Banned in Cologne

This piece, which examines a recent legal decision regarding circumcision in Germany, makes a point that I don’t think I’ve heard Dalrymple make before:

[L]ife can sometimes be examined too closely for comfort. Carpets are sometimes for sweeping things under.

The case is one of those difficult intersections of culture, tradition and prejudice on the one hand and reason on the other that Dalrymple writes about so often. He frequently cites these disputes to show how there is often no clear answer and that, like it or not, we must simply use our best judgement. He also sometimes cites them to show how people use rationalism as simply an excuse to defend their own prejudices and/or to overthrow prejudices they don’t like. But he seems to be saying here that such disputes are sometimes insoluble and should be ignored and forgotten whenever possible.

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