reply to post by SibylofErythrae
Yes. Babies heal faster from an unnecessary elective surgery. Stem cells - aren't they great?
Necessity is a difficult factor to assess. The medical benefits are backed up by statistics. Quantifying those medical benefits is a difficult
challenge; particularly since the basis for those decisions is usually qualitative in nature (what pertains to the individual as opposed to the
population that may be exclusive of the individual) - an inherently subjective process.
It is, however, not stem cells and the faster healing rate of babies that is primarily responsible. It's a combination of factors that have to do
with when the surgery is performed. In addition, most of the medical benefits from circumcision are restricted to populations circumcised at or near
birth. Adult circumcision conveys far fewer of the benefits inferred from statistics.
What a great argument to continue the practice.
I don't have to argue continuing the practice. Only against your argument of restricting it.
Arguing to continue the practice is essentially an argument of necessity - I would have to demonstrate that you need to go out and have your kids
circumcised (in the same way that a parent must make the decision to get their child circumcised or not circumcised). I have to wrestle the concerns
against it to the ground.
I take the null standpoint. I argue that the practice should not be restricted as there's not sufficient evidence to illustrate that the procedure
causes harm or rights violations that requires government involvement.
Which means that you have to make an argument strongly in support of utilizing government authority to regulate and restrict the process. Which means
you must argue the inverse of one arguing for circumcision - a challenge that is logically equal of magnitude.
The other argument along this lines that I really enjoy is the one where women discuss how they prefer docked penises. So essentially, they are
considering how well they would like screwing their own son as a basis for a decision.
Read "The Red Queen: Sex and The Evolution of Human Nature."
Vanity is a powerful facet of sexual selection processes:
Once a selection bias within a population exists - it can rapidly cause a run-away evolutionary process that radically transforms the species in a
short order of time (this is likely the reason for our calorie-intensive intelligence that was grossly excessive for practical survival - women liked
having behaviorally complex and interesting partners).
We have evolved to exploit these biases. If a woman believes her son will not be considered attractive by his female peers, she will do what she can
to correct for it to ensure her genes have an increased probability of being propagated.
It's not whether or not she would want to bone her son. It's whether or not her genetic legacy is going to have a chance of continuing.
And that's the facet of evolution that is often under-emphasized. Most species are not in competition with other species in terms of natural
selection and evolution. They are in competition with members of their own species.
And that's the entire concept of the Red Queen Hypothesis - that we're in a genetic (and now behavioral) arms race against each other.
Males are totally capable of making decisions about their own body parts when they reach an age to do so.
But not retroactively.
I can't decide when I'm 24 that I would have liked my parents to use retroviral gene therapy to correct a flaw, or give me heat-ray-vision (the
practicality of gene therapy during gestation is much greater than after birth - even more so after the onset of adulthood).
You can't decide now that you want to be circumcised and to have been so since birth (because it's a much more involved procedure, as I've said -
and much more expensive). Or vice-versa.
I can't decide that I would have rather my dad teach me more of the dark arts to aluminum diecasting after he's already dead (and when I was more
than capable of learning at the age of ten).
There are decisions parents make in the development of the child that cannot be reversed. It's the nature of parenthood and it's the nature of
life. You can't seal a kid in box to open when he/she's 21 and expect him/her to be able to make any more reasonable decisions than an infant.
Part of life is making decisions and dealing with the consequences - both intended and unintended.
There's no perfect solution.