Against Marriage
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 -- 11:24 AM
Mohit Mookim

On the one hand, it might seem baffling that the state gets involved in our love life. Why does the government need to keep track of who's married to whom? Will they next start tracking who our friends are?

On the other, married partners gain certain important legal benefits regarding taxation, inheritance, next-of-kinship, and parental responsibility.

But is there a way for the state to keep track of these legal benefits without regulating our relationships?

This insightful and well-done Aeon article thinks so. Dr. Clare Chambers argues that a more just society wouldn't involve the state in our romantic relationships.

Check it out: https://aeon.co/essays/why-marriage-is-both-anachronistic-and-discriminatory

Comments (7)


Harold G. Neuman

Thursday, May 17, 2018 -- 12:24 PM

This is a test, to see if

This is a test, to see if your anti-robo program is working properly.

Laura Maguire

Thursday, May 17, 2018 -- 12:32 PM

Are you saying you're a robot

Are you saying you're a robot?

Harold G. Neuman

Thursday, May 17, 2018 -- 12:58 PM

It seems that John Searle

It seems that John Searle (formerly of UC Berkeley) touched this issue in several of his works on consciousness; language; mind and social reality. Specifically, he addressed what he calls institutional facts and constitutive rules, among other notions which comprise his philosophy of mind and language. Marriage, in his view, is an institution (or institutional fact), which is governed and described by constitutive rules. (This account is bare-bones, because Searle has much more to say about the construction of society; linguistics and a host of related topics.) In any case, marriage arose out of the need for conformity and uniformity. Governments wanted to exert regulatory domain over their subjects, for a number of social, economic and cultural reasons. Marriage, having withstood the ravages of time and social unrest, is viewed with some sense of reverence by government and indeed by its precursor, faith (or theology; or religion; or whatever other descriptor, one might wish to elect, uh, select...).

Not all people who wish to cohabit choose to marry. That is not, however, strictly the point. More people do marry (or may wish to do so) where there are fewer constraints than there used to be. Marriage, as an institutional fact with its own set of constitutive rules, confers certain rights, responsibilities, privileges and so on which are not available to those in unmarried cohabitation. This is precisely how governments and religious leaderships want things to be. Marriages between same-sex couples, though frowned upon, covertly or overtly. are therefore more desirable than unmarried relationships. This too is how those who govern or minister prefer things to be.

Harold G. Neuman

Thursday, May 17, 2018 -- 1:03 PM

No. I was just asking why

No. I was just asking why there seems to be some difficulty in submitting comments. The previous one made above appears to have answered my question. Thank you, Laura.

Laura Maguire

Thursday, May 17, 2018 -- 1:13 PM

What was the difficulty? And

What was the difficulty? And is it something that just started happening? (We've been making updates on the site, so it's good to hear if users are having particular problems....)

Harold G. Neuman

Saturday, May 19, 2018 -- 1:03 PM

To your questions (May 17,

To your questions (May 17, 2018, 1:13 PM): The problem was CAPTCHA. About four days ago, I was trying to comment on another post, prior to leaving remarks on this one. After forming my comment, I tried to do the CAPTCHA puzzle(s). After going through a dozen or so puzzles (cars, street signs, store fronts, etc.) I simply gave up and returned to the home page. Before then, I had never been subjected that much CAPTCHA interrogation. I have no idea what, if anything, I was doing wrong.

Laura Maguire

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 -- 11:27 AM

Thanks for the feedback.

Thanks for the feedback. There was some maintenance on the site, so that probably explains the difficulty you had. Hopefully it won't happen again.

 
 
 

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