Prospectus: Incest to save the human race?

I think we can all recall the story of Lot and his two daughters. The story first starts out with Lot, being a humble host, welcomes in two men (really the angels sent from God) into his home. The men of Sodom demand Lot to give his two guests up so that they may be intimate with them. Instead of ruining his reputation for his hospitality, he offers up his two daughters to the townspeople, thinking that maybe they’d be satisfied in being intimate with his daughters instead. These men clearly were not satisfied with the offer and tried busting through to the inside. The angels spoke to Lot about the Lord’s plan to destroy the city, and so, Lot, his wife, and two daughters were led out of Sodom to safety. The angels specifically say to them “Flee for you life! Do not look behind you, nor stop anywhere in the Plain”; of course Lot’s wife look back to the annihilated city, and she becomes a pillar of salt. Long story short: Lot and his two daughters escape the city to a cave. His two daughter’s figure they are the only three people left who inhabit the earth and in thinking so his oldest daughter says to the other, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to consort with us in the way of all the world. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him, that we may maintain life through our father.” And thus, the two daughters laid with their father. One daughter gave birth to her son, Moab (father of the Moabites), and the other gave birth to her son, Ben-ammi (father of the Ammonites).

Yes, one can argue this story is to explain the genealogy of the Moabites and the Ammonites (and also in the christian context, eventually leads us to the birth of Jesus), but that is not the subject in question here. The question I mean to address is whether or not the actions taken by Lot’s daughters are acceptable.First we must look at the possible motives. We start with the most obvious reason being: to save the human race. Other motives or things we should consider include:

1) As part of an ironic twist, is this the daughters’ way of ‘getting back at’ their father for his willingness to sacrifice them to the sodomites?

2)Lot and his family lived in the sinful city of Sodom (what I presume to be highly likely as where his daughters grew up). Who is to blame? Lot, Lot’s daughters, the Sodomites?Lot may have known right from wrong, but did he teach morals to his daughters well enough or did they learn a lack of moral from the Sodomites? We could even begin to point fingers at Lot’s wife. She had such a lack of faith that she turned around to see the destroyed city and in doing so she died. Could her lack of faith have been transferred to her daughters so they had a lack of faith in believing God left anyone else on earth? Also, should we question why God did not intermingle the situation and stop the girls from consorting with their father?

3)Would there have been any signs at all that there were more people living on the earth, instead of it being just the three of them?

4)What may have happened if Lot’s wife hadn’t turned into a pillar of salt? Would she and Lot have had a son later? And if so, would Lot’s daughter still have had relations within the family (aka their brother) to still fulfill their idea of continuing the human race?

These are all points I intend to explore and hopefully come to an answer for “Were Lot’s daughters right for intentionally and knowingly consorting to a incestuous relationship with their father?”

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About cmweid2

I'm a Junior and Art Studio major. I LOVE music and am trying to learn guitar. I love the hot weather....so bring it on summer!!
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5 Responses to Prospectus: Incest to save the human race?

  1. bethanyschuler says:

    I think that this topic is very unique. I think it will be interesting to see where it leads to and what kinds of answers you come up with in this paper. I think that this story in compelling in a weird way, and we come up with any ideas to make this story acceptable in today’s society. Maybe you could tie in the perspective of that time period with today’s time period and talk about what kinds of reactions people would have to this story.

  2. lmwa223 says:

    This is such an interesting topic. I look forward to seeing how the questions you proposed will be answered in the paper. Subject matter such as this can be relevant to most time periods and societies. Incest is a ‘hot topic’ when it comes to biblical discussion and I think this is a great prospectus to investigate. Maybe for your research you could incorporate psychological studies that explore father-daughter relationships. Another idea would be to find present-day examples of incest through sociological studies and see how societies react and accept/don’t accept this practice. You have lots of great ideas and good luck on your paper!

  3. I love the cartoon of Lot’s daughters asking for the mug back! You have a good set of ideas here, Cassie. One of the things I would suggest is that you begin to shift your primary question from “are the actions of Lot’s daughters acceptable?” to “what does this episode tell us about the way that men and women, fathers and daughters relate to one another? Thus, I find your question about the absent mother (“what if…”) particularly compelling.

    The next step is to integrate current scholarship and popular writing. Polhemus is a good source, but what about other people? I’d like to see some of those ideas hashed out here. Ditto on the suggestions by Leah and Bethany as well.

  4. thompson2012 says:

    I like the topics you plan to talk about in your paper. It seemed that every time a question came to my mind about your topic, you answered it in the next sentence. I particularly like the idea of analyzing how the picture could have been different had Lot’s wife made it to the cave as well. I look forward to reading your paper!

  5. oliviag55 says:

    You raise some very intersting questions here. I like the idea that maybe Lot’s daughters were trying to get revenge by sleeping with him. It is really the only motivation for their actions that I have found compelling. Imagine Lot’s shame when he realized what had happened! Also, I think its worth noting that Lot’s daughters (and Lot himself) seem to have a very depraved view of sexuality. Who can blame the daughters after their father offered them up for group rape? Did the trauma caused by this event lead the daughters to this view in which father-daughter relations are nothing to blink at?
    I think there would be some good examples in social or psychological studies where sexual trauma has led to a degrading sexual practices. The are studies that show conclusively that most “strippers” and actresses in the porn industry were sexually abused earlier in their life, often at a very young age and usually by a family member.
    I hope this helps! Let me know if you’d like some more info on those studies.

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