Jonathon Haidt's provocative question:

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Jonathon Haidt's provocative question:

Julie and Mark, are sister and brother, they are on summer vacation from college in France.  They are staying alone in a cabin near the beach.  They decided it would be interesting and fun if they tried making love.  They use two forms of birth control.  They had fun, but they decided not to do it again.  They keep that night as a special secret between then which makes them feel even closer to each otherwhat do you think about that?  Is that okay? 


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Sure.I think it's a

Sure.

I think it's a emotionally repulsive idea to me, but they are not hurting anyone. So I don't think there is anything morally wrong with it. Only easthetically repugnant (again, to me).

 

Thankfully, we humans are naturally inclined to shy away from such practices, so that kind of behavior is uncommon.

It is not unlike someone who is sexually aroused by... eh... "playing around" with human fecal matter. It may be a revolting concept to most of us, but as long as the individual in question takes the proper hygenic precortions, there's not really any valid moral objection to them indulging in such a perversion: only an easthetic ojection.

 

Edit:

 

As a matter of fact, I find that many people conflate moral objections to a given practice with easthetic objections.

They don't really have a valid moral argument against a given practice (like for example homosexuality), but because they personally find it unsavery, disgusting, unproper, against they personal idea of what is "normal", they have a viscaral emotional response (which is really just an easthetic objection), and so they feel as though there must be something morally wrong with whatever it is they are objecting to.

 

They don't realise that it's really just not in their own personal taste.

 

I'm reminded of that quote, which I can't remember who said:

"Puritanism is the lingering fear that someone, somewhere, might be happy"

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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 We've learned a lot about

 We've learned a lot about incest through cognitive psychology in the last decade or two.  While it's almost certainly true that our inherent aversion to having sex with our siblings is an evolutionary adaptation to prevent inbreeding, it's interesting how the adaptation works.  It's not based on genetic relation, but rather, proximity.  Put simply, virtually nobody is interested (as teens/adults) in having sex with people they were raised with from the ages of 3 to 10 or 11.  When a child is raised in the same household with a step-sibling and a blood sibling, they are equally unlikely to have sex as an adult with either.  Interestingly enough, siblings separated before age 3 and raised apart are slightly more likely than two random people to have sexual desire for each other.

Brother-sister (or sister-sister or brother-brother) sexual intercourse is the second rarest form of inbreeding in normal human society.  The most common is father-daughter.  The rarest is mother-son.*

Whether a brother and sister's sexual activity is wrong or not depends on your feelings about things like abortion, birth control, and sex in general.  There are no studies I'm aware of indicating that consentual sex between siblings is inherently harmful in either the short term or the long term.  I suppose you'd have to come up with some concrete harm that comes from such matings if you were going to make a blanket statement about their inherent morality.  Good luck with that.

 

 

*{EDIT:  This is predicted by the R value hypothesis.  A mother is 100% certain that she is the mother of her son.  This is the only parent-child relationship that is certain to be sharing 50% genetic material.  A father is never 100% certain that he is the parent of his children, so we should expect fathers to have sex with daughters more than mothers with sons.  In fact, across cultures, it's generally true that approximately 1 in 5 children is NOT the child of the presumed father.}

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I love the topic of

I love the topic of "disgust" in the modern world.  The way people react to certain things is very funny under certain lights.

I used to argue in favor of necrophilia (not for my personal use) as, under the right circumstances, not morally wrong in any way.  I find it sad that so many people allow their emotions to regulate other peoples lives.  I'm pretty much fine with any action as long as it is not done to harm non-consenting individuals.

I'm sure I now look like a freak but I merely made this point because even I find the idea of necrophilia disgusting.

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As a matter of fact, I find

Nikolaj wrote:
As a matter of fact, I find that many people conflate moral objections to a given practice with easthetic objections.

Well, I'd argue that all moral objections are aesthetic objections. Why do feel there's a distinction? What separates the two?

Nikolaj wrote:

I think it's a emotionally repulsive idea to me, but they are not hurting anyone. So I don't think there is anything morally wrong with it. Only easthetically repugnant (again, to me).

 

Out of curiosity, let's say you had two children, of legal age, a boy and girl, who you found out wanted to engage in safe and protected sex with each other, would you tell them you don't really have a moral objection to this, only an aesthetic one? That you don't really have any valid objections to defer them from doing it, and if thats what they wanted to do, go ahead.

I'm just curious. 


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Nikolaj wrote:As a matter of

Nikolaj wrote:
As a matter of fact, I find that many people conflate moral objections to a given practice with easthetic objections.

manofmanynames wrote:
Well, I'd argue that all moral objections are aesthetic objections. Why do feel there's a distinction? What separates the two?

I can be disgusted at people who love cheese music at night clubs, but I wouldn't go as far as to call them evil...


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manofmanynames wrote:Nikolaj

manofmanynames wrote:

Nikolaj wrote:
As a matter of fact, I find that many people conflate moral objections to a given practice with easthetic objections.

Well, I'd argue that all moral objections are aesthetic objections. Why do feel there's a distinction? What separates the two?

I do consider myself a moral relativist of sorts, and as such, I too find that, on one level all moral objections really are aesthetic objections.

When I say on one level, it is because, rape, for example is immoral to me, and the argument for that is that it brings suffering on a human being. A rock or a nebula, have no objection to the suffering of human beings, and since rocks and nebulas are part of the universe too, the argument that it brings suffering to humans is not a universal argument, but rather a subjective one, in that, human suffering is only meaningful to humans (or pehaps to all sentient life, if you want to expand upon it, but still not to the universe as a whole).

Therefore, it can be said to really be a question of "taste", that is, the easthetic opinions of all sentient life.

That said, if something is practically universal to all humans, such as the aliviating of human suffering, then I feel justified in calling what can be argued from that, a moral argument.

So, in a nutshell, to me, a moral argument is more or less equivalent to a utalitarian argument.

But I see your point, and had expected as much from the response. But I have an unfortunate tendency to write very long posts, so I decided this time to keep it brief, and then reply again when the inevitable counterarguments came up.

manofmanynames wrote:
Nikolaj wrote:

I think it's a emotionally repulsive idea to me, but they are not hurting anyone. So I don't think there is anything morally wrong with it. Only easthetically repugnant (again, to me).

Out of curiosity, let's say you had two children, of legal age, a boy and girl, who you found out wanted to engage in safe and protected sex with each other, would you tell them you don't really have a moral objection to this, only an aesthetic one? That you don't really have any valid objections to defer them from doing it, and if thats what they wanted to do, go ahead.

I'm just curious. 

I don't think aesthetic objections are invalid. They are just not moral objections. Well as per the above post, on one level they are, but I could not tell my hypothetical children that they would be causing terrible harm on the wellbeing of the human race by doing what they wanted to do, but I could tell them that they would be causing emotional harm to me, by offending my aesthetic sensibilities Eye-wink

No, but seriously, I find aesthetics immensely important, and I really do feel entitled to argue with my loved ones about what is and isn't "proper" taste. When I say "taste" I mean everything from what music you listen to, to what sexual practices you engage in. I have friends who enjoy watching movies which I find overly banal or trite, and it influences my opinion of them. But they are still my friends, because this is a very minor aesthetic difference. Indeed such differences only serve to create a healthy friction in my relationships with friends and family, which only brings flavour and interesting discussion that strengthens these relationships.

I don't have friends who enjoy what I find to be incredably stupid, vulgar, violent or reactionary forms of entertainment, as I simply cannot coexist with such people in healthy relationships.

My aesthetic opinions are important to me, and I don't think they are irrelevant at all.

So, to be totally honest, if my son and daughter suddenly turned out to be madly in love, I would be incredably shocked and repulsed, and I think I would argue against them engaging in a relationship with every valid argument at my disposal.

It would not be a valid argument to say to them: "it is immoral what you are doing" because that would not be correct.

 

But as Hamby has pointed out, it is highly unlikely that two siblings that have grown up together will ever be romantically attracted to eachother, so I don't lie awake at night worrying about such a thing happening to my potential future children.

 

On a related note: My sister is adobted from Equador. She and I are genetically as different as humans can be. She's got jet-black hair and brown skin, I've got copper hair, and freckles. You get the drift.

She is also a very beautiful, kind, witty and clever individual.

I can assure you, the idea of me ever falling in love with her is just as foreign to me, as is the idea of me falling in love with my own mother.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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  In the Book of Leviticus

  In the Book of Leviticus the unchanging God of moral absolutes stated: 

  "If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a disgrace.   They must be cut off before the eyes of their people.  He has dishonored his sister and will be held responsible."  Leviticus 20:17

 

  "Abraham replied 'There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. Besides, she ( ie, Sarah ) really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wifeGenesis 20:12

  Abraham married Sarah, his half-sister "the daughter of my father".  If one is to actually maintain that God does not waffle regarding his moral requirements upon humanity then Abraham clearly violated God's unchanging, absolutist, immutable moral boundaries.  Any equivication regarding whether or not Abraham lived before Mosaic Law would quickly fall into the category of situational ethics, which traditionally most Christians abhor.

  Clearly, the Old Testament portrayed God as a punisher of moral iniquity long before Moses ever made it onto the scene with his list of do's and don'ts.  Abraham should have been viewed by God as a moral reprobate and been "held responsible"...but apparently the unchanging God let Abraham off the hook....and that's just weird, ( and kinky ! )

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Strafio wrote:Nikolaj

Strafio wrote:

Nikolaj wrote:
As a matter of fact, I find that many people conflate moral objections to a given practice with easthetic objections.

manofmanynames wrote:
Well, I'd argue that all moral objections are aesthetic objections. Why do feel there's a distinction? What separates the two?

I can be disgusted at people who love cheese music at night clubs, but I wouldn't go as far as to call them evil...

And nor should you, which should be obvious to anybody. Musical preference is rarely an area from which people draw conclusions about good and evil.

But there are quite a few people who morally object to homosexuality for example.

Now, I find the idea of myself having sex with a man rather repulsive. I find the idea of me passionately kissing a man a little iffy, but hardly repulsive.

I find the idea of two men, none of which are me, having hot gay sex a little iffy, but hardly repulsive. I find the idea of two men, none of which are me, kissing passionately, a possitively heartwarming image.

You see, I am a child of the 80's and early 90's, when most of the Disney animated movies where about princes and princesses (like Alladin or Beauty and the Beast) and people had posters of airbrush paintings of unicorns in moonlit meadows on their walls. I am, for better or worse, a romantic of the pink roses and ballroom dancing variety.

So I find romantic displayes of affection aesthetically pleasing, and I can't help but be emotionally excited at the image of two people who are geniually in love.

So maybe that's why I don't object to homosexuality, and I do object to homophobia, but I'd like to think that the utalitarian argument that they aren't hurting anyone, and they are making themselves and at least one other person happy also has something to do with my opinions on the subject.

 

For example, I do find the practice of anal sex, I mean all anal sex, not just between two men, very disgusting. I have nothing but aesthetic contempt for that activity, which puts me in the minority among my male friends, and possibly female friends, though I don't know, since I've discussed the topic with only a few of them.

But there really isn't much else I can say against that particular taste, other than I find it very unappealing, and so, I don't go on a puritan crusade to rid the world of sodomy.

I say fuck away all you sodomites! As long as you respect my right to not join in, I can't really make a big deal of it.

I wish more people would consider why they go on moral crusades, because from where I'm standing, it looks as though far too many people make a fuss about homosexuality, Death Metal, alchohol, the Chinese eating dogs, the use of profanity, or whatever else, based solely on the fact that they don't like it, and they only try to come up with moral arguments against it as an afterthought, because they make too many universal assumptions about what is really just an aesthetic objection.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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Strafio wrote:Nikolaj

Strafio wrote:

Nikolaj wrote:
As a matter of fact, I find that many people conflate moral objections to a given practice with easthetic objections.

manofmanynames wrote:
Well, I'd argue that all moral objections are aesthetic objections. Why do feel there's a distinction? What separates the two?

I can be disgusted at people who love cheese music at night clubs, but I wouldn't go as far as to call them evil...

Just because all moral objections are aesthetic objections, this does not mean that all aesthetic objections are moral objections. 

Just because all Toms are male, doesn't mean that all males are Tom.


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manofmanynames wrote:Julie

manofmanynames wrote:

Julie and Mark, are sister and brother, they are on summer vacation from college in France.  They are staying alone in a cabin near the beach.  They decided it would be interesting and fun if they tried making love.  They use two forms of birth control.  They had fun, but they decided not to do it again.  They keep that night as a special secret between then which makes them feel even closer to each otherwhat do you think about that?  Is that okay? 

Why does it matter what we think? Based on your scenario, we'd never know about it.

And Hamby is correct. There have been several stories in the news the past couple of years about siblings in relationships. But what nearly all of them have in common is the siblings were not raised together. But upon meeting and/or getting to know each other better as adults, they developed sexual interest in each other.

 

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manofmanynames wrote:Julie

manofmanynames wrote:
Julie and Mark, are sister and brother, they are on summer vacation from college in France. They are staying alone in a cabin near the beach. They decided it would be interesting and fun if they tried making love. They use two forms of birth control. They had fun, but they decided not to do it again. They keep that night as a special secret between then which makes them feel even closer to each otherwhat do you think about that? Is that okay?

Yes.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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 Damn, it annoys me when I

 Damn, it annoys me when I bring science and people continue with their agenda.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote: Damn, it

Hambydammit wrote:

 Damn, it annoys me when I bring science and people continue with their agenda.

Agenda?  I was well aware of the science before I proposed the question. And I was curious as to what sort of moral or other reasons why individuals would be opposed to the act. The one fellow may not be opposed to the act in general, but would opposed to it, if it were his own children. And he claimed he would throw whatever valid arguments at them he could think of, but I'd be curious as to know what would make these arguments "valid" in a sense that it would solely apply to his children, and not others.

So let's not get all paranoid hamy, thinking that when ever a theist asks a question, it's in the end only a carrot trying to reel people into church or something. 


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 Quote:So let's not get all

 

Quote:
So let's not get all paranoid hamy

Not paranoid.  I broke my number one rule and drunk posted.  Pardon me, please.

Quote:
The one fellow may not be opposed to the act in general, but would opposed to it, if it were his own children. And he claimed he would throw whatever valid arguments at them he could think of, but I'd be curious as to know what would make these arguments "valid" in a sense that it would solely apply to his children, and not others.

Many moral issues are not dichotomies.  That is, they're not strictly 100% right or 100% wrong.  Consider animal rights activists.  A small percentage of people believe that all animals deserve the same rights as humans.  Among that group, some are smart enough to realize that they have no hope of convincing the rest of the world to take their extreme stance, so they say things like this:  You shouldn't keep pets, but if you do, you should treat them humanely.

What they're saying, in essence, is that they personally feel very strongly about something, and don't want to do it themselves, and would be very upset about someone else doing it, but they understand that their perspective is not the only one with validity, and ask that other people at least consider a compromise.

Someone in another thread is trying to sell us on the idea that all porn is wrong because somebody might see their mother fucking.  This is an example of not recognizing other valid perspectives.  Some people not only have seen their mother fucking, but have been supportive of their mother's work in porn.  A realistic person with an objection to porn should say, "I don't like it, and I don't want to do it, but if you're going to do it, please make it so that I am not forced to view it."

Many royal lineages through history have encouraged inbreeding between brother and sister, and it's been the most logical thing for them to do, considering the state of politics at the time.  From their perspective, brother-sister pairings were good, and anyone who is aesthetically repulsed by the idea should recognize that their perspective is not the only one possible.

If we want to imagine a worst case scenario, we can.  If the only fertile couple left on earth was a brother and sister, most of us would probably think brother-sister sex was a great idea.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:[...]I

Hambydammit wrote:

[...]

I have no issue with what you said, or even agreeing with it, the only thing is, I asked what "you" feel about it, not what others have felt about it. I'm guessing your feeling towards it is this:

 "I don't like it, and I don't want to do it, but if you're going to do it, please make it so that I am not forced to view it."

Would this be no different if it were your own children? Is this the way you would reason regardless of who it were? Is the best response you would give, that "I'm repulsed by it, but if you guys wanna do it go ahead, just don't make me watch it. "

 

 


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 Quote:I have no issue with

 

Quote:
I have no issue with what you said, or even agreeing with it, the only thing is, I asked what "you" feel about it, not what others have felt about it. I'm guessing your feeling towards it is this:

 "I don't like it, and I don't want to do it, but if you're going to do it, please make it so that I am not forced to view it."

No.  I haven't given my opinion because I didn't see how my opinion was relevant.  My opinion is just as useless as anyone else's.  I admit, I didn't get that you were just taking an opinion poll, so here is mine:  I don't have any siblings, so the question is moot for me.  I don't care if anyone else does it consentually, but I would prefer that they use birth control if they do, and if they get pregnant, I'd really, really want them to get an abortion.

Quote:
 Would this be no different if it were your own children?

I don't have children, so I can't answer except in the hypothetical.  Knowing the cultural taboo against incest, I would be concerned that there was a psychological issue at work with my children, but if they gave every indication of being emotionally healthy, I imagine I would begrudgingly accept the situation.  I say begrudgingly because the social implications of such an affair getting out would be potentially very damaging, and I wouldn't want my children to have to live as social pariahs.  So it's not about the sex itself, but the social consequences of it being found out.

Quote:
 Is this the way you would reason regardless of who it were?

Yes.  I don't recommend that anyone do it if there is a danger of being found out.  Society views incest very poorly, and the consequences could be very bad for people's jobs, family life, etc.

Quote:
 Is the best response you would give, that "I'm repulsed by it, but if you guys wanna do it go ahead, just don't make me watch it. "

I'm not repulsed by it.  I don't look up brother-sister porn in my spare time because it doesn't interest me, not because I find it repulsive.

There's a question you haven't asked, but which needs to be answered:  There are things I believe people should or should not do -- not because they are wrong or right, but because of social consequences.  Sometimes, we just play the hand we're dealt, you know?  I don't think brother-sister incest is inherently wrong or right.  It's just sex, like any other sex, if we remove it from cultural context.  (And if we allow for birth control and abortion.)  Within cultural context, it becomes much easier to say that someone should or shouldn't do it.  I think in America, the only culture I'm qualified to speak authoritatively on, it's generally a pretty bad idea unless you intend to keep it really, really quiet.  The consequences outweigh the benefits, for one thing.  For another thing, with the strong cultural taboo against it, we have to question the mental health of someone who wants to do it in spite of all the bad consequences.  I'm not saying anyone who wants to do it is insane -- I'm saying there would have to be a really compelling cause behind it to overcome both the genetic and cultural negative incentives.  Such a cause would be quite rare, and would deserve close scrutiny.

 

 

 

 

 

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Would that it were a

Would that it were a provocative question.

I've no problem with it at all.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Hambydammit wrote: [...]I

Hambydammit wrote:

 [...]

I had only asked the question out of curiosity of what the response would be. I've been reading "Human" by Michael S. Gazzaniga, where he brought the question up, and wrote about the responses. And I was curious what sort of responses I would get if I had asked the question here.

My own feeling on the subject is that I would find the act morally wrong, but not to the degree where I would seek to outlaw it, or punish those who committed it. I find porn and prostitution to be morally wrong, but I have no desire to prohibit and punish others from engaging or participating in it by legal means at least. If anything I might argue the value of self worth, or in the brother sister situation what is that they seek to get out of it? What the value of such a pursuit is in weight of it's consequences.

To argue even beyond this, I think there are many areas of what we believe to be morale, based solely on our instinctual nature rather than just mere reason. Like the richman and Lazarus situation, if you could allow another human being to suffer and die under your watch, when you could have done something, but chose not to, i would find that act immoral. It's based on the instinctual repulsion of the individual lacking that degree of empathy. I could try and dress it up with reason beyond this "aesthetic repulsion" but it would only be a facade for why I really find it immoral. 

At the same time, there's no sort of punishment by legal means or laws that I would support to prevent such individuals from acting like that in the future. I believe it's his free choice to leave this Lazarus at the door, even though I find it morally wrong for him to do it. 

 

 


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 I'm going to reprint an

 I'm going to reprint an article from my personal blog that I think you might enjoy.  I'll entitle the thread, "Innate vs. Cultural Morality."

 

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Hambydammit wrote: We've

Hambydammit wrote:

 We've learned a lot about incest through cognitive psychology in the last decade or two.  While it's almost certainly true that our inherent aversion to having sex with our siblings is an evolutionary adaptation to prevent inbreeding, it's interesting how the adaptation works. 

...


There are no studies I'm aware of indicating that consentual sex between siblings is inherently harmful in either the short term or the long term.

Why isn't an evolutionary disadvantage harmful?


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I think since MOMN cant make

I think since MOMN cant make an argument for the existence of their god, he is bringing up this subject to put us on display like we are monkey's flinging poo at the zoo.

So MOMN will go his friends "see see they advocate these disgusting things".

MOMN, none of us are advocating incest like McDonnalds markets Big Macs.

We ARE merely saying WITH consenting adults there is no harm outside pregnancy. THAT is not for or against, merely medical observation.

There is plenty of evidence, that molestation via force and or coercion without consent, done to another child or even to another adult, is psychologically damaging. You are falsely equating the two as being the same.

1+1=2 is a statement and fact, not a moral law.

It is also a medical observation that you have more germs in your nose and mouth than you do your urine(if your bladder is not infected, you shouldn't have any). Stating a medical fact is not an advocation of behavior.

Now if you are done trying to paint us all as child rapists, do you have any evidence for the god you claim is real, or you still stuck on "god is love" via quotes from Paul?

 

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I really cant say i give 2

I really cant say i give 2 shits about what any one else does, or feels, in regards to their family, or to others...

 

Ignoring all Morality tripe... incest is wrong for 1 very prominent reason

 

The defective offspring that are generated, and the possible "fucking" of human genetics >.>

I seem to recall hemophillia was (albiet, supposedly) created by a pair of inbreeding nobels... thanks sis?

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The Doomed Soul wrote:I

The Doomed Soul wrote:

I really cant say i give 2 shits about what any one else does, or feels, in regards to their family, or to others...

 

Ignoring all Morality tripe... incest is wrong for 1 very prominent reason

 

The defective offspring that are generated, and the possible "fucking" of human genetics >.>

I seem to recall hemophillia was (albiet, supposedly) created by a pair of inbreeding nobels... thanks sis?

So you mean to say that heterosexual incest is wrong because of the possibility of creating 'defective offspring'?

You should have stuck to your former sentence.  I can agree with that with few caveats.

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Thomathy wrote:So you mean

Thomathy wrote:

So you mean to say that heterosexual incest is wrong because of the possibility of creating 'defective offspring'?

Yes, precisely (and its a very high possibility)

Thomathy wrote:
You should have stuck to your former sentence. 

Oh but i did

I ignored all personal "tastes"...

cultural differences...

morality...

and went with a more logical approach.

 

"I dont care, what people do to their own family, or the family of others"

but i DO care when they start infecting my species with inferior genetic material, one effects me and mine, while the other does not.

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Thomathy wrote:The Doomed

Thomathy wrote:

The Doomed Soul wrote:

I really cant say i give 2 shits about what any one else does, or feels, in regards to their family, or to others...

 

Ignoring all Morality tripe... incest is wrong for 1 very prominent reason

 

The defective offspring that are generated, and the possible "fucking" of human genetics >.>

I seem to recall hemophillia was (albiet, supposedly) created by a pair of inbreeding nobels... thanks sis?

So you mean to say that heterosexual incest is wrong because of the possibility of creating 'defective offspring'?

You should have stuck to your former sentence.  I can agree with that with few caveats.

This risk seems to have been way over-estimated. Here is an interesting article.

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OrdinaryClay wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

 We've learned a lot about incest through cognitive psychology in the last decade or two.  While it's almost certainly true that our inherent aversion to having sex with our siblings is an evolutionary adaptation to prevent inbreeding, it's interesting how the adaptation works. 

...

 

There are no studies I'm aware of indicating that consentual sex between siblings is inherently harmful in either the short term or the long term.

Why isn't an evolutionary disadvantage harmful?

That conflates harm to the individual with the longer term prospects of the species.

It is meaningless to describe an 'evolutionary disadvantage' as harmful. It makes more sense to look at it the other way:

Harmful practices which reduce the chances of viable offspring are an "evolutionary disadvantage".

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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BobSpence1 wrote:This risk

BobSpence1 wrote:

This risk seems to have been way over-estimated. Here is an interesting article.

Well that was a good 3 minutes of pointless reading... fucking blogs >.< waste of precious internet porn space!

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BobSpence1 wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

 We've learned a lot about incest through cognitive psychology in the last decade or two.  While it's almost certainly true that our inherent aversion to having sex with our siblings is an evolutionary adaptation to prevent inbreeding, it's interesting how the adaptation works. 

...

There are no studies I'm aware of indicating that consentual sex between siblings is inherently harmful in either the short term or the long term.

Why isn't an evolutionary disadvantage harmful?

That conflates harm to the individual with the longer term prospects of the species.

It is meaningless to describe an 'evolutionary disadvantage' as harmful. It makes more sense to look at it the other way:

Harmful practices which reduce the chances of viable offspring are an "evolutionary disadvantage".

The post I quoted clearly indicated the opinion that our aversion to incest was an evolutionary adaption. It does not matter if an individual is "harmed" or not. One could still view it as harmful. From the standpoint of a "selfish" gene anything that would be an evolutionary disadvantage would be considered "harmful" to that "selfish" gene.
 


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OrdinaryClay

OrdinaryClay wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

 We've learned a lot about incest through cognitive psychology in the last decade or two.  While it's almost certainly true that our inherent aversion to having sex with our siblings is an evolutionary adaptation to prevent inbreeding, it's interesting how the adaptation works. 

...

There are no studies I'm aware of indicating that consentual sex between siblings is inherently harmful in either the short term or the long term.

Why isn't an evolutionary disadvantage harmful?

That conflates harm to the individual with the longer term prospects of the species.

It is meaningless to describe an 'evolutionary disadvantage' as harmful. It makes more sense to look at it the other way:

Harmful practices which reduce the chances of viable offspring are an "evolutionary disadvantage".

The post I quoted clearly indicated the opinion that our aversion to incest was an evolutionary adaption. It does not matter if an individual is "harmed" or not. One could still view it as harmful. From the standpoint of a "selfish" gene anything that would be an evolutionary disadvantage would be considered "harmful" to that "selfish" gene.
 

Only if it actually significantly replaces non incestual mating. It could well be that positive effects of closer bonding between siblings either leading to or encouraged by the sexual activities more than offset the harm to group survival from some increase in the possibility of harmful recessive gene expression. Incestual sex in any given case does not inevitably lead to defective offspring.

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BobSpence1

BobSpence1 wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

 We've learned a lot about incest through cognitive psychology in the last decade or two.  While it's almost certainly true that our inherent aversion to having sex with our siblings is an evolutionary adaptation to prevent inbreeding, it's interesting how the adaptation works. 

...

There are no studies I'm aware of indicating that consentual sex between siblings is inherently harmful in either the short term or the long term.

Why isn't an evolutionary disadvantage harmful?

That conflates harm to the individual with the longer term prospects of the species.

It is meaningless to describe an 'evolutionary disadvantage' as harmful. It makes more sense to look at it the other way:

Harmful practices which reduce the chances of viable offspring are an "evolutionary disadvantage".

The post I quoted clearly indicated the opinion that our aversion to incest was an evolutionary adaption. It does not matter if an individual is "harmed" or not. One could still view it as harmful. From the standpoint of a "selfish" gene anything that would be an evolutionary disadvantage would be considered "harmful" to that "selfish" gene.
 

Only if it actually significantly replaces non incestual mating. It could well be that positive effects of closer bonding between siblings either leading to or encouraged by the sexual activities more than offset the harm to group survival from some increase in the possibility of harmful recessive gene expression. Incestual sex in any given case does not inevitably lead to defective offspring.

I was not the one that claimed "evolutionary disadvantage". If you disagree with Hamby then you should have responded to his post.
 


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Quote:Why isn't an

Quote:
Why isn't an evolutionary disadvantage harmful?

Sorry for the late reply.  I had to take a short hiatus.  I said sex between siblings isn't inherently harmful.  Condoms, the pill, and abortion are all very simple and convenient ways to prevent reproduction between siblings. 

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I would argue that since the

I would argue that since the brother and sister are in close proximity, this could have negative effects in terms of having to treat them as family once you engaged in intercourse, seeing as you view your sexual partner differently than your family.

 

 

 

 

That said I have a brother and this topic makes me cringe.

 

 

 

 


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 Quote:I would argue that

 

Quote:
I would argue that since the brother and sister are in close proximity, this could have negative effects in terms of having to treat them as family once you engaged in intercourse, seeing as you view your sexual partner differently than your family.

Let's please all talk about the same thing at the same time.  There is nothing inherently harmful about sexual intercourse between siblings.  Having sex and going to family dinners are not the same thing.  I've said several times that the social stigma attached to sibling sex is very strong, and all things being equal, it would be very unusual in our society for there to be no negative social ramifications.

Humans are programmed not to want to have sex with people they were raised with -- not genetic relatives.  Assuming someone had never met their sibling before, and was sexually attracted to them (which would be a perfectly natural thing, since they were not raised together), their sexual intercourse would be no different emotionally or physically than any other couple's.

Quote:
That said I have a brother and this topic makes me cringe.

And... you were raised together, no?

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote:]We've

Hambydammit wrote:

We've learned a lot about incest through cognitive psychology in the last decade or two.  While it's almost certainly true that our inherent aversion to having sex with our siblings is an evolutionary adaptation to prevent inbreeding, it's interesting how the adaptation works.

Hambydammit wrote:

Humans are programmed not to want to have sex with people they were raised with -- not genetic relatives.  Assuming someone had never met their sibling before, and was sexually attracted to them (which would be a perfectly natural thing, since they were not raised together), their sexual intercourse would be no different emotionally or physically than any other couple's.

Since the evolutionary disadvantage is a genetic one, it seems odd evolution would only distinguish social inbreeding. We evolved in very small groups. Social disruption that could be caused by "improper" sexual relations within the group is understandable, but so is an aversion to sexual relationships between genetically "close" individuals. Both would be advantageous.
 


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OrdinaryClay wrote:Since the

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Since the evolutionary disadvantage is a genetic one, it seems odd evolution would only distinguish social inbreeding. We evolved in very small groups. Social disruption that could be caused by "improper" sexual relations within the group is understandable, but so is an aversion to sexual relationships between genetically "close" individuals. Both would be advantageous.
 

 

You mean a system where if you and your sister had been separated as babies, and you meet each other as adults, you would be able to know she was your sibling and not want to bone her? At least to me, evolving something like that seems countless times more difficult than the simpler, social version we did evolve. And since it is very effective at stopping inbreeding (even if it prohibits some genetically "legitimate" breeding as well, like with adopted siblings) it makes sense it has survived.


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Manageri wrote:OrdinaryClay

Manageri wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Since the evolutionary disadvantage is a genetic one, it seems odd evolution would only distinguish social inbreeding. We evolved in very small groups. Social disruption that could be caused by "improper" sexual relations within the group is understandable, but so is an aversion to sexual relationships between genetically "close" individuals. Both would be advantageous.
 

You mean a system where if you and your sister had been separated as babies, and you meet each other as adults, you would be able to know she was your sibling and not want to bone her? At least to me, evolving something like that seems countless times more difficult than the simpler, social version we did evolve. And since it is very effective at stopping inbreeding (even if it prohibits some genetically "legitimate" breeding as well, like with adopted siblings) it makes sense it has survived.

You seem to assume our current social separation was the norm during our evolution. This was obviously not the case. I did not see any claim that the only mechanism we evolved was social. Do you know this for a fact?

Your example is irrelevant from the standpoint of morals in any case. A person who does not know what they are doing is not breaking any moral taboo.
 


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Hambydammit wrote:Let's

Hambydammit wrote:

Let's please all talk about the same thing at the same time.

 

I was responding to the OP. I usually respond to the first post before I read the other posts.

 

 

 

Hambydammit wrote:

Humans are programmed not to want to have sex with people they were raised with -- not genetic relatives.  Assuming someone had never met their sibling before, and was sexually attracted to them (which would be a perfectly natural thing, since they were not raised together), their sexual intercourse would be no different emotionally or physically than any other couple's.

 

The OP made it obvious that both knew that they were brother and sister and were raised together.

 

Notice how I said because they were in close proximity?

 

 

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
That said I have a brother and this topic makes me cringe.

And... you were raised together, no?

  

 

 

Yes, and that was my point.

 

Brothers and sisters ARE usually raised together.

 

They have more social contact that's a different type than the typical boyfriend/girlfriend

 

I wasn't talking about the gentic reasons, I was talking about the social.

 

 

Plus there's this whole sibling rivarly thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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OrdinaryClay wrote: Manageri

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Manageri wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Since the evolutionary disadvantage is a genetic one, it seems odd evolution would only distinguish social inbreeding. We evolved in very small groups. Social disruption that could be caused by "improper" sexual relations within the group is understandable, but so is an aversion to sexual relationships between genetically "close" individuals. Both would be advantageous.
 

You mean a system where if you and your sister had been separated as babies, and you meet each other as adults, you would be able to know she was your sibling and not want to bone her? At least to me, evolving something like that seems countless times more difficult than the simpler, social version we did evolve. And since it is very effective at stopping inbreeding (even if it prohibits some genetically "legitimate" breeding as well, like with adopted siblings) it makes sense it has survived.

You seem to assume our current social separation was the norm during our evolution. This was obviously not the case. I did not see any claim that the only mechanism we evolved was social. Do you know this for a fact?

Sorry, I really don't understand what you're saying here. Are you challenging the assumption that we in fact can't recognize genetic relatives? Or that we maybe could do that in the past? I'm very confused.

Quote:
Your example is irrelevant from the standpoint of morals in any case. A person who does not know what they are doing is not breaking any moral taboo.

I wasn't trying to make any kind of moral statements in my previous post. And for the record, I don't believe there's anything immoral about the scenario in the OP.


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 Quote:Since the

 

Quote:
Since the evolutionary disadvantage is a genetic one, it seems odd evolution would only distinguish social inbreeding.

Not at all.  Adoption is virtually unheard of in our evolutionary history.  For effectively 100% of our history, if you and someone else near your own age were raised together, you and he/she were siblings.  There's an even bigger piece to the puzzle though.  You'll need to read one of my essays before you can fully understand it.  READ IT HERE.  Disturbing as it may be, the human female reproductive strategy involves a significant amount (apparently approaching 20% in some cultures) of "trading up."  That is, they fool their mated partners into raising the children of other males.  It is in the female's best interest that all of her children survive, regardless of who is their father.  To this end, it makes more sense that children avoid incest based on proximity rather than genetic relatedness.  Consider that half-siblings (same mother, different father) still should not inbreed, though the risk is not as high as full siblings.  However, if we had a fine-tuned sense of actual genetic relatedness, there would be a lot more infanticide when our pre-human male ancestors killed any children that were not his.

So it makes perfect sense on two levels:  1) Adoption is statistically irrelevant in natural selection, and 2) proximity avoidance prevents infanticide based on actual relatedness.

Quote:
We evolved in very small groups. Social disruption that could be caused by "improper" sexual relations within the group is understandable, but so is an aversion to sexual relationships between genetically "close" individuals. Both would be advantageous.

Huh?

We probably evolved in groups of anywhere from a dozen or so to a couple hundred.  Presumably, in the very smallest groups, there would have to have been a lot of interbreeding between "tribes."  With a couple hundred, it would be easy enough to find mates without having to mate with a sibling.  

You're putting the cart WAY before the horse with "improper" sexual relations.  Our patterns were established by natural selection, and THEN we became self-aware enough to put labels on them.

 

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
Since the evolutionary disadvantage is a genetic one, it seems odd evolution would only distinguish social inbreeding.

Not at all.  Adoption is virtually unheard of in our evolutionary history.  For effectively 100% of our history, if you and someone else near your own age were raised together, you and he/she were siblings.  There's an even bigger piece to the puzzle though.  You'll need to read one of my essays before you can fully understand it.  READ IT HERE.  Disturbing as it may be, the human female reproductive strategy involves a significant amount (apparently approaching 20% in some cultures) of "trading up."  That is, they fool their mated partners into raising the children of other males.  It is in the female's best interest that all of her children survive, regardless of who is their father.  To this end, it makes more sense that children avoid incest based on proximity rather than genetic relatedness.  Consider that half-siblings (same mother, different father) still should not inbreed, though the risk is not as high as full siblings.  However, if we had a fine-tuned sense of actual genetic relatedness, there would be a lot more infanticide when our pre-human male ancestors killed any children that were not his.

So it makes perfect sense on two levels:  1) Adoption is statistically irrelevant in natural selection, and 2) proximity avoidance prevents infanticide based on actual relatedness.

You've set up a false choice. There could evolve a revulsion to sex based on genetic distance while also evolving bonding behavior that prevented infanticide. In fact, you see basically the same thing today. Men regularly bond with non biological "offspring".

If the problem evolution was trying to solve was genetic inbreeding then adoption lessens the concern from social proximity.
 

Quote:

Quote:
We evolved in very small groups. Social disruption that could be caused by "improper" sexual relations within the group is understandable, but so is an aversion to sexual relationships between genetically "close" individuals. Both would be advantageous.

Huh?

We probably evolved in groups of anywhere from a dozen or so to a couple hundred.  Presumably, in the very smallest groups, there would have to have been a lot of interbreeding between "tribes."  With a couple hundred, it would be easy enough to find mates without having to mate with a sibling.  

You're putting the cart WAY before the horse with "improper" sexual relations.  Our patterns were established by natural selection, and THEN we became self-aware enough to put labels on them.

 

You are guessing. We have no archaeological evidence that our evolutionary ancestors were in large groups or what their breeding behavior was. On the contrary the groups were probably much smaller considering our closest primate relatives. Though, I do agree there was almost certainty gene exchange between groups.

I used quotes for a reason.
 


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OrdinaryClay wrote:You are

OrdinaryClay wrote:
You are guessing. We have no archaeological evidence that our evolutionary ancestors were in large groups or what their breeding behavior was.

Well, uh, actually, we do.

HambyDammit wrote:
We probably evolved in groups of anywhere from a dozen or so to a couple hundred.
 

OrdinaryClay wrote:
On the contrary the groups were probably much smaller considering our closest primate relatives.

Much smaller than a dozen? What, are you going into negatives?

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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manofmanynames wrote:Julie

manofmanynames wrote:

Julie and Mark, are sister and brother, they are on summer vacation from college in France.  They are staying alone in a cabin near the beach.  They decided it would be interesting and fun if they tried making love.  They use two forms of birth control.  They had fun, but they decided not to do it again.  They keep that night as a special secret between then which makes them feel even closer to each otherwhat do you think about that?  Is that okay? 

None of my business, but I would think they're both quite desperate to get laid because of a lack of friends.

They could both go fuck a chicken or a donkey for all I care. Although, it would be nice if they did so with the animal's consent.


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manofmanynames wrote:Julie

manofmanynames wrote:

Julie and Mark, are sister and brother, they are on summer vacation from college in France.  They are staying alone in a cabin near the beach.  They decided it would be interesting and fun if they tried making love.  They use two forms of birth control.  They had fun, but they decided not to do it again.  They keep that night as a special secret between then which makes them feel even closer to each otherwhat do you think about that?  Is that okay? 

It's a pretty unlikely scenario. Science tells us we are not attracted to sibling because the smell like us(opposites attract). The probably would not be attracted to one another, and if they were it would probably not be fun.

The bible never mentions how the children of Adam got around the sin of incest. God set up a situation where the only way the human race could continue was to sin. Did he suspend the rules for a generation?

 

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 Quote:You've set up a

 

Quote:
You've set up a false choice. There could evolve a revulsion to sex based on genetic distance while also evolving bonding behavior that prevented infanticide.

Sure.  That could have happened.  The thing is, there's no evidence that it did, and there is tons of evidence that the mechanisms I explained are the way it happened.

I haven't set up a false choice, for I didn't rule out any other choices as impossible.  I just presented the option with the most scientific evidence.

Quote:
 In fact, you see basically the same thing today. Men regularly bond with non biological "offspring".

Um... yeah... and that fits perfectly with my explanation.  It's best if the father can't tell his children from someone else's, so... yeah... he would have to be able to bond with children that aren't his... so... what's the problem?

Quote:
You are guessing. We have no archaeological evidence that our evolutionary ancestors were in large groups or what their breeding behavior was.

And you know this because...   lemme guess... you're an archaeologist specializing in early human evolution?

Right.

Quote:
On the contrary the groups were probably much smaller considering our closest primate relatives.

Uh huh.

Quote:
Though, I do agree there was almost certainty gene exchange between groups.

I'm so glad to have your approval.  Thanks.

 

 

 

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butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

OrdinaryClay wrote:
You are guessing. We have no archaeological evidence that our evolutionary ancestors were in large groups or what their breeding behavior was.

Well, uh, actually, we do.

No we don't.

 

Quote:

HambyDammit wrote:
We probably evolved in groups of anywhere from a dozen or so to a couple hundred.
 

OrdinaryClay wrote:
On the contrary the groups were probably much smaller considering our closest primate relatives.

Much smaller than a dozen? What, are you going into negatives?

You missed his "couple of hundred" proclaimation.


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Hambydammit wrote:Sure. 

Hambydammit wrote:

Sure.  That could have happened.  The thing is, there's no evidence that it did, and there is tons of evidence that the mechanisms I explained are the way it happened.

You've done an exhaustive literature search? I never seem to see any citations from you, either. Not even in all your "essays".

 

Quote:

Um... yeah... and that fits perfectly with my explanation.  It's best if the father can't tell his children from someone else's, so... yeah... he would have to be able to bond with children that aren't his... so... what's the problem?

It also fits perfectly with mine.

 

Quote:

Not at all.  Adoption is virtually unheard of in our evolutionary history.  For effectively 100% of our history

Quote:

And you know this because...   lemme guess... you're an archaeologist specializing in early human evolution?

Lemme guess and you are an archaeologist specializing in early human evolution?

 

 


Hambydammit
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 Quote:Lemme guess and you

 

Quote:
Lemme guess and you are an archaeologist specializing in early human evolution?

No.  I'm an autodidact in evolutionary biology with a shit-ton of college and an enormous library of science books I've actually read.

Would you like a few places to start?

The Ancestor's Tale, Richard Dawkins.

The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins

The Red Queen, Matt Ridley

The Agile Gene, Matt Ridley

The Mating Mind, Geoffrey Miller

Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior, Geoffrey Miller

How the Mind Works, Steven Pinker.

Sociobiology, E.O. Wilson

Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Daniel Dennett

Consciousness Explained, Daniel Dennett

The Emergence of Culture:  The Evolution of a Uniquely Human Way of Life, Philip G. Chase.

When you're done with those, get back to me and I'll put you onto some more difficult stuff.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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OrdinaryClay
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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
Lemme guess and you are an archaeologist specializing in early human evolution?

No.  I'm an autodidact in evolutionary biology with a shit-ton of college and an enormous library of science books I've actually read.

Self aggrandizement does not make your opinion any truer.


JillSwift
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OrdinaryClay

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
Lemme guess and you are an archaeologist specializing in early human evolution?

No.  I'm an autodidact in evolutionary biology with a shit-ton of college and an enormous library of science books I've actually read.

Self aggrandizement does not make your opinion any truer.

You project so clearly that you aught to work in a cinema.


 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


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manofmanynames wrote:Julie

manofmanynames wrote:

Julie and Mark, are sister and brother, they are on summer vacation from college in France.  They are staying alone in a cabin near the beach.  They decided it would be interesting and fun if they tried making love.  They use two forms of birth control.  They had fun, but they decided not to do it again.  They keep that night as a special secret between then which makes them feel even closer to each otherwhat do you think about that?  Is that okay? 

Its absolutley fine, they can do whatever the hell they want.

 

However, they should be cautious about having childen, as bringing a child into the world with genetic deformities from incest can be bad for both the parents and the child. Even if they do have children, there is nothing at all wrong with it. They must simply take precautions, and if they continue to have deformed children, they ought to consider stopping, if only for the sake of avoiding cruelty to their offspring.