The Instigator
TheMarketLibertarian
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
TheUnexaminedLife
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The circumcision of a minor without medical neccessity should be banned.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/2/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,546 times Debate No: 102315
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (81)
Votes (0)

 

TheMarketLibertarian

Pro

The resolution is that circumcision, save out of medical neccessity, should be banned in the US. This has to do with ethics- and I will be arguing from a Classical Liberal or Libertarian point of view.
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

More than ethics, I would contend that this a legal issue: ought the secular government impose litigation making circumcision illegal in the USA? Should they impose an ethical law across America, regardless of whether or not they can or will enforce it?

(please let me know if you want to at all debate the latter 'practicality' arguments about enforcement or whether this is purely centred on the ethics of circumcision)

And also, if using Classical Liberal theory, I would ask you to refer to your theorists directly and cite the page numbers you get your information from so I can follow their reasoning and contest it if necessary.
Debate Round No. 1
TheMarketLibertarian

Pro

My opponent states:
"More than ethics, I would contend that this a legal issue: ought the secular government impose litigation making circumcision illegal in the USA? Should they impose an ethical law across America, regardless of whether or not they can or will enforce it?"


A secular government is merely a government which is not theocratic- it assumes no God or religion is true. So the question then is, should a government which does not recognize the authority or existence of any God or religion, preserve the liberties of their citizens, even if that means contradicting religious belief? Based upon the definition of a 'secular government,' I contend that it should.

Religious or personal belief is not an excuse for harming others, and a government should not permit the infringement of a persons liberties by another, on account of that the aggressor believes it is acceptable. If someone steals from or murders another, they undoubtedly have some excuse in their mind as to why it was OK- and yet this has no bearing in a court of law. If I get tried for burglary, the court will not acquit me on account of that my religion permits theft.

But to move on to the resolution, with regards to the issue overall, the Burden of Proof would be on my opponent to justify the practise he is engaging in, but with regards to this debate, the BOP is on me to prove that circumcision is unethical in such a way that it should be banned.

Following Classical Liberalism as stated in the resolution, the sole legitimate function of government is to preserve our liberties. Among those are Life, Liberty, Property, and Bodily Autonomy- and all of them are Negative Rights, things that no one should harm you in or engage in aggression against. This is all on account of reason and consistency.

To explain, see John Locke's Second Treatise on Government, {1} in it, he states:
"A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection...
"The like natural inducement hath brought men to know that it is no less their duty, to love others than themselves; for seeing those things which are equal, must needs all have one measure; if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire, which is undoubtedly in other men, being of one and the same nature?"


The argument in essence is that every human, being part of the same species, should be equal to every other. If this is so, it is inconsistent to say that one should exercise authority over another, or that one should have more rights than the other. If this is so, it is a logical contradiction for one person to engage in aggression against another, or harm their person or property- because that person considers it acceptable to do that to another, but not for another to do it to him. Such aggressions, therefore, are founded upon a contradiction and an arbitrary distinction, and are therefore illegitimate.

I more accept autonomy as the basis of these Natural Rights, but regardless, consistency is a way to back up this principle and defeat opposing arguments. To apply this to the subject of our debate, my opponent would not be OK with me strapping him down and cutting parts of his genitals off- or any other part of his body. For the sake of consistency and reason, my opponent must therefore oppose Male Genital Mutilation.

Suppose I was a Muslim, and my religion told me to maim "infidels," as per Qur'an 5:33, would my opponent then be OK with me cutting off his hands or feet? I'll bet, the answer is still no. Enable for him to be consistent, he must either be perfectly fine with Muslims breaking into his house, cutting off his hands, and crucifying him, or he must oppose Male Genital Mutilation.

Children are people too- though they are not capable of caring for themselves, and parents therefore are left in charge of them- this is not a justification for child abuse, let alone maiming. As Milton Friedman said, 'children are responsible individuals in embryo. They have ultimate rights of their own and are not the mere play-things of their parents.'

{1}. Chapter 2:
http://oll.libertyfund.org...
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

There will be two parts to my argument, a polemic attacking my opponent’s premises and a positive defending circumcision. But firstly, on a personal note, I would like to correct you by assuring you that I am not ‘engaging in’ the practice of circumcision. I am not circumcised, only defending circumcision.

*************************************************************************************************************

The Polemic Part

It does not follow from the definition of a secular government that they must ‘preserve the liberties of their citizens’. A secular government as defined is one which is not theoretic, meaning that is doesn’t depend on religious doctrine for a justification of its laws and actions. Officially secular governments have in fact done the opposite of you contend not only in the USSR and Mao’s China (both secular, though exploiting population credulity) but also in the USA with the racial subjectification of the black population amongst other racial groups. During these periods, the government in constitutional law never ceased to be secular. Therefore, you must add qualifications that means that if a government is officially secular, then ought to defend civil liberties. The two do no follow.

Here are some other assumptions that I have identified in your argument necessitating defence:

Assumption 2: Circumcision is a harm (which I will deal with in 5a)

Assumption 3: we have a right to our Bodily Autonomy from the moment of birth

Friedman’s belief claiming that a child has personhood as an ‘embryo’ was clearly meant to be an anti-abortion remark.

Is this assumption right? Or, rather, is the child fully dependent on parental autonomy to make their decision for them? Parents have to decide on all sorts of health-based questions for their children over what vaccinations they should have, whether to breast feed, whether or not to have the child circumcised, all which have health consequences. Children aren’t responsible because they aren’t free to independently make decisions under normative rationality; until full autonomy is developed, this right must belong to the parents. Even young children need to be disciplined because they cannot make certain decisions for themselves.

‘Opponents of circumcision recommend that any decision about male circumcision be deferred until age 18 years. This deferral would allow the male to participate in the decision making process. However, many of the health benefits that can be achieved by circumcision are lost if the procedure is deferred to age 18 years.’ (Brady: 260)

This applies to your contention that I would be opposed to my own personal and forced circumcision. I would argue that I am different from a child in that I have developed autonomy and the ability to defend myself in accordance with the values I hold. You must argue that a good parent is one in which a child’s circumcision is deferred until they have developed as autonomous human beings.

‘A total prohibition of circumcision appears to be unjustified because it would deprive parents of the possibility of providing their children with a protection (although not total) against various diseases. Moreover, a total prohibition might create a ‘black market’, so that a focus on harm reduction could be a more advisable focus' (Haniz: 511)

Assumption 4: Lockean philosophy

Let’s deconstruct what Locke actually writes in the quote you gave. He says that: ‘there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection...’. But, are all humans of equal natural advantage and faculty? No, they are not, and thereby under Lockean accounts should not be treated equality. Humans share a common humanity but this manifests into an abundance of non-arbitrary inequalities. Your claim to universal equality is like saying that all games should be played according to the same rules: have you ever tried using the snake & ladder rules to win a game of chess? Thus, universal human equality is not Locke's position.

Here of some examples of exceptions to Lockean equality:
4a. Unequal natural advantage: those born with natural talents, beauty, good genetics...

4b.
Unequal faculty: the physically or mentally disabled, the ill, those without autonomy (which raises the issues in A3, again) ...

To this we may add other differences in mankind that aren’t, as you claim, of an ‘arbitrary discrimination’. Man’s experiences and environment, his upbringing and wealth to name a few. It is okay to discriminate against certain groups positively; it is right that we discriminate artists as needing of more paintbrushes than the average citizen. Artists as a group pragmatically need more paintbrushes. This is common sense, not immorality. So, it falls to me to argue that circumcision is practiced as a form of positive discrimination, which I will do shortly.

The only rights Locke claims we all have, right to life, liberty and property also needs to be defended: why do we have these rights? Where do these rights come from? ‘Because we’re human’—what about our humanity necessitates that we have these rights? Defend them, do not assert them.

Your reference to Islam I find disconcerting, appealing to the widespread Islamophobia in our world right now. And, what’s more, it is a complete slippery slope argument. Just because I say that child circumcision should be permitted, by no way means I suddenly condone ISIS or other like extremist religious factions. Dare I say, if ISIS only applied their laws to their own children (as Jews apply their laws only to their own children) there would be much less of an issue; it is the desire for external Jihad, for converting others to one’s beliefs, that western powers fight against. Jews only apply circumcision, a practice which doesn’t belong to the class of terrorist actions, to members of their own race and religion according to their doctrine and tradition.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now for the positive part of my argument:

5 Positive Discrimination

5a Medical: Circumcision is more of a benefit than it is a harm

The AAP and CDC both agree that the benefits of circumcision outweigh its harms (Brady, 2016: 258). Whilst some children might be negatively affected by the procedure, on whole the reduction of urinary tract infections, STIs, penal cancer, phimosis positively contribute to the wellbeing of circumcised individuals and save hospitals resources later on in treating these aliments. Thereby it could be said a good use of parental agency to protect their children against these problems. Since we are debating about the USA, I will cite USA statistics:

Circumcision is a surgical procedure that does have some risks in both the immediate post-surgical period, as well as later. Complications seen in industrialized nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom occur in about 1 in 500 or more infants who are circumcised in the newborn period. The most common complication is bleeding. This occurs more commonly in children who have an underlying bleeding disorder. In more than 60% of children who have bleeding following circumcision, the bleeding can be stopped just by applying pressure.’ (Brady, 2016).

But what about that 1 in 500? Well according to Krill et al (2011) there are solutions to manage circumcisions and any complications that may arise from them in a safe and relatively easy way. I’m running out of space so I must leave research on this part of the debate to you.

5b Legal

Additionally, as you are an American and as I understand take the secular constitution quite seriously, let me recount the first amendment to you that the Founding Fathers executed, in part, to prevent their own religious persecution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof’

https://www.law.cornell.edu...

The more witty of us, might interpret this as the allowance of some laws Congress pass to be disrespectful of religion, but this certainly was not the Founding Father’s intention. It was the separation of state from religion. Jewish circumcision anyway belongs to the establishment of religious Judaism. In Genesis 17: 9-14. ‘Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.’ To attack this established religious practice, would be to disrespect the 1st amendment. If you accept this, you must also accept that the secular constitution of America is wrong.

With a “powerful cultural value” for many groups including Jews (Jacobs & Arora, 2015), legal support, numerically few adverse cases and a positive health benefit, surely an outright illegalisation of therapeutic circumcision is absurd.

No characters left to expand. Over to you TheMarketL—

Sources:

Brady M. Newborn Male Circumcision with Parental Consent, as Stated in the AAP Circumcision Policy Statement, Is Both Legal and Ethical. Journal Of Law, Medicine & Ethics [serial online]. Summer2016 2016;44(2):256-262. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 5, 2017.

Hainz T. The Enhancement of Children versus Circumcision: A Case of Double Moral Standards?. Bioethics [serial online]. September 2015;29(7):507-515.

Jacobs A, Arora K. Ritual Male Infant Circumcision and Human Rights. American Journal Of Bioethics [serial online]. February 2015;15(2):30-39. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 5, 2017.

Krill et al. (2011) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

The Torah: http://www.bbc.co.uk...

Debate Round No. 2
TheMarketLibertarian

Pro

I. OF A SECULAR GOVERNMENT:
The definition of secularism is:
"indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations." {1}
As such, a secular government is one that pays no consideration to religious views in its function. I said that a secular government should not, upon religious considerations, excuse such blatant human rights violations. This is entirely acceptable.

II. PARENTAL RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS:
My opponent claims that a boys parents should decide whether or not to circumcise him because parental rights allow them to make medical decisions for their child. This simply does not apply as circumcision is not a legitimate medical decision- all it is is genital mutilation, plain and simple. Parents do not have the right to cut parts off of their baby just because said baby is incapable of consenting to it.

With regards to your claim of 'health benefits,' this is just a rationalisation for a savage act- the Muslims too claim that there are benefits to Female Genital Mutilation, {2} yet we give no consideration to these claims when we declare it a human rights violation. However, let's assume there are benefits to it- there are also scientifically proven benefits to sex, {3} yet you would be arrested for child molestation if you had sex with your child. This is precisely because he/she is incapable of consenting to it- and there are no considerations for their parents right to 'do what they think is beneficial for their child,' because parental rights do not allow for child abuse, and cutting parts of a child's genitals off is child abuse. Case and point- claimed benefits do not justify genital mutilation, and neither do 'parental rights.'

III. LOCKEAN LIBERALISM:
My opponent appears to be arguing that, because children are not capable of making rational decisions for themselves, they cannot be granted the same right of bodily autonomy as an adult. While this is true, it does not apply to this scenario because we are talking about harming a child and permanently disfiguring him. This applies only to positive actions, for example- a child doesn't have the same right as an adult to own a gun, but he still has the same right as an adult not to be shot with a gun. A person not being able to give informed consent does not mean that you get to consent to permanent disfigurements for them. A drunk person is not capable of making a rational decision- this means they cannot drive a car for example. They are also not capable of giving informed consent to sexual acts, yet this does not allow you to 'consent for them,' because that's legally considered rape.

IV. CIRCUMCISION AS 'MORE OF A BENEFIT THAN A HARM:'
My opponent states:
"The AAP and CDC both agree that the benefits of circumcision outweigh its harms."
This is an appeal to authority- and a very faulty one at best. The AAP is a board of doctors who make a ton of money off of circumcisions, {4} the technical term for this is a 'conflict of interests.' Many people may not know this, but back in the 1930's - 1950's, doctors recommended smoking, and claimed that it was not only harmless, but actually healthy- they even released studies to 'prove' this. {5} The reason was because the Tobacco industry was making too much money off of cigarettes, that when health concerns about it arose in the 1930's, they began hiring doctors and researchers to convince the public that it was safe and actually healthy. {6}

With regards to the CDC- James McCormick sold Iraq and Afghanistan a useless device called the ADE- 651, claiming that it was a 'bomb detector.' {7} The device was useless, and this has been proven repeatedly, yet the Iraq and Afghanistan Governments still use these devices despite it being proven empirically to be useless. Case and point- just because they haven't admitted it's a scam yet, doesn't mean it isn't, and just because the government says so, doesn't make it true. This too, is an appeal to authority- so let's proceed to refute the claim itself, my opponent claims:

"Whilst some children might be negatively affected by the procedure, on whole the reduction of urinary tract infections, STI's, penal cancer, phimosis positively contribute to the well being of circumcised individuals and save hospitals resources later on in treating these aliments. Thereby it could be said a good use of parental agency to protect their children against these problems."

1. You would have to circumcise 117 babies to prevent 1 UTI which could be treated with Antibiotics instead.
2. Condoms and monogamy are far better at preventing STI's.
3. Penile cancer is extremely rare in First World nations and virtually impossible for those with good hygiene.
4. Phimosis can be treated with a steroid cream.
The prevention of minor health concerns, which are easily preventable or treatable with less invasive options, by a non-therapeutic amputation, cannot be rationally considered a health benefit, or a 'protection.' The clitoris too is subject to a number of minor health concerns that can plague a woman later in her life, {8} yet it is illegal to cut out your daughters clitoris!

V. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM:
Religious freedom refers to that which an individual decides to do with their own self- as such, Jews and Muslims should not be prohibited from being circumcised, but this does not allow them to inflict it on their children against their will. Your religious freedom stops where your child's human rights begin- me having the right to practise Islam doesn't give me the right to join ISIS and chop your head off because that encroaches on your right to live.
Religious Branding is already illegal- I can't tattoo a cross on my babies forehead, so why should a Jew be able to tattoo his religion onto his childs penis?


{1}. https://www.merriam-webster.com...
{2}. https://islamqa.info...
{3}. http://www.webmd.com...
{4}. http://knowledgenuts.com...
{5}. http://www.nytimes.com...
{6}. http://www.healio.com...
{7}. http://news.bbc.co.uk...
{8}. http://www.netdoctor.co.uk...
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

Getting straight to the rebuttals:

1. Secular Government
I was not disputing your definition of 'secular', but arguing how being of a secular government doesn't necessitate that the government defend your civil liberties. Human rights are built after secular foundations; they are not intrinsic to secular governments in themselves. Therefore you have to demonstrate that a secular government ought normatively to be interventionist in defending the civil liberty in question: bodily autonomy. Since you have not done this, my argument from R2 carries.

2. Parental Rights
Again, your argument goes unjustified and is, as you say, 'plain and simple'. Your use of language with words like 'savage' instantly suggest that religious doctrines are of low stature, a highly offensive notion for the religious, which by no means proves your claim. Technically, non-therapeutic circumcision it is a medical decision. Non-therapeutic circumcision is carried out in US hospitals and doctors who are ethically against it can choose not to perform the practice. This is just ignorance of reality on your behalf.

Vaccinations-- how savage: sticking a spear into someone's arm. It can inoculate people against disease? Who cares? This is just a rationalisation of barbarism...... You cannot dismiss the data I presented under this line of reasoning.

We are not talking about Female Genital Mutilation, which carries a whole different set of medical consequences, hence this is irrelevant in the terms of our debate. Your argument about sex improves the health of the post-pubescent practicing it: not the children themselves. Non-therapeutic circumcision benefits the child. Under the Parental Responsibility Act of 2000, a parent has to act in the best interests of the child. If it protects them from harmful diseases, circumcision thereby is in their best interests. You've again not answered my point, so my argument remains.
https://www.ontario.ca...

3. John Locke
You haven't proved the statement that circumcision is 'about harming a child and permanently disfiguring him'. I do not dispute the permanent bit, only the harm and disfigurement of circumcision. Your examples of consent are completely unrelated and therefore useless. I dismiss your response to my argument as again completely irrelevant and what's worse, a misrepresentation of Locke's position.

4. Appeals to Authority
Appeals to authority are not necessarily a fallacy; appealing to experts is logical. While the AAP is suspect to a conflict of interest, they actually have a manifesto against it outlining their obligations and measures to avoid it occurring:
https://www.aap.org...

Anakin Skywalker of the Jedi killed a group of Padawans as the end of Episode III; therefore, all Jedi are guilty of infanticide? This does not follow. James McCormick does not represent the whole of the CDC and even if he did, his offense is unrelated to circumcision.

1. Not if the STI cannot be treated by antibiotics due to its nature. Prevention is better that treatment, both financially and for the patient.
2. Irrelevant. This doesn't mean that circumcision doesn't help reduce the risk of STIs.
3. There have been 360 deaths from penile cancer in 2017 alone (5 months). Shouldn't we seek to eradicate this disease?
https://www.cancer.org...
4. Again irrelevant. Other treatments do not negate the benefit of circumcision. For example: don't prevent obesity, if someone gets obese they can just have liposuction surgery. This is clearly wrong.

What's your obsession with the female genitals? Can't you keep the debate relevant to the males ones? This only suggests that you cannot find sufficient arguments against my points so thereby must argue about something else entirely. The female genitals are entirely different from the male ones. Therefore, in debating the medical consequences of editing them, completely different answers will ensue.

5. Religious Freedom
Again, not my point. I was arguing it against the US Constitution that circumcision be made illegal. This was really a yes or no answer, that I was hoping to progress the debate by. Again hyperbolic and irrelevant. Circumcision is not murder. Religious self-autonomy fails on the grounds that a parent acts as their child's surrogate autonomy over all areas of their lives. Adult circumcision loses much of the medical benefit and will likely be a more complicated and painful procedure.

Not all circumcisions are religious as I pointed out, thereby attacks on religion do not attack the practice of circumcision as a whole. I only need to defend some non-therapeutic circumcision to be successful.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From R2, you've missed out most of my points, been guilty of irrelevancy and straw man arguments, and have only asserted rhetoric instead of proving anything. On these grounds, all my points in R2 remain intact.
Thank you for an easy response.
Debate Round No. 3
TheMarketLibertarian

Pro

I. THE RESOLUTION:
It seems that in debates such as these, those on the pro-Genital Mutilation side stray from the actual resolution of the debate in an effort to win an argument completely separate from the resolution itself. So let me be clear:

This debate is about the ethics of the circumcision of a minor for non-medical reasons. The question was: is it morally acceptable to cut parts off of your children for no medical reason whatsoever? Is it acceptable to mutilate your children's genitals? The answer to both of those questions is an emphatic NO.

I have argued this upon grounds of bodily autonomy- my opponent must address the principle of the act. This debate is NOT whether or not certain American Medical Associations say it is OK, it was not whether or not people do so because they think there are health benefits, it was not even as to whether or not parents believe it to be what is 'best for their children'All of these things have no bearing upon the nature or principle of the act- my opponent would not accept this very same logic if it were applied to some other form of non-medical amputation. The clitoris for example:
1. Muslim doctors claim that clitorectomies on young girls are OK- as a matter of fact, American Doctors used to say that clitorectomies on young girls were OK as well.
2. The Muslims too think that clitorectomies have 'health benefits.'
3. The Muslims too perform clitorectomies on their daughters because they think it is 'what is best for them.'
Yet none of this has any bearing on the morality of the practise. As stated earlier, my opponent must remain consistent- if he can justify cutting parts of the penis off with these arguments, then they should be equally true of cutting parts off of the vagina.

II. HEALTH BENEFITS:
My opponent states:
"1. Not if the STI cannot be treated by antibiotics due to its nature. Prevention is better that treatment, both financially and for the patient."

This point was for UTI's, which can always be treated with antibiotics.

"2. Irrelevant. This doesn't mean that circumcision doesn't help reduce the risk of STIs."

First of all, the study which claimed this included Jews and Muslims, who do not engage in sexual activity before marriage ad are likely to be monogamous- which reduces their chances of contracting an STD to next to nothing- skewing the results. Second of all, we are not talking about a vaccine here- we are talking about preemptive amputation. The reduced risks of health concerns corresponding to an amputated appendage cannot rationally be considered a health benefit. We could cure breast cancer by performing mastectomies on baby girls at birth- yet we don't do that.

"3. There have been 360 deaths from penile cancer in 2017 alone (5 months). Shouldn't we seek to eradicate this disease?"

First of all, it wouldn't eradicate the disease- it would slightly reduce your risks of catching it. Second of all, this still doesn't justify preemptive amputation- any more than Routine Infant Mastectomies is justified under the guise of preventing breast cancer. Third of all, 360 out of 160 million men means that the chance of a man contracting penile cancer is 0.000225%.

"4. Again irrelevant. Other treatments do not negate the benefit of circumcision. For example: don't prevent obesity, if someone gets obese they can just have liposuction surgery. This is clearly wrong."

We are talking about preemptive amputation here- that isn't a legitimate or acceptable way to prevent illnesses. We could perform Routine Infant Mastectomies and that would eradicate breast cancer- yet we don't do that, and instead we search for a cure. Consistency is very important. Furthermore, my opponent claims:

"What's your obsession with the female genitals? Can't you keep the debate relevant to the males ones? This only suggests that you cannot find sufficient arguments against my points so thereby must argue about something else entirely. The female genitals are entirely different from the male ones. Therefore, in debating the medical consequences of editing them, completely different answers will ensue."

Raping women is perfectly OK- as a matter of fact, being raped is beneficial for women- but not for men. You see, female and male bodies are different, so while rape is good for women, it is harmful for men. You can't compare the two because the two genders are different, and so the consequences are going to be different as well.

That's pretty much what your response sounded like- absurd nonsense and arbitrary distinctions, this debate has to do with the ethics of genital mutilation, that penises and vaginas are different has no bearing on the principle of the act of mutilating them.

SUMMARY:
This debate has been a lot like the following conversation:
https://www.youtube.com...

Furthermore, he has completely failed to address the scope of the debate- which is ethics, and has instead constructed absurd justifications which have no bearing on the resolution. When I refused to respond to some of these, he claimed:
"From R2, you've missed out most of my points, been guilty of irrelevancy and straw man arguments, and have only asserted rhetoric instead of proving anything. On these grounds, all my points in R2 remain intact."

This I have heard from a number of people before- but honestly, it's just gibberish. It is the second law of logic that no claim can contradict itself- I have shown by comparisons that my opponents rationalisations were not consistent. Just like you cannot rationally claim that it is OK to rape women, but not OK to rape men- so too it is a contradiction to claim that mutilating baby boys is OK, but mutilating baby girls is not OK. The claim that boys and girls are different still has no bearing on the principle of the act.

Furthermore, never once have I used a straw man fallacy- neither have I replaced reason with rhetoric. This debate has to do with ethics, as stated in round one, and I have applied Lockean Liberalism to this topic as stated in round 1, and have thus proven that Male Genital Mutilation is immoral. That's not rhetoric- it's logic. My opponent has provided faulty evidence of claims that, even if proven empirically, would have no bearing on the debate.

None of your round 2 arguments remain intact- I circumcised them, you just fail to realise this.

Following the topic of the debate- I have argued upon the basis of Classical Liberalism that it is not morally acceptable to cut parts off of your children. My opponent has devised claims and rationalisations, but no real arguments. He has failed to actually address the immorality of the act, and has instead claimed that:
1. Parental Rights mean circumcision is OK- even though parental rights do not permit child abuse.
2. Religious freedom means circumcision is OK- even though religious freedom does not allow you to engage in child abuse either, and does not apply to infringing the rights of others.
3. There are claims of health benefits- even though the claim of health benefits has no bearing on the principle of the act, as demonstrated previously.

None of these are actual arguments- none of them justify circumcision- none of them even apply to this debate- and none of them are valid responses to any of my arguments.
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

You have mistaken morality for being completely deontological (act-based) enterprise when it could also said to be consequentialist (consequence-based). Thereby your claim that a discussion of the morality of circumcision must be the former is unjustified and somewhat goes to show your lack of philosophical knowledge-- despite raising Locke in your defence.

My argument has been highly relevant:
P1 Parents, as the acting autonomy for their children, should make decisions that are in their children's best interests
P2 Circumcision is in their children's best interests
C Therefore, circumcision should be a decision parents make for their children.

To which you have replied, 'no, no, because circumcision is like ISIS and is nothing but mutiliation'. A) the rational parents who choose circumcision for their child are not terrorists and to suggest so is highly offensive and B) it's not mutiliation. The human form is not complete on birth; when our immune system by vaccines or health by some medical procedure is edited by modern science, we do not call this 'mutilation' but 'treatment' (whether preventive or in response to an illness).

In regards to your third paragraph. You did argue on the grounds of bodily autonomy (R2) hence it is up for debate. I don't necessarily have to 'address the principle of the act' because morality is not necessarily deontological. An act may be permitted providing its consequences are beneficial. My references to data which you so readily dismiss are evidence of these consequences you have failed to find counter-studies for.

'As stated earlier, my opponent must remain consistent- if he can justify cutting parts of the penis off with these arguments, then they should be equally true of cutting parts off of the vagina.'

I ask again...what is your obsession with the female genitals? I don't get it. Firstly, after claiming that I provide no arguments, you say I have justified circumcisions with 'arguments'. Who is being inconsistent? But, then your point gives a false equivalence. Taking a much less serious example, one does not give male vasectomy the same medical status as female tubal ligation. This is because the latter carries much higher risks and negative consequences that the first, a much easier procedure. Because they are completely different reproductive organs, completely different results ensue from treating them. In a doctor's risk assessment, a child male circumcision over clitorectomies would be much less dangerous and carry an entirely different set of consequences.

2. Health Benefits
1. Thanks for agreeing with my statement, even if you didn't realise it.

2. That's a highly reductive viewpoint on Judaism and Islam. Just because the orthodox traditional members of those religions do not permit sexual activity before marriage, does not mean that many modern members of those religions in the US aren't sexual active before marriage. And, what's more, the data I presented was a study of Americans, and not just Jews and Muslims.

Breast removal? What's you obession with the female..? You must be a teenager.

3. I said 'seek to eradicate', not 'it will eradicate'; reducing the risk of catching a disease, helps eradicte that disease. I by no means said that circumcision is an immediate cure. More than 360 men in five months have contracted penile cancer -- only 360 have died of it within 5 months. I accuse you of the McNamara fallacy here. Just because statistically these deaths are low, does not mean that those 360 lives are inconsequential or in any way meaningless. We should still seek to be preventive.

4. You again haven't given evidence or a rational argument as to why circumcison is not an acceptable way to prevent illnesses. I have provided evidence to why it is. Therefore, I ignore your assertion on the grounds of this evidence.

Your argument from rape is moronic. Being raped is not beneficial for either men or women?!? 'That penises and vaginas are different has no bearing on the principle of the act of mutilating them'. Again not accepting your definition of circumcision as mutiliation, yes it does, it means that the act will ensue in completely different consequences and involves a completely different set of risks in medical procedure. These are not arbitrary factors.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There were more arguments and studies that I wished to debate, but my opponent hasn't raised these issues in his rebuttals or gone beyond my arguments in R1 meaning that I haven't needed to defend myself from them. As such we haven't covered sexual function (which there is evidence for and against), the cultural impact tradition has on identity, the enforcement argument (etc.).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TheMarketL, your commitment to ethical deontology has meant that you have failed to see the wider issues around the ethics of circumcision. And again, you have not metaphysically defended your deontology: you refused to do so about Locke, and you refused to do so about Corporeal Autonomy. In you had studied Locke, you would know that his moral ethics is highly ambigious since he does not write and book on them and in any case, you also haven't defended the natural rights to life, liberty and property that his political contractarianism seeks to protect. Knowing that you would ignore my arguments 'even if proven empirically' as absolute scientifc fact, just goes to show your fidelity to your beliefs. Reason needs to be justified with naturalistic evidence, not just asserted. Anyone could make up a moral maxim: many less have the sufficient grounds to prove them.

I would hardly say you have argued on behalf of Classical Liberalism, citing only one poorly understood passage from Locke's 'Second Treatise'. Locke may in fact argue human rights for children, but he also argues parental rule acting of behalf of that child's interest. To dismiss my argument, is to dismiss one of Locke's positions: am I still the one who is being inconsistent? The tautology of your rebuttals shows your commitment to your position which has made this a fruitless debate.

'None of your round 2 arguments remain intact- I circumcised them, you just fail to realise this.'
I thought you were against involuntary circumcision? After reading this debate, I'm still not sure on your evidence or reasoning which has led to this conclusion except that 'religion is evil', 'equality regardless of profound difference', and 'I'm right because I'm right'.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Anyhow, I've enjoyed this both on the comments and debate even if I know that neither of us have our reconciled on any points.
--TheUnexaminedL.
Debate Round No. 4
81 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheUnexaminedLife 8 months ago
TheUnexaminedLife
voting after the deadline isn't necessarily a bad thing though, especially when the debate is undecided... as for glitches, debate.org has a lot of them right now...
Posted by whiteflame 8 months ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: Jonbonbon// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Con. Reasons for voting decision: Pro states that there are really only two things that matter in the debate despite the debate including a plethora of topics from secular government to equating breast removal with male circumcision. In the end, pro narrowed it to that, which flows with the title and first round of the debate. Pro states he must only win that circumcision is genital mutilation and that parents should not be able to do that because there are no health benefits. Pro never proves there aren't health benefits, which con points out by both citing health benefits and arguing that the existence of alternatives does not negate health benefits of one alternative. Because of that, pro cannot win the debate, because his only attacks against con's evidence is that doctors make too much money off of circumcision to be objective, which turns out to be unsubstantiated in the debate. Pro didn't meet the burden he set for himself. So con wins.

[*Reason for removal*] The voting period for this debate ended before this vote was posted. While a site glitch is currently allowing such votes to be posted, once the end of the voting period has elapsed, all votes posted afterward will be removed.
************************************************************************
Posted by TheMarketLibertarian 8 months ago
TheMarketLibertarian
No thanks- this troll voted after voting was over.
Posted by TheUnexaminedLife 8 months ago
TheUnexaminedLife
Hey, thanks for the vote Jonbonbon :)
Posted by Jonbonbon 8 months ago
Jonbonbon
I can only think of a couple instances of that, but they tend to be decent debaters anyway. They tend to be more in depth voters anyway.
Posted by TheMarketLibertarian 8 months ago
TheMarketLibertarian
The people with extremely high ELO's tend not to be very good debators- most times they just have a couple friends who vote for them regardless.
Posted by Jonbonbon 8 months ago
Jonbonbon
Will come back to write a proper RFD. Just seeing if I could vote before I started.
Posted by tejretics 8 months ago
tejretics
>Only someone with a ELO lower than 5,000 can vote

Why would you do that?

Do you *want* low-quality votes?
Posted by TUF 8 months ago
TUF
I have started and RFD for this debate, I kept getting distracted from finishing it, butt seeing as there is 15 hours left I will dedicate more time to this.
Posted by TUF 8 months ago
TUF
I have started and RFD for this debate, I kept getting distracted from finishing it, butt seeing as there is 15 hours left I will dedicate more time to this.
No votes have been placed for this debate.