In this same vein, calling a facilitated medical procedure mutilation is disingenuous to the actuality of the situation
Which jury would this be? I mean seriously if you want to know the sexual benefits of intact genitals then you need to have them or have sex with someone who has them. Aside from that there is the famous study entitled 'Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis' by Sorrells et al published in the British Journal of Urology in 2007, which concluded:
"The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The transitional region from the
external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis."
And yet you maintain there is "no solid knowledge". The function and value of the foreskin is something that has been known for thousands of years. Aristotle wrote about it in his masterpiece, Maimonides wrote about it in his guide for the perplexed, and 18th Century American physicians knew about it when they introduced circumcision into medicine to punish and prevent masturbation. (Which is in fact why you guys even consider circumcision to be a valid medical prophylactic.)
Personally I didn't really need the writings and research of others to convince me of the pleasures of the foreskin since I have an intact penis and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I'm sure alot of men and women would agree with me on that :)
And by the way if rates of disease are anything to go by then the 'quality of medicine', as you put it, is in sharp decline. Chronic illnesses are on the upsurge, obesity is on the rise, and we are witnessing an epidemic of strange disorders such as autism. The abuse of antibiotics has led to the creation of superbugs, and the abuse of psychiatric medications is almost standard medical practice, especially in the USA. When it comes to diseases like cancer, it can be hard for patients to tell if their suffering is due to the illness or the treatment!
And for those of us with eyes to see, it is obvious that the medical industry is just that: a business, and indeed a racket in many cases. Big Pharma pressure and cajole doctors, turning them into legal drug-pushers. Cutting and drugging are the limitations of allopathic medicine which takes an very egoical and almost totally wrong perspective of disease, in my opinion.
Don't get me wrong, cutting and drugging are excellent ways to handle Injury, and modern medicine has almost mastered helping people heal from acute problems such as serious accidents and emergency situations. But its mishandling and misunderstanding of Disease is undoubtedly the dark side of medicine.
And like every institution of knowledge, whether it be secular or religious, there is an Establishment which determines what is orthodox and what is quakery. Could be that cures and natural remedies are shut down because they are not as profitable as treatments and drugs?
Now, I'm sure most doctors are mostly decent with mostly good intentions, just as most pastors and priests are. But it's the Institution that insidiously resists change and caters to the commercial and financial mindset that we have created. This is true in almost every field of human endeavour, especially those pertaining to knowledge.
The result of this is that medicine ain't medicine and science ain't science. True science is free enquiry but how can a researcher be truly free to pursue the free truth when he needs to get that grant to put food on the table? How can the scientific method be incorruptible when humans can be so fallible? I know I'm fallible, and so are others, even men in white coats.
You are correct in observing the provocative and controversial usage of the term 'genital mutilation' to describe male circumcision. I myself can find the term counter-productive at times. Although I think it can also be very useful in making people think.
'Circumcision' is a euphamism, in my opinion. When barbaric and harmful practices hide behind medical or theological euphamisms then we have a situation to the opposite effect. Calling the destruction of significant brain tissue by applying an ice-pick through the eye-socket and moving it around a "labotomy" is a prime example of this. I'm sure you can think of a host of examples in politics and law where words are manipulated to similar effect.
What I would ask of you is to look beyond the words to the reality of ripping and cutting off healthy functional erogenous tissue from the genitals of newborn male babies. Doing anything of the sort to a female baby is illegal in your country. You wouldn't even consider doing a trial to see if female circumcision had any positive medical benefits. And you seem incapable of addressing the issue that you, along with millions of other males in your country, may have lost a significant part of your penis which has had an effect on your sex life. Additionally, being an adult now, you were probably circumcised without anaesthetic. You must concede that this may have had a traumatic effect on your fragile infant psyche.
Concepts of objectivity and neutrality can be taken too far when a person seems almost robotic and totally cold towards a very human and emotional subject. In such cases I think it is a psychological defense against feeling pain. And that is understandable, but it cannot be passed off as "science". You obviously have a strong intellect and a good command of language, but I think your mind may be getting the better of you in this instance.
Being an scientist (or an atheist, for that matter) does not mean leaving feelings, emotions and passions at the door. It is after all the passion for truth that has fueled some of the greatest scientific discoveries. And many if not most of the great geniuses have given equal credit to intuition as to reason. As Einstein once remarked, "The intellect has big muscles but no personality". There is no legitimate scientific or philosophical principle which says that truth is the sole property of the head, and as humans and earnest seekers of the truth we must give due consideration to the workings and promptings of the heart.
From what I have seen and heard of stories of men who have had their lives destroyed or terribly damaged by this procedure, I find it a very serious subject indeed. From my knowledge of the mechanics of money and power in a consumer society which is epitomised in the USA, I find America's preoccuption with this practice very troubling indeed. And as a gay man who has an appreciation for the male form and who has seen first-hand how disfiguring and debilitating this surgery can be, I find this total lack of respect for the body and the genitals of others to be very disturbing indeed.
I speak from experience when I say that the foreskin is not in any way a vestigial organ, and I would presume to say that its sexual functions are known to many intact men and their partners. Anyone who would suggest otherwise has simply never had the opportunity to know. Now, sex and pleasure can be very personal things and so the foreskin is probably more important to some men and women than to others. But this in no way gives us the right to deprive people of all the parts they were born with. Surely this is plain.
I think it's quite simple: if you want to slit your dick you can but you have to be a grown up, either to do it to yourself or to give anyone else permission to do it. The fact that this even has to be stipulated doesn't speak well of our society.