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 not sure why but I can understand your perspective...I mean I've never had a ''bad'' relationship, Im a pretty compromising person and I just get along with people well, a good team mate but I feel like I lose my individualism while in a relationship and thats something Im not so sure I want to lose. But like a lot of others are mentioning, having a ''partner'' in life doesnt seem so bad either! Im so happy to see all of the varied responses, they're def. giving me a new take on the situation than what I had before.
Thanks for sharing!
i am staunchly opposed to marriage as i don't think that the government should be involved in anyone's sex life - gay or straight, monogamous or group, arranged or one night stand. i understand why the law is and will continue to be involved in everyone's sex life as it makes things a hell of a lot easier legally. i understand how it would be beneficial for my partner and myself to be married, the tax breaks and other perks. and though i understand about how it would benefit my family and not harm anything other than my pride i hold the very thought of marriage in contempt and refuse to do it. eventually i'll probably have to swallow my pride and remember that old bit of advice 'you can be right or happy." but until i have to i won't.
a lot of people don't get it, how i could hate all things wedding, and think that marriage is a joke. to say i should just get hitched to satisfy my partner's wants or for the benefits reminds me of the stale arguments my parents put forth about why i should go to church as a kid - just do it because i am supposed to? just do it to make other people happy? just forget abut what i think for benefits that aren't even that great? all that easter candy didn't make up for all those hours in church, know what i'm saying?
if and when i have to it will simply be a trip the two of us will take to the courthouse to sign paperwork and then i'm getting wasted. i could care less about what either of our families have to think or say. sounds terrible i know but it's the truth.
this attitude has proven to be very effective for me in delaying any serious plans about marriage with my partner any time in the near future. now that he knows i'd just sign a paper whenever it's not a big deal for him to go and get it done.
I'm very privileged and lucky to be with M. Francois Tremblay. I didn't have a pretty dress, and I don't wear an uncomfortable ring. I registered with the state because the Department of Homeland Security wants to keep us apart, because it hates Love and it loves Lies. (That's my dramatic bit. Down with La Migra.)

I'm a big fat anarchist, so I think America and Canada are lies, and I don't think families are inherently good. I hope to one day cure myself of the ideals that I was fed all my life about what love is, because I am sure to my core that most of it is bullshit. "Wife" is bullshit. "Husband" is bullshit. Love is real.
I think that I am fatter Ⓐ that you. Though I am not a very good one.
I would advise everyone to never get married. There are very few naturaly monogonouse mammals, and I doubt humans are one of them. Its also a legal mess. People also change. I also don't understand why people are unwilling to accept that its possible for someone to love more than one person at once.
Marriage ought to be thought of in strictly practical and legal terms, not in sentimental or romantic terms. The more lavish the wedding, the shorter the marriage will last. Indeed, people can be committed to one another for life without a legal contract, and those legally bound together may totally disregard their obligations. Ultimately, it is essential to understand the practical ramifications, legal and economic, and decide accordingly.

Arranged marriages belong to backward societies that lack the notion of individual autonomy, and reflect social institutions which need to be wiped off the face of the earth.

Polygamy seems to be more prevalent--at least officially--than polyandry. I wonder if any society sanctions both simultaneously. Given the differences in sexual endurance, Mark Twain once suggested that it would make more sense to have a woman have 1000 husbands than Solomon have 1000 wives. I'm guessing that many of our sexual institutions are predicated on property, power, and men's fear of women's sexual power.
A definition of terms might be good here.

Polygamy is more than one spouse simultaneously in a marriage. I know it has become almost synonymous in the US with more than one wife, but it could also mean more than one husband. Confusing polygamy with polygyny is common.

Polygyny is being married to more than one wife simultaneously.

Polyandry is being married to more than one husband simultaneously.

I know this is an old, old discussion, but if you could elaborate on what you mean by "women's sexual power", Ralph, I'd appreciate it.
Marriage is a rigged game. Until we fix the divorce mechanism in this country in my view people are never truly free to be married positively and truthfully they're just staying married due to fear of divorce, until they can if necessary divorce and not lose everything they've spent a lifetime building up. What merit is it to get married and after a number of years and your spouse is unhappy do you now have to give up everything you have worked hard for?? Especially if your the male in the relationship. Divorce courts are amazingly one sided in this day and age when a good deal of women have empowerment, jobs, assests of their own these days. And if you have children your chance as getting primary custody of them are somewhere between slim and none. Until these gross inequalities are addressed I could never see myself setting myself up for this kind of risk. Marriage legally is not really needed as far as the aspect of having a faithful loving relationship. Plently of extramarital affairs going on out there. Marriage really only frees us up from the paperwork of property transfer. Legally speaking polgamy should be legal. If 3 men and 5 women wish to enter into such a contract then so be it, should not be the place of the law to judge how many people can get married. So as long as everyone is an adult at the time of signing.
I have been married for almost 24 years. I had a non-secular, no religion ceremony on a Military base in my area (Father was military - not us). We have been perfectly happy! Seriously! He is my best friend in every way.
Pardon my dropping on a less active thread but I am interested in the subject.

I have recently tried looking at the concept of marriage through the lense of evolutionary psychology.
I think that our "developed" industrialized society has further removed us from the some of the original utility of the marriage concept.

Firstly, from a "modern, enlightened" perspective of hedonistic sexual activity, marriage serves no purpose but for emotional manipulation (guilt trips and possible transfer of wealth). If you are only looking for companionship and sexual partners, there is no need for marriage.

If you are actually planning to procreate, I believe marriage serves some purpose. This purpose has been diluted by the industrialization/socialization of our society. My explanation is going to sound VERY archaic and backward to many, but, hey, this is a forum for free-thinking, right?

Consider that we all belong to a community which is part of a society. Traditionally, everyone belonged to a family. When a woman gives birth to a child (assuming it is intentional), the child needs to be cared for. Uncared-for children are and always have been a societal problem. Who has responsibility for the care? As the child matures and is able to contribute to the community and assume responsibilities and obtain privileges, who has a right to those benefits? Despite the "enlightened knowledge" of socialism, evolutionary psychology supports the practice that the responsibilities and benefits go to the kin relations. And that is where the sire of the child has an interest as well. Further, in communities where resources are more limited than our consumer-driven over-abundance society, the families of both the father and the mother may have an interest in the resources passed to and acquired by the child. Is not the marriage then, without any reference to gods, the contract between two families?

Going further, again assuming a non-socialist, resource-scarce community, suppose a woman exercises her "right" to have multiple sexual partners such as there becomes a serious question about who sired the child. If she has entered into a marriage contract with a man that obligates the man to care for the child, it is in the interest of the man (and possibly his blood relatives) to anul the contract on the premise that the child is not his. I know, sounds very primitive, immature and selfish, but our hero Richard D. is big into selfish genes.

From the woman's perspective, if she has a marriage contract with a man who is polyamorous, when she does give birth, it is in her interest and the interest of her child that the father be held to account for the care of the mother and child and not be allowed to shift his attention and care elsewhere (for fun or to escape the burdan of providing resources for the mother and child). In the sense that a marraige contract is between two families (hence the tradition of the father "giving away" the bride), the family of the mother can take up the issue of the contract with the family of the father. This can be seen in traditional societies. Here in our "enlightened" society, we go to court (because the extended family doesn't matter, except for visitation rights).

So, to me it seems that we have transferred the responsibility for care of children to the community. This has made the marriage contract less relevant. Certainly parents do care for their children. However, I think it is unnatural to expect individuals to provide care to chidren to whom they are not the biological parents at the same level of interest and commitment as they do to their biological offspring. Again, very backward and old-fashioned but I believe evolutionary psychology supports this view. If you hold that evolution programmed us to be polyamorous, that same evolution programmed us to care for our blood kin more than the offspring of other people.

As for polyamory, I am fine with that. I just hope you can find people who can be "mature" about it and not let their primitively evolved emotions get in the way of everyone having a good time without jealousy.
How do you define polyamory?

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