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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.

I've attended a wedding at which the bride and groom both cracked up continually during the most solemn vows. This wedding was quite a formal affair, in a church. I was really disgusted by it. I can't imagine cracking up either in public or in private during such an event.

Judith

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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.

I've attended a wedding at which the bride and groom both cracked up continually during the most solemn vows. This wedding was quite a formal affair, in a church. I was really disgusted by it. I can't imagine cracking up either in public or in private during such an event.

Well, things don't always satisfy the purposes for which they were devised. (For the record, I can't imagine cracking up either.)

Darrell

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

...

Humans are rational animals.

Come on Ted, this is a gross distortion. We are not pack animals. We are rational animals. No pack animal is rational. We are a unique kind of animal. We may share many characteristics with pack animals, but to call us pack animals underestimates our ability for independent action, underestimates our ability for group action and creates a lot of other distortions. Of course, we're not hive animals, herd animals, or solitary animals either, but we don't have to fit into any of the classifications that apply to other animals.

Darrell

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

...

Humans are rational animals.

Come on Ted, this is a gross distortion. We are not pack animals. We are rational animals. No pack animal is rational. We are a unique kind of animal. We may share many characteristics with pack animals, but to call us pack animals underestimates our ability for independent action, underestimates our ability for group action and creates a lot of other distortions. Of course, we're not hive animals, herd animals, or solitary animals either, but we don't have to fit into any of the classifications that apply to other animals.

Darrell

I didn't call us mere pack animals. I didn't equate the concepts "human" and "pack animal." I said we are flexible and rational and can form other types of societies. Would you object if I made the perfectly valid claim that we are apes? You are free to drop context and object all you like. Have fun with that.

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Ted: "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."

Well said, Ted. I agree. And further, the marriage ceremony is a way of making a public announcement of our commitment, so that the commitment is not just in our heads, but in the world.

Barbara

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A Postscript to my comment:

One of the values of marriage is that it is a contract -- that it, it formalizes agreements about inheritance, care-giving, etc.

Barbara

Barbara,

I wonder if you would be willing to add to the list of formalities the writing of a Constitution with enumerated powers not to be exceeded and a Bill of Prohibitions to indicate that the government created by the people shall not legislate in violation of the expressed and unexpressed rights of the individual citizens, nor of the states over which it exercises certain limited control?

www.campaignforliberty.com 2 Jun 5AM 155,656 as those who value that formality and see how it has been scorned and trampled upon rise up to enlighten their fellow countrymen and to ultimately put aright what has been ignored and dishonored.

2 Jun 5AM 155,656, 5PM 155,809, 9PM 155,862; 3 Jun 5AM 155,914

gulch

Edited by galtgulch
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Anyone else have a flash back to the marriage seen in Princess Bride?

"Wuv, twoo wuv..."

I don't think marriage is for everyone. For me, it works. I have been married for 10 years. I have always wanted to be married at some point, I just had that a positive view of marriage growing up. However, it has took me a few years of being married to realize that while it can be GREAT for those that have met their true "soulmate" I can really understand why it may not be for all.

Personally, I like the legal commitment. I trust my husband 100%, and have no doubts he will be faithful to me, and fulfill his obligations (like helping to raise the minions, for example). He's a great guy - our marriage is not perfect - but I think he has helped bring out the best in me, and I hope I have him.

However if the husband would ever stray- and I think it is more likely that Leonard Peikoff would convert to Mormonism than him cheating on me- say hook up with a 20 year old big busted blonde chick and leave me, well, I most likely would not be above hiring a very aggressive lawyer and making sure that he has to pay me so much alimony and child support that he would be living in a tent, and have to go to the library for internet access. Legal commitment can help you get "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" justice.

Seriously though, to me it shows the individuals are making not just a commitment of their heart, but putting their money where their mouth is, in a way. Again, this may not be necessary for everyone, but I like the legal commitment. Maybe because it is tradition, but I prefer it. However, if I were to outlive my husband, I am not sure I would feel the need to get married again - sure, boyfriends and all that - or maybe even toy boys haha - but the way I see it now, our marriage has been pretty satisfying and I don't think I would want to make that complete commitment to anyone else. It just wouldn't be the same.

Maybe you will change your mind if you meet someone that you connect with as much as my husband and I do with each other. But maybe not. I don't think marriage is necessary to be happy, but I have found it a great thing in my life.

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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

Thanks for your insightful reply, Darrell. Although I don't know that I would want to marry a person if they might otherwise take off. I have too much respect for myself and for others to tie anyone down. A man as great as you describe might be better kept at a distance, anyhow. Like a majestic animal. Or a beautiful waterfall. Something you, on occasion, come to look at for inspiration, but keep at a respectful distance.

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A Postscript to my comment:

One of the values of marriage is that it is a contract -- that it, it formalizes agreements about inheritance, care-giving, etc.

Barbara

That's true.

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Barbara, Michelle and Sherry:

Contract marriage is an excellent solution. I recommend and prepare ante nuptials or "pre-nups" and use the same formats for Ted's common law arrangements, domestic partnerships where they legally exist and civil unions where they legally exist. All of the previous human arrangements are reducible to "a writing" as common law states which is a binding contract subject to the rules of contract.

A meeting of the minds, an exchange of value, a written or oral understanding, etc.

It works and it alleviates issues of custody of children, distribution of assets and it keeps families out of the hands of the predatorial matrimonial bar who, as Rich has mentioned about others, should be shot on sight.

Adam

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One of the values of marriage is that it is a contract -- that it, it formalizes agreements about inheritance, care-giving, etc.

It gets it straight in your mind.

Part of the "consideration" is the fact that the power of two can exceed the power of two, in these cases. Check the math, you'll see I am right.

I've been married twice. The first one was twenty years all total (we were together solidly for six first), the second, ten.

I've had a few years in the wild to consider it again.

And I did. It was formalized day-before-yesterday. And I do mean we formalized it, in real words, to one another. We didn't have to. That's the key--wanted to, didn't feel like we had to.

So I guess that means I think it is good. :)

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One of the values of marriage is that it is a contract -- that it, it formalizes agreements about inheritance, care-giving, etc.

It gets it straight in your mind.

Part of the "consideration" is the fact that the power of two can exceed the power of two, in these cases. Check the math, you'll see I am right.

I've been married twice. The first one was twenty years all total (we were together solidly for six first), the second, ten.

I've had a few years in the wild to consider it again.

And I did. It was formalized day-before-yesterday. And I do mean we formalized it, in real words, to one another. We didn't have to. That's the key--wanted to, didn't feel like we had to.

So I guess that means I think it is good. :)

Good luck to you on this attempt.

For me, once was quite enough. I checked out marriages in both my blood family and my wife's. For some strange reason, not a single divorce or desertion. All marriages were terminated by The Grim Reaper. In some cases widows and widowers remarried. Semper Fidelis.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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For me, once was quite enough. I checked out marriages in both my blood family and my wife's. For some strange reason, not a single divorce or desertion. All marriages were terminated by The Grim Reaper. In some cases widows and widowers remarried. Semper Fidelis.

Of myself, my sibs and my cousins their are 17 of us in my generation. Four of us (one deceased at 20) have never marrried. One of those four bore a child by sperm donation. Of the remaining 13, there is only one divorce and one on-and-off separation. No divorced aunts, uncles, or grandparents. I think the example set by my grandparents was important.

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  • 1 year later...
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

I know how you feel. I too wished to be the first to go, but I lost my husband at age 58 (his age, I was 52). I can tell you that in my case you are wrong. Death does not end it. He is still with me, encouraging me to be happy, shaking his read ruefully over the faults he lived with for nearly 26 years. He is part of me, the best part.I hope it will be so for your wife, or for you, when the first worst grief is over.

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Thank you, each one.

On the painful thing to face that was mentioned by Bob, I wanted to add my voice to Carol's. My experience was along the lines of hers. My first life partner (of 22 years) died in 1990 when we were both 41. I found we could not be separated.

.

Edited by Stephen Boydstun
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  • 2 months later...

Would a pre-nup type of *contract* suffice as Adam suggests for marriage or would more substance be required as most females maintain? I would guess that the personal desire portion of a relationship is 90 percent of the concept but 10 percent is the legal. Ceremony is important as Ted and Barbara attest.

I think I would prefer a State’s Legislature’s involvement in laws but I do think at some point the Supreme Court will hear a case about equal protection under the law.

In the interim, a Tea Party Candidate could say:

I support equal rights and protection under the law. Whether that equal protection is called “marriage” is not legally important, though it may matter tremendously to the couple. A percent of the three percent of the voting gay population could swing an election.

Hospital Rights dramatizes this issue in a way that a person who opposes “gay marriage” for moral reasons can empathize. Who can make decisions for you if you are incapacitated? Who can come into your recovery room after an operation when visitors are limited?

If an ill person wants the caregiver to be the person with whom they are in a committed relationship, then their partner should be the one first allowed in. This can even affect people who are straight. A woman may be in the hospital and she wants her boyfriend to come into her recovery room after her operation. However, her family only allows “family” in, not the person who takes care of her.

A great deal of this inequality is also about paying taxes. A married couple gets some tax breaks that a single person doesn't. So, a fair system of taxation would remedy much of this.

Another problem could be that gay marriage would amount to an after the fact rewriting of wills, trusts, contracts, insurance policies, employee benefits policies and the like. People made these agreements in good faith, and abrogating them is a serious and questionable move. The Tea Party comeback to this may be that the same that goes for the abolition of slavery. Presumably, after the Civil War wills and pending deals went up in smoke. People lost assets overnight, heirs like the fictional Scarlet Ohara, were left high and dry - yet nobody says this was a sufficient reason to keep slavery legal.

You could patch this up with legislation to the effect that: if an employee came to work, a will was signed, etc., before the marriage legislation took effect, the old rules apply, but from now on, these marriages/unions, are as good as any others.

I hope Tea Party candidates will take the Constitutionally correct stance that “Equal Protection Under the Law” is necessary, but legally a gay union could be called a “civil union” or anything else that differentiates it from the traditional definition of “marriage.”

Married and faithful to the same woman for 33 years,

Peter Taylor

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