Plural Marriage

My Name is Chelsea
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Plural Marriage

I am just curious what you all think about plural marriages. Polygamy, Polyandry, two men 3 women, 5 men 2 women, whatever. However, I want to specify only marriage between consenting adults not women forced into marriage or vice versa or child marriage.

Should they be allowed? Why? Why not?

Is making this illegal a form of discrimation? 

Anything else you might want to add. 

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
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Personally, I see nothing

Personally, I see nothing wrong with completely open poly relationships. Considering I don't think marriage should be a legal term, I find it difficult to form an opinion on the legality of these things. Should poly-marriage be legalized, though, I can see major legal difficulties arising in virtually every such case involving child custody, at least to start with.


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My Name is Chelsea

My Name is Chelsea wrote:

I am just curious what you all think about plural marriages. Polygamy, Polyandry, two men 3 women, 5 men 2 women, whatever. However, I want to specify only marriage between consenting adults not women forced into marriage or vice versa or child marriage.

Should they be allowed? Why? Why not?

Is making this illegal a form of discrimation?

Anything else you might want to add.

Who cares? If they are all adults, they should be permitted to live together however they wish. No skin off my nose, and I'd hope they'd grant me the same consideration. There's no reason for me, the government, or anyone else to get involved here. If six wives or husbands make you happy, be happy. It ain't for me personally, but more power to you, have fun if that's what makes you and your six spouses happy.

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My only real objection to

My only real objection to polygomy and related systems is that when practiced widely by both sexes, it can lead to very rapid transmission of STDs.  There is a legitimate reason to control this, so I think that multiple marriages should at least be closed systems.  Each person should be aware of not only who their spouses are, but also their spouses' spouses to complete depth.

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I had this discussion with

I had this discussion with a friend a few days ago. While I have no objection to plural marriages, she sited a study that shows them to be psychologically harmful to the participants.

I asked her for sources but have not received a reply...

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Rex: I think the polygamy

Rex: I think the polygamy you are thinking of is more like promiscuity. In my mind they would all be married to each other, I don't mean the kind of polygamy when someone gets married without divorcing the previous spouse. This would result in no more disease than "monogamous" couples who cheat.

AA: Your friends studies almost certainly are refering to polygamies where the man is dominant (ie Mormons). There are many cultures that practiced plural marriage for centuries without psycological harm.  

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
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Chelsea: Wouldn't you

Chelsea: Wouldn't you consider it polygamy/polyandry if you had a situation where not everyone you're married to is married to the same people? You could construct a web of marriages stretching across (potentially) all human adults. I think this is what rex is talking about regarding the spread of stds.

rex: While stds are a concern when poly-marriage is allowed, simple caution and ordinary safety put into common practice would be plenty to make stds a minor concern. If people talk to their partners about their sexual health, use protection regularly and get regular std testing (as all the polyamorous people I know do), stds become something to think about but far from a problem.


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Yiab wrote: Chelsea:

Yiab wrote:

Chelsea: Wouldn't you consider it polygamy/polyandry if you had a situation where not everyone you're married to is married to the same people? You could construct a web of marriages stretching across (potentially) all human adults. I think this is what rex is talking about regarding the spread of stds.

Yes.  That's exactly what I'm talking about. 

Yiab wrote:
rex: While stds are a concern when poly-marriage is allowed, simple caution and ordinary safety put into common practice would be plenty to make stds a minor concern. If people talk to their partners about their sexual health, use protection regularly and get regular std testing (as all the polyamorous people I know do), stds become something to think about but far from a problem.

That would work.  I kinda take for granted that one reason people get married is to avoid the need to be as cautious with their spouse, but if they are willing to be careful about it in a poly-* marriage, that solves the problem too.

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My Name is Chelsea

My Name is Chelsea wrote:

I am just curious what you all think about plural marriages. Polygamy, Polyandry, two men 3 women, 5 men 2 women, whatever. However, I want to specify only marriage between consenting adults not women forced into marriage or vice versa or child marriage.

Should they be allowed? Why? Why not?

Is making this illegal a form of discrimation? 

Anything else you might want to add. 

As long as everyone is consenting I see no problem at all. The spirit of this law as it has been presented in my experience is something I agree with, but the law itself is not. The spirit as I've experienced is to protect people from abusive relationships, but there is no evidence whatsoever that a group of people could not have a polygamous relationship without any more abuse than ocurrs in any relationship.

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I can conceive of a web of

I can conceive of a web of marriages but I can't conceive of the advantages so I don't really think that would be likely to happen. I would expect more of a situation where two men and two women are all married to each other, all live together and pool resources. That sort of set up would actually be advantageous. 

STD's are a concern for everyone. Currently halfish (I'm not sure of the exact percentage) of people cheat on their spouse. Most people have sex long before they are married. Personally I think our culture needs to accept that sex is not a sin and just teach our kids how to be carefully and avoid getting sick. 

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
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rexlunae wrote: My only

rexlunae wrote:
My only real objection to polygomy and related systems is that when practiced widely by both sexes, it can lead to very rapid transmission of STDs.

More so than general promiscuity? I doubt that. And we'd need to include people like swingers in such a demographic as well.

Quote:
There is a legitimate reason to control this, so I think that multiple marriages should at least be closed systems. Each person should be aware of not only who their spouses are, but also their spouses' spouses to complete depth.

AFAIK, that is the case, typically.

In the end, the STD charge is not a reason to keep responsible or even irresponsible adults from entering into realationships of their own volition. People are going to fuck whoever they want, I see no reason to create bueracracy around sex.

 

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My Name is Chelsea

My Name is Chelsea wrote:

I am just curious what you all think about plural marriages. Polygamy, Polyandry, two men 3 women, 5 men 2 women, whatever. However, I want to specify only marriage between consenting adults not women forced into marriage or vice versa or child marriage.

Should they be allowed? Why? Why not?

Is making this illegal a form of discrimation?

Anything else you might want to add.

This is an interesting question. First, I think marriage is absurd. Marriage is legal term and is only used for documentation purposes. Marriage, in any society, has nothing to do with love or child rearing.

If we're talking about sexual relationships, a man or woman should be able to have as many partners as they want. In an evolutionary sense, if you can handle the support for the offspring, then you should procreate like a slut (man or woman). If you can't provide the resources necessary, then your offspring will starve.

When I think in terms of romance, it really depends upon the environment you're surrounded by. It has to do with resources and availability. All environmental factors being equal, you're probably better off having a monogamous relationship. If the environment is different, then it may be better for a man or a woman to take on multiple partners or even a partner that you're not able to procreate with.

I was wondering if you were implying some statutory age with your questions when you said "consenting adults". How about environments where an extremely low life-expectancy rate exists? It's a question that I don't have an answer.

If marriage is really a necessity, then I think all forms should be allowed. It's only a paper trail. Gays, mysognists, femenazis, lesbians, clowns, gypsies, "straight"... etc, should all be allowed to marry however many and whoever they want. A marriage license doesn't gaurantee eternal love or children, it just used for tax and exemption purposes.


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Hi there.  Just reading

Hi there.  Just reading your posts on multiple partners.  I was wondering what your view is on mixed-race breeding or sexual contact.  Should it be allowed or prohibited by law.  Do you have any opinion on this from an evolutionary perspective?


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Nothing whatsoever wrong

Nothing whatsoever wrong with interracial relationships.


Debauchrist
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newmodeltheist wrote: Hi

newmodeltheist wrote:
Hi there.  Just reading your posts on multiple partners.  I was wondering what your view is on mixed-race breeding or sexual contact.  Should it be allowed or prohibited by law.  Do you have any opinion on this from an evolutionary perspective?

I didn't realize the concept of "race" was still taken seriously.

However, if you're talking about inter-species erotica, I've heard that modern man came about by extra-species breeding at least twice.

Evolution facilitates organisms to fit the environment. There's really no way to figure out which will genes or pigments are going to be bad except by letting natural law take its course.

 


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Debauchrist wrote: This is

Debauchrist wrote:

This is an interesting question. First, I think marriage is absurd. Marriage is legal term and is only used for documentation purposes. Marriage, in any society, has nothing to do with love or child rearing.

I am going to take a wild guess and assume that you haven't been married, that or divorced and bitter.Smile I am going to disagree with you here. Marriages often don't have love (many, most, do) but they are always about child rearing. Marriages are about making sure a child is being provided for. Marriage doesn't always manage to do this but that is what its purpose is. When people marry with no intention to have a child, then sure, it isn't about children, but if that couple did happen to have a child there are now two adults who are legally responsible for that child's welfare.

Quote:
 

If we're talking about sexual relationships, a man or woman should be able to have as many partners as they want. In an evolutionary sense, if you can handle the support for the offspring, then you should procreate like a slut (man or woman). If you can't provide the resources necessary, then your offspring will starve.

I am also going to guess that you do not have children. Smile I do not agree that evolution should be applied to social argument. Children should be protected, it is to the benefit of a society for children to be protected. Marriage is the device we have developed to accomplish this.

I agree that it is ridiculous for a society to make rules about sex (not rape, rape isn't sex, it is assault). Any law that can't be enforced is ridiculous. Any law that interferes with harmless behaviour between consenting adults is oppressive, and likely to be ignored.

Quote:
When I think in terms of romance, it really depends upon the environment you're surrounded by. It has to do with resources and availability. All environmental factors being equal, you're probably better off having a monogamous relationship. If the environment is different, then it may be better for a man or a woman to take on multiple partners or even a partner that you're not able to procreate with.

I was wondering if you were implying some statutory age with your questions when you said "consenting adults". How about environments where an extremely low life-expectancy rate exists? It's a question that I don't have an answer.

 When I say consenting adults I make no assertions about the age at which one becomes an adult. I mean that both people involved know what they are getting into, are competant to give consent. A person with severe mental retardation might never be competant. Others are competant at a young age (especially in other societies). I just wanted to rule out the sort of polygamies we hear about on the news where a 13 year old is forced by her church to marry a 30 year old.

Quote:
If marriage is really a necessity, then I think all forms should be allowed. It's only a paper trail. Gays, mysognists, femenazis, lesbians, clowns, gypsies, "straight"... etc, should all be allowed to marry however many and whoever they want. A marriage license doesn't gaurantee eternal love or children, it just used for tax and exemption purposes.

I agree totally, marriage should be open to any one who wants it. Or perhaps not marriage since that is more of a religious term, instead civil unions and have civil unions be the only legally recognized term. But I think marriage is pointless if it does not benefit all parties involved. Marriage needs to protect the children and ensure they will be provided for. In that sense it is not just a paper trail. 

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


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Eugenics = bad

newmodeltheist wrote:
Hi there. Just reading your posts on multiple partners. I was wondering what your view is on mixed-race breeding or sexual contact. Should it be allowed or prohibited by law. Do you have any opinion on this from an evolutionary perspective?
 

Once again I think evolution has nothing to do with decision making in the social arena, that sort of thing has gotten people into trouble too many times already.

As to "mixed-racial" breeding. I think there should be more, I can't think of anything that would get humanity out of the mess it is in faster. But there should not be any laws about it. Laws should exist only to protect those who can not protect themselves, everything else is bureaucracy.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


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I am going to take a wild

I am going to take a wild guess and assume that you haven't been married, that or divorced and bitter.Smile I am going to disagree with you here. Marriages often don't have love (many, most, do) but they are always about child rearing. Marriages are about making sure a child is being provided for. Marriage doesn't always manage to do this but that is what its purpose is. When people marry with no intention to have a child, then sure, it isn't about children, but if that couple did happen to have a child there are now two adults who are legally responsible for that child's welfare.

I'm not really bitter about marriage, I just think it's quite useless. For one, marriage isn't required for child rearing. If two people decided that they needed to own a hot dog stand in order to have children or be in love, we'd probably think that couple was quite crazy. Sure, two people who jointly own a hot dog stand can be very much in love and making babies, but the hot dog stand isn't a requirement for love and love isn't a requirement for the hot dog stand. Marriage is as incongruent to love and child-rearing as the hot dog stand is.

I am also going to guess that you do not have children. Smile I do not agree that evolution should be applied to social argument. Children should be protected, it is to the benefit of a society for children to be protected. Marriage is the device we have developed to accomplish this.

I agree that it is ridiculous for a society to make rules about sex (not rape, rape isn't sex, it is assault). Any law that can't be enforced is ridiculous. Any law that interferes with harmless behaviour between consenting adults is oppressive, and likely to be ignored.

I disagree that marriage protects children. Are you saying that parents who are married don't neglect or beat their children? I agree that protection of children is a great benefit for society, however, marriage is definitely not a child-protection device.


When I say consenting adults I make no assertions about the age at which one becomes an adult. I mean that both people involved know what they are getting into, are competant to give consent. A person with severe mental retardation might never be competant. Others are competant at a young age (especially in other societies). I just wanted to rule out the sort of polygamies we hear about on the news where a 13 year old is forced by her church to marry a 30 year old.

Alright. However, since you're loosely equating love and child-rearing with marriage, are you saying the mentally handicapped shouldn't be allowed to have sex or bear children?

 

I agree totally, marriage should be open to any one who wants it. Or perhaps not marriage since that is more of a religious term, instead civil unions and have civil unions be the only legally recognized term. But I think marriage is pointless if it does not benefit all parties involved. Marriage needs to protect the children and ensure they will be provided for. In that sense it is not just a paper trail.

There's civil marriages and there are religious marriages. Though, I don't think marriage should protect kids, I think parents should protect kids from marriage. Sorry, bad jokeSmiling


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Debauchrist:  Quote: I'm

Debauchrist: 

Quote:

I'm not really bitter about marriage, I just think it's quite useless. For one, marriage isn't required for child rearing. If two people decided that they needed to own a hot dog stand in order to have children or be in love, we'd probably think that couple was quite crazy. Sure, two people who jointly own a hot dog stand can be very much in love and making babies, but the hot dog stand isn't a requirement for love and love isn't a requirement for the hot dog stand. Marriage is as incongruent to love and child-rearing as the hot dog stand is.


I am sorry but a hot dog stand is just not a good analogy for marriage. Here is what I think marriage should be, and why I think it is a necessary institution, much like government is a necessary institution. (If you want to argue that please start a new thread).

Should be: A contract just like any other. The two (or whatever) people involved decide what kind of contract suits them. A contract to provide for cohabitation, sharing earnings, etc. for whatever amount of time sounds good to them. Or a contract that provides for the rearing of a child or children (probably would need to be at least 18 years). Or perhaps a couple wants no contract that is good. Maybe they are religious and want a contract that represents a traditional marriage. I think marriage should be flexible enough to cover all the different ways humans have found to live with each other. I am not arguing that marriage as we know it is working well, I don’t think it is.

Why it is necessary: Say you and some one else has a child, no marriage, no laws about the issue whatsoever. Either of you could just walk out and leave the other to deal with parenting on their own. Both could walk out and now the child has no parents. We need marriage, in some form, to help ensure that a child is well cared for and there is some sort of continuity in that care.
Believe or not but marriage also has benefits for the adults. If marriage in its many forms did not work so well for our species it would not be so all-pervasive.

Quote:
I disagree that marriage protects children. Are you saying that parents who are married don't neglect or beat their children? I agree that protection of children is a great benefit for society, however, marriage is definitely not a child-protection device.


You have misunderstood me. I don’t say that marriage protects children from physical abuse. Marriage doesn’t cause physical abuse either.

Quote:
Alright. However, since you're loosely equating love and child-rearing with marriage, are you saying the mentally handicapped shouldn't be allowed to have sex or bear children?


No I am not equating these, there is love without marriage and marriage without love. Some couples have kids, some don’t. I am most definitely not suggesting any sort of discrimination, I will never suggest discrimination. I am suggesting that if the person has the emotional and mental intelligence of a 9 year old they should receive the protection and guidance that a 9 year old would receive concerning marriage. Any child married to an adult would be at a disadvantage.

Quote:
There's civil marriages and there are religious marriages. Though, I don't think marriage should protect kids, I think parents should protect kids from marriage. Sorry, bad jokeSmiling


There are civil ceremonies and religious ceremonies. What harm do you see marriage as doing? Maybe I could speak to a specific complaint rather than generalizations.

 Could I also ask how old you are with out giving offense? I am merely curious.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


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My Name Is Chelsea

My Name Is Chelsea wrote:
Why it is necessary: Say you and some one else has a child, no marriage, no laws about the issue whatsoever. Either of you could just walk out and leave the other to deal with parenting on their own.

And you think that doesn't happen all the time today even when the parents are married? 

My Name Is Chelsea wrote:
Both could walk out and now the child has no parents.

So why is it so many children are being raised by their grandmother?

 

My Name Is Chelsea wrote:
We need marriage, in some form, to help ensure that a child is well cared for and there is some sort of continuity in that care.

Marriage does not ensure that just as the legal system doesn't.

 

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I'll be married 5 years

I'll be married 5 years this April. I've been with my wife for over 12 years. The only reason we got married was to stop our families from bitching about our child being born out of wedlock. We were married in April and our first daughter was born that July. We cut it close just to mess with them Smiling

Marriage means nothing to us. We love each other as much now as we ever did, marriage didn't change anything.


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I had no idea people were so

I had no idea people were so down on marriage. Here are some conclusions from a report issued by sociologyists summing up current research in marriage:

  1. Marriage is an important social good, associated with an impressively broad array of positive outcomes for children and adults alike.
  2. Marriage is an important public good, associated with a range of economic, health, educational, and safety benefits that help local, state, and federal governments serve the common good.
  3. The benefits of marriage extend to poor and minority communities, despite the fact that marriage is particularly fragile in these communities.

I agree the system as it is very flawed, it needs work, it is almost entirely religiously based right now and that is not helping things but the failures of marriage do not negate it's successes. I truly thing the prevalence of marriage suggests that it has an evolutionary benefit.

I am married, almost 4 years now. I considered myself married, before that, I did not need to ceremony to be commited to my husband. We married because it makes many things much simpler, inheritance, community property, taxes. This is what I think marriage should do.

So you can give me as many examples as you like of how marriage isn't accomplishing what it should and I will agree whole heartedly. My definition of marriage is whatever helps people make sure their children are cared for and get along with each other when they live together. If you don't need any contract more power to you, some people do.

Or maybe I am misunderstanding you. I think that you are saying that we should not have anything that in anyway resembles marriage, people should live and have babies with whomever they want. I would just point out that there are business contracts for a reasons. We as a species have a tendency to screw each other over whenever possible.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


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My Name is Chelsea

My Name is Chelsea wrote:
Marriage is an important social good, associated with an impressively broad array of positive outcomes for children and adults alike.

Yes, but that's like saying that because rates of depression are higher in homosexual youths, heterosexuality therefore provides a more positive outcome for children. Because society still largely belittles and demonizes homosexuality is why gay youths are more prone to depression, not because heterosexuality is inherently "happier."

Quote:
Marriage is an important public good, associated with a range of economic, health, educational, and safety benefits that help local, state, and federal governments serve the common good.

That's because all the systems were created to the advantage of married couples.

Quote:
The benefits of marriage extend to poor and minority communities, despite the fact that marriage is particularly fragile in these communities.

When you're poor, supporting a child/children on one income becomes that much harder. Hence, marriage in and of itself isnt necessarily beneficial, the income of two working parents(or at least having one at home so as not to need to pay for child care) is the true benefit.

Quote:
I truly thing the prevalence of marriage suggests that it has an evolutionary benefit.

Marriage as we know it, meaning 2 people that profess to love one another equally and choose to enter into a life-long committent, is a very recent concept. I believe it really only goes back to the victorian era. I assumed you werent referring to arranged marriages and the like that still are prevalent in India, for example.

Quote:
I am married, almost 4 years now. I considered myself married, before that, I did not need to ceremony to be commited to my husband. We married because it makes many things much simpler, inheritance, community property, taxes. This is what I think marriage should do.

In theory, I agree that it seems like a good idea. I, for one, am not at all convinced that lifelong monogamy is what humans were built for. Yes, humans choose to do many things they weren't "built for," but some things may be too deeply imbedded in our genetic code to deny.

Quote:
If you don't need any contract more power to you, some people do.

I would argue that only reason many people feel as though they need a contract is because society makes them believe they have to have one.

Quote:
Or maybe I am misunderstanding you. I think that you are saying that we should not have anything that in anyway resembles marriage, people should live and have babies with whomever they want. I would just point out that there are business contracts for a reasons. We as a species have a tendency to screw each other over whenever possible.

I would say have babies with whomever you choose, so long as you have the ability to provide for that child's well-being. And I'm not referring only to financial concerns either. And yes, people love to screw each other over on this planet. Always have, probably always will. On that positive note......

"The powerful have always created false images of the weak."


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Quote: Marriage as we know

Quote:
Marriage as we know it, meaning 2 people that profess to love one another equally and choose to enter into a life-long committent, is a very recent concept. I believe it really only goes back to the victorian era. I assumed you werent referring to arranged marriages and the like that still are prevalent in India, for example.


If you read carefully you will see that I DO NOT mean marriage as we know it.
I will assume that you are not demeaning another culture just because it is different from your own.

The quotes about marriage were mainly to point out that the current system isn’t perfect but it isn’t hopelessly flawed either. Also, unless you propose to totally change our society, we have to work with it not against it. Proposing to totally do away with marriage, while possibly beneficial is not going to go over. Proposing to loosen it up a bit and make some changes has a much better chance.

Quote:
In theory, I agree that it seems like a good idea. I, for one, am not at all convinced that lifelong monogamy is what humans were built for. Yes, humans choose to do many things they weren't "built for," but some things may be too deeply imbedded in our genetic code to deny.


Once again if you look I am most definitely not espousing lifelong monogamy. I totally agree that we just don’t have it in us. I propose that we stop trying to be something we are not. Marriage is failing because it is forcing people into the narrow religious definition of marriage. And religion just doesn’t know what it is talking about. We humans are a cheating, adulterous bunch. I think that is ok, sex is no sin, marriage should take that into account and just work to ensure children are cared for and that when two people share resources one doesn’t screw the other over when they (half of the time) realize that a long term relationship with that person is not what they wanted.

Quote:
I would say have babies with whomever you choose, so long as you have the ability to provide for that child's well-being. And I'm not referring only to financial concerns either. And yes, people love to screw each other over on this planet. Always have, probably always will. On that positive note......


To this I would say that a good way to raise a kid is to have one parent able to stay home. Now that means that no one person can provide for all aspects of a child’s well-being. So  for this reason to people form a contract to say, I will make the money you will babysit (to put it very simply). Most people choosing to be the babysitter are risking that the money-maker might just leave them and they could no longer foot the bill.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


Roisin Dubh
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My Name is Chelsea

My Name is Chelsea wrote:

If you read carefully you will see that I DO NOT mean marriage as we know it.

Yeah, big brainfart on my part there. Your original post regarding plural marriages should have been a clue.....


Quote:
I will assume that you are not demeaning another culture just because it is different from your own.

Not at all, and I'm not sure where you got that from. I was just pointing out that the model of marriage that I was using was the "western" one, and not the "Indian" version. They're quite different, and I was simply acknowledging that my argument didnt apply to all current forms of marriage.

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The quotes about marriage were mainly to point out that the current system isn’t perfect but it isn’t hopelessly flawed either. Also, unless you propose to totally change our society, we have to work with it not against it. Proposing to totally do away with marriage, while possibly beneficial is not going to go over. Proposing to loosen it up a bit and make some changes has a much better chance.

I would argue that humanity is, in fact slowly doing away with marriage. Possibly because the definition of marriage is so rigid, that people would rather not do it at all if they can't modify it. I think that you're saying keep the social/parental/financial/etc benefits of the marriage arrangement, but loosen up the restrictions on who can enter into it, and how long the marriage needs to last. Am I on the right track here?

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Once again if you look I am most definitely not espousing lifelong monogamy. I totally agree that we just don’t have it in us. I propose that we stop trying to be something we are not. Marriage is failing because it is forcing people into the narrow religious definition of marriage. And religion just doesn’t know what it is talking about.

Yeah, yeah, mea culpa. See above apology Smiling

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We humans are a cheating, adulterous bunch. I think that is ok, sex is no sin, marriage should take that into account and just work to ensure children are cared for and that when two people share resources one doesn’t screw the other over when they (half of the time) realize that a long term relationship with that person is not what they wanted.

I agree, but when it becomes "four people share resources," I wonder if we're just creating another way for lawyers to stuff their pockets.


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To this I would say that a good way to raise a kid is to have one parent able to stay home. Now that means that no one person can provide for all aspects of a child’s well-being. So for this reason to people form a contract to say, I will make the money you will babysit (to put it very simply). Most people choosing to be the babysitter are risking that the money-maker might just leave them and they could no longer foot the bill.

Well, now that sounds a lot like traditional marriage to me. I don't think that a contract would necessarily sway jerks who ditch their responsibilities any more than it does now. Plus, supporting 3 people on one income, for example, on the average income in America(which I believe is around $35,000) is not very realistic, unless you are willing to really scrape by.

"The powerful have always created false images of the weak."


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Roisin Dubh wrote: My Name

Roisin Dubh wrote:


My Name is Chelsea wrote:

If you read carefully you will see that I DO NOT mean marriage as we know it.


Yeah, big brainfart on my part there. Your original post regarding plural marriages should have been a clue.....
Hey no problem.
Quote:

Quote:
I will assume that you are not demeaning another culture just because it is different from your own.


Not at all, and I'm not sure where you got that from. I was just pointing out that the model of marriage that I was using was the "western" one, and not the "Indian" version. They're quite different, and I was simply acknowledging that my argument didn’t apply to all current forms of marriage.

sorry my bad, just wanted to be sure that wasn’t what you meant, I figured it probably wasn’t.
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I would argue that humanity is, in fact slowly doing away with marriage. Possibly because the definition of marriage is so rigid, that people would rather not do it at all if they can't modify it. I think that you're saying keep the social/parental/financial/etc benefits of the marriage arrangement, but loosen up the restrictions on who can enter into it, and how long the marriage needs to last. Am I on the right track here?


Exactly the right track. Our culture is changing and marriage needs to change with it. I am not saying every one needs to get married either, but I am convinced that for a good bit yet most people will. So let’s make it so marriage is an institution that helps people rather than straight-jacketing them.

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I agree, but when it becomes "four people share resources," I wonder if we're just creating another way for lawyers to stuff their pockets.

I would say this speaks to the myriad problems with our legal system not to the question of marriage. Also if you take the mushy feelings out of marriage and look at it as a business association, have a contract, divorces wouldn’t be quite as messy.

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Well, now that sounds a lot like traditional marriage to me. I don't think that a contract would necessarily sway jerks who ditch their responsibilities any more than it does now. Plus, supporting 3 people on one income, for example, on the average income in America(which I believe is around $35,000) is not very realistic, unless you are willing to really scrape by.


Sorry I chose my example poorly. I find it to be a nice set up, uncommon as it is becoming. Average income $46,000 in US, $41,000 in Canada, average household 2.6 people. But that is neither here nor there.

Perhaps this is a better example. Two income family (make it 3 adults, 2 kids for fun), income $70,000 pretty comfortable. One income earner leaves. Now it is 2 adults 2 kids, $30,000, not very comfortable. A contract wouldn’t sway the jerks but it would force them to be responsible. I am talking a real written contract, signed by all three, not the implied contract backed my our judicial system (which is busted) and child support laws.

I think we really all agree that the institution of marriage as it is currently isn’t doing us as much good as it could. Possibly even harm in some cases. I just think we should give it a makeover, make it a useful institution rather than a religious hold over.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


Debauchrist
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I am sorry but a hot dog

I am sorry but a hot dog stand is just not a good analogy for marriage. Here is what I think marriage should be, and why I think it is a necessary institution, much like government is a necessary institution. (If you want to argue that please start a new thread).

The hot dog stand was an example of incongruity. Love, happiness, and child-rearing have nothing to do with marriage unless you imagine that it does.

Should be: A contract just like any other. The two (or whatever) people involved decide what kind of contract suits them. A contract to provide for cohabitation, sharing earnings, etc. for whatever amount of time sounds good to them. Or a contract that provides for the rearing of a child or children (probably would need to be at least 18 years). Or perhaps a couple wants no contract that is good. Maybe they are religious and want a contract that represents a traditional marriage. I think marriage should be flexible enough to cover all the different ways humans have found to live with each other. I am not arguing that marriage as we know it is working well, I don’t think it is.

 

Sounds like marriage is really alimony, child support, and power of attorney all wrapped up into one pretty legal package. The only assurance is that at least one family member will be severely punished for breaking the contract.

If you want flexibility, simply learn to trust your partner(s). Do you have your friends or family members sign contracts before you acknowledge them as friends?

 

Why it is necessary: Say you and some one else has a child, no marriage, no laws about the issue whatsoever. Either of you could just walk out and leave the other to deal with parenting on their own. Both could walk out and now the child has no parents. We need marriage, in some form, to help ensure that a child is well cared for and there is some sort of continuity in that care.
Believe or not but marriage also has benefits for the adults. If marriage in its many forms did not work so well for our species it would not be so all-pervasive.

Since we're talking hypothetically, two married people could simply walk out and leave a child alone. Or better yet, married people could kill their children, ever hear of that happening? Marriage has nothing to do with making sure a child is well cared for.

A stable home environment with two parents (regardless of the sexuality of the parents) is perhaps best for the child. That has nothing to do with marriage, that has to do with the respect and love two parents have for each other and the child. The only thing marriage really does is make two people who are really unhappy with each other even more scared of divorce.


You have misunderstood me. I don’t say that marriage protects children from physical abuse. Marriage doesn’t cause physical abuse either.

Then marriage is neutral upon matters of child protection. Since marriage isn't increasing or decreasing the protection of children the subject shouldn't be debated because the issues are unrelated to a significant degree.

No I am not equating these, there is love without marriage and marriage without love. Some couples have kids, some don’t. I am most definitely not suggesting any sort of discrimination, I will never suggest discrimination. I am suggesting that if the person has the emotional and mental intelligence of a 9 year old they should receive the protection and guidance that a 9 year old would receive concerning marriage. Any child married to an adult would be at a disadvantage.

I don't see how that is not discriminatory against the mentally handicapped. If someone who is mentally handicapped has the mentality of a nine year old, they're not allowed to get married seems to be what you're implying. You're implying this because I don't see you (or any rational person) instructing a nine year old to get married.

Should people take IQ tests to determine their mental age before they're allowed to marry? Personally, I think the mentally handicapped should have the same rights I do, it wasn't their choice to be mentally handicapped. At least a nine year old has the choice to marry when they get older. What if the roles were reversed, could a nine year old legally marry without guidance if they had the mentality of an eighteen year-old? I really don't think that marriage or even family planning should have anything to do with IQ or mental age.


There are civil ceremonies and religious ceremonies. What harm do you see marriage as doing? Maybe I could speak to a specific complaint rather than generalizations.

Could I also ask how old you are with out giving offense? I am merely curious.

 

No offense taken. Could I not answer without giving offense as well?

As to what specific harm marriage does, it gives people unrealistic expectations of their loved ones. Humans aren't business ventures to be contracted out. If two people who are unhappy with each other are married, marriage tends to bind them together longer than if they weren't married. Marriage is also a tool of discrimination; how many people have you seen using the institution of marriage to discriminate against gays? Marriage, in the polygamist and monogamist sense, are misogynistic, created to make it illegal for other men to taint your "property".

If you cared for your children, you don't need a contract requiring you to care. Likewise for your mate(s). If you love each other, again, you don't need a contract requiring you to support your loved one(s). I think evolution almost requires this, because if you're not altruistic towards your kin, your genetic line will die. Not only will your kin shun you for breaking the rules, society will as well. So enough with the legal contracts for what is already naturally obvious.


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I truly think the

I truly think the prevalence of marriage suggests that it has an evolutionary benefit.

Sorry to focus on this one point, but Roisin took the typing from my fingers. Would the prevalence of Chrisitiany suggest that religious belief is an evolutionary benefit? Might doesn't make right. The prevalence of any popular or traditional idea merely means that other popular ideas supported it. Memes aren't valid or invalid, they simply exist, and some memes are wasteful and others are beneficial. The only way to change a meme is revolution of the mind.


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Debauchrist wrote: I truly

Debauchrist wrote:
I truly think the prevalence of marriage suggests that it has an evolutionary benefit. Sorry to focus on this one point, but Roisin took the typing from my fingers. Would the prevalence of Chrisitiany suggest that religious belief is an evolutionary benefit? Might doesn't make right. The prevalence of any popular or traditional idea merely means that other popular ideas supported it. Memes aren't valid or invalid, they simply exist, and some memes are wasteful and others are beneficial. The only way to change a meme is revolution of the mind.

Ouch. Good hit. I admit I left myself open for that one. Should have seen it coming. Good point, might doesn't make right. Might doesn't make wrong either. So I guess that was a null argument. I merely meant to illustrate that all cultures have found marriage to be a useful tool at some time or other. 

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


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Debauchrist wrote: Sounds

Debauchrist wrote:

Sounds like marriage is really alimony, child support, and power of attorney all wrapped up into one pretty legal package. The only assurance is that at least one family member will be severely punished for breaking the contract.


Pretty much yes. I would say that saying “severely punished” is simply using terms that make it sound worse than it is. I would say that it is entirely fair that if a person helps bring a child into the world they are “liable” for the full 18 year commitment. I would also say that I think alimony is stupid. As a woman alimony offends me. Smiling It makes the assumption that a woman is unable to take care of herself and needs a man to provide for her. Child support on the other hand makes the assumption that if one adult leaves, taking income with them, this can have a detrimental effect on the child.

Quote:
If you want flexibility, simply learn to trust your partner(s). Do you have your friends or family members sign contracts before you acknowledge them as friends?


Trustworthiness has nothing to do with making a baby unless you imagine that it does.

I think we may have the problem that you think I am idealizing marriage, making it out to be some great thing that solves all our familial problems. Definitely, not the case. I think it is a tool, a tool that should be available to all who want to use it.

I think you maybe idealizing human relationships. We should all “simply learn to trust our partners”. Do you think people don’t trust their spouses now? There is no good marriage without trust and there are a lot of good marriages out there. I don’t think our problem is not enough trust, I think there is not enough trustworthiness.

Quite frankly, if a friend told me that if I wanted to adopt a kid she would be willing to provide half the support for that child until it was 18, I would want some sort of contract. I do trust my friends but a child is a serious responsibility and a very long term one. 18 years is enough time for people to change, emergencies to happen, circumstances change. People can fall out of love.
However, if you don’t want to have a contract, then don’t have a contract. I don’t think it is something that should be required, or even culturally preferred.
 
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Since we're talking hypothetically, two married people could simply walk out and leave a child alone. Or better yet, married people could kill their children, ever hear of that happening?


I am really unsure what your point is.

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Marriage has nothing to do with making sure a child is well cared for.


You are almost right. Marriage right now is not very successful at making sure a child is provided for. But sometimes it works. I think there are an awful lot of single moms who would be pretty upset if we got rid of all forms of child support and a lot more who would be happy if we had a better system set up.

Quote:
A stable home environment with two parents (regardless of the sexuality of the parents) is perhaps best for the child. That has nothing to do with marriage, that has to do with the respect and love two parents have for each other and the child. The only thing marriage really does is make two people who are really unhappy with each other even more scared of divorce.


You are talking about marriage it is now. I do not want anyone to be afraid of divorce. I do not want divorce to be as big of a deal as it is now. I want people to be able to marry whom they please and leave them if they please, I don’t want there to be any rules about what marriage is except the privately negotiated ones between the two people involved. Why do you insist upon assuming that marriage is the source of all ills? Smiling I want marriage to be whatever the people involved want it to be. Contract or no contract. Love or no love, children or no children. Are you saying we shouldn’t let people make of marriage what they want it to be? Are you suggesting that we should not make marriage available to those who want it just because you don’t like it? If that is not what you are saying, I am sorry. But please outline exactly what set up you think would be better rather than just picking holes in mine.

“That has to do with the respect and love two parents have for each other and the child.” And if there is no respect and love? As you said, nothing can guarantee this, not even marriage.

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Then marriage is neutral upon matters of child protection. Since marriage isn't increasing or decreasing the protection of children the subject shouldn't be debated because the issues are unrelated to a significant degree.


I think that you are talking about physical protection. I am talking about financial protection.

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I don't see how that is not discriminatory against the mentally handicapped. If someone who is mentally handicapped has the mentality of a nine year old, they're not allowed to get married seems to be what you're implying. You're implying this because I don't see you (or any rational person) instructing a nine year old to get married.
Would you let your nine year old get married? Why not?

Should people take IQ tests to determine their mental age before they're allowed to marry? Personally, I think the mentally handicapped should have the same rights I do, it wasn't their choice to be mentally handicapped. At least a nine year old has the choice to marry when they get older. What if the roles were reversed, could a nine year old legally marry without guidance if they had the mentality of an eighteen year-old? I really don't think that marriage or even family planning should have anything to do with IQ or mental age.


Misunderstanding everywhere. I do not think anyone should be banned from marriage. I only want children to be protected from being forced or coerced into marriage. I do not want a mentally handicapped person forced or coerced into marriage by someone who only wants to take advantage of them.

You show me a nine year old who wants to get married and is able to support him or herself and I don’t see why not.

Do you think sexual predators should be able to marry little girls? As many as they want? Parents can’t stop them?
 

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No offense taken. Could I not answer without giving offense as well?

Of course. It just feels weird not knowing anything about someone I am having a discussion with. Smiling

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As to what specific harm marriage does, it gives people unrealistic expectations of their loved ones. Humans aren't business ventures to be contracted out. If two people who are unhappy with each other are married, marriage tends to bind them together longer than if they weren't married. Marriage is also a tool of discrimination; how many people have you seen using the institution of marriage to discriminate against gays? Marriage, in the polygamist and monogamist sense, are misogynistic, created to make it illegal for other men to taint your "property".


What do think I am trying to say? Why do you think I started this post. I think gays should marry. I think I should be able to add a second husband if I wanted to (that would make twice as much work for myself though Smiling ) I don’t want marriage used for discrimination. That is the point. What you complaining about is what I want to change. I totally agree with you in all of that. I don’t think marriage should be about sex. I don’t think women should be men’s property or the other way around. I think we should have a tool to ensure that children are financially provided for. We could call it something other than marriage if that would make you more comfortable.

Quote:
If you cared for your children, you don't need a contract requiring you to care. Likewise for your mate(s). If you love each other, again, you don't need a contract requiring you to support your loved one(s). I think evolution almost requires this, because if you're not altruistic towards your kin, your genetic line will die. Not only will your kin shun you for breaking the rules, society will as well. So enough with the legal contracts for what is already naturally obvious.


I think “if” is the key word here. How do you plan on ensuring this love and caring in all relationships with children?
If it is naturally obvious then why do so many fathers abandon their families? Why do women drop off babies at the hospital or leave them in dumpsters? I don’t think human nature can be counted on to get us to do what is right.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


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I'd be curious what the

I'd be curious what the social impact would be if we switched the monetary effects of marriage and divorce.

Change the cost of a marriage license to around $5000 and the cost of a divorce to $20 (or whatever a marriage license costs these days). 

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People would neither marry

People would neither marry nor divorce, at least poor people wouldn't. The well to do would be able to afford to be married.  Poor people would divorce and not remarry. So you would basically only have rich married people. I know I wouldn't be married if it cost 5 grand.

So I guess marriage would be a "privelage" of the rich and the rest of us would live in sin Wink. Kidding. So basically, no marriage. Tax, child custody, child support, community property, all that would have to be changed.

What do you think would happen if marriage became a purely religious union and there was no social equivilant? 

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


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My Name is Chelsea

My Name is Chelsea wrote:

What do you think would happen if marriage became a purely religious union and there was no social equivilant? 

Perhaps then the religious would have no more scapegoats to blame for ruining the "sanctity of marriage?"

"The powerful have always created false images of the weak."


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Quote: Perhaps then the

Quote:
Perhaps then the religious would have no more scapegoats to blame for ruining the "sanctity of marriage?"

I was looking for a non-religion-bashing answer. Smile Something a little more insightful.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


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One major problem I see with

One major problem I see with "plural marriage" is it is almost always one man married to several women - thereby taking more than their "fair share" and leaving the rest of the guys with less women available.

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ShaunPhilly
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polyamory

I should jump in here. Why? Because I consider myself to be polyamorous.

At the moment, I have one partner. There have been times in the past when I had two. And yes, they knew about each-other. Wewere all very close. Another way to say polyamory is "responsible non-monogamy." The point is that the relationship is similar to a couple, only there are more people. You still have to be honest, open, and communicative in a poly relationship as a monogamous one.

I'd be glas to answer general questions about polyamory, or you could, if interested, listen to the podcast 'Polyamory Weekly,' which I listen to every week. The show notes can be found here.

I would very much like to see poly marriage legalized, and there is actually a case in Canada recently about a triad that concerned parental rights. This is a major problem for poly people; What happens if two women and a man are in a poly relationship and the biological parent(s) die accidentally?

Shaun

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