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Why do people oppose polygamy?


Mighty Curelom

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I do not believe the Bible to be any more or less scriptural than the Qu'ran.
See, my answer does not contradict the Lord - yours does, which would make him a liar...

Your answer does not contradict what YOU BELIEVE the Lord said. I don't BELIEVE he said what YOU BELIEVE he said. We have different BELIEFS.

You really do need to put your personal feelings aside when it comes to the Gospel.

You haven't put your personal feelings aside, either. You feel that the BofM and the Bible are true. I feel they are not.

Then why are you here arguing? If you don't believe, then what does it matter what I, or any of us believes in?

See, we can't even argue on the same basic premises - which you have erroneously done. You have tried to argue under the guise of belief in Christ, or the Bible, and you don't - so again, why are you here? For shiz and giggles?

If I believe in the Cookie Monster, why do you feel it necessary to come to my home to try and 'disprove' me?

And no, I do not equate Christ with the Cookie Monster - but to you, they might as well be the same.

You like it so it must be true - well, that's not how it works. Sorry.

Some things are true whether you believe it or not.

You can "know" something is true FOR YOU. (Actually, all you can do is know that something is NOT TRUE, according to the promise, but that's another discussion). You cannot, however, know something is true for me.

I know my age, do you? Even though YOU don't know, I do know it. And my age is relevant to your age - as in time - THAT would be true FOR YOU.

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I believe that humankind has evolved in amazing ways. One of which is to know the beauty of compassion and romantic love. This is very new and exclusive to the human species... it seems to me that over the course of the last few million years, there is a very clear pattern moving toward the experience and beauty of intimacy, connectedness, deep unity and profound compassion. I see this as an amazing development of our universe.

Of course, if you follow your notion to it's logical conclusion, the "romantic love" to which you refer doesn't really exist. It's nothing more than a biological "urge" dictated by evolution because it is a trait which helps the species propigate. All of the emotions you refer to really aren't all that remarkable nor all that meaningful beyond their propensity for propigating and continuing the species.

C.I.

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Truthdancer,

I look at elk in the wilds. The strongest bulls gather a harem of cows and reproduce. As much as can happen. This is what one means by raising more seed. Monogamy is a failure in western society. Women are raising their children alone. Talk about lonliness. I don't see the advantage of monogamy over polygyny. I see no advantage of polyandry unless in a group setting ( multiple men and women, more men than women). When I speak of lessening burdens I am speaking in a tribal sense where the women live together and help each other. In my gggrandmather's situation, she would have been better off if she could have gotten along with my gggrandfather's other wife. It didn't happen. Each could have lightened the other's burden. No, I don't think polygyny or polyandry is a viable situation for a person raised with western mores. This doesn't make it wrong. I think western culture has no business pointing a finger and shaming any other culture because it is failing badly.

Dr Fatguy

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It's interesting to hear group selection ideas applied to emotions and polygamous relationships. Science is having enough trouble defining what emotions are -- considering what their selective advantages might be is even further beyond the arc. What are the sources of emotion? How much of it has to do with the activity of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex? Once we know its derivation, then we can consider genetic bases for it, and then begin to consider the possibility that selective forces are indeed acting on them.

According to sociobiological models, polygamy has potential fitness advantages for females, by increasing the likelihood of reproduction, and improving the likelihood that offspring will survive, through group support systems. Someone commented earlier that serial monogamy was the case for the vast majority of mammals. This is not correct. Monogamy of any form is found in only 5% of mammal species (see Kleiman, 1977, "Monogamy in mammals" Quart. Rev. Biol. 52:39-69). There are monogamous mammals, but the vast majority obviously are not, with males mating multiple times during mating periods, and females typically mating multiple times, as well. Sexual selection often determines mate priorities, but monogamy is not the rule in mammals, by any stretch. And there are some rather straightforward adaptive explanations for this behavior. For an interesting discussion of how female space requirements might encourage monogamy in mammals, look at this paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. You can spin that in whatever way you like for this polygamy discussion.

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I believe that humankind has evolved in amazing ways. One of which is to know the beauty of compassion and romantic love. This is very new and exclusive to the human species... it seems to me that over the course of the last few million years, there is a very clear pattern moving toward the experience and beauty of intimacy, connectedness, deep unity and profound compassion. I see this as an amazing development of our universe.

I see this as a rather arrogant presentist mentality. How much do we honestly know about compassion and romantic love over "the last few million years"? And why do you feel that your perspective is so enlightened relative to the world of 1,000 or 10,000 years ago? Why do you feel that it is exclusive to humans?

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HI CI..

Of course, if you follow your notion to it's logical conclusion, the "romantic love" to which you refer doesn't really exist. It's nothing more than a biological "urge" dictated by evolution because it is a trait which helps the species propigate. All of the emotions you refer to really aren't all that remarkable nor all that meaningful beyond their propensity for propigating and continuing the species.

Absolutely romantic (not sexual) love has evolved. It is not seen anywhere on the planet until about the 12th century. I personally think this is amazing. And IMO, there is more to it then just propigating and continuing the species. (I don't think humans are the end all to creation... I think we have a LONG way to go in terms of the universe... but... :P ) It seems to me that the universe has moved toward the development of self awareness so I see this the ability to have compassion and understanding and a sense of unity to be quite significant. IOW, I see the evolution of life as just a new form of the evolution/development/unfolding of the universe.

Just how I see it... (always subject to change... ) cool.gif

~dancer~

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Hi Doc... :unsure:

I look at elk in the wilds. The strongest bulls gather a harem of cows and reproduce. As much as can happen. This is what one means by raising more seed.

I understand this but the reality is there is NOT more "seed" just more seed from the dominant male.

Monogamy is a failure in western society. Women are raising their children alone.

Hmmmm interesting. I don't quite agree. But sort of... Marriage originated as the ownership of women in exchange for resources, land, rights etc. There has not been a significant time of equality of the sexes since the origins of patriarchy. And I agree that this has not been good for women. It has taken a very long time for women to begin to have equality... and as long as there is inequality among the sexes, as long as women are dependent on men for their survival and existence, as long as women are denied the rights and priviledges given to men, we will not see monogamy in a healthty form.

To me, the movement toward equality in relationships has to do with the ability of men and women to increase the beauty of who they are. Think yin/yang here. IMO, the universe is a beautiful, amazing example of perfect harmony. To me polygamy is not in balance or harmony with the universe by any stretch of the imagination. No one ever taught Yang/yin,yin,yin,yin,yin,yin.... :angry:

It is true that the universe has at times rewarded behavior that seems horrific... cruelty, power, murder have all been rewarded at times.. this is not to say that they are the ultimate form of existence. They were an experiment and a way to create a need for compassion and love. We are moving beyond this primitive, instinctual form of existence... I think we have a long way to go but we are certainly moving toward compassion... which in my view is why many men are uncomfortable with polygamy. They have an innate sense that this is hurtful to the more beautiful and holy form of existence.

Talk about lonliness. I don't see the advantage of monogamy over polygyny.

Really? Ok, lets see... for men, they can have a deeper bond and sense of love when one has only one partner, the fewer children the more they can provide for the emotional and physical and financial needs of the child, the less stress (which is the number one killer there days IIRC), the more chance a child will flourish, etc.

Did you read my example above? Do you not think a woman has any sort of emotional needs? Physical needs? Sexual needs? Financial needs? I'm not sure if I'm just not clear enough or what. (I'm trying to be sensitive here.) Do you really think a girlfriend is the same as a partner (in heterosexual women)? Do you not think a father is important in the life of his children?

Other than multiple partners, why would polygamy be a good thing? I REALLY don't see it at all.

When I speak of lessening burdens I am speaking in a tribal sense where the women live together and help each other.

This is another topic actually... there are all sorts of partnering and mating systems throughout the world and within indiginous cultures... I don't think this really speaks to the issues of today... IOW, we could come up with every kind of mating arrangement you could think of... One community in which I lived had a very matrilineal form of society.. again I don't think this speaks to what we are discussing.

Today it is NOT in the best interest of children to not have their father involved in their life. It IS in the best interest of a relationship to spend quality time with one's partner.

I don't think looking at other forms of partnering speaks to shaming them. I do think we can look and see what is ultimately healthy and what is not. We can look and see what is kind and loving and what is not. We can look and see what is in the best interest of children and what is not.

And the idea of women sharing the load? This is silliness... :P More children, more work... more people less space. Have you ever had a few families spend a few weeks with you? How would it be with say 25 people sharing two bathrooms? Tell me life was easier!!! <_<

Again, just how I see it... :ph34r:

~dancer~

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Hi John...

I see this as a rather arrogant presentist mentality. How much do we honestly know about compassion and romantic love over "the last few million years"? And why do you feel that your perspective is so enlightened relative to the world of 1,000 or 10,000 years ago? Why do you feel that it is exclusive to humans?

I don't believe in the idea of good and evil so wouldn't say that our life today is better than life a million years ago. What I do think, or what it seems to me is that since the origin of the universe there has been an increasing development that has resulted in an ability for self awareness and compassion. I could just have easily said that we can now see the universe in ways that were not possible until eyes were invented.

I don't think my perspective is enlightened... I just think that the universe continues to create new ways of experiencing the world. As far as I know, I don't think we have evidence in the universe for some of the emotions that we see in humans. It is my opinion that evolution did not just stop at this particular moment in the history of the universe.

While we have a lot to learn about emotions and the brain, we are beginning to identify various chemicals that produce emotions. IMO, whatever (with the exception of those things that are dying out because they don't work all that well)we see in our universe exists because it was rewarded. That does not mean these same things will last forever or are the end of the road in terms of evolving. I think humans will come to know all sorts of abilities in the future. It think our ability to understand others will grow and expand. And as we strenthen each other and learn to love in deeper and more beautiful and holy ways life will change...

It is just how I see the world... :P

~dancer~

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Why do people oppose polygamy?

I think that people don't necessarily oppose polygamy per se, but polygamy gets fierce rejection when someone says it is a system mandated by God (usually by the person who tells others they speak on God's behalf). Take polygamous marriages, throw in some secrecy, add eternal salvation or damnation, spice it up with an angel and a flame drawn sword, and you get a recipe for disaster.

Remove the religious component and polygamy ain't so bad...for consenting adults.

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I don't believe in the idea of good and evil so wouldn't say that our life today is better than life a million years ago. What I do think, or what it seems to me is that since the origin of the universe there has been an increasing development that has resulted in an ability for self awareness and compassion. I could just have easily said that we can now see the universe in ways that were not possible until eyes were invented.

Your statement implies directionality in evolution. Stephen Jay Gould presents a compelling case for directionless evolution (see, e.g., his book "Full House). I would agree that eyes greatly modify our ability to see and understand the universe, but if we had no eyes, we would have different perceptions of the universe that may not be accessibke to seeing beings because of reliance on visual cues.

I don't think my perspective is enlightened... I just think that the universe continues to create new ways of experiencing the world. As far as I know, I don't think we have evidence in the universe for some of the emotions that we see in humans. It is my opinion that evolution did not just stop at this particular moment in the history of the universe.

Do whales and porpoises experience emotions? What about other apes? Which emotions do we experience that are not shared by other mammals?

While we have a lot to learn about emotions and the brain, we are beginning to identify various chemicals that produce emotions. IMO, whatever (with the exception of those things that are dying out because they don't work all that well)we see in our universe exists because it was rewarded. That does not mean these same things will last forever or are the end of the road in terms of evolving. I think humans will come to know all sorts of abilities in the future. It think our ability to understand others will grow and expand. And as we strenthen each other and learn to love in deeper and more beautiful and holy ways life will change...

Again, an adaptationist interpretation of the universe. The notion that everything exists because it "deserves to" is no longer widely held in biology. It is a nice intuitive idea, but the evidence for this being a universal principle doesn't hold up. I suspect that if we are able to determine the physiological bases for most or all emotions, we will discover entirely new ways to use and abuse others. But since you don't believe in good or evil, this is irrelevant for you. :P

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Hi T child,

Remove the religious component and polygamy ain't so bad...for consenting adults.

Good point.

My opinion is that I truly do not care in what form of alternative partnering consenting adults participate (unless it hurts children) as long as there is no manipulation, coercion, threats, demands, fear etc. etc.

Although I DO have issues anytime men are given rights, opportunities, and privileges that are not afforded women.

For anyone interested two good books on this topic:

The Anatomy of Love: A natural History of mating, marriage and why we stay, Helen Fisher,

And, The Evolution of Desire by David Buss.

~dancer~

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Why do people oppose polygamy?

I think that people don't necessarily oppose polygamy per se, but polygamy gets fierce rejection when someone says it is a system mandated by God (usually by the person who tells others they speak on God's behalf). Take polygamous marriages, throw in some secrecy, add eternal salvation or damnation, spice it up with an angel and a flame drawn sword, and you get a recipe for disaster.

Remove the religious component and polygamy ain't so bad...for consenting adults.

And what is your basis for this assertion? Do you have some examples of successful polygamy in nonreligious situations? I agree with Curelom that polygamy is despised because of social conditioning. There is no biological basis for disapproving of it, and in many cases there is no moral basis, either.

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Going back to the topic of this thread. I've often said that I'm not opposed to polygamy per se. I tend to agree with Cromis that many of the "problems" associated with modern renditions of polygamy are more the result of its practicioners being forced to practice in secret rather than being subject to a set of laws.

With that in mind, here's some of the laws I'd propose if polygamy were to be made legal:

1. Any woman entering into a polygamous relationship (i.e. any woman who will be a "subsequent wife") must be at least 18-years of age.

2. Any man wishing to marry a second wife must present written approval from his first wife that she consents to this second marriage.

3. Prior to the marriage, a judge must interview the prospective wife. This interview must take place in chambers and neither the prospective husband nor the prospective bride's parents may be present. The judge will then conduct an interview with the woman to determine if she is entering into the relationship knowingly, willingly and intelligently. If he finds that she is not, he may enjoin the marriage from happening.

4. Same as above, only the judge interviews the "First wife" to ensure that her consent was given knowingly, willingly and intelligently.

5. All subsequent wives are not permitted the financial incentives (tax breaks, etc., ) that the first wife enjoys unless they are gainfully employed themselves. (This is to cut down on the welfare fraud that occurs. However, don't jump me too quick, this one needs some work to make it fair.)

6. I'd put a limit on the number of wives a man can legally have, somewhere around three or four, probably. He cannot be prosecuted for any wives taken beyond that number, but they are treated by law as if they were single.

7. Any wife, in a divorce action, is entitled to a protion of the estate equal to the number of parties participating in the estate. Thus, if a man has 2 wives and one of them wants a divorce, she is entitled to 33.3% of the estate. (That's just off the top of my head. I can see where property settlement would be a huge issue).

8. The male is response for ALL the offspring of the divorced woman and the rules for setting child support amounts are the same as they are for monogamous couples. (No paying less because you more wives and more kids).

That's just a few off the top of my head that I think would help immensely. Obviouisly, there are issues with much of it but I think it's a good start.

C.I.

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Joh Russell wrote: And what is your basis for this assertion? Do you have some examples of successful polygamy in nonreligious situations? I agree with Curelom that polygamy is despised because of social conditioning. There is no biological basis for disapproving of it, and in many cases there is no moral basis, either.

The basis for my assertion is: if polygamy becomes a willful and chosen form of marriage by consenting adults without the external forces of God and salvation (or for any external coercion for that matter), then it is a choice that is made based on the best interests of the parties, otherwise it wouldn't be chosen. Otherwise the participants would rather choose monogamy, or relationships without the marriage component. It is kind of like "market forces" guiding the marriage arrangements by those same invisible forces that guide such markets.

Polygamy is repugnant to many because it is about power and who wields it, and not about personal choice or personal empowerment. Remove the power and increase the willful choice, and what comes between adults by their own consent, is probably the best choice in most cases, and by whatever form it is made manifest in their personal lives.

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Hi CI...

Can I ask you a question? :P

Why do you think it is allowable for a man to have multiple partners but not a woman?

Do you not agree with equality? Hmmm... :unsure:

I appreciate your thoughts to try to eliminate much of the abuse but to me it is like saying to a slave holder they have to be nicer to their slaves. I mean the institution is still quite demeaning and unhealthy and speaks of women as less than a valuable equal human being. As long as women are denied the same rights as men there are some issues, IMHO!!! <_<

I have a difficult time understanding how people don't see this inequality as, well, wrong at the very least!

Just wondering...

~dancer~

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I mean the institution is still quite demeaning and unhealthy and speaks of women as less than a valuable equal human being. As long as women are denied the same rights as men there are some issues, IMHO!!!

It sounds as if you don't approve of marriage as an institution at all. Is that the case? If so, then I can understand why you feel the way you do about multiple women married to one man, or one woman to many men for that matter.

Jane

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Hi JHL...

VERY FUNNY!!!

My only addition is that we make multiple partners available for women as well... I mean this is the 21st century!!! hmmm what should we call this?

Hi Jane....

I am very pro marriage personally and for those to whom marriage appeals. I also am not too interested in other's choices of partnering if children are not harmed (given the above stipulations of no coercion, threats, manipulation and the parties involved are consenting adults). IOW, it is none of my business, healthy situation or not.

I do have serious issues with women being denied rights and priviledges that are afforded to men.... it feels really destructive, unhealthy and unholy to me.

On a very personal note... I'm pretty passionate about this topic because my work involves working with women who are abused.... (as well as abusers). I just really have no tolerance for the justification and rationalization for treating women in ways that are demeaning and hurtful... God directed or not. :P

This is why I hestitate to even post.. I know I get on my soapbox!!! <_<

Just my opinion...

:unsure:

~dancer~

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Joh Russell wrote: And what is your basis for this assertion? Do you have some examples of successful polygamy in nonreligious situations? I agree with Curelom that polygamy is despised because of social conditioning. There is no biological basis for disapproving of it, and in many cases there is no moral basis, either.

The basis for my assertion is: if polygamy becomes a willful and chosen form of marriage by consenting adults without the external forces of God and salvation (or for any external coercion for that matter), then it is a choice that is made based on the best interests of the parties, otherwise it wouldn't be chosen. Otherwise the participants would rather choose monogamy, or relationships without the marriage component. It is kind of like "market forces" guiding the marriage arrangements by those same invisible forces that guide such markets.

Polygamy is repugnant to many because it is about power and who wields it, and not about personal choice or personal empowerment. Remove the power and increase the willful choice, and what comes between adults by their own consent, is probably the best choice in most cases, and by whatever form it is made manifest in their personal lives.

So, your comments were purely conjectural, and weren't based on any particular set of observations or data on non-religious polygamy relative to polygamy founded in a religious tradition (sort of like Truth Dancer's remark that the vast majority of mammals are monogamous -- is 5% a vast majority?). What about cases of consenting adults who are also encouraged by religious principle to adopt polygamy? Such "market forces" are currently at work in other parts of the world. Are these recipes for disaster?

Relationships often revolve around power, and abuse is not far away in all too many of them (marital and otherwise). I fail to see how polygamy intensifies this power struggle in the case of consenting adults.

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I mean the institution is still quite demeaning and unhealthy and speaks of women as less than a valuable equal human being.  As long as women are denied the same rights as men there are some issues, IMHO!!!

It sounds as if you don't approve of marriage as an institution at all. Is that the case? If so, then I can understand why you feel the way you do about multiple women married to one man, or one woman to many men for that matter.

Jane

I'm sensing some Amazon thinking here, too. You aren't involved in researching Wolbachia for humans, are you Truth Dancer?

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I appreciate your thoughts to try to eliminate much of the abuse but to me it is like saying to a slave holder they have to be nicer to their slaves.  I mean the institution is still quite demeaning and unhealthy and speaks of women as less than a valuable equal human being.  As long as women are denied the same rights as men there are some issues, IMHO!!!  :P

I have a difficult time understanding how people don't see this inequality as, well, wrong at the very least!

Just wondering...

~dancer~

Do you know of any studies that have been done to support what you're posting here or is this just off the top of your head?

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Hi CI...

Can I ask you a question?  :P

Sure, but I can't guarantee you'll like the answer.

Why do you think it is allowable for a man to have multiple partners but not a woman?

Do you not agree with equality?  Hmmm...  :unsure:

From a theoretical standpoint, I don't mind it at all. But the rules I outlined represent a state-sanctioned institution. That being the case, the state must receive a benefit from the sanction also. What is the benefit that the state receives from sanctioning monogamous heterosexual marriage? The most basic one is additional citizens via the procreatived act. One woman married to several men simply doesn't present the societal benefit that polygamy does. I guess you could argue that one woman/many men reproduces at the same rate as a monogamous hetero woman, but there are other, secondary benefts that the state realizes from monogamous heterosexual relationships that I think would be lacking in the the relationship you describe. Firstly, the presence of so many men in the home is bound to increase the rates of domestic violence (men fight with each other, it's a fact) and that makes for a less optimal child-rearing situation. There are problem several other issues I could think of, but you get my point.

It's not an issue of equity.

I appreciate your thoughts to try to eliminate much of the abuse but to me it is like saying to a slave holder they have to be nicer to their slaves.

You'll excuse my bluntness but this analogy is just dumb. My rules were specifically designed to ensure the voluntary nature of the relationship. It's hardly slavery.

I mean the institution is still quite demeaning and unhealthy and speaks of women as less than a valuable equal human being.  As long as women are denied the same rights as men there are some issues, IMHO!!!  <_<

Which just goes to show how limited your view is. First of all, it seems to me that allowing women to enter into a polygamous relationship if they so chose is quite empowering and very liberal. Moreover, do you have any data beyond your own intuition that the institution -- when practiced openly and free of criminal sanction -- is unhealthy?

I have a difficult time understanding how people don't see this inequality as, well, wrong at the very least!

Your idea of equity and legal requirements of equity are two different things.

C.I.

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Hi CI...

From a theoretical standpoint, I don't mind it at all. But the rules I outlined represent a state-sanctioned institution.

You do know that the state would never get away with allowing men to have multiple partners and not women right? :P:ph34r:

That being the case, the state must receive a benefit from the sanction also. What is the benefit that the state receives from sanctioning monogamous heterosexual marriage? The most basic one is additional citizens via the procreatived act. One woman married to several men simply doesn't present the societal benefit that polygamy does. I guess you could argue that one woman/many men reproduces at the same rate as a monogamous hetero woman, but there are other, secondary benefts that the state realizes from monogamous heterosexual relationships that I think would be lacking in the the relationship you describe. Firstly, the presence of so many men in the home is bound to increase the rates of domestic violence (men fight with each other, it's a fact) and that makes for a less optimal child-rearing situation. There are problem several other issues I could think of, but you get my point.

I respectfully disagree.

A few ways society might benefit... (I'm basing this on the idea that a woman would have just as many children but each father would have less.. IOW a woman might have five children from five fathers rather than one father with five children) :unsure: There would be virtually NO need for any form of welfare system. The poverty level would dramatically decrease. There would be much better health care for everyone. There would be much more involvement of fathers with their children. the crime rate would drop dramatically. The levels of education would increase. Domestic violence would decrease because one husband would not get away with it given muliple men to protect the woman. <_<

IMO, the idea that more people is a great thing seems to be changing. While having numerous children at one time was necessary due to the fact that there was such a high mortality rate and children were needed on the farm... (and before that in your nomadic tribal communities it meant more power to overtake others) today the fewer children a couple have the better their chance for a long and healthy life.

Again... just to be clear, I'm not in any way advocating for this. I don't think it is in harmony with the energy of the universe just as polygamy is out of balance. Just having some fun.... cool.gif

Just my opinion...

~dancer~

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QUOTE 

I don't believe in the idea of good and evil so wouldn't say that our life today is better than life a million years ago. What I do think, or what it seems to me is that since the origin of the universe there has been an increasing development that has resulted in an ability for self awareness and compassion. I could just have easily said that we can now see the universe in ways that were not possible until eyes were invented.

Your statement implies directionality in evolution. Stephen Jay Gould presents a compelling case for directionless evolution (see, e.g., his book "Full House). I would agree that eyes greatly modify our ability to see and understand the universe, but if we had no eyes, we would have different perceptions of the universe that may not be accessibke to seeing beings because of reliance on visual cues.

Well, this gets a little tricky. I would agree with the idea of specific directionless evolution in terms of the future but based on the history of the universe it seems like we can see a pattern of increasing differentiation, continually increasing creation, unending development. I don't think this means there is some preconceived way the universe will unfold only that it will continue to do so in the same ways it has done for the last 13.7 billion years.

QUOTE

I don't think my perspective is enlightened... I just think that the universe continues to create new ways of experiencing the world. As far as I know, I don't think we have evidence in the universe for some of the emotions that we see in humans. It is my opinion that evolution did not just stop at this particular moment in the history of the universe.

Do whales and porpoises experience emotions? What about other apes? Which emotions do we experience that are not shared by other mammals?

I think it is obvious that animals experience emotion. I don't think we have evidence that any animal is able to feel the emotions of another. From what I have read, it seems that this ability came around the time of the development of language in the human? I have wondered if there is a connection in the brain..IOW, could it be that as our brain developed the capacity for language we also developed the emotions/chemicals to know compassion in this way? I've been looking for research to support this but haven't seen it.. it does make sense to me... (just my theory...)

QUOTE 

While we have a lot to learn about emotions and the brain, we are beginning to identify various chemicals that produce emotions. IMO, whatever (with the exception of those things that are dying out because they don't work all that well)we see in our universe exists because it was rewarded. That does not mean these same things will last forever or are the end of the road in terms of evolving. I think humans will come to know all sorts of abilities in the future. It think our ability to understand others will grow and expand. And as we strenthen each other and learn to love in deeper and more beautiful and holy ways life will change...

Again, an adaptationist interpretation of the universe. The notion that everything exists because it "deserves to" is no longer widely held in biology. It is a nice intuitive idea, but the evidence for this being a universal principle doesn't hold up. I suspect that if we are able to determine the physiological bases for most or all emotions, we will discover entirely new ways to use and abuse others. But since you don't believe in good or evil, this is irrelevant for you.

No, I do not think anything "deserves" to exist. Hmmm maybe I misspoke... I'm sorry I was not more clear... To clariy... I do think that the universe seems to "reward" certain things for whatever reason. But that IMO, does not mean it "deserves" to be here. IOW, for example, those who were most cruel and bloodthirsty were able to destroy those less cruel and bloodthirsty. I'm not using the term "reward" in the sense of the universe applauding and celebrating something. I'm using it in the sense that that something was able to remain.

I don't believe in good and evil in the sense most believers do... that of some ultimate God directed rules and some evil beings trying to tempt us to disobey them. I do believe there are things which support or harm life, and the universe. (And yet ultimately I think anything that we think harms life ultimately continues the unfolding of the universe... but this is beside the point :P ). Gosh I am getting side tracked... I do LOVE this topic though so thank you for the discussion...

<_<

~dancer~

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You do know that the state would never get away with allowing men to have multiple partners and not women right?  :P  :angry:

I know no such thing. Can you provide a legal analysis of why you think this might be so? And simply citing to the Equal Protection clause won't cut it. The is a rational distinction that can be drawn between a single man/multiple females model and the single woman/multiple males model.

I respectfully disagree.

I'm shocked. :unsure:

A few ways society might benefit... (I'm basing this on the idea that a woman would have just as many children but each father would have less.. IOW a woman might have five children from five fathers rather than one father with five children)  :ph34r:

I understand, and I agree. This is one of the reasons I think the state could draw a distinction, legally.

There would be virtually NO need for any form of welfare system.

It's a nice assertion but can you flesh it out a little more for me? Why would this be the case?

The poverty level would dramatically decrease.

Still not following you.

There would be much better health care for everyone.

Again, why?

There would be much more involvement of fathers with their children.  the crime rate would drop dramatically.

Again, why?

The levels of education would increase.

Due to fewer children to educate?

Domestic violence would decrease because one husband would not get away with it given muliple men to protect the woman.    <_<

LOL, you missed the point. Sure, domestic violence against women might fall (though I doubt it). But you'd also have an huge surge in male on male domestic violence. Were you aware that in same-sex couples, especially among men, the rates of domestic violence are atmospheric? Why? Because though they are gay, they are still "men" with high testosterone level which naturally makes them more aggressive.

IMO, the idea that more people is a great thing seems to be changing.

Well, that may be your opinion, but is also a falsehood.

While having numerous children at one time was necessary due to the fact that there was such a high mortality rate and children were needed on the farm... (and before that in your nomadic tribal communities it meant more power to overtake others) today the fewer children a couple have the better their chance for a long and healthy life.

And the world economy now needs additional people. For example, it's my understanding that the Chinese are beginnig to see some serious reprecussions from their "one child" policy. The U.S. is facing a major issue in the next 30 years as so many babyboomers retire leaving too few children behind to support them. Societies always need additional populations to survive and prosper.

Again... just to be clear, I'm not in any way advocating for this.

Nor am I. My "system" was merely a suggestion for reducing the incidents of abuse and protecting the weaker parties in the contract.

I don't think it is in harmony with the energy of the universe just as polygamy is out of balance.  Just having some fun....  cool.gif

I doubt the "universe" give a whoop.

C.I.

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