Polycarp,incest, morality "liberal christianity"

What’s the book of Jubilees? Did you mean Genesis, or is this a part of the Apocrypha I never heard of?

As regards the OP -

Is the question “Why do Jews/Christians think incest is wrong given the instances of approved incest in the Bible?”, or “Is incest morally wrong, and why?”


The “Book of Jubilees” is one of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha – one step below Apocrypha.

An alleged history in 50-year increments (hence the name, the Jubilee year being every 7 years and a double jubilee year being every 49), it incorporates a bunch of Jewish legend regarding the Genesis characters. The Lost Books of the Bible includes it IIRC.

It was simply something I remembered reading in one of the many odd books I own. I mentioned it as no more than that. The only book of esoteric facts and knowledge which I hold to be without error is my dog-eared copy of The Straight Dope*
*I don’t even have to state my position on whether the Torah is without error or not. But the cost would break my account, and the weight would likely break my shelves. I have yet to find a site that has the Torah, in the original language and format, with the commentaries by Rashi, Rambam and Tosefot.

I think we’ve gone beyond the first question at least in my mind. My question now asks Christians and Jews who are no longer beholden to the laws expressed in the Torah as well as people who are not “of the book”, exactly what is their basis to find moral repugnancy wrt incest among consenting adults.

Also given our society’s review of attitudes and laws discriminating against those of minority sexual persuasion, is their any reason not to include incestuous consenting adults as deserving of full rights including the right to marry and adopt children?** Or, are laws against incest between consenting adults morally wrong?**
I regard this question as very difficult. Hence the lack of response perhaps. Fortunately there are very few people who fall in this category, but I have no doubt they exist. Perhaps for everyone this is really a non issue because the numbers are small. I won’t claim an altruistic motive here, but merely a curiousity with respect to how dopers respond.

(a: Re: Book of Jubilees. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church does include it in their OT)

Re: How come consenting-adult non-reproducing incest remains outside the pale of the law, I suppose it may be a question of a society placing a special premium on maintaining the stability of the Family Unit – not just the configuration, but the nature of mutual obligations and rights involved – above all other forms of interpersonal relationship. And of the society and its component families educating their young very early on into holding that same value. Add the apparent natural “ickiness” of humans for those with whom you were raised in close proximity, for reinforcement.

The base legal definition of incest is sex between those who would be otherwise forbidden marriage due to consanguinity. In most of our Western societies that is, at the very least, everyone in a direct line of ascent/descent, all siblings and half-siblings, and aunt-nephew/uncle-niece (the 3d degree of consanguinity); local jurisdictions adding various degrees of cousinship, too and most often extend the meaning to include those who have been adopted into the family. Now, allowing someone to marry an adoptive sibling would pose no genetic threat – but could still create a problem of destabilizing a family. As someone mentioned before in the thread, while if a common relationship goes sour you can divorce a spouse (or split from a lover) and be done for good with them, when it is a close relative you are in an extremely uncomfortable situation not just with that person but with others who are ALSO very close relatives.