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Amulek

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About Amulek

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  1. Amulek

    Matthew 2 & Luke 2

    Whenever I read these sections, where you have all these angels appearing in quick succession, I always think to myself, "Man, angels must be super scary." Seriously, whenever an angel shows up, what is the first thing out of his mouth? Don't be afraid! Not, Oops, sorry for startling you. Not, oh hey, it's just me. No, it's like almost always, DON'T BE AFRAID!!! Why on earth would they have to say that if they weren't like super scary to begin with? Right!?! I kind of figure they look something like the angels in Michael Allred's comic book rendition of the Book of Mormon (link). Probably scarier though. Good thing I'm not spiritual enough to be visited by angels. It's probably for the best.
  2. Yeah, there may be specific cases where religion plays a bigger role, but have a hard time believing that it would be considered a major factor in most situations.
  3. Amulek

    Circumcision

    I was present when my son was circumcised. They gave him a shot to numb the pain, performed the procedure, applied some antibiotic ointment, dipped his pacifier in sugar water and called it a day. We were back in the room with my wife just a few minutes later. It was no big deal. The sky didn't fall. Cthulhu didn't rise. And - most shocking of all - I was able to sleep just fine that night, and every night since.
  4. Amulek

    The Latter-day Saint view of God

    Recommended reading for those would like more on this from one of my favorite LDS philosophers: David Paulsen's The God of Abraham, Isaac, and (William) James.
  5. Amulek

    Video games

    My wife and I are good friends with a couple who ultimately divorced because of the husband's neglect. Gaming happened to be his outlet, though it could as well have been any number of other things. The problem with gaming is that it really feeds into a lot of behaviors that guys just naturally gravitate toward. The male brain is good at focusing on one thing, to the exclusion of everything else; couple that with the dopamine released from watching / interacting and guy's naturally competitive nature, and you've got all the trappings of an activity that will keep him distracted for hours on end. When I was younger, I used to play EverQuest...a lot. Back then, if you weren't willing to put in 15 - 20 hours a week (minimum), you just weren't going to be competitive. And competitive gaming is where it's at. I'm not playing a game just for fun. After I got married though, I soon realized that I just couldn't devote that kind of time to gaming any more - at least, not if I wanted to have a great relationship with my wife. So, I pretty much gave it up all together. Oh, we've still got a couple of consoles. My kids like building things in Minecraft, and there's nothing wrong with a rousing game of Mario Kart every now and then, but I don't really consider myself a 'gamer' any more. My wife once asked me something to the effect of, 'So I'm the reason you had to give up something you loved?' To which my honest reply was, "Yeah, but that's what sacrifice is - giving up something you love for something more important." And I'm much happier living as a good husband, rather than a good cleric.
  6. Amulek

    Circumcision

    Likewise. You can read the results from their task force online, here: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/3/e756 I disagree. We may not have perfect information regarding potential risks, but that doesn't mean we're just playing guessing games here. According to the AAP, "[t]wo large US hospital-based studies with good evidence estimate the risk of significant acute circumcision complications in the United States to be between 0.19% and 0.22%. Bleeding was the most common complication (0.08% to 0.18%), followed by infection (0.06%) and penile injury (0.04%). For comparison, an audit of 33 921 tonsillectomies found an incidence of hemorrhage of 1.9% among children aged 0 to 4 years." The chance of something going wrong with a circumcision performed by a trained medical professional here in the United States is remarkably small. And those numbers comport with my own experience. I've never in my entire life had a friend or family member who has had a problem due to circumcision. If doctors could ensure that young men and women always used prophylactics, well...that would solve a whole host of problems. Last I checked, that isn't happening though. Yes. She typically wore either gloves or mittens so as to not draw attention to it. Well, I think there is a difference between having imperfect / incomplete information and having no information whatsoever. One can make an "informed" decision based on the best information available - even if that information is technically incomplete. This is something we do all the time. There seems to be pretty good evidence that there are some positive health benefits associated with circumcision. And the risks associated with the procedure (at least in our country) - while not so rare as to fall into case study territory - are really, really small. Small enough for one to conclude that the health benefits outweigh the risks and therefore justify access to this procedure.
  7. Amulek

    Circumcision

    When it comes to determining what is "highly beneficial" for a patient, we don't have to limit ourselves to medical benefits though. I believe it is ethical for one to consider social, cultural, religious, etc. benefits as well as any potential medical benefits. And according to the AAP (which I know you take issue with), "Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and that the procedure’s benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it." Sure. Sometimes. But not always - as was the case for my friend's daughter - it was purely cosmetic. Why? Because we live in a society that doesn't value body diversity and sees such variance as "other." What if you lived in a society where it wasn't considered a deformity and was instead, revered? From whom? The child? How about webbed feet then? And let's stick to a simple example, not an extreme case. Say for example that a child is born with their second and third toes on each foot conjoined below the middle joint of the toe. There is absolutely no medical reason for why the toes would need to be separated other than for cosmetic reasons. It is ethical for a parent of such a child to have this surgically corrected while they are still small and will be able to recover quickly? Or must they wait until they are an adult and are capable of making the decision themselves? I think different people can look at the same data and come to different conclusions about what is in the best interest of their children.
  8. Amulek

    Circumcision

    I don't think most people would consider pierced ears to be "cosmetic surgery." That's why I think it's strange that, according to your ethic, you are okay with subjecting an infant to actual surgery with all the potential complications involved (up to and including the risk of death) for cosmetic purposes in some cases, but cannot tolerate ear piercings at all - a procedure which is not nearly as painful, risky, permanent, etc. But, hey, it's not my ethic, so I'm not the one who has to make sense of it. Well, technically, a fourteen year old is incapable of giving informed consent as well. There may be rare exceptions for emancipated minors, but in general you can't have any kind of cosmetic surgery without your parent's consent. But, back to your question, which I believe I already addressed but would be happy to state again: If I believe that having a surgery (cosmetic or otherwise) is in the best interest of my infant child, then yes, I would move forward with the procedure. I think it depends on the situation. So, just to be clear, you do not believe that government should prevent circumcisions. And that medical regulators / state licensing boards should not change their requirements in any way that would prevent the practice of circumcision from taking place. Correct?
  9. Amulek

    Circumcision

    And I understand why you would want to be dismissive. Because once you admit that you are okay with painful, elective body modification in some cases but not in others, it's then up to you to distinguish between them. I would be fine with my daughter having a rhinoplasty if I thought she really needed it - though I wouldn't have the surgery performed as an infant. I would wait until she was at least 14 or so, when her nose is mostly formed. But the question isn't about whether I would be okay with some procedure or another - it's whether I should be able to make these kinds of decisions in the first place. And in my view, the answer to that question is, in almost all circumstances, a resounding yes. If you want to use the power of government to override my decisions as a parent about what is in the best interest of my child, you better have a really compelling reason for doing so. If you don't want to have your children circumcised...don't have them circumcised! Problem solved. If you don't want to have my children circumcised...well, thanks for your concern, but it's really none of your business.
  10. Amulek

    Stand in Holy Places

    Burning bushes?
  11. I tend to agree. With only 20 minutes for class, you just need to focus in on a few key principles and then spend the rest of the time on coloring, gaming, or whatever activity you want to throw into the mix. In our primary, we've been discussing the change for the last several months, and everyone has been extremely positive / excited about the new changes.
  12. Amulek

    Circumcision

    Well, that kind of begs the question. The only reason it's considered abnormal/undesirable is a matter of culture. In some cultures, historically, people born with this condition were revered. See, e.g., here : https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/chaco-canyon-pueblo-bonito-social-implications-polydactyly-extra-toes/ "The findings, published today in American Antiquity, indicate that the society did not view six-toed individuals as supernatural, but this form of polydactyly did grant them exalted status in life and in death."
  13. Amulek

    Circumcision

    I don't believe so. The ethical grounds you provided for opposing circumcision (and ear piercings) what that, "for purely cosmetic reasons, it amounts to the infliction of pain, discomfort and bodily alteration on one incapable of giving informed consent." So, I'm questioning how do those ethics hold up in other situations. When a child, like my friend's daughter, is born with an additional joint on her pinkie finger, is it ethical to remove the extra digit? According to your statement above, my understanding is that your answer would be no. There is no medical reason why the extra digit needs to be removed; it's purely a cosmetic procedure - one which clearly involves the infliction of pain, discomfort, and bodily alteration on one who is incapable of giving informed consent, so parents should not be allowed to have that surgery performed. Right? She must wait until she is 18 and can consent to the procedure herself. If not, why not?
  14. Amulek

    Circumcision

    BlueDreams can answer for herself, but maybe they don't know what they are missing because they really aren't missing out on much at all. Consider the following study: https://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347(15)05535-4/abstract It finds that the foreskin was most sensitive to stimulation by touch (fair enough). However, it goes on to clarify that this doesn’t mean that your experience of pleasure during sex is any different whether you’re circumcised or uncircumcised. There was a study done in Mexico involving women whose partners where scheduled to be circumcised. They took measurements both before the procedure and two months after. The results? "There were no statistically significant differences on general sexual satisfaction, pain during vaginal penetration, desire, vaginal orgasm." (link)
  15. Amulek

    Circumcision

    I'm not the one making an argument for bodily integrity and no pain without consent.
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