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Old 11-15-2008, 04:32 PM   #1
Achilles
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The Polygamy Thread

Rogue15 says:
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if they legalize [gay marriage] they should legalize multiple spouses.
Achilles says:
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That's fine too.

Consenting adults shouldn't be limited by government without moral cause.

Last edited by ET Warrior; 11-15-2008 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:59 AM   #2
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Consenting being the key word, I agree. Though I'm not sure what to think about raising children in either homosexual or polygamous families. :S
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:02 PM   #3
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Consenting being the key word, I agree.
Of course

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Though I'm not sure what to think about raising children in either homosexual or polygamous families. :S
Could you please elaborate?
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:51 PM   #4
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Well kind of difficult to elaborate on it given that I don't know what to think. But I'll try.

This is one of those topics I've never really thought about before, but my initial reaction when hearing that a polygamous family raises children would be a feeling of uneasiness. Having multiple mothers would complicate things for the child, there is much more potential for conflict within such a family. Moreover, parents would have to be very careful that their child doesn't get the wrong impression about the family (like thinking that there is some kind of inequality between men and women).

I realize this is quite a half hearted answer...but raising children is about the only thing I can think of when arguing against polygamy and this is a debate forum right?
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:32 PM   #5
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Well kind of difficult to elaborate on it given that I don't know what to think. But I'll try.
Nothing wrong with that at all. Kudos for recognizing that you're still figuring things out and working from there. If more people did that, I think these forums would be a very different place.

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This is one of those topics I've never really thought about before, but my initial reaction when hearing that a polygamous family raises children would be a feeling of uneasiness. Having multiple mothers would complicate things for the child, there is much more potential for conflict within such a family.
While I acknowledge that this is certainly a possibility, I would need to see something more concrete before I accepted it as true. My children spent a significant amount of time with teachers, day care providers, grandparents, etc and yet somehow managed to know who their parents were. This is pretty common for most if not all children nowadays (not as many stay-at-home moms as there were in eras past). I would need to understand how living in a polygamous family would be radically different from this before I could begin to put credence behind this argument. And once I was convinced it was different, we could begin working on convincing me that it's worse.

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Moreover, parents would have to be very careful that their child doesn't get the wrong impression about the family (like thinking that there is some kind of inequality between men and women).
I agree that this is a concern, however I don't know that it would be more or less significant here. Would it be more of a concern or less of a concern compared to a monogamous, heterosexual couple where spousal abuse was present? We don't oppose monogamous marriages based on the possibility of spousal abuse, so I would have difficulty accepting the above argument as a valid reason for prohibiting polygamous marriage (unless, of course, I'm missing something in my argument ).

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I realize this is quite a half hearted answer...but raising children is about the only thing I can think of when arguing against polygamy and this is a debate forum right?
We all have to start somewhere with the exploration of our values. Almost all of the positions I've held started out in one place and were honed, changed, or abandoned based on how well they fared after being challenged.
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:11 PM   #6
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Nothing wrong with that at all. Kudos for recognizing that you're still figuring things out and working from there. If more people did that, I think these forums would be a very different place.
I'm actually glad people have strong opinions here. Makes for an interesting and entertaining read.

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While I acknowledge that this is certainly a possibility, I would need to see something more concrete before I accepted it as true. My children spent a significant amount of time with teachers, day care providers, grandparents, etc and yet somehow managed to know who their parents were. This is pretty common for most if not all children nowadays (not as many stay-at-home moms as there were in eras past). I would need to understand how living in a polygamous family would be radically different from this before I could begin to put credence behind this argument. And once I was convinced it was different, we could begin working on convincing me that it's worse.
I think it's not unreasonable to assert that families consisting of more than 2 people are more prone to conflict. That would be a reason why "normal" families could be preferable for children. But then again, we don't assess families before giving them green light for making babies. If we look for negative things in monogamous families we should do the same with monogamous families.

I guess it all comes down to the question if we grant parents the right to have children no matter the situation they are in. If we ban polygamous families from having children because they can't provide a good environment for children, we would also have to do the same with monogamous families who can't provide a good environment. (And I think no one denies that there are lots..)

Wow, I pretty much refuted my own argument.

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I agree that this is a concern, however I don't know that it would be more or less significant here. Would it be more of a concern or less of a concern compared to a monogamous, heterosexual couple where spousal abuse was present?
No, it wouldn't. Absolutely true.

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We don't oppose monogamous marriages based on the possibility of spousal abuse, so I would have difficulty accepting the above argument as a valid reason for prohibiting polygamous marriage (unless, of course, I'm missing something in my argument ).
True, but I'm not suggesting that we should prohibit polygamous marriage. I don't think there is a moral argument against polygamous marriage. (if all involved husbands/spouses agree). I'm only trying to make my mind up about the raising children. =)

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We all have to start somewhere with the exploration of our values. Almost all of the positions I've held started out in one place and were honed, changed, or abandoned based on how well they fared after being challenged.
Yeah. Imo, debate is the best way to form an opinion. It's so much easier to find flaws in your thinking when someone points them out.

Last edited by Lance Monance; 11-16-2008 at 04:13 PM. Reason: tried to get rid of some awkward sentences. didn't succeed^^
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:42 PM   #7
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just imagine it though, 1 guy, 5 pregnant women...racing to have the first baby....

it would be awesome.


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Old 11-16-2008, 04:44 PM   #8
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just imagine it though, 1 guy, 5 pregnant women...racing to have the first baby....

it would be awesome.
Lol, I think you're trying to make a moral argument right?
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:29 PM   #9
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I think it's not unreasonable to assert that families consisting of more than 2 people are more prone to conflict.
Likewise, I think it's not unreasonable to assert that families consisting of more than two people (should I assume you meant "parents"?) are less prone to conflict. Since we have conflicting assertions, I think the next step would be to look at the evidence and see what it says

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That would be a reason why "normal" families could be preferable for children. But then again, we don't assess families before giving them green light for making babies. If we look for negative things in monogamous families we should do the same with [polygamous] families.
That seems pretty reasonable to me. If we apply one set of standards to one group, we should apply the same standards equitably to another.

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I guess it all comes down to the question if we grant parents the right to have children no matter the situation they are in. If we ban polygamous families from having children because they can't provide a good environment for children, we would also have to do the same with monogamous families who can't provide a good environment. (And I think no one denies that there are lots..)
Pretty much the same conclusion that I came to as well.

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True, but I'm not suggesting that we should prohibit polygamous marriage. I don't think there is a moral argument against polygamous marriage. (if all involved husbands/spouses agree). I'm only trying to make my mind up about the raising children. =)
I think the same template that we used above could apply here as well. If X is a concern in Y situation, then we must apply the same standards to situation Z as well.

Much like we learn "check our math" by reversing an equation when we are young, we can do something very similar with our arguments to check them for consistency in our thinking.

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Yeah. Imo, debate is the best way to form an opinion. It's so much easier to find flaws in your thinking when someone points them out.
It certainly can help. Of course, you don't always have to "step in the ring" yourself. I find reading, attending lectures, and watching others debate helpful as well.
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Old 11-16-2008, 07:05 PM   #10
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Likewise, I think it's not unreasonable to assert that families consisting of more than two people (should I assume you meant "parents"?) are less prone to conflict. Since we have conflicting assertions, I think the next step would be to look at the evidence and see what it says
Hm. Doesn't more "potential for conflict" follow from "more people involved" (or parents, in that case)? Suppose conflict results from differing opinions and unwillingness to settle those differences in a calm manner. More people (and thus more differing opinions) would then mean that there's more potential for conflict.
As for evidence, I'm don't think there is any study on polygamous families with regard to conflict.

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I think the same template that we used above could apply here as well. If X is a concern in Y situation, then we must apply the same standards to situation Z as well.
Unless Z is something completely different. Which here, it is not, true.

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Much like we learn "check our math" by reversing an equation when we are young, we can do something very similar with our arguments to check them for consistency in our thinking.
Trying to be consistent is exactly what has lead me to my conclusion. Though I've often wondered, given how important good parenting is, if it wouldn't be better to evaluate parents before they're allowed to have children... I know that's a ridiculous violation of human rights, but the notion that we have to pass an exam to drive a car but are free to raise children if we feel like it strikes me as not quite right...

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It certainly can help. Of course, you don't always have to "step in the ring" yourself. I find reading, attending lectures, and watching others debate helpful as well.
Despite the date displayed on my account, I've been reading debates here for years and learned a lot. Didn't want to participate due to the language barrier.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:29 PM   #11
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Hm. Doesn't more "potential for conflict" follow from "more people involved" (or parents, in that case)?
I guess I would have to understand why we should suppose this. It appears that you follow up with some possible premises (below) so I will address them there.

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Suppose conflict results from differing opinions and unwillingness to settle those differences in a calm manner.
Ok, but why should we assume that opinions will be more differing? Why should we assume that polygamous families would be less willing to settle those differences?

If the polygamous family is democratic, then having more voices would seem to imply more solutions being offered to potential problems (nevermind more "hands on deck" to head off some situations before they even become problems). On the other hand, if the polygamous family is more authoritarian (where "the man" makes the decisions), then "the man" makes the decisions and every one (allegedly) falls in behind regardless of how they feel about it. In the first scenario, the situation is the same or better as a monogamous family. In the second scenario, the situation would appear to be the same as an equally authoritarian monogamous family.

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More people (and thus more differing opinions) would then mean that there's more potential for conflict.
For the sake of argument, suppose I concede this point. What's the "conflict difference" between a family with a husband, a wife, and four kids vs a husband, two wives, and three kids. Your argument that more people means more potential for conflict. If we have two situations with 6 individuals each, please tell me why we should assume that one is going to be better than the other. If you're attempted to respond re: the number of kids, then please assume that all children are between the ages of 12 and 17 and have activities such as sports, music lessons, friends, sleep-overs, High School Musical 973, etc.

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As for evidence, I'm don't think there is any study on polygamous families with regard to conflict.
Are you a gambling man?

Sociologists have to get their doctorates somehow.

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Trying to be consistent is exactly what has lead me to my conclusion. Though I've often wondered, given how important good parenting is, if it wouldn't be better to evaluate parents before they're allowed to have children... I know that's a ridiculous violation of human rights, but the notion that we have to pass an exam to drive a car but are free to raise children if we feel like it strikes me as not quite right...
Yeah, major can o' worms.

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Despite the date displayed on my account, I've been reading debates here for years and learned a lot. Didn't want to participate due to the language barrier.
Glad you decided to participate. Your English is very good.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:40 PM   #12
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Ok, but why should we assume that opinions will be more differing?
I thought along the lines of something like that:
For simplicity, let's assume that someone can have 2 different opinions on any given topic.
The probability that 2 people have the same opinion is (1/2^2)*2, the probability that 3 people have the same opinion is (1/2^3)*2. (I hope I didn't make a complete fool of myself and overlooked something here.. )
That would mean that the chances of agreeing on any given topic are worse with more people involved. Opinions wouldn't be more differing, but the chances of having an agreement would be worse. And if conflict stems from disagreements...
But perhaps I oversimplified it...with more people, one of them might even try and mediate.

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Why should we assume that polygamous families would be less willing to settle those differences?
We shouldn't. Point taken.

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If the polygamous family is democratic, then having more voices would seem to imply more solutions being offered to potential problems (nevermind more "hands on deck" to head off some situations before they even become problems).
That's a possibility, but what I mentioned above is one as well, I believe. (that more voices would increase the chances of conflict)

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On the other hand, if the polygamous family is more authoritarian (where "the man" makes the decisions), then "the man" makes the decisions and every one (allegedly) falls in behind regardless of how they feel about it. In the first scenario, the situation is the same or better as a monogamous family. In the second scenario, the situation would appear to be the same as an equally authoritarian monogamous family.
Well if someone calls the shots and everyone else just falls behind, there would be no conflict at all.

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For the sake of argument, suppose I concede this point. What's the "conflict difference" between a family with a husband, a wife, and four kids vs a husband, two wives, and three kids. Your argument that more people means more potential for conflict. If we have two situations with 6 individuals each, please tell me why we should assume that one is going to be better than the other. If you're attempted to respond re: the number of kids, then please assume that all children are between the ages of 12 and 17 and have activities such as sports, music lessons, friends, sleep-overs, High School Musical 973, etc.
There is no difference. Ok, the conflict argument doesn't really get us anywhere, but then again, even if polygamous families were shown to be more prone to conflict than equally sized normal families, it wouldn't be a convincing argument.


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Are you a gambling man?

Sociologists have to get their doctorates somehow.
Was kind of hoping that one of those words would be a link.

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Glad you decided to participate. Your English is very good.
thx
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I thought along the lines of something like that:
For simplicity, let's assume that someone can have 2 different opinions on any given topic.
The probability that 2 people have the same opinion is (1/2^2)*2, the probability that 3 people have the same opinion is (1/2^3)*2. (I hope I didn't make a complete fool of myself and overlooked something here.. )
That would mean that the chances of agreeing on any given topic are worse with more people involved. Opinions wouldn't be more differing, but the chances of having an agreement would be worse. And if conflict stems from disagreements...
But perhaps I oversimplified it...with more people, one of them might even try and mediate.
I think the biggest thing I'm having trouble with is why more opinions = conflict.

I certainly agree that there is additional potential for conflict, however since these people are getting married to one another, I would tend to assume that they're done so because they get along to some degree.

If we were picking people at random and then forcing them to live in a house 24/7 with one another, it would be easier for me to come around to where I think you're going with this, but we're discussing polygamy, not next season's line up of reality television programing.

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That's a possibility, but what I mentioned above is one as well, I believe. (that more voices would increase the chances of conflict)
And I addressed this in my last post. If more voices = more conflict and familial conflict is to be avoided, then we should have similar restrictions on large families regardless of the number of parents.

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Well if someone calls the shots and everyone else just falls behind, there would be no conflict at all.
Technically no, but for the sake of this discussion I won't split hairs re: conflict avoidance vs other resolution styles.

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There is no difference. Ok, the conflict argument doesn't really get us anywhere, but then again, even if polygamous families were shown to be more prone to conflict than equally sized normal families, it wouldn't be a convincing argument.
I'm still not understanding the basis for all the assumptions. Not saying that we shouldn't have them, only that until you can provide me with a convincing argument why we should apply them to one scenario and not the other, I can't bring myself to share them.

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Was kind of hoping that one of those words would be a link.
And maybe at some point I'll feel compelled to do so. Right now though, you've made the assumption that there isn't any research on this. I'm still trying to figure out if such an assumption is a good idea.

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thx
You're welcome.
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Old 11-17-2008, 05:57 PM   #14
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I think the biggest thing I'm having trouble with is why more opinions = conflict.
I'm not claiming more opinions = more conflict. I've stated several times that I'm only talking about potential for conflict, chances for conflict etc.

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however since these people are getting married to one another, I would tend to assume that they're done so because they get along to some degree.
I've never been married myself so I can't really comment on that, but I guess there would still be lots of heated "disagreements"

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If we were picking people at random and then forcing them to live in a house 24/7 with one another, it would be easier for me to come around to where I think you're going with this, but we're discussing polygamy, not next season's line up of reality television programing.
That's true. I'm not even trying to relate it to polygamy anymore though. All I wanted to do was defend this statement "I think it's not unreasonable to assert that families consisting of more than 2 people are more prone to conflict."

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And I addressed this in my last post. If more voices = more conflict and familial conflict is to be avoided, then we should have similar restrictions on large families regardless of the number of parents.
Yes, absolutely. What makes you think I'd want to be inconsistent?

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I'm still not understanding the basis for all the assumptions. Not saying that we shouldn't have them, only that until you can provide me with a convincing argument why we should apply them to one scenario and not the other, I can't bring myself to share them.
I wasn't very clear. "it wouldn't be a convincing argument." refers to my own argument which is the following: even if it were true that: More people in polyg. families = more conflict, more people in monog. families != more conflict. Even if that were the case, it wouldn't be a convincing argument against polygamous families. That's what I meant to say.


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And maybe at some point I'll feel compelled to do so. Right now though, you've made the assumption that there isn't any research on this. I'm still trying to figure out if such an assumption is a good idea.
I can't prove that there is no research on it, can I? It's not like I firmly believe that there is no evidence. I was just making a random guess. I probably shouldn't do that in debate. :/

Anyway, I'm not arguing against polygamous families anymore...in post 6, I stated what I believe on that matter. I wanted to defend my initial assertion about the "potential for conflict".
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:18 PM   #15
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I've never been married myself so I can't really comment on that, but I guess there would still be lots of heated "disagreements".
Of course, but as I keep trying to point out, this happens in any family. Your argument is more = more and I'm ok with this, so long as we acknowledge that large family = large family. If we're going to have reservations about potential for conflict, we have to have them consistently. Else we aren't being objective.

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That's true. I'm not even trying to relate it to polygamy anymore though. All I wanted to do was defend this statement "I think it's not unreasonable to assert that families consisting of more than 2 people are more prone to conflict."
I'm okay with that so long as we acknowledge that a husband, a wife, and a child = a family "consisting of more than 2 people". Large families have to balance out the wants and needs of lots of individuals. It doesn't matter whether we're talking about a husband, five wives, and five kids or a husband, a wife, and nine kids.

To summarize, so long as you're applying your concerns consistently, you can has many or as few as you would like.

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Even if that were the case, it wouldn't be a convincing argument against polygamous families. That's what I meant to say.
It might be. I would just need to see evidence for that first. However if you aren't arguing that, then there's no reason to worry about it

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I can't prove that there is no research on it, can I? It's not like I firmly believe that there is no evidence. I was just making a random guess. I probably shouldn't do that in debate. :/
I generally try to avoid it

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Anyway, I'm not arguing against polygamous families anymore...in post 6, I stated what I believe on that matter. I wanted to defend my initial assertion about the "potential for conflict".
Ok, I am confused again, because I thought you just abandoned it
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:34 PM   #16
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Polygamistic families create an atmosphere where children are neglected by their fathers(as polygyny is the most predominant form of polygamy I would rather use that as the example. Polyandry is very rarely seen.). There are also more allegations of incest, abuse, and forced relationships. Primarily sourced from those who have left the polygamist groups. There are also many who live in poverty because of the limited resources, and primarily due to the nature of these societies to be male dominated. Women are generally NOT treated on an equal level as the men.

Source: Polygamy in Canada: legal and Social Implications for Women and Children A Collection of Policy Research Reports

As for greater numbers equalling greater potential for conflict. I would think the ignore feature on message boards tends to prove that.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:41 PM   #17
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Of course, but as I keep trying to point out, this happens in any family. Your argument is more = more and I'm ok with this, so long as we acknowledge that large family = large family. If we're going to have reservations about potential for conflict, we have to have them consistently. Else we aren't being objective.
And I totally agree with that.

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I'm okay with that so long as we acknowledge that a husband, a wife, and a child = a family "consisting of more than 2 people". Large families have to balance out the wants and needs of lots of individuals. It doesn't matter whether we're talking about a husband, five wives, and five kids or a husband, a wife, and nine kids.
And with that as well. =)

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To summarize, so long as you're applying your concerns consistently, you can has many or as few as you would like.
As far as I'm aware I haven't been inconsistent.
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Ok, I am confused again, because I thought you just abandoned it
I'm talking about what you refer to as more= more.

@Tommycat:
Consenting adults! If women (or men for that matter) consent to being treated badly..their business. If they are being forced then it is not what we've been talking about. As for your first point, I could probably say similar things about normal families too (surely there are lots of circumstances that create an atmosphere where children are neglected by their fathers). I'd appreciate it if you elaborated on that point, but even if it were true, unless we apply the very same reasoning to normal families it is no reason to prohibit polygamy.
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Old 11-22-2008, 01:54 AM   #18
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While it is true that polygamous societies tend to have more dysfunction within familial units (competition/marginalization between wives, neglect of children/wives, control of wealth, control of access to the husband and/or children, etc.), it cannot be overlooked that these societies also typically condone arranged and forced marriages even at very young ages and, even in monogamous marriages, they can be dysfunctional due to circumstances.

Still, the argument that if same-sex marriages are permitted, then multi-spouse marriages should also be permitted is fallacious. It hasn't been established that the former is necessary and sufficient to cause the latter. How does the ability to choose the sex of your spouse cause or require that others choose multiple spouses?


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Old 11-22-2008, 03:26 AM   #19
Tommycat
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Originally Posted by Lance Monance View Post
@Tommycat:
Consenting adults! If women (or men for that matter) consent to being treated badly..their business. If they are being forced then it is not what we've been talking about. As for your first point, I could probably say similar things about normal families too (surely there are lots of circumstances that create an atmosphere where children are neglected by their fathers). I'd appreciate it if you elaborated on that point, but even if it were true, unless we apply the very same reasoning to normal families it is no reason to prohibit polygamy.
No, actually you couldn't as the per capita rates are much higher in polygamist societies. That is if you had actually read the report(actually a collection of reports) which is from a non-biassed source. Neglect is much higher as the number of children and number of wives involved is significantly higher. Consent is all well and good, but I would like to see a polygamist society where that actually happens. Could you please reference one, so I can research the problems within that one. Abuse and coersion occur. From a young age women are indoctrinated into a belief that they are somehow inferior. So actually that is very much related to the topic. It is another side effect of the abuse that goes on.

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While there are significant limitations to the existing social science research on polygamy in terms of methodology and sample size, a significant amount of research from a number of countries strongly suggests that, in comparison to monogamy, polygamy is associated with significant negative outcomes for women and children. Polygamous relationships appear significantly more likely than monogamous relationships to be characterized by physical and emotional abuse of women. Many women in polygamous unions experience a diminished sense of self-worth and suffer from competition with the other wives. Children are significantly more likely to have a distant relationship with their father, and to experience academic difficulties.
The premise this thread was established under is not really well thought out though. Same Sex Marriage has no bearing on monogamy whatsoever.

Last edited by Tommycat; 11-22-2008 at 04:01 AM.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:58 PM   #20
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This is my own personal question, but what exactly is wrong with polygamy? I understand pedophilia, that is illegal beause it involves children. That one is pretty obvious, and just.

Does it matter whether or not I like to keep multiple girlfriends or multiple wives?




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Old 02-09-2009, 05:53 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Vikinor View Post
This is my own personal question, but what exactly is wrong with polygamy?
That's more of a religious thing, rather than a moral one, IMO. Many different religions have allowed polygamy, usually as a way to further populate the world due to the commonplace of miscarriages and maternal death that was so frequent due to the primative medical conditions of the times.

Personally, I would like to have my own personal harem, yet the governments of the western world would consider me to be a cultist, due to the relevant taboo of polygamy of any sort. Damn them.
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:51 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by SkinWalker View Post
While it is true that polygamous societies tend to have more dysfunction within familial units (competition/marginalization between wives, neglect of children/wives, control of wealth, control of access to the husband and/or children, etc.), it cannot be overlooked that these societies also typically condone arranged and forced marriages even at very young ages and, even in monogamous marriages, they can be dysfunctional due to circumstances.

Still, the argument that if same-sex marriages are permitted, then multi-spouse marriages should also be permitted is fallacious. It hasn't been established that the former is necessary and sufficient to cause the latter. How does the ability to choose the sex of your spouse cause or require that others choose multiple spouses?
I think it's more a matter of "challenging the traditionally accepted definition of marriage." Once the definition is up for grabs, and the decidedly unconventional "same sex" model is equalized, it becomes much easier to argue for polygamy (which is, after all, at its core merely an expansion of traditional marriage favoring the male side). Polyandry would be in there too.

Of course if you keep the definition of marriage as "two persons" and simply omit the gender number restrictions, then you can say that. But again I think it's because you're rewriting the definition that then other models become possible.

Plural marriage also has the distinction of having been legal for long periods of time in many parts of the world in the past, vs. legally sanctioned homosexual marriage which doesn't have that historical precedent. So it would seem to come more readily to mind in debates about the definition of marriage than gay unions (even if homosexual activism is the entire reason we're discussing this at all).

And I think in any discussion of morality, we agree that something being legal doesn't automatically make it moral (or immoral) but people tend to naturally argue things should be legal or illegal based on some sense of what is moral or immoral, just or unjust, good or bad. So those arguing that gay marriage should be legal are presuming it is either morally good/right/just or else not immoral/wrong/unjust/bad (ditto with plural marriage) and therefore should not be criminalized.

In these sorts of discussions, my personal belief has lately tended more towards a libertarian "government hands-off" of personal relationships. Unless there is abuse involved, of course. Historically we can see where the benefit of heterosexual, monogamous marriage being protected and sponsored by law has come from, with regard to the protection of women (as a legally and economically inferior class for so long) and children. Now that we have DNA testing and some social safety nets, and because the social stigma of being born out of wedlock or raised in a "broken" (single parent or divorced and remarried) home has given way, one might argue that the time has come for less government involvement in such relationships, but I'm still thinking it through. But then the issue comes up as to whether the state ought to be responsible for public health and safety, and then it seems like there is some kind of "investment" being made in such relationships.


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