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"I think Jake's replies to anon are most revealing of who he is. Jake displays a very dismissive attitude towards the normal intact penis, but after reading about who he is, it shouldn't be to surprising." -- argumentum ad hominem no. 1.
"Isn't it important to know about what you're cutting off?" -- we already know essentially what the foreskin is. Actually, we probably know more about it than many comparable tissues; as Dunsmuir and Gordon pointed out, its availability has led to it being a favourite of those performing basic research.
"Only someone interested in the disposal of a body part is disinterested in learning more about it. "It is hard to get a man to understand something, when his livelihood depends on his not understanding it." ~Upton Sinclair" -- argumentum ad hominem no. 2.
"Or, as somebody who had a fantasy of being circumcised as far back as the age of 5," -- (I've already corrected this) -- "he WOULDN'T expect their loss to result in significant adverse consequences. On the contrary, he would expect it to be all good and wonderful, and you would be inclined to deny any loss." -- argumentum ad hominem no 3.
""I don't see evidence of such consequences," (not surprisingly)" -- indeed. The scientific literature gives little sign of them.
[Re "I don't think the consequences of any medical or surgical procedure are fully understood, so to my mind the question is whether our knowledge is good enough to have reasonable confidence."] "Argumentum ad ignorantiam." -- no, pragmatism. Refusing to take action because information isn't complete would have the consequence that we wouldn't take any actions; since this would necessarily include life-saving surgeries it's clear that such an extreme position would do more harm than good. A more moderate position is therefore indicated.
"The same placebo effect that would be a factor in those who have absorbed a lot of what they've been told on websites like circlist." -- plausibly so, yes.
"But he wouldn't be interested, as he implies above. Jake is known for quoting older flawed studies that never measure the function nor sensitivity of the foreskin, but using a flimsy letter he and his mentor Brian Morris to "debunk" the latest study, the Sorrells study, which is the most extensive study conducted on the sensitivity of the penis, circumcised and intact. The study found that the foreskin is more sensitive than the most sensitive part of the circumcised penis. He nor his circumcision-crazed mentor" -- argumentum ad hominem no 4.
"liked the results, so they apply the Bonferroni correction (a controversial correction in and of itself) to produce results that were more favorable to them." -- wrong, actually. Even before applying the Bonferroni correction it was obvious that Sorrells' claim re five points was false: a statistically significant difference only occurred at a single point.
"Absolutely nobody recognizes their "rebuttal"," -- actually, it was cited by Paul F Austin in "Circumcision": Current Opinion in Urology, 2010; 20(4): 318
"and it was refuted later on by Hugh Young," -- more accurately, Young offered a weak counterargument.
"Once again, Jake will only cite the sources he sees fit, and dismiss those that don't support his cause. The foreskin may be one of the most sensitive parts of the penis, but this is not something he wants to hear. After learning about who he is, it's easy to understand why. (Sour grapes, buyers remorse, etc., etc...)" -- argumentum ad hominem no 5.
"Feigned dissimulation..." -- pointless accusations...
"The contribution of the foreskin itself is at the crux of the circumcision issue. It is easier to dispose of a body part if one believes it has absolutely no use or function, and medically unethical to dispose of a body part that has known function." -- not sure if I'd agree with that statement. It would depend upon the known function, how substantial or significant it is, and how that weighs against the benefits of removal.
"It is all in Jake's mind. The most important question is whether or not a surgical procedure or amputation is medically warranted." -- I disagree.
"It is unethical and inappropriate to perform surgery for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown there to be other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive." -- but that's a moot point, because we're not talking about surgery for therapeutic reasons. At least, my understanding is that we're talking about neonatal male circumcision, which is very rarely performed therapeutically.
"The question is, actually, whether there is any medical indication for surgery. Without one, there is no "pro" or "con" comparison." -- this claim is startlingly unrealistic: not only do parents weigh pros and cons, but this is recommended by several medical associations. By all means that this shouldn't be the case, but to argue that it isn't seems out of touch.
"Jake's assumption, or at least what he tries to "prove" with "evidence" is that a man will indeed grow up to need circumcision, or will grow up to elect the surgery for themselves. In reality, very few men ever need circumcision," -- actually, the best evidence available to us is a comprehensive review of acceptability studies by Westercamp and Bailey. What they found is that a median of 65% of men would elect circumcision if it were available.
"To aid Marc, regarding policy statements, the trend of opinion on routine male circumcision is so overwhelmingly negative in industrialized nations that it would be quite surprising were male circumcision to be recommended in the United States." -- on the contrary, recent trends (with the curious exception of the Dutch) have tended towards more positive statements. For example, the RACP added pro-parental choice language in their recent revision of their policy, the AUA added a recommendation that it should be presented as an option for health benefits, and the WHO recommended circumcision in certain contexts.
"No respected U.S. based medical board recommends circumcision for U.S. infants, not even in the name of HIV prevention. They must all point to the risks, and they must all state that there is no convincing evidence that the benefits outweigh these risks." -- interestingly, a recent CDC consultation report recommended that "Medical benefits outweigh risks for infant MC, and there are many practical advantages of doing it in the newborn period."
"Remember that Jake will never EVER see cutting off part of someone's penis as "harm" because of his conflict of interest. (If circumcision harms, then he is harmed, and this can't happen.)" -- argumentum ad hominem no 5.
"Jake talks about leaving a child intact as if this were an "active" procedure where a parent asks a doctor to sew a foreskin on a healthy, non-consenting child. An adult circumcision is of course, much riskier, requires a long period of abstinence, and results are inferior to cosmetic results, but this assumes that most children grow up to want to be circumcised." -- as noted above, best available evidence indicates otherwise.
"A circumcised man can restore, but it requires an even longer period, and the cosmetic results my not be what he wanted. But why should a circumcised man have to go through this, when a penis with a foreskin is what he was born with to begin with? Especially if the procedure wasn't even medically necessary?" -- that's rather like arguing that someone has a right to be uneducated because they were born without schooling and because it wasn't necessary. It's a nonsensical argument used to essentially argue that the feelings of one group of people (those who would rather be uncircumcised) matter, and those of another group do not. My position - which recognises that any decision will lead to some dissatisfaction, unfortunately - is more realistic.
"Jake's reasoning is, of course, flawed and twisted, and his conclusion will always be in favor of circumcision, no matter how hard you try to convince him. But after reading about who he is, what he does, it shouldn't be too surprising." -- argumentum ad hominem no 6.
The Enneagram approach.
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