Should circumcision be made illegal?
I would like to begin this debate by defining circumcision as "the removal of genital body parts for religious reasons", which doesn't include any medical or (if you're into that kind of thing) recreational reasons. I also want to clarify that by "made illegal" I mean banned with no exception, if anyone's found circumcising someone they will be punished by the justice system.
I will be arguing against this motion, as I respect religious values.
Firstly, religion is a widely accepted fact of life, there is no place in the world with a human population of over 100 where there are no religious people. I strongly believe that whether a religion is 'right' or not it should still be the people's right to practice any religion they want and perform any religious actions as long as nobody is hurt in the process. I appreciate that an obvious rebuttal would be that a baby is being hurt in circumcision but I believe that, if anything, they're being improved. In fact, in the First Testament, God makes a deal with Abraham in which He promises to make his people into a great nation, that all people on Earth will be blessed and that his descendants would have everlasting possession of the land of Canaan (Israel and the Sinai peninsula) as long as Abraham kept his end of the covenant: the circumcision of every male among Abraham and his people.
"I will make you into a great nation,
Also, I would like to add, that Bible quotes, nor religion can justify permanently modifying someone's body without their consent. Religion has not been proven to be fact, and the Bible has not been proven to be the word of God. Just because the majority of people believe something, it doesn't make it right. People believed that slavery was ok in the past, that the sun revolved around the Earth, and that Gods lived on top of Mount Olympus. That didn't make them right. I agree that it's people's rights to practice any religion they choose, but they cannot force anyone else, including their child, to practice their religion, especially if they're doing something that modifies the child's body permanently.
Just because "people... with all their heart and soul believe that circumcision is absolutely crucial to this world", doesn't mean that they can hurt someone else for nothing other than religion, which again, has not been proven to be real or not. Hitler believed with all his heart and soul that exterminating the Jews was absolutely crucial to the world. Doesn't make it right. The second part of your paragraph on the Jewish faith is unclear to me, so I won't dispute it. But I will say that anesthesia is a thing, so no, circumcision wouldn't be unbelievably painful later in life.
Circumcision does reduce the chances of HIV, but there are other, much better ways to reduce HIV, such as condoms and abstinence. Those methods don't involve permanently modifying someone's body without their consent. Besides, a baby isn't going to be having sex for awhile, so HIV isn't even a reason for circumcision at that age. If he decides that he wants circumcision later in his life to prevent HIV, then he can do it then. Even if it depends on the individual, circumcision still affects a few, or more, individuals negatively in terms of sexual pleasure. So, scientifically, since it has no benefits for babies, and can reduce sexual pleasure, then there is no reason for circumcision to occur on infants.
Moving on, though, Judaism isn't the only religion that believes in the importance of circumcision. In Islam, though it doesn't symbolise God's (or Allah's) covenant to man, circumcision is still an important tradition that the great prophet Muhammad himself said was one of the requirements necessary to reach Allah's level of dignity and respectability (http://www.missionislam.com...). And, while many believed since Jesus died for their sins and loving God is all that counts, if the Bible was as closely followed as the Torah and the Quran, circumcision would be a large feature in Christianity too.
Surely, when three religions that have been arguing and warring for centuries or even millennia can agree on something, which an atheist should have nothing wrong with since its only negative effect is temporary, forgettable pain, then we know that's one thing that should be preserved. Imagine if the religions suddenly started disagreeing about circumcision as much as they do about everything else, with every terror attack or coup that comes for individual causes there would now come another for the cause of the abolishment or keeping of circumcision. Surely, to spare all those lives and to allow people to be closer to Allah, the one who, according to their own religion, they love more than anything else, by becoming more dignified and respectable, is all worth a little bit of pain on a baby that won't even remember it. I say 'a little bit of pain" because the nerves are undeveloped and the foreskin is so small, and so the pain couldn't be greater than, say, childbirth.
For the peace of mind of Jewish parents and the chance for a Muslim to get closer to Allah, I say a man can suffer a small pain that he'll forget and lose a small part of his body that he won't miss if it helps others and himself.
PancakesAndMusic forfeited this round.
Since my opponent has forfeited, I will end this debate with a summary of my arguments and a final statement.
I firmly believe that for the sake of the religious and because there are no real downsides to it, circumcision should be preserved as a part of our lives in Jewish and Muslim (male) babies. Since there is no reliable evidence to suggest that it reduces pleasure while there is evidence to suggest that it reduces chances of contracting HIV and it logically reduces the chances of developing cancers in the same way that removing an arm does, it should be preserved even from a secular view.
To conclude my argument and my side of this debate, I believe that circumcision should not be made illegal and that my points should at this point be sufficient to convince others of my point of view. Thank you for reading and arguing, and may your debating be merry and fortunate.
PancakesAndMusic forfeited this round.