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Circumcision on male infants is immoral unless medically necessary.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2021 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 392 times Debate No: 127773
Debate Rounds (4)
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For clarification, I am not talking about adults consenting to circumcision. I am ONLY talking about male infants where it is not medically necessary. For example a medical necessity could look like a possible burn injury if the baby fell into a fire and the foreskin would have to be removed due to physical trauma. Another example could be if the baby contracts a UTI that can only be fixed by removing the foreskin to allow for proper healing. It is in cases like I've described that I believe circumcision would be morally permissible. Now on to my main points.

1: It is my perception that despite the benefits of circumcision, That the rights of the infant to bodily integrity should come before any parental judgement.

2: When circumcision is performed when not medically necessary, The infants right to bodily autonomy and integrity is violated. No matter the benefits of circumcision; the infant cannot consent to the removal of the foreskin. I surmise that I may have to elaborate more on this point, Which I of course will do.

3: It is then the case that if the rights of the infant to its bodily autonomy and integrity is violated, Then the practice should be made illegal. Religion freedom of practice in this specific issue should then be ignored and circumcision done for religious reasons should also be illegal. We live in the 21st century. Religion should not get away with it's barbaric practices.

I cede the floor.


I don't have strong opinions on this subject, And mostly avoid discussing it myself.
But, I think it's of value to me, To 'think about concepts at times, And I'm in the mood for a bit of conversation.

Well then, My arguement's then.

Several studies have shown that compared with circumcised men, Uncircumcised men are at higher risk for acquiring some sexually transmitted diseases.
Perhaps this matters less in 1st world countries than 3rd world countries, Or in ancient times.

I argue that in certain locations and levels of technology, This 'would be an acceptable practice. 'Even 'modern 1st world countries and technology.
And that it does not fall under your examples of medically necessary, As those examples are shown to be in 'response to a medical emergency, Rather than a preventive measure.

Similar as many people argue that enforcing that people wear masks during a pandemic is not immoral.

Google, Male Circumcision for the Prevention of Acquisition and Transmission of Sexually Transmitted Infections, Ncbi nlm nih pmc articles PMC
"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) male circumcision policy1 states Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, These data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. All studies that have examined the association between UTI [urinary tract infection] and circumcision status show an increased risk of UTI in uncircumcised males, With the greatest risk in infants younger than 1 year of age. Evidence regarding the relationship of circumcision to STD sexually transmitted diseases in general is complex and conflicting. "

We are born into cultures.
There is no avoiding this, And measures cannot be taken, By which they avoid imprinting upon our very brains, Habits, Customs, Manner of thought.
I would argue that our 'minds, Are far more close to 'what we are, Than our bodies.
It'd be different if we were born into a society that demanded the removal of our legs and arms, Or brutalized us in terror and brainwashing.

If a culture believes that circumcision is part of their covenant with God, Or that a 'minor procedure brings health benefits.
What harm is cutting a bit of skin.

I'm not ignoring your arguments,

But do ask that elaborate on 'why you think bodily integrity is violated more than it 'already is for other procedures, Vaccines for example, Or education and force of integration into existing society.

Why you think it a violation great enough to remove freedom of groups of people religious or not, To 'act on said practice of circumcision.
Debate Round No. 1


Hi Leaning, Thanks for the response. I think it would help if I state what I know about circumcision medically, About the benefits and risks. I suppose it might help dispel any assumptions and make clear why I believe what I do. Once I do that then I will address what you've brought up.

So my knowledge of circumcision comes from the AAP, And more specifically the AAP technical report on circumcision which I will link below. It is my understanding that the AAP's stance is that male circumcisions' medical benefits outweigh the risks. Those benefits to my understanding being reduced chance to contract STI's, UTI's, And penile cancer. The risks being a greater chance to contract STI's, UTI's, Penile cancer, Ect. It is clear though that while the benefits outweigh the risks medically, The AAP doesn't factor in the philosophical side of circumcision. I wouldn't expect them to nor would I want them to. But that's what I want to talk about, The philosophical side of when is it ok to make certain decisions for an infant and when not.

To expand further, After reading the Technical Report. Part of the reason why being uncircumcised is riskier in terms of contracting STI's, UTI's, Or penile cancer, Is because the foreskin acts as a bacteria breeding ground. The Technical Report to my understanding in it's various analysis comparing circumcised to uncircumcised men, They never clarified if the uncircumcised men routinely washed under the foreskin. If they did I may have missed it. My conclusion is that while uncircumcised men will always be more at risk for STI/UTI's, Routine washing under the foreskin negates alot of the risks. I don't have stats on the exact numbers. But if it is the case that the risks normally aquired through being uncircumcised, If routine washing can negate those risks; then I believe it follows that the practice would be more or less medically unnecessary. Which is the current view I hold.

https://pediatrics. Aappublications. Org/content/pediatrics/130/3/e756. Full. Pdf

Now I will address what you've said.

(A Response)
I am with you on the science behind the risks of being uncircumcised. I would also agree with you on the point that circumcision would matter less in first world countries than third world countries, If we are looking soley at the medical benefits. It's my observation though that this is also true for almost all diseases/illnesses. There is less disease and illness in first world countries compared to third world countries in general. And I could agree that the practice of circumcision could be an acceptable practice in some STI/UTI ridden countries. If a country is so ridden with disease and infection and if they had no access to washing facilities, I'd be more amicable to circumcision being medically necessary. Though it is far from the first step in combating STI's and UTI's.

I cannot agree that because it reduces the risks of contracting STI's that it should be an acceptable practice in first world countries though. Because at fundamental level I believe infants should have the right to bodily integrity. I do believe circumcision is a violation of the infants bodily integrity because it is far from a medical necessity. I think I can expand on this further when I answer your third argument (C).

(B Response)
Well I ask you then, Why is it different when a culture demands the removal of an arm rather than the foreskin, If both respective cultures believe those procedures would bring them closer to their covenant with god? What harm is there really in the former cut-off-the-arm-at-birth culture if they believe it would bring the infant closer to god? I mean you're born with two arms, You'll still have one.

However, You only have one foreskin. And I think since that's the case, And considering that I think the procedure is medically unecessary; the decision to remove it should be respected and left to the infant when he grows old enough to consent on his own to it. The procedure can be more difficult when you're older, But you can still reap the "benefits" if you decide to get the procedure done later.

(C Response)
I knew that when I brought this topic up eventually it may lead to how in basically every facet of an infants life we have to act without the infants asserted preferences. Which is true.

So for vaccines, I don't have any stats or anything. But they seem to be overwhelmingly positive. There are short term effects like, Coughing, Headaches, Fever, That happen typically after getting a vaccine shot. Though the long term benefits significantly outweigh the short term risks. Polio for example in the USA, According to the CDC has been eradicated thanks to vaccination. If it hasn't been clear, Medical necessity trumps my views on our rights to bodily integrity. Vaccines from my perspective are overwhelmingly positive to a point that it becomes a medical necessity and that vaccines should be mandatory.

For whether it's immoral to educate our children and integrate them into society, Maybe? I have no strong intuitive feeling about the topic, But I am airing on the side of it's not immoral because it's more or less a necessity. To teach our children what we think is right and wrong, If we label that immoral, I can only think that hypthetical world would lead to chaos. I of course detest certain ideas being taught as good/bad, But education is a fundamental tool to society that it becomes a necessity.

So to wrap that up, I don't see your examples to be examples of violations of the body in any way. Vaccines are so overwhelmingly beneficial, Unlike circumcision. Which in first world countries circumcision appears to be more of a cosmetic procedure rather than a necessary one. If circumcision is a cosmetic procedure then I believe that decision should be made by the infant when they grow older. I don't like the idea of living in a socity where it's okay to lop off bits and pieces of infants because it "looks better" and is "cleaner". Which are not things you said but I have seen said many many times and are both topics I would fight to the death against.
For education, It feels like we are comparing a societal necessity to a unnecessary cosmetic medical procedure. And the idea that because we have to somewhat forcefully educate our children without their consent; that we then have to be okay with parents circumcising their children is too large a jump for me to make that without more elaboration I remained unconvinced. To address my religious freedom stance around the topic. I'm okay with protecting the rights of the religous to raise their children. Just the same for the irreligious raising children. I'm not okay with making cosmetic changes to infants and I don't see why believing in god(s) should grant any special priviledges concerning that.

I suppose all in all, Circumcision is medically unnecessary, Routine washing of the foreskin I believe grants you benefits similar to being circumcised, Changes made for cosmetic reasons should be left to the infant when they are old enough to consent, And I don't see why living in a certain culture or believeing in a certain religion should grant you any right to make cosmetic changes to an infant. This cosmetic change being a permanent one.


(A 2)
I'd like to note that 'neither of us spoke of circumcision as a medical 'necessity, 'even in third world countries. But that 'both of us spoke of understanding more easily it's 'practice in third world countries as a medical 'benefit, But 'not necessity.
Though we did not view these medical benefits nearly as substantial in first world countries.
Feel free to correct my interpretation if I'm wrong.

(B 2)
I would argue that the difference between foreskin and an arm, Is in the degree and purpose of effect.
A common concept people often hold, Is that there is benefit in helping other people, Whether children or adults. But so too is it recognized that an individual can be 'helped too much. To the point that they have difficulty acting independently themselves, And instead become underformed and reliant upon others, In making their way in the world.
It is by that manner, I speak of degree of effect.
I use this example, To avoid the word harm, Less it conflate circumcision with harm in my argument.
Speaking of benifit still, Rather than culture as I will later on.
"Low-income kids report first sexual intercourse at 12 years old in new ISU study"
Source, Google, News iastate edu news 2009 aug teensex

'When will be the right age, When children make decisions early in life, Still only partially formed of informed consent and consequences of said actions?
By preforming the procedure at birth, It is a smaller surgical operation, Than on an adult, Additionally, Because it is set as a regular practice, The knowledge on 'how to preform it, Possible complications, Becomes better known. As simple as mass production streamlining the quality and regulation of any product.

(C 2)
Consent, Necessity, Cosmetics.
Not all wisdom teeth need be removed, But children are children. And can easily enough be 'convinced, 'prodded into just obeying their guardians.
Told they need wear braces, And yet not question the fact.
Indeed, 'lack the right or ability of an adult to say no, Or consider their situation.

Personally I'm 'for, Rather than against vaccines in general.
But one 'does find a large number of the public opposed to the idea of it's necessity.
Certainly it's true that not 'all vaccines are necessary in 'all situations.
It is the US military, Not public, For example, Who generally receive an anthrax vaccination.
Thus one might conclude that based upon how one lives their life, Vaccines do not become a necessity, But instead a medical benefit.

Cosmetics, Is the 'harder arguments, I have to push in this debate.
Our cultures, Are more than their ethics.
They are the clothing we wear, The manner we conduct ourselves, The way we lilt our voices.
To a 'degree, They are necessity, For it's an imprint difficult to avoid.
But more than that, I argue they are cosmetic frills,
Unduly expectations, Based upon duty to tribe.
Tattoos among the Maori, As I understand it, Are "constituted an important milestone between childhood and adulthood, And was accompanied by many rites and rituals. Apart from signaling status and rank, Another reason for the practice in traditional times was to make a person more attractive to the opposite sex. "
Source, Google, Wikipedia Ta moko.

Though such tattoos, Are far more prominent than a circumcision, I'd assert.
And a flaw in this example, Is that it 'is a choice.
What's not a flaw, But I lack in sources, Is the question, How many Maori choose 'not to get tattoos, And if it is a small percentage, How much of a choice 'was that?
Circumcision is not generally a choice, One makes upon themselves, But it is a choice whether they raise their children in the faith of their fathers.
We do not generally choose what country and creed we are born into, Live by, Until later in life, But it is a choice whether they raise their children in the faith of their fathers.

I 'will admit a difficulty, But not always a impossibility in reversing circumcision, Through surgical procedure.
I'll admit it's 'easier to choose to eat pork as an adult, Than reverse one's circumcision.

My last cosmetic argument, Per this round is
Robert Hoge,
Source, Google, YouTube, Own your face Robert Hoge TEDxSouthBank

Though I note I'm speaking 'my words, And taking him out of context.
And I'd say he could be viewed by either side, As an argument.

The basic gist, As debates are about 'my words, Rather than other people's words.
Is that he was born with a large tumor upon his face,
That his parents had doctors preform cosmetic surgery on, That he'd be able to integrate into society and other children easier.
Surgery in which there were significant risks to his life.
What's the risk in a circumcision?
What's a bit of skin? (Certainly not an arm)
If one is born into a society of the circumcised, Would it be moral, 'to have one's child be different?
Debate Round No. 2


(A 2 Response)
Your interpretation as you've described I believe was my argument in my previous response. I feel you've got it right.

(B 2 Response)
I'm not entirely sure what you're asking me when you ask "what will be the right age-". If you can rephrase the question I can answer it more succinctly because I'm not sure if you're asking me; what is the age when children could consent to the procedure, Or if children should make the decision at all until they're old enough?

I believe you're stating though, That it's acceptable to perform the procedure because if it is a regular procedure, That the risks are minimal and that the conclusion is it should be an acceptable practice at birth. If I've got you wrong please correct me next round, Otherwise I shall respond to my interpretation.

So I think an undertone that I've not addressed in my arguments is the assumption that the foreskin is just a "piece of skin" as you've stated before. I would argue that we should value the foreskin more than that. A "piece of skin" in my mind implies a sort of uselessness, Which I know is far from the case when talking about the foreskin. The foreskin holds sensitive nerves, Acts as protection against any material that might rub against the head of the penis, And it serves a special function when either masturbating, Or having sex. When a male goes to masturbate or have sex, The foreskin "rolls" back and forth. Creating positive sexually sensation. Assuming that doctors can perform adequate circumcisions, And ignoring the moral side for a moment. The procedure removes incredibly important functions to the penis. I've never been someone that thinks of sexually pleasure as something "deviant" or "depraved. " I assume you don't either. I don't see the removal of sexual pleasure/ important functions of the penis as something positive. Which I believe is more or less in line with my stated positions so far. I think I can go into the cultural aspect more in my next responses. So I ask then:

Do you find any value in the sexual pleasure males can derive from the foreskin and it's functions? Do you value the foreskin as a protective "hood"? Assuming a doctor could perfectly perform the procedure, Why should I find it morally neutral/positive for parents to derive the potential sexually pleasure and protective features that male infants could reap the benefits of? Keep in mind I think I've laid out a decent case in how the benefits acquired through circumcision, Can be acquired through routine (daily) washing of the foreskin and penis, Thus making the procedure medically unnecessary. I assume you agreed with me on that point because I don't think I saw you address that specifically. I can expand further though if needed.

Thus it is the case then that if the foreskin is more valuable that just being skin, Even if the procedure could be done adequately, There is still significant loss and thus should not be acceptable in practice.

(C 2 Response)
So I think the more fundamental question in my interpretation of what you've said is; Is it immoral for a culture to make cosmetic changes to a child, So that child can integrate easier into said culture? And in that case what is the harm in removing the foreskin? Again, I'm trying to steelman my interpretations of what you're saying correct me if my questions are wrong.

There's a larger fundamental and philosophical conversation that is hiding behind the conversation. To answer the first question, I of course would say yes. In my current moral system with the things I value, I do find it immoral. However if I was going to convince someone who lives in a different culture than me; one that accepts circumcision as morally good for cosmetic reasons/integrating. I would not argue about how it's a violation of the infant, But rather I'd argue more fundamentally, If we should respect the bodily integrity of people in general. I'd argue the basic values I hold, And why I think my values produce a better society than theirs. Why they should value the things I do rather than what they do already, Is a much more difficult conversation. I have argued this entire time with you on the basis that we both value the rights to bodily integrity of humans, Which is why we haven't delved into that conversation yet, Of why we should value bodily autonomy/integrity.

One of my fundamental preferences, Is the right for individuals to autonomy, Or freedom. I believe this value is important because it satisfies some inherent preferences I have. Which I know is exactly what the Maori would say if asked. That tattooing their young satisfies their inherent preferences and they see the effects as positive in a cultural sense. I value the freedom of the individual to make cosmetic changes to their body when old enough to consent, Because the society that is produced from that base value is one that seems to flourish in happiness. I don't know that there is a succinct answer I can give that would convince someone of a different culture to value what I value. As this conversation is easier had with someone who holds that same value, But has a different conclusion, Which is a far easier conversation. Now there is alot of caveats to where I freedom should be allowed, And not, As in the case of vaccines as I've stated. So for the assumed culture that finds in morally good to circumcise to integrate, I suppose there would be no harm in their eyes (If they hold different fundamental values than me).

I do find it harmful for integration reasons because it's at that point all thought about the medical benefits or risks are gone. A circumcision is a permanent reminder, A "mark", That remains on the infant permanently. A reminder that at birth, Your potential preferences for what you want removed from your body was ignored because someone else's preferences were more important. Circumcisions ignore the potential preferences of the infant. If the circumcision is done for religious reasons, And the male falls out of his parents religion, That circumcision is a permanent reminder of how his potential preference was discarded for religions sake. I've already gone over the "piece of skin" idea above. In short though, The penis serves many functions that the said infant may prefer to keep when he is older. The foreskin ought to be valued more than just a "piece of skin. " I think that the freedom for the infant to make that decision when he is older, In general produces a healthier society. That healthier society in turn being a happier one.

For your third question. I'd still argue that I would find it moral but that the culture I'm in wouldn't and thus there'd be a disconnect there in terms of fundamental values. But instead of elaborating on what I've stated already, I have some questions.

Do you think we should encourage a culture that seeks to lop of bits of infants to potentially satisfy the sexual desires of the opposite sex when that infant becomes sexually active? I don't know at what age the Maori would tattoo their young, But I assume the young had no concept of not consenting to the ritual.
Is it morally permissible for you, That the Chinese for example in their foot binding tradition to manipulate the feet of infant babies into odd shapes? Despite the clear risks manipulating the foot like that poses?
Should we value parents' culture and the decisions they make from such, Or the bodily integrity of the baby and it's potential preferences to keep it's "piece of skin"?

If I follow my internal values of freedom to bodily autonomy and integrity; I'd opt on the side of allowing individuals decide what to do with their bodies.


(A 3)
Well, My interpretation of both of us identifying medical benefits of circumcision, But not as a medical 'necessity.
Leads myself towards the conclusion that Circumcision on male infants is not immoral, Due to the medical benefits. Even moreso in 3rd world countries.

(B 3)
Rephrasing my question, And 'Use
My question is indeed, Is what age should an individual be able to make an informed decision regarding circumcision?

In response to your argument of 'use.
I offer three sources.

"The scientific literature suggests that any sexual effect of circumcised men may depend solely on exposure of the glans and not on the absence of the prepuce. "
Source, Google, Ncbi nlm nih gov pmc articles PMC Histological Correlates of Penile Sexual Sensation Does Circumcision Make a Difference?

"Recently, Researchers in Australia and at the University of Washington reviewed studies of circumcision"s sexual impact and concluded that it neither decreases penile sensitivity nor impairs men"s sexual function or satisfaction. "
Source, Google, Psychologytoday us blog all about sex does circumcision reduce men s sexual sensitivity

"Findings suggest that minimal long-term implications for penile sensitivity exist as a result of the surgical excision of the foreskin during neonatal circumcision. Additionally, This study challenges past research suggesting that the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the adult penis. Future research should consider the direct link between penile sensitivity and the perception of pleasure/sensation. Results are relevant to policy makers, Parents of male children and the general public. "
Source, Google, Auajournals org article abstract Examining Penile Sensitivity in Neonatally Circumcised and Intact Men Using Quantitative Sensory Testing

Those are scientific sources, But I also offer a 'thought of my own.
Children possess the ability to regrow a fingertip.
Source, Google, Kids can regrow a fingertip. Why can"t adults? Newsroom uw edu story
Additionally neuron development and pathways, Occur 'earlier in life. Implying to me that even if some nerves were lost, 'other nerves could instead be focused on by the brain.
Source, Google, Brain Development in Children The Early Years parentingforbrain brain development

The thought of children regenerative ability, And neurological development, Would imply that the 'best time for circumcision would be birth. As the body would best adapt to it.

(C 3)
My argument
"Is it immoral for a culture to make cosmetic changes to a child, So that child can integrate easier into said culture? And in that case what is the harm in removing the foreskin? "
Is a fair interpretation of my cosmetic argument in round 2.

Individual Autonomy and Freedom
It's my own love of freedom, Self worth, And autonomy that hearkens to your speech on it.
Though I'd see circumcision 'cosmetically as valuable to an ancient tribe, That their own people they would know, Culture enduring, Even among strangers.
As well as a means of integrating newcomers to it's tribe and culture.

I'll admit though, That it might have more 'meaning to an individual, If it were of their own choice and awareness, To declare a covenant with the God of Abraham.

But, If caveats to freedom can be denied based upon perceived necessity or use.
Then in certain cultures, Whether because of medical reason or cultural identity, Then I'd argue circumcision might by them be justified.

I also say again, That we are born into cultures, That shape our minds and development.
Though the mind is not so physically visible as the body, The changes can be no less difficult to reverse.

Your Questions
Encouraging circumcision cultures,
If they live in an environment, Where the chances of STDs were significantly higher.
Then I think that individuals and cultures could justify to themselves acting to reduce said chances.
If it is their culture, And not harmful, Difficult to tell people abandon your forefathers.

The Maori tattoo
Is by my part, Bit of a flawed example,
And I state that I used it mainly as a way of arguing lack of choice, Even as young adults.
How many Maori choose 'not to get tattoos, And if it is a small percentage, How much of a choice 'was that?
By this I meant to make argument questioning the 'value of apparent choice in all situations.
"Like father like son. Tattoo artist Trinity Ropiha has given his boy a moko for his 15th birthday. Is that too young?
Solo dad of six Trinity Ropiha's passion for tattooing is drawing him closer to his eldest son Traye.
"Tattooing your first kid is a big step for any tattooist, You've got to put in your utmost best work. I'm sucking back tears while I'm tattooing. "
Traye turned 15 yesterday and as a rite of passage, He asked his dad, A tattoo artist of 13 years, To design and etch a moko on his arm. "
"New Zealand doesn't have a legal age restriction for getting a tattoo. However, Some council bylaws require parental consent at 18. Trinity says parents should be open to their children getting inked by a professional. "
Source, Google, Teaomaori news moko how young too young

"Is it morally permissible for you, That the Chinese for example in their foot binding tradition to manipulate the feet of infant babies into odd shapes? Despite the clear risks manipulating the foot like that poses? "
I'll admit, It's easier to not be fond of something 'not of one's own culture and history.
Flathead Native Americans for instance, Come off as peculiar to me, Though perhaps circumcision would come off as peculiar to them

"Should we value parents' culture and the decisions they make from such, Or the bodily integrity of the baby and it's potential preferences to keep it's "piece of skin"? "
My answer is likely the same as the British regarding The ancient Hindu tradition called sati.
"Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, And confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs. " - Charles James Napier

The divergence from one's own customs and beliefs, Determines one's amount of tolerance.
Subjective though.

Your statement,
"If I follow my internal values of freedom to bodily autonomy and integrity; I'd opt on the side of allowing individuals decide what to do with their bodies. "
Follows as a reasonable conclusion of your beliefs.
'Bit more difficult though, To make an objective moral claim, In debate.
Debate Round No. 3


Well I had written out an entire response last night, But coming to check back in the morning I guess I forgot to post it before turning off my computer. Woops.

(A 3 Response)
Circumcision does have it's medical benefits as I've agreed with you. However our disagreement now is going to be on whether because a medical procedure has benefits, If those benefits entail it being morally positive for the parent to make that decision for the infant. I argue on the philosophical level that it is still not moral. It's probably best I lay out my position completely so you can see my thought process.

So here's what I know medically about circumcision and the foreskin. The foreskin acts as a bacterial breeding ground. That's why uncircumcised have higher risks towards STI's, UTI's, And penile cancer. And that's what circumcision medically helps to fight against by removing the ability for bacteria to propagate under the foreskin. I have only seen studies that compared circumcised-uncircumcised men when studying infection risk. But I haven't seen it clarified how routinely either groups of men washed their penis or foreskin in the AAP Technical Report for example. And because of that lack of clarification that I think the benefits acquired through circumcision, Could instead be acquired through routine washing of the penis. Soap strips oils and bacteria from the skin. With proper washing facilities and a rag, The foreskin can be thoroughly cleaned and dried. So it's my conclusion from that logic, That circumcision is medically unnecessary.

So when we talk of the benefits of circumcision, I acknowledge there are some but at the same time reject them as a reason to circumcise because if we are concerned about benefits, There are benefits to having an intact foreskin. The foreskin acts as a protective barrier against materials including the inside of your pants and dirt. The foreskin also serves a "back and forth" function when masturbating or having sex. From that we ought to value the foreskin as more than just "skin. " Considering though that I think the procedure is already medically unnecessary, I am only reinforced in my position without concerning the philosophical side of it.

But I should touch on that side of it to make my side clearer. I think circumcision is a violation of the infant because that infant will have it's own preferences when he grows older on what he wants to do with his foreskin and that if we both value that freedom, We ought not encourage that decision to be made by the parents. One of my fundamental values is freedom for the individual to make decisions on their bodily integrity. Though I do forgo this in cases where the medical benefits are overwhelmingly positive, Such as in vaccines as we discussed. The violation of the infant in circumcision, While not the same as molestation, I advocate to be thought of on similar levels and banned policy-wise. We give parents full control of their children as I think we should, But infants still have rights to bodily integrity (In America atleast). Such as in the case of rape or molestation or other physical abuses. I argue that circumcision ought be added to that list.

(B 3 Response)
There is no biological hardline determiner of when an individual should be able to make the decision to circumcise. For practical legal reasons, I'd put the age of consent at 18. Though I could be moved on that as I'm more concerned about another aspect. That aspect being the life experience that the male has had. If that male whether 15 or 25, If he feels he's experienced enough of life and the sexual side of it, Then I think he should legally be allowed to consent to the procedure. Now on a personal level in a 1:1 conversation, If I knew a friend was considering the operation. I'd probably tell them to wait and experience their foreskin as it is and come to an informed opinion on the matter.

I did come to the conclusion that the foreskin plays a part in sexual activity through my own experience. I may be unique, But if the literature disagrees with my assertion then I concede on that function.

If the body were best to adapt to the procedure at birth I'd agree. Though you'd still have to convince me why that decision should be allowed to be made by the parents.

(C 3 Response)
My general interpretation of your responses here is that I either can't or will have a hard time making an objective moral statement.

I suppose this requires a new debate entirely, But I don't think objective morality exists and I was neither trying to make an objective moral statement. I think this is clear by my previous response concerning the difficulty in why persons of a different culture should value my fundamentals over theirs. Because as you have pointed out, We are born into our cultures which are imprinted onto us. The more fundamental question there being "Why should someone else with different values, Adopt my values instead? " In a reality with no objective morals that question is hard to answer and is not something I came to this debate to argue. Which is why I think the circumcision conversation is best had with people who also value bodily integrity and freedom of the individual.

I suppose I don't have more to elaborate on there. Since this is the last round I'll say my final piece.

I think this debate has been productive. Perhaps I should've made this debate 5 rounds instead of 4. There are fundamental questions that I think we came to that require a new debate entirely. I was not expecting the debate to go in this direction though and that is something I'm satisfied with. Typically this conversation will go circumcision is acceptable because "the penis looks better" or that its "cleaner. " That conversation normally being had with people with my same values which I do think I came more prepared to argue against. I'm still confident on my position but you have left me with a few ideas to chew on. I regret not starting the debate from a more fundamental position, Perhaps if I did then we could've explored the philosophical side of how should medical benefits be balanced against ethics. Also the question of if something is overwhelmingly beneficial is it moral to force that person to adopt those benefits, Like in vaccines for example. I have conceded on the sexual function and the idea of the practice being more acceptable in infection ridden countries. I still have more to learn and I think I will spend some more time researching the topic. All in all though I think I have been consistent with my principles and I'm satisfied with the debate.

Thanks for your time :)


(A 4)
Regarding health benefit and quality of recreation.

I agree the studies don't show circumcision as an absolutely 'vital medical practice in first world countries.
'Even in third world countries, It's not 'certain as a medical benefit, And even if it is or were, May only be an immoral action preformed to prevent a worse outcome.

Studies regarding the quality of life, Experiences regarding circumcision, Additionally show some conflicting conclusions, But the one's I Googled concluded little to no change in quality of experience after.
There may be studies or experiences by people that I missed, But for the moment I stand by my references.

(C 4)
My Moral Nihilism and Relativism, Is a 'bit out of left field, Just creeps into my mind now and then when considering what are the 'right moral actions in life, Now and then.

Well, I 'am from America, And highly value bodily integrity and freedom of the individual, Myself.
Many 'laws in America 'do exist, Granting protection to minors,
They cannot murder their children.
Cannot give them meth.
Cannot break their bones.
Cannot chain them up in the basement until they are 18.
Cannot tell them they should jump off a cliff because they have superpowers.
Tattoo laws for minors in America vary from cannot get even with parental consent, To can get with parental consent
A child is not allowed to watch a rated "R" film (unless they have their parent's permission and their parent is present).

So on and so forth, It's a bit a question of 'degrees though,
And of groups freedom to live life as they see moral.
Degrees though, Of how different a group can live.

Again though, If an individual 'highly values every bodily integrity and freedom of the individual.
It seems a logical conclusion to me, They may choose 'not circumcise their child, Assuming they life in a society where the health benefits are not significant, Or that they do not hold it as a tenant of their culture or faith.
Christians might be convinced by quoting the Bible,
One Corinthians, Seven Eighteen to Nineteen
"(Eighteen) Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. (Nineteen) Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God"s commands is what counts. "
Galatians, Five Six
"(Six)For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. "

(D 4)
I've enjoyed the debate, More than I expected to.
I 'do think the debate being on a more fundamental position would aid it in concluding 'what a specific individual ought do or act.
Easier to make such conclusions from 'what one is, Human can be a bit of a broad brush.
Though people by their cultures and earlier presuppositions 'do make conclusions on 'what a human is or ought do, Act.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Leaning 1 month ago
Mind you, My round 3 answer to the question

"Should we value parents' culture and the decisions they make from such, Or the bodily integrity of the baby and it's potential preferences to keep it's "piece of skin"? "

Was a 'broad statement, On how cultures act towards cultures with values 'divergent enough from their own.
Not 'specifically circumcision.
My own view of circumcision, Is that I don't much pay attention to it.
Posted by jeiky 1 month ago
I think so that Circumcision is a process necessary to avoid illnesses in the future because reduces the risk to suffer urinary tract infections, Sexually transmitted diseases, And penile cancer too. For those reasons is important to be conscious of the importance to do this process with our boys. However, You should look for professional doctors who know the correct process.
Posted by Leaning 1 month ago
Just a note, I 'realize my source stated,

"these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. "
"Evidence regarding the relationship of circumcision to STD sexually transmitted diseases in general is complex and conflicting. "

That was intentional, As I'm not trying to 'downplay what scientific sources say 'against circumcision.
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