Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Create Account now to join.
  • Login:

Welcome to the Online Debate Network.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,626
    Post Thanks / Like

    I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    So I've recently been watching the show "Big Love", which has made me remember a discussion that I had with a friend several years ago. So I'll repeat my perspective on ODN; it should be an interesting discussion/debate. Also, to be clear, I have no interest in engaging in any kind of polyamory, this discussion was actually brought up by a friend who was interested in it and a friend who thought that he was crazy.


    I'll begin with definitions. Polyamory is the practice of having multiple sexual or romantic relationships with one or both genders, which includes both polygamy/polygyny (one male partner with several female partners) and polyandry (one female partner with several male partners) as special cases. I believe that there is nothing intrinsically morally wrong with polyamory,but either way I support (although far from fervently) and think others should support the decriminalization polyamorous relationships and legally recognition of polyamorous unions.


    Is Polyamory Natural?

    While I am not persuaded by arguments about how "natural" something is, as people often seem to be taken in by the naturalistic fallacy, I think is not an unreasonable request to see examples of a healthy, long-standing societies engaging in these relationships in order to address the question of potential societal damage. So, for the record, yes, there are plenty of human societies that engage in polygamy, polyandry, and polyamory, and have done so for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

    Polygamy. Although I suspect that people are already familiar with these, but polyamy has been and continues to be practiced in Islamic nations, Utah under Mormon rule until 1890 (although around 50,000 to 100,000 plural marriages still exist in the United States from Fundamentalist Mormons and polygamous Muslims) are but a few. While there have been issues with polygamy in terms of child wives (which I'll address below), it is true that many successful societies (such as Islamic Empire during the Golden Age of Islam as well as ancient Greece) were both polygamous and very successful and socially stable. Whether we're fans or not of the current fundamentalist Islamic culture (I certainly am not), it is nevertheless true that the Golden Age of Islam was an incredibly productive period of human history and was also marked by an acceptance of polygyny (although it's also worth noting that they also accepted other cultures more openly than they do now, too).

    Polyandry. What is less known is that polyandry has also been practiced with out any serious social repercussions in many human cultures. There are two most notable examples. The first comes from northern India where the society is matriarchal and the women are the heads of the household and men are the hunters. Here the wife is not married to the brothers, but can copulate with a set of males from her group. The second primary examples comes from that of Tibet, where land rights were a serious issue and the practice of polyandry became the law of the land for farmers. Here two brothers are married to one wife (so as to keep all of the children within the family and with equal status of right to the land). I happen to have met and attended many lectures from one of the leading anthropologists who's researched Tibet, and he says that from his extensive interviews and discussions with people polyandrous relationships that there really is very little discord within the family beyond what you would expect from a monogamous marriage.

    Polamory. But also even group marriages or polyamorous relationships have also occurred in many cultures. One such example is that of the Melanesia where a set of brothers marries a set of sisters. Again, an old custom that appears to not have done any harm to the society (given that it is a very old tradition), and while I personally would never want to engage in this practice, it has existed and stably so. However, it's also worth noting that the rise of open relationships in the West are themselves a form of polyamory, even if people do not call it that. It's also interesting that Americans have such a strong reaction to the word "polygamy", and yet we don't seem to flinch when we hear of an economic relationship where both partners are no longer romantically interested in each other and engage in relationships with other people.

    And given that these cultures have been engaging in it for literally hundreds to thousands of years, I find it difficult to accept an argument that such relationships are intrinsically destructive to all human culture and go against human nature.


    Many Americans Already Engage in Polyamory, They Just Don't Call It That

    It's amazing that we think that men who "keep a woman on the side" as being distasteful but understandable (e.g. Donald Draper in Mad Men, Tony Soprano from The Sopranos, or for a real life example, Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, and the list goes on); however, these men are active bigamists, and yet for some reason we think that if we call it "cheating" that it's somehow entirely different than upholding two households with two separate female partners. I really don't understand this, but it was considered (especially pre-1960's) to be completely normal. By the way, women have done this, too. I think everyone can agree that "cheating"/"keeping someone on the side" makes you a bad person, but I think that you'd generally regard someone who was a "bigamist" as a barbarian. Many of the liberals on this site (and probably even a set of the conservatives) have no problems with open relationships so long as both partners agree --which, again, is literally just polyamory with a different name.

    I'll remind you that it's a separate question if you find something immoral. Currently, cheating on your husband or wife is 100% legal, but almost everyone will think what you're doing is wrong. Even so, we don't make it illegal. Likewise, I know many Christians and a few Muslims who think that homosexuality is immoral insofar as the Bible (or Q'uran) is concerned, but don't think that this should affect the government's decisions because we don't live in a theocracy. It's important to keep differentiated things that actually harm society and our personal ethical beliefs. I think that it is unethical to teach children to obey a religion before they can learn to think for themselves and I also think that racist statements are abhorrent, but I wouldn't support a law to criminalize it.


    But Polyamory Is Against My Religion!

    Yes, and generally speaking, so is lying, premarital sex, adultary, being mean to people, being selfish, being racist, being sexist, and so on (depending on your religion or lack thereof). However, we don't make laws and make things illegal because we don't like them. We makes laws because an individual or groups actions are harmful to society or to other non-consenting individuals. In the case where this is between a consenting group of adults, I fail to see what line of reasoning would lead you to think that this is intrinsically harmful to society.



    But What About Polygamist Cults That Marry Children?

    Yes, this is incredibly wrong and should remain illegal. But this has nothing to do with polygamy or polyamory, if we're being honest. I think that this is a confusion of issues. Child marriage is not intrinsic to polyamory, and most child marriages have nothing to do with polygamous relationships. Therefore, yes, child marriage should remain illegal and any cult or group that supports child marriage should be dealt with by the full force of the law, but that is not limited to nor is it necessitated by polygamy or polyamory. The harmful action here is having sex with minors, and the laws should and do reflect the criminal activity here.

    Also, I do find it distasteful that these cults often also trade or treat women around like property, but this is also, again, not necessitated by nor limited to polyamory.


    "But What About The Children?"

    Yes, what about them? I suspect that a lot of people are deadset against polyamory because it would be unfortunate for children to be bullied for their parents decisions. I find this argument to be particularly weak. If you buy into this logic, then we shouldn't let any minority groups --gays, disliked ethnic groups, etc-- adopt children because it might make that child's life hard and children might pick on them. Given that there are few people left in American society who think that gays, Jews, African-Americans, etc shouldn't be allowed to adopt because their children might get picked on, I fail to see why anyone would support this position. It's society's job to get over their prejudices, not the laws job to make it easier for them to have their prejudices.

    Another aspect of this is that I find it hard to argue against is that polyamorous relationships is that is seems obvious that it wouldn't be anything but good for the children of such an arrangement. They would have access to more parental figures and I fail to see any way in which this would end up being a bad thing.



    Conclusion

    At the end of the day, I have a hard time caring about this issue, but on the other hand it is openly illegal to engage in polyamory in the USA and most other countries in the world. And to be honest, for all of the reasons stated above, I cannot understand why people are so strongly against this idea --outside of religious opinions that have no sway in a secular government or confusions over what a specific group of bigamists practice in their cults that doesn't carry over to all polyamorous relationships.

    Personally, I have no interest in being involved in such a relationship; however, I also don't have any interest in being involved in a homosexual relationship (or in eating pizzas with Italian sausage and cherry tomatoes; this is both disgusting and disgrace to humanity). It doesn't mean that I think that we should make these practices illegal; moreover, as the world becomes more multicultural and as the US becomes more and more ethnically diverse, I think that people will start having to become more comfortable with different cultures and non-traditional (to Americans, anyways) lifestyles. They're personal choices, and I fail to see why society should have any right to promote or condemn them, so long as it is between consenting adults. I believe that this is what a free and open society is about.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; August 23rd, 2014 at 02:56 PM.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  2. Thanks MindTrap028 thanked for this post
    Likes Sigfried, evensaul liked this post
  3. #2
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    2,765
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    This could be a mess - if anyone can marry anyone else then we could get to the stage where anyone can marry anyone else - so if you're part of one polygamous marriage then you could also be part of another polyandrous marriage too right? What's to stop someone from being married to multiple familial groups? Does marriage now have to be defined between one person and a bunch of others? Or can it be to the other people in the marriage group? How is this mess supposed to work? Now do you see what the right-wing Christians have been saying - you are destroying the basis of society with this kind of mucking around with what God intended: one man and one woman.

    More importantly, what about taxation, inheritance or insurance issues? I don't object to these kinds of relationships but there are practical issues to consider. What about divorce? How would this be handled? How are assets supposed to be split?

  4. #3
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,626
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    This could be a mess - if anyone can marry anyone else then we could get to the stage where anyone can marry anyone else - so if you're part of one polygamous marriage then you could also be part of another polyandrous marriage too right?
    Problem being? I think that one would have to specify that one cannot marry members of their family through a secondary marriage, although I could possibly see an exception for siblings or cousins so long as the laws against incest were upheld.


    (Again, personally, I find such arrangements distasteful or at least profoundly bizarre, but I find a lot of things bizarre. I find cheating on your wife to be distasteful, but It doesn't mean that we should make these actions illegal.)

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    What's to stop someone from being married to multiple familial groups? Does marriage now have to be defined between one person and a bunch of others? Or can it be to the other people in the marriage group? How is this mess supposed to work? Now do you see what the right-wing Christians have been saying - you are destroying the basis of society with this kind of mucking around with what God intended: one man and one woman.
    lol. Again, I'm not seeing the problem. Marriage used to be defined as being between one man of one race and a woman of the same race, I'm not seeing why the government is obligated to hold onto Judeo-Christian or even traditional cultural values. values. Well, not the the least of which being that the "Judeo" part of that term did, historically, allow for bigamy. In fact, only the Roman side of the cultural heritage of the Enlightenment Western civilization forbid polyamory --it was allowed in Hebrew culture (I don't know what it's current formal status is in Jewish culture), it was allowed in Persia, and it was allowed in Ancient Greece.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    More importantly, what about taxation, inheritance or insurance issues? I don't object to these kinds of relationships but there are practical issues to consider. What about divorce? How would this be handled? How are assets supposed to be split?
    Inheritance is trivial --give it back to the marriage unless there's a personal will (or have a prenutpial agreement for who gets what in case of a divorce). Inheriance for the children is easy, if/once the spouses all die, then do it the way that you would normally do this without a will: Split it up amongst the children equally.

    Taxation should work the way that it normally does. Taking EITC as an example, given the maximal number of children (3) per income provider, you give back the normal rates. In other words, it should be simply like literal combined households.

    I'm not seeing the insurance "issues." Unless you mean something like healthcare, but of course my belief is that companies shouldn't provide healthcare because that's the governments job and that every citizen has a right to healthcare.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  5. #4
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    2,765
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    Problem being?
    The argument about what a family unit is, is become blurred into a cornucopia of just a bunch of people who want to save money on income tax or take advantage of other benefits. Or we'd have to adjust them accordingly.

    lol. Again, I'm not seeing the problem. Marriage used to be defined as being between one man of one race and a woman of the same race, I'm not seeing why the government is obligated to hold onto Judeo-Christian or even traditional cultural values. values. Well, not the the least of which being that the "Judeo" part of that term did, historically, allow for bigamy. In fact, only the Roman side of the cultural heritage of the Enlightenment Western civilization forbid polyamory --it was allowed in Hebrew culture (I don't know what it's current formal status is in Jewish culture), it was allowed in Persia, and it was allowed in Ancient Greece.
    As was slavery and owning concubines. I think you've already discounted that these are natural things to do as an argument against so you can't really use it as an argument for it either. Personally, I don't see any real issues either since these are just human conventions but there must be some impractical issues. I do notice that programs like sister wives, and other examples mainly have one husband or wife but many of the opposing sex. But what about many-many in a bisexual relationship - is that OK?

    Inheritance is trivial --give it back to the marriage unless there's a personal will (or have a prenutpial agreement for who gets what in case of a divorce). Inheriance for the children is easy, if/once the spouses all die, then do it the way that you would normally do this without a will: Split it up amongst the children equally.
    OK.

    Taxation should work the way that it normally does. Taking EITC for example, given the maximal number of children (3) per income provider, you give back the normal rates. In other words, it should be simply like literal combined households.
    But that's assuming that two adults equally take care of each child; what if there were more - shouldn't that be divided out? Also what does 'head of household' mean any longer if there are equal partners earning money?

    I'm not seeing the insurance "issues." Unless you mean something like healthcare, but of course my belief is that companies shouldn't provide healthcare because that's the governments job and that every citizen has a right to healthcare.
    Not sure here but aren't spouses allowed onto insurance?

  6. #5
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,626
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    The argument about what a family unit is, is become blurred into a cornucopia of just a bunch of people who want to save money on income tax or take advantage of other benefits. Or we'd have to adjust them accordingly.
    I gave an example of a simple tax change for EITC, for example. I don't think that it's really this difficult. Certainly, some new laws would have to be written.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    As was slavery and owning concubines. I think you've already discounted that these are natural things to do as an argument against so you can't really use it as an argument for it either. Personally, I don't see any real issues either since these are just human conventions but there must be some impractical issues.
    Yes, I do discount naturalistic arguments, but what I didn't discount was arguments based on consenting adults. Both slavery and concubines involve non-consenting adults, therefore these, in my opinion and I think it should be in everyone's opinions, should not be considered acceptable in a society based on liberties.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    I do notice that programs like sister wives, and other examples mainly have one husband or wife but many of the opposing sex. But what about many-many in a bisexual relationship - is that OK?


    Oh no JJ, I must draw the line here. Sister-wives are clearly permissible, but if we actually let women have sex with each other? This clearly goes into that dark place where the bedrock of modern civilization would splinter and collapse. I mean for god's sake, JJ, these women might stop having sex with men entirely. This would be entirely unacceptable.


    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    But that's assuming that two adults equally take care of each child; what if there were more - shouldn't that be divided out? Also what does 'head of household' mean any longer if there are equal partners earning money?
    I can only draw the conclusion that you're being facetious, as it is entirely possible for a monogamous relationship to have two partners literally making the same money and our tax system manages not to implode upon itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones
    Not sure here but aren't spouses allowed onto insurance?
    What kind of insurance? Adding people to insurance policies increases the price of the policy, so I guess I'm just failing to understand the issue here.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  7. #6
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Seattle, Washington USA
    Posts
    7,405
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    I don't have any ethical objections to it.

    I think practically speaking there may be legal difficulties in the body of law that has always presumed marriages are for two people.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  8. #7
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    2,765
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    I gave an example of a simple tax change for EITC, for example. I don't think that it's really this difficult. Certainly, some new laws would have to be written.
    Sure, but then if you change things to the point that any number of people can be in a family unit then what's the point of even bothering with a family unit at all. And what do you do about people that are part of multiple family units either directly or via their parents' relationships then basically every kid could be everyone else's parents. Sounds like an awful mess to me - you'd need a massive system just to administer who is part of whose family.


    Yes, I do discount naturalistic arguments, but what I didn't discount was arguments based on consenting adults. Both slavery and concubines involve non-consenting adults, therefore these, in my opinion and I think it should be in everyone's opinions, should not be considered acceptable in a society based on liberties.
    OK then it's still not good to argue that because the Romans did it that we should. Also, at least with concubines or a hierarchy of wives as the Chinese had, there'd be fewer problems regarding the familial membership.


    Oh no JJ, I must draw the line here. Sister-wives are clearly permissible, but if we actually let women have sex with each other? This clearly goes into that dark place where the bedrock of modern civilization would splinter and collapse. I mean for god's sake, JJ, these women might stop having sex with men entirely. This would be entirely unacceptable.
    OK, joke accepted but it does bear mentioning that if any gender can be with any other gender in this world of polyamory then that just increases the chances of even more mess.


    I can only draw the conclusion that you're being facetious, as it is entirely possible for a monogamous relationship to have two partners literally making the same money and our tax system manages not to implode upon itself.
    I have another situation: what if I were super rich, what's to stop one of my many wives from marrying into another family and diluting my wealth?

    What kind of insurance? Adding people to insurance policies increases the price of the policy, so I guess I'm just failing to understand the issue here.
    Sure, but now it's just individuals and normal sized families. I guess they could just scale it up and count the number of people, but again, how do you avoid double counting when people are multiply married to different families?

    As I said, I don't completely object to this of course, I think there'd be very few of these kinds of marriages. Still after a few generations, I would imagine that everyone would just end up being married to everyone else! Another problem I foresee is that once you've removed the genetics from the family unit, you'd end up with people that are legally cousins and not allowed to marry but genetically, they are not. We'd have to resolve this by keeping track of genetic history (assuming you can when everyone is sleeping with everyone else). Which all sounds like a lot of tracking.

  9. #8
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,626
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    Quote Originally Posted by JimJones8934 View Post
    Sure, but then if you change things to the point that any number of people can be in a family unit then what's the point of even bothering with a family unit at all. And what do you do about people that are part of multiple family units either directly or via their parents' relationships then basically every kid could be everyone else's parents. Sounds like an awful mess to me - you'd need a massive system just to administer who is part of whose family.

    [...]

    OK, joke accepted but it does bear mentioning that if any gender can be with any other gender in this world of polyamory then that just increases the chances of even more mess.

    [...]

    Also, at least with concubines or a hierarchy of wives as the Chinese had, there'd be fewer problems regarding the familial membership.
    You're basically saying that we would have to change a few and deal with some technical issues. In other words, you're making an argument that polyamory would require us to change things, and that might be a problem, therefore why even think about it. Keep in mind that this argument was put forth by gay marriage opponents. I didn't take the argument that we shouldn't actualize gay marriage because we'd have to re-think a few things then, and I don't take the logic of this argument seriously now.

    By this line of reasoning, we shouldn't have a government (They have to think about how to do things that haven't been done before, and then --get this-- they actually have to actualize them), let alone that this is an argument against gay marriage, universal health care, and a lot of other things that I know you to believe in. This makes me think that you don't take this argument seriously, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    OK then it's still not good to argue that because the Romans did it that we should.
    You seem to have misunderstand what I said.

    My argument was that if one is going to argue based that it is not traditional and therefore shouldn't be allowed, I was reminding them that it depends on which culture we are thinking of; however, this was not used as an argument against your question. If you read what I said in full, my statement was entirely that we shouldn't take our own cultural context as the sole decider for rules. Once again, otherwise why support biracial or gay marriage? These culturally have been forbidden until very recently. So franky I fail to see what your point is.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    I have another situation: what if I were super rich, what's to stop one of my many wives from marrying into another family and diluting my wealth?
    I would think that in order to be married to a group, you have to have the consent of the entire group. If you didn't, then you previous group marriage would make the second group marriage null and void.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Sure, but now it's just individuals and normal sized families. I guess they could just scale it up and count the number of people, but again, how do you avoid double counting when people are multiply married to different families?
    Oh, you seem to think that I'm saying that people could maintain two different group marriages. No, there would only be one marriage. You would only be allowed into one group marriage, and everyone in it would all have to count as a single household.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    As I said, I don't completely object to this of course, I think there'd be very few of these kinds of marriages. Still after a few generations, I would imagine that everyone would just end up being married to everyone else!
    There are 300 million Americans, JJ, and 7 billion people on the planet earth. Unless you have multi-hundred people marriages, this isn't going to be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ
    Another problem I foresee is that once you've removed the genetics from the family unit, you'd end up with people that are legally cousins and not allowed to marry but genetically, they are not. We'd have to resolve this by keeping track of genetic history (assuming you can when everyone is sleeping with everyone else). Which all sounds like a lot of tracking.
    1.) Of course, yes. You'd keep track of genetic history, especially for medical records and other issues (which is also currently already done anways, by the way). It's not like you wouldn't know who your biological parents are, and this is hardly a problem in the modern age of DNA tests.

    2.) Also, I'm intensely skeptical that with 300 million people this is going to be a problem.... Oh, let's do the math. I forget that people often don't really have an ability to estimate large numbers in their heads, so let's go through an estimate favoring your position:


    Let's suppose that everyone is in a 32 person marriage, and for each female, there's 8 children (aka the Mormon wet dream). Assuming even that there's 32 wives, each with 8 children, and it's been this way for 3 generations, you will have

    - 32 grandparents each with 8 children = 8*32 = 256 aunts and uncles
    - Each of the 256 aunts/uncles each have 32 marriages with 8 children in each marraige = 65,536 cousins on one side
    - 2 sets of grandparents = 131,072 cousins

    Let's say that you're straight, and so you can only have a marriage with half of the adult population (assuming 50-50 men and women). That's 308 million times (1 - .233) = 236 million, rounding down, and dividing by half is 118 million people.


    Congratulations, the percentage of marriable people that you'll meet if you have a monogamous family of only 2 parents and only 2 children is (2^2 *2 = 8) is:

    Polyamory: (118,000,000 - 131,000)/118,000,000 = 99.88% of the people you meet you can marry
    Monogamy: (118,000,000 - 8)/118,000,000) = 99.99% of the people you meet you can marry


    As you can see this, is pretty far from actually being a problem.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  10. #9
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East Lansing, MI
    Posts
    10,631
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    Oh, you seem to think that I'm saying that people could maintain two different group marriages. No, there would only be one marriage. You would only be allowed into one group marriage, and everyone in it would all have to count as a single household.
    But why?

    I mean if I have the right to have three wives and my wives have the right to have three husbands, then why I can't I marry Amy, Barbara, and Cathy and at the same time Amy marries me, Bob, and Joe?

    What's the principle that should prevent this? I mean we can certainly have that arrangement sexually, where I have three lovers and one my lovers has two other lovers. So why not have that arrangement with marriages if we so choose?
    Last edited by mican333; August 26th, 2014 at 09:51 AM.

  11. #10
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,626
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But why?

    I mean if I have the right to have three wives and one of my wives have the right to have three husbands, then why I can't I marry Amy, Barbara, and Cathy and at the same time Amy marries me, Bob, and Joe?

    What's the principle that should prevent this? I mean we can certainly have that arrangement sexually, where I have three lovers and one my lovers has two other lovers. So why not have that arrangement with marriages if we so choose?
    JJ's question already shows what the problem is --you're adding people to a marriage without consulting them. That's obviously a terrible idea. People shouldn't have obligations to one another if they haven't consented to it. Therefore, the only way to do this, in my opinion, would be to have a single marriage with several parties being involved in it, and each party has to consent in order for an additional member to be included in the marriage.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  12. #11
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East Lansing, MI
    Posts
    10,631
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    JJ's question already shows what the problem is --you're adding people to a marriage without consulting them.
    No I'm not. Amy's other husbands are not part of my marriage. She has three separate marriages.

    Just think of it as boyfriends/girlfriends instead of marriage. I can have three girlfriends. And any of my girlfriends can have other boyfriends. But their other boyfriends don't become my boyfriends just because we are seeing the same woman.

  13. #12
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,626
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    No I'm not. Amy's other husbands are not part of my marriage. She has three separate marriages.

    Just think of it as boyfriends/girlfriends instead of marriage. I can have three girlfriends. And any of my girlfriends can have other boyfriends. But their other boyfriends don't become my boyfriends just because we are seeing the same woman.
    Thinking about it, I suppose it wouldn't be so difficult to generalize the rules if one absolutely wanted to have such separate arrangements. You'd would have to differentiate between couple and group marriages. Couple marriages would be between two people as a single union, and group marriages would be between several people but considered a single union. With that said, I think it would be easier to solve the problems for group marriages first, and then generalize the rules for people in both couple and group marriages.

    Then for taxes and insurance policies either:

    1.) You would have to end the idea of marriages being a combined household, and you would have to divide your total personal assets into parts for each marriage. One would have to make insurance policies only apply to a set number of partners of their choice and their direct biological children and/or a set of adopted children. I think that this should alleviate the insurance policy issues. For each of N marriages, then 1/N of your total assets (unless otherwise specified) would be given to that marriage upon that member's death, etc.

    2.) Alternatively, one would be forced to pick a primary marriage (either group or couple marriage), which would be considered one's household. Similar rules would need to apply for tax purposes; you pick a primary marriage, and that marriage is where you would file for taxes under, determine the amount of tax returns you would be allowed to be given, etc. Here again (unless otherwise specified) your assets would be divided equally amongst the marriages and/or the children from them.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; August 26th, 2014 at 03:46 PM.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  14. #13
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    2,765
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: I don't object to legalizing polyamory

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    You're basically saying that we would have to change a few and deal with some technical issues. In other words, you're making an argument that polyamory would require us to change things, and that might be a problem, therefore why even think about it. Keep in mind that this argument was put forth by gay marriage opponents. I didn't take the argument that we shouldn't actualize gay marriage because we'd have to re-think a few things then, and I don't take the logic of this argument seriously now.
    I don't know if its a few issues - it appears to be fundamentally changing what a family is or could be to the point where it is pretty meaningless. It's not the same as a gay marriage nor even one with a distinct 'head' and spouse scenario. But you're talking about anyone being able to marry anyone else (I think). So that's where the boundaries fall apart.

    My argument was that if one is going to argue based that it is not traditional and therefore shouldn't be allowed,... So franky I fail to see what your point is.
    I did misread what you'd meant. Retracted.

    I would think that in order to be married to a group, you have to have the consent of the entire group. If you didn't, then you previous group marriage would make the second group marriage null and void.
    By vote or does everyone have a veto? Who is policing this?

    Oh, you seem to think that I'm saying that people could maintain two different group marriages. No, there would only be one marriage. You would only be allowed into one group marriage, and everyone in it would all have to count as a single household.
    Why shouldn't they? Now you've replaced one artificial boundary (one other spouse) with another (one other marriage group). There is no reason at all that the wife of one marriage couldn't herself be married to another set of people. You've already allowed one person to be married to any number of other people, so why the artificial boundary?


    There are 300 million Americans, JJ, and 7 billion people on the planet earth. Unless you have multi-hundred people marriages, this isn't going to be a problem.
    Sure, for the first few generations but at some point, you're going to be marrying someone from the same 'clan'.



    1.) Of course, yes. You'd keep track of genetic history, especially for medical records and other issues (which is also currently already done anways, by the way). It's not like you wouldn't know who your biological parents are, and this is hardly a problem in the modern age of DNA tests.
    True, but that means that you have to enforce some new requirement onto everyone. Legally having to establish parenthood is something that we don't do today.

    2.) Also, I'm intensely skeptical that with 300 million people this is going to be a problem.... Oh, let's do the math. I forget that people often don't really have an ability to estimate large numbers in their heads, so let's go through an estimate favoring your position:

    Let's suppose that everyone is in a 32 person marriage, and for each female, there's 8 children (aka the Mormon wet dream). Assuming even that there's 32 wives, each with 8 children, and it's been this way for 3 generations, you will have

    - 32 grandparents each with 8 children = 8*32 = 256 aunts and uncles
    - Each of the 256 aunts/uncles each have 32 marriages with 8 children in each marraige = 65,536 cousins on one side
    - 2 sets of grandparents = 131,072 cousins

    Let's say that you're straight, and so you can only have a marriage with half of the adult population (assuming 50-50 men and women). That's 308 million times (1 - .233) = 236 million, rounding down, and dividing by half is 118 million people.


    Congratulations, the percentage of marriable people that you'll meet if you have a monogamous family of only 2 parents and only 2 children is (2^2 *2 = 8) is:

    Polyamory: (118,000,000 - 131,000)/118,000,000 = 99.88% of the people you meet you can marry
    Monogamy: (118,000,000 - 8)/118,000,000) = 99.99% of the people you meet you can marry


    As you can see this, is pretty far from actually being a problem.
    I don't think that's the right scenario since you're only talking about the first generation. Can you figure out the formula in 10 generations with (say) 50% of women breeding a new generation? I mean there should be some kind of bell curve. Not that I think we need to explore down this road too much. I agree, that the number of people probably wanting to really do this might be low but that's only to begin with. Given the choice of having one woman for the rest of your life vs many, I would imagine that most would choose many.

    Despite what I've said, I think if people want to do this, they are doing it anyway (without the egregious examples I have forwarded), only without the legal protections enjoyed by every other marriage (including gay marriage). So I think ultimately, I side with what you're saying in allowing people do it - maybe in baby steps with a clear leader in the marriage.

    edit: one more objection - if men are allowed to have more than one wife, that would reduce the number of women available to other men. Rich and powerful men could end up getting all the good women and leave the scraps for the rest of us. That alone should be enough reason to not legalize poly-marriages.
    Last edited by JimJones8934; August 26th, 2014 at 05:54 PM.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Formalizing Atheist Objections
    By CliveStaples in forum Philosophical Debates
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: July 26th, 2011, 08:42 PM
  2. Legalizing Necrophilia
    By Dela Cruz in forum Social Issues
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: December 20th, 2007, 06:57 AM
  3. Polyamory
    By ladyphoenix in forum Social Issues
    Replies: 105
    Last Post: August 29th, 2007, 04:39 PM
  4. Legalizing Prostitution?
    By GoldPhoenix in forum Social Issues
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: April 14th, 2006, 08:00 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •