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Old 09-28-2007, 10:02 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Warrior
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?
I think everyone would agree with your implication that forced marriage is harmful. The issue being discussed is marriage between consenting adults.
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:17 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
I have pretty full workdays today and tomorrow, and I don't have internet access at work. It may be a little while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
So that means....what exactly...regarding the moral argument against polygamy that I'm waiting for?
It had nothing to do with the moral argument. It was supposed to be connected with the 'why I repeat myself' sentence.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
How sad that I wasn't trying to be funny
Well, I'm sorry about that, then.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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?
No, no, I wasn't quite looking for the simple answer. I'm trying to say I want to learn how you developed that philosophy over time just to understand how you got to that point in the first place.

Well, if two consenting adults want to do something harmful to themselves (say, shoot each other for an extreme example), is it immoral to stop them? If two consenting adults are willing to do something harmful to themselves and you think that's OK not to stop, what happens when that activity causes collateral damage to the rest of society (say, stray bullet hits a kid as they try to shoot each other)? Where do we draw the line on 'consenting adults' practicing an activity if it ends up being harmful to themselves and others?


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Old 09-28-2007, 10:38 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I have pretty full workdays today and tomorrow, and I don't have internet access at work. It may be a little while.
Whenever you get to it is fine. Thanks.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It had nothing to do with the moral argument. It was supposed to be connected with the 'why I repeat myself' sentence.
Gotcha. Sorry I didn't pick up on that. I was pretty tired when I posted.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
No, no, I wasn't quite looking for the simple answer. I'm trying to say I want to learn how you developed that philosophy over time just to understand how you got to that point in the first place.
The short answer is years of ethics and moral philosophy classes. The slightly longer answer is the one I've already posted (in the form of a question). Once you develop the moral argument you can apply it to lots of different situations, for instance gay marriage, bi-racial marriage, polygamy, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Well, if two consenting adults want to do something harmful to themselves (say, shoot each other for an extreme example), is it immoral to stop them?
Well, there's "The" answer and then there's "my" answer (disclaimer: "my" answer is unpolished and has some flaws in the rationale).

"The" answer is yes. Shooting one another would violate the basic precept that all human life has value and that no one should seek to intentionally harm another (outside of self-defense or the defense of someone incapable of defending themselves).

"My" answer is no. Consenting adults should be permitted to do whatever they would like so long as their actions do not impinge upon others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If two consenting adults are willing to do something harmful to themselves and you think that's OK not to stop, what happens when that activity causes collateral damage to the rest of society (say, stray bullet hits a kid as they try to shoot each other)?
Then such action is no longer moral. If the couple took adequate precaution so that something like that couldn't happen, then it would be moral again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Where do we draw the line on 'consenting adults' practicing an activity if it ends up being harmful to themselves and others?
There would appear to be a very tidy demarcation at the "themselves" vs. "others" point. I'm ok with using that.
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Old 09-28-2007, 11:32 AM   #44
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Wouldn't you say that emotional distress of others should also be factored in when trying to determine the morality of an action? If the people shooting each other consensually had families and friends that would be devastated by such an action, isn't it reasonable that their emotional injury should be taken into account just as the physical one suggested by Jae? It seems reasonable to me. Moreso than discounting someone's emotional state as saying "you just don't understand, we're consenting to this!"

I would posit that such rationale could be used at least in part to defend the current laws against polygamy -- that they are there to prevent emotional injury to others, especially the children involved. Granted it is more of a leap to assume this.
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:31 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by tk102
Wouldn't you say that emotional distress of others should also be factored in when trying to determine the morality of an action?
Indeed, however if we are going to do so in the name of moral arguments, we have to apply it uniformly, not just against those practices which don't jive with our values. I hate to sound rude and I truly hope that this doesn't come across as such, but I really do feel that we're talking in circles. It seems that I'm raising this same point in every other post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
If the people shooting each other consensually had families and friends that would be devastated by such an action, isn't it reasonable that their emotional injury should be taken into account just as the physical one suggested by Jae?
Where's the bottom to that argument? How many other things could we apply that reasoning to and suddenly them "immoral"? If a person makes a choice to sign a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate), is their action immoral because their death might devastate some family members?

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Originally Posted by tk102
It seems reasonable to me. Moreso than discounting someone's emotional state as saying "you just don't understand, we're consenting to this!"
I have to ask where the bottom to this argument is as well. If we're talking about emotionally disturbed twenty-somethings acting out Romeo and Juliet, then that might be one thing. However what if we were talking about a Jewish couple who were making the choice to take their own lives rather than be imprisoned by Nazis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
I would posit that such rationale could be used at least in part to defend the current laws against polygamy -- that they are there to prevent emotional injury to others, especially the children involved. Granted it is more of a leap to assume this.
Again, I'm fine with this so long as we are prepared to begin applying this standard to potentially harmful monogamous relationships as well.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:06 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I hate to sound rude and I truly hope that this doesn't come across as such, but I really do feel that we're talking in circles. It seems that I'm raising this same point in every other post.
I appreciate your patience in reiterating the point about uniformly applying the law. I just wanted to look at it again in a slightly different way if you could indulge me for this post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Where's the bottom to that argument? How many other things could we apply that reasoning to and suddenly them "immoral"?
I completely agree with the trouble of this argument. There is no bottom as you say. It's all shades of gray, slippery slope and all that. And it would be hypocritical then to not apply this rule everywhere. But as you suggest this leads to an absurd situation where all secondary and tertiary effects have to be weighed ad nauseum before we can give a green light to something being moral.

On the other hand if we nip the argument in the bud and say those indirect effects should not be considered, we are saying other people's potential emotional injuries are of no consequence. But why stop with emotional injuries? Why not ignore potential physical ones as well? That leads us to a selfish view where only the primary effects of an action are considered for determining the basis of its morality. The morality that grants such self-centered freedoms is not morality as I understand it.

In other words, I'm not sure we can carry a moral argument to its logical conclusion without paralyzing ourselves on one hand or contradicting ourselves on the other.

Btw, I like the DNR example.

Last edited by tk102; 09-28-2007 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:54 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by tk102
I appreciate your patience in reiterating the point about uniformly applying the law. I just wanted to look at it again in a slightly different way if you could indulge me for this post.
My apologies for coming across as inflexible. I mistook the reiteration for not being heard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
I completely agree with the trouble of this argument. There is no bottom as you say. It's all shades of gray, slippery slope and all that. And it would be hypocritical then to not apply this rule everywhere. But as you suggest this leads to an absurd situation where all secondary and tertiary effects have to be weighed ad nauseum before we can give a green light to something being moral.
I agree that it could be easy to swing it too far the other way. So what demarcation point do we mutually declare reasonable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
On the other hand if we nip the argument in the bud and say those indirect effects should not be considered, we are saying other people's potential emotional injuries are of no consequence.
I, personally, would say that emotional injuries should be considered. If we were to examine such a decision from a strictly utilitarian perspective, how much would the emotional benefit of marriage offset the potential emotional detriment of divorce? At what point would it be reasonable to accept that no matter what choice you make, some degree of emotional benefit will occur and some amount of emotional detriment will occur, thereby making it impossible to make any emotionally-related decision without inflicting some injury somewhere? Would it be reasonable to accept that some amount of injury in unavoidable, therefore we can only do the best that we can? It would seem to allow us to simplify the argument a great deal.

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Originally Posted by tk102
But why stop with emotional injuries? Why not ignore potential physical ones as well? That leads us to a selfish view where only the primary effects of an action are considered for determining the basis of its morality. The morality that grants such self-centered freedoms is not morality as I understand it.
I would tend to agree with this thinking. I'm hoping that we both recognize that it is extreme though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
In other words, I'm not sure we can carry a moral argument to its logical conclusion without paralyzing ourselves on one hand or contradicting ourselves on the other.
The moral argument is simply that consenting adults should have the right to marry if they choose to do so. It can be applied uniformly across many scenarios.

If it helps, take children completely out of the equation, then try it again. And by all means, if you find something that I'm missing, please don't hesitate to point it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
Btw, I like the DNR example.
Thank you. FWIW though, it's a flawed example because there is a moral argument against allowing DNR. It's not one that I agree with, but oh well.

Off for a meeting. See you all later tonight.
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Old 09-28-2007, 04:10 PM   #48
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Why would marriage, consensual marriage, be harmful? I guess when it is done when they are not prepared for it.
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Old 09-29-2007, 03:03 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Warrior
Why would marriage, consensual marriage, be harmful? I guess when it is done when they are not prepared for it.
Well, if ALL PARTIES in the "marriage" are consensual and have reasonable understanding on what they are getting into, then I don't see it as being harmful.

The "ritual" merely grants some legal status on paper to formalize the relationship. Remember all parties involved can still live that way without any "marriage" and carry on with the whatever lifestyle of union they prefer. Giving them a more formal acceptance is a good thing.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:23 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
The moral argument is simply that consenting adults should have the right to marry if they choose to do so. It can be applied uniformly across many scenarios.
At what point does the liberty of the individual supersede the needs to protect society? The problem with polygamy here in the US (and in a number of other cultures) is that it does not always involve consenting adults--it involves an adult male and one or more female minors. There have been a number of these cases, and appears to happen with some frequency as noted in some of the studies cited above.
I am searching on morality of polygamy from a non-religious point of view, and I'm either a. not looking in the right spot or b. there's not a whole lot out there that's satisfactory (though I've found a few books). I certainly can find all sorts of things in the religious fields.


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Old 10-03-2007, 12:19 PM   #51
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At what point does the liberty of the individual supersede the needs to protect society?
At the point we can muster a moral argument to do so. I am in no way arguing that individual rights should supersede everything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The problem with polygamy here in the US (and in a number of other cultures) is that it does not always involve consenting adults--it involves an adult male and one or more female minors. There have been a number of these cases, and appears to happen with some frequency as noted in some of the studies cited above.
And? Clearly this wouldn't be marriage between consenting adults and therefore immoral.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I am searching on morality of polygamy from a non-religious point of view, and I'm either a. not looking in the right spot or b. there's not a whole lot out there that's satisfactory (though I've found a few books). I certainly can find all sorts of things in the religious fields.
That doesn't surprise me considering that most of the arguments against polygamy are based on religious values rather than moral objections. Your best bet if you are looking to dig further would be to do some general reading on moral philosophy and then form your own arguments with what you learn. I hope that helps.

Thanks for your post.
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:47 AM   #52
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And? Clearly this wouldn't be marriage between consenting adults and therefore immoral.
QFE.

So the problem here is non-consenting marriage and not polygamy it seems.

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Old 10-04-2007, 12:50 AM   #53
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Well, that's what the Jeffs trial is about, yes. He was convicted of contributing to statutory rape.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 10-04-2007, 12:54 AM   #54
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Well, that's what the Jeffs trial is about, yes. He was convicted of contributing to statutory rape.
I think this is the 2nd post in this thread that actually attempts to deal with the Jeffs trial (the other one being the first)

I don't think any rational person would argue that Jeffs' actions were moral. That's a very different matter than polygamy in general though.
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:02 AM   #55
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I know. The thread just went off on a somewhat different track than what I expected, but that's OK.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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