Funny how you don't consider female circumcision as a "surgical vaccine". I wonder what the difference is. I would say that circumcision actually increases the risk of infections as it is performed in hospitals which are dangerous places and then the wound is left to heal in a dirty diaper. And how infant circumcision could have been hygenic in Bronze Age Palestine I really do not know. They did not have modern surgical equipment or antiseptics. Exposing your newborn son to penile surgery leaving an open wound would have been one of the most risky and least hygenic things they could have done.
You will note that hygiene is not mentioned once in the Torah or the Talmud or the Bible as a reason for circumcision. In fact no circumcising society has ever given physical hygiene as a justification for the practice. What has been given as a reason from many sources including the famous Rabbi Maimonides is that circumcision is for moral hygeine by the denuding of the penis and reduction of sexual sensation.
And this is an issue that is not suprisingly lacking from all of your comments. Not once do you even consider the *possibility* of the foreskin as an erogenous organ with biological and sexual functions. This despite the fact that studies have been performed on the subject and many intelligent intact men actually vouch for the sexual benefits of their foreskin. Never having experienced one yourself, I can see how you would be totally unaware of this; however the mere fact that you don't even bother to make mention of this possibility shows me very clearly that this perspective of yours is largely a psychological one fueled by your own issues.
Circumcision is a very insidious meme in that sense. The idea that we could have been wounded like that, as helpless infants in our most sensitive sexual parts, and that we have been robbed of our birthright and lost a significant part of our penises and sexuality, is a very hard thing to accept. Circumcision is more of a psychological phenomenon than a medical one.
In this same vein, calling a facilitated medical procedure mutilation is disingenuous to the actuality of the situation
Which jury would this be? I mean seriously if you want to know the sexual benefits of intact genitals then you need to have them or have sex with someone who has them. Aside from that there is the famous study entitled 'Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis' by Sorrells et al published in the British Journal of Urology in 2007, which concluded:
"The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The transitional region from the
external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis."
And yet you maintain there is "no solid knowledge". The function and value of the foreskin is something that has been known for thousands of years. Aristotle wrote about it in his masterpiece, Maimonides wrote about it in his guide for the perplexed, and 18th Century American physicians knew about it when they introduced circumcision into medicine to punish and prevent masturbation. (Which is in fact why you guys even consider circumcision to be a valid medical prophylactic.)
Personally I didn't really need the writings and research of others to convince me of the pleasures of the foreskin since I have an intact penis and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I'm sure alot of men and women would agree with me on that :)
And by the way if rates of disease are anything to go by then the 'quality of medicine', as you put it, is in sharp decline. Chronic illnesses are on the upsurge, obesity is on the rise, and we are witnessing an epidemic of strange disorders such as autism. The abuse of antibiotics has led to the creation of superbugs, and the abuse of psychiatric medications is almost standard medical practice, especially in the USA. When it comes to diseases like cancer, it can be hard for patients to tell if their suffering is due to the illness or the treatment!
And for those of us with eyes to see, it is obvious that the medical industry is just that: a business, and indeed a racket in many cases. Big Pharma pressure and cajole doctors, turning them into legal drug-pushers. Cutting and drugging are the limitations of allopathic medicine which takes an very egoical and almost totally wrong perspective of disease, in my opinion.
Don't get me wrong, cutting and drugging are excellent ways to handle Injury, and modern medicine has almost mastered helping people heal from acute problems such as serious accidents and emergency situations. But its mishandling and misunderstanding of Disease is undoubtedly the dark side of medicine.
And like every institution of knowledge, whether it be secular or religious, there is an Establishment which determines what is orthodox and what is quakery. Could be that cures and natural remedies are shut down because they are not as profitable as treatments and drugs?
Now, I'm sure most doctors are mostly decent with mostly good intentions, just as most pastors and priests are. But it's the Institution that insidiously resists change and caters to the commercial and financial mindset that we have created. This is true in almost every field of human endeavour, especially those pertaining to knowledge.
The result of this is that medicine ain't medicine and science ain't science. True science is free enquiry but how can a researcher be truly free to pursue the free truth when he needs to get that grant to put food on the table? How can the scientific method be incorruptible when humans can be so fallible? I know I'm fallible, and so are others, even men in white coats.