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Author Topic:   Religious Special Pleading
ringo
Member
Posts: 14627
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.4


(1)
Message 286 of 354 (831127)
04-12-2018 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 285 by Tangle
04-12-2018 12:44 PM


Tangle writes:

Circumcision for religious/cultural reasons is an unnecessary harm.


You don't get to make that determination.

Tangle writes:

ringo writes:

You haven't given any reason to distinguish circumcision from education.


Yeh, I wonder why that is? Possibly because it's yet another diversionary irrelevance?

Or because you can't.

Tangle writes:

The existence of medical procedures are irrelevant.


Not at all. You're trying to ban an accepted medical procedure.

Tangle writes:

I've given you examples of countries that have already banned religious/cultural circumcision.


I could give you examples of countries that have persecuted Jews in other ways.

Tangle writes:

Is it a difficult political decision? sure. But is it also a wrong?


It's not as "wrong" as trampling on individual freedom.

Tangle writes:

I'm interested in how far you think it's ok for parents to do other things. At the moment you're equivocating about shooting your neighbour for fun so I guess that's our answer.


You're being dishonest. The question about shooting your neighbour was about absolutes. The question about parents making decisions for their children is unrelated.

Tangle writes:

Parents would stop circumcising their children and everyone will live happily ever after..


And the dream goes on. People do not stop doing things if they're banned: alcohol, abortion, drugs. Children are not better off without their parents. Your conclusion is absurd.

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 285 by Tangle, posted 04-12-2018 12:44 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 287 by Tangle, posted 04-12-2018 1:55 PM ringo has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5748
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 287 of 354 (831130)
04-12-2018 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 286 by ringo
04-12-2018 1:01 PM


Ringo writes:

You don't get to make that determination.

I didn't. I've given you the objective evidence of the harm. You have been uable to refute it.

Not at all. You're trying to ban an accepted medical procedure.

No I'm not. Don't be silly.

It's not as "wrong" as trampling on individual freedom.

The freedom to harm a child is not a freedom parents should have.

You're being dishonest. The question about shooting your neighbour was about absolutes. The question about parents making decisions for their children is unrelated.

Ok, drop the shooting your neighbour thing - the question stands, where is your line? Do parents have the freedom to do what they like to their children?

And the dream goes on. People do not stop doing things if they're banned: alcohol, abortion, drugs. Children are not better off without their parents. Your conclusion is absurd.

The fact that some ignorant people with primitive ideas will continue to harm their children until caught is not a reason to try to prevent the majority from doing so. Else we would have no laws at all.


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 286 by ringo, posted 04-12-2018 1:01 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 289 by ringo, posted 04-13-2018 11:46 AM Tangle has responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 288 of 354 (831132)
04-12-2018 2:58 PM
Reply to: Message 284 by ringo
04-12-2018 12:09 PM


You can't use one "success story" as a basis for banning things. How confident are you that cocaine usage has decreased since it was banned?

Nor can you use one failure story as a basis to argue against prohibition. But to answer your question, I'm reasonably confident. The Queen of England used cocaine in the 19th Century. Doctors used it. Labourers regularly used it, soldiers used it and so on. I expect consumers have probably decreased since the late 19th and early 20th Century - if total consumption has increased I expect this is a function of increased production due to agricultural and technical improvements and a larger and wealthier population.

But as I said, even if consumption hasn't changed - or gone up - it wouldn't change my original comment from over a month ago in Message 49:

quote:
you can't jump from what is true of nouns to what is true of verbs (murder, abuse etc).

Towards the end of WWI 2/3 of the shells being fired contained gas payloads rather than explosive ones. It was prohibited, and although it is still used during warfare - it is less common than 2/3.

I have doubts about everything. Any skeptic should.

Still avoiding the question. While you may doubt that the prohibition against stoning homosexuals or abusing children is a good idea - I think it should be obvious I'm not talking about a generally philosophically healthy degree of doubt, but significant doubt to the point of thinking that maybe we should be turning a blind eye to stoning homosexuals, abusing children, beating spouses etc.

I'm not going to start beating my wife just so I can stop for the benefit of your question. So I don't mind if you keep asking over and over again. But if you want a different answer, ask a different question.

You are trying to argue against prohibition in general. I am asking how far you are willing to go. Do you think we should take no action as a society against child rapists, people that hurt or maim children, domestic violence? It's a simple question. I gave a list of specific things. You suggested that maybe we should be allowing some of them ("maybe they should be allowed"). I asked you which of them were you thinking of - all of them? You made the comment, are you retracting it?

To use your questionable analogy: You said 'maybe we should beat women' and I followed that up with 'does that include your wife?' and you replied 'This isn't about beating women' and avoided the follow up rather inexpertly ever since.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 284 by ringo, posted 04-12-2018 12:09 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 290 by ringo, posted 04-13-2018 12:01 PM Modulous has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14627
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 289 of 354 (831166)
04-13-2018 11:46 AM
Reply to: Message 287 by Tangle
04-12-2018 1:55 PM


Tangle writes:

I've given you the objective evidence of the harm. You have been uable to refute it.


On the contrary, there are millions of circumcised men in the world and all you've shown is that a tiny minority have experienced harm.

Tangle writes:

ringo writes:

You're trying to ban an accepted medical procedure.


No I'm not.

You can't have it both ways. It is an accepted medical practice. If you ban it only for religious use, that's blatant religious discrimination. And if you insist on a medical license for every procedure that could be construed as medical, you'll have to prosecute everybody who puts on a band-aid.

Tangle writes:

The freedom to harm a child is not a freedom parents should have.


Your misguided view of "harm" trips you up again.

Tangle writes:

... where is your line? Do parents have the freedom to do what they like to their children?


There is no simplistic "line". Our society accepts both circumcision and religious freedom. You can't draw a line between them.

Tangle writes:

The fact that some ignorant people with primitive ideas will continue to harm their children until caught is not a reason to try to prevent the majority from doing so.

And imagined "harm" is not an excuse for trampling on individual freedom.

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 287 by Tangle, posted 04-12-2018 1:55 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 291 by Tangle, posted 04-13-2018 12:51 PM ringo has responded
 Message 302 by Tangle, posted 04-14-2018 1:23 PM ringo has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14627
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 290 of 354 (831167)
04-13-2018 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 288 by Modulous
04-12-2018 2:58 PM


Modulous writes:

Nor can you use one failure story as a basis to argue against prohibition.


I didn't use one story; I used a long history: alcohol, abortion, drugs.

Modulous writes:

Towards the end of WWI 2/3 of the shells being fired contained gas payloads rather than explosive ones. It was prohibited, and although it is still used during warfare - it is less common than 2/3.


The use of poison gas in WWI was an anomaly. It was only the fixed positions that made it a moderately effective weapon. It wasn't any ban that reduced the use of poison gas; it just isn't very useful.

Modulous writes:

... significant doubt to the point of thinking that maybe we should be turning a blind eye to stoning homosexuals, abusing children, beating spouses etc.


I have tried to make this clear: I don't think that banning things is an effective means of "control". I doubt that stoning homosexuals, abusing children, beating spouses etc. is going to change society for the better, just as I doubt that banning homosexuality, child abuse, spousal abuse, etc. is going to change society for the better. Human behaviour just doesn't work that way.

Modulous writes:

You are trying to argue against prohibition in general. I am asking how far you are willing to go. Do you think we should take no action as a society against child rapists, people that hurt or maim children, domestic violence?


Prohibition is not the only possible action.

Modulous writes:

To use your questionable analogy: You said 'maybe we should beat women' and I followed that up with 'does that include your wife?' and you replied 'This isn't about beating women'...


That is not the analogy I used. You demanded a yes-or-no answer to a question and I replied that the answer is neither yes nor no.

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 288 by Modulous, posted 04-12-2018 2:58 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 294 by Modulous, posted 04-13-2018 2:15 PM ringo has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5748
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 291 of 354 (831174)
04-13-2018 12:51 PM
Reply to: Message 289 by ringo
04-13-2018 11:46 AM


ringo writes:

On the contrary, there are millions of circumcised men in the world and all you've shown is that a tiny minority have experienced harm.

So here we go again, right back to the start.
Every single baby/boy/youth/man that is circumcised suffers harm. They all bleed, all feel extreme pain and stress for some days. Some suffer complications such as sepsis and at least 200 die as a direct result every year in the US alone. (This number is under reported for the reason already given.)

Where the hurt is to a consenting adult, there is no problem - this is, one hopes - a free, but really stupid choice. Adults are allowed stupid choices, but not for others.

You can't have it both ways.

Of course I can. One is a procedure necessary for the health of the child, the other serves no medical purpose whatsoever.

It is an accepted medical practice. If you ban it only for religious use, that's blatant religious discrimination.

I'm banning it for religious and cultural reason for those unable to make an informed choice. Jews will claim this is religious discrimination, it's not, it's a child protection issue. Moreover, we ban FGM, this too could be labelled racial discrimination - the answer is the same. The harm to the child matters more than notional claims of discrimination.

And if you insist on a medical license for every procedure that could be construed as medical, you'll have to prosecute everybody who puts on a band-aid.

Don't be silly.

Your misguided view of "harm" trips you up again.

Pain, suffering and death trips me up every time.

There is no simplistic "line". Our society accepts both circumcision and religious freedom. You can't draw a line between them.

We can and we do. We ban FGM for example. And some countries ban the male version too. So far you are saying that a parent's freedom to harm trumps a child's right not to be harmed. You are unable to deal with this criticism.

And imagined "harm" is not an excuse for trampling on individual freedom.

quote:
Conducted in 2011 by independent researcher Tim Hammond and Adrienne Carmack, MD, the 44-question online survey explored physical, sexual, emotional, and self-esteem harm, as well as circumcision's impact on interpersonal relationships, compensatory behaviors, and foreskin restoration.

Documented adverse outcomes include:

meatal stenosis (narrowing of the urinary opening)
scarring
penile head keratinization
painful erections
skin bridges
sensory deprivation
premature or delayed ejaculation
erectile dysfunction
feelings of mutilation
negative self-esteem
medical mistrust
and parental or religious alienation.


From the UK

quote:
Manchester Royal Children's hospital reports that it treats around three cases of bleeding circumcisions every month. In 2009 alone, in one hospital in Birmingham, 105 boys were treated at A&E for complications after circumcisions. One per month had life-threatening injuries. In June, a letter to the newsletter of the British Association for Community Child Health reported on some of the injuries caused by unlicensed circumcision practitioners in the Bristol area. They included a fractured skull caused by a baby falling off a kitchen table during a home circumcision.

An audit of circumcisions conducted at an Islamic school in Oxford, and reported in the Journal of Public Health this year, revealed that 45% of boys had suffered complications. All these examples have one common feature: they were conducted in non-clinical conditions. While it is illegal to tattoo a child in the UK, there is no law to prevent anyone from setting up a business in permanently slicing the sensitive, delicate skin from boys' genitals without anaesthetic. In Rusholme, Manchester, there is a notice on a first floor window offering circumcisions, quite literally in a backstreet above a kebab shop. This is utterly obscene.


Still denying harm or should I find more?


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 289 by ringo, posted 04-13-2018 11:46 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 292 by ringo, posted 04-13-2018 1:05 PM Tangle has responded
 Message 295 by dwise1, posted 04-13-2018 4:57 PM Tangle has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14627
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 292 of 354 (831175)
04-13-2018 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 291 by Tangle
04-13-2018 12:51 PM


Tangle writes:

Every single baby/boy/youth/man that is circumcised suffers harm. They all bleed, all feel extreme pain and stress for some days.


All humans bleed and feel pain and stress. Show us a million or so circumcised men who think the operation "harmed" them.

Tangle writes:

Adults are allowed stupid choices, but not for others.


Unless the others are their children. Parents are allowed to make stupid choices like home-schooling their children. You can't take every stupid choice away from people.

Tangle writes:

Jews will claim this is religious discrimination, it's not, it's a child protection issue.


Again, show us ten thousand Jews or ten million Muslims who think they need to be "protected" from circumcision. Persecution, religious or otherwise, likes to hide behind a screen of "protection".

Tangle writes:

So far you are saying that a parent's freedom to harm trumps a child's right not to be harmed.


No, I'm saying that a parent's idea of harm trumps yours.

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 291 by Tangle, posted 04-13-2018 12:51 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 293 by Tangle, posted 04-13-2018 1:18 PM ringo has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5748
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 293 of 354 (831176)
04-13-2018 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 292 by ringo
04-13-2018 1:05 PM


ringo writes:

All humans bleed and feel pain and stress.

Is this supposed to be some sort of argument? They only bleed and hurt if we cut their dicks. If we don't do that then they do not suffer.

Show us a million or so circumcised men who think the operation "harmed" them.

Point one is that ALL babies are harmed - that is very obvious and impossible to deny. I have also shown you the medical evidence for that in previous posts.

Secondly, the research shows that it would be very easy to produce your million adults who now feel that they were harmed. Would that change your mind? Why 1 million? Why not 200 deaths per year in the US?

Once again you neglect to comment on the evidence.

No, I'm saying that a parent's idea of harm trumps yours.

Harm is exceptionally easy to demonstrate objectively - I have done this and you have been unable to rebut it. In fact you simply ignore it. Parents should not harm their children regardless of what nonsense they believe.


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 292 by ringo, posted 04-13-2018 1:05 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 300 by ringo, posted 04-14-2018 11:39 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 294 of 354 (831177)
04-13-2018 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 290 by ringo
04-13-2018 12:01 PM


I didn't use one story

And neither did I.

I have tried to make this clear: I don't think that banning things is an effective means of "control".

Your opinion is clear, your evidence is lacking. Criminalising behaviour can serve to inhibit that behaviour.

I doubt that stoning homosexuals, abusing children, beating spouses etc. is going to change society for the better, just as I doubt that banning homosexuality, child abuse, spousal abuse, etc. is going to change society for the better.

So if you're friend or a brother was stoned to death for being homosexual, or a young family member was sexually abused by a guardian you don't think society would be better with that offender being taken out of general circulation? You'd be happy knowing the person who killed your brother was free to kill someone else's brother? You'd be content knowing your cousin/niece whatever was going to continue being raped every night?

How do you think other people would feel in that position? Would society truly be no better off either way?

Human behaviour just doesn't work that way.

Human behaviour is not simple. However, likelihood of being caught, a and the nature of punishment have been shown to be factors that influence behaviour. We can also see that in times when the legal system stops being able to function effectively, crime rises. In lab tests, a larger number of people cheat for financial gain if it seems they can get away with it.

Obviously crimes of passion or necessity are less affected than other things. When surveyed confidentially people admit that if they think they can get away with it they will happily commit insurance or credit fraud and many people do indeed admit to having done so.

Prohibition is not the only possible action.

Of course not. You could eat a banana every time someone rapes a child. You could frown and sternly wag your finger. You could tut and write a disapproving message in twitter.

Are you going to say anything of substance. Such as what you think should be done with someone who rapes a child, stones homosexuals etc?

That is not the analogy I used. You demanded a yes-or-no answer to a question and I replied that the answer is neither yes nor no.

I did not demand a yes or no answer. I asked the following:

quote:
which of {the actions in the list} were you thinking {maybe should be allowed} - all of them?

quote:
What items in the list do you have doubts about? What are the nature of your doubts?

quote:
be specific about what is included in the word 'they' {in your sentence "maybe they should be allowed"}

quote:
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.

quote:
which ones you think should be allowed, which ones should be prohibited and give your reasons?

These are not yes or no questions or challenges. These are questions designed to illicit further information from you with regards to your position. You could even answer the questions by expanding on your position that 'maybe some of them should be allowed... {but} it shouldn't be about "allowing" things at all. '

I'm afraid your answer

quote:
When in doubt, don't prohibit. Some people may think there's such a thing as too much freedom. I don't.

Only confuses the matter. Since in English law (which is the model by which the US, Canada and the UK operate) that which is not prohibited is allowed. So you are saying 'it shouldn't be about allowing' while also arguing things should be allowed if there is doubt - and you have expressed doubt about prohibiting child rape. So despite your earlier protestations, you seem to be once again arguing in favour of giving child rapists the freedom to rape children.

If you can't explain yourself any further, that's the impression I'm going to walk away with - that your strongest defence for circumcision and the like, involves you tolerating rape, murder and abuse. I expect I won't be alone in that conclusion. So the choice is yours, I suppose.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 290 by ringo, posted 04-13-2018 12:01 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 301 by ringo, posted 04-14-2018 11:59 AM Modulous has responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 3157
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 295 of 354 (831180)
04-13-2018 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 291 by Tangle
04-13-2018 12:51 PM


Just jumping in at this point, not having contributed before quite frankly surprised this topic is still raging.

Where the hurt is to a consenting adult, there is no problem - this is, one hopes - a free, but really stupid choice. Adults are allowed stupid choices, but not for others.

For myself as a minor, it was my parents' choice, not my own. Though it happened around the age of 8 years, not days.

As I was having to go in for a tonsillectomy at age 8, apparently our family doctor had misgivings about my foreskin not growing fast enough to keep up with the rest of my body (Dr. Brandt, same as Hitler's last MD, but that's purely a coincidence). I heard that French king Louis XVI had problems producing an heir because he had a physical condition which made intercourse painful; whether that involved a sluggish foreskin, I have no idea.

Anyway, being a smart kid with some sense of anatomy, I went into that surgery knowing that my tonsils were at the back of my mouth (even though I was unprepared for the ether mask). When I woke up, my throat was sore as expected, but then there were those bandages around the end of my penis. It was at least a day or more before anybody ever explained that to me. I spent all that time trying to understand how they had to go through my penis in order to get to my tonsils at the back of my mouth (oral cavity for you geeks).

Object lesson: kids know a helluva lot more than you think they do.

Then for my own two sons, it was their mother calling the shots and I didn't know why I should have any reason to object.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 291 by Tangle, posted 04-13-2018 12:51 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 296 by Tangle, posted 04-13-2018 5:20 PM dwise1 has responded
 Message 297 by dwise1, posted 04-13-2018 5:20 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5748
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 296 of 354 (831184)
04-13-2018 5:20 PM
Reply to: Message 295 by dwise1
04-13-2018 4:57 PM


dwise1 writes:

Then for my own two sons, it was their mother calling the shots and I didn't know why I should have any reason to object.

Why was it done?


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 295 by dwise1, posted 04-13-2018 4:57 PM dwise1 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 298 by dwise1, posted 04-13-2018 5:33 PM Tangle has responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 3157
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 297 of 354 (831185)
04-13-2018 5:20 PM
Reply to: Message 295 by dwise1
04-13-2018 4:57 PM


Another story, though this time involving adults.

I am a Chief, son of a Chief. That is to say that I retired from the Naval Reserve as a Chief Petty Officer and my father's highest rank in the Naval Reserve was as a Chief Petty Officer in the Seabees (go ahead and try to pick a fight with me about the Seabees).

After the official pacification of Saipan, my father's Seabee unit arrived with many Japanese belligerents still on the island. Sailors will be sailors (in one of my units, a mustang (ie, former enlisted) LtJG offered the real sailor creed: "If you're not lyin', you're not tryin'"). In my father's unit, a number of sailors decided to convert to Judaism since that would require circumcision which would require at least a week's medical rest. The corpsmen knew what was going on. For those sailors, they put on risque shows (with balloons under military blouses, etc) and distributed whatever the then limits of pornography could allow. Needless to say, many penile sutures ended up being split. Served those wankers right.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 295 by dwise1, posted 04-13-2018 4:57 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
dwise1
Member
Posts: 3157
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 298 of 354 (831187)
04-13-2018 5:33 PM
Reply to: Message 296 by Tangle
04-13-2018 5:20 PM


dwise1 writes:

Then for my own two sons, it was their mother calling the shots and I didn't know why I should have any reason to object.


Why was it done?

Blame their mother. That's what she's there for.

Part of this might be a cultural thing, even among English speakers.

Think back to "An American Werewolf in London" (1981). The English nurses involved in his case (one of which actually gets involved with him) talk about him. One of them says that he's Jewish, just because he's circumcised. Another nurse points out that it's common with Americans.

Most new parents are told that it's normal and do not know enough to question that conclusion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 296 by Tangle, posted 04-13-2018 5:20 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 299 by Tangle, posted 04-14-2018 2:15 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5748
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 299 of 354 (831216)
04-14-2018 2:15 AM
Reply to: Message 298 by dwise1
04-13-2018 5:33 PM


Dwise1 writes:

Part of this might be a cultural thing, even among English speakers.

This gives some background to the strange position the US got itself into.

quote:

So what explains America’s fuss over foreskins? A closer look at how this religious rite became a national practice reveals some uncomfortable truths about health care in the US. Apparently, all it takes to popularize an elective preventative surgery with questionable health benefits is a mix of perverse incentives, personal bias, and ignorance.

First, it helps to know a bit of history. Although religious practitioners have been snipping foreskins for thousands of years, the medical practice dates from the late 19th century—a time when the causes of most diseases were poorly understood. Mystified by everything from epilepsy to madness, some physicians in both America and England began to suspect that the real trouble was phimosis, a condition when an overly tight foreskin hinders normal function. By removing the foreskin, surgeons believed they could heal all sorts of maladies, from hernias to lunacy.

Around the turn of the 20th century, American epidemiologists were also trying to explain why Jews lived longer than other groups of people. Jews tended to have lower rates of infectious diseases, such as syphilis and tuberculosis, in part because they had little sexual contact with non-Jews. But some scientists began to suspect their rude health was a product of circumcision.

At the time, surgical interventions of all kinds were becoming more popular, owing to better anesthesia and greater concern over cleanliness, which reduced hospital contagion. Doctors began recommending the operation as part of the neonatal routine. Not only did the procedure prevent phimosis, but it was also believed to make the penis more hygienic and less tempting for wayward masturbating boys (a notion that might have been quashed by something known as the scientific method). As David Gollaher explains in his book Circumcision: A History of the World’s Most Controversial Surgery, a circumcised penis swiftly became a mark of distinction, a sign of good breeding, sound hygiene and the best medicine money could buy.

In Britain, too, circumcision became a habit of the upper classes, including the royal family. Anyone who could afford to have a child delivered by a doctor rather than a midwife was keen to heed the latest scientific advice.

But this changed in the UK with the launch of the publicly funded National Health Service in 1948. Because British doctors could not agree that circumcision was necessary, the practice was not covered. At a time when most Brits were financially strapped, few cared to pay for something that suddenly seemed frivolous. Circumcision rates swiftly dropped.

In America, however, the postwar boom years created a glut of jobs, and employers often wooed workers with plush health benefits, which typically covered circumcision. A growing number of Americans could suddenly afford to give birth in hospitals, and routine infant circumcisions spiked.

This helped entrench an elective medical practice, creating generations of foreskinless fathers and doctors who were inclined to believe it was best for their sons, too. It is a trend that America’s unwieldy fee-for-service health-care handily reinforces, as doctors and hospitals have incentives for offering interventions deemed unnecessary most everywhere else.

Johnson, the University of Michigan professor of obstetrics and gynecology, observes that the procedure is “highly remunerative” for the pediatricians at his hospital.
“I think the professional charge in our state is somewhere between $150-200,” he says. “That’s real money if you can do four or five circumcisions in an hour.” In states where Medicaid does not cover the practice, rates have fallen fast.

This is not to say that official bodies such as the CDC and AAP are issuing health guidelines with an eye on the bottom line. But it is important to recognize some of the cultural biases informing America’s embrace of circumcision.
“When surgeries become the norm, the intuitive valuation of what’s at stake just shifts,” says Brian Earp, associate director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy. He notes that because most American physicians are circumcised and work in places where the surgery is common, they are more likely to look for reasons to support the practice than question it.

As the procedure is both deeply personal and a bit taboo (no one really likes talking about genitals), few people even discuss it at all. Grown men who have never known life with a foreskin are disinclined to mourn it.

Elsewhere, however, uncircumcised physicians are better placed to appreciate this elastic, functional sleeve of tissue, which is not only tremendously sexually sensitive but also handy for protecting the head of the penis from abrasion. Government-financed health care also squeezes out costly discretionary practices, making it easier for doctors in other developed countries to see that a prophylactic surgery on healthy, non-consenting infants is not quite the most conservative, least harmful way of achieving certain results. Some uncircumcised boys will still run the risk of phimosis, but the risk is rare. A new population-based study from Denmark, where most boys are uncircumcised, found that medical necessity forced a foreskin intervention in a mere .5% of Danish boys.

Because there are less invasive ways to enjoy the negligible benefits of circumcision, some argue that the practice in America is unethical. They have a point—particularly as the surgery permanently alters those who have no say in the matter. Parents may still wish to go through with it, for religious or cultural reasons. But it would be better if more Americans questioned a medical establishment that encourages a surgery that every other country in the industrialized world recognizes as unnecessary.


https://qz.com/...8/why-is-circumcision-so-popular-in-the-us


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Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 298 by dwise1, posted 04-13-2018 5:33 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 14627
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 300 of 354 (831260)
04-14-2018 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 293 by Tangle
04-13-2018 1:18 PM


Tangle writes:

Point one is that ALL babies are harmed - that is very obvious and impossible to deny.


But I do deny it. Millions who have been circumcised disagree with you. And whatever "harm" you imagine has to be balanced against the benefits.

Tangle writes:

Secondly, the research shows that it would be very easy to produce your million adults who now feel that they were harmed.


Then do it. And for extra credit you can explain why they continue to do it to their own children generation after generation.

Tangle writes:

Harm is exceptionally easy to demonstrate objectively - I have done this and you have been unable to rebut it.


Obviously false.

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 293 by Tangle, posted 04-13-2018 1:18 PM Tangle has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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