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ccw95005's Avatar Joined over 3 years ago
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How to Die in Oregon - last commented 21 June 2011 05:23 AM

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Go to: German politicians pledge to protect religious circumcision

ccw95005's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by ccw95005

Comment 13 by Jos Gibbons

Ah - that's why there's no HIV and other STD's and cervical cancer in Western countries.

It's lower - that's what's medically relevant. Do you have data to prove circumcision does a better job than condoms? Neither will give 100 % invulnerability. In any case, the problem in the West that prevents levels being even lower is so many people not using condoms.

I don't remember saying that circumcision does a better job than condoms. I'm sure that condoms are better protection but aren't always used, while circumcision-level protection is always active. Out of curiosity, have you, Jos, assuming that you are male, ever gone bareback? Be honest, now.

I hope you're not saying that only a preventative measure that is 100% effective should be allowed. That would criminalize the use of condoms and birth control pills.

Given that circumcision is much more detrimental to sexual pleasure than condoms, it's the kind of thing that should be decided on as an adult.

Really? As a circumcised male, it's difficult to imagine the pleasures being greater, but I suppose it's possible. I seriously doubt that there's more sexual pleasure for an uncircumcised male wearing a condom than for a circumcised male without (not that that's recommended). That assertion doesn't pass the smell test.

And the idea that men should have the option of deciding as an adult on whether to be circumcised is the same as saying that nobody, almost, will get circumcised. No man in his right mind would undergo that procedure which is much more painful and dangerous than it is in infancy. I know that that's what you'd prefer, but it's pretty silly. In the West, either circumcize during infancy or not at all.

You never answered my question as to whether you object to infant circumcision in Africa, sir.

Fri, 20 Jul 2012 21:57:58 UTC | #949669

Go to: German politicians pledge to protect religious circumcision

ccw95005's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by ccw95005

Comment 6 by RJMoore

Except the diseases related to circumcision are all easily avoidable if one takes responsibilty for one's own behaviour.

Ah - that's why there's no HIV and other STD's and cervical cancer in Western countries.

How about this. Are you all also opposed to infant male circumcision in Africa? Be consistent, now, bwana.

Fri, 20 Jul 2012 20:16:41 UTC | #949657

Go to: German politicians pledge to protect religious circumcision

ccw95005's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by ccw95005

The inconvenient truth on this issue is that circumcision does decrease the incidence of certain illnesses - HIV, HPV (and associated cervical cancer in women), and other STDs. In Africa routine circumcision would save millions of lives. Outside Africa, of course, the risk is considerably less.

I know that most people here see circumcision as strictly religion-based, and an assault on innocent boys. Removal of a body part at an age when the child is too young to object. Rare danger of mutilation. And the possibility that removal of the foreskin deprives the victim of a certain degree of sexual pleasure. Would I have circumcision done on myself as an infant if I could change what happened back then? Probably not, thinking that I would be able to protect myself. Would I have circumcision done on my sons? Probably not, but I would agonize, knowing that I would be putting them at a small increased risk of a deadly disease.

The evidence is actually pretty clear. There have been a number of studies done in Africa and they have consistently showed a remarkably lower rate of HIV and other STDs in boys who were circumcised. In 2007 the World Health Organization stated that circumcision should be recognized as an "efficacious intervention for HIV prevention."

Now the tendency on this forum and among humanity in general is to ignore evidence that doesn't fit with our own prejudices. But if we are honest with ourselves and consider ourselves engaged in a search for truth, we should admit that we don't like the idea of circumcision, but that it probably does reduce the incidence of certain diseases, some of them serious or fatal.

I believe that laws outlawing circumcision are well-meaning, but that decision is none of the lawmakers' business.

Fri, 20 Jul 2012 19:01:37 UTC | #949649

Go to: The raw deal of determinism and reductionism

ccw95005's Avatar Jump to comment 123 by ccw95005

Comment 120 by Steve Zara

No, it doesn't work like that. Quantum mechanics is at the base of it all, but quantum mechanical uncertainty has no significant influence on brain cell firing. Brain cell firing is not uncertain, and not chaotic. Our nervous systems would not work if it was. Indeed, when brain cell firing becomes unpredictable we get seizures.

As you know, quantum electrodynamics tells us that nothing is certain - but of course in the macro world the chances are so unlikely that if we drop a book, it will go up that we can with great confidence expect it to fall. But if you start with all the particles that came together in a human's brain, and follow them from the time of birth to age 30 say, and all the near infinite interactions that occurred during that time, some of those quantum events will go off the tracks. And so I say that God if he existed would not be certain of the end result - would not be able to predict with absolute confidence that Judy would kiss or kill her husband.

Thu, 19 Jul 2012 04:12:10 UTC | #949550

Go to: The raw deal of determinism and reductionism

ccw95005's Avatar Jump to comment 119 by ccw95005

Of course quantum electrodynamics is driving the functioning of our brains, as it is driving everything in nature. But the only practical reason to mention QED is that presumably it makes it impossible - even theoretically - to predict precisely what a person will decide. All God or superdupercomputer could do, given the quantum state of every particle, is lay down the odds. As far as I'm concerned, that's unimportant, anyway.

Of course we all have free will, as far as anyone can tell, although everything we decide is the result of the struture and interconnections of neurons in our brains, which got to their present state because of everything that went before. So in an absolute sense, we are robots controlled by our brain computer, which was programmed by evolution and affected by everything that had a hand in our individual creation and modifications. But we are only robots in the sense that we are physical creatures and nothing more, and as part of our genetic makeup our brains are programmed to believe that we have free will. So I'm going with that.

Wed, 18 Jul 2012 23:35:37 UTC | #949532

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