What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#41  Postby campermon » Jul 17, 2013 8:24 pm

Strontium Dog wrote:
Agrippina wrote:Joffrey Lannister is a good excuse for not having incestuous relationships. I know it's just a story but if we look at what's happened with thoroughbred animals, dogs, cats and horses, and the prevalence of race-specific diseases among humans, variety is what will keep our species healthy. If we interbreed with close relatives for long enough, we're likely experience more of the type of thing that happens with dogs. My boxer for instance has a digestive problem that my vet tells me he's seeing more and more of among boxers, which he says is a result of the practice of too much in-breeding.


Marriage isn't just about children, though. At least, that's the message in all of the gay marriage threads.


The topic is incest, not marriage.

:think:
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#42  Postby Strontium Dog » Jul 17, 2013 8:32 pm

campermon wrote:
Strontium Dog wrote:
Agrippina wrote:Joffrey Lannister is a good excuse for not having incestuous relationships. I know it's just a story but if we look at what's happened with thoroughbred animals, dogs, cats and horses, and the prevalence of race-specific diseases among humans, variety is what will keep our species healthy. If we interbreed with close relatives for long enough, we're likely experience more of the type of thing that happens with dogs. My boxer for instance has a digestive problem that my vet tells me he's seeing more and more of among boxers, which he says is a result of the practice of too much in-breeding.


Marriage isn't just about children, though. At least, that's the message in all of the gay marriage threads.


The topic is incest, not marriage.

:think:


Marriage, cohabitation, whatever you want to call it that will satisfy the pedantry. Human sexual relationships aren't just about procreation.
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#43  Postby campermon » Jul 17, 2013 8:42 pm

Strontium Dog wrote:
campermon wrote:
Strontium Dog wrote:
Agrippina wrote:Joffrey Lannister is a good excuse for not having incestuous relationships. I know it's just a story but if we look at what's happened with thoroughbred animals, dogs, cats and horses, and the prevalence of race-specific diseases among humans, variety is what will keep our species healthy. If we interbreed with close relatives for long enough, we're likely experience more of the type of thing that happens with dogs. My boxer for instance has a digestive problem that my vet tells me he's seeing more and more of among boxers, which he says is a result of the practice of too much in-breeding.


Marriage isn't just about children, though. At least, that's the message in all of the gay marriage threads.


The topic is incest, not marriage.

:think:


Marriage, cohabitation, whatever you want to call it that will satisfy the pedantry. Human sexual relationships aren't just about procreation.


My underlining.

Yup. That's what me and MrsC thought too.

Accidents do happen despite contraceptive measures. That's why it's not a good idea to have sex with parents / siblings.

Plus, it's just yucky! :yuk:
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#44  Postby Fallible » Jul 17, 2013 10:15 pm

Strontium Dog wrote:
Agrippina wrote:Joffrey Lannister is a good excuse for not having incestuous relationships. I know it's just a story but if we look at what's happened with thoroughbred animals, dogs, cats and horses, and the prevalence of race-specific diseases among humans, variety is what will keep our species healthy. If we interbreed with close relatives for long enough, we're likely experience more of the type of thing that happens with dogs. My boxer for instance has a digestive problem that my vet tells me he's seeing more and more of among boxers, which he says is a result of the practice of too much in-breeding.


Marriage isn't just about children, though. At least, that's the message in all of the gay marriage threads.


Plus perhaps I'm just being naive, but I don't see a time when there will be a rush on people wanting to marry their siblings, so I doubt that the level of problems caused by inter-breeding which we see in dogs for example would be likely to happen with humans.
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#45  Postby Shrunk » Jul 17, 2013 11:52 pm

Fallible wrote:
Strontium Dog wrote:
Agrippina wrote:Joffrey Lannister is a good excuse for not having incestuous relationships. I know it's just a story but if we look at what's happened with thoroughbred animals, dogs, cats and horses, and the prevalence of race-specific diseases among humans, variety is what will keep our species healthy. If we interbreed with close relatives for long enough, we're likely experience more of the type of thing that happens with dogs. My boxer for instance has a digestive problem that my vet tells me he's seeing more and more of among boxers, which he says is a result of the practice of too much in-breeding.


Marriage isn't just about children, though. At least, that's the message in all of the gay marriage threads.


Plus perhaps I'm just being naive, but I don't see a time when there will be a rush on people wanting to marry their siblings, so I doubt that the level of problems caused by inter-breeding which we see in dogs for example would be likely to happen with humans.


Yeah, that's kind of the main point. What's the purpose in having laws against things that almost no one wants to do, and which doesn't cause any harm to anyone in the vanishingly rare occasions that someone does do it?
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#46  Postby Nicko » Jul 18, 2013 2:39 am

Shrunk wrote:Yeah, that's kind of the main point. What's the purpose in having laws against things that almost no one wants to do, and which doesn't cause any harm to anyone in the vanishingly rare occasions that someone does do it?


I think the question really is if there is intrinsic harm done by incest.

The harm cannot merely be a function of lack of consent: this would obviously still be sexual assault/abuse even if incest were legalised.

It cannot merely be a function of social ostracism due to being openly incestuous: we don't regard this as a valid argument against interracial or homosexual relationships.

It cannot merely be a function of age difference: this is not a consideration when judging the legality of non-incestuous relationships.

It cannot merely be a function of the "ick factor": my personally being revolted by something is not an argument that it should be a crime.
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#47  Postby Thommo » Jul 18, 2013 3:24 am

Nicko wrote:
Shrunk wrote:Yeah, that's kind of the main point. What's the purpose in having laws against things that almost no one wants to do, and which doesn't cause any harm to anyone in the vanishingly rare occasions that someone does do it?


I think the question really is if there is intrinsic harm done by incest.

The harm cannot merely be a function of lack of consent: this would obviously still be sexual assault/abuse even if incest were legalised.

It cannot merely be a function of social ostracism due to being openly incestuous: we don't regard this as a valid argument against interracial or homosexual relationships.

It cannot merely be a function of age difference: this is not a consideration when judging the legality of non-incestuous relationships.

It cannot merely be a function of the "ick factor": my personally being revolted by something is not an argument that it should be a crime.


It can be any or all of those things, depending on what a person bases their morality on.

For example harm isn't intrinsic to gun ownership, yet many people consider restrictions on gun ownership reasonable to reduce the harm that comes from abuse of gun ownership.
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#48  Postby Agrippina » Jul 18, 2013 6:18 am

Strontium Dog wrote:
Agrippina wrote:Joffrey Lannister is a good excuse for not having incestuous relationships. I know it's just a story but if we look at what's happened with thoroughbred animals, dogs, cats and horses, and the prevalence of race-specific diseases among humans, variety is what will keep our species healthy. If we interbreed with close relatives for long enough, we're likely experience more of the type of thing that happens with dogs. My boxer for instance has a digestive problem that my vet tells me he's seeing more and more of among boxers, which he says is a result of the practice of too much in-breeding.


Marriage isn't just about children, though. At least, that's the message in all of the gay marriage threads.


That's why I added the bit about "as long as there's consent and there are no children involved, it's none of my business."
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#49  Postby Agrippina » Jul 18, 2013 6:27 am

campermon wrote:
Strontium Dog wrote:
campermon wrote:
Strontium Dog wrote:

Marriage isn't just about children, though. At least, that's the message in all of the gay marriage threads.


The topic is incest, not marriage.

:think:


Marriage, cohabitation, whatever you want to call it that will satisfy the pedantry. Human sexual relationships aren't just about procreation.


My underlining.

Yup. That's what me and MrsC thought too.

Accidents do happen despite contraceptive measures. That's why it's not a good idea to have sex with parents / siblings.

Plus, it's just yucky! :yuk:


My feeling too. I don't care what consenting people do in their bedrooms, though, but I think that banging family members is yucky.
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#50  Postby mindhack » Jul 18, 2013 7:19 pm

Just wondering. Would it also be yucky to bang family members, like hot nieces or nephews, when it's unknown they're part of your family?

what I try to say is, I guess, is it yucky on principle?

And if so, why?
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#51  Postby Agrippina » Jul 19, 2013 4:45 am

mindhack wrote:Just wondering. Would it also be yucky to bang family members, like hot nieces or nephews, when it's unknown they're part of your family?

what I try to say is, I guess, is it yucky on principle?

And if so, why?


I would want to with people who I used to bath when they were babies. :grin: I find big age gaps yucky anyway. No amount of wealth would make me interested in a coffin-dodger.
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#52  Postby Federico » Jul 19, 2013 12:02 pm

Obviously, this is a minefield and not everybody is prepared to fess up to an incestuous relationship. However there are indications consensual incest between adults is more frequent than generally believed. (Wikipedia)

Actually, IMO, this type of incest is the most intriguing one to analyze for its inherent moral tensions and taboo-like societal recriminations.
Indeed, adult-with-minor incestuous relationships are primarily condemned as rape and pedophilia, while sex between two related pre-adolescents is looked with embarrassed tolerance.

The incest taboo, with its still largely unexplained moral charge, concerns mainly sex between closely related, young consenting adults.
Besides genetic concerns, the so-called "Yucky Factor" is mentioned as part of the explanation for the moral charge against incest (particularly between fertile people).
This factor is also called The Westermarck Effect (Quote):


"....The Westermarck effect, or reverse sexual imprinting, is a hypothetical psychological effect through which people who live in close domestic proximity during the first few years of their lives become desensitized to later sexual attraction. This phenomenon, one explanation for the incest taboo, was first hypothesized by Finnish anthropologist Edvard Westermarck in his book The History of Human Marriage (1891). Observations interpreted as evidence for the Westermarck effect have since been made in many places and cultures, including in the Israeli kibbutz system, and the Chinese Shim-pua marriage customs, as well as in biological-related families.....When proximity during this critical period does not occur — for example, where a brother and sister are brought up separately, never meeting one another — they may find one another highly sexually attractive when they meet as adults, according to the hypothesis of genetic sexual attraction. This supports the theory that the populations exhibiting the Westermarck effect became predominant because of the deleterious effects of inbreeding on those that didn't."
Not everybody has accepted Westermarck's theory and, indeed, sociologists and anthropologists have criticized the validity of research presented in support of the Westermarck effect, leaving still unexplained the reasons for it.
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#53  Postby Sinde » Jul 20, 2013 12:19 pm

Agrippina wrote:Joffrey Lannister is a good excuse for not having incestuous relationships. I know it's just a story but if we look at what's happened with thoroughbred animals, dogs, cats and horses, and the prevalence of race-specific diseases among humans, variety is what will keep our species healthy. If we interbreed with close relatives for long enough, we're likely experience more of the type of thing that happens with dogs. My boxer for instance has a digestive problem that my vet tells me he's seeing more and more of among boxers, which he says is a result of the practice of too much in-breeding.

Let us also remember that the reasons given for Joffrey's sociopathy being a result of incest are religious and are based on the same logic as the notion that bastards are inherently treacherous. I would take most of what the Westerosi say on this with a grain of salt really. They don't really seem to be on strong ground.
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#54  Postby Agrippina » Jul 20, 2013 2:42 pm

:lol: I love the way we talk about those people as if they were real. :grin:
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Re: What's Morally Wrong with Incest?

#55  Postby Beatsong » Jul 20, 2013 3:31 pm

Shrunk wrote:
chairman bill wrote:
Shrunk wrote:
chairman bill wrote:You don't think the power imbalance that exists between a parent & off-spring, or older brother/younger sister, is an issue?


When they're all adults? No.


UK age of consent is 16. Now, I can't imagine having sex with a 16 year old girl, but it would be legal (usual consents etc), and there's no meaningful power issues involved. But if I were her father, I think there would be. Do we have a different age of consent in such cases? How on earth would we frame such a law? Maybe "You can have sex at 16, but if you want to fuck your dad, you'll have to wait 'til you're 18"?


I'm not saying a "power imbalance" does not exist. I'm saying we don't generally consider it a factor in deciding whether a sexual relationship is morally or legally permissable. We do to some extent in cases such as between a physician and a patient, or a teacher and a student. But that has to do with meeting the ethical expectations of the profession involved, not with the power imbalance within the relationship itself.


But it does have to do with the power imbalance within the relationship itself. It's precisely because of that power imbalance that the ethical judgment upon the profession exists in the first place. We consider a teacher wrong when they have sex with their student because they are abusing a power imbalance that we consciously created and trusted them with, on the specific understanding that they would NOT abuse it.

Your observation of the ubiquitous nature of power imbalance omits one very crucial point. That is that there are power imbalances that just exist because that's life, and then there are power imbalances that society knowingly and deliberately engineers. In the latter case, we generally place restrictions upon the actions of those wielding the power, as an integral part of our conception of the power imbalance itself. To set up the power imbalance without such restrictions would amount to just giving some people carte blanche to abuse others with no regard for those others' own rights or agency. It's one thing to accept that nature sometimes takes a course that creates such relationships; it's a different thing altogether for society to deliberately engineer them and in so doing, ignore the rights of the powerless to society's protection.

There are many examples of how we do this. We knowingly set up a power imbalance between schoolteachers and students for example. The students are expected to sit quietly and listen while the teacher talks to them. He is under no obligation to do the same whenever they want to talk - he can decide who has the right to talk when, and for how long. They have to follow his instructions in working through the lessons, he doesn't have to follow theirs. But he can't just abuse these powers to do what the fuck he likes. He is expected to be effectively contributing to their education (and these days by ever more rigorous measurements), and all the ways that he uses the power invested in him have to further this end. And then of course there are restrictions upon how he can treat the students, administer punishments etc.

Same goes for doctors and patients, employers and workers, politicians running the country - whatever. Power invested in individuals by society always comes with a rulebook about how it can be wielded, what ends are required to justify it and what are the limits within which it must be exercised.

And parent-child power imbalances are surely the biggest ones of all. They become part of the child's psyche long before that child has any kind of critical thinking faculties, language or even self-concept. They become PART of the child's self-concept in a way that the child can't possibly control or be said to have any meaningful choice over. They render the idea of "consent" utterly meaningless, not just during minority but for the lifetime of the child. Yet society holds up this parent-child relationship as the mainstay of society itself, and confidently ensures its children that if they conform to their place within that relationship and play by its rules, they'll be OK.

I think that if we're going to invest that kind of power in parents, attaching the limitation upon it of "...but you're not allowed to fuck your children" is both normal and reasonable.
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