Question of the Day [on male circumcision]

Richard Goode's picture
Submitted by Richard Goode on Wed, 2012-07-18 09:50

When is a child old enough to decide whether or not to mutilate his parents' genitals?


( categories: )

Irrational premises

Xray's picture

Submitted by Leonid on Sun, 2012-08-05 21:30.
"Besides, there are many other irrational rituals in the western society-for example baptizing, Sunday prayers, and cannibalistic ritual of eating Jesus' flesh and drinking his blood, performed by every good Catholic every Sunday. Do you think that such a practice also should be banned by government?" (end quote)

The irrationality of all the above-mentioned rituals is undisputed; their origins, just like the origins of circumcision, date back to arcaic times where magical thinking and belief in sacrificing to a deity prevailed.
As for baptizing babies and children, secular humanists advocate for abolishing this practice. I too am against it.

Why not let an individual decide later whether he/she wants to get baptized? l know of quite a few parents who, although they still formally belong to a Christian denomination, have not had their children baptized.

"Immortal soul" is a Platonic idea.

Xray's picture

Submitted by Richard Goode on Mon, 2012-08-06 20:01.

"In fact, you will not find the phrase "immortal soul" anywhere in any Bible." (end quote)

No surprise there: it is a Platonic idea.
Platonic thought was imported later into the Christian religion.

Submitted by Richard Goode on Mon, 2012-08-06 20:01.
"Not only do these doctrines make far more sense than the alternatives, they make Christianity somewhat palatable." (end quote)

But why care about religious doctrines at all? If anything stifles independent thinking, it's such doctrines.

Baade

Lindsay Perigo's picture

It's taken me all day to recover from the fact that you seem to have had an outbreak of goode faith. You—or someone pretending to be you—have/has posted something substantial, as opposed to minimalist miss-and-run pomo smart-asseries. Still:


Circumcision is an initiation of force

Only by the standard of an intrinsicist view of rights. Otherwise it's no more an initiation of force than the insistence that one's children clean their teeth. Parents are entitled to exercise reasonable control over their children, in their capacity as guardians of the rights which their children are not yet capable of exercising.

By your own anti-lights, you could take everything I say seriously, if you wanted to, or even if you didn't. Might I suggest that you do? If you don't, then be prepared to take the consequences! After all, you're responsible for them.

You still evade the implications of your premise that there is no free will. If there is no free will, whether or not I take anything you say seriously is pre-determined and out of my control, and I'm not responsible for anything.

So, please, when I refer to you as the "Southern Pope" of Objectivism or defer to you for a statement on the "official" Objectivist position on some matter, do take it the way I intend it. As a compliment.

The issue is not whether it's a compliment or not; it's whether it's *true*. Given my departures from Rand, it is *not* true, and I do not wish to be seen as the Southern Pope of her philosophy. I realise I have to bring these departures together in one essay, which I shall do. Yet you are correct in this respect: in these matters, *I*, in my own view at least, am a more consistent Randian than Rand, simply because I take reality as the starting point—which is what Objectivism is supposed to do. The castigations by me to which you refer of other Objectivists are based on their preferring rote to reality.

As for the stuff about "annihilationism" as opposed to eternal combustion in hell: nice try, but it doesn't hold up. Jeezy's own sayings on the matter are quite unambiguous, and the plain existential, historical fact is that Goblianity has taught eternal torment, and sadistically filled the minds of children with terror thereby, for all of its existence. Paedophile Benedict reaffirmed it a few years back. If the teaching were wrong, Gobby's non-intervention to put it right was unconscionable.

Goblianity is not only absurd, as you here acknowledge, it's cosmically vicious and reprehensible. Your rare excursion into candour here reassures me that you realise that, and will soon return to atheism. Except, of course, this excursion may well be an aberration. So: whatever party pill you were on when you embarked on this excursion—keep taking that one, regardless of Peter Dunne.

Intrinsicism, rationalism and children's rights.

Leonid's picture

"And now my last point about rationalism. What is its essential philosophical base, the metaphysics and epistemology it rests on? In a single word, intrinsicism."

The Peikoff's conclusion is simply non sequitur. In his both lectures he proved that rationalism opposes intrinsicism. Platonic concepts-objects have no connection with reality. So Cartesian proof for existence of God. So Leibniz's monads. So Kantian categories. Etc...etc...etc...All these ideas exist only in the minds of philosophers who developed them.

Rationalism is a philosophy based on the premise that concepts are divorced from reality. Intrinsicism, however is a notion that " the good is inherent in certain things or actions as such, regardless of their context and consequences, regardless of any benefit or injury they may cause to the actors and subjects involved. It is a theory that divorces the concept of “good” from beneficiaries, and the concept of “value” from valuer and purpose—claiming that the good is good in, by, and of itself." (Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 21)

In other words it is a reality divorced from concepts. One doesn't need to form concepts of good or rights, they simply are. While rationalist's concepts based on nothing but philosopher's mind-games, intrinsicist simply proclaims that they are part of reality and learns about them by means of observation. Obviously these are two opposite approaches. The first ignores reality, the second ignores mind. As a result, rationalist would logically conclude that 8 day old infant has rights because he is a human and human beings have rights, ignoring that essence of rights is freedom of action in the social context and sense of ownership on one own life. Intrinsicist would argue that this is wrong, the infant has rights simply because they are inherent features of his body, like appendix. Objectivist would say that explicit concept of rights is formed by means of non-contradictory integration of self-awareness and sense of ownership on one own body observable by introspection and could be applied only in the context of certain goal-orientated action. Since 8 day old infant doesn't possess self-awareness and doesn't act in social context, the concept of rights is not applicable to him.

"Rights in this sense do not apply directly to children. While it is difficult or impossible to distinguish the precise moment that a child matures beyond the state of non-rational dependence, all children must pass through such a period of development. If the basic right is freedom from coercion, this is the exactly the right that children—for their own sakes—must be denied...So it is true that Objectivism denies that children possess “rights,” in the full sense of the word. Some may find this viewpoint disturbing, but it is the recognition of the truth about rights and children’s nature. " Andrew Bissell http://www.atlassociety.org/ch...

Linz

Richard Goode's picture

So, Baade, is it your position that circumcision should be banned?

The short answer is yes.

Circumcision is an initiation of force, the one act of evil that no man may commit against others and that no man may sanction or even (according to Rand) forgive. This is not open to disagreement. Might I suggest that you toe the official Objectivist party line on this one? (By "the official Objectivist party line" I mean Rand's.)

By your own anti-lights, I don't have to take anything you say seriously since you can't help saying it.

By your own anti-lights, you could take everything I say seriously, if you wanted to, or even if you didn't. Might I suggest that you do? If you don't, then be prepared to take the consequences! After all, you're responsible for them. (The consequences are that you will continue to walk in darkness. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. Mind you don't trip over and bang your head. Sticking out tongue)

I shan't answer *your* direct questions since you insist on treating my answers as "the official Objectivist position."

I haven't read much Rand. None of her fiction, and only a smattering of her non-fiction. (To be honest, TOE was about as much as I could take.) It may surprise you to learn that I've read only half the New Testament, and hardly touched on the Old. (There's still no Word from above as to when, or even if, God intends to complete the trilogy, so I'm dragging it out.) In fact, despite having a Ph.D., I've not read much of anything. Hardly any Hume, even.

You see, I read on a "need to know" basis. It's simply a matter of efficiency. In today's world, there's no longer any excuse for reading books. If I need to know something, I Google it. So, despite not being well read, I am pretty well versed (pun intended) in the Bible, and in Rand and her philosophy (I use the term advisedly), and in meta-ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, semantics, and the rest. (But not aesthetics. I gave that a total miss.)

So what I'm saying is that I'm lazy and have a short attention span. (And I'm a philistine.) But I digress.

From what I do know of Rand and her philosophy and of the writings of those who have promoted Objectivism since her death, it is my genuine opinion that your take on Rand's thought is truest to the letter, and certainly closest to the spirit, of what Rand was about. And, notwithstanding the fact that Objectivism has some fundamental and show-stopping flaws, what Rand was about is something I do consider admirable in many aspects. So, please, when I refer to you as the "Southern Pope" of Objectivism or defer to you for a statement on the "official" Objectivist position on some matter, do take it the way I intend it. As a compliment.

The truth is that the more I read Rand the more respect I have for her and (in general, and present company excepted) the less respect I have for her followers. Objectivists really do give Rand a bad name. You castigate them occasionally. They deserve to be flogged.

The same holds true of Christianity and Christians. Jesus loved his disciples but he despaired at their stupidity. The disciples, at least, made good in the end. But the church today doesn't set a good example. Christians shouldn't be constantly carping on about other people's lifestyles and poking their noses in other people's bedrooms. They have their own lives and houses to put in order first. The Apostle Peter put those who meddle in the affairs of others on a par with murderers and thieves. Explicitly so. And, of course, that's the very last thing you'd infer from observing the antics of Christians on, or recently on, the New Zealand political scene, such as Colin Craig's Conservatives, Family Fist, Destiny NZ and the (almost unmentionable) Christian Heritage Party.

I won't offer any further criticisms of my fellow Christians. I hardly need to. I will add that there are many, many Christians in all parts of the world quietly getting on with doing as Christ instructed, helping the sick, the poor and the oppressed and making the world a vastly better place in innumerable ways. But they're not the ones you hear about.

Anyway, Christ didn't come to talk politics or win votes. His mission was altogether different. Having said that, I was gobsmacked when I started reading the New Testament. Christ's teachings are entirely consistent with a libertarianism. Arguably, Christianity even mandates a libertarian political system. And that brings me to my next point.

you actively promote the most vicious form of child-molestation known to man: the doctrine of eternal punishment. Rewriting Goblianity to remove that integral part of it simply doesn't cut it, if folk will excuse the pun.

Quite clearly, you didn't read Jeff Simmond's wonderful Obadiah's Little Booklet #13 which I linked to here. Or, if you did, you entirely missed the point.

I was an atheist for decades. I had hardly any interest in Christianity and certainly didn't take it seriously. Tim Wikiriwhi's speech (you know the one, you were there) was what first sparked my interest. By that stage in my political career I had become all too aware both of the libertarian movement's desperate need for a philosophical underpinning and of the rampant delusion that Rand's philosophy provided it. So I investigated Tim's claims. I came to the conclusion that Christianity does, indeed, do a much better job than Objectivism of providing libertarianism with a firm philosophical foundation, even allowing for the fact that the whole thing is premised on the absurdly fanciful notion of a supreme being.

I could see a use for Christ. I had absolutely no idea that he could see a use for me. Apart from the whole God thing, I saw the the doctrine of eternal punishment as an insuperable obstacle to my ever becoming a Christian. Is there any idea more repugnant than the doctrine of eternal conscious torment (ECT)? I can't think of one. I'd always viewed the notion of hell with suspicion, since the idea that God is some sort of cosmic Saddam Hussein is completely at odds with the claim that God is love. (And all that business in the Old Testament about biffing rocks at people is something I simply cannot take at face value.)

But then I learned that there is, and always has been, a theological doctrine commonly known as annihilationism, according to which there is no hell as traditionally conceived. Annihilationism is closely aligned with another theological doctrine called conditional immortality, according to which man has no immortal soul. If true, this obviates the need for God to fashion some sort of container in which to store the souls of the damned and seal them off for the rest of eternity as if they were some sort of nasty nuclear waste.

Not only do these doctrines make far more sense than the alternatives, they make Christianity somewhat palatable. And the remarkable thing is that if you actually read the Bible, that is what the Bible actually says. That man is mortal. And that if God does not grant you eternal life in His presence, he will simply destroy you. Completely and utterly. In other words, according to Christianity, an atheist's ultimate fate is exactly what atheists themselves look forward to, viz., personal annihilation.

When I say that the doctrine of eternal conscious torment and the doctrine of the immortality of the soul are not in the Bible, I am not referring to the King James Bible. I mean a contemporary English version of the Bible which has been translated in accordance with the scrupulous standards of modern Bible scholarship and as such adheres closely and conscientiously to the Koine Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic of the original manuscripts. And a lot more of those have come to light since 1611.

In fact, you will not find the phrase "immortal soul" anywhere in any Bible. And, although you can argue the case for the doctrine of eternal conscious torment, to my mind the evidence for it, taken as an isolated doctrine, doesn't really stack up. And, in a holistic context, it makes no sense at all. Such an interpretation is possible, but forced, and twisted in more ways than one. The simple fact is that the evidence favours the annihilationist interpretation. As far as I'm concerned, the case is closed. Hell is not a place of eternal conscious torment. It is extinction.

To get to the point, I haven't rewritten Christianity in order to subtract some supposedly integral part of it. Other people rewrote Christianity in order to add it. You've read (and quoted) some of this sick little number penned by the aptly named sadist and pedophile, the Rev. J. Furniss. I don't know what's more appalling, the scenes he so graphically describes or the mental image of him salivating and jizzing his pants (which he probably did) as he composed them, that one unavoidably forms as one reads it.

Good Galt, is that the time?! I'll finish up.

Yes, Christianity is absurd. But the atheistic alternative? Even more so. There are a great many barriers to Christian belief for those blinded by a Secular Humanist Atheistic Materialist (SHAM) worldview. In my case, those barriers, one by one, were removed. And I saw the light.

Imo empathy plus reason are the pillars of ethics

Xray's picture

Submitted by Richard Goode on Sat, 2012-07-28 17:43.
[quoting Xray]: The real issue is the conflict between religious and secular ethics. [end quote Xray]

No, it's not.

[quoting Xray]:The core issue is antirationality versus reason. [end quote Xray]

No, it's not that, either.

Whether or not circumcision is an "archaic sacrifice ritual ... to satisfy the demands of a 'god'" is irrelevant. It might as well be an economic imperative to satisfy the demands of a market hungry for the rare culinary delicacy of freshly harvested baby human foreskins.

The core issue is that circumcision is "the severing of a child's body part." I'm pleased to see that at least one other person here recognises "a child's right to bodily intactness." That's why circumcision should be banned. Because it violates that right.

Bodily integrity is the birthright of every child. Do Objectivists (apart from Leonid) deny this? " (end quote RG)

Richard,

My "antirationality versus reason" phrase was to be understood as naming the underlying principles that guide the debate over such issues. I'll add "empathy" to reason.

For if empathy and reason guided man's actions, something like circumcision would not exist.

Baade

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I've no idea how you can claim to be fixated on freedom of choice when, according to you, free will is an illusion. Then again, I suppose fixation on illusions, such as goblins, is par for the course for you.

By your own anti-lights, I don't have to take anything you say seriously since you can't help saying it.

And I've no idea how you can claim to be bothered by the benign, harmless removal of a bit of redundant evolutionary over-hang (or faulty design by Gobby) when you actively promote the most vicious form of child-molestation known to man: the doctrine of eternal punishment. Rewriting Goblianity to remove that integral part of it simply doesn't cut it, if folk will excuse the pun.

Furthermore, in my book, anyone who "complains bitterly" in adulthood about the removal of his foreskin is, if I may coin a phrase, a "total fuckwit" who should grow up and concern himself with real violations of rights.

So, Baade, is it your position that circumcision should be banned?

I shan't answer *your* direct questions since you insist on treating my answers as "the official Objectivist position."

Linz

Richard Goode's picture

I have some unanswered questions of my own.

When is a parent old enough to decide whether or not to mutilate her child's genitals?

Bodily integrity is the birthright of every child. Are there any SOLOists, Objectivists, libertarians or other like-minded individuals who deny this? (Not counting Leonid. I'm not even sure that he's minded, let alone like-minded.)

Is the practice of male circumcision consistent with the libertarian principle of self-ownership? Is it consistent with Rand's NIOF principle?

I thought the official Objectivist position on the rights of children was that they do, indeed, have the same rights as adults and that their rights are "held in trust" by their parents until such time as they reach an age of consent. Is it? (By "official Objectivist position" I mean yours.)

I've no idea, and I hesitate to speculate, why you are fixated on this topic

No need to speculate. I'm fixated on freedom of choice. And, as I already said

I once had a friend who complained bitterly about his own circumcision. That was a decade or so ago, but I've never forgotten it.

I'm an intact intactivist.

Is it your contention that parents have no right to have the bodies of their children modified in any way from the state they are in when they emerge from the womb?

Not unless it's for a very good reason, such as a medical emergency which leaves the doctor with no alternative. Then a child's parents can, with a degree of certainty, be said to have presumed consent.

In your time, I'm sure you've encountered plenty of folk who "don't mind paying tax." Even I don't begrudge paying my own involuntary contribution to the NZSO's funding. The whole thing's a ghastly racket in more ways than one, but it keeps you happy and my mum likes it too. But such considerations are otiose and tangential to the morality of taxation. Quite simply, taxation is theft and, therefore, wrong.

In much the same way, the fact that the majority of adult men who were circumcised in infancy don't seem to be all that bothered by the fact (and their lovers think they taste better) has no bearing whatsoever on the morality of genital mutilation. Did they consent to having their members mutilated? No. Are dick disfigurement clinics for adults doing a roaring trade up and down the country? No. Quite simply, slashing someone's sexual organs with a scalpel is an initiation of force and, therefore, wrong. (Rand says this is not open to disagreement. I agree.)

Leonard vs Leonid ... and Baade

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Leonid, the intrinsicist rationalist, says:

An intrinsicist cannot be a rationalist . They are two opposite philosophies. I suggest that you'll read Peikoff's lectures on intrinsicism and rationalism.

Peikoff concludes, in the aforementioned lectures:

And now my last point about rationalism. What is its essential philosophical base, the metaphysics and epistemology it rests on? In a single word, intrinsicism. The rationalist's idea of a realm of dissociated concepts that has no connection to sensory observation would be possible only on some kind of Platonic idea—that is, that there's a world of real universals, real Platonic forms or essences, that are out there intrinsically in reality quite apart from our minds and concretes [see Leonid's *and* Baade's view of rights], and which act on us and yield the awareness of conceptual information. If concepts were nothing but our abstractions from sensory data, you could never possibly have the idea of a world of separate concepts. So the idea of ideas above reality implies that there are some kind of ideas intrinsic in reality that act upon us.

Now, I'm struggling to understand how anyone claiming to be conversant with Objectivism could assert that intrinsicism and rationalism are "two opposite philosophies." One rather appalling answer occurs to me. Leonid, what do you understand "rationalism" to mean?

Baade

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I've no idea, and I hesitate to speculate, why you are fixated on this topic, even as you make excuses for the undeniable child abuse that is Goblianity. In my time I tasted both circumcised and uncircumcised, and I can assure you the former were preferable, and their possessors didn't appear to have been traumatised for life by the hygienic adaptation that had been performed before they could remember it.

I'd invite you to consider the far more important matter raised by your "right to bodily integrity" (quoting from memory; I'm sure you'll correct me if I didn't get it quite right). Is it your contention that parents have no right to have the bodies of their children modified in any way from the state they are in when they emerge from the womb?

Roll up! Roll up! Dr. Mutilator's fact-free extravaganza!

Richard Goode's picture

most of circumcisions are performed for secular reasons.

Cultures and religions

The WHO has estimated that 664,500,000 males aged 15 and over are circumcised (30% global prevalence), with almost 70% of these being Muslim.

Prevalence is near-universal in the Middle East and Central Asia. The WHO states that "there is generally little non-religious circumcision in Asia ...

In some cultures, males must be circumcised shortly after birth, during childhood, or around puberty as part of a rite of passage. Circumcision is commonly practised in the Jewish and Islamic faiths.

Jewish law states that circumcision is a mitzva aseh ("positive commandment" to perform an act) and is obligatory for Jewish-born males and for non-circumcised Jewish male converts. It is only postponed or abrogated in the case of threat to the life or health of the child.

Leonid

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I not only have read the lectures you refer to, I attended them. I'm just waiting for you to digest them.

I am most emphatically *not* a spokesman for Objectivism, as the disclaimer at the bottom of every page here makes clear. My concern was to let Baade know he shouldn't regard *you* as one. Your earlier statement about children's rights was a shocker. That said, I agree that the issue being discussed here is sub-marginal, and rich, coming from an apologist for child-abusing Goblianity.

Richard Goode

Leonid's picture

" Leonid's mystic-tribalistic standard of value is the custom of his tribe, the sacred tradition of his forefathers. He's Jewish, after all.)"

I understand that you derive a particular pleasure from the beating of a straw Jew. What else can you do? The time of pogroms is over. Please don't forget-we not only cut dicks but also crucified your God. Killing gods is our sacred tradition. As for circumcision-I never implied that I support or reject it. I consider it as non-issue. What I do reject is an attempt of the government to dictate what parents should do with their children's foreskins, especially when such an attempt made by the German government. It seems they never learn.

Lindsay

Leonid's picture

." that Leonid is a "total fuckwit" are exaggerated; however, he *is* an intrinsicist and a rationalist... He certainly should not be mistaken for a spokesman for Objectivism,"

You simply don't understand what you are talking about. An intrinsicist cannot be a rationalist . They are two opposite philosophies. I suggest that you'll read Peikoff's lectures on intrinsicism and rationalism. Besides, how you get appointed to become a spokesman for Objectivism in order to decide who represents Objectivism and who not? Did you get a message from Ayn Rand herself or simply decided to hijack the job of old good Leonard?

Xray

Leonid's picture

"Archaic unempathic irrational sacrifice rituals are what they are"

Yes, if it's done as such a ritual. However, as I mentioned before, most of circumcisions are performed for secular reasons. Besides, there are many other irrational rituals in the western society-for example baptizing, Sunday prayers, and cannibalistic ritual of eating Jesus' flesh and drinking his blood, performed by every good Catholic every Sunday. Do you think that such a practice also should be banned by government?

But seriously ...

Richard Goode's picture

he is quite correct to say that terrorising children (notwithstanding their undeniable awfulness) with the spectre of eternal torture is a literally infinitely worse form of child abuse than circumcision; it is beyond inexcusable.

If that's what you mean by telling children they must believe in Jesus or go to hell, then I quite agree.

According to many studies that sort of childhood trauma leads to Objectivism later in life. Evil

(There are many forms of child abuse orders of magnitude worse than male circumcision. Female circumcision, for example. Oh, look what we have here ... "But why would anyone compromise on anything that might even remotely legitimize such a barbaric practice as mutilating children?" quotes Leonid, approvingly. "The answer," says Leonid, "is the morality of multiculturism, the mystic-tribalistic notion that the standard of value is the custom of tribe, sacred tradition of forefathers, society or religion ..." So, there you have it. Leonid's mystic-tribalistic standard of value is the custom of his tribe, the sacred tradition of his forefathers. He's Jewish, after all.)

But ...

Richard Goode's picture

... terrorising children with the spectre of eternal torture is mostly harmless, as its widespread practice proves ...

Rumours ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... that Leonid is a "total fuckwit" are exaggerated; however, he *is* an intrinsicist and a rationalist, not to mention apologist for Islamogoblinism, which brings him close to meriting that description. He certainly should not be mistaken for a spokesman for Objectivism, if by the latter we mean the philosophy that places reality first in all things. That said, he is quite correct to say that terrorising children (notwithstanding their undeniable awfulness) with the spectre of eternal torture, as Goblianity did for centuries, is a literally infinitely worse form of child abuse than circumcision; it is beyond inexcusable.

... but whosoever shall say, 'Thou total fuckwit'...

reed's picture

... shall be in danger of apologising. Smiling

Butchered at birth

Richard Goode's picture

... if it could be done at 20 weeks gestation.

Nah ...

"Butchered at 20 weeks gestation" doesn't have the same ring to it.

It grates on the ear.

I admit I lost my usual cool when I called Leonid a total fuckwit. Perhaps I should have chilled to some Cannibal Corpse instead.

Fortunately, I didn't break my own house rules, and civility in the face of evil is no virtue here. But my remark does go a bit beyond "only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Perhaps I can pass it off as a rebuke?

As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. (ESV)

Surely we can all agree that circumcision would be ok...

reed's picture

... if it could be done at 20 weeks gestation.

Leonid a.k.a. Dr. Mutilator

Richard Goode's picture

Thanks, Marcus, that was awesome!

The Olympic Games is awesome, too.

Life before death. What an ingenious idea ...

Sounds like Bosch...

Marcus's picture

...in your link with Foreskin man who fights his arch enemy Dr Mutilator.

Archaic unempathic irrational rituals are what they are. A=A

Xray's picture

Submitted by Leonid on Sat, 2012-08-04 01:13.

[quoting Xray]:
"How such atttitude can be reconciled with the idea of a rational society is beyond me." (end quote Xray)

This is how: the severing of children's earlobes creates permanent facial disfigurement and aesthetic damage. Male circumcision is not. (end quote)

Unconvincig argumentation because what we call disfiguring, other "cultures" may not. Just think e. g. of those tribes who extend their lips by putting wooden plates into their mouths. We think of it as disfiguring but they would probably call us ugly because we don't have such wonderfully extended lips.
I'm deliberately pushing this to the extreme here to make you realize how easily your premises will drown in quicksand, and as an Objectivist, surely this is the last thing you would want.
Now one could try to refute it by arguments like: "But these are backward tribes who, with their archaic practices, can't be used as a model for our civilized society." Well, I coudn't agree more! And with circumcision is it is exactly the same: its origins too lie in a pre-civilization archaic sacrifice ritual, where desert nomads believed that a god demands they cut off and sacrifice the foreskin of their male children. This 'pars pro toto' sacrifice probably was a certain 'progress', compared to 'sacrificing' the complete individual (also a practice executed in those dark times where non-empathy and irrationality ruled).

In the history of mankind (despite all the horrific relapses in recent history), a continuing movement toward more rationality and empathy can be observed, and it will keep evolving; so there will finally come the day when such archaic, unempathic and irrational rituals like circumcision won't be performed anymore.
The current debates over the issue indicate that things are in motion.

Circumcisions of male children peformed is the USA have declined from about 80 % in the 1980s to about 35 % now.
Circumcision is also no longer routinely recommended by doctors in the US, which shows that a thinking proces has occurred.

There already exists a non-cutting Jewish naming ceremony (Brit Shalom) http://www.jweekly.com/article...

Excellent and very informative website: "Jews Against Circumcision" http://www.jewsagainstcircumci...

Archaic unempathic irrational sacrifice rituals are what they are. A=A.
More and more people (including quite a few who still belong to organized religions) are checking and rethinking their premises .

Leonid

Richard Goode's picture

My point is that circumcision is mostly neutral, and in some cases beneficial. ...

Since circumcision is mostly harmless, as its widespread practice proves ...

You're a total fuckwit.

Circumcision Decreases Sexual Pleasure

Richard Goode's picture

Circumcision Decreases Sexual Pleasure

A questionnaire was used to study the sexuality of men circumcised as adults compared to uncircumcised men, and to compare their sex lives before and after circumcision. The study included 373 sexually active men, of whom 255 were circumcised and 118 were not. Of the 255 circumcised men, 138 had been sexually active before circumcision, and all were circumcised at >20 years of age. Masturbatory pleasure decreased after circumcision in 48% of the respondents, while 8% reported increased pleasure. Masturbatory difficulty increased after circumcision in 63% of the respondents but was easier in 37%. About 6% answered that their sex lives improved, while 20% reported a worse sex life after circumcision. There was a decrease in masturbatory pleasure and sexual enjoyment after circumcision, indicating that adult circumcision adversely affects sexual function in many men, possibly because of complications of the surgery and a loss of nerve endings.

Kim, D. and Pang, M., "The Effect of Male Circumcision on Sexuality," BJU International 99 (2007): 619-22.

Circumcision Removes the Most Sensitive Parts of the Penis

Richard Goode's picture

Circumcision Removes the Most Sensitive Parts of the Penis

A sensitivity study of the adult penis in circumcised and uncircumcised men shows that the uncircumcised penis is significantly more sensitive. The most sensitive location on the circumcised penis is the circumcision scar on the ventral surface. Five locations on the uncircumcised penis that are routinely removed at circumcision are significantly more sensitive than the most sensitive location on the circumcised penis.

In addition, the glans (head) of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The tip of the foreskin is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis, and it is significantly more sensitive than the most sensitive area of the circumcised penis. Circumcision removes the most sensitive parts of the penis.

This study presents the first extensive testing of fine touch pressure thresholds of the adult penis. The monofiliment testing instruments are calibrated and have been used to test female genital sensitivity.

Sorrells, M. et al., "Fine-Touch Pressure Thresholds in the Adult Penis," BJU International 99 (2007): 864-869.

Circumcision Results in Significant Loss of Erogenous Tissue

Richard Goode's picture

Circumcision Results in Significant Loss of Erogenous Tissue

A report published in the British Journal of Urology assessed the type and amount of tissue missing from the adult circumcised penis by examining adult foreskins obtained at autopsy. Investigators found that circumcision removes about one-half of the erogenous tissue on the penile shaft. The foreskin, according to the study, protects the head of the penis and is comprised of unique zones with several kinds of specialized nerves that are important to optimum sexual sensitivity.

Taylor, J. et al., "The Prepuce: Specialized Mucosa of the Penis and Its Loss to Circumcision," BJU 77 (1996): 291-295.

Richard Goode

Leonid's picture

"I never claimed that the studies on circumcision and sexual pleasure are inconclusive."

You didn't, but they are. Some of them show that circumcision is beneficial and some of them not. Besides, sexual satisfaction is very individual and subjective matter. Some people enjoy prolonged latent period ( from erection to ejaculation) as result of circumcision, and others, who are in particular hurry, not. Cannot see what all this has to do with utilitarianism. Parents do to their children all kind of things which they consider to be beneficial to them, without to pay much attention to their rights on their bodies. If they were, they wouldn't be able even to feed the rebellious toddler, who refuses to eat , they wouldn't be able to vaccinate him or cut his hair and nails. My point is that circumcision is mostly neutral, and in some cases beneficial. In any case to apply the concept of rights to 8 days old infant is to turn this concept into the floating abstraction, completely divorced from reality. Infants and small children don't have rights, this is-a freedom to act in the social context, but parents have an obligation and responsibility as their custodians to act for their benefit, and they usually do. Many parents perform circumcision not for religious but for hygenic reasons. But even those who do it as part of their cultural heritage, consider such an action as beneficial to the child. Since circumcision is mostly harmless, as its widespread practice proves, I do not consider it as a moral issue. It as hazardous as baptizing and much less than confirmation-at least it doesn't turn the child into the brainwashed religious moron.

Leonid

Richard Goode's picture

You asked for an positive example and I provided one.

Yes, you did. You made a claim and backed it up with evidence. Smiling

However the studies about circumcision and prevention of AIDS are conclusive, at least in Africa.

True.

I grant you that the studies on circumcision and sexual pleasure are inconclusive.

No, you don't. I never claimed that the studies on circumcision and sexual pleasure are inconclusive. They're conclusive. Circumcision May be Hazardous to Your Health.

Your utilitarian arguments do not move me. Utilitarianism is evil. "The greatest good for the greatest number" is one of the most vicious slogans ever foisted on humanity. I very much doubt that routine circumcision of male infants leads to the greatest good for the greatest number. But if it did, so what? What about the greatest good for the minority?

The issue here is one of rights. Individual rights. You've already stated that, in your view, children have no rights. I thought the official Objectivist position on the rights of children was that they do, indeed, have the same rights as adults and that their rights are "held in trust" by their parents until such time as they reach an age of consent. Consent, Leonid. As in consenting to having one's genitals mutilated for the greater good.

"It does if you're a

Leonid's picture

"It does if you're a dickhead."

Very fanny, in spite that a dickhead is the one who needs a circumcision most. I grant you that the studies on circumcision and sexual pleasure are inconclusive. You asked for an positive example and I provided one. There are also some negative examples. However the studies about circumcision and prevention of AIDS are conclusive, at least in Africa.

" three randomized controlled trials were commissioned as a means to reduce the effect of any confounding factors.[4] Trials took place in South Africa,[6] Kenya[7] and Uganda.[8] All three trials were stopped early by their monitoring boards on ethical grounds, because those in the circumcised group had a lower rate of HIV contraction than the control group.[7] The results showed that circumcision reduced vaginal-to-penile transmission of HIV by 60%, 53%, and 51%, respectively. As a result of these findings, the WHO and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) stated that male circumcision is an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention but should be carried out by well trained medical professionals and under conditions of informed consent (parents consent for their infant boys)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

This is how

Richard Goode's picture

the severing of children's earlobes creates permanent facial disfigurement and aesthetic damage. Male circumcision [does] not.

It does if you're a dickhead.

According to many studies circumcision improves sex life and prevents sexualy transmitted diseases like AIDS.

According to many studies circumcision decreases sexual pleasure.

Xray

Leonid's picture

"How such atttitude can be reconciled with the idea of a rational society is beyond me."

This is how: the severing of children's earlobes creates permanent facial disfigurement and aesthetic damage. Male circumcision is not. In fact most of circumcisions at least in America done not for religious but for aesthetic and hygenic reasons which is fully compatible with the idea of rational society. The statement " anyone who labels such practices as harmless religious and cultural rituals makes clear that he/she thinks it is okay for parents to cut off their children's body parts for religious reasons." is pure rationalism, it ignores context . Cutting earlobe, clitor or leg is evidently different from cutting foreskin.

Richard Goode

Leonid's picture

"Women's self reports of their sex lives? Are you fucking kidding me?"

You asked for an example and I provided them. I didn't make them up.They all scientifically conducted studies. If you don't like answers, don't ask questions. If you cannot respond with the same level of objective criticism, don't offer meaningless arbitrary denial. If you cannot conduct a serious argument, don't get involved in it.

Let's call spade a spade

Richard Goode's picture

Let's call spade a spade: anyone who labels such practices as harmless religious and cultural rituals makes clear that he/she thinks it is okay for parents to cut off their children's body parts for religious reasons. How such atttitude can be reconciled with the idea of a rational society is beyond me.

Indeed.

Leonid's an Objectivist.

Leonid

Richard Goode's picture

July 21, 2009 (Cape Town, South Africa) -- Women whose male sexual partners were circumcised report an improvement in their sex life, a survey shows.

Women's self reports of their sex lives? Are you fucking kidding me?

In the Fink study of 123 men [Fink et al., 2002], 62% said they were satisfied with having been circumcised (they liked their new look) and 50% reported benefits.

Penile fashion's a funny thing. So 50% reported benefits. And the other 50%?

In fact 64% of the men in this trial reported an INCREASE in their penile sensitivity

Well, of course, they would. Like that horrible feeling you get when you cut a fingernail or toenail too short. The difference is that fingernails and toenails grow back.

Have you ever stopped to consider *why* adult men get circumcised? It's because they have severe physical or mental health problems.

Angela

Richard Goode's picture

It seems to attract theists too, as e. g. Goode's posts show.

I was an atheist when I signed up 4 years 40 weeks ago.

Theism seems to attract Objectivists. Smiling

So, yeah.

Richard Goode's picture

SOLO, because of Linz's political history in New Zealand, has long attracted libertarians ...

That's why I'm here.

Leonid wrote: Male infant

Xray's picture

Leonid wrote:
Male infant circumcision is ethically neutral. Unlike an adult or female circumcision, it is a harmless religious and cultural ritual. " (end quote)
If you consider male infant circumcision as a harmess religious and cultural ritual, you would have to consider as a "harmless religious and cultural ritual" also e. g. the severing of children's earlobes if the religion of their parents demands it.

Let's call spade a spade: anyone who labels such practices as harmless religious and cultural rituals makes clear that he/she thinks it is okay for parents to cut off their children's body parts for religious reasons. How such atttitude can be reconciled with the idea of a rational society is beyond me.

"Can you give me a specific example

Leonid's picture

"Can you give me a specific example?"

July 21, 2009 (Cape Town, South Africa) -- Women whose male sexual partners were circumcised report an improvement in their sex life, a survey shows.

http://men.webmd.com/news/2009...

Two US studies published in 2002 both found similar or greater sexual satisfaction in men after circumcision as adults [Collins et al., 2002; Fink et al., 2002].

In the Fink study of 123 men [Fink et al., 2002], 62% said they were satisfied with having been circumcised (they liked their new look) and 50% reported benefits.

Data from another large randomized controlled trial, in Kisumu, Kenya, dispelled the myth that circumcision diminishes penile sensitivity. In fact 64% of the men in this trial reported an INCREASE in their penile sensitivity and 55% reported greater ease in reaching orgasm [Krieger et al., 2008]

http://www.circinfo.net/circum...

Christian Linz

Jmaurone's picture

X-ray: "It seems to attract theists too, as e. g. Goode's posts show."

Yeah, both he and Adam Reed, among some others who've come and gone. I'd say that's a least philosophical, or pseudo/pre philosophical, depending on one's point of view...but most likely subsumed under the common political attraction/overlap...strange bedfellows, and all that.

Richard

Xray's picture

Submitted by Richard Goode on Fri, 2012-08-03 17:49.
[quoting Xray] This is a philosophy forum, after all

"I'm baffled at how gullible you seem to be." Smiling (end quote RG)

Good retort, lol. Who dishes it out must be prepared to take it, not problem with that. Laughing out loud

Submitted by Richard Goode on Fri, 2012-08-03 17:33.
"Telling children they must believe in Jesus or go to hell is NOT a form of psychological abuse." (end quote)

What is it then in your opinion? A friendly reminder? Laughing out loud

Submitted by Jmaurone on Fri,

Xray's picture

Submitted by Jmaurone on Fri, 2012-08-03 19:44.

"X-ray: "This is a philosophy forum, after all, and epistemolgy is one of the basic discpilines."

It is a philosophy forum, but SOLO, because of Linz's political history in New Zealand, has long attracted libertarians who aren't necessarily in it for the philosophy, some who hadn't even read Atlas, and some who outright reject her...(and a few pragmatists who reject philosophy, altogether...), giving justice to Rand's dislike of libertarianism without a philosophical foundation." (end quote)

It seems to attract theists too, as e. g. Goode's posts show. Smiling

Politics vs. Philosophy forum

Jmaurone's picture

X-ray: "This is a philosophy forum, after all, and epistemolgy is one of the basic discpilines."

It is a philosophy forum, but SOLO, because of Linz's political history in New Zealand, has long attracted libertarians who aren't necessarily in it for the philosophy, some who hadn't even read Atlas, and some who outright reject her...(and a few pragmatists who reject philosophy, altogether...), giving justice to Rand's dislike of libertarianism without a philosophical foundation.

Philosophy? Who needs it?

Richard Goode's picture

This is a philosophy forum, after all

I'm baffled at how gullible you seem to be. Smiling

Angela

Richard Goode's picture

Traumatised now?" (end quote)

Not at all. Merely baffled ...

That's exactly my point.

Telling children they must believe in Jesus or go to hell is NOT a form of psychological abuse.

I don't mean to be rude either, but ...

Xray's picture

Submitted by Richard Goode on Wed, 2012-08-01 18:23.

"If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Otherwise, when you die you'll stay dead. Forever. (Apart from a brief interlude during which Jesus puts on his best Simon Cowell impersonation and tells you how badly you fucked things up.) Traumatised now?" (end quote)

Not at all. Merely baffled at how gullible you seem to be. Smiling
Treating the content of a pure belief as if it were objective fact is a blatant fallacy. This is a philosophy forum, after all, and epistemolgy is one of the basic discpilines.

Sex life much better now, says baby

Richard Goode's picture

According to many studies circumcision improves sex life

Can you give me a specific example?

"Here's a tip, Leonid. As a

Leonid's picture

"Here's a tip, Leonid. As a general rule, chopping off people's body parts is not good for them, and chopping off parts of their genitalia is not good for their sex lives."

Wrong. According to many studies circumcision improves sex life and prevents sexualy transmitted diseases like AIDS.

Joke

Richard Goode's picture

The Emperor of Japan advertises for a new bodygaurd. Three swordsmen apply: one is Japanese, one is Chinese, and one is Jewish.

To test him, the Emperor lets a fly loose in the room and tells the Chinese swordsman to kill it. The swordsmansweeps down his blade and chops the fly in two.

The Japanese swordsman is given the same test. He swings his sword twice and manages to cut the fly into quarters before it hits the ground.

The Jewish swordsman is then given a fly. He chases it around the room, swings his sword a few times, then sits down with the fly buzzing around his head. "Why have you stopped?" ask the Emperor. "The fly is still alive." "Yes," replies the Jewish swordsman. "But now it's circumcised."

I don't mean to be rude, but ...

Richard Goode's picture

"Dawkins would say.. ...telling children they must believe in Jesus or go to hell is a form of psychological abuse." (end quote Marcus)

"You're right. Dawkins would say that." (end quote RG)

And isn't Dawkins right on target here?

That depends on what Dawkins means by "telling children they must believe in Jesus or go to hell is a form of psychological abuse."

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Otherwise, when you die you'll stay dead. Forever. (Apart from a brief interlude during which Jesus puts on his best Simon Cowell impersonation and tells you how badly you fucked things up.) Traumatised now?

Kiddy fiddling

Richard Goode's picture

you would have thought mucking about with a childs gonads is not something that should be encouraged.

You would have thought so. But NO! Leonid's response to Xray's question

Do you consider female hoodectomy as an ethically neutral, harmless religious and cultural ritual?

is not, "Why the HELL would it even cross my mind to want to do that?!" Instead, he wants to know "what effect hoodectomy has on the female's sexual function, what are the complications, at what age it performed."

Here's a tip, Leonid. As a general rule, chopping off people's body parts is not good for them, and chopping off parts of their genitalia is not good for their sex lives.

you would have thought

Damien Grant's picture

mucking about with a childs gonads is not something that should be encouraged.

I'm a bit of an old statist here, parents are rarely but sometimes very stupid, wanting to deny their kids blood and the like.

Let the old white men in judicial robes have a say in this!

I also struggle with the idea of letting parents decide what to do with the organs of dead children, or loved ones in general.

it seems very fucked up to me that, in order to protect the feelings of parents A, whose kid is dead, we let the child of parents B die, but the idea of giving the state the right to confisciate the organs of the dead is against my principles but I think my principles are not worth a pinch of salt when it comes to allowing someone the chance of live by pillaging the organs of the dead.

I don't know what effect

Leonid's picture

I don't know what effect hoodectomy has on the female's sexual function, what are the complications, at what age it performed. If this procedure has a negative effect on the child's health and wellbeing then it's not morally neutral. As far as I know, male infant circumcision doesn't have such effects. Circumcision which is performed in the older children is a different matter.

Check your premises

Xray's picture

Submitted by Leonid on Sat, 2012-07-28 23:10.

"Male infant circumcision is ethically neutral. Unlike an adult or female circumcision, it is a harmless religious and cultural ritual.
(end quote)

But going by this premise of yours, you would have to consider those forms of female circumcision where 'only' the clitoral hood is removed ("hoodectomy", which is the exact equivalent to cutting off the male foreskin) as "ethically neutral" too.

Do you consider female hoodectomy as an ethically neutral, harmless religious and cultural ritual?

Angela

Leonid's picture

Male infant circumcision is ethically neutral. Unlike an adult or female circumcision, it is a harmless religious and cultural ritual. However, it doesn't make a child religious. Sunday school brainwashing does. If politicians were really serious about introducing the Age of Reason they would treat religious education as a form of child abuse. The damage created by this mental distortion is much bigger than a removal of the small piece of foreskin. As for the child's right for the body integrity-he has none. It is an acceptable medico-legal and ethical practice that parents or legal custodians have a full right to violate child's body integrity without his consent. That doesn't mean that doctors or parents allowed to cause harm to the child, but simply proves that modern medical ethics and current legal system don't recognize child's ownership on his own body. So, politicians cannot use it as an argument against circumcision. If, however they were introducing a law based on the principle that child does have such an ownership, it would be completely irrational. It would mean that doctors have to obtain informed consent from the child who is in principle unable to give it. It would mean that haircut performed against the will of 4 year old child represents a criminal offense. Can one be more irrational than that? The idea that child owns his body is a floating abstraction, completely disconnected from reality. Only people who uphold a rationalism as their philosophical fundation could support it.

Leonid

Richard Goode's picture

[Having part of your cock cut off with a knife] is mostly harmless and according to some research even beneficent procedure.

Spoken like a true innocent bystander.

Angela

Richard Goode's picture

The real issue is the conflict between religious and secular ethics.

No, it's not.

The core issue is antirationality versus reason.

No, it's not that, either.

Whether or not circumcision is an "archaic sacrifice ritual ... to satisfy the demands of a 'god'" is irrelevant. It might as well be an economic imperative to satisfy the demands of a market hungry for the rare culinary delicacy of freshly harvested baby human foreskins.

The core issue is that circumcision is "the severing of a child's body part." I'm pleased to see that at least one other person here recognises "a child's right to bodily intactness." That's why circumcision should be banned. Because it violates that right.

Bodily integrity is the birthright of every child. Do Objectivists (apart from Leonid) deny this?

What about freedom from religion for children until they are old enough to decide for themselves?

What about freedom from Objectivism for children until they are old enough to decide for themselves?

The core issue is anti-rationality versus reason.

Xray's picture

Submitted by Leonid on Sat, 2012-07-28 14:35.

"Infant male circumcision is mostly harmless and according to some research even beneficent procedure. It doesn't affect child's health or sexual function and may even augment it. I think that Germans here are mainly after Muslims-in this politically correct way they try to curb Muslim immigration which qualifies them as hypocrites. Jews are simply innocent bystanders-multiculturism doesn't allow to exclude them. This is political, not ethical problem. " (end quote)

The real issue is the conflict between religious and secular ethics. We are standing the beginning of a new (and long overdue!) Age of Reason, and culture struggles like the current circumcision debate are indicators of just how much things are in motion.
And this is only the beginning. For centuries, religious authorities were considered to have a monopoly on dealing with ethical issues, but a process is already under way that will finally result in freeing ethics from the shackles of religion. The core issue is antirationality versus reason.

The uninformedness of some German politicians about circumcision seems to be boundless. Obviously they have not even found it necessary do some basic research, because then they would know that there e. g. already exists an alternative, non-cutting Jewish naming ceremony for male children (Brit shalom).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B...

Jnstead, in their eagerness to appease influential and upset religious groups, they repeat the lame argument from millenium-year-old religious tradition. As if that qualified as a valid and sound argument. But then who expects valid and sound arguments coming from politicians ...

Here is a link to an excellent, very informative website "Jews against circumcision".

http://www.jewsagainstcircumci...

Another crucial issue gets lost: if politicians argue that the circumcision of male children be allowed "for religious reason", then other religious groups can also argue that the circumcision of female children where 'only' the clitoral hood is removed (hoodectomy) be allowed "for religious reasons".

Ever thought of that, Ms. Künast and Mr. Beck? [The above-mentioned MPs of the German 'Green' party who are so eager to place freedom of religion above a child's right to bodily intactness] .

What about freedom from religion for children until they are old enough to decide for themselves?

Infant male circumcision is

Leonid's picture

Infant male circumcision is mostly harmless and according to some research even beneficent procedure. It doesn't affect child's health or sexual function and may even augment it. I think that Germans here are mainly after Muslims-in this politically correct way they try to curb Muslim immigration which qualifies them as hypocrites. Jews are simply innocent bystanders-multiculturism doesn't allow to exclude them. This is political, not ethical problem.

Threatening children with hell is psychological abuse

Xray's picture

Submitted by Richard Goode on Sun, 2012-07-22 18:29.

[quoting from Marcus' post on Sun, 2012-07-22 15:57]

"Dawkins would say.. ...telling children they must believe in Jesus or go to hell is a form of psychological abuse." (end quote Marcus)

"You're right. Dawkins would say that." (end quote RG)

And isn't Dawkins right on target here?

Damien Grant

Leonid's picture

Usually people are hold responsible for the consequences of their actions, therefore parents are responsible for the rearing of their children. If you cite a rare and unusual circumstances as illness or extreme poverty, then there are other family members or charity organisations always available. As for the sick children-there are plenty of private institutions and NGO's supported by charity that take care on them-even in the poor South Africa.

Some friends had their

Xray's picture

Submitted by reed on Fri, 2012-07-27 00:51.

"Some friends had their children circumcised at their father's insistence against the mother's objection - the father is an Atheist and the mother is a Christian." (end quote)

A justification by tradition cannot qualify as a valid argument to continue a practice no longer considered compatible with the stage of ethical and rational evolvement that has been reached in a modern society.
In the course of human history, all kinds of horrible tradtions have been abolished (thanks to the rise of reason).

"and I guess he was happy with his own circumcision. " (end quote)

This too woud be no valid reason for the father to project his "happiness" about his own circumcision to a future happiness of his child undergoing the same procedure.

Who cares?

reed's picture

If nobody cares then nobody cares.

If somebody cares then somebody will care.

this does raise some issues

Damien Grant's picture

What obligation do we have to children?

Do parents have an obligation to their children? If the parents are unable or unwilling to provide for them, and no one else offers, does the wider community have an obligation to these lost children?

If so, who pays for this obligation?

This is a loaded question, because it is the sort of Trojan Horse that socialists use to slip in a welfare state when no one is looking, but the question is still a valid one and the response that private charity will provide is not satisfactory, because private charity can come with strings, and paedophiles wearing white collars, attached?

It is also likely that private charity is more likely to respond to healthy children but not those afflicted with mental and other challenges.

Richard Goode

Leonid's picture

"Did I just say that Objectivist philosophy is one of the leading causes of demonic possession? I did. Right on cue, Leonid informs us that a newborn infant has no right to life."

Do you really enjoy to pretend that you are that stupid? Right designates a concept of freedom to act in order to achieve certain goals. Can infant do that? All his survival needs provided to him-he lives by the grace of his parents. Does it mean that parents can kill or neglect him? Obviously not-he is a human being and such an action would be a homocide. Parents who brought up the child are responsible for his well being-exactly because he cannot act and take care on himself. And that why the concept of rights is not applicable to the new born infant. If it were than no doctor would be able legally perform the simplest medical procedure like throat or ear examenation on the kicking and screaming child

"Yes. It would be acceptable

Leonid's picture

"Yes. It would be acceptable to harvest a newborn's kidney to save the life of its twin"

In fact one family decided to bring up a new child in order to harvest his bone marrow to save the older child

Xray

reed's picture

The question can be asked how can one still justify today the continuation of an archaic sacrifice ritual (for that's what religious circumcision really is about) which demands the severing of a child's body part ('pars pro toto' sacrifice) to satisfy the demands of a 'god'?

Some friends had their children circumcised at their father's insistence against the mother's objection - the father is an Atheist and the mother is a Christian.

The father, being circumcised himself, justified circumcising his own children by tradition - and I guess he was happy with his own circumcision.

Submitted by Richard Goode on

Xray's picture

Submitted by Richard Goode on Mon, 2012-07-23 09:01.

According to the recent German court ruling re male circumcision, "the fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighs the fundamental rights of the parents." (end quote)

The ruling has has unleashed heated debates over the issue here in Germany.

The question can be asked how can one still justify today the continuation of an archaic sacrifice ritual (for that's what religious circumcision really is about) which demands the severing of a child's body part ('pars pro toto' sacrifice) to satisfy the demands of a 'god'?

Oops...

reed's picture

What principle(s ) are you employing?
Authority, responsibility and motive.

Authority and responsibility should never be separated.

What principle( are you

reed's picture

What principle(s ) are you employing?
Authority and motive.

According to the recent German court ruling re male circumcision, "the fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighs the fundamental rights of the parents."
Balancing rights is a problem with the rights perspective.

Reed

Richard Goode's picture

What principle(s) are you employing?

According to the recent German court ruling re male circumcision, "the fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighs the fundamental rights of the parents."

Richard

reed's picture

Yes and no. It depends on the parents' motives.

Yes. It would be acceptable to harvest a newborn's kidney to save the life of its twin if that is what its parents decide.

Cornea? No, I can't imagine any situation where this would be acceptable.

Missed an episode?

Richard Goode's picture

Folate Folly Foiled!

Mandatory folic acid fortification of flour reduces the number of babies born with neural tube defects.

Reed

Richard Goode's picture

Would it be acceptable to harvest one of the newborn child's kidneys? Or perhaps a cornea?

Reading Reed

Damien Grant's picture

Does not say much but when he does it is a blinder.

Maybe the children can sue the parent for some obscure tort?

Richard

reed's picture

What do you think about women smoking while pregnant?

Marcus

Richard Goode's picture

What's your point?

Still playing childish word games I see...

Marcus's picture

...Goode.

Is that part of your inferiority complex?

You don't debate in goode faith!

Hades

Richard Goode's picture

Dawkins would say.. ...telling children they must believe in Jesus or go to hell is a form of psychological abuse.

You're right. Dawkins would say that.

Hell is not a place. You can't go there. It's a state of complete and utter destruction.

What do you tell your child(ren) about death? That it's not, in fact, personal annihilation?

Marcus

Richard Goode's picture

"belief in Jesus" ... has no effect in the non-spiritual world.

So it's quite different from "belief in Allah," then?

Stop equivocating...

Marcus's picture

"Not teaching your children that actions have consequences is a form of psychological abuse."

It is "belief in Jesus" which is a) not an action and b) has no effect in the non-spiritual world.

In fact it negates what you have written above.

Because Christians implicitly teach that actions and their consequences are trivial compared to "belief" in Jesus.

Marcus

Richard Goode's picture

Do you agree with these Christian practices?

Everything you ever wanted to know about Hell (but were too afraid to ask)

Not teaching your children that actions have consequences is a form of psychological abuse.

Surely pouring water over the babies' head (or an immersion) is unnecessary superstitious mumbo jumbo?

No, it's not.

Babies always seem to cry during this ritual so it's not without it's stresses too.

Poor dears.

Dawkins would say..

Marcus's picture

...telling children they must believe in Jesus or go to hell is a form of psychological abuse. Even a baptism when they become a member of a Christian Church shortly after birth without being able to make the choice for themselves. Surely pouring water over the babies' head (or an immersion) is unnecessary superstitious mumbo jumbo? Babies always seem to cry during this ritual so it's not without it's stresses too.

Do you agree with these Christian practices?

Marcus

Richard Goode's picture

You're not a secularist so how do you square that one?

It's not the Christians who are making all the fuss.

Do you think all religious rituals are irrational and unecessary?

No. But I draw the line at child abuse.

I haven't heard from many children or adults complaining that they were circumsized

I once had a friend who complained bitterly about his own circumcision. That was a decade or so ago, but I've never forgotten it.

From those that have been circumsized they do not report any problems with sexual pleasure, penile function or with feelings of having been abused.

(Notwithstanding the fact that Linz would say the same of heterosexuals and homosexuality,) They don't know what they're missing.

Goode God Goode!

Marcus's picture

You're not a secularist so how do you square that one?

Do you think all religious rituals are irrational and unecessary?

I don't feel that strongly on the issue as you do because I haven't heard from many children or adults complaining that they were circumsized, indeed that is usually the exception that they do (as happened in Germany). And from a purely practical point of view, whether or not banned the practice would continue behind closed doors. On a scale of abuse it is not as bad as say foot-binding or female circumcision. From those that have been circumsized they do not report any problems with sexual pleasure, penile function or with feelings of having been abused.

Circumcision of Christ

Richard Goode's picture

Circumcision of Christ

Yes, Marcus

Richard Goode's picture

Secularists should admit most circumcusion is done for religious reasons and such a justification is irrational and wrong.

Indeed.

German court bans circumcision of young boys was the headline that got me thinking about this again.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany called the ruling an "unprecedented and dramatic intrusion" of the right to religious freedom, and an "outrageous and insensitive" act.

"Circumcision for young boys is a solid component of the Jewish religion and has been practised worldwide for millennia. This religious right is respected in every country around the world," president Dieter Graumann said in a statement.

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany called the sentence a "blatant and inadmissible interference" in the rights of parents.

The Jews and Muslims can go fuck themselves with their mutilated members.

I feel strongly about this issue.

We know why...

Marcus's picture

...male circumcision is not left to the age of consent, even if we lowered that to 14, very few boys would choose to let it be done to them.

If secularists are so sure it is for health reasons such as HIV infection, let them chose it themselves as a form of protection from the age of consent.

If secularists are so sure it's good for hygiene, let them wait until the doctor sees a problem with the penile health of the child that requires circumcision.

Secularists should admit most circumcusion is done for religious reasons and such a justification is irrational and wrong.

Yes, Damien

Richard Goode's picture

This is a simple issue, cutting a child's dick is wrong, unless there is some pretty darn good medical reason for it.

That is exactly my view.

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