Monday, July 07, 2008

TMI Tuesday on Marriage

It's been over a month since I made my last post. How am I ever supposed to be a successful blogger if I don't write an entry at least once a week?

I was originally going to write about some of the weirder news articles of the past week, but TMI Tuesday (May be NSFW) came through with some interesting subject matter that I would like to address. Yes, I know, I'm nearly a week behind on this too.

Q: Do you believe in marriage?

Personally, I think the wording of this question is a little vague. Do I believe in marriage in the sense that marriage exists? Yes. Do I believe in the virtues of marriage? No, not really. I think marriage is a social construct and any perceived virtues associated with marriage are a construct as well.

Q: What is marriage to you?

Warning: Long Rant

To be legalistic, (and this is the definition I prefer,) marriage is a social contract. From antiquity, marriage has been used to combine ownership of possessions (or transfer them outright, i.e., dowries) and cement relationships. I don't necessarily mean a relationship between two people either; marriage has just as easily cemented alliances between families.

While this is still mostly true in regards to property, I think that the concept of marriage is outdated. In fact, I think it is largely unnecessary. A lot of people ascribe spiritual attributes to marriage. I see no reason why the former cannot exist without the latter in any other loving relationship.

If marriage is a social contract between two persons, the judicial branch of government has valid reason to record such contracts, in the event of divorce or other disputes. However, I do not think governments should provide tax benefits to married persons. It is my opinion that governments provide tax benefits to married persons with the intent of a) encouraging reproduction (this is not true in all marriages) and b) creating a healthy, stable environment where children can be raised. Governments do this to ensure a source of labour, sales, and investment for the economy. In a democratic society, a strong economy benefits everyone. (At least theoretically.) However, I believe that the interests of the individual trump the interests of the majority. Thus, governments should not provide tax benefits to married persons because it is discriminatory to those who choose to remain unmarried. A simpler, more equitable solution would be to provide tax benefits to those with children.

[I recognize that this is an exercise in logic; you must accept the presuppositions for the argument to work.]

Q: If you are married, why did you do it? If you are not, why have you not married?

I'm not married. I don't think I'm old enough, nor do I have an S/O. As I wrote earlier, I think marriage is unnecessary. I sometimes quip that I won't get married until I'm at least 27.

Q: Do you believe in divorce?

Again, this is vague. We all know that divorce exists. Legal contracts are routinely rendered null and void and I see no reason why marriage should be an exception. I'm not the first to say that it would be terrible to be stuck in an unloving relationship for life.

Q: If you are divorced, why did you do it? If you have not, are there certain circumstances under which you would agree to a divorce?

I'm not divorced. There are certain circumstances under which I would agree to a divorce. Irreconcilable infidelity, for example. I say 'irreconcilable' because non-monogamous relationships can, and are, stable. Poly-amourous and swinging relationships, for example.

Q: Do you believe that same sex marriages are a threat to traditional marriages?

Until traditionalists sufficiently prove to me that gay marriage is a threat to heterosexual marriage, No. In fact, until they sufficiently prove to me that marriage is sacrosanct, No. Straight people seem to have enough trouble maintaining the 'sanctity' of marriage.

I'm leaving on vacation tomorrow morning, so don't expect any posts for several weeks. I'll try to write some new material for you all while I'm away.