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Is Polygamy Ethical?



  • Another point, since nobody agrees whether polygamy favors one sex or the other, I think can safely say that it is bad for both sexes since there are convincing arguments that it would frustrate both of them. Therefore, polygamy is unethical since nobody is happy with the arrangement - the man does not want the headache of 7 wives (the 7 sex partners thing is yummy but the wives part….), and the wives do not want to share the man nor his resources. It is not natural, practical, or convenient for anyone. By the definition of ethics as the most happiness for the most people, polygamy falls even shorter of monogamy, which is not that great in the first place. While it does take a village to raise a child, that village doesn’t need be a convoluted bed where you have a lot of half-brothers and sisters from the same dad, but not the same mom. It’s just ugh!

    Furthermore, we know from scripture that King Solomon was the wisest man for God granted him Wisdom and Wealth.  Since King Solomon also had many wives, it stands to reason that he also had the approval of God.

    Having the approval of God does not imply perfection. After all, characters like Samson had God’s approval and blessing, but they turned out not to be so perfect. Moses who had God’s approval also frequently vexed God by being so impatient like when he broke the stone instead of letting God unleash the water on His own time. It’s been a while since I’ve read Solomon’s stories, but I recall him too falling from favor at some point due to pride or something. So while one can have the approval of God, it does not mean all the practices used by that individual is necessarily sanctioned. I am not saying that God clearly portrays polygamy as bad in the Old Testament, but I think it wrong to say that it is good because a few role models practiced it.

    To the contrary, however, it was the law at the time that if a man left a widow with no children then his brother was to take her as an additional wife so that she could be cared for.  Since this was common practice, even expected at the time, it would make sense that he mention that polygamy was no longer tolerated, would it not?

    But if I recall correctly, Corinthians Chapter 7 specifically talks about it good for a man to have a wife, and for a wife to have a husband. It does not pluralize either one. A man also does not remarry unless his wife dies or she commits adultery; it is always one wife. The example of the Son of God also trumps all; after it was Mary and Joseph, not Mary and Mary and Mary and Joseph. The proper marriage and family life is therefore one husband and one wife, if you accept the Bible as ethical.

    But even if you don’t accept the Bible as ethical, I still haven’t heard a good shred of evidence that polygamy benefits the masses. It encourages disloyalty and puts enormous strain on the main to provide more. Men would be even more bankrupt if they had to pay alimonies and child support for multiple wives, when they already do so for girls who are not their wives. As a woman I don’t think I would be feeling very secure with a man who had multiple other women he had to support and love, either. I just don’t see how it makes any sense to either sex. What’s next, incest is natural and ethical since children are sexually attracted to their opposite gender parents like Freud said -_-?

    Why the hell would a man want to support that many wives? It’d be easier to pay a bunch of hookers if you wanted sex that bad. And why would women want to share a man? It’s already beyond common for a girl to break up with a guy whom she finds out to be cheating on her. I don’t see how it makes people happy to attach so many girls to one guy.



  • @Cmdr:

    2)  Ethics will be defined as the greatest good for the greatest number.

    3)  Ethics will also be defined as the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

    thats a very utilitarian point of view. i don’t personally agree with that definition. but whatever. ( according to that it would be ethical for a group of 99 people out of 100 kill a member and redistribute his wealth)

    I agree with Bean its unnatural and wrong. If one married man had 7 wives on average that would mean 6:7 men would be unmarried. The wives would compete for resources. it could not be a truly loving  relationship. (man has to divide his attention while women compete for it and can’t forget all those gloomy bachelors out there.) it is the best setup genetically but not ethically, morally or to the happiness and prosperity of humanity.This doesn’t even include what would happen if there were children too. it just wouldn’t be a healthy childhood.    Therefore marriage should involve 2 people. the only logical question that i think could arise related to this is, is it okay for a man to have a hooker or a mistress on the side. i mean its happed since like the first marriage . and if not why has its been commonplace for so long? (if yes what good does it bring?)

    …and came to that conclusion without having to use the sticky mess of religion.

    @M36:

    M36 wishes to give his 2 cents.

    Polygamy has to be the stupidest idea ever conceived by man. In fact, its so absurd, that It must have been orchestrated by a woman. Every sane man knows women are complicated beings, and it is near impossible to please just one wife much less multiple wives.
    Sadly, most guys only think with their 11th finger, and only think about whats going to be happening in the bedroom, not about the mental anguish that will be caused by having to please more than one woman.

    Polygamy = insanity

    end rant

    and m36 those must be 2 Canadian pennies because your post was worth alot more than our devalued pennies.

    edit: spelling



  • So Jen, to you ethics is a purely socialist/communist thing?


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @ncscswitch:

    So Jen, to you ethics is a purely socialist/communist thing?

    Not really, but I thought it was best to use the most simplest form of ethics instead of some of the more esoteric ones used by philosophers of old.


    I think some of you are viewing people incorrectly.  Not all people have the same assets.  The homeless Veteran may have no wives, while Bill Gates could easily keep four or five wives content.  Fabio could easily maintain a few wives with his looks, until he lost them, while a man with third degree burns over 90% of his body might have a hard time keeping the wife he had before he was scarred.

    In other words, not all men are created equal.

    The same is true of women.  They might be put into a situation where they have to be the 20th wife to have a chance of having children, or may be valuable enough to demand an arrangement of their choice (2 wives say, or a monogamous relationship if they are so inclined.)

    I suspect, in a truly free environment, that most marriages would settle to a 1:0, 1:1 or 1:2 relationship.

    But remember, what makes it ethical is that women are free to chose not to get married, to divorce those they are unhappy with and that men are free to marry whom they wish and to divorce those they are unhappy with, with a no fault divorce. (That means you just go to court, pay the fee and fill out a form.)



  • I suspect, in a truly free environment, that most marriages would settle to a 1:0, 1:1 or 1:2 relationship.

    I think the American environment is about as free as it gets. And American women don’t even consider more than one husband, nor do they allow for their men to have more than one woman. I respect your suspicion, but I can’t bring myself to begin to make a case for it objectively since I don’t see a shred of evidence that the average society tends towards polygamy. Even if Bill Gates could financially support more than one wife, why would the wives want to share him? It makes no sense, the natural human tendency is always greed, to have for onself.

    This reminds me of the argument that girls are predisposed towards girly things like unicorns/rainbows/makeup and all the stuff due to societal indoctrination, but it was found that’s not nearly as true as it sounds. Girly things are what girls are naturally disposed towards; reinforcement obviously contributes, but is not the primary cause. I think the same is true about monogamy, I don’t think it’s really societal reinforcement/taboo that predisposes people towards it, but simply what is natural. It’s been that way even in old societies, and even in our newest American society it holds.

    But remember, what makes it ethical is that women are free to chose not to get married, to divorce those they are unhappy with and that men are free to marry whom they wish and to divorce those they are unhappy with, with a no fault divorce. (That means you just go to court, pay the fee and fill out a form.)

    This statement is absolutely false in the context of the original definition of ethical. If you define ethical as the most happiness for the most people, freedom of choice does not constitute ethical by itself; what it does is prevent it from being unethical. Freedom of choice after all could result in very unethical things, but the absence of freedom of choice would clearly be the most unethical. The argument you make here is very poor, your line of logic is basically that polygamy is ethical because people are free to choose. That makes no sense. I could say incest and murder are ethical because people are free to or not to participate in those activities. I could say anything is ethical based on that assumption.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Freedom of choice means they can chose to do what makes them happiest, thus, their being free to chose does ensure that polygamy is ethical.

    As for your assertation that the American environment is as “free as it gets” that is patently untrue.  It is illegal to be in a polygamous arrangement, with or without the consent of all involved.  That is the only reason that women don’t consider having more than one husband or sharing a husband with multiple wives.

    However, in other nations that do allow polygamy, polygamy is the norm.

    Remember, if we view it as a market where husbands are attempting to secure wives then women are much more valuable in a polygamous society then in a monogamous society.


  • Moderator

    That is essentially the problem with Polygamy… Value of an individual should never be one sided, and polygamy makes for that. Marriage is a unit where both people are considered equal and the same (in the sense of the unit), and no one is “better” or “worse” then the other “party” entering the unit.

    GG



  • Freedom of choice means they can chose to do what makes them happiest, thus, their being free to chose does ensure that polygamy is ethical.

    Like I said, that argument could be made for incest or smoking or drugs. As long as people are free to choose it, does that alone make it ethical? It’s just not a good point. You should point out solidly why having multiple wives to one man makes society happy, not say that if it didn’t make you happy you could choose not to marry.

    Remember, if we view it as a market where husbands are attempting to secure wives then women are much more valuable in a polygamous society then in a monogamous society.

    I don’t really understand. The way I understand supply/demand is that if there are less men, then men are more valuable, and if there are more women, then women are less valuable.

    GG said it well too, regardless of which side you think benefits more, one sex does benefit more, and that is not ethical because it does not serve majority happiness.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    If you live by relative ethics, then yes, Bean.

    However, you will notice I specifically excluded those arguments in the opening post to purposely keep strawmen from being erected.

    Thing is, as long as people are free to join in marriages with more then one wife or just one wife or not to partake in marriage at all, I fail to see how polygamy can be deemed unethical.

    Illegal yes.  But not unethical.

    And, if it is not unethical, then why is it illegal?



  • Thing is, as long as people are free to join in marriages with more then one wife or just one wife or not to partake in marriage at all, I fail to see how polygamy can be deemed unethical.

    As long as people are free to participate in incestual relationships or to abuse drugs, I fail to see how either of those are unethical either.

    And if you are trying to make the case that polygamy ethical, I would rather hear why rather than why it’s not unethical.

    And lots of us have given a lot of points why polygamy is unethical. All you do is dodge those points and say that it can’t be unethical due to freedom of choice. Freedom of choice is ok, but it does not mean there is somewhere else where the idea fails the ethical test of happiness for all.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Not how it works, Bean.  We are discussing Polygamy only, not drug use or incest.  In fact, I specifically cut incest, pedophilia and all the other sexual variants out specifically to only talk Polygamy.

    And, you cannot require someone argue your case for you.  I’ve argued that Polygamy is ethical.  You have failed to prove to me that polygamy causes harm to anyone.  However, it’s self evident that preventing people from engaging in polygamy causes harm to those who wish to participate in polygamous relationships.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Here again is the argument:



    Most people probably marry for love today, but few regard all attributes as equally lovable.  Instead, most people are looking for a partner with desirable traits, such as youth, positive attitude, shared interests, shared religion, shared ethics and morals, etc.  Normally, people with a lot of traits considered desirable find it easy to get someone else with a high proportion of desirable traits to marry them.  This suggests that we can look at marriage as a special kind of market.  As such, this essay will defend the polygamous relationship within the confines of the definitions listed below.  It should be noted that I dislike the concept of polygamy, but I cannot, in good conscience, argue that polygamy is unethical based on the cultural and legal, scientific or religious texts available to me.

    Ethics shall be defined as either the greatest good, and/or the greatest happiness, for the greatest number.

    Polygamy shall be defined by what it is not.  Polygamy is not: the remarriage of a spouse after the death or divorce of the other spouse; the marriage of just one female to one male; the redefining of marriage – for instance the allowance of two persons of the same sex to marry; dishonest bigamy – where a married adult secretly enters into marriage with another consenting adult; under-aged marriage – where an adult marries a person who is not of legal age to marry; fornication – sexual activity found outside of marriage; group marriage – as defined as a marriage among a group of adults who may be of various genders such as two men and two women, or any combination of multiple men and multiple women; wife-swapping; nor is it polyandry which is the taking of more than one husband at a time.

    Nature shall be defined as the natural difference, or set of differences, between male and female human beings and also by the social and/or psychological differences between males and females to include their biological and cultural differences.  Nature shall also refer to a person’s traits and attributes which may increase or decrease their market value to the opposite gender.
    I will limit myself to Judaism and Christianity when referring to religion as it is the religions I am most familiar with.

    While it is true that polygamy has been illegal in the United States for quite some time, and that, in fact, most first world nations have at least some laws regarding polygamy as an illegal institution, is polygamy truly illegal?  Current legislation stipulates that marriage must be made by choice and without coercion.  It is currently illegal to purchase or arrange marriages.  It is currently legal to attain a no fault divorce if the marriage is not to your standards or in your best interest.  Our founding fathers defined three inalienable rights; rights which no man may legislate away because these rights were endowed to man by a greater power.  Those rights are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happinessi .  Since all parties of a polygamous relationship must have entered by choice, then polygamy cannot be in violation of either the second or third of our inalienable rights.

    Furthermore, if we look at marriage as a rather “odd sort of package deal”ii  where each party in the arrangement agrees to share income, housing, sexual favors and a collection of “productive” activities (cleaning, cooking, repairing assets, etc.) we can easily see how the greatest good for the family unit could be multiple adults working as a single unit.  Point in fact, we, as a race of people, created cities, states and countries from the first family units and extended families.  Even Mrs. Hillary Clinton has written that it takes a Village to Raise a Child, which may explain her tolerance of her husband’s fornications, provided he still contributed to family’s needs.  I suspect, if President Clinton had been less of a provider, or brought less esteem to his family, Mrs. Clinton would have sought a no fault divorce to lessen her familial burden.  Furthermore, it is historically demonstrable that that a two income family lives a richer life then a single income family.  Imagine, for a moment, that a man went to work with two of his wives while the third and fourth wife stayed to raise the children, maintain the home, run the errands and handle the domestic responsibilities.  Furthermore, imagine if all four wives had part time jobs that allowed them to rotate shifts so that each woman could exploit their natural urge to nurture progeny and their drive to achieve self-actualizationiii.

    Kanazawa argued for a “female choice” theory of marriage practices, which “posits that women are in the position of demanding a particular marriage form based on the availability and status of men.”iv  This theory is very feminist, as it actually states that women chose to engage in polygamous relationships when they are found in such relationships, and that it is not men who enslave women or purchase women like chattel.  It recognizes polygamy or monogamy as rational choices to be made in accordance with social determinants, such as resource inequality.  Since, according to the US Census Bureau, 25% of all children born in the United States were born to unwed mothers who were not “cohabitating” with the fathersv and that serial polygamy, where men marry more frequently and more often than women, leads to higher divorce rates, which in turn place women in the unfortunate predicament of being a single parent; and that it is common knowledge that single, female parents live more stressful, harder lives with more medical and fiscal complications then married women and that progeny who are raised by single women have a predisposition to commit crime; we can argue that polygamy is not only ethical because it brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number, but also because it brings the greatest good to the greatest number, and not only at the family level, but also at the community and national level.

    Scientifically speaking: “Nature’s aim is to increase the species, and man can engender a hundred children in a year, whereas women can only bear one during that period.  Hence, monogamy is unnatural.  Man is always looking for another woman, and woman is faithfully attached to one man.  Fidelity in marriage is thus artificial for man and natural for woman.”vi  Again, this appears to be the greatest good for the greatest number.  It is far better, from the standpoint of nature’s drive on mankind to go forth and propagate the world so as to be one of many women having progeny from one man then to be a woman with no babies.  Darwin has postulated that it is our drive to have more survivable offspring that has driven evolution.vii  Without that drive to acquire the best traits for our children we may never have evolved past the single-celled organism.  It is further known that no two individuals are identical, and that some will have personality, physical or acquired traits and attributes that are in greater demand than others.  As such, there will always be women who want those attributes and traits for their own children and women who will not want them.  It is this desire, I feel, that drives men and women to engage in fornication and adultery, which, in turn, causes marital strife, broken homes and divorce.  In a polygamous society, men would be allowed to get their wives permission before getting married to another wife which would make the event a team effort and end the marital strife caused by a cheating man.  As strife, divorce and broken homes are unethical behavior as they do not create good or happiness, then any act to avert those situations would be considered ethical.

    The Divine Command claim is that God is the source of ethics and he determines what is and is not ethical.  Thus, as God made one woman for one man that in turn all men should be limited to one wife.  But there are two obvious flaws.  First, if we are all to be like Adam in all respects then we should not study from the tree of knowledge, and thus should not realize that we are naked.  If we do not realize we are naked, which I take to mean that we realize that we are acting unethical, than we should act as the animals and fornicate at will.  Second, that when Adam took Eve to be his wife, he exhausted the entire supply of women available at the time.  Rather, the idea of cleaving to one’s wife can be compared to the commandment to love one’s neighbor – there is no limit to just one, even though the text is singular in tense.

    According to Deuteronomy 23v2, a bastard is prevented from entering into the Lord’s congregation even to the tenth generation.  As it is listed as fact in the Bible and in other secular sources that King Solomon and King David as well as many others who are considered holy patriarchs had multiple wives, and possibly even the lineage that Jesus of Nazarethviii  derives from one of these lines.  If we are to take the Bible at its word, and there is no reason not too in this instance, then this implies that all the marriages of Kings David and of King Solomon were legitimate in the eyes of God.  For, if polygamy is wrong, then King Solomon’s children would be made bastards and denied a place in the congregation, and yet, the Bible shows him as the wisest of men and the King of all Israel.  If King Solomon was the wisest of men, and so holy that he built the original temple to his God, then why would he knowingly engage in relations that would ensure his own children would suffer eternal damnation?

    It was a custom of the ancient Hebrews that if a man died his brother would marry his widow. The first son born would be the heir of the dead brother, and take his name so the dead brother’s name would not be lost.  Deuteronomy 25:5 "When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.”  Matthew 22v24 "Teacher, Moses said, “If a man dies having no children, his brother as next of kin shall marry his wife and raise up children for his brother.”  The context does not include any restrictions that the brother be single.  It states that the brother shall father children and that the brother shall marry the widow.  It is important to note that the brother has to marry the widow to prevent the children from being bastards and excluded from paradise, and that any previous marriages he has not be dissolved lest his other children be considered bastards.

    In summation, polygamy is in line with the laws of nature and Darwinian evolution, as well as in the literal translation of the religious texts available. Polygamy is generally distorted as a result of emotional prejudice, sometimes unconscious with polygamists portrayed as enslavers of women or morally sordid.  The case can be proven the reverse is true as women voluntarily engage in marriage in both the days of old as well as today. That there are no laws of religion that prohibit polygamy, to the contrary, polygamists of the Bible tend to have prospered, and, at times, have been commanded by Mosaic Law and God to engage in polygamy.  Finally, I feel it safe to say that polygamy is ethical because it meets and exceeds the burden that the act create or maintain the greatest good for the greatest number as well as the greatest happiness for the greatest number.


    i  Originally the third right was to property, but the founders changed it to happiness.
    ii  David Friedman, pp. 12
    iii  Maslow’s triangle named the upper most point “self-actualization.”
    iv  Kanazawa, Satoshi pp 337-341
    v  US Census, 1990, 23% of all children lived in a single-parent, mother only household.
    vi  John Cairncross, pp 4
    vii  Charles Darwin, Evolutionary Theory
    viii  It should be noted that the existence of a man called Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified is listed in Roman historical and political texts as factual.  Whether or not Jesus is the Son of God and thus the Messiah as foretold by scripture is a topic for another debate.


    Alexander (1987), Alexander et al. (1979: 402) as discussed and cited in Sanderson (2001) and in Kanazawa and
    Still (1999).

    Betzig (1986), as discussed and cited in Sanderson (2001) and Kanazawa and Still (1999).

    David Friedman, “Price Theory”

    John Cairncross, After Polygamy Was Made a Sin, 1974, ISBN 071007730, Routledge and Kegan.

    Johnathon Turly, USA Today, October 4th, 2004

    Kanazawa, Satoshi, “A Bit of Logic Goes a Long Way: A Reply to Sanderson,” Social Forces - Volume 80, Number 1,
    September 2001, pp. 337-341

    MacDonald (1990: 195), as discussed and cited in Sanderson (2001) and Kanazawa and Still (1999).

    Stephen Palmquist, Associate Professor, Department of Religion and Philosophy, Hong Kong Baptist University

    Theodore C. Bergstrom, University of Michigan, “On the Economics of Polygyny” 8/25/1994.



  • You have failed to prove to me that polygamy causes harm to anyone.

    A number of us have showed how it increases disloyalty and stretches the man’s resources thin, and encourages disparity between the sexes. You just skip by the arguments and land at the end zone saying “everyone has failed to disprove me” without any discussion of why we are wrong. Why are you doing this (as usual)?

    Second, that when Adam took Eve to be his wife, he exhausted the entire supply of women available at the time.  Rather, the idea of cleaving to one’s wife can be compared to the commandment to love one’s neighbor – there is no limit to just one, even though the text is singular in tense.

    But this isn’t logical. You could say that Eve exhausted the entire supply of available men at the time, so not why reverse polygamy?

    That is a long argument being presented but it doesn’t show that woman are comfortable with the idea of men having more than one woman. Like the paper said, men are biologically predisposed to have a lot of women, and women to have one faithful man. But how can a woman have one faithful man if he has a lot of women? I don’t see it. They are mutually exclusive, and unable to be fulfilled at the same time. A woman is only at loss when she has to compete for the attention and resources of one man. I don’t understand how the paper is making that huge logical flaw by saying polygamy fulfills both predispositions of the sexes, when it only favors that of the man.

    And if we are to accept Jewish custom as ethics (rather than what Jesus tells us) then why aren’t orthodox Jews polygamous? They are right in the line of Jewish custom, so why don’t they practice polygamy?

    And why have you consistently avoided many good arguments such as me showing you how the New Testament not supporting polygamy, how polygamy encourages disloyalty etc.?

    I can accept that polygamy has been tolerable in the past due to a number of circumstances, but there is a reason, even if I’m not terribly good at spelling it out, why it is not natural in today’s society. I expect it has something to do with the same reason that incest has been tolerable in the past (after all Adam and Eve’s children must have committed incest by our standards), but is not considered natural or good today.

    I also question why you exclude good arguments like incest/drugs, when the relevance is that you can use the same flawed logic to make any number of unethical things to be considered ethical.

    I do agree that monogamy is unnatural and isn’t working in our society today, but that just means polygamy would function even worse, and be even more unethical, since a man and woman can’t even work out it out together, how does one man and multiple women work it out? It would increase unhappiness, not happiness, and therefore is unethical. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, tell me why this is wrong.

    The only ethical way apparently is there for there to be no official relationship between mating partners. After all, animals don’t get married, do they?

    I accept your argument that just because polygamy isn’t illegal doesn’t mean it’s unethical, but personally I don’t think even if polygamy were legal, that it would be exercised because simply it would increase infedility and unhappiness. As a woman, would you be willing to engage in polygamy? If yes, then why? If not, then why not? I can’t speak for the other sex, but like many of us have been saying repeatedly which you ignore just as usual, there doesn’t seem to be any benefit to the woman. A woman biologically benefits the most from one faithful mating partner, and by definition a faithful mating partner does not have other mating partners.

    I will concede that I don’t care if polygamy becomes legal; for similar reasons I don’t care if gay marriages become legal. I wasn’t even aware polygamy was illegal. Like you said, there is no evidence it causes harm to society at large, and it would seem to be unethical to deny people the right to choose their spouse (s). But like I said, even if it were legal, it would not be ethical by the definition of it being the most happiness for the most people. If it were ethical, it would already be practiced by some major non-minority group somewhere in the world, considering there are so many different religions and non-religions you’d expect polygamy to thrive somewhere if it actually worked out well for the majority of people. If I were to legislate I wouldn’t ban polygamy, but that doesn’t mean I think it would work well for the most people.

    I’m sure you can make up some cases like you’ve already done where polygamy works, but that does not work for most people. You have provided no compelling evidence that it would work for society at large, and thus have failed to prove it is ethical.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I ignore Incest and Drugs because they are strawmen.

    However,

    Drugs are Unethical because they cause you harm. (Talking illegal narcotics.)  Thus they do not create the greatest good.

    Incest is unethical because it increases the chances for genetic deformities and thus also do not create the greatest good.

    As for your example, I do not believe you are giving us the full context.  Book, Chapter and Verse would be very helpful, I was kind enough to give you the same.

    Also, to my knowledge, Jesus supported the tradition of polygamy as I have laid out.  Which is exactly why it appears again in Matthew instead of a contradiction telling us it is no longer okay.

    As for it being wrong to women, no one has demonstrated HOW it is wrong to women.  The burden of proof you would have to give me is that it is wrong to women and they have no personal recourse to correct it themselves.  That a wrong is being done TOO them without their permission and thus, they are not creating their own happiness.

    As for it being wrong to man, the same argument.  If it is wrong, for themselves, then they have only to not engage.

    I’ve demonstrated that it is not against secular or religious law, it is not causing harm to allow the behavior, and that it can create the greatest good for the greatest number while not causing harm to any.  Any harm incurred, is correctable with a no fault divorce.



  • @Cmdr:

    Also, to my knowledge, Jesus supported the tradition of polygamy as I have laid out.  Which is exactly why it appears again in Matthew instead of a contradiction telling us it is no longer okay.

    This is why I think you are fighting it being ethical… cuz your bible told you so.

    As for it being wrong to women, no one has demonstrated HOW it is wrong to women.  The burden of proof you would have to give me is that it is wrong to women and they have no personal recourse to correct it themselves.  That a wrong is being done TOO them without their permission and thus, they are not creating their own happiness.

    As for it being wrong to man, the same argument.  If it is wrong, for themselves, then they have only to not engage.

    I’ve demonstrated that it is not against secular or religious law, it is not causing harm to allow the behavior, and that it can create the greatest good for the greatest number while not causing harm to any.  Any harm incurred, is correctable with a no fault divorce.

    So… in that case, your husband should feel free to get an extra wife if he chooses without any objections from you.
    Don’t worry, it won’t do any harm to you, right?


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Actually, I only threw in the Biblical references to forestall the argument that Christians run the world and they say it’s a sin to have more then one wife.

    And yes.  If the law were changed and my husband decided to find another wife, and I liked her (being first wife I would have a say in adding another to the arrangement) then I would have no problem with a second wife.

    If I disliked her and my husband wanted to marry her anyway, then I would have the choice to maintain the relationship with the addition or terminate the relationship taking my portion of the family assets with me.



  • 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮

    Okay, Jen.
    😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮

    I concede.

    Polygamy is ethical. 😐


  • Moderator

    In practice Stuka, yes… Any 2 people who agree to something in Contract (since that is how marriage is viewed by the states) that only “affects” them, technically are doing something ethical. But ethics extends into the morality of it, and that is where religion or moral force of a society decides what is and what isn’t. Jen’s point is that it seems to not offend either religious practice or societal sensibilities, and actually benefits them.

    The problem is the essence of what Jen is driving at, that marriage is considered a contract. This is where I disagree. I consider marriage a covenant, which regards only 2 parties, but it is the most intimate and focused form of agreement in the world…

    GG



  • Are you familiar with any of the other forms and how they work?  The IDEAL of monogamous marriage is rather pretty.  The reality of monogamous marriage far less so for most folks.

    Likewise the same would be true for any other combination you can come up with, all the way to Heinlein’s “line marriages”.

    It is not format of the relationship that is the key, it is the practices of the participants.  And that is true whether it is 2 people or 200.


  • Moderator

    lol, that wasn’t my point. Yeah I’m familiar forms…

    Duh, it can be hell on earth, any relationship can, whether it is 2 or 200. My point was brought from a religious perspective which Jen had brought up in defense of her point.

    If I go with purely rational reasoning then a lot of things that are illegal in the country would be legal :|… So since my idealism can’t be based on an adult principle I guess I must revert to something remotely childish and wishful…

    GG


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    My only mention of Christianity and Mosaic Law was in demonstration that the Bible and the Tora do not forbid polygamy.  And that they seem to endorse it as acceptable given some of the laws and some of the circumstances.  I did not mean to imply that God commanded man to have multiple wives, only to be faithful to his wives and to marry before engaging in reproductive arts.

    I, personally, do not ascribe to the Divine Command theory of Ethics.  I’m not saying it’s a bad way to define your ethics, but it is very difficult to argue in a debate.

    However, I’ll go toe to toe with anyone who uses Relativism theories for their ethics.


  • Moderator

    Yeah it is hard to debate when you are being irrational 🙂 but I said my peace.

    I’ll bow out…

    GG


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I think, my opinion, that relativism is irrational.

    I think, my opinion, that divine command is rational, it’s just extremely difficult to argue.  I guess the Pope could make the argument to his Cardinals, but short of that level of trust and faith, it would be extremely difficult.


  • Moderator

    very funny… My point is that I am living in a non fairytale land. So I bow out, cause I will, always, be wrong…

    GG



  • I have no idea what Jen means by relativism. The very definition of ethics being used is relative; after all who decides that enough people are the most happy? And what kind of measure of ethics is that, where only the majority always rules?

    But even accepting that definition of ethics (which is already a bad assumption) I cannot agree with the argument.

    In the poor, convoluted argument, I would agree that polygamy shouldn’t be illegal, just as I don’t think gay marriage should be illegal. I agree that marriage is a choice, and I can’t tell anyone that they have to marry a certain person based on gender or how many relations they already have.

    If that were all she were arguing, I would agree, but she tries to argue that everyone basically has this secret desire to have many wives, and that the world and society would settle at a ratio higher than 1:1. I can’t agree with this, as there is no evidence. There are no majority cultures where polygamy is commonly practiced, and actually I can’t even remember any in the past either. One would imagine if it were really normal and desirable that it would have surfaced already.

    The New Testament, while not explicitly denying polygamy, makes a clear statement which I already quoted (which Jen simply ignored, as usual) saying that it is good for a husband to have a wife, and for a wife to have a husband. It is not plural in either sense. There are no examples of polygamy in the New Testament. We can only conclude that the ideal situation if there is a marriage is for there to be one husband and one wife. Even orthodox Jews have outlawed polygamy, in spite of examples in the Old Testament. So the argument that because some models in the Old Testament did it, then it’s what the world secretly desires, is a bad argument.

    I agree it is ethical to allow people to choose their partners, but I think it’s quite an extension beyond that to say that polygamy is what people in general would settle for if it were legal. Just as its a bad argument to say that polygamy is unethical because it is illegal, it is also equally if not more illogical to say that polygamy is ethical because if it were legal then everyone would settle for it.

    Like I said, I wouldn’t care if polygamy were legal. It doesn’t really harm anyone if those people are in agreement. But the horrid jump in logic is to say that choice alone makes it ethical. Choice itself is ethical, but it cannot be extended to what the choice is about, or else incest would be ethical if both parties agreed to sex, regardless of genetic mutations since you can always have birth control, and you could also say spuriously that Adam and Eve’s children must have partaken in incest. This is not a strawman, it directly relates to the same poor logic used in favor of polygamy. Incest does not necessarily result in genetic mutation since you can always use birth control, so where’s the harm in father and daughter  just having sex after all?

    What makes polygamy ethical would be adhering to the definition of ethical - the most happiness for the most people. Polygamy does not provide the most happiness for the most people, or it would be practiced by the Jewish community who have a history of it, or by any number of major cultures all over the world. I can only conclude that polygamy is not normal, since no major culture has settled for it.


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