For all of those in favor of gay marriage, what are the feelings on polygamy?

Views: 492

Comment by Simon Mathews on May 28, 2015 at 6:44am

@Onyango, you'll notice I deliberately put a caveat at the end of my post in which I stated that I didn't necessarily think polygamy couldn't work.

Of course it all comes down to definitions as it so often does. If we wish to expand the definition of marriage to include multiple partners, again, I don't automatically think it is a bad thing. I was putting forward the view that the way we define it in the West does not currently include a capacity for multiple partners (in my opinion). Either we expand the current definition or polygamy and it's flavours become something else that the law recognises and legislates upon.

Comment by Andy Hoke on May 28, 2015 at 6:49am

@Unseen - When someone indicates that they are opposed to gay marriage, I find myself less interested in their opinion. There I said it.

Furthermore, those challenging the definition of traditional marriage have taken up the burden of redefining marriage, so it seemed fitting that these same individuals weigh in on polygamy (or polyandry - thanks, I never heard of that word before).

Comment by Unseen on May 28, 2015 at 11:49am

Andy, I seriously doubt you'll find many (any?) anti-gay marriage people here. This is probably the wrong place to ask.

Comment by Pope Beanie on May 28, 2015 at 9:38pm

Furthermore, those challenging the definition of traditional marriage have taken up the burden of redefining marriage, so it seemed fitting that these same individuals weigh in on polygamy (or polyandry - thanks, I never heard of that word before).

Iirc, polygamy can refer to either polygyny or polyandry. In any case, the most traditional definitions of marriage came even before contracts, church, or state. They were political, and/or defined who owns what (including children) for the sake of stability in expectations for the future, including in terms of who inherits power in the community.

Polyandry is and always was practiced by few cultures, and the one I'm most aware of was due to something about how ownership of productive farmland was traditionally determined.

In any case, throughout most of history, marriage had much more to do with community decisions than that of the people getting married.

Then came church and state, eventually with written contracts and pre-existing conditions and requirements. That and previous history doesn't help us decide here and now what marriage "should" be.

The secular question of what defines marriage 1) is devoid of religious requirements and 2) depends a lot on what we democratically decide it should be, usually dependent upon its perceived benefits to the state and/or society. Obvious benefits are state standardized rules wrt defining a household & family obligations, inheritance laws, taxes, next-of-kin rights, and so on. Multi-party civil contracts can often modify the state defined "standard" contract.

That's a long non-answer to the question. You're welcome! (I'm just punting right now.)

Comment by Andy Hoke on May 28, 2015 at 10:53pm

@PopeBeanie An informative and thought provoking post.

I'm not trying to troll here, but I'd like to expand on your great point that marriage really predates religion and government. With that being said, the operative societal factors seem to include a) religion, b) government and c) sexuality.

Histories of these subjects inform us in 2015. Are there other important, underlying matters? Choice? Formal recognition from religion and government? Quantity of spouses?

I tend to believe that the meaning of words changes over time. The fact that there is more than one popular/ fashionable definition of marriage constitutes societal cognitive dissonance.  

Comment by Andy Hoke on May 28, 2015 at 10:54pm

I guess that's a fancy way of saying that people don't agree on everything :)

Comment by Andy Hoke on May 28, 2015 at 11:04pm

Hey @Unseen. Long time no see, I guess :)

I'm soliciting thoughts on polygamy, and I've received some excellent ones. I'm just curious about what other people think, and in the past I've been lucky enough to read posts here that stimulated thought.

I know what the touchy subjects are, I'm just looking for ways to discuss these things, or find out if these things are undiscussable.

Comment by Unseen on May 29, 2015 at 6:22pm

Wasn't the "marriage" of the pre-civilized era more or less voluntary or involuntary slavery of women by dominant males?

Comment by Davis Goodman on May 29, 2015 at 7:00pm

I have zero problem with allowing polygamy. I don't quite know how it would be possible to regulate it in such a way that it would be fairly certain none of the parties involved was doing so under distress...and that all parties had equal respect and autonomy in the relationship. How would you make sure of that (for the far majority of cases)?

Comment by Pope Beanie on May 29, 2015 at 11:51pm

Wasn't the "marriage" of the pre-civilized era more or less voluntary or involuntary slavery of women by dominant males?

You mean like, gorilla style?

Comment

You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

© 2020   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service