The Instigator
ilovgoogle
Pro (for)
Losing
22 Points
The Contender
colebertpete
Con (against)
Winning
30 Points

Polygamy should be allowed in the United States.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
colebertpete
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,171 times Debate No: 8240
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
Votes (10)

 

ilovgoogle

Pro

Polygamy - the practice or condition of having more than one spouse, esp. wife, at one time http://dictionary.reference.com...

My argument is plain and simple; polygamy should be allowed in the United States. America is based on freedom, and with freedom comes the freedom of choice. You should be allowed to select who you want to marry without the government telling you what you can and can't do with your life.
colebertpete

Con

Thank you for the chance to debate on this topic. Best of luck to you.

I don't think that polygamy should be allowed in the United States. There would be a massive trust issue between Husband & Wife or Boyfriend & Girlfriend is there was a law stating that one person could just leave in the middle of the night and go be with his/her other spouse. The backbones of marriage are that you trust this ONE person with your life and you wish to spend the rest of your life with them. This vow cannot be made to two people. One cannot say that they with to be with someone until death do them part when they give the same vow to somebody completely different. I'm not saying it's not possible, but I'm saying there would be great amounts of emotional turmoil between one person and their multiple spouses. It would be almost impossible to keep all these separate lives in check.
Debate Round No. 1
ilovgoogle

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate I think it should be a fun one!
My opponent argues that there WOULD be massive trust issues in the case of polygamy and also says that marriage is trusting one person. I would like to start off by saying yes there COULD be massive trust issues, but there IS already massive trust issues in marriages today (1 in 2 marriages end in divorce after the first 5 years) so does that mean we should ban those too? My opponent also assumes that there aren't people who can trust more then one person in a relationship. In fact there are many cases where polygamy was practiced peacefully and without problems until the government came in and deemed it as a crime. (See here http://www.theglobeandmail.com...) My opponents definition of a marriage is between 2 people. This definition is tunnel vision view of marriage. Why can't a marriage be between more then two people? Is it because the bible says so? The Puritans came to this country for religious freedom from the Catholics; right now we are forcing our Christian beliefs against people who practice Polygamy. This is the same reason we got away from Britain, for FREEDOM. This country in founded on Freedom and as I said before, with freedom comes freedom of choice, whether it be picking out what color shirt you want to wear or same many wives you take. Who are you to tell what people do and don't do if it doesn't affect you?
colebertpete

Con

To many people, possibly a majority, marriage is a religious institution. They believe that the bond they share is spiritual, like God intended for them to be together. I'm not saying religion is right, but I know it's not wrong.

I know how high the divorce rate is, but a good amount of divorces stem from cheating with another "lover". And as we all know, having multiple lovers is the definition of polygamy.

Before all the veiwers make decisions, I want them to realize that polygamy isn't wrong, but it isn't right either...it's a personal choice, but it shouldnt be made legal.
Debate Round No. 2
ilovgoogle

Pro

"To many people, possibly a majority, marriage is a religious institution. They believe that the bond they share is spiritual, like God intended for them to be together. I'm not saying religion is right, but I know it's not wrong."

You have merely looked at just the Christian belief of marriage and decided that since the majority of people practice it, it must be right and shove that belief on other people. What about people that practice other religions that believe in polygamy? Are you insinuating that all their religion's wrong and yours is right? You yourself said that people "believe" this, so why should everyone to forced to practice this "belief"? Also we must remember a little something called Separation of Church and State. While I believe it's fine to use religion to guide your decision, this is merely a dictation of what it says in the bible clearly violating separation on church and state deeming it unconstitutional.

This country was founded on Freedom and as such we should advocate it, not deem it illegal whatever your personal beliefs might be.
colebertpete

Con

"I'm not saying religion is right, but I know it's not wrong."

I am not assuming that religion is right. Just because it's what I believe, doesn't mean that I think everybody has to believe it. That's what first amendment rights protect.

This debate shouldn't be about right or wrong, it should be about respecting people's personal preferences and deciding for yourself what you want to believe in. Polygamy is not something I agree with, but I shouldn't shove my opinions down everyone's throats. I do believe that there shouldn't be an act passed saying polygamy should be made legal, but then again there shouldn't be an act passed that says it is illegal. It is a personal preference, and it is not the government's right to deny that preference.

Polygamists should not be given "marriage" as many Americans know of today. We should give them the same rights as married couples. (Hospital Rights, Adoption Rights, etc.) But "marriage" should stay as it has been in American Society, between a man and a woman.
Debate Round No. 3
ilovgoogle

Pro

"I am not assuming that religion is right. Just because it's what I believe, doesn't mean that I think everybody has to believe it. That's what first amendment rights protect."

EXACTLY! See the problem with that statement is when you involve religion in government or laws you have to start making choices between what is right and what is wrong, legal and illegal. When you adopt the Christian belief of marriage and deem others illegal you make one religion better or right and the others wrong. This is why we have adopted separation of church and state.

"I do believe that there shouldn't be an act passed saying polygamy should be made legal, but then again there shouldn't be an act passed that says it is illegal. It is a personal preference, and it is not the government's right to deny that preference."
Which is it? You yourself have supported my argument. This is a country of FREEDOM, what right do we have to impede upon the rights of others and their choices? It it not the government's right to deem something as opinionated as marriage legal or illegal. There are many different definitions of marriage; rather then just have one, why can't people all have their own definition?
colebertpete

Con

"There are many different definitions of marriage; rather then just have one, why can't people all have their own definition?"

Then it wouldn't be what is known as marriage. Diet Coke is not the same as regular Coke. If I was in a restaraunt and I ordered a Coke, they give me a Diet Coke, and I ask what's up and they say "Oh, it's pretty much the same." It's not the same!! Just like the "Man+Woman" marriage and the "Man+Man+Woman+Woman+Man/Woman" marriage, it's not the same.

And to what was said about me agreeing with my opposition, here it goes. We all can have opinions, yeah, it's true. Blue can be my favorite color, green can be yours. Oreos can be my favorite cookie, Chips Ahoy! can be yours. But the government has to decide which is the best color or best cookie to protect America. Yes, America was based on freedom, but too much freedom leads to bad things. Government can be defined as: "a branch or service of the supreme authority of a state or nation, taken as representing the whole." The keyword is 'Whole'. The government is here to protect the whole of the United States, not a radical minority. The only way the law will be changed to fit that radicalism is if the minority became a majority.

Right now, the majority of Americans look at marriage by the religious definition. (I won't say Christian Marriage because the Jewish religion and other religions have similar marriage ideals.) Therefore the government protects the Religious view of marriage, because it is the majority. Therefore, any other view of marriage is just white noise unless there is a swing in marital definition. Right now, marriage is between one man and one woman (Man & Man, or Woman & Woman in some states).
Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ilovgoogle 7 years ago
ilovgoogle
@Roylatham What are you talking about? Tradition being overthrown would support my case.

"It's not sufficient to just say, in essence, "It's a free country."" Tell me why using my opponent's words words in the debate. My opponent NEVER refuted this. My points were not refuted in the debate! You keep drawing you're own conclusions based on things never said. You need to vote on the debate itself and not you're bias.
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
Thank you for proving my point, Cole. You are absolutely right. The majority Christian voting base population in each state, as well as the nation, has chosen to legislate moral schemas that can primarily be attributed to Christianity. The separation of church and state is fundamentally crucial in a democracy. We might expect the "Church" to hold forcible power in a theocracy, dictatorship, etc. In a democracy, we must reassert that religion and state should be separated, which is why the argument is so crucial to this debate. It wasn't even originally included in the Constitution. Judicial activism was required, in the most free nation in the world, to even legislate the separation of church and state.
Posted by colebertpete 7 years ago
colebertpete
Just because America is based on Christian Principles, doesn't mean the Church has a hold on the government. The Government chose these principles not because they had to, but because they wanted to
Posted by alto2osu 7 years ago
alto2osu
"Again on the arguement of Separation of Church and State on this, religions have no bearing over marriage, a marriage is a marriage. It could be performed at a great Cinnagog in New York City, or at Leroy's Shotgun wedding shack, it means the same thing. To say that this is an issue over separation of church and state is absurd. The U.S. Government didn't adopt these practices because of forces by the church. Two of the most Atheistic people in America could get married, it doesn't make them religious. It is a license issued by the government. Not a holy scribe delivered by Angels of something."

I'd have to fundamentally disagree on the basis that 99.9% of our legislation/legal system is based in core Christian values. Even I, as an ardent atheist, will concede that our country was founded on Christian principles. We legislate our morality. Hence, marriage was a religious institution long before it was a state institution. Not only that, but state marriage licenses are a separate manifestation. It would be more accurate to call them civil unions, though the religious right refuses to acknowledge the clear difference in a state sanctioned marriage and a church sanctioned marriage. Within US society, the two are inextricably tied via Christian ideology. Hence, fully realizing the separation of church and state compels the pro. The "Church" didn't force marriage upon the US; US citizens, who are majority Christian, chose democratically to include this religious ceremony in US law, and grant citizens government benefits for entering into the state of wedlock.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
What I was pointing out with the examples of fish and motorcycles was the burden of proof assumed by Pro in the debate. If Pro doesn't provide a prima facia case, the resolution fails. I think that Con did an adequate job of raising the burden of proof issue, which is mainly to show why tradition should be overthrown, to win the argument narrowly. It's not sufficient to just say, in essence, "It's a free country." I agree that con could have argued the case more pointedly.
Posted by ilovgoogle 7 years ago
ilovgoogle
"Again on the arguement of Separation of Church and State on this, religions have no bearing over marriage, a marriage is a marriage."

"To many people, possibly a majority, marriage is a religious institution. They believe that the bond they share is spiritual, like God intended for them to be together."

Once again you didn't touch upon this issue in the debate and let my point stand.
Posted by colebertpete 7 years ago
colebertpete
Again on the arguement of Separation of Church and State on this, religions have no bearing over marriage, a marriage is a marriage. It could be performed at a great Cinnagog in New York City, or at Leroy's Shotgun wedding shack, it means the same thing. To say that this is an issue over separation of church and state is absurd. The U.S. Government didn't adopt these practices because of forces by the church. Two of the most Atheistic people in America could get married, it doesn't make them religious. It is a license issued by the government. Not a holy scribe delivered by Angels of something.
Posted by yeahyeah21 7 years ago
yeahyeah21
im against it, but somehow i have a feeling that 50 years from now, it will be debated in a way that gay marriage is being debated today.
Posted by ilovgoogle 7 years ago
ilovgoogle
"Why, for example, shouldn't a person be allowed to marry their motorcycle or their goldfish? " I though about this too, but CON NEVER BROUGHT IT UP. You have to vote upon what was said in the debate. You're drawing your own conclusions based on arguments you yourself have devised not ones the opponent has argued. In fact; he didn't address almost any of my points, while I refuted his. This is basic debating. I argued the polygamy should be allowed because not allowing it would make one religion better then another. Why right do we have to tell people what they can and can't do if it doesn't affect them? Now Roylatham you brought up some good points about the legal aspects, but once again my opponent never argued this.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Con fundamentally argued that marriage has a traditional meaning for the majority, and that Pro has the burden of proving why that traditional meaning should be upset. Why, for example, shouldn't a person be allowed to marry their motorcycle or their goldfish? It's a free country, isn't it? The burden is not to explain why not, it is to explain why. There is no presently no law against 47 people cohabiting with 14 motorcycles and 9 goldfish. The question is why this should be called a "marriage."

What Con missed were the legal implications. Marriage implies all sorts of government benefits, like Social Security spousal benefits, and rights to permanent residence. It has implications for private employers who extend benefits to spouses. Moreover, there are many problems with dividing property in a divorce. There is nothing that prevents a group from entering into a contract among themselves, but the legal paradigm of marriage does not fit.
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