The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

People should be legally permitted to marry more than one person, in secular society.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/16/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 860 times Debate No: 44124
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Both sides must justify their views. This is debate about secular society, so do not bring forward your religious beliefs. First round is for acceptance, no argument is posted.

Definitions :

1. Secularism is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institutions and religious dignitaries.

2. Marriage is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws.



I wholeheartedly accept. I will be for the motion that it should not be legally permitted to marry more than one person in a secular society. I look forward to a fun and interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to begin with few definitions.
Human rights are moral principles that set out certain standards of human behaviour, and are regularly protected as legal rights in national and international law.[1]
Individual rights is associated with equality before the law and protection from the state.[2]

In secular society, state does not have any right to dictate the rules of marriage, because it does not have any rational basis for moral values. Hence, in liberal-secular society, the married couple can have sexual intercourse with third person anytime they want, and they won't be accountable for these action. But for the state not allowing such relation(s) to be legalized is absurd, and has no rational grounding.
If these relations does not violate any human and individual rights, and if several persons agree to be in such relationship (polygamy - polygyny, polyandry; conjoint marriage) and they are not going to be accountable for such relation, therefore the government does not have any right for not to allowing them to legalize their relation.
Also such relations are natural and found in nature, and Homo Sapiens are also part of Nature, so denying polygamy is denying Nature.
Polygamy was practiced over human history. Monogamy, however, is a Roman invention (but Romans had slaves and they were allowed to have sex with slaves), later was adopted by Christians (by Catholic Church, and it contradicts the Law) and after rise of secularism in Europe monogamy was adopted by secularists, as several other Christian moral values were adopted by them as universal values (but they don't admit it). And monogamy as a moral value has no rational basis, has no natural basis (nature is sexist), and it violates individual rights.

[1] -
[2] -



It would appear that my opponents only real argument for the legalization of multiple marriage (in whatever form that may be since you have not specified) is that the government does not have any right to dictate the rules of marriage. I'm sure we would all agree to a lot of ideas involving the separation of state and marriage in many cases however I do not see how this is actually a good argument for the legalization of multiple marriage. You cannot say that something should be allowed solely on the fact that it isn't somebody else's business. i.e the government. That is not actually an argument, it is just a "why not" kind of case. It is basically like saying that person X is a racist and likes being racist therefore person Y has no right in telling them otherwise. It is the same concept and I think THAT is absurd.

Now you can talk about group marriage not violating any human and individual rights however
1) I feel it can and does violate rights and morality.
and 2) If everything that allegedly didn't deny human rights went smoothly then the world would be a better place but sadly that is not the case.
An argument can't be made that something that doesn't deny rights should always be allowed, because there may be a million other disadvantages of allowing such a thing to occur. But even if that was a good argument I don't think it even applies here as I will demonstrate later on how anti-humanist group marriage is and can be.

I'm not quite sure what you are trying to get across with your point about nature. You say "relations are natural and found in nature, and Homo Sapiens are also part of Nature, so denying polygamy is denying Nature. "

Again I don't see how this is an actual argument for you stance. It is again more of a "why not". But this logic is flawed. Take if a man was to marry an underage girl for example. They are both Homo Sapiens and part of nature so therefore denying that marriage to be allowed would be too denying nature? So therefore that should be permitted too? It does not make sense.

Here are some of my actual arguments against group marriage. As you have not specified what form of group marriage to discuss I will use Polygamy as an example.

Here are some of my arguments against polygamy.
1. If a woman doesn't get along with her husband, they don't have to work it out, the man can just turn to his other wife (wives) and ignore her. She has no choice but to be submissive and helpless. This is the essence of the master and slave relationship.

2. Polygamy produces excess men. For every man who marries 4 women, three men can't find a wife. They will never have kids or buy a house or need to work hard and contribute to the economy. In countries where it is practiced, they tend to turn to gangs and rebellions.

3. Only the most wealthy man can afford it, but many others will take on too many wives and children and then expect the government to take care of them. This leads to major family crisis and money issues. For example, The FLDS polygamous Mormon sect took in millions in government money to keep going.

4. With polygamy wives have to compete for affection, time, food, and essentials for their own children. Men have little interest in being the referee. They often turn the money over to one wife and all others have to beg for items. They all want the best for their own kids at the expense of the other kids. Inequality among wives and children is inevitable.

5. Polygamy is mainly practiced in backwards countries ( No one would want to move to one of these places. It only works when women's rights are eliminated so they have no choice. Again polygamy is a very unequal, and slave and master-like practice.

Basically this form of group marriage is a miserable life for all but the dominant husband.

Now here are some facts/statistics:
A new study out of the University of British Columbia documents how societies have systematically evolved away from polygamy because of the social problems it causes. (

Polygamous households contain jealousy and conflict among co-wives and Ethnographic surveys of 69 polygamous cultures reveals no case where co-wife relations could be described as harmonious. This leads to the tearing up of families.(

(Remember I am just using Polygamy as an example, since you have not specified.)

So I think it is fair to conclude that when discussing an issue such as this one, we have to look a bit beyond allowing it or disallowing it based on whether it has anything to do with the government or human "nature" as you say.

I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 2


tahir.imanov forfeited this round.


Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited this round. Hopefully they can continue for the next one.
Debate Round No. 3


Sorry for not posting argument in previous round, I was busy.

Firstly, the racist argument - the person has a right to be racist, and it is no one's business. But the manifestation of racism as verbal, violence act becomes business of government (local or state).

"I feel it can and does violate rights and morality," - CON. Tell us how conjoint marriage violates human right, and before talking about morality, prove that if secularism has any rational basis for objective morality.

The nature argument is not primary argument, it is supplementary, and best of my knowledge, mammals do not have sexual intercourse with underage (except Homo Sapiens).

"As you have not specified what form of group marriage to discuss I will use Polygamy as an example," - I did define. If you read first sentence of second paragraph, you would see "(polygamy - polygyny, polyandry; conjoint marriage)". Polygamy - one person has multiple spouses. Polygyny - man has multiple wives. Polyandry - woman has multiple husbands. Conjoint marriage - all individuals of group are married to each other (also known as group marriage, and polygamy is not group marriage). Check dictionary or wikipedia.

Answers to Con's "arguments" against polygamy :
1. Marriage Contract.
2. There are plenty of Homosexuals, and Three men who couldn't find wife, can join any group marriage.
3. The government has to take care of children anyway.
4. Again, Marriage Contract.
5. It is a fallacy.

Answer to the "Statistics"
1. Monogamy is also causes social problems.
2. Marriage Contract.

Con did not show any rational basis for morality. And his argument was not sound or strong.

My main argument is these type of marriages does not violate any human or individual rights, and hence, secular government does not have any rational basis for morality, then it cannot ban these type of marriages.


In a literal sense yes everyone has a right to free speech but that does not make things like racism morally right. Transferring this over to group marriage, it can be argued that the government has no basis for marriage desires but there must be a line drawn. Nobody would argue against the government banning men to marry underage girls for example so where do we draw the line?

The government is the only group who can allow/permit such marriage desires so they need to intervene when this line is crossed. I feel group marriages does cross the line and I have shown why through my points in the previous round which you have sadly tried to rebuke with a few words. However we will get to that soon. The government need to intervene when morality is at sake and in more particular, marriage morality or else horrific cases of marriage could surface.

"I feel it can and does violate rights and morality". I will address this now by resenting real life scenarios.

Group marriage harms men

Leaves some men with no women to marry:

"Other things being equal (and, to a good first approximation, they are), when one man marries two women, some other man marries no woman. When one man marries three women, two other men don't marry. When one man marries four women, three other men don't marry."
Source: (

harms Women

Jealousy and competition between women,
Real life cases:
1. "Likewise, she is forced now to compete for his affections for the rest of her life, thereby immersing in her an unnatural competition for the man who has already pledged himself to her."
Source: (

2. "His biggest headache, he said, stems from jealousy among the wives, the first of whom he married out of love. 'My rule is to behave equally toward all of my wives,' he said. 'But the first wife was very, very jealous when the second wife came. When the third arrived, the first two created an alliance against her. So I have to be a good diplomat.'"
Source: (

3. "There was tremendous competition between the wives, wasn't there? Oh, tremendous. We were all required to live in the same home, and there's just a lot of dominance that goes on about who has the right to rule. And, of course, the woman who has the most favor with her husband is going to rule over the other wives and their kids."

harms children

Polygamous fathers for example can't give their children adequate attention,
Real life case:
"He also has trouble keeping track of his children. He recently saw two boys fighting in the street and told them they would bring shame on their families. 'Do you not recognize me?' one replied. 'I am your son.'"
Source: (

harms families

Polygamous families are complicated and unstable

"Polyamory is a cover-all term for a bewildering variety of relationship forms--everything from open marriage, to bisexual triads, to a man with multiple women, to a woman with multiple men, to large sexual groups, and many more. The "rules" governing these arrangements are entirely flexible. There might be three "primary" partners who actually live together, and several additional "secondary" partners (collectively shared or not) to whom the three "primaries" are less committed. The levels of commitment, and the range of partnership and mutual involvement, are subject to continual change and renegotiation. Open and honest communication is the only rule. Polyamorists emphasize that multi partner unions take intense and constant work. Yet this need for a higher level of monitoring and negotiation only highlights the forces pushing against stability."
Source: Stanley Kurtz. "Polygamy Versus Democracy. You can't have both." The Weekly Standard. June 5th, 2006

You can argue that these are merely examples but they are examples based on the real-life negative effects from permitting group marriage. And might I add, you have not shown any benefits or reasons for group marriage to be permitted. The "why not" argument is not making a firm case for your stance. If that was true then I could have just said, "why should it?".

Your previous argument was that, and I quote:

"such relations are natural and found in nature, and Homo Sapiens are also part of Nature, so denying polygamy is denying Nature. "

I merely said that under this logic where can we draw the line. The example of a man marrying an underage girl 100% fits in to your nature argument here so does that mean that any type of human marriage should be allowed? No matter how vile or apparently immoral it's okay as long as it fits in to nature?

Now I'm very disappointed that you merely used a few words to try and counteract my points. It comes off as lazy and rude I'm afraid to say. For example how am I meant to rebuke a few words? You have not explained your rebuttal properly therefore I have nothing to go on. I feel as a result my points still stand.

With this I end my round. Despite your forfeit and implicitly It was still a pleasure debating with you and I wish you luck.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Artur 2 years ago
This is so ridiculous that PRO lost this debate. How could have he lost it? CON did even not bring a solid arguement, arguements done by CON was fallacy.

1. "If one man marries 2 women then 2 marries no woman"===>an arguement done by CON but this is a fallacy and like saying: the government needs to ban people from earning more than this amount of money, because if one man earns this amount of money then these number of people earns such, it must be equality.

Is it not a fallacy? It is ok to intervene one person from what he can earn in order to suplly another person with what he cant earn in a competition? This was so ridicolous.
Posted by black_squirrel 2 years ago
I think it is just impractical. For example:

If you are in a coma, which one of your spouses gets to decide to pull the plug?

I can think of more reasons why it is impractical, but I will leave it for the contender.
Posted by miketheman1200 2 years ago
Good topic.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Not that it would be right for everyone, but as long as everyone involved knows the score, I fail to see how it's the government's job to deny it.
Posted by kbub 2 years ago
I agree.
Posted by tahir.imanov 2 years ago
Definitions are taken from Wikipedia.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: While I agree with Pro, Con wins this debate on all fronts. The minimal response that Pro gives to Con's arguments comes off as incredibly dismissive and, frankly, not sufficient. Pro's argument was often difficult to grasp and read. Only Con provided reasonable resources (Wikipedia generally is not regarded as a good one). As for arguments, I think there are a lot of faults with Con's arguments, but at least he has some. "We should be able to do it because it doesn't do any harm to others" simply isn't reason enough. Pro doesn't state any harms involved in leaving it illegal, nor does he state why legalizing it affords some benefit to anyone. Some of the responses Pro provides, such as "Marriage Contract," I somewhat understand, but they're simply not sufficient response to prove Con wrong.