The Instigator
vbaculum
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
GCT
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Circumcision Should be Criminalized

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Post Voting Period
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after 7 votes the winner is...
GCT
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/25/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,529 times Debate No: 24861
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (32)
Votes (7)

 

vbaculum

Pro


Resolution: Circumcision should be criminalized

Definitions:
Circumcision: The non-consensual cutting off of a child's foreskin.
Should: X 'should' be done in order for X to conform to Western law and Western moral norms.
Criminalized: Rendered into a crime punishable by the government.

No semantics.

(Note: My opponent is not a native English speaker. Voters are asked to mark the grammar and spelling point as a tie as long as he maintains the quality of writing of his first comment in the comment section throughout the debate.)


It is not called the 'Partial Declaration of Human Rights'. It is not the 'Sometimes Declaration of Human Rights'. It is the Universal Declaration, guaranteeing all human beings their basic human rights - without exception. Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary General, December 2010

Imagine a man being strapped down to a table. The ministry of health of a repressive state, of which this man is a subject, has decided that all man must be forced to have their foreskin cut off. To save money, no anesthetic will be used. When the man screams out in protest and horror as his genitals are about to be mutilated, he is told the surgery is a medical necessity though all the evidence is to the contrary. For 10 minutes, a surgeon uses a knife to cut in to the most sensitive part of the fully conscious man's body.

Is this torture?

This is circumcision. The only difference is that, in our society, circumcision happens to newborns. Traditionalism and religion take the place of the repressive government as well as a hospitals industry that makes billions of dollars a year administering circumcisions[1].

Circumcision is an Immoral Religious Ritual in Disguise

The shedding of infant blood, as well as the sacrifice of the foreskin is rooted in human and animal sacrifices of ancient Middle Eastern religions - the foreskin serving as a substitute for the entire human victim[2].

Circumcision was introduced into Western monotheism through the Jewish ritual of bris milôh ("covenant of circumcision") in observance of commandments they believe was given to them by their god Yahweh in the Hebrew Bible.

Later in the 12th century, the Jewish rabbi Moses Maimonides expressed Jewish thinking on the subject. In his The Guide to the Perplexed he says that circumcision is intended to diminish the sex drive adding "The bodily pain caused to that member is the real purpose of circumcision."[3] and argued that it should be done to newborns because "for up to that time the imaginative form that compels the parents to love [the newborn] is not yet consolidated. For this imaginative form increases through habitual contact and grows with the growth of the child". Maimonides recognized that the true purpose of circumcision is to cause a child to suffer so much that, if not done immediately after birth, the parents would protest on behalf of their child's well-being - and this during the Middle Ages when excruciating pain was quite common.

The modern practice of circumcision, began to spread in English speaking countries in the 19th century[4] as a method of torture used against little boys for masturbation. As Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a leading proponent of circumcision at the time wrote, "The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases."[5]

In modern times, religious justifications for circumcision have been replaced by pseudosecular medical arguments in support of the practice. However, modern medicine has exposed these justifications as simply more mythology. This is why no national or international medical association recommends routine circumcision[6]. There is simply no medical warrant for this surgery.

Circumcision is Torture

It may be tempting to take refuge in the notion that infants can't feel pain. There is no reason to believe this. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Canadian Paediatric Society all agree that circumcision is painful to the infant[7][8][9]. There is no reason to believe that circumcision is not experienced as extreme torture by infants. The pain is so horrendous that many babies go into shock and just staring making gurgling noise[10]. These are the lucky ones. Most babies are forced to undergo the torture fully conscious emitting terrifying screams for 6 to 10 minutes (see video).

In addition to the obvious physical torture, the psychological effects of the torment persist after the procedure. The British Medical Association (BMA) states that "it is now widely accepted, including by the BMA, that this surgical procedure has medical and psychological risks."[11]. Violent predispositions, disrupted infant-maternal trust and bonding[12], and post-traumatic stress disorder[13] are the psychological effects of circumcision.

Circumcision is Technically Illegal

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child says that a child has a right to not be mutilated[14]. The U.S. Constitution[15] declares that a child has a right to security and property (we can assume that a person's body parts are his or her own property). The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act declares that all infants are considered persons under federal law[16]. Female genital mutilation is already banned under US federal law[17]. Torture is prohibited by Article 5 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention Against Torture[18].

Torture is defined as the practice or act of deliberately inflicting severe physical pain on a person[21]. As noted, circumcision meets this criteria.

What we do over 60 percent[19] of male infants in the U.S. would be illegal to do to a terrorist. If Osama bin Laden had been caught alive, it would be impermissible under the Geneva Convention to do to him what we do to our newborns.

With all this legal framework declaring that torture and forced amputation is flatly illegal, one wonders if circumcision is already a crime. As it turns out, some Western courts are discovering that, indeed, circumcision is illegal. As one German court discovered, "It had been done for so long that it seemed legal when - according to the court - it wasn't."[20].

[1] http://www.circumstitions.com...
[2] http://books.google.com...
[3] http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org...
[4] http://www.cirp.org...
[5] http://etext.lib.virginia.edu...
[6] http://www.nocirc.org...
[7] http://pediatrics.aappublications.org...
[8] http://www.aafp.org...
[9] http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca...
[10] http://www.nocirc.org...
[11] http://www.bma.org.uk...
[12] "Circumcision. A medical or a human rights issue?". Milos MF, Macris D (1992).
[13] http://epublications.bond.edu.au...
[14] http://www2.ohchr.org...
[15] http://www.usconstitution.net...
[16] http://www.nrlc.org...
[17] http://www.fgmnetwork.org...
[18] http://treaties.un.org...
[19] http://www.msnbc.msn.com...
[20] http://www.bbc.co.uk...
[21] http://en.wikipedia.org...

GCT

Con

Thanks to vbaculum for allowing me to debate this topic. I will assume that first round is arguments only and save my rebuttals for round 2.

Clarification: I have no interest in debating semantics and accept vbaculums rules and definitions.I would however like to clarify that the definition for circumcision does not normally include "non-consensual" and for the purpose of this debate I will assume that my opponent means that as the child is too young (baby circumcision) to legally make his/her own decision the operation has been carried out without their inherent consent. It does not mean that a child (for example 9 years old) has refused the operation and been forced kicking and screaming to the hospital to have it nontheless.

In light of the video posted by my opponent I would also like to state my personal position before I begin with my arguments: I am an atheist and have not been circumcised. I find it highly distressing to watch the video and would assume most people would. My opponent has stated that all circumcision, no matter how it is performed, should be criminalised.

So lets get started.
CON 1: Medical Benefits
While we can all agree that circumcision was not originally performed for health benefits it is well documented that circumcision has a number of health benefits. Circumcision can help prevent or reduced the risk of being infected by the following deseases;
HIV, urinary tract infections, bacteria infections, prevention of balanoposthistis, prevention of phimosis, prevention of paraphimosis, STDs such as chancroid, syphilis, human papillomavirus, herpers and gonorrhea. [1] It can also help reduced the risk of cancer [1]

"The predicted lifetime risk of cancer of the penisin an uncircumcised man is one in 600 in the U.S. Cancer of the penis carries a mortality rate as high as 25%. This cancer occurs almost exclusively in uncircumcised men. In five major research studies, no man who had been circumcised as a newborn developed cancer of the penis. Human papillomavirus types 16 and 18, which are sexually transmitted, are involved in cancer of the penis."

I would like to note that the source used by my opponent www.nocirc.org is describes itself as follows "NOCIRC is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization committed to securing the birthright of male, female, and intersex children and babies to keep their sex organs intact."

CON 2: Circumcision can be performed without undue pain and suffering
I do not advocate circumcision to be performed ritually (i.e. without pain medication or unduly late in the persons life). Circumcision can be performed under general anaesthetic with no pain [2] and with suitable after-care. My point here is that torture/pain/screaming do not have to be a part of the circumcision procedure.

CON 3: Religious Freedom
There are many religions with many different/unorthodox habits and it is within their rights to act according to their scripture provided it doesn’t harm others. For example in Judaism in the book of Leviticus the Bible appears to forbid shaving of the corners of the head and prohibits the marring of the corners of the beard [3]. Now if we can establish that circumcision can be done painlessly then what is the difference between the two?

CON 4: Parents Responsibility

Parents have legal responsibility for their children up to 14-18 years of age depending on the country. This means those parents are required to act in the best interest of the children and to make their decisions on their behalf until they are old enough to do so themselves. I think it’s fair to assume that the parents make the children have circumcisions not out of some sadistic pleasure but because they believe that’s the proper course for the child to take in accordance with their religion. We are not arguing whether this religious ideal is the correct one. Who knows, it may be. I am saying that the parent is acting in the best interest of the child and has a responsibility to do so.

I wanted to keep Round 1 short as the BOP rest with my opponent so all I need to do is negate his points.

I look forward to my opponents response and the chance to rebut his points in Round 2.

[1] http://www.medicinenet.com...
[2] http://www.bupa.co.uk...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
vbaculum

Pro

I want to thank GCT for his robust response in R1.

Supposed Medical Benefits
The bacterial infections that are alleged to be the result of keeping ones foreskin (such as balanoposthistis) can be prevented by proper hygiene and treated by antibiotics[0]. Phimoses and paraphimoses are uncommon condition that can be prevented by proper maintenance and treated by modern medicine[1][2].

If an uncircumcised man makes the decision to have a circumcision instead of using a condoms to prevent the contraction of an STD, it's completely within his right to do so. But even if this weren't a terrible idea, there is no reason the circumcision must be done before a consenting age - babies don't have sex.

Regarding the 1 in 600 chance of uncircumcised man developing penile cancer - there is some considerable disagreement about this figure in the medical community.

The Royal Australian College of Physicians states: "In developed countries penile cancer is a relatively rare disease, with an incidence of approximately 1 in 100,000. The absence of randomized controlled trial evidence, combined with the rarity of penile cancer, suggests that circumcision is not justified for the sole purpose of protecting against penile cancer"[3]

I think it's worth reflecting on the bizarre logic that proponents of circumcision use when making these medical claims. Consider that 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop breast cancer sometime in their life. This is much higher than the dubious claim that 1 in 600 man will develop penile cancer if left intact. What's stopping us from forcibly and violently remove the breast tissue of little girls to prevent their developing breast? We could saves the lives of around 39,000 women each year in the U.S. alone.

The logic of circumcision is that fewer body parts results in fewer problems. Well, that may be true. But, as I stated in R1, a baby has an internationally recognized legal right to their body parts; they own them.

The NOCIRC citation Con called me out on stated that no national or international medical association recommends routine circumcision. Though Con brought in to question the motivation of the organization's claim (an appeal to motive), he did not negate the claim. The scientific consensus is that circumcision is unnecessary despite the misleadingly vivid list of medical issues that a fringe falsely attributes to an intact penis.

A Pain Free Circumcision?
A report by the University of Alberta in Edmonton found that 96 percent of the babies in the United States and Canada receive no anesthesia when they are circumcised[4].

There are three reasons for this:
1: There is a belief that infants feel little or no pain from the procedure[4] (This is false as I demonstrated in R1)
2: Anesthesia is seen as being as painful as circumcision[4]
3: The infants don't remember the procedure[4]

However, the reality is that to have your son circumcised is to celebrate the day of his birth with a 10 minute session of pure torture. What a way to greet your beloved child on his day of birth.

The video I added in this round shows a baby being circumcised after being anesthetized. Clearly the anesthetic does little; the intensity of the screaming is nearly indistiguishable from the first video.

Religious Freedom
Religious people have the freedom to think anything they want about the appropriateness of child abuse. However, in a modern, secular society, laws are in place to guarantee the rights of children against their religious "caregivers". Christian Scientists can't withhold medical care from their children[5], physicians are permitted to intervene when Jehovah Witnesses try to deny blood transfusions to their children[6] and Muslims aren't allowed to butcher their daughters' genitalia[7].

Clearly the notion that the religious have a right to saw of their children's genitalia is inconsistent with the law's of modern, Western democracies and it isn't consistent with Western moral norms either (unless we want to say that causing the needless suffering of infants is a moral norm).

With 96 percent of doctors performing circumcision without anesthetics, a world of pain free circumcision is simply a fantasy. But were it true, circumcision is still the robbing of a child's body part which, as I said in R1, violates the The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, The U.S. Constitution (and presumably other constitutions), and The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. It also "conflicts with the child's interest of later being able to make his own decision on his religious affiliation.", as the German court mentioned early found[8].

Parents Responsibility
My opponent points out that parents have a responsibility to act in the best interests of their children. I claim this as a point for my side. Parents must to be held liable for not fullfilling this responsibility.

[0] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[1] http://menshealth.about.com...
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[3] http://www.cancer.org.au...
[4] http://www.cnn.com...
[5] http://www.theatlantic.com...
[6] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah's_Witnesses_and_blood_transfusions#Bloodless_surgery
[7] http://www.fgmnetwork.org...
[8] http://www.bbc.co.uk...

GCT

Con

Thanks to vbaculum for Round 2 arguments. There were a number of interesting arguments raised. Before I go on to rebuttals I would like to make my basic argument perfectly clear.

My opponent is arguing that ALL circumcision on children (i.e. non consensual) should be criminalized.

My argument is as follows
1. Circumcision can be down without undue pain or suffering
2. There are some health benefits from being circumcised
3. The parents choose to have their children circumcised as they believe this is beneficial to the child (whether this be due to health reasons or religious reasons).
4. The parents have a right to exercise their religious customs provided it doesn’t harm others
5. New: The foreskin is not a required human part. i.e. Ones quality of life is not affected by its removal.
6. Given the above I don’t believe all circumcision should be criminalised
I will however agree that circumcision without proper anesthetic or “ritual circumcision” should be banned/criminalized.

Now onto Rebuttals starting with Arguments from Round 1.

REBUT 1: Opening statement example: Not only is this an extreme example used by my opponent to evoke sympathy for his position, but it also deals with issues which are not part of this debate

i) In this example a man is forced. We are dealing with children in this debate.
ii) Repressive state: Irrelevant for this debate
iii) No anesthetic. See my arguments in Round 1 regarding using anesthetic
iv) Hospitals making money. This would only apply to some Countries. Also is my opponent seriously arguing that Hospitals are actively seeking and convincing people to perform circumcisions to make money?
v) The penis being the most sensitive part of the body. Actually it’s not. The lips and fingers are. [1].

REBUT 2: Circumcision is an Immoral Religious Ritual in Disguise: There is no disguise. Circumcision is mostly a religious ritual though approximately 5 – 10% of people have the operation for health reasons [2]. My opponent has shown no evidence to suggest the practice is immoral.

My opponent then details the history of circumcision and how it was once used as torture. Although this makes for interesting reading it is totally irrelevant. How circumcision came about has no relevance as we are discussing circumcision in this day and age. We are also not debating whether circumcision is a suitable method of torture or punishment.

REBUT 3: Circumcision is Torture: No its not. The definition of torture is “the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.” [3]. Circumcision does meet this definition as it is not performed for a confession, information or as an act of cruelty. Now I assume what my opponent meant was “Circumcision hurts”. It doesn’t have to as I will show later on.

REBUT 4: Circumcision is Illegal: I could just as easily write the statement “Circumcision is in many countries Legal”[4]. My point being that whether something is legal or not is not an argument for criminalizing or legalizing something. To emphasize my point this is a great website outlining silly laws in America. [5]

Some Examples
1. It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church
2. It is legal to drive the wrong way on a one way street if you have a lantern on the front of your car
3. You are not allowed to walk across a street on your hands.

Now onto defending my previous arguments.

CON 1: Medical Benefits: My opponent seems to have 3 issues with this argument.

Firstly that most of the health problems solved by circumcision can be avoided through washing or by treatment after they occur. Yes the risks can be reduced through cleaning and most can be subsequently treated with some obvious exceptions (HIV). This however does not deny that there is a health benefit of not having a foreskin.

Secondly that a man upon reaching adulthood when exposed to STD’s could then decide he wants a circumcision. There are 2 problems with this. Firstly under-age sex is very common and secondly circumcisions performed later in life have a higher risk of complication and are more painful [6].

Thirdly he suggest that if we are removing body parts for health reasons why not remove breast from women to reduce the risk of breast cancer. I had never thought of this argument so I thank my opponent for raising it. However the 2 are not comparable. Breasts have many functions such as breast-feeding or sexual arousal and are aesthetically important. Foreskin does not have these qualities. In fact if I try to think of a similar part that has no value and the removal of which can bring health benefits I can only compare it to an appendix or tonsils!!! Does my opponent advocate criminalizing the removal of appendices and tonsils?

CON 2 : Pain Free Circumcision: My opponent has failed to understand this point. Circumcision CAN be performed without any pain. His statistics of 96% or general reasons for children not receiving pain medication or suggestion that you welcome your child to the world with 10 minutes of torture are therefore irrelevant.
His video appears to show a child with anesthetic screaming in pain. He is thereby suggesting that the local anesthetic doesn’t work and the child feels an equal amount of pain. I would like him to provide some evidence to support this as it goes against the current medical thinking [7]. It is also possible to have circumcisions under general anesthetic [8] (where you sleep through the operation).

CON 3: Religious Freedom: My point here was carefully stated that the religious community is free to act as is wishes provided they don’t harm others. I believe I have shown this is possible in my previous arguments and see no argument from my opponent that negates this position.

CON 4: Parents Responsibility: My failed to properly rebut this point. I will extend my argument to make it clear.

Example: A parent believes that if their child does not have a circumcision they will not go to heaven and would instead go to hell to suffer for eternity.
Response: If the parent can protect their child from this fate by having their child circumcised (with anesthetic) then they have a responsibility to do so. Note: It is irrelevant what you or I believe. This is what the parent believes.

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate and look forward to his closing comments

[1] http://health.howstuffworks.com...
[2] http://www.circs.org...
[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://www.jimella.me.uk...
[6] http://www.drgreenberg.ca...
[7] http://anesthesiologyinfo.com...
[8] http://www.bupa.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 2
vbaculum

Pro

Summary
If you were to witness a grown man being strapped to a table to spend the next 10 minutes having parts of his penis sawed off, it would be torture.

It doesn't matter if the torturer is a religious fanatic who imagines himself to be doing the work of some supernatural monster or saving his victim from the monster's own torture chamber. It doesn't matter if it is an officious and misinformed quack who wants to save the man from HIV. In either case, the act would be considered a crime by even the most defective legal system in the world. Simply changing the victim to a defenseless child should in no way change the legality of the act and if the torture of a child is not immoral then nothing is.

Circumcision has been called "a cure looking for a disease". Throughout history, the advocates of child genital mutilation have shown a pattern of advancing specious arguments to support harming children. As I've shown, the medical arguments for circumcision have been exploded. The "secular" arguments for circumcision are simply the latest justification to extend this inhumane practice. (And no, it doesn't follow from my arguments that medically necessary operations such as tonsillectomy or appendectomy should be criminalized.)

Incentives are key to understanding economics and human behaviour. The fact that hospitals make billions of dollars a year (R1) helps us understand why the practice continues despite the fact that no national or international medical association recommends routine circumcision (R2).

In round 1 I made this argument:

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child says that a child has a right to not be mutilated. The U.S. Constitution declares that a child has a right to security and property. The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act declares that all infants are considered persons under federal law. Female genital mutilation is already banned under US federal law. Torture is prohibited by Article 5 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

We are obliged by these treaties, constitutions and acts to outlaw the torture of children. (It seems in questionable taste to compare the suffering experienced by babies during circumcision to walking across the street on your hands).

In round 2 I pointed out that a condom is a more sensible way to prevent the contraction of HIV. My opponent didn't respond to this.

My opponent didn't attempt to refute the logic that "the fewer the body parts the better". Apparently breast should be forcibly and violently removed from little girls if breasts happened to serve no purpose. It turns out that breast aren't really needed. Formula can be used to feed infants and sexual arousal would still occur in the absence of breasts. And if we are talking about saving the lives of tens of thousands of women a year, what is the significance of aesthetics. So the logic of circumcision supports the logic of removing breasts. The only difference is that the evidence that circumcision has any health benefits is virtually nonexistent.

As I said, the reality is that if you have your son circumcision, there is a 4 percent chance he will NOT experience horrific torture since only 4 percent of babies in the U.S. and Canada are given anesthetics. Con could not refute this.

Con did not respond to the findings of the German court which stated that circumcision "conflicts with the child's interest of later being able to make his own decision on his religious affiliation.".

My opponent argues that parents should be free to circumcise their children if they think their children will be tortured for eternity by decree of the creator of the universe (assuming what is normally implied by the word "hell").

Such a belief has no foundation in reality. And what does Con mean by, "It is irrelevant what you or I believe."; as if our arguments must stop where the beliefs of the deluded begin. Rational people have a say in the affairs of society too and there is no time that the voices of reason are needed more than when innocent victims are being brutalized by religious fanatics.

Conduct
As I clarified in the comment section, it should be evident, when taking my first round as a whole, that I am not arguing against all circumcisions (i.e., medically necessary ones). I'm afraid I have to point out that my opponent is playing semantics when he claims I am arguing all circumcision on children should be criminalized. Semantics were explicitly forbade in round 1 and Con should therefore loss the conduct point.

Sources
I hope that I have impressed upon the reader that I have made a good faith effort to write a well-researched presentation of the arguments for my side, based on good evidence backed up by 30 sources.

As Con pointed out, one of my citations was from an advocacy group. However, I used it as a source for a negative claim: *No* national or international medical association recommends routine circumcision. It would be impossible to find an unbiased source that explicitly made that claim so I thought a biased source would be better than none. And, as I pointed out, Con didn't disprove the claim which he should have been able to do in order to justify circumcision.

I only used Wikipedia as a source when I made a claim that was too uncontroversial to require something more authoritative.

Spelling and Grammar
Since Con is not a native English speaker, I asked, in round 1, that the voters not detract Con's Spelling and Grammar point as long as he wrote as well as he did in the comment section. As it turns out, Con writes better than many (many) other debaters I've seen on this site and should not loss the S/G point.

Thanks
I want to thank my opponent for proving a well-researched and well-thought-out defence of an indefensible practice. He presented the pro-mutilation arguments as strongly as anyone could be expected to. It's always good to get a strong debater as an opponent and I look forward to debating him again one day.

*****
If you are considering circumcising your child and I have failed to persuade you, please research the facts first. A dispassionate inquiry into the subject will yield the same conclusion that all national and international medical association have come to: Circumcision is not necessary.

GCT

Con

So we are onto the final round. Firstly I have to express my disappointment and surprise with the issues raised in my opponents Conduct section and deal with those straight away before going into my final summary.

As I clarified in the comment section, it should be evident, when taking my first round as a whole, that I am not arguing against all circumcisions (i.e., medically necessary ones). I'm afraid I have to point out that my opponent is playing semantics when he claims I am arguing all circumcision on children should be criminalized. Semantics were explicitly forbade in round 1 and Con should therefore loss the conduct point.”

Firstly there was no indication in the comments before or in fact since I accepted the challenge that this debate referred only to ritual circumcision without pain medication.

Secondly I clearly stated my position and what the debate was about in my acceptance Round 1In light of the video posted by my opponent I would also like to state my personal position before I begin with my arguments: I am an atheist and have not been circumcised. I find it highly distressing to watch the video and would assume most people would. My opponent has stated that all circumcision, no matter how it is performed, should be criminalised.

I stated explicitly in every single round that I was also against ritual circumcision. My opponent never countered this or contacted me in any way to set the scope of the debate to include only ritual circumcision.

Thirdly the resolution is “Circumcision should be criminalised”. This is no way limits circumcision to only religious circumcision.

Fourthly and most damning is that one of my opponents first arguments in Round 1 is Circumcision is an Immoral Religious Ritual in Disguise. If we were only discussing religious circumcision this argument is completely pointless as we would have already agreed we were discussing only religious circumcision.

Given all the above I can only assume my opponent is seeking to change the resolution to “Religious Circumcision should be Criminalised” in the face on the strong arguments against his original resolution. To have not raised this point before final summaries shows it was not his original intent to debate only religious circumcision and hence his semantics argument is not valid.

Conduct: I find the accusation of playing semantics bad conduct and therefore Pro should lose the conduct point. He also continues to use inflammatory examples and words/phrases such as torture, penis sawed off, religious fanactics, misinformed quack, monster’s own torture chamber etc to gain sympathy for his position despite failing to respond to my case where I showed that circumcision does not meet the definition of torture.

Final Rebuttals

Health Benefits: My opponent claims that I have failed to rebut his argument that “condoms are a better prevention to HIV that circumcision”. That’s because I wholeheartedly agree. The point is that circumcision helps. It reduces the probability of catching HIV in the same way condoms do though obviously condoms have a much higher rate (99%). My opponent also failed to rebut all the other health benefits listed in Round 1 other than saying most can be prevented by washing or dealt with after contracted. This does not however refute that there ARE health benefits.

Necessary Body Parts: My opponent claims I didn’t refute the logic that “the fewer body parts the better”. Well this is a different debate totally, but actually I would agree to the following statement “the fewer useless body parts the better”. My opponent failed to show a single positive use of a foreskin. He also failed to show how circumcision was any different to a tonsillectomy or appendectomy. Instead he tried to show that breast should be removed as

1.Breast-milk can be replaced with formula

2. Sexual Arousal can occur without breasts

3. Aesthetics are not important in the face of the potential health benefit.

He provided no supporting evidence for any of the above statements. He also claimed “the evidence that circumcision has any health benefits is virtually nonexistent”. Please refer to my Round 1 where I show the well documented benefits of removing the foreskin from an impartial medical source.

Criminalise Circumcision because it is already illegal Argument: My opponent claims I have not responded to this. I have responded to this is detail in Round 2. See Rebut 4 in round 2. The basic argument being that current law or lack thereof is poor reason for implementation in other jurisdictions.

Parents Responsibility: Instead of countering the argument Pro makes the mistake of questioning the parents’ beliefs (i.e. the belief of Hell has “no foundation in reality” and refers to them as deluded. While not only bad conduct my opponent has failed to address the argument. The point is the parents are acting in the best interest of their child in accordance with their understanding. i.e. it is not a form of torture or punishment administered by the parent.

Summary:

1. Circumcision can be down without undue pain or suffering. Proved. Opponent agreed that currently 4% are.
2. There are some health benefits from being circumcised. Argued: I believe my sources and evidence outweigh Cons
3. The parents choose to have their children circumcised as they believe this is beneficial to the child (whether this be due to health reasons or religious reasons). Dropped by my opponent
4. The parents have a right to exercise their religious customs provided it doesn’t harm others. Dropped by my opponent
5. The foreskin is not a required human part. i.e. Ones quality of life is not affected by its removal. Dropped by my opponent

Given that BOP rested with my opponent and the above I urge a vote to CON.

Conduct: Please see above arguments

Sources: All sources I provided were independent sources with no ulterior motives. Though Pro used 29 sources compared to my 11, I provided exactly enough sources to show the validity of my contention and not more just for that sake of building source numbers. Given this I urge either a vote for CON based on bias of Pro sources or a Tie.

Grammar and Spelling: Please mark as a tie

Thanks
I would also like to express my thanks to my opponent and hope we can have another fruitful debate again.
Debate Round No. 3
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
16kadams: 'Pro showed it should be illegal for consistency of the laws as tortures illegal."
The Fool: and around and around we GO!!
Posted by WMdebate 5 years ago
WMdebate
I would but I can't vote...
Posted by vbaculum 5 years ago
vbaculum
Nice of you to say so, ravenwaen.
Posted by ravenwaen 5 years ago
ravenwaen
All of you who took the time to comment on or complain about this debate should vote on it. These guys did a good job.
Posted by angrymen 5 years ago
angrymen
Couldn't the first video be considered child nudity?
Posted by WMdebate 5 years ago
WMdebate
This argument is kind of gross... :-S
Posted by vbaculum 5 years ago
vbaculum
@sdcsdp

Your anecdote about you and your brothers only proves that it is possible for a mutilation to be performed free of consequences. But that doesn't gainsay anything I've written.

The insulting language you quoted me using was in reference to an analogy I used in the debate. The reasons parents, hospitals, surgeons and mohels continue to mutilate children is very complex.

A person who really thinks that a child will end up spending eternity being burned alive for the crime of having a foreskin is much more than a fanatic. And doctors who perform circumcisions - who, we must assume, knows that no national or international medical association recommends routine circumcision - are needlessly inflicting tremendous suffering on children. What do we call someone who needlessly inflicts suffering on a child. We call them torturers. To call a circumcising surgeon a "misinformed quake" is to charitably give them the benefit of the doubt.

You characterized my arguments as outrage and offensive. But you are the one who argues that parents have a right to inflict needless suffering on their newborns. What about the actual victim here whose rights are actually being violated. You speak as if a baby is not a sentient being whose rights could never matter. You're in no position to call anyone outrage or offensive.
Posted by ravenwaen 5 years ago
ravenwaen
My vote wasn't a vote bomb >.> I voted for the position I disagreed with, and I only gave Con points for convincing argument. wtf?
Posted by GCT 5 years ago
GCT
@mark.marrocco
Thanks for taking the time to do your first RFD. Some points I would raise though.
1. My argument against UN declaration and other legal arguments was not religious freedom. It was "The basic argument being that current law or lack thereof is poor reason for implementation in other jurisdictions"
2. This is not a possibility fallacy! http://www.logicallyfallacious.com...
Its not only possible it is currently done! and could theorectically be done 100% of the time.
3. BOP rest with pro to show there are no health benefits, not the other way around.

Please do not change your vote regardless of whether my points have persuaded you.
Posted by sdcsdp 5 years ago
sdcsdp
TO vbaculum:
All three of my brothers are circumcised, and no complications followed the procedure. We were sent home as healthy babies, healthfully breast fed with normal sleeping patterns. None have any psychological problems either. And when all is said and done, we were all able to comply with our family's religious and health standards, as well.
Oh, but wait. According to you, this entire process was motivated by my "religious fanatic" parents, or should I just call them "officious and misinformed quack[s]?" Either insult seems to work for you. And no, I do not intend to play semantics on your claims on arguments, but as a religious person, I took offense to that wording.
Now with the "torture" aspect, you stated that circumcision is in fact "torture" due to the severe pain the individual receives, and also due to the fact that it is done without consent. However, medical practices exist that induce pain on children, and do no require their consent. Among them, surgery on children who still lack the sufficient mental capacity, sticks as the most prominent painful and possibly (long/short term) harmful procedure to the child. If we view circumcision as a mere surgical practice, either with medical or religious motives, should the existence of "pain" validate that the act is "torture?" I think not. Over half of the American parents still circumcise their children. Lacking the mental capacity to give any form of consent, it is the duty AND right of the parents to decide what is best for their children. And perhaps we can come into agreement when I say that it is up to society to limit these parental rights. Maybe some day, everyone will see things as you do, and society will speak as a unified "Pro." But at that point, cows will have grown wings and terrorism will finally halt. Outrageous and absurd.
PLEASE REPOND. Thanks for your time! I love a good, well-mannered argument.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
vbaculumGCTTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro showed it should be illegal for consistency of the laws as tortures illegal. Therefore pro wins unless con rebuts it, he never did sufficiently, so he could argue a change in laws. He didn't. So pros case stands. The con case is correct, but only using material from this debate the health benefits was refuted.Relegious freedom is a moot as con showed you can't do things that are torture or illegal in the name of religion. Responsibility just helps pro.
Vote Placed by Wnope 5 years ago
Wnope
vbaculumGCTTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro let Con dictate terms from round 1 as BOP involving all forms of circumcision, not just religious ones. Pro never rebutted this, giving Con a relatively easy win via counterexample.
Vote Placed by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
vbaculumGCTTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Rough I was suprised you choose me, I mean because as a philosopher, I can't accept ideology(aka appealing circularly to the rights) arguments from tradition, and appeals to emotions, apeals to popular ibias. Gct was able to check you with rational arguments. Taking away the right of parents on there own children needs some good rational justification. But I congrate VB on this honestly of selected voters. Respect for that!
Vote Placed by MouthWash 5 years ago
MouthWash
vbaculumGCTTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: The resolution was "Circumcision Should be Criminalized." Pro began arguing about how "it was already illegal" or how "children own their bodies" while providing no argument for why this should be so, as circumcision has no effect on quality of life. He then uses an analogy about a grown man being forcibly circumcised, as if a baby somehow can decide if circumcision is in it's best interests. Admitted his own sources were biased.
Vote Placed by mark.marrocco 5 years ago
mark.marrocco
vbaculumGCTTied
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Reasons for voting decision: See Comments.
Vote Placed by Chelicerae 5 years ago
Chelicerae
vbaculumGCTTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter Vote Bomb
Vote Placed by ravenwaen 5 years ago
ravenwaen
vbaculumGCTTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con made better counter-arguments.