Claiming victory is not the same as earning victory.

I stumbled upon an interesting list today at a site claiming to offer “News and Information on all aspects involving
Male Circumcision”. I was already aware of the site and its irrational support for infant male circumcision, so I’m not particularly surprised by this new-to-me list. I will not link it directly, but feel free to peruse the stupidity ( encompassed within the full list. It’s tilted “DEBUNKING THE MYTHS AND LIES MADE BY THE ANTI-CIRCUMCISION CULT”. Judge for yourself how well this pro-infant circumcision site debunks anything other than the pretense that its author is a credible sources of fact.

Allegation 13: Infant circumcision violates the (human) rights of the the [sic] child since it is done without his consent.

From the day that a child is born until it is old enough to make its own decisions, it is the responsibility of the parents to look after the welfare of their child. This means making decisions that they believe will be in their child´s best interest. If parents are convinced that circumcision will benefit their child, they have the legal and moral right to make this decision for him. … [emphasis in original]

Why refer to the child as “it”? “It” is clearly a “he” in this discussion. Do not disassociate the truth that the child is a person from the discussion of what will be done to him by others. Treating him like an independent person with his own opinions may lead to a different outcome. This is why many pro-circumcision advocates seek to circumcise infants. They know most males will opt against circumcision if they’re left with their choice. If advocates have to force an action onto someone for it to persist, the action is most likely illegitimate.

Of course his parents are responsible for his welfare. They can’t refrain from feeding him, or sheltering him, or any other standard of humane treatment. However, intervention outside of daily necessity requires that he have an underlying medical need. When circumcised, his foreskin is healthy. There is no medical need. Circumcision is beyond the realm of reasonable decisions parents may make for a healthy infant.

The troubling part of this attempted debunking is the final sentence I’ve excerpted. Look at the standard. There is nothing beyond parental intent. The parents merely need to be “convinced” about circumcision’s potential benefit to the child at some point in his unknowable future. This is a pathetic attempt at logic. This same unexamined trust in the wisdom of parents would permit female genital cutting, as well. Again, the parents only need to be convinced that it will succeed at achieving some nebulous outcome at some point in the future. Evidence – the standard for science – is absent.

This argument fails to surprise, of course. Parents determined to ignore the evidence of their child’s son’s healthy genitals will happily nod at an excuse that claims to validate their (illegitimate) legal and (alleged) moral rights. There is no regard for the boy’s natural human right to remain free from unnecessary harm. As long as he is healthy, circumcision is a violation. If his foreskin becomes a problem, circumcision is only valid if no less invasive solutions will work. Outside of that rare scenario, any surgical intervention on a child’s genitals is an unethical, immoral perversion of the parent-child hierarchy.

Parents are guardians, not owners. The child retains his rights.

Shouldn’t an obstetrician believe in evidence-based decisions?

I ripped Ron Paul (in a footnote) because of his rejection of evolution. It seemed pretty obvious, although I didn’t note it, that the clip was edited. From Lew Rockwell, here’s a transcript of the unedited version:

“‘Well, at first I thought it was a very inappropriate question, you know, for the presidency to be decided on a scientific matter, and I think it’s a theory, a theory of evolution, and I don’t accept it, you know, as a theory, but I think [it probably doesn’t bother me. It’s not the most important issue for me to make the difference in my life to understand the exact origin. I think] the Creator that I know created us, everyone of us, and created the universe, and the precise time and manner, I just don’t think we’re at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side. [So I just don’t…if that were the only issue, quite frankly, I would think it’s an interesting discussion, I think it’s a theological discussion, and I think it’s fine, and we can have our…if that were the issue of the day, I wouldn’t be running for public office.’]

To me that isn’t substantially different than the edited clip. The message is still the same. Rep. Paul accepts faith-based explanation with no evidence to support it and rejects evidence-based science with reams of evidence to demonstrate that the commonly offered story Rep. Paul accepts instead is a fairy tale. I don’t understand how so many libertarians are willing to defend this. Rejecting the evidence-based fact of Rep. Paul’s positions in favor of a preferred explanation is no less faith-based.

To the defense of Rep. Paul offered at Lew Rockwell, I already didn’t believe that Rep. Paul wants to put creationism at the front of the campaign. Some of his non-libertarian “libertarian” ideas (i.e., opposition to same-sex civil marriage) seem centered on religion, but one must extrapolate to argue that he’s pushing fully religious positions ahead of all other claims. I oppose Rep. Paul’s campaign, but I’m not willing to do that.

The basic problem remains. Not believing in the evidence-based truth of evolution demonstrates a mind willing to reject fact when it’s inconsistent with a preferred opinion. I think we’ve already had more than enough of that in the last seven years. I will not vote for another term of such irrationality.

Link via Andrew Sullivan.


Given his recent anti-immigration ad, how Rep. Paul is anything more than a pandering politician? If you support Rep. Paul, defend this. Explain to me how this is the mark of a change in our political discourse. Rationalize how this is a libertarian stance.