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Posted: 11 July 2006 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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From someone who has tried it and failed more than once and has tried it and succeeded more than once, marriage in the old days (the 1950’s) was the only way you got to sleep with a girl on a permanent basis.
There just was no way a respectable woman would move in with a man on a long term basis unless the relationship was cemented by legal licensure.

Today it is different, the movies promote relationships - movie stars have children with nothing but prenups in place. But you can bet they have those. Maybe that’s what is taking the place of marriage, prenups?
Where and when will the next Brangelina be born? What country will be blessed with the economic boost 500 or so media complete with full crews bring to its capital city?

There are serious complications that a relationship with children and some wealth present to the system and those are not an easy thing to solve with agreements.

The system is still so unbalanced in favor of marriage that couples who intend to have children and stay in the relationship for a lifetime are probably wisest to suck it up and marry rather than to be forced to resolve the problems presented by remaining single in a permanent relationship.

Unless there is a pretty competent lawyer in the family the cost is really substantial. For example to deal with a hospital that has your girl friend and the mother of your children in its possession after an accident is impossible unless you had the foresight to draft a whole set of lengthy documents in advance of the accident that put her there.

Change the pronouns for father of your children.

Why do you think the gays are fighting so hard to get the same treatment under the law for their relationships that men and women have. Not becuase they like the idea of divorce; its because the laws are way out of balance in favor of marriage.

JIM

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Jimmie Keyes
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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (MLK Jr.)

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Posted: 12 July 2006 05:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Right, Jim. The problem is that nobody wants someone who walks off the street (or a distant acquaintance) to have power of attorney when someone is in the hospital. So the society rightly has forms, papers and otherwise silly rituals so they can regulate when person X has certain legal rights should person Y be incapacitated in a hospital, or the like.

Roger is quite right that marriage per se need have no necessary link to whether or not you cheat ... but going through a marriage ceremony or licensing procedure makes it clear to otherwise unfamiliar people that you are at least formally not intending to cheat.

Marriage, in that sense, is a public act which is formally identical to many other public acts we do in life ... such as go to school, get grades, sign documents, et cetera. None of them ever really guarantees anything, but they do make it easier for unfamiliar bystanders to get a vague understanding of how they should act towards you in certain circumstances. And that’s all to the good.

Of course, none of this need have anything to do with religion, god, the church, et cetera. And all of it can also be taken too far—as with the ongoing Catholic dislike of divorce. Divorce is an absolutely necessary corollary to a healthy institution of marriage.

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Posted: 12 July 2006 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Divorce is what makes the concept and institution of marriage such a contraditiction.  Marriage is supposed to be the biggest commitment between a monogamous couple.  This is supposed to last their entire lifetime.  But divorce makes it so at any moment they can call it off and nullify the arrangement. This means that marriage is not official, it is not set in stone, and it is only a tenuous bind between two people.

Why not just live together or say you are exclusive instead of going through the rigamarole of marriage? If you want to call it off later you still can and you won’t have to deal with the legality of divorce.  I’m sorry, it just never made any sense to me.  My parents and all of my friends parents have been divorced, at least once.

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Posted: 12 July 2006 06:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I find it interesting how much societies incentivize marriage, family, and children as the basic and irreplaceable ‘building block’ of society.  For example, in Spain, which has a very low birth rate as of late, the government is providing substantial financial breaks to families with children.  Seems a bit like societal engineering or something to me. 

I’ve been increasingly distraught by our reproduction as a species and what has been my observation about reproductive habits - that highly educated, secular, liberal people tend to reproduce less and uneducated, religious, conservative people breed like rabbits.  Doesn’t spell success for the human race.

Perhaps instead of blindly pursuing reproduction for reproduction’s sake (not to mention capitalistic workforce pressures and consumerist desires for ever increasing populations), we might view our existence as part of a delicate ecological web (Daniel Quinn anyone?)

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Posted: 12 July 2006 06:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Hello Roger,
Picture a situation of this sort, you and the woman you love enter into the relationship you describe, long lasting, permanent and caring. Neither of you have any close relatives nearby.

Your significant other falls, hits her had hard on the sidewalk and the blow causes a hemorrhagic stroke that paralyzes her and prevents speech. She is rushed to the hospital where you find you won’t be allowed to take charge of her care.
That sadly is the situation in these kinds of cases. It militates in favor of either changing the rules or getting married.

I think the law ought to permit any two adults to choose to enter into a binding legal relationship with each other so they are in charge of the others welfare. That should be possible with the purchase of a license.

It doesn’t permit it though.

(That was my story except my wife Judy was married to me)
Jim

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http://secularhumanism.meetup.com/1/
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (MLK Jr.)

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Posted: 12 July 2006 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Yes, overpopulation is a problem, especially when it occurs in all the wrong areas of the world.

Jimmie,

If you could provide another reason I might be inclined to see your point.  But freak accidents shouldn’t be the grounds for gettting married.  I also don’t know what “taking charge” of an invalid even means, nor what the implications of doing so are.

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Posted: 12 July 2006 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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roger, It means you were in a long term committed loving caring relationship with one other person.
Jim

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Jimmie Keyes
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http://secularhumanism.meetup.com/1/
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (MLK Jr.)

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Posted: 12 July 2006 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I understand that.  But it doesn’t change the fact that the accident happened and that whatever happens from then on will be notably horrible, irregardless of “ownership” over the person. And again, I’d still like a more compelling reason to “marry” someone.

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Posted: 13 July 2006 03:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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The issues aren’t so much issues between the two of you. For love and commitment you don’t need a piece of paper, that’s clear. The issues are between you and the larger society, or both of you and the larger society.

The doctors need to know if they can let you decide this person’s fate in the operating room. If she dies, the courts need to know if you have any right to her posessions, life insurance, etc. If you decide you don’t love each other after all, the courts need to know if you have common rights to houses, belongings, etc.

In some parts of Europe you can basically sign a piece of paper and enter into this sort of mutual relationship. In the US it still takes a little longer, but those are the reasons.

Re. divorce, of course, in the ideal circumstance the couple remains together for their entire lives, living happily together. But the fact that not all marriages work that way doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with the legal institution from the society’s point of view ... just as the fact that things get stolen from time to time has no bearing over the fact that private property is a worthwhile societal feature.

The society still needs to know whether to let you take charge of this person’s care while she is in the hospital. Divorce basically is both of you deciding that the other shouldn’t have that sort of power.

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Posted: 13 July 2006 06:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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just as the fact that things get stolen from time to time has no bearing over the fact that private property is a worthwhile societal feature

Is private property a worthwhile societial feature? It seems like to me that it only allows the rich to hoard wealth and resources and deprive the masses.  And those of us that want any of it must work like slaves or we would starve in what is otherwise a fruitful land. 

Native Americans didn’t use the “feature” of private property.  They did in the basic sense that a tomahawk or horse is “mine” but as far as land and other resources they never made any unjust claims on it.

The idea that a woman should be wed to a man is just another feature of our possessive, oppressive, and dominant culture.  Justify it all you want.

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Posted: 13 July 2006 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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[quote author=“rogerflat”]Is private property a worthwhile societial feature? It seems like to me that it only allows the rich to hoard wealth and resources and deprive the masses.  And those of us that want any of it must work like slaves or we would starve in what is otherwise a fruitful land. 

Eh? Wow, what a farrago of false notions. I suppose all I can say at this point is to take some courses in anthropology and economics. There are no cultures that lack the concept of private property beyond the hunter-gatherer stage. Not even Stalinist or Maoist communism, responsible for the deaths of tens of millions.

Modern society avails its members of longer lifespans, more food and more wealth than any society on earth has ever known. Most middle class working folks today are wealthier by far than all but the kings in the Middle Ages. Today one of our biggest societal ills (particularly among the poor) is obesity ... which is an illness only the wealthiest societies can afford.

[quote author=“rogerflat”]The idea that a woman should be wed to a man is just another feature of our possessive, oppressive, and dominant culture.  Justify it all you want.

Your notion of marriage whereby woman is the ‘property’ of man is simply false. Marriage is not slavery. One of the great advances of modern cultures around the world is to become aware of this fact.

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Posted: 13 July 2006 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I suppose all I can say at this point is to take some courses in anthropology and economics.

I took anthropology in college and I’m a former stock broker.  So I would consider myself well versed in both.

Nobody said that people couldn’t or shouldn’t have wealth and high standards of living. But you don’t need to dominate and declare ownership of those things to do it.  Just like you don’t need to own your wife in order to love her and take care of her if she falls ill.  If society creates an obstacle which prevents you from doing so, then it is society that is creating the problem.

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Posted: 13 July 2006 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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[quote author=“rogerflat”]Nobody said that people couldn’t or shouldn’t have wealth and high standards of living. But you don’t need to dominate and declare ownership of those things to do it.  Just like you don’t need to own your wife in order to love her and take care of her if she falls ill.  If society creates an obstacle which prevents you from doing so, then it is society that is creating the problem.

The existence of things like “wealth” and a “high standard of living” presuppose private property. That’s what constitutes wealth and the living standard. Hunter-gatherer and other simpler societies that have laxer notions of property are also universally poorer and more violent. (Death rates in pre-state societies are as high or higher than those of states during wartime—with 10-60% male mortality rate at the hands of other men).

The problem with a society that lacks a notion of private property is precisely the same as one that is under anarchy: the powerful will then take de facto ownership of all they wish. In the last instance, laws exist to protect the powerless. Laws about private property protect those who do not have the power, high walls or bodyguards to protect themselves.

I wonder also what particular sort of societal structure you see fit for allowing person A to take care of person B without some form of marriage contract. The question is how society can know that B wants A’s care if B is incapacitated. Unless you are tacitly supposing that the society is omniscient.

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Posted: 14 July 2006 04:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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The existence of things like “wealth” and a “high standard of living” presuppose private property. That’s what constitutes wealth and the living standard. Hunter-gatherer and other simpler societies that have laxer notions of property are also universally poorer and more violent.

Presuppositions lead to false assumptions.  Indigenous people deemed themselves as wealthy because they viewed wealth as things that couldn’t be locked up (like money, food, etc).  It wasn’t until “civilized” men conquered them and infected them with memes which convinced them of how poor they had been all along.  And you say that they are MORE violent.  I did have a good laugh.  Battle of Antietam Creek 20,000 dead in one day.  World War I, casualties reached as many as 50,000 dead in one battle!  World War II, MILLIONS dead in the course of a few years.  Vietnam, MILLIONS dead in the course of a couple decades.  How many other wars have there been.  We’ve only lost ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED American soldiers in the last three years in the Middle east.  Something tells me I’d be safer as a Yanomamo tribesman or something.

I wonder also what particular sort of societal structure you see fit for allowing person A to take care of person B without some form of marriage contract. The question is how society can know that B wants A’s care if B is incapacitated. Unless you are tacitly supposing that the society is omniscient.

I thought we were talking about marriage.  Let me ask you a question…Do you marry someone because you love them and you want to be with them, or because you want to be able to take care of them when they are invalids?  Taking care of a decrepit mate is not something I even consider when it comes to determining whether I want to be with someone.  Don’t get me wrong, that may be a consideration for some people, even myself, later on down the road.  But it shouldn’t have anything to do with marriage.

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Posted: 15 July 2006 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Dougsmith wrote:

If indigenous peoples are really so happy, why do they get so easily “infected” with these memes, as you put it?

I am a happy person.  Would you question why I ended up with a viral infection if I was indeed so happy?  No, of course not.  Those are two unrelated things. 

I’m not interested in the romantic notion of indigenous cultures, I’m only interested in their way of life which is inherently stable and sustainable—the exact opposite of our (oil-based/hierchal) culture.

 

Yes, and that “something” that tells you this is known as a cognitive illusion. Statistically you are orders of magnitude safer in the modern western world, including all the wars of the 20th century, than in a Yanomamo village, where well over 10% of the male population ends up dying by murder.

That’s always a rough comparison. Because you are comparing billions of civilized people to tribes of only a few hundred members. So the percentage correlation never works out quite right.  But keep in mind that within a small tribe, no matter what happens to people, the percentages will be much higher.  And say that ten people are murdered in the tribe in one year. Is that worse than 10,000 people being murdered in civilized society?  The murder rate is higher in the tribe after all.  Do you see why that is a bad comparison?

Well the question is one of responsibility. With love and respect comes responsibility for loved ones in their times of need. It seems to me you aren’t talking about love at all, but temporary infatuation, responsibility-free. Again, that’s fine for you, so long as you don’t expect anyone to take responsibility for you in your dotage ...

A quick story, try to follow…I was buying shoes one day.  An elderly couple came in and the woman was apparently trying on some shoes.  I overheard her saying, “These will be good for walking around the hospital.”  Two things: 1) The last thing I would ever judge a pair of shoes by is whether they would be good for walking around a freaking hospital, and 2) It stands to reason that age alone is a factor which makes people view the same things in completely different ways.

I don’t know, maybe taking care of someone, or being taken care of, is of critical importance to people who are older?  It’s not for me or the people I know, not yet anyway.  So the only issue that’s left is the philosophy of love and how that applies to marriage and/or monogamous relationships.  So where do legal restrictions come into play as far as love goes?  That is a question I can’t answer at this time.  I don’t know of an answer.

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