Tuesday, 17 October 2017 19:51

XV. The problem of incest in the Bible

Written by Gabriel Baicu
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All human beings are the product of incestuous relations, according to the Bible. This is wrong from medical and from moral perspectives. In the book of Genesis, all humankind is based on interrelations between Adam and Eve’s children. The Bible which is considered by some a moral guide gives mixed indications about the morality of incestuous acts.

      All Adam and Eve’s children were brothers and sisters and their offspring further down the lines were cousins and this aspect wasn’t seen as having moral consequences for the writers of the book of Genesis.   

“4 Now the man knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, ‘I have produced* a man with the help of the LORD.’ 2 Next she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground.” (Genesis; 4; 1-2 NRSV)  

      Many read those verses considering that they are the most normal thing on the earth, but this isn’t the case. If Adam and Eve were the only human beings at the time they had to give birth to male and female children and their children formed couples and produced other children and so on. Why is the incest wrong? I had taken advice from a large amount of documentation and I have chosen a few quotations which express a strong view about incest:  

“Incest is something we, as a society, should discourage. Not because of any genetic reason and not because of any religious reason, but because incest is harmful to the family unit. The family is where children learn to love and trust. Injecting this atmosphere with sex and sexuality is harmful. Even if we limit our example to consenting adults, allowing it at all may still let sexuality flow into the family unit. We don’t want fathers “waiting” for their children to grow up or sisters waiting around to seduce their brothers once they come of age. It’s just harmful all around.”167   

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      Another opinion shows us why some people rightfully consider that incest is something wrong, having many negative implications:   

“Yes, consensual incest is wrong. To take it one step further, all incest is wrong. Nobody should be having sex or doing any type of sexual activities with family members. It is very wrong and in my opinion, it is absolutely disgusting. They really need to make this stuff illegal.”168   

       Even animals avoid inbreeding and a group of animals will take measures to ensure incest can’t happen in their families.

If there is a natural protection against this phenomenon why would God have conceived the human species in such a way that the only manner of their multiplication would have been inbreeding? The answer is that it wasn’t God who built the human species through inbreeding, but the naivety of the authors of the book of Genesis didn't take into consideration this aspect, either from a moral point of view nor a medical one.  

     The medical point of view is very convincing and the following quotation summarises well the arguments against inbreeding:   

“Since lots of people today ignore morals, let’s look at biology. Inbreeding produces problems genetically that can ruin gene pools and produce the increased likelihood of genetic diseases within a line. This would mean that if a family has a history of diabetic or heart problems, inbreeding in that line will promote a greater likelihood of those problems appearing in the future. Animals, specifically mammals (which we are), go to great lengths to avoid inbreeding. Primates exile females to other family groups so that the fathers don’t start going at it with them. Lions drive away males after they get older to ensure there isn’t a fight for dominance between them and their father. In the cycle of life dead ends occur regularly, and the quickest way to do that is make the gene pool much smaller.”169

       I have chosen mostly the opinions which also reflect my views about incest and I didn’t transform this study into a debate about the moral aspect of incest, because this material is not a part of a controversy pro and contra incest but is about the moral value and the logical consequences of the biblical texts. Whoever wants to see all opinions can visit the site indicated in the references or other sites or materials. There are also views that consider consensual incest between mature people acceptable but even they don’t dispute the medically harmful consequences which prohibit it, only the moral reasons. Nevertheless, according to the Mosaic Law, incest between brothers and sisters wasn’t admissible.

  

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167 www.debate.org › Opinions › Society

168 www.debate.org › Opinions › Society 168 www.debate.org › Opinions › Society

169 www.debate.org › Opinions › Society

 

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