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!
I don't think there's any disputing, either, that children are better off with a stay-at-home parent
That's subjective depending on the woman. I grew up with a corporate mom who worked 5x a week 9-6 but still came home and took care me and my sister. We grew up just fine and we are both accomplished today in our ways. So it all depends on how the children are raised.
I think this is the second or third time that I've had to point out that personal anecdotes don't refute statistics. Real statistics are not generally 100%-0%. I can tell an anecdote. A guy jumped out of the 16th floor window and survived. Things like that happen sometimes. So 16th floor jumping survival statistics are probably something like 99% die and 1% survive. If you know the guy who survived, nice for you but it doesn't prove the statistic wrong, and the fact that he survived doesn't mean the next person will survive, too.
Now, getting back to your case, things turned out well, which is good. However, there are things we can't know, which is how much better off you might be under better circumstances. Or how much worse. Statistics are about things that actually happened, and they tend to be fairly good predictors, but of course not in every single case. Given that there's no way to know if one's own case will deviate from the statistical norms in a positive way, the wise thing to do, generally, is to go with the statistical flow.
I'll give you that because right after I finished my post, I realized I should have made it clear that my situation could be an exception. But I got too lazy to type lol
Marriage is pretty much an announcement stating "we are a couple, and we are not available". nothing more nothing less.
The one thing marriage would be good for is spending money. Most girls push for marriage, and I suspect that they like the money spending aspect of it.
Ugh. Do I need to send out an mra alert?
im sorry what is an mra alert?
We need to promote and cultivate marriage for one reason: it really does benefit children.
Let me quote from something very rare: a magazine article that has become a classic. Namely, The Atlantic's, Dan Quayle Was Right by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead. She set out to prove that alternatives to the traditional two-party marriage (assumed to be male-female for purposes of her article) didn't really provide a significantly better context for childrearing than alternatives, but then somewhere along the way, she says she found it becoming clear that the opposite was true:
According to a growing body of social-scientific evidence, children in families disrupted by divorce and out-of-wedlock birth do worse than children in intact families on several measures of well-being. Children in single-parent families are six times as likely to be poor. They are also likely to stay poor longer. Twenty-two percent of children in one-parent families will experience poverty during childhood for seven years or more, as compared with only two percent of children in two parent families. A 1988 survey by the National Center for Health Statistics found that children in single-parent families are two to three times as likely as children in two-parent families to have emotional and behavioral problems. They are also more likely to drop out of high school, to get pregnant as teenagers, to abuse drugs, and to be in trouble with the law. Compared with children in intact families, children from disrupted families are at a much higher risk for physical or sexual abuse.
I know this isn't what we would hope for. We'd like to think that breaking up an unhappy marriage benefits the children, that a woman who decides to have a baby without a husband, that children raised communally, and that same sex marriages are just as good, but perhaps the science doesn't bear it out.
Now, as to same sex marriages, the article predates the current high acceptance of gay marriage and gay childrearing and may be a bit dated in that regard, but I don't think its other conclusions are so easy to refute.
Interesting, I'll have to read that. Does the article specifically talk about the importance of marriage though, or just the standard relationship between one man and one woman, even if they're not married, but live as if they were? I don't see how a legal-contract, namely marriage, would change any statistics.
According to a growing body of social-scientific evidence, children in families disrupted by divorce and out-of-wedlock birth do worse than children in intact families on several measures of well-being. Children in single-parent families are six times as likely to be poor. They are also likely to stay poor longer. Twenty-two percent of children in one-parent families will experience poverty during childhood for seven years or more, as compared with only two percent of children in two parent families.
Doesn't this have to do more with society than a single marriage or a single parent? Obviously financially a man-wife couple are going to be better off than a single mom, but that doesn't speak for marriage as much as it speaks against how little is done to help single parents. And I don't see how that would speak for marriage at all. The opposite of single-parenthood is not marriage, but a simple relationship with another person, minus the label. You have to sign a legal contract, otherwise the planets will misalign and your child will end up fucked up? Is this due to marriage being a magical thing, or rather because those parents weren't able to give their relationship and children enough care without that specific label?
I think it would be time to update the statistics though, 20 years is a long time.
You really should read the article through because it does go into the fact that intact two-parent families are better for children because of more financial stability even if no other advantages applied.
Now, I think I can safely predict that a lot of people want to come forward with anecdotes about someone they know who's doing just fine. The article isn't about someone you know, it's about scientific facts about the outcomes that TEND to happen.
I think anyone wanting to take their child away from a two-parent situation or wanting to raise a child as a single parent from the get-go should look at the facts and ask themselves the ethical question, is it right to bet their child that single-parenting is better than the two-parent situation.
intact two-parent families
I was asking whether "intact two-parent family," in the context of this article, refers to a married couple or ANY couple. Being an intact family obviously is not exclusive to married people.
My point about marriage wasn't that people shouldn't have any relationships and raise children alone, it was that we don't need the word and the legal hoopla that goes with it.
Of course two people will be able to raise children more easily than alone, who ever denied that?
It's been quite a few years since I read the article, but I'm pretty sure that she's arguing that a marriage involves not just a personal commitment but a legal one and thus provides more protection for children than a looser purely personal one that can simply be walked away from. And that would seem to make sense even if the difference is rather small. After all, if two people have a child while living together, the state will hold both parties responsible for at least the financial support of the child, though I'm pretty sure that in most cases the financial support would be better in an intact family.
she's arguing that a marriage involves not just a personal commitment but a legal one and thus provides more protection for children than a looser purely personal one that can simply be walked away from
That would circle back to the second point I made in my OP then. If the legal obligations are the only thing that keep you from walking away and not caring for your kids, you're a horrible parent to begin with and the verdict is not that you should be married, but that you shouldn't have children. At what point then, if marriage is so useful for forcing people to give more effort, do we take the extra step of enforcing marriage?
I've yet to read it, but from what you and Thomas said it seems like this study either wasn't aware of, ignored, or lumped too many things together. There are too many variables, especially since some more popped up in the last 20 years. That and the conservative tone of it calling some things deviant casts a huge shadow on it's credibility and comes off as though the writer was a sandy soccer-mom who thinks drinking alcohol means you're an alcoholic, and doing pot will lead to heroin, jazz music, and interracial sex.
As for gay couples, even if they have a statistically lower chance of raising perfect little children, does it justify banning it or making it less than straight marriage? In that case we should also ban single-parenthood and force single mothers to marry or have their kids taken away from them.