LNH: Legion of Net.Heroes Vol. 2 # 18: Catalyst Lass vs. the Preacher!

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Fri Jul 7 06:38:27 PDT 2006

martinphipps2 at yahoo.com wrote:

> But really, incest, miscegenation, none of this pollutes the gene pool.
>  As long as we all get married and have children, our genes will get
> passed on to the next generation.  No "pollutants" are introduced to
> the worldwide gene pool, regardless of who we marry.  Genetic diseases
> result from mutations and natural selection discourages the spreading
> of such undesired traits.

I think the basic argument against incest is that it is morally wrong,
and usually the reason that it is morally wrong is, God Said So.

I think having that taboo in place, though, discourages parents from
abusing their children.

I've heard that inbreeding causes birth defects, but I think that's
only after three or four generations of continuous inbreeding.

Here in the States, there are several Republicans-- Rick Santorum
famously among them-- who argue that the recent legalization of
homosexuality would open the door to incest, beastiality, and polygamy.
 (Me, I have no problem with polygamy.)

I'm for equal rights for everybody, but my stance on issues of sexual
freedom is coloured by one thing: the issue of consent.  Let's look at
NAMBLA, for example.  NAMBLA wants the age of consent lowered to twelve
(most places in the U.S., it's eighteen, though in Michigan where I
reside it's sixteen-- so long as there is no more than two years
difference between the lovers.  Once you hit eighteen, you can have sex
with anybody you want-- so long as they're over eighteen or no more
than two years younger than you).

The problem with this is that, is a twelve-year-old mature/intelligent
enough to make that decision?  And my answer is, no.  They're not.
Most twelve-year-olds can't decide whether or not to stop watching
Dragon Ball Z (oh no!  another threat!  let's train!  oh, he died!
let's use the dragonballs to resurrect him!  oh, let's reveal another
new power!  he's dead!  but there's another threat!  let's train!).
And even if this hypothetical child has the intelligence and maturity
of a wisened old man, we're still talking about a young boy and an
older man-- a man who can and will use manipulation and force to get
what he wants.  And that's wrong.

Now, NAMBLA's slippery-slope argument is that the government should not
be determining who is mature/intelligent enough to be in a sexual
relationship.  And as someone who works in the Human Services industry,
I can tell you that this does happen.  Two mentally-retarded people who
find love are not encouraged or accomadated, but separated, and their
basic ability to make decisions about themselves-- the cornerstone of
the current mandate of "person centered planning"-- is stripped away
from them.

And if you ask me, that's not right.  Now, I'm sure you're saying, Tom,
what's the difference between two mentally-retarded adults and a
twelve-year-old child?  If anything, the twelve-year-old is smarter and
more mature!

Well, for me, it's a matter of peerage: with my hypothetical group-home
love-birds, there is no manipulation.  That's the same reason that I
have nothing against a couple of twelve-year-olds screwing around.  I
mean, they're kids.  They've just got these bodies.  Let 'em figure it

But don't take that period of time away from them.  Don't twist it
around and pervert it for your own aims.  And that's what NAMBLA tries
to do.

Now, as for the other slippery-slope argument that this invokes-- that
is, the implication that people who are not peers on an intellectual or
maturity level should not have a sexual relationship-- that's not what
I'm saying.  My wife is much smarter and much more mature than I am,
and much older, to boot.

But I'm an adult.  I might not be the smartest or the most mature, but
as an adult I have the right-- and the obligation-- to make my own

Do you know why they don't let kids drive?  No, it's not because
they're too short!  They make cars for short people!  It's not because
they'd be lousy drivers!  Look at any arcade.  These kids would
probably be some of the best technical drivers on the road-- IF it
wasn't for the fact that they don't always think through their

As someone gets older, they are expected to learn how to make decisions
responsibly.  Not only can you not expect this from children, but it's
morally wrong to do so.  And I think it's doubly-wrong on a moral level
to expect children to be capable of giving consent to adult acts.

Again, I'm not arguing that certain people shouldn't be allowed to date
or have sexual relationships.  What I'm arguing is that this question
of sexual freedom depends squarely on the issue of consent, and that
one cannot reasonably consider a child to be capable of giving that

I believe that what consenting adults of any race, gender, or age do is
their own business.

I believe that children are incapable of giving consent.

I believe that animals are incapable of giving consent.

I believe that incest is wrong, even between consenting adults.  I
don't really have a reason for this; call it a knee-jerk reaction.

I hope that this discussion will encourage people to read the story
itself. :-)

I hereby nominate Martin Phipps for the Archer Sloan/Harrakin in Straw
Hats Memorial Award for next year's RACCies.


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