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Now we are going "forward" here to a new "free" world.

Unfortunately not in English but I am sure someone will direct us to English article

http://www.mondo.rs/s265858/Info/Svet/U_Danskoj_traze_dekriminalizaciju_incesta.htmldubo

To make long story short in Denmark , parliamentary party of "Red - Green coalition" ( or whatever the name is) wants to decriminalize incest between brother and sister. They are claiming that it is not up to state and government to decide who wants to have children with whom, they say it is old fashion way to look at sex and different kinds of families.
Social-democrats ( in power) are against this (Thank you guys)but other two parties (in government) are waiting for legal advice to decide what to do.
OMG...

by vbo on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 07:55:47 AM EST
Meh, so what?
Can be summarised as "Consenting Adults" surely?
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 08:01:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't believe what you people are talking...
If there are more of you with this opinion I will truly leave this place...I assume you will cheer...
by vbo on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 09:07:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be a pity, I've enjoyed your diaries.

Values differ. One test here

The scale is a measure of your reliance on and endorsement of five psychological foundations of morality that seem to be found across cultures. Each of the two parts of the scale contained three questions related to each foundation: 1) harm/care, 2) fairness/reciprocity (including issues of rights), 3) ingroup/loyalty, 4) authority/respect, and 5) purity/sanctity.

The idea behind the scale is that human morality is the result of biological and cultural evolutionary processes that made human beings very sensitive to many different (and often competing) issues. Some of these issues are about treating other individuals well (the first two foundations - harm and fairness). Other issues are about how to be a good member of a group or supporter of social order and tradition (the last three foundations).
[...] The big difference between liberals and conservatives seems to be that conservatives score slightly higher on the ingroup/loyalty foundation, and much higher on the authority/respect and purity/sanctity foundations.

This issue seems to be #5 "purity". I suspect non-religious, left-of-center people will generally rate this measure lower than others.

by Number 6 on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 10:33:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely not case of "purity" in my case.
by vbo on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:49:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I would deplore that.
by Katrin on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 10:46:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I don't think, deep down, that I'd have a problem with genuinely consensual protected sex between adult brother and sister.

However, ensuring that it's truly consensual may well be next to impossible. There are endless possibilities of emotional pressure. True, they exist outside a family as well, but the childhood years spent together probably magnify them. So there may be a need for some protection from the law.

Then, there is the problem of unprotected sex. They may be consenting adults, but if they were to have children, they may (I have to go with may -there probably aren't enough cases to make a study population) find it difficult to find their place in the genealogy. Especially, they'll find it hard to cope with being born from an act that would be considered an abomination if they were to do it themselves, simply because they aren't 18 yet.

So, while the act itself between consenting adults would not necessarily be any of my business, I can see a case for society to decide to ban it. Probably not criminalise it, though.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 10:24:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
True about the children ... but how about non-related people with heritable genetic disorders?
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 10:36:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you notice that I did not mention genetic disorders, simply the risks to mental stability?

Risks of genetic disorders in unions between relatives, though not inexistent, tend to be overplayed indeed. It's the emotional ones that I feel are underplayed.

Now to answer your question is difficult. If you have a known severe disorder, should your partner test for it before marrying? I would hope that he would, but am not sure that the law should interfere.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 10:48:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am sure the law should NOT interfere. Must people be under the obligation to save our public services the expense or what? How would you enforce that, by the way?
by Katrin on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 10:58:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Must people be under the obligation to save our public services the expense or what?"

No. But if the disease is bad enough that having the child could be considered an act of cruelty to him, it might at least deserve some thought before stating that the law should not interfere.
Which is my inclination, as I wrote. That doesn't mean that no case can ever be made (and then probably nevertheless rejected) for some restrictions.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 11:13:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cyrille:
But if the disease is bad enough that having the child could be considered an act of cruelty to him,...

Considered by whom? Is a disabled child necessarily unhappy? Do you believe disabled people regret they were born?

by Katrin on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 11:31:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't venture to judge on their behalf, but I suggest there may be a range of answers to your question.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 11:55:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Judging on somebody else's behalf was the starting point of this discussion, though.
by Katrin on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 12:27:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's certainly implied in your question.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 12:31:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Do you believe disabled people regret they were born? "

Some have sued their parents for letting them be born, yes.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 12:16:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For letting them be born, or to get the parents' insurance companies to pay out? Do you have details?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 12:25:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For letting them be born with the disease, to be precise.
Regrettably, I don't have the details of the case I have in mind at hand. I remember it for a different reason actually: that the court agreed to hear it (it was in France) showed that they took the parental project to create the child's identity, rather than the genes.

The defendants (from memory the defendants were the parents -but I might be wrong and it might have been the doctors) had argued that they could not ask for damages as, if they'd had their wish (abortion), they wouldn't have even existed. The court considered that if there had been an abortion followed by a pregnancy without the disease, it would have been essentially the same child, but free from the disease.

I'm explaining it poorly and have forgotten much of the details, but it is actually an inevitable logical implication of a system that accepts abortion following a medical test. The reason why it was a landmark case was that it was the first time that the implicit logical conclusion was made explicit, namely that it is the parental project that creates the child's identity.
Which is also implicit everytime parents say something like: "if you had been a girl, you would have been named Anja".

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:10:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The court considered that if there had been an abortion followed by a pregnancy without the disease, it would have been essentially the same child, but free from the disease.

What nonsense! How do they get the idea that siblings are identical? The second child would have been genetically different, and it would have made different experiences. The child who sued exists, and can only exist being born with the disease. The alternative would have been that it had never existed (and sued). And the decision is not the child's, but the parents'.

it is actually an inevitable logical implication of a system that accepts abortion following a medical test.

The logical implication is to accept every pregnant woman's decision. She is entitled to help, support, and to respect for her choice, whatever that choice is.

by Katrin on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 02:41:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"What nonsense! How do they get the idea that siblings are identical?"

They never said anything like that.
Again, it's the same logic as the sentence I gave, "If you had been a girl".
Not "if we'd had a girl".

There is the identity of the parental project, and this was considered as more significantly defining the child than his genetic material.

The child who sued reckoned that, in the most important sense, it would still have been him -even though with different looks and possibly even gender. And the court agreed.

So do I, by the way. Genes have no importance, and I would not care one bit to learn that my sons don't carry mine.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:13:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your sons probably would care, but that's not my point. Personal identity is only partly shaped by what you call "the parental project". The child makes experiences that can only partly be influenced by the parents. And the (genetically determined) physical side has an influence on the personality too. You downplay two of these factors: genes and environment other than parents.

Cyrille:

Again, it's the same logic as the sentence I gave, "If you had been a girl".
Not "if we'd had a girl".

Well, you aren't a girl. So what? Same as in "if you had been born without the disease" or "if you had been born with green eyes". It strengthens my point that "the parental project" has very limited influence, and that the child has to take life as it is. The only alternative is no life.

by Katrin on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:49:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Your sons probably would care"
Why?

"Personal identity is only partly shaped by what you call "the parental project"."
OK -partly, but mainly. That doesn't mean their personality would have been identical if they had been born from a later pregnancy, it means that when the child(ren? I think there were two) said "They could have aborted and had another pregnancy and I would have been born without the disease", the court recognised their right to use "I".
And I certainly don't downplay the environment which is far more related to the parental project than to the genes.

"It strengthens(!) my point that "the parental project" has very limited influence, and that the child has to take life as it is. The only alternative is no life."

Well, you do realise that it was the case they tried to make, and failed? So just stating it is unlikely to count as obvious evidence.

And obviously my example does not strengthen your point: the parent uses "you". If you'd been a girl, it would have been you, a different you of course. But you.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 04:49:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cyrille:
And obviously my example does not strengthen your point: the parent uses "you". If you'd been a girl, it would have been you, a different you of course. But you.

It's an amazing, bizarre case, the more I think about it. The parent can't simply declare using these words that it would be you. It is short for "if this pregnancy had turned out to result in..." What if the child is unhappy about, say, its gender? Can it sue because the parents didn't make sure it's a girl? Why not?

Am I obliged to feel identical or something with the embryo that my mother aborted after having Rubella? I refuse. It's not me. What power has this embryo to force me? I can't imagine it will sue.

Cyrille:

"Your sons probably would care"
Why?

Children need to know who their biological parents are, and during adolescence they need to transform the role of both sets of parents if there are social parents as well. It's one of these psychological needs of every human being that can't be avoided. They would never forgive you, if you lied to them about that. I am a foster mother of two, btw.
by Katrin on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 06:20:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Am I obliged to feel identical"

Why do you keep bringing that strawman to which I replied already? No one is talking about feeling identical.
They were not -precisely, they felt that it would have been them, but different (as in disease-free). Not identical at all.

"They would never forgive you, if you lied to them about that. I am a foster mother of two, btw."

Who's talking about lying, something I never do, much less to my sons?
As far as I know, I am the biological father. It's also not something I'd ever go and test as I find it completely irrelevant.
Hell, in our case it's even possible that the elder one has a different biological mother than we think -he is an IVF child and there is a possibility of mixing-up the embryos. If we learnt that it was the case, we wouldn't hide it. But it certainly would make no difference to me, as it would make absolutely no difference to me to learn that my father was not biological.

There is a chasm between not mentioning and adoption (in which case you are certain, by the way) and not mentioning an affair. If the fertility problem was solved because my wife had fun while I was away on business, well all I can say is I hope that she made sure he was HIV negative and that the earth moved for her, but I don't see that it would be any of my business. He's my son, period.

As to never forgiving, well, I happen to know someone who learnt at 30 that she had been adopted. Now, she certainly did not like not having been told earlier, but I saw her with her mother (her father is now dead, alas) and it's clear that forgiving did not take long at all.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 06:52:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do you keep bringing that strawman to which I replied already? No one is talking about feeling identical.
They were not -precisely, they felt that it would have been them, but different (as in disease-free). Not identical at all

Not a strawman. I am trying to grasp the implications of this (I am really trying!):

it would have been you, a different you of course. But you.

If it's a "different me", it's not me at all. There is only one see-the-trademark me, and that's me.

My mother told me if I had been a boy (God forbid), I would be Wilhelm (God forbid again), after my father. That's only lazy-speak for: if I had been a totally different person that has nothing to do with my identity, a male...

The claimant in your case apparently could fantasise themselves into being (reincarnated?) a totally hypothetical second child that might (or might not) have been born after s/he (or rather the embryo that developed into being s/he) was aborted. Bizarre. What if there hadn't been another child? (S/he would have sued to compel the parents to... really!) The judge must have been drunk. Was there an appeal?

You say you agree. (Now I probably should edit out "drunk" and so ;-) ) Can you tell me what that means for a hypothetical connection between that rubella embryo and me, because I think that ought to be the same, right?

Cyrille:

Who's talking about lying, something I never do, much less to my sons?

Or hiding the truth (that you know). It backfires, definitely. You are right, "never forgive" is too strong. I know a few cases though, and the extent of trust has never been fully restored, although there was some forgiveness. This is completely tangential, though.

by Katrin on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 08:32:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Can you tell me what that means for a hypothetical connection between that rubella embryo and me, because I think that ought to be the same, right?"

Well, you could say that thanks to the abortion you were born without a malformation.
Besides, the court never claimed that every child had to feel that way, just that this or those were entitled to say "I would have been born different".

I don't know whether there was an appeal, or even the result of the case. The crucial thing (and one that is a necessary conclusion of accepting abortion after medical tests) was that it was heard.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 09:16:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cyrille:
Well, you could say that thanks to the abortion you were born without a malformation

It's not true. Thanks to my mother having had rubella at any time before she was pregnant with me, I was born without that malformation. No nexus with the abortion. (The abortion makes me child no. 6, not no. 7, and my parents must have been fed up with getting more children after they had six. So probably without that abortion I would not have been born at all. I wouldn't have been in a position to mind or to sue, though.)

Cyrille:

The crucial thing (and one that is a necessary conclusion of accepting abortion after medical tests) was that it was heard.

???  I accept abortion whenever a pregnant woman decides it is the right thing for her. I equally accept if she decides to have the child, no matter if it is healthy or not.

by Katrin on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 10:11:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The judge's ruling reveals a somewhat mystical but not incoherent narrative interpretation of human nature, which as Cyrille is arguing is in fact consistent with a lot of ordinary expressions used by ordinary people (such as your Mother saying "if you had been a boy you would have been Wilhelm").

That doesn't mean any of it is "scientific" but that is rather beside the point. We're talking law here. Which is about the social construction of social reality.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 09:23:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
We're talking law here. Which is about the social construction of social reality.

Thank you. Beautifully put.

by Katrin on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 10:13:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... but you've got to wonder what he'd been smoking.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 10:39:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing too potent, given that lots of people reason in the frame in which they can tell their son "if you had been a girl we would have called you victoria" without blinking.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 10:49:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
which summarises my thinking on the matter :

"Si ma tante en avait, on l'appelerait Tonton"

(If my aunt had balls, we'd call her Uncle)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 11:17:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But he'd have had to be smoking something to not tell them to go talk with a psychologist about their issues and stop wasting the court's time.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:36:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the dictator clones himself to get loyal army scenario also fits in this narrative. It also depends on the ability for the identity to span more then one body. Also the upload yourself and live forever thing.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 01:00:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a friend who wrote up a scenario on the premise that there had been a "clone yourself to cheat the ballot box" scare. After which clones were disenfranchised and required to be genetically engineered with distinguishing features like tusks and green-tinted skin, so people could tell who were clones and who were not.

(The scenario took it as read that "cloning copies the person" is a bogus trope.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:52:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it's a "different me", it's not me at all.

Mmmm, I'm not so certain. If you were to install a synthetic memory bank in the back of your head, you would be a "different you," but there would be sufficient continuity of identity, of what cyberpunk author Shirō Masamune called "ghost," that most people would still argue - rightly, in my view - that you would still be "you."

Given appropriate technology, you could progressively replace every part of your brain with enhanced, synthetic substitutes, and still retain sufficient continuity to qualify as "you," even though there would be nothing left of the original wetware. On the other hand, simply copying your brain architecture into an advanced neural net computer and then shooting you would kill "you," at least in most people's view.

What this suggests is that the relevant distinction is in terms of the degree of continuity, or the rate of change and the fraction of the body replaced in each step.

Under that convention, the children's argument in this case is wrong, because you have a 100 % discontinuity when you flush the embryo and plug in a new one. But it is not a completely silly argument that you could in principle replace the zygote with a different one, if only you could do it one cell at a time.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:36:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin - I agree with you that children should not be lied to and if you do lie to them they may never forgive you. I also had the privilege of being a foster mother (three kids from foster care, two of my own) so I know a little something about the challenges and rewards involved with that.

However, I was adopted and found out about it quite by accident when I was 16 and had been sent away to reformatory and read it in my psychological records. I'm sure my adoptive parents thought keeping it from me was the right thing to do, and secrecy about such matters was also probably the norm at the time. Be that as it may, my disagreement with you is your statement that "all children need to know who their biological parents are ..." Perhaps most children do, but personally I have never had any interest whatsoever in knowing who my biological parents were. I am sure they had their reasons for putting me up for adoption, and that's that. My adoptive parents were plenty okay for me, warts and all.

by sgr2 on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 10:50:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it is the parental project that creates the child's identity.

That idea bothers me. There is immense hubris in it.

A child creates its own identity, from a heap of factors, starting with its genetic heritage and its environment.

Some children have parents; others don't. Some parents have a parental project; others don't. Neither the existence nor the identity of the child are determined by the existence of a parental project. Sure, it's generally (but not always) better for the child if there is a parental project (making plans for Nigel?)

If it were the parental project that creates the child's identity, there would be an awful lot of people walking around without an identity. (Zombie invasion?)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 10:38:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:
there would be an awful lot of people walking around without an identity.

There are an awful lot with a most uncertain identity.

Some of them, though, got that way through being subjected to an over-affirmed "parental project".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 10:41:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it should bother you because I can't see how it can possibly be correct.

Even pets have distinct personalities. The idea that children wouldn't, from birth, seems nonsensical.

There is a certain left-academic belief in personality as a blank slate that can be shaped wholly by society, culture, family and so on.

But I've never been even remotely convinced by it. The links between genetics and behaviour in animals are too obvious and too strong to ignore. And there are interesting things happening on the borderlands between biochemistry and psychology.

Parents can of course influence and I think most people go through a maturation where they keep some elements of family conditioning and attempt to replace or redefine others.

But I see absolutely no reason to believe that parents can ever define personality absolutely, or that genes don't play a part.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 10:53:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's more the ontology that bothers me, it borders on the theological.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 11:20:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or teleological.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 11:23:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is a disabled child necessarily unhappy? Do you believe disabled people regret they were born?  

Many of them can't even grasp to say how they feel being severely mentally retarded, so who is going to judge how happy they are? Or if they regret being born? You?
You don't know what you are talking about.
Responsible people take all care possible not to have disabled child...And with siblings it is a great possibility. So no excuses.

by vbo on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 06:13:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Responsible people take all care possible not to have disabled child...And with siblings it is a great possibility. So no excuses."

No, it's a slightly less highly unlikely possibility. But still much less likely than for someone who simply has one case in his family and marries a stranger.

So if that's the argument against sex between siblings, the same logic would exclude all relatives of someone who has a genetic disorder to be barred from having children.

Incest is in the mind rather than in the genes. The risks are overwhelmingly psychological, which is why adopted children don't tend to make couples, and actually the law prohibits it. Whereas most cultures accept marriage between double cousins (but ban the more distant uncle/niece or aunt/nephew), who are genetically exactly as close as siblings.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:16:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not underestimating psychological risks at all.You are right about it. But genetic risk is also reality.
In my culture this is simply NO-NO. We tend to make our children know even very far relatives so if they meet each other later in life they are aware who they are. I know that not every culture is against it...some even has it as desirable in order to save family wealth.  
by vbo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 04:05:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the perception of risks comes from a time with smaller societies and worse communications. It then made sense to try to get together with one of those you were least related to.

Long time ago I read an historical study on a small finnish society that in the 19th century started their own school for children with mental disorders. In the 20th century enrollment suddenly drops and eventually the school is closed. About ten years earlier mopeds had been introduced on a large scale, widening the radius for connections. Genetical factor strongly suspected.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:28:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Must people be under the obligation to save our public services the expense or what?  

Yes, as much as possible but that is not main issue.
Society has its right to prevent people making bad decision that will cost that society. That's why we have laws at all. Otherwise it would be anarchy (some people would love it). As much as I am for more freedom and less interference of government in to a people's life, freedom has its limits. In my eyes that limit is where one hurt others enjoying his freedom.  

by vbo on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 06:24:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
vbo:
Yes, as much as possible but that is not main issue

For me it is, and I would like to hear how far you would go! I am trying hard not to mention, oh darn, historical examples of the same.

by Katrin on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:33:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can mention historical examples as much as you want...there are a lot...especially on your side.
by vbo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:53:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"On my side" Interesting. I suspect you are not talking about my argument. Care to elaborate?
by Katrin on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 06:22:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No.
by vbo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 06:53:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Half-baked insinuations aren't particularly classy in the first place. Failing to make your reasoning explicit when asked a direct question is not an improvement.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 04:22:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Katrin needs to explain first her INSINUATIONS about historical examples that she OH tries so hard not to mention...
by vbo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 09:13:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The WestTM has a long history of more or less forcible eugenics, although mainly in the form of sterilization of the poor or mentally impaired, as opposed to forcing termination of their pregnancies. It sort of got a bad name after Nürnberg, but that doesn't mean that the tradition died out in 1945.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 09:53:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wasn't plain for me...
by vbo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 11:25:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and by the way:
No laws (or norms) = anomie
No domination = anarchy

Is it very difficult to get the difference? Why?

by Katrin on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:36:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh thank you for lecturing me . I am so dumb.
by vbo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 09:19:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am glad that I've made the meaning of this post plain enough to be understood.
by Katrin on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 03:34:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heat-to-light threshold exceeded!

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 04:22:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Risks of genetic disorders in unions between relatives, though not inexistent, tend to be overplayed indeed.

The risks are not trivial for single siblings, but possibly tolerable as a one-off event if the original genetic mix has no obvious nasty recessives to worry about.

But if you set a precedent for allowing reproduction between siblings, it doesn't take more than a few generations for the probability of genetic disorders to trend towards certainty. There were many parts of the UK where travel wasn't common until the last century and the genetic mix wasn't as wide as it might be - and even without incest, that was all it took to make disorders more prevalent than they are today.

And if you allow sibling relationships you may as well allow father-daughter relationships, which creates both psychological issues and genetic issues.

Generally it's safer and simpler to consider incest a very bad thing.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 11:04:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, let me throw into the discussion another thing from the original article on the Danish situation: the spread of non-damaging genetic mutations that are recessive (their phenotypical effect only shows if the gene is inherited from both parents) is only possible if there is incest at an early stage. In other words, there are blue-eyed people today only because there has been considerable incest among close descendants of the first person with the mutated gene.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 12:28:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why? Can not simply the regressive gene spread through the descendants until it is spread wide enough for distant relatives that carry the same gene to meat and get kids that turn out blue-eyed?

I am not saying there was not incest in ancient Denmark, just don't see why it is a necessary condition.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 01:10:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can not simply the regressive gene spread through the descendants until it is spread wide enough for distant relatives that carry the same gene to meat and get kids that turn out blue-eyed?

For a high frequency of distant relatives carrying the same gene, spreading wide is not enough, an increase in frequency is needed, too. (If the frequency doesn't increase, then on average one person will carry the mutated recessive gene in every generation.) That is: the mutated gene variant should reproduce at a higher rate than the non-mutated one. In small populations, this can happen by pure accident (one form of genetic drift). Some form of selection (for blue eyes: probably sexual selection) can increase frequency, too, but for that, you need the trait expressed, so you need to increase the frequency first by some other means.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:40:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is a point (or other relatively simple) mutation, it could have arisen independently in several places and at several times at once. Also, what askod said about genetic drift of non-selected alleles.

(Which is not to say that there wasn't substantial consanguinity in pairings in pre- and early modern societies - there must have been, if only due to the geographic isolation of sedentary societies with poor transportation infrastructure.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 04:37:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
genetic drift of non-selected alleles

...has something to do with incest, doesn't it? Small sub-populations and everything.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:49:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh thank you...
by vbo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 09:21:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly. Does anyone here seriously want to ban people with a higher risk of having disabled children from having any children? Really? Sure that that's what you want?

(That's the point where I am speechless.)

by Katrin on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 10:48:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Wikipedia adult incest (though not always marriage) is legal in China, India, and Russia. So it sounds like Denmark is just joing the vast majority of the world.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 08:09:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am speechless...
by vbo on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 09:14:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't sound very speechless, though.

The topic is a bit more complicated than most people think, though. If you consider this case, can you really say criminalising the behaviour is a very intelligent thing? http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/13/world/europe/germany-incest-court/index.html

by Katrin on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 10:50:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And ... just because they did not know each other during childhood it is OK somehow? He knew that she is his sister when he started sexual relationship ( I would have more understanding if he did not know) ...she was a minor and with personality disorder so in my eyes he took advantage of her.
Their two children are disabled , which could be expected, so he did not only ruin her sister's life but also lives of his children. He should be in jail.
Here in Australia there was a case where father and his daughter had a child ( or children, can't remember) they were prosecuted...and ordered not to live together or something like that , it did not help. I know prosecution can't stop it but it can prevent it in many cases.
It simply is not right. And it is not about "purity".
by vbo on Wed Nov 7th, 2012 at 05:48:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Westerfeld effect - the incest avoidance mechanism in our brains works by remembering who we spent our childhoods with and killing all sexual interest in that set of people. It probably works by remembering pheromone complexes. (for obvious reasons.. not a lot of research into how this works, exactly)
 This has a bunch of knock on effects -most notably, almost all incest that does not involve damaged people happens because the kids were raised apart. More commonly, unrelated kids raised together from infancy do not usually knock boots, ever. It is probably also why small tribes almost always practice(d) exogamy or strictly segregated child rearing. Those tribes that did not do at least one of them failed to reproduce.
by Thomas on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 02:13:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If this was always the case, we wouldn't need laws, would we?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 02:22:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sexual laws in Europe are largely inherited from a medieval church that did not have modern ideas about when laws are needed. If it is a sin the bible and there is no over-riding reason to allow, then ban.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:34:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought the Bible sort of approved of polygamy?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 05:41:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If it's the case that people are not attracted to those they spend their first 6 or so years with, most instances of incest will involve older relatives coercing younger relatives. Incest is easier to prove than statutory rape.

At least that's one possible rationale for such laws.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 06:01:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you give us a link to that "Westerfeld effect"? Sorry, Google hasn't heard of it.

And can you assure us there is an identified brain mechanism that functions in that way?

As to exogamy: how, without endogamy including at least first-cousin marriages, did we get to be here?

Given that each individual has two parents, they in their turn two each, and so on in a geometric progression: in 30 or so generations back (Middle Ages), the ancestors of each of us would number more than the entire world population at the time. So it cannot be assumed that there is an exogamous geometric progression. We are necessarily the descendents of far more endogamous unions, in number and in closeness of degree, than we would generally like to admit.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 02:54:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Couples had much more then two children in the past...
And he was talking about SMALL tribes...
by vbo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 04:20:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Couples had much more then two children in the past..."

So?
Plus, they did not have on average much more than 2 that made it to reproductive age, otherwise the population would have risen much faster.

Anyway, populations in the past had phenomenally high consanguinity. Brittany for several centuries was isolated enough that marriages had of necessity a degree of consanguinity that was similar to first cousins -and indeed marriage between cousins was pretty much the norm. Nevertheless, the rise in genetic disorder, while statistically significant, was too small to be practically detectable (a tiny effect can be significant when the sample population is huge).

It's actually an interesting case because the increase should have been higher based on mere genetic proximity. The most likely explanation was that there were more early miscarriages (ie, before the woman knows she's pregnant), and that they would be more likely when the embryo has a genetic disorder. I don't have a link to the study but I have it in a book -in French, though- Histoire de la notion de gène.

Even today, there are huge pockets of genetic proximities. Laos, which I know well enough, is a clear example. Most of my in-laws married cousins (not necessarily first cousins), some even double cousins (yes, genetic proximity equal to siblings in that case). Yet, despite the pretty big sample population (BIG families), the only disorder I've clearly noticed is a stronger tendency to vote UMP than one would like.

Incest is in the mind -and by that I don't mean to diminish it at all. I don't like, for example, the recent tendency of parents to kiss their children on the lips -and indeed, I've seen adult siblings doing it here in London. I wouldn't mind in Russia, but here it means something else and I don't reckon it's a good idea.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 04:59:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More childbirth, no doubt, but not more surviving children reaching reproductive age. Population only rose very slowly until recent times:

Anyway, the number of children per couple has nothing to do with it. Each individual child necessarily has one biological mother and one biological father. Going back over the generations, it is numerically impossible to suppose that the parental couple in every case was exogamous. Only endogamy (and polygamy in cultures where it was practised) can reduce the number of ancestors (for example, first cousins have the same grandparents, two instead of four). We are all the descendents of, at least, cousin marriage.

As for Thomas's point about isolated small tribes, it's true that there are often rules to enforce or encourage exogamy, or channel endogamy by a clan system, for example. But

Thomas:

Those tribes that did not do at least one of them failed to reproduce.

is a supposition. It would be interesting to see some hard evidence for it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 04:59:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More childbirth, no doubt, but not more surviving children reaching reproductive age.

True that many would die...but they would have 10 or more children and at least half would survive...so still more...more variety...
by vbo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 07:35:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is because I should have checked my memory first.
Try westermarck <,<
by Thomas on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 08:07:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, you give us a link.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 08:14:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This isn't something completely obscure.

Westermarck effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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.

In the case of the Israeli kibbutzim (collective farms), children were reared somewhat communally in peer groups, based on age, not biological relation. A study of the marriage patterns of these children later in life revealed that out of the nearly 3,000 marriages that occurred across the kibbutz system, only fourteen were between children from the same peer group. Of those fourteen, none had been reared together during the first six years of life. This result suggests that the Westermarck effect operates during the period from birth to the age of six.[1]

But:

Sociologists and anthropologists have criticized the validity of research presented in support of the Westermarck effect and the contention that it serves as an ultimate demonstration for the viability of natural selection theory in explaining human behaviour. For example, a 2009 study by Eran Shor and Dalit Simchai demonstrated that although most peers who grew up closely together in the Israeli kibbutzim did not marry one another, they did report substantial attraction to co-reared peers. The authors conclude that the case of the kibbutzim actually provides little support for the Westermarck Effect and that childhood proximity cannot in itself produce sexual avoidance without the the existence of social pressures and norms.[3]

However, while not mentioned in the Wikipedia article, incest avoidance by at least mothers has been observed in primates (this is where I read of Westermarck before). See for example here.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 11:09:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it was up to Thomas to offer the reference, but...

It's hypothetical. The empirical evidence offered is shaky. There seems to be no evidence for brain structures dedicated to this, or of the involvement of pheromones, as Thomas suggests. I think it's fair to call the whole thing conjecture.

A pity kcurie isn't here to talk to us about myth structures concerning incest.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 12:18:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't doing Thomas a service but wrote about it because I heard of it too (I think it was via something on Jane Goodall's research). I don't think the evidence from other primates can be called mere conjecture or shaky. The observed incest avoidance isn't deterministic, but a strong trend. I can't find where Thomas mentioned brain structures dedicated to this (nor do I think it necessary that such will be found – this sounds like excessive reductionism of brain functions), but the pheromones speculation (if it isn't Thomas's own) certainly needs sourcing.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 12:45:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thomas:
the incest avoidance mechanism in our brains works by remembering who we spent our childhoods with and killing all sexual interest in that set of people. It probably works by remembering pheromone complexes. (for obvious reasons.. not a lot of research into how this works, exactly)

As to incest avoidance in primates, it may be that there are observable behaviours. In mammals in general, there is no incest avoidance afaik. Probably the most important point is that males move around, favourising gene distribution. I suspect this may explain, in humans, the difference between isolated endogamous communities, where genetic defects become apparent after several generations, and communities with sufficient contact with "mobile" males for intermixing.

I insist, however, that it is not materially possible that all our ancestors coupled exogamically. We are the children of endogamy.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 02:18:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it is mine, and it is purely speculative. Well, I base it on the bit where most people do not actually look anything like their 1-6 year old selves when grown, and the fact that scent has been proven to have a heck of a lot of sway over who we find attractive. .. Actually, this theory is testable, without doing anything overly morally questionable. Just apply "scent of partners sibling" to one half of a couple and see if it murders their sex life. >,)
A positive result would also prove the original hypothetical. Somewhat .. cumbersome experimental protocol, tough.
by Thomas on Fri Nov 9th, 2012 at 02:31:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
myth structures concerning incest

On this note, I found the critique of Freud's critique of the Westermarck effect, quoted on the Wikipedia article from a book by Steven Pinker (where I find he himself references one John Tooby) funny:

The idea that boys want to sleep with their mothers strikes most men as the silliest thing they have ever heard. Obviously, it did not seem so to Freud, who wrote that as a boy he once had an erotic reaction to watching his mother dressing. But Freud had a wet-nurse, and may not have experienced the early intimacy that would have tipped off his perceptual system that Mrs. Freud was his mother. The Westermarck theory has out-Freuded Freud.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 12:53:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and ties in nicely with Michel Onfray's fisking of Freud.

I sort of wondered if it was a Jewish thing, or what. Ick.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 01:43:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure kcurie would go along with the reference to Freud re myth structures...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 02:02:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I cited the case for a different reason: Keep socially defined family roles and biological relations apart. There are psychological reasons to keep the relations between siblings asexual (to place a taboo on incest), otherwise families would become dysfunctional. This concerns the social roles in the family though, not the biological side. Socially and emotionally this couple are not siblings, though. It's one of the flaws of incognito adoption.

I have an issue with your assumptions. Close relatives who have a hereditary condition that is recessive have an increased risk to pass this on. If these preconditions are not met, there is no heightened risk. There is absolutely no evidence that this is the case here. Additionally (and I know I am repeating myself), no siciety has the right to ban people from having children. Where would you stop? Forced sterilisations and abortions anyone? Interrogations of pregnant women is they show behaviour that might damage the embryo? Would you perhaps lock them up if they show signs that they might smoke? That could be efficient prevention, you know.

By the way, a minor (as the girl in this case) can consent, even if she suffers from a markedly low IQ (which is the "disorder" she suffers from).

by Katrin on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 03:28:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know of a couple in which the mother is Rh-negative and the father is Rh-positive, which became known after the natural abortion of the wife's first pregnacy. However, the couple were deeply religious Catholics, and wouldn't use contraceptives or any other medical help, instead preferring prayer. They first had a healthy Rh-negative son, then an Rh-positive daughter with damaged central nervous system (causing constant twitching and various secondary health problems). I'm not saying such cases should be prevented with prohibitions, but this was definitely a stronger case of parental "playing dice with genetic defects" irresponsibility than the average sibling incest.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 11:20:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agree. I find such cases horrifying too. The decision must be the parents' though, even if they take a decision that most people find wrong.
by Katrin on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 11:34:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"...she was a minor and with personality disorder so in my eyes he took advantage"

That indeed is my take on it, and note that it has nothing to do with their being siblings.

"Their two children are disabled , which could be expected"

No, that could not, unless there was a history of the similar disability in the family. Yes, it increases the chances, but they remain very small if there was no such history.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 04:41:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, that could not, unless there was a history of the similar disability in the family. Yes, it increases the chances, but they remain very small if there was no such history.  

Are you sure?

Looking around I found these:

http://healthland.time.com/2011/02/11/dna-tests-of-disabled-kids-uncovers-evidence-of-incest/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incest#Genetics

Studies suggest that 20-36% of these children will die or have major disability due to the inbreeding.[13] A study of 29 offspring resulting from brother-sister or father-daughter incest found that 20 had congenital abnormalities, including four directly attributable to autosomal recessive alleles.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1355898/New-gene-based-tests-explain-childrens-disabilities- -highlight-cases-incest.html

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2011/02/11/genetic-testing-brings-up-a-surprising-topic-in cest/

http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100226034839AALYYUH

http://www.gtplanet.net/forum/showthread.php?t=250350

I hope they are not religious ( can't see anywhere) or you'll dismiss it...

And then different opinion...I suppose that's where you are coming from...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/15/law-against-incest
 And so on...

by vbo on Thu Nov 8th, 2012 at 08:45:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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