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    • Michael Stuart Kelly

      Major Update to OL (please click to open)   02/09/2016

      Sorry for the inconvenience, but we had to update OL and there have been some serious changes made by IPB. The real bad news is that they had to merge User Names and Display Names. This meant that I had to choose between bad and bad. I opted to keep the log-on information the same, so you can get on OL like you always did, but now your User Name is displayed. If your User Name and Display Name were the same, you will not feel the change. If they were different, you are probably irritated right now. I will figure out how you can change this so you can revert to the Display Name you used before if you like, however this may entail a change in how you log-on. The good news is that OL is now searchable from the very beginning. This means all the old posts from the A-Team in Objectivism (and everybody else) will finally show up when you search for something. I will keep changing this announcement as we adapt to these new changes. It's a pain, I know, but after looking around the backend for a bit, I believe the benefits will far, far outweigh the current irritation. They changed things in a hamhanded way and I don't like that, but I can't do anything about it. Benefit-wise, they actually did a good job, so please bear with us. In addition to this change, many good things are coming over time. You are the reason OL exists and I am sorry you have to go through this. Think of it like birth pangs... (All right, all right, that's forcing it.  ) Michael
Michelle

Marriage

47 posts in this topic

Thoughts or feelings on this? Are you married? Going to be married? Want to be married? Don't want to be married?

I don't take to the idea of marriage favorably myself. It seems like a useless formality to me. If you're going to be together for the rest of your lives, why do you need to make a contract to seal the deal? What changes? What's more respectable about roping yourself down to one person on a legal level than just living and sharing life with the other person?

I can see myself being perfectly happy with boyfriends for the rest of my life. Maybe find some nice gay guy who wants company and live with him when I get old enough to not really want sex anymore. It's not been an overwhelming desire for me till this point in my life (21), anyway. All of my adventures in this territory have been motivated more by curiosity than lust, and have just left me wondering what in hell everybody's been making such a goddamn fuss about (amusingly enough, I remember a similar thought occurring to Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead).

Maybe that aspect will improve if I ever actually romantically desire somebody, but I don't see how I'll ever be sold on marriage.

The baffling thing is that, whenever I relate these feelings to older women, they just laugh softly and say: "you'll understand one day."

So, people who are happily married, I ask you: just what is the point of it all?

Edited by Michelle R
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The baffling thing is that, whenever I relate these feelings to older women, they just laugh softly and say: "you'll understand one day."

So, people who are happily married, I ask you: just what is the point of it all?

You will have friend for life and devoted to you, even unto death (and the other way reciprocally). That is if you marry well. A bad mating is another matter. That can be pretty dismal. A good marriage is a place where lust and friendship can flourish. If you are skeptical on this matter, nothing I can say will really convince you. It is one of those things where you just have To Be There. There is one Downside. If one spouse dies before the other. That is a rough ride. I have been married since 1957, and I am not looking forward to that day. I selfishly wish to be the first to go (shame on me!). But that would leave my good wife holding the bag and the grief. That is the one sad bad thing about a life-long relationship. Death ends it.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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The baffling thing is that, whenever I relate these feelings to older women, they just laugh softly and say: "you'll understand one day."

So, people who are happily married, I ask you: just what is the point of it all?

You will have friend for life and devoted to you, even unto death (and the other way reciprocally). That is if you marry well. A bad mating is another matter. That can be pretty dismal. A good marriage is a place where lust and friendship can flourish. If you are skeptical on this matter, nothing I can say will really convince you. It is one of those things where you just have To Be There. There is one Downside. If one spouse dies before the other. That is a rough ride. I have been married since 1957, and I am not looking forward to that day. I selfishly wish to be the first to go (shame on me!). But that would leave my good wife holding the bag and the grief. That is the one sad bad thing about a life-long relationship. Death ends it.

Ba'al Chatzaf

That is the tragedy of all deep human relationships. They're all ended by death.

My point is that there need be nothing functionally different between living together as a married couple and "shacking up."

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My point is that there need be nothing functionally different between living together as a married couple and "shacking up."

You are talking about ceremonial weddings as opposed to marriages (long term mating of humans). I think I get that now. Ceremony is only a rite of passage and a sociable way to have a party. It is right up their along with graduation ceremonies and bar mitzvas. You are quite right. They are not absolutely necessary, but they can be fun (except for the bride, the groom and the bar mitzvah boy).

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Thoughts or feelings on this? Are you married? Going to be married? Want to be married? Don't want to be married?

I don't take to the idea of marriage favorably myself. It seems like a useless formality to me. If you're going to be together for the rest of your lives, why do you need to make a contract to seal the deal? What changes? What's more respectable about roping yourself down to one person on a legal level than just living and sharing life with the other person?

I can see myself being perfectly happy with boyfriends for the rest of my life. Maybe find some nice gay guy who wants company and live with him when I get old enough to not really want sex anymore. It's not been an overwhelming desire for me till this point in my life (21), anyway. All of my adventures in this territory have been motivated more by curiosity than lust, and have just left me wondering what in hell everybody's been making such a goddamn fuss about (amusingly enough, I remember a similar thought occurring to Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead).

Maybe that aspect will improve if I ever actually romantically desire somebody, but I don't see how I'll ever be sold on marriage.

The baffling thing is that, whenever I relate these feelings to older women, they just laugh softly and say: "you'll understand one day."

So, people who are happily married, I ask you: just what is the point of it all?

I'm married. At some times ecstatically, at other times it's difficult. But my wife knows and shares what I was like 10 years ago and in deeply personal ways. So you are continually building this shared world together. At some point the shared context you have is more important to you than anything you could experience outside the marriage. Commitment to building that shared world, protecting it and valuing it highly is what marriage is about.

Jim

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My point is that there need be nothing functionally different between living together as a married couple and "shacking up."

You are talking about ceremonial weddings as opposed to marriages (long term mating of humans). I think I get that now. Ceremony is only a rite of passage and a sociable way to have a party. It is right up their along with graduation ceremonies and bar mitzvas. You are quite right. They are not absolutely necessary, but they can be fun (except for the bride, the groom and the bar mitzvah boy).

Ba'al Chatzaf

No, I'm not speaking of ceremony. I'm speaking of people who seek a government marriage license. Statutory marriage. There need not be a ceremony.

For all intents and purposes, I'm not speaking of common-law marriage.

Although even the thought of one life-long partner is somewhat depressing. I'm not really a romantic, in this regard. The world has far too many opportunities awaiting me to tie myself down to a person.

Edited by Michelle R
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I don't take to the idea of marriage favorably myself. It seems like a useless formality to me. If you're going to be together for the rest of your lives, why do you need to make a contract to seal the deal?

I agree. Marriage is an ancient institution that should have lived out it's usefulness by now. I got married for legal reasons some 29 years ago but with the recognition of common law "marriages" even that is irrelevant now.

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I don't take to the idea of marriage favorably myself. It seems like a useless formality to me. If you're going to be together for the rest of your lives, why do you need to make a contract to seal the deal?

I agree. Marriage is an ancient institution that should have lived out it's usefulness by now. I got married for legal reasons some 29 years ago but with the recognition of common law "marriages" even that is irrelevant now.

You guys are confusing Weddings with Marriages. Marriage is a mating relationship over an extended time period.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I don't take to the idea of marriage favorably myself. It seems like a useless formality to me. If you're going to be together for the rest of your lives, why do you need to make a contract to seal the deal?

I agree. Marriage is an ancient institution that should have lived out it's usefulness by now. I got married for legal reasons some 29 years ago but with the recognition of common law "marriages" even that is irrelevant now.

You guys are confusing Weddings with Marriages. Marriage is a mating relationship over an extended time period.

Ba'al Chatzaf

You can have statutory marriage without a wedding. So, no.

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You guys are confusing Weddings with Marriages. Marriage is a mating relationship over an extended time period.

Actually, I think it is you who is using a non-standard meaning of 'marriage'.

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You guys are confusing Weddings with Marriages. Marriage is a mating relationship over an extended time period.

Actually, I think it is you who is using a non-standard meaning of 'marriage'.

Ted, too. They're using this common-law definition like its the only one applicable to modern marriages.

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Maybe that aspect will improve if I ever actually romantically desire somebody, but I don't see how I'll ever be sold on marriage.

The baffling thing is that, whenever I relate these feelings to older women, they just laugh softly and say: "you'll understand one day."

(*laugh*) Add me to the list of those older women. I'm not a big fan of marriage, but desire comes with serious romantic love. If you've never been in love -- I mean as an adult woman, not teenage crushes -- you've never experienced desire, as opposed to lust. Desire can leave you lying motionless, unable to move because the one you want isn't there. It can make you feel like your bones are melting. It is the most intense thing you will ever experience. It will very likely happen to you. And you will never, ever forget your first love.

Judith

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... you are continually building this shared world together. At some point the shared context you have is more important to you than anything you could experience outside the marriage. Commitment to building that shared world, protecting it and valuing it highly is what marriage is about.

Jim,

I'm not feeling well. This is one more time I agree with you.

Only this time I think you expressed this thought...

er...

beautifully.

(There. I said it.)

I've gotta go lay down for a bit...

Michael

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... you are continually building this shared world together. At some point the shared context you have is more important to you than anything you could experience outside the marriage. Commitment to building that shared world, protecting it and valuing it highly is what marriage is about.

Jim,

I'm not feeling well. This is one more time I agree with you.

Only this time I think you expressed this thought...

er...

beautifully.

(There. I said it.)

I've gotta go lay down for a bit...

Michael

LOL!!!!

If you can't get to an acupuncturist......

take two thumb tacks and call me in the morning.

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I don't take to the idea of marriage favorably myself. It seems like a useless formality to me. If you're going to be together for the rest of your lives, why do you need to make a contract to seal the deal? What changes? What's more respectable about roping yourself down to one person on a legal level than just living and sharing life with the other person?

Answer this: why celebrate a child's birthday? Why shake hands when you meet people? Why have New Year's, and Christmas, and July Fourth? Why hold doors for strangers? Why wave goodbye? These are all "pointless" formalities.

Ceremony is like art, it concretizes our values. It is part of what makes us not dumb animals nor soulless robots but happy humans.

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[...]

Answer this: why celebrate a child's birthday? Why shake hands when you meet people? Why have New Year's, and Christmas, and July Fourth? Why hold doors for strangers? Why wave goodbye? These are all "pointless" formalities.

Ceremony is like art, it concretizes our values. It is part of what makes us not dumb animals nor soulless robots but happy humans.

Nice thought, Ted. How would you define "ceremony"? While it cannot be a species of "artwork," it seems to have some CCD as you suggested.

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[...]

Answer this: why celebrate a child's birthday? Why shake hands when you meet people? Why have New Year's, and Christmas, and July Fourth? Why hold doors for strangers? Why wave goodbye? These are all "pointless" formalities.

Ceremony is like art, it concretizes our values. It is part of what makes us not dumb animals nor soulless robots but happy humans.

Nice thought, Ted. How would you define "ceremony"? While it cannot be a species of "artwork," it seems to have some CCD as you suggested.

That's a paraphrase of my best-man speech at my sister's wedding. She married a best freind of mine from high school, and an Objectivist I converted. The DJ/MC said it was the best speech he'd ever heard in his ten years of the job.

I suppose a ceremony would be a formalized gesture (speech or action) to mark an occasion? That's off the top of my head.

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I suppose a ceremony would be a formalized gesture (speech or action) to mark an occasion? That's off the top of my head.

When two Objectivists wed (Judge Naragannset presiding) do they exchange gold?

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Answer this: why celebrate a child's birthday? Why shake hands when you meet people? Why have New Year's, and Christmas, and July Fourth? Why hold doors for strangers? Why wave goodbye? These are all "pointless" formalities.

Ceremony is like art, it concretizes our values. It is part of what makes us not dumb animals nor soulless robots but happy humans.

Yup. Humans are social animals and often sociable. We sometimes enjoy each others company and mark special occasions. We are social animals, not herd animals nor hive animals. From many individual humans one community of humans (hopefully) serving the needs of each individual member.

As long as we are around there will be graduations, weddings, funerals and bar-mitzvahs.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Yup. Humans are social animals and often sociable. We sometimes enjoy each others company and mark special occasions. We are social animals, not herd animals nor hive animals. From many individual humans one community of humans (hopefully) serving the needs of each individual member.

As long as we are around there will be graduations, weddings, funerals and bar-mitzvahs.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Hey, I have no problem with having a party, :cheer: but it should be after they have been married for 20 years not just because they "got married". It's easy to get married - not so easy to make it work. :D

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Answer this: why celebrate a child's birthday? Why shake hands when you meet people? Why have New Year's, and Christmas, and July Fourth? Why hold doors for strangers? Why wave goodbye? These are all "pointless" formalities.

Ceremony is like art, it concretizes our values. It is part of what makes us not dumb animals nor soulless robots but happy humans.

Yup. Humans are social animals and often sociable. We sometimes enjoy each others company and mark special occasions. We are social animals, not herd animals nor hive animals. From many individual humans one community of humans (hopefully) serving the needs of each individual member.

As long as we are around there will be graduations, weddings, funerals and bar-mitzvahs.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Yes, we are pack animals, like chimps, wolves, and elephants. We have personal relationships based on mutual support.

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Although even the thought of one life-long partner is somewhat depressing. I'm not really a romantic, in this regard. The world has far too many opportunities awaiting me to tie myself down to a person.

I think your comment reveals the reason that you're having a hard time understanding the purpose of marriage. Right now, you haven't found anyone that you think is particularly special. But, imagine that you did. Imagine that you found someone that was so handsome, intelligent, virtuous, admirable, etc., that you didn't want to lose that person. Imagine that you were concerned that that person might simply disappear one day. You might ask him what his intentions were. But what if he hadn't given it much thought? What if he told you point blank that he might just leave some day or sleep with someone else if he got a chance?

If the other person really had all the virtues I listed and more, it is likely that you would experience a deep sense of loss if he suddenly disappeared. And that feeling would be justified because the loss would be real. If he really did have a great many desirable characteristics, then your association with him would benefit your life and losing him would be a loss of those benefits. And, if you had grown to rely upon the benefits of your association with him, you might even be worse off than you were before you met him, at least for a while, during a period of recovery. Those benefits may not be financial, by the way. They may be many things including all the benefits associated with close friendship (which I won't list here because I could on for a long time). And if you lost the benefits, you would not be just losing the immediate benefits, but all of the future, potential benefits of your association.

If you didn't want to lose someone, you might seek some reassurance from him that he wouldn't leave you. You might seek some commitment from him. You might even seek some commitment before becoming too deeply involved so that you would know whether you could rely on him in the future or not.

But, if you were to seek reassurance or commitment from a man, he might seek the same thing from you. Of course, you could decide to only commit for a limited amount of time, but given the timeless values associated with love and friendship (as opposed to a work contract, for example) it generally makes sense to form an open-ended commitment --- a lifetime, commitment.

Marriage is a way of formalizing a commitment to someone that you care deeply about. By stating your intentions clearly and at length in a ceremony, you make it clear to the other person that you are serious. The ceremony also makes your intentions clear. Simply mumbling some words about loving the other person doesn't necessarily imply a commitment to act in a certain way.

Having a public ceremony also has its purposes. Although you could take your vows in private, there is a tendency to not be serious when no one is watching you. It is a rare individual who can repeat an extended vow in private without cracking up, at least at a young age. Making the vows in public makes the occasion more serious.

Having a public ceremony also lets others know what your intentions are. If the guy you are dating is really that great, he may have other women that are interested in him. You may have other guys that are interested in you. By having a public ceremony, you are telling those people that you have decided to commit to the person that you are marrying and you are now off limits.

A public ceremony in front of people who share your values is also a way of reaffirming your values. The other people may be people that have been important in your life, like your parents --- people that have taught you or influenced you or have been valuable to you. And, with the reaffirmation of your values comes the shared emotional experience of happiness --- the non-contradictory joy that you feel when you achieve your values. They will be happy to see that you have achieved your values because your values are integral to their values --- you are valuable to them so your success is their success and happiness as well.

You are young. Good luck finding a man that you want to marry, a man that is worthy of marriage. When you find that man, you will understand the need for a wedding ceremony.

Darrell

Edited by Darrell Hougen
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Yes, we are pack animals, like chimps, wolves, and elephants. We have personal relationships based on mutual support.

I don't think "pack animal" is quite right. Members of mobs become pack animals. Rational folk who participate in the functioning of their communities have found a way or reconciling their individual personal agendas with the perceived needs of the community.

That is why I do recording for blind and dyslexic folk. I have a very personal interest. Someday, I (who am a voracious reader) may become blind. I do not want to be ashamed to ask for the help I would need in that circumstance, so I have paid forward for the service (in a manner of speaking). I have joined the trading principle to a community need. Beside which I record technical books which require knowledge of the material, experience and a lot of mental focus to do the job right. I have a very strong reason for doing the task --- it is needed and it isn't easy to do. Not everyone is capable. I am.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Yes, we are pack animals, like chimps, wolves, and elephants. We have personal relationships based on mutual support.

I don't think "pack animal" is quite right. Members of mobs become pack animals. Rational folk who participate in the functioning of their communities have found a way or reconciling their individual personal agendas with the perceived needs of the community.

That is why I do recording for blind and dyslexic folk. I have a very personal interest. Someday, I (who am a voracious reader) may become blind. I do not want to be ashamed to ask for the help I would need in that circumstance, so I have paid forward for the service (in a manner of speaking). I have joined the trading principle to a community need. Beside which I record technical books which require knowledge of the material, experience and a lot of mental focus to do the job right. I have a very strong reason for doing the task --- it is needed and it isn't easy to do. Not everyone is capable. I am.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Yes, we are pack animals. Not hive animals, not herd animals, not solitary animals, but pack animals.

Would you describe the Elephant herd (it is not a true herd, that's just the name) as a mob? Don't assume that by describing us as pack animals I am doing what Rand would be doing if she described people as animals.

An animal pack is a polis. It consists of some 30 individuals living in discrete, negotiated, mutual relationships with each other. It engages in intentional coordinated cooperative activity like hunting. It excludes warlike young males, and will band together to defend a terrirtory, and will expel a tyrannical leader given half a chance. Crows, Harris's Hawks, Horses, Chimps, Elephants, Wolves, Dolphins and Man form such packs. Such pack animals are different from animals like bears that live solitary lives, or fish schools, bird flocks, and wildebeest herds where there is no structure, authority or mutuality, just a gathering of numbers. A human mob is a herd, not a pack. The animal pack is the origin of the state.

Of course man is flexible and rational. We do form larger societies, and we seek legitimacy in our rule and the exclusion of force. But look at Eskimos, tropical natives, and so forth. That is our history, bands of hunter-gatherers with a tribe structure the same as an animal pack. This is the reason we took to domesticating dogs and horses so well. Their social structure matches our basic social structure.

Humans are rational animals.

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Penn. Dutch, Quaker several communes I personally know of, the wagon trains that headed West. Yep. The origins of the state.

"That is our history, bands of hunter-gatherers with a tribe structure the same as an animal pack. This is the reason we took to domesticating dogs and horses so well. Their social structure matches our basic social structure."

Well put Ted.

Adam

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