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How does Incest fit into our society?

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How does Incest fit into our society?
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InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post How does Incest fit into our society?

There are two topics I've so far missed on this forum, so I'll open them up for discussion. I won't add me 2cents until at least two or three people have responded.

Question: How do you feel about incest? Is it a bad thing, good thing, neutral thing? Should anyone care what two adults get up to in their free time? Should it be legal? Etc.

As a little starter:
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"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:38 pm
VivreUser avatarPosts: 351Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:05 pmLocation: dungeon of despair Gender: Female

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Incest as form of procreation should be avoided if possible.
Note that you can't be sure that any stranger you may meet, couldn't be a relative. (regarding e.g. sperm donation, adoption, family separation by war ...)

Any relationship between adults should be legit. A jointly breeding is not necessary to build a family if wanted.
Note that same-sex relations also need special ways to solve their own family setup.

It might be a bit troublesome to put this into law as it could distort the relation-properties within the family-structure and conflict the devolution upon death.


Regarding your title-question I don't think that incest as such could fit any society if they don't aim to decline ;-)
But it brings up another question that comes to my mind: how much of the population is already a result of incest due to e.g. inner-family-rape or unwanted / forbidden pregnancies? How much incest can a community sustain before damages apear?
Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:50 pm
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australopithecusAdministratorUser avatarPosts: 4235Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

The context is harm. If two siblings consent to have sex with one another, then so long as they harm no one (inc breeding) then that's their look out. I'd argue though that incest is itself an outcome of previous harm.
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Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:27 pm
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

australopithecus wrote:I'd argue though that incest is itself an outcome of previous harm.


Interesting. How come?
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:32 pm
VivreUser avatarPosts: 351Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:05 pmLocation: dungeon of despair Gender: Female

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Inferno wrote:I won't add me 2cents until at least two or three people have responded.

I realize my response isn't worth a discussion it still counts as such to serve your demand.

What are your '2cents'? Why is this topic of incest of closer interest to you?
Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:13 pm
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InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Vivre wrote:
Inferno wrote:I won't add me 2cents until at least two or three people have responded.

I realize my response isn't worth a discussion it still counts as such to serve your demand.

What are your '2cents'? Why is this topic of incest of closer interest to you?


Why you evil... :lol:

I recently heard someone, I think it was Lawrence Krauss, briefly comment on the topic though I can't remember where I heard it. I'll try to find the original comment when I have the time. The creationists then took Krauss's comment (I think he was rather neutral on the topic, rather like you and austra) and called him immoral, atheists have no sense of morality, yadda yadda yadda.

That made me think what exactly makes it moral or immoral. After all, everything we do is incest to some degree or other. I've heard estimates that you're no more than 13 or 14 times removed from anyone you might meet in the street, baring of course people who come from completely different regions on earth in which case it's slightly more than that.

This means that the point where incest starts is a rather arbitrary one. Is it 2nd cousins? 1st cousins? Nearly everyone would agree that siblings/parents/grandparents having sex would be incest.

When it comes to the church, they're OK with even 1st cousins having sex. In law, there are different lines. For example, in Austria incest is only illegal between "lineal ancestors and descendants and between full siblings". Interestingly, this means I could theoretically shag my half-sister if I so wanted. (And if she wanted to, of course.) Canada is rather harsh, with up to 14 years of imprisonment for the offender. In the US, you may get a life sentence in some states and incest includes cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews... (Except for Rhode Island, where there is no prohibition.)

In the Netherlands, Spain, Israel, Ivory Coast, Brazil, Argentina, Portugal, France and Belgium (and even Turkey!), incest is not prohibited, provided it's not rape. (In which case it's a law against rape, not against incest.) In Russia, it's legal provided you do not marry.


So what makes incest bad? Well, most people will cite offspring deformity. But that's just a judgement about procreation and the results of said procreation. Two relatives having sex while being protected isn't a problem, just two relatives having a kid might be.

Here, the "coefficient of relationship" plays a role. If r = 25% or higher, a relationship is often prohibited, while everything lower is often allowed.


Anyway, my thoughts on this: I don't think there should be any restriction on the amount of sex two people are having (provided it's consensual), but there should be some restriction on the children they're having. People need to have some sense of how their actions will affect the next generation.

Two examples: A German Brother-Sister-couple had four children, three of which were severely disabled, both mentally and physically. Apparently, they did not know each other as children so they simply fell in love some day before realizing it.
One of my colleagues from the special-needs school told me of a case where a brother and a sister had a severely disabled girl (drunken coupling) and then had a disabled boy a few years later, again while being drunk. That's simply irresponsible and the ones suffering most are the kids.

In short, I agree with both of you. Sex yes, procreation... avoid if possible.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:11 pm
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 647Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Inferno wrote:Anyway, my thoughts on this: I don't think there should be any restriction on the amount of sex two people are having (provided it's consensual), but there should be some restriction on the children they're having. People need to have some sense of how their actions will affect the next generation.

Two examples: A German Brother-Sister-couple had four children, three of which were severely disabled, both mentally and physically. Apparently, they did not know each other as children so they simply fell in love some day before realizing it.
One of my colleagues from the special-needs school told me of a case where a brother and a sister had a severely disabled girl (drunken coupling) and then had a disabled boy a few years later, again while being drunk. That's simply irresponsible and the ones suffering most are the kids.

In short, I agree with both of you. Sex yes, procreation... avoid if possible.

I pretty much agree with this. Though I think that some of the limitations to even consensual sex we have these days are good (mainly, some kind of age limit). How do we allow incest sex, but prohibit incest babies is mildly put a complicated issue.
Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:49 am
LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2923Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Inferno wrote:Question: How do you feel about incest? Is it a bad thing, good thing, neutral thing? Should anyone care what two adults get up to in their free time? Should it be legal? Etc.


Genetically its bad and can cause issues for any offspring brought about through incest. I think that this should be considered when discussing the legality of the issue. Assuming it is legal for incestuous couples to be recognised, then with this would presumably come the right for them to have children together. Is it okay for people to bring a life into the world when that life might be affected by the risk of genetic abnormalities and harmful recessive traits? I'm not really sure where I stand on that, but it should be taken into consideration.

There is an obvious evolutionary taboo against incest. Perhaps we should stick to that, with the assumption that there is a good reason for this taboo.
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Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:33 pm
australopithecusAdministratorUser avatarPosts: 4235Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Inferno wrote:
australopithecus wrote:I'd argue though that incest is itself an outcome of previous harm.


Interesting. How come?


Well, there's a biological imperative not to breed with close family members for obvious reasons. It seems to me that it follows that incestuous behaviour is a result of negative experience in early life; abusive childhood for example. I'll stress I've done no research on the issue, it's just my impression.
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Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:17 pm
VivreUser avatarPosts: 351Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:05 pmLocation: dungeon of despair Gender: Female

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Thx Inferno ;-)

for the infos and esp that coefficient table I found quite interesting.

I do think some kind of guidelines and regulations about how to handle incest could be helpful, but imprisonment of any kind to me seems totally amiss.
Cases like those examples you showed should be treated independently. Such irresponsible continuous breeding comes somehow close to crime.


As you mentioned Laurence Krauss I did a small search and came across a debate wherin he was prompted to give his opinion on incest. Various short-clips can be found but I'd like to pass on that one where H.A. Tzortzis adds his postscript: Professor Lawrence Krauss Rationalisation of Incest - Hamza Andreas Tzortzis
Wanting to know the wider context I checked out the full debate. The excerpt starts at 1h10 : Krauss' Islam-Atheism-Debate with Tzortzis
To me it's no surprise that 'moral' appeared in his answer as this was tenor in the debate itself.
Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:14 pm
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InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Funny enough, this comes out today:
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"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:59 pm
FrengerBloggerUser avatarPosts: 831Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:50 pmLocation: Derby, UK Gender: Male

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Personally, people are free to do what they like so far as it causes no harm to others.

That two consenting, biologically related adults are engaging in sexual behaviour bothers me to the same degree as any other couple, which is simply "how come everyone else is getting some, and I'm not?".

As has been pointed out, the problem arises when reproduction occurs. The risks are to severe and a human being is brought into this world with most likely, serious deformities. This is unfair, especially when other options are open to the couple (sperm banks etc).

There is nothing intrinsically immoral about a related couple, they are a couple like any others and as long as they are able to adhere to their limitations, I say "all the best and good luck in the future".
Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:56 am
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InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Frenger wrote:how come everyone else is getting some, and I'm not?


:lol:
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:40 am
sick_jesusUser avatarPosts: 24Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:26 pmLocation: France Gender: Male

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Inferno wrote:I recently heard someone, I think it was Lawrence Krauss, briefly comment on the topic though I can't remember where I heard it. I'll try to find the original comment when I have the time.


Here's the Krauss clip, my friend...

"I've nothing to recover from, apart from life itself"
Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:48 pm
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CollecemallPosts: 319Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:53 am

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

I saw this argument brought up because an Australian Judge had an opinion that incest might not be taboo anymore . I agree with most of you that the sex itself is just that. It's sex. If there was a way to assure those people wouldn't procreate then I don't see a problem with it. However, can you force two people to use birth control? Can you be sure it's effective even if they do? Simply put there's no way to stop it from happening 100%.
"Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their time."
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ~~Voltaire
Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:32 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2745Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Greetings,

I don't have a issue regarding consenting adults, although it is unusual within a monotheistic cultural perspective.

As regards procreation, although there isn't much risk of malformed offspring as a one-off, over several generations the risks of such build up - for example, the "Ostrich People" in Africa.

@Austra

Regarding incest being mainly due to child sexual abuse within a family, although I agree with you, there are cases of genuine adult incest where siblings have been separated at birth and meet in later life unaware of their relatedness falling in love, etc. One such case of which I'm aware, involved a brother and sister who were separated at birth, met in later life, and even married before finding out that they were in fact siblings.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:02 am
abelcainsbrotherBannedUser avatarPosts: 774Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:33 am Gender: Male

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Sorry but atheists have nothing to draw from to say what is right or wrong.But they borrow from God and the bible in order to do it.But you cannot borrow from a God you don't believe in but every time they do they prove Romans true where it tells us God wrote his laws on every person's hearts and this is where atheists decide what is right or wrong.
Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:03 am
Master_Ghost_KnightContributorUser avatarPosts: 2630Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:57 pmLocation: Netherlands Gender: Male

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

abelcainsbrother wrote:Sorry but atheists have nothing to draw from to say what is right or wrong.But they borrow from God and the bible in order to do it.But you cannot borrow from a God you don't believe in but every time they do they prove Romans true where it tells us God wrote his laws on every person's hearts and this is where atheists decide what is right or wrong.

That is the dumbest thing I have heard in while. And I can't believe theist get away with it.
So are you saying that without god you couldn't realize that you were doing harm to other person? That without god you can't figure out that you can cause pain and distress to someone else?
So you are just good and don't kill people all the people because you are afraid of God?
So if you were to find out tomorrow that "hey there really is no God" that you wouldn't care if you were to walk into a hospital with 5 gallons of gasoline, soak a sick person strapped to bed and set them on fire? After all according to you, there is no right or wrong without God, since there really isn't God then it isn't really wrong.
You know what? You better keep believing in God.

This however is of topic.


On the topic.
I would have to say that incest is wrong. But only in the sense that it constitutes a very serious risk of reproduction and having a child with nasty birth defects. There is a serious risk that they could bring a child into the world that would experience nothing but misery and suffering throughout their short life if he/she is lucky.
But take reproduction out of the picture, then I can't say that it is wrong. We may feel uncomfortable about it, we may find it disgusting, and there is perfectly good reason for that (namely the consequences of reproduction), I would not advise to for people to stay in such a relationship. But is it wrong? No, it is not.
"I have an irrefutable argument for the existence of...." NO, STOP! You are already wrong!
Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:14 pm
abelcainsbrotherBannedUser avatarPosts: 774Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:33 am Gender: Male

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

Master_Ghost_Knight wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote:Sorry but atheists have nothing to draw from to say what is right or wrong.But they borrow from God and the bible in order to do it.But you cannot borrow from a God you don't believe in but every time they do they prove Romans true where it tells us God wrote his laws on every person's hearts and this is where atheists decide what is right or wrong.

That is the dumbest thing I have heard in while. And I can't believe theist get away with it.
So are you saying that without god you couldn't realize that you were doing harm to other person? That without god you can't figure out that you can cause pain and distress to someone else?
So you are just good and don't kill people all the people because you are afraid of God?
So if you were to find out tomorrow that "hey there really is no God" that you wouldn't care if you were to walk into a hospital with 5 gallons of gasoline, soak a sick person strapped to bed and set them on fire? After all according to you, there is no right or wrong without God, since there really isn't God then it isn't really wrong.
You know what? You better keep believing in God.

This however is of topic.


On the topic.
I would have to say that incest is wrong. But only in the sense that it constitutes a very serious risk of reproduction and having a child with nasty birth defects. There is a serious risk that they could bring a child into the world that would experience nothing but misery and suffering throughout their short life if he/she is lucky.
But take reproduction out of the picture, then I can't say that it is wrong. We may feel uncomfortable about it, we may find it disgusting, and there is perfectly good reason for that (namely the consequences of reproduction), I would not advise to for people to stay in such a relationship. But is it wrong? No, it is not.



The truth hurts.I did not say atheists can't sin or kill,or can't do good,we all can but we all have sinned but that is the whole reason for Jesus who died and rose again to save sinners.Atheists have nothing to draw from yet they draw from God all the time when they judge Christians.It is a logical fallacy.
Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:05 am
InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: How does Incest fit into our society?

abelcainsbrother wrote:The truth hurts.I did not say atheists can't sin or kill,or can't do good,we all can but we all have sinned but that is the whole reason for Jesus who died and rose again to save sinners.Atheists have nothing to draw from yet they draw from God all the time when they judge Christians.It is a logical fallacy.


You are so full of shit it's not even funny.
Religious people are typically the last to adopt the new morality other people have put forward: LGBT rights, rights for black people, women's rights, etc. And you dare get all high and mighty? I'm close to disregarding forum rules and cussing you out.





"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:45 am
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