Author Topic: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter  (Read 1393 times)

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Offline Jetavan

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Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« on: December 15, 2010, 09:32:09 PM »
I think that, no matter which side of the "same-sex marriage" fence one stands on, or if one stands on the fence itself, one could have predicted that laws against incest would have eventually received the same sort of re-thinking:


Columbia University professor David Epstein was charged last week with incest, accused of carrying on a three-year [consensual] affair with his adult daughter.
....
Epstein's lawyer, Matthew Galluzzo, said that charges against his client were still "only allegations" that have not been proven.

"Academically, we are obviously all morally opposed to incest and rightfully so," he told ABCNews.com. "At the same time, there is an argument to be made in the Swiss case to let go what goes on privately in bedrooms."

"It's OK for homosexuals to do whatever they want in their own home," he said. "How is this so different? We have to figure out why some behavior is tolerated and some is not."
....
Switzerland has proposed decriminalizing consensual sexual relationships between first-degree relatives, like siblings and also between parents and their adult children. Any coercive sex or incest with a minor would still be illegal.
....
American psychologists and legal experts say that there are still sound reasons why incest should be illegal, even if it appears it is a choice between consenting adults.
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 10:11:22 PM »
Yes, definitely a slippery slope here...incest, bestiality, etc. etc.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 10:15:42 PM by Ortho_cat »

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 10:30:05 PM »
Yes, definitely a slippery slope here...incest, bestiality, etc. etc.
From a strictly secular, legal perspective, I don't see any way to prevent age-limited, consensual incestuous relationships, though I think you could make a legal case against producing a child from such relationships.

Regarding the slippery-slope argument, I don't think bestiality is part of the slippery slope.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 10:37:03 PM by Jetavan »
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 11:20:55 PM »
though I think you could make a legal case against producing a child from such relationships.

On what grounds?
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 11:34:00 PM »
though I think you could make a legal case against producing a child from such relationships.

On what grounds?
From a constitutional perspective, one might argue that the state has a compelling interest (for genetic, health-care, and social reasons) in preventing the reproductive success of incestuous relationships.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 11:34:28 PM by Jetavan »
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2010, 01:11:58 PM »
Yes, definitely a slippery slope here...incest, bestiality, etc. etc.
From a strictly secular, legal perspective, I don't see any way to prevent age-limited, consensual incestuous relationships, though I think you could make a legal case against producing a child from such relationships.

Regarding the slippery-slope argument, I don't think bestiality is part of the slippery slope.

why  not?

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2010, 01:25:47 PM »
though I think you could make a legal case against producing a child from such relationships.
On what grounds?
From a constitutional perspective, one might argue that the state has a compelling interest (for genetic, health-care, and social reasons) in preventing the reproductive success of incestuous relationships.

Yes and no.  On the one hand, the overwhelming odds of producing an unhealthy child from an incestuous relationship are indeed of state interest; on the other hand, one could then argue that the state should test all fetuses for defects.  If we're willing to legislate seat-belt use for the small percentage of driving encounters that result in accidents, then I'm sure we're willing to legislate incestuous relationships for the very high percentage of unhealthy children produced, plus the overwhelming psychological damage that it can/will do, especially on the younger party (which is not relegated to adult-minor encounters).
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2010, 01:57:16 PM »
Yes, definitely a slippery slope here...incest, bestiality, etc. etc.
From a strictly secular, legal perspective, I don't see any way to prevent age-limited, consensual incestuous relationships, though I think you could make a legal case against producing a child from such relationships.

Regarding the slippery-slope argument, I don't think bestiality is part of the slippery slope.

why  not?
Bestiality, it could be argued, is a form of animal cruelty.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Online ialmisry

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2010, 02:28:45 PM »
Let me get Goodwin out of the way:

Hitler's mother was his father's niece, and had to get special dispensation to marry her.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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and urgent strife sheds blood.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2010, 03:23:38 PM »
Let me get Goodwin out of the way:

I thought it was "Godwin?"

Hitler's mother was his father's niece, and had to get special dispensation to marry her.

Why am I not surprised?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 03:23:46 PM by Fr. George »
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
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Offline GiC

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2010, 03:35:59 PM »
though I think you could make a legal case against producing a child from such relationships.
On what grounds?
From a constitutional perspective, one might argue that the state has a compelling interest (for genetic, health-care, and social reasons) in preventing the reproductive success of incestuous relationships.

Yes and no.  On the one hand, the overwhelming odds of producing an unhealthy child from an incestuous relationship are indeed of state interest; on the other hand, one could then argue that the state should test all fetuses for defects.  If we're willing to legislate seat-belt use for the small percentage of driving encounters that result in accidents, then I'm sure we're willing to legislate incestuous relationships for the very high percentage of unhealthy children produced, plus the overwhelming psychological damage that it can/will do, especially on the younger party (which is not relegated to adult-minor encounters).

I don't think that the state can argue it has an overpowering interest in keeping adults out of psychologically damaging situations/relationships. It however does have an interest in minimizing genetic defects in the population. And, while in a vacuum, this argument might be enough for incest laws to pass constitutional muster (at least producing offspring from such a relationship, the court could draw a distinction between sex and procreation, but would probably be reluctant to do so because of the amount of involvement of government in private life this would entail), the state will then have to answer to the court why those with inheritable disabilities are allowed to reproduce...if this is the argument the state uses, it creates an inconsistency in policy.

At the same time, incest is instinctively repulsive, so the state will get a sympathetic ear from the court...but the formal legal arguments are going to be very difficult to make.

Should be an interesting court case regardless of the outcome. I would quite enjoy to see this one come before SCOTUS and read the ensuing opinions.
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Offline Punch

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2010, 03:41:36 PM »
Bestiality, it could be argued, is a form of animal cruelty.

You mean that it is wrong that my first girlfriend's name was Fluffy?






(Not really)
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline Aindriú

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2010, 03:48:27 PM »
Bestiality, it could be argued, is a form of animal cruelty.

You mean that it is wrong that my first girlfriend's name was Fluffy?






(Not really)

Freudian slip?  ;D

I'm going to need this.

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2010, 09:15:10 PM »
Bestiality, it could be argued, is a form of animal cruelty.

You mean that it is wrong that my first girlfriend's name was Fluffy?






(Not really)


Offline Shiny

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2010, 11:30:33 PM »
I hope she's at least hot.
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Lawyer Defends Professor Accused of Incest With Daughter
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2010, 11:57:26 PM »
I hope she's at least hot.
I think she takes after her father.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.