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!
3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
There's nothing secret or unlawful about political social conservatism, and though I find it personaly hurtful, and ignorant, I try to see over top of concepts like "evil". It's mean, but not evil. Mass shooters are insane, not evil, etc. etc.
5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.
This could be any event involving more then one person. If me and my friend agree to go to make a snow man then we have entered into a conspiracy, by the standards of this definition. Law makers doing their jobs right out in public (which is what we're discussing, after all) is a conspiracy by the standards of this definition.
Marriage was changed to accomodate the evolution of race relations in America, it will, over time, change to accomodate the evolution of gay rights. The problem I see is not with marriage as a ceramony, of either commitment or love. It is with marriage as a carrot on a stick used to reward some and punish others with legal and tax incentives. Even as the institution grows with society, It still grabs people in a pretty personal place. Why do people have to go to court to argue for the validity of their relationships? I see it as devaluing the actual connection they share into a tawdry buisness contract.
And what about the Romans? they really did that, it wasn't a conspiracy or a theory, it was a law designed to stave of potential fifth columns from forming.
5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.
This could be any event involving more then one person.
But to me that seems to be the way you view it. Otherwise, it's hardly worth noting.
Yeah not really. nothing I said was even theory. The use of marriage to control social behaviors is overt and a matter of established fact. You seem to be arguing that because legislation is formed by more then one person, it is therefore conspiracy, and that ideas regarding your definition of conspiracy are all invalid. You called the idea that marriage is a tool used to prepetuate established social norms "Horseshit", when in fact it is totally acurate and neither law makers who dominate marriage in a legal sense, nor religious authoritys who attempt to dominate it in a social sense would suggest otherwise. Richard Nixon engaged in a conspiracy, was it horseshit? Because more then one person was involved that means it never happened? You can get as angry as you want at the idea I expressed but you seem to have nothing to offer of your own. Even if you think that marriage is a good tool to effect personal behavior, and does good for both the individual and society, it in no way invalidates my claim that marriage is a set of standards used by society to influence certain desired reactions.
5. any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.
You sound like they can foist a concept of marriage on us that we don't want.
They can't? If a man wants to marry another man, or one man wants to marry six women, or one woman wants to marry three men, and this is not allowed to happen then the people in question are being subjected to a concept of marriage that they don't want. They can still have these relationships, but because of the legal aspects of marriage that they can not attain, they have less rights then people who couple in a traditional way. If marriage was not a factor then peoples ability to adopt children would have to be based exclusively on things like their economic stability and the quality of life they can provide, rather than something as petty as how society measures the value of their love for one another.
Ultimately, it's up to the voters. Once the legislators have to face the fact that their attitude toward marriage may put them out of a job, they'll change their stance.
Love the Disclaimer, Great Post.
I do find it somewhat annoying in this thread that people do not seem to get what marriage is, and instead take all kinds of baggage into the discussion that has nothing to do with the OP.
There is a huge cultural element to this discussion, in my country love and commitment do not equal marriage, but apparently from some of the posts here it seems to be that some people cannot make that distinction.
And a mere verbal commitment rather than a contractual one (legal marriage) isn't really a commitment at all for the same reason that a guarantee really isn't a guarantee without a specification of what the guarantor is committing to.
There are other contractual commitments than just legal marriage. My girlfriend will become a mother soon, I will sign some paperwork making me the legal father of our daughter. I've signed a contract with my girlfriend for a house for 2 years.
But marriage? No, why would I? What would marriage add that I can't arrange in another manner?
It might not add anything to you, but marriage would protect the child by providing an added incentive to keep the marriage together. You can't walk away from your commitment to the child, but if you leave him/her in a single parent situation, more than one study has shown that unless the situation is exceptional (which is something you shouldn't bet on), the child's life will be diminished in a number of ways.
I wish my own marriage had stayed intact. From age 10 until she left for college, my daughter had two bedrooms. One in my home and one in her mothers, and she shuttled back and forth, back and forth. And ours was what they call "an amicable parting." In retrospect, I wish we had worked things out.
She has turned out more than okay, but it's hard not to wonder what might have been.
marriage would protect the child by providing an added incentive to keep the marriage together.
If 2 people want to leave each other, no piece of paper will keep them together. And just because statistically speaking married parents do better than single parents does not mean that the marriage paperwork has some magical powers that make people into loving, caring partners and parents.
It's the loving/caring part that determines the success as partners and parents not the marriage part.
You seem to confuse cause and effect with the statistical evidence about married and single parents.
I wish we had worked things out.
Are you saying that additional paperwork would've been an incentive for you to have put more effort into it? Not the benefit of your daughter, not the love that you have for your wife and daughter, but additional legal obligations would've made a difference? Somehow I don't think that you believe that, so why do you think that this applies to others?
I never said paperwork would keep people together who want to come apart. But let me remind you of two things: the marriage contract is just that: a contract, and it's a contract even when it's not on a piece of paper.
When partners are unmarried, it's as easy as waiting till the other one is gone, packing up one's things, and leaving.
When you're married, you go through something resembling probate. It's not pleasant. Also, the contract gets your lives intertwined in ways that make coming apart difficult and sometimes traumatic. Thus, getting married is more of a commitment and one you can't easily simply walk away from.
I do think that since we remain friends, something making it harder to come apart certainly might have had us working harder at working things out.