Incest

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chemicals
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Re: Incest

Post by chemicals » Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:07 am

mkaobrih wrote:Isn’t there a tribe of human that believe that their children are not their children but that the children of their sister are their children? So your involved / related with your sisters kids but not your own.
Must be very confusing if you are an only child and have a baby !!
والقس هو مجنون
Ygern
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Re: Incest

Post by Ygern » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:56 am

It's a bit of both: evolved aversion & learned behaviour.

The offspring of a brother - sister pairing has a higher risk of allowing mutations in the recessive genes to appear (seeing as both parent have a high chance of carrying the same mutation). However, it doesn't not always happen, and there are plenty of documented cases where such offspring is perfectly normal.

These sorts of genetic mutations are also fairly high risk in closed populations where inbreeding happens by necessity or even by choice (as in the case of royal families or isolated communities). Oddly societies rarely have a high aversion to these things and even actively encourage it, as in for example pedigree breeding.

I think the aversion is more learned / cultural than biological. As Nozz pointed out, family dynamics generally do not include sexual element so its is simply not an issue amongst most family members. That's a fairly important and strong limiting factor on most people's behaviour. Its not like there is ever going to be a sudden rush of people wanting to hook up with a sibling.

I don't know enough to say whether there is a right or wrong answer, perhaps this would be a useful thought-experiment:
Most societies do not place prohibitions on known carriers of harmful mutations from reproducing simply because there is a chance of the offspring being affected e.g. hemophilia, rhesus negative blood, Huntington's disease, Sickle cell disease.
If such people do give birth to a child with an inherited disease, they are not punished but are offered medical assistance for the child.
Is it right to place a prohibition on those very rare individuals who wish to pursue a sexual relationship with a sibling?
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bipedalhumanoid
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Re: Incest

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:36 pm

As a suplimentary question I'd ask is it wrong to eat the flesh of a disease free human corpse of someone who was killed, for example, in a car accident. Lets assume the family consent and that the dead person also consented.

Is there anything immoral or unethical about eating this person?
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
Ygern
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Re: Incest

Post by Ygern » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:45 pm

Technically no, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone willing to do it unless they were genuinely starving.
On the other hand, there are clearly plenty of cultures have have condoned it under certain circumstances. And wasn't there some chef who served up sautéed human placenta to his guests not too long ago?
Maybe the inhibition isn't as strong as we think.


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The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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nozzferrahhtoo
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Re: Incest

Post by nozzferrahhtoo » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:49 pm

I am honestly knocked sideways trying to find a link between incest and cannibalism! I would be honestly interested to hear your thought processes on what got you from one to the other. I am guessing it is something to do with things we appear to be genetically predisposed against but which are actually ok if done “right”?

It is worth pointing out, although I realise you wish us to answer while imaginging the opposite, that medically it is not a good idea, despite the stipulation of „disease free“. There really is no such thing. There are bacteria good and bad on all of us right now but they live to some degree in harmony with us, more symbiotic than parasitic.

What tends to happen is if some kind of signal is received by these bacteria that something is amiss with the host they tend to go into overdrive and feed and multiply as much as possible before the host becomes useless to them. This is why if you get a cut it gets infected so easily. You are not actually catching an infection, but bacteria you already have think “Uh oh, something is up here, get eating lads while we still can!” and go wild.

So on eating a corpse the likelihood is this is occurring and bad bacteria and diseases which are keyed to feast on your as much as they are the corpse are now being ingested and they are bacteria that are already on the war path, much like cockroaches who have been given that secret signal to become locusts and go wild and who are not likely no notice they are in a new host all of a sudden and would do well to slow down.

That is my horribly lay man understanding of the science I have read on this and I am sure there is a lot more to be said.

Medical issues aside though, and to answer the purely ethical question you actually asked while imagining the medical issue is a non-issue… I honestly can not come up with a single argument against it or to see it as a problem at all.
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Re: Incest

Post by Ygern » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:02 pm

Apparently you're safe(ish) if you make sure to avoid brains as they often carry prion diseases (let that be a lesson to all zombies)
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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bipedalhumanoid
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Re: Incest

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:12 pm

Canibalism and incest are similar moral dilemas once you remove the consideration and/or potential to cause pain/harm to others. They're both acts that are viewed by most reasonable people as instinctively 'yucky'. AFAIK both acts are illegal or at the very least socially unacceptable if not illegal. Finally, when considered from a purely utilitarian point of view, I can't see any logical reason to view anything unethical with either act (at least when the questions are framed as they have been here).

WRT my use of the term 'disease free', the presence bacteria doesn't necessarily constitute "disease". Bacteria exists in all kinds of meat, that's why we chill it, freeze it and cook it. My point obviously was that the human meat was not going to transmit an infection to the person eating it.

If you really want to have a go at my use of language you may wish to suggest that death itself constitutes a disease... but then we'd just be getting pedantic.
dictionary.com wrote: dis·ease   /dɪˈziz/ Show Spelled [dih-zeez] Show IPA noun, verb,-eased, -eas·ing.
–noun
1.a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
Dev
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Re: Incest

Post by Dev » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:18 am

Surely on the grounds of health and safety a chef couldn't serve human meat. Surely for us to eat meat it must have been farmed correctly. Unlikely the the woman was.
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Re: Incest

Post by nozzferrahhtoo » Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:22 am

Hah comically one one of those weird Health gurus that the world has to put up with wrote a book (they all do) about chemicals that have negative effects on our bodies. He claims the human body is so contaminated with such chemicals that we really would not get away with eating ourselves.

"If cannibalism were legal in this country and our flesh was up for review by the FDA, we would all fail the inspection." - Randall Fitzgerald

But of course "Health Gurus" are never to be taken seriously, so I mention it for amusement value only.
Ygern
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Re: Incest

Post by Ygern » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:18 pm

We don't only eat farmed meat though, a lot of people swear by "wild" meat - e.g there is a huge market for so-called game, and most fish is not farmed either. Assuming this woman had all her vaccinations etc & the placenta was properly cooked it was most likely as safe as any other meat, certainly a safer bet than steak tartar.

There we go: placenta pâté, anyone? http://www.independent.co.uk/news/place ... 40048.html
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