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Quote from: Might_4_Right on Today at 09:07 am
I see. I just have a couple of more question for further clarification. Firstly and most importantly. Is this function question of yours the primary stumbling block keeping you from returning to the Church?

No, it's only the fundamental one.  It's the one that I have the most subjective interest in.  Built on top of that is that Yahweh was a genocidal, racist war god.  The OT is verifiably inaccurate, and inaccurate in ways that accuracy would be necessary to begin to believe in divine inspiration.  I reject original sin, since we know that predatory animals existed before the human species.  Death existed before we were around to sin, so the only way original sin could exist is if it were retroactive, and universal, something no other sin has ever been able to do.  And Christianity provides no greater proof for its veracity than any other religion can.  Those are the main things, everything else I think are corroborating details.  Ultimately, deism is the only worldview that I think makes sense with what man can know about the world.
Okay then. It would make the most logical sense to start with your fundamental stumbling block.

Start by explanning these two terms; "Basic function"  and "Proper function" and remmber to try to be concise.
It's also important that explain how you understand the Inspiration of the Scriptures, and that's important because we don't, and never have, interpreted the Scriptures in the way that fundamentalists protestants have.
The basic, most obvious purpose of the penis is to penetrate the vagina and deliver sperm to the cervical opening.  Men have erections in order to penetrate the vagina, men ejaculate sperm into the vagina in order to procreate.  If a man can get an erection and ejaculate, his penis functions basically.  Crudely, basic function is the ability to pump and dump.

The penis is supplied with erotogenic nerve endings throughout the inner foreskin, most of which are found in the frenulum and ridged bands.  The nerve endings produce pleasure, have the ability to sense fine touch, pressure, temperature and other slight variations as they take place in the vagina.  The inner foreskin also contains estrogen and pheromone receptors that let the man know, on an involuntary nervous level, "how far along the woman is."  The average American circumcision amputates 50%-80% of these nerve endings and most, if not all, of the estrogen and pheromone receptors.  Contrary to common belief, the head of the penis is designed only to sense deep pressure and has a very limited number of  erotogenic nerve endings on the coronal ridge.  The foreskin also covers and protects the head and all of these sensitive nerve endings as an essentially internal organ.  Without it, the head and inner foreskin remnant become dried out and calloused, and even less susceptible to stimulation then they would be if they remained covered.  It also acts as extra skin for the man's erection to comfortably expand into.  Many circumcised men experience painful erections because they were not left with sufficient skin to accommodate their endowment.  A circumcised man does not have all of the fine touch, pressure and temperature stimuli, or the estrogen reception, or *the ability to commune with the other woman on an internal to internal level* and prevent her from being harmed without the use of artificial lubrication.  Depending on style, some circumcised men have lost virtually all of their fine touch and pressure reception capability.  So, to make that more succinct, a properly functioning penis has enough skin to accommodate and erection comfortably, keep the head and inner foreskin moist and precise in its various sensitivities, and send temperature, fine touch, depth and pressure and hormonal and pheromonal information to the brain.  The circumcised man can either do these incompletely or not at all.

*Jewish circumcision.  Since this is about my collapsed faith in Yahweh.  A British study in 2007, or around then, showed that of the 10 most sensitive parts of the penis, 7 are completely amputated by circumcision, and the remaining three are less sensitive in circumcised men.  It is often argued that extreme circumcision among Jews did not begin until the Hellenic occupation to prevent Jews from lengthening what was left of their foreskin, and thus the circumcision God commanded was not as severe.  This is true, however, the ridged bands are the most sensitive, most information producing part of the inner foreskin.  When the foreskin is drawn forward over the head, these bands are at the tip of the foreskin, which means that *even in the most conservative, loosest circumcisions*, these bands are completely amputated 100% of the time.  In fact, it can be argued that Jewish circumcision would be even worse, in that modern circumcision leaves less slack skin, but often leaves a significant amount of inner foreskin for the man to perceive moderate sexual pleasure (I understand that many circumcised men would not consider the sexual pleasure they experience "moderate", but this is only because they have never experienced how much more sexual pleasure they were designed to experience).  The ancient Jewish practice would have been to pull the foreskin forward and cutting off everything beyond the tip of the head.  While this method may leave more slack skin for erections, it ends up amputating most of the inner foreskin where all the nerve endings are located.  Jewish circumcision, and circumcision in general, is specifically designed to make sexual intercourse as pleasureless as possible without destroying basic penile function.  The God of the universe could NOT POSSIBLY create man uncircumcised, with all that that entails, and then require circumcision which would destroy most or all of that.  If he merely wanted sexual intercourse to be a pump and dump, it is plainly illogical that he ever would have created the additional nerve endings in the first place.
Melkite, I'm going to assume your read Tracy's page on circumcision based on your reply. For others, what is practiced now is NOT what was practiced in antiquity, and was changed to prevent Jews from masquarading as non-Jews:

Quote:The Biblical rite of circumcision, called brit milah (or brith milah or bris milah), entailed the trimming of just the very tip of the foreskin, only that amount that could be pulled down over the tip of the glans. It did not destroy the entire foreskin, it did not affect normal sexual functioning, it was not the brutal rite that baby boys undergo today. The procedure was so less intrusive than what is now practiced that many practitioners of the Old Testament religion could, by pulling on the foreskin that remained, easily make themselves appear to be uncircumcized -- and many did (1 Machabees 1:11-15, 1 Corinthians 7:18).

My son is intact, and I can tell you that what was described above could very easily be accomplished without effecting penile function. There's a lot of skin there that's just skin, and from changing baby boy diapers for nephews and friends that seems to be more or less the norm. The fact that it was changed BY MEN tells you something.

Circumcision in it's modern form really has a quite nefarious history, promoted to curb male sexuality. This is well-documented, and YES it effects the function of the penis - that's the whole point. But you cannot and must not equate it with what God commanded the Jews. It would be like comparing trimming your fingernail to amputating your finger joint. Trimming your nail also effects your finger's functionality, but it's fairly minimal.

As for the whole God of War thing, I admit that's harder to reconcile. I will need to think about how to address that.
Melkite, you should consider reading Answer to Job, by Carl Jung. It's not exactly orthodox, but it would serve as bibliotherapy for you.  I think you would find it very engaging.

Wow! it looks like PrairieMom beat me to it! Does her post answer your misgivings with circumcision? If so we should move on to what I think is a much harder question this idea of  Yahweh being a genocidal, racist war god.
I think the danger here is treating non-circumcision as some absolute good. It is lesser good at best.
(12-21-2015, 01:49 PM)Papist Wrote: [ -> ]I think the danger here is treating non-circumcision as some absolute good. It is lesser good at best.

Well, you're right that it isn't absolute, and circumcision is sometimes very necessary - I personally have known 3 young boys that have had it medically indicated and it was better than the alternative. But that's 3 out of how many? Probably hundreds by the time I count up all the nephews, friends' son and kids I have babysat over the years.

But what do you mean by "lesser good at best"?
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