Routine Infant Male Circumcision
The first round should be defining the debate, so the rest of the debate will run smoothly.
"The debate will be on whether or not parents should be allowed to choose to circumcise their male infant. This is about routine procedure."
This is our basic resolution, of which I am PRO, and Lovelife is CON.
At first we are simply defining the debate, and not presenting arguments. As no standard rights system was defined in R1, that is likely where the debate will focus on (who has what rights and when).
Just FYI, I will likely be tying my debate with Social Pinko into this a bit.
I would like to thank OreEle for accepting this debate.
First to cover bases, and refute the most common arguments I find.
“Well what if the kid wants to get it done?”
I am not arguing against peoples’ right to choose what they do with their own body, but whether parents should be allowed to choose to cut parts of the body off.
“There are two large religions that require the circumcision of male infants, why are you trying to take away their rights?”
I am not advocating taking away anyone’s right to religion, only their right to have their religion affect non-consenting parties. If a baby is born into a Jewish household, he may later grow up and not have Jewish faith. Many people argue against religious indoctrination, but wouldn’t having part of your body being cut off due to religion be just as bad, if not worse?
“It makes sex more enjoyable for everyone involved.”
Well the truth is there are varying opinions, and the best thing would be to let him decide what he thinks would be best later on. There aren’t any excuses to cut an infant’s nose, even if doing so was believed to make breathing more enjoyable.
“The foreskin is just a bunch of skin, who really cares?”
It is well documented that that skin has the most sensitive nerves on the human body. It is the same nerves that you find on the palms of your hands. If you want to know how sensitive it is, take two fingers and rub them on the back of your hand. Now do the same with the palm of your hand. Notice how you can still feel the effects long after.
“Circumcision is just a cosmetic surgery anyway; no one wants to have an intact foreskin.”
There are two parts to dealing with this one.
1) Even if your child has an ugly nose and might be happier if you gave her a nose job a month after she was born it is still not a good enough reason to choose that for her at such a young age.
2) If no one wanted a foreskin, why are there so many programs devoted to getting the foreskin back? Additionally there is no real way to get the foreskin back, only to pull so that there is some kind of protection against the elements, but the skin that was taken will never grow back.
“Taking a parents right to choose is wrong. Now parents can’t choose to feed their children?”
Eating is natural and a need that every living creature needs in some way or another. Cutting an infant’s reproductive organ is nowhere near that level.
“Well what about when you give your child shots? Are you saying you’re taking their rights away with that?”
Again it is not the same thing at all, since giving children the medicine they need will save their life, has almost no negative effects, and if they decide they no longer want such things, they can make it stop when they are older, flush their body of all of the medication, and live like that for however long. And like I said there is no way to actually get the foreskin back, only to develop a protective layer that mostly mimics the natural foreskin.
Additionally medicating your child is mandated by the law, which makes it another issue altogether.
Now onto my own claims:
1) Disallowing female circumcision yet allowing male circumcision is discriminatory protection under the law, which is something that many find wrong.
2) An infant cannot consent to having such a thing done, and it will impact him for life IF he lives through it.
3) If one considers late term abortion wrong under the pretense that it is a living being that is human, and it has human-like rights, then it is illogical to also support circumcision.
4) There are many kinds of rights that each person has, however the most common one is the right to their own property. A human has an innate right to their own body under property rights. Evidence can easily be found in laws against rape, murder, and other acts of violence against a person.
5) If the mother can choose to have the foreskin removed, why would she not be allowed to “declaw” her children?
6) Death caused by circumcision often goes unreported, however evidence suggests that the number is rather large.
7) When you are an infant anesthetic is rarely used when circumcision is preformed, however when you choose to have it done later in life you can often get many medications to ease the pain, as well as having anesthetic used for the procedure.
8) So many try to go through restoration to get their foreskin back, even though it cannot entirely be gotten back, while relatively few people go to get it In done.
9) In other countries with much lower rates of infant circumcision, very few want to get it done, and very few think they are missing anything and wish to inflict their son with a circumcision.
I would like to thank OreEle once again for taking this debate and hope that it is informative, and fun for us both.
Since I did not and don't plan on making any of the arguments that were in the first half of my opponent's R2, I need not address them.
So I will go into my opponent's arguments now.
"1) Disallowing female circumcision yet allowing male circumcision is discriminatory protection under the law, which is something that many find wrong."
This argument is a strawman. Clitoridectomy is legal in USA, so the claim of discrimination is completely false.
"2) An infant cannot consent to having such a thing done, and it will impact him for life IF he lives through it."
First, there is the bold assertation that it is highly dangerous (implied by the last half of the statement). I'd also like to point out that in the OP, my opponent clearly stated, "This is... not about potential threats that may devolop later... not about if an infection or such has occurred." It seemed clear based on the OP that this was about the right of choice, not the health concerns.
As for the first part of the statement. An infant cannot legally concent to anything, that is why they have legal guardians. As far as the law is concerned, concent from a legal guardian is legit. Now, if we want to dip into libertarian rights, I will be covering that in my arguments, so I will save it for there rather than repeat myself.
"3) If one considers late term abortion wrong under the pretense that it is a living being that is human, and it has human-like rights, then it is illogical to also support circumcision."
First, right to life is seperate than rights of consent. Second, abortion is not the topic of debate here and doesn't really have any merit on the rights of a child or their mother.
"4) There are many kinds of rights that each person has, however the most common one is the right to their own property. A human has an innate right to their own body under property rights. Evidence can easily be found in laws against rape, murder, and other acts of violence against a person."
If we are using the written laws as our measuring tools, we can also find laws against drug use, drinking and driving, and suicide. Thus indicating that the law does not grant 100% rights to one's own body, but instead grants partial rights to one's own body. This, coupled with the legal guardian rights, show that parents have the right to make that choice for their children.
The only way around this is to use something other than our law as the measuring stick, this is often liberarian rights. I will go into how libertarian rights actually support the mother over the child in my arguments.
"5) If the mother can choose to have the foreskin removed, why would she not be allowed to "declaw" her children?"
That's begging the question. The removal of fingernails and toenails from individuals is legal. I've had it done several times (though for medical reasons).
"6) Death caused by circumcision often goes unreported, however evidence suggests that the number is rather large."
Apart from the OP, which implied that this was not about safety or health concerns, there is no link to back this up. And even from the most bais source I can find, it only says that 100 die a year . This comes out to about 4.12 death's per 100,000 (based on birthrate and circumcision rate ), compared to the SID rate of 687 per 100,000 . There is, statistically, 165 times greater risk of SIDs than death from circumcision.
"7) When you are an infant anesthetic is rarely used when circumcision is preformed..."
This has no barring on whether or not the parents have the right to do so or not.
"8) So many try to go through restoration to get their foreskin back..."
Neither does this.
"9) In other countries with much lower rates of infant circumcision, very few want to get it done"
And neither does this.
Now I will move on to my arguments. In order to determine whether the parents have the right to make this choice for the children or not is entirely dependent upon what type of rights system you place value into. I will look at two different rights systems, our current system (in the US) and the libertarian system (since my opponent self labels herself as libertarian, and as most members on this site suscribes to the libertarian rights, this seems the most logical choice).
1) In our current rights system, those under the age of 18 do not have the right of consent, and so must have a legal guardian provide consent (this applies to anything, from school field trips, to medical procedures). If the parent is the legal guardian, then that have that right, according to our current system. No more really needs to be said about that.
2) According to the libertarian rights system, all persons have the right of self-ownership, regardless of age. This seems to imply that the choice should be up to the child, however, we must first look at how libertarians define "person." Ayn Rand in particular, defines human as "a rational animal" and uses this measuring tool for what has the right of self-ownership . Many others have attempted to define "what is a person" and it continues to be a philosophical debate. However, there are some features which are common between many philosophers, especially in the libertarian leanings. Of those includes the capacity for rational thought . If we focus on that, we can come to something quite interesting.
It should come as no shock that the human baby is not born with the skill of rationalization (but in case you didn't know that ), and so, by libertarian rights, a new born baby is not a "person." Since it is not a person, it does not have the rights of a person, which means that it doesn't have the right to self-ownership. A baby will not get this right until it become capable of rational thought. That brings us to a different question. If the baby does not own itself, who the heck owns it?
According to the libertarian principle of homesteading, the individual that made the baby is the legitimate owner of that baby (until the baby becomes self-aware and so self-owning). This means that the mother has EVERY RIGHT to decide if the baby should have a circumcision or not, since the baby is her property according to libertarian rights.
Of course, my opponent is free to suggest a different code of rights to use, however to do so would require rationalizing why that code ought be used and not any other.
lovelife forfeited this round.
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||4|