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The Essential Purpose of Marriage

Harper
Posts: 374
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5/20/2015 10:06:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The best way to gauge the importance and purpose of an institution, one must judge its utility. And the best way to do that is through a thought experiment-- think about what would happen if the institution were to dissolve completely. If it were truly necessary to fulfill the purpose, then the society would suffer without it.

So, then what's the purpose of marriage? What would happen in a society without it? Well, in my opinion, without marriage (a legal and social bond, usually to vow a lifetime commitment between romantically involved folks) the forces that once held fathers and mothers under the same household would also dissolve, making unstable family life a reality for even more children than now. Additionally, the lack of legal consequence for having sex with other individuals, leading to more promiscuous behavior, will increase the rates of STDs/STIs in the population. Even today, it's still much more risky to have several partners instead of one. A marriage contract is thus needed to encourage stable lives for children and promote monogamy, that will be its purpose.

Really, you already see the effects of a weak marriage institution-- there are more and more children who grow up in single parent homes, often not knowing the identity of the other parent, or have to experience their parent's divorce. None of those conditions are optimal for a child's growth, children benefit more from a stable, two-parent household.

But that's just my take on it. What's yours?
FaustianJustice
Posts: 6,221
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5/20/2015 11:13:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 10:06:20 PM, Harper wrote:
The best way to gauge the importance and purpose of an institution, one must judge its utility. And the best way to do that is through a thought experiment-- think about what would happen if the institution were to dissolve completely. If it were truly necessary to fulfill the purpose, then the society would suffer without it.

So, then what's the purpose of marriage? What would happen in a society without it? Well, in my opinion, without marriage (a legal and social bond, usually to vow a lifetime commitment between romantically involved folks) the forces that once held fathers and mothers under the same household would also dissolve, making unstable family life a reality for even more children than now. Additionally, the lack of legal consequence for having sex with other individuals, leading to more promiscuous behavior, will increase the rates of STDs/STIs in the population. Even today, it's still much more risky to have several partners instead of one. A marriage contract is thus needed to encourage stable lives for children and promote monogamy, that will be its purpose.

Really, you already see the effects of a weak marriage institution-- there are more and more children who grow up in single parent homes, often not knowing the identity of the other parent, or have to experience their parent's divorce. None of those conditions are optimal for a child's growth, children benefit more from a stable, two-parent household.

But that's just my take on it. What's yours?

That pretty much nails it. The expressed commitment to a mate for the purpose of a something better than the... various potential alternatives of not having a mate.
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
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Harper
Posts: 374
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5/21/2015 8:08:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 11:13:46 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 5/20/2015 10:06:20 PM, Harper wrote:
The best way to gauge the importance and purpose of an institution, one must judge its utility. And the best way to do that is through a thought experiment-- think about what would happen if the institution were to dissolve completely. If it were truly necessary to fulfill the purpose, then the society would suffer without it.

So, then what's the purpose of marriage? What would happen in a society without it? Well, in my opinion, without marriage (a legal and social bond, usually to vow a lifetime commitment between romantically involved folks) the forces that once held fathers and mothers under the same household would also dissolve, making unstable family life a reality for even more children than now. Additionally, the lack of legal consequence for having sex with other individuals, leading to more promiscuous behavior, will increase the rates of STDs/STIs in the population. Even today, it's still much more risky to have several partners instead of one. A marriage contract is thus needed to encourage stable lives for children and promote monogamy, that will be its purpose.

Really, you already see the effects of a weak marriage institution-- there are more and more children who grow up in single parent homes, often not knowing the identity of the other parent, or have to experience their parent's divorce. None of those conditions are optimal for a child's growth, children benefit more from a stable, two-parent household.

But that's just my take on it. What's yours?

That pretty much nails it. The expressed commitment to a mate for the purpose of a something better than the... various potential alternatives of not having a mate.
It seems pretty obvious, but I still felt the need to say it because of the fact that I hear many dismissing the necessity of marriage in human society and see how others use their own definition of marriage, whether or not it actually makes sense. Love is not the purpose of marriage and neither is it to "combine" the flesh of man and woman, it's just for stable family life and monogamy. So long as the married couple married for at least one of those two reasons, it's valid. Doesn't matter if it's man and woman, man and man or whatever.
132sque
Posts: 19
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5/23/2015 6:44:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 10:06:20 PM, Harper wrote:
The best way to gauge the importance and purpose of an institution, one must judge its utility. And the best way to do that is through a thought experiment-- think about what would happen if the institution were to dissolve completely. If it were truly necessary to fulfill the purpose, then the society would suffer without it.

So, then what's the purpose of marriage? What would happen in a society without it? Well, in my opinion, without marriage (a legal and social bond, usually to vow a lifetime commitment between romantically involved folks) the forces that once held fathers and mothers under the same household would also dissolve, making unstable family life a reality for even more children than now. Additionally, the lack of legal consequence for having sex with other individuals, leading to more promiscuous behavior, will increase the rates of STDs/STIs in the population. Even today, it's still much more risky to have several partners instead of one. A marriage contract is thus needed to encourage stable lives for children and promote monogamy, that will be its purpose.

Really, you already see the effects of a weak marriage institution-- there are more and more children who grow up in single parent homes, often not knowing the identity of the other parent, or have to experience their parent's divorce. None of those conditions are optimal for a child's growth, children benefit more from a stable, two-parent household.

But that's just my take on it. What's yours?

Nice post it was a good read. Ultimately however it is not marriage that is keeping them together, it is the couple themselves. If you have to resort to a document to keep a relationship monogamous then is that really a good environment for children. A couple that do not want to be together with a child in the frame can have all sorts of negative consequences for the child. In terms of "marriage is for children", it always confused me why therefore the vows that are taken never directly mention children. The vows explain the binding of a couple and two families together, their loyalty to one another etc... NEVER any mention of children. So how can it be for children.
Harper
Posts: 374
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5/23/2015 2:24:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/23/2015 6:44:35 AM, 132sque wrote:
At 5/20/2015 10:06:20 PM, Harper wrote:
The best way to gauge the importance and purpose of an institution, one must judge its utility. And the best way to do that is through a thought experiment-- think about what would happen if the institution were to dissolve completely. If it were truly necessary to fulfill the purpose, then the society would suffer without it.

So, then what's the purpose of marriage? What would happen in a society without it? Well, in my opinion, without marriage (a legal and social bond, usually to vow a lifetime commitment between romantically involved folks) the forces that once held fathers and mothers under the same household would also dissolve, making unstable family life a reality for even more children than now. Additionally, the lack of legal consequence for having sex with other individuals, leading to more promiscuous behavior, will increase the rates of STDs/STIs in the population. Even today, it's still much more risky to have several partners instead of one. A marriage contract is thus needed to encourage stable lives for children and promote monogamy, that will be its purpose.

Really, you already see the effects of a weak marriage institution-- there are more and more children who grow up in single parent homes, often not knowing the identity of the other parent, or have to experience their parent's divorce. None of those conditions are optimal for a child's growth, children benefit more from a stable, two-parent household.

But that's just my take on it. What's yours?

Nice post it was a good read.
Thank you.

Ultimately however it is not marriage that is keeping them together, it is the couple themselves.
Sure, but marriage encourages commitment and patience, two very important factors in good parenting. Several studies document the fact that married couples are, in fact, better parents even when compared to couples who are together but not married:
"In addition, students of parents who were living with their partner but unmarried in the early years were found to show small decreases in self-regulation and pro-social behaviour and an increase in hyperactivity."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

The vows explain the binding of a couple and two families together, their loyalty to one another etc... NEVER any mention of children. So how can it be for children.
One of the reasons why I created this thread is to show that there are two valid purposes for marriage. Whether or not the current institution follows the philosophy is irrelevant, because the point is to show what it *ought* to do, not what it currently does.
Gustav_Adolf_II
Posts: 80
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5/26/2015 10:16:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 10:06:20 PM, Harper wrote:
The best way to gauge the importance and purpose of an institution, one must judge its utility. And the best way to do that is through a thought experiment-- think about what would happen if the institution were to dissolve completely. If it were truly necessary to fulfill the purpose, then the society would suffer without it.

So, then what's the purpose of marriage? What would happen in a society without it? Well, in my opinion, without marriage (a legal and social bond, usually to vow a lifetime commitment between romantically involved folks) the forces that once held fathers and mothers under the same household would also dissolve, making unstable family life a reality for even more children than now. Additionally, the lack of legal consequence for having sex with other individuals, leading to more promiscuous behavior, will increase the rates of STDs/STIs in the population. Even today, it's still much more risky to have several partners instead of one. A marriage contract is thus needed to encourage stable lives for children and promote monogamy, that will be its purpose.

Really, you already see the effects of a weak marriage institution-- there are more and more children who grow up in single parent homes, often not knowing the identity of the other parent, or have to experience their parent's divorce. None of those conditions are optimal for a child's growth, children benefit more from a stable, two-parent household.

But that's just my take on it. What's yours?

Spot on. The purpose of marriage is to cement the relationship between two individuals, allowing a stable family structure to form around them. Since there aren't enough marriages, these relationships aren't being cemented, so much more unstable families form and dissolve. This leaves a lot of children in sub-optimal conditions.
"Quoting yourself only makes you look like an arrogant jerk" - Gustav_Adolf_II
slo1
Posts: 4,341
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5/26/2015 11:48:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/20/2015 10:06:20 PM, Harper wrote:
The best way to gauge the importance and purpose of an institution, one must judge its utility. And the best way to do that is through a thought experiment-- think about what would happen if the institution were to dissolve completely. If it were truly necessary to fulfill the purpose, then the society would suffer without it.

So, then what's the purpose of marriage? What would happen in a society without it? Well, in my opinion, without marriage (a legal and social bond, usually to vow a lifetime commitment between romantically involved folks) the forces that once held fathers and mothers under the same household would also dissolve, making unstable family life a reality for even more children than now. Additionally, the lack of legal consequence for having sex with other individuals, leading to more promiscuous behavior, will increase the rates of STDs/STIs in the population. Even today, it's still much more risky to have several partners instead of one. A marriage contract is thus needed to encourage stable lives for children and promote monogamy, that will be its purpose.

Really, you already see the effects of a weak marriage institution-- there are more and more children who grow up in single parent homes, often not knowing the identity of the other parent, or have to experience their parent's divorce. None of those conditions are optimal for a child's growth, children benefit more from a stable, two-parent household.

But that's just my take on it. What's yours?

This is a difficult question. Is the thought experiment include a complete lack of culture around monogamy?

If the idea of monogamy is so far out there that society would not have predisposition for it, polygamy or promiscuity actually could be a benefit towards things such as sexually transmitted disease.

If having multiple partners was the norm there would stand to reason that sexual wellness would be taught and promoted versus the shame and barriers put on society. Africa is a great example where religious belief and societal norms around marriage is not enough to stop promiscuity, but it is strong enough to dissuade people from using condoms or other protection.

A complete lack of marriage could also provide an environment where more people are responsible for raising children, which could also benefit. Poverty is one of the worst detriments to child rearing. We clearly understand a two parent family is on average going to be able to provide fiscal, education, nutritional, etc support for children better than a one parent family. There is no reason to assume a three parent family couldn't provide better than two or four better than three, etc. It is the take a tribe mentality.

If only looking at the question in terms of context today, it is clear the main detriment of not having marriage or common law marriage is that it would be the wild west when two people raising a kid decided to split. One would leave the other with no financial support. The kid would be kidnapped and moved across country. All types of crazy stuff would happen. It happens today, but it can get legally rectified.

All the other stuff you mention would pale in comparison to the level of behavior, which would be exhibited when rage, revenge, and other ill feelings are left unchecked. I would assume there would be more breakups because once the states oversight of divorce ended there would be no accountability and wild west would break out due to the nasty feelings.

Our problem about looking at marriage is that it is the up front commitment that churches and others are focused on, but it is really the back end accountability from the state. There is absolutely no empirical evidence that morality from religion or society is enough to keep couples married while maintaining a healthy environment for children.

The state recognized this aspect and even has baked in common law marriage. They see two people have an obligation to each other when separating by just living together for a set amount of time regardless if a formal marriage ceremony took place or not.

So in short, we could get along without marriage as a ceremony, but we can not get along without the tort law of common law marriage which creates expectations and accountability when dissolving a union. If we called all marriage a civil union and stopped all the madness of spending $10,000's for ceremonies we would be in the best spot to provide a better environment for children, if just for the economic benefit of applying money to things which would benefit the children such as education.