About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadPage 0Page 1Forward one pageLast Page


Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 0

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 2:02amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Matthew,

That was brilliant, and brilliantly said.

I've often believed that the point of marriage was in the supreme value two people place on each other, and if they have to have some church impart this to them, then they must not feel it for each other... likely because they have not achieved in and of themselves, characters of real value, and on some level they know this and feel this.  They feel this lack, and turn to the church to somehow magically impart it to them.

I have known of several couples who have tried the marriage thing, and it actually cheapened their relationship so much that they divorced and then remained a couple to this day... Heck; even in Hollywood, you have Ken Russell and Goldie Hawn, who are still together to this day, still unmarried... and with a grandchild.


Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 9, No Sanction: 0
Post 1

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 6:15amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I agree with the basic premise that people who want to be together as a couple should be allowed to do so without government interference.  Some states already allow this, while others force "common law" marriage onto couples whether those couples welcome it or not.

One point to add is that people who *choose* to remain legally single and have no relatives have some unique legal problems.  These include especially issues of health care choices in the event of a catastrophic and debilitating illness.  Everyone, especially single people, need to take the responsibility of naming trustworthy holders of "Health Care Power of Attorney" and other legal matters designed to protect individual rights to person and property.  Otherwise, the state will end up making those decisions, and I doubt anyone here wants that.

Regarding contracts, I think couples would serve themselves well to employ living trusts, limited partnerships and other well-reasoned and well-written legal tools that preserve the "property rights" benefits of legal marriage without all the caveats the state imposes on legal marriage.

Of course, one aspect not mentioned in this article is "choice for men".  Authentic equality of the genders demands that men have the legal right to forfeit all rights and responsibilities for a fetus just as a woman does now.  This would put an end to the obscenity of women who purposely become pregnant against their men's wishes for the sake of "entrapping" men into paying child support.


Post 2

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 7:14amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
But does choice for men already exist?

Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 3

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 7:52amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Hi Everyone,

Following up on Luther's contract encouragements, I agree. You need to have some plans in place, and there are organizations/lawyers that will help you to do that. This has been brought up on other threads with resource links, so I won't repeat it here.

My question still is, why do people get legally married? Why did you (those of you out there married or getting married), do it? I can think of several reasons, many of which have been brought up before:

1. The church advocates it and you are religious
2. You feel pressured by society
3. You don't think it's right to raise a child in an unmarried household
4. You don't think you should live with someone unless you're married
5. You do it so others in society will take you more seriously as a couple
6. You do it for convenience (i.e. don't want to deal with a lawyer to get your estates planned out, wills set up, etc.)
7. Your significant other thinks it's really important and places value on it
8. You see it as the next step, without really knowing why - you've grown up with it
9. You do it for financial reasons (to get more benefits, even if you don't agree with them)

So it's not that I disagree with this article, but think it's incomplete. Take Matthew and others like him (even myself) for example. You already consider yourself married (which I take to mean here committed to one person with the plan to make it last forever, live together, things of that nature). You don't think that the marriage (meaning the new legal status of your relationship) will change anything, and you see the wedding at just a party to show your friends and family your commitment. THEN WHY TAKE THAT STEP? (contract, not party)

It's like saying I don't think I'll get any additional pleasure out of eating that brussels sprout, but I'm going to do it anyway. No explanation given why.

People all the time say "the contract doesn't mean anything", "marriage doesn't change anything", yadda yadda. Then why are you married? It usually doesn't get answered. Why write posts & article about how it really doesn't mean anything different, but then say "but I'm getting married"? That's just a question of curiosity, really. Because I do think you have to really look at  why you're going through with something.

With these discussions recently, I asked my boyfriend if he'd be okay with it if we possibly never got married. After explaining why I felt that way, and what the alternatives are to marriage (in terms of the legal stuff we have to go through), his next question was, what don't we get? I told him things that explicitly say you have to be married to receive. The family membership at the Y, health insurance for your spouse through work, etc. His response was "No health insurance? That would really suck if one of us was ever out of work for a while..." But all along, I've been saying the reason I'd get married is purely financial. It wouldn't be to prove I loved someone more, or that I felt we'd be accepted more by society, it's that we could get tax breaks, discounts at theme parks, discounts on auto insurance, great healthcare for next to nothing (I work at a hospital), etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

-Elizabeth


Post 4

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 8:26amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Orion Reasoner

That was brilliant, and brilliantly said.

Thank you. I've been away for a while in terms of articles contributed, and I wanted to come back with a bang.

I've often believed that the point of marriage was in the supreme value two people place on each other, and if they have to have some church impart this to them, then they must not feel it for each other... likely because they have not achieved in and of themselves, characters of real value, and on some level they know this and feel this. They feel this lack, and turn to the church to somehow magically impart it to them.

I've seen something similar in people who insist on marrying before a priest or a judge; it's almost as if they were asking for permission to be happy and hoping that others would say, "Yes, you two belong together."

I don't ask permission to be happy, and I don't expect others to give me happiness. It's a value I have to pursue, and I'm proud to have found it. To be honest, Catherine and I would not bother with the judge, but since she's an Australian national we have to be legally married if we want to remain together. The legality is merely a means to an end, and it would not be necessary if the government were not so uptight about the immigration of people from friendly nations.

Post 5

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 8:41amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Luther Setzer

One point to add is that people who *choose* to remain legally single and have no relatives have some unique legal problems.

Yes, this is an important issue, but it's one that merits an article of its own; it's too big to lump in with an article intended as a hearty "Bugger off!" to all the people to want to bury love under tons of legality and religion.

Regarding contracts, I think couples would serve themselves well to employ living trusts, limited partnerships and other well-reasoned and well-written legal tools that preserve the "property rights" benefits of legal marriage without all the caveats the state imposes on legal marriage.

This is an excellent idea, Luther, and it is certainly a reasonable alternative for gay and lesbian couples or people in a polyamorous relationship.

Of course, one aspect not mentioned in this article is "choice for men". Authentic equality of the genders demands that men have the legal right to forfeit all rights and responsibilities for a fetus just as a woman does now. This would put an end to the obscenity of women who purposely become pregnant against their men's wishes for the sake of "entrapping" men into paying child support.

I had thought of mentioning this, but I thought that mentioning this point would distract from my primary purpose -- raising a rhetorical middle finger to the people who are more concerned with "preserving traditional marriage" than with protecting individual rights.

Besides, don't men already have the choice to refuse to have sex? Pardon the crudity, but a paraphrase of Sam Kinison is appropriate: If you don't trust the woman, why are you fucking the woman?

I must admit that I have little sympathy for men who let themselves be manipulated into siring a child. If a man knows that one of consequences of sexual intercourse is pregnancy, and he's not interested in supporting a child, then why is he trusting the woman to handle contraception? If a man doesn't want to have a kid, he shouldn't be sticking his penis into a woman's vagina unless he's got a condom and some spermicide. And if he is unwilling to use a condom, why isn't he suggesting oral sex instead? What's wrong with a leisurely 69 if all you want is some pleasure?

Luther, while it is unfair that women can manipulate men into impregnating them and then extorting child support from the men, the women can't get pregnant in the first place unless the men cooperate. I've avoided casual sex all my life (not that I get many offers with my looks) and refuse to touch woman I don't trust for this very reason.
(Edited by Matthew Graybosch on 7/02, 8:52am)


Post 6

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 8:47amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Elizabeth, I wholly agree with your post. You did neglect to mention one very important reason: international relationships. Sometimes, the easiest way to bring one's lover into the country is to legally marry her. Unfortunately, with the way things stand now gay and lesbian couples don't have the ability to bring a lover across international borders by means of marriage.

Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 7

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 9:02amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Matthew, you are totally right!!  I missed one huge reason people get married, and I would totally support that decision! Add that to my list of reasons (I'm sure I forgot others too - but I pretty much tought of everyone I knew married or getting married and tried to think of why they did it).

You don't need to answer, but does Catherine live here now? I think she does, from past conversations, but was wondering if she'd have to return to Australia soon or if she's there now.


Post 8

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 9:15amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Elizabeth

Matthew, you are totally right!! I missed one huge reason people get married, and I would totally support that decision! Add that to my list of reasons (I'm sure I forgot others too - but I pretty much tought of everyone I knew married or getting married and tried to think of why they did it).

Elizabeth, I don't blame you for reaching a conclusion based on your personal experience; that's what you're supposed to do. And you revised your opinion when I I presented facts that required that you alter your conclusion. It'd be unfair of me to ask more of you than that, Elizabeth.

You don't need to answer, but does Catherine live here now? I think she does, from past conversations, but was wondering if she'd have to return to Australia soon or if she's there now.

Unfortunately, Catherine is stuck in Australia, but we're close to getting a marriage visa so that she can come to me permanently. I expect to be able to welcome her back on the first of September. But we remain in such close contact via phone and email and IM that we're only apart in the physical sense.

Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 9

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 9:45amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Luther, while it is unfair that women can manipulate men into impregnating them and then extort child support from the men, the women can't get pregnant in the first place unless the men cooperate. I've avoided casual sex all my life (not that I get many offers with my looks) and refuse to touch woman I don't trust for this very reason.
A person could say the same about women who get pregnant.  In other words, we can argue that women should not have the right to choose abortions because they can choose not to have sex.  I do not support that argument and I do not get the impression that you do, either.

I know some women who *hate* condoms and do not want their men to wear them.  Instead, they rely on birth control pills and other contraceptives.  This puts the men in a position of having to trust their women.

Unwanted pregnancies can happen even in the most serious, intimate, trusting, monogamous relationships.  Contraceptives can fail.  I knew a young man years ago who used a condom and it failed, and his girlfriend became pregnant.  I know a young woman who failed to take her birth control pills judiciously, and she became pregnant.  I even work with a man whose vasectomy failed, and his wife became pregnant.

One can argue that people need to be judicious and use multiple forms of contraception, but no contraceptive is ever 100% effective.

The bottom line: Women have legal choice regardless of their moral character.  Men deserve the same choice.


Post 10

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 9:52amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Luther Setzer

The bottom line: Women have legal choice regardless of their moral character. Men deserve the same choice.

You're right, and I agree wholly with your reasoning. However, I have to reconcile this principle with my opinion that a man has a moral responsibility to take care of the children he sires. There's no way I could turn my back on a child I sired, even if I never wanted to get the woman pregnant in the first place; doing so would only harm an innocent. Until the legal and social climate changes so that it's possible for a man to repudiate all connection to a child he did not want sire, the best way to avoid such entanglements, IMHO, is for the man to keep it in his pants.

Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 11

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 10:19amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
There's no way I could turn my back on a child I sired, even if I never wanted to get the woman pregnant in the first place; doing so would only harm an innocent.
I commend your high moral codes.  I simply contend that your concern ought not apply as a political principle if we hold equality under the law as valid.

Not only can a woman abort, she can also place for adoption an unwanted child -- or she can keep the baby and sue for child support.  A single woman can make any of these choices unilaterally, and the man is left stuck with whatever decision she makes.

As I understand it, the law allows a woman to abort regardless of the man's opinions on the matter.  Marriage may curtail this choice for a woman -- I do not know.  I know vasectomy clinics will generally choose not to expose themselves to liability by providing a married man with a vasectomy without his wife's written permission.  So much for "my body, my choice".


Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 12

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 10:27amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Re: a man's right not to raise 'his' child, I agree with what Luther says. Not to go off on a tangent here in the discussion... But I don't find it fair that it's 100% a woman's choice whether or not to have a child, and a man gets no say in what happens. (no say legally at least) I always thought that if a woman wanted to go through with a pregnancy, and the man didn't, it's his right to say he doesn't want the child and will offer no support, etc. Then it is up to the woman to decide if she wants to have the child on her own.

I don't necessarily find it morally wrong for a father not to be there for his child. As Luther says, a woman has a choice in having the child or not. I suspect a lot of fathers would have had an abortion if they were carrying the child (or vice versa, basically made a different decision than the mom did). So not only would the man not have a say if the child is born or not, once the child is born (based on a woman's decision) he is forced to support the decision financially.

Now granted I'd think most men would suck up the fact that they had no say in the matter and support the child who also had no say in being born and would benefit from his love/financial support. As Matthew said, they'd not take it out on an innocent child. But it's their right really to do what they think is best.

I remember hearing about stories where a woman had an affair in her marriage and had another man's baby. In this case the husband realized the baby couldn't be his because the son had brown eyes, and both he & his wife had blue eyes (so it's not possible). Yet the court ordered the husband to support the child. How's that for screwed up? I guess he could leave his wife, but he'd forever pay child support on another guy's baby because it was born into his marriage. This was a while ago, I forget the exact details, but it was screwed up!

Everyone, enjoy your 4th of July weekend!!!

-E


Post 13

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 10:42amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Luther Setzer

I commend your high moral codes.

Thank you.

I simply contend that your concern ought not apply as a political principle if we hold equality under the law as valid.

Again, you are entirely correct. The law has to be changed to give men the same reproductive rights as women.

Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 3, No Sanction: 0
Post 14

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 10:42amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Luther, you make a very interesting point. It does seem unfair that a woman can unilaterally decide to bring a child into the world without the father's permission, and even more so that she can sue for child support. It seems to me that, in case of accidental pregnancy, if the man is willing to pay for his half or even all of the abortion (or maybe half of the medical bills for the pregnancy leading up to adoption?), that should cover his obligation. If the woman then insists that she wants to have the child anyway, despite the fact that it was unplanned, unwanted, and not going to have two parents that are excited about its existence, then it seems like she should bear the full responsibility for that very questionable choice. Children should have two parents who want and love them. Our legal system has no business forcing men to subsidize women who would bring to term children that will not be in this situation.

Matthew, you say that men should take responsibility for the children that they sire, but isn't paying for an abortion taking responsibility? If the woman refuses to have an abortion for some reason, whether rational or irrational, that is certainly not the man's fault.


Post 15

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 10:49amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Jeff Landauer

Matthew, you say that men should take responsibility for the children that they sire, but isn't paying for an abortion taking responsibility?

Yes, it certainly is. And if the man was coerced into having sex with the woman, he shouldn't even have to do that much. Then again, how the hell does a man go about proving a woman raped him?

If the woman refuses to have an abortion for some reason, whether rational or irrational, that is certainly not the man's fault.

Exactly. In a reasonable society the law would not force a man to support a child he did not want to have. What good does a cold or even actively hostile father do a child?
(Edited by Matthew Graybosch on 7/02, 10:59am)


Sanction: 8, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 8, No Sanction: 0
Post 16

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 11:35amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Sex is not some elusive game of chance.   The consequences are well known.

When you take on the action of sexual intercourse you are also taking on the responsibility of the consequences of that action.  These consequences are many, or course.  The most important being the possibility of pregnancy.  If you, as an adult, reasoning, human being are not willing to undertake the resonspibilities of these consequences, however unintended,  then DO NOT take the actions in the first place.  Because of this, both partners have equal responsibilty although the woman does have more choices in the end (abortion, adoption, telling the man).  If she chooses to have the baby then, by virtue of the nature of sex, yes the man has a responsibilty to that child. 

(However, if it is seen that the man or the woman are dangerous to the life and well being of the child then either should be removed from the child's life.  I think this goes without saying.)

I dont think there are any reasoning adults on earth that dont understand the consequences of sex.  It is not reasonable to play innocent victim when your partner becomes pregnant.  Even if she deceived you on purpose.

Take responsibility for your actions.  Dont have sex unless you are willing to undertake the responsiblity of any and all consequences.

(Edited by Marnee Dearman on 7/02, 11:36am)


Post 17

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 11:41amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Marnee Dearman

Take responsibility for your actions. Dont have sex unless you are willing to undertake the responsiblity of any and all consequences.

This is a lot like my first post on this subject, in which I said "If you don't trust the woman, why are you fucking the woman?" I think I also said that a man should keep it in his pants rather than risk impregnating a woman with whom he does not want to raise a child. Don't think that I disagree with you.

Post 18

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 11:59amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Because of this, both partners have equal responsibilty although the woman does have more choices in the end (abortion, adoption, telling the man).  If she chooses to have the baby then, by virtue of the nature of sex, yes the man has a responsibilty to that child. 
I should just as well argue that since the woman knew she could get pregnant by having sex, she ought not legally have the right to purchase an abortion.

Your argument implies that women ought unilaterally to be able to drag men into unwilling fatherhood with the help of the state.  No matter which path the woman takes, the man is stuck with it.


Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 19

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 8:26pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Luther, Marnee,

Your argument implies that women ought unilaterally to be able to drag men into unwilling fatherhood with the help of the state.
 
Luther, you are evidently aware of some mystic power women have which I am not aware of. Would you please explain how a woman is able to "drag men" unwillingly into impregnating them, with or without the help of the state. Nobody forces a man, against his will, to impregnate a woman.

And what does this mean? I should just as well argue that since the woman knew she could get pregnant by having sex, she ought not legally have the right to purchase an abortion.
 
So, then, because Luther knows that driving a car could result in a flat tire, he ought not have a legal right to pay someone to fix it? Marnee only said you are responsible for the consequences of your own actions, which includes the "cost" of those consequences, including the cost of fixing them if you do not like them. What you want is to be able to drive a car, have a flat tire, and have the tire fixed at someone else's expense.

If you impregnate a woman, you have forced the choice on her decide to carry the child to term or not. You made the choice to giver her that choice; you cannot morally just ignore your responsibility if you do not like the choice she makes. If you do not want to be responsible for other's choices, do not force those kinds of choices on them by making them pregnant.

This has nothing to do with the state. It has to do with one's own moral integrity and being responsible for one's own actions.

Regi


Post to this threadPage 0Page 1Forward one pageLast Page
User ID Password reminder or create a free account.