Sunday, July 31, 2011

Daily Debate: July 31, 2011

I'll be getting to some substantive posts soon.  Anyway, I enjoyed the last "debate", so let's keep it going.

Does "same sex marriage" or polygamy endanger marriage between one man and one woman?


  1. Pretty sure my marriage isn't endangered by what other people decide to do.

  2. Hahaha yeah...ditto Darcy. Guess this isn't much of a debate yet LOL

  3. I think I might give me the win, then. Fair enough?

  4. I have to say, I think with the divorce rate the way it is, one-man-one-woman-marriage-only people have WAY bigger problems than letting other people get married. What's that Bible verse about worrying about the beam in your own eye first?

  5. I think monogamy is monogamy, whether it is between one gender or more, and all forms of it have much more in common than in difference.

    Polygamy, as does serial monogamy, has the capacity to devalue the participation of the more committed partner. The one who withholds--either emotionally or socio-politically--holds all the power in the relationship. Knowing that one can always walk away from one's initial commitment either physically through serial monogamy or emotionally through bringing new partners dilutes the motivation to "make it work".

    Of course, even in monogamy, there has always been an "out" for men that generally wasn't extended to women--men have always been able to walk away from relationships as well as always having the socio-political power in marriage. Giving women the (more or less) equal option to leave a relationship is an enormous boost to giving her power within the relationship. Ultimately, though, it devalues the relationship--speaking strictly as a sociologist and about trends and pattens not about any specific individual relationship.

    It is interesting to note that societies that have been historically Christian--and therefore monogamous--are also the societies that have given the most value to women as individuals. A society always has to make use of all its members: traditionally peasants, soldiers, kings, and wives. Peasants haven't got time or money enough for multiple partners, soldiers are expendable young men, secondary wives utilize excess young women. In countries that don't utilize excess upper class women as multiple wives end up cloistering them away as nuns--where they learn leadership, management, financial skills just like the highest classes of men (oops! what were they thinking?)

  6. What people do in their own personal commitments doesn't endanger the marriage I have with my husband, nor should it endanger one man, one woman marriage. Men and women are still going to marry each other regardless of same sex marriage.

  7. I think we should outlaw strip joints. They clearly present more of a threat to the institution of marriage than same-sex marriage. :P ;)

    I also think outlawing video games, sporting goods, spa days, Mary Kay parties, bars, shopping malls, and a host of other things that are more of a threat to marriage is a better idea. Since we all know it's all about "preserving marriage". *rolls eyes*

  8. No it most certainly does not. As many of you said, there are many other things that endanger marriages, such as pornography, television, schedules, and a host of other things which basically point to the ultimate conclusion that people (i.e. the husband and wife themselves) are the true threat to their marriage.

    However, it is probably important to note the obvious fact that the lack of threat does not justify the existence of same sex marriage or polygamy either.

    I also think it is important to note that very few actually claim that SSM and polygamy actually jeopardize "marriages." Rather, the argument is that the two jeopardize the "institution of marriage." Thus, the argument should not be whether or not individual marriages are threatened, but rather, is the idea of marriage--the understanding of what marriage is--threatened?

    That is what people are arguing, that SSM and polygamy threaten what marriage should be understood to be. That is a very different argument from your question--or at least how many are approaching your question--which asks if individual relationships are threatened.

  9. Hey Ben! Ok. You're incorrect actually. I AM asking about the "institution of marriage." Even so, I think the answers that refer to individual marriages is a microcosm of the macro answers of the institution as a whole.

    That is different than if I asked if all cereal was sweet and someone said that Cheerios are not and thus no cereal is sweet.

    Rather, the fact that one marriage can be and is a reflection of "the institution", I hold as much value in those answers than if someone argued for the demise of strengthening of it as a whole.

    Finally, the justification is not what the debate is after. That's another subject altogether and one that in the coming months, you will clearly see where I stand. This debate is rather about one argument that, in my opinion, is THE PREVAILING argument against marriage manifestations alternative to one man and one woman.

    I find the argument to be foolishness and nothing more than a head jiggle to try to turn the attention away from the fact that the proponents of banning same-sex-marriage stand on religious views alone.

    Does that help?

  10. Yes it does, and I certainly agree. I also like what you said about the microcosms representing the macrocosms. Absolutely brilliant. The only use of this argument would be as a fear tactic to garner support from an easily manipulated mind which does far to little thinking.

    I still disagree with you in one sense, however, in that I still see the prevailing argument to be that the definition of true marriage is threatened, not existing marriages between a man and woman. Though the latter is often used...again, with little logical support.

    I look forward to upcoming debates.

  11. So then, your argument comes down to what actually is a "true" marriage?

    Since that is the case, are you taking the opposite side of most of the respondents here? Are you saying that "true" marriage is threatened by legalizing SSM?

    If so, then we have a debate! Two sides.

  12. As far as I am concerned everyone deserves to be miserable or happy in their relationships. They don't threaten mine and I don't threaten theirs. After seeing the pictures of the elderly couples who got married in NY after the law changed, who am I to judge?

  13. Haha, no no, I am simply disagreeing with YOU and you alone, my good man, over WHICH of the two postulated arguments are most popular. You said people tend to use one, and I say people more often use the other. That is the extent of our disagreement and, I think you'll agree, hardly worth a debate. :)

    However, I look forward to upcoming debates on this issue because I hold a rather unique (I think) perspective on same sex marriage, one that will make neither side happy. But I'll save that for when we debate the actual justification of SSM, not the easily debunked claim that it is actually tearing apart what those who make the claim like to call "traditional" marriages.

  14. I think polygamy should be legal. Not because I desire such a relationship, but because it makes more sense. Right now, a man can sleep with whomever he wants to, and have as many kids by as many women as he wants to. But if he wants to marry those women, claim the kids as his own, and support them in a family, that's illegal. Which seems stupid to me.

  15. I agree with you, Darcy. I always think of the Browns, from "Sister Wives." He's supporting his family, the kids are in a loving home and the state is taking them to task about it, though they're trying to accuse him of bigamy, which they can't since he's only actually legally married to Meri and not the others - he only has commitments to them (though he calls it marriage, but the state doesn't recognize those marriages, so I don't see what the problem is here).

    if they're going to take this guy to task for having families with multiple women, then they should take the rest of the guys out there to task for sleeping around, not supporting the kids they fathered, etc.

  16. Sandra. You are contractually disqualified to win twice in a row. But you make it hard on me to not give you the win. I like your balanced, historical, and cultural approach to the subject.

    Libby Anne. Great thought. You get an Honorable Mention.

    Benjamin. Your clarifying comments and presenting some intriguing mystery also gets you an honorable mention. An ALMOST win.

    Erika, Darcy, Amulbunny, and Anne... you all have great pithy comments dripping with wit and wisdom. Normally, I would give you a four way co-win, but I want to be fair.

    Darcy was the first one to the punch. So, she gets the win! Erika, Amulbunny, and Anne get a runner-up co-second place win, which is just as cool because the word "second" is longer than the word "first".

    Looking forward to the next one...

  17. Contract! I didn't see no stinkin' contract! No really, I just want some of your energy--how do you possibly have six kids and enough pizzazz left to make ridiculous jokes with us on the internet. I have to ignore my two teens and lounge in my bed most of the day just to snark on FB.