"Julie and Mark are brother and sister. They are traveling together in France on summer vacation from college. One night they are staying alone in a cabin near the beach. They decide that it would be interesting and fun if they tried making love. At very least it would be a new experience for each of them. Julie was already taking birth control pills, but Mark uses a condom too, just to be safe. They both enjoy making love, but they decide not to do it again. They keep that night as a special secret, which makes them feel even closer to each other. What do you think about that, was it OK for them to make love?"
So what are the thoughts on this? If there is something wrong with this forbidden love, what is it? Can you give reasons? Whatever the reasons are, they shouldn't appeal to the negative consequences of inbreeding - there were two forms of birth control used. And they shouldn't appeal to the repercussions on their relationship, it got better afterwards. So why is this wrong?
I just read an interesting paper on this. Haidt argues that we don't reason our way to moral judgments, but instead are driven by our gut feelings towards the situation. Reason merely plays an after the fact role in justifying our intuitive feelings. This is partly why this example is so strange (the other one is that it involves incest, eeewwwwww). Our gut reactions are separated from reason because nothing bad happens - reason can't come to the aid of our moral intuitions.
Strange huh, the idea that we don't reason through these things but merely feel them. Also, sex with a sibling is creepy. But is it creepier than masturbating with a chicken before cooking and eating it? But that is another paper for another time.