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?

Tags: marriage, polygamy

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Completely agree, which is why I'm making the posts that I do :-)

I agree, but that's a huge social change. One that's certainly desirable for many other reasons too.

 

But if you just reform the way relationships are recognized, you don't change anything in that area. Religious people will still treat their wives and female children like crap, and some extremists will have more power to do so.

 

Though realistically, any kind of reform here isn't going to happen in the current quasi-theocracy. It requires a truly secular society first.

Agreed on both counts, which is why I make the various posts and do all the news interviews that I do.  I am attempting to educate people that we should attack the actual disease, not the superficially-resembling structure.  Go after the abuse itself, get to the root of the problem, and then the structure will attend to itself.

 

Reform *does* and *is* happening, however.  It's just very slow and often hard to see when we steep ourselves too deep inside the issue.  I've seen lots of other activists convinced that we're still living in the last century, blithely ignoring all the strides we really have made over the generations of fighting.  We're not done, no matter which battle you pick, but progress *is* made.

The issue isn't "what's wrong with polygamy?", as you've outlined it.  The issue is how an open set of rules can and will be interpreted by the theists and misogynists.   The open set of rules, such as " Why is the government involved, AT ALL, in how people wish to structure their households?", will be used by the lowest common denominator to create subjugated households.   We barely have evened out the playing field for women in "traditional" marriages,  those wishing to exploit an unlimited new interpretation would have a field day.

 

The libertarian ideal of getting government out of most everything is a great idealistic concept.  If everyone involved were left brained, atheist, liberal millionaires it would probably work out great.  Ayn Rand wrote about the "utopia of greed".  Now just figure out a way to empower everyone, remove government and neuter the all too common human failing of marginalizing and exploiting others and I'd say we have a working system!

 

It's not that I disagree with you in theory, sounds great man.  The practical applications and social ramifications of allowing the herd that much freedom would probably produce a lot of violence and inequality.  But let's keep trying to work out the bugs.

My point entirely!!!

 

Why is the government involved, AT ALL, in how people wish to structure their households?", will be used by the lowest common denominator to create subjugated households. We barely have evened out the playing field for women in "traditional" marriages, those wishing to exploit an unlimited new interpretation would have a field day.

Personally, I'm not in favor of marriage and don't think it or breeding should be the golden standard encouraged by society. I don't wish to stop people from having some sort of social ceremony to celebrate their partnership if they so desire, but married couples shouldn't have any legal or financial benefits over unmarried couples. Legal documentation can already cover issues regarding jointly-owned property, finances, beneficiaries, and power of attorney type situations. If domestic partners could be carried under insurance, there would be no reasons for legal marriage at all and perhaps fewer people would enter into doomed marriages for legal or financial reasons, or societal pressure. However, I'm not naive enough to think that's ever going to happen. Marriage is here to stay.

 

As for polygamous marriages, I'm a serial monogamist and would never be interested in sharing my partner sexually, but my way is not the only way. Part of me is even intrigued by the idea of having sister wives or a commune type of living arrangement. In theory, it seems like it could work out. I've just never seen that happen in reality. I've known several people in secular polyamorous relationships, and the same issues typically arise ending the polyamory and going back to monogamy or open relationships in relatively short periods of time. Though to be fair, most monogamous marriages end in relatively short periods of time as well. I do know domestic partners in open relationships which have worked out for well for them.

 

My concerns with polygamy mostly revolve around religion, polygyny, and children. If there are no children involved, you get the poly green light, but the head of Canada’s largest polygamist group has 25 wives and 121 children. If polygamy were legalized, there would have to be rules restricting this. Large numbers of shallow gene pools in one area lead to numerous problems and birth defects in inbred polygamous communities. Obviously this is more a byproduct of the religion, not the polygamy. The religious indoctrination aspect of polygamy disturbs me as well for countless reasons including gender inequality issues and perpetuation of this type of breeding. I would love to see stories of happy secular long-term polygamous families, particularly with a few children thrown in the mix to see how it might work out, but at this point in time I don't think polygamy should be legal. Perhaps when America is a quite a bit less religious.

Sure one man *could* father this many children, but they only tend to breed like this in polygynous arrangements. As I said clearly, it's the combination of religion, polygyny, and children which causes me the greatest concern and prevents me from supporting it's legalization while we are still such a religious country. The fear of being arrested prevents many from this sort of arrangement and behavior. This man was eventually arrested for polygamy.

Thanks Jewelz,

You said pretty much everything I said with the notable exception of your conclusion. :-)

This is obviously just pie-in-the-sky anyway, of course. This supreme court will have women barefoot, pregnant, and home baking apple pies before long if their latest decision is any indication.

I just scrolled back and read your responses (probably should have done that first - lol)

 

I'm getting married this year, for the insurance and legal reasons. It bothers me that I have to do that.

I suggest you delete the submission to which this is a reply.

Just got your private message and scrolled back here to see what you were talking about. I'm not sure why I didn't notice this response before.

 

Thank you for your concern, but I have no fear of leaving my comments up. My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years. We have no religious reasons for getting married and I don't have a need to publicly declare our commitment to each other over an expensive grown up version of a disney princess dress-up game. (I'm not knocking couples who do want to get married for religious reasons or take some kind of enjoyment in planning weddings. It's just not my thing.) However, our society is set up to encourage people to get "legally married" instead of living in sin. In most places, "committed couples cohabitating for years" cannot even carry each other on health insurance and "legally married couples" get these benefits immediately even if they split up several months later. The way this system is set up bothers me.

Ok, so it's demonstrably a real marriage - it's just that you're having to do it for spurious reasons. That's all I was worried about.
Good luck.

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