I'm getting tired of having to spoonfeed this to some of you people individually. As it turns out though, thankfully, I can edit the OP so at least read this. I am not arguing against love, relationships or commitment, or anything the like. Quite the opposite, I'm saying they're good enough on their own without the need for the legal paperwork, money-waste and label of marriage. I welcome any opinion whether I like it or not, but not when you're missing all of the actual points like a little boy splashing the rim and substitute your own. No one's forcing you to read the whole thread, but at least read the damn OP of the thread next time or don't bother. It's getting frustrating having to read through your condescending tones just to find out you just didn't pay attention.
Hey. I'm not sure if I made a thread before but I'd like to put some of my thoughts on marriage here and see what all of you guys think. I see many of you as much smarter than me, and I think I can learn some. This got a little long, and I don't know if I should post it as a blog instead, but since my objective is to get some sort of exchange/discussion going a thread is more fitting. This is my opinion only. I'm not going to talk about gay-marriage or things like that, we all already know enough about that. I want to talk about marriage itself.
My stance on marriage is not that everybody should be allowed to have one, including gays. My stance is that nobody should get married, including straight people. And I'm often confused as to why atheists, secular intelligent people, would want to engage in this antiquated, forcefully contrived and often religious social construct.
I've said this in one form or another before. People like to think about marriage as this magical bond between two people in love, but for the bigger part of its history marriage wasn't about love at all. We know that in the past ages marriage was only used as a form of sales-contract, a political relationship building tool between two parties, and a way for the rulers to keep tabs on their subjects, while making sure they don't run amok fucking and raping each other aimlessly. It was an easy social structure to introduce into a primitive society that would otherwise kill each other over women to rape (which they did, and still do regardless). As a religious construct, it has been solely used for the above mentioned purposes, plus turn women into property. We need only look at some religious men and their harem of wives, to see that in that marriage women have become nothing more than a commodity. In marriage, even today, women are often nothing more than merchandise. Why do you think religious men always emphasize the importance of staying pure and staying away from sex until marriage? Because some men have very small penises. And some men with small penises are willing to pay high prices for a certain commodity: virginity. They want sex with virgins, because the small-dicked man knows the virgin doesn't know any better, so he has a confidence boost. Same reason they marry old geezers to little children, under the ruse of "our prophet did it." It's all about keeping the business running. Tell girls not to fuck. Slut-shame them should they dare to have sex outside of marriage. Call them whores, sluts, whatever. Put peer-pressure on them. Because if they do, the market will run dry.
There are a some popular arguments for/about marriage that I'd like to take on.
- It's a public declaration of loyalty. / It shows commitment.
This is a common error. Marriage doesn't make someone any more loyal then s/he would've been anyway, and if it does it's either because of peer-pressure (look up countries with the lowest divorce rates) or simple disingenuity. If you are in a relationship (which is not open), then you should be able to stay loyal and make it clear you're committed all by yourself, without a ring on your finger to vouch for you. Saying marriage ads to the commitment and shows loyalty is really no different than, for example, saying the bible gives us strength and hope. We should be able to have those things by ourselves, and those who cling to it show only a lack of those traits in themselves; just as someone who can not be as loyal without marriage shows a lack of confidence in their loyalty to begin with.
Now there also many people who say that they want a marriage to make sure their partner is committed. To me, a person who says they cannot expect loyalty and commitment unless their partner agrees to marry them is a person who displays a severe lack of trust, confidence and faith in their partner. A crucial flaw which wouldn't work out too well for a relationship to begin with.
I'm quoting the next point from a post from another member, MikeLong, here. I originally wanted to answer you in that thread, but the lack of a reply button was getting on my nerves, sorry.
- If shit goes south, marriage makes us try harder to preserve the relationship, rather than simply cast it aside as just another failed relationship.
Again, I think this should go without having to be married. If the relationship is worth it you should put all effort in, but not because you think "Oh well, we're married now. And it's kinda too much work to get divorced anyway." If marriage is your only incentive to keep a relationship alive, it's not a relationship of love as it is a cold iron chain locking you together.
More importantly though, just because a relationship is over doesn't mean it's failed. We fall in love, and then often we get jaded, and it's over. But that doesn't mean it wasn't worthwhile, that it was a waste of time, or that it failed. We experience something nice, and then it's time to move on. What marriage does is hold you trapped, after you've had enough. And I believe that the idea of an ended relationship being a "failed" relationship is something, more often than not, pushed into our culture by clergy. They are mostly the ones we hear bitching about divorce rates in secular countries and how it's somehow directly related to the moral decline in that country. That's bullshit. The only thing a divorce means is that two people no longer want to be together. What does the reason matter? Clergy often pretend like it's because people turn gay and the men divorce their wives because they want to go to a gay bar and have wild gay sex out of wedlock (ironically the solution would be to allow same-sex marriage, but I digress). But even if it were so, so what? How would it make those two people any more happy if they were continuously trapped in a marriage? Even when, at first, only one of the two partners wants a divorce, to me it would be much more horrible to force the other person to stay married. I certainly wouldn't want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't want me anymore. Platonic love doesn't end well for either party.
So what I'm rambling on about it that ending a relationship is not always a bad thing. Call me a cynic, but I believe that it's a good time even most of the time. Something sucks, you work at it. But at some point you have to stop and accept that it might just not be worth it to try and pick up all the pieces off of the floor so you can glue them together and hope it sticks for just a little while longer. At some point you just have to leave the pieces lie and move the fuck on.
- marriage is the sacred bond between a man and a woman
Obviously, this is an argument that comes from the theist camp. Now I'm not going to argue about how retarded it is to suggest that gays have any less of a right to a marriage, we already know that, but instead tell you why I think religion loves pairing different genders so much. It's because man + woman = baby. Baby = another unit in the army. That's it. Nothing profound to it. Sacred bond my ass. It's about growing numbers like a virus. Rulers in all ages understood that if you want to build a powerful nation, what you need are people. Many many people. As many as possible. Living conditions, quality of life - doesn't matter. If he can hold a weapon and become cannon-fodder he's good enough. Same reason religion values men more than women. They're physically stronger. Same reason clergy are against abortion, it kills potential units and dwindles their numbers. (It also kills off all the pussy in the age range they like.)
- We do it for the civil / legal / financial rights.
I actually don't know enough about this to be able to fairly comment, so I'd love some input. Obviously I still don't like it. I know people who have been together for years but have no intentions of getting married for any benefits, my own sister included, and they seem to lead happy lives. But are the benefits worth compromising your integrity?Is there no other way to achieve those rights? Would it be at all possible for us to change this? I'm aware that gays fight for marriage because they want the rights that come with it. Now I remember Strega saying in a different thread that if they made some other civil construct which would allow her, as a gay person, to have all the benefits of a usual marriage provides, she'd do it right away. Even if it wasn't called a marriage. Do you agree with this, or do you think that, if anything, both straight people and gays should get the exact same thing? In which case it cannot be a religious union, because all major religions are homophobic. And so...I'm tired.
That's it for now. I actually have much more to say, but I kinda already wrote more than usual and I'm getting bored and I'm sure I've bored most of you by now too. I might add some later. Cut me some slack!
It's your own weakness and lack of self-control
Since we are all weak, and lets face it, we are, perhaps it is these silly, insignificant pieces of paper that keep all of us together. Weak Forces keep the sun burning.
Are you playing word games out of purpose?
You advocate a world without defined borders of conduct, mixed with a solid sense of responsibility to yourselves, the earth, and others. That's ok, and there are places where that is the guiding principle. It's been a while since I've been there, but the communes that you might have heard about that were started in the '60's, some of them still exist, at least they did about 12 years ago in Upstate New York near Woodstock.
Since we are all weak, and lets face it, we are, perhaps it is these silly, insignificant pieces of paper that keep all of us together
Must suck to think so little of yourself. I'm sure married people appreciate being told that it's just a piece of paper standing between their partners and them cheating. So, let me guess. We also need the bible to be moral? Do we have original sin too? We are powerless until we give our lives over to a higher power? That's where your road is leading, be careful. I'm sure you're better than that.
You advocate a world without defined borders of conduct,
I advocate a world with as clearly defined borders as possible. You don't. Love is not an emotion you can clearly define. I love my girlfriend. I love my brother. I love animals. I love chocolate. It's an extremely ambiguous word, and what marriage does is put it into a legal binding contract. Signing a document promising you'll always be in love with someone, is like signing a document promising to be lucky. I promise to be lucky or else you can sue me for half my stuff. Brilliant.
mixed with a solid sense of responsibility to yourselves, the earth, and others.
We have a responsibility to those we commit to willingly. Either tell your girlfriend you're going to cheat on her, or don't cheat on her. Either way, don't jeopardize your honor. And of course we also have a responsibility to ourselves, what else is possible? You can't blame the absence of a piece of paper for thinking with your dick. It's your own fault.
And now what gave you the idea I care about the earth?
It's been a while since I've been there, but the communes that you might have heard about that were started in the '60's, some of them still exist, at least they did about 12 years ago in Upstate New York near Woodstock.
Where's "there" supposed to mean, and what communes are you even talking about? I live in Turkey. Where are you pulling all of this out of?
Oh he thinks marriage doesn't add anything to a relationship? He things age doesn't make right? He must be part of some anarchist hippie commune!
You'd make a brilliant apologist I must admit. You have this natural talent of going off on tangents. I talk about automatic knowledge, you talk about Scottish peasants. I talk about self-control, you talk about Woodstock.
I've been saying that marriage isn't important except when children are involved and that the evidence tends to show that children don't thrive as well when raised in other situations. I heard about this study on the news today:
A report by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, released today, suggests a gap between children from single-parent and married families that will continue to widen as they grow.
Family studies researcher Ruth Weston said love and affection was shown by all families in the study of 5000 children, but twice as many women in wedded couples had a university degree and were more likely to be employed.
"The study shows 31 per cent of the married mothers had a university degree or higher-level education compared with 15 per cent of single or cohabiting mothers," Ms Weston said.
"A family's financial circumstances are clearly very important for the wellbeing of children."
But Victorian president of Parents without Partners, Rhonda McHugh, slammed the taxpayer-funded study, describing it as "detrimental".
"It is unfair assuming children of single parents are not going to do well. A lot of our kids are doing well in sports and going to university," Ms McHugh said.
Typically, the response by the Parents without Partners is anecdotal ("I know exceptions") and I remind you that statistical truths can't be refuted by stories of exceptions. We all know a smoker who died of old age without contracting lung cancer, yet the statistics show us there is a causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer.
It's understandable that we don't want single parents to feel bad, especially since they are often in that situation due to circumstances beyond their control or out of necessity. However, it's necessary to set those feelings aside if we are to understand best how to deal with the single-parent situation.
"The study shows 31 per cent of the married mothers had a university degree or higher-level education compared with 15 per cent of single or cohabiting mothers," Ms Weston said.
I don't know if it's just the phrasing, but they didn't get a higher-level education because they were married, so how is it related? At most we can say that people with a lower-level education tend to end up single more often, while people with more education end up picking better partners and relationships. And obviously the better educated ones are more likely to be better parents anyway. We all can agree on that, right?
Unseen I'm confused, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to think the opposite of marriage is being a single parent. I don't remember anybody making the point that being single is better than being in a relationship, though I have not read every reply in this thread so I may have missed it. But I think those same educated people could've been in plain relationships, not single parents, but not married either, and done just as well with their kids, could they not?
I think that the term "marriage" is the main culprit of the whole confusion. You can have all the legal obligations to your partner without being married (at least in my country) and the same applies to the care for children.
The added value of marriage is therefor precisely "zilch".
Apparently (??) in some countries you can't disconnect commitment from marriage, that's why people in those countries get married young and divorce often. I was highly surprised the first time I went to the states and found out that most of the people of my age that were in a relationship were already married, even after being together only shortly people married one another as if it was obligatory, very odd.
It reminds me a bit of the people of my grandparents' generation, they also married young as to them it was an auto-include. You find a guy/girl, you stick with them and you marry first and then get kids. I'm not saying that this is not what people should do, please by all means if you're comfortable do so.
But, for those (like me) who do not roll that way, marriage is completely unnecessary and the baggage that it comes with is not appealing to us. This does not mean that we're afraid of commitment (legal or not) or that we don't want the best for our children, it's just that we don't see the concept of marriage (NOT (LEGAL) COMMITMENT!!) as useful.
I don't remember anybody making the point that being single is better than being in a relationship
To clarify, by "single" I meant "single parent."
There are plenty people who prefer to be single, me included.
I agree. I see marriage as a tool designed to control people's behavior, much like taxes or the criminal justice system. It is used to opress outsiders (i.e. Gays transgenderd people), it was even used to enforce social ideas about race division. Unlike taxes and the criminal justice system though, marriage is unnecessary and built on a foundation of wrong headed traditions about societys right to drag us around by our genitals.
And who are the puppeteers? You see, I think the views your expressing here are just so much conspiracy theory horseshit.
(cough) your you're (cough)
You're right. As I get older I find myself typing homonyms now and then (when I really do know what's right) and I don't always take a second look with short posts. With longer posts, I tend to do a little proofreading. LOL
How is that a conspiracy? Marriage isn't used as a tool to influence society? When I hear christian politicians say that Gay marriage is wrong because "Homosexuality is not something that society should endorse", what are they really saying? What I'm hearing is that they want to influence other people's personal sexual/life decisions in a forceful way. Taxes are levied against tobacco and alcohol, in part to discourage the use or overuse of these substances, is that a conspiracy theory? There isn't a fucking secret thing about it. When the Romans laid out laws about who could and could not marry into their citizenry, was that a conspiracy theory? or was it an open public policy designed to shape their society in the way they saw as best? It used to be illegal for white and black people to marry, was that a conspiracy theory, or was it a racist public policy designed to shape society in the way that was seen as best?
CONSPIRACY THEORY: a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators
Public, not secret. Policy, not plot.
Words can have more than one meaning and/or use.
1. the act of conspiring.
2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
4. Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.
5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.
I think 3 and 5 cover what you are saying as well as your other examples (the Romans, for example). The conservative/religious politicians conspire to defeat the establishment of pro-gay legislation, either by blocking it or by fomenting legislation designed to preemptively forbid it.
The way you describe them, they are conspirators according to some of the meanings of "conspiracy."