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Circumcision And The Non-aggression Principle

December 21, 2013

Aggression: “any unsolicited actions of others that physically affect an individual’s property or person, no matter if the result of those actions is damaging, beneficial, or neutral to the owner, are considered violent or aggressive when they are against the owner’s free will and interfere with his right to self-determination and the principle of self-ownership.”

The Non-aggression Principle: “aggression is inherently illegitimate.”

The non-aggression principle very much applies to situations where one would enforce one’s will upon a person “for their own good”. In a nutshell, if the person so affected would, after the fact, be grateful for the assistance, or would choose the same course of action were he or she able to, then the use of aggression would be legitimate. However, if the use of aggression would be against that person’s will, or of they were to object to it after the fact, then it would not.

Many parents still opt to have their infant son’s genitals cut in the belief that it is “for their own good”. But when performing such a procedure on an infant, how is one to know that, when they are old enough to communicate and understand the repercussions, they will be grateful for this intervention or will give their retroactive consent to it? Obviously it is not. Therefore routine non-medically necessary infant circumcision clearly violates the non-aggression principle. This theoretical conclusion is bolstered empirically by the number of grown men who, recognizing the repercussions, feel victimized by having had this procedure carried out without their consent. For them, this is not a hypothetical exercise; the violation is real.

Circumcision is not a matter of life and death, but it is not inconsequential. It is a matter of personhood and self-ownership. It is a matter of human rights. It in no way provides benefits sufficient to justify overriding a person’s right to self-determination. In addition to considering the ramifications of the circumcision decision for your child’s physiological, psychological, and emotional well-being, consider the ramifications to yourself of hearing words to this effect from your adult son: “Mom, dad, I regret that you chose to have me circumcised. I wish you hadn’t.”


From → Controversy

  1. Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
    Libertarianism is a Jewish invention. Irony of ironies…

    • concerned cynic permalink

      I doubt Ayn Rand would have defended brit milah. I also think she would have been chocked by the popularity of RIC among American gentiles.
      The Jewish woman who founded Laissez Faire books disliked circumcision 30 years ago.
      I am confident that the argument that circumcision shall require informed adult consent has made considerable headway among libertarians, even Jewish ones.

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