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  1. #141
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Individuals do not get married in modern society in order to fulfill some social function or obligation; they get married for reasons of personal happiness.
    I laughed when I read this, not because I think it's wrong, because of the irony.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  2. #142
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    Polygamy is severely damaging to probably most, if not all, of the families involved in it. I can see that just intuitively.
    Those that are against gay marriage 'can just see it intuitively'.

    FWIW, polygamy/polyamory is not all that unusual, but is resource bound, so it isn't as common. It really has nothing to do with 'damage', except in that women weren't allowed to work and therefore there were less resources available for the family. I would suspect that lacking social conditioning otherwise, it will eventually make a return in various cultures. In a way, I'm not sure it hasn't, through women cheating/etc. Less social retribution brings equality to men, heh... artificial constraints tend to do that.

    Anyway, it was more common than gay relationships, afaik, which have always been around. The argument for both is roughly the same, on both sides.

    My opinion is that cold 'logical' purpose of codified relationships is the pooling of resources. I believe that society's purpose is to allow any number of any type of people to do so in order to aid the development of society. As such, I'd like to create equal standards under marriage... and I'd really like to remove religion from marriage entirely. Marriage is first and foremost a political tool, not religious, and I'd like to see that established.

  3. #143
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Those that are against gay marriage 'can just see it intuitively'.
    Touche.

    I guess I should do a little more actual research if I want to prove polygamous marriages are harmful, then. If it turns out they actually aren't significantly harmful either to the individuals involved or to larger society, I guess that would be good. But you know what my hunch is.

    FWIW, polygamy/polyamory is not all that unusual, but is resource bound, so it isn't as common. It really has nothing to do with 'damage', except in that women weren't allowed to work and therefore there were less resources available for the family. I would suspect that lacking social conditioning otherwise, it will eventually make a return in various cultures. In a way, I'm not sure it hasn't, through women cheating/etc. Less social retribution brings equality to men, heh... artificial constraints tend to do that.

    Anyway, it was more common than gay relationships, afaik, which have always been around. The argument for both is roughly the same, on both sides.

    My opinion is that cold 'logical' purpose of codified relationships is the pooling of resources. I believe that society's purpose is to allow any number of any type of people to do so in order to aid the development of society. As such, I'd like to create equal standards under marriage... and I'd really like to remove religion from marriage entirely. Marriage is first and foremost a political tool, not religious, and I'd like to see that established.
    So you don't think polygamy is harmful, am I right? Do you have any evidence to support this view?
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  4. #144
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    It always depends on who you ask. If you ask a polygamist female why the arrangement makes her happy, she'll say because she thinks God likes it, because she enjoys the company of the other women, because she thinks it's better for her husband to bring the women home and make commitments to them than have affairs behind everybody's back, and because these tend to be more lifetime marriages than one-on-one marriage, where the divorce rate is very high now, and single people now outnumber married people.

    If you ask a polygamous male, he'll usually say it's a lot of work keeping up with more than one woman and providing for all those children.

    People who are not polygamists can't get their heads around it at all.

  5. #145
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    I guess I should do a little more actual research if I want to prove polygamous marriages are harmful, then. If it turns out they actually aren't significantly harmful either to the individuals involved or to larger society, I guess that would be good. But you know what my hunch is.

    So you don't think polygamy is harmful, am I right? Do you have any evidence to support this view?
    These two are related, so I'm answering them at the same time. But to be clear, I'm not saying that polygamy or homosexual marriage is socially better than the alternative - the issue is that we don't know and claims either way are extremely weak. What evidence we do have is that both of these have existed throughout history without society collapsing, and our aversion to both are social in nature... not based on any strong evidence.

    I think you'll be able to find lots of cases where polygamy is harmful. And you can find lots of evidence that homosexual relationships are less stable. And you can find lots of evidence of crime being related to race.

    The problem is that each of these problems are social to start with and emerge from the social dynamics. If you create social norms and push down behavior, they become sub-classes by default. It's faulty logic to use the sub-class effects to say that they should be outside social norms. Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to tell where the effects come from - for that we need vast amounts of data in differing situations and... well... that's very difficult to do. The best I can offer is the long view of history. Even if it is only wikipedia, reading on polygamy history is really fascinating...

    --

    Since you asked my opinion, I do think polygamy is an inherently unstable situation, while I think polyamory is not, under the current social conditions. I do not, however, think that it should be legally prevented because it limits social adaptation within the species. I believe the issue with polygamy have to do with legal rights and economics, not social damage, and that it is self limiting as a result.

    Here's an example of where 'social good' can be redefined as 'evolutionary good for the species' as well... Under polygamy, only the rich and well to do would be in a position to really take advantage of it, which would increase the declining population of well-to do people. It would also allow more women to make use of resources in the same way, thus leading to higher resources to certain segments of the population.

    The example is just to highlight that, in the big picture, it is really really difficult to say exactly what will be good, or bad.

    So, as far as my opinion goes, both should be allowed. I think society's job, for its own good (so to speak), is to focus on the lowest level functionality of any social device. In marriage's case, IMO, it's an agreement to pool resources together (and in general, to raise children/form family). Stripped of all other baggage, it means that each factor should be supported - legal instruments to help with the agreement (survivorship to dissolution) and support for the family (dependent tax benefits, for example, or just public education.)

    This also avoids all the other "can't reproduce" stuff. I can't think of any further reductions in the purpose of marriage, so I think that's the simplified version of it. And additional chaff (men and women only, the number involved, etc.) reduces the social purpose as it reduces flexibility (reduces number of possible combinations) for ideological reasons (leading to more incidents of ideology, which is sub-optimal from the social purpose).

    [/rambling]

    (The first part is my objective view on it, the 2nd part is my subjective view, just to be clear. I don't consider my 2nd part significantly validated, because as I said in the objective part, it's really hard to do. But if I have a stance, that would be it.)

  6. #146
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    The question was asked, and my answer was given. Let's just leave it at that.
    Sure thing. You define things your way by your values and logic, and I'll define them my way by my values and logic. That is exactly how people should live even if we never do agree.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  7. #147
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PT
    PT's post
    Cool post. So you're basically saying, in the long run, even socially repugnant practices such as polygamy could be good for the species as a whole, because it would perhaps increase the number of well-to-do people, would effectively pool resources and financially benefit a larger portion of the population, and would also perhaps have other benefits that we're unaware of right now?

    I'm not really clear on what the difference between polygamy and polyamory is. I thought polyamory was loving multiple people, whereas polygamy was marrying multiple people. What makes one stable while the other not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PT
    What evidence we do have is that both of these have existed throughout history without society collapsing, and our aversion to both are social in nature... not based on any strong evidence.
    Well, just because something has been a part of the human race since the dawn of man and hasn't led to the downfall of society doesn't mean it isn't harmful, like rape, incest, pedophilia, murder, etc.

    I think you'll be able to find lots of cases where polygamy is harmful. And you can find lots of evidence that homosexual relationships are less stable. And you can find lots of evidence of crime being related to race.

    The problem is that each of these problems are social to start with and emerge from the social dynamics. If you create social norms and push down behavior, they become sub-classes by default. It's faulty logic to use the sub-class effects to say that they should be outside social norms. Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to tell where the effects come from - for that we need vast amounts of data in differing situations and... well... that's very difficult to do. The best I can offer is the long view of history. Even if it is only wikipedia, reading on polygamy history is really fascinating...
    Yes, that's true. It's like a government who impoverishes its people and then claims poor people lack morals because they steal all the time. They're going to steal because they need to survive.

    But if you could prove that the instability of an arrangement was derived directly from that arrangement regardless of its relationship to larger society.... then you'd have your proof. It seems more possible to do this in polygamy's case than in the case of households headed by gay parents. Just the dynamics of the polygamous household would seem to breed conflict and unhappiness, leaving people's emotional needs unmet. I don't have any proof... but intuitively that's what I see. I'm not banking on intuition, but if I were to do research on it, this hunch would be why.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred
    It always depends on who you ask. If you ask a polygamist female why the arrangement makes her happy, she'll say because she thinks God likes it, because she enjoys the company of the other women, because she thinks it's better for her husband to bring the women home and make commitments to them than have affairs behind everybody's back, and because these tend to be more lifetime marriages than one-on-one marriage, where the divorce rate is very high now, and single people now outnumber married people.
    That's true. Obviously these people do it of their own free will. They see more benefits than drawbacks to it. They're raised to believe there are more benefits than drawbacks. You can't argue with, "God wants you to," except with, "No He doesn't," and it's one person's subjective interpretation against another's.
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  8. #148
    Guerilla Urbanist Brendan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I was pondering about this last night, and I guess upon viewing this thread; I honestly have to ask this question - seriously people, what is the big deal about gay marriage?

    And I'm not stereotypically addressing this to people who oppose gay marriage, but rather to those people who support it.

    I mean seriously, out of all the issues one could possibly preoccupy themselves with, this is the one you choose? Out of all the issues related to human rights, this is the major one?

    And don't give me this bullshit that it's really opponents who are reallty obsessed with this issue. You supporters constantly like to shove this issue into peoples' faces, and heaven forbid if they actually have the balls to express an opposing opinion - then all of a sudden they showered with endless abuse of being homophobic, intolerant, bigoted, behind the times, cross-burner, bambai killer(opps wrong category!).

    You're often about as self-righteous as any member of the Religious Right. Just admit it, you thrive off them.

    I can't count how many times I've had this happened to me personally. And just for the record, 99.999999999999999+% of discussions I have about gay marriage - or homosexuality in general for that matter - are initiated by supporters of gay rights.

    I find it rather odd that when people voice opposition to traditional religion, it seems that gay marriage is fast replacing burning at the stake as the number one reason. Really people?

    Is it really necessary to have gay marriage on the ballot every damn election? It gets rather irritating having to constantly vote NO on the same damn issue year after year after year after year after year.

    So yes I'll just like to end this little rant with a polite request: Just shut the fuck up already on this issue!!!!!!!!!!!
    I admire your unbiased presentation of this issue.
    There is no such thing as separation from God.

  9. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
    I admire your unbiased presentation of this issue.
    I'm fair and balanced.

  10. #150
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    Cool post. So you're basically saying, in the long run, even socially repugnant practices such as polygamy could be good for the species as a whole, because it would perhaps increase the number of well-to-do people, would effectively pool resources and financially benefit a larger portion of the population, and would also perhaps have other benefits that we're unaware of right now?
    Those are the ones that, from my POV, are possible... but I think I would generalise it even farther...

    The situation in which both parents are working is, for example, less than ideal. However, because of the way child-rearing scales, I can absolutely see two professionals marrying and then 'marrying' another (male or female) who is not economically 'professional'. In that sense, the genetic pool gains diversity and the family unit has more resources and a more dedicated child rearer.

    I wouldn't find it all that strange to have two professional women working and 'me' staying at home to raise the kids, for example. The concepts of males having multiple partners doesn't need to go with a male-dominated society. How many assumptions are built into polygamy right now? If you think about the two women having more in common, which tends to be the case... and the number of males forced to work due to social pressures when they would be better care givers. What is the right ratio for society to have in terms of 'care givers' and 'resource earners'? I highly doubt it is 1:1 - and I think I might even be able to blame lower birth rates, in part, to that social dynamic (it's roughly true for my wife and I anyway, as we both want careers to some degree. Me, marginally so, but more than I want kids! If one of us was to stay home, it'd be me... but we value my marginal money more.)

    Too many scenarios could play out for me to define them, except in the abstract - the lower level the approach, the more flexibility society has. It'll bend more than tear, and I see tearing as what does the most harm. Tearing inherently comes from the predjudices built into the existing system. I guess that would be my modern definition of freedom, really.

    I'm not really clear on what the difference between polygamy and polyamory is. I thought polyamory was loving multiple people, whereas polygamy was marrying multiple people. What makes one stable while the other not?
    I'm assuming that having multiple partners but not being locked in to a certain dynamic would have different effects. In polyamory, it's more like going clubbing with different people very night.

    Marriage, however, removes people from the market entirely - even under polygamy. Since men will tend to have more women as mates, then the overall market shrinks. Put succintly, under polyamory, everyone can sleep with everyone. In polygamy, some of the population gets married, the remainder become prostitutes (inequal distribution = economic power). The balance is just different (ie: some men will have many many wives, and as a result, some women will have many many partners).

    The stability is more economic and social in nature... it could change. Increasing equality would make the two more equal.

    (This is my opinion By stable, I don't mean the relationship, but that forces would push things back to monogamy, due to the economic imbalance. Eventually only the rich could make use of polygamy.)

    Well, just because something has been a part of the human race since the dawn of man and hasn't led to the downfall of society doesn't mean it isn't harmful, like rape, incest, pedophilia, murder, etc.
    True, for sure... but even these concepts need disclaimers. A lot were normal (and efficient) in their day and age, or at least social norms. They aren't now for various reasons (ie: production and trade, incentives, freedom/equality, longer life spans...) They should be phased out for the good of society... but... For each of these, there is the opposite - like "should women vote", "should race be equal", etc. Progress runs both ways - undesirable and desirable things. Who is to say monogamy isn't part of the undesirable? It came about out of the roman empire (Judaism and the pre-Christian beliefs included polygamy) and spread.

    I have a hard time saying what will work out better, both in the short term (~25 years), nevermind the long term (~250+ years).

    But if you could prove that the instability of an arrangement was derived directly from that arrangement regardless of its relationship to larger society.... then you'd have your proof. It seems more possible to do this in polygamy's case than in the case of households headed by gay parents. Just the dynamics of the polygamous household would seem to breed conflict and unhappiness, leaving people's emotional needs unmet. I don't have any proof... but intuitively that's what I see. I'm not banking on intuition, but if I were to do research on it, this hunch would be why.
    I don't see how that would prove it. If you take currently marginalised groups that are ignorant and doing it simply because of insular-created reasons... then you end up with a sample that would naturally be unhappy and virtually forced to engage in it.

    To get a better idea of just how universal polygamy is/was, you can play around with Ethnographic Atlas ( MARITAL COMPOSITION WITHIN EXTENDED FAMILIES for example ).

    To put it another way - a good, if not majority, of the cultures we know of practise some degree of polyamory, codified or not. In the modern times, it's still very very common... and virtually universal if you include affairs and cheating, never mind the pre-marriage (in western terms) fooling around. Yet, the vast majority of marriages are miserable (divorce rate + those that don't divorce but are unhappy). I think it is a matter of perspective, in the end, as to if we think it is good, or not. I see a lot of misery around me in current marriages, and it hurts to know that even among friends, a good 1/4 of them will cheat (and get caught, who knows what the actual rate is) and a little less than half won't make it.

    I also look at tight-knit asian familes and their history and see polygamy, which worked relatively well. They have some elements of it left over (mistresses aside, I mean multiple generations of families live together). In terms of stability... I'd have to say my gut says that monogamy is inherently less stable, simply because it is less adaptive and puts more strain on families, in the long run. And I'm not sure we aren't serial monogamists by design, at best.

    You mention gay households - a lot of the arguments goes that we need a male and female partner to 'give proper role models', which I also consider very 'gut'... and I'm almost positive that you could get a lot of research to support it. It would be biased, of course (along two lines - single parents and the barriers/limits of social acceptance of gays), but it would support it. You would probably be able to prove lower relationship stability, higher emotional abuse and all sorts of things. But none of it is really valid, simply because the conditions in which it is being measured.

    (I'm not suggesting that you agree with me, either... I do mean to challenge the 'gut' feeling, but not the actual belief - so I don't mean to imply that you should think polygamy should be the new social standard. I don't believe it should be, I only think that it shouldn't be disallowed in particular, because I think 'marriage' should be more open ended in the modern age.)

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