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Author Topic:   Religious Special Pleading
Faith
Member
Posts: 28895
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 256 of 354 (830904)
04-08-2018 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 250 by Tangle
04-08-2018 3:48 AM


The formal position of the religion though is that male babies must be circumcised. If we accept that this process causes harm to the baby - and it's impossible not to given the evidence - how can it be 'necessary for the welfare of the indivdual affected'?

Are you implying that the uncircumcised child will be ostracised by the Jewish community?

I have no idea how the community would respond, I only know that circumcision is prescribed in the Torah as necessary to being one of the Chosen People and that the orthodox take all that very seriously. It certainly affects the status of the child in the eyes of the community.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 250 by Tangle, posted 04-08-2018 3:48 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 257 by Tangle, posted 04-08-2018 4:25 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5871
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 257 of 354 (830905)
04-08-2018 4:25 PM
Reply to: Message 256 by Faith
04-08-2018 4:14 PM


Faith writes:

It certainly affects the status of the child in the eyes of the community.

I expect it might in some. Time this rediculous, primitive practice stopped then isn't it.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 256 by Faith, posted 04-08-2018 4:14 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 258 of 354 (830912)
04-08-2018 8:19 PM
Reply to: Message 252 by ringo
04-08-2018 2:26 PM


So Prohibition of alcohol worked just fine?

So prohibition of drugs is working just fine?

So prohibition of abortion worked just fine?

Prohibition of murder, assault, theft, child abuse and rape are working just fine.

We don't have to decide that either the majority tramples on the minority or we don't consider majority opinions at all. We are (sometimes) capable of compromise.

Perfect. I'm glad we settled that.

And sometimes compromise comes in the form of letting individuals make their own decisions and everybody else keeping their noses the hell out of it.

That's what I'm proposing.

Yes, sometimes things are prohibited and sometimes things are un-prohibited. It isn't a one-way street.

My argument does not rely on it being a one way street.

Indeed. And in some cases, maybe they should be allowed to.

Do you have the courage to say which ones you think should be allowed, which ones should be prohibited and give your reasons?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 252 by ringo, posted 04-08-2018 2:26 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 262 by ringo, posted 04-09-2018 11:58 AM Modulous has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 259 of 354 (830913)
04-08-2018 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 249 by Faith
04-08-2018 2:34 AM


Hooray for them, but they aren't the standard. It's the orthodox Torah-following Jews who set the standard.

But we weren't debating what is and is not the standard. We were debating welfare.

quote:
I would think that being a bone fide member of the Jewish community ought to qualify as "necessary for the welfare of the individual affected."

As I have shown, there are bone fide members of the Jewish community who are uncircumcised and their welfare is not compromised. So any argument that circumcision is necessary for the welfare individuals is shown to be false.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 249 by Faith, posted 04-08-2018 2:34 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 260 by Faith, posted 04-08-2018 11:46 PM Modulous has responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 28895
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


(1)
Message 260 of 354 (830914)
04-08-2018 11:46 PM
Reply to: Message 259 by Modulous
04-08-2018 8:25 PM


But welfare can be a psychological thing too, not just a literal situation. Knowing you are bona fide according to the Torah in an orthodox Jewish family context surely has to count as welfare.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 259 by Modulous, posted 04-08-2018 8:25 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 264 by Modulous, posted 04-09-2018 2:20 PM Faith has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 14774
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 261 of 354 (830938)
04-09-2018 11:50 AM
Reply to: Message 255 by Tangle
04-08-2018 3:54 PM


Tangle writes:

Here in the UK, we have our own Chief Rabbi, and he tells me that according to his book, the circumcision of male babies is a religious act. So, I guess I'll go with his view over yours thanks.


Ask him if a Christian doctor performing a circumcision on a Christian baby in a Christian hospital is performing a Jewish religious act. My guess is that he'll say no.

Tangle writes:

ringo writes:

Why distinguish between medical and non-medical?


'Cos, you know, one is necessary in order to function properly and the other isn't.

It's the same procedure. Necessity doesn't enter into it in either case.

Tangle writes:

Forgotten shooting your neighbour in the head so soon?


Are you forgetting that we were talking about an absolute definition of murder? There is none.

An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 255 by Tangle, posted 04-08-2018 3:54 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 266 by Tangle, posted 04-09-2018 3:41 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14774
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 262 of 354 (830942)
04-09-2018 11:58 AM
Reply to: Message 258 by Modulous
04-08-2018 8:19 PM


Modulous writes:

Prohibition of murder, assault, theft, child abuse and rape are working just fine.


Really? There are no murders? No assaults? No thefts? No child abuse? No rape?

Those things are limited by social convention and individual conscience, not by laws prohibiting them. People are going to murder, assault, steal, abuse children, rape, drink alcohol, do drugs, perform abortions and circumcisions, etc. regardless of any laws against them. You can't legislate human behaviour.

Modulous writes:

Do you have the courage to say which ones you think should be allowed, which ones should be prohibited and give your reasons?


As I have said several times, I think, it shouldn't be about "allowing" things at all.

An honest discussion is more of a peer review than a pep rally. My toughest critics here are the people who agree with me. -- ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 258 by Modulous, posted 04-08-2018 8:19 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 263 by Modulous, posted 04-09-2018 1:59 PM ringo has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 263 of 354 (830958)
04-09-2018 1:59 PM
Reply to: Message 262 by ringo
04-09-2018 11:58 AM


Really? There are no murders? No assaults? No thefts? No child abuse? No rape?

The utility of prohibition is not to eradicate that which is prohibited (though that might be considered an ideal outcome), but to allow society an orderly and agreed upon way in which to handle those that engage in prohibited behaviour. If that way to handle transgressors of the law involves punishment it may also provide a deterrent. If that way involves

Those things are limited by social convention and individual conscience, not by laws prohibiting them. People are going to murder, assault, steal, abuse children, rape, drink alcohol, do drugs, perform abortions and circumcisions, etc. regardless of any laws against them. You can't legislate human behaviour.

I'm sure that plenty of people have demurred from murdering witnesses because the consequences of being caught, weighed against the likelihood of being caught outweighed the consequences of letting the witness live.

Humans might not be perfect at risk assessments like this, but evidence shows prohibition and punishment has an inhibitory influence.

Do you have the courage to say which ones you think should be allowed, which ones should be prohibited and give your reasons?

As I have said several times, I think, it shouldn't be about "allowing" things at all.

So that's a 'no', then. You think 'in some cases, maybe they should be allowed', but won't specify which cases and why - nor will you specify which cases this isn't the case for and why.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 262 by ringo, posted 04-09-2018 11:58 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 273 by ringo, posted 04-10-2018 11:42 AM Modulous has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 264 of 354 (830959)
04-09-2018 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 260 by Faith
04-08-2018 11:46 PM


But welfare can be a psychological thing too, not just a literal situation. Knowing you are bona fide according to the Torah in an orthodox Jewish family context surely has to count as welfare.

Well as the article notes - uncircumcised Jews don't feel psychologically hampered, and they can always get circumcised later if they feel they should to accept the covenant.

The Pentateuch clearly notes this is acceptable: if there is a sinner in this scenario, it's the parent not the child.

As for the latter - such a parent may argue 'Dina d'malkhuta dina', at which point the whole thing becomes a matter of interpretation in the event that a universal circumcision prohibition is put in place.

quote:
But doesn’t Shmuel say that the law of the kingdom is the law, i.e., halakha requires Jews to obey the laws of the state in which they live. --Talmud, Bava Kamma

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 260 by Faith, posted 04-08-2018 11:46 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 265 by Faith, posted 04-09-2018 3:29 PM Modulous has responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 28895
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 265 of 354 (830966)
04-09-2018 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 264 by Modulous
04-09-2018 2:20 PM


Late circumcision is of course OK for new converts, but God threatened Moses because he hadn't had his grown sons circumcised. They were accepted then of course, but obviously infant circumcision was God's decree and putting it off is sin. And especially if you put it off to accommodate to worldly principles you are very much in sin.

You cannot obey mere human laws when they contradict God's law. Otherwise of course we must obey them.

Of course I don't believe the Old Testament laws are in force any more anyway because Christ fulfilled them all, but I'm arguing this from the point of view of a Jewish Torah follower who would be deeply offended, and also compromised personally, by a law against his religion.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 264 by Modulous, posted 04-09-2018 2:20 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 267 by Modulous, posted 04-09-2018 5:59 PM Faith has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5871
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 266 of 354 (830969)
04-09-2018 3:41 PM
Reply to: Message 261 by ringo
04-09-2018 11:50 AM


Ringo writes:

Ask him if a Christian doctor performing a circumcision on a Christian baby in a Christian hospital is performing a Jewish religious act. My guess is that he'll say no.

Which is obviously irrelevant.

Necessity doesn't enter into it in either case.

If it's a medical necessity it does. If it's merely cosmetic then it should require consent from the person being circumcised.

Are you forgetting that we were talking about an absolute definition of murder? There is none.
Except we both know that shooting your neighbour in the head for fun actually IS murder. Whacky huh?

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 261 by ringo, posted 04-09-2018 11:50 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 274 by ringo, posted 04-10-2018 11:51 AM Tangle has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 267 of 354 (830977)
04-09-2018 5:59 PM
Reply to: Message 265 by Faith
04-09-2018 3:29 PM


Late circumcision is of course OK for new converts

And there's no reason Judaism can't adopt this principle generally.

but God threatened Moses because he hadn't had his grown sons circumcised.

I believe that's the Christian view - and indeed its not uncommon in Judaism. But in the Talmud there is an opinion that it was Satan that had come, to kill the son not Moses.

But in any case, clearly neither God nor Satan are currently going around killing sons or parents for not being circumcised.

You cannot obey mere human laws when they contradict God's law. Otherwise of course we must obey them.

That's your opinion - but not all Jews agree. Indeed, as I pointed out, there is a significant debate about the times where the law of the land supersedes religious law. And, as I said, at that point it becomes a matter of interpretation. And you, non-Jewish, certainly have no business deciding who is a True Jew and who is not surrounding this.

but I'm arguing this from the point of view of a Jewish Torah follower who would be deeply offended, and also compromised personally, by a law against his religion.

Sure - people get offended over all sorts of things. And of course, the offence taken by humanists or Jewish people that don't circumcise doesn't count in this discussion. But even so, religion changes over time and Judaism is hardly immune. Given that Jewish traditionally has seen their texts as the chronicles of the evolution of the relationship between God and mankind - it's perfectly in line with this philosophy.

To this end - capital punishment was over time transformed from being mandatory and common to something to be avoided to the point of being outlawed...along with the notion of following the law of the land.

And finally - Abrahamic religions have a 'get out religious dilemma free' card in the guise of 'love one's neighbour as oneself' which can be used to take precedence over even things God commanded. Add to that the commandment to cause no living creature discomfort and there's plenty of scope to question the procedure within the religion.

Nevertheless, there is no established harm to the welfare of uncircumcised boys - Jewish or otherwise, as I originally stated. I'm sure if a law was enacted, there would be those that defy it. But I'm sure we'd see a rise in apologetics arguing that it is OK to not circumcise or to delay circumcision until the age of consent is reached.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 265 by Faith, posted 04-09-2018 3:29 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 268 by Faith, posted 04-09-2018 6:17 PM Modulous has acknowledged this reply
 Message 269 by Faith, posted 04-09-2018 6:38 PM Modulous has responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 28895
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 268 of 354 (830978)
04-09-2018 6:17 PM
Reply to: Message 267 by Modulous
04-09-2018 5:59 PM


There certainly is a reason orthodox Judaism can't adopt that principle, it's a compromise with the world which is enmity with God. The Torah is the standard and it says God was angry with Moses for his failure to have his sons circumcised.

Satan often acts as God's agent in judgment, and in any case he can't act without God's permission.

When God is your authority and His law is contradicted by human law, the offense is on a very different level from personal offense. And this is all very similar, you know, to the dilemma Christians have been put in by the legal adoption of gay marriage. Genuine devotion to the biblical God requires us to disobey the conflicting law, and I'm figuring the same is true for orthodox Jews in the same position with respect to the biblical requirement of infant circumcision. These are things you can't dictate as an unbeliever. Many Jews may capitulate to a secular law against circumcision, as do many Christians to the gay marriage law, but strict believers will not do that. Strict believers do not see their religion as evolving, the more the society directly contradicts God's word the more we are put in a difficult position because we won't give in to the changes. It's God's word, after all, which is not humanly alterable. Sure you'll see a rise in apologetics in favor of any compromise that gains popularity, but it's at heart a giving in to alien influences at enmity with God, a betrayal. Perhaps it's a way of separating the sheep from the goats.

Yes many things that had a basis in the Bible have been changed by the societies we live in. The death penalty is one, and I think we're under judgment for that among other ways we've compromised God's word. "God is not mocked." There are consequences to rejecting His instruction, which of course unbelievers don't register. If an earthquake or a hurricane or a drought or an increase in social violence or the ingress of hostile foreigners or an economic crash (all on the Biblical list of punishments for disobedience to God) makes life miserable for a populaton they don't notice the connection.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 267 by Modulous, posted 04-09-2018 5:59 PM Modulous has acknowledged this reply

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 28895
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 269 of 354 (830979)
04-09-2018 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 267 by Modulous
04-09-2018 5:59 PM


Somehow overlooked this:
And finally - Abrahamic religions have a 'get out religious dilemma free' card in the guise of 'love one's neighbour as oneself' which can be used to take precedence over even things God commanded.

No, it absolutely cannot. It's a false unbiblical idea of love that would have us disobey God. It's sad that it has been so terribly misused.

Add to that the commandment to cause no living creature discomfort and there's plenty of scope to question the procedure within the religion.

I'm not sure what you are referring to here, but the same principle applies. If obedience to the righteous law causes someone discomfort that's like applying the death penalty to a murderer. Sometimes you have to inflict suffering because it's the righteous thing to do. Obviously loving your neighbor and sparing him discomfort means only in the context of righteous acts. I'm not to make a criminal comfortable by overlooking the crime unless it's a very petty crime and/or I'm willing to pay for it myself.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 267 by Modulous, posted 04-09-2018 5:59 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 270 by Modulous, posted 04-09-2018 9:17 PM Faith has responded

    
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 270 of 354 (830990)
04-09-2018 9:17 PM
Reply to: Message 269 by Faith
04-09-2018 6:38 PM


No, it absolutely cannot. It's a false unbiblical idea of love that would have us disobey God. It's sad that it has been so terribly misused.

Well you're not Jewish, so you don't really get to say. As Rabbi Hillel said " What is hateful to yourself, do not do to your fellow man. That is the whole Torah; the rest is just commentary {or interpretation}. Go and study it."

You can be a legalistic Pharisee type if you want, and some Jewish people feel likewise, I'm sure.

Add to that the commandment to cause no living creature discomfort and there's plenty of scope to question the procedure within the religion.

I'm not sure what you are referring to here

Tza'ar Ba'alei Chayim

If obedience to the righteous law causes someone discomfort that's like applying the death penalty to a murderer. Sometimes you have to inflict suffering because it's the righteous thing to do.

Alternatively, "It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death" {Maimonides, Moses ben Maimon}

Obviously loving your neighbor and sparing him discomfort means only in the context of righteous acts.

Well your religious views are your own. Nevertheless, it is true that the death penalty has been significantly reduced in Judaism on the grounds of loving one's neighbour among other things. So clearly Jewish people can disagree with what is obvious to you.

I'm not to make a criminal comfortable by overlooking the crime unless it's a very petty crime and/or I'm willing to pay for it myself.

Enjoy that.

In the meantime, the welfare of uncircumcised boys is not harmed by the lack of cutting their genitals. Religious people change their views on what were once common practices, and use general statements like 'love your neighbour...' to override specific ones '...kill your disobedient child'. Judaism has done so before, and I'd wager it can - and will - do it again.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 269 by Faith, posted 04-09-2018 6:38 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 271 by Faith, posted 04-09-2018 9:26 PM Modulous has responded

  
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