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obviously it's pretty darn wrong, but why exacttly is it illegal? is it for the sake of the possible kids or something?
the best things are illegal
incest is bad because it usually leads to genetic deformity in the offspring...etc etc..
so if it's between step brother/sister.. then i don't really see the problem??
didn't cher and whats his face get it on in clueless anyways?? weren't they step siblings?
but then her dad re-married so it wasn't an issue any more i guess..
its different as to whether they grew up from a young age together, as going out with someone that you've considered your brother/sister for so long is not quite right.
Home & Away. I swear every other relationship is between step-siblings.
who? i get confused with who's related to who. everyone's a bloody foster child.... although the whole 'drew sleeping with bel's mum, and bel's mum getting it on with two brothers, one of whom was drews dad'... That all gets a bit weird/gross/confusing as helllll!
Isn't that a little different, they didn't exacly grow up together?
Incest is considered a social malfunction. If the government makes incest illegal it looks like the social malfunction is, in itself, wrong, and not the wrongdoing of the government for allowing such a situation to occur.
refusing to acknowledge to break up of the "normal" family unit i.e people re-marrying, having kids, people therefore having half brothers and sisters which they may be estranged for then meet under the circumstances you would meet a stranger in and therefore a relationship would be ok etc
the game the whole family can play.
whcih really helps answer the question a lot :P
she's the one who's tapped in the head!
she's such a monotone, personality devoid BIATCH.
poor gilly, she's been making a fool of him for months.
classic beth quote "when i marry gilly, we can be together all the time"
Now that's one fucked up film.
also see the war zone
Although personally, I don't think it should be illegal. It isn't against the law for two disabled people to have children and they are more likely to have disabled offspring (depending on the reason for their disablity obviously) than two people of the same family.
Lots of pairs of actions that cause the same harm aren't equally wrongful - accidental killing and murder, for example. That's not meant as an analogy (since it's a bad one!) - just an observation.
What makes incest (putatively) wrong is its offensiveness to the idea of family. Which is why it's interesting to see that most people here have leapt to harm-based arguments. The explanation is easy enough - protecting perfectionist ideals like the family is off the agenda for liberal moral theory. Hence, liberalism can't make sense of why incest is seen as so grave a wrong. Interesting stuff.
the distinction between the actions isn't as clear as, for example, manslaughter and murder (you can easily make a distinction of intent). Perhaps the problem with incest (or part of the problem, anyway) is the bearing it has upon the notion of family, but if it is and what exactly the problem would be isn't obvious at all.
In fact, I think I agree with you. The fact that there is an intuitive, moral difference between incest and two disabled people conceiving alludes to the idea that the problem is something other than the genetic implications (for example, the bearing upon the notion of family), and that's what makes it interesting.
the intention point is why I said not to take it as an analogy ;-)
As to the nature of the problem - I don't think it's at all obscure. It's an important part of the traditional conception of the family that it only allows for sexual relations between parents. Which also explains, interestingly, why the paradigm of non-serious incest is between biological brothers and sisters who were brought up separately and never met until later in life - i.e. who never lived as family. As opposed to between people who were sterile and thus had no chance of harming their kids!
But like you say, it's moral intuition and its tension with accepted modern moral frameworks that makes this an interesting one. Perhaps that's why incest is regarded as one of the "last taboos" - it's one of the only remaining areas in which people can't reconcile the severity of their disgust with the apparent moral neutrality of the conduct concerned...
it leads to easy exploitation. You have people in a position of authority, people who are supposed to be respected, trusted, looked up to, and on the other side people who are potentially very vulnerable. I'm astonished that anyone would say it should be legal.
I mean, that, and it's just really, really gross.
therefore it shouldnt be illegal. Thats what i think anyway.
is parasitic on the idea of family in which parents are to be "respected, trusted, looked up to" by their kids.
Also, incestuous relationships need not be exploitative. That they can be - and often are - severely exploitative just contributes to why incest is (generally speaking) seen as a very serious wrong.
"I mean, that, and it's just really, really gross."
That's what a lot of people said about homosexuality, too. You have to be careful with that sort of argument.
sounds a lot like the kind of arguments people make/used to make against homosexuality. Personally I don't want the legal system to be structured around what people find offensive. For me the only argument for it being illegal is that inbreeding produces unhealthy offspring but as dark_truffles says, we don't stop people with genetic disorders from having kids.
the idea of the family arguement was simply used by judges to maintain their narrowminded, usually christian views.
which is exactly what I was getting at above. I already touched on the offensiveness point as well - I don't think people finding things offensive is a prima facie good reason for legal regulation. But this argument doesn't rely on people finding incest offensive. It's different - it states that it IS offensive, objectively so, to an important social ideal.
(For the record: this isn't necessarily my view. But it is the most plausible case for what we intuitively find wrong with incest.)
and I don't really think something can be objectively offensive anyway. Like I said (and you said yourself), people have used the same argument against homosexuality. In fact you could make similar arguments against pretty much anything.
It's the offensiveness that's (again, putatively) objective. I don't think that's at all impossible - we have agreed standards in certain spheres that we recognise as important, and violations of those standards are "objective" in the relevant sense. For example, we can coherently regard racist insults as offensive quite apart from the fact that they happen to offend some people.
And as for making similar arguments against other things - well, doubtless you can. But I don't think that makes having ideals a bad thing. It just means you have to debate the value of those ideals. In other words it's setting a new question - instead of "does incest harm people?", we ask "is the ideal protected by the laws against incest worth protecting?". I think that's a more sensible way of seeing this particular problem.
'In Bread', do you think people would see the funny side?
I'll just take it to Lincolnshire instead!
are we talking about incest between siblings only then? It's just, incest involving adults with children is necessarily illegal to protect children.
The sibling argument on the surface seems to have no bearing on protecting anyone, only, my guess is, there'd be manipulation involved in a sibling relationship too. Therefore, making it illegal is for protection of the vulnerable too.
Can be manipulative too. You can't just interfere in personal relationships on the basis that there's some emotional manipulation going on.
Is it really necessary for incest to be illegal? I mean, are there really people walking around just ITCHING to have incestual relationships that CAN'T because they're illegal? I mean I'd think if you REALLY wanted one you'd have one whether it was illegal or not.
I'd say the illegality of incest is a legal recognition of an abiding societal consensus. It doesn't really need to be illegal because no one'd fuckin' do it anyway.
if people are going to have sex with their sibling i doubt they are too worried about social conventions.
what exactly will putting someone in prison for being incestuous acheive?
Not a lot I'd wager
don't conflate two separate issues - whether incest should be legally regulated and whether it (or indeed any number of other things) should be punished by imprisonment.
unless you want the government to say who can and who cant have children, or what two consenting adults can do.
about other relationships being manipulative too and it being pointless to try and use the law to stop this. (There would be very few legal relationships if manipulation were illegal)
But a bit like the Doctor patient, teacher pupil (which at university is consenting adults) there is a reason why family members should not be allowed to engineer sexual relationships. I realise the examples I give are not illegal as such, but they would have heavy consequences for the Doctor and teacher.
Making incest illegal, means society gives the message that our society finds the action unacceptable. It takes away any ambiguity over it. Therefore protecting the vulnuerable in a necessary way - I would say.