I have opined that there are three cultural paradigms that threaten to supplant traditional Judeo-Christian/humanistic values as the foundational value system of society; utilitarianism (which we have addressed often here at SHS), hedonism (which we have rarely addressed here), and radical environmentalism (which we are beginning to get into more often). Put this story in the hedonism file. Scientists are saying that the legal prohibition against marriage between first cousins should be lifted. From the story:
Babies born as a result of marriage between first cousins have the same risk of having genetic defects as babies born from women over 40 years old.
Two scientists, who call for the lifting of the taboo on first-cousin families, say that cousins who want to get married should not feel ashamed about it. Women in their forties, who decide to get pregnant, are not made to feel guilty about their decision and the same should be applied to first-cousin families, consider Professor Diane Paul of the University of Massachusetts in Boston and Professor Hamish Spencer of the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Well, then why not let siblings marry if they agree to be sterilized?
I don’t see the issue of genetic difficulties in offspring as the primary problem here. Introducing sexuality within families would be disastrous, it seems to me. But in the modern age, hedonism–by which I mean indulging in every sensual or emotional desire of the moment, whether sex between cousins or stampeding and killing an employee of Walmart to make sure you get that sale item, etc.–is becoming all the rage. We are told there should be few limits and no moralizing. This advocacy “study” is just one more example of the struggle we are in.