Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Consanguineous Sex Leads to Chaos?

Concerned about what David Epstein was doing in private with another consenting adult, this blogger tries to convince us that the freedom to consanguineous love and sex will lead to chaos. He cites Thomas Aquinas, so I was expecting something deep. But maybe something was lost in translation?

In the Summa Theologica (II-II, Q. 154, A. 9), Thomas Aquinas gives four reasons why incest is contrary to reason. First, “because man naturally owes a certain respect to his parents and therefore to his other blood relations”; this respect can no longer exist once the relationship becomes incestuous.

You can’t respect someone with whom you are having sex? That doesn’t bode well for marriage or any relationship at all, does it? I wonder if this blogger is in a relationship, and how the other person feels about that?

Second, since blood relations “live in close touch with one another... opportunities of venereal intercourse would be very frequent and thus men's minds would be enervated by lust.”

Oh no, they might have sex a lot? Men (and quite a few women) think about sex all of the time, no matter where they are.

Third, by marrying someone to whom one is not related, one thereby gains friendships with one's wife's kin; this would be frustrated if one did not marry outside one's family.

I have many friends outside of my family to whom I’m neither married nor married to a relative of theirs.

And fourth, courtesy of Aristotle, a man will have a liking for his kinswoman; it is not good for this affection to become too ardent, which would occur if he had sexual relations with her.

It isn’t good to care about your relatives so much? These objections make it sound like sex is a horrible experience. I have to wonder if those who oppose equality are frustrated.

Moreover the bond between a husband and wife is substantially different from that formed between mother and son or father and daughter. Incest irrevocably distorts this bond, to the detriment of the family, and, by extension, society.

This is like saying best friends should never get married, because it would distort the friendship. When people are functioning socially in their biological roles, sex would create an additional bond. For some who are not functioning socially in those roles (as is often the case when someone was adopted and raised by loving parents, and he later meets his birth mother), that bond may not exist in the first place.

What have we learned? Sex is disrespectful and a chore. You can only make friends through marriage. You should not care about your family members so much. Do not have more than one dimension to your relationships. Funny, but that all sounds like it is much more likely to create chaos than two adults having the freedom to be happy together.

It isn’t like those of us who want full marriage equality insist that everyone should enjoy consanguineous sex. We simply want those who do to have the same freedom as anyone else; to be able to love the person(s) they do without being prosecuted or denied equality.
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1 comment:

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