The Instigator
Aporia
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
Juris
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Looking for someone to argue AGAINST polygamy!

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Juris
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,705 times Debate No: 42543
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

Aporia

Pro

First round will be a round stating/clarifying position in a succinct way, in other words stating the objective they are defending. As well as accepting the debate so we can both add constructive input in due time.

2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounds will be a rally back and forth, debating claims made by opponent and responding with material as needed. This is my first debate ever so I hope to learn something as well as enjoy myself : )

Statement: Polygamy in the U.S. (just to narrow it down) should be legalized. This is to include any gender, have multiple spouses. I will put a limit of 3 spouses per person to keep it simple. This means a man could have three wives, and each of those wives could have up to two other spouses as well. The semantics are not overly important I believe but if you feel the need to argue them I will engage. And yes, tax breaks, etc, will apply to all individuals involved, with no favoritism between the relationships.
Juris

Con

Challenge accepted!

I am against legalizing polygamy in the United States. To do otherwise, it would destroy the sanctity of marriage and the values of the society. The likelihood that conflict occurs will increase if polygamy is allowed. Lastly, there are no strong reasons as to why legalize polygamy.

The sentence above is my thesis.

Debate Round No. 1
Aporia

Pro

I would first like to thank Con for accepting this exchange, and look forward to the debate!

Con's Thesis: "I am against legalizing polygamy in the United States. To do otherwise, it would destroy the sanctity of marriage and the values of the society. The likelihood that conflict occurs will increase if polygamy is allowed. Lastly, there are no strong reasons as to why legalize polygamy."

To move onward, I would first like to ask you if you are against or for gay marriage. The definition of marriage is"
Marriage: the formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.
Alternatively : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage
Gay marriage goes against this original definition.

Now, I would also like to ask clarification as to what you mean when you say "destroy" the sanctity of marriage, and the "values of society."
The values of society, as varied as they are, could possibly come from many sources. Let"s pick government for the first one. The nation was founded on the belief that church and state are separate, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This statement should allow religions that are pro-polygamy to freely exercise their belief, so either the refusal of polygamy is AGAINST societal values or, if governmental dictations do not shed light on the societal values, we have to look to something else.
Concepts such as slavery were once commonplace, which is a good indicator of how beliefs that were once "societal values," can be improved upon for the betterment of an individual, society, and entire nation. So I am unconvinced that polygamy would destroy societal values, and if it did I am unconvinced that would be a bad thing. I am arguing that polygamy is not immoral, (I apologize if this wasn"t clear in my opening statement) and therefore should be legal in the U.S.

My next point is in relation to "destroy(ing) the sanctity of marriage." The definition of marriage, as I put above, is the lawfully recognized union of man and woman. Within that category, you could have a woman lawfully wedded to a man, and then lawfully wedded to another as well. The definition itself is not in any way against polygamy, besides that it isn"t recognized by law. The allowing of gay marriage was once outside of legal ramifications, but is now legal in 16 states and increasing. This is just another, although more controversial than abolishing slavery to some people, example of how laws change to accommodate moral values. So if the law recognized polygamy, it would be within the definition, and it not being so is seemingly a matter of semantics in this case.

The likelihood of conflict that you refer to I would ask for clarification as well. Are you talking about emotional conflict between partners, physical conflict, separation, jealousy, etc? 41% of marriages involve some type of cheating and 54-57% of people have cheated in a relationship, and I posted a link below as well. Given this already huge number, I believe that having a clear understanding of the relationship involved would drastically cut conflict. The semantics of entering a polygamous relationship would obviously have to be talked over by the individuals, just like the option of having kids (commonly), before marriage. So all participants would be fully aware, and I believe on a psychological level this would greatly REDUCE conflict. Not communicating is one of the biggest reasons relationships fail, and I think you could agree that most affairs are not communicated. A polygamous relationship allows for this level of communication at the beginning, so no curveballs are thrown. I have seen no data that polygamous relationships, when legally and morally (consensually) carried out cause more conflict. Only in the cases where extremist groups, isolated from society, and pushing religious goals, were involved were there problems involved.

Lastly, ""there are no strong reasons as to why legalize polygamy," can be argued against quite succinctly. You will admit, I believe, there are reasons at least. Whether or not they are strong is awfully relative. So I will concede, that relative to you, you have no strong reasons to legalize polygamy. I will also concede that even I may not have strong reasons. But I can guarantee that there are reasons others have that are passionate, that are logical, and that are ethical. For example, speaking of people and marriage. If you disagree with gay marriage I won"t dispute that here, if you agree, great. But what about interracial marriage? In the 1860"s, even after slavery was abolished, it was still illegal to marry a black human being if you were white. So if two people of varying color truly loved each other, this love could not be shared to what is believe to be the maximum extent of it, in other words marriage.
Likewise, if three people truly love each other romantically, they cannot fully share this love because of legal restrictions. So if Kyle has an equal amount of romantic love for both Leslie and Jolene, and everyone so involved is aware of the commitments involved, they should be allowed to express this love to the fullest. Also, if Kyle was already married to Leslie, and then with Leslie"s full consent a relationship developed with Jolene, they wouldn"t have a way of including Jolene fully. One person would always have the status as opposed to it being an equal relationship between the three of them. Because of this inequality it"s safe to say more conflict would occur.

I once again thank Con for engaging with me, and look forward to your rebuttal. If you have any questions as to the order of this debate etc., feel free to mention so we can give it more order if possible.

http://www.law.cornell.edu...
http://gaymarriage.procon.org...
http://www.statisticbrain.com... (detailed statistics on infidelity)
Juris

Con

Whether i'm against gay marriage is immaterial, but surely i'm against polygamy.

You committed "unknown authority" fallacy as no sources were cited when you stated those definitions of marriage.

Also, you committed "appeal to definition" because you relied so much on dictionary's limited definition. Sir, dictionaries don't reason.

Moreover, when you assumed that polygamy can happen because slavery which was changed, you're guilty of "appeal to moon" and "weak analogy". Although slavery was acceptable before, it was abolished for war and perhaps by public-spirited reasons. The abolition brought change in the American values.

While it was the case with slavery, in polygamy is different. First, reasons to abolish slavery were strong. The country was in civil war, but there are no urgent or deep reasons to allow polygamy. Second, the United States is a christian country, not muslim. The Christian's practice is monogamy.

You have a very limited understanding about what sanctity is. You think that because in polygamy, marriages are still allowed that it would not destroy the sanctity of marriage. To be involved alone in polygamous relationship violates the sanctity of marriage.

You said legalizing polygamy is an example of how laws change to accommodate moral values. To which I respond, there are no urgent calls to legalize polygamy.

Given that in marriage, other people cheat, there is no way that allowing polygamy would solve these problems.

You said "if three people truly love each other romantically, they cannot fully share this love because of legal restrictions." This statement is incorrect. Marriage is not the only way to fully express your love to someone, your kind and caring actions are enough.

Because you failed to give strong reasons to justify your claim, you gave weak analogies, and you made a lot of incorrect assumptions, the motion falls.
Debate Round No. 2
Aporia

Pro

Thank you for keeping the debate going!

Right away, I would like to discount your finger-pointing. A definition is a definition, I even used one I thought was most fair and in your favor. I posted two as a courtesy so we could refer to them. It was not an "unknown authority" fallacy. If that"s the case let me point out that the terms that I specifically asked you to identify, you have absolutely failed to do so. This means that, since you have not stated a definition other than what I responded to, I have refuted your entire thesis, other than "I am against legalizing polygamy in the United States." To that, at least, we both agree.

Here are the statements which you have not clarified, and to which I have discounted. They make up your entire thesis.
-""destroy the sanctity of marriage and the values of the society."
-""likelihood that conflict occurs will increase if polygamy is allowed."
""there are no strong reasons as to why legalize polygamy."

Secondly, I did not make a "Appeal to moon" or "weak analogy" statement. I was not "assuming" as you say, that polygamy will be legal because slavery was made illegal. I was using the changing views in interracial marriage and slavery to illustrate the concept that "societal values," of the kind you mentioned, are not set in stone. And you cannot make a statement relying on them being so, when they change constantly over time. My argument directly countered your statement -""destroy the sanctity of marriage and the values of the society," and I gave you a chance to clarify your thesis but you have not. Finally, let me make a note that slavery not acceptable to many human beings forced into slavery. So when you say it was acceptable at one point, that is overly generalized and relative.

mar"riage
noun \G2;mer-ij, G2;ma-rij\
: the relationship that exists between a husband and a wife
: a similar relationship between people of the same sex
: a ceremony in which two people are married to each other
Full Definition of MARRIAGE
1
a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage
b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock
c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
2
: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

So now, you have changed your criteria I noticed. Instead of "strong" reasons, you have no demanded "urgent or deep reasons." Once again, you have not defined the criterion for these, and completely ignored my question about what "strong" means. So, reflecting on this, by saying you must have urgent or deep reasons to legalize something, are you implying that to legalize anything you must have urgent or deep reasons? I"m positive many things were legalized that were not what you"d generally believe to be urgent or deep reasons. Alcohol was legalized but I don"t believe any of the reasons were very deep or urgent. So why is polygamy receiving a special criteria by you to be legalized?
Beyond that, I can think of scenarios that are urgent and deep relative to an individual to be a polygamist. Example, a man is threated with death unless within a month he marries into a polygamist relationship. He has urgent reasons, a time frame of a month. And deep reasons, he values his life. This scenario has agreed with both your criteria, and therefore is not refuted.

Here we have another issue, "Second, the United States is a christian country, not muslim. The Christian's practice is monogamy." You have stated that the U.S. is a Christian country, and that the Christian"s practice is monogamy. There are 2-7 million Muslims in the United States, and mosques in most states. So it is easy to say that American citizens and immigrants are Muslims. The dominant religions in the U.S. are Christian, so one could argue it is a Christian nation, I won"t argue against it. However, Christians follow the Bible as the sole source of knowledge, (as well as possibly perceived divine guidance). In the Bible it not only gives several examples of good men practicing polygamy, it condones it. So the fact that polygamy is illegal in a nation, dominated as you say, by a religion who"s full text condones it is confusing. The state of polygamy in law would actually work to disprove what you"ve said about the U.S. being a Christian country CChristian na
Christian country.
Now, this brings us back to the societal values again. You"re stuck. Either societal values never change, in which case you"re wrong. Or societal values SHOULD never change, in which case you agree with polygamy. Otherwise I don"t see how you can say that polygamy ""destroys" the values of the society."

Your paragraph about sanctity is convoluted. All I can make out is that you"re telling me I have a limited understanding of sanctity, which you failed to define. Here you are;

sanc"ti"ty
noun \G2;sa!1;(k)-tə-tē\
: the quality or state of being holy, very important, or valuable
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

So this definition relies on the definition of holy I see, which is;

ho"ly
adjective \G2;h!3;-lē\
: connected to a god or a religion
: religious and morally good
"used in phrases that show surprise or excitement
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

This definition does not specify which religion. And if the definition specified the Christian religion, from my sources proving that in the Bible it was condoned, polygamy would NOT be destroying the sanctity of marriage, as you said it would. That"s as clear-cut as can be.

In regards to "Given that in marriage, other people cheat, there is no way that allowing polygamy would solve these problems," I NEVER stated that polygamy would solve these problems. I have only discounted your claim that more conflict would arise out of polygamous relationships. Furthermore, your statement is 100% assumption. You have given not a single source, definition, or argument that isn"t based off of opinion. I have refuted your entire thesis thus far and patiently wait for you to amend it.

Given that defining expressions of love here would be an unnecessary tangent, I concede that marriage might not be the fullest expression of love. But this does not add to your argument at all. Almost any reasons other than love (family, security, money, sexual attraction) that people want to get married, can be applied to people wanting to get married in a polygamous way. So you have not argued against polygamy.

Furthermore, the only motivation that I need for legalizing polygamy is that it is ethical, and some people may want it as an option. You have the responsibility of proving why it should NOT be legalized, and seeing as it is unconstitutional and unfair for people who prefer that relationship and cannot achieve it, it should be legalized. Your only reasons against this have been discounted.

http://civilliberty.about.com...
http://iraq.usembassy.gov...
http://skepticsannotatedbible.com...
Juris

Con

Pro’s entire case rests on the assumption that societal values change like the fate of slavery that polygamy should be legalized in the United states. An analogy between slavery and polygamy is made which I pointed out that this is a weak analogy. The reason he has given is not enough to warrant his claim.


No criterion has been changed. Whether strong or deep reasons these two are synonymous. Both of which, however, Pro failed to give sufficient evidence to support his claim.




Even there few muslims in the United States, it is not a justifiable reason to allow polygamy. Remember that your claim is to allow polygamy in the United States that includes not only Muslims but also Christians. It is a fact that there is no compelling reason to adopt polygamy in the United States.

If you have conceded that polygamy would not solve relationship problems, then why you want to allow polygamy in the first place?

You stated, “. Almost any reasons other than love (family, security, money, sexual attraction) that people want to get married, can be applied to people wanting to get married in a polygamous way.” If this is one of your reasons why legalize polygamy, then it is not a good tradeoff. Think of what would happen to the society if you allow polygamy. Think of the men, women, children, and values of our society. They would no longer have security for love.



Another you said, “…the only motivation that I need for legalizing polygamy is that it is ethical, and some people may want it as an option.” This is a form of begging the question. You are assuming that polygamy is ethical which you have not given any reason as why you think it’s ethical, you just assumed. Moreover, if it becomes an option, many people would not be secured with their relationship.


There was a literature review and statistical analysis conducted by Prof. Rose McDermott, a professor of political science at Brown University about polygamy.

Among McDermott’s conclusions:

Based on the best data available to date in the world, including the majority of countries across the globe, I find that in polygynous societies, women sustain more physical and sexual abuse. They have more children, are more likely to die in childbirth, and live shorter lives than their counterparts in more monogamous societies. In polygynous societies, women are more subject to sex trafficking and female genital mutilation while receiving less equal treatment than men, and encountering more discrimination under the law. In addition, girls are less likely to be educated, restricting a key component allowing for upward mobility and economic independence. In societies with high rates of polygyny, up to half of the boys are ejected from their primary communities, with incalculable effects on them. Moreover, the average individual in a polygynous society has fewer liberties than the average individual in a state which prohibits polygyny. A polygynous state spends more on average on defense, leaving fewer resources available for building domestic infrastructure, including projects devoted to health and education. This is quite a diverse set of effects, confirming the wide-ranging consequences of polygyny in societies in which women live as enforced second class citizens, and the states of which they are a part. . . .

More generally, while some individuals certainly claim to benefit from being in a polygynous union, there has been no statistical demonstration that polygyny benefits most men or women, boys or girls or society considered as a whole. Nor are any such effects manifest in the vast majority of the peer-reviewed literature examining a smaller number of cases than would be permitted by statistical analysis. Perhaps such a defence of polygyny, unlikely though it may be, could be made and supported with data meeting the standards which we advocate – verifiable, comprehensive, valid, and reliable. But for now it is fair to state that while polygyny’s negative effects are wide-ranging, statistically demonstrated, and independently verified using alternative analytical tools, its beneficial consequences are circumscribed and at odds with the welfare of most.


The Judge in British Columbia was impressed by the study conducted above which made him to decide against polygamy.

Here is the link of the case regarding polygamy being not a good idea: http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca...


Again, you haven’t provided compelling reasons to legalize polygamy in the United States. All you did was to commit extended analogy fallacy, begging the question, weak analogy.

Debate Round No. 3
Aporia

Pro

Aporia forfeited this round.
Juris

Con

Please vote. thank you
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Aporia 3 years ago
Aporia
My apologies for not finishing it up! I traveled out for Christmas : )
Posted by Aporia 3 years ago
Aporia
I have to agree. I think the "two" in the definition was included because it was generally just two at a time haha, not limited to two. Historically polygamy has been around forever. I was wondering my opponents take on same-sex marriage for those reasons, but he chose to disengage. I do think it's funny the puzzles our court systems keep getting themselves into. It's difficult to increasingly add laws without being able to estimate their interplay with all the others. As anyone who's taken an interest in philosophy will know, or even programming, the more you add the stickier the web!
Posted by WhereDoWeBegin 3 years ago
WhereDoWeBegin
"I didn't realize it was that close to legality."

Opponents of same-sex marriage, when invoking the specter of polygamy, are often accused of peddling slippery slope arguments. In my opinion, it's not a slippery slope at all, but a logical inevitability.

The argument for same-sex marriage is frequently formulated as "Any two consenting adults who wish to marry should be allowed to."

The formula admits only two constraints: age of majority and consensuality (the number "two" in the formula is merely an historical artifact). With only those two constraints, it becomes impossible to distinguish between same-sex marriage and virtually any imaginable polyamorous relationship. There simply is nothing in either constraint which speaks to the number of partners in any way. Once one accepts those -- and no other -- constraints, the progression is inevitable (in fact, even calling it a "progression" seems a misnomer; polyamory is not a "next step", it's already built-in). While there may be other arguments in favor of same-sex marriage that don't also encompass polyamory, no one's been arguing those.

It's not a slippery slope to suggest that polygamy, polygyny, polyandry and ultimately all forms of polyamory will follow same-sex marriage; it's an inevitable consequence of the arguments that have been put forth in favor of same-sex marriage. And the Utah ruling, I think, is the proof: a vote for same-sex marriage is a vote for polyamory. You want one, you gotta take both.
Posted by Aporia 3 years ago
Aporia
I'm not overly for or against, but so as not to detract from my current argument I can't say my complete stance until post-debate. I will say I have no theistic motives.
Posted by lit.wakefield 3 years ago
lit.wakefield
Out of curiosity, are you truly for legalization of polygamy?
Posted by Aporia 3 years ago
Aporia
Awesome input, and part of my argument as well. Thanks for the comment! I didn't realize it was that close to legality.
Posted by WhereDoWeBegin 3 years ago
WhereDoWeBegin
This seems rather relevant to this debate:

"Judge Cites Same-Sex Marriage in Declaring Polygamy Ban Unconstitutional"

over at Breitbart.com.

That was a federal judge, by the way. This seems to pose the question: Can we have one (same-sex marriage) without the other (polyamory)?

In the same vein, the North Dakota AG recently issued an opinion that, under North Dakota law (the ND constitution forbids the recognition of any same-sex marriage), should an individual in a same-sex marriage show up in North Dakota requesting to be married heterosexually, the state would be required to treat that individual as "single/non-married" and thus eligible for a ND marriage license. Effective result: polygamy. Wonder what would happen if the happy threesome then jetted off to, say, New York, which recognizes the validity of both licenses?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
AporiaJurisTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by SPENCERJOYAGE14 3 years ago
SPENCERJOYAGE14
AporiaJurisTied
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Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had better conduct due to FF. Both had mistakes in grammar and spelling but not many. Con made better arguments over all. Pro used sources while con had none. Interesting debate.