One of the vaguest arguments people have against consanguinamory is that it’s ‘immoral’. Yet, on what grounds are such claims being made. People use the following forms of ‘immorality’ arguments pretty often, you’d only have to look at the comments on some media articles on the subject to familiarize yourself with them, but to save you the trouble I will list the most common varieties here:
- Unnatural therefore immoral – If these people are equating naturalness with morality, perhaps we should ask if they picked their laptop or smartphone straight from the vine as nature intended in order for them to post such drivel. Somethings ‘naturalness’ speaks nothing about it’s morality, and somethings morality speaks nothing of it’s ‘naturalness’. So really, whether incest is natural or not should have no bearing on whether or not it is considered moral or immoral. For the record, incest is also observed in the animal kingdom, so it is natural.
- Anything against my religion is immoral – Since not all religions teach the same things (or even different denominations of the same religion – check out the wide varieties of Christianity available), and not of those differing views can be simultaneously correct, the argument collapses in on itself. While it is true that most religions forbid incest, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s immoral, just that those prohibitions were the cultural norm at the time the religious texts were written. There is a problem with defining morality with religion, and that is that it discourages independant thought and has historically lead to persecuting minorities (like gay people), and continues to oppress to this day (like us). I respect that people hold differing religious beliefs, and it’s one thing to follow a faith, but quite another to force it upon others.
- Gross therefore immoral – The argument goes that if something is grossing people out, it must be immoral otherwise it wouldn’t be gross! As I have stated in a previous article, opinions are not arguments, and nor are they facts.
As you can see, these three main varieties offer nothing of substance, and they break down easily on scrutiny.
So, now we know what morality isn’t, we must define what it is. Immorality is doing anything which causes unnecessary and avoidable harm. Examples of immorality in the context of sexual relationships would be:
- Cheating on your partner
- Domestic violence or abuse
It’s not an exhaustive list, but you can see where I am coming from, these things are wrong because they have a victim. It’s most often the case that people have consang relationships WITHOUT one partner harming the other either emotionally or physically.
Now, before somebody pipes up ‘but what about the embarassment caused to the whole family if they get caught? This hurts the whole family!’… Sorry, the problem is the REACTION, not the relationships. Being embarassed or grossed out is not harm and it doesn’t make one a victim, but what society does to consang people when they are discovered, imprisoning them and making them outcasts… THAT is where the harm is. The hateful reaction to consanguinamory is immoral, consanguinamory is not.