It seemed to me that there was too much emphasis on the child having a choice in having his foreskin removed. I am circumcised and as an adult have never seen any obvious benefits or complications from not having a foreskin.
the circumcisions I've seen in person in hospitals didn't seem informed by any desire to mutilate a baby for religious reasons.
Because circumcision is a simple medical procedure the complications seem far removed from possibility.
the idea that parents would act with the best of intentions and circumcision is an extension of that thought process indicates that a community of interest is being fostered.
Rights are accompanied by duties and it is understood that infants cannot fulfill any of the burdens that accompany their assertion of rights, so their position in society is subordinate to their parents unless the community of interest standard is not being fulfilled.
it is understood that, especially in the hands of experienced doctors, the risks are very low.
The science is still out, so the atheist community should take the philosophical stance until better evidence for or against circumcision arises.
At this point it is scientifically established to have neutral effects on the individual and ideally reflects the interest of the parents in a child's well being.
As for voluntary breast tissue removal in infants I know little of the matter
while both are sex organs it seems that the situation would be disanalagous on account of the social role of foreskin being very different from the role of breasts.
Marred breasts for example are more easily perceived in the general public compared to a man's circumcision status.
Community of interest standard? What is this babble? Are you saying that a person or entity must be of use and service to us if we are to afford it the concept of rights and treat it with respect and dignity? I suppose then severely disabled and diseased people have no rights. The elderly and invalids and animals who may have nothing to contribute to society can just be discarded and treated with impunity?
You give the possibility of credence to the Bible regarding circumcision and yet make no mention of other religious sources on the subject such as the writings of Maimonides. You defer to reason and yet you do not reason through the notion of cutting healthy functional erogenous tissue from men's genitals.
The penis is an acute sensory organ and, like all such organs, is partly internalised. Just as the eyes have eyelids and the tongue is inside the mouth, the glans penis and muscosal foreskin are pseudo-internal structures. This allows these organs to remain moist and sensitive. If you were to remove the eyelids or permanently expose the tongue then there would undoubtedly be an affect on sight and taste. This is also true of the penis.
Amputation of the foreskin removes thousands of specialised nerve-endings, the frenulum, the ridged band, the mucosa, and permanently exposes the glans, a biologically internal organ. It also removes the only mobile part of the penis. Reason would lead us to believe that this must needs have an effect on sensation and function.
As an intact male I have never had a UTI. I don't know any intact men who have. From my understanding promiscuous women are most likely to contract UTIs, and even then they are readily treated. It's a simple problem with a simple solution. What are you talking about 'potential kidney damage'? By your reasoning we should be circumcising girls too.
How are the "benefits of circumcision" best realised in early childhood? I am intact and never had any problems in early childhood with my penis. Surely with the majority of the world's male population intact hospitals would be full of boys with penile problems. Yet this is just not the case.
There are hundreds of doctors actively and openly advocating against routine infant circumcision, and yet you with your "passing interest in the topic" seem to be quite the expert. But how "objective" is it of you to have made no study of the functions of the foreskin and done no serious investigation into intact genital anatomy and sexual dynamics?
I see in your comments a lot of rhetoric and pretense but very little awareness of the core issues at hand. Circumcision is more so a psychological, sexual, and emotional issue than a medical one. As a medical person (I assume) your interest is largely medical, but if you are working with people, as most doctors do, then you cannot deny or neglect the other aspects of this issue. People are not merely machines. Healing is as much a matter of the heart as of the head; it is not only of the body but of the soul.
To Anthony Hordern
I wish to congratulate you on the depth of knowledge and the high relevance of the many comments that you have made on this vexed subject of genital mutilation.
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.