The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Based on both Darwinism and Christianity, incest is less morally correct than bestiality.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 768 times Debate No: 42414
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




Based on: used as the foundation or starting point for something. (
Darwinism: the theory of the evolution of species by natural selection advanced by Charles Darwin. (
Christianity: the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, or its beliefs and practices. (
Incest: sexual relations (especially intercourse) with a close relative. (
Moral(ly): holding or manifesting high principles for proper conduct. (
Advisable: to be recommended; sensible (
Bestiality: sexual intercourse between a human and a non-human animal. (

R1: Acceptance from Con. No arguments should be presented or this will result in full 7 point forfeit.

R2: Pro presents opening arguments; Con rebuts.

R3: Closing statements; no new points allowed to be raised unless in direct rebuttal to R2.


I accept and eagerly await my opponent's opening argument. It is nice to debate someone who provides definitions outright for once.
Debate Round No. 1


The Introduction

Greetings audience, I represent the proposition of the motion that if one were to base their morality on Darwinism and Christianity then, beyond any reasonable doubt they would conclude that incest is less morally advisable than bestiality. I would like to remind my opponent that this is not a debate about whether Darwinism or Christianity is a valid source of morality, it is assuming that one is basing their morality on both.

I shall be focusing on 4 main points in this debate, 2 relate to Darwinism and 2 relate to Christianity. Prior to this, I shall be countering common attack methods to this resolution that are not valid in the slightest.

I thank you for paying attention thus far and, without further ado, shall proceed to the main body of debate.

Common Lines of Attack used by Con

There are a few lines of attack that are commonly used by Con here that I wish to nip in the butt before they are raised to begin with. For example, if Con states that Darwinism and Christianity are incompatible, this is countered by stating that God applies different morals to nature than he does to a solely human society. The Bible is written for a solely human society to follow and ignores all interpretation of the ins and outs of how nature works. Thus, they are compatible if God relies on Darwinism to run nature in general and on Christianity to govern the societies run solely by human beings.

Another common line of attack is that if there is a higher chance of transmitting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) from animals than human beings then clearly this goes against the very premise of self-preservation on which both Darwinism and Christianity have strong views against (Darwinism opposes wilful self-damage and Christianity opposes any form of attempted suicide whatsoever; direct or indirect). This is simply ridiculous because Darwinism values that urge to reproduce above any other innate basic need of forms of life[1] so it follows that if the urge to reproduce overrides the urge to self-preserve (as often happens with bacteria who literally kill themselves to replicate[2]) then this is not at all against Darwinism.

Contention 1: Darwinism Revolves Around The Increasing of Variety Leading to Success

Before I begin my point let me concede that I am fully aware that Darwinism was only referring to variation within a species[3]. Nonetheless, morality involves both intent and outcome and it is in fact a sign of mental maturity to begin taking intent into account when judging morality[4]. So, it is clearly counter-Darwinist for one to wish to reproduce into a situation of the most minimal variation imaginable; family members (remember that incest only applies to blood relatives).

There is nothing more adventurous than to try to go the extremes of variation to see just how much one can change so potentially to have sex with an animal is merely to embrace the urge to have an extremely varied child, outside of any standard conformity to the species. This attitude to sex is far more Darwinist-like than one that would rather have sex with their own blood relative.

Contention 2: A true Darwinist wants the best quality children.

Although it's true that the children of cross-species parents are infertile, many animals, such as mules or ligers can actually exist fairly well. However, only 6 days ago a 40-strong cult of incest breeders were found[5] and all the children were deformed and disabled in some way. Now, it's no freak-case scenario; it's a fact that children of incest have increased likelihood of weakened immune systems and increased chance of genetic abnormalities and unwanted mutations thanks to the DNA of the two zygotes being far too similar[6].

In essence, the Darwinist parent should be seeking a partner that would offer the best possible outcome for the offspring. close relatives are, by far, the least likely to do so, and in fact to have no child at all is better than to have a disabled child ad this child is now a burden on the parents and they are nurturing an offspring that will be destroyed by natural selection whilst knowing that all this time and effort wouldn't have been wasted if they just had raped a goat and got on with life instead of doing their sibling.

Contention 3: God often refers to animals being created for man's pleasure but never once indicates that family, especially parents, are here to please us.

Need I prove this? I challenge my opponent to prove any differently.

Contention 4: An animal has no soul that will be judged once it dies, so one is not tainting the sexual partner's soul when committing bestiality.

The contention speaks for itself. One is merely falling victim to an animal's allure much like Eve did to Satan in snake-form. This is not nearly as punishable as if Eve had tempted her own relative to have sex with her (it's kind of funny that all of Adam and Eve's children must have had to do incest but this doesn't prove anything as it would be forgiven for the extremities of circumstance sand isn't applicable to today's society since there are better options for a more varied partner in today's world).

[1] Emily Brown. (2009). Charles Darwin & Evolution: Sexual Selection. Available: Last accessed 16th Dec 2013.
[2] Microbiological Concepts (2000). REPRODUCTION: BACTERIA (Asexual Reproduction). Available: Last accessed 16th Dec 2013.
[3] Stephen Montgomery. (2009). Charles Darwin & Evolution: Variation. Available: Last accessed 16th Dec 2013.
[4] Fiery Cushmana, Rachel Sheketoff, Sophie Wharton and Susan Carey. (2000). The development of intent-based moral judgment. Available: Last accessed 16th Dec 2013.
[5] Richard Shears. (2013). Children of horrifying incest 'cult'. Available: Last accessed 17th Dec 2013.
[6] Zoe Assaf. (2012). Understanding Genetics of Incest. Available: Last accessed 17th Dec 2013.



Opening Statement
I will first point out that the burden of proof is entirely on my opponent to show that a with morality founded on both Christianity and Darwinism in mind, incest is less morally correct than bestiality.

My argument can be summarized as follows: No morality can be based on Darwiniasm as defined because it is only a scientific theory that explains natural phenomenon and says nothing about what is proper. Furthermore, my opponent has provided no support from the teachings of Jesus or from the Bible that suggest that incest is less morally correct than bestiality.

Darwinist- One who accepts Darwinism as defined above

Morality Cannot Be Drawn From Darwinism
A "true Darwinist" merely accepts the theory of evolution as a valid. The morality my opponent has constructed is not based on Darwinism, but has been arbitrarily chosen based on the assumption that an outcome with "greater variety" is somehow better. Darwinism does not lead to any such assumption. The theory of evolution only explains why, for example, a bottleneck event that leads to a drastic decrease in genetic variation can be more likely to result in the extinction of a population or in the widespread of appearance of genetic disorders in a population [1]. It says nothing about whether or not variation is "desirable." This can be said to be embracing the common misconception that evolution is somehow goal oriented [2]. In actuality, this "morality" was chosen specifically with supporting a particular statement in mind. With this manner of doing things, any number of very different so called moralities could be drawn from explanations of evolution and observations of nature on a whim. For example, it would be no less absurd to claim that because 99.9% of all species that have ever existed have gone extinct [3] that humanity "should" follow this pattern; in such a morality, high levels of incest that would lead to a higher probability of extinction would be considered "good." In both situations, the conclusion cannot logically follow from the observations. To make this clear, let me word my analogy in terms of my opponent's argument: "Darwinism revolves around extinction of most species at some point. Therefore, it is clearly counter-Darwinist to wish for a species to survive for so long and to take measures to prevent actions that would make extinction more likely." To claim that my analogy is wrong because survival is somehow better than extinction is false because this claim involves preconceived notions of morality and is therefore not founded on Darwinism. The theory of evolution explains how organisms that are better adapted to their environments will be more likely to survive and reproduce [4]. However, it makes no normative statements about whether survival or extinction of a species is "better." By definition, scientific theories do not involve opinions or normative claims. Were my opponent's argument phrased in terms of formal logic, it would be a non-sequitur.

In expectation of my opponent's counter-argument, I will point out that whether Darwinism is a "valid source of morality" certainly is relevant to the debate when this is taken to mean whether or not a morality can logically be derived from Darwinism. If a morality cannot be derived from the theory of evolution as I have argued, then making any claim involving a morality based on the theory of evolution is nonsensical.

Even By Pro's Stated Goals Incest Cannot be Seen to Less Morally Correct
Even if it were determined that variation and higher quality children could be said to be "better" based on Darwinism, my opponent's claim would not hold up. First of all, "an extremely varied child" cannot be produced by bestiality. My opponent's point about mules and ligers is irrelevant as there is no evidence of any hybrids being produced through bestiality. I won't resort to a semantic argument, but I will also point out that in some contexts, "close relative" can include one's partner or people with lesser genetic relationship than implied. Reproduction, however, is possible even with a close relative in the sense that you mean. I will not contest that incest is more likely to lead to deformations, but it does not necessarily lead to birth defects. When looking at the alternative of non-existent offspring, either it will be determined that a child that possibly may have birth defects is of a higher quality than one that does not exist or more likely it will be determined that there is no basis for comparison. If there is no basis for comparison, incest cannot be decided to be less moral. Even if humans were able to reproduce with chimps, for example, I do not think that my opponent would claim that the offspring would be of a higher quality.

My opponent's argument also might be considered a fallacy of special pleading because he demands special considerations for people who engage bestiality. He suggests that one can "rape a goat" and get "on with life," but assumes that one who engages in incest can only engage an incest and not "get on with life." On the other hand, it might better be considered a false dichotomy as the argument makes the assumption that the only two possibilities with bestiality and incest in mind are either only having sex with a sibling or having sex with an animal and then moving on (implying having sex with humans who are not close relatives). In actuality, it is quite possible for someone to have sex with both siblings and those who are not closely related. When the assumption is that humans are only engaging in bestiality or incest, then, as I just pointed out, bestiality results in no offspring while incest can result in offspring. If the human species only engaged in bestiality, it would die out as soon as the last human alive today died. Variation would end.

Furthermore, incest as defined does not necessarily result in children. One can engage in the act of incest frequently using birth control and still produce "the best quality children" by having sex with others. When producing the best quality children is seen as the most moral action and there is no false perception that one can only have sex with animals or close relatives, then neither bestiality nor incest can be seen as a "better" way to achieve this outcome. Therefore, it cannot be concluded that incest is less morally correct.

Rebuttal to Contention 3
My opponent did not give any evidence to support this claim, but I will address it anyway despite his refusal to meet his burden of proof. This point is irrelevant. Simply because the Bible says nothing about about family being there for "pleasure" like animals is not evidence for my opponent's claim. To equivocate "for pleasure" to include "for sex" is a stretch. I do not think that it would be any less of a stretch to use the following verse as evidence that incest is moral by equivoating "love" to "sex": "If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen." [5] Both are far-fetched interpretations.

Rebuttal to C4
There are many actions in the Bible labelled as sinful that do not involve beings with "souls." Where does Jesus or the Bible teach on bestiality or incest? Unless my opponent can specifically show that the Bible is clear on this matter, he has not fulfilled his burden of proof. In fact, my opponent seems to give evidence against his argument by pointing out that Eve committed the first sin by "falling victim to an animal's allure" and that, according to the Bible, incest was necessary for the commanded growth of the human population. Instead of providing evidence that this would be considered a sin, my opponent merely speculates that it would be forgiven.

[5]1 John 4:20 ESV
Debate Round No. 2


BlindFollower forfeited this round.


First of all, I would like to point out to the reader that my opponent did not have a chance to respond last round because his account was closed for reasons unknown to me.

I will bring up no new arguments in order to comply with the rules, but I will briefly summarize my argument in absence of a new statement to rebut.

To get to the assumption that morality is based on something, it must first be displayed that this is a possibility. Principles for "proper conduct" (morality as defined) can only be determined when there is a particular goal in mind. This can be seen to be the case with Christianity (i.e. "Do not do these things in order to not displease Yahweh; These things are better because Yahweh says so."), but since evolution has no goals (like doing what Yahweh says) and makes no statements about the relative "value" of various actions, no morality can logically be drawn from study of it. Any such attempts will result in a moral code tainted by the bias and opinions of the person creating it, resulting in a large number of possible moralities. I have not argued that either Darwinism or Christianity is a "good" or "bad" source of morality, but I am making the claim that no morality can be based on Darwinism as defined.

Even by the morality that my opponent constructed where variation is the goal, incest cannot be seen to be less morally correct. This is because bestiality cannot lead to any offspring. If humans only engaged in bestiality, the human population would decline rapidly along with variation. When it is not assumed that a person can engage in just bestiality or just incest, the argument falls apart. This argument can only hold up only when a person is assumed to be able to engage in only incest or both bestiality and sex with those not closely related. As I have explained, this is a fallacy.

Furthermore, my opponent did not provide any concrete evidence to support his assertion that incest is less morally correct according to Christianity. After all, as he admits, incest must have been initially responsible for the growth of the human population. His arguments were based on vague observations and unwarranted assumptions.

In conclusion, I have refuted all of my opponent's contentions. My opponent has not met his burden of proof.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Seek 2 years ago
Darwinian evolution and Christianity have vastly different aims. Bestiality isn't even expressly forbidden in the Bible, whereas incest is. According to natural selection, between banging a sheep and banging your mom, there's only one way the genes are going to be passed on.

I wouldn't even know how to argue this.
Posted by lit.wakefield 2 years ago
I would love to be proved wrong though :P This seems like it could turn out interesting.
Posted by BlindFollower 2 years ago
ez win, ez life.
Posted by lit.wakefield 2 years ago
@InVinoVeritas One of this reasons I expect this to be an easy win. I will wait for my opponents argument to see where they go with it though.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 2 years ago
Darwinism and Christianity... two really crappy institutions to derive a system of morality from.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Enji 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: "Morality Cannot Be Drawn From Darwinism. A 'true Darwinist' merely accepts the theory of evolution as a valid." Con easily wins arguments with this statement. Pro would have needed to establish why the theory of evolution, as advocated by Darwin, should be used as a basis for morality; simply attempting to establish that increased genetic variation allows for fitter offspring does not do this. Conduct for forfeit.