Is this morally wrong?

David Epstein charged with incest

Or at least a punishable offense?

Professor David Epstein has been charged for up to 4 years for having a 3-year sexual relationship with his now 24 year old biological daughter. There are people down in the comments claiming that it could in no way be consensual and she must’ve been sexually abused by him from the time when she was a child. I disagree, and believe jumping to such conclusions is a typical response to seemingly unexplainable taboo behavior. Their rationalization is she could not be that perverted or morally reprehensible so she must be broken in some way. While this may be true, I also think that the relationship could be just as innocent as it sounds- loving & consensual. She could find her dad really hot. And no, I’m not into incest haha. But I do think that a 24 year old woman can make her own choices whether it be to fuck her own dad or not. She was made into a victim and only her father was charged in the case.

it shouldn’t be a punishable offense - whether or not it is morally wrong depends on a whole lot of factors the public will probably never be privy to.

makes a fascinating story tho.

We’d like to believe our morality is rational in that we have reasons why one thing is right and another thing is wrong, but it’s clear these reasons don’t make the act, or the motivation, the disposition, or the consequence wrong. What makes them wrong are the sentiments, the, “blergh!!” internal reaction. Reasons come after the reaction to justify it. This fact is so obvious, even though it is hardly accepted by many, that in professional circles it is considered a refutation of an ethical theory when it produces answers that don’t sit right with common sentiments. It’s the essential test for any ethical theory. If you can show that the principles and reasons of an ethical theory permit an act that’s vile to the sentiments, then that ethical theory is refuted. That’s all you gotta do to take down utilitarianism for instance. You show how it permits killing one person to save five, and that’s not cool, so utilitarianism is wrong.

Incest brings out those morally icky reactions in people. It doesn’t matter that we haven’t come up with good reasons to justify the reaction. I’m sure someone will soon enough. What matters is that what makes things moral or immoral is present and it’s enough to say incest is immoral. In other words it’s morally wrong, because that shit is gross.

our tendency to be appalled or disgusted with incest is two-fold: (1) a lot of times, one of the people involved is being coerced (which doesn’t seem to be the case this time) (2) there’s an evolutionary reason not to have sex with close relatives, and this is reflected across a large part of the animal kingdom. incest GREATLY increases the likelihood of offspring with recessive genetic disorders. we’ve been evolutionarily conditioned, I think, to have an aversion to incest for this reason.

since 1 seemingly doesn’t apply here, and since 2 can be averted just by not having children (there have been no reported children resulting from this relationship), all that’s left to use to say this relationship is “wrong” is bias and superstition.

what is morally wrong is to put this guy in prison for this. “you’re having consensual sex with the wrong person, so we’re going to allow big black men with huge dicks to have sex with you, give your rectum a good-ol stretching.” ](*,) doesn’t make sense.

a part of god’s image gets jealous when another part of it’s image claims godliness. Strange thing is, the jealousy seems intended from the start.

You are attracted to yourself.

I agree. There is no way one can agrue that incest is inherently or necessarily immoral.

It depends on the people and the context.

Over the centuries incest has been taboo for a very good reason: It can result in offspring that are damaged mentally and physically. Any genetic faults can be doubled when inbreeding occurs.

But what if the male has had a vassectomy? What if the female is unable to have children? Take away the procreation argument and you are left with all these conflicting and contradictory claims about “psychological” or “moral” damage.

I say let the partners decide what is in their own best interest.

Oh, and what of the arguments made by Christians? If incest is taboo how did Adam and Eve manage to go forth and propagate the species? Immaculate births? Same with Mr. and Mrs. Noah. How did they manage to repopulate the earth without resorting to incest?

I always wonder at what a question like this really means. I personally think that two consenting adults can do whatever they damn well please. But I don’t think either way about the “morality” of the situation. Why? Because inherent morality is a silly assertion and nothing more. So when I’m asked if something is morally wrong I have to wonder…can I even answer this? Can I talk about morals? I think even giving credence to morality by such discussion is more then it deserves. All I can really say is that popular opinion is against incest, morality tracks popular opinion, therefore it indeed seems that in a moral sense…incest is wrong.

But morals are dumb. And I hardly want to follow ideals for reasons of popularity and consensus. So is this morally wrong? Maybe. Should the government fuck off? Damn right it should (In my personal, relative and ultimately biased and meaningless opinion).

In society lines must be drawn in order to be able to live together. Morals, ethics and laws provide these lines. In this case the lines were crossed not one line but all three. But did they arrest the right one? That is the question.

Whether this is morally wrong or not in the minds of some and not in others, there is another issue here. We really do not know the whole story or if this woman was sexually abused as a child by her father and perhaps even into adulthood. I think that we can all understand how under these circumstances, a daughter will lie for her father, especially being conditioned to think that what he was doing was actually loving, instead of a gross betrayal and a very unloving act[s] by a father towards his daughter.

How anyone could possibly see that as loving is beyond me. What it represents to me is an unwillingness to love and to care for and to protect his daughter. Does it really matter how old/if she was much older, when it started? It’s the highest form of selfishness, narcissism and lack of love. And what he actually did to his daughter is to lead her into a very unhealthy, unloving symbiotic relationship. Do we really think that that relationship will have no effect on her mind and her relationships in the future? Is there really any benefit to what he did to her? Of course, we would love to think that we are ‘with it’ - that we are intelligent enough and modern enough to see absolutely nothing wrong with this. Which would only mean that we are devolving, instead of evolving - humanly speaking. We are not animals and we do not live in the times of the Old Testament patriarchs.

Do we pause to consider the patterns shaped here? The daughter in turn may have children sometime and sexually abuse them. What the father did to her was sexual abuse, as far as I am concerned. It doesn’t really matter how consensual it may have ‘appeared’ to be or whether there seemed to have been no coersion.

A ‘real’ father is one who protects his/her child - not uses or abuses their child.

Of course, it is also possible that the daughter manipulated the father sexually and coerced him which would also lead to the question of why? And how much of a wimp can a man be to allow his daughter to do that, instead of lovingly getting help for her.

How about warped wimp?

Unless we know the precise trajectory of this relationship, all we are doing is throwing darts at a dartboard and hoping to at least hit the wall.

Sure, if a father takes advantage of a child that should never be tolerated. But is that the case here?

Sadly, we live in a world where exceptions are, time and again, trampled on by those who insist always that, “rules are rules”.

A one size fits all morality.

But then how could it be otherwise?

Again, it’s sad. But probably inevitable

If rules were not in place we could not have survived.

Fuck yes.

Best answer.

That was witty.

Not knowing the history or details of their relationship, who the fuck am I to make a moral judgment.

No it should not be a punishable offense. But neither should it be considered lightly. I’ll say this- why is a 21 y/o girl having a sexual relationship with her 43 y/o father? Could it be that dad is irresistibly attractive? Is she just a rebel? I don’t know any girls who want to sleep with their dads.

No doubt the relationship is “loving and consensual”. But if we were gambling, how much do you think you’d wager on the possibility that the relationship in question is “innocent”?

Ever actually see what occurs to inbred creatures? It ain’t pretty. Understand that the biggest concern is his authority over her. For years and years as she grew up he was the authority figure in her life, he controled her, taught her. Now he is her mate with that authority. Does that sound healthy for her? she is with a person that has dominated her all her life. Sure she may want it but suicide bombers want death, they have been told that they are doing the right thing.They have no control over their lives they have given it to a dominate person. If we think that such a thing is alright then we condone slavery, inbreeding, wars, abuse of children , we condone many atrocities by allowing such control. It must be made morally wrong to the society in order to protect individuality. Society as a whole grasps social morals lines have to be drawn in order for individuals and society to thrive. This occurance crosses the line. as an adult he knew it knew why and what he was doing to this girl. Sure he may love her in a controling authoritive way but is that love? She allows him to dominate her life but she loves him, is that love? Sure, but it is a possesive love , the way we have pets or slaves. The slave growing up with a kind master will love that master just as a dog will love their master. Ownership of another human in any way must be morally wrong.

Arguments like this swirl around other contexts in turn. For example, teachers having intimate relationships with their students.

There are laws against that too. But the problem with the law of course is that it invariably becomes a “one size fits all” contraption.

But just as all parent/child relationships are different so too are teacher/student relationships. In other words, there are some “teens” who are precocious and mature beyond their age. Just as there are some parents and teachers who are immature beyond their’s.

The philosophical point is this: are these relationships necessarily wrong? No, I don’t think so.

but, without lines then all becomes right

An adult sexually molesting a three year old is always wrong. An adult having sex with a 16 year old is morally questionable, and against the law in some countries.

Painters often don’t draw lines around their figures at all, but there’s still a figure there. And it’s typically a better representation than if there were an outline. After all, figures don’t have outlines in reality.

Lines are there always lines are there. We are not responsible creatures we need authority to control that which we do not voluntarily control. it is easier for us in general to have someone tell us what to do. A blurred line still must be followed and erring on the side of caution is best for society not generally the individual. Adults know why lines and laws are there, if they cross it then they know that they will have to pay for their transgression, teacher or parent or boss it matters not. Self control is to be expected.

Lines are there, but they don’t need to be drawn boldly. The figure doesn’t disappear just because the painter doesn’t draw a line around it.

Children draw lines around figures. That’s a good thing.