Infant Circumcision

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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:13 am UTC

yurell wrote:If you have a problem with the methodology to select those people, state it. We can't interview every single person who has been circumcised and has the ability to tell whether there's been any loss of sensitivity. How large a study of randomly-chosen people would it take for you to accept the results?

Again, it's not about sample size, it's about methodology. I don't know whose methodology is incorrect, but if they're getting contradictory results, somebody's methodology is.

And there we have it! People who are uncomfortable with their foreskins can choose to have them removed. Those who have theirs sliced off can't choose to have it reattached. So why should we assume that everyone would be okay with having their foreskin removed in an irreversible procedure when we can just wait to find out?

Because adult circumcision carries substantially more risks, for one thing.

Your mastery of the English language continues to impress me, although perhaps you missed the part where saying something "is as bad" as something else is not the same as saying "is identical in every respect". No, your parents did not rape you, I take your word for that, however, what is wrong with my analogy? If you object to it so vehemently, why don't you explain why it's bad instead of whinging at me to stop using it?

You'll notice I did use "as bad as." And no, your poor emotional-appeal analogy does not warrant a counter-argument because it wasn't an argument.

There's no evidence that not cutting off people's foreskins is hurting anyone, now they both have the same justification! So clearly "there's no evidence that it hurts anybody" is not useful as the sole justification.

I have no problem with parents not circumcising their children. But here we're just splitting hairs. The full reason (and legitimate reason) for circumcising can simply be "it harms nobody and I felt like it."

There are downsides to doing it, though, such as infections, pain, death, mental anguish, irreparable bodily damage, loss of sensation ...

You've yet to demonstrate that that most of those phenomena actually exist as the result of circumcision, and then obviously it hasn't been shown that they outweigh the health benefits. But, like I said, even if they don't, any risk greater than 0 is not justification for overriding parental discretion.

You were just saying that whether or not there is a loss of sensation is disputed, and now you're assuming there's definitely not a loss of sensation? You're the one who's so fond of refusing to allow the opposition to use an argument that you don't concede, so where the hell do you get off on this double-standard?

Sorry, I was unclear. The loss of sensation in adults is disputed. I was making the argument that, even if there's a loss of sensation in adults, if there are fewer nerve endings in children then there is no loss of sensation as there was never any relative sensation, and thus the perception of sex is exactly the same for adults never circumcised and adults circumcised at birth.

And when does one tend to get STD's? When they're old enough to consent to sex. Wait, the ability to consent, this seems familiar ...

I'm not sure I get how you're making that connection.

So you think it's alright to cut a child just for aesthetics? I disagree most strongly on a moral level.

If done with anesthetic in a societally acceptable and safe area, yes.

Unless you're being deliberately obtuse, you were the one who suggested that it must be shown to be harmful to be banned, so I was giving examples of things which are banned but not proven to be harmful, thereby demostrating that it does not need to be positively proven to be harmful to be banned.

Sorry, that wasn't in direct response to those examples. In general, we should not ban things by default. We have to have a reasonable belief that there's risk involved. Otherwise, every single thing that nobody has particularly looked into would be banned. A new book comes out? Could be harmful to mental health, it's banned until further review. A new sport being played? Well we don't know if it's safe, so we ban it. Clearly a certain standard of evidence needs to be met before we ban something, and circumcision does not meet that standard because it does not meet any standard of evidence.

All the arguments that I've made thusfar, and perhaps a little thing known as 'right to bodily autonomy'.

Minors do not have a right to bodily autonomy, at least not as much as adults. Nor should they: if a parent tells his child to eat his vegetables, the child should not have legal grounds to object. The arguments that you've made thusfar rely on those givens being false, which they are demonstrably not.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:21 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
There's no evidence that not cutting off people's foreskins is hurting anyone, now they both have the same justification! So clearly "there's no evidence that it hurts anybody" is not useful as the sole justification.

I have no problem with parents not circumcising their children. But here we're just splitting hairs. The full reason (and legitimate reason) for circumcising can simply be "it harms nobody and I felt like it."


I'm going to have to disagree with you on this. Removing the earlobes causes no real harm, but I wouldn't recommend doing it just because you feel like it.

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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:23 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I have no problem with parents not circumcising their children. But here we're just splitting hairs. The full reason (and legitimate reason) for circumcising can simply be "it harms nobody and I felt like it."
Would you feel the same way about parents burning their babies with cigarettes? What if there was a religious reason for this (purity through fire!)? What if the scarring could be corrected so as to have no particular long-term effects? Would you feel comfortable with this being a ritualized process? If so, would it be alright for me to burn my child with a cigarette not for religious reasons, but just because I happen to feel like it? How often could I do this to my child before you'd start to feel uncomfortable? At what point would you describe it as 'abusive'? What if I could guarantee that the baby would grow up with no recollection of the pain?

Basically: Is it okay to hurt and mutilate babies without any relevant medical reason? Is 'I prefer my children to go through this procedure' enough of a justification? When does it stop being enough of a justification? Is 'it causes no long-term harm' really enough--am I free to do anything to my children so long as I can reasonably assume it won't fuck them up 20 years down the line?

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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:25 am UTC

I would not approve of that as it causes pain. I do not approve of unanesthesized(sp?) circumcision.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:27 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I would not approve of that as it causes pain. I do not approve of unanesthesized(sp?) circumcision.
Do you think circumcision with anesthesia is painless?

Would you approve of me burning my children with cigarettes if I did it while they were anesthetized? Would I need a cultural or religious excuse to do so, or is 'because I feel like it' good enough?

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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:33 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I would not approve of that as it causes pain. I do not approve of unanesthesized(sp?) circumcision.
Do you think circumcision without anesthesia is completely painless?

It is. At least as far as any of us can tell: infants very often do not cry when anesthetized (hah, got the spelling right!) and I'm pretty sure the sole function of local anesthesia is to block pain.

Would you approve of me burning my children with cigarettes if I did it while they were anesthetized? Would I need a cultural or religious excuse to do so, or is 'because I feel like it' good enough?

The visibility of the scars might be worrisome as I think there might be societal assumptions attached to a variety of scars. But if you put the scars in a societally acceptable / non-visible place and the infant was always anesthetized and you only did it once (I don't know the effects of multiple circumcisions because that doesn't really work) and it didn't cause lasting effects, I would see no reason to object.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby curtis95112 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:31 am UTC

Multiple circumcisions don't work of course, but why would you object to doing it multiple times?

Surely if it's okay to do once, it's okay to do again?

What do you think about people other than parents doing it?

Also, how is this different to getting somebody really drunk, and then raping them? Let's say the victim never realizes what happened.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby yurell » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:54 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Again, it's not about sample size, it's about methodology. I don't know whose methodology is incorrect, but if they're getting contradictory results, somebody's methodology is.


Wow, it's almost like I never said "If you have a problem with the methodology to select those people, state it." What is your objection to the methodology used in the papers?

sourmìlk wrote:Because adult circumcision carries substantially more risks, for one thing.


How does that address the issue of 'not being circumcised is reversible, being circumcised isn't'? If having a foreskin is so distressing to them, they can accept the risks and have it removed. If somebody's objection is to having their body hacked apart, however, this cannot possibly be reversed with current medical technology. Why should those who do not want their genitals cut be subject to this brutality when those who do have the option of doing so?

sourmìlk wrote:You'll notice I did use "as bad as." And no, your poor emotional-appeal analogy does not warrant a counter-argument because it wasn't an argument.


You used it right after 'my parents did not rape me.' Or was that a deliberate red herring — you understood, but attempted to misdirect anyway? At any rate, you demanded I stop using a comparison, and now you're saying that it doesn't warrant a counter-argument. Well, screw you — if you want me to stop using it, it's up to you to argue why it's a bad analogy, and if you can do so successfully I will stop using it. Until then, I will maintain my stance that circumcision is as bad as rape.

sourmìlk wrote:The full reason (and legitimate reason) for circumcising can simply be "it harms nobody and I felt like it."


... wow, that's ridiculous. "I felt like causing irreparable damage to your body for no reason." I'm afraid that gets pretty close to what my morals label a 'bad person'.

sourmìlk wrote:
There are downsides to doing it, though, such as infections, pain, death, mental anguish, irreparable bodily damage, loss of sensation ...

You've yet to demonstrate that that most of those phenomena actually exist as the result of circumcision, and then obviously it hasn't been shown that they outweigh the health benefits. But, like I said, even if they don't, any risk greater than 0 is not justification for overriding parental discretion.


You .. think there's no chance of infection? You think there's no pain? You think no one dies? You think it's not irreparable? You claimed that I haven't shown most of that list, I just listed 2/3 here that are completely uncontested. In short, you are now exaggerating at best, downright lying at worst.

sourmìlk wrote:I was making the argument that, even if there's a loss of sensation in adults, if there are fewer nerve endings in children then there is no loss of sensation as there was never any relative sensation, and thus the perception of sex is exactly the same for adults never circumcised and adults circumcised at birth.


I'm sorry, perhaps I'm slow, but what are you trying to say here? That removing nerve endings has absolutely no impact on sensation? That's such a ridiculous stance that not even you would make it, so I must be misinterpreting. Care to elaborate?

sourmìlk wrote:
And when does one tend to get STD's? When they're old enough to consent to sex. Wait, the ability to consent, this seems familiar ...

I'm not sure I get how you're making that connection.


Okay, I'll go slower for you.
If you're getting STDs, it most likely means that you're having sex.
If you're old enough to practise unsafe sex (i.e. the kind without a condom where foreskin actually comes into play at all for the transmission), you're old enough to consent to sex.
If you're old enough to consent to sex, you're old enough to consent to modifications of your body.

Therefore, the reduction in disease transmission granted by circumcision only comes in useful after they're old enough to choose whether to be circumcised or not.


sourmìlk wrote:Sorry, that wasn't in direct response to those examples. In general, we should not ban things by default. We have to have a reasonable belief that there's risk involved. Otherwise, every single thing that nobody has particularly looked into would be banned. A new book comes out? Could be harmful to mental health, it's banned until further review. A new sport being played? Well we don't know if it's safe, so we ban it. Clearly a certain standard of evidence needs to be met before we ban something, and circumcision does not meet that standard because it does not meet any standard of evidence.


How the hell is that comparable to a medical procedure? I should point out drugs are banned by default until they've been tested, do you oppose this too?

sourmìlk wrote:
All the arguments that I've made thusfar, and perhaps a little thing known as 'right to bodily autonomy'.

Minors do not have a right to bodily autonomy, at least not as much as adults. Nor should they: if a parent tells his child to eat his vegetables, the child should not have legal grounds to object. The arguments that you've made thusfar rely on those givens being false, which they are demonstrably not.


This is why I linked to the other thread, because people there have already made these stupid, embarrassing, misrepresentative arguments for you. Being 'forced' to eat my vegetables as a kid violates my right to autonomy as a child (although if you're literally force-feeding your child something is horribly wrong anyway and it shouldn't be an argument about autonomy, it's fucking awful parenting), but having my genitals cut violates my right to bodily autonomy even when I'm an adult, it is a permanent mutilation.
Kids have rights too, and the one example I keep bringing up that you keep ignoring is having fetish sex with the child ... why is this bad but circumcision is not?
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby nitePhyyre » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:16 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I have no problem with parents not circumcising their children. But here we're just splitting hairs. The full reason (and legitimate reason) for circumcising can simply be "it harms nobody and I felt like it."
First off, until you show
nitePhyyre wrote:1) A study that shows the circumcision and healing process are painless [and reversible].
2) That the foreskin itself has no nerves -or- that there is no way to pleasurably stimulate the foreskin -or- that the removal of the foreskin has no effect on the foreskin.
you simply DO NOT get to say 'it harms nobody'. I would love to see people in this thread not let this simple point slip. Until there is evidence for both of those points, ITT circumcision is harmful.

Secondly, children are not their parents' property. They are not playthings for their parents' every whim. Society delegates child raising responsibility to birth parents because we assume that they have the child's best interest as a priority. That is as far as their mandate goes. The child's best interest. Nothing more. Definetely not, "because I fucking 'felt like it.'" I don't know what kind of abuse your parents put you through, but your views on child rearing are perverse.

Most importantly, if you actually care about the subject, go scan through the other thread. All of the moronic shit you've said in this thread has already been covered. If you wanted something other argument for trolling sake, you wouldn't have started this thread, you wouldn't have necro'd the other thread. You'd have read something. You know, actually educated yourself.
What am I saying? Everyone here knows how far beyond you that is.
lutzj wrote:Regarding loss of sensitivity: Isn't that a reason for administering circumcision as soon as possible?
Spoiler:
Let's suppose it does occur in cases where circumcision happens soon after birth (and, as sourmilk said, most studies demonstrating a loss of sensitivity only examine adult circumcision, and it's virtually impossible to qualitatively compare experiences among people). If you don't have any memory of foreskin-level sensitivity, then any loss will be pretty much irrelevant, because it's still the most sensitive part of your body and "better than having your glans touched" will be pretty much unimaginable. Furthermore, the more-important sensations of orgasm, or the emotional qualities of sex, still aren't changed at all. There probably isn't a meaningful sexual detriment to circumcision as long as you do it early enough, while the health benefits are demonstrable, so obviously we should circumcise infants to grant them those benefits while sparing them the experience of losing sensitivity in their penis.
If leaving the penis intact is completely out of the question, then yes. Otherwise, its about the stupidest thing I've heard in a while.
lutzj wrote:
yurell wrote:... what? If you remove someone's eyes when they're infants they'll have no memory of being able to see, either. A loss is a loss, just because you can't remember what it was like to have the thing that was stolen from you doesn't mean that it's okay.
But you're not removing the sense completely.
No, no. I'm pretty sure that removing the foreskin completely removes the foreskin's ability to sense things.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby defaultusername » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:04 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:My parents did not rape me. Do not say that what they did was as bad as rape.

What they did to you was as bad as rape.

Consider the juxtaposition of the following two actions, and point out any moral distinction(s):

  • Sexually violating an infant in such a way that there are no lasting harmful effects.
  • Aesthetically altering an infant's genitalia in such a way that there are no lasting harmful effects.

I for one see no meaningful difference. I am genuinely curious about what you think the distinction is.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby AvatarIII » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:23 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Arguably yes. But I actually view tattooing an infant as more damaging than circumcising an infant: you're not going to lose any job opportunities because you lack a foreskin.


And neither would you lose job opportunities if you have a tattoo in a non-visible place.

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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:18 pm UTC

Which is why a tattoo in a non-visible place wouldn't be objectionable.

Guys, this rape stuff is just a cheap emotional appeal. I see no comparison, and as such it's silly to ask me to disprove a comparison that you haven't adequately explained in the first place.

I've linked to several studies showing that circumcision has no lasting effects, and while other studies say differently, overriding parental discretion puts the burden of proof on you. You have to show that circumcision is so risky that it overrides parental discretion, and that's not something you can do with circumcision. And yes, parents do have a right to their children's bodies so long as what they do is not harmful. Parents are not allowed to do only what's best for their child. They aren't aloud to harm their child, but parents are generally given the right to choose what their child does regardless of whether it's best: parents are allowed to punish their children however they want (so long as it's not abusive), they can have their child eat whatever they want, etc.

I don't see the problem with the permanence of circumcision. If it's a meaningless aesthetic change, so what if it's permanent? It's not as though parents don't do things that permanently impact the lives of their children. This particular thing does not, in any practical way, impact the lives of their children.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby yurell » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:27 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:And yes, parents do have a right to their children's bodies so long as what they do is not harmful.


So, you'd support a parent's 'right' to have sex with their child?
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby defaultusername » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:30 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Guys, this rape stuff is just a cheap emotional appeal. I see no comparison, and as such it's silly to ask me to disprove a comparison that you haven't adequately explained in the first place.

Your argument is "anything that does not cause (significant) harm (to most people)" is OK for parents to do to their children. Are emotionally charged matters somehow excepted from this?
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:49 pm UTC

No, my knowledge is that rape is most definitely harmful. Seriously though, this isn't a discussion about rape, and considering all the complexities and debates about rape, it's an analogy you're going to want to avoid, even if it were valid.
Last edited by sourmìlk on Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:54 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby yurell » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:53 pm UTC

And why is rape harmful?
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:56 pm UTC

yurell wrote:And why is rape harmful?


From wikipedia on child molestation:

The effects of child sexual abuse can include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, propensity to further victimization in adulthood, and physical injury to the child, among other problems. Sexual abuse by a family member is a form of incest, and can result in more serious and long-term psychological trauma, especially in the case of parental incest.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby yurell » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:00 pm UTC

a) That wasn't the question. I said 'why' is it harmful, not 'how' is it harmful. Trying to lead you to the point of the analogy.

b) If that's in response to "So, you'd support a parent's 'right' to have sex with their child?" What if the child is too young to remember?
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby defaultusername » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:07 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
yurell wrote:And why is rape harmful?


From wikipedia on child molestation:

The effects of child sexual abuse can include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, propensity to further victimization in adulthood, and physical injury to the child, among other problems. Sexual abuse by a family member is a form of incest, and can result in more serious and long-term psychological trauma, especially in the case of parental incest.

Are these effects present if the child was only abused as an infant?
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:37 pm UTC

yurell wrote:a) That wasn't the question. I said 'why' is it harmful, not 'how' is it harmful. Trying to lead you to the point of the analogy.

I don't understand the distinction.

b) If that's in response to "So, you'd support a parent's 'right' to have sex with their child?" What if the child is too young to remember?

I don't know that that doesn't still cause psychological problems, and the physical side effects remain.

defaultusername wrote:Are these effects present if the child was only abused as an infant?

Certainly the physical side-effects do. I don't know about the psychological ones.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:47 pm UTC

I find the analogy with rape to be in incredibly poor taste, and not particularly helpful to the discussion.
defaultusername wrote:Consider the juxtaposition of the following two actions, and point out any moral distinction(s):

  • Sexually violating an infant in such a way that there are no lasting harmful effects.
  • Aesthetically altering an infant's genitalia in such a way that there are no lasting harmful effects.

I for one see no meaningful difference. I am genuinely curious about what you think the distinction is.
Webbed feet is a somewhat rare and relatively harmless condition that affects some given number of newborns. Corrective surgery is (usually) a matter of aesthetics (as I understand it, the longer you wait, the higher risk you are for various complications).

What's the distinction between correcting webbed feet and circumcision? Both are procedures we perform on infants without their permission--procedures that involve fundamentally altering their body in a way that is practically irreversible purely for aesthetic purposes. Are both of these equally as horrible?

What about children born with cleft lips? Should we wait and ask their permission before correcting it? Cleft lips carry a certain social stigma, sure--and there can be some important quality of life issues--but aren't these surgeries all examples of largely aesthetic principles we apply to our children without their consent? Should we oppose them all, or only the ones that we find aesthetically disagreeable? How are we to make this distinction?

For clarification, in general, I'm in favor of letting parents decide how they want to mutilate their children. As long as it doesn't cause a significant reduction in your quality of life, I tend toward indifference. There is a point where I'd consider it a sign of child abuse, but I doubt most cases would get that far (tattooing the lyrics to 'Stairway to Heaven' on your baby's forehead comes to mind). I asked the questions I did in this thread because I wanted to see precisely why we're concerned (or not concerned) with circumcision.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:52 pm UTC

Well, I think the quality of life issues with webbed feet and cleft lips is important. But circumcision affects one's quality of life in a neutral manner, and there really has to be a demonstrable negative effect before one has the right to override parental discretion.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:58 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Well, I think the quality of life issues with webbed feet and cleft lips is important. But circumcision affects one's quality of life in a neutral manner, and there really has to be a demonstrable negative effect before one has the right to override parental discretion.
While severe cases of webbed feet may impact your quality of life, as I understand it, most cases are completely harmless and cause no actual impact beyond people going 'eww! that's gross!' when they see your feet. And how often do people see your feet?

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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:26 pm UTC

Probably slightly (or, in my case, infinitely) more often than they see your penis?
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby mike-l » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:21 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:
Would you approve of me burning my children with cigarettes if I did it while they were anesthetized? Would I need a cultural or religious excuse to do so, or is 'because I feel like it' good enough?

The visibility of the scars might be worrisome as I think there might be societal assumptions attached to a variety of scars. But if you put the scars in a societally acceptable / non-visible place and the infant was always anesthetized and you only did it once (I don't know the effects of multiple circumcisions because that doesn't really work) and it didn't cause lasting effects, I would see no reason to object.


Sourmilk believes there are situations where (for no beneficial reasons, if such reasons exist) burning a child with a cigarette is OK.

Why are we even still discussing this.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:09 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:Sourmilk believes there are situations where (for no beneficial reasons, if such reasons exist) burning a child with a cigarette is OK.

Why are we even still discussing this.
To be fair, in retrospect, my line of reason was pretty frigging ridiculous. Yes, once we've entered a magical world where burning children with cigarette butts causes no pain, no lasting scar tissue, and no serious psychological trauma, I too would cease to give a fuck. Actions with no consequences have no moral value. The only way it would remain relevant is if it indicated future child abuse--and circumcision doesn't really do that, so the point is moot.

My biggest problem with this issue isn't that I don't consider circumcision to be a big deal--it's that we don't consider everything else to be a big deal. We already mutilate children without their consent based on aesthetic principles. Why is circumcision bad, but everything else reasonable and fine?

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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby mike-l » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:19 pm UTC

His requirement was only anesthesia and it not being in a visible place. That's hardly a magical fantasy land, I could do that to a kid in the next 10 minutes.

I'll happily discuss this with you though, as you haven't openly made such outrageous claims.

In my book, any medical or permanent (as in lasting, not as in irreversible) procedure performed on infants requires a clear demonstration of benefit. 'It hasn't been proved to hurt them' doesn't cut it for me. As for other examples brought up, a haircut is certainly non permanent, but I'll grant that someone of the opinion that cutting kids hair is a bad thing may have an argument. I'm totally against make up on kids though, and tattooing a child is child abuse in my book. Repairing birth defects is a satisfactory benefit for me, and I wouldn't have an issue with circumcision if men were normally born without foreskin but some minority happened to be.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:23 pm UTC

Oh boy, another set of circular arguments and people misrepresenting differing opinions.
With all seriousness sourmilk, why on earth would you start this thread again? There have been like three incarnations of this same topic.
I'm not even joking when I say the two pages of this thread are a carbon copy of the last two.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:28 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:His requirement was only anesthesia and it not being in a visible place. That's hardly a magical fantasy land, I could do that to a kid in the next 10 minutes.

Anasthesia, no psychological trauma, no lasting effects, and not being visible. Rather than simply ridiculing me for that, why don't you explain how, meeting those conditions, such a burn would still be bad?

In my book, any medical or permanent (as in lasting, not as in irreversible) procedure performed on infants requires a clear demonstration of benefit. 'It hasn't been proved to hurt them' doesn't cut it for me.

But this is a medical argument. I've said this several times: I am not claiming that there is a medical reason to perform circumcisions in first world countries.

Izawwlgood wrote:Oh boy, another set of circular arguments and people misrepresenting differing opinions.
With all seriousness sourmilk, why on earth would you start this thread again? There have been like three incarnations of this same topic.
I'm not even joking when I say the two pages of this thread are a carbon copy of the last two.

The only thread I was aware of was one about a specific article on the N&A forum, and if the discussion kept cropping up it seems best to contain it to one place. Sort of like how all the various Israel and Palestine articles spawning so many debates were put in one clean thread, if circumcision keeps coming up it's probably best to contain that debate in one thread as well. It really does keep rehashing to a minimum (though it's still extant.) I think in the Israel and Palestine thread we once got a good 30 pages in between two discussions about the effects of the blockade on Gaza.

But you do make a point with this "misrepresenting differing opinions" thing, and it's that people are trying to argue by analogy here and that's really not a good idea in this situation, because you can always slightly alter or misinterpret the analogy or stretch it, thus misrepresenting or misunderstanding the person's argument. Rather than discussing sort of similar scenarios and then picking apart why they aren't, how about we look at the actual moral content of circumcision?
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Tomo » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:38 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Rather than discussing sort of similar scenarios and then picking apart why they aren't, how about we look at the actual moral content of circumcision?


Ok. It's morally reprehensible to irreversibly alter the body of another person without their consent.

The possible exception to this is a life-or-death situation in which the recipient is unconscious, and even then, the next of kin should be aiming to do what the indisposed would want to have done, not what the next of kin thinks is best.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:43 pm UTC

Seriously, all of these points have been discussed. Like, numerous times.
I'm pointing this out because I'm seeing a lot of points being mentioned again, and then misinterpreted and argued again.
Also, the FIRST PAGE of that discussion has a link to the OTHER circumcision discussion.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:49 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Seriously, all of these points have been discussed. Like, numerous times.
I'm pointing this out because I'm seeing a lot of points being mentioned again, and then misinterpreted and argued again.
Also, the FIRST PAGE of that discussion has a link to the OTHER circumcision discussion.

Those are all threads about specific articles. They aren't circumcision threads, exactly. And, in theory, this should help more of those discussions from popping up. I don't see why a SB thread on circumcision is somehow redundant considering threads on N&A about specific articles about circumcision.

Tomo wrote:Ok. It's morally reprehensible to irreversibly alter the body of another person without their consent.

Not if you are that person's legal guardian and he is unable to consent. Assuming that the alteration is not harmful, parents have the right to control their children (parental discretion). They often exercise this right when it comes to their child's body by deciding on medical treatment, diet, etc.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:58 pm UTC

sourmilk, I'm saying this for my sanity, and possibly even the sanity of other people who may have read this thread;
You're being an idiot. Do you HONESTLY believe that in the 20 pages of debate that occurred in the last thread were unique to the 8 pages of debate that occurred in the one prior to it?
Everything that has been mentioned in this thread has already been mentioned in the other two. Is there some new angle on the debate you want to bring up, or are you just providing additional pages to pad the previous debates?
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Tomo » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:04 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Tomo wrote:Ok. It's morally reprehensible to irreversibly alter the body of another person without their consent.

Not if you are that person's legal guardian and he is unable to consent.


That is an opinion I do not share.

sourmìlk wrote:Assuming that the alteration is not harmful, parents have the right to control their children (parental discretion). They often exercise this right when it comes to their child's body by deciding on medical treatment, diet, etc.


No, no, no. Controlling children has nothing to do with it. Diet is not irreversible. Medical treatments rarely are, and are never carried out without necessity. None of the analogies you bring up throughout this thread are a useful comparison.

In addition, you can argue that there is evidence that there is no great level of harm caused by circumcision, but all it takes is for there to be a possibility of harm - evidenced by numerous anecdotes saying exactly that - and this argument falls apart. There is no benefit whatsoever, and a possibility of harm*. It's random mutilation of a being without the ability to consent, and nothing else.

*Bear in mind the one befit is a reduction in transmission of STDs, but by the time people are old enough to be contracting STDs, they're old enough to be consenting to their own circumcision, should they so desire.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:12 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:sourmilk, I'm saying this for my sanity, and possibly even the sanity of other people who may have read this thread;
You're being an idiot. Do you HONESTLY believe that in the 20 pages of debate that occurred in the last thread were unique to the 8 pages of debate that occurred in the one prior to it?
Everything that has been mentioned in this thread has already been mentioned in the other two. Is there some new angle on the debate you want to bring up, or are you just providing additional pages to pad the previous debates?

You're missing the point. It's not about whether these things have already been said, it's about whether they'll need to be said again. If the discussion pops up every time an article on circumcision pops up, that's a problem. If we can just say to go to this thread, that's a good thing. Otherwise you have constant N&A arguments about circumcision every time an article mentions it, and that discussion is warranted because it's relevant to the argument and you shouldn't necro old articles.

Tomo wrote:That is an opinion I do not share.

But if children have the right to bodily autonomy, can't they refuse operations without being able to consent to contracts? Can't they refuse to eat what their parents tell them? Where, exactly, is the line drawn between what parents can and can't do with their children. I say that they should be able to do whatever is not harmful (for given values of "harm" and likelihood of said harm etc.)

In addition, you can argue that there is evidence that there is no great level of harm caused by circumcision, but all it takes is for there to be a possibility of harm - evidenced by numerous anecdotes saying exactly that - and this argument falls apart.

This also doesn't work. Any minute amount of harm does not override parental discretion. Parents often have their children eat certain things or partake in certain sports despite the known risk. Football is substantially more risky than circumcision, but parents are still allowed to make their kids play football.
It's random mutilation of a being without the ability to consent, and nothing else.

I have already explained why this does not qualify as mutilation according to the Merriam-Webster definition of the word. If you wish to propose another definition, I will analyze that one.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:16 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:You're missing the point. It's not about whether these things have already been said, it's about whether they'll need to be said again. If the discussion pops up every time an article on circumcision pops up, that's a problem. If we can just say to go to this thread, that's a good thing.

I... Am not surprised to see you be this obtuse.
I am in fact telling you exactly what you are trying to tell me: you are missing the point, these discussions don't need to be redone, and instead of directing someone to this thread, where these discussions can be rediscussed, we can, and you should, just direct people to the other two threads where the discussion has already been had.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:18 pm UTC

It wouldn't be appropriate to necro threads about old articles, even if they discuss similar things. You wouldn't necro the Mavi Marmara thread to discuss the PLO Statehood UN bid, even if they'd inevitably lead to a discussion about the history of the Israeli-Arab conflict.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Tomo » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:27 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Where, exactly, is the line drawn between what parents can and can't do with their children.


It's not ok to carry out an action that may harm someone without any benefit? It's pretty damn simple.

This also doesn't work. Any minute amount of harm does not override parental discretion. Parents often have their children eat certain things or partake in certain sports despite the known risk. Football is substantially more risky than circumcision, but parents are still allowed to make their kids play football.


I have no idea what moral compass you're swinging about here, but it's generally accepted that forcing your kids to eat harmful objects is a bad thing, and that forcing kids to partake in possibly harmful sports is a bad thing.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:32 pm UTC

Tomo wrote:It's not ok to carry out an action that may harm someone without any benefit? It's pretty damn simple.

It's yet to be shown that circumcision may harm a person. It's yet to be shown that probability is non-negligible. And to override parental discretion, you'd need a strong burden of proof.

I have no idea what moral compass you're swinging about here, but it's generally accepted that forcing your kids to eat harmful objects is a bad thing, and that forcing kids to partake in possibly harmful sports is a bad thing.

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.

But to avoid going through an analogy again, would you disagree that parents, by default, have discretion over their child, and that one must show an action is harmful to override that discretion?
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby yurell » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:37 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
yurell wrote:a) That wasn't the question. I said 'why' is it harmful, not 'how' is it harmful. Trying to lead you to the point of the analogy.

I don't understand the distinction.


Okay, what about the rape causes those consequences you mentioned?

sourmìlk wrote:
b) If that's in response to "So, you'd support a parent's 'right' to have sex with their child?" What if the child is too young to remember?

I don't know that that doesn't still cause psychological problems, and the physical side effects remain.


Nononono, you don't get away from it like that. If they can forget cutting off the end of their penis at that age, let's assume they'll forget all about the sexual contact (thus no psychological harm) -- we can even assume the parents only did it once, and did it in a way that leaves no permanent defect (unlike circumcision), so the person will never know. In that case, would you support the parents' right to have sex with their child?
Last edited by yurell on Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:44 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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