On monogamy or logic vs impulse

Hopefully this won’t get the wrong kind of publicity/responses. I’m not really asking for a critique of religious influences on morality just a measurement the pros and cons of different lifestyles.

This is the main idea of the post:

With the increasing rate of divorce (in the U.S. specifically) you can’t help but wonder if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. So basically is promiscuity a possible flaw in society? Could it result in total anarchy (exageration) or is our bias of other forms of relationships based on our inability to cooperate effectively enough to create fulfillment for each other? Are humans simply unable to perform to the standards that we’ve created for each other?

From the movie Spellbound (1945)

“…people read about love as one thing and experience it as another. Well, they expect kisses to be like lyrical poems and embraces to be like Shakespearean dramas.”

It’s hard to deny its truth. Of course in the movie everything works out fine but in reality 60+% (of the U.S. anyway) of people won’t live that life.

Would an anti monogamous life if successfully created be what everyone actually wants?


This is just a rant:

Personally I think this is humanities attempts at exploring their new found freedoms. With religious regulations I think we’ve veiled our human insticts. This is us trying to understand how to control lust vs. logic, impulsive decisions vs. well thought out decisions. I think that is what stemmed the confusion but I could easily be wrong considering I know very little about past sociology.

I think monogamy is an ideal we can’t achieve. I also think that multiple partner relationships are a very ridiculous lifestyle that would require the participants to be very passive and incredibly apathetic almost to the point of losing touch of their emotions and thus making it another ideal we cannot reach. I’m also a pessimist that will never believe anything works out good… so F me.

I don’t know if there is a balance between human instincts and logic but total logic would suggest that you avoid all unpleasant experiences and shoot for goals with a clear mind so succes is easier to achieve. Critics would say that’s anti human and that you need a level of pain to fully appreciate pleasure. I personally think both opinions crap. Maybe you can clear it up for me.

alright, here’s my views on this. (you asked for it.) i believe that, to sort of quote another thread somewhere on this site (see if you can find it!) there’s a 100% perfect person for most people. the problem is that most people get impatient and go with the 75% or 80% perfect person (believing they’re in love), and then since it’s human nature to be critical, dwell on the 20-25% things wrong with that person. this leads to divorce, then the decision that “maybe i wasn’t in love in the first place”, then looking for another person that’s maybe 65-70% perfect. it’s a horrible cycle. but i do believe that there’s not a someone for everyone. not everyone’s purpose in life is to throw their genes back in the pool. society tells us that we’re all half a person and we have to find that other half. but it seems to me that maybe some people aren’t supposed to.

I believe monogamy in marriage makes sense. Isn’t it scientifically true that the more sexual partners a person has, the more he/she exposes himself to diseases, liability, and responsibility? So, the set up of monogamous marriage makes sense. It is we humans who do not want to discipline ourselves, I think. (I know, some would say ‘But there is no free will…squeal, squeal, squeal…)

Oh, on monogamy being an ideal that is hard to maintain. I don’t know.

I do not think humans are naturally monogamous. Monogamy is an imposed cultural value that strives against the human nature. (I think polygamy is the norm for most cultures in the world, at least before the modern world.) But then really we are just begging the question of what is marriage, namely is it something defined legally (or constitutionally) or there is something more foundational to it (such as biology, or yet something else).

first off, monogamy does not hold any valid, logical or justifiable claim to superiority as a moral standard. it has some very shaky authoritative/traditional support as the prevailing standard in some cultures, just as eating fast food or chinese take out does. that is about all.

second, promiscuity and monogamy are not poles in between which our lives unfold. non monogamy is not necesarily promiscuous. non promiscuity is not necessarily monogamy.

personally i think the only reason one will stick in a monogamous relationship is because he does not have the qualities to develop more than one. fear, personal weakness and lack will make people ignore opportunity when it arises, and ignore the damage they are doing themselves in persisting to fit a square cock in a round hole.

Marriage is a much more complicated relationship than simple sex. Lives get twisted together in legal, financial, family and all sorts of lesser social relationships. Few people would have the resources to actually sustain such relationships with more thaan one person so the question gets reduced to one promiscuity, that being the only multiple relationship most people can readily conceive.

then again, few people have the resources to actually make a million dollars, or get elected as president. and yet, neither economics nor politics get reduced to what their ghetto equivalents are. do they ?

Well lets suspend all these ‘complicated relationship’ and imagined we lived in a world without all these complications. Then would promiscuity (which is itself a relative term, relative to the notion of monogamous marriage) or monogamy be the more natural thing? What I am trying to get at is the inherent and pure nature of marriage and discern if indeed marriage is naturally monogamous. It may have been entangled today with all kinds of social, cultural and religious notions now, so lets throw that all away; and thenimagined that you are some king of some island in the Pacific, and you have all the power to say who come and stay on the island and marriage is what you say it is. Then what will you say?

Well, marriage is a societal construct, just like any other societal institutions that were created because people benefit from them. But come to think of it. The arrangement makes sense. Monogamy within marriage is our answer to the problems caused by promiscuity—and they are well documented. The problem with defending the practice of promiscuity is, like what you conjecture—let us create or imagine a utopia where people’s lives are not complicated. Well, in reality, people’s concern with daily existence and living is not done in logical fashion. We must make decisions based on what we have. We must work things out based on limited and incomplete variables, we must use not the best reasoning, but the reasoning for expediency.

So, promiscuity works in utopia, but in reality people will be irresponsible, will interact, will be ignorant, will choose bad decisions, will have lives entangled with other lives, will be emotional to the point of violence and chaotic existence.

Think about this: Our bodies are naturally geared to consume foods, yet we have governmental regulations on nutrition, we see effort of society to curb that desire. Our bodies are geared towards addiction—gambling and drugs—yet again, we see effort on the part of the government and individuals to stop the insanity, so to speak.

So, why do we give in when it comes to promiscuity? When we know, through studies that not only it is devastating to emotions, but also to the population, spread of diseases, poverty, etc.?

I think you have to seperate marriage and sexual conduct to discuss this meaningfuly. Perhaps the reason for such a high rate of failure in marriage is not in sexuality alone but in a society that increasingly encourages us to be involved with our selves and less interested in such things as the needs of our partners and our children. We have a dramatically prolongued life span and an exponentially larger array of things to entertain ourselves with. Since the invention of electric lights, we have been able to feed our desire for stimulation well in to the night further increasing the amount of time we have to involve ourselves with being entertained.

In the centuries previous the the 20th much of this was unavailable, allowing us to be less distracted and giving us more attention to focus on a partner. The average person worked most of the day and had only a few hours left to devote to anything else, so the pursuit of another partner was largley inconcieveable unless you were very well off (or a drifter) and in the upper classes you did see more instances of infidelity for that time period.

Our concept of marriage has its basis largely in a bygone lifestyle and has been a victim as our civilization begins to dissolve the cohesiveness between family and has begun to insert the market and the state in their place.

The notion of Romantic love itself has really only existed since the Renaissance. It has not been a cultural focus for much of mankinds history and may itself be the fruit of prosperity and leisure.

You may also find it interesting to note that the concept of childhood has only been in existence since the 19th century, children prior to this were viewed as smaller adults.

[contented edited by ILP]

If so, there are plenty of those types in the morgue.

Err not that I am speaking from experience or anything…

LOL. :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree. You have only to look to ape culture to realize the similarities our desires have with their society. Of course in ape culture polygamy is a result of violent oppression but that’s besides the point.

so sorry. i didnt really mean to define it as a moral standard. i just suck at describing things.

I’m aware but in this topic they are the poles i was interested in questioning. I wasn’t necessarily pitting them against each other just trying to get criticism of the two lifestyles.

I’ll agree with that. I don’t think humans possess the ability to totally ignore jealousy or to soothe it.

I read something very similar to that in a book (Title was “the dark side of love” if you’re interested). There was a good section of it dedicated to the purpose of romantic love. I don’t remember much of it I only skimmed the book but I just figured I’d mention it.