What is so wrong with polygamy?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Tintagel_Demondong, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    From what I understand, marriage was invented by landowners as a way to insure their family's future prosperity. Later the church took over and decided who can and cannot marry. They decided that only a clergyman can perform marriage, and that it be between a man and a woman.

    I find all of this very unnatural. People seem to be innately promiscuous. In our tribal days, females had children in their early teen years (or even before), males had harems that they would viciously preserve, and the tribe likely slept together in one shelter (picture 30 people spooning in a cave). On top of this, all kinds of sex was going on -- establishing relationships, hierarchies, and I'm sure just for the fun of it. The adaptive necessity of the males was to have as much sex with as many females as possible to sustain their tribe.

    My point of all this is that I believe that monogamy is an unnatural state and that polygamy should be legalized. In this age of polyamorous relationships, swinging and very high divorce rates, I have to wonder if the disintegration of the church is also causing the disintegration of marriage. Maybe we'll end up having relationships the way we did thousands of years ago.

    For those who would argue that marriage is necessary for raising children, please consider 3 things:
    1. There are plenty of well-adjusted people from single-parent homes
    2. Most marriages end in divorce anyway.
    3. There are plenty of happy families with parents who aren't married.

    Am I alone on this?

    P.S. I am not a Mormon and I am not from Utah.
     
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  2. dudepiston

    dudepiston New Member

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    Well I don't think most marriages end in divorce, I'm not sure what the current divorce rate statistics are but it used to be around 50%, and I've heard that it's a bit less than that now but regardless, you make a valid point. Humans probably are not, on the whole, monogamously-oriented. Tens of thousands of years ago, humans did intermingle - sexually and otherwise - else we wouldn't be here today. On the other hand, social norms are VERY hard to change. Monogamous heterosexual marriage is a social norm in our society right now but this definition of marriage is perhaps changing albeit too slowly. Perhaps we're now seeing the beginnings of a future in which sex & sexuality are not seen as so perverse & taboo, and people of any orientation are free to live as they see fit. If that's in a polyamorous situation, then so be it but I do agree that all parties must be consenting adults.
     
  3. LongRod

    LongRod New Member

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    I find it interesting that the one universal constant across the entire globe is marriage. The ritual of a man and a woman coming together in a marital union and out of that a family structure is established. In all cultures which I am aware of throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and North America, regardless of Class or social position, wealth, religion, all cultures revolve around Marriage. The Wedding or Marriage Ritual will vary but it is a major milestone in the lives of people of all societies. Aside from funerals, it is probably the second biggest ritual which is universally experienced by human beings. out ranking Graduations, Baptisms or other Religious Indoctrinations, etc. Without marriage, I think we would all be in a state of Social Anarchy. We would have no purpose or structure to our lives. I am not necessarily a proponent of marriage, however, I think it is an arrangement that brings structure and order to society and provides a sense of direction to people as a whole. It is universal template on how to structure one's life.

    Granted it is not for everyone and there are large numbers of people who choose not to structure their life that way. For many it does not workout for a variety of reasons, but somehow, it helps to maintain social order around the world. Think about it.
     
  4. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    Divorce rates in the US have topped 50%, I'm not sure if it has gone up or down since then. If it's over 50 that means most marriages end in divorce.

    Personally I think marriage is an outmoded concept. The history of it goes back further than the OP suggested, and the reasons for it are also deeper and more varied than as a property arrangement, even though that was a primary reason for marriage contracts in medieval Europe. Still, it has its uses, and works fine for some people, and the OP is oversimplifying, I think.

    In the contemporary western world, and in the United States in particular, marriage serves two major functions. One, it is an important legal distinction for tax purposes, property and custody disputes, medical consent, power of attorney, and citizenship, among other things. Also, it's an important traditional ceremony commemorating love and a lasting commitment and partnership, especially among religious or traditional families, and often including an implied contract to produce children and share in the responsibility of raising them. In many ways, the basic functions of marriage have not changed a lot since the middle ages.

    One important function of marriage that has changed is the way in which it used to serve as insurance that a man was raising and supporting his own biological heirs. In a world without viable and readily available contraception, pregnancy tests, or paternity tests; and with much shorter average lifespans, marrying a virgin and then having that virgin commit to you sexually was the only real way of doing this. Today, virginity and sexual exclusivity is not the only way of guaranteeing that your DNA is being passed on.

    When it comes to raising children, I still tend to think that a two-person partnership is the ideal situation, simply because most people are just far too neurotic, selfish and insecure to handle polygamy, polyamory, or open relationships. If there is a couple or a group of people out there that somehow makes this work... good for them. I wish them the best. But most people are just too petty for this to be a viable and realistic alternative to more traditional child rearing. I also have plenty of respect for single parents who manage to make things work in spite of not having anyone to share the responsibility with. and if they can find time to squeeze in love here and there, kudos to them, too, so long as they are not neglecting the needs of their children.

    I don't think marriage is right for me. I don't see the point anymore in making that kind of commitment to any one person. The concept no longer holds any special religious significance for me as it once did, and I no longer consider lifelong monogamy to be the ideal relationship situation. Even if I did find someone who convinced me never to be with any other woman so long as I lived, I just don't see the point in getting married, other than some of those legal benefits I mentioned above. Since I don't even feel the need to get married once, I don't think I'd really feel pressed to do it multiple times. The only reason I would have for being polygamous is that I could go ahead and marry some of my friends from overseas who want me to bring them into the country. I don't want to do that now because I can only do it once, and that's probably another reason why polygamy is illegal in the USA.
     
  5. earllogjam

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    Polygamy does exist in America it is just called having a mistress. How many mistresses you have depends on how wealthy you are. It actually is a convenient relationship because they are not legally binding and once you are through with one or if she starts to act up you just go get yourself another. You can have your cake (a woman who will cook and clean for you and raise your children) and eat it too (sex on the sly).

    Marriage is a religious term. Most marriages in the old days were arranged to perpetuate family lineages and fortunes and love often was not a factor in mate selection.

    I think Polygamy was a response to survival and procreating as many children to help out on the "farm" in population scarce places especially in America. It was not a response to satiate horny guys, athought that may have been a delightful bonus.

    From a biological standpoint I think it is the nature of men to want to fuck as many women they can, to spread as much of his seed as humanly possible. While it is the woman's nature to be selective on who impregnates her because she will be dependant on someone for 9 months plus while she is carrying and raising a baby. So to make this work humans invented marriage to bind the man to the woman and counteract this natural tendency for men to be irresponsible "fucks".

    Marriage is a good thing in my opinion. Raising a kid with 2 parents is easier regardless of what anybody thinks. Kids need to learn how to be loving adults and having 2 parents serves as a role model that cannot be substituted. It is a formal commitment that makes it harder for parents to split up and serves the best interest of kids. Off the bat I don't see much wrong with polygamy except I wonder how the wives establish a pecking order within the family and how they deal with jealosy.
     
  6. SyddyKitty

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    I don't want a future with soma. >_>

    Name that book!
     
  7. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    The seven year itch is bogus. It's actually four. Our prehistoric ancestors tended to have only temporary sexual relationships.

    This is how a relationship cycle typically went:

    • The male and female would fall in lust.
    • The male and female would procreate.
    • The female would forage most of the day while carrying the baby (note the baby's grasping reflex) and nurse it periodically.
    • The male would protect the female and his baby from pedators and baby snatching.
    • While being protected by both the father and mother, the baby would grow and become more self-sufficient.
    • At the age of three the baby would have enough skills to forage, avoid predation, avoid strangers or untrustworthy people, run, climb and feed.
    • The father's protection and provision would be less useful.
    • The father would lose interest in the family unit and consider starting a new one with a different female.
    • The female might consider expanding her brood with another male.

    A long-term partnership interferes with this natural process and would likely kill a tribe. We still have these instincts today, and I believe that marriage interferes with normal, happy families.
     
  8. SyddyKitty

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    We can tell all that from bones and current life? >_>
     
  9. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    First of all, I always hate it when people start talking about what prehistoric man did as if they were actually there to see it. Where the hell do these people get off? Someone else was doing this recently in a post suggesting all art was created by homosexuals. Conjecture is fine, stating it as an anecdote makes you sound as if you routinely make everything up.

    and finally... prehistoric man didn't live that long. One reason nobody in the middle ages worried too much about divorce was that you usually had time to have two or three kids before either husband or wife died of influenza or plague or "the vapors"
     
  10. uwsdude

    uwsdude New Member

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    Very true! While this is an interesting topic and post, it is not very useful to try and make comparisons and contrasts between ourselves as post-moderns and ancient or pre-historic humanity. Our customs, life cycles and and sociological behavior are just too different and too difficult to discern from archaeological evidence. At best we can make inferences, but comparisons are unfruitful.

    PS I like NineInchCock's pouty lips. Theyre hot!
     
  11. D_golden parachute

    D_golden parachute New Member

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    I often think marriage is pointless, why can't people just live together? It means absolutely nothing to put a ring on your finger and have a religious man declare that you are a married couple.

    I am currently reading 'The Ancestors Tale' by Richard Dawkins and as far as I have read, we are uncertain as to whether it is natural for us do be polygamist or not. There was one section on testes size, which stated that we don't have large testes, the reason we would have large testes would be to fight off other males sperm. This of course is only one of the factors and like I said I don't think anyone is certain on the matter

    The question in your title may be mis conceived as 'Is it ok to cheat?' which I know you don't mean. I agree with you really, I don't see why marriage is necessary at all.

    and of course as mentioned previously over half of American marriages fail...that has to be a sign that something is wrong with the marriage system, it may be for some, but not for others.

    It's one of those ideologies that seems perfectly normal if you think rationally but religious attitudes make it seem 'wrong'.

    Rationality should come ahead of everything else
     
  12. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    The four year itch is commonly known among anthropologists.
     
  13. B_ScaredLittleBoy

    B_ScaredLittleBoy New Member

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    Polygamy is more than one wife. Which kind of goes against the notion of marriage and faithfulness.

    Although I agree its a bag of wank. I don't know why people get married. I think its because a lot of times they think its a panacea and will repair whatever's wrong with the relationship or maybe just that its the 'done thing'.

    I won't get married. If I know I love someone and she knows I love her and the feeling is mutual, marriage is redundant.
     
  14. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    I'm sure that any adult who has fallen in love has considered marriage because they want that person all to themselves. This seems selfish to me. I have been prone to this myself.

    When I attend quite a few weddings (I hate going to weddings!) each year, I can't help but wonder why a particular couple thinks that their's is the marriage that will be permanent. That seems so arrogant, as if they are thinking, "our love is stronger than most people's, so we'll never get divorced."

    I doubt that anyone who gets married expects to get divorced. It's really an Abilene Paradox.
     
  15. B_ScaredLittleBoy

    B_ScaredLittleBoy New Member

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    I also think how could someone have an affair? They musn't care much for marriage. So why get married in the first place?
     
  16. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    Commonly known conjecture is still conjecture.
     
  17. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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  18. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    Do you even know what conjecture means?

    I'm not trying to be condescending, I'm serious.
     
  19. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    Yes.
     
  20. Quite Irate

    Quite Irate Member

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    Polygamy as a legally binding concept would be disastrous. The reason people find monogamy restricting is that they apply restrictions to it that aren't necessary and certainly not required. Open marriage is the answer. It retains the legal necessity of marriage while allowing far more personal freedom than would be found in a strictly one on one relationship. For the most part, people are more than satisfied with having one romantic partner. Even polygamists (publicized ones, anyway) have a favorite. Sexual relationships, however, are not as exclusive as romantic relationships. This is why an open marriage works. If a couple's relationship is strong enough, they can deal with it. If it isn't, chances are they probably shouldn't have married in the first place. In the end it all works out.
     
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