Switzerland is considering repealing incest laws, as “obsolete”

The Telegraph reports (and our comments begin here):

The upper house of the Swiss parliament has drafted a law decriminalising sex between consenting family members which must now be considered by the government.

There have been only three cases of incest since 1984.

Switzerland, which recently held a referendum passing a draconian law that will boot out foreigners convicted of committing the smallest of crimes, insists that children within families will continue to be protected by laws governing abuse and paedophilia.

Daniel Vischer, a Green party MP, said he saw nothing wrong with two consenting adults having sex, even if they were related.

“Incest is a difficult moral question, but not one that is answered by penal law,” he said.

Barbara Schmid Federer of The Christian People’s Party of Switzerland said the proposal from the upper house was “completely repugnant.”

“I for one could not countenance painting out such a law from the statute books.”

The Protestant People’s Party is also opposed to decriminalising the offence which at present carries a maximum three year jail term.

A spokesman for the party said: “Murder is also quite rare in Switzerland but no one suggests that we remove that as an office from the statutes.”

Richard W., who sent the item, writes:

Last week Drudge carried a story about a Columbia professor who was having “consensual sex” with his 24 year old daughter. Many people in the comments section on the newspaper it was linked from said, “All the same arguments used to make gay sex OK apply here, what’s the big deal?”

I’d guess that 75 percent of commenters who spoke that way were doing so as an absurdist critique of the elite sanctioned opinion on homosexuality. But, amazingly, about a quarter seemed to be seriously suggesting that the Professor has done nothing wrong. One would hope there is a big difference between random comments on a web site and the deliberations of the upper body of the Parliament of one of the oldest nations in Europe. But one’s hope would be dashed.

Apparently the upper house of the Swiss Parliament has lost all sense of providing basic moral guidance as a part of their role. Apparently they have all become libertarians of the most base type.

It is impossible to parody liberals because even the most repugnant, ridiculous parodies one can come up shortly turn out to be fact.

LA writes:

Incest is a good topic for traditionalists in our argument with liberalism. What basis does liberalism provide for opposing incest? Only a vision of man as complete being, including man in family, man in society, and even man before God, can provide the basis for opposing it. The liberal idea of man as nothing but a bearer of individual rights, cannot provide it.

And God’s laws in the Torah are in tune with that complete vision. God says, “You shall not lie with your mother, sister, daughter, etc. That is an abomination to me.” God is addressing himself to men as they ought to be, as beings standing before God. Liberals don’t like divine commandments. But a liberal who is uneasy with the legitimization of incest, who realizes that liberalism provides no bar to incest, and that the God of the Bible does, may start to think along new lines.

Also, what basis would libertarians and Objectivists have for opposing incest? To oppose incest, one needs a vision of the human being that goes beyond the individual and his life, which sees the nature of human relationships and particularly family relationships. Each human being is formed by his parents, by being a member of a family. If family relationships are sexualized, those family relationships are destroyed as family relationships and become something else, thus depriving individuals of the very basis of their formation, and turning society into a jungle. But to see this, we need to see that we are formed by forces outside ourselves. Liberals and libertarians believe that we must be completely free to form ourselves as we wish. This makes them incapable of seeing and valuing the network of relationships that makes us what we are.

It is inevitable that in the final throes of the suicide of the West, incest WILL be legitimized or at least there will be efforts in that direction. This will be one of the things that will make people finally realize that the rule of liberalism cannot provide a sustained foundation of social order, that it is hideously destructive, and that it must be abandoned.

Kristor writes:

The thing is, liberalism offers no basis for any prohibition, except one: Thou shalt not make pejorative judgments. Which is a recipe for complete moral paralysis, and blindness (meaning that no one can really put liberalism into practice; unless you decide, you can’t do anything at all); and therefore for suicide. Incest is a great test case, at which most people will balk. But that just means incest is now where homosexuality was 40 years ago, when both were equally disgusting to normal minds. Yet incest is nothing in comparison to what is already accepted, or gaining acceptance. We see already that there is no judgment in liberalism against murderers—they are just “reaching out,” because they are “down on their luck,” so we should not condemn them. But even murder is nothing. How could a consistent liberal object to a religion that enjoined child sacrifice upon its adherents? Only by recourse to a set of illiberal moral standards. Let’s face it, if partial birth abortion is just fine, what could possibly be ruled out? If it is OK to kill babies who are sticking out of their mothers, what can we really say is not OK?

It’s funny, in a mordant way: infanticide is perfectly OK, but incandescent light bulbs are very wicked. How sick is that? I am overcome with horror, all of a sudden, and rage. Nominalism is demonic. I’m totally convinced.

December 15

Bill W. writes:

Kristor makes an excellent point (as usual), but I’d like to add something. I don’t think it’s so much that liberalism offers a basis for the commandment, “Thou shalt not make pejorative judgments,” as much as liberalism IS simply that statement, and the principle of non-discrimination, standing alone. Christianity offers a basis for common ethics—honesty, loyalty, kindness—because it first recognizes an inherent value to people. And this value of people is not predicated on the views of any one person, or any one group, or any group, but is absolute.

This, I think, is almost a proof of God in and of itself. If the lives of people are to be regarded as valuable, then there must be someone to whom they are are so valuable. And if that intrinsic human value is to be regarded as absolute, then the mind of the person who does the valuing, must itself be absolute, unchanging. To put it simply, the very concept of human life having value makes sense only if you understand that there is a mind which imparts the value, which does the valuing. To put it more simply yet, people are only really of value if God exists. No other mind (certainly not mine) can impart that innate value, not if “innate value” is to be the absolute, sacred thing we all take it for.

I tried to convince a small group of fellow medical students of this logic once several years ago, and I found that they, being good liberals all, simply refused to hear it. They twisted the logic into circles, even going so far as to say (as one homosexual classmate did), that if you believed innate human worth to be tied to God, then when you faith went away, so did your respect for persons, and this was dangerous, because then non-religious people didn’t have a basis for valuing other too. He (as well as a full professor of radiology) totally missed the point that I was not starting with the concept “all people have worth” as an absolute by itself, but rather pointing out that it only really makes sense if the concept of worth, and someone who does the valuing, is addressed. And atheism does not address this—only theism does, and Christianity most fully. We’re in the Christmas season now—doesn’t the very holiness, the special “Christmas-iness” of the season bespeak this most incredible of facts—that human lives, yours and mine, have such worth to God that Christ was born into a manger, to redeem the world, and because of this we may have hope. I’m cutting the lyrics of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” below—read them thoughtfully and consider these things:

Hark the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 14, 2010 07:20 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):