

curtis95112
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:23 pm UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby curtis95112 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:02 am UTC

I really think a powered exoskeleton would fall under child abuse.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

Thats the best description of the USA ever.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:02 am UTC

distractedSofty wrote:I certainly can't see it. Unless you mean that there would be a problem if we declared "You must not violate any individual's rights, ever", but that's the same no matter who you assume has the rights. I'm fine with accepting that sometimes peoples rights are violated. (As I was editing into this quote while you replied to it) In general, we are ok with rights being violated for cause, I mean, no one is concerned over convicts' right to liberty or the pursuit of happiness. (Depending on the state, life, too)

Rights should only ever be violated to preserve the rights of another. Otherwise they really aren't rights. So if you believe that parents can override a child's decision to get a tattoo, you must think that parents have a right to discretion.

Do you mean that you believe that they should? Because they really can't.

Sure they can. They can sign their children up for sports and then deprive them of everything the law doesn't require parents give their children unless they participate.

A child is perfectly capable of not playing the sport. A parent can only influence their childs decision. Example: Little Timmy hates football. Tim (his dad, of course) wants him to play football. If Timmy refuses to play it though, all Tim can do is attempt to change Timmy's mind, say by cutting off his allowance, grounding him, promising him something cool, or whatever. In the end, only Timmy can make the decision to play. Short of some kind of powered exoskeleton, Timmy will always have the deciding vote. (And, if you have the powered exoskeleton, Timmy might be on the field, but he's still not playing football.)

I don't see how this is relevant. Just because children can resist doesn't mean that parents don't have discretion.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
The Great Hippo
Swans ARE SHARP
Posts: 7368
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 am UTC
Location: behind you

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:05 am UTC

distractedSofty wrote:Do you mean that you believe that they should? Because they really can't.

A child is perfectly capable of not playing the sport. A parent can only influence their childs decision. Example: Little Timmy hates football. Tim (his dad, of course) wants him to play football. If Timmy refuses to play it though, all Tim can do is attempt to change Timmy's mind, say by cutting off his allowance, grounding him, promising him something cool, or whatever. In the end, only Timmy can make the decision to play. Short of some kind of powered exoskeleton, Timmy will always have the deciding vote. (And, if you have the powered exoskeleton, Timmy might be on the field, but he's still not playing football.)
Better phrased: Parents have the right to try and make their children play a sport, or take up an activity. Timmy can resist his parents' attempts to make him learn to play the violin, but we can't (nor do we) tell his parents to stop trying to make him play the violin.

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Malice » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:05 am UTC

distractedSofty wrote:And, as I said, my objection has nothing to do with the risk, and everything to do with the lack of any clear benefit. A parent shouldn't force a child to do something that won't benefit them, like circumcision, ear piercing or baptism.


My issue with your argument is not, I think, your framework, but that you're blithely dismissing the possibility of benefits. I mean, my god--if you believe a certain way, a baptism isn't just beneficial, it's vital to the well-being of the child's immortal soul. How can you just throw something like that out the window? Tell parents, "no, sorry, I don't believe that benefit exists, so we can't let you do it" (or even, as you suggest, just handing them a pamphlet saying, "By the way, everything you believe is wrong, so this baptism is probably a bad idea. Just saying")?

Other benefits besides religion have already been suggested in the thread, including aesthetics (as many people prefer a circumcised penis) and health/hygiene (as it's easier to clean and less likely to contract STDs).

I always bring up this story in these threads, but I come from a mixed-religion family. My father's side is Jewish, and my mother's side is Christian. When I was born, they had me circumcised and baptised, so that I would be able to go easily into either faith if I so chose. Even though I'm not religious now, I'm still grateful for that. Passing on your culture to your children isn't a matter of "inflicting"; it's in many ways an act of love, acceptance, and inclusion. It's a way of telling your child that you share a deep and permanent connection. My father gave me his middle name, too, which is to me is the same thing (and just as permanent).

Just because you don't see any benefit in it doesn't mean none exists for other people.
Image

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:08 am UTC

Malice wrote:Just because you don't see any benefit in it doesn't mean none exists for other people.

That's not his fault: I'm actually giving him the benefit of the doubt and allowing the assumption that circumcision doesn't provide a benefit, but that even as a neutral act, it is still within the parent's discretion.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
LaserGuy
Posts: 4585
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:32 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I don't see how this is relevant. Just because children can resist doesn't mean that parents don't have discretion.


It means that, at least in this particular instance, the parents are, in fact, incapable of forcing the child to do the activity that they (the parents) want, if the child truly does not wish to. That is, the child's decision in this matter ultimately trumps the parents'.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:44 am UTC

This fact of protest is sort of a moot point, given the control parents have over a child's life. It is further invalidated by other, non surgical even, choices parents make for their children prior to a child even being able to form the concept of conscience protest. A kid can actively protest going to preschool, and a parent would be perfectly justified in dropping them off anyway. All this talk about exoskeletal body suits or refusing to play a sport is a rather dumb analogy.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

distractedSofty
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:29 pm UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby distractedSofty » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:45 am UTC

Malice wrote:
My issue with your argument is not, I think, your framework, but that you're blithely dismissing the possibility of benefits. I mean, my god--if you believe a certain way, a baptism isn't just beneficial, it's vital to the well-being of the child's immortal soul. How can you just throw something like that out the window? Tell parents, "no, sorry, I don't believe that benefit exists, so we can't let you do it" (or even, as you suggest, just handing them a pamphlet saying, "By the way, everything you believe is wrong, so this baptism is probably a bad idea. Just saying")?

While I love the imagery, that's not really what I was saying at all. I mentioned education only in the context of (what I assumed was) secular circumcision. Religion is certainly different, but, no christian dogma that I know of condemns you for not having been baptised since birth, so waiting until the kid can say yes shouldn't be out of the question. Plus, the catholic church and mormons definitely allow baptism post mortem, so if you care that much, you can do it then.

I always bring up this story in these threads, but I come from a mixed-religion family. My father's side is Jewish, and my mother's side is Christian. When I was born, they had me circumcised and baptised, so that I would be able to go easily into either faith if I so chose. Even though I'm not religious now, I'm still grateful for that. Passing on your culture to your children isn't a matter of "inflicting"; it's in many ways an act of love, acceptance, and inclusion. It's a way of telling your child that you share a deep and permanent connection. My father gave me his middle name, too, which is to me is the same thing (and just as permanent).

I specifically mentioned baptism for a reason: It's the only part of religion that I have a problem with. (Of course, there are analogues in other religions, but for simplicity's sake, I'll stick with this one.) I agree with your point in all other ways, I just don't think "You are part of this religion always and forever" should be something that gets decided for you. Perhaps if the connotations of baptism were more "We'd love to have you in our church", and less "You're one of us now", I'd be more comfortable with doing it to people who can't say no. Some christian denominations almost have this, with confirmation being the true initiation ritual.

Other benefits besides religion have already been suggested in the thread, including aesthetics (as many people prefer a circumcised penis) and health/hygiene (as it's easier to clean and less likely to contract STDs).

If people are admiring, or having sex with, a child's penis, then there are bigger issues to deal with than circumcision.

sourmìlk wrote:Rights should only ever be violated to preserve the rights of another. Otherwise they really aren't rights. So if you believe that parents can override a child's decision to get a tattoo, you must think that parents have a right to discretion.

Rights are frequently violated to protect your own rights. If you attempt to end your life, expect to find that your right to liberty is constrained for a while.

As I said earlier, parent's have a responsibliity to hold certain rights in trust for their children. Property rights are one, and since we seem to be assuming one exists (for adults, at the very least), bodily autonomy is likely another.

Just because you hold your child's house in trust, doesn't mean that you have the right to knock it down without good cause. Similarly, it's your responsibility to use your adult judgement to override their suggestion for a giant slide instead of a staircase. Same deal with their body, really.

Izawwlgood wrote:This fact of protest is sort of a moot point, given the control parents have over a child's life. It is further invalidated by other, non surgical even, choices parents make for their children prior to a child even being able to form the concept of conscience protest. A kid can actively protest going to preschool, and a parent would be perfectly justified in dropping them off anyway. All this talk about exoskeletal body suits or refusing to play a sport is a rather dumb analogy.

It wasn't an analogy at all: I was pointing out why I objected to circumcision more than I objected to making your child play sport. (A question that sourmìlk had raised previously) The answer: because you can't do the latter without their cooperation.

User avatar
Malice
Posts: 3894
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:37 am UTC
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Malice » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:16 am UTC

distractedSofty wrote:
Malice wrote:
My issue with your argument is not, I think, your framework, but that you're blithely dismissing the possibility of benefits. I mean, my god--if you believe a certain way, a baptism isn't just beneficial, it's vital to the well-being of the child's immortal soul. How can you just throw something like that out the window? Tell parents, "no, sorry, I don't believe that benefit exists, so we can't let you do it" (or even, as you suggest, just handing them a pamphlet saying, "By the way, everything you believe is wrong, so this baptism is probably a bad idea. Just saying")?

While I love the imagery, that's not really what I was saying at all. I mentioned education only in the context of (what I assumed was) secular circumcision. Religion is certainly different, but, no christian dogma that I know of condemns you for not having been baptised since birth, so waiting until the kid can say yes shouldn't be out of the question. Plus, the catholic church and mormons definitely allow baptism post mortem, so if you care that much, you can do it then.


I may be fuzzy on my dogma, but I believe it is the case (or used to be, anyway) that if you died without being baptized you were in serious danger of hell, unless you were an infant who died during the short period between birth and standard baptism.

I always bring up this story in these threads, but I come from a mixed-religion family. My father's side is Jewish, and my mother's side is Christian. When I was born, they had me circumcised and baptised, so that I would be able to go easily into either faith if I so chose. Even though I'm not religious now, I'm still grateful for that. Passing on your culture to your children isn't a matter of "inflicting"; it's in many ways an act of love, acceptance, and inclusion. It's a way of telling your child that you share a deep and permanent connection. My father gave me his middle name, too, which is to me is the same thing (and just as permanent).

I specifically mentioned baptism for a reason: It's the only part of religion that I have a problem with. (Of course, there are analogues in other religions, but for simplicity's sake, I'll stick with this one.) I agree with your point in all other ways, I just don't think "You are part of this religion always and forever" should be something that gets decided for you. Perhaps if the connotations of baptism were more "We'd love to have you in our church", and less "You're one of us now", I'd be more comfortable with doing it to people who can't say no. Some christian denominations almost have this, with confirmation being the true initiation ritual.


See, the nice thing about baptism is that if you grow up and don't believe in it, who cares if you once got dunked into some water? It doesn't mean anything unless you want to opt in. Circumcision doesn't say that you have to be Jewish, either.

Other benefits besides religion have already been suggested in the thread, including aesthetics (as many people prefer a circumcised penis) and health/hygiene (as it's easier to clean and less likely to contract STDs).

If people are admiring, or having sex with, a child's penis, then there are bigger issues to deal with than circumcision.


As people have pointed out, sometimes young men have sexual experiences before the age of 18, which is the point at which parental discretion over surgical procedures is ceded to the child. A parent might, for instance, be thinking of potential embarrassment in gym class when the child is 12, an age at which the child generally does not have the power to make medical decisions for himself.

In addition, adult circumcision is problematic, both in terms of risk and the potential for a loss of sensation.
Image

distractedSofty
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:29 pm UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby distractedSofty » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:20 am UTC

Malice wrote:A parent might, for instance, be thinking of potential embarrassment in gym class when the child is 12, an age at which the child generally does not have the power to make medical decisions for himself.

I seriously have to stand by my statement now: WTF are people doing looking at 12 year old boys penises during gym class?

As I said, much bigger issues.

(In general, I refer you to my original post: I don't see the harm in it(cicumcision), so I wouldn't be in favour of any kind of ban)

Gym class?

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:27 am UTC

distractedSofty wrote:Rights are frequently violated to protect your own rights. If you attempt to end your life, expect to find that your right to liberty is constrained for a while.

As I said earlier, parent's have a responsibliity to hold certain rights in trust for their children. Property rights are one, and since we seem to be assuming one exists (for adults, at the very least), bodily autonomy is likely another.

Just because you hold your child's house in trust, doesn't mean that you have the right to knock it down without good cause. Similarly, it's your responsibility to use your adult judgement to override their suggestion for a giant slide instead of a staircase. Same deal with their body, really.

What are you talking about? I can knock down my house for no reason at all and move elsewhere, whether or not I have a child. Hell, I can decide to put him in an RV if I want.

because you can't do the latter without their cooperation.

But that's because it's a baby, not because it's circumcision. Should we do nothing to babies because they aren't able to protest?
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
lutzj
Posts: 898
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:20 am UTC
Location: Ontario

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby lutzj » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:27 am UTC

distractedSofty wrote:
Malice wrote:A parent might, for instance, be thinking of potential embarrassment in gym class when the child is 12, an age at which the child generally does not have the power to make medical decisions for himself.

I seriously have to stand by my statement now: WTF are people doing looking at 12 year old boys penises during gym class?

As I said, much bigger issues.

(In general, I refer you to my original post: I don't see the harm in it(cicumcision), so I wouldn't be in favour of any kind of ban)

Gym class?


I think Malice was referring to the semiprivate changing of clothes before and after gym class. An uncircumcised Jewish kid could face serious social consequences.
addams wrote:I'm not a bot.
That is what a bot would type.

distractedSofty
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:29 pm UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby distractedSofty » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:29 am UTC

lutzj wrote:I think Malice was referring to the semiprivate changing of clothes before and after gym class. An uncircumcised Jewish kid could face serious social consequences.


My incredulity remains, though somewhat lessened. I might have led a very sheltered life, but at my schools, we had this fascinating new technology known as "doors".

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:34 am UTC

distractedSofty wrote:My incredulity remains, though somewhat lessened. I might have led a very sheltered life, but at my schools, we had this fascinating new technology known as "doors".

I was under the impression that it was common for locker rooms not to have private stalls to accommodate every occupant.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
LaserGuy
Posts: 4585
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:44 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
distractedSofty wrote:Rights are frequently violated to protect your own rights. If you attempt to end your life, expect to find that your right to liberty is constrained for a while.

As I said earlier, parent's have a responsibliity to hold certain rights in trust for their children. Property rights are one, and since we seem to be assuming one exists (for adults, at the very least), bodily autonomy is likely another.

Just because you hold your child's house in trust, doesn't mean that you have the right to knock it down without good cause. Similarly, it's your responsibility to use your adult judgement to override their suggestion for a giant slide instead of a staircase. Same deal with their body, really.


What are you talking about? I can knock down my house for no reason at all and move elsewhere, whether or not I have a child. Hell, I can decide to put him in an RV if I want.


No, what he means is that if your child owns a house or other property (including money, say, if they were a child actor), then the parents act as custodians of those things until such time as the child is able to take care of them. In this case, the parents are expected to use those resources exclusively to further the interests of the child--if the child has money, the parents can't use the money to fly to Vegas and gamble it all away or whatever, but they can use it to buy food and clothing and stuff.

[edit]Softy is arguing that the parents are then effectively acting as custodians of the child's inherent rights until such point as the child is able to exercise them fully.


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests