1. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

Marriage in today's society

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Beren, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. Beren

    Beren Lovesick and Lonely Wanderer Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,389
    Media:
    873
    Likes Received:
    168
    Gender:
    Male
    A general discussion thread for marriage in the conditions of today's societies.

    Religious expectations used to exert pressure on people to get married, and often early, to pass on values to the next generation. But how about nowadays?

    Women, at least in some circles, were homemakers and children raisers, and often at earlier ages? But nowadays, with roughly equal access to workplace (I assume), does this mean women are delaying marriage and family raising until its too late? Or can they have their cake and eat it to?

    How about homosexual relationships?

    This post is merely intended as a launch pad for any serious / intellectual discussions regarding the place of marriage in modern civilization.
     
  2. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Messages:
    4,883
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    148
    Gender:
    Male
    Actually, the number one pressure leading to early marriage centuries ago (I think that's what you're talking about) was work-force oriented, not religious. These days, the things that changed were the lack of need for that level of work-force and required continued education until much later in life (usually around 18, 22-ish for college). This has pushed the standard 'acceptable' marryable age from 12-14 to 19-23. Now, if you're talking about changes in the last 100 years or so (moving average from 19-23 to 25-40?), then I think women's equality has had a lot to do with it. With women no longer needing a man to provide for them, they've become much more choosy about who 'their man' will be, sometimes to the point of rejecting the idea altogether.

    I think today many women are simply trying to figure out what to do with themselves (career, family, 'Mr. Right', go for it all?) and what they value. They've (women in general) had these freedoms long enough to realize they really have to decide what it is they value before they go for it. What that will be seems to depend entirely on the individual woman. For many of them, marriage may become an inconvenience, but I'm betting many more of them still harbor dreams of the perfect Mr. Right, the big (or private) wedding, the dream home, and probably a few kids.
     
  3. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    5,423
    Likes Received:
    30
    Another reason for pushing marriage younger is sex. It is a natural drive in men and women to have sex. But to religion, and many older societies, sex is sacred, and should be limited to the confines of marriage.

    However the demands of modern society on the individual and the family has pushed marriage back a few years for most people. With an increased importance on education (at the post secondary level), and the need for two incomes, marriages in the late 20's or even 30's are more common. Because marriage comes so late, pre-marital sex is on the rise. With premarital sex no longer taboo, and common law relationships more common, some may not marry period!

    What's being lost is that sacred nature of the union between a man and a woman. With people taking that for granted, the focus becomes not on two people coming together but people trying to satisfy their desires. That works fine as long as they satisfy each other, but when that is not the case, some seek divorce rather than growing together. Then there are those that are abusive, neglectful or unfaithful who outright abuse the sacred blessing that their marriage should be.

    Another source of confusion is the fact that the government has attached certain civil rights to the religious ordinance of marriage. This becomes problematic when marriage is brought into play where God never intended it to apply. It becomes problematic when marriage is used but divine implications are not welcome. This creates confusion over who has rights to oversee marriage, and the state trying to wrench it from the hands of Religion, despite a constitutional ammendment forbidding this from happening.

    Marriage will continue to be desecrated if the state doesn't learn to keep their nose out of that which is sacred.
     
  4. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2005
    Messages:
    4,883
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    148
    Gender:
    Male
    I don't think people are taking the sacred nature of marriage for granted so much as they are ignoring it entirely.
     
  5. The Magister Gems: 26/31
    Latest gem: Diamond


    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,364
    Media:
    16
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Honestly I never saw marriage as necessary. At least not in this day and age. I understand that some people see marriage as sacred. I understand that some people believe it to be an act of love to marry. I simply don't understand that last one though. If you love someone why do you need a ceremony and a bit of paper proving that you love them.
     
  6. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    13,342
    Likes Received:
    97
    Marriage is not really something that should be linked to religion. It's about love and commitment, not about what a god or a holy scripture, or even a government dictates that you do.

    I have been married for 4 years now and religion and politics have nothing to do with it.
     
  7. Saber

    Saber A revolution without dancing is not worth having! Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,905
    Likes Received:
    47
    Gender:
    Male
    People can have that bond and union without being married. Not all premarital sex is about satisfying desires and carnal urges.
     
  8. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2001
    Messages:
    6,117
    Media:
    2
    Likes Received:
    121
    What is funny with marriage is that it is really just for the last 50-70 years or so and only here in the west that the notion of "romance" and "love" have had anything to do with it.

    The core of marriage has always been business, a practical union of two people which hopefully would bring practical advantages to both parts and their families. Maybe if you were really really really poor the notion of love might have come into the picture.
     
  9. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Messages:
    6,815
    Media:
    6
    Likes Received:
    335
    OK, wait a minute. Now you're saying that the union is sacred? (Title of the thread notwithstanding, presumably you actually meant "union", and not "marriage", or you would have said "marriage".) So a union, whether it's called a marriage or not, is sacred and therefore religious in nature. Then why is it that you're saying a civil union between homosexuals is OK as long as it isn't called a marriage?

    Next you're going to say that two people dating has religious overtones.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
    Chandos the Red and 8people like this.
  10. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Messages:
    5,423
    Likes Received:
    30
    I was taught in school that you can't define a word using that word. I defined Marriage as a sacred union as opposed to a civil union. I've been calling Marriage a sacred union all along...

    Because it's a civil union. It comes from Civil authorities, not from God. What Civil authorities do for homosexuals is none of my business as long as the sacred--marriage--is preserved as sacred.
     
  11. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
    Latest gem: Star Sapphire


    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    54
    Well, since only the church can perform the sacred ceremony, it shouldn't matter much anyway. Give unto Caesar etc.

    I'm not sure if this is the right thread, but it appears that some of the abstinence-based education appears to be ineffective - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28415602/
     
  12. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    16,813
    Media:
    11
    Likes Received:
    58
    Gender:
    Male
    Looks a bit uncollected at first, but from a premise that marriage is sacred you must arrive at the conclusion that a union which steps into that territory, steps into the sacred territory and has a significance in it. Not to say that any union is sacred, most often the opposite, but it touches on that territory.

    By extension of above, it actually might. Religion is not just cult, it's one's relationship to the higher power. Certain aspects of life are not arbitrarily placed outside it. Not politics, not sex, not other things. Dating either serves to find someone for marriage or a concubinage, or even a short-term relationship, but at any rate it thus touches on the territory I spoke about in the paragraph above. For me, personally, it has a tone of significance. What it does not is make a religious relationship, by any means. That would be an insane stretch.

    The study is biased. Read the title: "Youths who promise abstinence are also less likely to use protection"

    That sounds like a point of view from which effective sexual education is one that leads to avoiding unwanted pregnancies, not one that leads to people becoming responsible adults able to found healthy, loving and secure families. It's far easier to teach people successfully to use contraceptives than to teach them succesfully to be able to say no to sex.

    News flash: education based on abstinence has no reason to teach birth control, therefore it does not. Abstinence also often goes in tandem with a belief that birth control is wrong. I don't know to what extent it prevails over their desire to avoid pregnancy - if they have any - but while people who try to follow abstinence have a sex drive like anyone, if they believe potentially abortifacient contraceptives to be homicide, then that is a strong factor.

    Apart from the fact that I can't possible decypher what precisely they meant in that sentence, it's obvious the sample group has been adjusted.

    Doesn't it mean they picked children with similar values and those similar values should yield similar results? So whatever they try to prove, they may only prove that pledges are not obeyed. Compare the pledge fidelity ratio to unwanted pregnancy and STD ratio in non-abstinence education and then you will have a measure of effectiveness in terms of pure success rate.

    Because not everyone even calls contraceptives "protection" and because we don't encourage them to wait until they are older but to wait until they are married.

    Of course.

    Similar values lead to similar results. Abstinence sex ed is about values. Pledge is an expression of those values.

    So you can compare them to whomever you want and put the results in such a light as you want. Yeah. :rolleyes:

    Umm... Does accurate information come with "knowledge" that condoms are ethically mandatory?
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  13. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Messages:
    6,815
    Media:
    6
    Likes Received:
    335
    My issue was that Gnarff seemed to be saying that any union, whether it is called a marriage or not, is sacred and thus has religious overtones; this is the complete opposite of what he had previously been saying, in that he exempted civil unions from being sacred as long as they aren't called marriages. However, I now realize that he is confused by the term "union", just as he is unclear on the definitions of "accept" and "willing".

    Doesn't this contradict what you say next?...

    It either touches on it (assuming that, by "it", you mean religious overtones), or it doesn't.
     
  14. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Messages:
    6,586
    Media:
    2
    Likes Received:
    162
    I don't think I'd ever want to get married. I don't see the point in it.
     
  15. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    13,342
    Likes Received:
    97
    Marriage is cool.

    But I still object when people say that marriage is something that is somehow owned by religion and that if you're not married religiously then you're not really married.

    I'm no anthropologist but I bet humans had some sort of monogamous relationships long before the Bible was written.
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    12,434
    Media:
    46
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    Two words for you Barmy. TAX BREAKS!

    Seriously though, if you are happy with someone, there's no reason not to settle down. And there are some societal benefits of actually getting hitched rather than just cohabitating. My wife and I did get married in a church. However, that was more of a means of pleasing my wife's parents. I wouldn't have cared if we were married by a JOP instead of a priest. Not that I was bothered by being married by a priest, either.

    I do think people of today are getting married much later than they were just 20 or 30 years ago. The number of people who marry in their early 20s is very small among the people I know. Most people seem to wait until they are at least around 25 before they marry, which makes sense seeing as how a lot of people don't even have a stable job until then anyway.

    Kids, on the other hand, is a whole other story. I felt that the change of going from single to married was small compared to the change of going from no kid to having a kid. I think it must have something to do with you having some idea of what you're getting into when you get married. You usually know your spouse for a while before you get married, but with a kid you really have no idea what to expect, or what you're going to get.
     
  17. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
    Latest gem: Sphene


    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,413
    Likes Received:
    14
    Gender:
    Male
    Well said.

    I also have been married for four years. I married my wife out of love and commitment.

    To me marriage signifies that two people have agreed to stay faithful to each other through hardship and good times.
     
  18. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    16,813
    Media:
    11
    Likes Received:
    58
    Gender:
    Male
    A union should be a marriage. Marriage may be a marriage without being a religious one. Actually, in Roman law, you could marry by usucaption through continued exercise of marital authority over a woman. :p Not like it was the highest form of marriage, strictly speaking, but it was closer to marriage than anything else. A de facto union may thus be not so far away from a purely secular marriage. In fact, one of the Roman forms of marriage was contracted by cohabitation and consent to marry, where consent was presumed by lack of contrary intention. So you married unless you opted out.


    Depends what you mean by overtones and from what point of view you address dating. Dating as an institution is not religious in overtone. However, what you do with it has significance. If marriage is sacred to you, then the consideration whom to marry and whom not, the looking for a person to marry, those things become a very important point in your religious and spiritual life, as well as matter of many prayers. But this doesn't mean that dating is something like a lesser form of marriage or a lesser grade of religiously sanctioned relationship.

    I agree, although with some slight reservations, i.e. some non-religious marriages are not real and some religious marriages aren't real either. This is not to say that the sacramental quality of valid Christian marriages makes no difference - it makes a whole lot of difference. This is not, however, to say, that e.g. two atheists married by a JP aren't validly married, assuming they aren't of the same gender, ancestor and descendant, forced or deceived etc, or that none of them is bound to follow canon law as a baptised Catholic not having formally defected. This is a religious perspective, Harbs, not some supposed secular alter ego of mine and I'm not having a split identity here. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  19. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Messages:
    6,815
    Media:
    6
    Likes Received:
    335
    I may have been guilty of thinking that you have the same sort of flawed reasoning process as Gnarff. Now that I think I've gotten past that, it sounds to me that you are saying a marriage is sacred only if the intent of the man and woman is to make it sacred. A non-religious courthouse union can still be called a marriage (with a few exceptions you mention in the last quote), even though there is nothing sacred about it, and calling it a marriage doesn't create a "covenant" (as Gnarff likes to call it), implied or otherwise, with god.

    Am I correct in my understanding of your position here?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  20. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
    Latest gem: Star Sapphire


    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    54
    I don't see how a study that also includes measurement of how a certain program affects the use of other contraceptives (other than its primary focus - abstinence) is necessarily biased. And if a program focuses on abstinence, neglecting study of other contraceptives, and there is no net difference in abstinence levels (as the study suggests), then "ineffective" is the right word for it. As for making people responsible adults, that's almost as hard to quantify as it is to do - but unwanted pregnancies and STDs are good indicators.

    Yet if education neglects to mention widely used and usually successful methods, how good is it? One thing the study points out is that in 82% of the cases studied when the kids took a virginity pledge, they subsequently broke it. A program that did not include the study of other methods to avoid unwanted pregnancy/STDs simply does not work for them - and a similar percentage of teenagers who do not take such a pledge. Not only that, but if the effect of the entire pledge is suspect, why not tailor the program to the needs of the 82+% of the kids that are going to have pre-marital sex - and are most in need of sexual education anyway?

    In order for any program to be effective, it should plan for contingencies. IMO even if the people engaging in premarital sex were 20%, they should merit notice and instruction. In the US, and probably other places, the ratio is probably more like 80%, if not higher. That is a very good reason to teach birth control, imo - whatever the focus of the program is.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean. If you want to compare the impact of different programs, you need kids with the same values - because otherwise you can not determine whether the effect was due to the program or previous teaching, family environment, what have you. It's much easier to measure the effect of a variable if the other factors are constant.

    Now, sure, the study is inconclusive, as most studies are. That does not mean it's worthless.

    Using contraceptives - condoms in particular - makes sex a whole lot safer, whether the couple is married or not. Encouraging people to not have premarital sex is ok, but given the percentage that does not wait for marriage, educating them how to make the best of their situation is even more important.

    Education is more than values - it is also skills and knowledge. Especially as, given the percentage of teens in the survey who did not stay true to their pledge, values are likely to change. A good program should prepare for contingencies - and while I do think that a program should mention that the only way to guarantee no STDs is not to have sex, not talking about the alternatives is, to put it mildly, irresponsible. To the best of my knowledge, proper use of condoms can reduce STD risks by over 95%, and pregnancy chances by over 99% - correct me if I'm wrong. Whether that makes them ethically mandatory or not depends on the user - I personally think that if I care enough about a woman to have sex with her, spending 50 cents on a condom is the least I could do.

    Aaaanyway, marriage. We are really talking about two very different sides of the same coin, aren't we? Religion - any religion - treats marriage as a spiritual institution, a connection between the two spouces, usually with the express intent of raising children. Administratively, marriage is a contract which makes two adults in a administrative unit - which children may be a part of, but I think that there is no express expectation.

    IMO both are significant to some degree, but neither of these can make a marriage work - the most important part is the emotional connection the spouces share. If it's lacking, all that marriage is is a set of half-forgotten vows and (usually minor) financial incentives. On the other hand, people may live together without any of the religious or administrative paraphernalia and still be very committed to their relationship and dedicated to each other - I personally know several such cases, and while some of them eventually moved to marriage (which afaik did not change the couples' relationship much), some did not. If we consider love and child-raising to be the two most important aspects of common life, I think marriage today is more of an aid than a necessity for couples.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
Sorcerer's Place is a project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of our time and funds on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!

Sorcerers.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.