Atheists seem to be usually open minded, so I'm wondering your thoughts on incest. I see no moral or ethical problem with it as long as no children are born out of it or are involved. I've told people this before and I'm told I'm sick and disgusting, yet every objection I've heard against it has no logic behind it.

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Ok, how about homosexual incest? ;D

 

(purely a hypothetical added facet to the discussion, from an only child.)

 

 

First cousins have a 2-3% chance of conceiving a child with a birth defect, but I think that's only the case if there hasn't been ancestral incest for several generations, but I'm not 100% on this. Incest is just a taboo unless offspring are conceived and every successive generation kept it in the family then it becomes redneck-royalty.

I don't give a fuck. It's none of my business.

I live in Kentucky, which has a reputation for marrying cousins.  I think it is a pretty outdated stereotype, as I don't think it occurs very much today, but back in the 1800s and very early 1900s, it was quite common.  In fact, I have a 3rd great grandfather in my family tree that is my 3rd great grandfather three times over, due to cousins marrying cousins. 

 

Back in the 1800s, if you lived in a rural area, there simply weren't a whole lot options available for sexual partners.  Two or three families often moved to an area and after a couple of generations, almost everyone in the community was fairly closely related.  People didn't travel much then and as long as your family had sufficient acreage of arable land, you wouldn't have much reason to leave.

 

Like others have said, as long as it is consensual and no children are involved, I don't really see an issue with it.  There's an "ick" factor that, like that of homosexuality, is impressed upon us by some in society, especially by religion (even though incest is prevalent throughout the Old Testament). 

Was it not reveled that King Tut had a club foot due to incest? Well the experts think so and so do experts on history. Hierarchy blood line is part of our history. Sure royalty practiced incest back before we knew DNA. How in the world is this an issue being that it is 2011. Why would you ask such a question? If you would like some logic behind how bad our species has evolved ask scientist and they will have a better answer than your sick and disgusting teachers.
Errr, isn't that sort of deformity caused by malnutrition?
have no problem with it. use protection or be unable to produce offspring (adoption is great!). there is less chance of birth defect the farther apart a couple is related so children could theoretically be born from those father apart in family. homosexual relations have no likelihood of children so thats fine.
I actually had a crush on my cousin but that was when i was ten. I'm one of those "any (consensual adult) love is good love."
screw youself 2x no?
once mentally and then genetically...

I feel it's a s.american (ok worldwide caveman-woman-minded) catholic problem
my thoughts are that it's a worldwide sickness due to lack of community.
thank goodness for the internet!

I wonder the stats on incest as compared to say oh back in the days before 'under god' ?
If you clone yourself, then have sex with your clone ... is it incest or masturbation?
Inbreeding is not a "good way to clean up the gene pool". Inbreeding in livestock is done to promote specific characteristics, usually with complete indifference to the overall genetic health of the livestock population. The animal breeding community has plenty of results to that effect, many of which are just considered part of doing business (if considered at all).

Genetic arguments aside, I personally think the social dynamics of families, and the power structures therein, make the "consensual" in consensual incest a problematic claim. This makes it a different category of social taboo than either interracial marriage (once illegal) or gay marriage (now illegal) because in those other cases it is clearer that it is consensual. It is more like the taboos against, say, (of age) student-teacher relationships, but with a much stronger, and established, power dynamic involved. So much so, that some equate it to (date) rape, or at least to a mentally abusive "consensual" relationship between non-relatives (which seems equivalent to so-called date rape to me, but is considered different by many). Like with so many mentally abusive relationships, it can be very difficult to observe and quantify the effect.

Equating it to rape or mental abuse leads to similar difficulties in quantifying those things (though actually it is slightly clearer than the he-said, she-said type issues in date rape cases because there's often a clearly established power dynamic based on relation). That difficulty is why I am personally undecided about legislating against it. If I convince myself it is a (potentially pretty messed up) consensual form of taboo relationship, which might be the case with say cousins, I am opposed to legislating against it. If I convince myself it is the moral equivalent of mental abuse / "date" rape, which I consider likely the case in parent-child incest at any age, I am more in favor of legislating against it.

I have none of these issues with non-family homosexual, polyamorous, intercultural, etc. relationships. Incest is just more complicated, in my book.

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