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Guest Mike Spero

So... Restoring My Foreskin

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Guest Mike Spero

Probably more for health benefits don't you think?  That would seem to align with normal Jewish restrictions?

Actually, the only real health benefits (if you can call it as such) is that you contract stds and stis easier if you haven't been circumcised. I think that actually being uncircumcised would have fit in better with their restrictions, as it would make a natural reprimand for sin easier to contract for males :o

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Guest JAG

What are the benefits of circumcision?

There is some evidence that circumcision has health benefits, including:

  • A decreased risk of urinary tract infections.

A reduced risk of sexually transmitted diseases in men.

Protection against penile cancer and a reduced risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners.

Prevention of balanitis (inflammation of the glans) and balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin).

Prevention of phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin) and paraphimosis (the inability to return the foreskin to its original location).

Circumcision also makes it easier to keep the end of the penis clean.

 

Source: Webmd

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Guest Mike Spero

Yes, but I don't see how basically "If you're a slob and don't wash yourself regularly (and have foreskin) you'll get infection or health problems" coincides with Jewish tradition O.o

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Guest JAG

Yes, but I don't see how basically "If you're a slob and don't wash yourself regularly (and have foreskin) you'll get infection or health problems" coincides with Jewish tradition O.o

 

I'm just making a guess that it was probably for health benefits rather than a sacrifice of sexual pleasure.  That seems more in the vein of the purpose of The Law to begin with.

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What are the benefits of circumcision?

There is some evidence that circumcision has health benefits, including:

  • A decreased risk of urinary tract infections.
  • A reduced risk of sexually transmitted diseases in men.
  • Protection against penile cancer and a reduced risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners.
  • Prevention of balanitis (inflammation of the glans) and balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans and foreskin).
  • Prevention of phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin) and paraphimosis (the inability to return the foreskin to its original location).

Circumcision also makes it easier to keep the end of the penis clean.

 

Source: Webmd

 

 

However there are serious surgical risks such as bleeding and infections. While the operation is rather safe nowadays, ancient Israel was not as sterile as a modern OR, and surgeons didn't require 10+ years of dedicated training; I'd wager that the dangers far outweighed any benefits.

Also, the life expectancy was dramatically lower; with age being a risk factor penile cancer, it further decreases the benefits compared to the risks.

Seriously though, the most prominent benefit is the decreased risk of STD's, which if the Hebrews where following the rest of the laws, wouldn't be a problem to begin with.

 

Perhaps we should just accept that it's a strange tradition and not some miraculous medical insight.

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Guest Mike Spero

I'm just making a guess that it was probably for health benefits rather than a sacrifice of sexual pleasure.  That seems more in the vein of the purpose of The Law to begin with.

True, but then why did the Apostles meet and say that since Jesus fulfilled the covenant Christians should "stop subverting men's souls" with circumcision? There's a whole chapter dedicated to them saying that...

However there are serious surgical risks such as bleeding and infections. While the operation is rather safe nowadays, ancient Israel was not as sterile as a modern OR, and surgeons didn't require 10+ years of dedicated training; I'd wager that the dangers far outweighed any benefits.

Also, the life expectancy was dramatically lower; with age being a risk factor penile cancer, it further decreases the benefits compared to the risks.

Seriously though, the most prominent benefit is the decreased risk of STD's, which if the Hebrews where following the rest of the laws, wouldn't be a problem to begin with.

 

Perhaps we should just accept that it's a strange tradition and not some miraculous medical insight.

So much QFT... If there was an official "QFT award", for this, I would have just given it to you Edited by Mike Spero

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Guest Mike Spero

To be fair, your "removes 75% of sexual pleasure" stat is bogus. :P

I've read it at least 20 times now, seriously D:

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Are you really gonna make me go read journals about circumcision and sexual pleasure? :P Isn't this thread weird enough? ;) lol

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Guest Mike Spero

Are you really gonna make me go read journals about circumcision and sexual pleasure? :P Isn't this thread weird enough? ;) lol

Do or do I not want you to suffer...

Hmmmm....

XP

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Guest JAG

However there are serious surgical risks such as bleeding and infections. While the operation is rather safe nowadays, ancient Israel was not as sterile as a modern OR, and surgeons didn't require 10+ years of dedicated training; I'd wager that the dangers far outweighed any benefits.

Also, the life expectancy was dramatically lower; with age being a risk factor penile cancer, it further decreases the benefits compared to the risks.

Seriously though, the most prominent benefit is the decreased risk of STD's, which if the Hebrews where following the rest of the laws, wouldn't be a problem to begin with.

 

Perhaps we should just accept that it's a strange tradition and not some miraculous medical insight.

 

The rest of The Law would have also leant a hand in safe operation procedures would it not?  Don't you think they heated their knife's blade in an oven first?

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Guest JAG
True, but then why did the Apostles meet and say that since Jesus fulfilled the covenant Christians should "stop subverting men's souls" with circumcision? There's a whole chapter dedicated to them saying that...

 

 

Because it's not necessary.  Christians are circumcised inward, as we are Jewish inward.  We are God's people through Christ.  It became silly to force pagans, upon conversion, to be circumcised as it would not save their souls.

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The rest of The Law would have also leant a hand in safe operation procedures would it not?  Don't you think they heated their knife's blade in an oven first?

 

Infections from surgery still happen today, with disposable scalpels, sterilized rooms, and sterile bandages. I'm not saying that everyone would have died from being circumcised, just that it would have been an unnecessary operation that risked more than it was worth. So saying that god commanded it for the health benefits is just silly; the benefits would be relatively small compared to the dangers.

 

Again, all I'm suggesting is to take it at face value and not try to analyze it as something it's not.

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Guest Mike Spero

Infections from surgery still happen today, with disposable scalpels, sterilized rooms, and sterile bandages. I'm not saying that everyone would have died from being circumcised, just that it would have been an unnecessary operation that risked more than it was worth. So saying that god commanded it for the health benefits is just silly; the benefits would be relatively small compared to the dangers.

 

Again, all I'm suggesting is to take it at face value and not try to analyze it as something it's not.

^^^^^^^

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Guest JAG

Infections from surgery still happen today, with disposable scalpels, sterilized rooms, and sterile bandages. I'm not saying that everyone would have died from being circumcised, just that it would have been an unnecessary operation that risked more than it was worth. So saying that god commanded it for the health benefits is just silly; the benefits would be relatively small compared to the dangers.

 

Again, all I'm suggesting is to take it at face value and not try to analyze it as something it's not.

 

Man, I'd do some research to see if there's any documented evidence that the procedure ended dire in the ancient world

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There are complications from the procedure in the modern world.

 

Are you are suggesting that medicine practiced in hospitals nowadays is worse than it was thousands of years ago in the middle of the desert?

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Guest JAG

There are complications from the procedure in the modern world.

 

Are you are suggesting that medicine practiced in hospitals nowadays is worse than it was thousands of years ago in the middle of the desert?

 

I'm suggesting you're doing a poor job making an argument if it's all conjecture.  There's a difference between 1/10 babies die from circumcision and 1/10,000.  I'm actually racking my brain to think of a biblical reference to anyone dying from circumcision outside of that tribe Israel destroyed after convincing them to be circumcised.

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There is a reason for circumcision on the eighth day of life...

 

For the first 7-10 days of life babies are actually pretty immune to infections; likewise, after about 7 days human blood can clot normally.  The Jews didn't know this then, but modern medicine revealed this millennia later.

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I'm suggesting you're doing a poor job making an argument if it's all conjecture.  There's a difference between 1/10 babies die from circumcision and 1/10,000.  I'm actually racking my brain to think of a biblical reference to anyone dying from circumcision outside of that tribe Israel destroyed after convincing them to be circumcised.

 

[1] The risks of conducting circumcision (or any surgery) increase with the level of contamination in the immediate environment.

 

[2] The level of contaminates present in biblical times circumcision were higher than they are in present-day procedure rooms.

 

[3] Thus, the circumcisions in biblical times had more risks than present-day ones.

 

Premise [1] is a quite well established fact, and I'm certain you agree. All that is arguable is the specific difference in levels of risk or contamination. 

Likewise, Premise [2] is solid. I don't think anyone would argue that modern ORs are dirtier than ancient ones. (Don't make me regret assuming that! ;) )

So the conclusion is logically sound.

 

My argument is that the medical risks were (and still are) relatively worse than the medical benefits are worth.

The policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics says that the "health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns." So if the health benefits are not worth the risk nowadays (when complications are rare), how could they possibly have been worth it when the risks were higher?

 

Further supporting my argument is an understanding of the benefits listed.

The only potential benefit worth mentioning is the decreased risk of STIs, which as I stater earlier, the Israelites had plenty of other commandments that, when obeyed, would do far more to prevent STIs.

Also listed is the risk of penile cancer (and cervical cancer in partners). This is very rare to begin with, and is highly associated with STIs and poor genital hygiene.

Balanitis is also associated with STIs.

Phimosis is rare, and most of the time there are better ways to treat it than circumcision.

And as for the decreased risk of UTIs, they aren't as common in men to begin with, and hygiene is an important factor in prevention.

 

It seems if the Bible was concerned about health benefits it would have been more effective to command that the Hebrews practice safe sex and good genital hygiene.

 

As for people dying from circumcision in the Bible, why would you expect that to be explicitly mentioned? Two factors that significantly increase the risks are non-neonatal circumcision (adults and children), and mass circumcisions. Which is exactly what was demanded in Joshua 5.

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Guest JAG

As for people dying from circumcision in the Bible, why would you expect that to be explicitly mentioned?

 

Because we have mentioning of a number of other illnesses and causes of deaths.  Seriously, I get your philosophy, I'm just waiting for a text that supports it.  Have you been able to find any statistics on the Jewish practice throughout history?  Can you find a reading that states even 1 baby died in ancient Israel from the practice?

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To be honest, I've never really had to research anything from ancient history, so I'm no expert at determining if a source is reliable. 

 

For starters, however safe it is nowadays, there are still deaths from it

 

And *drumroll* from the Talmud in T. Shab. 15:8E:

 

"R. Nathan said: 'I once went to a city by the sea, and there met a woman whose first and second child both died in consequence of circumcision. The third child she brought to me, and I noticed that it was quite red. I told her to wait until the blood had settled and then circumcise it. She did so and then circumcised it, and the child lived. The child was then named after me, Nathan the Babylonian. At another time I came to the country of Cappadocia, and a woman came to me telling me that she had had two children circumcised, both of whom had died in consequence of circumcision. The third she brought to me, and I noticed that it had a greenish cast. I also noticed, that if it were circumcised no blood would flow; so I told her to wait until the circulation of the blood was in order. She did so, and the child was circumcised, and lived. She named it also after me, and called it Nathan the Babylonian.'"

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Guest JAG

To be honest, I've never really had to research anything from ancient history, so I'm no expert at determining if a source is reliable. 

 

For starters, however safe it is nowadays, there are still deaths from it

 

And *drumroll* from the Talmud in T. Shab. 15:8E:

 

"R. Nathan said: 'I once went to a city by the sea, and there met a woman whose first and second child both died in consequence of circumcision. The third child she brought to me, and I noticed that it was quite red. I told her to wait until the blood had settled and then circumcise it. She did so and then circumcised it, and the child lived. The child was then named after me, Nathan the Babylonian. At another time I came to the country of Cappadocia, and a woman came to me telling me that she had had two children circumcised, both of whom had died in consequence of circumcision. The third she brought to me, and I noticed that it had a greenish cast. I also noticed, that if it were circumcised no blood would flow; so I told her to wait until the circulation of the blood was in order. She did so, and the child was circumcised, and lived. She named it also after me, and called it Nathan the Babylonian.'"

 

There we go!  We now know it happened, and at least 2 babies died from it.  Now the question is, did she wait till the 8th day?!?!

Edited by JAG

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Haha

and I never realized how big the Talmud is! 

 

One more except from it that implies deaths from circumcision were so common that Jewish laws were created about it.

 

In Yebamot 64B

For it was taught: If she circumcised her first child and he died, and a second one who also died, she must not circumcise her third child; so Rabbi. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel, however, said: She circumcises the third, but must not circumcise the fourth child. But, surely, the reverse was taught; now which of these is the latter? — Come and hear what R. Hiyya b. Abba stated in the name of R. Johanan: It once happened with four sisters at Sepphoris that when the first had circumcised her child he died; when the second [circumcised her child] he also died, and when the third [circumcised her child] he also died. The fourth came before R. Simeon b. Gamaliel who told her, 'You must not circumcise [the child]'.

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Guest Mike Spero

There is a reason for circumcision on the eighth day of life...

 

For the first 7-10 days of life babies are actually pretty immune to infections; likewise, after about 7 days human blood can clot normally.  The Jews didn't know this then, but modern medicine revealed this millennia later.

Yet another sign of God's intervention in the writing of the Bible

 

 

Haha

and I never realized how big the Talmud is! ]

1000385.jpg

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True, but then why did the Apostles meet and say that since Jesus fulfilled the covenant Christians should "stop subverting men's souls" with circumcision? There's a whole chapter dedicated to them saying that..

 

It wasn't circumcision itself that the Apostles had an issue with, rather it was submitting the Gentiles back under the bondage of the Law.

 

These men died from it: :P

 

"And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son in law: and the days were not expired.Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife." -1 Samule 18:25-27

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