Author Topic: What's the point of marriage?  (Read 1398 times)

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2011, 03:36:45 PM »
So basically it's "I love you" with fireworks. Kinda like meaningful sex.

I don't consider a public display and record to be required for meaningful sex, but otherwise, sure.

Getting arrested for having sex in public is a good one. However, I see no point in having to distribute any message that isn't relevant to the people I'm distributing it to. If people are curious, they will ask on their own.

That's how you feel about it.  Others feel differently.  Remember, I'm not questioning your own judgment about whether or not to get married.  I'm merely offering some reasons why others might want to.

No idea. I've never used Facebook (nor do I feel anything for marriage), though some people do take it pretty seriously.

As someone who does use Facebook, I can tell you that FB posts are usually pretty casual.  And a big, serious message posted there would have to share space with triviality.  That affects how such a message would be received.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2011, 04:09:37 PM »
I'm looking for non-religious answers, but if you want to give religious answers that's fine too.
This is not about gay marriage or anything like that, I'm talking about marriage in general - two people[1] getting married.

I've never understood why people want to get married. I've heard many people say that it signifies the desire to stay with someone forever, but, quite frankly, I believe that if someone doesn't believe I want to stay with them forever just from me saying "I want to be with you forever", they already have trust issues that will just get worse with marriage.

IMO, marriage is just something that makes it harder for people to break up. Emotionally, I see no reason to get married.
 1. Regardless of the gender.

I found some interesting research that might help to answer your question:

http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~archetti/papers/JEB_2009_monogamy.pdf

Quote
We show that, within the framework of inclusive fitness theory, monogamous marriage can be viewed as the outcome of the strategic behaviour of males and females in the allocation of resources to the next generation. Where resources are transferred across generations, social monogamy can be advantageous if partitioning of resources among the offspring of multiple wives causes a depletion of their fitness value, and/or if females grant husbands higher fidelity in exchange for exclusive investment of resources in their offspring.

IMO, it's really more about resources than anything, whether one is hetero- or homosexual. It seems like it can be a win-win for some. The guy finds an exclusive (or seems to be exclusive) sexual partner so he can get sex on a regular basis, hence the mention of "higher fidelity" above. The girl finds a mate who can help her provide resources long-term to her offspring. The offspring of the monogamously married couple do(es) not have to share resources with the offspring of many other wives, so it/they do(es) better overall. Obviously, you could have all this without the marriage ceremony, but people want what seems to be a "sure thing" if they are going to make a commitment.

Personally, I like being married. I love my hubby like crazy and we get along really well. Marriage is our formal way of telling each other that we will do our best (have to be realistic here) to stay together until death do us part, and that we will face both the good and bad parts of life together. But marriage is not for everyone. In fact, the divorce rate is pretty high, so I would advise most people to just have relationships.
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2011, 12:23:39 AM »
I don't consider a public display and record to be required for meaningful sex, but otherwise, sure.

Neither do I; I was just making a comparison.

That's how you feel about it.  Others feel differently.  Remember, I'm not questioning your own judgment about whether or not to get married.  I'm merely offering some reasons why others might want to.

I'm looking for a good reason to get married, but so far the "best" reasons were basically about money. I thought about this extensively, but I also couldn't come up with any good reasons beyond money, so I created this topic.

As someone who does use Facebook, I can tell you that FB posts are usually pretty casual.  And a big, serious message posted there would have to share space with triviality.  That affects how such a message would be received.

OK.

IMO, it's really more about resources than anything
<snip>

And that's the problem I'm having here. Why spend resources getting married so that we[1] can share the remainder of the resources if later on, assuming we want a divorce, we'll have to use whatever resources we have left to break it up?

Personally, I like being married. I love my hubby like crazy and we get along really well. Marriage is our formal way of telling each other that we will do our best (have to be realistic here) to stay together until death do us part, and that we will face both the good and bad parts of life together. But marriage is not for everyone. In fact, the divorce rate is pretty high, so I would advise most people to just have relationships.

Like I said, I just don't see the point. I don't understand why marriage would be anything other than annoying to set up and even more annoying to break up, if it came to that.
What was your opinion of marriage before getting married and after?
 1. "We" refers to my possible partner and me, not you and I, obviously. :P
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2011, 11:15:46 AM »
IMO, it's really more about resources than anything
<snip>

And that's the problem I'm having here. Why spend resources getting married so that we[1] can share the remainder of the resources if later on, assuming we want a divorce, we'll have to use whatever resources we have left to break it up?
 1. "We" refers to my possible partner and me, not you and I, obviously. :P

True about the divorce situation, but at least if they have offspring together, he/she still gets provided for hopefully. Again, marriage is not for everyone, or even most people. I would only advise someone to get married if they are in love, good at solving problems (LOL), they like to perservere, they are not abusive, and they like to share resources, etc. I'm sure there are many other factors. My paternal grandparents were married for over 60 years, and they were happy. They were also extremely committed to staying together through good times and bad. Obviously marriage worked for them, but it doesn't work for over 60% of Americans. After all, my maternal grandparents did divorce. It really depends on the couple.

Personally, I like being married. I love my hubby like crazy and we get along really well. Marriage is our formal way of telling each other that we will do our best (have to be realistic here) to stay together until death do us part, and that we will face both the good and bad parts of life together. But marriage is not for everyone. In fact, the divorce rate is pretty high, so I would advise most people to just have relationships.

Like I said, I just don't see the point. I don't understand why marriage would be anything other than annoying to set up and even more annoying to break up, if it came to that.
What was your opinion of marriage before getting married and after?

I'm actually not annoyed by it. I guess it is right for you if you and the other person want to make lots of important life decisions together before you die, plus if you love being around the person (and that doesn't seem to fade after a few years). If you are not with someone that can help make marriage work, I'm sure it can be really annoying to set up and break up. My own parents divorced, and they still drive each other nuts. Yet my in-laws are still married and in love, and really proud of that. It really depends on compatibility. I think the formality can be a wonderful thing for the right couple.
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2011, 11:31:26 AM »
True about the divorce situation, but at least if they have offspring together, he/she still gets provided for hopefully.

No kids for me, thanks. I'm taking my genes to the grave... or a high-tech laboratory (or sperm bank).

Again, marriage is not for everyone, or even most people. I would only advise someone to get married if they are in love, good at solving problems (LOL), they like to perservere, they are not abusive, and they like to share resources, etc.

Even if all those are true, I still don't see the point. Anything that can be achieved through marriage can be achieved through other means. I don't understand what makes marriage so special.

I'm actually not annoyed by it. I guess it is right for you if you and the other person want to make lots of important life decisions together before you die, plus if you love being around the person (and that doesn't seem to fade after a few years).

And I did feel all those things for all my partners, but I still never thought of marriage as an ultimate goal for our relationship.

I think the formality can be a wonderful thing for the right couple.

How would "formality" make things any different?
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2011, 12:35:47 PM »
Lucifer, I guess what I am trying to convey is that marriage is purposeful in a symbolic way, which is what I mean by formality. The couple that is married gives the marriage meaning. Of course, you can have a relationship that is similar to a marriage without being married (like Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn), but for some, the formal ceremony of marriage signifies the ultimate commitment. Sadly, many rush into this commitment too hastily. Which is why I said earlier that many people should just stick to relationships. But successful, long lasting marriages seem to bring joy, as well as a sense of pride and accomplishment. It means that your relationship made it not only through the ultimate commitment, but through all the crap that life throws at you. Some people can have that experience without marriage, but I think the symbolism and formality makes it sweeter when they succeed.
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2011, 12:42:31 PM »
Lucifer, I guess what I am trying to convey is that marriage is purposeful in a symbolic way, which is what I mean by formality. The couple that is married gives the marriage meaning. Of course, you can have a relationship that is similar to a marriage without being married (like Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn), but for some, the formal ceremony of marriage signifies the ultimate commitment. Sadly, many rush into this commitment too hastily. Which is why I said earlier that many people should just stick to relationships. But successful, long lasting marriages seem to bring joy, as well as a sense of pride and accomplishment. It means that your relationship made it not only through the ultimate commitment, but through all the crap that life throws at you. Some people can have that experience without marriage, but I think the symbolism and formality makes it sweeter when they succeed.

So unless I give it meaning, there is no reason to get married. That sucks.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2011, 12:47:55 PM »
LOL, sorry dude. Humans are such subjective creatures. Case in point: marriage is probably not for you; I, however, love it.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2011, 12:48:59 PM »
To piggyback on what the point of things are let me pose this question: What is the point of monogamy? Is it truly virturous (sp?) or is it an unnecessary thing that is perceived as necessary for healthy relationships?

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2011, 12:52:22 PM »
LOL, sorry dude. Humans are such subjective creatures.

I should've guessed it would come to this. I guess I was just hoping that marriage would have some objective property that would make it special.

Case in point: marriage is probably not for you; I, however, love it.

If someone proposed to me and I loved them, I'd probably accept, even though it means nothing to me in itself.

To piggyback on what the point of things are let me pose this question: What is the point of monogamy? Is it truly virtuous (sp?) or is it an unnecessary thing that is perceived as necessary for healthy relationships?

Personally, I don't see any reason why people can't have multiple spouses. I see the monogamy vs. polygamy issue with the same light as homosexual vs. heterosexual marriage.
That said, I wouldn't want that for myself, as I would most likely not be able to deal with it.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2011, 12:54:20 PM »
TOT, I don't think monogamy is necessary, but it is certainly enjoyable and virtuous to some. Again, humans are so subjective with morality and institutions like marriage. Some people prefer polygyny, some people prefer celibacy, but none is universally right for everyone.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2011, 12:59:54 PM »
Well, Luc, I think the question of the significance of marriage is more about whether or not an individual subjectively finds marriage special. I don't think it is objectively special, because many would definitely disagree, because of human subjectivity. Marriage is useful and wonderful to some, and just a plain curse to others. ;D
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2011, 01:08:19 PM »
So unless I give it meaning, there is no reason to get married. That sucks.

In this way, marriage is identical to all other human endeavors.
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #42 on: October 31, 2011, 01:10:00 PM »
Well, Luc, I think the question of the significance of marriage is more about whether or not an individual subjectively finds marriage special.

If my partner wants to get married (and if we've been dating for a long time[1]), why shouldn't I do it? It makes them happy, which makes me happy and all I have to do is be bored for a few hours[2]. Sounds good to me.[3]

So unless I give it meaning, there is no reason to get married. That sucks.

In this way, marriage is identical to all other human endeavors.
 1. I've seen the statistics on divorce. Getting married too soon is bad.
 2. I assume hours, since I don't know how long marriages actually take.
 3. And apparently this is the one "good" reason I can come up with to get married.

I see your point.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2011, 01:33:41 PM »
Luc, the reason that I stated earlier (IMHO, with no offense intended) that marriage is probably not for you is because you don't seem to attach your own positive meaning to it (you even said you would be bored getting married, LOL). To me, a marriage is more likely to fail if you go into it for just one person. In fact, you may end up resenting that person because you don't find marriage to be as great as s/he does. That may end up in divorce. I honestly think that it takes two people who really find marriage meaningful and who are both willing to put in the time, effort and behavior that comes with managing a marriage to make a marriage successful. But if marriage doesn't mean a lot to one person, they would probably be more fulfilled sticking to a relationship.
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #44 on: October 31, 2011, 01:38:37 PM »
Luc, the reason that I stated earlier (IMHO, with no offense intended) that marriage is probably not for you is because you don't seem to attach your own positive meaning to it (you even said you would be bored getting married, LOL).

Bored during the ceremony itself, the rest would be the same to me (except that my partner would be happier, obviously).

<snip>
In fact, you may end up resenting that person because you don't find marriage to be as great as s/he does.
<snip>

Impossible. I'd be glad for them and nothing else.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2011, 01:49:59 PM »
Again, I think two people wanting and attaching a lot of meaning to marriage are more likely to have a successful marriage. You may be an exception, Luc. But you did say this earlier:

Quote
Even if all those are true, I still don't see the point. Anything that can be achieved through marriage can be achieved through other means. I don't understand what makes marriage so special.

If you don't see the point of marriage, and only marry because your partner wants to, that may cause a problem with your communication with or expectations of your spouse (and vice versa). You might expect things to stay the same:

Quote
Bored during the ceremony itself, the rest would be the same to me (except that my partner would be happier, obviously).

But even if you expect things to stay the same, your partner could change and have higher expectations of you, and even treat you differently. Marriage does that to a lot of people. Which is why I was saying that for most people, a relationship would probably work better than marriage. But if you are going to marry in the future, I respect that. It's just that the ultimate commitment can strengthen relationships for some, and destroy relationships for others.
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #46 on: October 31, 2011, 01:56:42 PM »
Again, I think two people wanting and attaching a lot of meaning to marriage are more likely to have a successful marriage. You may be an exception, Luc.

I like being the exception, so I'll give it a try. :P
Seriously though, I see your point.

If you don't see the point of marriage, and only marry because your partner wants to, that may cause a problem with your communication with or expectations of your spouse (and vice versa). You might expect things to stay the same:

But even if you expect things to stay the same, your partner could change and have higher expectations of you, and even treat you differently. Marriage does that to a lot of people. Which is why I was saying that for most people, a relationship would probably work better than marriage. But if you are going to marry in the future, I respect that.

I would obviously talk to them and explain my thoughts on marriage before actually getting married. IIRC I mention them right away[1].
 1. Id est: When I start dating them.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #47 on: October 31, 2011, 02:11:27 PM »
I would obviously talk to them and explain my thoughts on marriage before actually getting married. IIRC I mention them right away[1]
 1. Id est: When I start dating them.

That is actually a really good idea that a lot of people don't think of. Maybe marriage could be for you. Only time will tell.
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2011, 02:13:51 PM »
That is actually a really good idea that a lot of people don't think of.

...Why not? It's the most simple solution to every problem in a relationship - talk about it before it becomes an actual problem.

Maybe marriage could be for you. Only time will tell.

Time is relative. ;)
(Yes, that is completely meaningless to this. I just felt like saying it.)
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #49 on: October 31, 2011, 02:36:02 PM »
...Why not? It's the most simple solution to every problem in a relationship - talk about it before it becomes an actual problem.

Good question. Sadly, my parents didn't talk about stuff a lot. My dad proposed to my mom by basically saying "it's now or never" because he wanted a green card. From what I hear, they rushed into it and didn't discuss a lot. Needless to say, they are divorced.

Whenever I watch a retro show like Mad Men or Pan Am, I notice that the characters don't talk about their problems very much. I guess they feel like the problems will go away if they deny them or don't talk about them. Silly, right?
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #50 on: October 31, 2011, 02:37:35 PM »
Whenever I watch a retro show like Mad Men or Pan Am, I notice that the characters don't talk about their problems very much. I guess they feel like the problems will go away if they deny them or don't talk about them. Silly, right?

Yup. The only thing I didn't discuss with some of my previous partners was religion, as we had strong (differing) opinions about it. Nobody was going to be convinced of the other's PoV and we didn't want to let that get in the way, so we just didn't talk about it.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #51 on: October 31, 2011, 02:48:13 PM »
Yup. The only thing I didn't discuss with some of my previous partners was religion, as we had strong (differing) opinions about it. Nobody was going to be convinced of the other's PoV and we didn't want to let that get in the way, so we just didn't talk about it.

Yeah, I understand that experience. My husband became an agnostic atheist before I did, so there was some tension when I was still a Christian (up until very recently), but we still really love(d) each other. However, we actually get along much better now that we are both agnostic atheists. I think compatibility is so important to the health of a relationship.
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #52 on: October 31, 2011, 03:03:56 PM »
Yeah, I understand that experience. My husband became an agnostic atheist before I did, so there was some tension when I was still a Christian (up until very recently), but we still really love(d) each other. However, we actually get along much better now that we are both agnostic atheists. I think compatibility is so important to the health of a relationship.

It's better than the alternative.
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #53 on: November 04, 2011, 02:12:30 PM »
Even if all those are true, I still don't see the point. Anything that can be achieved through marriage can be achieved through other means. I don't understand what makes marriage so special.
I too would like to see marriage, as it is today, abolished. It seems far too much control for the state to have and no concern of the church. Even taken at a minimum, the present formalities are too much. Absent any children or claims on wealth and property, I see no reason for marriage and would discourage it.

 Of course, a lot depends on what you mean by marriage. If it were merely breaking a plate over some woman’s head or signing the bottom of a piece of paper (to which would be added, as and when, the names of common offspring) and lodging it at City Hall, then, I don’t suppose that you would be too bothered.  In many European countries, the people have a “Book of Life” in which birth, children, partners, property, addresses, are recorded. This could work if you are happy with the lack of privacy.

In its basic terms, marriage is responsibility for offspring and property. You may say, “Well, even if I had kids and even if I were divorced, I would still support them and remember them in my will” but we know others don’t and the responsibility for the brats’ welfare then falls on the state because, for some unknown reason, letting children starve to death is regrettably out of fashion.

As far as polygamy is concerned, as attractive (to men) as it might seem, it has difficulties; the distribution of genes is uneven and in small communities half-brothers and sisters will start to breed. Of course, from a genetic view, it doesn’t matter if a few people are polygamous/ polyandrous, the mix will still be good, but it would leave a lot of men minus a partner. Hormones would drive them to distraction and awfulness would ensue.

A society that is as populated and complex as ours requires minimum rules.

Society has grown up with marriage. That is not a good reason for an archaic ritual but my society has also grown up speaking English. English is difficult, illogically spelled and irregular. If languages were for sale, English would be a Blue Star bargain. There are far better languages to speak… so why don’t we abolish English and start speaking Esperanto? It would be the logical thing to do. It would cause confusion for about 30 years but after that, it would be plain sailing! So it is with marriage: our whole society and law has been ordered around it for millennia and a change would be painful.

So, as abolishing English requires replacing it with another language, so abolishing marriage would require something else in its place to maintain some order in society. That said, there are privileges of marriage that should go and privileges for the single and those cohabiting to be gained.
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #54 on: November 04, 2011, 02:37:53 PM »
I too would like to see marriage, as it is today, abolished.

I fixed that for you. I don't want marriage abolished. If people find meaning in something I don't, and it doesn't hurt anyone, they can do it all they want. I don't care.

It seems far too much control for the state to have and no concern of the church. Even taken at a minimum, the present formalities are too much. Absent any children or claims on wealth and property, I see no reason for marriage and would discourage it.

The bold part is where we disagree. I don't see any reason, but I wouldn't discourage it (nor would I encourage it).

Of course, a lot depends on what you mean by marriage.

Two or more people become part of the same family. This is the best I can come up with right now.

If it were merely breaking a plate over some woman’s head

What?

or signing the bottom of a piece of paper (to which would be added, as and when, the names of common offspring) and lodging it at City Hall, then, I don’t suppose that you would be too bothered.  In many European countries, the people have a “Book of Life” in which birth, children, partners, property, addresses, are recorded. This could work if you are happy with the lack of privacy.

That sounds stupid.

In its basic terms, marriage is responsibility for offspring and property.

And that can be easily achieved through other means.

You may say, “Well, even if I had kids and even if I were divorced, I would still support them and remember them in my will” but we know others don’t and the responsibility for the brats’ welfare then falls on the state because, for some unknown reason, letting children starve to death is regrettably out of fashion.

Actually I would say "Fuck no, I don't want kids". ;)

As far as polygamy is concerned, as attractive (to men some people) as it might seem, it has difficulties; the distribution of genes is uneven and in small communities half-brothers and sisters will start to breed.

Disregarding the obvious sexual stereotype (which I have fixed), polygamy does not seem very attractive to me. It comes down to imposing a cheap solution rather than creating more options for people to choose from. They could just as easily take DNA tests or create family trees so that wouldn't happen.

Of course, from a genetic view, it doesn’t matter if a few people are polygamous/ polyandrous, the mix will still be good, but it would leave a lot of men minus a partner. Hormones would drive them to distraction and awfulness would ensue.

Which is why I also don't see the point in that.

A society that is as populated and complex as ours requires minimum rules.

Unless those rules were based on laziness or people's personal preferences (banning homosexual marriage is one).

English is difficult, illogically spelled and irregular.

Excuse me? English is one of the most simple languages I've ever learned[1] or even heard about.

<snip>
So it is with marriage: our whole society and law has been ordered around it for millennia and a change would be painful.

So, as abolishing English requires replacing it with another language, so abolishing marriage would require something else in its place to maintain some order in society. That said, there are privileges of marriage that should go and privileges for the single and those cohabiting to be gained.

This part is irrelevant, as I do not want to abolish marriage, merely to understand if it had any sort of property that made it special. I see now that that was a pointless quest.
 1. Portuguese, Spanish, French and some German.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #55 on: November 04, 2011, 11:05:52 PM »
Graybeard, I think abolishing marriage is too extreme. I actually enjoy marriage. If you don't like marriage, either stay single or get divorced (if you are married). Marriage is not completely good or bad, but the good is worth it to me. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #56 on: November 15, 2011, 01:05:54 PM »
I'm looking for non-religious answers, but if you want to give religious answers that's fine too.
This is not about gay marriage or anything like that, I'm talking about marriage in general - two people[1] getting married.

I've never understood why people want to get married. I've heard many people say that it signifies the desire to stay with someone forever, but, quite frankly, I believe that if someone doesn't believe I want to stay with them forever just from me saying "I want to be with you forever", they already have trust issues that will just get worse with marriage.

IMO, marriage is just something that makes it harder for people to break up. Emotionally, I see no reason to get married.
 1. Regardless of the gender.

some thought it was love, some married for money, some married for fame, some marry to have children or to raise kids they have, some hope to keep the person who isn't faithful, and some married because the person was "hot and sexy!"

It's a waste of time marriage, but the way i see it, it doesn't matter. i believe in love, not marriage. some marry for the sake of benefits and companionship. i don't know if i really want marriage, all i rather have is love and companionship.I wouldn't abolish marriage, i would rather deny marriage to those who uses it as toilet paper. Marriage isn't a toy to play with, but they treat it as such. So much for "protect the sanctity of marriage from teh gays lulz!" (I added teh on purpose)
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Re: What's the point of marriage?
« Reply #57 on: November 17, 2011, 10:45:14 PM »
Just celebrated our 25th anniversary, and looking forward to the next 25.  Marage isn't for everyone (obviously), but I consider myself one of the fortunate that it is.  I'd say uncompromising frindship (love), respect, and trust are what work for us. We're best friends, plain and simple.  Sounds corny, and it is.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 10:53:41 PM by Backspace »
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