Im really curious about your thoughts on marriage.
Are there any reasons aside from legal rights given to married couples that appeal to you? Personally, I think it's an illusion, just another ideal society and even religion embeds in us. I have tremendous respect for couples who remain together in happy healthy relationships without the assistance of a legal contract to encourage commitment, loyalty etc. I guess I should add, I am in no way opposed to marriage I only think the perspective about the concept should be widened a bit. Thanks for reading my perspective, What's yours?

Also if you are a person opposed to polygamy/polyandry/group or arranged marriages will you please explain your position! Thanks, Im looking forward to reading your responses :)

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Im happy you mentioned this because this is one of the conversation topics that lead me to think of marriage outside of the religious or traditional context (while I was a theist)...I couldnt find anything necessarily "wrong" with it so I thought it was a good idea for mature adults who cared for one another!
I think I could go with something like this...but I'd have to give that mushy movie romance type of relationship a try first!
Legal marriage was absolutely necessary in my case in order for my wife to qualify for a green card and stay here with me rather than return home to the opposite side of the globe.

Plus, I like the commitment.
Check my blog on my page for a draft essay of a criticism of marriage as an institution; gotta warn you, though, it's a bit thick in some spots.
Why? Slavery to emotional dependence (the "human nature" argument), culture, mindlessness repetition of tradition.

There are only a few species (unless I'm grossly mistaken, and if someone should find so, please tell me) that actually "marry", or mate for long-term or life. So our activity really makes us an anomaly. Also, after reading Stephanie Koontz' "A History of Marriage", you see the large part that marriage played in survival (way earlier on in human history), followed by economics and politics. Some really devious stuff; Koontz shows you how LOVE isn't a dominant motivating factor until around the 19th century.

Marriage preceded religion.

I don't plan on getting married. I mean, besides the legal crap, WHY? I am not opposed that other people should get married, only myself. As far as marriage being an illusion, that's like saying that honor or integrity are illusions...we've created these things, as abstract concepts; therefore, do they actually exist? You can't touch them. You can't feel them. But we breathe life into them, just like we do marriage. I would disagree that it's an illusion; I think the term artificial serves as a more accurate description.
I don't think marriage started out "sacred" so much as "political", but you all probably know that. The religious aspect of it seems random and obviously I don't approve of it. I get pretty irked when religios drone on about the sanctity of marriage... and even here, the divorce rate is the same. I don't like the idea that I'm property, or the idea that I have a sacred mission to repopulate with a male-person. Luckily, marriage is beginning to change a little. Plenty of Atheists get married I think, just as a source for permanence and some nice perks. The chances of my finding a soulmate are slim to begin with, but I was raised by a very conservative mother who does not approve of premarital sex, and I could not easily live with someone I loved and not hurt her. I think that if I found someone, marriage would have to be in our future. And I guess that's not such a terrible thing. Commitment can be good, and presents are better. ;)
Monogamy is actually more common in animals than many people think. Almost all bird species are monogamous. Their are biological advantages to this practice in animals where the offspring are severely dependent on the parent for longer periods of time. Such as humans. Monogamy preceded the social/political practice of marriage, which preceded religion. Before the monothesistic explosion marriage was political and proprietary. It was a great way to glue the powerful families in the tribe, city, state etc. to form lasting political dominance. Back then it was never really about love, it was convenient. I think when religion enters the picture it transforms marriage into a holy union before god which adds an edge of discipline on the part of the couple. Now they have control in your bedroom as well as your mind, body and spirit.

Personally, I have been married, once. The marriage was great but the divorce is going to be better! Lets face it, either it works or it doesn't. The act of marrying proves nothing of love, but society and our parents, like it, so we do it. It is nothing more than a public display of two people pooling their assets and sharing a name. It is still just a convenience.
I work for an investment company with a very father figure boss. He wants me to get married b/c it'll save money on taxes, the surviving spouse gets your social security, blah blah blah, oh and to have a party. My dad says if marriage means nothing to me then whats it mattter if I'm married, get married and have the legal benefits. I hate the idea of marriage, that gays can't be married, that all his debt suddenly becomes mine even if my name is on nothing, that with out getting a lawyer involved and paying to have a prenupt everything gets split in a divorce. I told my boss I would be embarrassed and ashamed to get married. I wouldn't want anyone to know.
My best friend is muslim and they have arranged marriages. I don't judge them, its what they do. Same for any other groups, polygamists and such. I just have a hard time believing any of them are truly happy because they didn't have that free will that they claim they have when it came time to determining the rest of their lives.

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