Personally, I'm in favor of marriage. The public declaration of fealty steers the focus of any marital problems onto resolution rather than dissolution. However, I don't think the question should be, "Should gay couples be allowed to marry?". It should be, "Why is the government involved, AT ALL, in how people wish to structure their households?".

We should be relying on government for assistance in enforcing contracts. But how these contracts are structured should be entirely up to the people involved. This, of course, includes people who wish to structure their households around participation by more than two individuals.

I guess there needs to be a set of default contracts (to protect children and establish ownership of chattels, etc.) which are deemed to be in effect when people share a household; but, other than that, the government should have no role. 

I know that polygamy facilitates some injustices that never occur in "traditional" marriages <joke>, but is polygamy sufficiently evil by its nature to require the government to ban it?

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And rape is not rape in the things we civilized people consider rape such as forcing your spouse to have sex against your will. There is no such thing as rape in these circumstances as women have no right to refuse the sexual "needs" of their husbands.
I do believe that's his point - that you can't infer that polygamy causes more violent crime, because the evidence does not point in that way, both by the statistics he pointed out, and for the other variables you just mentioned.

These countries are Islamic and men can legally beat and rape their wives without legal repercussions. Here is a more accurate picture of polygamy:

In some Muslim countries, such as Saudi Arabia,[25] reports indicate that domestic violence is quite widespread. One recent study, in Syria, found that 25% of the married women surveyed said that they had been beaten by their husbands.[26]

If 25% of married women are beaten by their husbands, could it possibly be related to that wife beaters get more than the one target allowed in the rest of the world, or would that correlation be spurious also?

 

I never saw much wrong with polygamy. I don't see how it causes suffering, so I don't see why I should be against it.

Personally, I think monogamy is a relatively recent social construct (in the span of human existence) that probably works well with shorter life spans.  But as our longevity increases, it begs the question whether monogamy is "natural" or "normal."

I think the stats on affairs and divorce suggest that monogamy, as much as people want to believe in it, may not be truly reflective of human nature/biology.  I guess it may be just like a belief in god- it's an idea, but it doesn't seem to reflect reality.

 

That's a question that's pretty valid. I know quite a few people who lasted about twenty years or so before things blew up, including my parents. Just long enough to raise some kids and kick them out. 

 

 

Divorce when children are involved is the ultimate act of selfishness. If you have chosen by own volition to procreate, your need for personal happiness are no longer a valid argument.

The issue isn't monogamy, it's part of a large problem which is the failure of some overemotional and irrational monogamists to behave like adults. Though biology has substantial impact on behavior and certainly promote certain anti-social behavior, most cheating and divorcing is caused personal choices alone

If humans were not to be monogamous on average, it would be odd of nature to give us an almost perfect 50/50% gender balance. Polygamist behavior is usually only socially condoned in societies with a dearth of men, often caused by the male invention of large scale warfare.

A male polygamists tend to get as many wives as possible where they can, a female polygamists probably prefer sexual prostitution or adding "sugar daddys".

"Divorce when children are involved is the ultimate act of selfishness. If you have chosen by own volition to procreate, your need for personal happiness are no longer a valid argument"

this may be one of the worst things i have ever read about divorce! can you explain why divorce is selfish? or do you agree with the catholic church that women need to shut up and stay with a man who is abusive even if it means her ultimate death? are you married? are you telling me there are NO reasons why two people should not divorce? i suggest to you that your view of marriage is quite narrow and based on hate, not reason. I left my ex after 20 years of mental and physical abuse and her cheating on me. we have kids who are now in a much better place than if i had stayed there a continued in the marriage. I was at the point of suicide and had to get out. was that a healthy place to raise our kids? not at all, to stay would have seen my kids destroyed by the toxicity of the situation and i was not going to let that happen!

Until you have actually been in a situation where you can understand that marriage is just a contract and contracts do not mean 'til death do us part' as there are cultures and places in the world where that very thing happens! is that the only way out? many you would fit right in with the fundies on this one!!

 

please, do more research on a topic before making such a stupid statement!

 

Why is our government involved with marriage?

 

When our government started to handle marriages it took that right away from the church and gave it to the people. I'd much rather grindingly change government law then be denied outright by a church. The "Why is our government involved with marriage" argument has been used by the Christian Right to put it back in the church.

 

I don't think polygamy would work in our society. Relationships break down more and once you have more then one person in a group a certain dynamic kicks in where one person would be the most dominate one person and another would be a sub to two. If someone can handle that I'd say go for it make it legal but most the US population wouldn't be able to understand the dynamic enough.

Might be helpful to think about it this way:

 

As one person, I found another person to love - making a couple.

As a couple, why couldn't we find a third person to love? - this would make a polygamous relationship

From a polygamous relation it becomes less probable to find an addition person to love but as we all know, rarity does not prove non-existance.

 

In conclusion, I see no problem with polygamy as long as everyone is happy with their place in the relationship. With more additional persons it will be harder and harder to keep everyone at an equal level.

My romantic network has more than 50 people in it. It has not been my experience, or my observation as a community leader and activist, that it becomes less probable to find additional partners. Insisting that each person love everyone else in the group "equally" is more likely to cause difficulty finding partners, than just having multiple partners does.

The whole problem here is with the concept of an "equal level". Every relationship is different and unique. You can't really compare them as being "equal level" because they are relationships with two different, individual human beings. I could say that I absolutely LOVE chocolate cake, and I totally adore ballroom dancing. But to say which one I love more than the other, or if I love them equally doesn't make any sense. They're two different things, each with their own pros and cons, each providing unique experiences for me. I love them both, and asking me to give up either one would be a terrible heartbreak. But I couldn't possibly compare one to the other, and the word "equal" just doesn't hold any meaning here.

Trying to make everyone "equal" is about as futile as trying to rank everyone in a hierarchy, as some of those religious cults do, with the man as the head of the household, an alpha wife, and all the other wives ranked by seniority. We are all "equal" in the sense that we are all consenting adults and we all have a say in how our respective relationships look. But if you try to give everyone a status, and then make that status exactly the same, you are completely ignoring the individuality of the participants and you will get into the same kind of trouble as trying to rank their statuses in some kind of hierarchical order.

Rather, I think it makes more sense to say:

As one person, I found another person to love. As time went on, I found yet another person to love. Just as you did. Only I didn't have to be parted from the first one in order to love the second one. My first partner did not have to die, or break up with me, or turn into a horrible person that I had to leave, in order for me to love the second one that came along.

When a monogamous person falls in love, and then falls out of love, and then falls in love with someone new, that monogamous person has loved two people. Poly people just skip the "falls out of love" part.

When a monogamous person falls in love, and that person dies, and the monogamous person then falls in love with someone new while *simultaneously* still loving the deceased partner, that monogamous person loves two people at the same time. Poly people just avoid requiring that one person dies first.
Thanks for the reply Joreth, I was actually hoping to talk to you about this anyway.

Having not been in anything other than monogamous (and painfully few of those) relationships, I was of course speculating. I think what I had in my head about polygamy is a bit different from the reality that you describe and I am interested in both thoughts.

What I thought polygamy was about was a more literal multi-way relationship. For example a couple might have a midnight picnic under the stars together. Polygamy (in my mind) would be that but with an extra person (or people) all sharing the experience together on a deeper level than what friends would (since friends might share similar experiences but not have the same feeling).

What you describe sounds closer to having multiple couplings, in some cases living all under the one roof?

If I may pose some questions? (feel free to pass me off to another website if there are answers there)
If you start with a couple(composed of person A and person B) and then person A finds someone new(person C), is person B given any choice in the inclusion of person C? how much and what type of contact do person B and person C have? is all of these dependent on the specific people involved?

In polygamous relationships, how is it decided when(or if) to have children? how is it decided who should be the biological parents?

As an extension of the above questions: How are important decisions regarding the group resolved? and how are any conflicts resolved?

You make polygamy sound rather like having multiple 1 on 1 relationships. I make polygamy sound like a single multi-way relationship. Are either of these right? is the typical relationship somewhere in the middle? are there a wide range of relationships?

What stops coupling in polygamous relationships? e.g. 3 people but two of them spend the majority of time together while the third gets only limited attention.

Ok that's all I can think of at the moment. Again, feel free to not answer any (or all) of these if you want.

Thanks,
Matt

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