German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On Boys

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:01 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:One house is far more reliant on belief than the other, even if both of them started with it.

Really? Try taking the foundations off your house and see how it does.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

Steroid
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:50 am UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Steroid » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:04 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
Steroid wrote:Which could well happen. Which is why rather than having a blanket "always circumcise" or "never circumcise" rule, we should have diversity.

This would only be a logical conclusion if you felt from that example that severing someone's arm at 8 days old for their potential, non-guaranteed, religious belief was acceptable. Do you?

I accept it, because I try to mind my own business. If there are people who are severing arms and their community is thriving, maybe because being one-armed means that they have to become smarter in order to survive or because their one-armed status brings more close-knit ties among them. OTOH, if it didn't thrive and the two-armed people were outbreeding or outworking the one-armed, then the problem will solve itself.

But that's the hypothetical. In the practical, circumcision is not debilitating. The community of circumcised thrives. To me, that's enough of a test to say that it should be allowed. Whether or not I do it to my child should be a separate matter.

Ghostbear
Posts: 1764
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:12 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Really? Try taking the foundations off your house and see how it does.

It'd fair better than a house wherein you take the whole thing away.

Steroid wrote:I accept it, because I try to mind my own business. If there are people who are severing arms and their community is thriving, maybe because being one-armed means that they have to become smarter in order to survive or because their one-armed status brings more close-knit ties among them. OTOH, if it didn't thrive and the two-armed people were outbreeding or outworking the one-armed, then the problem will solve itself.

Which is detracting from the whole point: you're delving into a non-purely religious argument to defend the potential purely religious argument. If the 1 armed people end up better off because of it, then you can point to that as your argument in favor of it -- it still does nothing to enhance the argument of "we should do it to my child because of my religion".

User avatar
yurell
Posts: 2924
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:19 am UTC
Location: Australia!

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby yurell » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:18 am UTC

Steroid wrote:But that's the hypothetical. In the practical, circumcision is not debilitating. The community of circumcised thrives. To me, that's enough of a test to say that it should be allowed.


The community of not-letting-women-vote was thriving; should that have changed? The community of allowing-marital-rape was thriving; should that have changed? The community of making-children-work-long-hours-for-pittance was thriving; should that have changed? The community of forcing-people-to-work-as-slaves was thriving; should that have changed?
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:23 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Really? Try taking the foundations off your house and see how it does.

It'd fair better than a house wherein you take the whole thing away.

Well, then arguments aren't like houses.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

Ghostbear
Posts: 1764
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:27 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Well, then arguments aren't like houses.

Nor do people argue like they are using cocktails; I didn't start the argument analogy.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:57 am UTC

*sigh*

Suppose instead of what it says now, Judaism only said "You are to circumcise your children if they do not have ten arms, the sun has not turned purple, Elvis has not returned to establish the millennial kingdom, and the Cubs have not won a World Series."

Then the reasoning would involve one belief-based premise ("God issued such-and-such a command") and four verifiable premises ("the kid has two arms," etc.).

Is it in any way to such an argument's advantage that "the belief is several steps removed"?
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

User avatar
cemper93
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:35 pm UTC
Location: `pwd`

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby cemper93 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:03 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
cemper93 wrote:With of course the big difference being that adults do have a right to bodily autonomy.

Yes, and I agree that people should be forbidden from circumcising adults without their consent.

Wait, did you just intentionally misquote me to totally remove the point of my argument?

Ghostbear
Posts: 1764
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:14 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Then the reasoning would involve one belief-based premise ("God issued such-and-such a command") and four verifiable premises ("the kid has two arms," etc.).

Is it in any way to such an argument's advantage that "the belief is several steps removed"?

It's not several steps removed at all though -- you're doing an "and"ing with the belief, instead of a "because"ing. I was highlighting the steps removed because you can verify that the attempt to reinforce that belief works; if we take the belief of murder as bad because of its harms on social order, then we can verify -- without belief -- if it does or does not appear to be accomplishing anything with regards to that; it's going from belief to not belief. If the belief was that murder is wrong because it prevents Tyr from hurling flaming bovines at Bode's Galaxy, then it's going from belief to another belief -- you can't make any good observations one way or the other on whether or not your anti-murder laws are impacting the quantity of flaming bovines hurled at Bode's Galaxy by Tyr.

Your example isn't any steps removed from belief at all, because the non-belief parts of it aren't another step at all.

Steroid
Posts: 549
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:50 am UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Steroid » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:17 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Which is detracting from the whole point: you're delving into a non-purely religious argument to defend the potential purely religious argument. If the 1 armed people end up better off because of it, then you can point to that as your argument in favor of it -- it still does nothing to enhance the argument of "we should do it to my child because of my religion".


Except that "we" aren't doing it. The parent(s) are. My argument is that we--for non-religious reasons--should allow parents--for religious reasons--to do things that are not debilitating--as tested out over a long time--to their children.

yurell wrote:The community of not-letting-women-vote was thriving; should that have changed? The community of allowing-marital-rape was thriving; should that have changed? The community of making-children-work-long-hours-for-pittance was thriving; should that have changed? The community of forcing-people-to-work-as-slaves was thriving; should that have changed?

Why do we always have to change? Why can't we add on? My opportunities are less because I can't find a community where I can force people to work as slaves and make children work long hours for pittance. You don't care about that because you care more about the children than about me. But don't expect me to share that evaluation.
Last edited by Steroid on Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:46 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
yurell
Posts: 2924
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:19 am UTC
Location: Australia!

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby yurell » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:25 am UTC

Steroid wrote:Why do we always have to change? Why can't we add on? My opportunities are less because I can't find a community where I can force people to work as slaves and make children work long hours for pittance. You don't care about that because you care more about the children than about me. But don't expect me to share that evaluation.


Okay, so you care only about rights insofar as they affect you in particular. Every time I forget how incredibly selfish your moral system is, you always have something like this to remind me.
cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:36 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:It's not several steps removed at all though -- you're doing an "and"ing with the belief, instead of a "because"ing. I was highlighting the steps removed because you can verify that the attempt to reinforce that belief works; if we take the belief of murder as bad because of its harms on social order, then we can verify -- without belief -- if it does or does not appear to be accomplishing anything with regards to that; it's going from belief to not belief. If the belief was that murder is wrong because it prevents Tyr from hurling flaming bovines at Bode's Galaxy, then it's going from belief to another belief -- you can't make any good observations one way or the other on whether or not your anti-murder laws are impacting the quantity of flaming bovines hurled at Bode's Galaxy by Tyr.

Your example isn't any steps removed from belief at all, because the non-belief parts of it aren't another step at all.

Let me first say that this is all, like the sole-premise vs. steps-removed distinction in the first place, very ad hoc. Where are you getting this theory about what counts as an "and" and what counts as a "because," or about what is a "step" and what isn't, or anything? And how do the distinctions that you are making matter? If there's a problem with resting your argument on a belief, why does it matter how the argument rests on that belief? You can draw distinctions between your standard and my counterexamples until you're blue in the face, but at the end of the day you haven't given us a reason to adapt your standard and your distinctions.

But anyway, what would you say to a Jew who wants to circumcise his son because it's commanded in the Torah? We can verify that.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

KnightExemplar
Posts: 5494
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:56 am UTC

What ever happened to just calling that argument ad homenium?

It doesn't matter whether or not circumcision was religious or not. The only thing that matters is whether or not it is moral... which hasn't really been discussed much in this topic. I'm more or less fine if you disagree with it on non-religious grounds, and if you could establish your point. But just calling the other side wrong because their stance is innately religious crosses the line into bigotry IMO.

For example: It doesn't matter whether someone has a religious reason against murder... or even has a primary religious reason against murder. What matters is that we agree on it. Blasting one side for religious differences goes no where.

natraj wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Like getting ear's pierced? Unnecessary and purely cosmetic, but that is definitely a procedure that parents should be allowed to make for their kids right? The cliff lip example is another one that has been brought up.


yes, just like getting ears pierced, actually. i am from country with a strong cultural tradition of piercing infant girls' ears (mine were pierced before i was a year old) and i would just as much like to see that banned until the children are old enough to have a say for themselves.


Well, I disagree, but your logic is consistent... so I have no real qualms with your stance. (its hard to attack consistent stances, even if I disagree with them)
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.

Ghostbear
Posts: 1764
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:02 am UTC

Steroid wrote:Except that "we" aren't doing it. The parent(s) are. My argument is that we--for non-religious reasons--should allow parents--for religious reasons--to do things that are not debilitating--as tested out over a long time--to their children.

The existence of the chance for serious damage combined with the other mentioned negatives is such that I would not consider it "non-debilitating".

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:If there's a problem with resting your argument on a belief, why does it matter how the argument rests on that belief?

There's a problem with your argument resting purely on belief, wherein every single link in the chain is belief.

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:But anyway, what would you say to a Jew who wants to circumcise his son because it's commanded in the Torah? We can verify that.

I would say that the commands of the torah are insufficient reason to do something permanent -- especially something permanent with known medical risks and downsides to it -- to somebody else who is unable to even begin to comprehend what religion is; that child should not be bound by the doctrines of a religious book that is literally incapable of meaning anything to them. Which is more or less what I said in my first post in this thread.

KnightExemplar wrote:What ever happened to just calling that argument ad homenium?

Whatever happened to reading somebody's full argument? Your post certainly doesn't indicate that you read such (summarized more or less in my text right above my response to you).

User avatar
Qaanol
The Cheshirest Catamount
Posts: 3069
Joined: Sat May 09, 2009 11:55 pm UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Qaanol » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:09 am UTC

Well, the ear-piercing situation is eminently poignant. At what age should a person become vested with the right to make (semi-)permanent (mostly-)non-debilitating bodily modifications with parental permission? Or should something other than age be used?

Things like pierced ears, tattoos, and circumcision—should they all be considered as equal, or are some on a different level from others?

If a 6-year-old wants pierced ears, and his or her parents agree, should that be allowed? What about a 3-year-old? Should the child have to wait longer? Age 9? 12?


Ghostbear wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:But anyway, what would you say to a Jew who wants to circumcise his son because it's commanded in the Torah? We can verify that.

I would say that the commands of the torah are insufficient reason to do something permanent -- especially something permanent with known medical risks and downsides to it -- to somebody else who is unable to even begin to comprehend what religion is; that child should not be bound by the doctrines of a religious book that is literally incapable of meaning anything to them. Which is more or less what I said in my first post in this thread.


Genesis 22:2-3 wrote:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

Quoted for reasons that should be obvious.






…also for use of the phrase “Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass”.
wee free kings

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

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:27 am UTC

People in this world have rights, which are, mostly, recognized within, most countries. Certainly Germany does and well done to them.

In countries wherein human rights are accepted, they form the foundation of law within those countries. What is legal or illegal within a country has to be consistent with those human rights.

Fortunately people, even infants have a right to security of person, which the German court it appears to have interpreted as a right to physical integrity, I don't think there is any practical difference in the wording.

Religious motives are irrelevant regarding procedures or actions that violate the physical integrity of infants, you just cannot do it.

There is of course the awkwardness dealing with the correction of cleft pallets which is essentially a cosmetic procedure and indeed other cosmetic procedures as well. And perhaps the policy of performing these procedures on infants should be reviewed, if, such people who the operation was performed on without consent, later come out and state that it was a violation of their physical integrity.

EDIT:
And people are coming forward and stating that involuntary circumcision is a violation of their physical integrity and it behooves us to take this incredibly seriously. Because we have stated and accepted into law that physical integrity of self, as a central pillar of our legal systems.

Darryl
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:32 pm UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Darryl » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:51 am UTC

One thing that's been missed in this discussion is another usage of the foreskin. In bottom surgery for trans women, the foreskin is used to help create the external genitalia. So if, say, an infant is circumcised, then when they grow up, they realize they're transgender, they wouldn't have the same surgical options as if they weren't.
yurell wrote:We need fewer homoeopaths, that way they'll be more potent!

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

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby lutzj » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:59 am UTC

Darryl wrote:One thing that's been missed in this discussion is another usage of the foreskin. In bottom surgery for trans women, the foreskin is used to help create the external genitalia. So if, say, an infant is circumcised, then when they grow up, they realize they're transgender, they wouldn't have the same surgical options as if they weren't.


That particular consideration will hopefully become irrelevant rather soon (i.e., by the time any babies born today grow up) with advances in synthetic organs.
addams wrote:I'm not a bot.
That is what a bot would type.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:03 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:I would say that the commands of the torah are insufficient reason to do something permanent

You know, looking back at the thread I think I may be arguing against something I didn't mean to. I don't think that the Torah is a good reason to circumcise someone. My only concern is whether it should also be legally forbidden, and you haven't explicitly been defending that thesis. So, I won't try to challenge your argument if that's not the one you're making.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

Ghostbear
Posts: 1764
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:29 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:You know, looking back at the thread I think I may be arguing against something I didn't mean to. I don't think that the Torah is a good reason to circumcise someone. My only concern is whether it should also be legally forbidden, and you haven't explicitly been defending that thesis. So, I won't try to challenge your argument if that's not the one you're making.

Just to clear both of those up, so you may hopefully know whether you disagree with me or not more easily:
My main argument so far in this thread has been that "because of my religion" is insufficient reason to do something such as circumcision to a baby or child. I would not agree with the banning of anything that has a religious reason as the only reason for doing such, merely that a religious reason is an insufficient reason for society to allow people to do something like this (permanent, not 100% safe, some negatives) to someone else who is incapable of sharing that religion.

An argument I have made somewhat on the side but not really expressed in full is that I do agree with this decision, though not because of religion at all -- but because my understanding leads me to conclude that the risks, negatives, and irreversibility of the procedure far outweigh the potential benefits. In the end, it seems that the best someone could argue for it is that it's a net wash (and from my understanding, that'd be fairly generous as well), which would make the risks and permanency enough to make it a good idea to prevent parents from forcing it on their children. If others would wish to be circumcised later in life, however, I have absolutely zero problems with that. Religion doesn't factor into my opinion (one way or the other) on it at all.

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

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:38 am UTC

How about we don't let people violate the human rights of others. Its a fairly simple and straightforward starting point and was the basis of the decision made by the German Court.

User avatar
cemper93
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:35 pm UTC
Location: `pwd`

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby cemper93 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:03 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:How about we don't let people violate the human rights of others. Its a fairly simple and straightforward starting point and was the basis of the decision made by the German Court.

Of course the problem being that some say that you have two human rights standing against each other here: the right for religious freedom versus the right for physical integrity.

I personally do not even see a problem here, because nobody is forced to believe that infant circumcision is a bad thing, just as nobody is forced to believe that sacrificing virgins is a bad thing. They are simply not allowed to do that because it violates other people's rights as given by the Basic Law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

User avatar
Jave D
chavey-dee
Posts: 1042
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:41 pm UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Jave D » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:18 pm UTC

Well, I'm a victim of the foreskin holocaust.

And it's, uh, not that bad? I don't actually believe my rights and sovereignty of body were violated? Not getting the "I'm a victim of assault and child abuse" feeling? Of course, that's purely anecdotal and whatnot. Probably I'm in denial and have Stockholm Syndrome. Perhaps I could get handicapped parking, if I lived in Germany. That would be neat.

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Роберт » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:34 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:How about we don't let people violate the human rights of others. Its a fairly simple and straightforward starting point and was the basis of the decision made by the German Court.

So, no ear piercing of minors, than? I mean, it's obvious that you want to frame it like someone would have to be evil to disagree with you, but your framing of the question is not useful.


Qaanol wrote:Well, the ear-piercing situation is eminently poignant. At what age should a person become vested with the right to make (semi-)permanent (mostly-)non-debilitating bodily modifications with parental permission? Or should something other than age be used?

Things like pierced ears, tattoos, and circumcision—should they all be considered as equal, or are some on a different level from others?

If a 6-year-old wants pierced ears, and his or her parents agree, should that be allowed? What about a 3-year-old? Should the child have to wait longer? Age 9? 12?
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

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

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:41 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:How about we don't let people violate the human rights of others. Its a fairly simple and straightforward starting point and was the basis of the decision made by the German Court.

So, no ear piercing of minors, than? I mean, it's obvious that you want to frame it like someone would have to be evil to disagree with you, but your framing of the question is not useful.


I guess not. Although, I am hardly about to complain about it or stand up for it if there isn't a group of people complaining that they were or felt violated through such a procedure. In the event I don't think anyone really cares.

It was an incredibly rhetorical question. Let me be plain. Human rights ARE the foundation of our legal systems and MUST be consistent with our laws and consistent with what society deems legal/illegal.

Well, I'm a victim of the foreskin holocaust.

And it's, uh, not that bad? I don't actually believe my rights and sovereignty of body were violated? Not getting the "I'm a victim of assault and child abuse" feeling? Of course, that's purely anecdotal and whatnot. Probably I'm in denial and have Stockholm Syndrome. Perhaps I could get handicapped parking, if I lived in Germany. That would be neat.


No one cares. But there are people who do feel violated, lets talk about them.

Роберт
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 1:56 am UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Роберт » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:47 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:No one cares. But there are people who do feel violated, lets talk about them.

So, again, how should we decide when a kid is old enough to make those decisions?

For example, I agree with this article: http://www.isna.org/faq/gender_assignment/
That is a crucial reason why medically unnecessary surgeries should not be done without the patient’s consent; the child with an intersex condition may later want genitals (either the ones they were born with or surgically constructed anatomy) different than what the doctors would have chosen. Surgically constructed genitals are extremely difficult if not impossible to “undo,” and children altered at birth or in infancy are largely stuck with what doctors give them.

But does the intersex child have to wait until 18 to choose? How old for ear piercing? How old for circumcision? How do we decide what age we need for consent for certain procedures?

I assume it will be some sort of gray line that factors in reversibility, risks, negative impact, and benefits.
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

User avatar
rat4000
r/ratsgonewild
Posts: 451
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:51 pm UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby rat4000 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:51 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Just to clear both of those up, so you may hopefully know whether you disagree with me or not more easily: [snip]
I don't know if he disagrees, but I (sort of) do, so I'll respond. Once you bring a belief-dependant premise into a philosophical argument, I can freely disregard your conclusion. Therefore, any argument which concludes "we should do this" or equivalently "this is a good thing" gives a bad reason as soon as it involves a premise based on belief. It doesn't matter if some other argument also has a premise based on belief: then you're just both wrong, and saying that one of you is more wrong than the other serves no useful purpose. I'm not saying that religion isn't a bad reason not to do (or to do) something, I agree with you on that -- I'm saying that "the negatives outweigh the benefits" is, in a certain sense, just as bad a reason. Whether it is a sufficient reason to outlaw something is a different (and larger) argument that I don't much want to bother with right now. You and I, though, have been taking it for granted while arguing about whether the negatives outweigh the benefits in this particular case.

Ghostbear wrote:Except one of those can be changed at a later date, with only temporary pain and disappointment that it did not happen earlier, while the other party is stuck with that decision forever; those are not "pretty much the same". As for circumcision itself, you seem to have horribly glossed over the potential for things to go wrong for (essentially) no benefit. I would base my argument against it on those grounds. I just haven't mentioned that at all because everyone has gotten really caught up in my argument against doing it to a child for purely religious reasons.
No, the disappointment that it did not happen earlier is not temporary. The state will forever have robbed your parents of a choice, much like your parents will forever have robbed you of a choice. Those are pretty much the same. Then the pain, mutilation, etc. comes in, and I actually agree with you that it is probable that pain and parents-forbidding-etc outweigh state-forbidding-etc. I'm just saying that you need to look at statistics to show that: it is not necessarily so.

cemper93 wrote:I love how almost everyone in this thread seems to be comically missing the point. This ruling is not about giving the parents or the child religious freedom, it is about giving the child bodily autonomy. And even if people like TheGrammarBolshevik (quote above) seem to believe that because children cannot consent it is okay to cut off parts of their penises (what absurd kind of argument is that anyway? Shall we now legalize sex with children because they are unable to consent?), this means a big difference: When I go to a Catholic school, I may get indoctrinated, but I can "undo" that later by changing my mind on things. But when my penis is cut off, I cannot undo that even if I want to.
That reductio ad absurdum isn't absurd enough for me. Even the statement that one shouldn't murder babies (in a vacuum) isn't obviously true at all: nothing of value is lost when that occurs, and babies have less mental and physical facilities than the cows which we slaughter en masse in factory farms. Unless just being human gives you rights? If so, why? (Notice that I am talking about morals, not laws. Legally, the court was probably right in its decision; it is a court, after all.)

So when you say that you shouldn't have sex with babies because of bodily autonomy, you're wrong because babies don't have that. (Having sex with children, on the other hand, shouldn't be done in part because they do have that, but are incapable of making the informed decision to sleep with you.) You'd have a better chance with a consequentialist approach, saying that having sex with babies generally harms the baby (and the child and adult it will become) enough to be wrong. And that's also the argument Ghostbear has been making regarding circumcision, and the one to which I replied above.

User avatar
Jave D
chavey-dee
Posts: 1042
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:41 pm UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Jave D » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:57 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:No one cares. But there are people who do feel violated, lets talk about them.


Yes, I know that my personal experience here only matters if it fits only one side of the debate.

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7604
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:02 pm UTC

no reason to make this a personal fight

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Belial » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:45 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:But does the intersex child have to wait until 18 to choose? How old for ear piercing? How old for circumcision? How do we decide what age we need for consent for certain procedures?

I assume it will be some sort of gray line that factors in reversibility, risks, negative impact, and benefits.


Were I ruling the world, I'd probably put it somewhere around 14 or 15 for most of those. Maybe 13. After complex sentences, before cigarettes.

Though the problem is that any age before 18, they're still extremely vulnerable to parental coercion. I am pretty familiar with the "yes you're legally allowed to choose something we don't like, but we will make your life a living hell from which there is no escape if you exercise that right" method of negating the choices of anyone not legally adult.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

User avatar
Link
Posts: 1419
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:33 am UTC
Location: ᘝᓄᘈᖉᐣ
Contact:

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Link » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:00 pm UTC

It's probably best to judge it on a per-case basis (in terms of results; I'm ignoring the practicality of looking at each case individually for now). Some people are mature enough to make such decisions at the age of 12, while others don't have that maturity even when they're 18.

As for parental coercion, being legally an adult might make that slightly less of a problem, but it by no means eliminates it either. E.g. having to cut ties with your whole family because you refuse to have your penis severed can still be an extremely difficult decision to make, regardless of age.

User avatar
cemper93
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:35 pm UTC
Location: `pwd`

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby cemper93 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:57 pm UTC

rat4000 wrote:No, the disappointment that it did not happen earlier is not temporary. The state will forever have robbed your parents of a choice, much like your parents will forever have robbed you of a choice. Those are pretty much the same. Then the pain, mutilation, etc. comes in, and I actually agree with you that it is probable that pain and parents-forbidding-etc outweigh state-forbidding-etc. I'm just saying that you need to look at statistics to show that: it is not necessarily so.

I would not agree with that. The child has been robbed a choice regarding its own body; the parents have merely been robbed a choice regarding other people's bodies. You have a vast difference there.

rat4000 wrote:That reductio ad absurdum isn't absurd enough for me. Even the statement that one shouldn't murder babies (in a vacuum) isn't obviously true at all: nothing of value is lost when that occurs, and babies have less mental and physical facilities than the cows which we slaughter en masse in factory farms. Unless just being human gives you rights? If so, why? (Notice that I am talking about morals, not laws. Legally, the court was probably right in its decision; it is a court, after all.)

So you are thereby denying the value of all ethics in general? If you are not, I am fairly certain that with pretty much any school of ethics out there it would be possible to conclude that killing babies is bad. Take Kant's categorical imperative: if everyone was murdering babies, there would be no more babies and the human race would die out. Would you want to live in a world without humans? Nah. Thereby, don't murder babies.

rat4000 wrote:So when you say that you shouldn't have sex with babies because of bodily autonomy, you're wrong because babies don't have that. (Having sex with children, on the other hand, shouldn't be done in part because they do have that, but are incapable of making the informed decision to sleep with you.) You'd have a better chance with a consequentialist approach, saying that having sex with babies generally harms the baby (and the child and adult it will become) enough to be wrong. And that's also the argument Ghostbear has been making regarding circumcision, and the one to which I replied above.

So from what age onwards would you say that someone has bodily autonomy? You are making up arbitrary rules for this, but not giving any foundation at all, belief-based or otherwise.

EDIT
link wrote:It's probably best to judge it on a per-case basis (in terms of results; I'm ignoring the practicality of looking at each case individually for now). Some people are mature enough to make such decisions at the age of 12, while others don't have that maturity even when they're 18.

But even if you do decide on a per-case basis, what is your scale? Do you test their intelligence, their ability to do maths, their knowledge on the church they are severing themselves for or on 17th century politics?

Ghostbear
Posts: 1764
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:52 pm UTC

rat4000 wrote:I'm not saying that religion isn't a bad reason not to do (or to do) something, I agree with you on that -- I'm saying that "the negatives outweigh the benefits" is, in a certain sense, just as bad a reason.

What would you consider a good reason?

rat4000 wrote:No, the disappointment that it did not happen earlier is not temporary. The state will forever have robbed your parents of a choice, much like your parents will forever have robbed you of a choice. Those are pretty much the same. Then the pain, mutilation, etc. comes in, and I actually agree with you that it is probable that pain and parents-forbidding-etc outweigh state-forbidding-etc. I'm just saying that you need to look at statistics to show that: it is not necessarily so.

(Temporary pain) and disappointment. The temporary was only applied to the word after it.

Those are still not "pretty much the same", specifically because of the kind of choices they are. One person is being denied the choice for themselves, while the other person(s) is being denied a choice that they would make for someone else. Being denied the right to make someone a slave and being denied the right to choose to not be a slave are not "pretty much the same" for the same reason -- one is a choice made for another, while the other is a choice for yourself.

User avatar
Link
Posts: 1419
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:33 am UTC
Location: ᘝᓄᘈᖉᐣ
Contact:

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Link » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:40 pm UTC

cemper93 wrote:
link wrote:It's probably best to judge it on a per-case basis (in terms of results; I'm ignoring the practicality of looking at each case individually for now). Some people are mature enough to make such decisions at the age of 12, while others don't have that maturity even when they're 18.

But even if you do decide on a per-case basis, what is your scale? Do you test their intelligence, their ability to do maths, their knowledge on the church they are severing themselves for or on 17th century politics?

I think the most important things to investigate are the reasons they came to their decision and awareness of the consequences. No test is going to be infallible, but weeding out the cases where someone is obviously reciting what their parents/books/authority figures told them verbatim, without appearing to truly understand what's being said -- that's a good start. Basically, test for clear red flags that indicate a lack of understanding or free will. If I had a say in it, I'd automatically reject prepubescent children. Moreover, impartial education regarding the risks and benefits of circumcision should be part of standard sexual education courses, and such a course should also be a requirement before being given the green light, in my opinion.

User avatar
cemper93
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:35 pm UTC
Location: `pwd`

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby cemper93 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:24 pm UTC

Link wrote:I think the most important things to investigate are the reasons they came to their decision and awareness of the consequences.

So you intend to create a list of arbitrarily chosen reasons that you consider sufficient, and rule out anyone who has a different viewpoint?

Link wrote:No test is going to be infallible, but weeding out the cases where someone is obviously reciting what their parents/books/authority figures told them verbatim, without appearing to truly understand what's being said -- that's a good start.

Aren't most people still doing that at the age of 80?

Link wrote:Basically, test for clear red flags that indicate a lack of understanding or free will.

Which in your opinion are?

Link wrote:If I had a say in it, I'd automatically reject prepubescent children. Moreover, impartial education regarding the risks and benefits of circumcision should be part of standard sexual education courses, and such a course should also be a requirement before being given the green light, in my opinion.

These at least are objective reasons, and I agree with you on that. Don't get me wrong: I do definitely agree with you on that one needs objective criterions to determine whether someone is able to think for himself or not. It's just that I do not believe that a test can be such a criterion.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Vaniver » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:49 pm UTC

So, I have a hard time picking a side on this issue, and while walking yesterday I think I realized why.

I'm unsatisfied with the "bodily autonomy" angle, because decision-making power can't be vested in the infant. So, is it vested with the parents, or the state?*

In general, I want decisions to be made as close to their consequences as possible- and the parents seem much closer than the state. It also seems likely that the child's values (once an adult) will be closer to the parents' values than to the state's values. And so giving parents near-complete control seems like the right move.

But the consequences of being wrong aren't the same for each decision- and so it may be better to give everyone a one-size-fits-all solution than to have the parents choose. Those who want to get circumcised on their 18th birthday will pay a bit more (it'll take longer to recover, and so on) but those who don't want to will lose a lot less. And so for this particular intervention I lean towards the state banning it.

But then I step back and try to find something close by, and make an analogy to breastfeeding. So, breastfeeding children raises their IQ by around 6 points, which is a massive payoff, to the point that I would expect someone to be far more distressed over learning that they weren't breastfed than that they were circumcised. This is also something that seems difficult to undo- drinking breast milk as an adult is probably good for your brain, but probably not long-term gain of 6 IQ points good.

"Bodily autonomy" doesn't seem like a useful principle for that issue (if anything, it recommends giving the mother freedom to withhold her milk), and if the state is making decisions in such a way that it sanctions not breastfeeding children but doesn't sanction circumcising children, then I'm deeply skeptical about the decision-making method it's using, because its priorities seem miscalibrated.

I would hesitate before fining anyone who doesn't breastfeed, because there are reasons not to and some evidence that particular gene variants make breastfeeding not impact IQ. But the general point is that if the state is going to intervene for the welfare of the child, then it's not clear that there's going to be a bright line separating 'abuse' from 'different values' or 'different response,' or even if there were that bright line that the state would find it correctly.

So that ends up as an unclear "people probably shouldn't circumcise their kids, and the state might improve welfare by banning it, but overall welfare might decline if you include the predictable consequences of the ban." Things just seem too uncertain to be worked up about the issue.

*Other options are imaginable- you could have a prediction or insurance market in regret- but unlikely to be selected, for reasons of engineering (dealing with the moral hazard in a regret market is tough) or politics.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
cemper93
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:35 pm UTC
Location: `pwd`

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby cemper93 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:44 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:But then I step back and try to find something close by, and make an analogy to breastfeeding. So, breastfeeding children raises their IQ by around 6 points, which is a massive payoff, to the point that I would expect someone to be far more distressed over learning that they weren't breastfed than that they were circumcised. This is also something that seems difficult to undo- drinking breast milk as an adult is probably good for your brain, but probably not long-term gain of 6 IQ points good.

"Bodily autonomy" doesn't seem like a useful principle for that issue (if anything, it recommends giving the mother freedom to withhold her milk), and if the state is making decisions in such a way that it sanctions not breastfeeding children but doesn't sanction circumcising children, then I'm deeply skeptical about the decision-making method it's using, because its priorities seem miscalibrated.

I think the point here is exactly the point that you brought up yourself: it's the mother's decision because it's the mother's body that is supposed to feed.

Vaniver wrote:I would hesitate before fining anyone who doesn't breastfeed, because there are reasons not to and some evidence that particular gene variants make breastfeeding not impact IQ. But the general point is that if the state is going to intervene for the welfare of the child, then it's not clear that there's going to be a bright line separating 'abuse' from 'different values' or 'different response,' or even if there were that bright line that the state would find it correctly.

But there is a line: the line of "bodily autonomy". Parents can tell their children whatever they want as long as they do not physically hurt them. IMHO that's a pretty "bright" line, too.

Vaniver wrote:So that ends up as an unclear "people probably shouldn't circumcise their kids, and the state might improve welfare by banning it, but overall welfare might decline if you include the predictable consequences of the ban." Things just seem too uncertain to be worked up about the issue.

What "predictable consequences" do you see (apart from the obvious outraged minority)?
Besides, I do not think that this is really about "welfare". The decision to ban this was not utilitarian in nature, it was based on human rights: the question whether this contributes to the welfare of society has not been asked and IMO should not be asked, because if you say it's okay to cut off random body parts in the interest of the greater good, then you have a hard time drawing a bright line when it gets to things like the Nazi "euthanasian" program (i.e. killing people in the interest of the perceived "greater good"). The right to bodily autonomy is way to fundamental to have anyone alter it, be it parents or the state.

User avatar
Kulantan
Posts: 999
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 9:24 pm UTC
Location: Somewhere witty

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby Kulantan » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:47 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:I'm unsatisfied with the "bodily autonomy" angle, because decision-making power can't be vested in the infant. So, is it vested with the parents, or the state?*


The right to bodily autonomy is a negative right. By investing neither the state or the parents with the positive right to the child's body no decision making is necessary. Thus it doesn't require decision-making power being vested in infants or anyone else.
TEAM SHIVAHN
Pretty much the best team ever

phlip wrote:(Scholars believe it is lost to time exactly which search engine Columbus preferred... though they are reasonably sure that he was an avid user of Apple Maps.)

Blog.

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

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby BattleMoose » Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:10 am UTC

Jave D wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:No one cares. But there are people who do feel violated, lets talk about them.


Yes, I know that my personal experience here only matters if it fits only one side of the debate.


This isn't hard. I totally get you are fine with your circumcision and I am fine with you being fine. Everything is fine.

Some people aren't fine with their circumcision, feel violated and argue and the court agrees that their rights are being abused. This is where the issue is and this is where the discussion is. Would you like to join in or are you going to insist that everyone should be fine with their circumcision just because you are fine with your circumcision?

Vaniver:

The issue isn't about body autonomy but about body integrity (to explicitly use the quote from the court) or security of body if referencing the UDHR. Clearly the infant cannot make decisions and the parents should have ultimate say and control over their offspring, provided it is consistent with the law. And that's where the issue is. This isn't about writing or changing laws but the interpretation of the laws we have and how new interpretations of those may affect actions that we have for a long told understood to be legal. Also, UNICEF, Convention of the Rights of the Child, requires that any decision regarding the child has to hold the best interests of the child as the primary concern.

Circumcising a child because of the parents religion cannot be said to be done for the childs interests, its being done for the parents interest. Neither do I think an infant can be said to have a religion, that at the very least requires a level of decision making. Back in the day children would normally always follow their parents religion and while that is still very common there is a significant divergence from that norm where circumcision of children on the assumption that they will adopt the religion of the parents is not holding consistently to be true. And people are now voicing their objections to being circumcised, having their bodily integrity or security of body being violated for the religion of their parents.

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

Re: German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On

Postby lutzj » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:47 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Circumcising a child because of the parents religion cannot be said to be done for the childs interests, its being done for the parents interest.


I'm no expert on the theology, but I'm pretty sure that Jews consider something done for the good of the person, rather than the parents. Cite.
addams wrote:I'm not a bot.
That is what a bot would type.


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 28 guests