Polygamy & You!

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Polygamy & You!

Post by Balkan Beast on Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:20 am

What are your stances on polygamy?
If I remember right there was an actual reason other than religious beliefs for being against it, but I forgot what it was since it was brought up several years ago. I recall it being about the population though, probably having a negative effect on birth rates maybe?
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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:10 pm

This isn't a subject I'm particularly well versed in, but I have come across polygamy a number of times in the anthropological literature I've read over the years. The studies were primarily of hunter-gatherer tribes, and researchers found that the practice generally emerges with intratribal sex-ratio imbalances (with females outnumbering males—when the converse occurs, polyandry tends to be adopted). There are also various instances of patriarchal religious communities treating women like chattel and allocating them in a manner which creates polygamy, though these relations are maintained through a combination of psychological manipulation and coercion. Studies of extant polygamous communities routinely indicate that such families are less happy and suffer higher rates of physical and emotional abuse when compared with monogamous families.

Certain socialist theoreticians (e.g., August Bebel in Woman Under Socialism) believe that monogamous marriage is historically specific to feudalism and capitalism, and may eventually be superseded by polyamory. Others (e.g., James Connolly) contend that humanity's conception of love is perennial, and socialism will merely serve to perfect the monogamous institution of marriage. Personally, I'm undecided on the matter but lean towards the latter view.

With that said, being that socialism engenders egalitarian social relations, I can't imagine polygamy ever becoming commonplace under a workers' commonwealth. (To understand why polygamy is exploitative, see Gregg Strauss, “Is Polygamy Inherently Unequal?,” Ethics, Vol. 122, No. 3, pp. 516-544.)

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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by Balkan Beast on Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:18 am

Hmm personally I think it's alright since it's very uncommon, if it were legalized it wouldn't happen often anyways.
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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by Altair on Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:08 am

Balkan Beast wrote:What are your stances on polygamy?
If I remember right there was an actual reason other than religious beliefs for being against it, but I forgot what it was since it was brought up several years ago. I recall it being about the population though, probably having a negative effect on birth rates maybe?

An actual reason other than religion? Imagine that...

From a personal perspective, I am not in any way okay with my man being involved with other women. I'm sorry, but what the hell? What kind of woman is okay with that? That isn't freedom, it's just ridiculousness. Yeah, I love you babe, now go sleep with your other wifey after me. That really gets me going. In fact, be in love with another woman beside me because what the hell!  

scratch

Odd definition of love.

And it's not okay in reverse either. Maybe because my theoretical boyfriend is the best man in the universe and I would not even contemplate involving someone else because no one else exists to me, but just on the principle as well.

Can someone who is okay with this please tell me why?


Last edited by Altair on Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:02 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by GF on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:35 pm

Altair wrote:An actual reason other than religion? Imagine that...

From a personal perspective, I am not in any way okay with my man being involved with other women. I'm sorry, but what the hell? What kind of woman is okay with that? That isn't freedom, it's just ridiculousness. Yeah, I love you babe, now go sleep with your other wifey after me. That really gets me going. In fact, be in love with another woman beside me because what the hell!

scratch

Odd definition of love.

And it's not okay in reverse either. Maybe because my boyfriend is the best man in the universe and I would not even contemplate involving someone else because no one else exists to me, but just on the principle as well.

I guess this can qualify as a purely emotional response, but whatever.

Can someone who is okay with this please tell me why?

My take:

Celtiberian wrote:Others (e.g., James Connolly) contend that humanity's conception of love is perennial, and socialism will merely serve to perfect the monogamous institution of marriage.

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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by Red Aegis on Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:52 pm

I take an 'hands-off' approach. Things will happen as they will and it doesn't bother me in this case.

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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by RedBrasil on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:11 pm

Altair wrote:An actual reason other than religion? Imagine that...

From a personal perspective, I am not in any way okay with my man being involved with other women. I'm sorry, but what the hell? What kind of woman is okay with that? That isn't freedom, it's just ridiculousness. Yeah, I love you babe, now go sleep with your other wifey after me. That really gets me going. In fact, be in love with another woman beside me because what the hell!

scratch

Odd definition of love.

And it's not okay in reverse either. Maybe because my boyfriend is the best man in the universe and I would not even contemplate involving someone else because no one else exists to me, but just on the principle as well.

I guess this can qualify as a purely emotional response, but whatever.

Can someone who is okay with this please tell me why?

I cannot explain this to you because I'm not into polygamy, but I don't understand why you are talking like this is some kind of aberration, you are putting personal opinions in this topic. You don't need to understand it or practice polygamy, you just need to respect it. There are lots of people in this world who are into polygamy, and they can talk the same way as you that they don't understand monogamy.
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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:52 pm

Red Aegis and RedBrasil seem to appraise the issue from a consequentialist perspective—perhaps informed by act utilitarianism. I, however, tend to gravitate towards deontology and, more recently, virtue ethics. Thus, I believe that our commitment to ethical principles alone should serve as a basis for regulating certain social relations. With respect to polygamy, since it's incompatible with egalitarianism, that is a legitimate enough reason to prohibit the practice.

Polygamy could be condemned on utilitarian grounds as well because the empirical data indicates that families involved in that lifestyle suffer higher rates of physical and psychological abuse relative to monogamous families. The practice doesn't necessarily violate Mill's "harm principle," but it fails the utilitarian calculus nonetheless.

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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by Altair on Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:26 pm

RedBrasil wrote:I cannot explain this to you because I'm not into polygamy, but I don't understand why you are talking like this is some kind of aberration, you are putting personal opinions in this topic. You don't need to understand it or practice polygamy, you just need to respect it. There are lots of people in this world who are into polygamy, and they can talk the same way as you that they don't understand monogamy.

Rolling Eyes

It is perfectly ok for me to have a personal opinion and post it here. I mean, that was never barred from this discussion. I even stated my post was emotional opinion. I can analyze it the same way Celt and the rest do, but I feel that has already been covered by him adequately enough (and I very much agree with his rational analysis), which is why I interjected my personal opinion. When I said I do not understand it, I mean from an emotional perspective; I just cannot relate. When I analyze it on a grander scale, of course I 'understand'.

I don't need to respect it. That is ridiculous. Fuck polygamy, thank you.

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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by Red Aegis on Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:30 pm

Celtiberian wrote:Red Aegis and RedBrasil seem to appraise the issue from a consequentialist perspective—perhaps informed by act utilitarianism.


I can't speak for RedBrasil but I am not coming from this from a consequentialist stance. Where I am coming from is deontological in that I don't think that I can stop a consensual polygamous relationship between two people. If they want to do such a thing then I do not see how I can move to stop it without violating their wishes on personal matters. If there were coercion or some other precondition to the relationship then I would have a just basis for using force to address what I see as wrong.


I, however, tend to gravitate towards deontology and, more recently, virtue ethics.


Virtue Ethics? That is quite surprising so I must ask, why and how? That may be a matter for a separate thread so I'll leave it alone.

Thus, I believe that our commitment to ethical principles alone should serve as a basis for regulating certain social relations. With respect to polygamy, since it's incompatible with egalitarianism, that is a legitimate enough reason to prohibit the practice.

This all would be true if and only if your second sentence were true in all cases of polygamy. I do not think that is the case and can easily conceive of and could find examples of polygamous relationships that are non-coercive in nature, agreements between equals.

Polygamy could be condemned on utilitarian grounds as well because the empirical data indicates that families involved in that lifestyle suffer higher rates of physical and psychological abuse relative to monogamous families. The practice doesn't necessarily violate Mill's "harm principle," but it fails the utilitarian calculus nonetheless.

For a great deal of polygamous relationships I do not doubt that is the case: polygamous sects in the southwest and Mexico and other such arrangements. I certainly agree with forcibly breaking those institutions. What I disagree with is that you must examine each case of polygamy on their own terms before passing judgement on whether or not there is abuse going on. Not all polygamists are that way.

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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:33 pm

Red Aegis wrote:I can't speak for RedBrasil but I am not coming from this from a consequentialist stance. Where I am coming from is deontological in that I don't think that I can stop a consensual polygamous relationship between two people. If they want to do such a thing then I do not see how I can move to stop it without violating their wishes on personal matters. If there were coercion or some other precondition to the relationship then I would have a just basis for using force to address what I see as wrong.

The normative grounds for prohibiting polygamy would be society's commitment to the principle of equality. As the aforementioned article by Gregg Strauss demonstrates, traditional polygamy yields two basic inequalities: the central spouse (1) possesses hegemony over rights and expectations within each marriage, and (2) exercises greater control over the wider family.

Strauss does, however, uncover two unorthodox models of polygamy which could render the institution legitimately egalitarian, namely polyfidelity and molecular polygamy. The former entails the elimination of the center-periphery distinction via each spouse fully committing to every other spouse and accepting the full range of moral expectations and rights attendant on marriage, while the latter model eliminates inequality via weakening all marital relations by permitting peripheral spouses to marry additional spouses of their own.

These novel approaches to polygamy have scarcely been practiced, and they're so distinct from the traditional model which I've been criticizing that it's debatable as to whether they should even bear the same name. There is no ethical objection (that I'm aware of) which would warrant their prohibition, but I sincerely doubt that many people would find them appealing enough to enter into regardless.

Virtue Ethics? That is quite surprising so I must ask, why and how? That may be a matter for a separate thread so I'll leave it alone.

The subject is best reserved for a separate thread, but I'll simply say that there is an Aristotelian undercurrent in Marx's philosophy—especially his writings concerning the self-realization of man through labor—which can be viewed as conforming with virtue ethics in general, and the capabilities approach to justice in particular. In my opinion, this is an interesting area of moral philosophy, and there are aspects of it which I find a great deal of value in.

This all would be true if and only if your second sentence were true in all cases of polygamy. I do not think that is the case and can easily conceive of and could find examples of polygamous relationships that are non-coercive in nature, agreements between equals.

In the case of polyfidelity and molecular "polygamy," I'm inclined to agree. I still consider them to be distasteful practices, but unworthy of ethical concern or proscription.

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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by RedBrasil on Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:56 am

Altair wrote:It is perfectly ok for me to have a personal opinion and post it here. I mean, that was never barred from this discussion. I even stated my post was emotional opinion. I can analyze it the same way Celt and the rest do, but I feel that has already been covered by him adequately enough (and I very much agree with his rational analysis), which is why I interjected my personal opinion. When I said I do not understand it, I mean from an emotional perspective; I just cannot relate. When I analyze it on a grander scale, of course I 'understand'.

I don't need to respect it. That is ridiculous. Fuck polygamy, thank you.

Ok, I don't mean "respect it", I mean respect other people who like it and their rights to marry more than 1 person in a futuristic socialist society, I think it is a "rule" for socialists/communists/anarchist being for full individual rights since it doesn't hurt nobody.
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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by GF on Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:04 am

RedBrasil wrote:...since it doesn't hurt nobody.

Debatable... My personal opinion is that should a situation arise where someone wants to have multiple spouses, and all involved are ok with living under such arrangements (of course agreement means no one can be coerced, and the decision is entirely personal), then it's fine. However, (just my personal opinion here), I don't really think such attitudes to relationships would be prevalent among those who are not forced into them by outside reasons, which in any decent socialist society, would not happen.

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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by Altair on Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:58 am

RedBrasil wrote:Ok, I don't mean "respect it", I mean respect other people who like it and their rights to marry more than 1 person in a futuristic socialist society, I think it is a "rule" for socialists/communists/anarchist being for full individual rights since it doesn't hurt nobody.

Yes, but I never said I was going to forcibly bar such practices. As I said, it was merely my personal opinion. Nowhere did I state I intend to infringe upon an individual's right to do so.

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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by RedBrasil on Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:01 pm

Altair wrote:Yes, but I never said I was going to forcibly bar such practices. As I said, it was merely my personal opinion. Nowhere did I state I intend to infringe upon an individual's right to do so.

1-Okay, problem solved Smile

2-I think love and sex are very subjective themes, some people don't like to mix, some people are for polygamy only for love, but monogamous concerning sex, humans are very curious. Personally, I can see myself having sex with different people, not at the same time, in fact I don't consider myself a very sexualized person, I'm not assexual, but I don't like sex so much like most part of the population. But I'm a very romantic person, so I love many women, they are adorable.

I mean, this whole subject is very complex.
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Re: Polygamy & You!

Post by Rev Scare on Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:50 pm

I fully agree with Celtiberian's analysis, and I share Altair's sentiment on the matter. Personally, I oppose polygamy and ultimately find polyamory distasteful--while admitting that it holds a certain utopian appeal.

Insofar as the modern tradition of polyamory has served to infuse more egalitarian principles into non-monogamous relations, the moral objections that can be levied against it, barring the traditional practice of polygamy, are scarce. Nevertheless, I believe that much of contemporary Western culture's shift away from monogamy is directly attributable to capitalism's dismantling of working class households, particularly in the United States, and the robustness of the capitalist sex industry. Should bourgeois social relations be transcended, it is highly probable that cultural attitudes will revert to embracing monogamous values, albeit the traditional feudal household shall be abolished in favor of a communistic class structure in the home.

Incidentally, I intend to open a thread soon wherein I offer my critique of pornography, the commodification of sex in general, and the antisocial hypersexualism it engenders.

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