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Old 09-26-2007, 12:17 PM   #1
Jae Onasi
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The Jeffs Trial (and polygamy in general)

Jeffs was convicted of rape-by-proxy
yesterday. There are a ton of issues raised in this case--age of consent for sex, polygamy as an acceptable or not acceptable practice, how this group in general functions, and so forth. Because it touches on sex-related issues, please remember to keep things PG-13/rated Teen.


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Old 09-26-2007, 01:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
There are a ton of issues raised in this case--age of consent for sex
For which state? (assuming you meant the U.S. specifically).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
polygamy as an acceptable or not acceptable practice
I think it's acceptable. I think it's unwise, but I think it should be permitted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
how this group in general functions
Not sure that I know enough about how the group functions to speak intelligently about it. If the charges he was convicted of are true, then I think it's obvious that he acted inappropriately.
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I think [polygamy is] acceptable. I think it's unwise, but I think it should be permitted.
I'm curious how far would you go with this thought. Do you mean that you find it acceptable on a personal level only? Or would you go so far to say that the state and national governments should recognize multiple spouses when it comes to benefits for income taxes, military service, insurance claims, retirement benefits, social security, etc?
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
I'm curious how far would you go with this thought. Do you mean that you find it acceptable on a personal level only? Or would you go so far to say that the state and national governments should recognize multiple spouses when it comes to benefits for income taxes, military service, insurance claims, retirement benefits, social security, etc?
I cannot think of a moral argument against allowing polygamy, although I can think of moral arguments against forbidding it. Doesn't mean that I find the practice appealing, but I don't think that should be the basis for preventing other consenting adults from doing so.

As for the repercussions on various government entities, I would have to say that that's something we'd have to figure out together (i.e. citizens working with their elected representatives).

As a postscript, I'd like to point out that just because I can't think of a moral argument against it doesn't mean that one doesn't exist. If anyone has a compelling argument that shoots mine out of the water, I would very much like to hear it. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-26-2007, 02:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
age of consent for sex
This is a really tough topic. How can you have one age that is acceptable for everyone within jurisdiction of that law? We are all individuals and mature at different rate. The average age of consent according to Avert is 16 years old. Is this too young, again I believe it depends on the adolescent in question.

I actually like the Austrian law attempt to take into consideration the actual maturity level of the victim, but I would personally like it better if they change 16 to 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avert
Although the Austrian age of consent is basically 14, it is illegal to have sex with someone under 16 by "exploiting their lack of maturity".
(Iím not posting a link to Avert, it is easy enough to find, but although it is AIDS charity, I believe some of the language and descriptions would not be appropriate.)

If we are taking about a child of mine then I believe 35 year old or the day after I die would be the appropriate age of consent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
polygamy as an acceptable or not acceptable practice
I donít have moral argument for or against it. My arguments against it are more financial and legal and are covered by tk102 question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
how this group in general functions, and so forth
Canít say much about the group outside the article and a few news cast Iíve seen. But if arrange non-consensual marriages with young adolescents relatives are the norm, then I do not think very much of them.
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:16 PM   #6
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Imagine collecting a variety of benefits from being in married in multiple households. Just as an example you could be a standard deduction on every "Married Filing Jointly" tax form since you as a spouse you always get a 1 in that box (whereas there are definitions for what qualifies as a dependent child). Quite lucrative at the cost of other monogamist tax payers.

Imagine also the fun in divorce court. Child custody. Alimony.

But aside the variety of bureaucracies that have been built around the idea of monogamist marriages, how stable can these relationships be to raise a family in? Given the general divorce rate, it seems divorce would be that much more likely in a polygamist household. You've got more marriages, so that much more chance for one of them to fail. If there is love in the polygamist marriage, there is going to be jealousy too. You can't split love without causing jealousy (or I'm clueless).

At what point does it even make sense to call something a marriage if your relationship is a spiderweb across multiple partners, households, and children?

I don't have a problem with three or more people wanting to share love with each other. I do have a problem if they are reaping financial benefits from my government in doing so.

I also personally believe that such relationships an inherently unstable and therefore detrimental to the raising of children. I would rather see a child raised in a homosexual monogamist marriage than in a polygamist one. Marriage as an institution should increase the overall stability of a society, not destabilize it. That's why the bureaucracies provide the benefits in the first place.
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Imagine collecting a variety of benefits from being in married in multiple households. Just as an example you could be a standard deduction on every "Married Filing Jointly" tax form since you as a spouse you always get a 1 in that box (whereas there are definitions for what qualifies as a dependent child). Quite lucrative at the cost of other monogamist tax payers.

Imagine also the fun in divorce court. Child custody. Alimony.
These are great legal arguments. They don't convince me that the practice is immoral, only inconvenient in our current legal system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
But aside the variety of bureaucracies that have been built around the idea of monogamist marriages, how stable can these relationships be to raise a family in? Given the general divorce rate, it seems divorce would be that much more likely in a polygamist household. You've got more marriages, so that much more chance for one of them to fail. If there is love in the polygamist marriage, there is going to be jealousy too. You can't split love without causing jealousy (or I'm clueless).
Acknowledging that this is largely supposition, I'm still not seeing a moral argument. FWIW, I think your reasoning is sound in the context provided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
At what point does it even make sense to call something a marriage if your relationship is a spiderweb across multiple partners, households, and children?
An excellent question. I know some people would like to operationally define "marriage" as a union between one man and one woman. Similarly there are people that don't agree with the definition. How would you operationally define "marriage" and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
I don't have a problem with three or more people wanting to share love with each other. I do have a problem if they are reaping financial benefits from my government in doing so.
Hmmm. Is it unreasonable to expect our government to consider/close any loopholes that might arise from the legalization of polygamy? If a man is the head of household in a single-income family, how do we currently distinguish between 3 dependents if they are a wife and two children vs a wife, one child, and one elderly parent? Should this be fundamentally different if it is two wives and one child?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
I also personally believe that such relationships an inherently unstable and therefore detrimental to the raising of children.
I would tend to agree with this thinking, hence why I've repeatedly stated that it's not something I would particularly want to participate in. And even though I'm sure we could probably dig up statistics that support such an argument, I'm still not convinced that we would have a moral argument against polygamy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
I would rather see a child raised in a homosexual monogamist marriage than in a polygamist one.
Ooo...a juicy peek at teekay's prejudices?

What if the homosexual couple were verbally abusive to one another and one of the them had a substance abuse problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Marriage as an institution should increase the overall stability of a society, not destabilize it.
1) I'm not convinced that marriage serves any utility in society (nor should it be burdened with any), and 2) even if I were convinced that it did, I'm not convinced that polygamy is inherently unstable (at least not any moreso than monogamy).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
That's why the bureaucracies provide the benefits in the first place.
I'm not sure that I'd be willing to jump to the same conclusion. Companies have no ethical obligation to their employees outside of a living wage. "Benefits" are generally offered at the mandate of governmental regulation and/or as a means of remaining competitive in a market of skilled workers.
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:40 PM   #8
Jae Onasi
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I think marriage does serve a utility--it binds two people together legally, financially, emotionally, and for those of us who are religious, spiritually. In those households where the couple is not married but is just co-habitating, the level of commitment tends to be lower and the break-up rate tends to be a little higher. When kids are involved, the father tends not to be as committed to being involved in their lives, especially if the couple is no longer together (by no means is this always the case, to be sure).

If the point of marriage is to bind a couple together to allow greater commitment to each other and to raising a family, then anything that interferes with that is going to harm the couple and family relationship, or at least not serve any benefit. In the case of polygamy, it's nothing more than a quasi-adulterous relationship. It is frequently harmful to the women and children in the relationship, which is what makes it immoral. In the case of the women, they get less time with the man and have a far more shallow relationship. Often, competition develops among the women for his attention, and that competition can get vicious. If they drag the children into it, and it would be difficult for everyone to show the kind of self-restraint required not to do that, it hurts the children as well. The children have only a part-time father since his attention is divided among multiple households, and their financial situation is usually far less stable since his finances are equally divided. It's not unusual for polygamist families to be living below the poverty level. If he shows favoritism to a wife or the children of one wife (and it's nearly impossible not to), it's detrimental to the other wives and their children who don't receive favor. The only benefit to the man is he almost always has a wife who's able to meet his sexual needs whenever he wants, but the disadvantages are many to him and more often to everyone else he's in a pseudo-relationship with.


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Old 09-26-2007, 07:38 PM   #9
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I don't mind polygamy, it raises some legal questions, but so long as all the unions are done by WELL REGULATED persons, ie: so we can't have guys like Jeffs doing as they please, and they are consensual between two persons of acceptable in context age(ie: since AOC varies from state to state, and younger people can get parental permission).

But I agree with the ruling, the boy in this case, was not a minor, the girl, was a minor, and also did not want to be married, or have sex. So by coercing her into doing so by threat of eternal damnation, which for the very religious is little different than putting a gun to ones head, to have sex with some guy she didn't want to, Jeffs is indeed an accomplice to a rape.

Even though you can't technically rape your wife, it still qualifies at least as sexual abuse. However, I think rape is still an adequet term here because of the age of the persons, and the age difference between them, and because she did not want to marry the guy.


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Old 09-26-2007, 08:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
These are great legal arguments. They don't convince me that the practice is immoral, only inconvenient in our current legal system.... .
Yes quite. It would be morally wrong to provide benefits for polygamist relationships in the current social framework, both private and public, without making adjustments. The basis for spousal benefits in every context assumes one spouse. The amount of "loophole closing" involved in both the public and private sectors to accommodate legalized polygamy would be considerable and I'm not certain what it gains.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Acknowledging that this is largely supposition, I'm still not seeing a moral argument. FWIW, I think your reasoning is sound in the context provided
Yes it is largely supposition that polygamy would lead to more divorce. Divorce causes an emotional toll on all involved as well as financial and legal frustrations that echo for years. It affects friends, it affects banks and creditors, it affects children. For those reasons it is undesirable and governments should not encourage inherently unstable relationships from entering into marriage.

With the rising divorce rates, you could argue governments perhaps should offer no incentive for anyone to get married, let alone to more than one partner. And likewise, if marriage was not even legally recognized, all individuals and their relationships would be on equal footing.

So why should marriage be recognized legally at all? I'd say because it provides stability and a naturally cohesive family unit, the presence of which is more beneficial to society than its absence.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
An excellent question. I know some people would like to operationally define "marriage" as a union between one man and one woman. Similarly there are people that don't agree with the definition. How would you operationally define "marriage" and why?
Operationally? I would define it as a domestic partnership between two people with purpose of being semi-permanent which shall be recognized by the public. The financial responsibilities will be shared by both individuals. Couples with children likewise will share custody and both must adhere to all laws for providing for the wellness of the children.

Something like that. Operationally defined. I see no reason to bar homosexuals from marrying therefore.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Hmmm. Is it unreasonable to expect our government to consider/close any loopholes that might arise from the legalization of polygamy?
Is it unreasonable to not legalize polygamy in the first place? What do we gain from doing so other than an increase in confusion? Operationally speaking, the government should not be forced to recognize more than one marriage at anytime.

Here's a more subtle scenario: Say a couple gets married and it is legally recognized. Then the couple decides they want to be polygamists. They take in another person and make their own vows in private. Between three consenting adults I would say that's a liberty that should be allowed. Likewise the government should not have to recognize these weirdos as being married. Sorry that's just so fringe of behavior.

Now in the case of the Jeffs trial, if the spouses are underage, or are married against their will, or are first cousins... that's crossing the law.

If children are being raised in a polygamist household that is otherwise healthy and happy well that's a bit more gray. If such a case was brought before the court I would hope it find the environment destructive and order the separation of parties. There's another juicy peek at my prejudices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
1) I'm not convinced that marriage serves any utility in society (nor should it be burdened with any),
Raising children in a married home vs. raising children as a single parent...

If you believe that in general two parents working together under the same roof is better than one for the well-being of the child, doesn't marriage serve a bit of utility in this simple way? After all society is made of its citizens including its children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
and 2) even if I were convinced that it did, I'm not convinced that polygamy is inherently unstable (at least not any moreso than monogamy).
I thought you said my reasoning was sound in the context I provided. If the probability of divorce between two people is 1 in 6, I can roll a die. If there two marriages, I can roll two dice. The odds of rolling a 6 just went up by a factor of 2. The chain that holds people together is only as strong as the weakest link. More links = more weak links = more chance of breaking up.


Quote:
I'm not sure that I'd be willing to jump to the same conclusion. Companies have no ethical obligation to their employees outside of a living wage. "Benefits" are generally offered at the mandate of governmental regulation and/or as a means of remaining competitive in a market of skilled workers.
Financial stability for the company based on social stability of the workers. Benefits for spouses adds to family stability which decreases the rate of employee turnover and leads to a more experienced workforce. You could say the motive of the company is based on economics rather than ethics, but the effect of creating stability is the same.

Am I going off topic? click click there... thread title fixed
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I think marriage does serve a utility--it binds two people together legally, financially, emotionally, and for those of us who are religious, spiritually.
I take offense to the insinuation that spiritual union is limited only to the religious. Outside of that, I acknowledge that this is your opinion. My opinion is that the "benefits" you've listed are not limited to marriage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
In those households where the couple is not married but is just co-habitating, the level of commitment tends to be lower and the break-up rate tends to be a little higher.
Source and evidence for a causal relationship please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
When kids are involved, the father tends not to be as committed to being involved in their lives, especially if the couple is no longer together (by no means is this always the case, to be sure).
Same for this please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If the point of marriage is to bind a couple together to allow greater commitment to each other and to raising a family, then anything that interferes with that is going to harm the couple and family relationship, or at least not serve any benefit.
Greater commitment than what? No commitment at all? I always viewed commitment as a "true/false", "yes/no", "do or do not, there is no 'try'" type of thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
In the case of polygamy, it's nothing more than a quasi-adulterous relationship.
Is this supposition on your part or do you have sources? Perhaps next you'd like to argue that homosexual men aren't really gay, they just use it as an excuse to get laid more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It is frequently harmful to the women and children in the relationship, which is what makes it immoral.
Ok, sure. And since monogamy and marriage are sometimes harmful to women and children, then it is similarly immoral. You can't have it both ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
In the case of the women, they get less time with the man and have a far more shallow relationship.
Compared to a monogamous couple where the husband is married to the job? What about the support system that the women form with each other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Often, competition develops among the women for his attention, and that competition can get vicious.
Well, I'm going to have to ask for a source but I want to share the funny visual I got of you replying with a link to a clip from the Jerry Springer show

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If they drag the children into it, and it would be difficult for everyone to show the kind of self-restraint required not to do that, it hurts the children as well.
Again, present in monogamous relationships, so not applicable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The children have only a part-time father since his attention is divided among multiple households, and their financial situation is usually far less stable since his finances are equally divided.
Huh? Does the "monday family" live in the basement while the "tuesday family", "wednesday family", etc all get their turn and so on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It's not unusual for polygamist families to be living below the poverty level.
Neither is it uncommon for poor families to live below the poverty level. Is being poor immoral too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If he shows favoritism to a wife or the children of one wife (and it's nearly impossible not to), it's detrimental to the other wives and their children who don't receive favor.
Source?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The only benefit to the man is he almost always has a wife who's able to meet his sexual needs whenever he wants, but the disadvantages are many to him and more often to everyone else he's in a pseudo-relationship with.
Not sure I follow on this one. Sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Yes quite. It would be morally wrong to provide benefits for polygamist relationships in the current social framework, both private and public, without making adjustments. The basis for spousal benefits in every context assumes one spouse. The amount of "loophole closing" involved in both the public and private sectors to accommodate legalized polygamy would be considerable and I'm not certain what it gains.
You'll have to help me with this one. I'm probably getting stuck on this one thing and not seeing what you are, but here it goes:

Come tax time, when he files as "married", it doesn't ask for number of spouses and multiply his benefit accordingly. So for tax purposes, I'm not seeing what benefit he would have outside of some extra dependents. But how is that different from having a lot of kids.

As far as employer benefits (at least where I work in the state of arizona), you have two options for healthcare: Single or family. The family option doesn't care whether "family" equals a spouse or a bunch of kids; it's the same deduction. So again, I'm not seeing how he's getting a benefit in the current system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Yes it is largely supposition that polygamy would lead to more divorce. Divorce causes an emotional toll on all involved as well as financial and legal frustrations that echo for years. It affects friends, it affects banks and creditors, it affects children. For those reasons it is undesirable and governments should not encourage inherently unstable relationships from entering into marriage.
You say this like you didn't know that I've been there too, my friend

Regarding the last sentence, I'm wondering how many other myriads of relationship we can arbitrarily apply the "inherently unstable relationship" label to as justification for limiting the decisions of consenting adults. Couples under the age of 25? Bi-racial marriages? Marriages between a southerner and a westerner? Marriages between two people where one or both have parents with a history of depression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
With the rising divorce rates, you could argue governments perhaps should offer no incentive for anyone to get married, let alone to more than one partner. And likewise, if marriage was not even legally recognized, all individuals and their relationships would be on equal footing.
Indeed I could and might

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
So why should marriage be recognized legally at all? I'd say because it provides stability and a naturally cohesive family unit, the presence of which is more beneficial to society than its absence.
I acknowledge that this is your opinion. In my opinion, being married to someone does not magically make the relationship more impervious to the wrecking ball. It would seem to me that the relationship is only as strong as the commitment between two (or more ) people and a pretty dress and some rice is nothing more than a pretty bow on a box.

If a ceremony really helps someone to believe that their relationship is somehow more stable, then I say more power to them. The magic feather clearly worked for Dumbo. However, I am going to need convincing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Operationally? I would define it as a domestic partnership between two people with purpose of being semi-permanent which shall be recognized by the public.
And how would this differ from "going steady"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
The financial responsibilities will be shared by both individuals.
...and this sounds like "living together"

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Couples with children likewise will share custody and both must adhere to all laws for providing for the wellness of the children.
...and this sounds like the terms of my divorce

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Something like that. Operationally defined. I see no reason to bar homosexuals from marrying therefore.
That's good

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Is it unreasonable to not legalize polygamy in the first place? What do we gain from doing so other than an increase in confusion?
Should it be a universal law that consenting adults that wish to be married to one another should not be permitted to do so? If the answer is no, then there is no moral basis for preventing marriage between consenting adults, whether it be one man and one woman, two men, two women, or a man and two women, etc.

Therefore if (I'm still open to dissenting arguments here), there is no moral basis for prohibiting polygamy, then yes, it is unreasonable not to legalize polygamy. What we gain is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...even for those ways of life for which we find no appeal ourselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Operationally speaking, the government should not be forced to recognize more than one marriage at anytime.
Could you expand on this please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Here's a more subtle scenario: Say a couple gets married and it is legally recognized. Then the couple decides they want to be polygamists. They take in another person and make their own vows in private. Between three consenting adults I would say that's a liberty that should be allowed. Likewise the government should not have to recognize these weirdos as being married. Sorry that's just so fringe of behavior.
That sounds like a values judgement rather than a moral argument. I appreciate that it doesn't jive with your values. On the face of it, it doesn't jive with mine either, but this is a moral question therefore us finding it "icky", "gross", or "weird" is really quite beside the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Now in the case of the Jeffs trial, if the spouses are underage, or are married against their will, or are first cousins... that's crossing the law.
Indeed. You'll get no argument from me (aside from the fact that I don't see a moral argument against first cousins either).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
If children are being raised in a polygamist household that is otherwise healthy and happy well that's a bit more gray. If such a case was brought before the court I would hope it find the environment destructive and order the separation of parties. There's another juicy peek at my prejudices.
Nice. Kudos on your humanness

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Raising children in a married home vs. raising children as a single parent...
Whoops. Afraid I wasn't very clear. It wasn't an argument for married home vs. single parent. I intended to make an argument for married family vs. common law family...unless of course this is just a red herring and I'm interrupting

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
If you believe that in general two parents working together under the same roof is better than one for the well-being of the child, doesn't marriage serve a bit of utility in this simple way? After all society is made of its citizens including its children.
I agree that having a mother and a father living under the same roof is clearly beneficial for children. Whether or not those parents are married really has no significance for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
I thought you said my reasoning was sound in the context I provided.
Indeed. What I was trying to be too polite to say was that I thought your context was crap (love you, man).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
If the probability of divorce between two people is 1 in 6, I can roll a die. If there two marriages, I can roll two dice. The odds of rolling a 6 just went up by a factor of 2. The chain that holds people together is only as strong as the weakest link. More links = more weak links = more chance of breaking up.
All things being equal, you might be right. However I'm not convinced that all things are equal. I'm still quasi-persuaded by interviews I've seen/read with women in polygamous relationships that say that the bond they form with with the other women is just as powerful and enriching as the bond they form with their husband. That they feel as though they have a 24/7 support network. That they value the "me" time they get from occationally being able to let one of their co-parents take over with the kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Financial stability for the company based on social stability of the workers. Benefits for spouses adds to family stability which decreases the rate of employee turnover and leads to a more experienced workforce. You could say the motive of the company is based on economics rather than ethics, but the effect of creating stability is the same.
I'm not going to disagree with you that it's smart business. I think most of your argument here is directly related to my comment regarding "remaining competitive in a market of skilled workers". I apologize for taking your original comment out of context and veering us off-topic.

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:08 PM   #12
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I take offense to the insinuation that spiritual union is limited only to the religious.
Really? I did a double-take on that. Cool. I admit I'm curious to how an atheist defines spiritual union but that's so off topic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Come tax time, when he files as "married", it doesn't ask for number of spouses and multiply his benefit accordingly. So for tax purposes, I'm not seeing what benefit he would have outside of some extra dependents. But how is that different from having a lot of kids.

It's not different from having a lot of kids, but I suppose Mr. Man would have both. Plus the fact that there is no restriction on what qualifies as a "dependent" spouse. You could be more than one person's spouse so you could be more than one person's deduction. I'm sure that'd be the first loophole to get closed so this is kind of a tangent. But it illustrates that things would have to change.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
As far as employer benefits (at least where I work in the state of arizona), you have two options for healthcare: Single or family. The family option doesn't care whether "family" equals a spouse or a bunch of kids; it's the same deduction. So again, I'm not seeing how he's getting a benefit in the current system.
Sounds like another downside to an already ailing system of health care coverage. More people piggy backing on a single plan hurts everybody else who see their rates go up. And yes, I don't have any sympathy towards people with a whole lot of kids that get the same benefit.

So okay, yes it's my personal beef and I can't claim it comes from a morality based on pure logic. I'd be on the short end of the stick since I'm a non-polygamist and I have only child. It's just like my personal issue with SUV drivers. They have the right to drive whatever they want. It won't stop me from voting for tougher regulations on gas emissions or higher gas taxes if the time comes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
You say this like you didn't know that I've been there too, my friend
Yeah.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Regarding the last sentence, I'm wondering how many other myriads of relationship we can arbitrarily apply the "inherently unstable relationship" label to as justification for limiting the decisions of consenting adults. Couples under the age of 25? Bi-racial marriages? Marriages between a southerner and a westerner? Marriages between two people where one or both have parents with a history of depression?
True, but this is such an easy line to draw where all those others are not. 2 people in a marriage! Sorry that's the limit, that's all you get. In fact, it's the status quo! We don't have to do a damn thing. *kicks back and lets the polygamists suck it*


I acknowledge that this is your opinion. In my opinion, being married to someone does not magically make the relationship more impervious to the wrecking ball. It would seem to me that the relationship is only as strong as the commitment between two (or more ) people and a pretty dress and some rice is nothing more than a pretty bow on a box.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
If a ceremony really helps someone to believe that their relationship is somehow more stable, then I say more power to them. The magic feather clearly worked for Dumbo. However, I am going to need convincing.
If you're going steady, the government isn't involved. If you get married, you are inviting legal recognition of the marriage and you agree to deal with the crap if things fall apart. There is more crap. Way more. That itself is a big deterrent, hence even if there is no spiritual or religious stigma to divorce, you will give your marriage much more chance to repair itself than you would someone you're dating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Should it be a universal law that consenting adults that wish to be married to one another should not be permitted to do so? If the answer is no, then there is no moral basis for preventing marriage between consenting adults, whether it be one man and one woman, two men, two women, or a man and two women, etc.
It's all a matter of definitions then. Marriage by definition in my book (and the government's) is between two people on only two people. You're saying it's not morally right to define it that way. This is where we diverge and I fall back to the idea that love in a marriage isn't divisible. Hence the reason my own divorce. *end of juice*


Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Could you expand on this please?
Nah. It's just my opinion. My last post was interrupted so many times I couldn't keep a consistent train of thought. If there enough of a majority to pass a law that allows for polygamy I can't really say that. So let them try. If however the courts somehow interpret prosecution of polygamy as unconstitutional, then I will be writing to Congress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
That sounds like a values judgement rather than a moral argument. I appreciate that it doesn't jive with your values. On the face of it, it doesn't jive with mine either, but this is a moral question therefore us finding it "icky", "gross", or "weird" is really quite beside the point.
Yeah it is a difficult thing to argue from a purely moral standpoint. So are you fighting with your own value judgment on this because of that? I'm really not. I guess I'm not as moral as I could be, but I can't rationalize polygamy as much more than a quasi-adulterous relationship as Jae called it, so I guess that's my own shortcoming. I'm in my mid-30s and I can start acting like a stubborn old man if I damn well please. kthxbye.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
(aside from the fact that I don't see a moral argument against first cosins either)
?? Regardless of the centuries of knowledge that such a union has a high likelihood of producing birth defects in its offspring? No way is it immoral to say "no" to the kissing cousins. Saying "yes" is immoral.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Whoops. Afraid I wasn't very clear. It wasn't an argument for married home vs. single parent. I intended to make an argument for married family vs. common law family...unless of course this is just a red herring and I'm interrupting
You mentioned that you didn't see marraige as having any utility. I feel it helps keep the couple together if for no other reason than then fact that divorce is a deterrent. Add to that religious and familial traditions/pressures. And since being together is beneficial for the child, it's a good thing and has utility. But if you like, we can call it a red herring and move on. Again I'll blame the interruptions from earlier for confusing my post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I agree that having a mother and a father living under the same roof is clearly beneficial for children. Whether or not those parents are married really has no significance for me.
Is that because you believe marriage does not increase the likelihood of staying together for the long haul? Since I think it does (sorry no sources) I'd say the marriage is significant since it may encourage that one extra chance to work things out during difficult times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Indeed. What I was trying to be too polite to say was that I thought your context was crap (love you, man).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
All things being equal, you might be right. However I'm not convinced that all things are equal. I'm still quasi-persuaded by interviews I've seen/read with women in polygamous relationships that say that the bond they form with with the other women is just as powerful and enriching as the bond they form with their husband.
I suppose that's just as valid of conjecture as mine.

Have a good one.
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Really? I did a double-take on that. Cool. I admit I'm curious to how an atheist defines spiritual union but that's so off topic.
That one didn't get by me either. "Could you expand on this, please".


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Old 09-27-2007, 12:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Really? I did a double-take on that. Cool. I admit I'm curious to how an atheist defines spiritual union but that's so off topic.
Really? I thought we covered that ad nauseam via PM, but perhaps not in that context. I don't think I've ever denied that there is a spiritual nature to our existence, only that I don't attribute it to a supernatural source. I think I sent you a Sam Harris article once that articulated the sentiment much better than I could.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
It's not different from having a lot of kids, but I suppose Mr. Man would have both. Plus the fact that there is no restriction on what qualifies as a "dependent" spouse. You could be more than one person's spouse so you could be more than one person's deduction. I'm sure that'd be the first loophole to get closed so this is kind of a tangent. But it illustrates that things would have to change.
As you yourself point out, it would be the same as a lot of kids (which was my point). I'm don't think a few more thousand pages of tax code will really make that much difference

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Sounds like another downside to an already ailing system of health care coverage. More people piggy backing on a single plan hurts everybody else who see their rates go up. And yes, I don't have any sympathy towards people with a whole lot of kids that get the same benefit.
I see your point, but it's still not a moral argument
If I really wanted to be froggy, I'd spin this into an argument for socialized health care

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
So okay, yes it's my personal beef and I can't claim it comes from a morality based on pure logic. I'd be on the short end of the stick since I'm a non-polygamist and I have only child. It's just like my personal issue with SUV drivers. They have the right to drive whatever they want. It won't stop me from voting for tougher regulations on gas emissions or higher gas taxes if the time comes.
Fair enough

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
True, but this is such an easy line to draw where all those others are not. 2 people in a marriage! Sorry that's the limit, that's all you get. In fact, it's the status quo! We don't have to do a damn thing. *kicks back and lets the polygamists suck it*
I think those other suggestions were pretty easy. They were certainly just as objective. And you don't honestly expect me to be pursuaded by a status quo argument do you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
If you're going steady, the government isn't involved. If you get married, you are inviting legal recognition of the marriage and you agree to deal with the crap if things fall apart. There is more crap. Way more. That itself is a big deterrent, hence even if there is no spiritual or religious stigma to divorce, you will give your marriage much more chance to repair itself than you would someone you're dating.
You're not giving me much to work with here. The construct is still entirely artifical. Yes, there is a chance that a married couple might feel more compelled to work through an issue than a dating couple, however that chance is not inherent to marriage itself. A non-married couple might be more willing to work through their issues if they have a child together than a married couple with no children. Therefore we cannot draw a causal relationship between marriage and commitment.

But all that aside, my intent was to point out that our operational definition of marriage has flaws.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
It's all a matter of definitions then. Marriage by definition in my book (and the government's) is between two people on only two people.
Seems arbitrary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
You're saying it's not morally right to define it that way. This is where we diverge and I fall back to the idea that love in a marriage isn't divisible.
So you can't love your spouse and a child? Two children? A friend? As a rule I never apply scarcity models to intangible things, but that's just my own thing.

If it helps, remember that I don't believe that we're built for long-term monogamy anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Nah. It's just my opinion. My last post was interrupted so many times I couldn't keep a consistent train of thought. If there enough of a majority to pass a law that allows for polygamy I can't really say that. So let them try. If however the courts somehow interpret prosecution of polygamy as unconstitutional, then I will be writing to Congress.
Wow. You'd attempt to infringe on someone else's rights because of your own prejudices? I'm seeing a whole new side of you

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Yeah it is a difficult thing to argue from a purely moral standpoint.
Actually, it seems rather easy from over here

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
So are you fighting with your own value judgment on this because of that?
Not really. I don't foresee ever entering into a polygamous relationship, so I don't see how this will ever affect me personally. I do think that if ever ends up being left to the voters though, they deserve to have people on their side (ala civil rights, gay rights, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
?? Regardless of the centuries of knowledge that such a union has a high likelihood of producing birth defects in its offspring? No way is it immoral to say "no" to the kissing cousins. Saying "yes" is immoral.
*shrugs* and high risk of birth defects is limited to these couples how? Do we infringe on the reproductive rights of any other at-risk demographics now? Should we?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
You mentioned that you didn't see marraige as having any utility. I feel it helps keep the couple together if for no other reason than then fact that divorce is a deterrent.
There are lots of deterrents. Divorce is simply one of them. I know I sound flippant. Sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Add to that religious and familial traditions/pressures.
Which, as I'm sure you can guess, don't carry much weight with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
And since being together is beneficial for the child, it's a good thing and has utility.
Indeed, but is not limited to marriage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Is that because you believe marriage does not increase the likelihood of staying together for the long haul?
Yep. Pretty much. I think commitment is commitment and you either have it or you don't. If you don't have it, then "marriage" isn't going to make it magically appear. I'll use my own divorce as an example

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
I suppose that's just as valid of conjecture as mine.
If you consider testimony from the horse's mouth conjecture, then yes. By no means do I believe that one groups experiences acurately reflect those of all polygamist families, but monogamous couples are still allowed to get married without passing an Ozzie and Harriet test, so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Have a good one.
You do the same. Enjoy your game!
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:21 AM   #15
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Well, I have no problem with people having "officialized Polygamy Relationships" I think the problem lies in how the legal system would deal with such cases, and the possability of people grouping together just to reap benefits, amongst other things, like the huge legal issues with divorce (or guild splits if you will) If normal divorce is nasty, think about one between 5+ people...

Calling it Marriage or not is not the real issue here, we can call it "CongoBongo" for all i care. Its how the system should(or should not) be tweaked to accept such structures and the possable issues that comes with it. Its about what legal rights should be granted to the individuals in such relationships, kids related issues, child support, etc...

Personally I am currently happy with this one <3 and, nope, not likely to change anytime soon if ever. But yeah I do think a polygamy system can work out.
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Old 09-27-2007, 04:52 AM   #16
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The spiritual comment--actually, I was trying not to offend you, Achilles, by associating you as an atheist with anything spiritual.

The reasons first cousins should not marry are not related to morals, it's related to the higher risk of inheritable genetic diseases (as opposed to genetic diseases that develop spontaneously) and Down's syndrome. The closer the relationship (first cousins, aunt/uncle with nephew/niece, parent and child, brother-sister, and so forth), the higher the risk for genetic diseases to develop. We need some diversity in our gene pool.

You wanted sources, Achilles, you got them--abstracts mostly of the science/medical journal articles because I'm not buying the articles at 40 bucks a pop for you all. This is no where near exhaustive. The Canadian articles are the most detailed. The third link I wish I had access to because it's quoted by a number of other studies, so it's developed an importance all its own in the academic community.

Site on polygamy in Jeffs' group
One of the stories of the women and men who left the group--Check out all the other stories.

Women from Polygamous and Monogamous Marriages in an Out-Patient Psychiatric ClinicGreater risk of low self esteem, poor relationship with husband, and loneliness, greater risk of low self-esteem for daughters of a polygamous family.

Problems in France--Some describe life in a polygamous household.

Polygamy contributes to increased rates of STDs in Sub-Saharan Africa

Polygamy is a complementary factor in the spread of HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa

I didn't know about the incest risk so I'll pass that on too. Note there is frank discussion of incest here. A Father Marries his Daughters: A Case of Incestuous Polygamy

abstract showing polygamy is painful to wives, even in well-functioning polygamist relationships

Polygamy affects socio-economic factors and health status

collection of Canadian policy reports on the harm of polygamy to women and children

And another policy paper based on a variety of studies. Full text of policy is here.

And more on women in polygamy, part of this paper

Statement that polygamy has been identified as a risk factor for psychological distress

Polygamy as a significant risk factor for substance abuse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naomi Riley
What is it about polygamy that makes the roots so deep and destructive? Some suggest that the economics of one man trying to provide for so many families inevitably leads to poverty and crime. (Welfare fraud is rampant in polygamous communities, with as much as 50 percent of the population relying on public assistance.)

Others say the jealousy generated by plural marriages corrodes families and individuals. Or that the dissolution of individual identity in such communities simply leads to a lack of respect for other human beings.

Whatever the case, polygamy is not an activity whose effects are restricted to the bedroom and consenting adults. Rather, it seems to corrupt civil society as a whole, destroying education, individual rights and the rule of law - in other words, the foundations of democratic governance. Just as with slavery, to which polygamy was compared in the presidential election of 1856, even a single instance can fundamentally alter a society.
article here.

Saathi research on negative effects on women

Increased risk of Hepatitis B during pregnancy--polygamy is a risk factor

See slide 7 and on.

Polygamy as a risk-factor for depression and anxiety in late pregnancy

Polygamy is a barrier to health care in the UAE

Turkish study showing polygamy increases rates of depression among women

Polygamy contributes to HIV transmission in a signficant way in Mayotte

Polygamy contributes to post-partum depression

Poverty, abuse, and polygamy

Polygamy cited as a cause of poverty

Contribution of polygamy to women's oppression and impoverishment

Tapestry's list of abuses brought about by polygamy

Study on hazardous alcohol use among Nigerian male freshmen shows coming from a polygamous household is a significant risk factor.

The other stuff I'll deal with later. It's 4am for this insomniac and if I try to put too many more quote tags and urls in here, this won't post.


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Last edited by Jae Onasi; 09-27-2007 at 08:25 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 09-27-2007, 05:12 AM   #17
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I have seen this sort of thing before and the results can be devastating. Warren Jeffs will hopefully serve as an example.
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The spiritual comment--actually, I was trying not to offend you, Achilles, by associating you as an atheist with anything spiritual.
Heh Nope, spiritual is fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The reasons first cousins should not marry are not related to morals, it's related to the higher risk of inheritable genetic diseases (as opposed to genetic diseases that develop spontaneously) and Down's syndrome. The closer the relationship (first cousins, aunt/uncle with nephew/niece, parent and child, brother-sister, and so forth), the higher the risk for genetic diseases to develop. We need some diversity in our gene pool.
Indeed we do! Inbreeding would seem to add more diversity via more random mutations. Hence how small, non-adapted species can quickly evolve into expansive, well-adapted species in some situations. Evolution is fascinating, isn't it?

I'm not going to argue against health considerations that I happen to agree with, however I will point out that this is not a moral argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
You wanted sources, Achilles, you got them--abstracts mostly of the science/medical journal articles because I'm not buying the articles at 40 bucks a pop for you all.
Fair enough.
Would you prefer that deconstruct them all one-by-one or would you prefer that I skip the part where I point out that none of these would appear to argue a moral point against polygamy? Let me know. And thanks for the links!
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:06 PM   #19
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If doing that which hurts someone is immoral (excepting things such as surgery and dentistry where the ultimate benefits are obvious), and polygamy hurts women and children as noted in numerous studies, then is not polygamy therefore immoral?

I never said I didn't agree with evolution, btw.


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Old 09-27-2007, 01:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If doing that which hurts someone is immoral (excepting things such as surgery and dentistry where the ultimate benefits are obvious), and polygamy hurts women and children as noted in numerous studies, then is not polygamy therefore immoral?
No moreso than monogamous relationships that frequently run the same risks.
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:15 PM   #21
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However, polygamy runs the risk overall (as noted in the studies above) of causing significantly greater problems, particularly for women/children, than monogamous relationships, and thus becomes an immoral choice. Why would we as a society and individually choose to acknowledge and encourage (or at least turn a blind eye to) a mode of relationship that causes substantially greater problems?


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Old 09-27-2007, 01:31 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
However, polygamy runs the risk overall (as noted in the studies above) of causing significantly greater problems, particularly for women/children, than monogamous relationships, and thus becomes an immoral choice.
Not sure I follow that reasoning. Something is either immoral or it is not. If there are risks inherent to both monogamous and polygamous relationships, then you can't say one is immoral without painting the other with that same brush.

FWIW, I'm perfectly ok going down that path, so long as we recognize that we need to look at each relationship on a case-by-case basis and cease with the generalizations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Why would we as a society and individually choose to acknowledge and encourage (or at least turn a blind eye to) a mode of relationship that causes substantially greater problems?
Dunno. We can consider that question when there is evidence that your presumption is true.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:10 PM   #23
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What other evidence do you need besides the 28-odd studies/sites listed above that polygamy is more harmful than monogamy? The several hundred more citations available? Polygamy causes significantly greater problems than monogamy. The only way you can deny that is if you deny the mountain of research done on the issue.

No relationship is ever going to be free of pain since we're all human and screw up on a rather regular basis. There are going to be problems in every single relationship. Since that's the case, we have to then look at the statistics regarding types, amounts, and causes of problems and whether one mode embraces or encourages immoral behaviors more than another mode. Monogamy in general discourages child sexual abuse from underage marriage, and discourages by definition multiple partners. Do people violate that? Sure, rather regularly, unfortunately for the kids and the unsuspecting spouses and sometimes even the perpetrator. However, incest and adultery are not supposed to be the default position in monogamy, and are not encouraged. Polygamy, however, embraces child marriage and multiple partners. We know from the studies above that having multiple partners in a polygamist relationship increases risk for HIV and other STDs, depression, poverty, drug abuse among the children, and so forth, and yet polygamists still willingly get involved in a more risky form of relationship. This benefits no one and hurts a lot of people, and those problems generated by polygamy spill over into society. Do you consider allowing a mode of relationship that you know is going to cause statistically significantly greater problems for women, children, some men, and society as a whole to be moral?


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Old 09-27-2007, 02:18 PM   #24
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I think the gist of Achilles' point was that we can't know polygamy is going to cause pain to anyone so restricting the rights of people to engage in it is itself immoral.

But you could apply the argument to someone punching another person in the face. I don't know it will cause pain, but I have a reasonable idea that it might. And that's good enough for me to say that it's immoral to punch someone in the face.

I guess I wouldn't qualify as a libertarian, but I think there's enough evidence to support keeping the status quo in regards to laws regarding marraige (including the part about not allowing first cousins to marry).
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:46 PM   #25
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What other evidence do you need besides the 28-odd studies/sites listed above that polygamy is more harmful than monogamy?
A single causal relationship should be sufficient...for each argument that you would like to raise against polygamy.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The several hundred more citations available?
Not if they are only going to parrot the points that you've already raised. I wouldn't dare presume to waste your time.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Polygamy causes significantly greater problems than monogamy.
Source? (You saw that coming, right?)

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The only way you can deny that is if you deny the mountain of research done on the issue.
I'd much prefer we use the word "question". Yes, I question your sources. I question their biases and I question their methodologies. But how much I question them is really quite irrelevant, because as I have already stated, none of them appear to offer a moral argument against polygamy.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
No relationship is ever going to be free of pain since we're all human and screw up on a rather regular basis. There are going to be problems in every single relationship. Since that's the case, we have to then look at the statistics regarding types, amounts, and causes of problems and whether one mode embraces or encourages immoral behaviors more than another mode.
I think we're dangerously close to circular reasoning here.

Polygamy is immoral because it encourages immoral behavior.
Which immoral behavior?
Polygamy.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Monogamy in general discourages child sexual abuse from underage marriage, and discourages by definition multiple partners.
Really? Souce please.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Do people violate that? Sure, rather regularly, unfortunately for the kids and the unsuspecting spouses and sometimes even the perpetrator.
Oh, ok. So there isn't a causal relationship between polygamy and child sexual abuse? Fair enough.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
However, incest and adultery are not supposed to be the default position in monogamy, and are not encouraged.
And they are in polygamy? Source please.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Polygamy, however, embraces child marriage and multiple partners.
Regarding child marriage: polygamy does or some polygamist do? Multiple partners I won't contest because it's central to polygamy so long as we aren't confusing it with open marriage or adultery which are entirely different things.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
We know from the studies above that having multiple partners in a polygamist relationship increases risk for HIV and other STDs, depression, poverty, drug abuse among the children, and so forth, and yet polygamists still willingly get involved in a more risky form of relationship.
As opposed to anyone else that has multiple partners how? Should we put serial monogamy on trial while we're at it?

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
This benefits no one and hurts a lot of people, and those problems generated by polygamy spill over into society.
The same can be said for many practices. The question is whether or not it is moral to infringe on someone else's right because it what they do might have a negative impact on others. Do we want to declare driving immoral because automobile accidents cause thousands of deaths and injuries every day and impact society via traffic jams, lost productivity, smog, etc.

Like I said, we can use whatever brush you'd like to, so long as we're prepared to paint everything.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Do you consider allowing a mode of relationship that you know is going to cause statistically significantly greater problems for women, children, some men, and society as a whole to be moral?
Think very carefully about the current divorce rate before you decide whether or not you really want for me to answer this question.

Thanks for your post, Jae. I am enjoying our conversation.

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Originally Posted by tk102
I think the gist of Achilles' point was that we can't know polygamy is going to cause pain to anyone so restricting the rights of people to engage in it is itself immoral.
Correct.

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Originally Posted by tk102
But you could apply the argument to someone punching another person in the face. I don't know it will cause pain, but I have a reasonable idea that it might. And that's good enough for me to say that it's immoral to punch someone in the face.
I would argue that the intent behind punching someone in the face is to cause pain. Would you agree? I'm not sure the analogy is applicable.

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Originally Posted by tk102
I guess I wouldn't qualify as a libertarian, but I think there's enough evidence to support keeping the status quo in regards to laws regarding marraige (including the part about not allowing first cousins to marry).
But I thought you said earlier that you would support gay marriage? That's not status quo.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:58 PM   #26
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But I thought you said earlier that you would support gay marriage? That's not status quo.
As far two people per marriage is involved, there would be no change. Yes the status quo does not allow two people of the same sex to be married. I concede that. Allowing gay marriage would actually simplify the law. There's much more argument for anti-discrimination in case of gay marriage than any argument that could be made for polygamy.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:03 PM   #27
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There's much more argument for anti-discrimination in case of gay marriage than any argument that could be made for polygamy.
Errr...
I suspect that this is because their are more gay couples than polygamous families. I would argue the moral questions are exactly the same.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:11 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I suspect that this is because their are more gay couples than polygamous families.
No, nothing to do with that at all.
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Originally Posted by Achilles
I would argue the moral questions are exactly the same.
Not if you believe that people are born gay or not. That falls directly under the banner of discrimination. People do not choose to be gay whereas polygamy is quite obviously a chosen behavior.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:26 PM   #29
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I suspect we're going to find that we're arguing different questions. I keep coming back to this:

"Should it be a universal law that consenting adults that wish to be married to one another should not be permitted to do so?"

In the context of a moral argument, it doesn't matter whether the consenting adults are gay, polygamous, black, white, pink, purple, or really into 90's boy bands. If you want to argue that gays should be permitted because they're born gay, but polygamous families should not be because you don't believe they aren't born that way, then it would seem that bi-racial couple should not be permitted to marry because a white woman wasn't born attracted to black men, etc. Or am I misunderstanding your point?
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Old 09-27-2007, 04:17 PM   #30
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How do you justify polygamy as moral, then?

We don't allow people to drive past a certain speed because the risk of accident to both them and those on the road with them becomes greater after a certain point. We don't allow people to drive with a blood alcohol level above a certain point because they _might_ cause an accident. Why should polygamy be any different, when we know there is a higher risk of problems both to the people involved and to society around them? I'm just not getting how you think this is OK.


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Old 09-27-2007, 04:35 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
How do you justify polygamy as moral, then?
I don't think that has been my argument. I think my argument has been that's immoral to restrict it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
We don't allow people to drive past a certain speed because the risk of accident to both them and those on the road with them becomes greater after a certain point. We don't allow people to drive with a blood alcohol level above a certain point because they _might_ cause an accident. Why should polygamy be any different, when we know there is a higher risk of problems both to the people involved and to society around them? I'm just not getting how you think this is OK.
Because your examples are safety issues, not moral issues. If you want to argue polygamy from a "safety" standpoint, I would probably agree that there are additional risks. However I don't think we can oppose polygamy from a "safety" vantage without also moving to oppose monogamous marriage as well. What we still don't have is a moral argument though.

I hope that helps to clarify.
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Old 09-27-2007, 04:57 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Or am I misunderstanding your point?
We were talking about by my apparent inconsistencies in regards to upholding the status quo.
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Originally Posted by Achilles
I suspect we're going to find that we're arguing different questions.
But yes we appear to be arguing different questions. My question is:
"Should we abolish our current laws prohibiting polygamy?"
or to rephrase in a moral framework:
"Are our currently laws prohibiting polygamy immoral and therefore should be abolished?"

If you want to have multiple partners and your current spouse is fine with that there's no incest, rape, or whatever, that's one thing. Asking for formal recognition with a marriage license is another. I just don't see how asking for more than one marriage license and not getting one is discriminatory.
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Old 09-27-2007, 05:31 PM   #33
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Should we abolish laws prohibiting polygamy? No.
Are current laws prohibiting polygamy immoral? No. If the definition of 'moral' includes "Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior;" I consider it unjust to expose women and children in particular to the increased problems associated with polygamy.

If you all want to look at it from a safety standpoint I'm fine with that, too, though you could technically argue that putting children at risk, since they are unable to give consent to being in a polygamous family, is still immoral.

In regards to monogamous marriage, the benefits for spouses and children far outweigh those who have problems, and yes, to get you started, here's a source (you know, you only ask me for sources--why not others?). Before you comment about the fact that it's a conservative site, look at the sourcing for the charts themselves. They're nearly all from gov't sources (e.g. census bureau, dep't of labor, etc) or from peer-reviewed academic/medical journals. I could give you a ton of sources on the benefits of monogamous marriage if you're dying to have that, though googling 'benefits of marriage' and searching medscape with that phrase will get you results faster than me searching and typing them in here.

How do you justify laws prohibiting polygamy as immoral?


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Old 09-27-2007, 07:19 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
We were talking about by my apparent inconsistencies in regards to upholding the status quo.
Was that a yes? Sorry.

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Originally Posted by tk102
But yes we appear to be arguing different questions. My question is:
"Should we abolish our current laws prohibiting polygamy?"
or to rephrase in a moral framework:
"Are our currently laws prohibiting polygamy immoral and therefore should be abolished?"
Well, this second one sound a lot like my question. Therefore, my answer is yes. Basis: because I do not believe that it should be a universal law to restrict marriage between consenting adults.

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Originally Posted by tk102
If you want to have multiple partners and your current spouse is fine with that there's no incest, rape, or whatever, that's one thing. Asking for formal recognition with a marriage license is another.
So adultery gets a yellow light, but polygamy has to stop on red? Come on now.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If the definition of 'moral' includes "Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior;"
That's one definition, but it doesn't have a bottom. Who decides what is right or just? That's what I'm trying to dig down to.

Moral: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ETHICAL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I consider it unjust to expose women and children in particular to the increased problems associated with polygamy.
I'm fine with that. My counter-point is that thoes problems aren't the sole domain of polygamy and therefore not a moral argument against it on the basis of their being a causal relationship. If we are going to prohibit polygamy on this basis alone, then we should be prepared to place similar restrictions on any other questionable monogamous relationships that share similar risks. I think this is probably the 5th or 6th time I've raised this point in this thread and I would really appreciate it if we could either address it or acknowledge that this argument against polygamy is a strawman and abandon it. Thanks in advance.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If you all want to look at it from a safety standpoint I'm fine with that, too, though you could technically argue that putting children at risk, since they are unable to give consent to being in a polygamous family, is still immoral.
They're also unable to give consent to being born at all, therefore childbirth is also immoral.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
In regards to monogamous marriage, the benefits for spouses and children far outweigh those who have problems, and yes, to get you started, here's a source
This source discusses effects of marriage vs. non-marriage (in the context of two-parent vs single parent, aka split household), not monogamy vs. polygamy. I don't think I've argued against the benefits of having two parents in the household, have I?

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
(you know, you only ask me for sources--why not others?)
Hint: it might have something to do with the nature of the arguments that you make. Stating something as fact vs. voicing an opinion, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Before you comment about the fact that it's a conservative site, look at the sourcing for the charts themselves. They're nearly all from gov't sources (e.g. census bureau, dep't of labor, etc) or from peer-reviewed academic/medical journals. I could give you a ton of sources on the benefits of monogamous marriage if you're dying to have that, though googling 'benefits of marriage' and searching medscape with that phrase will get you results faster than me searching and typing them in here.
I have absolutely no problem with sources that are well-cited with transparent methodologies and real data...regardless of there liberal or conservative biases

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
How do you justify laws prohibiting polygamy as immoral?
Haven't I already answered this question several times?
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Old 09-27-2007, 07:35 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Are current laws prohibiting polygamy immoral? No. If the definition of 'moral' includes "Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior;"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles

That's one definition, but it doesn't have a bottom. Who decides what is right or just? That's what I'm trying to dig down to.

Moral: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ETHICAL
Legal aspects set aside, whether polygamy is "right" or "wrong" varies according to a given society standards, I believe... * cough* didn't King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3)

My own opinion is that, although polygamy is not my thing, I don't have a *** to say about what consenting adults do in their bedroom as long as they take good care of the child (if any), even if it does not reflect "standard" society rules of "a given time in a given place" (from the article, I see the Jeff case as more like a "normal from a legal POV" sex abuse case, even if it involves polygamy ). We already allow marriage between heterosexuas (and in Canada and some other countries it includes homosexuals) who are also drug addicts, murderers, etc future parents... A risk "0" society will never exist...I am sure that some polygamist people can take better care of a child than several non polygamist people...
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:52 PM   #36
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@D3--I think Canadian policy has continued with polygamy being illegal, if I'm reading the policy statements I linked correctly. There's so much material in those, however, and things certainly could have changed since then since I think they're a few years old.
King Solomon did have that many wives and concubines, and it was inappropriate.

@Achilles, well, I thought everyone here was voicing opinion unless otherwise specified. If you prefer I state specifically "I feel" or "I think" in front of everything, I can do that. Not that I won't look some stuff up for my own interest and share that, however. The only time I feel the need to speak 'ex cathedra' on a subject is if it's medical--I cannot in good conscience _not_ correct someone's mistakes on medical information, for instance. I don't want someone getting the wrong ideas on medical things and then utilize the bad information later.

The marriage study--I had just bifurcated a bit onto the benefits of marriage vs. not being married, since you'd mentioned that if polygamy should be banned, monogamous marriage should also be banned (in a nutshell) since it has some of the same problems, although to a far lesser degree _on average_ per studies cited above. I don't know if any good studies substantiate benefits of polygamy, but I do know there are a ton of studies showing the benefits of being married over not being married. If we banned monogamous marriage, we'd likely lose far more benefits than we'd theoretically gain from being true to some odd code of morality. The risk/benefit ratio in polygamy appears heavily tilted to the risk side, but the risk/benefit ratio in monogamy still appears heavily tilted to the benefit side. Yes, we can have good polygamists, and yes we can have bad monogamists. However, for society and individuals in general, monogamy appears to be beneficial, polygamy appears to be detrimental, and I would have no moral qualm banning the latter and maintaining the former.
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Originally Posted by Achilles
They're also unable to give consent to being born at all, therefore childbirth is also immoral.
Achilles wins the 'most over-the-top comment' for the thread.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Haven't I already answered this question several times?
Well, you've said why you think I'm wrong, but that's not always the same as why you think you're right. The latter tends to be a little more complete than the former.


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Old 09-27-2007, 10:13 PM   #37
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Well, I thought everyone here was voicing opinion unless otherwise specified.
Like when one makes a statement as thought it were fact? I understand if you're saying that you don't realize that you do it.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If you prefer I state specifically "I feel" or "I think" in front of everything, I can do that.
That would certainly help to make it clear that you're not asserting something as fact.

For example, this:
"Monogamy in general discourages child sexual abuse from underage marriage, and discourages by definition multiple partners." ...sounds as though you're stating a fact (hence why I asked for a source), whereas this:

"I think that monogamy in general discourages child sexual abuse from underage marriage, and discourages by definition multiple partners."...is clearly an opinion. Doesn't mean that I'm not going to disagree with it, but at least I know you're offering your view and not necessarily something that is true.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The only time I feel the need to speak 'ex cathedra' on a subject is if it's medical--I cannot in good conscience _not_ correct someone's mistakes on medical information, for instance. I don't want someone getting the wrong ideas on medical things and then utilize the bad information later.
No comment.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
but I do know there are a ton of studies showing the benefits of being married over not being married.
I'd be very interested in reading some of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If we banned monogamous marriage, we'd likely lose far more benefits than we'd theoretically gain from being true to some odd code of morality.
How humorous that you presume to call it "some odd code of morality" when you are still unable to muster a moral argument in defense of your point and this thread is 36 posts long. You've got spunk, Jae. I like that about you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The risk/benefit ratio in polygamy appears heavily tilted to the risk side, but the risk/benefit ratio in monogamy still appears heavily tilted to the benefit side.
I acknowledge that this is your opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Yes, we can have good polygamists, and yes we can have bad monogamists. However, for society and individuals in general, monogamy appears to be beneficial, polygamy appears to be detrimental, and I would have no moral qualm banning the latter and maintaining the former.
Still not a moral argument.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Achilles wins the 'most over-the-top comment' for the thread.
I was simply taking your reasoning to the next logical step. I wouldn't dream of stealing your limelight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Well, you've said why you think I'm wrong, but that's not always the same as why you think you're right. The latter tends to be a little more complete than the former.
I do not believe it is moral to restrict marriage between consenting adults. Is that sufficiently clear? Please let me know.

Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:21 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
That would certainly help to make it clear that you're not asserting something as fact.
Works for me, then.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
No comment.
Good.
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Originally Posted by Achilles
I'd be very interested in reading some of them.
The sourcing for the link I had listed a number of studies--those would be a good place to start while I dig around for awhile.
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Originally Posted by Achilles
How humorous that you presume to call it "some odd code of morality" when you are still unable to muster a moral argument in defense of your point and this thread is 36 posts long. You've got spunk, Jae. I like that about you.
Never a dull moment in Kavar's. Hey, they're not all mine or yours, you know.
Actually, sometimes I feel like you're not connecting with what I'm saying, so I feel the need to clarify so I know myself that I haven't screwed up in the communication part. At work, I have to be 100% sure in my own mind that my patients understand instructions for meds and such. Most get it the first time. A few don't and require me rewording the same thing slightly three, four, or five times until I'm 'speaking their language' enough that they can connect and understand. I don't know if I can turn that on and off at will.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I was simply taking your reasoning to the next logical step. I wouldn't dream of stealing your limelight.
It's all yours--you're the one who made the funny even if it was at my expense. I appreciate the humor just the same, however.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Is that sufficiently clear? Please let me know.
Thanks.
Clear as the sound of a tinkling brass bell floating in the spring air.
Clear as the dawn rays painting azure and scarlet on the floors as they stream through the exquisite stained glass windows of St. Denis in Paris.
Clear as the cerulean October sky in the middle of a Canadian high.
Clear as....OK, yes, it's clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I do not believe it is moral to restrict marriage between consenting adults.
I got the 'what' part. I'd like to hear the 'why', please.


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Old 09-28-2007, 01:37 AM   #39
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The sourcing for the link I had listed a number of studies--those would be a good place to start while I dig around for awhile.
Sounds great. Let me know when you find one that you would like for me to look at and I'll be more than happy to do so.

Since I would not presume to waste your time, I would appreciate it if you could return the favor. Thanks in advance.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Never a dull moment in Kavar's. Hey, they're not all mine or yours, you know.
I know

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Actually, sometimes I feel like you're not connecting with what I'm saying, so I feel the need to clarify so I know myself that I haven't screwed up in the communication part.
Fair enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
At work, I have to be 100% sure in my own mind that my patients understand instructions for meds and such. Most get it the first time. A few don't and require me rewording the same thing slightly three, four, or five times until I'm 'speaking their language' enough that they can connect and understand. I don't know if I can turn that on and off at will.
So that means....what exactly...regarding the moral argument against polygamy that I'm waiting for?

I used to work at a pizza shop in high school. Sometimes I would answer the phone in my sleep using the restaurant's greeting. My dad thought it was hilarious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It's all yours--you're the one who made the funny even if it was at my expense. I appreciate the humor just the same, however.
How sad that I wasn't trying to be funny

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Clear as the sound of a tinkling brass bell floating in the spring air.
Clear as the dawn rays painting azure and scarlet on the floors as they stream through the exquisite stained glass windows of St. Denis in Paris.
Clear as the cerulean October sky in the middle of a Canadian high.
Clear as....OK, yes, it's clear.
Just so long as it wasn't clear as mud

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I got the 'what' part. I'd like to hear the 'why', please.
Because...it's...immoral...?
I thought I was giving the "why" last time. Because consenting adults are capable of making their own decisions and should have the freedom to do so? I don't know, Jae. Why should people be permitted to choose their own religion?
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Old 09-28-2007, 05:41 AM   #40
Rogue Warrior
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Why is forced marriage harmful? Suppose the woman does not love the man she is forced to marry. How do you think she would feel?
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