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  1. #331
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    You broadened the scope of the thread and brought in new topics and tangents. You changed the subject from more children being born out of wedlock and whether or not this is good for those children to a discussion of whether or not marriage is fair to adult women and then moved on to many other aspects. So you have participated as much as anyone in broadening the scope of the discussion and therefore have little room to niggle others for doing the same.


    One thing to remember about Rousseau's situation is that most people (His public) did not know about his children being sent out as they were (or even their existence) and under the circumstances they were (to an orphange where it is said it was basically infanticide to send them there, massive numbers of children going through there and dying).

    Only people close to him knew and when some of them tried to use the information against him, Rousseau would deny it and be believed over his attackers. So the public really didn't accept this as truth until his Confessions was published after his death. So it can be said, among the people who did know, he did suffer the loss of reputation and it would have been damaging enough to him that he felt the need to lie and cover it up until after his death.
    No. Once again, you are incorrect. The points I've raised were are directly relevant to the original discussion/article. I am actually raising children out of wedlock, so my subjective experience and my account of it can be taken as, at the very least, one (subjective) ethnographic account of why this is occurring with increasing frequency in contemporary American society. The responses I offered to questions, many of which were supported by examples, were not intended to instigate a discussion of "why Diderot really hated Rousseau". Everything I've said is either directly relevant to the original topic, or a response to a question. Niggling is not my thing, though it certainly seems to be a biggie for you.

    As far as my need to remember anything about Rousseau, mmmm I think I'll defer to the philosophers I work with on a daily basis for that info.

  2. #332
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    No. Once again, you are incorrect. The points I've raised were are directly relevant to the original discussion/article.
    You dragged in all those dead men.

    The responses I offered to questions, many of which were supported by examples, were not intended to instigate a discussion of "why Diderot really hated Rousseau".
    You said he suffered no social repercussions from his decision to send his children out. I merely pointed out that it simply wasn't true. He did suffer loss of good opinion among those who knew the facts of the matter.

    As far as my need to remember anything about Rousseau, mmmm I think I'll defer to the philosophers I work with on a daily basis for that info.
    If it were really true that he would not have suffered social repercussions if the facts of his reproductive life were known, then why did he deny it when Voltaire published his anonymous pamphlet?


    Why didn't he freely admit it then?

  3. #333
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    No. Once again, you are incorrect. The points I've raised were are directly relevant to the original discussion/article. I am actually raising children out of wedlock, so my subjective experience and my account of it can be taken as, at the very least, one (subjective) ethnographic account of why this is occurring with increasing frequency in contemporary American society. The responses I offered to questions, many of which were supported by examples, were not intended to instigate a discussion of "why Diderot really hated Rousseau". Everything I've said is either directly relevant to the original topic, or a response to a question. Niggling is not my thing, though it certainly seems to be a biggie for you.

    As far as my need to remember anything about Rousseau, mmmm I think I'll defer to the philosophers I work with on a daily basis for that info.
    Perhaps you might try reading for content, you seemed oddly distracted by details and supporting examples. I can provide examples of living men if you like...the point (pay close attention now) is that men have always had the option of remaining unmarried if they wanted to without losing face in society (they could simply deny paternity if they felt the need to). Women have, historically, been forced into marriage if they wanted to have children and remain in society. That is no longer the case. Being born out of wedlock is a blessing for many children who would, otherwise, be raised in miserable households.

    Your authority regarding the men you're discussing remains suspect, perhaps you could point me in the direction of some of YOUR recent publications on the matters you claim to know so much about. I can show you all of my supporting evidence.

  4. #334
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    how do you know that he really wants to be with you unless you get married?

    if hes not prepared to get up in front of his entire social circle and make this commitment, how serious is he?

    Its good to remember that power in relationships always lies with the person with the faster exit stratedgy. When someone gets married, they are basically giving up that power, to a degree. If they arent willing to give up that power, how serious are they?
    So you are saying the fewer exit strategies the more committed they are? That is true in a purely external sense. (edit: that is also what I was taught along with all the other marriage ideals when young. It's more complex typically /edit) Remember that people are entirely capable of implementing less tangible exit strategies. I suspect the lack of an external way out will not stop a person from finding an internal way out if that is what they need in a situation. Edit: There is something to be said for having a level of trust that does not require external pressures like limiting options. If the connection to someone inspires that kind of peace and trust, there is nothing to prove.

    I would much prefer to spend the rest of my life with someone who had the easy, practical option to leave me every morning he wakes up, but for a better reason chooses to stay. Then I'll know better why he stayed.

    Edit: To bring this back to the original topic, if the statistics can show that children are happier and more stable in married relationships, then that is good information. These are results that many people want to hear, and their ideals could be validated. Before making assumptions there are a few things to consider: How is the well-being of the child being measured? Is it marriage specifically or some aspect of the culture, etc. that produces a higher number of marriages? Are there socioeconomic factors that predominate? If all the measures are in place and there is a higher percentage of happy children from married couples, this is still not an absolute, but a tendency. That distinction is also important.
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  5. #335
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    So you are saying the fewer exit strategies the more committed they are? That is true in a purely external sense. (edit: that is also what I was taught along with all the other marriage ideals when young. It's more complex typically /edit) Remember that people are entirely capable of implementing less tangible exit strategies. I suspect the lack of an external way out will not stop a person from finding an internal way out if that is what they need in a situation. Edit: There is something to be said for having a level of trust that does not require external pressures like limiting options. If the connection to someone inspires that kind of peace and trust, there is nothing to prove.

    I would much prefer to spend the rest of my life with someone who had the easy, practical option to leave me every morning he wakes up, but for a better reason chooses to stay. Then I'll know better why he stayed.
    Some people think that more fulfilling long-term relationships come about after two people who are not experiencing truly irreconciable differences learn to get past rough patches (which almost inevitably occur between any two people in a close relationship of any kind) that would drive friends apart. Which brings up another point; marriage, in part, reflects a psychological committment to join together as a family, not just as friends. People unconciously assume that family is permanent, while friendship is highly conditional. Did you grow up with deeper emotional connections to friends than with family? That might be affecting your judgement, just as my own life experiences have influenced mine (in a similar vein, I moved around a lot as a child, thereby learning to assume mere friendship to be a highly transitory thing).

    Marriage is not for everyone (myself probably included), and such people should not be looked down upon, but I think its an extremely important personal AND societal institution that deserves to be generally supported. Some reasons are practical and objective, along the lines expounded by ptgatsby, while others are subjective value judgements concerning the relative worth of different kinds of relationships and their long-term affects on the individual as well as broad societal relationships.

  6. #336
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    Women have, historically, been forced into marriage if they wanted to have children and remain in society.
    Yes, what you say here is true, but men were often pushed into marriage, depending on where they lived. In many of the American colonies being a bachelor was frowned upon and negative laws created to discourage it. A man living apart from his wife for over two years was illegal.

    Men had to marry if they wanted legitmate offspring and many times not getting their own choice of partner but marrying to please their parents or fill an economic need.

    Middle and lower class men needed a wife (and legitmate children) to help with their work. It's feminist revisionism that tries to make things so totally one-sided.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    :Your authority regarding the men you're discussing remains suspect, perhaps you could point me in the direction of some of YOUR recent publications on the matters you claim to know so much about. I can show you all of my supporting evidence.
    Sentiment des Citoyens published December 27, 1764 in Geneva, authorship attributed to Voltaire ---accused Rousseau of having fathered illegitmate children and sending them out.

    Rousseau had his Paris editor print copies of this with a point-by-point denial of these charges in the footnotes. Now if this lifestyle he'd chosen for himself was perfectly socially acceptable for a man in his time, of his standing, then why the need to deny?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Okay, so now I've had the time to get the page number: In Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Edmond Hédouin - 1896, p.211-212, Rousseau's guilty paranoia about what others may say, think or do about his having abandoned his children is shown.

    Here he says the only people he has told are Grimm, Diderot and Madam d' Epinay. Then he starts worrying if one of them has told another person. Here also we know that the public at large does not know about his children. He will only tell these three people and he's worried they may now tell another. He thinks they may be conspiring to poison other people's opinions of him and to take his "housekeeper" i.e. mistress away from him. He thinks they have spoken with Madam le Vasseur and changed her good opinion of him.

    Now all of this supports the idea that if more people knew about his abandoned children he believes he would suffer social consequenses and that this is all part of his paranoia with those who do know. This all played a part in his decline and falling out with these people.

  7. #337
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    Babylon, you are *such* an ENTJ about relationships!

    Oh, and I 100% agree with this:

    Marriage is not for everyone (myself probably included), and such people should not be looked down upon, but I think its an extremely important personal AND societal institution that deserves to be generally supported. Some reasons are practical and objective, along the lines expounded by ptgatsby, while others are subjective value judgements concerning the relative worth of different kinds of relationships and their long-term affects on the individual as well as broad societal relationships.
    Marriage, in a general statistical sense? Good for society.

    Marriage in an individual sense? Good for some, not for others, and everyone should be free to make their own choice.

    PS. Heart, you actually went and dug out the reference! I am always too lazy for that. Well done you.
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  8. #338
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Yes, what you say here is true, but men were often pushed into marriage, depending on where they lived. In many of the American colonies being a bachelor was frowned upon and negative laws created to discourage it. A man living apart from his wife for over two years was illegal.

    Men had to marry if they wanted legitmate offspring and many times not getting their own choice of partner but marrying to please their parents or fill an economic need.

    Middle and lower class men needed a wife (and legitmate children) to help with their work. It's feminist revisionism that tries to make things so totally one-sided.



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Sentiment des Citoyens published December 27, 1764 in Geneva, authorship attributed to Voltaire ---accused Rousseau of having fathered illegitmate children and sending them out.

    Rousseau had his Paris editor print copies of this with a point-by-point denial of these charges in the footnotes. Now if this lifestyle he'd chosen for himself was perfectly socially acceptable for a man in his time, of his standing, then why the need to deny?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Okay, so now I've had the time to get the page number: In Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Edmond Hédouin - 1896, p.211-212, Rousseau's guilty paranoia about what others may say, think or do about his having abandoned his children is shown.

    Here he says the only people he has told are Grimm, Diderot and Madam d' Epinay. Then he starts worrying if one of them has told another person. Here also we know that the public at large does not know about his children. He will only tell these three people and he's worried they may now tell another. He thinks they may be conspiring to poison other people's opinions of him and to take his "housekeeper" i.e. mistress away from him. He thinks they have spoken with Madam le Vasseur and changed her good opinion of him.

    Now all of this supports the idea that if more people knew about his abandoned children he believes he would suffer social consequenses and that this is all part of his paranoia with those who do know. This all played a part in his decline and falling out with these people.
    And yet he still suffered no social consequence. Even if I were to entertain all of your speculation (you still have no evidence that this was in fact what made him mad and that's totally irrelevant anyway), all of Europe was aware of his relationships with Sophie (the possible reason for his falling with Diderot) and Therese, but he continued to be welcomed into the arms of high-ranking officials and socialites despite never making their relationship official through marriage. His supposed guilt over his children is just as easily explained as a natural response to having abandoned them, NOT having them out of wedlock. You are still missing the point entirely and your speculation about the mindset of the people you continue to ramble on about does nothing to undermine my original position. Men could get away with not marrying and achieve a decent (if not excellent) position in society while women could not.

  9. #339
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    Quote Originally Posted by juggernaut View Post
    And yet he still suffered no social consequence. Even if I were to entertain all of your speculation (you still have no evidence that this was in fact what made him mad and that's totally irrelevant anyway),
    1. Only three people besides Rousseau and his mistress even knew about the children, so how can we know if he would have suffered consequenses or not? (Outside of among those people who did know) He certainly seemed to think he would if the world at large knew.

    2. His own thoughts there reveal how worried and paranoid the whole matter made him about his friends and this is all I have maintained. So in fact his having put the children out did effect his life in a negative way.


    all of Europe was aware of his relationship with Sophie, but he continued to be welcomed into the arms of high-ranking officials and socialites despite never making their relationship official through marriage.
    The subject being debated since Peguy entered here was the illegitmate children not Thérèse Le Vasseur (his "housekeeper" with whom he lived with many years and had the children with) The illegitmate children were a direct result of living with a woman out of wedlock, so same difference really.

    Rousseau did go through an invalid wedding ceremony with Thérèse after their children were alledgely born, but it is doubtful it would have helped anything.

    Not sure why many people would have cared about the affair with Sophie d'Houdetot that much, it is thought to be unconsumated. Aside from his close associates' concerns at how briskly he treated her.

    His supposed guilt over his children is just as easily explained as a natural response to having abandoned them, NOT having them out of wedlock.
    The shame of having children out of wedlock led people like him to abandon or farm out their children. Wealthy people farmed them out to poor families and relations, others without those means who wanted to avoid the social shame abandoned them.


    Men could get away with not marrying and achieve a decent (if not excellent) position in society while women could not.
    Some men could be life long bachelors and but others had obligations that required them to marry. It all depended on their social class and their means. Most men felt the same social pressures for wealth, power, respect and status that women did. Men also depended on marriage for valuable social networking and support. You're painting the picture too simplistic. Not all men were so free.

    However your statement that Rousseau suffered no negative social consequenses as a result of his out-of-wedlock children is not valid. Kierkegaard also suffered negative social consequenses as a result of his break up with Regine.

  10. #340
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Some people think that more fulfilling long-term relationships come about after two people who are not experiencing truly irreconciable differences learn to get past rough patches (which almost inevitably occur between any two people in a close relationship of any kind) that would drive friends apart. Which brings up another point; marriage, in part, reflects a psychological committment to join together as a family, not just as friends. People unconciously assume that family is permanent, while friendship is highly conditional. Did you grow up with deeper emotional connections to friends than with family? That might be affecting your judgement, just as my own life experiences have influenced mine (in a similar vein, I moved around a lot as a child, thereby learning to assume mere friendship to be a highly transitory thing).
    I enjoyed reading this post and find myself primarily in agreement with what you have said here. I was avoiding explicitly stating my own personal feelings on the subject, since I was debating from the position of the integrity of the choice to not marry.

    I'm neutral about it for myself. I think I could be comfortable in either scenario based on context. I've done it both ways and have no regrets. There are benefits and hardships for either choice. For me it would have mostly to do with what my loved one needed from me and possibly some elements of pragmatism. As I grow older the issue of having legal access to each other's medical records as a family member might make the choice to marry prudent (although I don't think society should make marriage a prerequisite- it should be a personal choice). I am monogamous by nature desiring to have a single relationship in which I share my life. I have no trouble forming deep attachments and more often must remind myself when to let go.

    I view marriage as a social custom that came into being for specific reasons that were useful for society. I do not think it is sacred, but I also do not think it is inherently bad. Children do benefit from stability and any way that marriage can produce that is a good benefit (edit: it isn't the only option for creating stability). It is also meaningful to see two people at the end of a shared life. Marriage has traditionally been the condition for this, and when it functions in this way can be a beautiful thing (edit: once again marriage isn't specifically required for this). If I have a criticism of it, that would be that an ideal doesn't always represent its implementation. On a larger scale "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is pure as an ideal, but its implementation can have sinister effects when power imbalances result. Marriage occurs on a different scale and has demonstrated more examples of successful implementation, but the principle of an ideal not always directly translating into reality applies to both, I think. There has been significant suffering result from marriage, and from the absence of marriage. There is no pure ideal and solution that applies in every context.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Marriage is not for everyone (myself probably included), and such people should not be looked down upon, but I think its an extremely important personal AND societal institution that deserves to be generally supported. Some reasons are practical and objective, along the lines expounded by ptgatsby, while others are subjective value judgements concerning the relative worth of different kinds of relationships and their long-term affects on the individual as well as broad societal relationships.
    These are the issues I have been debating against. The following assumptions I take issue with:

    1. Those who do not marry or desire marriage have something wrong with them or are bitter and/or selfish.
    2. People who remain married are superior parents to those who do not
    3. Married relationships are more committed and of higher quality than non-married relationships.

    If this were a thread about gay marriage, I would be debating the value of marriage and how it violates the personal boundary to withhold that option from another individual in society. People would likely conclude I idealized marriage.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

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