The Health Benefits of Circumcision: The "Naturalistic Fallacy" gets the boot.

I can’t believe I’m the first person to refer to the naturalistic phallicy.

ambushed, you seem like a very angry man, judging by your reply to Dominic Mulligan’s questions. Do you think this might stem from the psychosexual torment inflicted on you when you were circumcised as a neonate?

NO NO NO. Not a rebirth of the “Circ Wars”!

Honestly I have seen few subjects more likely to engender (heh) such extreme POVs.

Usually it’s the militant “Circ=genital mutilation” crowd and who want to outlaw all circs as child abuse who lob the first volley, now a strident pro-circer. Oy.

Yes, circumcision protects against contraction of AIDS. That may be significant in a region where condoms are unavailable, AIDS is endemic, and even major political leaders think that showering after sex is protection against catching the disease, but in America the cost benefit analysis shifts and better answer is not to have unprotected sex.

BTW, you do a poor job making your case when you cite the CDC’s data but fail to include that the 350% increase was

There are measurable health benefits. Getting a circumcision is a reasonable choice for a parent to make on behalf of their child and certainly is not genital mutilation. But elective surgery on all to partially protect those few who can’t be bothered to use condoms is a bit of an extreme position to take.

Has Jack Dean Tyler returned? Why does this subject keep coming up? I think we need to cut this off right away.

Just my two cents: The repeated use of words like “bogus,” “outrageous,” “bulldada” ( :confused: ), etc., all throughout the article makes it sound more like a polemic than a sober look at the topic. I think it would be more convincing if you let the facts speak for themselves a little more, and let the reader come to their own conclusion, rather than just telling them what to think.

And stuff like “If we were a rational civilization, that would end the debate” essentially translates to “I am right because I say so, and if you disagree you are dumb.” If the facts are so overwhelmingly convincing, there’s no reason to resort to that kind of thing.

Oh, I’m very, very sorry if I left that impression. I neither seek nor wish anything of the kind! I’d like nothing better than to debate the issue and discuss nothing else at all.

While there have been some well-considered, thoughtful, and beneficial suggestions for improving the writing, I hope I never left the impression that those are what I was seeking.

Why on earth would anyone post an OP to Great Debates to get prose or style criticisms of all things, let alone expecting such mean-spirited and uninformed attacks against such a trivial, trivial thing as my prose style and wording choice! I mean, WTF? What’s wrong with these folks who want to condemn not my position or arguments, but the mere way I express them!

If that were my wish, I’d have posted in Cafe Society, In My Humble Opinion, or MPSIMS where it would belong. There’s a telling point here that has been overlooked by some, which is that no one has suggested – certainly not a mod, anyway – that this OP had been posted in the wrong forum, which most certainly would have been the case if I had come here for such a vain and silly enterprise.

Oh, no; no indeed. Please, let’s debate the issues rather than debate issues about the debate.

Regrettably, I am ignorant on that score (which is an unforntunate response on my part – if honest – to someone who, happily, wishes to participate in what I came here for!).

All I know is that nearly all of us in the West – myself certainly included – consider female “circumcision” to be a horrific act of torturous abuse that must not be condoned in the least.

The level of hostility demonstrated in this paragraph is unnecessary to a discussion in this Forum, and your sarcasm generator is still not working very well. (Yes, it is easy to see that it is sarcasm; it is simply not very good sarcasm.)

You may or may not need a citation in your magazine article to get it published, but having dropped it into this Forum other posters have a perfect right to inist on supporting documentation for what amounts to your religious fervor on this topic.

Responding to requests for citations with sarcastic (this time you got the sarcasm to work) denials that you need to provide citations is not appropriate to this Forum.

Again with the unnecessary hostility? This particular ad hominem does not support your argument, but it does raise the issue of whether you should be allowed to post in this Forum.

Since you appear to wish to simply rant, responding both to criticism and even to questions with open hostility, I will do you the favor of removing this thread from the Forum where you will garner one more warning.

Off to the BBQ Pit.

[ /Moderating ]

Most males in Europe are uncut(the non-jewish ones).

It does go on to say however

So is the difference between Europe and the rest just cleanliness?

Either way the OP seems very passionate about this, moreso than it deserves IMO. Although I read all the OP, I lost real interest because og the use of “politically correct” as a negative so early on. IME people that start off an argument saying or implying that the people that disagree are politically correct are generally arseholes.

Surely the common pactice in the States is to cut is it not? So why does the OP think that he’s going against the tide?

Now that I reread the first lines of your OP, I apologize for suggesting that you were looking for editorial comments.

So, you think we should also perform tonsillectomies and appendectomies on all newborns too? After all, those pose a potential health risk too.

I say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Removing any body part should not be the default position. It can be dealt with when there’s an actual health problem, and since most little kids aren’t likely to get STDs, they can decide for themselves if they want to get circumcised when they’re old enough to.

ambushed, please try saying something that might give a tiny inkling of support to the notion that you’re writing on this topic because of a deep altruistic concern for your fellow man. I mean, that is the purported thrust of your argument, isn’t it? The human race will be better off if they do x. Say something that might actually convince someone that you really care.

If Skeptical Inquirer publishes that letter in its current format, I will eat my own boxers on camera and post the clip to YouTube. “HIV is prefectly natural?!?” It’s the argument of a 12 year old. :rolleyes:

If an appendectomy could be performed easily, with short recovery time, extremely low risk of complication, and eliminate the prospect of appendicitis, maybe it wouldn’t be an objectionable choice.

Except that apparently the appendix may actually perform a useful function.

I am generally opposed to removing perfectly good body parts without an excellent reason. Nothing in this thread has convinced me that there is an excellent reason to perform routine infant circumcision. I am open to being convinced of such at some future point, but suspect it will not come from the OP of this thread.

Before we go to far down this road, I’ll admit up front that whatever medical benefits may be gained from circumcision are not nearly as clear as the benefits of removing the appendix. Per your cite, 300 people die every year from appendicitis, and who knows how many more are made very ill.

Your cite also says that while it has a function, that function is unnecessary in modern society, and the net result of having an appendix is an increased chance of infection and death.

If they could take your appendix out with the same surgical effort as a circumcision, none of us would have one. It would be the equivalent of a vaccination against appendicitis.

Any idea where Jack Dean Tyler is when you need him?

No idea. Such a situation has, to the best of my knowledge, not yet occurred.


There have been studies that link circumcision to reduced STD infection, HIV infection, and chances of their female partner developing cervical cancer.

As for penile cancer, the University of Chicago says

bolding mine.

We are now pushing for girls to receive the HPV vaccine to reduce the risk of them developing cervical cancer. Circumcision provides a comparable benefit (I wonder if boys would benefit from the vaccine as well). While the procedure of circumcision might be traumatic if not properly done (my son was circed under local anesthesia using the Plastibell. He never made a sound and did not experience any problems. YMMV), I believe the benefits for both the man and his partner outweigh the negatives.

Although I can’t actually provide cites, I believe I have run across reports of studies showing benefits of male circumcision to the health and perhaps fertility of female partners. This seems like a place where you could strengthen your argument with facts if you’re willing to search the appropriate literature.

Like “naturalistic fallacy,” “politically correct” is a phrase that may be misused more often than it is used in its original sense, which has its origins in Marxist social theory. In your article it comes across as an unoriginal ad hominem attack against the other side of the debate.

ETA: And there **Slypork ** is with the cites.

Well done ambushed.

I congratulate you on your impression of a fool educated beyond his ability.

You have forgotten to dismiss cultural aspects as irrelevant because they are not easily quantifiable. Include this explicitly and you will surely qualify for a pure white dumce cap.