German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by SilverWingedSeraph » 2012-06-30 07:18am

hongi wrote:Um, I think you should read Ralin's post again.
Why? His point is that even if circumcision was safe and harmless, it would still be physically altering their body without their consent, no different from getting a cross tattooed on their chest. Baptism does not alter the physical integrity of anyone's body.
Okay, from the Wikipedia article that you cited, I want to add in a line that you left out:
Despite the width and diversity of their philosophical views, secular ethicists generally share one or more principles:

Human beings, through their ability to empathize, are capable of determining ethical grounds.
Human beings, through logic and reason, are capable of deriving normative principles of behavior.
This may lead to a behavior preferable to that propagated or condoned based on religious texts. Alternatively, this may lead to the advocacy of a system of moral principles that a broad group of people, both religious and non-religious, can agree upon.
Human beings have the moral responsibility to ensure that societies and individuals act based on these ethical principles.
Societies should, if at all possible, advance from a less ethical and just form to a more ethical and just form.
I don't believe that the above form of morality that some secular people have adopted trumps non-secular morality. Nor is my own form of secular morality very similar to all of the points of the above. There are some similarities, but there's a whole lot that I disagree with. For example, the second to last point, I disagree with, especially if it means the ethical principles that I believe. I have no wish to impose my ethical principles on other people, I think it'd be disastrous actually. And I don't accept the second point as it is currently stated. They mention logic and reason but don't mention irrationality. My morality is drawn from irrational sources as well.
Then your morality is worthless. If it is not consistent (and you have shown it isn't), if it's not reason-based, then it is indeed no better or worse than religious forms of morality. Reason-based ethics are superior, by virtue of being... based on fucking reason, you dumbshit. In hongi-land, any and all forms of morality are a-okay, and a culture that allows slavery, rape and child abuse is no better or worse than any other culture, because shucks, it's not like there are objective metrics for what is harmful and what isn't!

You've proven yourself to no longer be worth addressing. Fucking tool.
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by hongi » 2012-06-30 07:21am

SilverWingedSeraph wrote:Then your morality is worthless. If it is not consistent (and you have shown it isn't), if it's not reason-based, then it is indeed no better or worse than religious forms of morality. Reason-based ethics are superior, by virtue of being... based on fucking reason, you dumbshit. In hongi-land, any and all forms of morality are a-okay, and a culture that allows slavery, rape and child abuse is no better or worse than any other culture, because shucks, it's not like there are objective metrics for what is harmful and what isn't!

You've proven yourself to no longer be worth addressing. Fucking tool.
Seriously there's no need for the discussion to get emotion-filled. I'm not going to call you a fucking tool, even if I seriously disagree with your points. And you don't need to do that either.

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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Akhlut » 2012-06-30 07:23am

hongi wrote:You know in a lot of Polynesian cultures, circumcision is an integral part of the rite of passage of becoming a man. What do you think will happen if someone came in there and forcibly prevented boys from becoming men? But hey what the hell, these ignorant darkies should abandon their culture to suit you.
How old are they when they want to undertake such cultural practices? Eight-days old? A month old? A year old? During puberty? Can they still live comfortable lives without it due to the protections of law that come with a modern government that protects human rights?

If, in fact, it is an advanced government that allows for personal advancement if a man opts out of ancient cultural rites, while only those who are ~14 (preferably older, but potentially slightly younger) are allowed to do the rite and only if they want to, well, I guess as distasteful as the ritual might be, it should be allowed.
Zaune wrote:May I remind you all that circumcision does not normally inhibit sexual function or otherwise impact one's quality of life, and that the risk of complications is fairly low when the procedure is carried out correctly?

Let's try and keep a sense of proportion about this.
Didn't you see my link where women who receive even full Pharonic FGM can feel sexual pleasure? It follows from your premise then, that if they can receive such mutilation at the hands of a doctor in aseptic conditions rather than some village elder woman with a dirty piece of glass, it would be a-okay.
CarsonPalmer wrote:You probably saw Mennonites, not Amish. They dress similarly and live with little technology but still drive. The Amish do use some advanced technology but don't typically drive.
Depends on the particular sect of Amish; it's a decentralized branch of Anabaptists and as there is no Amish Council of Cardinals to determine their canon law, some sects develop different ideas on what is and is not admissible for the group to engage in, as it develops, roughly, by a council of elders.
And if you want to avoid being called an anti-Semite, you can very easily avoid using their sort of language. It is extremely easy to condemn circumcision without complaining about how crafty the damn dirty Jews are.
Oh, trust me, I think the Americans who engage in the practice are just as bad, if not worse, than the Jews who circumcise, because it is done by most Americans solely on the basis of "I don't him made fun of in the locker room!" or "I want him to look like his daddy!" or for no reason at all, as they simply say yes for no damn reason when the hospital asks them if they want the kid circumcised. Those idiots who have their kid tortured via genital mutilation because they didn't opt to do the research and agree for reasons of petty vanity are worse than the barbarians who do it to appease their god of bloodshed and mutilation. Just because I think some people engage in abominable practices doesn't mean I carry some sort of animus that demands the extermination of a people, merely that they stop cutting off flesh from infant children. If the Jews gave up circumcision wholesale tomorrow, a lot of this anger would go away. That there is a relatively significant number that wants to rules-lawyer for convenience against their self-imposed religious laws is largely irrelevant to me, except for the fact that they could adapt that to stop cutting off the flesh from children who can't consent to undergoing cosmetic surgery without anesthesia because YHWH's an asshole. Seriously, that there is a rabbi out there who is trying to figure out how you can dial-out on a phone on the sabbath doesn't really bother me, and apparently people can't connect the dots between "people engage in barbarian religious practices without thinking about it" and "these same people can try to find a way around divinely-imposed laws all the time without thinking there is an ethical issue with it".

Because, apparently, when a discussion involving the Jews comes up, no one can speak rationally about it.
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by SilverWingedSeraph » 2012-06-30 07:23am

hongi wrote:Seriously there's no need for the discussion to get emotion-filled. I'm not going to call you a fucking tool, even if I seriously disagree with your points. And you don't need to do that either.
Nope, I don't need to, but I can and will because your idea of morality disgusts me. Your lining of reasoning could just as easily be used to defend child rapists. It would not require any alteration. Fuck off.
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Akhlut » 2012-06-30 07:28am

hongi wrote:There are over 1 billion Muslims. Most of the male circumcision happening today happens to Muslims. But most in this thread don't seem to be talking about them. So let me ask people. If parents want to circumcise their children at the age of 13, is that okay with you?
Because I missed this earlier: if the child knows he is allowed to say no and can speak, without his parents being present, without being under coercion, that he, in fact, wishes to have such an act done to himself and that he is fully cognizant that it is not reversible and that it is permanent.
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by hongi » 2012-06-30 07:39am

SilverWingedSeraph wrote:
hongi wrote:Um, I think you should read Ralin's post again.
Why? His point is that even if circumcision was safe and harmless, it would still be physically altering their body without their consent, no different from getting a cross tattooed on their chest. Baptism does not alter the physical integrity of anyone's body.
Oh I see. My mistake. I thought that Ralin's point was that marking a child with a sign of their religion (a tattoo of a cross) is wrong because it was done without their consent. I didn't realise that it was the physicality/permanency of the sign that he didn't like. In that case my baptism example was a bad one.
SilverWingedSeraph wrote:Then your morality is worthless. If it is not consistent (and you have shown it isn't), if it's not reason-based, then it is indeed no better or worse than religious forms of morality. Reason-based ethics are superior, by virtue of being... based on fucking reason, you dumbshit.
I feel that you're putting too much emphasis on reason. Irrationality in my opinion isn't such a bad thing. I have a strong belief that the feelings I have are impulses that I don't really think about, let alone control via my reasoning faculties. And I don't reject that part of me. Nor do I reject my intuition or my gut feeling, even when sometimes they go against my reason. I don't mind if they are worthless to you, it'd be strange to believe that something that is so personal to me would be relevant to someone who is a different person with their own life history and ways of thinking.
SilverWingedSeraph wrote:In hongi-land, any and all forms of morality are a-okay, and a culture that allows slavery, rape and child abuse is no better or worse than any other culture, because shucks, it's not like there are objective metrics for what is harmful and what isn't!
Yes I do believe that actually. I don't believe in objective morality. This is a fairly common belief among atheists you know, so I don't know why you're so shocked.
Last edited by hongi on 2012-06-30 07:43am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Ultonius » 2012-06-30 07:41am

I don't really think that you can compare a ban on circumcision with a ban on human sacrifice. Looking at the Aztecs specifically, the Spanish banned human sacrifice within the former Aztec Empire as soon as they had conquered it. Looking at Germany, Jews have lived there since the fourth century, and the country has been a mostly unified modern nation-state since 1871. Circumcision has, to my knowledge, been legal from that time until now (even during the Third Reich), a period of 141 years. If circumcision is comparable to human sacrifice, why was it not banned far earlier in the German state's history? Banning it now is like the Spanish Empire allowing human sacrifice to continue from the conquest of the Aztecs in 1521, then suddenly deciding to ban it in 1662.

Regarding the Amish, while customs do differ between groups due to their decentralized form of church government, the requirement for baptized members to avoid ownership or operation of cars, and to use horse-drawn vehicles instead, is probably universal for all groups that call themselves Amish. Even the most progressive of the New Order Amish groups, who use electricity within their homes, and use tractors for farming, will still usually use a horse and buggy on the road. The modernist Amish groups that originally split from the Old Order Amish in the 1860s all eventually joined existing Mennonite denominations and gave up the name Amish, and the car-driving groups such as the Beachy Amish who left in subsequent splits now tend to call themselves Amish Mennonites.

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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by SilverWingedSeraph » 2012-06-30 07:49am

Yes I do believe that actually. I don't believe in objective morality. This is a fairly common belief among atheists you know, so I don't know why you're so shocked.
I don't believe in objective morality either, in the Christian context of "the universe says X is good and Y is bad". Subjective morality can still be objectively measured. We know what the purpose of morality is: to protect all members of society and allow for their continued growth and happiness. We can use objective means, reason and logic, as well as empathy, to determine that some states are more ideal than others. You don't seem to care about that, because you really do believe a culture of rape, slavery and torture is no better or worse than one that protects its citizens, ensuring their happiness and freedoms while preventing them from harming others.

In other words, in hongi-land, rape is cool, child molestation is fine, and laws (TRYING TO FORCE MORALITY ONTO PEOPLE, GASP) are terrible.

And you really don't understand how this makes you a disgusting human being?
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by hongi » 2012-06-30 08:03am

Akhlut wrote:
hongi wrote:There are over 1 billion Muslims. Most of the male circumcision happening today happens to Muslims. But most in this thread don't seem to be talking about them. So let me ask people. If parents want to circumcise their children at the age of 13, is that okay with you?
Because I missed this earlier: if the child knows he is allowed to say no and can speak, without his parents being present, without being under coercion, that he, in fact, wishes to have such an act done to himself and that he is fully cognizant that it is not reversible and that it is permanent.
That sounds good.

But what counts as being under coercion? If he grows up in a community where everyone does it and expects him to do it, and he may forever be, well not shamed but at least looked at oddly in that community, especially if he grows up in a small village in a Middle Eastern country or close-knit immigrant community where everyone knows everyone, that sounds like extreme pressure to me. You can't really minimise that. And I don't see how you could criminalise that either. What do you think?

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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Akhlut » 2012-06-30 08:07am

Broomstick wrote:
Akhlut wrote:
Broomstick wrote:You are so full of shit - you really think that Pharonic circumcision, which removes the clitoris, labia, and sews up the opening of the vagina and urethra to something the size of soda straw is the exact same thing as foreskin removal? Get real. Sure, male castratos have reported orgasm capability as well, but you'd be nuts to argue that castration doesn't impact sex.
If you're willing to outlaw one, why not completely outlaw the other?
While they are both mutilation, one is a fuckton more damaging than the other, or don't you understand the world is analog, not binary? You're arguing that two different levels of damage are exactly the same when to anyone with a brain they clearly are not. It's the difference between burns-and-skin-graft on a foot and having the foot cut entirely off. Neither is desirable but most people view complete amputation as worse than "mere" severe damage that still leaves the body part functional even if not perfect.
Did you not read that study I linked to earlier? Even with Pharonic FGM, women can still have orgasms, undergo menses, urinate, and give birth to children. Sounds like their vaginas have all the normal functions despite the massive destruction of tissue and lack of consent from the child who has the procedure performed on them.
So will you impose equal penalties for any parent piercing the ears of an infant or a child who otherwise is not competent to give consent?
I don't see why not. Probably a lesser penalty, due to the relatively insensate nature of ear cartilage, but a penalty nonetheless.
Why lesser, when you view all damage as equally intolerable and barbaric?
Way to cut out the explanatory part there that explains the differences. And, as I've said repeatedly, FGM results in roughly the same loss of function as MGM.
Also, you moron, traditional piercing through the ear lobe, what the vast majority of people mean by the term, doesn't go through cartilage. It does cause pain, children cry when it's done to them. Also, if you DO do a piercing through cartilage is usually hurts worse. Thanks for displaying your ignorance.
"Relatively insensate" does not mean "does not feel any sensation whatsoever".

And you did notice where I said that I think those who pierce the ears of children SHOULD BE PENALIZED?
Bronze Age, actually.
Fine, excellent. Then they can live as Bronze Age barbarians outside of civilized nations.
So, because some cheat they all cheat, right? Just ignore the fact that many Jews who could easily afford such equipment do regard it as cheating and view the ones who do use it as hypocrites and worse, because, you know, those Jews are all alike, not the like rest of us who are individuals, right?
If there is a willingness to find work-arounds to the laws of YHWH (and there have been ever since the destruction of the Temple, after all, so EVERY extant sect of Judaism is already bending the laws of YHWH as the Sadducee varieties of Judaism have been extinct for ~2000 years now), then they can certainly find a workaround to the barbarity of MGM.
However, one practice found over and over in Judaism is infant circumcision.
Except among those who practice Bri without Malah.
I was illustrating the possibility of devout Jews not engaging in barbaric practices.
If they aren't circumcizing then 97% of Jews don't regard them as devout no matter what else they do. Jews get to decide these things, not you.
You do understand the word "possibility" and what it means, correct?
I certainly hope they're stopped from harming innocent children. I imagine if this were any group other than the Jews engaging in behavior like this, that group would be rightfully shouted down as being barbaric and possibly evil.
You mean... like vast swathes of American Christians who are still circumcising their baby boys? South Korea? Australia? Well, OK, Australia is "only" about 2/3 of men and boys being circumcised and admittedly there is some dispute about the exact number.
Oh, yes, I would be more than happy if there was an ability in those nations to stop people from engaging in widespread MGM. Circumcision for vanity reasons against those who are unable to consent is absolutely disgusting and barbaric and should be outlawed in any reasonable nation.

Unfortunately, the US has not shown itself to be a very reasonable nation at any point in its long, sordid history.
I've leaving out the many African nations as it is all too easy to dismiss them as barbaric and the predominantly Muslim nations like Indonesia because, after all, Muslims are so easily confused with evil by the mentally deficient.
It's not anything inherent to them as human beings, though. There is nothing special to Africans that makes Africa a bad place, it's the long years of exploitation by Europe that has robbed them of functional native governments and the resulting chaos when colonial powers left en masse without trying to set up functional governments and the decades of US/Soviet power plays in the region in order to install favored dictators in the region. That some groups, be they Muslim, Christian, or animist might engage in circumcision (both male and female) doesn't make the people in them inherently evil or savage, merely that their cultures have practices in them that are evil and barbaric. Just like the USA and its cultural usage of circumcision due to tradition and, prior to tradition, as an anti-masturbatory aid. That doesn't make people in the USA inherently evil or barbaric, just that there is a large subset that does engage in evil and barbaric activities and often do so unthinkingly because it is simply how things are done.
It's a funny thing about circumcision - it's so easily hidden by ordinary trousers. Did you really think this practice was limited only to Jews and a slice of Muslims? Part of the problem with eliminating it is that it is widely practiced around the world, even if the rates are very low in Europe among Christians and secular people, and so many people just don't see this as a big deal.
Nope, I know that is it entirely too common among the USA due to the influence of one Mr. Kellog who hated masturbation as one of the gravest evils mankind could indulge in and he thought circumcision would be the ultimate means to stop masturbation, and through his influence it became universal among Christians in the USA because they hated masturbation too. Once that rhetoric became outdated, a million bullshit reasons arose out of cultural inertia; it is done in the USA simply because it has been going on like that for over a century now. There is no greater religious or cultural reason; no associated rites of manhood, no supplications to some bloodthirsty deity; it is done simply because it is always done that way, much like the proverbial tale of a woman who cuts off the ends of the pot roast because she saw her mother do it like that and that woman did it because the grandmother did that without realizing that she did it like that because she needed to fit it in a small pan. So, the USA has people do it because it was always done like that because, originally, some asshole wanted to stop kids from masturbating.
It's rather like the reaction I get when I say ear piercing in infants is child abuse – the practice is so widespread and accepted people just don't get it. Mothers who get upset at the pain caused by their kid getting a shot at the doctor think nothing of drilling holes in their kid's ears for purely ornamental purposes. They just don't get it. We see the same thing about circumcision on this very forum from time to time, when some young man, typically cut himself, will post that he doesn't get the furor, he was circumcised as an infant and he's OK so what's the problem here? When the victims themselves don't see it as a problem it means you have a VERY difficult job eradicating the practice.
Especially when the reasons are so fucking stupid: "we don't want him made fun of in the locker room!" "We want him to look like daddy!" Etc.
Question: how do you know these people are actually Amish? Did you ask them? Or were they Mennonites, who share many things with the Amish but do allow driving? Or is this you once again displaying ignorance of others?
http://www.welcome-to-lancaster-county. ... style.html

Say what?
Therefore, the use of the automobile was gradually seen as helpful to the Amish lifestyle in uniting larger settlements as well as uniting settlements from neighboring counties.
So, what was that about displaying ignorance of others? Remember, there is no Amish Pope, as they're a bunch of decentralized Anabaptists and different communities will have slightly different rules, and some allow the usage of automobiles, even by their own members, while others will discourage it completely.
And this is a problem because...?
I didn't say it was. You're the one who brought up the Amish and said that they couldn't drive; I was correcting your incorrect assumption because you're nowhere near as knowledgeable as you claim to be. Certain Amish sects DO use cars (such as the Amish who lived near me).

But because 3% of Jews don't circumcise their male offspring you somehow think this is indicative of the sentiments of most Jews. It's not.
I was showing how they could operate should they so choose to live in the 21st century and not the Bronze Age. Nothing more, nothing less.
What prompted me to do that was NOT a personal liking of the practice – I despise it – but because of all the fucking ignorance about another culture being displayed here. Which, in your case, apparently is not limited to the Jews but also extends to the Amish. Wouldn't surprise me if the trend continues in regards to other groups as well.
I think you'll find that your ignorance about the Amish is greater than mine. Depending on the community, the usage of modern equipment is allowed and they aren't Mennonites, they are Amish, as that's mostly a difference in how a group labels itself rather than any differences in views on technology (there are groups of Mennonites that are more 'Luddite' in character than certain groups of Amish and vice versa (source)).
Since there is not Biblical prohibition on anesthesia and no requirement that the child feel pain during the procedure, in fact the use of anesthesia in infant circumcision is now routine even when performed by a mohel (or, as my mother used to call them, “a creepy old men in the synagogue” which should make it clear what her views were) in a religious setting. I don't doubt there are some assholes who neglect to use it, but that's also true in secular hospitals with trained doctors for some asinine reason. Again, Akhlut is showing he has, at best, only a superficial and frequently wrong knowledge of what the hell he's talking about.
Anesthesia during a bris varies greatly according to the whims of a mohel or the parents, and, unfortunately, there aren't really any statistics out there to say whether or not it is routinely practiced with anesthesia, so you can't really say that almost all, or even a majority or plurality, are practiced with anesthesia. We simply lack the numbers to say whether or not it is, however, there are a number of them who do practice it without anesthesia.

So, what was that about ignorance again?
What the fuck do you think they do, rip it off with their teeth? Holy fuck you might at least try something as simple as Wikipedia or Google. Here's another fact: they also sterilize the fucking instruments they use, which are modern tools just like a doctor would use. This doesn't make it OK, of course, but it's not like they're using rusty razor blades or broken beer bottles or something.
Just because they use modern surgical equipment doesn't make it not-barbaric. Same goes for gentile doctors performing it for non-religious reasons.
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by hongi » 2012-06-30 08:42am

Akhlut wrote: If, in fact, it is an advanced government that allows for personal advancement if a man opts out of ancient cultural rites, while only those who are ~14 (preferably older, but potentially slightly younger) are allowed to do the rite and only if they want to, well, I guess as distasteful as the ritual might be, it should be allowed.
I'm no anthropologist and possibly there is a society out there that meets all the criteria you ask for, but I don't know of any.

But...I'm not sure why there has to be such a society.

I know I'm digressing a bit but I have to get something off my chest. Circumcision used to be a widespread practice in certain parts of Australia, and still is for some Aboriginal peoples. Like the Jewish brit milah, it takes the form of a ritual. There's a great example of a circumcision ceremony here. Circumcision like you get in the hospital is so clean and sterile and lacking in dramatics. It's an entirely secular process. But the brit milah is religious, through and through. It's where the family and friends come together and name the boy, welcome him into the Jewish people, initiate him in the eternal covenant that Abraham and God signed. In the Aboriginal culture that was in the video, it's not just a cutting of flesh. The men who cut the penis are drawn from different foreign lands, and they become the boy's brothers-in-law (in many Aboriginal societies, they have complex social and family roles where you can get adopted as a family member) and they'll get wives for him when he grows older. The elders, the boys, the community sing dreaming songs at the ceremony. It's a coming together of family and of a step towards adult responsibility. It's been this way for generations and is a critical part of a boy's life.

If the child doesn't do this, although I've never heard of a child never doing it, the consequences on the social order and his family and himself will presumably be serious. But so what if it is? Circumcision just may be about the most important Jewish ritual in Judaism. A Jewish man, religiously speaking, can't do any of the things he's supposed to do as a religious Jew if he isn't circumcised. It automatically cuts him out of the religion, unless of course he hides it and pretends to be circumcised. When men convert into Judaism, they're supposed to get circumcised. If they don't get circumcised, they can't convert. People don't go around and check, but it's an automatically restrictive thing. Should we demand that Judaism changes and that it accept that an uncircumcised man can be a Jewish man? I see why people see it as hard-hearted, because it is hard-hearted. You are restricted and excluded if you aren't circumcised. I don't think we should make it egalitarian. I think we should leave it alone.

Imagine if we took it away. Imagine if we destroyed that part of their culture that we think is just horrific. Well I don't have to imagine it, because we did it to our native peoples. And the results have been far more horrific than circumcision.

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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Broomstick » 2012-06-30 08:47am

Akhlut wrote:
Broomstick wrote:
Akhlut wrote:If you're willing to outlaw one, why not completely outlaw the other?
While they are both mutilation, one is a fuckton more damaging than the other, or don't you understand the world is analog, not binary? You're arguing that two different levels of damage are exactly the same when to anyone with a brain they clearly are not. It's the difference between burns-and-skin-graft on a foot and having the foot cut entirely off. Neither is desirable but most people view complete amputation as worse than "mere" severe damage that still leaves the body part functional even if not perfect.
Did you not read that study I linked to earlier? Even with Pharonic FGM, women can still have orgasms, undergo menses, urinate, and give birth to children. Sounds like their vaginas have all the normal functions despite the massive destruction of tissue and lack of consent from the child who has the procedure performed on them.
Yeah, they can give birth after they are cut open again. Or did that escape you?

Upon marriage a girl with a Pharonic circumcision has to be cut open sufficiently to accommodate her husband's penis. Between the initial operation and that sufficient scar tissue forms that in order to give birth she has to be cut open further, the resewed after, and this repeats as often as she gives birth.

And yes, they can piss, but the flow is impeded. They can menstruate, but complications are frequent from the body being unable to get rid of all of the flow. Of course, in traditional societies such women are often married young enough they might be cut open for the penis before they even begin to menstruate, avoiding that particular problem, but if they delay marriage (for whatever reason) problems with menstruation and infections are common.

No, their vaginas do not have normal functions due to the scar tissue around the opening. It can no longer expand to accommodate the passage of a child without either further surgical intervention or increasing pressure bursting the scars, which can lead to all sorts of further problems. It can also fuck up the kid due to delay in getting out in the world. One of the more effective arguments against extreme FGM that has actually had an impact is the effect on reproduction and the babies being birthed. A lot of these societies value fertility and morality above the sexual pleasure of the women, so arguing within the context of their culture that FGM has a negative impact on those things actually is more effective than simply yelling "barbarian!"
Way to cut out the explanatory part there that explains the differences. And, as I've said repeatedly, FGM results in roughly the same loss of function as MGM.
When you compare female castration to male hood removal that's a bullshit argument.
Also, you moron, traditional piercing through the ear lobe, what the vast majority of people mean by the term, doesn't go through cartilage. It does cause pain, children cry when it's done to them. Also, if you DO do a piercing through cartilage is usually hurts worse. Thanks for displaying your ignorance.
"Relatively insensate" does not mean "does not feel any sensation whatsoever".
Don't try to move the goalposts.
So, because some cheat they all cheat, right? Just ignore the fact that many Jews who could easily afford such equipment do regard it as cheating and view the ones who do use it as hypocrites and worse, because, you know, those Jews are all alike, not the like rest of us who are individuals, right?
If there is a willingness to find work-arounds to the laws of YHWH (and there have been ever since the destruction of the Temple, after all, so EVERY extant sect of Judaism is already bending the laws of YHWH as the Sadducee varieties of Judaism have been extinct for ~2000 years now), then they can certainly find a workaround to the barbarity of MGM.
So, because some people are willing to look the other way on a minor crime like possession of a marijuana cigarette would should legalize rape? Because that's the sort of thing you're arguing.

I guess it's beyond your grasp that some Jewish laws are valued above others. No, sorry, the ONLY reason Jews forego circumcision is due to a direct threat to the health/life of the child. No, they can't find a work around to infant circumcision. You repeatedly stating they can does not make it so.
However, one practice found over and over in Judaism is infant circumcision.
Except among those who practice Bri without Malah.
Yeah, a whole fucking three percent of world Jews. If they were Christians those folks would be called heretics and if they were Catholic they'd be excommunicated, if they were Muslims they'd be called apostate.
I was illustrating the possibility of devout Jews not engaging in barbaric practices.
If they aren't circumcizing then 97% of Jews don't regard them as devout no matter what else they do. Jews get to decide these things, not you.
You do understand the word "possibility" and what it means, correct?
You don't understand reality. Or rather, you don't understand people.
I certainly hope they're stopped from harming innocent children. I imagine if this were any group other than the Jews engaging in behavior like this, that group would be rightfully shouted down as being barbaric and possibly evil.
You mean... like vast swathes of American Christians who are still circumcising their baby boys? South Korea? Australia? Well, OK, Australia is "only" about 2/3 of men and boys being circumcised and admittedly there is some dispute about the exact number.
Oh, yes, I would be more than happy if there was an ability in those nations to stop people from engaging in widespread MGM. Circumcision for vanity reasons against those who are unable to consent is absolutely disgusting and barbaric and should be outlawed in any reasonable nation.

Unfortunately, the US has not shown itself to be a very reasonable nation at any point in its long, sordid history.
So... you're singling out the US, but ignoring South Korea which, these days, actually has a higher rate of male circumcision. Not biased at all, are you?
That doesn't make people in the USA inherently evil or barbaric, just that there is a large subset that does engage in evil and barbaric activities and often do so unthinkingly because it is simply how things are done.
Or, because until around 1980, it was simply done without any consent sought or asked. You'd think with the rate having falled from near 100% to nearly half that in a single generation even without the influence of laws that might indicate that US is getting on board with the idea of NOT lopping off penis bits. But, you know, Akhlut judges based on what 3% of a group is doing to everyone in the US is still evil and barbaric.
Question: how do you know these people are actually Amish? Did you ask them? Or were they Mennonites, who share many things with the Amish but do allow driving? Or is this you once again displaying ignorance of others?
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Say what?
Your site discusses the use of English drivers (that is, non-Amish) to transport Amish. That does not mention Amish drivers. It's also well known around here (which also has a significant Amish community) that you get 16 and 17 year old Amish kids showing up at the DMV to get a driver's license, but if those kids are formally baptized into the Amish church they have to give those up. Of course, they frequently look like adult Amish, but hey, let's ignore nuances and just fucking interpret shit as we like.

You claimed you saw Amish people driving automobiles, said they were cheaters, then admitted you didn't actually talk to them so you don't know they were actually Amish, or using an English driver they had hired, or something else.

I suppose you'll use the argument that Amish consent to motorized transport for emergency reasons means they're hypocrites for not allowing helicopter rides for fun, right?
Therefore, the use of the automobile was gradually seen as helpful to the Amish lifestyle in uniting larger settlements as well as uniting settlements from neighboring counties.
So, what was that about displaying ignorance of others? Remember, there is no Amish Pope, as they're a bunch of decentralized Anabaptists and different communities will have slightly different rules, and some allow the usage of automobiles, even by their own members, while others will discourage it completely.
Yeah, yeah - the Amish use trains and buses, too, just like real people.

YOU are interpreting the rule as "no getting in an automobile" when the actual rule is "no owning or driving a car." Again, you're ignorant of others and relying on your own erroneous assumptions. When the error is pointed out you then cherry-pick a website which doesn't even support your interpretation of someone else's rule!
I didn't say it was. You're the one who brought up the Amish and said that they couldn't drive; I was correcting your incorrect assumption because you're nowhere near as knowledgeable as you claim to be. Certain Amish sects DO use cars (such as the Amish who lived near me).
Apparently, you can't parse the difference between "drive a car" and "hire a taxi". Come back when you figure that out, m'kay?
But because 3% of Jews don't circumcise their male offspring you somehow think this is indicative of the sentiments of most Jews. It's not.
I was showing how they could operate should they so choose to live in the 21st century and not the Bronze Age. Nothing more, nothing less.
No, you were arguing that because 3% of a group compromised on a basic cultural principal there's no possible reason the other 97% couldn't go along with it.
Since there is not Biblical prohibition on anesthesia and no requirement that the child feel pain during the procedure, in fact the use of anesthesia in infant circumcision is now routine even when performed by a mohel (or, as my mother used to call them, “a creepy old men in the synagogue” which should make it clear what her views were) in a religious setting. I don't doubt there are some assholes who neglect to use it, but that's also true in secular hospitals with trained doctors for some asinine reason. Again, Akhlut is showing he has, at best, only a superficial and frequently wrong knowledge of what the hell he's talking about.
Anesthesia during a bris varies greatly according to the whims of a mohel or the parents, and, unfortunately, there aren't really any statistics out there to say whether or not it is routinely practiced with anesthesia, so you can't really say that almost all, or even a majority or plurality, are practiced with anesthesia. We simply lack the numbers to say whether or not it is, however, there are a number of them who do practice it without anesthesia.
And you apparently blasted past the part with anesthesia isn't consistently used even in hospitals. Which shouldn't be surprising given your selective reading abilities displayed so far. You're complaining that the creepy old men in the synagogue aren't doing something that a number of doctors still fail to do.
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Ultonius » 2012-06-30 09:13am

Broomstick beat me to it about what the site you quoted actually says about the Amish and cars, but I'll quote the relevant paragraph for anyone who doesn't want to visit the site.

Prohibition Against Car Ownership

Although the Amish are allowed to use automobiles for social and business functions, the church rules prohibit members from owning as well as driving a car.

Amish businessmen are also not allowed to provide loans to non-Amish employees for the purpose of buying a vehicle.

Ownership of an automobile is considered a taboo. It is important to the community to maintain the horse and buggy as a symbol of Amish identity.

Overall, the cultural compromise of prohibiting members from owning and driving cars but permitting the use of the cars via "Amish taxis" for necessary social and business purposes, protects the stability, equality, and identity of their community while allowing the Amish lifestyle to flourish socially and financially.

The traditional virtue of community harmony is balanced with the practical convenience of modern technology.
I would also point out that while you are correct in saying that there are Mennonite groups who are just as, or more, technologically conservative than the Amish, the 'technological spectrum' among Mennonites is broader than among Amish, so that the group of plain-dressed people you saw with a minivan were, assuming they owned and drove it there themselves, almost certainly not Amish, but Mennonite, or possibly members of some other Plain sect such as the Old German Baptist Brethren.

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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by hongi » 2012-06-30 09:14am

Except among those who practice Bri without Malah.
These are a tiny minority.

There are the conventional religious Jews, who run from the Ultra-Orthodox to the Reform branch, the liberal branch that okays gay marriage and female rabbis and even gay rabbis. But even the Reform do not seek to overturn the millenia old practice of circumcision. Some individual members of the Reform may choose not to, but it's one religious tradition that the Reform body haven't overturned and I doubt they ever will.

There are the Reconstructionists. I think the Reconstructionists, or at least their leadership, thinks circumcising the boy is necessary.

There is the Humanistic Jewish movement. I don't think Humanistic Judaism requires circumcision. But it constitutes a massive break in Jewish tradition. They don't believe in God for example, they explicitly say that. They only call themselves Judaism because they want to hold onto Jewish culture somehow.

There are the Jews that don't know that they're Jews or don't consider themselves as Jews. The latter might choose not to circumcise.

There are atheist Jews. They may or may not get circumcised. But anecdotally and from the Jewish people I'm in touch with, a lot, if not most atheist Jews seem to circumcise.

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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by CJvR » 2012-06-30 09:30am

hongi wrote:There are the conventional religious Jews, who run from the Ultra-Orthodox to the Reform branch, the liberal branch that okays gay marriage and female rabbis and even gay rabbis. But even the Reform do not seek to overturn the millenia old practice of circumcision. Some individual members of the Reform may choose not to, but it's one religious tradition that the Reform body haven't overturned and I doubt they ever will.
Well if it isn't challenged then it certainly won't be overturned. "Any infant not wanting to go through with this procedure please raise your hand now..." . Unlike later practices, on which the affected people actually are able to have a say, the victims in this case have no voice - until they start cutting that is.
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Skgoa » 2012-06-30 10:39am

Broomstick wrote:What prompted me to do that was NOT a personal liking of the practice – I despise it – but because of all the fucking ignorance about another culture being displayed here.
The problem is that you refuse to accept the simple fact that the culture we are supposedly ignorant of simply doesn't factor into this at all. You talk about the illegality of child mutilation effectively banning jewish sons from being part of their community, when that isn't of any concern to the german constitution. (Fun fact: outlawing organized crime is bad for the italian community. Should they get an excemption, too? :roll: ) The simple fact is: the rights of the child trump the delusions of the parents. Chritian parents can't stop their children from going to "too morally loose" public schools, muslim fathers can't stop their daughters from talking to boys. Saying "oh, but they won't feel a little bad about it, they will be really really upset!" is no kind of argument at all.
I find it especially strange that you can make the argument that baby mutilation is widespread in the US without realizing that this directly implies that it's entirely arbitrary.

Broomstick wrote:
Ralin wrote:Why the hell do so many people here suddenly think it's racist to not cater to people who want to hurt others because of their stupid woo-woo beliefs? If we were talking about Christians wanting to spank their children anyone siding with them would be dog-piled in seconds, and that's also backed by their religion/culture.
The problem isn't with saying “that practice is unacceptable in the modern world”, it's morons like Akhlut saying “well, 3% of Jews don't do this, so they rest of them can get along without it and they should STFU and not bitch” with no understanding that the group can and will resist, and “I've seen Jews (or Amish) cheating on their own rules so they're all liars and cheats!”, which latter, especially, is full of chewy bigotry.
"Can and will resist"? You have mentioned that several times but HOW? Don't you get that even more than circumcision is "non-optional" for Jews, it also isn't an option in Germany, AT ALL? There is no fucking way Jews can "resist" this. The more you talk about culture and belief, the more you undermine your own argument. It just doesn't matter. The rights of the child matter.
So yeah, "they should STFU and not bitch" is exactly the right sentiment.


I feel sorry for the grief this will cause the jewish community in Germany. I really do. But that won't change the fact that this ruling was absolutely 100% the right one. There really is no moralistic argument to be made here, although I am amazed that so many seemingly intelligent regular posters have made one. TBH I would never have imagined that baby mutilation was even remotely legal.
(Actually, it wasn't, since courts don't make law, they interpret it. But this is the first case that made it as far up.)
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by hongi » 2012-06-30 08:33pm

Metahive wrote:That's, like, your opinion, dude. I'm just saying what the situation is in Germany, considering that's a rather important part of the topic. Unlike whatever Polynesians wish to do in Polynesia.
And why should it be the situation in Germany? Why can't kids get tattoos at the age of 13? What is different about a kid at 13 that is different from a kid at 16? What is different from a kid at 18 who is different from a kid at 13?
Metahive wrote:
But let me move the discussion onwards. Until you're significantly older, and perhaps even after then, your parents have significant control over you. It's very possible that even if a 10 year old Muslim boy doesn't give his consent to circumcision, for example he says that he'll get it later on, the parents may 'force' him to by saying that they're his parents and could punish him by taking away his allowance or his community could pressure him by shaming him. So it seems that age doesn't really matter. Even an 18 year old can get pressured like this. So the real question to my mind is whether to criminalise the ability for parents and the wider community to force or pressure their child to do what he/she doesn't want. What is the difference between a child saying no to circumcision and a child saying no to going to church or saying no to going to school?
:roll:

Are you comparing going to church to getting part of your penis lopped off? I mean for realsies? How am I going to argue with this much lack of perspective on your part?
Yes I am comparing going to church to getting circumcised. A kid who openly says that he doesn't want to get circumcised may be pressured into getting circumcised. Why is that different from a kid who openly says that he doesn't want to go to church but is forced to do so anyway? Isn't his consent getting curtailed? Why isn't one curtailment of consent as serious as the other?
Metahive wrote: The privilege of not getting laughed at and ridiculed whenever they air their nonsensical superstitions in public which comes in tandem with the privilege of getting respected by default for it. How's it today? "I believe tinfoil hats protect me from alien mind control rays" -> "Haha, dumbass". "I believe pledging allegiance to a jewish carpenter from 2000 years ago makes me immortal" -> "I totally respect this heartfelt belief of you". NO! The reaction to the former must become the reaction to the latter. That's what I'd consider the ideal situation. If you can live with superstitions blokes being proudly so for all to see, which also encourages them to foist it upon others, then that's your problem. I myself can't and won't consider this to be an acceptable situation. I see relgiion out of the closet always as a lingering threat to a modern, humanist society.
Do you have any religious friends? I suspect that if you show the same attitude to them that you say you have, then you must have a difficult time with religious friends.

I have religious friends. I don't care what they believe. I don't even care if they think I'm going to Hell. I have no inclination whatsoever to challenge their beliefs. All I care about is how they act.

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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Broomstick » 2012-06-30 09:21pm

Skgoa wrote:
Broomstick wrote:What prompted me to do that was NOT a personal liking of the practice – I despise it – but because of all the fucking ignorance about another culture being displayed here.
The problem is that you refuse to accept the simple fact that the culture we are supposedly ignorant of simply doesn't factor into this at all.
Yes, actually it does - you are correct that the typical German either doesn't give a fuck or is for eliminating the practice but is sure does matter a LOT to the Jews. Do you have Jews in Germany? Do you have Jews in Germany who are citizens? Then yes, it does matter. Now, you may argue that in this particular case the rights of the children and the will of the majority supersedes the religious practices of a minority but don't pretend this is of no consequence to anyone.
You talk about the illegality of child mutilation effectively banning jewish sons from being part of their community, when that isn't of any concern to the german constitution.
No one here ever said the Germans maliciously or deliberately took this stance to piss off the Jews. Nonetheless, it IS a consequence of the ruling albeit an unintentional one.

Yes, you are correct, the German constitution doesn't give a fuck about Jews, their traditions, or what they want. If anyone was fuzzy on that before it should be abundantly clear now. That does NOT make it OK from the Jewish viewpoint even if the rest of us are jumping up and down and cheering the decision.
Chritian parents can't stop their children from going to "too morally loose" public schools,
Actually, in the US they can. I realize this is markedly different than in Germany.
I find it especially strange that you can make the argument that baby mutilation is widespread in the US without realizing that this directly implies that it's entirely arbitrary.
It was not arbitrary, the US population didn't get drunk on Saturday night and think "Hey, let's lop off foreskins, what a great idea!" It occurred for actual reasons, which you may or may not agree with, but weren't just whims. US Christians and US Jews circumcise for different reasons, actually, and by the middle of the 20th Century the largely secular medical establishment was maintaining it based on hygiene, just as they promoted bottle feeding over breast for what, at the time, seemed entirely sensible reasons. Yes, they were wrong. Maybe that's why the US medical field is now trying to promote breast feeding and, oh yeah, saying there's no need to cut off foreskins when they aren't actually discouraging it.

Of course, why bother to attempt to understand why people do what they do? If they don't do what YOU think is sensible they're just fucked in the head anyway, right?
Broomstick wrote:"Can and will resist"? You have mentioned that several times but HOW? Don't you get that even more than circumcision is "non-optional" for Jews, it also isn't an option in Germany, AT ALL? There is no fucking way Jews can "resist" this.
Sure there is. Razor blade in a kitchen with the windows covered. Unless, of course, you simply remove all male Jewish children from the custody of their Jewish parents, which is going to remind all too many people of how the Nazis would take Jewish children who looked Aryan enough and gave them to childless German couples to raise.

Or they'll take their boy children out of the country to have it done.

Really, do you so lack imagination you can't see how Jewish parents will attempt to evade this? Well, that, or leave Germany entirely.
The rights of the child matter.
Exactly. You think it's harmful to cut the foreskins off little boys. They think it's even more harmful to cut little boys off from God and their community. That is why there is a conflict here.

Of course you value your culture's values more, that's pretty normal. However, you are completely discounting that the Jews and Muslims feel just as strongly about THEIR culture.

Non-Jewish and non-Muslim circumcision rates chopped in half in less than one generation in the US because the "secular" practice was, allegedly, based on science and reason so when someone came along and said "new evidence says we shouldn't do this after all" a lot of folks accepted the argument, because the new practice came from similar motives to the old (with some people not having got the message and some cultural inertia, as always happens). That doesn't work on Jews and Muslims because the origin of their practice is NOT rational. Therefore, it is not amenable to rational and logical arguments.

You want the Muslims to stop or delay circumcision? Have an iman make a ruling to that effect: "It's better practice for the child to choose circumcision rather than impose it." Get several imans on board you'll get the Muslims on your side (or close to it) pretty quick. Why? Because they're amenable to a religious argument, not a rational one.

This isn't going to work for the Jews, though - sure, their practice also has a religious argument but any Jewish authority who stands up and comes out against it is going to be marginalized at best.
I feel sorry for the grief this will cause the jewish community in Germany. I really do. But that won't change the fact that this ruling was absolutely 100% the right one.
It won't change the fact that from the Jewish viewpoint this is 100% the wrong one. Grief? This isn't going to cause grief, it's going to case anger. Some will leave. Those that stay will try to continue the practice underground. Historically, Jews have never stopped practicing circumcision. What makes you think a bunch of young upstarts like this new (by their standards) nation of Germany is going to convince them to do so this time?
There really is no moralistic argument to be made here, although I am amazed that so many seemingly intelligent regular posters have made one.
The point that is sailing over your head is that different cultures have different morality. That's the point hongi is trying to make that so many of you are failing to grasp - what makes YOUR culture's morality superior to anyone else's? You can't say "because it is" because that's appeal to authority. At least try to articulate something that goes beyond "I said so" or "God said so".
TBH I would never have imagined that baby mutilation was even remotely legal.
I imagine that to the average German it was so self-evidently a bad idea it never occurred to anyone there was a need to outlaw it. We don't have laws against setting oneself on fire, for example, because people don't need to be told it's a bad idea.

It's like that case a few years ago where this guy answered a German ad and went to this guy's house, consenting to be eaten. OMG, no one had thought to outlaw consensual cannibalism in Germany! Well, yeah, until then there hadn't really been a need for that law.
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Ultonius » 2012-07-02 05:51am

The German government seems to be doing a little damage control.

German Minister Moves To Calm Circumcision, Religious Freedom Fears

BERLIN — Germany's foreign minister on Sunday offered assurances that Germany protects religious traditions after a court ruled that circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to bodily harm even if parents consent.

Last week, a state court in Cologne ruled that the child's right to physical integrity trumps freedom of religion and parents' rights. The ruling was strongly criticized by the head of Germany's Central Council of Jews, Dieter Graumann, who urged Parliament to clarify the legal situation to protect religious freedom. Muslim leaders also expressed concern.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that a legal debate "must not lead to doubts arising internationally about religious tolerance in Germany."

"The free exercise of religion is protected in Germany. That includes religious traditions," Westerwelle said in a statement. "All our partners in the world should know that."

Volker Beck, a senior lawmaker with the opposition Greens, left open whether a "correction" of the Cologne ruling should be sought through the court system or through new legislation, but he said the result should be clarity that circumcision on religious grounds is justified so long as hygienic and medical standards are kept to.

Graumann has pointed out that the circumcision of newborn Jews has been practiced for thousands of years. Muslims also circumcise young boys, while many parents request it on health grounds.

The European Jewish Congress added its voice to the criticism on Sunday.

"We would hope that in Germany of all places ... Jewish life would be allowed to flourish without restriction," said the group's president, Moshe Kantor. He urged the German government "to exercise its authority and take a clear stand against this ruling and in line with the German constitution which guarantees religious freedom."

The case in Cologne involved a doctor accused of carrying out a circumcision on a 4-year-old, approved by his Muslim parents, that led to medical complications. The doctor was acquitted, however, and prosecutors said they won't appeal.

Unlike female circumcision, there is no law prohibiting the practice and the ruling isn't binding for other courts – but it creates a potentially tricky legal situation for doctors who perform the procedure on parents' orders.

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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2012-07-02 03:46pm

Broomstick wrote:US Christians and US Jews circumcise for different reasons, actually, and by the middle of the 20th Century the largely secular medical establishment was maintaining it based on hygiene, just as they promoted bottle feeding over breast for what, at the time, seemed entirely sensible reasons. Yes, they were wrong. Maybe that's why the US medical field is now trying to promote breast feeding and, oh yeah, saying there's no need to cut off foreskins when they aren't actually discouraging it.
This is a point worth emphasizing.

Several people have been harping on the US for its apparently unfathomable promotion of child "torture and mutilation" (describing circumcision in these terms is also incredibly disingenuous, but let's not get into that) for arbitrary reasons. For a very long time, the medical consensus was that it was more hygienic, and that the benefits outweighed the downsides. Yes, subsequent research has shown that this is not the case, which is why the rate of circumcision has PLUMMETED, and is continuing to plummet.

Saying that people in the US are evil baby torturers because public perception has not caught up 100% with current medical knowledge is idiotic and unhelpful.

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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Serafina » 2012-07-02 05:23pm

Reminder:
The United States of America are one of only three countries, along with Somalia and the South Sudan, that have NOT ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

A overview on what that convention does:
- establish children as individuals with their own rights, instead of extensions/possessions of their family or parents.
- establish children's rights to a name, citizenship and family
- establish children's rights to health, education and information.
- protect children from discrimination due to religion, race, gender or disability.
- establish children's rights to privacy and a violence-free upbringing

Obviously children are better treated in the USA than in Somalia or South Sudan (at least the USA have signed international conventions against child slavery and child soldiers). However, it seem rather fair to argue that the establishment of childrens rights (not actual treatment, their rights) is somewhat dubious if they fail to sign such a basic convention.
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Thanas » 2012-07-02 06:52pm

someone_else wrote:The first thing I disagree with this is that it was ruled by judges.
Isn't the parliament the organ supposed to make laws and the judiciary the organ supposed to enforce them?
Yes, and this is exactly what happened here. The law existed on the books, the judges just interpreted it (correctly).
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
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A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Broomstick » 2012-07-02 06:55pm

Serafina wrote:Reminder:
The United States of America are one of only three countries, along with Somalia and the South Sudan, that have NOT ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

A overview on what that convention does:
- establish children as individuals with their own rights, instead of extensions/possessions of their family or parents.
- establish children's rights to a name, citizenship and family
- establish children's rights to health, education and information.
- protect children from discrimination due to religion, race, gender or disability.
- establish children's rights to privacy and a violence-free upbringing
Consider that the last three items on that list aren't guaranteed to adult citizens in the US and it's not so surprising that children don't have them. If they were guaranteed to children then the politicians and oligarchs would have to explain why adults don't have a right to health, education, information, freedom from the listed discriminations, privacy, and a violence-free life.

With so many corporations trying to insinuate tentacles of control into employees' private lives (a tendency in the US since at least the days of George Pullman) it's questionable if adult citizens have the first point on that list, either.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

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Thanas
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Thanas » 2012-07-02 07:03pm

Broomstick wrote:Of course, why bother to attempt to understand why people do what they do? If they don't do what YOU think is sensible they're just fucked in the head anyway, right?
Don't put up strawmen.
Broomstick wrote:Sure there is. Razor blade in a kitchen with the windows covered. Unless, of course, you simply remove all male Jewish children from the custody of their Jewish parents, which is going to remind all too many people of how the Nazis would take Jewish children who looked Aryan enough and gave them to childless German couples to raise.
Razor blade in the kitchen sounds like a great way to go to prison. One person was already slapped with a hefty fine for practicing circumcision without being an MD.
Or they'll take their boy children out of the country to have it done.
In which case, they will be punished like those people who take their girls to africa to have them circumcised there.
This isn't going to work for the Jews, though - sure, their practice also has a religious argument but any Jewish authority who stands up and comes out against it is going to be marginalized at best.
There is a very long and old legal jewish tradition among the rabbinate to amend the Torah or to put additional rules in place that effectively get rid of "outdated" punishments. So I would not be so quick to say "this is unadaptable".
It won't change the fact that from the Jewish viewpoint this is 100% the wrong one. Grief? This isn't going to cause grief, it's going to case anger. Some will leave. Those that stay will try to continue the practice underground. Historically, Jews have never stopped practicing circumcision. What makes you think a bunch of young upstarts like this new (by their standards) nation of Germany is going to convince them to do so this time?
I don't know, it might be the same thing that convinced them to let Jews marry non-jews, which wasn't common up until a few decades ago.
The point that is sailing over your head is that different cultures have different morality. That's the point hongi is trying to make that so many of you are failing to grasp - what makes YOUR culture's morality superior to anyone else's?
The fact that one culture involves inflicting bodily harm and the other one does not.
It's like that case a few years ago where this guy answered a German ad and went to this guy's house, consenting to be eaten. OMG, no one had thought to outlaw consensual cannibalism in Germany! Well, yeah, until then there hadn't really been a need for that law.
You are mistaken. It was outlawed already by the laws concerning murder and manslaughter, as well as the provisions concerning bodily harm, as the court found that his victim was unable to consent. So there is no new law and no need for that. Nor was any post-facto law applied to the case.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
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Re: German Court rules religious circumcision a crime

Post by Broomstick » 2012-07-02 08:51pm

Thanas wrote:
Broomstick wrote:Of course, why bother to attempt to understand why people do what they do? If they don't do what YOU think is sensible they're just fucked in the head anyway, right?
Don't put up strawmen.
It's hardly a strawman, Thanas - that attitude is precisely why the Spanish justified their bullshit in the Americas, because those savages were WRONG! and it was their duty to civilize them. Even if it killed thousands.

Fortunately, conversion by the sword is no longer acceptable most places these days but coercion usually sucks as a means to get cooperation, especially in the long term.
Broomstick wrote:Sure there is. Razor blade in a kitchen with the windows covered. Unless, of course, you simply remove all male Jewish children from the custody of their Jewish parents, which is going to remind all too many people of how the Nazis would take Jewish children who looked Aryan enough and gave them to childless German couples to raise.
Razor blade in the kitchen sounds like a great way to go to prison. One person was already slapped with a hefty fine for practicing circumcision without being an MD.
And... so? There is ample precedent of people being willing to risk jail or even execution to maintain their cultural traditions. Sure. outlaw the practice - it won't stop any more than outlawing theft stops all robberies, or outlawing murder stops all killing.
Or they'll take their boy children out of the country to have it done.
In which case, they will be punished like those people who take their girls to africa to have them circumcised there.
Or just never come back... which may be a satisfying solution for Germany, admittedly. The fact people still continue to take their girl children out of the country for FGM should be an indication that the same would happen for circumcision, and probably with more support globally as it is not seen as harmful as FGM.
This isn't going to work for the Jews, though - sure, their practice also has a religious argument but any Jewish authority who stands up and comes out against it is going to be marginalized at best.
There is a very long and old legal jewish tradition among the rabbinate to amend the Torah or to put additional rules in place that effectively get rid of "outdated" punishments. So I would not be so quick to say "this is unadaptable".
There is a very long and old legal Jewish tradition of NOT compromising on the circumcision rule... I would not be so quick to assume they'll compromise.
It won't change the fact that from the Jewish viewpoint this is 100% the wrong one. Grief? This isn't going to cause grief, it's going to case anger. Some will leave. Those that stay will try to continue the practice underground. Historically, Jews have never stopped practicing circumcision. What makes you think a bunch of young upstarts like this new (by their standards) nation of Germany is going to convince them to do so this time?
I don't know, it might be the same thing that convinced them to let Jews marry non-jews, which wasn't common up until a few decades ago.
There has always been a mechanism for non-Jews to convert, and for Jews to marry (at least in a secular manner if not a Jewish blessed ritual) non-Jews. It's one reason why any child born to a Jewish woman is considered Jewish, regardless of the ethnicity/religion of the father. Just because the practice was discouraged (sometimes extremely strongly) doesn't mean it was non-existent. Sure, they usually demanded conversion prior to the marriage but that's no different than the Catholics requiring conversion prior to their marriage ceremonies.
The point that is sailing over your head is that different cultures have different morality. That's the point hongi is trying to make that so many of you are failing to grasp - what makes YOUR culture's morality superior to anyone else's?
The fact that one culture involves inflicting bodily harm and the other one does not.
WHY does that make it superior? Surely if it IS then you can give a reason other than "I said so". While I agree with you on a personal level I don't feel that's adequate for this debate. Explain WHY that is so. You follow utilitarian principals? You have some other rationale? Surely you can support your claim.

The Aztecs built quite a civilization with a morality that required human torture and sacrifice for the good of the community, quite a lot of it. The Europeans didn't win through moral superiority, they won through superior technology and smallpox. Is your rationale that your system won and their didn't?
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

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