maandag 23 juli 2012

Of een dogma, of een vooroordeel

No doubt many religious folk do rely on their sacred texts to make sense of the world. However, their moral absolutes pale into insignificance when compared with the absolutist dogma of the anti-circumcision zealots.
In our relativistic times, there are very few practices that invite universal moral condemnation in Western society. Disagreements on abortion, the nature of the family, and the right to suicide show that there is little consensus even on some of the most fundamental questions about the meaning of life. Only two practices really elicit visceral revulsion these days: paedophilia and female genital mutilation. And predictably enough, both of these issues are exploited by the moral entrepreneurs keen to pathologise male circumcision.
[...] In reality, male circumcision as practised by Muslims and Jews involves the removal of the foreskin. And the fact that millions of boys are circumcised for non-religious reasons, either at birth or later in life after a health complication, shows that it is not a form of mutilation.
So how can an operation condemned as ‘sexual mutilation’ in one instance be advocated as an unobjectionable and sound medical procedure used to improve someone’s health in another instance? It seems pretty clear that it is not the physical aspects of circumcision that disgusts the moral crusaders, but rather its cultural meaning for some communities.
(Frank Furedi, hoogleraar sociologie aan de universiteit van Kent, Verenigd Koninkrijk. Een Nederlandse vertaling van het hele artikel moet afgelopen zaterdag ook in de papieren editie van de NRC gestaan hebben).

Eerder citeerden we al eens Chesterton, die zegt dat de menselijke geest ofwel een dogma aanhangt, ofwel een... vooroordeel.

Zie ook ons eerdere Vage religie bevordert fanatisme.

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