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morality and humanism arent in opposition to each other. _vikram does have a point though...
Man. NEVER talk about philosophy on the internet unless you are iling to entrench yourself in some kind of bunker blasting of all the basic misconceptions of your initial point and frownworthy bollocks that people will inevitably throw your way.
"Defying the logic of morality when it comes to monogamy" and then "pretty humanist" would suggest the logic of morality isnt humanist, surely?
doesnt matter though.
regarding your post below. marriage and monogomy dont exclude reproduction i wouldntve thought, and thus arent in opposition to evolutionary requirement?
a) i dont think its very fair to dismiss what ive said above purely because it doesnt suit you, so i'll explain it further.
b)"humanity existed for a VERY long time before civilisation appeared"
this is a fairly problematic statement. what do you mean by civilisation? how long has humanity been around? didnt lots of things thrive a long time ago? is cannibalism more 'natural' than 'loving thy neighbour'?
c) the framework for the proliferation of the species of which you speak is presummably the act of reproduction, or sex, i dont really see that that has changed. the circumstances around it might have, but that hasnt affected the ability of the human race as a whole to 'proliferate' has it? there seem to be quite a lot more people in the world now than there were back then.
d) infidelity could be thus conceived as more primitive than fidelity.
b) are you saying that at the glimmering beginning of humanity, everyone was top hats and tails, monogamous and civilised, and glided gently to how things are now? Or do you think that for hundreds of thousands of years, sub-human versions of us learned to fight and fuck and kill, and that remnants of that heritage live on in our subconcious desires and behaviours today?
c) I don't get the relevance. Yes, people continue to fuck and have kids. Whether or not that's with their husbands and wives, and whether or not with their second husband, boyfriend, mistress, lover... etc etc etc
a&c) "Therefore, is monogamy and marriage, by nature, set in opposition to evolutionary requirement?"
NO - monogamy and marriage have not affected the evolution of the species. they are not in opposition the basic need of humans to reproduce.
b) please dont patronise unduly, youre the one being unclear. i was asking for clarity. all this about subconcious desires is fair enough. but what youre complaining about here the role of society. 'infidelity and relationship breakdown' are as much parts of society as 'fidelity and marriage'. civilisation doesnt start with the british empire, it goes back a lot further than that, removing man from society isnt quite as straightforward as you seem to think it is...
d) infidelity seems to relate to this idyllic primitive man you yearn for. thats why it seems more primitive.
i cant really be bothered with this any more, all you seem to be saying is that society having rules about sex just isnt cool with you. it can be argued that man is an essentially social being so these things form a constitutive part of the make up of humans. i dont know, im tired.
I haven't made any assertion about any kind of idyllic oast. If anything, I have made it sound murderous and monstrous. I'm not sure you get what I'm on about. And I certainly don't get what you're about.
i can understand perfectly what youre on about, see: "society having rules about sex just isnt cool with you"
all this bollocks you tagged onto the end about evolution is daft really, its ridiculous, you might not approve of the insititution of marriage but its hardly going against evolutionary necessity.
is d) more pallatable to you if you remove the world idyllic?
When compared to the length of the existence of humanity, the history of monogamy is very, very short. The human race evolved and thrived for a long time before civilisation and societal/legal concerns such as marriage appeared.
Therefore, is monogamy and marriage, by nature, set in opposition to evolutionary requirement?
I say yes.
I say morality in based in religion. And religion has been generally disregarded and is in decline - which explains the current decline in marriage and monogamy as an outdated, irrelevant system.
I sense that this conversation will go nowhere.
if we all had kids by each other, we'd be fucked up genetic mutated freaks.
Look up your family tree a few thousand years, dude.
not only is Sarky a mutated frak, but she is also a dude. I think s/he is living proof of your theory!
i don't think it matters whether it 'goes against evolution' rah rah.
you could say the same about gays.
marriage i feel is between two people. they make that commitment to show to each other and others how much they care for each other, and how they are willing to sacrifice the option of sleeping with other people because they love each other so much.
that is the idea. if you want to fuck around with other people - that's fine. but i feel that essentially the whole idea is about making a statement and making nearly the 'ultimate' (to exaggerate, this is me afterall) sacrifice for that other person.
according to ideas about evolution off the DiS messageboard, ffs.
I'm formally giving up the possibility of progress in this conversation now.
My point was that humanity existed for a VERY long time before civilisation appeared, and that the evolutionary framework created in that time for the proliferation of the species lies in direct opposition to the modern day moral framework of fidelity and marriage.
Therefore infidelity and relationship breakdown could be considered more 'natural' than the institutions of fidelity and marriage themselves.
I am talking about this from a very zoomed-out perspective. You are talking about it at normal here-and-now level. This means we really can't communicate properly on this. I think you are bogged down in the here and now and have no vision, forwards or backwards. I am thinking of humans way back in the mists of time, and trying to envision the ways in which the journey up to the level we are now affected our behaviours. You are going "yeah but like dude I can do whatever I want because like freedom of will yeh". This point doesn't belong in the conversation I'm attempting it have.
and humans are selfish. and jealous.
and who wants to share some hot piece of ass, eh?
i have an anthropology degree dontcha know.
it is all about survival of the fittest i suppose. essentially.
men therefore are more likely to 'spread their seed' and produce as many of their offspring as possible. fucking more women - makes this possible.
with the evolution and development of society, bringing in religion and morals, ethics, humility, etc etc - it became less of the thing to do.
see also women being untouched by men, who wants to have sex with a cave, eh? also there'd be the chance that the woman is 'tainted', 'used', 'infected' by other men - and not as great a prize as if she had been a virgin.
have sex with virgins?
spread your seed
they're tainted and won't be taken by a man again!
emma did straight anth...
how did you hear about that?
the sounds alerted me
we only talked about it last night.
animal collective was quite DiSsy
and can't make arguments that are comprehendable on here, ever.
i think they all kind of went hand in hand, not one after the other.
but that's essentially what i meant.
I really don't know how we can make a judgement. Maybe in 100 years time the idea of monogamy will be redundant. Maybe society will revert to Abrahamic times and all men will have 8 wives... It's a social thing that seems to change with time.
Maybe we'll become totally celebate and only conceive through artificial ensemination.
in the lounge at Cec Rd? I enseminated you..... WE'RE HAVING A BABY!
If only you'd taken the bait.
writes down another missed opportunity in the LONELY DIARY OF LOVE.
when are you publishing? did alistair campbell bump you a few weeks?
with your lawyers. And then it'll be in WHSmiths before you know it!
I've got Tom Hanks in to play you in the movie adaptation.
get him to work out first to imitate my finely honed physique.
now come with me into the woods young freshly puking virginface
i am the opposite of a virgin.
if prehistorical men were monogamists or not and I don't think we have a way of knowing.
Many animal species are mnogamists ( inluding some monkeys ) so that could be a possibility.
some animals are monogamous/mate for life, some don't therefore natural/unnatural doesn't come into it.
some human civilisations are monogamous, some aren't, therefore civilisation doesn't come into it.
the only reason non-monogamy could actually be considered 'wrong' is it if hurts someone's feelings - which it's basically down to the individuals involved. that's the most 'humanist' outlook on it.
and going into more speculative territory. i think marriage/monogamy as 'moral' arose because humans ARE by nature polygamous and in polygamous societies 'weaker' males suffer. after the invention of language these males were able to invent ridiculous formalised notions of morality/monogamy to ensure the bigger/stronger males didn't get all the mates. tied into the natural curiosity of the intelligent which results in religion/the invention of God I imagine it was a powerful incentive to monogamy, once god became widely accepted, to tie the two together, along with notions of heaven&hell.
Stupid people please note: i am not implying this literally happened overnight.
just trying to justify your jealousy at your partner wanting to experience pleasure with someone other than yourself?
it's swings and roundabouts. by using 'justify' you're implying that polygamy is inherently wrong to start with, which is the very thing he's disagreeing with.
see my above post.
can be prevented, and people in monogamous relationships aren't safe from them.
trust can exist between people in 'poly' relationships. if it's not for you then that's fine. but it doesn't have to be that way for everyone.
which is not like bc and ac 'on or off' it is not a switch.
But anyway ...before ......things were not seen in terms of monogamous/polygamous there are aspects that you havnt considered....for instance some tribes practices exogamy.....i.e. humans ...do the buisiness in full view of others.
There was also the transition from apes....where a dominant male will try to 'have it all' although cheeky monkeys will go behind his back.......to human society,,,,,,,where with tools a wily and skillful physically weaker male could easily kill a silverback type human.......this sort of thing had a great effect on '***gamous' behaviour.
.....cannibalism is not always an agressive hateful thing directed towards enemies......it is also sometimes towards loved ones
like tribes didnt develop their own 'ways' (check out different modern groups of chimps)
The main gist of this thread seems to be: Brainlove drinks some beers, sets down a clumsy and undeveloped premise and then gives arrogant and pithy replies to anyone who attempts to discuss it with him until he gets bored and types 'bye'.
1/10- Lame and embarrassing
although I have a slightly different view....I am married and am monogomous....then again no externally applied rules or values would make me not do whatever I wanted to.......with past grilfreinds when sufficiently motivated to stray I have, the only reason I dont now is because I dont want to.
monogomy can also be a personal decision not a societorial/civilisation, after all jealousy and empathy are human nature concepts not ones bourne of civilisation.
I like Brainlove too, but the first six posts of this thread are hilarious!
Don't really have an opinion on this topic. And believe me, when I was a keen philosophy undergrad, someone saying they didn't have an opinion on something used to drive me nuts...but I really don't...well, maybe just a little bit.
'You and me baby, we're nothing but, uh bonobos?, so lets do it like they do it on Miami animal rescue with Buffy Jorgensen'
The main gist of this reposnse seems to be: Gorkcle weighs in with his justice-from-on-high bullshit, strikes a heroic pose and then gives an arrogant and pithy rebuttal to the entire idea at play until he gets bored and makes unfunny jokes.
1/10 - Cocky and obnoxious
And also, I hate the way people assume you are trying to excuse yourself of bad behaviour by saying stuff like this, when you could just as easily be attempting to understand the bad behaviour of others, and cast it into a wider pattern.
Fucking pro-human post-Christian conservative thought police.
Moi, justice from on high? Not at all.
I can't believe that in the cold light of day, you don't find what you typed even slightly amusing!
'I'm talking about philosophy, not eastenders scenarios'
"Man. NEVER talk about philosophy on the internet unless you are iling to entrench yourself in some kind of bunker blasting of all the basic misconceptions of your initial point and frownworthy bollocks that people will inevitably throw your way."
How arrogant! Why not just explain what you mean better, instead of being tetchy and dismissive.
C'mon man! One of the best things about getting drunk and being arsey is the bit where you admit you were being drunk and arsey...
I'm not gonna argue with you...I find those posts up there mighty amusing, sorry.
And you'd know all about that wouldn't you darling.
oh man! You always need to 'win' don't you...yes I am sometimes an arsehole on here. It's true.
What do you want me to do now?
Shall I just say 'sorry John, it was wrong of me to lightly poke fun at your funny posts' or would you prefer if I just kept arguing, and you kept arguing back til one of us lies bleeding on the floor?
I have just thought a lot about this and it's connected to a lot of other stuff. I think people are fucked up and hypocritical and even from the most ostensibly monogamous pro-monogamy people on here, I think when it comes down to it they are full of shit and as bad as everyone else.
Bitter, moi? Not a jot.
no problem...what I said was a teeny bit provocative ;)
Relating to the general topic- I guess I'm pro monogamy, but I sorta think that's the human curse- to be like all the other animals and physically need to bum everything in sight, but to have a soul which means that causes endless mental anguish. Simplistic.
We would have stayed together anyways.....beforehand with other women I wouldnt have stayed faithful, because thats just the way it is and I dont feel guilty about my previous unfaithfullness, because I wasnt doing it for bad reasons, and I do tend to regard other peoples feelings a little, I was unfaithful with previous girlfreinds because I had to be....it was my human instinct to, however I tended to require high motivation to stray, I wouldnt just do it at the drop of a hat. No one should enjoy upstting someone you care about just for a mindless joyless boring **c*....
nor would i dis it......i would dis many of the purported reasons for monogomy though. John may be right to an extent....however it is not some artificial prudishness that is the only reason for monogomy.....there is an acceptance of limitation, that we are not imortal.
The same limitations that might suggest to some that monogomy is the right thing, is exactly the same sort of limitation that might stop the biggest strongest males taking all of your resources whenever they feel like it.....or a gang of them/.......or the limitation you impose on yourself not to Wrest forcible the leadership from someone that you see controling and leading your tribe into danger, when it is obvious to yourself that the current leader is inferior to yourself.....the human instinct is to try to take that control, if you really think that you are better than the leader......unfortunately in this society/civilisation the fall out that would result from this leadership take over would cause so much harm to members of the tribe that another human trait 'empathy/compassion' porevents them from ever doing it......sometimes human strengths can be turned into weaknesses by artificial civilisations.....which is what you....are being confused by.
You have a belief in the purity of freedom and instinct, you are using this to examine one of the most emotional/hormonal of subjects, society/civilisation has provided a whole host of bad reasons for you curtailing this freedom so that it seems to you that any positive reasons for you wanting to curtail your human nature are not obvious to you.
Modern life sucks for those with most 'human animal' positive attributes
It has deliberately changed the values that are regarded as positive. (based on the simplistic example of 'otherwise the strong will bully the weak' (which isnt exactly true) This is almost exactly replicated anyway in civilisation.....the strong (acording to artificial rules) manipulate and downtread the weak (which isnt exactly true again)
the answer to your post is not to be found in intellectusal verbal answers, but in one of mood or luck or viewpoint......where you are at the moment...there is no answer.....
bringing in my own personal bugbear again, to kind of demonstrate what i meant......(maybe not clearly)
"The human race evolved and thrived for a long time before civilisation and societal/legal concerns such as marriage appeared." Did it?
When do you consider 'the human race' to have evolved? It's inevitably an arbitrary cut off point.
When biologists talk about animal species, they tend to talk about 'their' mating habits, as a species. For instance, some live with groups of females dominated by a single male, like the gorilla. Others tend more towards monogamy. If you were to slap a unitary classification on them, no doubt Homo sapiens would be defined as monogamous.
A good way of thinking about this in terms of human evolution is with regard to body dysmorphism, i.e. the difference in anatomy between males and females. In very polygamous species, males tend to be much bigger than females, and have other features such as enlarged canines, in order for males to compete physically.
Human evolution shows a trend towards less body dysmorphism, which is generally taken to indicate a move towards monogamy as the stable human mating pattern. In other words, men stopped habitually fighting with each other for women. This had probably already happened by at least two million years ago, certainly before there's any evidence of people being conscious enough to have 'morality'.
Saying this, of course, monogamy isn't the be all and end all of human sexual behaviour. There are societies in which polygamy and polyandry have persisted for a long time, but I'd go as far as saying its the exception rather than the rule.
The reason I wouldn't consider 'humanism' an ultimately sustainable path to go down is that the definition of 'human' is fluid. It works in terms of all sorts of parameters - who or what we exclude, what physical characteristics we accord 'humans', what we consider to be our ancestry etc.
The question as you've framed it is very retrospective, as my answer's been. It implies that prehistory serves as a kind of base standard which can be used uncritically when we want to justify some kind of narrative of 'humanity'. This seems to me dangerous territory. Human social life is very flexible and changeable, and there's no reason, for instance, why we couldn't define 'humanity' in terms of what we want it to achieve in the future.
For instance, call me romantic, but I quite like the idea of stable monogamy, and I dare say society would probably function better if everyone shared this view. Maybe it's outdated now.
I'd prefer a kind of post-humanist position, in which we don't really need to define what is 'human' when talking about morality. It gets very complicated but its a framework in which the traditional philosophical categories don't apply in the same way any more, but if I write any more, people will never read this.
Read my PhD thesis. In about 5 years.
From another conversation I was having about this:
"Fidelity exists to enforce patrilineality, marriage to govern property succession. They may suit many people's emotional needs, or they may not, but they are there to make complex relationships simple."
what I'm trying to say is that if you ditch humanism, which I'd love to do, and in fact even if you don't, there's no 'right answer'. In the absence of quasi-religious fundamentalist morality, all arguments of this kind are rhetorical strategies, not statements of fact, whether people realise they are or not.
I could quite happily reel off a perfectly coherent and reasonable-sounding argument justifying polygamy, at equal length.
Basically, my answer would be, if you want a definitive answer about whether monogamy or polygamy are 'ok', you're not going to get one, especially not by relying on any kind of primordialist understanding of human evolution. Writing 'human prehistory' is as much of a rhetorical textual strategy as morality.
What I'd say matters ultimately is how monogamy vs non-monogamy fit into a future society. Whether it would work in context. The idea of universal morality and likewise humanism, is incredibly decontextualised.
I'm not sure that analysing the basis or the strategies used to build the argument is the most useful thing here. I think that even the most methodical and well informed set of ideas basically amount to someone watching the world, the universe, life and thought whizzing around them at an unknowable level of speed and complexity, and straining to, for a minute, make it stop, freeze it and pull out some kind of sense, crystallize it for just a second and try to pass that on or open it up for discussion.
My approach is very unsophisticated and ill informed by comparison to yours, I'll admit. But you are boy wonder, so I don't feel bad about that.
The palette of ideas I sent up in relation to each other was massively hypothetical and left out huge amounts, of course. If you force me to reduce it down to basics and take away the relationship bollocks, the essential argument I'm making is that all civilisation is built on an animalistic past that stays with us today, and that the failure, gradual collapse and ultimate abandonment of these structures shows an underlying opposition to them in the broad sweep of "human nature".
I can see why foggy ideas like "human nature" would make you want to pull that idea apart. And of course, this doesn't mean that no failing social structure can work for anyone, just that by and large, the context in which institutions like marriage came to be is disintegrating and evolving, and without that religious and economic / socio-political underpinning, it just doesn't work any more.
He said he thinks human society has peaked, with regards to it's civilisation.
to be that pessimistic.
He's a Tory.
can I reuse it please?
"Nothing wrong with marriage as such, it's just clearly not a permanent institution for many of those who attempt it, nor are most people's relationships permanent anyway (and more and more people are recognising this and not marrying)."
so i answered in a different stylie