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Old 04-10-2006, 02:25 PM   #1
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For Christians, why is incest taboo...

...if the only reason we're in existence is precisely because of it? There's two parts in the Bible where there is no other way for us to have been created except through incest:

1. Adam and Eve. Well, not so much then but their children; Cain and Abel had to have sex with their sisters in order to create new offspring, since there were no other humans around. Of course, it could just be that Adam and Eve were the first "loved by God" humans, and there were still the human tribes roaming around as pagans.

2. Noah's arc. Every creature on earth would have to have been created through incest. There were only a pair of each animal, and although their offspring wouldn't be affected their grandchildren and beyond could have only came from incest; human and walrus included.



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Old 04-10-2006, 02:57 PM   #2
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No idea why it's "taboo" for Christians, however it results in genetic defects and it isn't fair for a baby to be born like that. That's the reason I'm against it.



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Old 04-11-2006, 12:26 PM   #3
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It's not taboo for other people too?

jmac's point is most likely the reason. Multiple in-breeding results in too many genetic defects.

Also, incest is usually out of gross self-indulgence. And unless you're willing to commit to the person you just screwed, bad stuff happens.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrion
...if the only reason we're in existence is precisely because of it? There's two parts in the Bible where there is no other way for us to have been created except through incest:

1. Adam and Eve. Well, not so much then but their children; Cain and Abel had to have sex with their sisters in order to create new offspring, since there were no other humans around. Of course, it could just be that Adam and Eve were the first "loved by God" humans, and there were still the human tribes roaming around as pagans.

2. Noah's arc. Every creature on earth would have to have been created through incest. There were only a pair of each animal, and although their offspring wouldn't be affected their grandchildren and beyond could have only came from incest; human and walrus included.
Oh snap. I think that's the explanation for why people are so insane. They're really my family! O.o



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Old 04-11-2006, 04:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IG-64
It's not taboo for other people too?

jmac's point is most likely the reason. Multiple in-breeding results in too many genetic defects.

Also, incest is usually out of gross self-indulgence. And unless you're willing to commit to the person you just screwed, bad stuff happens.
Christianity(And Islam and Judaism too, I guess) was the only religion that came to mind that had actual incest intertwined with it's history.

(oh, and if you're thinking I'm using this as an excuse to shag my sister, don't get your hopes up you sickos. :| )



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Old 04-11-2006, 07:46 PM   #6
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Hmm... you call us sickos for even potentially thinking you wanted to get with your sister (which hadn't occurred to me) and yet you question why religions consider it bad?

Ok, so let me ask you a question: what do you think of incest? You make it sound as if you feel it's a sick and perverted thing to do. Do I read you right? If so, shouldn't you allow anyone else, no matter their religion to have the same feelings? So maybe the religions you mention point it out, but if religion wasn't an issue, I don't think peoples' opinions on stuff like this would change.

Do you?


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Old 04-11-2006, 07:50 PM   #7
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Incest is an international taboo in almost every single culture on earth.

Also, people interpret the Bible in many ways, through alliteration/analogy/metaphores..etc..etc you name it.

I've never heard this brought up before and your motives behind it are... questionable at the least.

Basically what you're saying is, by default, Christian's must be hypocrites for opposing incest... pretty miopic.
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:57 PM   #8
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::EDIT:: I have heard this brought up before... on the Simpsons

My thoughts were not so perverted

Christians are not the only one with "Noah's ark" type stories though. The Greeks also had a story about it. 'Cept they said that the human race was restarted when the 2 survivors threw rocks over their shoulders and they turned into humans.

And even if you believe in evolution you would have incest in the past. Archeologists have found that early humans traveled in small tribes, so you got to figure there was a fair amount of incest there too.

Another point about genetic defects, you have to figure that you have to have a few generations of constant inbreeding to have the defects come out.

Then you gotta figure from a Christians point of view God made man in his own image, perfect. So there would be no flaws with him. So no genetic defects early on?

And my final thought... The bible only ever talks about Adam and Eves kids... Cain and Able. Both boys, How's that work? O.o
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeİ
And my final thought... The bible only ever talks about Adam and Eves kids... Cain and Able. Both boys, How's that work? O.o
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeİ

And my final thought... The bible only ever talks about Adam and Eves kids... Cain and Able. Both boys, How's that work? O.o

Allow me to quote Genesis 4:25: Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, "God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him."


And Genesis 5: 4-5: 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.


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Old 04-11-2006, 08:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildjedi
Hmm... you call us sickos for even potentially thinking you wanted to get with your sister (which hadn't occurred to me) and yet you question why religions consider it bad?

Ok, so let me ask you a question: what do you think of incest? You make it sound as if you feel it's a sick and perverted thing to do. Do I read you right? If so, shouldn't you allow anyone else, no matter their religion to have the same feelings? So maybe the religions you mention point it out, but if religion wasn't an issue, I don't think peoples' opinions on stuff like this would change.

Do you?
Heh, my joke didn't come across nearly as well as I hope it would've. Oh well.

But er, to what you were saying I do realize that incest is wrong only because of what it does to their children's gene lines. Although I do know that's the message the Bible was trying to point out, it still doesn't change the fact that the Bible had incest tied directly into it's history.



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Old 04-11-2006, 09:49 PM   #12
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You're right. It doesn't change that fact... hmm... are you suggesting that perhaps it contradicts itself? First showing incest as the way humans spread and then performing a complete about-face and reprimanding those that do it?


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Old 04-11-2006, 11:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrion
Although I do know that's the message the Bible was trying to point out, it still doesn't change the fact that the Bible had incest tied directly into it's history.
That's your point of view. People have different takes on the text, obviously. When you read anything you're really reading into yourself, your oppinions, your ideas the way you think.

That's why there are so many sects.

Implying that true incest, in the modern day sense.... had anything to do with the Bible's history is amazing to me, quite surprised.

Or maybe this is all just a joke?
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Old 04-15-2006, 01:41 PM   #14
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The bible shoudnt always be interpreted litterally. Like Good Sir Knight said it is full of figures of speech and symbolism.


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Old 04-16-2006, 02:16 PM   #15
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Shhh, don't tell anyone in middle america that!!!!



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Old 04-16-2006, 04:32 PM   #16
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Oh yeah cuz every one in middle America is so uncultured and ignorant right?

Like we haven't heard that generalization before...yawn.
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:20 PM   #17
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Jus cause you live in Middle America doesn't make you a religeos zealot, besides incest should be taboo for anybody, I don't want to get with any of my relatives (besides the fact that I hate most of them)
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Old 04-17-2006, 01:02 AM   #18
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I'm posting this just so people get the story straight. Noah took with him 7 kinds/pairs(depending on how it's translated) of clean animals, 2 kinds/pairs of unclean animals, and 7 kinds/pairs of birds. So depending on the translation there were actually 7 males, and 7 females of every kind of clean animals, 2 males, 2 females of every kind of unclean animal....etc

Just wanted to point that out so everyone get's the story straight..


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Old 04-17-2006, 11:42 AM   #19
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Let's not get too carried away with this thread here, but I'll toss in my two cents.

The creation stories are not literal history. They've classically been interpreted metaphorically/symbolically as the story of humanity's corruption from what they were meant to be as God's reflection on earth.

Notice how after Cain kills his brother he fears that some man will kill him, so God agrees to put a "mark" on him so that he'll be safe. Why not say "I'm afraid Adam or Eve will kill me" because those are the only other humans in existence! The story basically implies that there are other humans already besides this group, unless in some convoluted way Cain is saying, well maybe in the far future some other descendant of Adam and Eve will kill me so I'd better flee RIGHT NOW.

One could posit that God simply created other people that we haven't heard about. This of course would be problematic for many theologians because it would imply that all human beings are not brothers and sisters (though if they were all created by God they still would be, even if they didn't all come from Adam and Eve). The other problem is that if Jesus Christ is the new Adam then does that mean he only was able to save the people descended from Adam and not the people descended from the other people God created?

Those who take the story literally I have heard say that they just assume inbreeding happened, but that it wasn't a sin because God hadn't mad a law against it, and it was necessary for the human race to populate, and possibly that originally human sexual reproduction wasn't needed before the fall, so this is just forcing the system to work. And incest was later forbidden because of problems in society (jealousy within a family and mixing up loyalties within a family) and possibly the genetic thing, which God would have known about even if humans didn't. Something about the first humans being more "vigorous" so that they didn't suffer any negative effects of inbreeding at first.

I don't really see those excuses as necessary because I don't take the story as 100% literal historical fact. It's a myth (in the sense of a story conveying profound spiritual truth), not an eyewitness account or a scientific account, and I say that as a person of faith. Others will insist that the Bible is the sole authority for Christianity and that the only proper way to interpret it is literally (unless the text specifically says its allegory within that part of the text, some will allow). To them I say that in my tradition the Bible is authoritative, but it is not the sole authority. There is also tradition and the teaching of the Church. The early Church (and the modern) puts great emphasis on multiple understandings of the text (not just one meaning) and the tradition is living, not dead stuck in one text. Anyway, it's one of those things that can be hard for non-Catholic christians to understand or accept if they haven't studied it.

So yeah, basically incest is taboo, but not because of the Genesis creation accounts or even the Mosaic Law (because Christians don't typically regard themselves as being under the "Old" Covenant, but a new one, though they'd say incest is implicitly forbidden in the new one as well as the old, just not every single rule carries over), but rather because of the emotional and physical bond between husband and wife vs. the bond between parent and child that should not be crossed, and other family roles getting confused or damaged through aunts, uncles or close cousins, etc. having relationships like that. That science may have a reason for avoiding incest as well is added fuel to the fire.

Other Christians would say that where incest is illegal, Christians are obligated to follow the laws simply because God wants us to obey the secular authorities (unless the laws prohibit the free practice of our religion, for example). We can work peacefully to change the laws, but we're not allowed to break them just because we disagree with them (Of course this raises a question about such things as the civil rights movement and such, which was both supported and opposed by religious leaders, also slavery and other issues, so matters of some kind of heavenly mandate for obedience to the state may vary depending upon whom you ask), and since incest is not part of the Christian practice, then don't do it.

I've been told that most cases of incest are actually consensual, however that doesn't mean it is moral or ethical.

Now as to #2, again, Noah's Ark, not literal. While there surely were people like Noah, since we may have evidence that a historical "great flood" (not a global spanning flood though) occured around 2600 BCE or so in the region of present day Iraq, the story itself is non-literal. You could say that miraculously God made a TARDIS type Ark that could house all the species of the entire world and then some, including (if Young Earth Creationists) Dinosaurs (even if they are all "baby Dinosaurs"), and that they wouldn't starve for lack of eating each other (for the carnivores) and would be able to survive in cooped up conditions and migrate back to their habitats afterward (that were destroyed by the flood) and survive those changes in environment, etc. God could make a miracle so it all happened.

Of course if the story is non-literal it's not a problem. We don't have to explain why species from other parts of the world unknown to the writers of Genesis are not mentioned or would be problematic to fit into one rickety wooden boat. The incest thing for humans again isn't a problem if we take the non-literal route. I don't know how literalists explain the human incest thing, because I don't think they posit another creation of more humans at this point, they say it was just eight people and that's it.

As to animal incest, they probably wouldn't care, since other animals aren't held to the same moral standards that we are. They kill each other, they don't get married before they have sex, and as far as we know, they don't have any religious beliefs, government or cultural traditions that are passed down or shared knowledge, system of writing, whatever. They just do what they're instincted to do and God doesn't punish them because they're ignorant, and in a sense innocent. Some would go so far as to say they have no souls as well, but I'm not going to get into a debate about that (it's not a big deal to me if "all dogs go to heaven" or not though, because I figure if we go to heaven and miss our little pooch or kitty, God would not be offended to give it back to us as a playmate again, and I'm sure many other theologians and non-theologians have thought of this too).

But again, mythical story, about God cleansing the world of evil and giving it a fresh start, and a theological interpretation of a probable ancient cataclysm, that's how I read Noah's story. In Christianity the Ark becomes a type of the Church. People are saved from the flood (sin's destructive consequences) by getting onboard the boat (Church) to survive (get to heaven). And just in case somebody thinks that everyone who died in the flood went straight to eternal fire, the New Testament also makes a reference to Jesus preaching the Gospel "even to the dead" and to the souls (specifically) from Noah's time who were "formerly disobedient." Now this may also refer to the so-called "Sons of God" incident from Enoch, as well, but it sets a precedent for folks killed in these cataclysmic judgements, and also suggests that even those who don't get on the Ark out of ignorance may still have a chance, through God's mercy of course.


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