Infant Circumcision

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Bharrata » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:44 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:After everything you just said now, if given the opportunity, would you choose to circumcise your own child?


Hell no, and I would take a more active role in making sure my son went through puberty in a healthy way, something I wish my own parents had done. If he got hassled for it I would have a real heart to heart with him...though maybe being so forward as a parent would screw up his head in some other way I never had to deal with myself.


I do admit that there's some cases, like phimosis, where circumcision is warranted, and maybe in a world where no one was circumcised from the jump those who were circumcised due to phimosis would have to feel extremely ostracized instead.

I do feel that circumcision is an incredibly painful way to introduce a child to the world and could have some psychological or physiological affects that haven't been discovered - as I understand it that's why my father decided not to have it done to me.

edit: and it's not a big deal to share, I think my experience is one that most pro-circumcision people never hear about, generally because a lot of guys like me are embarrassed when the topic comes up. It's funny how much this topic comes up on internet messageboards but the xkcd community seems to be a little more noble and high-thinking, if that term works, so I don't feel awkward talking about it.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Azrael » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:53 pm UTC

Bharrata wrote:... but the xkcd community seems to be a little more noble and high-thinking, if that term works...

A point you might consider before jumping into these discussions in the future with nothing but the broadly negative generalizations that made up your first post.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:20 pm UTC

Bharrata wrote:and it's not a big deal to share, I think my experience is one that most pro-circumcision people never hear about, generally because a lot of guys like me are embarrassed when the topic comes up.

Quite the opposite actually; I think your very experience as a hypothetical was brought up in this thread. At the risk of sounding like an ass, because I do think it's unfortunate that you had a negative experience with something sexual, it sounds to me like your bad experience was more centered around growing up with a bunch of assholes, and in a situation where your parents never thought to tell you that you were uncircumcised for reasons x y and z. None of this is your fault, none of this is anybodies fault; kids can be mean and parents don't do everything perfect in every situation.

So, cool, hopefully you'll teach your hypothetical sons that a dick is no more or less for having or not having a foreskin, and they'll know not to tease people because 'Johns Johnson looks different from mine'. For what it's worth, I know someone who had the exact opposite experience; that is, he was circumcised, and had to hide it because no one else was.

Also, as already mentioned, 'pro-circumcision' is a bad way of putting it. I'd say I'm 'pro-choice'.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:58 am UTC

When there's substantial social stigma associated with the choice, then morality becomes more complicated. In the West today, at least, I don't think that's too big a deal nowadays.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:59 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I'm pretty sure I've been quite careful to mention repeatedly that circumcision has no net benefit or detriment. The social VALUE is that it has worth to those who choose to circumcise their children. Your claim was that in America, circumcised penises are at an advantage of non-circumcised penises. I call Citation Needed for that.


Oh come now, don't try to obfuscate your way out of this. You've used the social advantages of circumcision to support your argument here, here, here, here and here with varying levels of explicitness. The first two are especially telling; there is no possible way you could possibly be referring to the benefit of the parents if you actually read them in context. Add this to the innumerable times you've mentioned the 'aesthetics' of circumcision to support your argument; of what major benefit are the aesthetics of circumcision except to appear more attractive to society at large?
Several other people, all agreeing with you, have also mentioned the social advantage to circumcision in support of their arguments; if you truly believed that this was an unjustified claim, should you not have demanded citations from any of them at some point in the last twenty-odd pages?
Finally, the cleft palate/webbed toes analogy that you are so fond of relies on social disadvantage similarities between those disorders and circumcision to a large extent. Cleft palate/webbed toes are disorders with extremely obvious social disadvantages; how could their correction possibly be analogous to circumcision, unless an uncut penis possessed similar social disadvantages?

Basically, you're lying through your teeth. You have been well aware of the existence of social advantage for circumcised people since the very beginning of this thread and have used it extensively in support of your arguments. Yet, as soon as the existence of such advantage is to the detriment of your argument it's suddenly an unjustified assumption that demands immediate citation. Unsurprisingly, I see this as an extremely poor faith attempt at discussion.

Also, sourmilk, in my re-readings I've noticed that you have an unfortunate habit of misquoting people. There are several situations where you've turned a sentence fragment into its own sentence (complete with punctuation) and dropped the rest of the sentence, or even removed whole sentences entirely without giving any hint that you've changed what's written. Please don't do that.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:19 pm UTC

Torchship, are you even reading the links you're providing? In every single one of those statements, I say something to the effect of 'value to the parents' or 'social constructs are entirely arbitrary, so, can you envision a scenario in which this is beneficial'. The former is explitely not stating what you are claiming, the latter, is merely acknowledging the hypothetical. A hypothetical I have not stood on, because it lacks data to support. Just like Bharrata's anecdote is a hypothetical that one should not stand on.

Torchship wrote:of what major benefit are the aesthetics of circumcision except to appear more attractive to society at large?

You should read things WAY more closely if you're asking this question; value to the parents.

Torchship wrote:Basically, you're lying through your teeth. You have been well aware of the existence of social advantage for circumcised people since the very beginning of this thread and have used it extensively in support of your arguments. Yet, as soon as the existence of such advantage is to the detriment of your argument it's suddenly an unjustified assumption that demands immediate citation. Unsurprisingly, I see this as an extremely poor faith attempt at discussion.

In short, I think you're being unbelievably obtuse here. You have linked a couple random posts of mine in this thread, wherein I use the words 'social' 'appearance' or 'society', and decided that that means I've been arguing this whole time that we should circumcise everyone to fit societies expectations. At best, it underlines your complete inability to comprehend the discussion that's been going on for the last 20 pages. At worst, it suggests you're incapable of having an honest discussion without fixating on singular words and fabricating your own arguments.

By all means, pull quotes and describe the context. I'm not denying that I stated there is a possibility of a social benefit, but it has always been in the context of explaining one possible benefit, directly in response to people claiming there is no circumstance in which a social benefit could exist (Such as in my first two 'damning' posts, wherein I respond to Tomo claiming just that)

But lets just, in good faith, assume it's the former. I'll spell out my position for you: circumcision, being an entirely neutral procedure, has value to the parents. Yes, the parents are part of a community, and thus, the procedure has a social value that is probably arbitrarily 'in vogue' or 'out of vogue' as time goes on, as I believe Az pointed out due to the change in circumcision rates. Therefor, I would suggest allowing parents to choose whether or not they circumcise, and would never either tell parents that they MUST, or CANNOT circumcise.

Now, you ask about the syndactyly or cleft palate analogies, and point out that those two may confer social disadvantages. I don't really disagree; all this suggests is that social mores EXIST, and that catering to them is something people do. Whether or not they should is aside the point, and whether or not circumcision is within that sphere of 'cosmetic changes we DEMAND of our sons' is something I think you're standing on shaky grounds if you're claiming. Which is why...

This is getting rather sidetracked: Your claim was that circumcised penises are at a social advantage to noncircumcised penises, and I called for a Citation Needed. Pointing out that I've acknowledged the possibility of social benefits as a hole in the fact that you have not substantiated your claim is rather dodging the question.
Last edited by Izawwlgood on Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:26 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:22 pm UTC

Torchship wrote:Also, sourmilk, in my re-readings I've noticed that you have an unfortunate habit of misquoting people. There are several situations where you've turned a sentence fragment into its own sentence (complete with punctuation) and dropped the rest of the sentence, or even removed whole sentences entirely without giving any hint that you've changed what's written. Please don't do that.

I often drop the irrelevant parts so that it's clear what I'm responding to. I'll add an ellipsis.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:42 am UTC

On a slight tangent, and only a very slight tangent because the legal authority on what parents can and cannot do to their kids is at the very heart of the issue, while, one of the hearts that is.

I present the case of "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii." Her parents just lost Custody because of her unusual name, this happened in New Zealand. Reasons for this were all related to teasing and the difficulties of this girl at school, all of a socially awkward nature. And this girl was embarrassed about her name. Does this at all sound familiar?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/ ... NETTXT9038

Now if we lived in a world where everyone had unusual names this wouldn't be an issue.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:48 am UTC

Yeah, in situations where there's going to be significant social stigma surrounding a parental decision, the morality of that decision changes. I hate when celebrities name their kids shit like Pilot Inspektor or Moon Unit: it's fame-whoring at the expense of the kid.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:16 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Yeah, in situations where there's going to be significant social stigma surrounding a parental decision, the morality of that decision changes. I hate when celebrities name their kids shit like Pilot Inspektor or Moon Unit: it's fame-whoring at the expense of the kid.


And would you consider this, harmful? And what of your previously held beliefs that parents had absolute authority regarding their children?
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:41 pm UTC

Izawwlgood, I have no idea what kind of consistent message you're trying to convey with your post. You say that you agree that the social advantage of circumcision is a factual phenomenon (paragraph 5), but this is totally at odds with your earlier stance that you do not believe it exists. You then go straight back on this in paragraph 6 and claim that you do not believe that such a phenomenon exists. Your argument is so confused and contradictory that I cannot make heads or tails of it. In a similar vein, every single one of your demands for citations have been directed explicitly at the existence of the social advantage of circumcision (including the one in paragraph 7); why would you be demanding citations from me for a phenomenon that you believe is real?

You also carry your unfortunate slippery-slope strawman from before into battle with you once more, without providing a shred of evidence that I actually believe any of the things that you allege (paragraph 5). All I have done is identify an aspect of circumcision which I find morally reprehensible, nothing more, nothing less; and this most certainly does not mean that I wish to eliminate circumcision (for this issue, at least. The validity of banning circumcision based on the potential harm argument is still up in the air for me). I can easily identify many aspects of modern Christianity that I find similarly reprehensible without going to the ludicrous extreme of advocating the banning of Christianity; why is the same not true for circumcision?
Your other strawman is that I'm somehow claiming that you believe that "...we should circumcise everyone to fit societies expectations" (paragraph 3). I totally reject this and challenge you to find quotes to support your absurd claim. I am stating that the popularity of and social preference for circumcision is to the detriment of the uncircumcised, which has precisely no relevance to any overly authoritarian tendencies that you may or may not hold.

Finally, if you are willing to accept that webbed toes or cleft palate are disorders with significant social disadvantages without any citations, why does the same not hold for circumcision? You accept webbed toes and cleft palates as disadvantageous because they clearly violate the modern American social aesthetic, but so does circumcision. America has been steeped in Christian aesthetic values for many generations; aesthetic values which happen to strongly prefer circumcision. In order for circumcision to not be socially advantaged, the American social aesthetic must not have adopted the "circumcision is good" part of the Christian aesthetic to any significant extent, despite clearly adopting almost all other aspects of their aesthetic. Why do you believe this is a reasonable assumption?
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:00 pm UTC

Torchship, considering you linked 5 posts of mine, simply writing (paragraph 5) or (paragraph 6) is not going to help convey what you are responding to. Are you responding to my most previous response to you? If so, please simply link that.

It is obvious you are quite confused about the arguments being made, despite numerous attempts to clarify them, and even outright stating what they are. Again, I have acknowledged that there may be social benefits, because circumcision is something that has value to parents and communities. You have CLAIMED that circumcision carries an advantage over being uncircumcised, and that is something that I felt required proof. There is a difference, one I hope you can see, between saying "It is possible that it will rain today" and "It is raining right now", when you're sitting inside away from a window.
But yes, this line:
Torchship wrote:I am stating that the popularity of and social preference for circumcision is to the detriment of the uncircumcised, which has precisely no relevance to any overly authoritarian tendencies that you may or may not hold.

Is precisely what I was responding to. Find evidence to support this.

BattleMoose wrote:And would you consider this, harmful? And what of your previously held beliefs that parents had absolute authority regarding their children?

I am quite confident that we have repeatedly demonstrated that we do not in fact believe parents can do ANYTHING to their children. It's dishonest of you to state the above at this point in the argument.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:27 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Torchship, considering you linked 5 posts of mine, simply writing (paragraph 5) or (paragraph 6) is not going to help convey what you are responding to. Are you responding to my most previous response to you? If so, please simply link that.


Paragraphs in your latest (well, now second-latest) response. I apologise for the ambiguity.

Izawwlgood wrote: Again, I have acknowledged that there may be social benefits, because circumcision is something that has value to parents and communities.


This is precisely the issue; if something is valued by society, then it is at an advantage compared to other things that are not valued by society (except in a tiny number of edge cases which have no relevance to the case at hand). Any other conclusion is ludicrous; humans do not, on average, encourage the growth of traits that they value? Even a cursory understanding of basic human psychology should show that this is absurd; thousands of people willingly die every day entirely to fuel the expansion of their chosen ideology. If people are willing to die in support of an idea, what makes you think they won't do something as trivial as applying social pressure in support of their preferences? People do this every day in politics.
To be clear, this argument is not specific to circumcision at all; I'm trying to convey that any and all traits which are valued by society (and you've admitted that circumcision has value to society) must almost inevitably lead to social pressure in support of that trait; social advantage.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:20 pm UTC

Torchship wrote:Paragraphs in your latest (well, now second-latest) response. I apologise for the ambiguity.

You'll have to link to the quotes you are contending. I'm not going to go through and try and decide what you are responding to.
Torchship wrote:This is precisely the issue; if something is valued by society, then it is at an advantage compared to other things that are not valued by society (except in a tiny number of edge cases which have no relevance to the case at hand). Any other conclusion is ludicrous; humans do not, on average, encourage the growth of traits that they value?

I don't know how many different ways I can put this for you; what has value to some might not have value to others. Ergo, claiming circumcision has NO value is a shaky statement to make, and claiming that circumcised penises are MORE valued by society is also a shaky statement to make. I am acknowledging the possibility of value, as well as calling you out on your claim that said value is absolute.

Now, please respond to the fact that you claimed circumcised penises are at an advantage as I have asked you to clarify it three times now. I'll even accept 'Circumcised penises are at an advantage in Jewish/Islamic communities' as an explanation. But please respond to this claim of yours.
Torchship wrote:To be clear, this argument is not specific to circumcision at all; I'm trying to convey that any and all traits which are valued by society (and you've admitted that circumcision has value to society) must almost inevitably lead to social pressure in support of that trait; social advantage.

I want to respond to this statement, but I think the problem is you are dealing in absolutes and I have never been. So, I'll let you clarify your stance, as I asked above, before responding to this.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Tomo » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:10 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I don't know how many different ways I can put this for you; what has value to some might not have value to others. Ergo, claiming circumcision has NO value is a shaky statement to make, and claiming that circumcised penises are MORE valued by society is also a shaky statement to make. I am acknowledging the possibility of value, as well as calling you out on your claim that said value is absolute.


However, people who value circumscision may circumscise themselves at a later date, whereas those circumscised near birth have that choice stripped from them, without their consent.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:44 pm UTC

The consent issue as it pertains to circumcision has been discussed. If you have something new to add to it, do so.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:25 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I don't know how many different ways I can put this for you; what has value to some might not have value to others. Ergo, claiming circumcision has NO value is a shaky statement to make, and claiming that circumcised penises are MORE valued by society is also a shaky statement to make. I am acknowledging the possibility of value, as well as calling you out on your claim that said value is absolute.


Huh? What "possibility"; you've stated "Again, I have acknowledged that there may be social benefits, because circumcision is something that has value to parents and communities." in your very previous post, which is a clear admission that you believe that society values circumcision. You were asking about whether value necessarily implies benefit, but you were most definite that value existed.

Izawwlgood wrote:Now, please respond to the fact that you claimed circumcised penises are at an advantage as I have asked you to clarify it three times now. I'll even accept 'Circumcised penises are at an advantage in Jewish/Islamic communities' as an explanation. But please respond to this claim of yours.


That would be my last post; that entire "social value necessarily implies social advantage (except in a tiny number of edge cases" argument. You've admitted that American society values circumcision (and even if you don't, it is ludicrous to believe that most strongly Jewish/Christian/Islamic communities do not; how could there be hundreds of millions of circumcised worldwide if nobody values circumcision at all?) which, by that paragraph's logic, clearly implies that there must be social advantage associated with this value. You can argue against my logic if you want, but I don't think you're going to get very far claiming that people in general do not act in support of things that they value.

Spoiler:
Paragraph 1:
Izawwlgood wrote:Torchship, are you even reading the links you're providing? In every single one of those statements, I say something to the effect of 'value to the parents' or 'social constructs are entirely arbitrary, so, can you envision a scenario in which this is beneficial'. The former is explitely not stating what you are claiming, the latter, is merely acknowledging the hypothetical. A hypothetical I have not stood on, because it lacks data to support. Just like Bharrata's anecdote is a hypothetical that one should not stand on.


Paragraph 2:
Izawwlgood wrote:You should read things WAY more closely if you're asking this question; value to the parents.


Paragraph 3:
Izawwlgood wrote:In short, I think you're being unbelievably obtuse here. You have linked a couple random posts of mine in this thread, wherein I use the words 'social' 'appearance' or 'society', and decided that that means I've been arguing this whole time that we should circumcise everyone to fit societies expectations. At best, it underlines your complete inability to comprehend the discussion that's been going on for the last 20 pages. At worst, it suggests you're incapable of having an honest discussion without fixating on singular words and fabricating your own arguments.


Paragraph 4:
Izawwlgood wrote:By all means, pull quotes and describe the context. I'm not denying that I stated there is a possibility of a social benefit, but it has always been in the context of explaining one possible benefit, directly in response to people claiming there is no circumstance in which a social benefit could exist (Such as in my first two 'damning' posts, wherein I respond to Tomo claiming just that)


Paragraph 5:
Izawwlgood wrote:But lets just, in good faith, assume it's the former. I'll spell out my position for you: circumcision, being an entirely neutral procedure, has value to the parents. Yes, the parents are part of a community, and thus, the procedure has a social value that is probably arbitrarily 'in vogue' or 'out of vogue' as time goes on, as I believe Az pointed out due to the change in circumcision rates. Therefor, I would suggest allowing parents to choose whether or not they circumcise, and would never either tell parents that they MUST, or CANNOT circumcise.


Paragraph 6:
Izawwlgood wrote:Now, you ask about the syndactyly or cleft palate analogies, and point out that those two may confer social disadvantages. I don't really disagree; all this suggests is that social mores EXIST, and that catering to them is something people do. Whether or not they should is aside the point, and whether or not circumcision is within that sphere of 'cosmetic changes we DEMAND of our sons' is something I think you're standing on shaky grounds if you're claiming. Which is why...


Paragraph 7:
Izawwlgood wrote:This is getting rather sidetracked: Your claim was that circumcised penises are at a social advantage to noncircumcised penises, and I called for a Citation Needed. Pointing out that I've acknowledged the possibility of social benefits as a hole in the fact that you have not substantiated your claim is rather dodging the question.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby TranquilFury » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:32 am UTC

It's a religious practice, not a necessary medical procedure. It should not be done until the child is old enough to decide whether it is or isn't in his own best interest.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:57 am UTC

Torchship wrote:Huh? What "possibility"; you've stated "Again, I have acknowledged that there may be social benefits, because circumcision is something that has value to parents and communities." in your very previous post, which is a clear admission that you believe that society values circumcision. You were asking about whether value necessarily implies benefit, but you were most definite that value existed.

Nope. Try again. I think it'd be rude to just start linking my previous statements, but, it looks like you did it for me. Again, because the bold seems to have been lost in the requote, the emphasis here is on the word MAY. This is, again, in response to your claim that circumcised penises are at an advantage to uncircumcised penises.
Torchship wrote:You were asking about whether value necessarily implies benefit, but you were most definite that value existed.

Yes, I acknowledged that value may exist for those who choose to circumcise. This is not the same as your claim, which is that circumcision confers a ubiquitous advantage.
Torchship wrote: "social value necessarily implies social advantage (except in a tiny number of edge cases" argument. You've admitted that American society values circumcision (and even if you don't, it is ludicrous to believe that most strongly Jewish/Christian/Islamic communities do not; how could there be hundreds of millions of circumcised worldwide if nobody values circumcision at all?)

You'll have to show me where I claimed that American society values circumcision. I'm fairly confident you're making that up.
As for the Jewish/Islamic communities that do, I stated as much. I fail to see how this supports your claim that something that has value to some people confers social advantage over 'non-thing'.

Again, this argument with you is rather circular, so, I'll again spell it out for you; I'm not debating whether or not circumcision MAY HAVE value, I'm debating YOUR claim that circumcision (where? America? Israel? Scotland? Mars?) confers an advantage over not circumcising. You will have to demonstrate that being uncircumcised causes a detriment to ones existence.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:50 am UTC

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/26/german-court-circumcision_n_1628405.html

German Court Rules Religious Circumcision An Assault On Boys

Huzzah. So its been challenged on legal grounds. :-)
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby yurell » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:30 am UTC

cemper93 wrote:Dude, I just presented an elaborate multiple fraction in Comic Sans. Who are you to question me?


Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby drego642 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:31 am UTC

Having been a "victim" of it myself, I am against infant circumcision, unless of course the foreskin proves a medical threat to the child's well-being. Genital mutilation and body modification are choices an individual should make for him/herself, and no one else should have a say.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Amtran » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:29 pm UTC

Please don't take this as a snarky reply...

What disadvantages do you find with being circumcised? I myself am circumcised, but I don't feel "victimized."

Obviously I have nothing to compare my experience to, but I don't find sex to be any less awesome than what the majority of uncircumcised men describe it to be. Circumcisions nowadays are very safe and rarely result in complications, and if it is done to an infant (which is the whole reason it's being contested), they won't remember it so pain is not an issue.

I certainly don't consider myself to be "mutilated" and I think a pretty huge deal is being made over a small issue.

That being said, I have only my perspective and the perspectives of my friends, so I would love to hear from some people who find their experience to be on the negative side of things.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:34 pm UTC

Amtran wrote:I certainly don't consider myself to be "mutilated" and I think a pretty huge deal is being made over a small issue.

I would also suggest that the proportion of people who feel violated is vanishingly small. This is not reason to dismiss their feelings, but it certainly doesn't suggest, to me anyway, that this is something we need to invest much time or effort into.
Amtran wrote:That being said, I have only my perspective and the perspectives of my friends, so I would love to hear from some people who find their experience to be on the negative side of things.

With all honesty, I sincerely doubt you'll find much perspective against circumcision that's particularly unbiased.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Angua » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:43 pm UTC

You could always read the thread, which has the perspectives of a few people on the board who were unhappy with their circumcision. There's also this bbc article, which has people who are for and against.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Amtran » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:06 pm UTC

I've read through about 5-6 pages of this thread and all I've seen so far is people arguing about whether circumcision is or isn't harmful. I have not yet seen (other than drego642) any circumcised males provide some input to the conversation.

I HAVE seen multiple people make the claim that by virtue of being circumcised, I am mutilated and quite possibly emotionally scarred/damaged. I'd just like to see some basis for those claims; what better way to back up your argument than with personal stories from people who have actually gone through the procedure?

I don't feel mutilated.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby sam_i_am » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:16 pm UTC

Amtran wrote:I've read through about 5-6 pages of this thread and all I've seen so far is people arguing about whether circumcision is or isn't harmful. I have not yet seen (other than drego642) any circumcised males provide some input to the conversation.

I HAVE seen multiple people make the claim that by virtue of being circumcised, I am mutilated and quite possibly emotionally scarred/damaged. I'd just like to see some basis for those claims; what better way to back up your argument than with personal stories from people who have actually gone through the procedure?

I don't feel mutilated.



I've been circumcised, albeit I didn't actually know that I had been until I was almost an adult
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:20 am UTC

Amtran wrote:I've read through about 5-6 pages of this thread and all I've seen so far is people arguing about whether circumcision is or isn't harmful. I have not yet seen (other than drego642) any circumcised males provide some input to the conversation.

I HAVE seen multiple people make the claim that by virtue of being circumcised, I am mutilated and quite possibly emotionally scarred/damaged. I'd just like to see some basis for those claims; what better way to back up your argument than with personal stories from people who have actually gone through the procedure?

I don't feel mutilated.


I made numerous references in this thread to studies (surveys) of men and how they feel about their circumcision. A fair number of them express feelings of violation. Considering its a violation of body integrity and essentially parents and doctors are violating the rights of the child or infant.

I also posted references to the Queensland Law Review, with references to Australian Law and Human Rights and female genital mutilation and argued that infant male circumcision, could or should be found to be unlawful if it were challenged in court. A German Court recently came to a similar understanding.

Basically people are feeling violated by their circumcision. Secondly if we recognize its not okay to violate people then perhaps we should stop forced male circumcision. Thirdly as a challenge to the arguments of bias, courts and law professionals are arguing and finding against forced infant male circumcision.

Finally, about you and your circumcision:
You don't feel violated and thats fine, thats perfectly fine. No one is trying to make you feel violated. What is expected is that you recognize the violation that others do feel. Finally, please don't think that because you don't feel violated that others don't have the right to their feelings of violation.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:30 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:A fair number of them express feelings of violation.

Care to state what proportion of circumcised men grow up to regret the procedure?

BattleMoose wrote:You don't feel violated and thats fine, thats perfectly fine. No one is trying to make you feel violated. What is expected is that you recognize the violation that others do feel. Finally, please don't think that because you don't feel violated that others don't have the right to their feelings of violation.

He brings up an interesting point though, one that gets buried quickly in these discussions; when your argument hinges on claiming that everyone who has undergone the procedure is mutilated or violated or 'lesser', you're telling people how they should feel. Many don't. 'My dick is the coolest thing in the world; shouldn't we circumcise ALL the dicks so they're just like mine?' is a potential counter point to this line of reasoning. Not a particularly strong point in and of itself, but then, neither is the argument that 'circumcision is inherently harmful/violating/bad'.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:43 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:A fair number of them express feelings of violation.

Care to state what proportion of circumcised men grow up to regret the procedure?


I would not. And as far as my ethical view point is concerned, its a moot question. If we are doing this thing that is violating peoples rights and some of those people are unhappy about it, then we should stop doing this thing. Where some is greater than 1. The Queensland Review also suggested that if indeed the parents can make the argument that a circumcision is indeed in the best interest of the child, which is the guiding premise, of Rights of the Child, then the family court should hear the argument and make a judgment.

Izawwlgood wrote:He brings up an interesting point though, one that gets buried quickly in these discussions; when your argument hinges on claiming that everyone who has undergone the procedure is mutilated or violated or 'lesser', you're telling people how they should feel. Many don't. 'My dick is the coolest thing in the world; shouldn't we circumcise ALL the dicks so they're just like mine?' is a potential counter point to this line of reasoning. Not a particularly strong point in and of itself, but then, neither is the argument that 'circumcision is inherently harmful/violating/bad'.


In a very technical and semantic sense, it is mutilation. But thats nor really relevant. And thats not the argument. The argument is some people are feeling violated and perhaps we shouldnt do that.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Azrael » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:41 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:The argument is some people are feeling violated and perhaps we shouldnt do that.

No.

Well, actually yes, which is the problem. That argument is entirely insufficient and I take umbrage with it.

A justifiable argument is that people feel violated and the action is not in the public good. That the cost is higher than the benefit. Otherwise, I'd point out that plenty of people feel violated by all sorts of things that we, as a society, regulate and/or deem moral. One way or another.

A point to which, I will add: Regardless of the legal findings of a German or Australian court, that does little to adequately address the moral implication. Behind which, this thread has often linked anti-circumcision studies. However, the dissenting analysis and facts are not as readily ignored as you seem to suggest. To claim that the matter is scientifically determinate is false.

To judge the matter objectively, one must acknowledge a bias of tradition on both sides (those who do, and those who don't) that can cause emotive-based responses (law, popular opinion) to sway what is considered 'correct' far more than the facts do.

In short, just because two sides are arguing does not make either side right.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:35 am UTC

Azrael wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:The argument is some people are feeling violated and perhaps we shouldnt do that.

No.

Well, actually yes, which is the problem. That argument is entirely insufficient and I take umbrage with it.


I take any human rights violation incredibly seriously. And when such a violation occurs and individuals involved later express that they are unhappy about such a violation we have a real problem. I appreciate most other people in this thread take a much more consequentialist moral viewpoint here and are happy to dimiss the negative consequences to some arguing about the positive benefit to others. My moral viewpoint dictates that its not okay to unilaterally violate someone else's human rights, unless it is unambiguously in the best interest of the individual involved. Which is something that is recognized and actually the fundamental premise of the UN Convention of Rights of the Child.

Our divergence here I think is largely coming from our different moral and ethical viewpoints on what constitutes and ethical or moral action.



Azrael wrote: A justifiable argument is that people feel violated and the action is not in the public good. That the cost is higher than the benefit. Otherwise, I'd point out that plenty of people feel violated by all sorts of things that we, as a society, regulate and/or deem moral. One way or another.


This is a consequentalist argument and cuts no dice with me. And its not simple feelings of violation its feeling of violation that relate to a violation of a fundamental human right. If these plenty of people are feeling violated because their rights are being abused then they should seek legal counsel.

A point to which, I will add: Regardless of the legal findings of a German or Australian court, that does little to adequately address the moral implication.


Particularly the Queensland Law Review Report was being argued primarily from a moral viewpoint and certainly not a consequentalist moral viewpoint I might add. With references particularly to the UDHR and the UN Convention of Rights of the Child.

Azrael wrote:In short, just because two sides are arguing does not make either side right.


Indeed. I prefer to read the fully qualified and referenced arguments. Considering the starting premises that we have, and the domestic and International laws that we also have the outcome regarding the morality and legality of forced infant male circumcision seems clear. And has been functionally argued by a number of scholars and lawyers and courts are also finding in this direction as well.

EDIT:
Yet another publication arguing the legality and ethics of involuntary male circumcision, with reference to domestic law, case law, international law and human rights and medical ethics.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 1063.x/pdf (Potentially behind a pay wall)
http://mensightmagazine.com/Library/involcirc.htm (also available here)
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Azrael » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:20 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
Azrael wrote: A justifiable argument is that people feel violated and the action is not in the public good. That the cost is higher than the benefit. Otherwise, I'd point out that plenty of people feel violated by all sorts of things that we, as a society, regulate and/or deem moral. One way or another.


This is a consequentalist argument and cuts no dice with me. And its not simple feelings of violation its feeling of violation that relate to a violation of a fundamental human right. If these plenty of people are feeling violated because their rights are being abused then they should seek legal counsel.

Vaccinations. Medical procedures prior to age of majority or those done in other situations where consent from the individual is unavailable and it determined by next of kin. Age of consent laws for tattoos, piercings, smoking, consumption of alcohol -- even for sexual intercourse. Educational requirements. Mandatory military service.

All of these and hundreds more infringe on bodily autonomy to varying degrees. Rejecting any consequentialist reasoning puts you strongly into conflict with dozens of every day practicalities that otherwise raise no moral objection, and eliminates your ability to judge these infringements on a rational gradient. Despite submitting to a consequentialist framework when you allow for actions that are unquestionably in the individual's best interests -- consequences are not just bad after all. Even the article you link makes the legal argument contingent on medical benefit vs harm (or lack of benefit, albeit a 13-year out of date and thoroughly blinder-wearing view of the medical issues).

So congratulations, by ignoring the legitimacy of any medical findings suggesting that circumcision may have any benefit whatsoever because it doesn't fit the ethical framework (one that neither you nor any modern government fully adheres to) that you've chosen for the argument, you've set up a situation where your side can't loose. This win-by-disqualification setup alone demonstrates that you aren't arguing in good faith, or to any reasonable real-world applicability.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby BattleMoose » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:29 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:Vaccinations.


I am not sure what you intend vaccinations to be an example of. I was asking for people who feel violated about their rights being abused. I am unaware of anyone feeling violated because they were vaccinated. Further vaccinations are in the best interest of the child. I am also not aware of anyone arguing otherwise. Perhaps you disagree on this? Otherwise I don't know why you brought it up.

Medical procedures prior to age of majority or those done in other situations where consent from the individual is unavailable and it determined by next of kin.


This is wrong. Parental or consent of next of kin is insufficient by itself. Surgical intervention on a child to be lawful has to firstly be medically necessary, in the best interest of the child and must not expose the incompetent person to unnecessary injury or suffering. As referenced by the article referenced in my previous post also see Queensland Law Reform. And as regards for a consequent argument goes, see little v little also referenced by the same publication. Where a parent was legally unable to provide consent for a liver transplant from their mentally incompetent daughter to their son.

Age of consent laws for tattoos, piercings, smoking, consumption of alcohol -- even for sexual intercourse. Educational requirements. Mandatory military service. All of these and hundreds more infringe on bodily autonomy to varying degrees.


If people are taking issue with these then they should make a noise, complain, seek legal counsel, et cetera. Maybe some of these things should be challenged.

Rejecting any consequentialist reasoning puts you strongly into conflict with dozens of every day practicalities that otherwise raise no moral objection, and eliminates your ability to judge these infringements on a rational gradient.


My dismissal of consequent arguments, perhaps I should have specified but I thought it obvious of the context, is more specifically a dismissal of consequential arguments based on the good of society versus the good of the individual. Indeed virtually all the arguments against forced male circumcision are argued from the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child which has, the best interest of the child, as its core premise and is fundamentally consequentalist in that perspective. And this consequentalist argument is based on the individual. Indeed all the publications that I have referenced, if I recall correctly, note that if it can be shown that forced male circumcission be in the best interest of the child then that is fine.

Despite submitting to a consequentialist framework when you allow for actions that are unquestionably in the individual's best interests -- consequences are not just bad after all. Even the article you link makes the legal argument contingent on medical benefit vs harm (or lack of benefit, albeit a 13-year out of date and thoroughly blinder-wearing view of the medical issues).


Indeed, UN convention of the Rights of the Child, which I have extensively referenced with consistency I might add.

Azrael wrote:So congratulations, by ignoring the legitimacy of any medical findings suggesting that circumcision may have any benefit whatsoever because it doesn't fit the ethical framework (one that neither you nor any modern government fully adheres to) that you've chosen for the argument, you've set up a situation where your side can't loose. This win-by-disqualification setup alone demonstrates that you aren't arguing in good faith, or to any reasonable real-world applicability.


The argument for circumcision so far in this thread has largely been based on cultural or religious reasons. The medical benefits of circumcision have come up but has anyone actually argued that male circumcision is a good idea because of medical reasons? Further its been noted that those some benefits can largely be achieved through bathing and using a condom. If you would like to formulate an argument that circumcision is a good idea because of medical benefits to the child, I would then address it. (I have also noted, numerous times in this thread, that if the individual involved does indeed live in an awful poverty stricken country and could be expected to regularly participate in unsafe sex then forced circumcision in that context may indeed be in the best interest of the child and therefore be a good idea).

The arguments against forced male circumcision are based on human rights which virtually all countries around the world have endorsed, even if they don't follow them directly. The Queensland Law Reform has argued that forced male circumcision may be unlawful under Australian law. I dare say countries do adhere to their law. The argument is based on current law and current human rights, if you feel that its set up in such a way that the argument cannot be defeated then perhaps its really a direct consequence of our rights and laws and is indeed the logical outcome.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby drego642 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:59 pm UTC

Amtran wrote:Please don't take this as a snarky reply...

What disadvantages do you find with being circumcised? I myself am circumcised, but I don't feel "victimized."

Obviously I have nothing to compare my experience to, but I don't find sex to be any less awesome than what the majority of uncircumcised men describe it to be. Circumcisions nowadays are very safe and rarely result in complications, and if it is done to an infant (which is the whole reason it's being contested), they won't remember it so pain is not an issue.

I certainly don't consider myself to be "mutilated" and I think a pretty huge deal is being made over a small issue.

That being said, I have only my perspective and the perspectives of my friends, so I would love to hear from some people who find their experience to be on the negative side of things.


Not everyone who has been circumcised feels the way I do about it, but plenty do, and these feelings should not go neglected, especially by parents considering putting their children through this unnecessary procedure. I certainly do feel victimized and this is a pretty personal issue for me. To answer your question:

There are many consequences of this procedure which I have to live with, from those as mundane (albeit irritating) as an occasional persistent discomfort and irritation of the corona of glans penis while wearing boxers to the loss of sexual sensitivity and function (the foreskin is not the useless fold of skin many people seem to think it is; it does actually serve a function and contains many nerve endings).

Those are just physical issues though, and not to undermine them, but the worst of it for me is the psychological effects; the idea that this was a part of my body which was taken away from me without my knowledge or consent (I understand you may not feel the same loss over it, but to me at least, that is a pretty damn big violation, if you'll pardon the language) is not something that I take easily. It's the knowledge that I'll never experience the same level of sensitivity as I would if my penis were simply left as nature intended it to be that is so discomforting to me. Also, for me, there's a strange sense of betrayal that comes with this... The fact is that I was submitted to a cosmetic procedure which I did not ask for, and do not identify with; I think everyone should be given the chance to determine for themselves whether or not they would like to have it done to themselves, as with any cosmetic procedure.

Given the choice, as I so very much wish I had been, I'd never have chosen to be circumcised, because it is an aesthetic which I personally do not like, and did not grow to like. However, I had no choice at all in the matter, so of course I take issue with it. I wouldn't submit a newborn child to a tongue bifurcation, so why should I submit one to a circumcision? That may seem like an unreasonable comparison (although I, for one, stand by it), but my point is that these aesthetic body modifications should be up to no one other than the person on which they are meant to be performed, and I cannot find any problem whatsoever in defending the right of the individual in question to make that decision for himself, as it is his alone to make.

Respectfully, I don't think a disproportionately big deal is being made, and this is no small issue for me and many others.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Azrael » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:17 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
Azrael wrote:Vaccinations.

I am not sure what you intend vaccinations to be an example of. I was asking for people who feel violated about their rights being abused. I am unaware of anyone feeling violated because they were vaccinated. Further vaccinations are in the best interest of the child. I am also not aware of anyone arguing otherwise. Perhaps you disagree on this? Otherwise I don't know why you brought it up.

Age of consent laws for tattoos, piercings, smoking, consumption of alcohol -- even for sexual intercourse. Educational requirements. Mandatory military service. All of these and hundreds more infringe on bodily autonomy to varying degrees.
If people are taking issue with these then they should make a noise, complain, seek legal counsel, et cetera. Maybe some of these things should be challenged.


... at which point you only further demonstrate that your threshold for concern about human rights is based on who is complaining. Which is an entirely absurd line in the sand, and it's what I called you out on in the first place.

Bodily autonomy gets abridged all the time in hundreds of various ways. If you can't or won't come up with a metric for judging the seriousness of the complaint other than someone complaining, then your entire ethical system is completely indeterminate.

So, what does everyone use? Some variation of a cost-benefit analysis.

BattleMoose wrote:The argument for circumcision so far in this thread has largely been based on cultural or religious reasons. The medical benefits of circumcision have come up but has anyone actually argued that male circumcision is a good idea because of medical reasons? Further its been noted that those some benefits can largely be achieved through bathing and using a condom. If you would like to formulate an argument that circumcision is a good idea because of medical benefits to the child, I would then address it.

At which point you demonstrate that you didn't read the only link I've provided. You know what's great about medical research? It evolves.

The arguments against forced male circumcision are based on human rights which virtually all countries around the world have endorsed, even if they don't follow them directly. The Queensland Law Reform has argued that forced male circumcision may be unlawful under Australian law. I dare say countries do adhere to their law. The argument is based on current law and current human rights, if you feel that its set up in such a way that the argument cannot be defeated then perhaps its really a direct consequence of our rights and laws and is indeed the logical outcome.

Not so much. The arguments they present do account for medical benefit, and don't rely on a "who's loudest" rights-measurement scale. In case I haven't been clear, my point here is not about circumcision, it's about your faulty argument against it.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby DSenette » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:25 pm UTC

this thread popping back up just reminded me of an article i read (and now can no longer find) that referenced a study that was outlining all of the STI/AIDS points that have frequently been made in this (and other circumcision threads) as far as being circumcised reducing the chances of getting either.

the guy that did the study said in the opinion section that if the US circucision rates were reduced to the european rates (something like 10%) that STI and AIDS rates in the US would tripple or something like that (i wish i could find the specific article)...

are there 3 to 4 times as many cases of STI and AIDS infections in europe right now as compared to the US?
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Azrael » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:27 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:this thread popping back up just reminded me of an article i read (and now can no longer find) that referenced a study that was outlining all of the STI/AIDS points that have frequently been made in this (and other circumcision threads) as far as being circumcised reducing the chances of getting either.

the guy that did the study said in the opinion section that if the US circucision rates were reduced to the european rates (something like 10%) that STI and AIDS rates in the US would tripple or something like that (i wish i could find the specific article)...

are there 3 to 4 times as many cases of STI and AIDS infections in europe right now as compared to the US?

I linked to it earlier, and here is the one I saw, but here is the source NPR piece, and another. Check the byline date and time -- I too was surprised by google's aggregator astoundingly timely preemption of this necro.

EDITs: For link completeness and whatnot
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby DSenette » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:34 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
DSenette wrote:this thread popping back up just reminded me of an article i read (and now can no longer find) that referenced a study that was outlining all of the STI/AIDS points that have frequently been made in this (and other circumcision threads) as far as being circumcised reducing the chances of getting either.

the guy that did the study said in the opinion section that if the US circucision rates were reduced to the european rates (something like 10%) that STI and AIDS rates in the US would tripple or something like that (i wish i could find the specific article)...

are there 3 to 4 times as many cases of STI and AIDS infections in europe right now as compared to the US?

I linked to it earlier. I too was surprised by google's aggregator astoundingly timely preemption of this necro.

ah, there it is...yeah, that one.

how are they calculating that in real world numbers though? the bit about comparing US circumcision rates to european ones. it stands to reason that if their calculations are correct, then we whould see that europe does indeed have a 12% higher HIV infection rate right? is that actually the case is what i'm asking.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Azrael » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:39 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:how are they calculating that in real world numbers though?

I guess the full Johns Hopkins study is the only place to find that much detail. Unfortunately, paywall.
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