Why is Marriage important?

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Why is Marriage important?

I have had to ask this question cited in the subject line.  I know there are statistics up the butt, but what is YOUR opinion as to why?  Please say if you are male or female.  I have found that men and women have differing opinions and I am just curious as to the thought processes.  Thank you.


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Like every answer it all

Like every answer it all boils down to survival.

Children require a great amount of attention and education of many years to learn complex technical, language and social skills unique to our species. Having children raised by one parent or by non-related people just doesn't work so well. I think for men it has provided some guarantee that their offspring is actually theirs. For women some stability. There is also the factor of avoiding venereal diseases.

Society has pushed this on people as a means to avoid unwanted orphans or women and children dependant on the state. Parents push it on their children to avoid further responsibility and to get grandchildren.

There seems to be a dual desire to both be promiscuous and to bond with just one person.

You see the same thing in other species. Some plants produce a lot a seeds with only a small percentage that survive. Others produce fewer seeds that survive at a higher rate. Same thing with animal species and human cultures, there is a wide variety of monogamy vs. promiscuous behavior. What nature seems to like to produce most of all is variety.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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It was important in

It was important in evolution at one time. But it is merely a superstition very poorly sold. To me rather than it being sold as an option, than a mandate, is what is screwing the world up. It is a dogmatic script that often produces as much misery as the successful marriages we hear about.

Humans are not taught what is required as far as good communication skills in conflict resolution, before marriage. They are not taught life management or money management. It is simply sold as "fuck and have kids".

I am not against marriage as an institution. I am against it blindly being sold like any contract in life. Why there are so many divorces, bad marriages, violence in marriage, child abuse, is all because the people who got into those relationships thought with their emotions and the absolutism of being a failure if they didn't buy that script.

Marriage should only be taught as an option. It should only be sold with a pragmatic view. IF IF IF IF you want to do it, get to know your partner before. Know HOW both of you are going to move forward together. And have good collective problem solving skills without the baggage of the blame game. Have a plan. But also be willing to let go without animosity if it doesn't work out.

Bottom line is that life is not a script, I know know that marriage was not a good option for me, but that is just me. I am happy for my x and we still talk from time to time. It was because I accepted that life is not a script that I was able to let go without hating her.

I think it would have been much worse if she had stayed out of some stupid sense of loyalty. And I cant imagine how much worse it would have been for both of us if we had had a kid since she moved to the other side of the country.

IF IF IF someone does get married, my best advice is to let the other be themselves. Don't project yourself on them. Dont name call or dwell int he past. Look to seek solutions together. Don't hold grudges. Don't treat it as a tug of war for power.

But most certainly, don't do it just because your vagina gets moist or your dick gets hard or because society might call you a loser if you don't. There is only one reason to do anything in life, because you want to. Even in that case, THINK THINK THINK first.

 

 

 

 

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I can say this

I can just say this. My GF and I have been together forever and we have never really thought about getting married. Not officially. But, we might as well be. I mean, we seem to be stuck with one another.

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I see a couple of ways to

I see a couple of ways to interpret this question. 

If the question is how is marriage objectively important.........it's not. Given that we're non-religious, marriage has no value. It just gives the two partners some false sense of security. At the most basic level, it is an agreement to be committed to each other; giving the commitment a name seems to make it seem more 'real' to people. 

Although, being legally married does give two people a different status in society and trying to end a marriage can raise legal, financial, and social problems for the parties involved. So, in that way, I suppose it does offer some minimal protection against separation. Along the same lines, marriage would be 'important' in that it gives you some financial benefits.  

In terms of natural selection, the female certainly benefits from the male sticking around to support them and help raise the kids. It's possible that the male also benefits from helping with the kids, but I'm not sure about that; it probably just depends on the circumstances.  

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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um...

I really am female.  I really have been married more than once.  I really have been married to the same man for 26+ years now.

Why did we marry?  When we met, I couldn't have any more children.  I had 3 from the previous marriage, but there weren't going to be any more.  The divorce from the previous marriage was nasty and I wasn't all that keen on doing the marriage thing again.  But, we got married.  He really wanted to.  And I really loved him.  Still do.

It wasn't/isn't about the spiritual thing.  We were both agnostic at the time.  Nor about making a commitment.  Nor about legal bindings and all that.  It wasn't about tax breaks.  We just wanted to. 

Under the laws of most states in the US, marriage grants the partners certain legal rights, permissions, and responsibilities.  Some states are community property - and so the marriage partners share all debts and assets without the need for legal contracts or wills.  Living in a state that is not community property - there is some hassle involved in ensuring your partner can have access to assets if something unexpected should happen.  There is the medical access - if you are not married, you can not visit your partner in the intensive care unit.  You are restricted to visiting hours only.  The medical provider will not discuss your partner's case with you unless you have a medical power of attorney.  And so on.

So there are reasons - but we didn't need any of them to want to get married.  We just did.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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butterbattle wrote:I see a

butterbattle wrote:

I see a couple of ways to interpret this question. 

If the question is how is marriage objectively important.........it's not. Given that we're non-religious, marriage has no value. It just gives the two partners some false sense of security. At the most basic level, it is an agreement to be committed to each other; giving the commitment a name seems to make it seem more 'real' to people. 

Although, being legally married does give two people a different status in society and trying to end a marriage can raise legal, financial, and social problems for the parties involved. So, in that way, I suppose it does offer some minimal protection against separation. Along the same lines, marriage would be 'important' in that it gives you some financial benefits.  

In terms of natural selection, the female certainly benefits from the male sticking around to support them and help raise the kids. It's possible that the male also benefits from helping with the kids, but I'm not sure about that; it probably just depends on the circumstances.  

 

If the male wishes to ensure his genes get into the next generation, he will help the female.  Having 50 children that die before age 2 is not getting your genes out there.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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Studies show that married

Studies show that married couples are less likely to split, they integrate there financies with each other much more so, and they raise much more stable children.  Unmarried parents raising a child has the same affects of the child being raised by a single parent according to those studies.  The children of married couples are more likely to be raised mentally stable with fewer issues and tend to be more educated in the end.

But if you're not having kids then most of the benefits of marriage don't matter.

The two biggest fights that have gone on here at RRS between atheists have been about marriage and about having kids.  They seem to be the most contentious subjects around here.

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Quote:Studies show that

Quote:
Studies show that married couples are less likely to split, they integrate there financies with each other much more so, and they raise much more stable children.

 

Where'd you get that from?  A study done in 1958?

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 Marriage isn't important

 Marriage isn't important outside of the significance our culture gives it and the extra benefits you get in the tax code. I have once semi-seriously joked that I should pay some random chick to marry me on the years it would put me in a lower tax bracket. Plus your spouse is the only person who can inherit everything when you die and not have to pay taxes on it. 

 

I got married probably for the same reason many people get married, its what our culture says you're supposed to do when you love someone. So I married the woman I loved had some good times, some bad times and when we started becoming financially successful we realized that we didn't want the same things in life. So we paid the government for their permission to go our separate ways and even though we were in 100% agreement of how we were going to split the assets, they forced us to provide them with a complete accounting of everything we owned. Won't get married again. 

 

Besides that, imo it is a lot easier to live with someone when you don't really live with them. When you are constantly in the same house the little things are going to grate on your nerves and it becomes difficult not to take each other for granted. I have found that for me to simply say "I'm going home see you in a few days" I fight a lot less with my girlfriend and our time together is higher quality. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Watcher wrote:Studies show

Watcher wrote:

Studies show that married couples are less likely to split, they integrate there financies with each other much more so, and they raise much more stable children.  Unmarried parents raising a child has the same affects of the child being raised by a single parent according to those studies.  The children of married couples are more likely to be raised mentally stable with fewer issues and tend to be more educated in the end.

But if you're not having kids then most of the benefits of marriage don't matter.

The two biggest fights that have gone on here at RRS between atheists have been about marriage and about having kids.  They seem to be the most contentious subjects around here.

Not to be contentious, but if you can recall where you saw that study I'd like to read it myself. I've never heard of such a study before. I'm curious.

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butterbattle wrote:I see a

butterbattle wrote:

I see a couple of ways to interpret this question. 

If the question is how is marriage objectively important.........it's not. Given that we're non-religious, marriage has no value. It just gives the two partners some false sense of security.

Where do you get that from? I can give something whatever value I decide. Christmas had a lot of value to me because I decided that it did.

This is like the theist argument that a universe without God can have no meaning or value. I can decide whatever f***ing value I want to whatever I want, there is no god to tell me I'm wrong.

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Watcher wrote:Studies show

Watcher wrote:

Studies show that married couples are less likely to split, they integrate there financies with each other much more so, and they raise much more stable children.  Unmarried parents raising a child has the same affects of the child being raised by a single parent according to those studies.  The children of married couples are more likely to be raised mentally stable with fewer issues and tend to be more educated in the end.

I think these studies are committing a fallacy of ignoring a common cause.

Being a committed couple causes people to do these things and not having a piece of paper from the state. Being a committed couple causes people to get a marriage certificate because that's what society tell people to do. But certificates issued by the state or church don't have any magic power to make people be good partners and parents.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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cj wrote: If the male wishes

cj wrote:

If the male wishes to ensure his genes get into the next generation, he will help the female.  Having 50 children that die before age 2 is not getting your genes out there.

That's not quite right.

The male members of many sexually reproducing species leave the female to raise the kids by herself. Whether or not this kind of behavior is beneficial to the male is simply a function of how many of his offspring will eventually reproduce in either case.

Even if the selfish dad leaves his mate and offspring to fend for themselves, not all of the next generation will die. Suppose that he makes 100 babies, and the female is able to successfully raise half of them; that means 50 of his babies survived to reproduce. On the other hand, if he stays with every female to help raise the kids, maybe he only has enough time to have 40 kids. Even if all of the babies survive, this is still less than 50. So, in this hypothetical scenario, being a huge ass is more advantageous than being a good father.           

EXC wrote:
Where do you get that from? I can give something whatever value I decide. Christmas had a lot of value to me because I decided that it did.

This is like the theist argument that a universe without God can have no meaning or value. I can decide whatever f***ing value I want to whatever I want, there is no god to tell me I'm wrong.

Ah, I agree. That's partly what I meant actually. There is no objective value to marriage, only the value that we give it. Sorry I didn't make that clear.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:  EXC

butterbattle wrote:

 Even if the selfish dad leaves his mate and offspring to fend for themselves, not all of the next generation will die. Suppose that he makes 100 babies, and the female is able to successfully raise half of them; that means 50 of his babies survived to reproduce. On the other hand, if he stays with every female to help raise the kids, maybe he only has enough time to have 40 kids. Even if all of the babies survive, this is still less than 50. So, in this hypothetical scenario, being a huge ass is more advantageous than being a good father.   

Especially in a socialist society where the state becomes everyone's daddy. There it's totally advantageous for men to be cheating deadbeats asses.

       

EXC wrote:
Where do you get that from? I can give something whatever value I decide. Christmas had a lot of value to me because I decided that it did.

This is like the theist argument that a universe without God can have no meaning or value. I can decide whatever f***ing value I want to whatever I want, there is no god to tell me I'm wrong.

Ah, I agree. That's partly what I meant actually. There is no objective value to marriage, only the value that we give it. Sorry I didn't make that clear.

Glad we're on the same page. So shocked sometimes when someone actually agrees with me.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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^ Strawman of socialism.

^ Strawman of socialism.

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There is something nobody

There is something nobody has touched on.  What about common law marriages?  It has only been since the 1850's in the USA where a state ever issued marriage licenses.  Prior to then it has been only recognized by a local community. 


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I said a little bit about

I said a little bit about it.

"Although, being legally married does give two people a different status in society and trying to end a marriage can raise legal, financial, and social problems for the parties involved. So, in that way, I suppose it does offer some minimal protection against separation. Along the same lines, marriage would be 'important' in that it gives you some financial benefits."

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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I am male, I do not think

I am male, I do not think marriage should be important but it is because of certain legal things.

 

Personally I think marriage is a bad thing in a legal form, if you want to express a life long desire for one person with a ceremony thats great but I don't think it should have anything legal to do with it. That said I do think it is important for parental rights for men. With out marriage in many countries the male has basically no rights when it comes to the child. I would prefer if that would be changed, once the baby is born the farther should have equal say as the mother, obviously if the couple is split up the one that keeps the child should have more say, on that note the convention that women keep the child is complete bullshit. I know there are problems with making it like this but they can be worked out.

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Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
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Marriage is a form of

Marriage is a form of control; nothing more.  Why do we need documentation saying that we're with another person or a piece of jewelry that creates this false "bond?"  It's meaningless.

 

Of course, in this society, it's either marriage or live a pretty abstract life on the edge never knowing when your crazy ass girlfriend/boyfriend/partner will flip out, leave you holding the ball or decide it's not working and have you start from square one with his/her conscience clean and no legal issues.  At my current standing in life, I'm ok with being alone, having no kids and being able to look after my own affairs.  Any man that's worth his salt doesn't need to rely on settling down and can be just dandy without future drama or financial woes that are attached with being mutually monogamous, not to mention a man being with one person is to go against the natural order of things because we are engineered to spread our seed and do as much damage as possible, biologically speaking.  Some people that thought they found their soul mate stay alone forever because they felt miserable without that connection, but as social creatures, those people that shut themselves down are just going against the grain and create this pedestal that shouldn't exist.

 

On a different note, since a lot of atheists are married, should there be a different type of recognized "merger" for us or is that way too much like special treatment with way too much legal discussion and grey areas?  Just a thought.

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butterbattle wrote:cj wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

cj wrote:

If the male wishes to ensure his genes get into the next generation, he will help the female.  Having 50 children that die before age 2 is not getting your genes out there.

That's not quite right.

The male members of many sexually reproducing species leave the female to raise the kids by herself. Whether or not this kind of behavior is beneficial to the male is simply a function of how many of his offspring will eventually reproduce in either case.

Even if the selfish dad leaves his mate and offspring to fend for themselves, not all of the next generation will die. Suppose that he makes 100 babies, and the female is able to successfully raise half of them; that means 50 of his babies survived to reproduce. On the other hand, if he stays with every female to help raise the kids, maybe he only has enough time to have 40 kids. Even if all of the babies survive, this is still less than 50. So, in this hypothetical scenario, being a huge ass is more advantageous than being a good father.           

 

Your hypothetical is fine, but we are talking human babies, not rabbits - and it works for rabbits.  My example was also exaggerated.

Human infants take comparatively excessive amounts of time to mature.  And it is specifically when Homo evolved that this long childhood appeared.  If you compare the growth rings in teeth, you can see that humans take a lot longer to mature even than Australopithicus.  Humans have to be in family groups.  Mothers have to have help - a lot.  And as the child matures, having males around provides necessary social and cultural learning.  Just what is the easiest way to catch dinner or catch a mate?  Dad knows.  Mom may or may not know. 

While I know of cultures that are matriarchal, I do not know of any where the mother is deserted by the father without support from a male family member on a regular basis.  It may happen that the father is gone, unable, dead, but an uncle or brother or someone almost always steps in to assist.  The only time I have heard of this in recent history is a village in Africa where there was extreme drought for a prolonged period.  At that time, it became everyone for him/herself - literally as soon as the children were weaned, they were turned loose.  It did not make for a thriving society.

In our western society, it is not about survival - mom can find plenty of assistance to raise the child.  But it is still better for the child's mental and physical health if Dad assists in the upbringing.  (Yeah, I can look up the studies if you insist.  Or do it yourself.)  I know of no reason other than the legal bullpucky to make it formal unless you want to.  There may or may not be more problems for the children, but problems are a matter of commitment, not the paper.

You don't have to do it with a parson, you know.  My oldest got married at the US Embassy in Japan.  They took the stack of paperwork off into a back room, came out a few minutes later, paperwork all stamped, and said - you are married.  JP works, too.  Or don't bother.

If you are in it only for sex, really - don't get married.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Sage_Override wrote:On a

Sage_Override wrote:

On a different note, since a lot of atheists are married, should there be a different type of recognized "merger" for us or is that way too much like special treatment with way too much legal discussion and grey areas?  Just a thought.

 

It's my thought the state should issue "civil unions" and you can create the legal contract for same with anyone or how ever many people you need to.  It should not imply sex - just the legal stuff.  Set the word processor on "find and replace" and anywhere the law says "marriage", change it to "civil union".  Delete all the references to "one man and one woman".  The only stipulations would be that every one is of legal age to sign a legal contract and of sound mind, capable of understanding the implications of their actions.

Marriage should be a religious ceremony for those who desire one.

This thought is from when my mom died.  She was in a nursing home, months to live, condition deteriorating rapidly.  Because my name was not on the medical power of attorney, the nurses could not tell me anything.  And only one person could be on the POA.  Why not have a legal relationship where my mom and I could have been legally recognized as being in a partnership?

Or why not the entire family?  Or at least, those who were willing to accept it.  Or why should I care how many women some old man marries as long as the women are all adults.  Or how many men a woman marries.  Or if they all dog pile at night to keep warm?

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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As I see it, there are and

As I see it, there are and have been different concepts of marriage.  In ancient times, it was mostly to ensure that property and wealth got transferred to the heirs and stayed within families.  Today, it is largely a welfare plan by most governments so that kids are raised in a stable environment...though that is not always the result.  It is also a way for the government to exert control over you especially when it has that marriage license number.  It affects everything from tax laws, property and intestate succession, population manipulation.  I once heard an old lady say...."an unmarried adult man is a menace to society".  That is because he cannot be controlled.  It is also a way that government gives a woman to yank a man around by the balls. 


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cj wrote:In our western

cj wrote:

In our western society, it is not about survival - mom can find plenty of assistance to raise the child.  But it is still better for the child's mental and physical health if Dad assists in the upbringing.  (Yeah, I can look up the studies if you insist.  Or do it yourself.)  I know of no reason other than the legal bullpucky to make it formal unless you want to.  There may or may not be more problems for the children, but problems are a matter of commitment, not the paper.

Okay, that's a different issue than spreading genes then. Of course, it is a better environment for the child if both parents are involved. I agree with that. 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Male (Married w 2

Male (Married w 2 spawn)

 

Marriage is not required but is certainly better than not in most cases when a couple has children, IMO.  Due to the length of time it takes to properly rear a child, I think it best that there is more than 1 person responsible for the upbringing of a child.  Is three better than 2, probably but right now we aren't ready for that.  I don't care if it is a a single sex or hetero couple raising a child, it is good that there be redundancy in the parenting.  The challenges a single parent faces in rearing a child a substantial.  The construct of marriage creates an obligation (although it is ignored in many cases) to be responsible for your offspring.  That is a good thing.  If you want to get rid of the religious connotations of marriage, I am fine with that but I do strongly support that it would be replaced by some sort of optional contract that would be for the benefit of the children not the adults required some degree of responsibility towards them. 

 

If you don't want kids then who cares if you "live in sin" or not. 

That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence- Christopher Hitchins