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The case against polygamy

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by Percivale, Jun 18, 2021.

  1. Percivale

    Percivale Sam Supporter

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    My last post made it clear that people have a strong visceral reaction against polygamy, but some need some help fleshing out a logical argument against it. I'll see what I can do.
    The first mention of polygamy in the Bible is in Genesis where Lamech, one of Cain's descendants took two wives, Adah and Zillah. He bragged about killing someone for hurting him, not exactly someone we want to imitate. Bible scholars have this law of first mention, where the first mention of something is the most significant.
    When asked about divorce, Jesus quoted "he made the male and female" and "the two shall become one flesh." It seems he treated this as the formula for what marriage should be: one man and one woman for life.
    Polyamorous relationships have a very high rate of breakup, which is not good for anyone, and more traditional polygamy is generally held together by an authoritarian structure.
    I just learned it is illegal too. I can't help finding that funny though; I picture a policeman hearing that his married neighbor has a girlfriend and he thinks, okay not my problem, but then he hears that the guy's wife knows about it and none of them are breaking up and so now all a sudden he shows up at the door with an arrest warrant. I knew it was in illegal back in the 1800s, I was recently listening to a GK Chesterton book, 'what I saw in America' that mentions how visas at the time asked applicants if they're polygamist. To the one who posted the GK Chesterton quote on my last thread, thank you, it's a good reminder and I love Chesterton's style.
     
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  2. Desk trauma

    Desk trauma Atheist Capitalist Supporter

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    Post Lawrence Vs. Texas laws prohibiting voluntary polygamy are more or less dead. Even Utah dialed their laws way back after they were challenged in court and I doubt the misdemeanor status would stick if someone took the time to challenge the new fines in court.
     
  3. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    Because-God-says-so is not really a logical argument. Its more an appeal to faith.

    And "its illegal" doesnt really help either, as laws should follow morality, not the other way round.

    A logical argument might go something like: polygamy is bad because it has X Y and Z effects on people which make life miserable.
     
  4. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    Because that's not polygamy, that's just adultery. Laws against adultery may still be on the books in places in the US, but I haven't heard of them being enforced.
     
  5. samiam

    samiam Member

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    My personal argument against polygamy is that it makes relationships complicated.

    Let’s take a relationship with two people. There is only one “link” in the relationship; there’s a single line between the two people that make up the couple. Simple.

    Now, let’s that a three-way polyamorous relationship: It’s a triangle with three links. Each of the three people in the relationship has a connection to two other people, totaling three links. The relationship is now three times as complicated as the simple two-way couple relationship.

    With four people, we have six connections.

    Things quickly become very complicated. The more complicated a relationship is, the more unstable it is.

    This is why I consider the only appropriate intimate relationship for my self to be a lifetime monogamous bond between me and one woman. (I support gay rights, but for me to be in a gay relationship would deny my attraction to women)

    I also do not partake in porn (unless it’s a friend I know in real life sharing her erotic artwork with me) and do my best to not lust nor objectify women.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------​

    Now, in terms of “this is so immoral we should make it illegal” and “this goes against my own morality”, those are completely different things. I’m not against legalizing marijuana (but have concerns about marijuana dispensaries being near children, and the kinds of people those dispensaries attract), I’m all for gay marriage, I don’t think porn should be censored, I think women are legally OK using racy photos on Instagram to validate themselves, etc.

    In terms of legalizing polyamorous marriage, there are thorny issues like we need to codify, such as the default behavior when one of the people in the union dies, not to mention other corner cases not accounted for when we wrote the laws assuming a marriage would be between two people.
     
  6. Kylie

    Kylie Defeater of Illogic

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    Have you seen the divorce rate of monogamous marriages?

    It's a sad thing when people view cheating in relationships as more acceptable than an honest and open polyamorous relationship.
     
  7. Kylie

    Kylie Defeater of Illogic

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    That's assuming that it's all the people living together as basically a monogamous relationship, just with more people.

    I was once in a polyamorous relationship for a short time, it was with a woman who also had another girlfriend. Me and my metamour didn't really have much to do with each other, and my girlfriend lived with her partner.

    So I suspect you are using a flawed idea of what a polyamorous relationship looks like. You could have A and B as a couple, and C and D as another couple, and B and D also get together one night a week. That's very different from your scenario.
     
  8. samiam

    samiam Member

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    The polyamory / polyfiedelity distinction is actually a quite recent one. What you’re describing isn’t what I would call “polyamory”—it’s what I would call an “open relationship” or a “swinger couple”.

    My issue with open relationships is that they are unstable—infidelity, whether it’s allowed or not (and, in a lot of cases, one person in the relationship wants things to be open while the other person would prefer to keep the relationship monogamous), makes a relationship more unstable. For people without children, an unstable relationship may be fine (as long as people are willing to endure heartbreak), but once children are involved, it can cause a lot of emotional injury to young innocent people.

    Again, this is my personal morality. “Open relationships” are not a legal issue (as long as consent is established); the mistress (or “mister” if you will) just has no legal rights with regards to the relationship (except, in some states, adultery can favor the person who was cheated on).
     
  9. Kylie

    Kylie Defeater of Illogic

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    I know a lot (and I mean a lot) of polyamorous people who would disagree with you when you say you wouldn't call it polyamory.
     
  10. Percivale

    Percivale Sam Supporter

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    If I understand it correctly, polyamory has to include a romantic relationship, not just sex, but it doesn't have to involve all living under one roof or having a relationship with everyone that has one with one's partner.

    Romans 7:3, along with I Corinthians 7:39, prohibit polyandry, and the New testament does not appear to have a double standard on marital morality, since the divorce rules applied both ways and elders had to have only one wife. That's one area where it's stricter than the Old Testament which approved of polygamy, for example in II Chronicles 24:2-3.
    Of course that's only decisive for conservative Christians. For those who feel that "love is love" is a good reason to support gay marriage, the same principle would apply to polyamory, though the added complexity of relationships with more than one person is still a reason for caution.
     
  11. samiam

    samiam Member

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    In my case, it’s not a case of “love is love”: My personal morality (read: My interpretation of sacred scripture and discernment of God’s will for me) is that I can not be in a gay relationship, because that is an unnatural desire for me. One man, one woman, for life. Nothing else is allowed for my own personal conduct in my belief system. For the record, those are the only terms under which I have ever had sexual intercourse, and I have said no to multiple beautiful women because of my morality.

    My personal morality also forbids me from judging or condemning gay people in any way, shape, or form. Since I am not gay, I have no business judging what gay people are doing. I am personally believe that maybe God made them that way, but understand others feel differently.

    One issue a lot of conservative Christianity has is that it has often times forgotten Matthew 7:1-5. Since before the Internet, I have seen entire ministries and these days websites devote their entire ministry to “why these people of act or believe differently than us are wrong”. I’m not a Muslim, so I can not say they are wrong; to do so is a lack of respect for their faith and belief. I am not a Mormon, so I can not say they are wrong; again I need to respect their belief system. I am not a gay, and so on.

    Jesus did not die on the cross so I can go around with an attitude of “I am right and you are wrong”. Jesus died on the cross so that I can come to God and have an attitude of love and humility towards all (Matthew 23:12, Luke 14:11, Luke 18:14).
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2021
  12. J_B_

    J_B_ Well-Known Member

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    Agreed on all 3 statements. I will note with respect to the first that there isn't a good Biblical argument against polygamy. When God dealt with Abraham on the matter, it was more an approach of, "I'll let you try it and see what a mess it creates."

    With respect to logic, I doubt there's a good argument there either. For me it's anecdotal and all based on experience. I love my wife, but after being married for 31 years, I can't image having two of them. I couldn't handle it. I doubt I would get married again even if I found myself single.
     
  13. stevil

    stevil Godless and without morals

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    Sorry but to me this sounds like nonsense.

    Who knows what he was thinking. The phrase above didn't mention marriage at all

    Most people have many, many relationships before they get married. Which means they have many breakups.

    Really? That's not how it works. With most countries you cannot be married to two people, but there is no law about having multiple partners or cheating or what not.

    I thought you were going to make an argument about why polygamy should be illegal? About why the government should interfere in the lives of consenting adults.
    so far you have said it leads to a higher rate of breakups. That doesn't seem to me to be compelling to have a law against it.
     
  14. Tinker Grey

    Tinker Grey Wanderer Supporter

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    I agree. However, I'm OK with the Gov't not recognizing those relationships. As it stands, the Gov't makes laws regarding taxes and courts deal with divorces. Both functions are made more complex if a poly-marriage were recognized. That is to say, I don't think the Gov't has a compelling interest to deal with this.
     
  15. cow451

    cow451 The Most Interesting Poster in the Forum Supporter

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    Nearly all aspects of marriage are dealt with through civil litigation, not criminal statutes.
     
  16. Tinker Grey

    Tinker Grey Wanderer Supporter

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    True. My point is I'd find it reasonable if the Govt wouldn't care to get involved.
     
  17. cow451

    cow451 The Most Interesting Poster in the Forum Supporter

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    But... fees....the fees......
     
  18. Tinker Grey

    Tinker Grey Wanderer Supporter

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    Um...fair point.
     
  19. cow451

    cow451 The Most Interesting Poster in the Forum Supporter

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    If gubment could figure out a fee for living in sin .....
     
  20. EmethAlethia

    EmethAlethia Newbie

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    First, it's nice that everyone in the world has opinions and beliefs. Everyone in the world from Atheists to Moslems, to Roman Catholics, Baptists ... all know that their beliefs are "fact" that they love truth and believe the truth. Just ask them. One of the signs of being lost is that we teach as doctrines the precepts of men, and that we nullify the commandments of God to hold fast to our traditions. We all know that those who hold fast to beliefs that don't align with ours are holding fast to lies as truth and truth to be lies. Isn't it amazing. How does this happen? Easy. God designed it that way. Paul taught that this standard was going to be fully applicable in the end times, and that those he was writing to passed the same test that those that love their beliefs fail.

    2Th 2:10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

    Specific illustrations of this would be the lost who no longer choose to believe in God or retain Him in their knowledge (Rom. 1:18-32), The religious non-Christian lost who go to scripture to justify their beliefs and the correctness of their own doctrines and living (Rom. 10:1-3) and the lost who believe that Jesus is their Lord, God and Savior with all their heart, mind, soul and strength and "do" what they believe with all their heart, but have missed the truth in Mat. 7, with the primary characteristic that proves they fall short being their failure to interpret the first part of Mat. 7 correctly.

    But here's the thing. What does every person who loves their beliefs have?

    1.) Massive amounts of data to prove their beliefs true.

    2.) Huge stacks of information they know proves every other position false.

    3.) How do they interpret everything? Well their beliefs are fact. All correct interpretations of all valid data must align with their beliefs, right?

    4.) But what about the things that seem to contradict? Well they are explained away, rationalized, obviously interpreted wrong, are invalid, or we simply ignore them.

    5.) Don't forget the signs, wonders, spiritual gifts, burning in the bosom ... Remember the lost people who believe Jesus is their Lord who Christ says He never knew at the end of Mat. 7? They have all the exact same things as the true Christians of their day. Everyone gets what they want to believe what they want if they do not receive a love of the truth so as to be saved.

    AND ALL THE LOST, DO ALL THESE EXACT SAME THINGS TO HOLD FAST TO "WHAT THEY WANT TO BELIEVE" "AS" TRUTH.

    I call this “Methodology One”, the Methodology of belief groups as they all do it.

    So, what do you want? Do you want to hold fast to your opinions, church traditions and beliefs “as” truth, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men, nullifying what God really did say and mean, or do you want truth?

    If you use the Methodology above, the answer is, You are proving your beliefs true and all opposing beliefs false and closing your eyes and ears lest you see and hear the truth. You don't want truth.

    That which you love least is always forced to conform to what you love most. Everyone either loves their beliefs or loves the truth, and your Methodology proves what you love.

    So what do you do if you want the truth on this issue, or any issue?

    1.) Rule #1: Avoid “Methodology One”: Proving your beliefs true and holding fast to them, is not the same as, “Proving all things over and over again as a habit and way of life, and holding fast to what is good/true.”

    2.) Open-mindedness: All belief groups believe in being open minded … “until” you accept their beliefs. Then they believe in being as closed as possible. If you love truth, you will continually remain open-minded to altering any or all of your beliefs in the light of the fullness of the truth, when everything that “might” pertain to the topic at hand is rightly divided.

    3.) Habitual ongoing Labor/ Getting Every Piece of Data that Might Pertain: If you Love Truth, you, personally, must become a manual laborer and keep on gathering every fact anyone thinks might pertain to every topic at hand. Then gather all the data that “might pertain” no belief group gathers because they can’t use that information to prove their beliefs true or opposing beliefs false. Yes, that’s every piece of data that proves all your current beliefs false that the opponents to your beliefs have gathered, and every fact that might prove beliefs you believe to be wrong to be truth on that topic as well.

    Example in case. Are you aware that God the Father ibn the bible twice says that He took more than one woman as a wife? Don’t believe me, if you want the truth search them out. Did God the Father not know that His own Son was going to contradict that practice in the New Testament? Of course that assumes Jesus really did contradict the practice.

    4.) Consistency with Background Context: Pick a meaning that fully aligns with the historical, legal, architectural, agricultural … context.

    5.) Consistency of Meaning of words/root words/figures of speech: Hold to a meaning for all words, root words, and figures of speech consistent with their usage throughout the Old and New Testament. We have a Greek Old and New Testament and a Hebrew Old Testament, pick a meaning fully fitting everywhere the same word, root word, and figure of speech is used.

    Take the discussion on polygamy being adultery, for example. Look at all the places where someone was accused of committing adultery in the Old Testament, and all the places where the definition is given. What were the circumstances. David committed adultery, right? When? How many wives did he have at the time? How many more wives did he take afterwards? Did he commit adultery then as well?

    6.) Consistency with the Surrounding Discussion: Hold to a meaning consistent with the entire discussion surrounding the verse or passage being considered, hold to the flow of thought, flow of arguments, meaning of points made …

    For example, take the discussion this is a part of:

    Mat 19:4 And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,5 and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'?

    Is the context a discussion on what a lawful marriage is or is the context a discussion on whether or not we can divorce the women we are married to at any time for any reason? The context is when can we divorce, a lawful marriage, using the passages listed prior in the O.T. is any woman you have had sex with. Thus, David was married at least 18 times, possibly as high as 28, with one case of adultery. Solomon had sex with a thousand wives and concubines with no cases of adultery. God the Father had multiple wives and they committed adultery against Him. He did not commit adultery…

    7.) Consistency with conscience: Example: If your interpretation would be a sin if a man did likewise and your interpretation results in believing God does what would be sin for us, your interpretation is wrong. i.e., there are no illustrations in the Bible where God says He commits adultery. If your chosen meaning for the word adultery would make God an adulterer, and by His own admission, you picked the wrong meaning for the word. In other words, if you hold to polygamy as adultery you accuse God Himself of adultery.

    8.) God, God’s People and God’s Word are 100% consistent: Pick an interpretation for all the data that makes God, God’s people and God’s word 100% consistent in “all” they say and do and “all” they don’t say and don’t do. Any inconsistencies, are proof of incorrect beliefs/definitions.

    God says that David’s only sins were those related to Uriah the Hittite (He took his wife and got him killed.) even the numbering of the people was not a sin as that commandment was for the people to pay the tax for being numbered. THEY did not pay it. THEY did not know they were supposed to because THEY didn’t know the law or chose not to pay. Yes, David “felt” guilty, but he did not violate God’s commandments in that case. Remember, any inconsistencies in what is said and done, or not said, and not done are a result of our incorrect beliefs. How many times does the bible say Solomon committed adultery? Answer: Never. Solomon was reproved for his wives, but not the number of them. He was reproved by God for taking foreign wives. Now, figure out why Solomon did not violate God’s commands for “kings” not to heap to himself wives, horses or gold. Solomon had “Heaps” of all of them. Hint: Solomon did a great sacrifice and received a vision from God.

    9.) Always apply logic, reason, and rational thinking: Pick an interpretation fully fitting with all logic, reason, and rational thinking. (i.e., if the writer spent a whole chapter saying all gifts are equal and necessary, that none are greater than any others, … do not choose an interpretation for the very next verse that would command us to desire what God spent the previous 30 verses saying doesn’t exist, and that you can’t get, period, regardless of your desire. “Earnestly desire the greater gifts”, contradicts everything prior. Look for the “other” possible meaning. Note: There is one.

    The passage where Jesus is said to have stated that the only lawful marriage model is the marriage of one man and one woman, for example. Understand that, in the audience, there may have been dozens of people with polygamous relationships in their past. Jesus being descended from both David and Solomon, for example. Here’s the problem.

    1.) Someone in the audience says to himself, “My dad had two wives, my mom was his first wife, but his second wife was the one to give birth to a son, my half-brother, first, and he gets the inheritance, and all the benefits and I did not. If only the first marriage is legal, don’t I get to kick my brother and my brother’s mother out and take the inheritance?

    2.) Is Jesus capable of being King? Was Solomon a lawful king? Sorry, if only the first marriage was ever approved by God, neither one was/is a lawful king. Sorry, not from the first wife?

    3.) This is a discussion on lawful divorce. As such, if Jesus meant that only the first wife is approved by God, is Jesus stating that all other wives can be kicked to the curb even without divorce proceedings? What about the kids? Do they have to kick them to the curb as well?

    4.) From the perspective of a second or third wife in the audience, what is your response to Jesus if this is what Jesus said and meant?

    5.) Where are all the discussions that “Should” have been voiced out loud in this society where polygamy was practiced by most of the patriarchs including Jacob, Moses, Gideon, David, Solomon … where is the confusion, the questioning … it didn’t happen. What was the response of the audience? Shoot, if this is what God meant, it is better not to get married at all, right? The context is lawful divorce. The only way this makes sense in a polygamous society is if Jesus is saying, once you have sex, regardless of the number of wives you have, they are your wife and divorce is not an option. EVER! That’s the only way everything makes sense.

    10.) Start with the Easiest/Clearest … data on the topic: Interpret the clearest, easiest understood, most straightforward data/passages first—then the more complex or difficult passages. The complex, convoluted, and difficult passages are easy to distort to fit beliefs.

    11.) It ALL fits together: Pick a meaning for the parts that fully fit with the whole of the data that might pertain without adding meaning, subtracting meaning, or distorting anything to force it to comply with your beliefs. If everything gathered (#3 above) does not fully fit with everything in #4-10 above, you have the wrong meaning, and you are forcing the scriptures to fit what you want to believe “as” truth.

    12.) Keep on continuously proving all things over and over again as a habit and way of life and never stop … and hold fast to what is good/true. Getting to truth is an ongoing process that never ends. One single verse, one fact you missed, one slight change in interpretation … can force a complete reevaluation and even a complete a change of beliefs. That is, if you love truth, and obey what God commands all His people to be continuously doing for and by themselves. If not …

    13.) It’s all on You! Trusting others to get to truth “for” you, is like trusting others to have a relationship with your wife / husband / kids “for” you. It cannot be done. Your failure to keep on habitually doing as God commands all His people to keep on habitually doing, proves you have gathered enough using Methodology One to hold fast to what you want to believe and fall short of 2Th. 2:10-12

    I always tell everyone: Understand, “Agreement with me might only make us both wrong.” Why? Because it's true. It only takes one verse I missed, in context, cut straight, to change my beliefs.

    Starting from beliefs, and then going to those who have the same ones to get all the passages they use to prove their beliefs to be fact, opposing beliefs false, and to understand how they interpret everything to hold fast to those beliefs always results in the affirmation of those beliefs. If your goal is to do something like that, pick the beliefs you want to have first. If you want to be Mormon gather their data and use their interpretations. If you want to be a Calvinist use theirs, Roman Catholic ... you get the idea.

    Understand, everyone in every belief group knows they love truth and have the truth. Here's why:

    2Th 2:10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

    Everyone gets what they really want. That which we love least is always forced to conform to that which we love most. Everyone either loves the truth or their beliefs. But the "Many on the Broad path of destruction in Mat. 7 is the same many that believe Jesus is their Lord God and Savior at the end of the chapter to whom Jesus said, "Depart from Me ye who work iniquity for I never knew you."

    Everyone using Methodology One, while they will get an unshakeable, unquestionable belief that they have the truth, but it is really God hardening them into what they want to believe because they just love what they want to believe. Everyone picks one, and the Methodology you use proves what camp you are in.

    Yes, you have the right to believe anything you want ... and pay the price if you do not receive a love of the truth that exceeds the love you have for your beliefs, but do not say that you were not warned when you stand before the judgment seat of God.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2021
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