The Instigator
Envisage
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Yassine
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Incestous Marriage Should Be Permitted

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Envisage
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/12/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,866 times Debate No: 76488
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (69)
Votes (2)

 

Envisage

Pro

Details
This debate will address the notion of any and all Incestial marriage that, were the members not related, would be permissible otherwise. I.e. Arguments against underage incestial marriage would not be relevant to this debate.

Full Resolution
Incestous Marriage Should Be Permitted

Definitions

Incestous: Relationship between two people traditionally considered too closely related to be married. Including parent-child, sibling-sibling and between a parent's sibling and a parent's child.

Marriage: A union that grants the same rights as what is generally considered to be marriage in society, granting legal & constitutional benefits/protections associated with it. A marriage may for the purposes of this debate be recognised "recognized by a state, anorganization, a religious authority, a tribal group, a local community or peers. "[http://en.wikipedia.org......]

Format:
48h, 10,000 words, 3 rounds
BoP on Pro

Round 1: Acceptance, Rules, Definitions
Round 2: Arguments, Rebuttals
Round 3: Arguments, Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals, No new arguments

Best of Luck!
Yassine

Con

I thank Envisage for instigating this rather odd debate & I accept his challenge. I am looking forward to his arguments for his affirmative case.



Resolution:


- Pro should be arguing for the affirmative resolution: Incestuous Marriage should be permitted.


- I’d be arguing for the negative resolution: Incestuous Marriage should not necessarily be permitted.




Best of luck to you Envisage.

Debate Round No. 1
Envisage

Pro

I thank Yassine for accepting this debate. I am not sure what to expect from it, but we shall see.

C1. Benefits & Impact
Marriage, as defined in the resolution, entails a range of benefits for the couple, including constitutional benefits such as tax protection, tax rebates, inheritance rights (pension & estate), medical rights, spousal privilage and transferrable recognition of relationship. This also constitutes benefits regarding immigration, and housing, to name just a few. A case study would be in the US, there over 1,100 benefits, rights and protections are provided on the basis of marital status in Federal law.[1]


Further, marriage is known to convey a plethora of health benefits for said couples.[2] Studies have conclusively linked marital status with decreased mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer and surgery. Improved mental well health and longer lives.[3] Thus, to permit incestuous marriage would be to grant the same privileges that any other married couple currently enjoys across the globe.

The impacts of such are relatively unknown due to the strong legal and social stigma against incestuous relationships. However, the fact that consensual incestuous relationships can and do occur is well-established. Famous case studies include relationships between siblings removed at birth/young age only to later meet (cf. accidental incest).[4-6]

C2. No harm principle
John Mill once argued "The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.", this applies within this context of liberty in this case. Since (consensual) incestuous marriage is only going to be as harmful (i.e. not very/at all) as any other marriage – thus if we value the institute of marriage for the run-of-the-mill couple, then we have no legitimate reason to prevent incestuous couples from doing the same, and preventing such impinges upon the liberty of the parties being oppressed.[7]


Incest for those nations that prohibit is it regarded as a “victimless crime”,[8]and hence according to the no harm principle ought not to be prohibited.

To prohibit such a marriage would be to prohibit based on immutable characteristics, however people cannot be accountable for their immutable characteristics, only for their choices. If closely related individuals have a romantic attraction to each other, the fact they are closely related is not something that is “correctable” by either individual, it is inherently unfair. This would be equivalent to prohibiting selling something to someone based on their race or ethnicity, or employment based on their sexuality – clearly none of these have anything to do with one’s values or rights as a person.

C3. Arbitrarily nature of prohibiting incestuous marriage & relationships
The term “incest” is a loosely defined word, as it’s contingent on society’s perception of “closely related”, however all humans are related on some level, thus incest on some level is occurring within every single relationship on some level, since we are at most 16 generations removed from any other person in 99.98% of cases.[9] Moreover, the practical implementation of laws regarding incest attest to the arbitrary nature with those that do prohibit incest do so with varying “closeness of relation”, for example the UK prohibits anything closer than first-cousinship (the 12.5% rule), whereas Brazil prohibits only on the third degree (25%) and some states of the US prohibits anything closer than and including first cousinship (6.25%). [http://en.wikipedia.org...]


Such widespread disagreement follows from non-intrinsic “wrongness” with degree of closeness of relation. If we permit second cousinship for example, then we need a good reason to justify why we permit that and not first cousinship. If we permit first-cousinship, then we need a good reason why we permit that (12.5%) and not those of half-siblings (25%), and so on and so forth. The lack of an intrinsic reason regarding closeness of relationship entails there isn’t an inherent reason to prohibit incestial relationships, and by extension, marriage.

C4. Discrimination
Given the above, prohibiting incestuous marriage is discriminatory in the same manner as prohibiting same-sex marriage, or prohibiting inter-racial marriage. If we value a society in which the majority does not oppress the minority on its own whims, then we also value a society where the option for marriage with “close relations” is available, as we do those of the same gender or different race.


References
1. http://www.hrc.org...
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...;

3. http://student.bmj.com...
4. http://www.spiegel.de...
5. https://books.google.co.uk...
6. http://en.wikipedia.org...
7. https://books.google.co.uk...
8. http://books.google.com...
9. http://ideas.4brad.com...;
Yassine

Con

Preface:



- I should remind the voters that the BOP in on Pro to convincingly show why Incestuous Marriage ought to be permitted.


- I’ll concentrate in this round on rebuttals, & I’ll leave my case to later rounds.




Case:



I. Incestuous Lawful Marriage is an incoherent concept:



II. Incestuous relationships should not be permitted in a democracy:


- This, for, evidently, virtually all subjects of society on the globe do not think Incest should be allowed (for social & religious reasons). Thus, permitting it goes against the principal of democratic rule.



III. Incestuous relationships should be restricted by social or religious norms:



Rebuttals:



C1. Benefits & Impact:


- In this section, Pro makes 3 points, which I’ll refute thereafter:

1. Marriage, as a legal union, entails many legal benefits. Permitting Incestuous ‘Marriage’ extends the same benefits for incest couples, hence they should be permitted.

2. Marriage, between normal couples, is associated with many health benefits. Thus, Incestuous ‘Marriage’ should be permitted, for it would enjoy the same health benefits.

3. Consensual incestuous relationships are a fact.


1. => This is clearly a case of equivocation, or at least a case of affirming the consequent [1]. The Marriage here designate that which is recognised by the Law, which thus excludes Incestuous “Marriage”. By that I mean, Pro has to show why incestuous relationships ought to be permitted or recognised in the first place, regardless of the legal benefits of Marriage itself! An analogue course of reasoning can be made for pedophilic relationships for instance. Such that, there are many legal benefits to Marriage, thus, pedophilic relationships ought to be permitted, by Pro’s standards, in order to extend those benefits to such couples. Point being: the fact that there are legal benefits to Marriage, does not warrant in any way making it legal for any combination of couples, incest or not, human or otherwise.

2. => This also is a case of equivocation, for the Marriage indicated here coincidently does not account for incest. Pro here is overreaching. The health benefits (such as decreased mortality. . .) plainly have to do with normal couples, & there is no reason whatsoever to believe these benefits extend to incestuous relationships, or any other relationship for that matter, including pedophilic, zoophilic & others. In fact, the opposite is likely true, for there are high biological costs of incestuous off-spring [2], which include, excess mortality, up to 36% of children resulting from incest will either die or have major disabilities [3]. . . Thus, permitting Incest could only augment distress of parents over mostly dead or disabled children, & result in rampant high child mortality & disability in society.

3. => Pro here does not provide any proof of such cases, accidental incest is, by design, not consensual incest, for the involved parties did not initially consent to incestuous acts knowingly, that was only after the fact. However, regardless of the occurrences of such behaviour, if consensual incest exist, which is not unlikely, then so do all sorts of consensual relationships, & voluntary suicide, & consensual cannibalism . . . The fact that something happens with consent does not necessarily imply that it should happen! Pro has to justify why that is the case.



C2. No harm principal:


- Pro’s main argument here is as follows:

A. Consensual Incest is a victimless crime, thus, according to the Harm Principal, ought to be permitted.


- There are many problems with this line of reasoning:

1. Consensual Incest is not necessarily a victimless crime, for the offspring resulting from such relations is very likely to suffer bad consequences, both biologically & especially psychologically due to extreme social pressure & stigmatisation.

2. A victimless crime, often involving consensual acts or solitary acts [4], is a crime nonetheless. Supposing a crime is victimless does not necessarily entail permitting it! Pro has to show why a crime, that is victimless, ought to be permitted.

3. The Harm Principal is not sufficient reason enough to permit something. Pro has to do more than assume the validity of the principal, he has to show how this principal is sufficient otherwise.

4. Mill himself also argues: “ for such actions as are prejudicial to the interests of others, the individual is accountable, and may be subjected either to social or to legal punishments, if society is of opinion that the one or the other is requisite for its protection.”, expressing the social authority principal [5], which is a crucial principle “for the purpose of determining harm that only manifests gradually over time” [5]. In this case, firstly, permitting Incest entails widespread detriment consequences to society (in child mortality & disability, trauma, & a plethora of psychological effects) ; secondly, such relationships are socially & religiously unacceptable in the first place, permitting them harms the society & its religion in the sense that they go against the interests of both.


"This would be equivalent to prohibiting selling something to someone based on their race or ethnicity, or employment based on their sexuality – clearly none of these have anything to do with one’s values or rights as a person."

- Pro here makes a straw-man analogy, as we can’t see which aspect of Incest & these actions is shared! Nor do we see how this aspect is supposedly relevant to his point! Plus, Pro assumes that “prohibiting selling something to someone based on their race or ethnicity, or employment based on their sexuality” should not occur, & deduces that, similarly, prohibiting Incest should not occur either, without showing why this assumption is the case, or why is it analogue to Incest to begin with. Thus, this argument can be dismissed as bare assertion.



C3. Arbitrarily nature of prohibiting incestuous marriage & relationships:


- Pro here argues that, since the laws are arbitrary concerning incest, the latter ought to be permitted. However, following Pro’s reasoning we will find ourselves with more problems than solutions:

1. We might apply the same approach to different laws of different nations, & based on the arbitrariness of prohibitions these laws entail, we would be compelled to discard all of them! Which is clearly completely arbitrary too. In this case, what’s the point of Law to begin with?! If Pro is firm on his approach than he should concede this as well.

2. There are forms of incest that are universally prohibited, namely with first degree relatives (parent or sibling) [6]. Thus, Pro’s assumption of arbitrariness of Incest does not enable him to go further than incest with second degree relatives.


- Also, Pro’s claim “incest on some level is occurring within every single relationship on some level” is incoherent & false, for it goes against the definition of incest itself.



C4. Discrimination:


- Here Pro, as always, makes a number of assumptions without justification:

1. He assumes incestuous ‘marriage’ is the same thing as same-sex marriage, without showing why that is the case.

2. He also assumes that same-sex marriage should be permitted, & so should incestuous marriage. Again, without justifying why same-sex marriage should be permitted, it certainly isn’t in much of the World.


If we value a society in which the majority does not oppress the minority on its own whims, then we also value a society where the option for marriage with “close relations” is available, as we do those of the same gender or different race.

- Response:

1. That’s anti-democratic, i.e. the rule of the majority. Thus, valuing democracy contradicts, on some level, valuing a “society in which the majority does not oppress the minority”. Is Pro promoting such an approach?!

2. If any minority should be given its needs, then thereby should pedophiles & zoophiles & all sorts of psychos. Is Pro ok with this?!




Sources:



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2]

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...


Debate Round No. 2
Envisage

Pro

Rebuttals
No case presented by Con except Incestuous relationships should not be permitted in a democracy”

“This, for, evidently, virtually all subjects of society on the globe do not think Incest should be allowed (for social & religious reasons). Thus, permitting it goes against the principal of democratic rule.”

How is this supposed to be an argument? Whether or not people think it should or should not be allowed is independent of whether or should be permitted in statute, Con would need to affirm the latter (that majority opinion is sufficient). Moreover, if the majority of people lack sound reasons for thinking it should be prohibited, then it follows that the majority opinion is irrelevant.

Furthermore, as I have argued so far, prohibiting incestuous marriage yields concessions in other areas of democracy which are much deeper routed than simple public opinion (such as right to privacy, etc.). Such justifications could have been used to justify permitting slavery for example in 1700’s US/Europe, we simply do not and should not create policies purely from public opinion, lest every single minor issue be settled by myopic vote.

Defence
C1. Benefits & Impact
Con would need to actually demonstrate how my argument is a fallacy of affirming the consequent/equivocation rather than just asserting it.


“Con has to show why incestuous relationships ought to be permitted or recognised in the first place, regardless of the legal benefits of Marriage itself!”

Con strawmans my argument here, since I argued for much more than just legal and constitutional benefits, it has manifest benefits too. Also I am not sure what Con is attempting to suggest here – that we should not always extend benefits where possible? Is Con suggesting that we should also withhold something that demonstrably improves quality of life on several levels for people. Society generally ought to act for the best benefit of society, and if these benefits come at minimal or no cost to the state, then there is hardly an argument that can be made against it. Given that many of the benefits I convey are emergent, rather than direct, then these are essentially “free” benefits.

Further, I have no idea how Con thinks pedophilic relationships are remotely analogous, given they run into serious issues of consent that are completely off-topic to incestuous marriage. At the very least this sets the premise for the rest of my arguments, where we demonstrably have an advantageous position given to married couples which incestuous couples do not currently have.

2. While it is true that the studies of marriage do not include incestuous relationships (due to the obviously limited dataset for the latter), Con would have to provide very good reason to think why they would not also apply (since virtually all other variables are identical except for their biological relation). A useful analogy here would be the study of falling objects (such as spheres, bowling balls, human dummies) to gauge how gravity would affect other falling objects, such as people. Con attempts to do this by appealing to biological issues of incestuous childbirth, however this debate is about incestuous marriage, not childbirth – thus is a red herring fallacy. Furthermore, if childbirth is an issue, then it is also irrelevant, since marriage is not a pre-requisite for childbirth. Also this line of reasoning would entail that we ought to prohibit all syndrome sufferers from getting married (Huntington disease, ADPKD, etc.), or any person with a hereditary disease for that matter – since they have a very high chance of passing it down. Clearly we do not rule on marriage due to potential offspring. Furthermore this is not an argument against same-sex incestuous marriage – who obvious cannot naturally conceive children.

Thus, while there perhaps is a case to be made against incestuous childbirth/conception, there isn’t one to made against the marriage itself.

3. I am not sure what Con’s point here is supposed to be. The first citation I gave was a German court case where the couple was fighting for their right to marry. Clearly they are consenting to incest, even if they only discovered it was incestuous after they started dating/having sexual intercourse. Further this is cutting the point away from its context, which was simply to show that there clearly is an impact to be made, since these types of consensual relationships have and do exist. The nature of how they “first met” is irrelevant here .

C2. No harm principal
Con appeals to two harms, biological & social pressure & stigmatisation.

Biological
I have already addressed this in my rebuttals to C1, potential for genetic defects in offspring is irrelevant to the question of incestuous marriage since:
a. Marriage is not a prerequisite to childbirth.
b. It’s only an argument against incestuous childbirth, not marriage
c. Entails serious repercussions if we apply this policy uniformly across all categories (such as those with inheritable genetic diseases wanting to marry)
d. It is an invalid argument against all incestuous marriages since some couples cannot reproduce (via. artificial means, or naturally incapable, or being of the same sex)

Social Pressure & Stigmatisation
Surely this is an argument in favour of incestuous marriage, since it would reduce social pressure & stigmatisation via. desensitisation! Much like the movement to promote gay marriage has come with demonstrable effects in reducing stigmatisation and social pressures against those at victim here (the minority group in question).

It is the social pressure & stigmatisation that is at fault, not the incestuous couple. Further, this is an argument against self-harm, since the only victims identified here are the people wishing to marry in the first place. In society we rule based on harm, or infringing on the liberty of others, not ourselves.

2. This argument of Con’s ignores the no harm principle. We do not arbitrarily impinge upon the liberty of people unless it impinges upon the liberty others. If a crime is victimless (yes, it is a crime because of current statute, this debate is about legalising it, so appealing to its criminal status is a circular argument), then obviously it does not impinge upon the liberty of others, and thus ought to be permitted.

3. “The Harm Principal is not sufficient reason enough to permit something.”
Note that the default position isn’t to prohibit something, but to permit it (otherwise absurd consequences of needing to write into statute each and every possible action would entail). The no Harm Principle is a demonstration that we lack sufficient reason to prohibit something.

Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law”

Dropping the harm principle would leave open serious repercussions on liberty, for example the reintroduction of slavery, since harm is no longer the necessary and sufficient means to prohibit something. In a democratic society, people will inevitably want their reduced harm represented first and foremost, thus harm is the principle driver of prohibition.

4. Con conflates myopic interests (what people want superficially) with more basic interests (such as general wish to avoid harm). People of the US may want to go to war with Russia for example, however their myopic interests contradict their more basic interest of avoiding harm which the inevitable nuclear war with Russia would certainly entail (via. various obvious means). Thus even ifincestuous marriage is against the immediate myopic interest of the people, then it wouldn’t follow it should be prohibited. Furthermore Con has not actually shown that this interest to prohibit incestuous marriage is universal, he just assumes it, for example incest (including marriage) is currently legal in France, Spain, Benelex and Portugal.[10] The former for over 200 years.

“Con here makes a straw-man analogy, as we can’t see which aspect of Incest & these actions is shared!”

It seems Con has ignored the argument is about discriminating based on immutable characteristics. Cutting arguments out of context does that. I extend this until Con acknowledges this.

C3. Arbitrarily nature of prohibiting incestuous marriage & relationships

1. How is this anything but a concession? Obviously it would entail that all laws that are inherently arbitrary in any nation should be discarded.

2. Con’s source here doesn’t back up his claim of universal prohibition. Moreover it is a red herring to my argument, since I was showing that closeness of relation (in statute via. prohibition) is not well-defined and thus arbitrary.

Con also misunderstands my “incest on some level is occurring within every single relationship on some level”, since it is a basic scientific fact that all humans are related to a certain degree (at most 16 generations apart).

C4. Discrimination
Con essentially concedes my point that it is indeed discriminatory to prohibit incestuous marriage. The notion of the majority not oppressing the minority is not inherently democratic, true, but it is a consequence of our more basic self-interest in no harm and all possessing liberty. We do not live in a society where we do have the value of arbitrarily oppress minorities, that is a basic value of people that will is realised in a democracy(and evidenced by our changing stances on such, with increasing abolishing of discrimination against coloured people, slavery, gender, religion, etc.).

I presented my argument as a conditional “if we value…”, Con doesn’t refute either the conditional statement, nor the condition of the conditional (we value a society in which the majority does not oppress the minority on its own whims”), thus Con has refuted nothing.

References
10. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Yassine

Con

Preface:



- Due to limited time & exhaustion, I am gonna focus in this round on advancing arguments.


- Also, Pro has the BOP to prove that Incestuous Marriage should be permitted, thus, he does not get to make assumptions, which I am not required to disprove either. If Pro makes an assumption, then he has to establish it, otherwise it should be dismissed as bare assertion.




Case:



I. Incestuous Lawful Marriage is an incoherent concept:


- It is clear that Incest, by definition, describes sexual relations which are prohibited. A lawful ‘incest’ is no incest. Therefore, the whole concept of lawful incest, thus lawful incestuous marriage, is incoherent, for it is self contradictory.



II. Incestuous relationships should not be permitted in a democracy:


- This, for, evidently, virtually all subjects of society on the globe do not think Incest should be allowed (for social & religious reasons). Thus, permitting it goes against the principal of democratic rule. Here the argument is simple & has 3 contentions:

1. If we value democracy, & do not wish for the majority to be ruled by the rules of the minority, then we should value social or religious norms, thus should not permit Incestuous Marriage.

2. In democratic countries, which constitute much of the World, incestuous marriage should not be allowed.

3. In non-democratic countries, a discussion based on liberty & norms isn’t even suitable, in which incestuous marriage is not allowed to begin with.



III. Incestuous relationships should be restricted by social or religious norms:


- Here is a broad version of how my argument about this should look like:

1. If we don’t value social or religious norms, then we will have to concede all norms, for then, they should be all considered arbitrary.

2. If we concede all norms, then we have to concede the norms such as those of nubility (& thus age of consent), or bestiality, or human sacrifice, or infanticide. . .

3. If we concede such norms & we value liberty & thus the harm principal, then we have to concede all norms which do not infringe the liberties of others, such as those related to nubility, bestiality, voluntary suicide & human sacrifice . . . for they don’t infringe on the liberty of others nor harm others.

4. If we don’t value social or religious norms, then we should permit: bestiality, voluntary suicide, euthanasia, drug use, prostitution, human self-sacrifice . . . & also pedophilic marriage, for nubility (or the age of consent) is also a social (or religious) norm, & it has been in many places in the past, & still is in some places, less than 12 yo, & even less than 10 yo.




Rebuttals:



- Next round.




Best of luck Pro.

Debate Round No. 3
Envisage

Pro

General Rebuttals
Is/Ought Fallacy

When an equivocation between what is objective, or is with what ought to be the case, then this fallacy has been committed, which Con has done rather abusively throughout his arguments.[
http://goo.gl...] The only coherent context from which ought statements thus can be derived are If --> Then statements, derived from values etc. This is also categorically sound, since ny conclusions can only include terms included in its premises e.g.:

1. If A then B
2. A
3. Therefore B

The is-ought gap essentially demonstrates that ought is not a term included amongst is-only premises, thus needs to be introduced (in the form of a conditional for example, such as substitution into P1 of the above) into at least one before an ought conclusion can be drawn.

Religious Norms and the difference between Rights & Values
Con needs to establish why religious values have anything to do with this resolution. Religious values do not dictate any single course of actions. Moreover they can only inform the public’s individual values, and only if the people adopt that aspect of their religion. For example drinking is against some Muslim’s values for religious reasons, however other Muslims will not share that aspect of their religion and thus have no problem with alcohol.[http://goo.gl...]

For the purposes of the question of whether something should be legalised however, only the societies’ values can be considered, which may or may not be informed by religious reasons. Given that there are multiple religions with a range of different and contradictory imperatives, cannot in principle say anything on whether or not we ought to rule based on them, for what is against one’s religion will be permissible by another’s.

Furthermore, religious values only provide an argument for why an individual should not perform a certain action. This resolution isn’t about enforcing incestuous marriage on those who do not want an incestuous marriage themselves – it is entirely optional whether or not people marry their close relatives. This debate is about the right to marry, rather than the act to marry itself. Thus even if one is morally or socially against an action – one can still be for the right for someone to do that action. A parallel for example can be drawn to freedom of speech, where the right to speak overrides what is being spoken:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Thus, even if society is against incestuous marriage, the case for the right to incestuous marriage is unaffected.

Slippery Slope Fallacy
Con has attempted to get a lot of mileage out of the alleged slippery slope between permitting incestuous marriage and various other unpleasant consequences. However for such an argument to be valid he would actually need to justify all his premises that entail these, as well as the fact that such actions should also not be permitted.

E.g. (in a formal construction)

1.Legalising abortion means we should allow some forms of murder
2. We should not permit any form of murder
C.We should not legalise abortion

Without justifying either premises 1 or 2, it becomes a slippery slope fallacy, since we have no reason to believe either premise. Thus when Pro appeals to paedophilia, zoophilic, euthanasia, etc. then he must actually justify both premises of his argument.

Specific Rebuttals
I. Incestuous Lawful Marriage is an incoherent concept
Recall the definition of incest:

Relationship between two people traditionally considered too closely related to be married. Including parent-child, sibling-sibling and between a parent's sibling and a parent's child.”

The definition includes a traditional consideration and specific examples, thus it is not by definition unlawful. It may well entail acts that today are unlawful in some states, but then legalising incestuous marriage would also obviously entail legalising incest itself, Thus this argument is also a non-starter – and blatantly commits the is-ought fallacy (see prior rebuttal).

This is equivalent to someone opposing the permitting the sale of cannabis by appealing to its current illegal status – obviously would also entail legalising cannabis.

II. Incestuous relationships should not be permitted in a democracy
Whether or not a society is a democracy is largely irrelevant to the question of whether or not an action should be undertaken, since the ethical considerations are essentially the same, and Pro would have to appeal to moral knock-on effects of a democracy/non-democracy to make an argument here. Furthermore I have already addressed most of these points in my previous round, so I extend all my previous rebuttals.

1. This is the first definition of democracy I found:

government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly bythemor by their elected agents under a free electoral system.” [http://goo.gl...]

Nowhere is it implied that the majority should rule the minority, only that we value election and supreme power laying with the people. This means all people, including minorities. Con’s position is quite bluntly to rule the minorities by the whims of the majority, yet ignores my defence to this and the absurd consequences it entails.

Moreover, legalising incestuous marriage doesn’t obviously entail the minority ruling the majority in either case thus is a clear strawman. We largely prohibit actions which seriously risk harming society, which is a much more general value shared by democratic voters. Incestuous marriage simply doesn’t possess these harms as already argued.

Given that democratic nations usually include explicit protections for minorities regardless of their backgrounds, it flat out falsifies Con’s assertion that people value ruling the minority.[http://goo.gl...]

2. “In democratic countries, which constitute much of the World, incestuous marriage should not be allowed.”

This isn’t even an argument, it is a statement (with no justification either)! At best it’s an is/ought fallacy, see relevant section for rebuttal.

3. This is essentially the same argument as Incestuous Lawful Marriage is an incoherent concept” (this whole debate is about allowing incestuous marriage, thus stating it is not allowed is simply not an argument but a statement), I extend my rebuttals to this. Furthermore it is also a blatant is/ought fallacy (see appropriate section), and the non-democratic nature of a nation is largely irrelevant to what it should do as already discussed.

III. Incestuous relationships should be restricted by social or religious norms

1. “If we don’t value social or religious norms, then we will have to concede all norms, for then, they should be all considered arbitrary.”

It seems Pro is putting the horse in front of the cart, for norms generally follow values, and not the other way around. Our values dictate our actions, and our actions become social norms. Con would have to show why norms are relevant in how we legislate. Our values are quite independent of norms. For example we usually value not dying, yet a social norm may be to execute Jews such as in the holocaust. It is the value of not dying (and not suffering, etc.) which dictates how we should legislate, not the norms.

2. “If we concede all norms, then we have to concede the norms such as those of nubility (& thus age of consent), or bestiality, or human sacrifice, or infanticide. . .”

I have no idea what Con is trying to say with “concede all norms” – the statement is not intelligible English. Social norms are a state of affairs, thus “conceding all norms” is like saying “conceding all apples” or “conceding all Ferraris” – it makes absolutely no sense. Furthermore Con provides no justification why his slippery slope assertions follow thus can be soundly ignored until he provides it. It also seems that his argument is a denying the antecedent, which is a formal fallacy.[http://goo.gl...]

1. Social norms include no bestiality, no human sacrifice, etc.
2. No social norms (or whatever the heck his statement is meant to mean)
3. Therefore, bestiality, human sacrifice, etc.

I would dispute both premises here, for social norms are going to exist regardless of whether or not we value them in legislation. For example legalising murder would not entail everyone is going to murder each other. Legalising same-sex marriage doesn’t entail everyone is going to marry someone of the same sex. Furthermore social norms aren’t being destroyed/conceded/etc. here, they are simply ignored for purposes of law in society.

3. This first premise here is correct, his second premise is not:

“such as those related to nubility, bestiality, voluntary suicide & human sacrifice . . . for they don’t infringe on the liberty of others nor harm others.”

This is a slippery slope fallacy (already discussed). Furthermore nobility, paedophilia, bestiality and human sacrifice I would argue clearly do harm liberty – and also have pragmatic considerations within the context of harming liberty. Given Con has made 0 attempt to justify any of these assertions entails no harm nor impingement on liberty, then these can be dismissed as bare assertions (such as with euthanasia etc.).

4. “If we don’t value social or religious norms, then we should permit…”

This like #3 is another slippery slope fallacy, yet in this case his first premise isn’t even correct, since it doesn’t follow that disregarding social/religious norms would entail permitting these (see my previous point about not legislating based on norms, but on fundamental values). Moreover, isn’t this an argument against social & religious norms, since many societies and religions actually permit paedophilic marriage & nubility (e.g. Islam), bestiality (some Hindu branches). Thus ruling based on these norms would entail these (such as what is currently the case in many Islamic nations).[http://goo.gl...]

Summary
I have shown that incest provides fun for the whole family. Vote Pro!

Yassine

Con

Defence:



Is/Ought Gap:


- Pro has failed to establish even one instance of this alleged committed fallacy!



II. Incestuous relationships should not be permitted in a democracy:


1.

- Pro, again, conveniently ignores the most fundamental aspect of Democracy, that is: “government by the people; especially: rule of the majority” [1]. Besides, elected officials are designed to represent best the demographics of the people.

- Pro here did not contest the value of Democracy, he merely twisted its signification to fit the narrative he wished to argue for, which immediately invalidates his argument. Thus, my argument stands.

- Democracy is, by definition, the rule of the Majority. The fact that some minorities enjoy specific rights in various democracies is simply due to the fact that majorities in these places allow it, referred to in this case as Supermajority [3]. Liberty is valued by legislators only because the Majority cherish it. Had the majority of people valued it less than other values for instance (such as the case of Iran [2]), it wouldn’t be as important. Pro, however, seems to take this ‘value’ for granted & assume its universality & proceed to argue without justifying this first very important premise for his entire case.

- Another extension to this argument is for example Homosexuality vs. Polygamy in the West, the former being permitted while the latter isn’t! This of course is due to the sympathising of the majority with one practice as opposed to the other.


2.

- This simply stems from the previous premise, which entails that, if we value Democracy, which we do (for Pro has not contested this), then we should value the wishes of the Majority of the people, who most likely, due to social & religious reasons, would reject incestuous relationships.

- Pro attempted to dismiss this contention by asserting that it’s an is/ought fallacy without explaining why that is the case, & conveniently so.


3.

- Pro has obviously missed the point here entirely. That is

A. Pro assumes Liberty as a universal value & proceed form there to establish his case.

2. Democracy, as the rule of the majority, decides the value of Liberty & restricts its application.

=> Therefore, we can’t possibly argue from Liberty without first considering the role of the Majority.

3. Non-Democracy, coincidently, does not acknowledge the value of Liberty (the specific one advocated by Pro), for the simple fact that they are both intertwined to the western rule.

=> Therefore, we can not possibly argue from Liberty if there was no acknowledged role of the Majority.

- In all cases, Liberty is not as universal a value as Pro led us to believe, it’s a value contingent to the social & religious norms of the Majority, or quite frankly, also, the whims of the Majority (or supermajority [3]).

=> Therefore, Pro’s assumption is not just questionable but also invalid. Pro had to prove either of the following:

i. Democracy is valueless, which he didn’t do, rather he conceded its value.

ii. The Majority of people will likely support Incestuous Marriage, which he didn’t argue for!



III. Incestuous relationships should be restricted by social/religious norms


1.

- Pro here ‘argues’, or rather assumes that norms follow our values, not the other way around! Which is false (for instance, the values of muslim nations stem from their religious norms), & also hardly related to the argument on wether social & religious norms should be taken into account in legislation or not!

- The argument here is that if we are willing to discard the social & religious norms of a nation based on the fact that they are arbitrary compared to another’s, thus willing to discard all laws that are equally arbitrary, then we are bound to embrace the whole spectrum of these norms (i.e. dropping all related laws), no matter how unpleasant they are.


2.

- This evidently follows from (1). To elaborate, here is an example:

i. The laws concerning Nubility (marital age) are arbitrary. This, for nubility varies greatly from nation to nation & from culture to culture, & even within the same nation. In France for instance, in a span of 200 years only, nubility ranged from 12yo to 18yo, the latter being just recently upgraded from 15yo in 2006 to 18yo, & in India, in a span of less than 70 years, the marital age ranged from 10yo to 18yo [4].

ii. If these laws are arbitrary, then they should be discarded.

iii. If these laws are discarded, then we have no problem with any combination of other laws concerning Nubility. In this case, we might as well legalise marriage of 10yos, well, since we supposedly don’t care about social & religious norms.

- Pro contests this by arguing that Norms should be ignored for the purposes of law in society! Pro seems to want to apply this approach only when it suits him, while ignoring the unpleasant consequences it entails.


3.

- Pro attempts to dismiss this contention by asserting that it is a slippery slope fallacy, which it factually isn’t, as shown earlier. Pro, by asserting that “all laws that are inherently arbitrary in any nation should be discarded”, does not get to pick at whim which of these laws should be an exception. For instance: laws concerning Nubility are inherently arbitrary, thus, should be discarded.

- Pro also asserts that nubility (thus pedophilia), bestiality and human sacrifice. . . harm Liberty, of course, without justifying why that is! This is a crucial point Pro had to refute, he had to conclusively establish why these practices defeat Liberty, otherwise there is no reason for us whatsoever to consider any difference between Incestuous Marriage & these “unpleasant” practices, for the basis of argument in both cases is Liberty & the Harm Principal, & so long as these practices are victimless (noone other than the parties involved are harmed), which they are, then they all should be permitted. Instead, Pro resorted to bare assertion, knowing he had the BOP to establish this point to save his case.

- An example of these practices is bestiality in Columbia, which is not just legal, but also a norm & evidently a victimless practice[5]. Thus, according to Pro’s reasoning, if we discard the social norms & drop arbitrary laws, then we ought to legalise bestiality, for there is no reason not to, as there is no reason not to legalise incestuous marriage.


4.

- Pro here again does not tell us why these practices are any different than incestuous marriage, asserting “slippery slope” without any justification whatsoever does not count as an argument! If we follow Pro’s reasoning, then we must value Liberty under the Harm Principal, & according to Pro, we must thus ignore all norms, disregard all arbitrary laws, & legalise all victimless crimes. If we do this, then we are certainly bound to disregard the laws concerning marital age, thus ultimately legalising pedophilia, &, similarly, bestiality, human self-sacrifice, drug use . . .




Rebuttals:



C1. Benefits & Impact:


1. Pro’s argument here is still a fallacy of affirming the consequent, here:

i. Every legal-marriage ought to have benefits.

ii. Incestuous marriage is legal.

c. Therefore, incestuous marriage ought to have benefits.

=> Premise (ii) is ignored by Con, & the conclusion (incestuous marriage is legal) is assumed before demonstrating it.


2. Pro here forgot he had the BOP, not me, to establish WHY the health benefits of normal marriage would extend to incestuous marriage!!! Pro is obviously commenting a hasty generalisation fallacy here, in which he switched the BOP & expect me to prove the opposite, which I am absolutely not required to do, especially since I provided good reasons why these health benefits are unlikely to extend.

3. Pro fails again to provide any sources supporting that incest, other than accidental, does happen. Plus, this is an is/ought fallacy, for if something exists, it doesn’t imply that it should.



C2. No harm principal (HP)


- Pro’s argument here can be summarised as follow:

1. Incestuous marriage is not harmful, despite the fact that incestuous childbirth is.

2. Prohibiting incest based on harmful childbirth leads to serious repercussions.

3. This prohibition does not apply to all forms of incest.

4. The HP is sufficient to legalising something.


1. => The HP also incorporates the potential consequences not just direct ones [6]. In this case, it is highly likely that a married incestuous couple will have children (94% of married women in the US have children by the age of 44 [7]), & thus, it is highly likely that we would have to face a potential harm to children, death or disabilities.


2. => In other than incestuous marriages, there is no potential harm to children, for it is highly unlikely that a normal couple would have transmitted genetic diseases, as opposed to an incestuous couple.


3. => Pro is not arguing for a specific form of incest, which are in fact legal in some places as opposed to others. He can either argue for incest in all its forms, or concede, which apparently he did here.


4. => Pro argued that the HP is sufficient for prohibiting something & necessary for not prohibiting it, but he does not show in any way why is it sufficient in not prohibiting something. This is clearly a fallacy of affirming the consequent.




Conclusion:


- Pro failed throughout the debate to establish:

1. Why is Liberty a universal value.

2. Why is HP sufficient for not prohibiting incest, how is it reciprocally sufficient for prohibiting other victimless practices (pedophilia, bestiality. . ).

3. Why should arbitrary laws concerning incest should be discarded, while others shouldn’t.

4. Why should Homosexuality be permitted to begin with!


=> Thus, fails to establish his case, & fails to refute mine, keeping in mind he had the BOP.


=> Vote Con.




Sources:



[1] http://goo.gl...

[2] http://goo.gl...

[3] http://goo.gl...

[4] http://goo.gl...

[5] http://goo.gl...

[6] http://goo.gl...

[7] http://goo.gl...

Debate Round No. 4
69 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Yassine 1 year ago
Yassine
- I am afraid she is illiterate, mute, deaf & blind. . .
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
Envisage
French is a more romantic language than Arab or English anyway ;-). There you go Yassine, no excuses not to read it :-D
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
Je peux traduire le d"bat ! (J'exag"re)

I'm Canadian ;)
Posted by Yassine 1 year ago
Yassine
- Too bad, she doesn't speak English. . .
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
Lol... you really crack me up Envisage!
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
Envisage
Salam thinks you should get your sister to vote on this Yassine :-).
Posted by Yassine 1 year ago
Yassine
- What's going on here ? ! -_-
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
Envisage
I have no stance on this matter, don't mind me.
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
http://www.arabnews.com...
That's a very good source.

By the way, many assume it's part of Islam which is false. Yassine can talk to that :)
Posted by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
I found an Arabic teaching source (I think)

It says: http://www.thearabicstudent.com...

"...Hi, mother in law (literally "my uncle's wife"). How are you?..."
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by salam.morcos 1 year ago
salam.morcos
EnvisageYassineTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
EnvisageYassineTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PeZX3kt-NqQus5QjoVoDgJ5ttKgSPPFRpxRz698WGrg/edit?usp=sharing