Author Topic: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate  (Read 13582 times)

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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #174 on: September 03, 2011, 10:18:03 PM »
Patients are people.  If I get heart surgery, my heart is not a patient.  If I get a cancer removed, the cancer is not a patient.  I am the patient.  The particular piece of meat involved has to be considered a person before it can be considered to be a second patient in its own right.

And that right there just about sums up everything I see wrong with the abortion argument. A fetus is not cancer. It is not a piece of meat. You are right that it has to be considered a person before it has rights...it just confounds me that a fetus is not recognized as a person for the very simple reason that it has not escaped the womb yet.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #175 on: September 03, 2011, 10:41:36 PM »
Patients are people.  If I get heart surgery, my heart is not a patient.  If I get a cancer removed, the cancer is not a patient.  I am the patient.  The particular piece of meat involved has to be considered a person before it can be considered to be a second patient in its own right.

And that right there just about sums up everything I see wrong with the abortion argument. A fetus is not cancer. It is not a piece of meat. You are right that it has to be considered a person before it has rights...it just confounds me that a fetus is not recognized as a person for the very simple reason that it has not escaped the womb yet.
Exactly.  To me, a fetus is a person; not a piece of meat, not some part of its mother's body, a person who just happens to need a controlled environment (the womb) in order to survive.  I accept abortion because, as much as I dislike it, it's necessary[1].
 1. at least until society as a whole accepts that sex isn't bad and that contraception isn't something that should be abhorred

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #176 on: September 03, 2011, 11:02:26 PM »
Azdgari:  First, I apparently did misunderstand TruthSeeker's argument.  As such, I retract my earlier statement that I agree with it.

Fair enough.  I take it you also agree with the right of parents to ritually tattoo their infants, or to sever their fingers, if it is in accordance with family tradition.  Being consistent and all.

I do not accept that rationale, because it can be so horribly abused.  For example, if the law stated that people below a certain IQ level were not actually people, and society accepted that, then it would be perfectly acceptable, even moral, to sterilize them without their consent so they couldn't reproduce, or to put them in ghettos so that they couldn't mix with 'real' people, or to simply exterminate them in job lots.  For that matter, that was one of the rationales used to justify American chattel slavery, because the black slaves weren't actually 'people' the same way whites were.

I never brought up morality.  I was referring strictly to legality.  Legally, a patient cannot be a non-person.

As for the rest, you already do exactly what you decry.  We all do.  We just don't usually bother to think about it because our standards for what qualify as a person are so thoroughly culturally ingrained.

Your example is flawed.  The heart will never grow into another human being; cancer will never become another human being.  But a fetus always will, unless it dies first.

You defeat your point with your own words.  "Grow into"; "become"; "will".  You acknowledge, with your repeated use of the future tense, that even you don't consider the fetus to be a human being.  Otherwise, you would use the present-tense, describing the fetus as it is.

Potentiality is a futile argument to use anyway.  If you want to see how, then try to actually use it.

This is not even remotely a religious issue for me; it is the logical conclusion of humanism, at least as I understand it.  Trying to legally define a fetus or neonate as not being a person to justify abortion is atrocious to me.  Yet, forbidding abortion in all circumstances except where medically necessary is even more atrocious to me, so I accept that parents have the right to make that decision[1] as a compromise.
 1. up to a certain point

Trying to define a tumor as not being a person in order to justify chemotherapy is no different, other than in its potential, which by definition involves what the object in question - tumor or fetus - is currently not.  You have your standards.  They happen to be cultural, and largely influenced by religion.  The question is, what goal do you hope to achieve with your definitional standards?  You have already assumed things about the motives of others - that they have defined a fetus as not being a person for the purpose of justifying abortion.  I am accepting that assumption solely for the sake of argument, but keep in mind that it cuts both ways.  You make your assertion/accusation of motives.  Am I allowed to make mine, too?  Do you want to punish women - is that why you define a fetus as a person?

You have explained, earlier, that this is not the case.  I was hasty in applying that judgment to you.  Can you see how you are now guilty of doing exactly the same thing?

You say that it's absurd for one person to make a decision for another.  I agree, when the person being decided for is capable of making their own reasoned choices (being of sound mind).  But the point is that an infant, or neonate, or fetus, is incapable of making that kind of a reasoned choice.  So someone has to make it on their behalf.  The argument that you, TruthSeeker, plethora, and others here are making is, essentially, that nobody should be able to make choices like that on an infant's behalf (such as for circumcision), until said infant is old enough to be able to make the choice for themselves, unless it's determined to be medically necessary to do so.  I find that to be even more absurd than one adult making a decision for another adult.

This sort of thing is a special case because the affirmative decision cannot be undone, whereas the negative decision can.  In such cases, enforcing the negative decision until such time as the affected male can make the choice on his own is safer.  If he wishes to get a circumcision, he can.  Unless you do not believe in any human rights for a child to have against the will of its parents at all...?

Should we then ban parents from naming their children, because some parents pick names which are inappropriate or embarrassing?  Should we then ban parents from getting their children's hair cut or styled until the child is old enough to decide whether, and how, they want to get it cut or styled?  I don't agree with banning either of those, or anything else along those lines, and I don't agree with banning parents from making the decision about circumcision either (although, I think the argument that circumcision shouldn't be automatic is worthwhile).

Notice how you picked two examples of entirely reversable decisions a parent could make.  I suspect that this selection was not done at random.  Am I wrong?  Because if not, then you already know that you are.

I will reiterate that the best solution here is to convince people to agree with you.  Banning it will simply make people fight to keep it, and will make it persist longer than it otherwise would.  People will always resist having something they're used to taken away from them, as opposed to voluntarily giving it up.  And the attitude that something is backwards, primitive, or whatever, will make them fight harder still to keep it.

You could be right.  Convincing others is always the best way, if it is available.  This particular issue is not one that I feel all that strongly about.  I do not personally support a ban, because it would do more harm than what I see as good, due to my low valuation of that good in this case.  Then again, I also have the luxury of an intact foreskin.  I understand if others feel more strongly about it.

The bottom line is, are you more concerned with trying to be seen as right, even if it makes what you're actually trying to accomplish harder, or with getting it done in an effective and efficient manner?

See above.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #177 on: September 03, 2011, 11:10:25 PM »
And that right there just about sums up everything I see wrong with the abortion argument. A fetus is not cancer. It is not a piece of meat. You are right that it has to be considered a person before it has rights...it just confounds me that a fetus is not recognized as a person for the very simple reason that it has not escaped the womb yet.
Exactly.  To me, a fetus is a person; not a piece of meat, not some part of its mother's body, a person who just happens to need a controlled environment (the womb) in order to survive.  I accept abortion because, as much as I dislike it, it's necessary[1].
 1. at least until society as a whole accepts that sex isn't bad and that contraception isn't something that should be abhorred

First, Jaybwell32:  We are all pieces of meat.  That is something we have in common with corpses, and with animals, and with tumors.  Pieces of meat, all of them.  The details matter, of course.  What qualities should a piece of meat have in order to be a person?

Jaimehlers, that goes for you, too:  What qualities do you use for a standard?  I find birth to be as trivial and arbitrary a dividing line as you do; it's still a good one, because it's useful.  A more appropriate one, from a moral stand-point, would be the point where the fetus gains consciousness.  That cannot predate brain activity.  So, if it was practical, I would support elective abortion only up to that point.  Since it's not, I take the practical position that we might as well go with "birth" as the absolute cut-off point, possibly with a "medically necessary" caveat for the third trimester, since the alternative standards cause more harm than good.  As I see it, the latter of this bit of reasoning isn't much different from your own.

So, what details do you use?
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #178 on: September 04, 2011, 06:30:54 AM »
A ban on circumcision of infants In non-medically-necessary cases; though, is there even such a thing as a medically-necessary circumcision of an infant?

In rare cases, yes, there is, and in such circumstances, of course it should not be prohibited.  But those occasions are exceptionally rare.

Should we then ban parents from naming their children, because some parents pick names which are inappropriate or embarrassing?  Should we then ban parents from getting their children's hair cut or styled until the child is old enough to decide whether, and how, they want to get it cut or styled?  I don't agree with banning either of those, or anything else along those lines, and I don't agree with banning parents from making the decision about circumcision either (although, I think the argument that circumcision shouldn't be automatic is worthwhile).

If parents give a child a hairstyle that the child doesn't like, reversing that decision entails sitting in a barber's chair for perhaps half an hour, then paying him maybe twenty bucks, including the tip.  Or, alternatively, it might entail letting your hair grow for a few months first, then visiting the barber.

If parents give a child a name that the child hates, and the parents refuse to let the child use a nickname or anything like that, the child can change his name upon reaching maturity.  Difficulty and expense on this varies by jurisdiction, but in most of the United States, at least, it's a fairly straightforward matter.  When I did it, it involved filling out several forms and getting them notarized (which took perhaps three or four hours, including travel time to the various locations I needed to go to), submitting them to the Lieutenant Governor for approval, and paying a total of perhaps $150 in various fees.[1]

These two situations are not analogous to cutting off the end of a child's penis.  I can't believe you would think they are.
 1. In fact, legally, in the United States, you don't even have to change your name if you don't want to.  You can simply say, "I want to be called this," and that's that.  Most actors, for example, don't use their real names, either, but they never bother to change them.
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #179 on: September 04, 2011, 07:45:54 AM »
I think anyone that actually believes that getting a circumcision is analogous to getting a haircut clearly has no proper understanding of human biology.

Jaimehlers reminds me of a customer I once had in my store. A child was shaking the phone card vending machine and I asked the child politely to not shake it. The fathers eyes grew wide then his face turned very red as he bacame quite visibly very very angry. He yelled at me, "ONLY I CONTROL MY CHILDREN! BLAH BLAH!!" I responded, "Well, Control them then!"

Jaimehlers, you feel it is absolutely absurd the child should be able to wait till adulthood and decide for themselves? Do you feel it is absolutely absurd they should decide whom they shall marry? What profession they will have? What sports/hobbies they'll be "allowed" to "like." Yet not one of these is permenant like circumcision. You seem like one of those people who have planned every moment of thier child's life planned from birth to death. If they decide to veer off the course you so planned for them... "God help them."

Or is it this? This is the only permenant change you can make on your child's life and you're going to take it. An absolute and total, "**** YOU!" just because you can. I find it pretty peculiar that you think that someone should be able to wait till they're old enough to decide for themselves is absurd. That the only way they can live thier life is by every decision thier parent made for them.

Right now, all I see you as, is a control freak.

Offline albeto

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #180 on: September 04, 2011, 12:09:11 PM »
But simply banning it (save for medical necessity) because plethora and other people believe it to be wrong is the wrong path to take.
Why?  If clitorectomies were performed on infant girls in Muslim families in the US, would you think it's a wrong path to take to demand the girls in your society need not undergo this process?  Would the argument "It's been done in my family for generations" be persuasive to you against the argument of the girl's freedom to determine what is done with her own body?  Assuming you would not advocate for the parents in forcing clitorectomies on infant girls, would the only difference be the intensity of pain, or the religious reference?

Taking religion out of the conversation wouldn't lessen the arguments against circumcision just because people are anit-theistic in this measure.  It would remove from the conversation any reason for circumcision in the first place.  The *only* reason it is offered is traditional, based on religious ideologies.  I never understood why it became popular in the Christian community seeing that it's a Jewish custom, but I guess that's beside the point. 

Offline jetson

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #181 on: September 04, 2011, 01:08:04 PM »
I have to agree with Azdgari, a fetus is not a person, legally - it cannot possibly survive without the host until it reaches some point quite close to birth, in most cases.  We must have standards, such as a legal adult age (18 in the U.S.), in order to define things clearly.  The argument regarding when a fetus becomes a person is not really an argument, it's an appeal to emotion, I think, to talk about human fetuses as people, when we really don't have anything clearly defining their independence from their host.  I'm sure there are studies that show survival rates at points along the gestation timeline, but still, nothing definite that we can all agree on.

The best we have right now are the trimesters, which are themselves somewhat subjective.  Obviously, when a baby is born, it officially gets recorded as a citizen.  The challenge, of course, is that as a baby matures in the womb, it becomes increasingly closer to becoming a citizen, and no one wants to draw any legal lines around the "possibility" of a successful birth, when the expectation is that it will. 

I too am disappointed in our decision to circumcise our boy.  We did it because I am circumcised, and we thought it would be better that we both "look the same", so to speak.  And I think one of the most difficult aspects of such decisions, is the fact that most boys have no memory of the event, so we tend to think it's OK, and "does no harm".

What I completely disagree with, is the idea that circumcision should be allowed for religious reasons.  While my reasoning was fairly poor, I do not think that people should have the right to circumcise without a valid medical reason.  It should never be brought up as an option, unless there is some obvious medical problem related (which would be very rare, I think.)  I'm afraid it will be very difficult to erase this cultural slant towards circumcision.



Offline testtickle

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #182 on: September 05, 2011, 03:07:35 AM »
Heres a question, what if it was possible to genetically alter the dna of a fetus in the womb so that the foreskin never developed? It was previously agreed upon in this thread that there is no distinct advantage to having or not having foreskin. It seems the problem lies in the mutilation of a newborn. So if the baby was born with no foreskin could we all be ok with that? Also if your argument is the baby didn't have a choice, its invalid as we have previously established there are no disadvantages or advantages to be gained so the only reason for the "choice" would be for aesthetic purposes.

Also since i will admit to having no knowledge of DNA manipulation other than from science fiction, I do know that doctors have performed surgery on babies while in the womb, if the doctor were to perform the procedure in the womb1 than would circumcision than be ok?, based on the logic of the pro abortion arguments because the fetus is not a legal person yet than whatever procedure was done in the womb would be ok? Then if your son complained about not having foreskin when he was older you could say, "hey, at least i didn't abort you, be happy with what you got."

I am circumcised2 and have never really given it any thought until I read this thread, and now that i have i really don't give a damn honestly, If my son is upset because his penis doesn't have have a hoodie, he can cry me a river, then build me a bridge than get his ass over it. Is it wrong? maybe, but as i prioritize the list of all the shit that's wrong on this planet, and look at the list of things I'd like to try and fix in order of importance; baby penis hoodies falls somewhere inbetween standard testing requirements for breeding, and banning the term "barista"

1 http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/02/09/surgery.spina.bifada/index.html
2 Just trust me i am, if i provided evidence you might never feel whole again
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #183 on: September 05, 2011, 12:34:46 PM »
Heres a question, what if it was possible to genetically alter the dna of a fetus in the womb so that the foreskin never developed?

Ha! Why stop there? Designer Fetuses will be all the rage I bet....Gatica, Gatica, Gatica, Gatica!

You bring up a very pertinent point. If, while in the womb, the fetus is just an extension of the woman's body then she is authorized to make any alterations or modifications to that part of her body that she see's fit. So what could the argument possibly be against circumcising while in the womb or genetically modifying while in the womb? Based on the current discussion there can be no argument against in vivo circumcision of a fetus because the fetus is just a piece of meat with no rights.

I have to agree with Azdgari, a fetus is not a person, legally - it cannot possibly survive without the host until it reaches some point quite close to birth, in most cases.
How long will a baby survive after birth without further assistance? If you only apply person-hood to people who can survive independently from the host then it must become necessary for children to demonstrate that they can take care of themselves without assistance from their parent/s. Then it becomes an issue of what does independence mean and who determines what qualifies. There are hundreds of thousands of single parents living on welfare...they are dependent upon the government for their survival, should they not have rights then?

First, Jaybwell32:  We are all pieces of meat.  That is something we have in common with corpses, and with animals, and with tumors.  Pieces of meat, all of them.  The details matter, of course.  What qualities should a piece of meat have in order to be a person?

This is something I don't have a specific answer for, unfortunately. Having the right DNA is a good start. Actively growing, although I know that tumors grow too but I guess the main quality after being human by virtue of DNA and after the mass of cells growing then It would be a matter of potential I guess. There is no way cancer or any type of tumor could ever develop into a human. If left alone or helped along a fetus could and often does develop into a human.

Abortion is a complicated issue. For me, I want to somehow reconcile my conviction that women have the right to choose what is best for themselves without government interference with my belief that fetuses should have rights too.

Quote
  I find birth to be as trivial and arbitrary a dividing line as you do; it's still a good one, because it's useful.  A more appropriate one, from a moral stand-point, would be the point where the fetus gains consciousness.  That cannot predate brain activity.  So, if it was practical, I would support elective abortion only up to that point.  Since it's not, I take the practical position that we might as well go with "birth" as the absolute cut-off point, possibly with a "medically necessary" caveat for the third trimester, since the alternative standards cause more harm than good. 

This sounds like a perfectly reasonable compromise to me...I doubt many people would agree with that proposal even if it were possible to determine when the fetus gains consciousness though.

 

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Offline jetson

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #184 on: September 05, 2011, 05:27:33 PM »
Jayb...when I say rely on the host for survival, I mean literally.  A baby born healthy can easily be supported by anyone else willing and able.  And the line for "citizenship" that we draw today is literally the birth of the baby, that moment. 

I know we pick names, make up the rooms, and stock up on diapers and formula before it happens, but the government does not place our children into official record until the doctor declares the time and date of the actual birth.  At that moment, anyone can take the baby and raise it.  Yes, it needs assistance, but it is now on record as an official citizen.  We don;t consider the unborn as citizens anymore than we consider a person legally adult when they are 17 years and 11 months old.  I was saying that we are forced to draw a line in the sand as far as official records, recognition on the books, so to speak.

Now, there is also the idea that modern medicine has made premature birth much better in terms of survival, so we do have that to possibly consider.  I'm not sure if it will be useful though, to say that once a baby reaches the practical 100% premature birth survival point, it should be an official citizen.  I think for now it should remain the point of birth.

No one that I know supports the later term abortions for anything other than saving the life of the mother, and in those cases, I think the doctors should be the ultimate decision makers on whose life to save, based on science.  I would hope that it is the mother when it comes to a 50/50 shot, since she may have other children, and already has an established life, and family.  That has to be seriously tough on the medical people involved.

This problem gets tougher when you consider that we have become so advanced in medicine and technology, that we can supersede, at will, the biological process that we evolved to fulfill, that of having babies, and surviving the species.  Our thinking is advanced and mature enough, that we are able to actually ponder and consider our own existence.  And in modern societies, it is painfully obvious that there are too many people on the planet to adequately take care of, yet we have no method for controlling the biological goal of our species - to reproduce. 

Sure, there are natural and "unnatural" ways to control populations, not to mention wars and genocides, which we seem to be very good at.  But ultimately, no one wants to consider that abortions are one tool we have to keep unwanted children from putting more pressure on an already troubled society of people.  And given some of the stats on abortions in modern times, women are choosing not to have babies by going straight to the clinic, and taking a pill, very early on, I might add.  According to what I've read, it is like an exaggerated period, with some extra bleeding, and perhaps a bit more pain, as well as an emotional hit on the woman who probably realizes that a fertilized egg was just flushed from her system (this happens naturally during a woman's period, when non-viable fertilized eggs are flushed.)  Edit:  I'm not an expert, so I hope I didn't misrepresent the process.

Anyway, I came to terms with the fact that there are so many women who have abortions by the age of forty, that abortions are actually necessary.  So I've stopped even saying that I only support it in cases of rape, incest, or other traumatic events.  I fully support abortion, and consider it a necessary thing for humans at this time.  I wish it could be different.


Offline testtickle

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #185 on: September 05, 2011, 09:42:19 PM »
Ha! Why stop there? Designer Fetuses will be all the rage I bet....Gatica, Gatica, Gatica, Gatica!

Id like my fetus with retractable adamantium claws, laser beam eyes, oh and a circumcised penis while your in there.....

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Offline jetson

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #186 on: September 05, 2011, 10:41:14 PM »
Ha! Why stop there? Designer Fetuses will be all the rage I bet....Gatica, Gatica, Gatica, Gatica!

Id like my fetus with retractable adamantium claws, laser beam eyes, oh and a circumcised penis while your in there.....

Hell, why not just have a laser penis?  Well, maybe not...

Offline plethora

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #187 on: September 06, 2011, 04:48:24 AM »
Sorry for the late reply ... I was away for a few days.

plethora:  Abortion necessarily involves two patients, not one, and one of those patients doesn't survive the experience.  You can't talk about a newborn or a neonate being unable to give consent while you ignore a fetus being unable to give consent, because that is inconsistent.  It doesn't matter that a fetus may not be able to survive unassisted outside its mother's body, it is still a separate life.  Why is it that it the consent of a fetus doesn't matter when the consent of a neonate or a newborn does, since neither can possibly give informed consent anyway?

With regards to Abortion ... my post in this thread gives you a clear idea of my stance on abortion:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,19990.msg440860.html#msg440860

Basically, before 24 weeks of gestation, the fetus cannot even experience pain let alone have any sort of consciousness. That's where I personally draw my line between a fetus and a human being. To me personally, after 24 weeks of gestation the fetus should have rights... but that's an issue that deserves a thread of its own.

Legally, the current situation is that a fetus becomes a person the day it is born. The line may be arbitrary, but it's a very clear well defined one... it is practical and leaves no room for ambiguity.

Comparing abortion to circumcision is like comparing apples and oranges. Abortion has societal benefits. Circumcision does not provide any benefits of any kind except in the very rare cases where it is medically necessary.
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Offline plethora

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #188 on: September 06, 2011, 04:53:54 AM »
I accept abortion because, as much as I dislike it, it's necessary

Same here.

... and I reject circumcision because it is not necessary.
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Offline plethora

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #189 on: September 06, 2011, 05:05:02 AM »
I am circumcised and have never really given it any thought until I read this thread, and now that i have i really don't give a damn honestly, If my son is upset because his penis doesn't have have a hoodie, he can cry me a river, then build me a bridge than get his ass over it. Is it wrong? maybe, but as i prioritize the list of all the shit that's wrong on this planet, and look at the list of things I'd like to try and fix in order of importance; baby penis hoodies falls somewhere inbetween standard testing requirements for breeding, and banning the term "barista"

I see. Do me a favor then ... if you come home one day to find your house has been burgled, don't bother calling the police. I'm sure they have much bigger issues to deal with than a petty robbery.

Just because there are more important issues in the world that doesn't mean we should ignore this issue.  &)
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Offline plethora

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #190 on: September 06, 2011, 05:13:55 AM »
For those who think circumcision is a trivial issue and parents should have the right to impose such a procedure on their children ... a few questions:

1) Why can't parents get their children tattooed?

2) Why can't I get my child's nose or tongue pierced?

3) Earlobes perform no particular body function and are excess skin ... why can't parents get their children's earlobes removed?

4) Why can't I get my neonate's tongue split? This would enable him/her to grip their food with their tongue later on.

5) Why can't I have a doctor remove my neonate's appendix to prevent them from ever getting appendicitis in the future?

All of the above are body modifications that can be done in sanitary medical conditions with minimal pain and quick recovery.... and they can be done before the child can retain any memory of the procedure.

Why are parents not allowed to do the above?
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Offline jetson

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #191 on: September 06, 2011, 05:57:23 AM »
For those who think circumcision is a trivial issue and parents should have the right to impose such a procedure on their children ... a few questions:

1) Why can't parents get their children tattooed?

2) Why can't I get my child's nose or tongue pierced?

3) Earlobes perform no particular body function and are excess skin ... why can't parents get their children's earlobes removed?

4) Why can't I get my neonate's tongue split? This would enable him/her to grip their food with their tongue later on.

5) Why can't I have a doctor remove my neonate's appendix to prevent them from ever getting appendicitis in the future?

All of the above are body modifications that can be done in sanitary medical conditions with minimal pain and quick recovery.... and they can be done before the child can retain any memory of the procedure.

Why are parents not allowed to do the above?

Because they are barbaric, and unnecessary.  Circumcisions are purely religious acts, and thus cannot be barbaric, and are "accepted" even by the medical profession.  Even the doctors are afraid to just stand up and call circumcisions barbaric. 

There is no medical reason to circumcise.  And if a situation arose where splitting a tongue is medically necessary, I'm sure it would be OK.  LOL.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #192 on: September 06, 2011, 12:10:29 PM »
Fair enough.  I take it you also agree with the right of parents to ritually tattoo their infants, or to sever their fingers, if it is in accordance with family tradition.  Being consistent and all.
I'm very glad I read your whole post before commenting, because it would have been very easy to allow the first couple of paragraphs to shape how I thought about the rest of it.

All I'm going to say about that is that those are not things I would personally do, or recommend to anyone else.  But if they're legal to do, then I'm not going to try to tell someone that they don't have the right to do them, though I may well argue against them doing it.

I never brought up morality.  I was referring strictly to legality.  Legally, a patient cannot be a non-person.
The problem I have with the argument against infant circumcision is that it's arguing against something legal because of presumed immorality.  Or at least as I understand the arguments of others in this case.

As far as what you said, I don't think much of arguing about something like this based purely on legality, regardless of morality.  It's too easy to use the letter of a law to undercut the purpose of the law.

As for the rest, you already do exactly what you decry.  We all do.  We just don't usually bother to think about it because our standards for what qualify as a person are so thoroughly culturally ingrained.
No, actually I don't.  I'm not arrogant enough to say that I never did, or that it's not a work in progress, but it isn't something that I just do without thinking now.

You defeat your point with your own words.  "Grow into"; "become"; "will".  You acknowledge, with your repeated use of the future tense, that even you don't consider the fetus to be a human being.  Otherwise, you would use the present-tense, describing the fetus as it is.

Potentiality is a futile argument to use anyway.  If you want to see how, then try to actually use it.
I understand where you're coming from, but it's hardly a matter of 'acknowledging' that.  If it's anything, it's a mistaken use of language (by no means the first or last time someone will screw up in saying something).  We don't say that a child grows into a human being, we say that a child grows into an adult, so I should have said that a fetus grows into a baby and is a human being.

Trying to define a tumor as not being a person in order to justify chemotherapy is no different, other than in its potential, which by definition involves what the object in question - tumor or fetus - is currently not.  You have your standards.  They happen to be cultural, and largely influenced by religion.  The question is, what goal do you hope to achieve with your definitional standards?  You have already assumed things about the motives of others - that they have defined a fetus as not being a person for the purpose of justifying abortion.  I am accepting that assumption solely for the sake of argument, but keep in mind that it cuts both ways.  You make your assertion/accusation of motives.  Am I allowed to make mine, too?  Do you want to punish women - is that why you define a fetus as a person?
A tumor can in no way be defined as a person.  A fetus already is (whatever the legal definition happens to be), because it grows via a controlled process which results in a baby being born.  That is precisely why a tumor is not a person, because it grows via an uncontrolled process which will generally result in both the tumor and the person dying (not in the fullness of time, either; usually fairly quickly).  This is because I understand the biological processes that go into both.  I didn't decide this because of some preexisting cultural bias, nor did I decide it because I was influenced by religion as I was growing up; I was actually much more reflexively pro-choice when I was younger because I didn't put much thought into it.

That being said, you do have a point about motives.  Please note that I wasn't actually trying to do that; I said that I felt that defining a fetus as a non-person for purposes of abortion was atrocious, but I didn't intend to insinuate that you or any particular person felt that way and I certainly wasn't trying to suggest that abortion advocacy was based on that motive.  Since it apparently came across that way, let me apologize for it.

You have explained, earlier, that this is not the case.  I was hasty in applying that judgment to you.  Can you see how you are now guilty of doing exactly the same thing?
It wasn't my intention to do that, as I said just above.  Intentions don't change the fact that something happened, though, and they don't justify it when it does happen.

This sort of thing is a special case because the affirmative decision cannot be undone, whereas the negative decision can.  In such cases, enforcing the negative decision until such time as the affected male can make the choice on his own is safer.  If he wishes to get a circumcision, he can.  Unless you do not believe in any human rights for a child to have against the will of its parents at all...?
Well, as I suggested in the next paragraph, I'm not inclined to support automatic circumcision of infants now.  But that's not the same as "enforcing the negative decision", which I don't agree with.  I'd probably feel differently if there were unequivocal proof showing that infant circumcision did irrevocable harm, but so far there's arguments to both sides.

Notice how you picked two examples of entirely reversable decisions a parent could make.  I suspect that this selection was not done at random.  Am I wrong?  Because if not, then you already know that you are.
Those were the examples that came most easily to mind.  I don't know if or whether I'd call that random, but I certainly didn't deliberately pick those two examples.

You could be right.  Convincing others is always the best way, if it is available.  This particular issue is not one that I feel all that strongly about.  I do not personally support a ban, because it would do more harm than what I see as good, due to my low valuation of that good in this case.  Then again, I also have the luxury of an intact foreskin.  I understand if others feel more strongly about it.
I was circumcised as an infant.  It isn't something that I care about, or even think about most of the time.  To be honest, I don't see how it would have made any real difference as I was growing up, or now that I'm an adult.  So you're not the only one who doesn't value it much.

Offline testtickle

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #193 on: September 06, 2011, 01:17:49 PM »
I am circumcised and have never really given it any thought until I read this thread, and now that i have i really don't give a damn honestly, If my son is upset because his penis doesn't have have a hoodie, he can cry me a river, then build me a bridge than get his ass over it. Is it wrong? maybe, but as i prioritize the list of all the shit that's wrong on this planet, and look at the list of things I'd like to try and fix in order of importance; baby penis hoodies falls somewhere inbetween standard testing requirements for breeding, and banning the term "barista"

I see. Do me a favor then ... if you come home one day to find your house has been burgled, don't bother calling the police. I'm sure they have much bigger issues to deal with than a petty robbery.

Just because there are more important issues in the world that doesn't mean we should ignore this issue.  &)

I see what you did there, however that's an impossible comparison, you are saying a burglary is at the same importance level of babies being circumcised. lets see, one effects me personally and immediately, and could also put a whole community at risk, whilst the other "could" affect a baby in there teens, but most likely wont even matter.  hmm i yea i can see that  ;)

you still didn't answer the question, or conveniently dodged it whichever the case may be, if the procedure was done before the baby escaped the womb, and was painless would you still have a problem with it and why. as to your questions:

1) Why can't parents get their children tattooed?
   
    A tattoo is different from circumcision, ill explain: there is only one effect of circumcision and that is the removal of the foreskin. However a tattoo can be anything, how do you know your kid is even going to like that AC/DC band when he gets older let alone the tattoo. So the fact that tattoos can be so varied means you cannot compare it with circumcision they are not the same. 
 

2) Why can't I get my child's nose or tongue pierced?
   
   I would guess for safety reasons, children's throats are small, imagine parts of the piercing coming off and choking an infant, or the back of a nose piercing getting inhaled. other than that i see no reason not to, your tongue can regenerate so the hole will close if your child doesn't want it, as far as nose piercing while the hole may not close completely depending on how long the piercing stays in, it wont be very noticeable if the child chooses to remove it later. I still don't see how this relates to a circumcision though still two different things.
 
3) Earlobes perform no particular body function and are excess skin ... why can't parents get their children's earlobes removed?
   
    where would they put they're ear piercings? Seriously this brings us back to what society deems normal. Perhaps you should go talk to the Mursi tribe leader and tell them they're doing it wrong. They begin gauging at an extremely early age. However they're society deems that normal and attractive. Our society (American and European) deems people with no earlobes look weird, so we don't have our babies earlobes cut off.


4) Why can't I get my neonate's tongue split? This would enable him/her to grip their food with their tongue later on.
   
   why cant you? (no really why not?) I would suggest discussing it with a doctor, if you can prove it has a benefit, i am sure they will gladly perform the procedure for you. (for a small fee of course, i doubt it will be covered by your insurance) however I really don't see how gripping food with your tongue makes eating any easier, usually i just chew, chew swallow, and babies generally just suck from a bottle, but sure go ahead with your split tongue self.

5) Why can't I have a doctor remove my neonate's appendix to prevent them from ever getting appendicitis in the future?
 
  well contrary to common belief the appendix does actually do something http://www.news-medical.net/news/2007/10/08/30907.aspx ill admit not much but it does have a purpose, secondly can you really compare an appendectomy to circumcision, one involves removing an internal organ. The finger cutting analogy was probably better. just saying...


I am neither for or against circumcision, like i said previously i really don't care, however i think people should be able to do what they will and not be made to feel bad about it. If society says circumcision is ok, and at the time you made a decision to circumcise your baby, and it seemed the best choice at the time, there is no reason to feel bad. There have been a few posters that have said they now feel bad or guilty about having their child circumcised, if this was your intent than you are no better than the Christians that use sins and forgiveness to guilt their members into staying on the "straight and narrow"

  If and when society says circumcision is no longer necessary and acceptable, people will cease doing it. A way to do this is to properly inform people about the benefits of non circumcision, rather than tell them they have maimed and disfigured their children's sex organs.
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Offline plethora

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #194 on: September 06, 2011, 06:13:39 PM »
I see what you did there, however that's an impossible comparison, you are saying a burglary is at the same importance level of babies being circumcised. lets see, one effects me personally and immediately, and could also put a whole community at risk, whilst the other "could" affect a baby in there teens, but most likely wont even matter.  hmm i yea i can see that  ;)

Okay... how about this for comparison.... let's say a parent molests an neonate or an infant one time. The kid won't have any memory of it. Hell... it's mildly painful and lasts only a couple minutes. The kid recovers almost immediately after the incident. The kid grows up into adulthood ... as far as he/she is concerned, it never even happened. He/she never even finds out. It doesn't have any impact on him/her at all other than the mildly painful 2 minutes he/she can't even remember.

Does that make it okay? Is it somehow morally justified?

Quote
you still didn't answer the question, or conveniently dodged it whichever the case may be, if the procedure was done before the baby escaped the womb, and was painless would you still have a problem with it and why. as to your questions:

Yes, I would have a problem with it. It's one thing to terminate a pregnancy, where the fetus' development is completely halted well before it has developed ... and another to make permanent modifications that will carry over into that human's life once it becomes legally a person.

Quote
A tattoo is different from circumcision, ill explain: there is only one effect of circumcision and that is the removal of the foreskin. However a tattoo can be anything, how do you know your kid is even going to like that AC/DC band when he gets older let alone the tattoo. So the fact that tattoos can be so varied means you cannot compare it with circumcision they are not the same. 

I fail to see the difference. The removal of the foreskin is rooted in tribal rituals, religion tradition and rites of passage. A tattoo could the child's last name, to symbolize it's belonging to a particular family. Or a family emblem. Or maybe it could be used for practical matters ... like tattooing the child's name and date/place of birth and which would help identify it in the event it got lost or was abducted.

Most people would never support such a thing... and yet they turn around and modify their children's genitals for no good reason.

Quote
I would guess for safety reasons, children's throats are small, imagine parts of the piercing coming off and choking an infant, or the back of a nose piercing getting inhaled. other than that i see no reason not to, your tongue can regenerate so the hole will close if your child doesn't want it, as far as nose piercing while the hole may not close completely depending on how long the piercing stays in, it wont be very noticeable if the child chooses to remove it later. I still don't see how this relates to a circumcision though still two different things.

So it doesn't stop at ear piercing and circumcision. Everything goes as long as it's not a choke hazard or anything too risky. So piercing the child's eyebrow or the navel would be okay.... and you don't think the child should have any say in any of these body modifications? So female circumcision is okay too in your opinion?

Again... most people would be against these modifications... but I guess you consider a child practically a parent's property that can be modified as they see fit, huh?
 
Quote
where would they put they're ear piercings? Seriously this brings us back to what society deems normal. Perhaps you should go talk to the Mursi tribe leader and tell them they're doing it wrong. They begin gauging at an extremely early age. However they're society deems that normal and attractive. Our society (American and European) deems people with no earlobes look weird, so we don't have our babies earlobes cut off.

I don't want anyone to perform any kind of body modification on any child anywhere. Indeed, ear piercing and circumcision in the west are both body modifications based on social constructs equivalent to those in primitive tribes in Africa. Supposedly the west has moved on from barbaric tribal traditions but in this regards apparently it hasn't made any progress.

Quote
4) Why can't I get my neonate's tongue split? This would enable him/her to grip their food with their tongue later on.
   
why cant you? (no really why not?) I would suggest discussing it with a doctor, if you can prove it has a benefit, i am sure they will gladly perform the procedure for you. (for a small fee of course, i doubt it will be covered by your insurance) however I really don't see how gripping food with your tongue makes eating any easier, usually i just chew, chew swallow, and babies generally just suck from a bottle, but sure go ahead with your split tongue self.

I'm sorry, but I find it morally despicable that you would actually even entertain this idea.

Quote
5) Why can't I have a doctor remove my neonate's appendix to prevent them from ever getting appendicitis in the future?
 
well contrary to common belief the appendix does actually do something http://www.news-medical.net/news/2007/10/08/30907.aspx ill admit not much but it does have a purpose, secondly can you really compare an appendectomy to circumcision, one involves removing an internal organ. The finger cutting analogy was probably better. just saying...

... and contrary to popular belief, the foreskin actually does something too. It provides a gliding mechanism and contains over 20,000 erogenous nerve endings. Removing it does make the penis less sensitive.

Quote
I am neither for or against circumcision, like i said previously i really don't care, however i think people should be able to do what they will and not be made to feel bad about it. If society says circumcision is ok, and at the time you made a decision to circumcise your baby, and it seemed the best choice at the time, there is no reason to feel bad. There have been a few posters that have said they now feel bad or guilty about having their child circumcised, if this was your intent than you are no better than the Christians that use sins and forgiveness to guilt their members into staying on the "straight and narrow"

Society can be wrong and in fact is often wrong. Slavery used to be acceptable then segregation was acceptable. The oppression of women and gays was socially acceptable. So fucking what? It was still wrong and eventually society turned around and made improvements on these social and moral issues.

American society is wrong about circumcision.

Quote
If and when society says circumcision is no longer necessary and acceptable, people will cease doing it. A way to do this is to properly inform people about the benefits of non circumcision, rather than tell them they have maimed and disfigured their children's sex organs.

I agree that it should be done in positive ways. But when I hear someone say "My son can cry me a river if he comes and tells me off for modifying his dick without his permission" ... I tend to react to that. So sue me.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #195 on: September 06, 2011, 06:54:46 PM »
Imagine being in the hospital immediately after the birth of your baby, and politely asking the doctor to remove your babies earlobes.  You can argue that it is a new tradition, or it is for religious reasons, for example.  How would the doctor respond?

We have a social precedent for cutting off a foreskin, but for absolutely no medical reason whatsoever.  An identical scenario with the earlobes minus the social precedent.  Seems to me that we need more doctors to say no to circumcisions.

Offline testtickle

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #196 on: September 06, 2011, 11:03:00 PM »
Just to recap, if circumcision was done in way, while in the womb causing no harm to the baby, also before the baby was a "citizen" this is morally apprehensive, however terminating the fetus completely during this same time period is perfectly acceptable? I really don't see how this isn't the same thing, either way the fetus has no choice, if this isn't in some way a double standard please explain.

Also if you took offense to my comment of, "get over it as a teenager," you took that comment way too seriously, and missed the point, which was; he would have no other choice but to accept the decision i made for him as a parent, just as I choose to raise a child in *insert state here*, he may wish all he wanted to be raised in another state/country/planet, but as a responsible parent deemed so by the government, my child has to live with the decisions i make for him while he is under my supervision. when he or she, has children and if he/she did not like the choices that were made for him/her,  he/she can choose to not make them for his/her child. Creating a legislation to end all circumcision would do nothing more than give the government more control than they already have and send every theist into a rabid frenzy. So yes, basically till the child is 18 he is my property in a way,id akin more to an indentured servant, if you see that as morally wrong than either you are a bad parent, or have never been a parent. when children get to a certain age they can have their say, and i will take it into consideration their wishes but they don't get to choose everything, if they could, they would eat ice cream and waffles three meals a day, and eventually the government would come in and wheel off my 600lb children.


... and contrary to popular belief, the foreskin actually does something too. It provides a gliding mechanism and contains over 20,000 erogenous nerve endings. Removing it does make the penis less sensitive.

Do you have some proof of this, there are males who were circumcised in their 30s who say its still feels the same, sooooo
 also there was a small poll taken here http://www.slate.com/id/2136062/ where 84 men were polled after circumcision later in life most said it actually improved their sex life.

What it boils down to, is parents making decisions for their children under their care, you cannot force parents to do what you think is right, unless your Stalin reincarnated.

oh and about that rape scenario, r u serious bro? mildly painful? maybe mildly painful for a young "woman's" first time, but i don't think that's how i would describe the tearing and internal bleeding that molestation would cause to a neonate and or infant. These comparisons dude, just wow.

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Offline jetson

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #197 on: September 07, 2011, 06:03:55 AM »
testickle,

So, we can ask the doctor to cut off the earlobes while inside the womb, then, correct?  It makes no difference whether the foreskin has a purpose, or whether it serves up a better sensation during sex or not.  We are asking doctors to remove body parts, for what?  I want to know why the foreskin on a male gets special treatment when it comes to removing body parts?  Or do you believe that doctors should remove whatever parts the parents ask them to, as long as it's done inside the womb, and is not painful to the baby...or whatever?

I want to hear any argument that clearly makes the case for removing a male's foreskin regardless of the time, or pain involved to the baby.

Offline testtickle

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #198 on: September 07, 2011, 07:54:15 AM »
Jetson,


   If we remove factors such as the importance and function of a body part and whether or not it is socially acceptable to remove said body part. than we are basically left with the decision of parents, and however you want to look at it, parents make final decisions for their children, that can and will affect them for their entire lives. Its kind of their job. So if there was some strange parents who thought removing a child's earlobes was a good decision who are any of us to tell them no? It would be like us going to a tribe in Africa and telling them its repulsive to put lip and ear gauges into their children. Why are we not doing that?
  Parental decision is why we still have abortions, If we want to tell parents that they can not alter their babies foreskin, or earlobes for that matter, because they(the babies) might not like it later on in life plus the child had no choice in the matter, then the same argument has to apply to abortions, I'm pretty sure if given a choice a baby would choose to live regardless of the babies and or mothers situation.
   My point is you cant have it both ways, and even though the potential for abuse is there, letting the parents decide whats best for their child, is currently the best solution. Even if some mothers decide the best solution is an abortion, that option is still there, the proposition of making a legislation to end circumcision, would, without a doubt open the door to make abortion illegal as well. which i believe most have agreed can be necessary at times.     
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #199 on: September 07, 2011, 09:10:17 AM »
Reading your comments... I was just reminded of something I witnessed.

My sister as an adult decided to not do something my father told her to do. He put his hand around her throat and yelled while choking her, "I brought you into this world. I can take you out if I GOD DAMN WELL PLEASE!" When someone feels justified by thier Bible they can kill thier own kids. Because they [the children] are thier very own personal property, a bodily modification here, an abuse there is only a means to an end. That end is to get them into Heaven. With that goal: by any means necessary, is included in the plan.

What's done is done, but once you've awakened into reality. To support the barbaric practices of the delusional for... why exactly? "Because they won't remember anyways."  :?   The saddest thing that can happen once Christianity has finally gone the way of the Annunaki, is to keep the pointless traditional ritual that have no meaning in a world where there is soap. Like a fued that continues when no one remembers why the fued started. "just because."

Oooooh, instead of only asking your son to wash his hands, beween his toes, behind his ears, you'll also have to ask him to wash his penis. Oh, the Horror! I guess with the social stigma Christians placed upon certain body parts and biological functions, some things are just too embarassing for some parents to do thier jobs.  &)

Man, if you're a single father with a daughter... woah.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2011, 09:12:08 AM by TruthSeeker »

Offline jetson

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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #200 on: September 07, 2011, 07:02:03 PM »
Testickle,

I hear what you are saying, but I don't think they are the same thing.  The point is that doctors DO NOT do ANY medical procedures to human babies in the United States that are not required for medical reason, EXCEPT circumcision.  Ear piercings are done by private vendors, along with tattoos and other piercings and mods. 

In other words, we do not allow parents to make arbitrary or personal, non-medical decisions for their babies in the U.S. By licensed doctors in our healthcare system.  But we do allow parents to circumcise their boys.  What am I missing?  What procedures are happening with parents consent, that are the same as a circumcision in terms of being unnecessary from a medical perspective by a doctor?

And I'm not advocating that we give the decision to the child, who obviously cannot make such a decision.  I am advocating taking that right away from parents, and forcing them to do their religious body hacking elsewhere, like maybe another planet.  The healthcare system of doctors and nurses are at the ready to help any family and their baby in medical need, but why should they be expected to cut the foreskin off of a newborn boy without question, and for no other reason than it's parents wishes, when they cannot do any other procedure that a parent wishes done?


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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #201 on: September 08, 2011, 09:17:01 AM »
@testtickle

Like I said earlier... abortion is a procedure that happens before the fetus comes anywhere near becoming a "person". Abortion is necessary and provides societal benefits.

A circumcision performed genetically on a fetus is not only completely unnecessary, but its consequences carry over into "personhood" as the fetus becomes a person later on.

So your comparison is flawed.

Other than that ... I agree with Jetson's comments above.
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Re: Possible Ban on Male Circumcision Debate
« Reply #202 on: September 08, 2011, 12:07:34 PM »
Just to put a stop to this insane notion that "Since you don't consider it a person until birth for the purpose of abortion then anything goes" that testtickle is putting forth: Our society already differentiates on those grounds. Terminating a fetus before it comes to term (i.e. before the creation of a legal person) is not analygous to willful or negligent alteration of a fetus that you intend to bring to term, and there is precedent for this. We already hold people accountable for actions against a mother that cause the loss of the fetus, and we even hold mother accountable for their actions[1], or in some cases neglect, that result in detrimental effects.

To put it another way: If you are five months pregnant and intend to carry your fetus to term then you have a legal obligation to care for that future person during their incubation. If you drink in excess, use narcotics, fail to obtain basic prenatal care or fail to maintain a sufficiently nutritious diet[2] then you can be held liable for any detrimental effects your actions/inaction have on that future person. However, if you are five months pregnant and you do not intend to carry the fetus to term then the law has no bearing over your actions.

Edit: Formatting
 1. http://www.birthtraumalawfirms.com/resources/birth-injury/causes-birth-injuries/fetal-abuse-law.htm
 2. Assuming basic prenatal care and nutrition is available to you.
Atheism is not a mission to convert the world. It only seems that way because when other religions implode, atheism is what is left behind