The Instigator
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
harrytruman
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Polygamy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/21/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 506 times Debate No: 92977
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)

 

Danielle

Pro

Full Resolution: Polygamy should be legal in the United States

Polygamy involves marriage with more than one spouse.

I will begin my arguments in Round 2. Thanks.
harrytruman

Con

Marriage:
the legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman (or, in some jurisdictions, two people of the same sex) as partners in a relationship.
1 man, 1 woman, not 1 man 2 women, or 8 men and 8 women.
Debate Round No. 1
Danielle

Pro

The Legal Status of Marriage

Marriage is the legal status, condition, or relationship that results from a contract by which people, who have the capacity to enter into such an agreement, mutually promise to live together in the relationship for life, or until the legal termination of the relationship. Marriage is a legally sanctioned contract. Entering into a marriage contract changes the legal status of both parties, giving them new rights and obligations [1].

A marriage is considered a contract, so it must meet the requirements of a contract [2]. For instance, you must be over the age of 18 and must have the mental capacity to enter into a contract. Marriage solidifies a business arrangement. Without this legal/business agreement, the relationship would be spiritual (emotional) in nature and not require any legal protection or sanctioning whatsoever. However in order to be afforded the rights and privileges that come with marriage, people must enter this legal agreement. In this debate, my opponent will have the burden of proving why this legal status should be limited to just two people.

The History of Marriage and Family

There is no such thing as a truly "traditional" marriage, since the definition and standards for marriage have changed many times since its inception [3]. Throughout history, different types of families have existed based on the cultural needs and preferences of the society.

Polygamy was widely accepted throughout the world until the Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church imposed the rule of having just one wife [4]. Prior to that, the Hebrews, Chinese, Africans and people all over the world engaged in polygamous relationships. The Hindu god, Krishna, had 16,108 wives. Polygamy was also accepted by various holy books including the Bible and the Torah; for instance Solomon had as many as 700 wives. Today polygamy is still common in many Muslim countries in West Africa [5]. There can be no doubt that historically, this status was permitted in the vast majority of cultures.

In 1998 the University of Wisconsin surveyed more than a thousand societies. Of these just 186 were monogamous. "Some anthropologists believe that polygamy has been the norm through human history. In 2003, New Scientist magazine suggested that, until 10,000 years ago, most children had been sired by comparatively few men. Variations in DNA, it said, showed that the distribution of X chromosomes suggested that a few men seem to have had greater input into the gene pool than the rest. By contrast most women seemed to get to pass on their genes. Humans, like their primate forefathers, it said, were at least mildly polygynous" [6].

There is a practical utility in polygamy. In 1972, the evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers outlined the foundational reasons for the reproductive benefits of having more than one spouse. In short, reproductive success is limited by number of mates [7]. Further, there may be social utility in polygamy. Consider the fact that rather than engaging in extramarital affairs, polygamists choose to stay in committed relationships with their sexual partners.

The point of this section is to note that there is no definitively right or wrong way to experience sex and relationships. People as individuals have subjective values based on their culture (religion, exposure, economic or pragmatic circumstance, etc.). It is possible to love multiple people at once; for instance I currently love many of my friends and family. Strong feelings are not limited to one exclusive person. Neither is sexual attraction or the ability to be in a relationship and parent effectively.

Proactive Arguments

A marriage is a merger. It requires laying everything out on the table and some negotiation. It involves combining assets and a transfer of ownership or joint ownership regarding communal property. It also has to do with assessing power of attorneys -- in other words deciding what rights and legal relationships people have toward each other. For instance if someone suffers from a serious injury or illness, spouses often act as power of attorneys who can make medical decisions on their partner's behalf.

Like all business arrangements, marriage requires consent and the signing of a legal document to seal the deal. Contracts outline the specific expectations, obligations and parameters for the agreement. The contract of marriage comes with specific conditions as well.

Contracts are NOT limited to two people. A multi-lateral contract is an agreement between several people or groups of people [8]. The government's role is not to legislate morality or preferences, but instead to protect rights and facilitate contracts. The government does not get to have a say in dictating people's personal relationships or lifestyles, so long as they involve mentally competent adults. Similarly the government doesn't get to decide the terms of people's mutual and voluntary contracts. The government's role here is simply to ensure the terms of the contract are being met.

The government does impose certain standards about what qualifies as a legal contract. For example it sets the standard for legal capacity, meaning someone that is drunk, underage or under duress cannot legally provide consent. Con will be responsible for explaining why the government should limit the contract of marriage to 2 people against the will of other adults of sound legal mind. Whereas the government has an incentive to protect the interest of vulnerable parties, inhibiting polygamy acts to restrict the interest of fully consenting parties.

Legalizing polygamy gives people the freedom of choice. Americans should live free from the tyranny of other people's moral preferences, so long as nobody is being directly harmed (aggressed against). This could also be an integral part of religious freedom. Criminalizing polygamy unconstitutionally deprives certain people of their First Amendment right to freely practice their religion. Under the First Amendment, the Congress cannot pass a law that prohibits the free exercise of religion.

When the Supreme Court ruled against legalized polygamy, they did so under the premise that some might suggest a number of things falls under their religion (i.e. human sacrifice) and that would be problematic. However human sacrifice involves murder and the aggression against another person; polygamy does not. Therefore, since polygamy is essentially a business contract between mentally sound and consenting adults, it should be legally upheld as it is a victimless crime. No one is being directly harmed in such a way that warrants legal intervention.

Note: where the government allows for specific provisions for spouses and only one spouse is reasonable, the terms of the contract can be amended to specify which partner receives which benefits. For example, if two spouses disagree on how the third (incapacitated) spouse's medical treatment should be handled, the contract should mention which spouse takes precedence or has the final say. This is similar to just about every other contract with multiple parties. Contracts involving more people are trickier, but they are legal and with perfectly good reason.

Conclusion

Polygamy allows for a strong familial support system and helps provide economic stability. It also provides extra fatherly or motherly support to those in need. Supporter George Q. Cannon quipped, "Our crime has been: we married women instead of seducing them; we reared children instead of destroying them." There is nothing inherently immoral about loving or engaging in relationships with multiple people. Moreover, the government does not exist to legislate morality or specific religious ideals, as that would be unconstitutional. The government does however facilitate contracts.

It is perfectly legal to enter into multi-party contracts. Since marriage as far as government is concerned acts as a legal contract, then it is perfectly reasonable for polygamy to be allowed. Not allowing polygamy is arguably a violation of one's religious freedom, and certainly a complete and utterly unnecessary violation of people's liberty.

[1] http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
[2] http://www.nycbar.org...
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[4] https://www.polygamy.com...
[5] http://www.npr.org...
[6] http://www.independent.co.uk...
[7] Trivers, R. L. 1972. Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. Campbell, ed. Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man, 1871-1971, Aldine-Atherton, Chicago, pp. 136-179.
[8] http://paralegal.everestcollege.edu...
harrytruman

Con

Bs”d

Sexism:

It is inherently sexist for 1 man to be married to more than 1 woman for a number of reasons:

  1. In this case the women are regarded as property since a man can have multiple women but these women can only have 1 man and only by default.
  2. In polygamy the woman is expendable since there are multiple of them. In monogamy if you’re a jerk to your wife she’ll leave you, but in polygamy you can just go get another.
  3. Polygamy is only practiced in sexist cultures and nations. {1} In every place where polygamy is legal women are being oppressed, no first world nation has legalized polygamy but every middle eastern or African nation has, all of which are Muslim hell holes that no one would want to move to.

In fact, polygamy causes women too receive an increased rate of HIV, increases their chances of domestic violence, subjects them to more FGM, and sex trafficking and all other forms of horrible things. {2}

“According to the information I have helped to collect in the Womanstats database, women in polygynous communities get married younger, have more children, have higher rates of HIV infection than men, sustain more domestic violence, succumb to more female genital mutilation and sex trafficking, and are more likely to die in childbirth. Their life expectancy is also shorter than that of their monogamous sisters. In addition, their children, both boys and girls, are less likely to receive both primary and secondary education.”

This verifies my previous claims, if wives are expendable, they will be subject to domestic abuse more often.

Societal issues:

A study from the University of British Columbia found that monogamy has reduced issues caused in polygamous cultures {3}:

“In cultures that permit men to take multiple wives, the intra-sexual competition that occurs causes greater levels of crime, violence, poverty and gender inequality than in societies that institutionalize and practice monogamous marriage.”

Every time that polygamy was practiced in the Torah, it ended in death. Abram marries Hagar and has Ishmael, look at what happened, he was going to kill Isaac so he had to kick him out in to the desert. Now we have these guys who blow up buildings.


Conclusion:

Polygamy is nothing other than institutionalized sexism acknowledged by government; it makes women expendable, subjects them to more abuses, and regards them as property. It increases poverty, violence, and gender inequality. {3} Such marital institutions with the effects that it has should not be tolerated by any civilized nation.

Debate Round No. 2
Danielle

Pro

Re: Sexism

My opponent's first argument is sexism. Polygamy is not limited to polygyny (when a man is married to more than one wife) but also includes polyandry (when a woman is married to more than one husband). Ergo this argument on sexism is totally irrelevant.

Re: Problems with Polygamy

Con claims that women in polygamous relationships have increased risks of danger; however, he does not present a source for his claim. Nonetheless, this makes sense considering polygamy is mostly practiced in Africa where the entire continent suffers from a slew of human rights violations. The statistic on polygamous people having higher rates of HIV is specifically because people in Africa are riddled with HIV in general [1].

Sex trafficking is also a problem in these areas. Con mentions genital mutilation among these people, which is yet another problem that is directly linked to Africa [2]. Many of the societal observations on "polygamous cultures" is problematic because of that, yet the resolution applies to the United States, specifically. We have no reason to believe that HIV and genital mutilation will somehow become the norm if polygamy is realized. In fact, since the vast majority of people prefer monogamy [3], it is unlikely that polygamy and its subsequent effects would be widespread.

My opponent suggests "Such marital institutions with the [negative] effects that it has should not be tolerated by any civilized nation." However Con has not proven that the effects are directly related to polygamy, specifically. Regardless, we do not inhibit certain types of relationships based on the fact that something bad COULD happen. For example, women with disabilities are 40% more likely to experience domestic violence, yet we do not prohibit disabled women from marrying [4]. Likewise black women are 35% more likely to experience victimization in marriage, yet we do not prevent black people from marrying.

Conclusion

Con has dropped every single one of my relevant arguments including the benefits of polygamy.

I've explained that marriage is a legal contract which Con did not contest. I've also explained that multi-lateral contracts exist.

Con's lone argument is that women in polygamous relationships might suffer some hardship which is irrelevant. This is especially true considering this country allows for divorce, and doesn't allow for the cultural ramifications of less stable societies that currently practice polygamy.

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[2] http://www.endfgm.eu...
[3] http://www.alternet.org...'t_monogamous
[4] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
harrytruman

Con

First of all I did provide a source, DDO just deleted my citations:

{1}. http://metro.co.uk...

{2}. http://news.ubc.ca...

{3}. http://www.wsj.com...


It really doesn't matter that oppression isn't limited toward the woman, just because men can become expendable by polygamy doesn't make it OK, infact it only increases the ammount of oppression. Polygamy was originally only in the form of polygyny, which is inhereintly sexist, therefor polygamy was invented as something sexist, but now today women can oppress men as well as men opressing women, so that makes it so much better right?

My source also states that polygamous women are more suseptible than monagamous women in Africa, so monagamous women who are also in Africa are at a reduced risk of HIV, and the same goes for sex trafficing and FGM, women in the same area are less susteptible to this because they are monagamous, and when monagamy was introduced, these issues reduced.

And your comparison of black people and disabled people is flawed, black and disabled are not choices, polygamy is, you chose to mary multiple people. So preventing black people from matrrying or disabled people would be discrimination on account of them being black or disabled, while preventing someone from marryig multiple people is not, since polygamy s a decision, not what you are.

Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by dsjpk5 5 months ago
dsjpk5
Busted!
Posted by airmax1227 5 months ago
airmax1227
Vote by Theguy1789 has been removed

RFD: "1.Sexism- Con claims that polygamy is sexist because 1 man can marry more than 1 woman, pro refutes this by citing how polygamy can constitute 1 woman marrying more than 1 man, con drops this in round 3 therefor this point to pro.
2.HIV- Con claims that women in polygamy are more susceptible to HIV, pro says that this is because polygamous women live in Africa where there is more HIV, con refutes this by citing how they were comparing monogamous and polygamous women in the same country, therefor this point to con.
3.Societal issues- Con claims that monogamy reduced issues in polygamous cultures, citing the University of British Columbia, pro drops this in round 3. Therefor this point to con
Con won 2 points and pro won 3 therefor arguments to con."

This vote is being removed independent of vote moderation standards.

Theguy1789 and HarryTruman are encouraged to contact me immediately

-Airmax1227
Debate.org Moderator
Posted by lannan13 5 months ago
lannan13
I will vote on this tomorrow.
Posted by whiteflame 5 months ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: Theguy1789// Mod action: NOT Removed<

3 points to Con (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Comments

[*Reason for non-removal*] The voter clearly explains their decision by analyzing specific arguments by both debaters.
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Posted by Theguy1789 5 months ago
Theguy1789
1.Sexism- Con claims that polygamy is sexist because 1 man can marry more than 1 woman, pro refutes this by citing how polygamy can constitute 1 woman marrying more than 1 man, con drops this in round 3 therefor this point to pro.
2.HIV- Con claims that women in polygamy are more susceptible to HIV, pro says that this is because polygamous women live in Africa where there is more HIV, con refutes this by citing how they were comparing monogamous and polygamous women in the same country, therefor this point to con.
3.Societal issues- Con claims that monogamy reduced issues in polygamous cultures, citing the University of British Columbia, pro drops this in round 3. Therefor this point to con
Con won 2 points and pro won 3 therefor arguments to con.
Posted by whiteflame 5 months ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: Udel// Mod action: NOT Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Pro argued that polygamy was popular in history and that marriage is a legal contract. Since multi-lateral contracts between multiple parties exist, the same should apply to marriage. Con says polygamy is sexist because its origins were polygynous which is irrelevant, since this debate is about polygamy, not polygyny. Also people are not forced into sexist institutions as Pro said. Pro said this is about the choice of a few people who want polygamy. Con did not respond to the benefits of polygamy or explain anything at all about the contracts. Con provided sources saying polygamous people suffered a lot of AIDS which Pro mentioned is because polygamy most often occurs in Africa where there is a lot of AIDS. Pro said Con has not proven AIDS and other issues would be the norm here in the U.S. which Con dropped. Con says polygamy is a choice but this does not address Pro's contractual argument. Con also dropped Pro's point on the first amendment.

[*Reason for non-removal*] The voter clearly explains their decision on the basis of specific arguments made by both debaters. The voter is not required to cover all major points made in the debate under the basic standards. If the reporter wishes to require this in the future, the opt-in system may be a better choice.
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Posted by whiteflame 5 months ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: Hillary4Prez// Mod action: Removed<

5 points to Pro (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Although I believe that polygamy historically and currently has been/is extremely sexist, Con failed to respond to many of Pro's points and Pro used both more sources and sources that were primarily from government agency websites and universities. Con used reliable sources as well, but the number and quality of sources cited by Pro is sufficient to grant her the "reliable sources" point.

[*Reason for removal*] )1) Arguments are insufficiently explained. The voter is required to assess specific points made by both debaters, and not just dismiss one side's arguments on the basis that they didn't address points made by the other side. (2) Sources are insufficiently explained. The voter is required to do more than refer to where the sources came from in order to establish their reliabiity. It should be clear that the content meets the standard of reliable and that the sources play a role in the debate.
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Posted by harrytruman 5 months ago
harrytruman
here are ,my sources I don't know why hey didn't show up, round 2:
{1}. http://metro.co.uk...
{2}. http://news.ubc.ca...
{3}. http://www.wsj.com...
Posted by harrytruman 5 months ago
harrytruman
No. Opening statements.
Posted by kasmic 5 months ago
kasmic
Harrytruman, is your first round supposed to be an arguement?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Udel 5 months ago
Udel
DanielleharrytrumanTied
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Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro argued that polygamy was popular in history and that marriage is a legal contract. Since multi-lateral contracts between multiple parties exist, the same should apply to marriage. Con says polygamy is sexist because its origins were polygynous which is irrelevant, since this debate is about polygamy, not polygyny. Also people are not forced into sexist institutions as Pro said. Pro said this is about the choice of a few people who want polygamy. Con did not respond to the benefits of polygamy or explain anything at all about the contracts. Con provided sources saying polygamous people suffered a lot of AIDS which Pro mentioned is because polygamy most often occurs in Africa where there is a lot of AIDS. Pro said Con has not proven AIDS and other issues would be the norm here in the U.S. which Con dropped. Con says polygamy is a choice but this does not address Pro's contractual argument. Con also dropped Pro's point on the first amendment.