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Circumcision In Germany
Posted: 28 June 2012 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Muslims and Jews in Germany are mad about a ruling against circumcision.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/27/us-germany-circumcision-idUSBRE85Q19Y20120627

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Posted: 29 June 2012 04:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s nice to see the Jews and the Muslims of the same side.  grin

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Posted: 29 June 2012 04:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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This is one of those situations where society has until now accepted what would otherwise be an unacceptable practice just because “its always been done in the past”. Its a bit like smoking in that regard. Imagine that no one had ever smoked and some guy next to you in a restaurant or park says ” I’m going to light a bunch of leaves on fire right here and inhale the smoke. Do you mind?”. We would all look at him like he had lost his last marble yet for many years that is exactly what smokers did and even now many people think we are being unfair to not allow people to do that.

Now look at circumcision. Just consider how people would accept this idea today if it had never been done before…The doctor or rabbi says to the parent “Mr and Mrs Smith we are introducing a new procedure. We’re going to hack off a chunk of your child’s penis today just for the heck of it. There is no really good justification, he’ll scream bloody murder because its going to hurt, and there is some risk. Is that alright with you?”. What parent or society would ever allow that? It would be considered mutilation and child abuse. The German’s are right to not allow this.

It always amazes me what we do in the name of “That’s the way its always been done”.

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Posted: 29 June 2012 05:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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macgyver - 29 June 2012 04:55 AM

This is one of those situations where society has until now accepted what would otherwise be an unacceptable practice just because “its always been done in the past”. Its a bit like smoking in that regard. Imagine that no one had ever smoked and some guy next to you in a restaurant or park says ” I’m going to light a bunch of leaves on fire right here and inhale the smoke. Do you mind?”. We would all look at him like he had lost his last marble yet for many years that is exactly what smokers did and even now many people think we are being unfair to not allow people to do that.

That is an easy thought when it’s not about you, but otherwise it might be hell difficult. In this respect, if you use this criterion on all our behaviour you might get some surprises:

“Daddy, people were really allowed to blow CO2 in the atmosphere just because they wanted to be somewhere else more quickly?”
“And Daddy, all people ate so much meat that the animals were put into so small places, and treated with chemicals, just because they wanted to eat so much meat everyday?”
“Yes, my boy, even Daddy did these things. But you know, we did not know better.” (In German: “Wir haben es nicht gewusst.” Search for that phrase if you don’t know it already).

Regarding the topic: this is a great action. We should not discriminate because of religion, but in a secular state we do not allow for certain behaviours that are against human rights. Also in this respect all religions should be treated equally. I hope that parents who go on holiday to their country to circumcise their child can also be held accountable where they are back in Germany. And I hope many countries will follow. But the story is not at its end: it was just one court that decided so. Of course this will be taken further, and I am sure this will go through to the highest German court.

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Posted: 29 June 2012 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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When you get right down to it, circumcision pretty much serves the same function as hazing or animal sacrifice: showing what one is willing to endure or give up in order to show group solidarity. It’s certainly not unique to religions, but religions in general seem to get more of a free pass on such behavior than other groups (like college marching bands).

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Posted: 29 June 2012 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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GdB i see what youre saying but its not really the same
Thing. Im not suggesting we pass jusgement on our ancestors and what they did. What i am saying is that we need to look at these things we are currently doing and not give them the benefit of cultural acceptance just because we have always done them before without question.

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Posted: 29 June 2012 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Circumcision wasn’t even popular in the US until WWII, when the military circumcised the men in the name of decreasing the spread of syphilis. Those men went hom and circumcised their sons. We are the only Western country which routinely circumcises.
Have you ever heard of David Reimer? In the end, he committed suicide.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer

I cared for a child a few years ago who would have bled to death after a circumcision if the mother had not awakened in the middle of the night to change his diaper. The child did not wake up, she got up to feed him and change him. He had to be rushed to the hospital and transfused blood emergently, along with clotting factor.

I have heard of several children who died from a herpes infection after a religious circumcision. In the NICU, we take herpes seriously. If a woman has a history of genital herpes, and is in the middle of an outbreak, we c-section the mother if there was no time to give her medication. If we know the mom has a history, but is not in the middle of an outbreak, we still keep an eye out in case the mother was infectious but not symptomatic. Herpes kills newborns. I don’t understand why Jews would let anyone with a history of herpes anywhere near their son’s penis. I don’t understand why anyone would let any mouth near their son’s penis!

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Posted: 29 June 2012 10:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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macgyver - 29 June 2012 12:39 PM

GdB i see what youre saying but its not really the same
Thing. Im not suggesting we pass jusgement on our ancestors and what they did. What i am saying is that we need to look at these things we are currently doing and not give them the benefit of cultural acceptance just because we have always done them before without question.

Isn’t it? Why do we give car drivers and meat eaters the benefit of cultural acceptance, just because everybody does it?

Imagine nobody had ever driven a car or treated animals as we do now. Imagine this is a humanist society where we treat everything and every being respectfully, and our behaviour is rational on the short and the long term. And then suddenly somebody comes, blows a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere with his car, and slaughters a few pigs for him and his family, who were sitting their whole life in a 5x5m box in their own shit. Wouldn’t we be outraged?

So now the big question: wouldn’t we all not prefer such a society? Then why are we driving cars and eating meat?

Maybe I should open a new thread about the ‘Wir haben es nicht gewusst’ thinking mode… I am afraid we will see a terrible slurry pit.

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Posted: 29 June 2012 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’m not sure how these two topics fit together in this thread, but it gives me an opportunity to relate two anecdotes.

Many years ago when smoking was still allowed in the cocktail bars and those sections of restaurants, my wife and I went to a popular place and the only tables were in the bar.  We took one and ordered dinner.  There were two older women close by next to us.  One was smoking wnen we sat down, then in about two minutes chained with a new cigarette.  I scowled over at her as she started doing that.  The other woman said, “I think they’d rather you not smoke.”  She said, “I’ll smoke anyplace i want to.”  So I reverted to theism and said, quite loudly to my wife, “Thank god for lung cancer.”  They got up and left.

Shortly before my daughter was born (before prenatal sex determination was abvailable) I told our doctor (who happened to be Jewish) that if the baby was a boy I didn’t want him circumcized.  He said it was a California law that required it.  I said, “Well, I guess it will be worth it for him because if you do, I plan to sue both you and the state for at least a million dollars each.”  He looked very uncomfortable.  Too bad my child was a daughter.  LOL

My wife always enjoyed my outbursts but she always sort of backed away and made believe that she was wasn’t with me.  smile

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Posted: 30 June 2012 01:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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macgyver - 29 June 2012 04:55 AM

This is one of those situations where society has until now accepted what would otherwise be an unacceptable practice just because “its always been done in the past”. Its a bit like smoking in that regard. Imagine that no one had ever smoked and some guy next to you in a restaurant or park says ” I’m going to light a bunch of leaves on fire right here and inhale the smoke. Do you mind?”. We would all look at him like he had lost his last marble yet for many years that is exactly what smokers did and even now many people think we are being unfair to not allow people to do that.

Now look at circumcision. Just consider how people would accept this idea today if it had never been done before…The doctor or rabbi says to the parent “Mr and Mrs Smith we are introducing a new procedure. We’re going to hack off a chunk of your child’s penis today just for the heck of it. There is no really good justification, he’ll scream bloody murder because its going to hurt, and there is some risk. Is that alright with you?”. What parent or society would ever allow that? It would be considered mutilation and child abuse. The German’s are right to not allow this.

It always amazes me what we do in the name of “That’s the way its always been done”.

`

Wow, you nailed it macgyver :)  In discussions like this, I find that I’m often one of the only people who gives the personal autonomy rights of the kid priority over the religious (or whatever) rights of the parents.

Nicely articulated :)

`

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Posted: 30 June 2012 01:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 29 June 2012 11:03 AM

When you get right down to it, circumcision pretty much serves the same function as hazing or animal sacrifice: showing what one is willing to endure or give up in order to show group solidarity.

`
Which is another way the personal autonomy of the child is violated by this procedure ~ how the hell do the parents know if the kid’s going to grow up to want to belong to their ‘club’, anyway?

Given that the procedure is completely medically unnecessary (except in rare occasions), I have yet to hear any argument that convincingly demonstrates how/why the parents wishes should supercede the right of the baby to be the one (and only one) who gets to decide what medically-unnecessary-procedures will be done or not done to his body.

`

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Posted: 30 June 2012 01:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Occam. - 29 June 2012 11:49 PM

Shortly before my daughter was born (before prenatal sex determination was abvailable) I told our doctor (who happened to be Jewish) that if the baby was a boy I didn’t want him circumcized.  He said it was a California law that required it.  I said, “Well, I guess it will be worth it for him because if you do, I plan to sue both you and the state for at least a million dollars each.”  He looked very uncomfortable.  Too bad my child was a daughter.  :lol:

`
Great anecdote, Occam :)


`

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Posted: 30 June 2012 03:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Wow, you nailed it macgyver smile  In discussions like this, I find that I’m often one of the only people who gives the personal autonomy rights of the kid priority over the religious (or whatever) rights of the parents.

You’re not alone here Axegrrl. I’ve been saying that on this site as well. Too many things have been done to children under the banner of parental rights, or as Occam mentioned state mandates. I have no problem with parents naturally nurturing their kids but first recognize that they are humans with specific rights an not an extension of the parents. A classic example would be homeschooling for religious purposes in order to program a child’s mind and lock them into a belief system. It hobbles their ability to reason. And I don’t care how you spin it, a parent allowing mutilation of a child for religion’s sake should be banned. If after reaching maturity one wants to undergo that barbarity then so be it. Personally I can’t even understand body piercing (not earrings) but that’s a personal choice, not because mom and dad think it will get you into Valhalla.

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Posted: 30 June 2012 04:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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GdB - 29 June 2012 10:35 PM
macgyver - 29 June 2012 12:39 PM

GdB i see what youre saying but its not really the same
Thing. Im not suggesting we pass jusgement on our ancestors and what they did. What i am saying is that we need to look at these things we are currently doing and not give them the benefit of cultural acceptance just because we have always done them before without question.

Isn’t it? Why do we give car drivers and meat eaters the benefit of cultural acceptance, just because everybody does it?

Imagine nobody had ever driven a car or treated animals as we do now. Imagine this is a humanist society where we treat everything and every being respectfully, and our behaviour is rational on the short and the long term. And then suddenly somebody comes, blows a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere with his car, and slaughters a few pigs for him and his family, who were sitting their whole life in a 5x5m box in their own shit. Wouldn’t we be outraged?

So now the big question: wouldn’t we all not prefer such a society? Then why are we driving cars and eating meat?

Maybe I should open a new thread about the ‘Wir haben es nicht gewusst’ thinking mode… I am afraid we will see a terrible slurry pit.

The difference is that when you strip away social acceptance, driving cars and eating meat still has enough benefits to balance out the negatives or at least its worth a discussion. Smoking in public and circumcision are such lopsided arguments ( against) that without the history and culture behind them we would all think it very strange to even suggest such a thing if they had not been done for hundreds of years.

All I’m suggesting is that people use this as a tool. Strip away the veil of cultural acceptance. Negate that and see if the practice still makes sense. If it doesn’t then we should reconsider what we are doing. Its a method for getting people to think outside the box.

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Posted: 30 June 2012 04:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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mid atlantic - 28 June 2012 08:46 PM

Muslims and Jews in Germany are mad about a ruling against circumcision.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/27/us-germany-circumcision-idUSBRE85Q19Y20120627

Oh keerist, a four year old boy   shock
It seems barbaric enough when happening to an infant.
But, a four years old, that’s like felony assault and battery.

On the lighter side reminds me of an old joke, I heard for the first time recently:
“He was wearing pants so tight you could tell what religion he was.”

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Posted: 30 June 2012 07:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 30 June 2012 04:59 AM
mid atlantic - 28 June 2012 08:46 PM

Muslims and Jews in Germany are mad about a ruling against circumcision.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/27/us-germany-circumcision-idUSBRE85Q19Y20120627

Oh keerist, a four year old boy   :ahhh:
It seems barbaric enough when happening to an infant.
But, a four years old, that’s like felony assault and battery.

On the lighter side reminds me of an old joke, I heard for the first time recently:
“He was wearing pants so tight you could tell what religion he was.”

:lol:  That’s pretty funny.

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