Monday, 26 March 2012

Future Civil Rights Issues

Hi guys, welcome to Orygyn!

In the 20th century, it was racial equality and women's rights. Right now, it's LGBT rights. What about the future? Are there more issues to be addressed?

I want to look at 2 specific issues in this post: polygamy and incestuous marriage. I've only ever heard polygamy in 2 contexts: first in the slippery slope fallacy used by opponents of gay marriage, and secondly in a video by YouTuber, lacigreen, called "2 BOYFRIENDS!? - POLYAMORY". Incestuous marriage gets far less attention.

I support both. Now, before you run away thinking I'm mad, let me make the case. What I advocate is being treated like a responsible person. A responsible person knows the risk of entering into a relationship with someone. The only difference between polygamy and an incestuous marriage, and monogamous gay or straight relationships is the increased level of responsibility required to make it work.


Polygamy is a marriage consisting of more than 2 participants. A man could have 2 or more wives, a woman could have 2 or more husbands, there could even be 2 or more of both genders if enough of the participants are bisexual. Such a relationship requires a lot of responsibility. Each participant must make sure all other participants are happy. The fact that they are even in the relationship would suggest that they are happy with the situation. Each person would have to spend enough time with the other participants in the relationship and not make anyone feel they are left out. If any 2 of the participants wish to have kids, this would have to be discussed with what would later become the non-biological parents in the relationship. All participants would need to understand that the kids' needs come first. The above requires enormous responsibility, but it should be the decision of a consenting adult to choose whether to enter such a relationship instead of any government's to make it impossible.

Incestuous Marriage

The only true problem with polygamy is the extra responsibility involved. While possibly contentious, I wouldn't imagine it would be that controversial, especially compared to this next issue. First, I want to emphasise the wording. I specifically wrote "incestuous marriage" and not incest. Incest is sex between family members. What I am calling an "incestuous marriage" is when family members get married. This could be monogamous or polygamous. Many of us get a visceral feeling of disgust towards such a concept as family members being intimate, but, taking out breeding, there is no longer any rational basis for this disgust. Incestuous breeding has been shown to result in problems with the resulting kids in terms of genetic diseases or abnormalities, and so perhaps this disgust has an evolutionary function. Nevertheless, if we take breeding out of the equation, this disgust truly becomes baseless. We might perceive it to be weird, and colliding with social and cultural norms, but at this point, it is in no significant way different to any other relationship. Remember, I advocate responsibility. Any participants in an incestuous relationship should be aware of the risks associated with breeding, and, in my opinion, a truly responsible incestuous family would adopt rather than breed, but again, it's a decision between 2 or more consenting adults.

Finally, the above considerations are very far removed from modern society. As such, it is understandable that many people will come at this with the social and cultural norms they're used to, and might not be able to look past them to the actual arguments that I've made. What I ask is that you try. Set aside whatever preconceptions you might have about both types of relationship and weigh the issue as critically as you can. If, at this point, you have rational reasons for objecting to the legalisation of both, I would, as always, be very interested in hearing your point of view. In case it comes up, yes, this post is 100% serious, and it is what I truly believe.


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