Re: Socratic Dialogue about Marriage
posted at 3/28/2013 1:08 PM EDT
Ok, let's look at each of your statements and you can answer as you see fit. If I'm stretching what you said too far just let me know.
In the US you said that you are married if it is recognized by the law. But aren't Mormons married in ways that isn't recognized by law and they still consider themselves married?
With the "nuclear family unit", isn't it conceivable that two people are considered to be married without ever having the intention of being a family unit at all?
And finally the "groupings based on mating and survival of the species", many people have mated and procreated without ever being married. This also ties in to one of the arguments from the court hearings. Is it an essential part of marriage that it has to be intended towards producing offspring?
Intellectually, I'm reaching my limit, but here goes:
I do not believe in marriage as an abstract or absolute concept. I only understand the word in its practical application. I know that's no help to a philosopher, but I'm not a philosopher.
The Mormon polygamous marriage is not a legal marriage. A few sects may call it that, but calling it marriage doesn't make it marriage. Same for the African ceremonial marriage; that couple is not legally married in the states. The French have an interesting situation now because they have immigrants who were legally polygamously married in their home countries, but France doesn't allow polygamy (I think I have this right, but I might be off on the details.) So the French are having huge issues with things like welfare and public housing because each wife wants her own place.
I don't understand your point about two people being considered to be married, even though they didn't intend it. The only thing I know about that is that common law marriage laws were put into place to address social problems that arose from people cohabiting and not marrying. But they were intentionally cohabiting.
As for the pairing off for promoting the survival of the species, I put in some weasel words about how that particular social unit wants to promote their survival, and that doesn't necessarily mean that all units are reproductive units. At least one Native American tribe had "twin spirit people" who were, they think, transgender people who could live as the other sex and have a household. My other point was that I'm not referring to prehistoric relationships as marriages; I think marriage is a very modern concept, focused on regulating property and care of children and some rights to make decision for the spouse.
But again, I look at this in a practical and legal way. As an example, if you are a registered pharmacist in the US, that doesn't make you one in the Philapines.