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Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009, 02:40 am
WTF of the day

a movie about a man living in the midst of tel-aviv, who has (at least) 32 wives and 89 children and the authorities are unable to do anything about it.

W.T.F?!

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
talash

I'm not saying it isn't fucked up. Can anything at all be done about this though?

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
lotus82

He's not breaking any laws. You can't do anything, really.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
talash

my point exactly.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
lotus82

Although, it's a really interesting situation and provides great material for discussion.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

Why should anything be done about it? One of the few things more fucked-up than adults in fucked-up relationships is other, non-related adults, deciding that they have the right to interfere.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
talash

I do believe that in some cases (example) a government, or society might have some right to intervene in relationships, even when those are between consenting adults.

I'm not sure how to formally define the difference between the kind of relationships where it, in my opinion, has the right to intervene (e.g incest, consensual cannibalism) and the kinds where it doesn't (e.g. homosexual relationships), but I believe there is a kind of difference between the two that exists.

I might be wrong on this.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
lotus82

The example you brought - honestly, if they didn't have any kids, I'd say - fine. I'm grossed out to no end by the idea of siblings having sex, but you know what - it's their business. I also wouldn't want to have hardcore BDSM-type sex, but I'm not going to prevent anyone from having it, right? But the fact that they have kids, that's, IMHO, why government interferes.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
talash

Well the law, anywhere where incest is prohibited by law, doesn't say "having kids from incest is illegal." It says: "incest is illegal." Should it, according to you, be amended just to prohibit having kids from incest?

And also, kids. You say the government may interfere in this one because of "kids". Does the government always have a right to interfere in dictate who may have kids and who may not? Can people with genetic incompatibilities who aren't siblings have kids if there's a high probability of an unhealthy kids resulting from that? Can insane people have kids? Can this man have 89 kids from his 30+ wives?

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
lotus82

Oy, why do you always want blanket statements? I'm talking about incest and incest only.

Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
talash

Because I believe that (in an ideal world) there should be an underlying principle, reason or logic behind every law that exists and if such a principle, reason or logic cannot be applied to other, similar cases then either it is not a principle at all or there exist differences between what seem to be similar cases, and I want to know what that difference is.

You see, reasons and principles behind things and how they work usually interest me more than things themselves and some level of abstraction in generalization is (in my humble opinion) crucial for such cases.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:20 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

OK, how's this for a principle: "Anything done by consenting sane adults that is not harmful to and does not in any way require involvement of anyone other than consenting sane adults should, however weird and unpleasant, be safe for them to do without fear of interference."

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

Most kids from incest are healthy. If we aren't willing to prevent diabetics and other people with inheritable diseases (Sach's, anyone?) from procreating - why them?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
talash

Which was exactly what I had asked.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

I know. Saw your comment later than hers.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 08:27 am (UTC)
lotus82

Well, if you ask me, I think the fact that all those genetic tests exist and those for really terrible stuff like Tay Sach's and CF are free, if sort of the government's polite way of saying - "maybe you shouldn't be having those babies with TS or CF". It's an excellent thing, in my opinion.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
mme_n_b

So, just to make sure, by saying ""maybe you shouldn't be having those babies with TS or CF". It's an excellent thing, in my opinion" did you actually mean to say "it's an excellent idea for people with genetic diseases not to be born", or did I completely misinterpret you?

Because you do realize, don't you, that there are people out there who are capable of wanting and loving sick babies, and even sick adults?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
lotus82

I'll explain where I'm coming from. I have CF. Yes, I know people are capable of loving sick kids and adults, because my family loves me, I have very good friends, and I am happily married, and I know I am not the exception but rather the rule.
I think there are some illnesses that are so terrible, it is better to not have been born than to live with that illness. CF is one of them. I cannot say for sure about anything else because honestly, I know what it's like to live with CF and diabetes, but I don't know what it's like to live with, say, epilepsy, because I don't have it [and don't know anyone who has it]. In my humble opinion, it is better for the child to not be born if they are going to be born with CF, because living with it - and dying of it - is really, really awful, and I'm speaking from experience here.
The government may agree with me that extremely sick babies are better off having not been born, but I'd say our reasonings differ. I'm sure that the government would prefer there are no CFers in the country because our healthcare being what it is [and I am grateful for it], we cost tons of money. Our care is expensive. Plus factor in social security, we pay less taxes even when we are healthy enough to work, we don't pay "arnona". We cost a lot. I can understand that. My reasoning is that I wouldn't want a child with CF to be born because I wouldn't want them to suffer.
Now, having said that, I don't think - in Israel, at least - there will ever be an actual law regarding who can be born and who can't. That's eugenics and again, especially in Israel, that won't fly. Nor there should be a law like that, because it's just like the case with Goel Ratzon - it's not illegal, we may not want to live the way he does, but it's his right to have 32 wives if they are all consenting adults. Same with having sick babies. I personally wouldn't have a baby with CF. My husband was tested and found to not be a carrier of the gene, and if we conceive, we will still do the amniocentesis test to make absolutely sure the baby doesn't have it, and if the baby's sick, we're aborting. But that's OUR choice.
The only thing the government can do is to provide those tests, both for the sake of the parents and the unborn children, and, well, it benefits, too, because less sick babies are born now than before the genetic testing.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

That's a perfect example of when society shouldn't interfere. They are two consenting adults. Incest laws are a barbaric atavism of a paternalistic society that are interfering with their right to pursue happiness without hurting anyone. And there's nothing wrong with consensual cannibalism between adults, either. Why should there be?

Just because I wouldn't do something gross myself (like eat pork puffs with catchup or excrements, sleep with a family member or a corpse, break my own bones or anyone else's, wear purple with puce or fishnet stockings) does not mean it should not be legal as long as it is done consensually by sane adults.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
talash

And yet the society/government finds it right to intervene in all sorts of affairs between sane and consenting adults. Example: buying, selling and even the mere possession of certain substances. And the government couldn't care less as for whether the people in question are sane, consenting, adults, understand the risk involved, do not harm anyone else unrelated, or whatever. Are all laws like that fucked up in their very essence?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

Yes. However, there is a danger here of mistaking consumer protection laws for this type of law. To avoid this mistake I hereby further define "consenting" to include "accurately informed".

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
talash

Yes, but even if you are a sane and accurately informed adult, the government believes it is right to intervene if you possess certain substances, even if you don't harm anyone else. Is this essentially fucked up in your book?

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

Yes, it is. I believe narcotics, all consensual sexual behaviors (incest, zoophilia, necrophilia, etc.), prostitution, suicide (consent must be proved beyond reasonable doubt here) and the like should be legal.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:10 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

However, potentially dangerous behaviors, such as "prostitution without regular venereal checkups" or "driving while stoned" should not be legal.

Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)
mme_n_b

Here's a well-thought post on the subject: http://correlation.livejournal.com/85154.html