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What Should Marriage Be?

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by Mare Tranquillity, May 1, 2008.

  1. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    There is an awful lot of hooraw about marriage these days--what it is, what it isn't, who can do it, and why some can't. Most of this seems to be predicated on some kind of religious tradition or an old book or somebody's personal revelation from god. What with the checkered past of religion, thousands of competing sects, wars over dogma, abuses beyond counting, and the truly simple, but painful fact that nobody has any proof of their beliefs--not me either--perhaps we expect too much of religion when we ask it to define our most intimate relationships.

    So, with that thought in mind, what do you think marriage should be? How should it be defined? How practiced? By whom? Why?

    I'll start, I think marriage should be based on the things in the common marriage vows: love, committment, honor, and respect. I think it should be available with all the legal rights and privileges to all consenting adults. And it should be a legal contract and not a religious one. Religion should have no say in which consenting adults can marry or in restricting the legal rights and privileges available to anyone. Equality under the law, plain and simple.
     
  2. numinus

    numinus New Member

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    Give it up already, mare.

    You couldn't defend your position intelligently in the other threads you picked a fight on this subject. What makes you think the result in this thread would be any different, eh?
     
  3. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    Looking back through history, where did marriage come from? What is the oldest written account of marriage? And what was wrong with the way they did it?

    Also, why should it be a government thing? It has only been a government issue since the IRS was born. Looking back in American history, Marriages lasted longer before the government got their dirty hands in it. And it was a lot simpler. You made your commitment to your partner, in front of God and a couple of friends to your minister priest pastor. You all wrote the account in your bible and you were done. And those marriages lasted. Today with the government being involved, well…it’s become a joke.

    If you think marriage should be about love, commitment, honor, and respect, then why on earth would you care if the government was involved? Those sounds like mighty personal reasons to me. I mean if it were about benefits and tax breaks then ok, I see why you might want the government to keep on with their nanny stuff. But the government has proven that they can only screw it up.

    Your reasons for getting married don’t seem to match your reasons for wanting the government to over see it.

    If you really think marriage should be about love, commitment, honor, and respect then why on earth would you care if the government validated your relationship? Is it really about the love or is it about some benefit you think you might get?


    What rights and privileges do married people have that others do not? The only thing I know of is a bit of a tax break but I wish the government had no role in marriage, including their petty tax break.


    It might be good though if the law changed to your dream idea. I think things would get back to the way they used to be, the way it should be for real couples.

    The only people getting government married would be weirdo’s looking for some special right or privilege they thought someone else wasn’t getting. And no one would give a flying flip.

    The real couples would hold their marriage in a private manner between the couple, God, friends and their spiritual leader. They would write it in their bible and be done with it. And the government would have no say. The weirdo’s could just look at them as shacking up. Or would your idea of government regulated marriages stop people from doing that?
     
  4. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    The basis of European marriage really came from the Romans. The customs of rings, wedding dress, veil, bridesmaids wedding feast, the whole nine yards comes from the Romans. The principal difference was that Romans married a lot younger (life expectancy was much less then!)

    If you read about Rome under the period of Augustus there are some real similarities you can find today - Rome was wealthy and prosperous and adultery and prostitution were rife - and Romans were not producing babies prefering to lead a life of ease rather than go through the bother of marrying and bringing up children therefore the "Noble Roman" population was declining so laws were brought in to curb infidelity and prostetution, tax laws were enacted in favour of married couples and so on - lex Julia de maritandis ordinibus (18BC to 9AD). This law was pretty draconian and was changed a bit in 9AD under the Lex Papia Poppaea which really did promote having kids within lawful marriage.
     
  5. numinus

    numinus New Member

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    Nope. There is mention of marriage in mosaic law.

    If I would venture a wager, perhaps as far back as noahic law or ancient egypt.
     
  6. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    Hi Numinus - be careful with your definition of Marriage.

    I specifically mentioned "basis of European marriage" which comes from the Romans as they were the first to introduce the concept of "consent" from the woman - i.e. the Woman had to specifically agree to the marriage, this is where the "I Do" comes from in the Marriage Ceremony!

    Prior to that (I think it's valid for most cultures and relgions?) marriage was a pure business deal where the women was "contracted" or "brought in" on a exclusive "deal" basis to look after the household and breed, simple as that really! The concept of love did not enter into the arrangement - the Greek essayist Plutarch calls love a "frenzy" and believes that "those who are in love must be forgiven as though ill" :D

    Also, the concept of "virginity" was introduced into the whole marriage thing during the 1st Century AD again following the Roman desire for purity etc.
     
  7. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Following the title of the thread, what should marriage be, rather than what it might have been under Roman law, or noahic (?) law, here's what is should be:

    A solemn agreement between two adults that "we" and "us" are now the operative words, that "I" and "me" are relegated to second place, and that each partner agrees to place the other first and the self second. Should any children result from the union, which may or may not be a part of the marriage, then those children would take the place of first priority, so the order would be children first, parents second, and individual adults third.

    Were all marriages to be as described above, most of our social problems would evaporate within a generation.
     
  8. Pidgey

    Pidgey Well-Known Member

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    I always thought that the only reason for the issue even being public was because of the financial aspects of it. Who really gives a crap whether anyone gets "married" or not if it's only a ceremony? In the old days, it was a way to track breeding so that you didn't marry someone too closely related and cause deformities and that kind of thing. And, of course, who get's responsibility for survivors and the booty (if there is any) in case of disasters.

    But in today's arena, I think it's basically more about the financial and offspring custodial claims that one of the partners has upon the other in the events of divorce, inheritance and insurance. I've always thought that all the ethical posturing was a veiled way of determining a ruling without getting down to the nasty business of spelling out why in no uncertain terms.

    Pidgey
     
  9. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    Much older than Noah. Noah's great great great great great great great great grand parents were the first couple becoming married that I know of. Mesopotamian writing may speak of marriage, I am not sure. But if it doesn’t, then the oldest known writings of marriage would be in the first part of Genesis

    Genesis chapter 2 vs 24: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
     
  10. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    Here's my take: the state should butt out of marriage. Two people who get married should set their own terms as to what it means. This will devolve around their particular religious or cultural traditions. Like wise, the special privileges given to married people at the expense of single people should be abolished.
     
  11. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    You still can't read can you? I asked for opinions, you have a lot of them so I figured you'd be here bleating like a sheep--and sure enough, here you are. Read the OP, and try again.
     
  12. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    My thought was that if marriage was about love and committment that the government could oversee it adequately since the churches have made it about a bunch of things that have nothing to do with love or committment.

    I note that you begin human history with the advent of Christianity, when in reality people have been sharing committed relationships since there were people. Especially among the indigenous peoples there have been many kinds of "marriages" that allowed all people to live with dignity and love as they saw fit without the religious opprobrium of organized churches.

    I guess that with more than 3500 sects of Christians and who knows how many sects of other religions, it might make sense to have the government set the legal standards for marriage instead of allowing all the warring religious factions to fight over control.
     
  13. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    Very reasonable answer, and one that I agree with in principal. I would venture a guess this might include the unthinkable to several on this board. That it would not disallow two to marry of the same gender.
     
  14. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    Why would you start human history with the advent of writing?

    There are more than 1049 legal rights and privileges reserved for married people in US Law. I have a copy of the laws if anyone is interested.

    My dream is the equality guaranteed in the US Constitution, I am not asking for any right or privilege that I would deny to anyone else.
     
  15. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    Hear, hear.
     
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