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Utopia Talk / Politics / Catholic church and cousin marriage
Sun Dec 03 04:27:33
Apparently the Catholic Churches ban on cousin marriage has had some effect on breaking Europeans clan structures and making democracy possible.

Page 30 of the study has 2 interesting maps comparing cousin marriage rates with mafia index in Italy.


In summary, if you keep "it" in "the family" it creates (genetic) incentives to keep everything you can in the family, money, power, kindness, humanity etc and so on.

Pretty much every major political and societal issue in the ME is rooted in varying degree in this. This fact is also relevant when looking at the map of Italy and knowing that the southern parts of Italy were invaded by Arabs, many times.

Companion article (christian conservative angle)

Going to spend Christmas with relatives you don’t really like? Well, you can thank God you only have to see them once a year rather than living as an extended family. Or more precisely you can thank the Catholic Church, without whom you’d all still be in the same house as your uncles and aunties and marrying your cousin. It is reasonably well known that the medieval Church’s ban on cousin marriage helped to make western Europe less clannish; but according to an interesting new paper from Nottingham University, by doing this the Catholic Church actually laid the foundations of democracy. The author, Jonathan F Schulz, argues:

‘The role of the family as one of the most fundamental institution for human society is unquestionable. The family is traditionally seen as individually beneficial providing emotional and material security. However, strong kinship ties can have a perverse negative effect for society as a whole. It can foster an in-group mentality preventing large scale cooperation beyond the confines of the kin-group. As a key consequence, a narrow focus on the interest of the extended family may undermine the essence of democracy – playing by the rules set by the whole society.’
Christianity in our minds is linked to ‘family values’ and all that, but from the beginning the religion was almost anti-family, with disciples told to leave theirs. And Christ suggested that the noblest thing a man could do was lay down one’s life for a friend. Compared to the kin-centred Old Testament, this was revolutionary stuff. Once established, the Church was jealous of rival loyalties, such as could be found in the extended family. Consequently, the growth of the nuclear family led to individualism, because once a son was no longer considered the property of his father, the next logical step was that he would have more power to choose whom to marry. And so Europe underwent what Samuel Huntington called the ‘Romeo and Juliet revolution’. A good example of how mores have changed is illustrated by the 13th century biography of the knight William Marshal, in which he comes across an eloping couple and robs them, the clear understanding being that this is the right thing to do as they are committing a terrible offence. By Shakespeare’s time, people were sympathetic to the idea that a man and woman might wish to marry against their parents’ wishes. The decline of clannishness lead to all sorts of societal change. Schulz says:

‘Prohibition of kin-marriage has a direct effect on economic incentives and behaviour that is shaped by kin-selection: biological relatedness within the kin-group decreases (while it increases with outsiders) and incentives to indirectly benefit one’s own offspring by benefitting extended nieces and nephews also do not exist anymore. Further, the increased interaction with individuals outside the kin-group (people were forced to distantly relocate to marry) may change values towards a more general morality.’
The difference family structure makes can be seen in the contrast between southern and northern Italy, where the rate of historic cousin marriage correlates highly with the Mafia index, corruption levels and even how much people cheat at school tests. This is why Sonny Corleone berates his brother for joining the army, those signing up being ‘a bunch of saps because they risk their lives for strangers’. As he tells his sibling: ‘Your country ain’t your blood.’ Millions of Germans, Britons and Americans fighting at the time would have strongly disagreed.

The author of the Nottingham study estimates that a 10 per cent increase in cousin marriage is associated with about a 3 percentage point lower democracy score, which has a huge implication, most of all for the Middle East. Many people have noticed a pattern between Islam and the failure of democracy but he concludes that religion is not the essential problem, rather it is the prevalence of cousin marriage. This is not the first paper to make this link between family type and religion. Avner Greif of Stanford University wrote in 2005 that:

‘Among the anthropologically defined 356 contemporary societies of Euro-Asia and Africa, there is a large and significant negative correlation between Christianisation (for at least 500 years) and the absence of clans and lineages.’
And back in 2003, a piece in the American Conservative magazine warned that democracy would not flourish in Iraq because of its high rate of cousin marriage. However, at the time there was certainly a sort of a priori idea that democracy must be replicable anywhere, because to say otherwise would be racist. David Cameron made that exact argument around the time of the Arab spring. A rather wiser minister, the United Arab Emirates ambassador Oma Saif Ghobash, explained in a 2014 lecture that Arab democracy was vulnerable, not just because of Islamism, but ‘also because of the lack of institutions that can rise above partisan politics’. He said:

‘Given the social, cultural and educational realities of our part of the world, many of us recognise that an introduction of electoral democracy that precedes the development of effective, impartial institutions may exacerbate tribal and sectarian divisions’
One of the reasons that Islamism emerges so quickly in clannish countries is that it is the only force that can overcome deep-seated tribal divisions. One of the attractions of religious movements in politics is that Islam is seen – with good reason – as being a force for reducing corruption and raising public morals. Hardliners such as Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt appeal to people sickened by corruption and clan-based nepotism, so that given a choice of a crook or a fascist they will opt for the latter. The Brotherhood’s economic platform upon taking power in Egypt was simply ‘more virtue’, which unfortunately didn’t produce quite the economic miracle they might have hoped for. This is why the idea of trying to spread democracy everywhere is not a wise one; it’s why I despair when I hear western politicians talk about installing democracy in Syria (cousin marriage rate: 35 per cent).

Considering Europe’s history, and the current situation in the Middle East, it seems that the encouragement of monarchy seems likely to produce the most future prosperity and happiness, and in the long term, democracy. And the first thing any sensible monarch should do is ban cousin marriage. So, when your normie new atheist cousin tells you over Christmas that ‘religion poisons everything’, be thankful for the Church that you don’t have to live with him the rest of the year.

Sun Dec 03 04:30:18
Democracy and individualism!
Thank you Lord Jesus Christ :)
large member
Sun Dec 03 04:39:31
Or you could break clan structures by way of the impact greater economic equality has on birth rates.

Clan structures depend heavily on large broods.

Social Democracy and collective responsibility!
Thank you progressive philosophers from the age of reason to today!
large member
Sun Dec 03 04:41:51
(4 children reaching age of maturity gives 24 cousins to choose from. 2 children reaching age of maturity gives 4).
large member
Sun Dec 03 04:43:52
Ach, if you insist on marrying only the opposite gender, then 12 available cousins and 2 cousins respectively.
Hot Rod
Revved Up
Sun Dec 03 05:03:23


Sun Dec 03 05:41:26
Religious people, specially in the ME out reproduce secular people. Even in modern countries this is true. So this actually has a reverse or slowing effect on the issue in question.
Sun Dec 03 05:49:13
That matter because the support for cousin marriage in Islam is unquestionable. In ends up cementing the pre-Islamic clan society of the Arabs in this specific case.

This is also a very nice example for Jergul of how the _specific_ doctrines of _different_ "abrahamic faiths" can have wildly different effects, even on our genes Jergul, EVEN OUR GENES!
Sun Dec 03 08:39:59
I think it is legal to marry your cousin in Sweden also. Because your cousin is not counted as a ’close relative’, or something like that. But I don’t think it is common in Sweden. I have even heard it is legal to marry your half-sister or half-brother, but not sure if that is true.
Sun Dec 03 09:14:36
I'm a Catholic
I'm not married to my cousin
I support democratically elected Chancellor Merkel
-> study validated
Sun Dec 03 09:22:04
It is legal everywhere more or less. It is the regulation of behavior through other means, in this case cultur/religion. Certain cultural constructions (meant to regulated our biology) end up reshaping our biology.
Hot Rod
Revved Up
Sun Dec 03 09:57:24

In The United States, I think it is legal to marry a third cousin.

I know that fifth cousins are referred to as kissin' cousins.

large member
Sun Dec 03 12:18:49

Its a nice example of how high birth rates allow for cousin marriages, and how those fade away as birth rates decrease (number of available cousins decreasing from 12 to 2 by halving surviving offspring from 4 to 2 in two generations).

I would like to add rural diaspora to urban areas as a contributing factor that decreases cousin marriages.

These are the factors that impact on our genes. Not some Papist bull attempting to regulate human sexuality.

That part of Abramic faith outlawed it (you can still apply for exemptions) reflects that it was a problem everywhere the sects are found.

You can apply to marry your 1st cousin in Norway too incidentally.

Your politics make you stupid Nimi.
large member
Sun Dec 03 12:31:21
You can legally marry your first cousin outright in 20 US States and conditionally in an additionally 6.

Only 5 states forbid marriage to 2nd cousins.


Cue duelling banjos.
large member
Sun Dec 03 12:32:40
Heh, only 9 States forbid sexual relations with first cousins. Sex being what creates children, not marriage.
Hot Rod
Revved Up
Sun Dec 03 12:33:12

Maybe that accounts for our politicians.

Cold Rod
Sun Dec 03 12:35:43
Remember, Trump wanted to bang his daughter.

Yes, we know, we know Hot Rod, lies. Except for the video of Trump and radio interviews with Howard Stern admitting he would.
Sun Dec 03 13:50:08
Very interesting theory jergul, once you have studied it and made it publishable with data that supports it, maybe then? Until then 18k by 2k18!

large member
Sun Dec 03 14:36:58
Its called maths nimi. Smaller families mean a lot less cousins available to marry.

A Papist bull means shit.

"study further suggests that the Churches’ marriage
rules - by destroying extended kin-groups - led Europe on its special path of
institutional and democratic development"

A suggestion is not a very strong finding.

For example. In a strongly catholic society like southern Italy in the early 1960s, some 30% of marriages were with 1st cousins.

Regress by average age of marriage and you will find at least 4 siblings reaching maturity.

This is why stuff is peer reviewed. Peer review does not entail publishing a competing theory, it is more than enough to offer credible alternate explanations that an author has not covered in his discussion portion of his paper.

I suspect "CeDEx Discussion Paper Series" is exactly what it sounds like. A sounding board for ideas that are not robust (yet).
large member
Sun Dec 03 14:37:41
This forum is turning into a tutoring service for the intellectually and educationally challenged.
Mon Dec 04 09:37:46
lulz so you want to go with the only part of the study that is well established and studied, the churches effect on breaking clan societies of europe by among other things banning cousin marriage? The novel idea presented was the connection to democracy. One of the main pillars of the Church was to break the old loyalty structures! The entire cult behavior of forsaking your own kin and family for the temple/sect. Jesus lord save you.

Did math make you too stupid to read a reference list?
Awwww lulzgul :)

Mon Dec 04 09:38:33
Are you that autistic guy who will use math to tie your shoe laces?
large member
Mon Dec 04 11:08:48
The church did not achieve ending cousing marriages. 30% of marriages in highly catholic southern Italy was cousin marriages in the early 60s. 15% cousin marriages in Norway in the 1880s

Nor did it break clan structures in highly catholic southern Italy.

Or lets look at were Catholics live. In the vibrant democracies of Latin America.

Right up there with Franco and Mussolini and their catholic democratic countries.

Nothing new about connecting democratic values to the Puritanical Protestant value system however.

A reference list that has not internalized the references within the paper is simply a variant of appealing to authority.

In sum: The author really needs to go back to the drawing board with his idea. It does not pass academic muster as it stands.

To many counter examples and alternate explanations cripple his theory.

He has to deal with them before he can publish in earnest.

Your politics make you stupid nimi.
Tue Dec 05 15:32:37
"did not achieve ending cousing marriages"

No one said they "ended" it. As I explained to para, it is still legal. Regulation of behavior through cultural/religious constructs. Social engineering if you will. Nothing banned or made illegal ever "ends".

"30% of marriages in highly catholic southern Italy was cousin marriages in the early 60s."

Correlating with high Mafia index and southern Italy was invaded by Muslims many many times, lulzgul.

"15% cousin marriages in Norway in the 1880s"

Compared to around 40% in Syrian in 2012. Here is some simple math, 40 is SEVERAL TIME MORE than 15 and 2012 in now and 1880 was so far back no one gives a shit.

No surprises that you do not think to completely opposite decisions in Islam and Catholicism would have anything to do with the completely different outcomes, ohohoho lulzgul :) You are the guy who believes that when the book tell them behead and they behead, they are really doing it because they are poor and without proper internet connections to play games.

All in all horrendously low quality jergul. Very unimpressive attempt.
large member
Tue Dec 05 17:54:59
You did not really understand the discussion essay, did you?

His point was that a Papish Bull destroyed clan structures by way of illegalizing counsin marriages.

This simply did not happen. Cousin marriages continued and then we had the reformation.

Which gave rise to liberal democracies - predominantly in Protestant countries.

Lutheranism have a much stronger correlation with democracy than catholic countries do.

Demographic changes (fewer cousins available physically) combined with migration (fewer cousins available geographically) break up clan structures.

Its a much stronger explanation.

Your politics make you stupid bro. Forget what I said about going back to school. It would be wasted on you.

You know as well as anyone that I attribute radicalism to interventionism. Western and Wahabi.

Don't break countries, bro.
Wed Dec 06 06:21:15
If memory serves me, being raised as a Catholic, the closest you could marry would be to a 2nd cousin.

I don't think it has anything to do with breaking up clan structure. It has more to do with trying to prevent inbreeding where there is a high % of hemophilia.
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