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A Crash Course in Courtship

By jerfgoke in Culture
Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:38:09 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

I am a fourth-year student at a major university in the midwest part of the United States that is widely known for its extreme liberal stance on many major issues. This makes it all the more surprising that the student-organized Christian church I attend is extremely conservative and rapidly growing. Starting from under 40 people just four years ago, it has grown into a congregation of over 400 people attending an average Sunday morning service, about 100 of whom consider themselves a part of the church leadership community.

As a student of sociology focusing on the issues of marriage and the family, I have found it interesting to watch many of my friends within the church enter into relationships and quickly decide to get married. While the only evidence I have is anecdotal, it seems as though the normal courtship process within the church is far from the typical 21-year-old college student's method of dating. Without sounding condescending, I would like to explain why these people make the decision to "Kiss Dating Goodbye" and allow God to lead the decision-making process on a path of courtship.


What is courtship?

For the purposes of this article, I will consider courtship to be different from dating in that it focuses much more on the intention of deciding whether or not the couple is compatible for marriage in the very near future, not "sometime down the road." Dictionary.com defines it as seeking the affections of a woman, usually with the hope of marriage. Dating, on the other hand, is defined as the process of making engagements to go out socially with another person, often out of romantic interest. By these definitions, dating can and does usually occur during the courting process, but one might date without courting.

Personally, I think of it as a sort of low-stakes pre-engagement. I understand that this is not a completely objective definition, but courtship is by its very nature subjective. From this point on, I will be describing courtship as it applies from this pre-engagement perspective within the context of the church I attend.

First comes love...

Typically, after a significant period of friendship, the man will ask the prospective wife to prayerfully consider pursuing a relationship in which they can decide whether they are compatible for marriage. Generally the said friendship period lasts about a year, but examples of longer and shorter friendships occur as well. During this time, the man will have been praying on a daily basis for self-control and clarity of thoughts, patience, and the ability to discern whether it is God's will to pursue this relationship. He will also usually collect as much advice and council from pastors and church leaders as he can, which allows him to see if his motivations are pure. One verse from the Bible that is sometimes used to encourage this behavior is Proverbs 13:13, which says,

People who despise advice will find themselves in trouble; those who respect it will succeed. (New Living Translation)

At this time the woman will only be doing the same if she likewise has been having romantic feelings. In practice though, it is often clear to each of the two persons (and possibly even others) that there exists a "chemistry" between the two, but the feelings are not verbalized until the time of prayer and council has passed. This avoids building expectations that might never be realized.

Eventually, either the feelings will subside and the two will continue as simply friends, or the courtship will begin. At this point, the couple will begin to see each other and spend time alone together, something that is shunned until this point. Even after the courtship process has begun, time alone is kept to a minimum. Many couples will self-impose a curfew or an "open-door" policy, that is, they will never be left alone together in a room with the door closed.

The hope is that physical purity will be maintained up onto the point of marriage. One couple who was recently married shared their first kiss together at the altar, but not everybody waits until that point. 1 Timothy 5:2 states,

Treat the older women as you would your mother, and treat the younger women with all purity as your own sisters. (NLT)

This verse is used to promote absolute purity. In the majority of couples, physically intimate behavior is limited to short hugs or hand-holding, and even couples who had previously been otherwise often change their behavior after becoming accustomed to the church.

In general, the "dating" that occurs within a courtship is kept less formal, but at the same time taken more seriously than the typical date. As marriage is the constant focus, dates tend to emphasize emotions less and character more. Instead of a movie or miniature-golf, many couples will babysit together or have dinner together with their parents. Double dates are common, as are group activities.

...then comes marriage.

After a period of courtship that lasts anywhere from six months to two years on average, the man will ask the woman for her hand in marriage. Engagement lasts about a year and is followed by a flurry of other engagements-- they are extremely contagious. Weddings, I'm told, are the best place to meet prospective mates, even from outside a religious setting, but it seems to be even more true in this case.

Within the marriage, but not any time before, the man is expected to be the leader of the relationship and the wife willfully submits to her husband. Although this is extremely controversial, it is not without scriptural backing. For example, Ephesians 5:22-24 reads,

You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything. (NLT)

Surprisingly, from what I've heard, women within the church do not feel oppressed or limited by such a command; in fact, many are proud to serve Christ and their husbands, who have the responsibility of making sacrifices and loving her the same way they love themselves. The best way to view the relationship is to see it as two separate, but equally-important roles. Apart, they are each unique and wonderful, but together, with God, they can form the perfect relationship.

Sex is one of the major pressures toward getting married, and after years of waiting for it, it is not difficult to see why. 1 Corinthians 7:3, which says,

The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband. (NLT)

This encourages couples to have a healthy sex life, and from what I can tell, this is definitely the case. Most couples are extremely open about the subject. The church itself promotes sexuality so long as it is limited to the marriage bed.

Why would someone do this?

Since this system of courtship is not in any way mandated by the church, I find it surprising that so many people willingly subject themselves to it, as it is far from the norm so far as typical dating patterns are concerned.

Many people who come to church have had painful experiences in the past and want to avoid being hurt again. This is certainly the case for me. Many have emotional scars left from sexual abuse or past relationships that turned to worse. Guarding the heart in such a way often eliminates the possibility of causing such great emotional pain because the physical bond has not yet been formed, and no emotional bond will be formed until it is backed by the promise (or prospect) of marriage.

The system is most definitely not for everybody, but I'm finding that as I learn more about it and open myself up to the idea, it's becoming clear how easy it is to accidently hurt yourself or others in a typical dating relationship. Even if one does not agree with the religious aspects of the system, it does have some clear benefits in that most good decisions are made with a healthy dose of patience. In a culture where the divorce rate has reached approximately 50%, with an average cost of $19,000 per wedding, patience might be a start to a solution.

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Poll
Courtship...
o Is old-fashioned and foolish. 41%
o Is understandable, but not for me. 31%
o Is wise, but I don't plan on doing it. 8%
o Sign me up! 18%

Votes: 116
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o many
o major
o issues
o Kiss Dating Goodbye
o Dictionary .com
o divorce rate has reached approximately 50%
o average cost of $19,000 per wedding
o Also by jerfgoke


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A Crash Course in Courtship | 457 comments (416 topical, 41 editorial, 1 hidden)
The divorce statistic (4.33 / 12) (#3)
by mattbelcher on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:46:08 PM EST

People often quote the divorce statistic "half of all marriages end in divorce" or "there is a 50% divorce rate." This is a misquote. In fact, the only study done showed that in 1990, there was 1 divorce for every one marriage. However, since this is only one year, and there were far more people still married in 1990 than got divorced, the "divorce rate" is actually much less. The only real relevance of the "half of marriages" statistic is that if current trends continue, eventually half of all marriages will end in divorce. This requires the annual divorce rate to be 50% for several generations. Ironically, the page you link to also debunks the statistic.

Err.. (4.20 / 5) (#4)
by mattbelcher on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:49:19 PM EST

That should be 1 divorce for every 2 marriages. Sorry.

[ Parent ]
understandable. (3.00 / 4) (#7)
by jerfgoke on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:54:13 PM EST

I agree with you that it is often misquoted and misunderstood. Unfortunately, I didn't really want to go into the debate about how divorce rate is measured (that could have been an entire article in itself) and so I decided to go with the commonly cited "50%", regardless of its accuracy.

The main reason I linked to the page debunking that statistic was to demonstrate the "approximate" nature of the statistic.

[ Parent ]

Read again (4.33 / 6) (#11)
by Pac on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:05:48 PM EST

You are right about the article's incorrect use of the numbers (the linked text is exactly about why it is wrong to say that "divorce rate has reached approximately 50%"). But the statistics analyzed there are about the whole decade (the 1990's, not about the year of 1990).

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
You are spoiling my favourite statistic (none / 0) (#221)
by mote on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:29:25 PM EST

"One in two marriages ends in death."

[ Parent ]
AHHH!!!! (none / 0) (#453)
by BLU ICE on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 07:34:09 PM EST

"One in two marriages ends in death."

OH MY GOD!!! I'M GETTING DIVORCED RIGHT NOW!!!!

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

Effectiveness? (4.00 / 10) (#8)
by X3nocide on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:55:44 PM EST

Your writing ends with the assertion that our current situation is dire, with over 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, but I'm not sure how the church's approach actually serves to reduce the causes of it. Have you noticed marriages through your church to last significantly longer? Does participation drop off after marriage?

Many people argue that chastity results in awkward sex lives, and general dissatisfaction with their wives. They argue this leads to a higher divorce rate. Personally, I disagree. Most likely the biggest factor in divorce rates is discresionary money and time. I suspect that couples with one or the other are likely to "succeed," and couples with both are all the less likely to divorce. Stressing over money is probably the biggest factor in young marriages. Probaly something a lot of college seniors have very little of. Which is why I'd love to hear how well your group does.

pwnguin.net

Funny enough... (4.50 / 6) (#31)
by Count Zero on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:39:51 PM EST

This article says that the bible belt states have 4 of the top 5 highest state divorce rates. (Nevada, of course, is number 1)

Of course, this says nothing about whether the author's approach would combat this, but I still found it interesting.




[ Parent ]
The institution of marriage (2.71 / 21) (#10)
by psychologist on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 03:58:24 PM EST

Is a silly western custom that needs to be done away with. The human male bonds with a particular female for a while, but not for eternity. Rather, there is a lot of change....

.....darn, I've lost track of my thoughts....

...forget it, psychologist is not feeling well today.

psychologist is not feeling well today (5.00 / 1) (#179)
by wedman on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:42:31 PM EST

That's okay. I'll give you a 5 anyway. :P

~
DELETE FROM comments WHERE uid=9524;
[ Parent ]
Fascist! (none / 0) (#186)
by freebird on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:07:21 PM EST

..well, maybe not. But still - isn't it as bad to insist a tradition many people still find meaningful must "be done away with" as it is for them to insist that everyone must subscribe to it, in the traditional sense?

Saying it "shouldn't be required for those who don't buy into it" would earn much more of my respect. What you said just seems reactionary and even dogmatic. Even though I might agree with it...:)

...TAGGATC...(etc)
[ Parent ]

Marriage can work sometimes (none / 0) (#452)
by BLU ICE on Sun Jul 21, 2002 at 07:33:06 PM EST

With certain people. What I've noticed is that marriages need to have one submissive and one dominant to succeed. I'm not talking like abusive dominant, just one having a little more authority. Equality doesn't work in a marriage. My parents have been very happily married for 35 years. My dad is slightly more dominant than my mom. And they almost never fight.

My aunt and uncle have a different situation. My aunt is very dominant. But my uncle is very submissive, so it works out.

On the other hand, my brother was married to an ex-afgani for 2 years. They were both exceedingly dominant and fought constantly before finally getting a divorce.

For some people such as my brother and his ex, they would never be able to have a good marriage. People can have great lives without marriage. Marraige is good for some but not others.

"Is the quality of this cocaine satisfactory, Mr. Delorean?"
"As good as gold."

-- I am become Troll, destroyer of threads.
It's like an encyclopedia...sorta: Everything2

[ Parent ]

Interesting article.... (4.43 / 16) (#13)
by jmzero on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:13:45 PM EST


Bob Mims- Salt Lake Tribune

A 1993 study published in Demography showed that Mormons marrying within their church are least likely of all Americans to become divorced. Only 13 percent of LDS couples have divorced after five years of marriage, compared with 20 percent for religiously homogamist unions among Catholics and Protestants and 27 percent among Jews.
However, when a Mormon marries outside his or her denomination, the divorce rate soars to 40 percent -- second only to mixed-faith marriages involving a Jewish spouse (42 percent).

Citing a variety of other studies, Duke found that Mormons are the least likely to cohabitate outside of marriage -- 8.2 percent compared with 20 percent to 24 percent for Protestants, 23.1 percent for Catholics, 32.5 percent for Jews and 44.8 percent for nonreligious Americans.

Full Article
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife

Cause and effect? (4.75 / 12) (#18)
by Paul Johnson on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:33:39 PM EST

Gee, religious people are less likely to get divorced than others.

Whenever you see a correlation like this, look at the four possible hypotheses that could explain it:

  1. Co-incidence. In this case, not too likely, but it would be nice to know what the sample size was.
  2. Religion prevents divorce. Possible. All Christian faiths I know of are pretty down on it and put various obstacles in its way if you want to stay a "good" Christian. So maybe there are lots of unhappy people desperately trying to make a go of failed marriages because their religion tells them to. On the other hand maybe religion genuinely makes for happier marriages, but the figures presented here do not support this hypothesis given the range of alternatives.
  3. Divorce prevents religion. Possible. Maybe the people who got divorced in spite of their church are rejecting their faiths because they find them irrelevant to their lives.
  4. Some third factor influences both divorce and religion. For example, could it be social pressures to conform that make people stick with their religion and their marriage? Those who are less amenable to such pressure drop out of religion and subsequently drop out of marriage.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc ("after it, therefore because of it") is the oldest fallacy in the book. Don't fall for it.

Paul.
You are lost in a twisty maze of little standards, all different.
[ Parent ]

Co-relations and facts (4.33 / 6) (#32)
by Pac on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:41:38 PM EST

Although the most abused concept of statistics is that of co-relations (as in "there are more crimes in summer days, therefore ice-cream consumption causes crime"), I believe in this case there is stronger relation between the two factors.

Most religions are either actively against divorce or at least mildly against it. While most Protestant denominations allow for divorce, the Catholic Church is forbids it (also, the major Catholic countries were the last to legalize divorce in the West).

I find your points 3 and 4 somewhat confusing. "Divorce prevents religion" as you define it is no more than "Religion prevents divorce". A religious person in any one of those cases is posed with a choice, either to divorce or to keep his/her faith. The "third factor" looks like "Religion prevents divorce" again, but taking into account peer-pressure (by calling the religious group a social group - wherefrom the pressure to stay in the group and therefore not to divorce comes).

So, I really believe that there is little doubt that religion prevents divorce. My main concern is that I do not think divorce is something that should be prevented as if it was a disease. Shit happens, people make mistakes. And a wrong marriage should not be punished with a life sentence...

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Annulments (none / 0) (#215)
by Darwin on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:18:29 PM EST

While most Protestant denominations allow for divorce, the Catholic Church is forbids it
What about annulments? Generally, you give the Church some money (usually a lot) and they nullify your previous marriage. They claim it is nothing like a divorce because it retroactively eliminates the marriage by saying the relationship lacked the qualifications to be a marriage in the first place. Pretty convenient, huh?

[ Parent ]
Not so easy (none / 0) (#238)
by Pac on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:10:05 PM EST

A whole new religion was created because the Pope wouldn't nullify a certain marriage of a certain king of a certain island.

Even today, there are very specific rules governing the annulment of a Catholic marriage and unless you know some very influent people in the Church, only money won't help.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Social pressure and religion (none / 0) (#242)
by Paul Johnson on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:21:12 PM EST

I find your points 3 and 4 somewhat confusing. "Divorce prevents religion" as you define it is no more than "Religion prevents divorce". A religious person in any one of those cases is posed with a choice, either to divorce or to keep his/her faith.

There is an important distinction. If religion prevents divorce then religious people will stick with unhappy marriages, but if divorce prevents religion then the previously religious people get divorced anyway and then deal with the conflict by dumping their religion. In practice of course there is going to be a mix, but the global divorce rate will change depending on the mix.

The "third factor" looks like "Religion prevents divorce" again, but taking into account peer-pressure (by calling the religious group a social group [...])

Again there is a difference. In the case of "religion prevents divorce" the motivation to avoid divorce comes from the belief system of the individuals involved, and is thus a free choice. On the other hand if social pressure both promotes religious observance and prevents divorce then we have a hidden compulsion in matters that I, at least, would regard as private issues.

My main concern is that I do not think divorce is something that should be prevented as if it was a disease

I agree.

Paul.
You are lost in a twisty maze of little standards, all different.
[ Parent ]

I didn't have any particular point (4.00 / 2) (#45)
by jmzero on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:08:01 PM EST

Other than that I found the article interesting and thought others might as well.  

Social research is, of course, difficult to conduct and harder to interpret.

As background:

Mormons are encouraged to abstain from sex before marriage and practice courting much as the parent article describes.  They take marriage seriously, seeing it as a beyond-death union.  Their congregations (wards) are tight-knit with a well defined geographic membership.  Divorce is thus very public, and is very much frowned upon.  

Typically early marriage means that a divorced 30 year old Mormon may find themselves in a difficult situation - with few potential dating partners among local Mormons and stigmatized as a divorcee (I know a couple divorced Mormons).
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Of course (4.50 / 2) (#103)
by roystgnr on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:41:18 AM EST

A 1993 study published in Demography showed that Mormons marrying within their church are least likely of all Americans to become divorced.

If you felt like getting a divorce meant you were failing God, and risking your chance at becoming Gods yourselves, wouldn't you put a little effort into sticking it out?

Citing a variety of other studies, Duke found that Mormons are the least likely to cohabitate outside of marriage

I should hope so. Most religions don't exactly encourage fornication, but the LDS church puts it right after murder in seriousness.

[ Parent ]

New numbers tell a different story (none / 0) (#317)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:20:45 PM EST

According to a 1999 study by Barna Reasearch, Mormons have the same divorce rate as the general US populace: 24%. Catholics (21%), Lutherans (21%), and Atheists (21%) all have lower divorce rates than Mormons.

[ Parent ]
but those who convert.... (none / 0) (#326)
by blisspix on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 12:23:53 AM EST

there is an extremely high divorce rate amongst those who have converted to mormonism. my mum is mormon, and is part of a very large singles club.

what pisses me off is that mormons believe that divorce is wrong, you have to get married if you have a child, etc etc, yet those who come to the church as divorcees and plead for forgiveness are 'cleansed'.

such hypocricy.

[ Parent ]

On Mormons and marriage... (none / 0) (#411)
by JatTDB on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 12:32:36 PM EST

I grew up in an LDS family.  If I had to make a "top ten" list of the reasons I never accepted the faith for myself, it would contain a statement made (IIRC) by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve regarding marriage.  It went something along the lines of "Any faithful LDS man and any faithful LDS woman can have a happy and fulfilling marriage."  The statement's context made it fairly clear that love (or personality compatibility for that matter) was not a requirement in any way.

I wish I could provide more details...hard to recall a speech I mostly slept through, especially one that was around 10 years ago (or more).

[ Parent ]

Methinks you've been brainwashed (none / 0) (#425)
by Anonymous 242 on Sat Jun 29, 2002 at 08:57:58 AM EST

I suspect that having had watched too many movies and too much television, you now mistake a hormonal rush (commonly referred to as infatuation) for love.

However much I may disagree on a good deal of the doctrine put forth by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the particular leader that you paraphrase did correctly one essential thing: love is a choice, followed by actions. Any two people that are willing to choose to love each other and follow up their decision by actions can work out a happy and fulfilling marriage.

According to a good many psychologists, the number one cause of failed marriages is unfulfilled expectations. When people go into a marriage thining that they've found Prince Charming or Snow White, they're bound to get hit over the head with a clue stick by reality sooner or later. The hormones eventually wear off and if both people do not continue to choose to love the other each and every day, the marriage begins to unwind.

[ Parent ]

Hmm.... (none / 0) (#426)
by JatTDB on Sat Jun 29, 2002 at 10:35:05 AM EST

Doesn't really answer the compatible personality part, though.  If you take 2 random people and make a married couple out of them, there are likely to be concessions required by one for happiness that the other is simply not willing to make for whatever reason.  With compromise and the choices you mentioned, much of this can be avoided...but not all.  Even if the individuals suppress their wants/needs/desires, there's the chance of resentment getting buried deep where it can smolder for a few years.  Is that really a proper foundation for a marriage?

As you say, the number one cause of failed marriages is unfulfilled expectations.  The LDS leader I paraphrased essentially set up anyone who took it literally for the possibility of an unfulfilling relationship, by suggesting that any two people who "choose" to be in a long term relationship (and with LDS marriages, there's the *really* long term) can maintain a happy relationship if they just try hard enough.  I just don't buy it.

[ Parent ]

Something else to chew on (none / 0) (#428)
by Anonymous 242 on Sat Jun 29, 2002 at 12:11:04 PM EST

Per an article I cited in another post, Reverend Sung Moon's Unification Church has a divorce rate of just over 17%. (That is to say, 17% of its adherents have been divorced at least once since they became adherents.) This is far below the rate for the US populace in general: 25%.

Given Reverend Moon's propensity for mass marriages of "moonies" selected at random, that does say something about how likely two randomly selected people within a given set are to be.

IMO, for the most part "incompatibilities" are excuses and not true incompatibilities. There are exceptions. Sometimes people are unwilling to change for the better. In these cases, however, what you have is the failure for both both parties to work for a successfull marriage. Short of rare and extreme cases, if both people are indeed working to make the marriage successfull and joyful, it will be thus.

Regards,

-l

[ Parent ]

descriptive or prescriptive (4.09 / 11) (#16)
by dalinian on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:28:26 PM EST

I read the article twice, but I'm still not sure if it is prescriptive or descriptive.

Also, what are the assumptions that are made? That women need men and men need women? If so, why? Should one do this even if one is indifferent about other people, and does not need anything from them? Do people really want or need to be married, and if not, would this still work? Is the model asymmetric, i.e. would it fail to work with a woman in charge? Why are divorces bad, and why shouldn't we rather make them easier and cleaner than try to prevent them?

What about different religions? Would this work in other Christian or non-Christian cultures?

And the fundamental question: what is love? Would this work even if one didn't believe in love?

I know this sounds like criticism, but (being a nerd) I'm not familiar with the subject at all, so I'm not able to choose the right words. :-)

Interesting.. (3.80 / 15) (#19)
by sasquatchan on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:35:26 PM EST

As someone who was a member of a campus fellowship, and attends what would be called a "conservative" bible church, I'm still amazed at the, ahh, unusual stuff folks believe about dating.

What you've written about, I've seen in some folks. (Especially the first kiss at the wedding ceremony.. bizzare..). Personally, I don't believe that such an approach cultivates the necessary relationship/interpersonal skills required for stable long term relationships, nor good emotional maturity. But that's just my opinion.
-- The internet is not here for your personal therapy.

argh - fucking christians are everywhere. (2.92 / 27) (#21)
by gromgull on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:52:23 PM EST

Now even on K5, there is no room for you here! Go back to your church!

ok, sorry, but seriously :

The hope is that physical purity will be maintained up onto the point of marriage. One couple who was recently married shared their first kiss together at the altar, but not everybody waits until that point.

A relationship based on love will need some physical nearness, you can't decide to stay your entire life with someone without having even kissed them. Get a fucking grip. Kissing and sex are important parts of a relationship, it is a way of showing your love.

Staying in some bizarra church where the whole congregation expects you to soon get married or not, and your balls are as big as water-melons dying for your first sex is NOT a good way to find a partner that suits the rest of your life. Physical and sexual exploration is important, and more importantly FUN. In my opinion one should have lots of sex before getting married and preferably with more than one partner (not (nescessarily) at the same time :) to have a broader horizont. But then again that is just me...

--
If I had my way I'd have all of you shot

why? (3.50 / 10) (#25)
by dalinian on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:08:28 PM EST

Physical and sexual exploration is important
Why? Prove this. Many people choose (or have) to live their entire life without sex or intimacy in general. What are they missing? If they can pull it off, what's wrong with it? Also, it is cruel to say that people that can't have sex can't lead a completely satisfying life.

I have personally tried to think about this for years now, and I still can't find a good answer. If one lives without sex, that's perfectly fine. Sex or even love doesn't seem any more important than money, fame or anything else.

Although you do have a valid point. If someone is getting married, it implies that she or he does think that intimacy is worth something. But if one doesn't want to get married or need anything else from other people either, why would one still need sex or intimacy?

[ Parent ]

Prove this??? (3.66 / 6) (#41)
by Pac on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:03:30 PM EST

You mean, prove that a whole reproductive process finely developed and refined for millions upon millions of years has more chance of being right than some social prejudices developed in the last thousands of years by a bunch of neurotics in order to better control their followers (or, more to the point, their female followers)? Sorry, I don't think any prove is needed in this case.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
neurotics (none / 0) (#57)
by dalinian on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:47:22 PM EST

Actually I wasn't defending the neurotics. :-) I was attacking the belief that in order to have a satisfying life, you need sex.

As far as I can tell, sex is optional. But of course if you absolutely need to have sex, you shouldn't promise to live with a person for the rest of your life if you don't know for sure that that person can provide you with sex.

[ Parent ]

Now I feel good (none / 0) (#60)
by Pac on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:03:06 PM EST

I almost failed to give you the benefit of doubt up there, but in the end I erased the ten last lines of my answer up there.

Anyway, I still think you are wrong. Evolution mandates the need for reproduction. In order to make us reproduce it evolved very definite ways to force us to want sex. Even taking into account the cultural context where humanity lives, sex is probably the most important basic instinct in action in any society that already solved the hunger problem. Just take a look at the products of the US advertising industry.

I can't help thinking that anyone incapable to have sex has some fundamental problem. And pointing it out, stating that a live without sex is not complete, sounds to me as cruel as saying that a live without the capacity of walking or seeing is also not complete.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
recommendations (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by dalinian on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:15:46 PM EST

This is not all about biology. It is about moral philosophy as well. If we say that life without sex isn't complete, we are making a recommendation that people should have sex.

Let's imagine a person who's never had sex. We are recommending sex. This person trusts we know what we are talking about, and tries to get some sex, and fails repeatedly. What should the person do?

Quite clearly, the person cannot feel satisfied. It is shown that she or he needs to have sex. But all other people refuse to provide her or him with sex. After that, what options are available? Should the person force other people to have sex with her or him? Of course not. But isn't it the only option left?

Of course I'm assuming we don't call simple masturbation "sex". Because if we do, then the concept gets too strange. People might masturbate only to avoid messing their bed sheets, and the choice to do so is a pragmatic choice, not a sexual one.

[ Parent ]

Imagine the opposite (none / 0) (#66)
by Pac on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:42:09 PM EST

Imagine an island where everybody has sex with everybody more or less at will. We then land by accident in this imaginary island and start recommending abstinence.

Now all people have a problem. The ones who accept our recommendation are now forced to deny their friends something that was only natural a week ago. The ones who do not accept our teachings rightfully feel that something was taken away from them. We, as always, have a simple solution. We burn the latter.

But I digress. My main point is that sex is a natural instinct (not some sort of right). I believe the solution to the philosophical problem you propose is given once you act the first part of the problem. If we start recommending sex for everybody, and raise the children accordingly, the absence of sex becomes a non-problem. In such a society there will be very fewer cases of people who can not get sex. For those professional help (yes, I thinking exactly what you are thinking) can be made available.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
no recommendations (none / 0) (#71)
by dalinian on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:10:13 PM EST

...and start recommending abstinence
But I think we should not make such recommendations at all. People will find what they want themselves. Even though chocolate is good, we don't recommend that people should eat lots of chocolate. They will eat it anyway because it's good. If sex is good, why can't people decide for themselves without being pushed?
If we start recommending sex for everybody, and raise the children accordingly, the absence of sex becomes a non-problem. In such a society there will be very fewer cases of people who can not get sex. For those professional help (yes, I thinking exactly what you are thinking) can be made available.
I understand, and I can see that we disagree. To me, sex isn't something anybody should have to pay for. Buying sex is probably less enjoyable than masturbation.

Also, to tell children they need to have sex doesn't sound like a good idea. They have enough insecurities already.

What I would recommend is that people should have sex if they absolutely have to, and if they can find some other person that wants to have sex with them as well. But we shouldn't make choices for other people. They are perfectly capable of deciding themselves.

[ Parent ]

recommendations... (none / 0) (#107)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:09:13 AM EST

By your logic, you never recommend anything to anyone, because they might not be able to get it...  You should never try to do anything, because you might not succeed...  

The "recommendation" you speak of basically saying "you should try to have sex and have relationships and have a family, because past history has shown that it makes people happy and makes life worth living."

Now, if you want to propose alternate ways of making it worth it to get up in the morning, you can go ahead.  But it's going to be difficult to convince anyone that's been in love or had sex that those goals are worth ignoring - and since the vast majority of the world falls into that category, it's natural that society's going to reflect that opinion.

(And no, "not caring about anything" doesn't count as an alternative, because if you don't care about anything, and it takes effort just to fulfill basic life functions, there's no reason to put in that effort.)

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

effort (none / 0) (#123)
by dalinian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:55:28 AM EST

The "recommendation" you speak of basically saying "you should try to have sex and have relationships and have a family, because past history has shown that it makes people happy and makes life worth living."
Can you back that up with facts? As far as I can tell, history has shown precisely the opposite. Those who let go of their desires are the most happy, and most free.
But it's going to be difficult to convince anyone that's been in love or had sex that those goals are worth ignoring - and since the vast majority of the world falls into that category, it's natural that society's going to reflect that opinion.
Yeah, that's the same problem people are having trying to get other people to stop using drugs. I'm not even going that far; I'm only telling other people to stop telling other people that in order to have a satisfying life, you need sex.
(And no, "not caring about anything" doesn't count as an alternative, because if you don't care about anything, and it takes effort just to fulfill basic life functions, there's no reason to put in that effort.)
I think you are slightly wrong. It really doesn't take any effort. Eating and sleeping are rather easy, and you don't need much more than those. Sure, you might need to get a job to get a bed and food, but most low-paying jobs are easy (if boring as well).

[ Parent ]
I don't think (none / 0) (#164)
by JChen on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:58:10 PM EST

it's evolution anymore. I think it's "intelligent design". </sarcasm>

Let us do as we say.
[ Parent ]
I say tomato ... (none / 0) (#122)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:48:26 AM EST

You mean, prove that a whole reproductive process finely developed and refined for millions upon millions of years has more chance of being right than some social prejudices developed in the last thousands of years by a bunch of neurotics in order to better control their followers (or, more to the point, their female followers)?

Yep, that's what he's saying. You, on the other hand, are saying that we should put more trust in the instincts of faeces-flinging monkeys than in the culture which has produced all the achievements of Western Society.

Me, I'm agnostic.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

footnote (none / 0) (#132)
by adequate nathan on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:04:29 AM EST

Proof positive, if any were needed, that pagan nature-worship was never far from the minds of some professing "Darwinians," even and especially today.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Prove it? (4.50 / 2) (#62)
by mech9t8 on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:30:43 PM EST

Many people choose (or have) to live their entire life without sex or intimacy in general. What are they missing?

Well, they're missing sex and intimacy.  They're missing the rush of being in love.  The support from loved ones when life gets hard.  The feeling of self-worth of knowing someone you love loves you back.  The comfort of having someone sleeping beside you.

Never mind the fun aspects of the whole sex thing, and the increased fun that comes from sex with someone you're truly intimate with.

And the huge feelings of joy that come from having kids and that whole shebang.

People may be happy without love; they may even be happier not trying to find love than trying to find love (due to broken hearts, fail relationships, the inconvenience, etc.)  But to say they're not missing out on something is a bit silly.

Someone may go through life eating crappy tasting food, and still be happy... that doesn't mean they wouldn't be happier if the rest of their life stayed the same but they enjoyed food that tasted good.

Sex or even love doesn't seem any more important than money, fame or anything else.

But we're hard-wired for sex.  We're hard-wired for intimacy.  We're hard-wired for companionship.  These evolved long before humans invented concepts like "money" or "fame".

Money or fame key into one hard-wired need - the want to dominate the tribe.  But I'm pretty sure that's a weaker primal need than the need for love.  Hence phrases like "it's lonely at the top" or how rock stars on "Behind the Music" consistently shoot themselves or overdose.  The rich and famous consistently still try to find love; whereas those in love are often happy despite not having much wealth or fame.  

Also, it is cruel to say that people that can't have sex can't lead a completely satisfying life.

Your point being?  If someone has, say, a chronic numbing headache his whole life, he's going to be less happy than someone else with the same life, but without the chronic numbing pain.  Life is cruel.  Deal with it. ;)

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

points (3.50 / 2) (#68)
by dalinian on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:51:39 PM EST

They're missing the rush of being in love.
Sounds just like any other drug to me. Drugs aren't needed in order to have a satisfying life.
The support from loved ones when life gets hard.
But if you don't care where you are, you're never lost. Life usually gets hard if you have expectations. If you don't expect anything from life, you are always happy, and don't need sex or love.
And the huge feelings of joy that come from having kids and that whole shebang.
You also have to change diapers and listen to kids screaming all night, and look over them so that they don't get hurt. Sounds like the end result is negative.
But we're hard-wired for sex. We're hard-wired for intimacy. We're hard-wired for companionship.
Read this comment.
Life is cruel.
Only people are cruel. Life is just life. If you accept it as it comes, and treat others with respect and kindness, you will need nothing else.

[ Parent ]
What is a complete life? (4.66 / 3) (#105)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:04:33 AM EST

Drugs aren't needed in order to have a satisfying life.

If you don't keep your serotonin levels up, you'll fall in to depression, and certainly be miserable, if not kill yourself.  Everything's chemicals.  You can't decide to be happy any more than you can decide not to be depressed - you can adopt attitudes which might help, but ultimately your mental state is determined by what your subconscious and physiology.

So being in love is like a drug.  Sure.  So is, well, everything else.

But if you don't care where you are, you're never lost. Life usually gets hard if you have expectations. If you don't expect anything from life, you are always happy, and don't need sex or love.

Uh-huh.  What if you have to do back-breaking labour 20 hours a day just to put food on your plate?  What if you're hit by a car and have to spend the next 6 months in pain?   What if your parents die?

Sounds like the end result is negative.

You can assume that, if you want.  But if you decide not to risk having kids, you are "missing out" on the whole kids-having experience.  You'll have no idea what people are talking about when they talk about when they had kids it was the happiest moment of their lives.  You'll never know the joy of watching your kids have their first step, first word, graduation...

The original question was "What are they missing?"  That's what they're missing.

It's possible to live without love.  Or, for that matter, fun.  Or companionship.  Or happiness.  As long as you can keep your brain chemistry from lapsing into depression, you're fine.  But the odds are, if you don't find ways to produce those happiness chemicals, you're eventually not going to be able to make yourself get up in the morning...

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

happiness (2.00 / 1) (#125)
by dalinian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:24:33 AM EST

If you don't keep your serotonin levels up, you'll fall in to depression, and certainly be miserable, if not kill yourself. Everything's chemicals.
Do you really live your life thinking that "I must do this because everything's chemicals and I must keep my serotonin levels up"? I don't believe you do, and I can say I don't. So why do you need to bring stuff like that in a discussion?

People are moral beings with free will. If you strip that off, maybe only nihilism is left.

But the odds are, if you don't find ways to produce those happiness chemicals, you're eventually not going to be able to make yourself get up in the morning...
For the sake of argument, let's examine happiness a bit. Isn't it so that people with less stuff tend to find happiness in little things, while people that have a lot of stuff require considerably more to be happy. Even shooting television sets couldn't make Elvis happy, but kids playing with blocks of wood can be perfectly happy.

There are of course the basic requirements like getting enough food, but let's assume those are covered, and say that the more you have, the more difficult it is to be happy. When you have a lot of stuff like a wife and kids, a dog, a car, a house and whatever you might have, you always need more stuff to get the same effect, just like any addict. And what if you start losing some of your stuff?

If you don't care about anything, and don't try to protect your happiness, you don't need to increase the dosage. If you don't have much fun, each time you do have fun feels incredible, and if you don't value that good feeling you get out of it, you don't get addicted. Addiction is about desire, not substances. In fact, precisely because you are not trying to get anything, you get it all. I must say that I'm not a Christian, but Oscar Wilde thought (in De Profundis, if I remember correcly) that this is the central message of the Bible. And it is probably the best idea in the whole book.

[ Parent ]

brain chemicals (5.00 / 2) (#157)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 11:58:38 AM EST

So why do you need to bring stuff like that in a discussion?

Because your argument is predictated on the idea that you can decide not to care about stuff; that you can, essentially, choose to be happy, choose not to regret or miss things, choose not to be lonely, simply by adopting the right attitude.

As anyone who's experienced clinical depression can tell you, happiness is not something that can be decided on - it's something largely beyond our control.  So you can tell yourself you're happy as much as you want, but unless your brain agrees with you, you're not going to be happy.

Which means you may totally believe, logically, that "letting everything go" will make you happy... or that "getting tons and tons of money" will make you happy... or that "getting laid and being in love" will make you happy... but unless your brain agrees with you, it won't.  And your brain is more likely to agree with you about the "getting laid and being in love" because those acts physically produce the types of chemicals that make you happy.

(There are, of course, a million other factors besides whatever hard-wiring that's in there to determine what your brain likes, and you may stumble across how to make it be happy caring about nothing.  But just wishing it won't make it so.)

I'm only telling other people to stop telling other people that in order to have a satisfying life, you need sex.

I guess the way to do that is show some examples of people that find long-term happiness while being completely without sex and love, and show that the "not pursuing sex and love" attitude is more likely to produce happiness than "pursuing sex and love".  

Balance is needed, of course - devoting yourself entirely to attaining goals, without appreciate what you have, may not be much better to not setting any.  But you'll have to show that a whole-hearted "letting everything go" attitude doesn't necessarily end up making up a depressed, lonely 50-year-old pothead living in one's parents' basement, 'cause that's what most people would probably think will happen...

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

depression and focus (none / 0) (#198)
by dalinian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:46:51 PM EST

As anyone who's experienced clinical depression can tell you, happiness is not something that can be decided on - it's something largely beyond our control.
I admit I don't know nothing about clinical depression. But I think it is a special case, and not directly linked to this matter. I have heard that almost anyone can get clinically depressed, and it doesn't really depend on the chosen lifestyle. From The National Mental Health Association:
Young or old, man or woman, regardless of race or income - anyone can experience clinical depression.
I still believe you have a power to decide whether you are happy or not. The fact that people sometimes get clinically depressed doesn't make me change my mind, because the two things are not necessarily related at all.
I guess the way to do that is show some examples of people that find long-term happiness while being completely without sex and love, and show that the "not pursuing sex and love" attitude is more likely to produce happiness than "pursuing sex and love".
Hey, good luck with that. :-) If that's going to work out, great, but I doubt it very much.
Balance is needed, of course - devoting yourself entirely to attaining goals, without appreciate what you have, may not be much better to not setting any.
Why should you have goals with your life anyway? Why can't you just set goals that you've already reached, so that you don't have to do anything? I'm having a hard time figuring out why people would necessary have to search for stuff they don't have and then try to get it. That is if people don't think that the chase is better than the catch.
But you'll have to show that a whole-hearted "letting everything go" attitude doesn't necessarily end up making up a depressed, lonely 50-year-old pothead living in one's parents' basement
That's probably something that will happen if you are not focused. I'm betting that the 50-year old potheads like that have already repeatedly tried (in other words, they have had a goal) to get a life like the one you are recommending, and failed every time. But if you are focused and capable of planning your future, and know yourself well, I don't see why the "letting go" approach wouldn't work.
'cause that's what most people would probably think will happen...
You'd be surprised to know what most people think about all kinds of issues. :-) Even modern people still have all kinds of superstitions and irrational fears.

[ Parent ]
focus without caring? (none / 0) (#280)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 06:58:15 PM EST

I still believe you have a power to decide whether you are happy or not. The fact that people sometimes get clinically depressed doesn't make me change my mind, because the two things are not necessarily related at all.

Huh.  Well, it's hard to get further into this without digging up research papers and links and whatnot, so I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. ;)

If that's going to work out, great, but I doubt it very much.

Er, perhaps I wasn't clear. I'm asking you to provide examples of people that have achieved long-term happiness following your philosophy.  ie. If you're asking people not to recommend sex and intimacy, show some examples of people that are truely happy without it so people will believe you.

I'm betting that the 50-year old potheads like that have already repeatedly tried (in other words, they have had a goal) to get a life like the one you are recommending, and failed every time.

Er, no.  They're the ones that didn't go to school (don't care, not worth the effort), didn't work hard (don't care, not worth the effort), didn't pursue a career (don't care, not worth the effort), and didn't make the effort the pursue relationships (not worth the effort).  Until they realize that life doesn't provide happiness if they just "let everything go".

But if you are focused and capable of planning your future, and know yourself well, I don't see why the "letting go" approach wouldn't work.

Focus implies concentration and effort; "planning your future" implies setting goals for the future. Neither of those seems particularly compatible with "letting go". What exactly would you be focussing on or planning for?  What's your motivation for staying focussed?  What do you do when your plans fall through?

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

recommendations and passions (3.00 / 1) (#289)
by dalinian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 08:18:32 PM EST

Well, it's hard to get further into this without digging up research papers and links and whatnot, so I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. ;)
Yeah, I was about to say the same thing. :-)
If you're asking people not to recommend sex and intimacy, show some examples of people that are truely happy without it so people will believe you.
I don't see why I have to prove my point. It would be different if recommending sex and intimacy actually had any positive effects. If sex and intimacy are so good that they should be recommended to everyone, would everyone not find out about them without other people having to push them?

I already said this to some other person, but I'm going to use the same example: chocolate. Most people think that chocolate is good. Yet it isn't usually recommended. People taste chocolate, and decide for themselves. It tastes so good, most people will eat it again. If sex is at least as good as chocolate, what need is there for us to start (or keep) recommending it?

What I can do is to provide reasons why we should not make any recommendations about sex and intimacy. Many people even here on k5 say things that imply that having good sex regularly is almost like a responsibility of a good, normal person. Without it, a person simply can't be content. This attitude sometimes leads to a great deal of unnecessary sorrow. Maybe there is a small chance that if no recommendations are made, people will start to appreciate other things they have in common.

(In fact, I think that love is the last non-empty religion of the modern, Western man. All other religions seem to have been reduced to collections of meaningless, banal rituals. Most people at least here in Finland seem to be members of the church only because they want to get married in there.)

They're the ones that didn't go to school
Well, OK. But they are not important to my argument, because they clearly do not have any kind of focus. I am not saying one should not focus on anything. In fact, I think that awareness is the most valuable thing we have.
Focus implies concentration and effort
Concentration, yes. Effort, no. Focus is about doing, not trying.
"planning your future" implies setting goals for the future
Actually, it may just as well mean making assumptions about the future, and thinking about how you should react to different kinds of events. No goals are required.
What's your motivation for staying focussed?
This may go deep into metaphysics, if a complete answer is required. But in general, awareness and knowledge give you a peace of mind, and make you happy. You need to let go of your passions.

Passion is a good word, because it implies that you are passive, not in charge of your emotions. The idea is to use your knowledge and awareness to gain self-control and conquer your passions.

What do you do when your plans fall through?
You will have learned something new. More knowledge means better self-control.

[ Parent ]
In conclusion (none / 0) (#296)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:01:04 PM EST

Well, I'll just leave it with this:

(a)  I agree that intentionally saying you must have sex to be happy doesn't really do any good - if someone is honestly happy alone, it's probably best to let them be happy alone. However, sex and intimacy is so important in so many people's lives that, as long as you interact with other people, I think there's going to be pressure (implicit or explicit) to partake.  One person's helpful guide on how to find a partner or maintain a relationship is another person's undue pressure.

There's also going to be pressure, I think, regardless of society, simply by natural urges (ie. sexual attraction).  You may decide not to care about such things, but when you can't get the girl at the coffee shop (or whoever) out of your head, I think your going to run into problems...

(b)  Your philosophy of "letting go,conquering your passions" sounds like what students of Zen and Buddhism and whatnot have been striving for for centuries.  I think you'll find that real life and emotions will interfere with the perfect bliss that's theoretically possible, but you're welcome to try. ;)

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

agreed (none / 0) (#302)
by dalinian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:18:50 PM EST

One person's helpful guide on how to find a partner or maintain a relationship is another person's undue pressure.
Agreed.
You may decide not to care about such things, but when you can't get the girl at the coffee shop (or whoever) out of your head, I think your going to run into problems...
Not necessarily, if you can settle for just using your imagination. You can just enjoy the beautiful image in your mind.
Your philosophy of "letting go,conquering your passions" sounds like what students of Zen and Buddhism and whatnot have been striving for for centuries. I think you'll find that real life and emotions will interfere with the perfect bliss that's theoretically possible, but you're welcome to try. ;)
Well, you have to believe in something. And I am influenced by Buddhism, especially the Mahayana sceptics like Nagarjuna. But many Western philosophers, like Spinoza in his Ethics, can be seen to hold similar views.

[ Parent ]
Depression ain't simple, but it is curable. (none / 0) (#294)
by Jacques Chester on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 08:46:16 PM EST

What I'm about to go into is based on my own study of psychology, my own experience with depression, and my father's experience with depression.
I still believe you have a power to decide whether you are happy or not.
Believe whatever you want to believe. But understand that depression is not a uniform, unicausal blob (a mistake also made by mech9t8). Its causes and manageability vary from person.

Broadly, the neurochemistry of depression is similar from person to person. When the serotonin levels in your brain go out of whack, then lo, thou art miserable. Most people come to this position out the circumstances of their current life. I came to depression this way. For about my six months my life was so awful, I fell into a clinical depression which I wasn't even aware of. Colours went grey-blue (hence "the blues"), I was disconnected from a feeling of reality, I hated myself, etc etc etc. My serotonin levels apparently took a dive. Lo, I was depressed.

I have left behind the causes of my depression, and yes, I have substantially improved. Colours have regained their vibrancy, which is a clear sign that my neurochemistry has returned to pretty much normal. I'm lucky. A change in my surroundings has led to a change in my neurochemistry.

Some people are not so lucky. Some people are born with a predisposition to depression. Their neurochemistry naturally does not resist the kind of serotonin levels that cause depression. Once they tip over into depression, they get stuck. Really stuck.

This happened to my father. His powerful mind, and his fantastic wit, became a weapon of frustration and anger. His mind oppressed us by beating us down. His wit cut everyone, and cut deeply. I didn't understand, at the time, what was going on. I was a kid, and suddenly, daddy hated me.

It was his habitual reading that saved us all from years of this. He found out about the chemical causes of depression, got a prescription to some antidepressants, and returned to his normal, wonderful self. He was stuck, and no amount of psychotherapy or wishful thinking could move him. But the drugs did.

Most antidepressants are SSRIs - Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Neurons in the brain communicate using chemicals: they squirt these neurochemicals at each other, then recover the chemicals to use again. By stopping serotonin's reuptake, antidepressants simulate a much higher level of serotonin in the brain. This has the effect of normalising the brain's balance and returning a depressed person to sanity and functioning.

The fact that people sometimes get clinically depressed doesn't make me change my mind, because the two things are not necessarily related at all.
Here, try an experiment. Take some chemicals to jam up your serotonin system. Then come and tell me how it's all about Thinking Positive, or possibly, Prayer. Sometimes it is just about attitude, or life direction, or some other kind of subconscious psychic malaise. But sometimes, it's physical, and antidepressants are the answers to your prayers.

Remember: don't feel guilty about depression - see a doctor.

--
In a world where an Idea can get you killed, Thinking is the most dangerous act of all.
[ Parent ]

great (none / 0) (#298)
by dalinian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:07:20 PM EST

Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.
Here, try an experiment. Take some chemicals to jam up your serotonin system. Then come and tell me how it's all about Thinking Positive, or possibly, Prayer. Sometimes it is just about attitude, or life direction, or some other kind of subconscious psychic malaise. But sometimes, it's physical, and antidepressants are the answers to your prayers.
I'm not saying that it's about thinking positive. I agree completely that you can't fight clinical depression with just positive thinking. I tried to make this clear this in my earlier post as well, when I said that clinical depression is an unrelated special case.

The issue was whether having sex, intimacy, a family and kids etc. will help prevent clinical depression. And I got the idea that they don't, and that virtually anyone can fall victim to the illness. I do think it is a very serious condition, but we were talking about normal conditions and general recommendations we should make. I think we all agree that clinical depression is not a normal condition.

[ Parent ]

I've misread you. (none / 0) (#308)
by Jacques Chester on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:43:05 PM EST

I apologise. I see a lot of feel-good Think Positive/Pray Today type crap pushed at people who are mentally ill, and it just shits me off. This isn't the middle freaking ages. If the drugs work, hand 'em out.

Gah!

--
In a world where an Idea can get you killed, Thinking is the most dangerous act of all.
[ Parent ]

agreed (none / 0) (#340)
by dalinian on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 04:34:31 AM EST

I see a lot of feel-good Think Positive/Pray Today type crap pushed at people who are mentally ill, and it just shits me off.
I've seen that happen as well, and I agree with you completely.

[ Parent ]
one more thing (2.00 / 1) (#133)
by dalinian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:14:11 AM EST

What if you have to do back-breaking labour 20 hours a day just to put food on your plate?
Sounds unlikely. One person doesn't need that much food. And even if one does, having a family to feed only makes things worse.
What if you're hit by a car and have to spend the next 6 months in pain? What if your parents die?
These are accidents that may happen anyway, with family or without it. And they are things you have to deal with yourself. If you have a family crying with or for you, it doesn't really make things any better. Instead, you may even feel that your sorrow has brought sorrow into their lives as well.

[ Parent ]
really? (2.00 / 1) (#121)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:46:18 AM EST

But we're hard-wired for sex. We're hard-wired for intimacy. We're hard-wired for companionship.

There really is very little evidence that we're hard-wired at all, and if Stephen Pinker were intellectually honest, he'd admit it.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

thanks for assuming what you want to prove (2.00 / 1) (#131)
by adequate nathan on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:02:37 AM EST

I'm hard-wired to eat too, but I don't indulge in that appetite solely for its own sake. Nu?

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Counter-Question.... (none / 0) (#148)
by Elkor on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 11:14:04 AM EST

Ok, if people can have marriage without sex, why can't they have sex without marriage?

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
they can (4.00 / 1) (#184)
by dalinian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:58:41 PM EST

Did I say they can't? I'm sorry if I did, because I didn't mean it. In my opinion, people can have sex anytime they want.

[ Parent ]
Paul said that too... (none / 0) (#171)
by Skywise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:24:53 PM EST

;>

[ Parent ]
Paul also said (none / 0) (#177)
by wedman on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:41:16 PM EST

That women should keep their pie-holes shut in church.

~
DELETE FROM comments WHERE uid=9524;
[ Parent ]
Pie-holes in church (none / 0) (#194)
by unDees on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:24:09 PM EST

Beh. He was speaking to a specific group of women who were being a bunch of jerks in a specific church.

Your account balance is $0.02; to continue receiving our quality opinions, please remit payment as soon as possible.
[ Parent ]
Tell that to your local diocese. (n/t) (none / 0) (#451)
by wedman on Sun Jul 07, 2002 at 03:34:55 PM EST



~
DELETE FROM comments WHERE uid=9524;
[ Parent ]
Really? He said pie-holes? (none / 0) (#218)
by Skywise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:24:28 PM EST

Yeah, and women weren't counted as citizens in the US until the 1900's.

And black men weren't even counted as whole people for census purposes in the US until the 1800's.

So the entire US system sucks?

[ Parent ]

"So the entire US system sucks?" (5.00 / 1) (#343)
by gromgull on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 06:33:34 AM EST

I think you are onto something here...
--
If I had my way I'd have all of you shot

[ Parent ]
Paul? (none / 0) (#204)
by dalinian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:54:23 PM EST

You mean Paul in the Bible? (I have never really read the Bible, so I don't know.)

If it is him, great! I was only expressing my opinion (which I believe is a reasonable one), but if the Bible supports me on this one as well, I'm not going to fight it. :-)

[ Parent ]

Yeah... (none / 0) (#216)
by Skywise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:21:38 PM EST

The Paul in the Bible, in one of his letters to the churches. (I don't remember which one offhand)

Paul believed that it was better to do Christ' work than get married and support a wife and kids. (Because that would detract from the ability to do Christ' work)  And that some people would have the ability to do this (live a life without sex).  But if they couldn't get around the...urge... then it was better to marry.

[ Parent ]

Long term results of localized supply problems (3.78 / 14) (#37)
by Pac on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:57:14 PM EST

The huge number of Christians you find nowadays is a direct result of a supply crisis that reduced the number of lions available for use in the Roman Circus during the years 50-100 A.D. A socio-economic Butterfly Effect, if you will.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
As a christian I must day (none / 0) (#165)
by farmgeek on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:01:12 PM EST

that I find your comment reprehensibly funny.

Stop making me waste coffee like that.

[ Parent ]

Beware (5.00 / 1) (#181)
by Pac on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:48:34 PM EST

Judging from the number of 1 ratings it got, your fellow Christians don't share your opinion. But then again I like when my comments get mostly 5s and 1s. Much better than a bunch of 3s...

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
WARNING: Gross overgeneralization alert. (4.00 / 3) (#69)
by eLuddite on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:56:26 PM EST

A relationship based on love will need some physical nearness

This is a patent untruth when men can occupy their gonads with sport, liquor and poker, preferably all on the same night. I'm only half-joking, of course, but the facts of the matter are in: relationships based on gender roles succeed. In my marriage, for one intimate example of your voyeurism, I am the expert driver with unerring sense of direction, lifter of heavy objects, and principal passive-aggressive initiator of stillborn breeding. She, on the other hand, is the passive-ambivalent receptacle of phallus, sweeper of rug, laundress of tattered linen, and generally one of the boys but with tits. This works for us. It might not work for you and yours. Typically, I would counsel couples to trade honestly on the prestige of each other's relatives and personal strength and weaknesses until she can concede nothing more short of just fucking leaving you once and for all and boy were her friends who are not jealous spinsters right all along to warn her against committing to a troglodyte who can memorize the date, time and channel of every sporting event on the cable grid but is prevented by depths of selfishness more profound than the Marianas Trench from remembering something as elemental as her birthday and another thing if you think for one gall darn moment that our linen is tattered well then I have nothing more to say to ...

anyway, you know what I mean.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

If people needed proof (3.79 / 24) (#23)
by lb008d on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 04:57:11 PM EST

that America is completely without a doubt the most puritanical country in the world, look no further.

What I want to know is why oh why are people so hung up on sex here? It can't just be christianity's fault. Why are people so hung up on finding the "right person" - the perfect mate?

If you learn anything while dating it's that people change, and so do relationships. People get hurt. People fall in love. People fall out of love. It's all just part of being a person.

Puritanism... (4.33 / 3) (#135)
by richieb on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:39:51 AM EST

A puritan is person who's is deathly afraid that someone somewhere is having fun. :-)

Regarding sex, US culture seems to me like a teenage boy - afraid to mention it out right, pretending it doesn't exist at all, while thinking about it all the time - wink, wink, nod, nod, know what I mean?

...richie
It is a good day to code.
[ Parent ]

Perceptive (2.31 / 22) (#24)
by medham on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:05:03 PM EST

Many white male liberals, who are often cuckolds, disguise their lack of prowess by false appeals to "women's equality." What they essentially want is for the inherent onus of being half-a-man to be lifted via social engineering.

Needless to say, thanks to the efforts of jefspork here and others like him, this is doomed to failure and Philip Roth novels.

Women do want to submit to their husbands; the husband has to deserve this submission, however. If he doesn't, as so few sallow-chested liberals do, then she's genetically driven to real men.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

sallow chested? (none / 0) (#64)
by inti on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:34:59 PM EST

You mean their chests are "of a grayish greenish yellow color"? O-kay...


Claim your namespace.
Support the OpenNIC

[ Parent ]

Divorce Rates (4.36 / 22) (#27)
by acronos on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:18:01 PM EST

I found this website on American Divorce Rates.

I wish there were better statistics somewhere. I would be very interested in finding the real divorce rate for the Christians in your church. My experiences in churches demonstrated a very high divorce rate. These churches included: mandatory marriage counseling, strong teaching on the evil of divorce, and a bible that condoms divorce for any reason except marital unfaithfulness(sex with someone other than your spouse) and condoms remarriage to anyone other than the initial spouse. The divorce rate was still very high. I have to wonder how big of a difference the above really makes. Notice the comparison between "born again" Christians and Atheists in the above linked article.

So that you know where I am coming from. I grew up with several churches. The denominations include Baptist, Church of God, and Methodist. The highest infidelity rate in the churches that I attended was the Fundamentalist Baptist, then the Church of God, then the Methodist. By infidelity I mean people who I knew were having sex while being active participants in the youth group and claiming to be Christians.

I personally never had sexual intercourse with anyone other than the woman I am married to - and for the first time on our wedding night. I was raised believing that such relationships were better if saved until marriage. My wife meets similar standards of morality and belief. We both actively sought God's input concerning each other. We both had "a close relationship with Christ" at the top of our list of requirements. We did most of the things you listed concerning your church and "courting." It is terribly ironic, and a strain on our marriage, that I converted to Atheism about 2 years into our marriage. So, I guess I am a success story since we are still together at three years and 98% happy. I can't help but wonder if that was due more to our perseverance than our religious beliefs.

Heh, what a typo (4.00 / 11) (#33)
by theboz on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:46:33 PM EST

and a bible that condoms divorce for any reason except marital unfaithfulness(sex with someone other than your spouse) and condoms remarriage to anyone other than the initial spouse.

I think the word you are looking for is condemn.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Once is typo (none / 0) (#342)
by axxeman on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 05:06:07 AM EST

Twice is Freudian slop.

Feminism is an overcompensatory drama-queen club, with extra dykes. ---- Farq
[ Parent ]

Sorry (none / 0) (#448)
by acronos on Thu Jul 04, 2002 at 06:25:59 AM EST

The fault actually lies with my spell checker and my lack of care in choosing the correct suggestion. I certainly did intend "condemns."

[ Parent ]
and after (3.21 / 28) (#29)
by fhotg on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:24:47 PM EST

two wonderful years of courtship, when they learned to love each others soul, the passion tamed by patience with the help of the Scripture, the first kiss in front of the altar having awakend the presentiment of sweet but ecstatic and hitherto unknown pleasures, in the night of the honeymoon, he slowly undressed her. The discovery that she wasn't really 'she' in the physiological sense only slowed him down for a moment as a quick prayer for guidance let him whisper 'turn over baby' and they enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh with an indulgence to make the Father rejoice. They still do. No kids though.

Have you tried publishing? (none / 0) (#190)
by Roman on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:19:39 PM EST

This is good stuff, you just need to throw a few action sceenes into it and the storry will take off. I $mell million$!

[ Parent ]
no, too busy (none / 0) (#277)
by fhotg on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 06:32:11 PM EST

shooting pr0n.

That comment was an attempt to maximize the variance of ratings and expose homophobic tendencies among a certain brand of 'christians'. To rate that with zero or one, you must either hate me personally, or have your long overdue coming-out suppressed by a desperate clinging to a quite funny belief-system enforced by social pressure.

[ Parent ]

Another thing (1.38 / 18) (#30)
by medham on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:37:56 PM EST

Please quote from the King James. Failure to do so announces quite loudly a lack of education, which lack makes it hard for the reader to take the rest of your argument seriously, however meritorius it may be.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

KJV - not quite (4.00 / 2) (#36)
by rigorist on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:55:22 PM EST

While KJV is definitely a better version than the New Living, the RSV (or New RSV) is generally preferred by scholars.

Of course, one could be a real pedant and use UBS or  Textus Receptus in koine Greek.

[ Parent ]

And another thing (4.44 / 9) (#38)
by anais ninja on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:59:51 PM EST

Please quote from the original Amharic and Greek. Failure to do so announces quite loudly a lack of education, which lack makes it hard for the reader to take the rest of your argument seriously, however meritorius it may be.


[ Parent ]
Amharic? (none / 0) (#51)
by Bad Harmony on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:24:12 PM EST

I think you mean Aramaic. Amharic is the national language of Ethiopia.

5440' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

Mea culpa. (none / 0) (#59)
by anais ninja on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:00:56 PM EST

Mea maxima culpa.


[ Parent ]
I agree (4.71 / 7) (#49)
by jmzero on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:22:53 PM EST

The KJV has some real robustness to its sound.  When stated in modern English, much of the Bible comes across as silly platitude - as demonstrated in the article.

People who despise advice will find themselves in trouble; those who respect it will succeed. (New Living Translation)

vs.

Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. (KJV)

Accuracy and clarity be damned, the Bible should at least sound good.

.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

The KJV (5.00 / 1) (#72)
by dasunt on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:14:21 PM EST

King James Version KJV) actually lacking in some regards, since more accurate documents have been found in the centuries that have passed since the KJV.

I have been told that the New American Study Bible (NASB) is a pretty accurate translation, and it does take in later sources. However, if one wants to learn the original Aramaic and Greek, go right ahead. Then you can pour over the documents yourself and decide what version you want.



[ Parent ]
Ancient Hebrew/Greek (none / 0) (#81)
by Anon 17933 on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 10:38:02 PM EST

Been there, done that. KJV wins, hands down, for accuracy every time. As to the claim that more texts have been found since, maybe the dead sea scrolls, but the funny thing about them is that they pretty much back the old texts. They're frequently used as examples of how carefully the original texts were preserved through the ages before we started putting it in english.

[ Parent ]
What's that? (5.00 / 2) (#88)
by Anonymous 242 on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:39:13 PM EST

KJV wins, hands down, for accuracy every time.
No, just ask any Greek.

The KJV, like every other translation, suffers from the bias of its translators. The Pilgrims thought that the KJV was too partial to the Protestant Church of England and brought the Geneva Bible with them to Plymouth Rock. (The Puritans went so far as to call the KJV scholars "damnable corruptors of God's word.) The Catholics thought that the KJV was too partial to the Protestants and brought out the Bishops' Bible.

Where the KJV does have an advantage is almost 400 years of editing to catch all the mistakes. Compare a 1611 edition KJV to any modern translation and the modern translation will have far fewer mistakes. Compare a modern KJV (which is not really the KJV, but a revision) and the modern KJV will have fewer mistakes en toto. However, many modern translations will fix some of the erroneous translations of the KJV such as referring to the temple of Astarte as a church in the book of acts.

Personally I'm partial to the Orthodox New Testament translated by the Holy Apostles Convent and Dormition Skete.

[ Parent ]

Off topic question.... (none / 0) (#182)
by blixco on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:52:39 PM EST

So, the KJV will have fewer mistakes....compared to what? Just curious, I don't want to sound sarcastic. ..though I usually do.
-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]
other translations, niv, nasb particularly (n/t) (none / 0) (#245)
by Anon 17933 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:29:18 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Thanks (n/t) (none / 0) (#256)
by blixco on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:58:36 PM EST


-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]
KJV has fewer mistakes than any modern translation (5.00 / 1) (#299)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:10:11 PM EST

In grammar and typesetting. It's had longer to be edited.

In terms of having accurately translating Greek and Hebrew into English, its no better or worse than most modern translations. As I mentioned, every modern translation bears the bias of its interpreters. The KJV is marred by the bias of the high Anglican Church of the seventeenth century. This is part of why the Puritans found it unacceptable as they viewed the Church of England as an abomination. Modern translations are also marred by the bias of their translators.

The KJV also has some real bonehead anachronisms such as referring to Passover (Pascha in Greek) as Easter and referring to the temple of Astarte (hiero something or the other in Greek) as a Church (Ekklesia in Greek). A good deal of the theology is also very Protestantized, such as translating "full of grace" (Charitoo in Greek) as "highly favored" in Luke 1:28. The KJV also does not take the Septuagint translation into any account for the Old Testament even though a good number of citations of the Old Testament in the New Testament are taken from the Septuagint. Also, where the Septuagint was used (in translating the deuterocanonicals), a rather haphazard job was done. The translation of the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament in the KJV is not up to the same level of excellence as the rest of the KJV.

That said, it makes little difference outside of personal taste which translation gets used, provided one is cognizant of the fact that the translation does have errors. The translation that is easiest for a given individual to understand should be the translation that is used by said individual. Because, not matter what translation is used, the spin of the school of Biblical interpretation a person is indoctrinated in will have more of a profound effect on interpretation than which translation is used.

Most scholars hold the NRSV to be one of the best translations. Most conservatives also hold it to be one of the most liberal translations.

If you want treasure beauty check out the New Jerusalem Bible. If you want literalness, try the Amplified Bible. If you want the Majority Text use the NKJV or the Third Millenium Bible. If you want a paraphrase try the Message or the New Living Translation. If you want easy to comprehend try the New Century Version or the International Children's Version.

Versions abound and they all say pretty much the same thing. For the most part the differences in translation only matter to pendantic scholars.

Regards,

Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

Wow. (none / 0) (#310)
by blixco on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:52:29 PM EST

That's....wow. Thanks for putting the time into that response. I really appreciate it.
-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]
The scary part is . . . (none / 0) (#311)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:53:43 PM EST

That was all off the top of my head and typed in less than ten minutes.

[ Parent ]
What;'s the theological version of... (none / 0) (#313)
by blixco on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:58:05 PM EST

...."you rock"? Thanks. I may have to engage you in some more conversation in the future along these lines, if you're willing. Also, is there a text that describes the angels and their chiors? That's a fascinating idea for me....probably all Wim Wenders' fault.
-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
[ Parent ]
Angels and Choirs (5.00 / 1) (#318)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:32:59 PM EST

Look at this.

Listen to this. Or in English.

More.

Actually, there are numerous passages about angels and choirs. One of the most common visions of heaven received by various prophets is that of angels singing the thrice holy hymn: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal.

Also Book II, Chapter III of An exact exposition of the Orthodox Faith by Saint John of Damascus does an excellent job of describing what we can know about angels.

Oh, and Wings of Desire rocks. Its sequal, Far away, so close is pretty good too, but not as good as WOD.

[ Parent ]

KJV accuracy counterexample (none / 0) (#195)
by unDees on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:37:27 PM EST

"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" would have been more appropriately rendered "Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live" but for the political agenda of the translators.

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[ Parent ]
Unicorns (none / 0) (#206)
by dasunt on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:00:02 PM EST

If I recall correctly, the KJV mentions unicorns.

Googling turns up http://www.tegart.com/brian/bible/kjvonly/unicorn.html

Still want to continue this thread?



[ Parent ]
Never said it was perfect (none / 0) (#265)
by Anon 17933 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:18:31 PM EST

The KJV is not perfect, everyone knows that. It is, however, the most accurate translation overall. I'd never heard of the unicorn thing, but in all the instances I've studied, the KJV is correct. The scholars who did the KJV were the best scholars of their day, and I would submit that they were probably better scholars of the ancient languages than anyone today is.

See this link (be fore-warned -- it's a hard, 90+ page read) for a very in-depth look at the differences between the KJV and the NIV and how many of the newer texts that have been introduced since 1611 are not only inaccurate, but grieviously in error. The whole text is important, but page 50 is where the critique of the NIV, which is the most popular "new" Bible, starts. If you're going to complain about a possible mistranslation of a single word in the old testament vice mistranslating whole ideas in the new testament , I think your priorities are in the wrong place.

[ Parent ]

Interesting claim (none / 0) (#307)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:41:07 PM EST

All the "theological" errors pointed out in the Gary McDade article stem from the doctrinal bias of the group critiquing the NIV. Given that Calvinists and Pentecostals can as easily support their theology from the KJV as from the NIV, I find McDade's critique to be of dubious value.

Not to mention that one can similarly pick apart just about any single passage from any work, if one takes it out of the context of the larger body of the work. For example, one of McDade's criticisms concerns the word "perfection" in a single passage of James that "opens the way for Premillenianism". This is a rather dubious claim as (1) plenty of Premillenialists are KJV-only and (2) to get to Premillenialism (or any other *millenialsm) it takes a much larger context than one passage.

Aside from that, the comparisson is cherry-picking. A better comparisson would be the KJV compared to the New American Bible, the RSV, and/or the NSRV. As no one ever accused the NIV of being a translation for serious Bible study. Generally scholars prefer the NSRV, NAB or RSV when not using a Greek text. I also wouldn't mind seeing a comparrison to my favorite, The Orthodox New Testament.

Regards,

Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

true... (none / 0) (#319)
by Anon 17933 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:37:56 PM EST

But did you read the other article I linked to in my post? It's a bit biased too, as is any work you will find on this subject, but far more in-depth, and less "doctrinally biased." Mr. Khoo explores the KJV as it relates to many of the earlier hebrew/aramaic and greek texts, and specifically the fact that many of the newer translations (NAS and NSRV both are mentioned, I believe) are based on unreliable texts. He makes some very strong claims, and he explores several different, and opposing viewpoints, but still comes to the conclusion that the KJV is the best english representation of the Bible as it was passed down through the ages. He also goes over some of the major mistranslations that affect generally accepted Christian doctrine, a number of which are not specific to a particular denomination (the Trinity and the Virgin birth are two I can think of off the top of my head).

I'm not familiar with the Orthodox New Testament -- I'd have to say I've mostly used the KJV/NKJV and sometimes the NAS and NIV for my own study. Maybe I'll have to check it out sometime.

[ Parent ]

Good points (none / 0) (#321)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:53:23 PM EST

But did you read the other article I linked to in my post?
To be honest, no. It is quite lengthy and I'll doubt it will tell me anything of substance that I don't already know.
but still comes to the conclusion that the KJV is the best english representation of the Bible
First off, I love the KJV. It is one magnificent work. Second, the KJV also uses pretty archaic language and for most people, the KJV is a very poor representation of the Bible because it can be so difficult to figure out what it is saying. When I was seventeen I used to attend a Bible study at the local Church of Christ. The format was open, meaning that anyone who had a question could ask. Most of the questions were asked by people who during their private devotional times had come across something that they didn't understand. Nine times out of ten when the person doing the asking used the KJV, the question was answered immediately by simply reading the same passage out of a modern translation.

And as I mentioned in another post, the single most signicant factor in reading the Bible is the method of interpretation one uses. Jehovah's Witnesses can "prove" their doctrines with not much more work out of KJV than out of their New World Bible. Once one is taught a certain tradition, one will see it in the pags of any translation.

Regards,

Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

One other point (none / 0) (#322)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 11:24:28 PM EST

There are reasons aside from strict correctness to choose a translation. For example, I do most of my reading out of the New Jerusalem Bible because that translation is quite beautiful. It's one of the few translations that attempted to keep the poetry of the original languages where they were meant to be poetry. Another example is how when reading aloud, I prefer the International Children's Version because it is ideally suited to such, especially when my audience is my children. The KJV and NKJV are rather obtuse to read aloud with long and meandering sentences with obscure punctuation that make reading aloud quite difficult.

Every translation has its own strengths and weaknesses and as long as we are cognizant of the strengths and weaknesses, using any translation of the Bible can be exceedingly beneficial. Saying that there is one best translation for every purpose is rather short-sighted. (Not that I think that you are making this latter claim, but many people do. This is normal. People naturally seek to convince themselves that which they have chosen was the best possible choice.)

[ Parent ]

This is an editorial comment (nt) (none / 0) (#94)
by ODiV on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:04:47 AM EST



--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Whoa darlin', you're on quite a tear today [n/t] (none / 0) (#99)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:21:08 AM EST


---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
literal word for word, meaning, nuances etc. (none / 0) (#146)
by sasquatchan on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:58:39 AM EST

take your pick, but I'm not with those who think any one translation is the be-all end-all of translations. One can learn and benefit from all translations, even the J. B. Phillips translation, or "The Message".

Each takes a different approach of how they chose to translate -- to convey word by word, to convey by sentence (thus re-arranging words), to convey the meaning, or to try and use modern language to give the same sentiment.

That being said, there is something special about the poetic language of the KJV.
-- The internet is not here for your personal therapy.
[ Parent ]

Even if I were religious... (4.35 / 20) (#34)
by Count Zero on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 05:47:22 PM EST

Within the marriage, but not any time before, the man is expected to be the leader of the relationship and the wife willfully submits to her husband. Although this is extremely controversial, it is not without scriptural backing.

...I couldn't deal with this. Scripturally backed or no, I don't want a brainwashed zombie to "submit to my will", I want an equal partner, with her own opinions. Thanks, but no thanks.

Good read though...




streetlawyer summary service (3.27 / 11) (#120)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:42:23 AM EST

"I'm so tolerant and enlightened, won't one of you bitches please go down on me?"

thanks, thanks, I'll be here all week.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Nice troll... (none / 0) (#205)
by unDees on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:54:34 PM EST

Sure you aren't medham in disguise? All those arguments between you two could be just a front to perpetuate the illusion....

Your account balance is $0.02; to continue receiving our quality opinions, please remit payment as soon as possible.
[ Parent ]
I like it! (none / 0) (#243)
by epepke on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:27:40 PM EST

It's quite true. When men talk about how much they respect women, it's a sexual dominance display, and usually a rather crude one, too.

While we're on the subject, the quietest and most proper woman in church is usually the one who likes hot wax dripped on her nipples.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
heh... (none / 0) (#257)
by Skywise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:00:40 PM EST

While we're on the subject, the quietest and most proper woman in church is usually the one who likes hot wax dripped on her nipples. That ... is a fact.

[ Parent ]
Not quite. (none / 0) (#450)
by trimethyl on Sat Jul 06, 2002 at 11:57:27 PM EST

I don't want a brainwashed zombie to "submit to my will", I want an equal partner, with her own opinions

I think that they don't want a brainwashed zombie either. The notion of the wife being submissive is not about power or control, but order. A wife should trust the decisions of her husband and support him, as he supports her. It has nothing to do with being brainwashed, but rather, mutual servitude - a concept completely foreign to most non-Christians.

As Protestant theology commonly holds the husband responsible for the entire family (including children), it is only sensible that a woman should be submissive to her husband; if she weren't, the church could not hold the husband responsible for the state of his family.

I really believe that a woman should be submissive to her husband, and that a husband should love his wife as he loves himself. I don't believe that a marriage could last any other way. A woman unwilling to submit to her husband does not love him; indeed, if she wants to get married, but not submit, she is only in the relationship because of her own self-interest. And likewise, a man who is not willing to make a life-long commitment to a woman neither loves her nor deserves her.

So many people talk about love, yet so few are actually willing to give of themselves for the sake of loving someone. Here's a hint: If you aren't willing to give up something for your partner, it's not love.

[ Parent ]

Happiness (4.66 / 27) (#40)
by catseye on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:02:56 PM EST

Call me selfish, but I don't care about the divorce rate. I care about happiness.

You can never fully know a partner until you've A) had sex with him/her and B) lived with him/her.

I've had 4 serious relationships (not counting my current one, in which I am engaged), any of which could have led to marriage had we gone the old-fashioned, chaste courtship route.

In two of the relationships, we found ourselves to be sexually incompatible for the long term, with little hope of that changing. In two of them, we found ourselves to be incompatible with regards to living together.

Sorry, but love does NOT conquor all. If we had gotten married before finding out about these incompatibilities, we'd have either been miserable or divorced. In my book, divorced is better than miserable. I suppose compromises could have been made and expectations lowered... but why settle?

Why not find the person you're REALLY compatible with?

Be intimate with a proposed partner. Make sure the guy you're about to marry doesn't have a foot fetish, isn't a cocropheliac, and doesn't have a micro-penis (if that sort of thing matters to you) BEFORE you get married. (Or, for guys, that the girl understands basic hygeine, will actually perform oral sex, and isn't frigid in general.) Of course, be as safe as possible, get tested for STDs, and use a reliable method of birth control.

Live with the person... even if it's just for a month on a temporary basis, to make sure that you can live with that person's personal habits and can deal with his/her lifestyle, and the other way 'round.

You wouldn't buy a car without test driving it, would you?

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?

heh.. (3.36 / 11) (#48)
by Work on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:21:54 PM EST

yet somehow, for thousands of years, thousands of cultures have prevailed. Many of them you don't even MEET the girl until you're married. There are plenty of cultures out there where the men have never even seen their wives naked.

Don't be quick to judge others different than you. It's you who looks foolish.

[ Parent ]

Interestingly enough (4.00 / 1) (#138)
by wiredog on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:59:13 AM EST

I live in northern Virginia, which has seen quite a bit of immigration from places where arranged marriages are the norm. "Get married, then fall in love" seems to work as well as "fall in love, then get married."

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
[ Parent ]
Different cultures (3.00 / 3) (#143)
by catseye on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:36:18 AM EST

Yes, of course, in many cultures marriages are arranged. Typically, in those cultures, divorce is frowned upon and only granted (at least to the woman) in the event of serious abuse.

Western culture is different. Divorce is granted simply because one or both parties want it. It's not that big a deal. In our culture marriages are not arranged; people choose their own mates.

Since, in our culture, it's so easy to get out of a marriage, I don't believe one should go into it without being sure that it's going to last.

Outside the religious crowd, marriage rates are dropping anyway... probably due to the insane taxes that go along with it. My SO and I are engaged, but we're waiting until the tax situation improves before we actually get married. As it stands, with both of us working, it will cost us US$10,000 a year to be married. It's not worth it.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

Marriage, Civil & Religious (none / 0) (#422)
by Robert Uhl on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 08:59:10 PM EST

You raise an interesting issue: the marriage tax. Why does the State even care about marriage? Marriage is between a man, a woman and God. I care about being married in the eyes of God, not in the eyes of the State. Thus, I'd have no problem with getting rid of civil marriage altogether. If one is religious, then marriage is important; if one is not, there's no rational basis for it being of any import at all--at least, no more than living together to begin with.

It's time to get the State out of marriage. Those of us who believe, will marry--as we now do. And those who don't, won't--as they now fail to do.

[ Parent ]

good advice (3.30 / 10) (#50)
by majik on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:23:17 PM EST

I would recommend a long healthy sex life, and at least a few months if not a year of living together before deciding. You don't really know if you're compatable til you put the pieces together. As you might have learned with friends & roommates, its totally different when you live with a person. You get to see their real personality. I've had some really amazing and intense relationships, and some have even come close... but not close enough yet. And I'm not even the picky type!
Funky fried chickens - they're what's for dinner
[ Parent ]
happiness (4.36 / 11) (#54)
by dalinian on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:33:43 PM EST

Human beings have a tendency never to be happy. Happiness only exists in reference to sorrow - if the other one is missing, it takes the flavor out of the other. In the end, each person can only decide to be happy, and external factors don't have a big effect. You can be happy with money and without money, without love or with love. The tricky part is that when you start protecting your happiness, you are sure to lose it.
Why not find the person you're REALLY compatible with?
Because it isn't working out that well for many people, as you can see from the divorce statistics in the other posts. In time, all people will get sick of each other, no matter how compatible they were in the beginning. Then it's just a matter of tolerance: if you learn to live with all kinds of people (just like Christianity says you should do, I guess - I'm not sure because I'm not a Christian), you don't have to search for the "perfect match". You can also learn to live completely without other people, if you think you are able to do it.
You wouldn't buy a car without test driving it, would you?
Well, I personally would not buy a car in any case. But even if I did, it would be different: cars are instruments, people are not. You can't just "test" human beings. They deserve more respect than that.

[ Parent ]
sorry. (none / 0) (#303)
by Sesquipundalian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:22:17 PM EST

Happiness is real, I have vivid memories of absolute glee, when things have gone my way , especially at the expense of someone else.

Also raising the relationship expectations of women is a tactic that smart men do to tip the playing field in their favor. The dumb guys can't pull off the charade and lose out, the smart good looking ones have all the women to themselves.

Nothing like a dumb, hot-chick to totally go for the hunky and heroic type, then when you let down your guard and become a total asshole, you will become regarded as "dangerous and exciting".


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
points (5.00 / 1) (#341)
by dalinian on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 04:57:41 AM EST

Happiness is real, I have vivid memories of absolute glee, when things have gone my way , especially at the expense of someone else.
I don't really know what to say to that. To me, it sounds quite evil. Happiness is not evil, so I think that you are not talking about happiness there.
Also raising the relationship expectations of women is a tactic that smart men do to tip the playing field in their favor. The dumb guys can't pull off the charade and lose out, the smart good looking ones have all the women to themselves.
Maybe the "dumb" guys are the ones reading (and writing) books about moral philosophy, writing code, making scientific discoveries and generally making the world a better place for everyone. They simply don't have the time to listen to what the stuff in their crotch has to say.
Nothing like a dumb, hot-chick to totally go for the hunky and heroic type, then when you let down your guard and become a total asshole, you will become regarded as "dangerous and exciting".
If stuff like that really happens, it seems that I have been correct in avoiding the company of women.

[ Parent ]
Don't let me get you down on the fairer sex... (none / 0) (#455)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat Nov 02, 2002 at 06:37:12 PM EST

It's just that they don't really play all that fair.

On the happiness issue; Nope, that is a form of happiness. It's just very expensive (broad definition) in the long run (sort of killing off your friends whenever they displease you).

I guess I'm just trying to point out how people get played off against each other all the time, and how shitty it makes everyone feel.

Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]

wow... (4.20 / 10) (#96)
by ODiV on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:11:55 AM EST

I agree with the spirit of this comment, that you should not be marrying people with whom you will not be happy with, but definately not to the extremes you've taken it.

I'm sorry, but I can't imagine falling completely in love with someone, getting married, and then divorcing her because she won't suck my dick.

"Love cannot conquer a micro-penis"

--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Divorce vs Unhappy (3.00 / 2) (#142)
by catseye on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:30:02 AM EST

No, you might not... Many men dont'. You know what they do instead? They have affairs or pay for sex with women who WILL suck their dicks.

Not all men, of course, but enough to consider it a possible outcome.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

What's wrong with that? (4.00 / 2) (#152)
by ODiV on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 11:26:14 AM EST

How is the "Till death do us part" bit any less valid than "I won't have sex with any other people" bit?

What if you're unhappy divorced, but you're happy married and cheating?

--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Stupid question (3.00 / 1) (#160)
by catseye on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:51:29 PM EST

"What if you're unhappy divorced, but you're happy married and cheating?"

That only applies if both partners are fully informed and happy with the situation. If the husband is hiring hookers and the wife is ok with that because it means she doesn't have to put out anymore, then it's a mutual agreement and not cheating.

It's cheaing when the other party does not know it's going on and did not consent to it going on within the marriage.

That is dishonest, unethical, and wrong... not to mention dangerous to the unknowing partner, who might want to take better precautions during sexual contact with the "cheating" partner due to possible STD infection.

FYI, before anyone mentions it, it's just as wrong for the woman to do it as the man or in the case of same-sex marriages, either partner.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

My point is (3.00 / 1) (#169)
by ODiV on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:21:33 PM EST

that if you agree to stay with someone for life and be only with them (ie: marriage) how is cheating so much worse than divorce?

Telling me that it's dishonest, unethical, and wrong doesn't really get us anywhere. I agree with the dishonest bit, but divorce makes a liar out of you too.

--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Sorry, misunderstood (3.00 / 1) (#175)
by catseye on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:33:14 PM EST

My point was that if you tested the waters, by living with your prospective partner and making sure you're sexually compatible, that the chances of happiness would be greater and the chance of divorce would be lessened because both parties would be going into it as aware as possible of the others habits, preferences, limitations, etc.

As well, I've been to a few weddings in the past couple of years and I didn't hear the "till death do us part" bit.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

np, I certainly helped derail us (nt) (none / 0) (#233)
by ODiV on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:44:54 PM EST



--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Selfish (not bad) Or How I did the courtship thing (3.75 / 4) (#207)
by tekan on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:05:30 PM EST

Some may interpret what you've said to be selfishness, but I don't think it is a bad thing. In my experience, when dating, every time in the past that I didn't look out for myself or put myself first, I ended up getting screwed. Perhaps it's my choice of women, I don't know, but I finally found the one (or we actually found each other :) ) and it involved the following:

The numbers also correspond to the level of selfishness involved. 1 is high, 5 is low.

  1. Be friends first! -- Try the friendship thing, if you are still good friends and are very close after a few months to, in my case, 3 years, then move on to co-habitation.
  2. Live together -- Live in close contact with each other for a few months or more. It clears up any and all issues about simply being able to tolerate another person's ways of doing things (laundry, cleaning, moods, shopping, sleeping, sex, his/her family, etc).
  3. Get engaged -- If all is well after steps 1 and 2, then 3 might be your next choice, otherwise if living together works fine then keep doing it. Marriage is not for everyone. If engaged (unless you've got money already and/or someone's parents are paying for the wedding) give yourself a year or so to save and plan! Shopping for a ring is not always "fun". It is a draining process.
  4. Marriage -- Where selfishness should disappear.
  5. Kids (Optional :) ) -- You produce one or more copies of yourself that demand unconditionally 24/7 that you not be selfish... and win everytime.


[ Parent ]
getting screwed (none / 0) (#224)
by isaac_akira on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:31:38 PM EST

every time in the past that I didn't look out for myself or put myself first, I ended up getting screwed.
Isn't getting screwed the point of dating? ;-)

[ Parent ]
Living together (5.00 / 1) (#415)
by meaningless pseudonym on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 05:00:06 PM EST

OK, as my last fiary entry shows (must get round to posting another soon :-) I'm NOT speaking from experience here.

One thing, though, is confusing me somewhat. The idea that I might only be able to determine if I could tolerate someone's way of life by sharing a residence with them. Why?

I spend large amounts of time visiting friends, and vice versa. I know what their taste in music, TV etc is like, I know if they keep a clean house, I'm familiar with whether they regularly break wind or pick their nose. I've probably seen, maybe helped, them do their laundry, I've likely been around them in trouble to know how they react to problems both in their lives and others. I'll have had enough energetic debates / gentle arguments with them to know their viewpoint on many things and how they handle situations. I've very often already met family but can easily do that without living with them.

What am I going to learn from sharing a house with them? Perhaps they sing in the shower or spend 30 minutes in the bathroom every morning? Well, it's far from impossible I'd already know them. Sleeping arrangements? I can think of one person, without trying, who I know very well always leaves her window open, regardless of the weather. Identifying people who thrash around at night isn't tricky from a quick glance at bedding. Perhaps they talk in their sleep? Well, I'm told I have done in the past and I'm also a very heavy sleeper so it wouldn't be a significant problem :-)

I honestly can't think of anything significant about a person that I could only determine by living with them. I accept that I can't necessarily determine if someone's sexual desires are compatible with mine without direct testing but I'm led to believe that people have been known to have sex with people they didn't live with and much of this comes down to what you expect from sex.

Would anyone care to enlighten me here?

[ Parent ]

now now .... (5.00 / 1) (#217)
by HypoLuxa on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:23:35 PM EST

[F]or guys, that the girl [...] will actually perform oral sex

It's 2002. Head is for everyone now.

--
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons.
- Leonard Cohen
[ Parent ]

use a reliable method of birth control. (none / 0) (#429)
by sgp on Sat Jun 29, 2002 at 09:10:38 PM EST

There is no reliable method of birth control. Some are better than others, but the only 100% guarantee is abstinance.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Relative odds (none / 0) (#433)
by Anonymous 242 on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 09:37:28 PM EST

There are many reliable methods of birth control. Some moreso than others. But given that abstinence is not guaranteed in a world where rape can occur, the more effective means of birth control for women are comparable to said women choosing to be abstinent.

Not that I'm for birth control, mind you. But I'd rather you not burn down any strawmen.

Regards,

Lee

[ Parent ]

Not my strawman (none / 0) (#440)
by sgp on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 06:42:28 PM EST

The poster I replied to used the phrase "reliable method of birth control". I merely pointed out that none can be relied upon - and therefore are not reliable, by the definition of the word.

The only strawmen here are your figures:

As I understand it, the Pill claims about 99.9% effectiveness. Are you saying that more than one woman in 1000 is raped and impregnated?

I've not checked my figures on birth control, but I think 99.9% is erring on the side of caution. I would be very interested if you could come up with some credible figures backing up your >1/1000.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Don't you want to make know though? (3.54 / 11) (#42)
by Idioteque on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:05:19 PM EST

I just find it amazing, although I don't know how prevalent this behavior is, that there is minimal physical and sexual contact before getting married. I'm sorry, but part of who we are is sexual beings and I'd like to know that side of my spouse before I got married.


I have seen too much; I haven't seen enough - Radiohead
Don't you want to know? (NC) (i'm an idiot) (2.00 / 3) (#44)
by Idioteque on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:07:36 PM EST




I have seen too much; I haven't seen enough - Radiohead
[ Parent ]
Sexual Beings? (3.62 / 8) (#53)
by thelizman on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:29:38 PM EST

I thoroughly reject the term "sexual beings" as an oversimplification of the human condition. There is far more to life than sex, and only the small minded and base actually spend the bulk of their existence centering around sex.

There is also food. So, to reverse your analogy, when you make yourself a cake, you don't pour the ingredients down your gullet and jump up and down do you? Likewise, it is patently rediculous to reduce the entire concept of marital relations to the act of sex and human sexuality. Honestly, what do you do with the other 23:45 in your day?

The act of courting it to better acquaint yourself with the mind inside of the person you are attracted to. 50 years from now - if you're still married - the pussy will be dry and loose...I don't care who you married. When your prick stops working, you'll learn that there is an entirely new dimension to human sexuality. Either that, or you'll while away your days in the old folks home eating oreos and drinking soy milk while watching Matlock reruns.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Whoa, it's ok... (4.25 / 4) (#56)
by Idioteque on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:46:37 PM EST

Apparently hit a nerve there. Maybe I should have been a little clearer. I don't mean that we are just sexual beings. Part of us is that sexual nature, you can't deny it. Also, your cake analogy is weak. Before you get married, you are trying out the other ingredients: Doing things together, communicating, working through problems, having fun, being romantic, why not try out the sex too? That's all I was saying. BTW, that's, what do I do with the other 23 hrs 55 mins of my day alright, get it right next time... :)


I have seen too much; I haven't seen enough - Radiohead
[ Parent ]
Your clarity was fine. (1.00 / 1) (#174)
by stinkwrinkle on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:32:47 PM EST

You said "part of who we are is sexual beings." His comprehension skills are lacking.

[ Parent ]
Coming from a troll named "stinkwrinkle" (none / 0) (#240)
by thelizman on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:19:01 PM EST

...questions of my "reading comprehension" are hardley worth merit when they're coming from you. You obviously did'nt read what I wrote at all.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
If you've got an extra 23:45 every day, (4.00 / 2) (#180)
by ethereal on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:45:15 PM EST

...then you're not doing it right. Or at least that's what your significant other thinks :)

--

Every time you read this, God wishes k5 had a "hide sigs" option. Please, think of the
[
Parent ]

50% Divorce Rate. (4.50 / 14) (#43)
by gauntlet on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:06:03 PM EST

OK, here's the thing. Marriage is designed to help out with the whole procreation thing. It's better for the kids (and by extension everyone else) if the mom and dad are both around for a while. The operative term is "for a while." We're designed to be infatuated with one another, lust after one another, possibly love one another, have children with one another, and later possibly reach a state of bonded friendship with one another.

Not every couple gets from lust to love. Not every couple gets from love to friendship. Marriage, unfortunately, has to happen at or near when the kids are born in order for it to be useful, so it happens during the love stage.

I don't have any links available right now, but from what I remember of biology, the chemical traits associated with the love stage wear off after a certain number of years. I don't remember the number, but it's at least four, and less than ten. I think it's supposed to be associated with the period of time it would take for a child to become sufficiently independent of its mother that the mother no longer requires someone else to care for her while she cares for the child.

For those marriages where the couple move into the friendship stage, the marriage continues to be a good thing. For those marriages where it does not, it can turn into something else entirely, something horrible. This is the result of marriage unnaturally forcing two people to live life together, who if given their natural instict, would seperate for the benefit of all involved.

So here's the point. A 50% divorce rate is not, by definition, a bad thing. Divorce can be in the best interests of the children, and the parents.

And as for the cost of the average wedding, if I could come up with an excuse for which distant family would travel thousands of miles, and I would have the single best partying experience of my entire life, I'd pay for it again.

Of course, I'm holding out hope that the next wedding I pay for will be my child's.

Into Canadian Politics?

Missing the point (3.20 / 5) (#100)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:23:51 AM EST

So here's the point. A 50% divorce rate is not, by definition, a bad thing. Divorce can be in the best interests of the children, and the parents.
While I'll not argue the point that an abysmally failed marriage that ends with divorce can be (but is not of necessity) better than an abysmally failed marriage that does not end in divorce, it seems to me to be rather obvious that it is by far better to avoid the marriage failing altogether by helping to make certain that marriages are put together more carefully.

I think that last sentence was way too long.

The point being that proper preperation for marriage can reduce the prevelence of failed marriages and, hence, cut the divorce rate which is largely (but not entirely) a symptom of failed marriages.

[ Parent ]

Close but not quite (4.00 / 3) (#161)
by gauntlet on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:54:30 PM EST

I agree, kinda. It is not better to avoid having marriages end in divorce. I say "end in divorce" instead of "fail" because I don't think a 20-some year marriage producing a number of healthy adult children ending in an amicable divorce is any sort of a failure. It's better to avoid bad marriages.

Basically, a marriage that ends in divorce is not by definition a failure. Therefore, reducing the divorce rate should not be our goal.

Let's stop trying to make marriages last longer, and start trying to make them happier.

Into Canadian Politics?
[ Parent ]

well (2.88 / 9) (#47)
by Work on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 06:18:43 PM EST

I voted it up because its interesting, though I'm sure the presence of bible quotes will anger alot of the more intolerantly insecure.

I can see how for those who've had really, really nasty relationship experiences this can be a way of therapy. I've had my fair share of them and it can shake the confidence pretty badly. A slow approach can be comforting to those really affected.

Bah. God's Dating Service. Puke. (2.90 / 10) (#67)
by sk00t on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:42:51 PM EST

I voted it up because its interesting, though I'm sure the presence of bible quotes will anger alot of the more intolerantly insecure.

Bull. The bible quotes are offensive because the article claims to be scientific and then ends up force-feeding us someone else's pseudo-morality and religious yammering. -1 with a bullet.

If people could actually be honest and compassionate with each other, they wouldn't need some connect-the-dots "New Christian" pap to tell them how to have a succesful relationship.

When the conditioning and programming fades after a few years, what you've got is a couple of people in a legal contract who didn't really know each other emotionally or physically, surrounded by the debris of yet another "starter marriage", divinely orchestrated or no.

There's no roadmap for this stuff, and this oversimplified paint-by-numbers crap is no better than "Man are from Mars, Women are from Venus" or any other consumer-culture quick-fix answer to a complex problem.

Oh, and since when is Mason, Michigan a bastion of liberal thought? The fact that 400 sheep are willing to be married off based on a weak bible translation would seem to invalidate that assertion.

"Somehow we get by without ever learning, somehow no matter what the world keeps turning"

--Ben Foster
[ Parent ]

Justification (2.75 / 4) (#74)
by joecool12321 on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:36:38 PM EST

O.K. I didn't really like the article, but how do you justify your claim, "If people could actually be honest and compassionate with each other, they wouldn't need some connect-the-dots "New Christian" pap to tell them how to have a succesful relationship." Many mamals, even primates, don't treat their mate particularly nicely.

--Joey

[ Parent ]

Re: Justification (2.50 / 2) (#166)
by sk00t on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:06:35 PM EST

Fair enough. In my rashness I suffered from Jerfgoke's own hubris of putting forth the subjective as fact.

My view is that rather than giving some empty theological platitudes, a focus on compassion and honesty might allow people to actually develop healthy relationships while continuing to hold on to their own identities instead of blind servitude to someone else's agenda.

Many mammals, even primates, don't treat their mate particularly nicely.

...which is precisely the problem, and it isn't served well by abstinence or imbalanced gender roles. It's served well by fairness, compassion, and egolessness, i.e. common human decency something rather lacking in the relationship archetypes dictated here.

"Somehow we get by without ever learning, somehow no matter what the world keeps turning"

--Ben Foster
[ Parent ]

Re: Re: Justification (none / 0) (#329)
by Jazz on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 12:38:23 AM EST

Fair enough. In my rashness I suffered from Jerfgoke's own hubris of putting forth the subjective as fact.

My view is that rather than giving some empty theological platitudes,

I think I can comment on this sentence with something you said yourself:

In my rashness I suffered from Jerfgoke's own hubris of putting forth the subjective as fact.

Which I think illustrates a point that when you believe in something, it *is* fact to you. This being the case I think you should be able to look at someone else with different beliefs to you and allow them to write as they believe (in a factual tone) without criticising them for standing up for, and believing, their beliefs. (Surprise, surprise: they believe in what they believe. Isn't it so wrong they do that.)

On another note, while not currently christian, my upbringing in a church has given me moral and ethical foundations which I am very glad to have. I don't feel the description of 'empty' is correct in any way.

a focus on compassion and honesty might allow people to actually develop healthy relationships while continuing to hold on to their own identities instead of blind servitude to someone else's agenda.

Why should an individual focus on compassion and honesty? For the good of society and others? *laughs* My small experience with humans in the UK often shows that they do what is best for them first, then others later - if it even enters their mind. I'm not even/especially talking about large tradeoffs but small everyday actions.

Nor do you loose your identity or become blind as soon as you become a christian. I think you were trying to say - they cannot see *some* of what you see. When all is taken into account, a christian and you can probably see many things the same, just not christianity and I assume your own belief.

I think the world would be much better if people started serving God's agenda instead of their own. (I can't speak of other [G/g]ods). Which is not mutually exclusive from you having your own agenda.

...which is precisely the problem, and it isn't served well by abstinence or imbalanced gender roles. It's served well by fairness, compassion, and egolessness, i.e.

common human decency

Is there anything common about human decency? I don't believe there is. History rarely seems to show amazing amounts of harmony amoung humans, whether involved in religious establishments or not.

(I think you did mean it in this context too.)

something rather lacking in the relationship archetypes dictated here.

Dictated? You imply a definition that includes control and command. I think the strongest word you could reasonably use is 'suggested'.



[ Parent ]
Seems as though you have a problem with religion. (2.42 / 7) (#87)
by jerfgoke on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:35:57 PM EST

The bible quotes are offensive because the article claims to be scientific and then ends up force-feeding us someone else's pseudo-morality and religious yammering. -1 with a bullet.

Not really. I think you misunderstood the point of the article. I wanted to demonstrate the mentality of this kind of Christian group, not force feed anything. If you weren't so defensive, perhaps you would have realized this. I could have written a similar article on the dating pattern of any religious group.

Oh, and since when is Mason, Michigan a bastion of liberal thought? The fact that 400 sheep are willing to be married off based on a weak bible translation would seem to invalidate that assertion.

It's not. I should know, because I used to live there. In fact, one might say that it is the exact opposite of that. You need to increase your 31337 hax0r abilities if you want to intimidate me.

On the other hand, the University of Michigan, the school I currently attend, is inarguably one of the most liberal universities in the United States. Get your facts straight before you make comments like that.



[ Parent ]
intentions (2.80 / 5) (#98)
by infinitera on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:18:34 AM EST

I wanted to demonstrate the mentality of this kind of Christian group

Which makes this article worthless for discussion. I want to talk about dating, commitment, and maybe even faith. Not about abstinence, biblical passages, or arguing with religious or anti-religious bigots. As mcphee said, this is not what it seems at face value - an article about courtship. And that detracts immensely from any discussion that will follow. If this dies, I really would be delighted to vote up a similar article about dating in general in our society - the [common, but not universal] lack of same sex friends if they're not being considered for sex or romance. The need or benefits of courtship. A discussion of approaches to this. Something. Hope this helps - I was disappointed you didn't reply to mcphee's comment, or my analogous (albeit way shorter) one. I was wondering what you were trying to achieve with this piece.

[ Parent ]
What I hope to get out of this article (2.60 / 5) (#141)
by jerfgoke on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:24:23 AM EST

I will try to respond to both your comments and the comments made by mcphee here, because the other one is an editorial comment.

Anyway, mcphee wrote,

I can happily describe the habits of my friends and acquaintances, but that isn't social science.

This is an understandable complaint. I realize that this is not a scientific article-- the audience and purpose of writing for kuro5hin is much different from writing for a scientific journal. Here, I focused my efforts on describing what I feel is an extremely interesting situation developing within the context of one of the most liberal universities in the nation, and growing at a rapid rate.

I wrote about the group I am familiar with because I wanted to give a glimpse into the mindset of why somebody would do this, despite living in a culture where the exact opposite is being taught.

In the end, I was hoping to generate discussion based on the merits of such a system of courting. Does it/will it work? Are these people fooling themselves? So far, it appears as though this has happened, although in a limited manner.

Many people seem to have taken the religious aspects of the piece out of context and debated those. While that doesn't bother me, I know that many shy away from religious flamewars, which is understandable. The only reason I put in the religion aspects of the system is because I don't believe it makes sense otherwise. If I described the system of courting without them, it would sound as though a large group of college students was depriving themselves of sex and love for basically no reason.

I hope this addresses your complaints. If not, let me know.



[ Parent ]
Bah, again. (1.50 / 2) (#163)
by sk00t on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:56:49 PM EST

If you weren't so defensive, perhaps you would have realized this. I could have written a similar article on the dating pattern of any religious group.

Certainly you could have written about any group. But you would have prefaced things with qualifiers like "some believe", or "group x asserts", etc., but in this case you've posited your new-age Christian garbage as fact, and that's offensive to me. I have no problem with religion, but I have a problem with most western Christians suffering from the inability to distinguish faith from fact. Give us a rewrite with your views described as a subjective experience and an opinion, and give us more personal anecdotes and less proselytizing, and I'd be 100% behind you. Unfortunately, I think your bad faith has colluded your ability to be objective.

It's not. I should know, because I used to live there. In fact, one might say that it is the exact opposite of that. You need to increase your 31337 hax0r abilities if you want to intimidate me.

Nothing to with hacking. Just looking at the whois data on your domain. Since you were so mysterious about your location, and since I'm in the Midwest as well, it piqued my interest.

On the other hand, the University of Michigan, the school I currently attend, is inarguably one of the most liberal universities in the United States.

Obviously, with notable exceptions.

"Somehow we get by without ever learning, somehow no matter what the world keeps turning"

--Ben Foster
[ Parent ]

Dude! (3.76 / 21) (#65)
by JChen on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 07:40:17 PM EST

I clicked on the link expecting to get some secret on getting chicks, not some crash course on what old dudes who wrote the Bible would want a hormone-driven modern guy like me to do in the case of a stiffy! And what's the stuff about weddings? Get with the times, man!

Don't hide your lack of actual knowledge about dating and relationships behind big, fancy words and holy books.

Let us do as we say.

Lack of Knowledge? (3.00 / 10) (#89)
by jerfgoke on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:40:57 PM EST

Don't hide your lack of actual knowledge about dating and relationships behind big, fancy words and holy books.

Please explain. What were the words you didn't understand? I don't recall using anything above a 7th grade reading level.

If I wanted to write an article about "actual knowledge" of dating, I would have done so. I could have quoted statistics left and right, but that wouldn't have been so interesting.

This was a piece about the culture of courtship within the church I attend. Nothing more. I'm surprised at how many people can't seem to realize this.



[ Parent ]
"I'm surprised (none / 0) (#305)
by JChen on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:37:31 PM EST

at how many people can't seem to realize this."

Gee. I wonder why.

Let us do as we say.
[ Parent ]

Heh (2.50 / 2) (#73)
by jagg on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 08:30:47 PM EST

You must attend either the University of Michigan or the University of Wisconson-Madison; though U of M is the most likely canidate since you said "extreme" liberal views.

--
A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. --James Madison
you forgot IU... (2.50 / 2) (#91)
by jerfgoke on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:42:01 PM EST

Indiana University is also one of the most liberal schools in the area, but you were correct in your assertion. Nice job.

[ Parent ]
Well, (4.00 / 2) (#95)
by jagg on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:06:22 AM EST

I go to MSU and know a few friends, conservatives, libertarians, etc. at U of M, so I have an idea on how extreme it can get there.

--
A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. --James Madison
[ Parent ]
Indiana University (none / 0) (#271)
by Count Zero on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:43:25 PM EST

I hear "liberal school" and "midwest" and I instantly think IU. Of course, I'm sure some of that comes from living in Indiana and going to Purdue. (I've heard U of M tends to be pretty liberal too, and I would imagine Minnesota is, just because it's the state that elected Paul Wellstone.)

It's interesting to me the contrasts between Indiana's largest and best known state schools. Purdue and IU tend to have different types of majors they are strong in, which is good for Indiana residents, as you can find a state school which is strong in just about anything.

They also have greatly constrasting politcal tendencies, Purdue being very conservative/libertarian, and IU being very progressive/liberal. With how conservative the state of Indiana is overall, it makes me wonder where all those IU grads are going when they're done. :-)




[ Parent ]
Courtship as a Christian phenomenon? (2.83 / 6) (#75)
by xriso on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 09:12:27 PM EST

I see it as something that's just part of the society we live in, that it doesn't originate from the scriptures.
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
Just a few issues (2.63 / 11) (#78)
by Shmit on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 10:25:39 PM EST

1)
Within the marriage, but not any time before, the man is expected to be the leader of the relationship and the wife willfully submits to her husband.

I will not submit to ANYONE for anything. Marriage included.
Get with the times. Please.

2)
This is the year 2002. Courtship, dating, marriage, what-not, has nothing to do with religion anymore. So leave your preaching and bible-quoting out of it please. Thanks.

3)
<sarcasm>I didn't know that dating came from the bible! gee... maybe that's why I'm 22 and not married yet.. I don't believe there is a god, or in the bible for that matter... Well if someone hadda told me that sooner!</sarcasm>

~*~

Kuro5hin.org: God's hand, up your bum.

~*~

Get with what times? (2.33 / 6) (#83)
by qpt on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:20:14 PM EST

Your rebelliousness is even older than the author's religion. True, at the moment, rebelliousness is back in fashion, but I do not think the author was trying to appeal to pop culture.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

I agree (3.25 / 4) (#110)
by Shmit on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:33:11 AM EST

to an extent. I don't think the author was trying to appeal to the pop culture either. But this is where our areement ends.

Times have changed. Women are no longer 'property' to their husbands nor do we have to 'submit' to them.

Women are equal to men. Or have you not heard?

~*~

Kuro5hin.org: God's hand, up your bum.

~*~
[ Parent ]

no, you're not equal (3.00 / 2) (#136)
by twi on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:45:52 AM EST

> Women are equal to men.

They are most definitely not. I'd agree that they possess the same inherent worth as men, just by beeing human. But I don't need to spell out all the systematic differences between men and women in order for you to agree that some do exist, right ? ;)

[ Parent ]

sadly incorrect (2.00 / 2) (#144)
by majik on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:08:23 AM EST

I'd say that women are still not considered equal to men. Perhaps in some areas of the world, but certainly not in the majority of the world. Hell even here in the US, I'd be hesitant to call things "equal" and I live in liberal heaven (California).
Funky fried chickens - they're what's for dinner
[ Parent ]
How do you know... (none / 0) (#297)
by Sesquipundalian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:03:04 PM EST

That men and women are equal? How do you measure someone's worth to compare it to that of another? Surely you do not think that just because you haven't figured out how to accurately measure something, that it does not exist?


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
oh...hahaha (1.00 / 2) (#117)
by auraslip on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:35:20 AM EST

you are serious... see I voted one of your comments thinking it was a joke.
I guess this makes it even funnier though
124
[ Parent ]
A couple of things (2.50 / 4) (#201)
by jerfgoke on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:51:05 PM EST

I will not submit to ANYONE for anything. Marriage included. Get with the times. Please.

If everybody thought like this, clearly the world would be in shambles. No law, no order. Why don't you be the first to lead the anarchist revolt and overthrow the oppressive government you currently live under? Or would you prefer to be held in a position of submission by force rather than free will?

Submission is not necessarily a bad thing, particularly if the leadership loves you and is taking orders from a higher power (God), who also loves you and has your best interests in mind.

The Bible does not only apply this to marriages. It also applies it to government, slavery, and religion. Regardless of right or wrong, people are put into positions of power, and true Christians are taught to submit and live their lives as an example for others, hopefully influencing them in the process.

This is the year 2002. Courtship, dating, marriage, what-not, has nothing to do with religion anymore. So leave your preaching and bible-quoting out of it please. Thanks.

Actually, for many people, religion is a significant part of marriage and dating. The same could be said about culture. Why is it that interracial marriages haven't taken off yet?

Your statement might be more accurately phrased as "Courtship, dating, marriage, what-not, should have nothing to do with religion anymore."

As far as your point number three is concerned, I don't know if there is much a point there. If you would rephrase it, I'd be happy to respond.



[ Parent ]
Wow (none / 0) (#266)
by Yellowbeard on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:18:33 PM EST

Now this reply was hard core and impresseive. I am rating it a 5.0 because I was really impressed with your argumentative powers of reason.

"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


[ Parent ]
A couple more things... (5.00 / 2) (#291)
by MrMikey on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 08:30:14 PM EST

I will not submit to ANYONE for anything. Marriage included. Get with the times. Please.

If everybody thought like this, clearly the world would be in shambles. No law, no order. Why don't you be the first to lead the anarchist revolt and overthrow the oppressive government you currently live under? Or would you prefer to be held in a position of submission by force rather than free will?

How cute. Surely, you don't expect us to believe that you didn't understand the context in which she was referring to "submission", do you? She is saying that she does not choose to surrender her autonomy to anyone. She is not saying that she isn't going to obey any laws... and you damn well know that.
Submission is not necessarily a bad thing, particularly if the leadership loves you and is taking orders from a higher power (God), who also loves you and has your best interests in mind.
Then again, given that there is no evidence to support that God (is that Zeus, Odin, Vishnu, Quetzlcoatl, or someone/thing else, btw?) exists, and given that it is unlikely that said 'leadership' is going to agree with you 100% as to what constitutes your 'best interests', does submission still look as good?
The Bible does not only apply this to marriages. It also applies it to government, slavery, and religion. Regardless of right or wrong, people are put into positions of power, and true Christians are taught to submit and live their lives as an example for others, hopefully influencing them in the process.
You are free to follow whatever holy book you wish, so long as you don't try to compel me to do the same.
This is the year 2002. Courtship, dating, marriage, what-not, has nothing to do with religion anymore. So leave your preaching and bible-quoting out of it please. Thanks.

Actually, for many people, religion is a significant part of marriage and dating. The same could be said about culture. Why is it that interracial marriages haven't taken off yet?

If you are suggesting that interracial marriages haven't "taken off" because of people's religious beliefs, then I'd say that you aren't making religion look very good.

[ Parent ]
a few clarifications (none / 0) (#414)
by jerfgoke on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 04:18:10 PM EST

How cute. Surely, you don't expect us to believe that you didn't understand the context in which she was referring to "submission", do you? She is saying that she does not choose to surrender her autonomy to anyone. She is not saying that she isn't going to obey any laws... and you damn well know that.

Note that the original poster said "marriage included." So, that would imply that they also refuse to submit to other things as well. Perhaps they should have rephrased it, but I stand by my interpretation.

given that it is unlikely that said 'leadership' is going to agree with you 100% as to what constitutes your 'best interests', does submission still look as good?

You are right. God is not going to agree with you 100% all the time on what constitutes your best interests, but many times you yourself do not know what is in your best interests. You make mistakes, God does not. Submission is good if you are submitting to an all-loving, all-knowing God that knows your best interests and always makes them happen.

You are free to follow whatever holy book you wish, so long as you don't try to compel me to do the same.

Why does everybody get so defensive when a religious group tries to explain their beliefs? How is religion any worse to advertise than Pepsi or Coke? It sounds as though people are scared that the religion might actually be true.

If you are suggesting that interracial marriages haven't "taken off" because of people's religious beliefs, then I'd say that you aren't making religion look very good.

Please re-read what I wrote. I was using that as an example to show that just like religion, culture has a major influence over who people marry. This was in response to the comment that religion has nothing to do with marriage, which is clearly false.



[ Parent ]
There is courtship outside religion (3.75 / 16) (#79)
by Kasreyn on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 10:32:12 PM EST

Both I and my girlfriend are agnostic, yet I would describe my actions regarding her as courtship. That is, I am a male interested in possibly choosing her as a life mate, and as such am attempting to show her my worthiness of her and the depth of my affections. Mythological entities and religions never enter into it except as topics of philosophical discussion. =P

What I can't understand is how one can "date" without courting. To me, the only purpose of seeking intimate female companionship is as it pertains to my search for a life mate. I guess some people aren't as interested in commitment (not a bad thing, I guess, just very different from me). But then, I'm also old fashioned in some ways. :-P

I won't even comment on the sexist biblical garbage you trotted out. IMO it's not a real marriage unless the parties are equal. And using such a ridiculous and utterly discredited source as the bible to back up your arguments lends absolutely no weight to whatever point you were trying to make (I didn't catch it, if there was one).


-Kasreyn
"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Sex. (2.50 / 4) (#101)
by Jacques Chester on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:30:14 AM EST

I used to be a very nice young man, quite the capital-R Romantic. Then I discovered the Austrian school of economics, and I discovered Sex, and I have been a mean, hungry bastard ever since.

The useful outcome of no-sex-before-marriage is that it keeps sexual urges under control. Before sex, you may think you're horny, but you're not. Not really. It's not until you've had it and the supply turns off that you understand what all those fucking morons (whose ranks you've joined) were yammering on about.

By not turning young men and women into horny morons, and by helping to ensure that there will be access to sex in the post-marital stage, the old-fashioned methods make sense for keeping young folk from going nuts.

As for the whole sexist yadda yadda - it's just as unfair to impose an "equal partner" perspective as it is to impose a "man first" one. Neither model is somehow magically better, on any criteria. The fact is that it is the individuals that matter. Good marriages are predicated on good people who get along. Whether getting along means equality or a division of labour and command is quite beside the point.

Just remember, men and women beat each other up in either kind of context.

As for the Bible, I don't think it's perfect either. But it makes for a cracking good read in parts, it has lots of useful and sometimes quite sage advice, and it has some scary-sounding quotes to impress teenagers at highschool. And Jesus was a basically very decent guy. I reckon the world could handle a few more of his type. Just think of him as the first hippy - sheets, sandals, beard, and "Peace, Man!".

--
In a world where an Idea can get you killed, Thinking is the most dangerous act of all.
[ Parent ]

Well... it's a fine line when you're looking... (none / 0) (#220)
by outlandish on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:27:11 PM EST

What I can't understand is how one can "date" without courting. To me, the only purpose of seeking intimate female companionship is as it pertains to my search for a life mate.

While I hear you talking on that one, in that we're all looking for people we can click with and understand and maybe settle down with for a good long haul, the process of finding such people is often long and arduous.

For instance, I'm certainly looking for a soulmate or whatever you want to call it, but I've gone through an awful lot of girls along the way. This is probably because I'm optimisitc and open, so I easily believe that "she's the one for me." Sometimes as early as the next day I realize she's not, and that's more or less that. Sometimes this gets me into trouble, though usually not becuase I try to be completely honest about what I'm doing. I'm looking for something, and there's no shame in not finding it right away. I supose you could say I've had a string of breif and unsuccessful courtships.

But you should realize there are a lot of people (both men and women) who get real hard and jaded and really go out looking for a zero-sum exchange based relationship. They want to get something from someone, be it sex, power, material posessions, or whatever. Usually it's either because they got burned in the past and are trying to sub-consciously even the score, or else they're just terrified of vulnerability and so they figuratively take the money and run.

In any event, it sounds like you've got a good thing going and I wish you the best. I'm sure if you're honset and open it will work out beautifully.


-------------
remote-hosted soapboxing, mindless self-promotion, and salacious gossip -- outlandishjosh.com

[ Parent ]

Semantics (3.35 / 17) (#84)
by jabber on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:21:57 PM EST

If you want to define 'courtship' in terms of Religion, have at.. It's a pretty exclusive club you're starting, but hey, it's your world. We just live in it.

Just one thing. Christians learned all they know about courtship and the mating ritual from the birds and the bees, not from men who attributed their prose to the influence of an imaginary friend.

The only reason that an unnatural thing such as marriage exists, is legal recourse. Men want to protect their assets, and women want to assure adequate care of their children. Men want legal recourse if they sense that the child they are paying to feed is not theirs, and women want legal recourse if they sense that the resources that should be available to themselves and their children are being spent elsewhere.

That is the reason marriage exists. Courtship is about building trust, and trust is little more than the suppression of the fight or flight instinct, but on the cerebral level. Courtship then, is just a means of dulling one's suspicions and lulling one's distrust into a state where it can be rationalized away long enough to enter into a legally binding contract.

God, and all Religion, is a sedative, an opiate that undermines the most basic of instinct and reflex. God IS a lobotomy, and 'go forth and be fruitful' is but a recruiting tactic.

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

oh hush (3.54 / 11) (#86)
by qpt on Tue Jun 25, 2002 at 11:35:42 PM EST

You have no idea why marriage exists. No one does. All you can do is make reductionist stabs in the dark, creating psychobabble-filled theories that weakly explain what you are trying to, but at least align with your materialist presuppositions. However, framing these absurd conjectures as fact does nothing except damage your own credibility.

Moreover, childish asides about "imaginary friends" only demonstrate a lack of sophistication. Regardless of your own views, opposing views deserve respect, unless completely absurd. If you think religious beliefs are absurd, then you are sorely undereducated.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

don't feed the trolls (2.75 / 4) (#126)
by tbc on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:25:40 AM EST

Do not feed the trolls.

"Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes."


[ Parent ]

Trolling for Jeebus (3.00 / 2) (#147)
by jabber on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:59:11 AM EST

Religion is the greatest troll ever!

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

troll; rate 1 (1.00 / 5) (#124)
by tbc on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:15:15 AM EST

A classic! I just had to say something to get this comment in my list.

[ Parent ]
Submssion (4.33 / 12) (#102)
by jasonab on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:32:38 AM EST

Within the marriage, but not any time before, the man is expected to be the leader of the relationship and the wife willfully submits to her husband. Although this is extremely controversial, it is not without scriptural backing. For example, Ephesians 5:22-24 reads....
I have to disagree with your interpretation of this verse. If you read the entire context, it's clear that marriage is about mutual submission to one another.

Paul gives specific commands to each side, to counter their natural tendencies. Men are commanded to love their wives, because men often have a hard time putting their wives first. Women are commanded to submit, because they often want to step on their husbands. It's not a control issue.

See also 1st Peter 3, where husbands are told to live in an "understanding" way with their wives.

--
America is a great country. One of the freest in the world. -- greenrd

Oh, come on.. (3.60 / 5) (#134)
by richieb on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:34:28 AM EST

Within the marriage, but not any time before, the man is expected to be the leader of the relationship and the wife willfully submits to her husband. Although this is extremely controversial, it is not without scriptural backing. For example, Ephesians 5:22-24 reads....

I have to disagree with your interpretation of this verse. If you read the entire context, it's clear that marriage is about mutual submission to one another.

A bunch of men wrote the scripture years ago, what were they going to write? That wifes must dominate their husbands?

...richie
It is a good day to code.
[ Parent ]

Actually, this was as controvercial then as now... (4.00 / 5) (#203)
by psychotic venom on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:54:14 PM EST

This piece of scripture was as controvercial for the opposite reasons. They were telling husbands to love their wives, respect them, be as Christ was to you, to them.

The thing is, it was not uncommon for men to discard wives as though they were property--marrying 20 times in a lifetime. This verse ELEVATED the status of women. It said that they were not simply property, but human beings, equal in the Kingdom of God.


Remeber, you're unique, just like everybody else.
[ Parent ]
agreed. (3.00 / 2) (#208)
by jerfgoke on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:06:58 PM EST

This was actually mentioned in one of the recent sermons at the church in the article. Strangely enough, while Christianity is often blamed for oppressing women or minorities, people forget about how it actually was largely responsible for doing the opposite.

[ Parent ]
Really? (4.00 / 1) (#399)
by richieb on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 10:15:17 PM EST

Strangely enough, while Christianity is often blamed for oppressing women or minorities, people forget about how it actually was largely responsible for doing the opposite.

Like for instance, requiring Catholic priests to be celibate, so that the Church can grab their property? Or maybe the Catholic church's support for birth control?

...richie
It is a good day to code.
[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#398)
by richieb on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 10:10:11 PM EST

This piece of scripture was as controvercial for the opposite reasons. They were telling husbands to love their wives, respect them, be as Christ was to you, to them.

Wasn't the quote from the Old Testament? (Pardon me for not knowing my Bible by heart).

...richie

P.S. Christ wasn't such a nice guy towards women. Didn't he snatch one of the desciples away from his (i.e. the desciples) own wedding?
It is a good day to code.
[ Parent ]

I wouldn't take Paul too seriously. (1.50 / 2) (#172)
by wedman on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:28:31 PM EST

And what about Paul?

~
DELETE FROM comments WHERE uid=9524;
[ Parent ]
I completely agree (none / 0) (#212)
by jerfgoke on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:13:33 PM EST

The interpretation you present is exactly the same as I personally hold, and I would say that the church I attend would agree.

I apologize if it sounded as though I was making this out to be an issue of male power in the relationship. The point is not to shift power to the husband. It's not that at all. The point is to equalize the power in the relationship. You seem to have hit the nail directly on the head, but I'll explain a little more clearly what exactly this means from the perspective of this church.

Please note that I realize that the following statements are generalizations, but they represent the typical mindset I describe.

Oftentimes in American culture, men are all too willing to let the woman run the house while they bring home the "bread" and come home to watch sports on the television. The church believes that men should take an active role in leading the family by example and not sitting idle as the children grow up fatherless or without a role model. Women are often eager to take this responsibility for themselves.

The point of the leadership/submission roles is to prayerfully submit your life to God's will in the hope that the family unit will be made stronger in the process. It is not in any way meant to oppress the women.



[ Parent ]
sure it is. (none / 0) (#295)
by Sesquipundalian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 08:48:25 PM EST

that's what makes this meme so SWEEEEEEET!, oh along with the right to own slaves (until recently), the right to kill infadels (for sport, no less). Sexual domination of the weaker sex is what makes this meme so easy to sell to a group ofd people.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
sounds like your wife's been rewriting the bible (none / 0) (#447)
by bolthole on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 10:10:04 PM EST

In no way does the bible tell a husband to likewise 'submit' to his wife.

There's a BIG difference between living in an "understanding way" with your wife, and submitting to your wife.

[ Parent ]

I am amazed at how one can wait 3 years for sex (4.08 / 12) (#108)
by skim123 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:13:44 AM EST

I have a friend of mine who is getting married here in a month and his wife is religious and they haven't had sex yet, and they have been dating (courting, if you will) for nearly 3 years. They will not have sex until their wedding night.

The problem: what if they just totally don't match up in bed? What if he likes to be spanked, but she won't do it? What if, gasp, she hates sex, for whatever reason? While obviously sex is not the only part of a life-partnership it definitely is a big part, especially if the partnership is a monogomous one.

Rather than roll the dice and expect the sex to be good, I honestly don't see what's wrong morally with pre-marital sex. I can understand a religion shunning empty sex, sex with random strangers, etc., but come on, if you've been courting someone for over a year, don't you think you've developed strong enough feelings that it won't be "just sex?" It's akin to buying a car, where the salesman will let you sit in it, turn on the headlights, honk the horn, etc., but won't let you test drive it until you've signed the paperwork...

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Main reason for no pre-marital sex... (3.71 / 7) (#112)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:57:42 AM EST

Rather than roll the dice and expect the sex to be good, I honestly don't see what's wrong morally with pre-marital sex.

Whenever a man and women have sex, there is always a chance that a kid'll be produced.  In recent years, of course, that chance has shrunk dramatically with proper protection, but it's still there.  So people shouldn't have sex unless they're willing to raise a kid; and marriage is basically an agreement to stay together to raise a kid.

So even if you're totally not religious, it's still the truly responsible thing to only have sex with people you want to have kids with.  Of course, most people aren't that responsible...

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

... and venereal diseases (3.00 / 3) (#119)
by tbc on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:38:51 AM EST

AIDS, the clap, syphilis, herpes, crabs, etc.

Yuck.

[ Parent ]

Risk management you idiots (3.00 / 3) (#140)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 08:55:04 AM EST

For god's sake, why does nobody think in terms of risk versus reward anymore? Small chances of bad events versus large chances of good events!

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Great advice from a guy wanting a mistress.. (1.00 / 1) (#145)
by sasquatchan on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:32:31 AM EST

yup, yup, keep looking for ways to justify yourself now ...
-- The internet is not here for your personal therapy.
[ Parent ]
risk vs reward (2.50 / 4) (#149)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 11:16:20 AM EST

...is certainly applicable to VD, which is why I didn't mention it.

However, when you take a chance on having a kid, it's morally irresponsible because you're taking a chance with someone else's life (the kid's), not your own.

We all do it anyway, of course.  But there's still a big moral difference between risking youself for your own fun and risking someone else for your own fun.


--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

fucking pro-lifer (1.83 / 6) (#150)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 11:23:18 AM EST

Really? If you have any evidence that either a child or a life are created within three months of an act of sexual intercourse, I'd love to hear it.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
what's with the attitude? (4.00 / 2) (#155)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 11:46:50 AM EST

Would you act like such an asshole?  "Fucking pro-lifer"?  Why would you bring attitude like that into this discussion?  

Anyway, I didn't bring that up because I wanted to avoid the whole abortion debate.  If I wanted to get into an abortion debate, I'd just go do something less painful, like poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick... ;)  (I'm pro-choice, anyway.)

My point was that there's a reason besides some vague excuse about "not the right person" to avoid unmarried sex.  

I'll reformulate: If you have sex with someone, you're risking having a kid or having to have an abortion.  Since there are still a lot of people that would prefer to avoid abortions (either for ethics or health reasons), it's still a more important decision than "is it the right person?"  

For guys, there's always a chance your partner will decide not to have an abortion (either due to previous beliefs or a change in beliefs after she finds out she's pregnant); there's always a chance a child will be born.

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

Actually, the burden of proof is on you (2.66 / 3) (#167)
by timbley on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:12:18 PM EST

If you run over a person-shaped object lying in the road without knowledge of whether it is a person or not, you are guilty of one of two crimes:
  1. Manslaughter (if it really was a person)
  2. Criminal negligence (if it wasn't a person but you didn't know that with 100% certainty.  Note that actually getting convicted would involve you admitting that you didn't know and ran over it anyway, and almost nobody would admit this, so you don't see these kinds of legal cases on the books)
So, in a sane legal system, you have committed a crime whether or not the person-sized object is actually a person.  However, in an non-sane legal system, you have a special third case:

3. No offense (if you wanted it to not be a person, regardless of whether it actually was a person)

Therefore, until you can prove without doubt that an unborn child is not a person, aborting it is a crime in a sane legal system.  If your legal system happens to be insane however, anything goes.

Cheers
Tim
--
YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK            FREE EARTH!
[ Parent ]

like hell (4.00 / 1) (#237)
by streetlawyer on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:04:47 PM EST

By your definition, every single human society plus most of the other mammals would be insane, since abortion of one form or another is pretty universal.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Hell may be involved, certainly (none / 0) (#251)
by timbley on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:50:08 PM EST

Is abortion universal?  Possibly (although I can name countries that still consider it illegal and therefore have sane legal systems - sane in at least this case).  Does that make it right?  Common consent does not make something right or wrong.  Moral law does.  Perhaps cannibalism is also okay because there were/are societies that practice it?

I don't know of any animal societies that practice in utero infanticide, although I suppose it's possible.

If you can find fault with my reasoning about the hit-and-run example, please point it out.  But appealing to the example of society to argue against valid reasoning probably isn't the best way to go.

Cheers
Tim
--
YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK            FREE EARTH!
[ Parent ]

idiot or troll, you decide? (none / 0) (#335)
by streetlawyer on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 02:13:55 AM EST

If you can find fault with my reasoning about the hit-and-run example, please point it out.

Hit and run car accidents are not meaningfully analagous to abortions, at least partly because very few hit and run car accidents take place inside anyone's body.

But appealing to the example of society to argue against valid reasoning probably isn't the best way to go.

Pompous ass. Your reasoning isn't "valid" in any formal sense, because it contains evaluative conclusions. And the fact that all human beings everywhere have practiced abortion is certainly rather strong evidence that it is laws preventing them from doing so that are at fault.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

I promised myself that I wouldn't reply... (none / 0) (#348)
by timbley on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 09:40:13 AM EST

...but I dislike being unjustly insulted so I feel that I must.  You have no right to claim that I am an idiot or a troll because my comments are well reasoned and I had to force myself to start this discussion.  Regardless, name calling is the last refuge of the indefensible position, so I suppose I should take heart.

Hit and run car accidents are not meaningfully analagous to abortions, at least partly because very few hit and run car accidents take place inside anyone's body.

The analogy is intended to parallel the situation where you cannot determine whether your actions will kill a person or not.  If you carry out the action anyway, you are still guilty of a crime (criminal negligence) even if it turns out that there was no person there to kill.  You are guilty because you acted without certain knowledge that nobody was going to get hurt.

Pompous ass. Your reasoning isn't "valid" in any formal sense, because it contains evaluative conclusions.

Please point out the evaluative conclusions.  (I should mention by way of giving credit that I borrow my example from a book called Making Choices, by the Boston College philosophy professor, Peter Kreeft.  So, even though I am not a professional logician, Dr. Kreeft is.  Also, in case you feel that pro-life is logically indefensible, here's a link to study, although you probably will not.)

And the fact that all human beings everywhere have practiced abortion is certainly rather strong evidence that it is laws preventing them from doing so that are at fault.

As my mother often tells me, "Even though fifty million people say a stupid thing, it is still a stupid thing".  Subsitute "do" for "say" and you have my response to the criminal proliferation of abortion.  Simply because a law is set, that does not make the permitted behaviour just (as my criminal negligence example illustrates).  I'm sure you are familiar with corrupt legal systems.

Don't worry - I used to be pro-choice before the inescapable logic of the pro-life camp eventually convinced me that it held the logically consistent position (plus, it is the more loving and humane position) so I know where you are coming from.  Perhaps together we can reason our way to consensus.

Peace
Tim
--
YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK            FREE EARTH!
[ Parent ]

wrong in fact and law (none / 0) (#351)
by streetlawyer on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 10:03:27 AM EST

If you carry out the action anyway, you are still guilty of a crime (criminal negligence) even if it turns out that there was no person there to kill. You are guilty because you acted without certain knowledge that nobody was going to get hurt.

Of course, the law on negligence imposes no such ludicrously restrictive standard, otherwise nobody would be able to drive down a road. The analogous case is one where you sincerely and reasonably believe that you are not going to kill a person by doing something. In which case there is no mens rea and no offence.

"X is a crime" is an evaluative conclusion unless it is a statement about legal facts. Your statements all relate to moral laws and are thus evaluative. Evaluative conclusions do not follow logically from factual premises, and Kleeft never claims that they do. He is not a "professional logician", by the way (and does not claim to be); he is a professor of the philosophy of religion, specialising in Christian apologetics. You are wrong to claim the support of "logic" for an argument whose entire moral weight is contained in its most debatable premis.

As my mother often tells me, "Even though fifty million people say a stupid thing, it is still a stupid thing".

As my concierge tells me, "your momma so stupid, she stepped on ten cents at the March of Dimes". Furthermore, while it is theoretically possible that all human societies at all times have been morally corrupt, it's not a particularly interesting position.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Now we're getting somewhere! (none / 0) (#358)
by timbley on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 11:20:53 AM EST

Okay, this is good stuff.  I suppose I should be glad that someone with legal training decided to pick this over with me.  Perhaps it will give me something to discuss to Dr. Kreeft when he comes to Toronto to give a talk in Sept.

What if I really and sincerely believed that putting a gun to someone's head and pulling the trigger wouldn't kill them, because I really and sincerely believed that there were no bullets in the gun?  And yet, there were, and so the person died?  What crime am I guilty of?  (Forget for a moment the fact this is is not a reasonable activity to engage in.)

So you are saying that calling the driving analogy criminal negligence is an evaluative conclusion?  Bear with me - I am no lawyer.

It seems to me that we are interested in slightly different goals.  I am interested in laws that are set because they make logical sense.  You seem to be interested in laws that are set because they have common (if illogical and only recently fashionable) consent.  Does that seem right to you?

Cheers
Tim
--
YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK            FREE EARTH!
[ Parent ]

"accidents will happen" (none / 0) (#361)
by streetlawyer on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 11:50:00 AM EST

What if I really and sincerely believed that putting a gun to someone's head and pulling the trigger wouldn't kill them, because I really and sincerely believed that there were no bullets in the gun? And yet, there were, and so the person died? What crime am I guilty of?

None, with good precedent.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

huh? (none / 0) (#261)
by dipierro on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:11:34 PM EST

Therefore, until you can prove without doubt that an unborn child is not a person, aborting it is a crime in a sane legal system.

Can you prove without a doubt that a sperm cell is not a person?



[ Parent ]
Proving personhood (none / 0) (#347)
by timbley on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 09:22:37 AM EST

Can you prove without a doubt that a sperm cell is not a person?

We were talking about fertilized eggs and unborn children, not sperm.  Are you going somewhere with your line of questioning?

--
YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK            FREE EARTH!
[ Parent ]

innocent until proven guilty (none / 0) (#357)
by dipierro on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 11:00:53 AM EST

By your argument, until you can prove without doubt that a sperm cell is not a person, jerking off is a crime in a sane legal system.



[ Parent ]
Innocent proven (none / 0) (#362)
by timbley on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 12:19:37 PM EST

Since a sperm cell has only 23 chromosomes, it cannot be a person (people have 46).  Q.E.D.

Tim
--
YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK            FREE EARTH!
[ Parent ]

My proof (none / 0) (#364)
by dipierro on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 12:39:00 PM EST

Since an unborn child does not breathe, it cannot be a person (people breathe). Q.E.D. Since an unborn child has not been born, it cannot be a person (people are born). Q.E.D.

[ Parent ]
Are all K5er's this sardonic? (none / 0) (#368)
by timbley on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 01:55:38 PM EST

Your confusion is in thinking that personhood only begins after you leave the womb.  A little reflection will show that the concept of 'person' is dynamic and not static.

Each of us in our lifetimes will exhibit many stages of growth and development, exhibiting a long sequence of outward forms.  An 80 year old woman looks (and in many ways, functions) differently from a newborn girl, but you would agree that both are persons.  This dynamic state is a continuum that is spread over our entire lifespan, from conception to death, and exists ex utero as well as in utero.

When you were a zygote, you may not have breathed air, but you certainly processed nutrients and had the necessarily biology to continue in your dynamic condition to achieve the state of existence that you currently possess.  You looked and acted exactly as a human is supposed to in the zygote stage of development, just as you looked and act exactly as a human is supposed to in your current stage of development.

Consider:  if you, as a zygote, had been flushed down the drain, you would be just as dead as if someone shot you right now.

Tim
--
YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK            FREE EARTH!
[ Parent ]

It all depends on your definition (none / 0) (#369)
by dipierro on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 02:08:04 PM EST

Your confusion is in thinking that personhood only begins after you leave the womb.

Why is that any less true than your confusion that personhood only involves 46 chromosomes?

Consider: if you, as a sperm cell, had been flushed down the drain (after being scraped off the ceiling), you would be just as dead as if someone shot you right now.



[ Parent ]
I am about ready to give up on K5 (1.00 / 1) (#373)
by timbley on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 03:25:26 PM EST

None of my definitions or assumptions are unreasonable, unlike your juvenile response.  I'm finished speaking with you.

Tim
--
YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK            FREE EARTH!
[ Parent ]

By your reasoning (5.00 / 1) (#367)
by hatshepsut on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 01:43:16 PM EST

People with XXY or XXX aren't people either. Check it out. I don't contend that sperm or ova are people, but I don't use the number of chromosomes as the deciding factor in that judgement.

[ Parent ]
Driving... (2.00 / 2) (#176)
by patrat on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:33:36 PM EST

When you get in a Car you are risking others lives, is it moraly wrong to drive?
I never could think of a good sig
[ Parent ]
Strictly speaking, yes (none / 0) (#185)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:00:23 PM EST

According the a system of morality based on the very simple, but ultimately infinitely complex, idea of "minimizing harm (or potential harm) to others", taking a car out for a drive is morally wrong because it needlessly risks harm to others, never mind the damage to the environment and whatnot.

Of course, in practice, the amount by which it's morally wrong is pretty negligable.

Most people don't worry about it... just like most people don't worry about the moral problems of having sex without intending to have a kid.

That doesn't mean there isn't a degree of wrongness about it.  Why wouldn't there be?  Driving slowly, observing speed limits, etc can reduce the risk, but there's still the chance (however small) that someone will be killed because you didn't want to walk to pick up the groceries.

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

everything I do is wrong (none / 0) (#234)
by phorkyn on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:48:28 PM EST

I don't like any system which tells me that essentially everything I do is wrong because it may or may not cause incidental harm to someone or something. People shouldn't be burdened with the shame of knowing they are wrong in many of the things they do every day. There is a fine line between awareness that one's actions have effects (including potentially negative ones) and believing that what one is doing is actually wrong.

If this argument were rephrased along the lines of awareness instead of wrongness, it would become much more palatable.

I'm sorry for burning electrons to bring this message to you. I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway. My apologies.

[ Parent ]

I think that's a matter of semantics (none / 0) (#286)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:58:04 PM EST

I don't like any system which tells me that essentially everything I do is wrong because it may or may not cause incidental harm to someone or something.

There isn't a fine line between "awareness of possible effects" and "believing something is wrong" - it's a very big grey area.  At what speed does driving pass from being a risk that you're aware of to a dangerously wrong and risky act?

The language structures things in binary terms - things are either "wrong" or "ok".  But that line is completely arbitrary in many cases - a speed of 70 might be "ok", and a speed of 71 might be "wrong", but the actual risk - and thus the wrongness (by my scale) of the act - is pretty much the same.

The only time a "degree of wrongness" approach should lead to problems with guilt or shame is if someone has the attitude that "I can never do a wrong act."  But that's a pretty simplistic worldview that's ultimately useless for making moral decisions, for which both sides usually have varying degrees of "wrong".

(There's also the matter of "right", which I'll put in a related but separate scale ranking "benefit to others."  And then there's a whole separate debate about in what manner benefits vs. harm cancel each other out...)  

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

take a chance (none / 0) (#417)
by squinky on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 05:55:57 PM EST

"it's morally irresponsible because you're taking a chance with someone else's life (the kid's), not your own."

Could this argument be extended so it's pointing the other way?

Menstrating women choose to let a child die every month that they aren't attempting pregnancy. (actually more than that, since some eggs just die throughout their lives).

Fertile males kill hundreds of millions of children per week, either through absorbtion or ejaculation. Onan learned first hand that that displeases the Lord.

The technology exists to harvest every egg and attempt to fertilize it. Do we have a moral responsibility to do so simply because we have the power?


[ Parent ]

But this doesn't apply (3.00 / 3) (#159)
by skim123 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:18:47 PM EST

If you are in a monogomous relationship that you waited a year or so to have intercourse (meaning there would be adequate time to be fully tested for such VDs).

Also, regarding pregnancy, it's called birth control. Yes, nothing is 100% certain, but it's virtually impossible to get a girl pregnant if:

  • She's on the pill
  • The guy wears a condom, and
  • (On top of the above two) the guy pulls out

Fuck, you could even throw some diaphragms in there, a sponge, etc.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
"Pre-Marital Counseling" (4.00 / 1) (#191)
by wormboy on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:20:10 PM EST

In the pre-marital cousnseling that some churches require there is a series a questions dealing with this sort of thing. Also, most bookstores have workbooks with lists of questions for couples to go through together, including some-to-many sexual ones. So there are opportunites for couples to find some of this stuff out ahead of time. Also, the quote in the main article about 'not withholding' could be interpreted to mean that if he wants her to dress up like a conquistiador and smack him with a baseball bat, she should say "Play ball!"

[ Parent ]
yeah, but (5.00 / 1) (#259)
by dipierro on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:09:13 PM EST

So even if you're totally not religious, it's still the truly responsible thing to only have sex with people you want to have kids with.

Fine, but what does that have to do with waiting until you're married?



[ Parent ]
not much (none / 0) (#287)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 08:02:49 PM EST

Really, by the rather harsh moral scale I described, married people who aren't ready to have kids shouldn't have sex either.  But marriage is traditionally an institute by which people announce their intention to raise a family together, and thus marriage who be a sign that a couple wants to have kids (so even if they're not planning to have kids right away, they'd, in theory, welcome an unexpected child more than two people who fucked and decided they never wanted to see each other again...)

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]
Yes... (none / 0) (#293)
by dipierro on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 08:43:11 PM EST

But what about two people who are not married but are willing to be married in the unlikely chance that the woman becomes pregnant? Or what about two people who are willing to become married but are unable to for some reason (maybe one of them is already married to someone else, for instance).



[ Parent ]
Er? (none / 0) (#306)
by mech9t8 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:37:44 PM EST

But what about two people who are not married but are willing to be married in the unlikely chance that the woman becomes pregnant?

If they're willing to raise the kid, fine.  The moral quandary comes about from having sex but not wanting to deal with the possible consequences (the kid).  Marriage is immaterial to that central issue, IMHO.

I suppose they should also consider the possible harm to the kid of having two parents that felt forced to get married as a result of him.

Or what about two people who are willing to become married but are unable to for some reason (maybe one of them is already married to someone else, for instance).

Again, it comes back to whether they're willing to raise the kid, and the conditions the kid'll grow up in.  If they want to raise the kid, and honestly think the kid'll be fine with one parent married to someone else, then they are not faces with the moral dilemma.  (There's a whole separate issue with the betrayal of trust during infidelity, but that's a whole other kettle of fish...)

I think you're reading far too much into this.  It's not a matter of "this is absolutely WRONG and you can't do it", it's a matter of accepting responsibility for the consequences of your decision.  You have to do your weighing of the chance of having a kid and possible harm that results from having you as unexpected parents, versus your desire to have sex and the happiness that will result.  Most people figure that the huge amount of happiness far outweighs the very small chance of negative consequences.  Some people, however, might find that their happiness doesn't outweigh those negative consequences.

It's just a moral decision to consider.  It doesn't mean every unmarried person who has sex is evil.  It's impossible to go through life without doing things that are wrong on some level.

The original question was: I honestly don't see what's wrong morally with pre-marital sex. I can understand a religion shunning empty sex, sex with random strangers, etc., but come on, if you've been courting someone for over a year, don't you think you've developed strong enough feelings that it won't be "just sex?"  My point was the injunction against having pre-marital sex is a moral quandary not because of it being "just sex" with insufficiently strong feelings, but for the tangible consequences of such an action.  If you're willing to accept the consequences, hey, go ahead...

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

ok, I see what you're saying... (5.00 / 1) (#315)
by dipierro on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:01:03 PM EST

The original question was: I honestly don't see what's wrong morally with pre-marital sex. I can understand a religion shunning empty sex, sex with random strangers, etc., but come on, if you've been courting someone for over a year, don't you think you've developed strong enough feelings that it won't be "just sex?"

And basically you've answered that there's nothing wrong with premarital sex per se. I can accept that, in fact, I pretty much agree with that (although I wouldn't stand in the way of a woman whose "solution" was to have an abortion). I'm sorry for not understanding what you were saying sooner.



[ Parent ]
I read the article (4.00 / 3) (#128)
by vinay on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 06:26:43 AM EST

as saying that they willfully kept sex out of the relationship because they felt "it would keep the core of the relationship pure."

So, for them, it seems more important to have a strong friendship, and everything else will flow from that.

This is something I can respect (even if I don't necesarily agree with it!).

I'll agree, that all those reasons you listed are good ones and many directly contributed to me changing my mind on the "sex before marriage" issue. I think here, it seems like something they've thought about and made a concious decision one (which may or may not be a "moral" decision.

-\/


[ Parent ]
christianity causes abortion (-1) (3.35 / 14) (#109)
by turmeric on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:26:53 AM EST

where i grew up, the highest per-capita church area in the country, where just about everyone goes to church and where televangelists like oral roberts build schools, and where there is a 'bible college' that owns several city blocks just a few miles away, and etc.

... also has some of the highest incidence of teen pregnancy in the nation, and also the highest divorce rate.

so i am not convinced.

true christianity (none / 0) (#446)
by bolthole on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 10:07:49 PM EST

where i grew up, the highest per-capita church area in the country, where just about everyone goes to church(...) also has some of the highest incidence of teen pregnancy in the nation, and also the highest divorce rate.

thats because people go to church, etc, there because "everyone does it", not because they have a personal, deep commitment to God and following the bible properly.

Your subject would be mostly true, perhaps, if it were titled "'forced' christianity..."

[ Parent ]

narrow but not uninteresting (3.33 / 6) (#115)
by danny on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:19:34 AM EST

Courtship in various forms occurs in pretty much all cultures. In so far as this article is a introduction to courtship in a particular subculture in the United States, parts of it are quite interesting.

The more or less explicit suggestions that this narrow form of courtship is or should be normative detract from the article, however. I consider it as likely as not that marrying without trying sex and cohabitation first will increase the probability of divorce. And it's debatable whether a high divorce rate is a problem or not anyway. If some people enjoy weddings enough to spend $20 000 on them, they might want to be able to repeat the experience!

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]

Dali (5.00 / 1) (#199)
by mattbelcher on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:46:53 PM EST

If some people enjoy weddings enough to spend $20 000 on them, they might want to be able to repeat the experience!

You don't need to get a divorce to have another wedding! Salvador Dali had 3 weddings with Gala, but they only married once.

[ Parent ]

in different churches (none / 0) (#211)
by dalinian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:12:23 PM EST

You don't need to get a divorce to have another wedding! Salvador Dali had 3 weddings with Gala, but they only married once.
You may be correct, although I only know of two marriages. As far as I can remember, the first one was a civil marriage, and the second was in a church.

[ Parent ]
My sources not that great (none / 0) (#363)
by mattbelcher on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 12:38:54 PM EST

I'm just repeating what I remember of what the tour guide told me at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Pete, FL, so I could be totally wrong. They claimed he had a fondness for the ceremony.

[ Parent ]
missing question mark :-) (none / 0) (#378)
by dalinian on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 05:10:38 PM EST

Oops. I noticed that the title of my message was missing a question mark, by accident. :-)

I've read two of Dali's books, Diary of a Genius and The Secret Life of Salvador Dali. I remember there was something about the marriages, but I'm not sure about the exact details either.

[ Parent ]

courtship too hard; use these techniques instead (4.63 / 65) (#127)
by tbc on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 06:24:53 AM EST

  1. Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she's yours. (Deuteronomy 21:11-13)
  2. Rape a virgin and pay her father fifty shekels of silver. (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)
  3. Find a prostitute and marry her. (Hosea 1:1-3)
  4. Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock. (Exodus 2:16-21)
  5. Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. (Ruth 4:5-10)
  6. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. (Judges 21:19-25)
  7. Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you a rib. (Genesis 2:19-24)
  8. Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman's hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That's right. Fourteen years of toil for a woman. (Genesis 29:15-30)
  9. Cut the foreskins off 200 of your future father-in-law's enemies and get his daughter for a wife. (1 Samuel 18:27)
  10. Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you'll definitely find someone. (It's all relative, of course.) (Genesis 4:16-17)
  11. Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. (Esther 2:3-4)
  12. When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, "I have seen a ...woman; now get her for me." If your parents question your decision, simply say, "Get her for me. She's the one for me." (Judges 14:1-3)
  13. Kill any husband and take his wife. (Prepare to lose four sons though.) (2 Samuel 11)
  14. Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (It's not just a good idea, it's the law). (Deuteronomy 25:5)
  15. Don't be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity. (1 Kings 11:1-3)
  16. A wife?...NOT!!! (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)
:-)

What Kalomiros had to say on this topic (2.00 / 5) (#130)
by adequate nathan on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:00:41 AM EST

I have the suspicion that men today believe in God more than at any other time in human history. Men know the gospel, the teaching of the Church, and God's creation better than at any other time. They have a profound consciousness of His existence. Their atheism is not a real disbelief. It is rather an aversion toward somebody we know very well but whom we hate with all our heart, exactly as the demons do.

The River of Fire, I.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

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[ Parent ]

Interesting (5.00 / 2) (#200)
by 0xdeadbeef on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:48:32 PM EST

You should link to the entire essay: http://www.orthodoxpress.org/parish/river_of_fire.htm.

It implies that hatred is rational and inevitable, because it is directed toward a twisted image of God created by Western theology.

[ Parent ]

I wouldn't say inevitable (none / 0) (#284)
by adequate nathan on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:45:37 PM EST

Regardless of what theologians teach you, you are still answerable to your own conscience. I think Kalomiros would agree with me on this point.

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

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[ Parent ]

Shame people (1.73 / 19) (#162)
by Shovas on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 12:55:20 PM EST

There's something to be said for a serious, decently written crtique of religious courting. It's completely another to post a supposedly humour-driven comment spreading falacious assumptions and completely out-of-context references.

And not one rating less than 5 over 11 markings until I got here.

Really, K5. Pull up.
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[ Parent ]
The entire bible is out-of-context. (n/t) (2.60 / 5) (#168)
by wedman on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:17:39 PM EST

Really, people. Chill out.

~
DELETE FROM comments WHERE uid=9524;
[ Parent ]
the ratings (4.20 / 10) (#170)
by TheLogician on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:22:58 PM EST

I think the ratings are so high because making rational decisions should not be based on a book written by a handful of people hundreds of years ago, instead of taking advice from thousands of people today. Making decisions "because The Bible says so" is clearly irrational, as tbc points out, and decisions on how to court should not be influenced by a single book. However, I do not necessarily disagree with any of the courting methods discussed, just that they should not be decided as good methods solely based on religious grounds.

[ Parent ]
Not irrational (2.00 / 1) (#223)
by Shovas on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:31:25 PM EST

It's not irrational, which was my entire point. The references were taken out of a context explaining the small reference, itself, and dispelling any notions arising from the act of taking it out of context. Read in-context, one can clearly see that the references are indeed logical, and thus rational; Again, when read in context.
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[ Parent ]
You would prefer lemmings? (3.33 / 3) (#232)
by Skywise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:40:58 PM EST

<I>I think the ratings are so high because making rational decisions should not be based on a book written by a handful of people hundreds of years ago, instead of taking advice from thousands of people today.</I>

Oh yeah... that's a rational decision there...

The Bible is a foundation of man's philosophical and RATIONAL expression over the past 3000 years.  Now it should not be *the* end-all be-all of decision making (and Jesus says that himself to the Zealots) because you have to contend with contemporary thought.

Women as property aside, Courting is a relatively unchanged standard human phenomenon unchanged even before the time of the Bible.  And the Bible includes passages on what works best in the long run, and what doesn't.  In THAT sense... the Bible is a good starting point.  Does the Bible say anything about the holiness of spanking or the use of vibrators?  No.  But it does point out what qualities to look for in a relationship that will help it to last.

(It's funny, as I was writing this it occurred to me that the same Bible that treats women as property, also has sections devoted on how to woo women and courtship...  If women were strictly property, why would you need such things?)

[ Parent ]

Women as property (none / 0) (#309)
by Shovas on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:45:48 PM EST

The Bible and, more correctly, the spirit of Christianity as relayed in the Bible in no way poses the idea that women should be property. Far from it, as you've implied yourself. The references made in the comment causing this thread were out of context.
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[ Parent ]
Old Testament... (none / 0) (#327)
by Skywise on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 12:29:51 AM EST

New Testament (the "spirit" of Christianity), no.

Old Testament, yes.  Marriages were arranged, and women had no choice in the matter as decreed by law.  (Doesn't mean they didn't get around it, but officially they had no choice.)
Further back, several figures in the Bible are mentioned by how many wives he had.  (ie a harem)
Women weren't "traded" as coin of the day, but they were "used" and had no say in the matter.

As to the LARGER question of whether or not that makes the information in the Bible irrelevant, it does NOT.  Because that was the extent of human civilization at that time and that's how women were treated.

[ Parent ]

I wonder (3.00 / 3) (#173)
by gbd on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:29:30 PM EST

You lash out at K5 readers and tell them to "pull up" because they gave 5 ratings to a comment that you don't like, but you are (apparently) ignoring the fact that K5 readers put this story on the front page.

Interesting.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

No problem with story (none / 0) (#225)
by Shovas on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:33:51 PM EST

I "don't like" this comment because it's foolishly taken out of context.

The story is fine. What would I have against it? I don't see the connection here.
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[ Parent ]
16 (5.00 / 1) (#202)
by squinky on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:51:38 PM EST

I'm always amazed at how "pro family" Christians are. I think Paul's pretty clear that if you were *really* dedicated to God you wouldn't be thinking about what's in your pants.

You could have sited that whole chapter-- while it does give instructions on how to conduct oneself in marriage, Paul makes it pretty clear that anyone who gets married should do so only because they're distracted from God by horniness.


[ Parent ]

And if you actually bothered to READ Paul... (5.00 / 2) (#222)
by Skywise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:29:31 PM EST

You'd see that he honors the covenant of marriage and family over promiscuity.

He cites that its better to be celibate to do missionary work, because you'll be traveling, won't be settling down, and will certainly not be making any money to decently support a family.

But otherwise, Paul is completely pro-family.

(And the reason it's a good idea(tm) to be celibate while being a missionary is because you MIGHT impregnate somebody's daughter and her father won't take kindly to that...)

[ Parent ]

which doesn't refute what I said (none / 0) (#241)
by squinky on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:20:20 PM EST

He thinks even worse of promiscuous people true, but Paul makes it clear to me that he thinks that people who are married are losers who can't control themselves so must be bound within the confines of marriage so they don't become really bad people.

Yes, he honors the marriage committment-- once it has been made-- but he also tells single people repeatedly, over and over, ad naseum, don't get married unless you're a horny little fucker and otherwise you'd fall into wicked ways.

Paul was on a power trip. First he killed Christians, then he became their leader. He thinks anyone who fails to duplicate his personal life is less holy, but he'll suffer them, because they're in the majority and he needs them to prop up his ego. This is his attempt to lay guilt and shame on married people so he will be held in higher esteem.

By the way, I'm married, and I think it's great. And I can see where Paul's coming from on this, I just happen to think he's wrong. Marriage is not less than celibate asceticism, the two are not even mutually exclusive.


[ Parent ]

You're misinterpreting... (none / 0) (#248)
by Skywise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:44:55 PM EST

Paul thinks that travelling the country side and spreading the word that Christ has defeated death is MORE important than getting married and having kids.

Yes, Paul thought saving the world was better than getting married.

Paul also thought the end of the world was coming in the next 100 years, if not sooner.

But if you couldn't live without sex, it was better to get married then to roam the countryside and live in sin.  Paul was pointing out that that's what he was doing, but understood if other people couldn't.  Not saying, nyah nyah I'm better than you.

[ Parent ]

Although... (none / 0) (#250)
by Skywise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:47:08 PM EST

I should point out that you're not the only one to have had this interpretation.

It's a popular belief (in this day and age) that Paul was gay.

Well, he was Greek after all...


[ Parent ]

More tips from the Bible (4.75 / 4) (#278)
by I am Jack's username on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 06:34:19 PM EST

Surround the house of a standup guy (2 Peter 2:6-9) who has 2 virgin daughters, and ask to know his male guests (Genesis 19:4-8); or just have two daughters (Genesis 19:30-36). Having a half-sister like Abraham makes it much easier (Genesis 20:12), God might bless such a marriage too (Genesis 17:15-16). Become an important man and get some cohabitation going (Genesis 25:6), or do it to your dad's doxy (Genesis 35:22). Once you've got some, get more (Genesis 4:19), but whatever you do, do not let your seed spill! (Genesis 38:9-10).

The bible has tons more tips. Someone else please finish Genesis.

"If the Bible is mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we're going?" - Justin Brown

"If God is willing to prevent evil, but not able, then he is not omnipotent. If he is able, but not willing, then he is malevolent. If he is both able and willing, then whence cometh evil? If he is neither able nor willing, then why call him God?" - Epicurus

"It's your god, your myths, your rules: you go to hell."

"Pray, if you wanna pray, if you like to kneel, if you like to lay. Don't come over here piss on my gate, save it, just keep it off my wave." - Chris Cornell
--
Inoshiro for president!
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell
[ Parent ]

Courtship (3.28 / 7) (#129)
by tombuck on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 06:59:36 AM EST

I know quite a few people (both male and female) who consider courtship to consist of "Fuck first, ask questions later."

This can lead to some... interesting matches from time to time, but that's the new millenmium in a cosmopolitan city for you.

--
Give me yer cash!

I am reminded of an article from The Onion... (4.63 / 11) (#139)
by lumen on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 08:38:56 AM EST

That can be found here. To be sure, it is a bit harsh...but very topical.

now that is funny (nt) (2.00 / 1) (#154)
by gromgull on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 11:29:54 AM EST


--
If I had my way I'd have all of you shot

[ Parent ]
Great article (3.75 / 4) (#151)
by kennon on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 11:25:27 AM EST

Well written, and despite some of the accusations here, quite objective. Even though I personally believe in the Bible, I appreciate that you used the Biblical references only to show why people at your church do the things they do, as a good sociologist should do.

Christians (and any religion, really!) give themselves a bad name when they try to convince others that they are right because of verses A and B, when those they are trying to persuade don't believe in the book in the first place. Total waste of time, and generates alot of bad feelings.

I really enjoyed reading this; quite a refreshing break from the standard fare.

+1 FP

Whoopie for you... (-1 had I seen it in the queue) (1.85 / 14) (#178)
by SvnLyrBrto on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:42:26 PM EST

So, what about those of us who might be unsure (well, not anymore anyway) of our sexuality? Or those who might be swinging all the way to the "other side"?

Oh, that's right... I forgot. We are all abominations, to be killed.

Fuck you.

And something of an aside to the rest of K5:

It's dissapointing as all hell to see this bigoted zealot voted up; and to the front page no less. Cute how we all like to pretend that we are tolerant and enlightened. But, the dogmatists slip an article in with a relatively innocous title, and everyone shoes their true colors.

Disapointing and depressing, it is.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...

A bit harsh? (4.66 / 3) (#183)
by madmanz123 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 01:53:44 PM EST

First off, let me state that I'm an athiest. So i could care less about this article in that respect. The article didn't do any bashing, it did however share a religous perspective on dating. Nothing wrong with that, even if you (like I) found the advice to be a bit um.....  silly at times.

He can post, it, we can mod it up. we can then disagree. The greatness of kuro5hin.org.

He's free to post it, we are free to disagree about the points of the article, not his right to submit it, or the choice of others to mod it up.

[ Parent ]

Freedom to speak vs supporting hatred... (1.00 / 1) (#193)
by SvnLyrBrto on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:23:52 PM EST

> He's free to post it, we are free to disagree
> about the points of the article, not his right to
> submit it, or the choice of others to mod it up.

And I never claimed otherwise.  I'm a big fan of free speech, and I loathe censorship moreso than I do bigots like the fundies and their ilk.

That is well established in my posting history.  For instance, you might read my opinions on P(ethical)TA, and their censorship via lawsuit of the old parody site "People Eating Tasty Animals".  I'm a vegetarian myself, and would normally agree with much of P(ethical)TA's platform.  But I hold them in the lowest of all contempt for their censorship of P(eating)TA.

I never questioned jefgoke's right to post his bigoted rantings, or the right of K5 to vote it up.

I DID express my disgust with jefgoke, and my disapointment that K5 DID vote it up.

There's an important difference there.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Unless you're just a troll... (4.50 / 4) (#209)
by outlandish on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:07:47 PM EST

I really honestly don't get:

I DID express my disgust with jefgoke

What's to be disgusted about? Unless you're as intolerant of any church-related discussion as some religious bigots are of any sex-related talk, there's really not a lot to be offended by. The only part of the message that's even remotely evangelical is the last paragraph where the author talks about why someone might want to engage in this kind of social ritual, and even that's played with a very soft touch.

Personally, as a dedicated agnostic I found the window into what dating is like for a Churchy McChurch to be fascinating. I think there's something to be said for trying to understand culture that's not your own. I think it enhances one's understanding of the world and one's self.

Moreover, you expressed your "digsust" (for whatever reason you felt it) in a highly attacking and combative way, seemingly without cause. My gut reaction was that you were trolling, but since you mentioned your comment record I gave it a look. Judging by what I've seen, that's not the case. You just lashed out for some reason, probably because a lot of dissappointing things have happened in your life. So that's your experience -- bully for you -- and you've got a right to it. But that's no reason to tell people to fuck off without provocation.


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remote-hosted soapboxing, mindless self-promotion, and salacious gossip -- outlandishjosh.com

[ Parent ]

As you might guess... (none / 0) (#235)
by SvnLyrBrto on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:51:25 PM EST

Finding out that you are bisexual (or gay or lesbian or trans too, no doubt... just read fluffy grue's diary), and coming out as such can be quite the tramutic experience.

The fact that there is a whole religion (more than one, actually) of people who want me dead for that is something I take a bit personally. Is that so hard to understand?

Okay... *I* was lucky (and foolish). I started discovering that aspect of myself in California, an environment filled with support structures (which I, foolishly, took little advantage of). I let the unfortunately long time I spent liveing in the south, plus lingering reminants of xtian morality (mom's half of the family is methodist, dad's half is Catholic... I'm NOT totally ignorant of their dogma) keep me "in the closet" longer than was healthy.

The meek may inherit the earth. But I'm damn well NOT going to meekly accept the zealotry of those who call for the extermination of myself, and people like me, without at the very least, a hearty "fuck off".

And no, it's not JUST godhatesfags.com; I could name plenty of examples... hell the xtians wrote that death sentance into their "holy" books!

One of the best resources that a friend suggested to me was XY Magazine's Survival Guide. It does suffer from being written mostly for a gay and not bi audience, and at a lowish reading level (It was written for gay teenagers and twentysomethings, and makes allowances as such.). But it makes an effective "For Dummies" introduction, that I'd suggest even people who have no doubt that they are straight should read.

The Survival Guide had a chapeter devoted to revealing what the christians and the republicans think of us. And it's not just fred phelps and his website. The wall of shame is pratically a who's who of prominent christians and republicans. Nor are the quotes imagined... they are ALL verifyable. Plenty of other references (hell, even the bible ITSELF...) also reveal the SAME things about the xtian right!

As if you even need a book to "reveal" their position. You just need to watch a bit of TV. Do the names Matthew Shepard or Diane Whipple ring a bell?

And now K5 is supporting that position by voting it to the front page. NOW do you understand my disapointment?

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

Pay Attention (none / 0) (#263)
by virg on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:16:49 PM EST

> And now K5 is supporting that position by voting it to the front page. NOW do you understand my disapointment?

Only by considering your inability to hear what these people said. Two people specifically said that they +1FPed the article despite not agreeing with it, because they wanted to instigate discussion. Hell, those two people professed being and atheist and an agnostic, respectively. You've basically said, "fuck off because you're Christian, and Christians think homosexuality is wrong." There's nothing wrong with thinking that (especially given your experiences with Christians), but to say that K5 supports gay-bashing because this article got voted up is irrational.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Where are you getting your information? (none / 0) (#405)
by Colol on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 01:12:33 AM EST

There are several things in your comment that bother me, due to the fact I have been involved in supporting queer culture and whatnot.

Contrary to popular belief, XY is not the Almighty Holy Tome of Queer Life, and it's certainly not going to accurately portray both sides of the picture. Heck, it's not even a successful business venture.

I'm not sure where you're getting your information on Christian mantras of "Kill, Kill, Kill" (other than perhaps XY?), but it's not accurate. In fact, you specifically mention the United Methodist Church -- the UMC as a whole is a welcoming church, one that accepts all members regardless of everything, and does not preach the ills of homosexuality. I have attended my local Methodist Church. It's a welcoming environment, and they even run gay support groups. If your local Methodist church is horrible, then it's a problem with the individual congregation. Let's also not forget Christian churches like the largely gay Metropolitan Commmunity Church. (See related information at PFLAG.)

Matthew Shepard and Diane Whipple weren't killed by Christians -- they were killed by (or, in Whipple's case, as a result of) malicious human beings lacking tolerance and acceptance for their fellow human beings. Nobody claimed God appeared to them and said "Kill!". Even in Brandon Teena's case, one of the major issues was not fervent Christianity, but the fact that his girlfriend chose him over a backwater hick and the hick felt slighted.

As another poster replied to this comment, K5 isn't endorsing bigotry or "heterosexism". Neither is the author of this article. It's one viewpoint on one issue, and it's sparked discussion. That's the point of Kuro5hin.

Now then, please don't take this as a personal attack, but it's comments like yours that set back queer culture and movements as a whole. It's pandering to the level of the Fred Phelpses of the world by being as ignorant, cocky, and inflammatory as he is. Not all (not even most) Christians are clamoring for the extermination of homosexuals. The Bible says no such thing. You're slinging mud at a church which supports and accepts you. Even worse than that, an imagined "Homosexuals are the scum of the earth" is somehow being attached to this article solely on the basis it contains Christianity-based ideas.

If you want to be an activist, be my guest, but please do it on an informed basis. An organization like PFLAG can help in this. Referring to XY Magazine for serious information is like consulting the Enquirer for serious news.

[ Parent ]
Multiple sources.... (1.00 / 1) (#412)
by SvnLyrBrto on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 12:41:03 PM EST

Look, I agree that no ONE source should be treated as infallible.  I used XY because, when I posted before, I had the "Survival Guide" sitting on my desk, and it was easy to find that chapter on short notice.  But nontheless, the information *IS* verifyable.

Hell, I used to live in Florida; and I *REMEMBER* from the local news when Pat Robertson made his (in)famous speech threatening that god would smite Orlando with tornadoes, earthquakes, and meteors, because the city was flying rainbow flags  downtown during pride week.

I was disgusted even then, and I had no doubt that I was straight at the time.

That, and I *DO* have personal experience.  I copied the account over from my livejournal into my most recent K5 diary.  Perhaps, if you read THAT, you'll understand where I'm coming from.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

So in essence, you agree with me (none / 0) (#434)
by outlandish on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 09:53:19 PM EST

So in essence, you confirm my analysis. For you coming out was so traumatic that you now lash out at anything that remotely reminds you of the things that caused you pain in that time of your life. I'm all for pointing out Pat Robertsons terminal idiocy, but the original post and the 700 club are pretty different animals.

I can't argue with your references, but in your zealotry I think you got a little OT. Look the article was about courtship, which is at best tangentially related to your agenda. If you're just looking to spread your memes you should have posted something along the lines of "beware the xian right" and given some links, not told the author to fuck off.

In all seriousness, I would suggest finding a good therapist or other support to help you work through your trauma. It will not only make you less likely to lash out, but with all that energy you're not wasting attacking people who don't deserve to be attacked you can do some really constructive things for yourself and your community.

Good luck.


-------------
remote-hosted soapboxing, mindless self-promotion, and salacious gossip -- outlandishjosh.com

[ Parent ]

Are you that desperate to feel persecuted? (5.00 / 5) (#187)
by Tzitzimeme on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:10:58 PM EST

Get a life. Any kind. Not all Christians are Jerry Falwell. Most Christians that I know take a very calm stance on homosexuality or any kind of sexuality for that matter. While most consider it a sin and a mistake very few actually hate gays(or whatever). If your identity is so tied to persecution I'm sure that there are better places than Kuro5hin to find it. Or could it be that you have become a mirror image of what you hate so much? This guy said absolutely nothing about alternative lifestyles except his own so lay off. This kind of thing infuriates me. You demand total and absolute acceptance for yourself and yet refuse others the same right. Incredible. Assinie. Stupid. Blind.

"Reason, thou see'st, hath all too short a wing."

Paradiso, Canto II, Line 57


[ Parent ]
are you saying... (none / 0) (#214)
by Shren on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:17:02 PM EST

Not all Christians are Jerry Falwell. Most Christians that I know take a very calm stance on homosexuality or any kind of sexuality for that matter.

So what you are saying is that the average Christian is smart enough to break free from what thier dogma tells them to think?

[ Parent ]

Not necessarily (none / 0) (#379)
by Tzitzimeme on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 05:12:33 PM EST

I was saying that Christ (hence the Christians) to my knowledge never hated or condemned any individual, only the activities that they participated in. The only case that I can think of where Christ is presented with a person who has committed a sexual sin was told by Jesus to "go and sin no more". Sounds like he had compassion for her, not condemnation. Some Christians hate gays, some Muslims blow up buildings. Most Christian dogma does not teach hatred of any kind. If you find one that does I suggest that it is not Christian despite whatever they may claim.

"Reason, thou see'st, hath all too short a wing."

Paradiso, Canto II, Line 57


[ Parent ]
Just because it's voted up (5.00 / 1) (#188)
by wedman on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:15:24 PM EST

Doesn't neccessarily mean that it's endorsed. This topic had made for one helluva discussion, trolls and all.

~
DELETE FROM comments WHERE uid=9524;
[ Parent ]
Oh, shut up (3.66 / 3) (#189)
by 0xdeadbeef on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:15:25 PM EST

You deviant freak. You and this person who is trying to justify cultish dating behavior have more in common than you realize.  You're both weird, way outside the mainstream, and you both try to rationalize your strange behavoir with rhetoric and dogma.  Take this trolling shit to adequacy, where you can wank each other in the privacy of obscurity.

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry if you feel that way (5.00 / 3) (#192)
by jerfgoke on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:23:13 PM EST

but it really sounds as though you hold grudges against religious groups in general. The extremist group you pointed out, which is responsible for the godhatesfags web site, is not the voice for Christianity in general and they are an embarrassment to the religion. Every year when that group visits our campus, many church groups hold prayer meetings in the hope that nothing horrible happens.

The truth is that while homosexuality may be considered an abomination to the Lord, so is adultry, divorce, lust, hatred, greed, and countless other things. The fact is, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). You are right in saying that the consequences of such sin is death, but we all have the ability to be forgiven for it through Jesus Christ. (See Romans 6:23).

Don't let the teachings of a single homophobic extremist group guide your opinion of Christianity in general.



[ Parent ]
voted for commentary (none / 0) (#227)
by LoppEar on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:35:02 PM EST

Hey there. I voted this up (+1 Section), solely for the possibility of discussion. The author does not make claims that this is the only way to live, or any other absolutist claims, just presents a viewpoint to be agreed or disagreed with.

Nice troll though, complaining about people who deny a viewpoint (lifestyle, condition, whatever) while complaining that we ought to deny the author's non-inflammatory viewpoint.

Peace,

LoppEar

[ Parent ]

Didn't mean to troll... (none / 0) (#236)
by SvnLyrBrto on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:01:03 PM EST

> Nice troll though, complaining about people who
> deny a viewpoint (lifestyle, condition,
> whatever) while complaining that we ought to
> deny the author's non-inflammatory viewpoint.

It wasn't meant as a troll.  It's how I really feel.

Not that I don't miss the irony of the paradox though.  The two ideologies ARE mutually exclusive, after all.

Can't have a xtian nation, unless the LGBT community is exterminated, as is instructed in the bible.

Can't have a tolerant society that will allow people of alternate sexuality to live their lives in peace with the xtians calling the shots.

Truth be told, I'm NOT sure how to reconcile the two, or if it is possible at all.  One thing's for sure tho.  I'm NOT going to side with the people who call me an abomination.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

You're not an abomination... (none / 0) (#272)
by btlzu2 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:46:32 PM EST

...to Christians who understand. I know this may be a cliche, but I was taught in church to hate the sin, but not the sinner.

You appear to have an extreme reaction to people with extreme viewpoints. There are many Christian people (my fiance and myself included) who realize that homosexuals are NOT abominations and are to be loved and treated with as much respect as anyone else. I don't believe in preaching to you that you're wrong either, I believe in leading my life the way God wants me to and being an example for others (if I can) to follow or reject--something I fail at daily unfortunately.

I think homosexuality is a sin, but just because it's not my sin doesn't make you an abomination. Furthermore, I have many sins I'm ashamed of, but I hope no one considers me an abomination for them.

I don't think this article was an appropriate place for you to vent this view because it was a simple discussion for those interested in heterosexual courting, it did not contain words of hatred as your posting did.
"This machine will not communicate the thoughts and the strain I am under." --Radiohead/Street Spirit (Fade Out)
[ Parent ]
Not All Christians believe this way (none / 0) (#228)
by yohahn on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:35:16 PM EST

Just to make sure you realize. There are many Christaians that do not believe that homosexuality is a sin. I point at my own denomination as an example, The United Church of Christ (UCC) I Hold that to be Christian you must 1. Believe in God 2. Believe that Jesus was the son of God 3. Believe that Jesus died and rose again. Perhaps "Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity" would be a good book to recommend if you want to understand more about this.

[ Parent ]
I gave this a +1, FP .. (5.00 / 1) (#229)
by gbd on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:36:01 PM EST

.. but certainly not because I agree with it.

I am personally mortified that attitudes like this still exist (albeit in the fringe) in the 21st Century, particularly the attitude toward women. But think about this: K5 (or any other site, really) would be an awfully boring place if it were full of nothing other than material that you agree with, wouldn't it? K5 is great for both the stories and the discussion. I thought that this would generate some interesting discussion, and so it is on that basis that I voted as I did.

--
Gunter glieben glauchen globen.
[ Parent ]

go ahead (none / 0) (#268)
by dalinian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:28:51 PM EST

Please write an article about how you as a different person would handle the partner-finding process, and I'm sure all the people who gave this article +1 would give it to yours as well. I know I would.

This article wasn't in any way hostile, in my opinion. Sure, it didn't cover homosexual relationships, but maybe it is because the auhor has more knowledge about heterosexual ones. Or maybe not, I don't know.

What I do know is that you should at least ask what the author meant before proceeding to flame him (or her, I'm not sure about that either).

[ Parent ]

God bless America (3.60 / 5) (#196)
by wji on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:39:12 PM EST

Within the marriage, but not any time before, the man is expected to be the leader of the relationship and the wife willfully submits to her husband. Although this is extremely controversial, it is not without scriptural backing. For example, Ephesians 5:22-24 reads,

You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything. (NLT)

Surprisingly, from what I've heard, women within the church do not feel oppressed or limited by such a command; in fact, many are proud to serve Christ and their husbands, who have the responsibility of making sacrifices and loving her the same way they love themselves.

I'm sorry, but reading that, a television interview with smiling Saudi women explaining why black veils and Sharia law wasn't so bad kept going through my head.

Does anyone else feel really, really afraid knowing the military and political leadership of the world's only superpower have exactly this kind of outlook?

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

yes. (4.00 / 1) (#213)
by Shren on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:14:35 PM EST

Occasionally religious people get uppity and decide to start killing people. As religious beliefs are usually irrational, there's no way to tell when they're going to be at it next. The Southern Baptist Convention could decide that Nebraska needs to be depopulated, and based on thier word alone entirely too many Christians would head to Nebraska with guns.

Religion scares me. Religion hasn't entered a ciivlized era where they no longer seek to wipe out thier spiritual opponents. No, they still try to get away with it most every chance they get. That, or con men with a grudge convince young men to throw away thier lives so said young men can get into heaven.

Look here. Two big religions are setting out to create international laws to deny the rights of others. Nothing religion likes to do than to attack a minority to unify thier congregation. If they're not publishing hit lists of abortion-preforming doctors, ramming planes into tall buildings, or trying to revoke the rights of gays, they're trying drive the national culture back a hundred years.

If I lie and say my product is good for you when it isn't, then I can go to jail. If I lie and say my religion is good for you when it has caused the deaths of millions and has a key published work that advocates rape and murder, well, that's constutionally protected speech. Yes, religion scares me. I hope that a couple thousand years down the road people can live in a world where they feel safe from zealous religious nutbags. That's not how I feel about this one. It takes the threat of legal action and jailtime to keep the religious from killing the 'heathens'.

[ Parent ]

Religions are big memes, yes? (none / 0) (#288)
by Sesquipundalian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 08:09:10 PM EST

Why don't we just start an open source project to develop a meme that sucks up all of the followers of all the worlds major religions.

It has to be a lot more compact and addictive than say, the scientific method. It needs to work even if the host knows its purpose is "a religion killer". Hmmm shouldn't be too hard. Oh!, and it should also make people a little more laid back!


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
easy! (none / 0) (#350)
by Shren on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 09:59:50 AM EST

It's called, "Memes suck." Or, more concisely, the definition of a meme is your very counter meme. If somebody *understands* what a meme is, learns to spot them and is willing to speak up, then they are a meme antibody running through the social system of the world.

I try to point memes out when I see them. My site, shren.net, has counter-arguments to a lot of thing I think are memes, but mostly I just ramble.

[ Parent ]

Buddhism? Communism? (none / 0) (#377)
by Shpongle Spore on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 05:05:28 PM EST

Unfortunately I think religion-killing memes have a tendency to take on characteristics of religions if they last long enough.
__
I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor bar,
drinking 'Mad Dog' margaritas and not caring where you are
[ Parent ]
and the very next verse (none / 0) (#437)
by glitchvern on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 02:50:14 PM EST

I love how people always take lines about how a wife is suppose to submit to her husband and leave out the next line about how the husband is suppose to treat the wife well. Whenever someone quotes bible verses it is always left as an exercise to the reader to go look up those verses and see what's around them.
Programmers are like Mogwai, they hate bright light, direct sunlight is rumoured to kill them.
[ Parent ]
Horses and Carriages (3.00 / 3) (#197)
by freebird on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 02:41:25 PM EST

My question is: unless you've been physically intimate and cohabited with someone, isn't it irresponsible to promise to spend the rest of your life them? What if you discover you dislike living/sleeping with them?

I mean the question sincerely. The answer seems obvious to me, but I've seen statistics that claim in fact the opposite of what seems intuitive to me. I can't point at them (anyone?) but they seem to show that in fact, marriages preceded by cohabitation are significantly less likely to succeed.

This is very difficult for me to accept, since I've seen so many people leap into marriages with people that turned out to be fundamentally incompatible.

But you can't lie with statistics, right?

...TAGGATC...(etc)

What is love? (baby don't hurt me...) (none / 0) (#239)
by Skywise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:15:09 PM EST

What's missed in this society regarding "love", is the willingness to change for your partner.  That's LOVE.  Not this bio-chemical, ooh I'm tripping stuff (which is fun, but besides the point).

A man and a woman are NOT sexually incompatible.  If   a women is frigid, and the man isn't, she needs to be a bit more open, and he needs to pull back.
(Aha! But if they slept together, this would have been discovered and they could find more suitable partners.)  Maybe.  But you're just throwing the dice again.  You got together with this person for SOME reason, and tossing that because of bedroom issues means you lose THAT reason.
There are ALWAYS going to be annoyances with your loved ones.  What has to change is you and/or your willingness to accept for a greater cause. And their willingness to do the same.  That's LOVE.

[ Parent ]

Sure, but... (none / 0) (#290)
by freebird on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 08:18:34 PM EST

...that's not absolute, right? Granted, there are some difficulties in lifelong relationships, and you don't throw it out the window when they arise. But aren't there some differences that are too great? Suppose the person I think I LOVE isn't the same person at all once we've slept together - maybe they're abusive, maybe they are only happy with kinds of sex I don't enjoy, who knows. Maybe they really don't want kids and I do, maybe they insist on monogamy and I insist on polygamy. Who knows - my point is there are differences too great to overcome.

Further - what if it's the opposite of your scenario: what if we think we're in LOVE, but in fact just have a passing physical attraction? According to your model, do we spend the rest of our lives trying to get in LOVE? Wouldn't things have been easier if we'd just let the attraction run its course, realized we weren't in LOVE, and gotten on with our lives?

...TAGGATC...(etc)
[ Parent ]

Those are good points...but... (none / 0) (#325)
by Skywise on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 12:19:41 AM EST

I'm basing this on arranged marriages.  These are 2 people who are forced together and would eventually learn to love each other.  Mistresses aside, there's a certain amount of trust that was formed from this union.  A type of "love"

Is it the same kind of "love" found in romantic unions?  No.  But even those people who stay together long term must develop the same type of "love" developed by those who were thrown together in marriage.  (All old marrieds will tell you.  Romantic love doesn't last.)

So what we're really looking at is initial love, and "staying" love.

[ Parent ]

Nice - but not in the way you intended (2.60 / 5) (#210)
by MMcP on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:10:11 PM EST

An article like this is just what we need to get people talking.  I'll say this:  I think you are completely wrong, and if I cared a lot I would explain exactly why.  I don't care that much, but I am sure other people DO, so I can look among the comments to see why you are so very wrong.  I haven't looked at a single comment yet, but I imagine people might mention that (at MY guess) 90% of so-called "religious" people don't actually do what the bible tells them, don't actually remain chaste, don't do unto others, etc etc.  I also suspect it will be mentioned that people who DO follow the rules of the bible never question why they are doing so.  Do Jews not eat pork because God tells them to, or because of diseases that pork used to carry?  And so on...

Articles like this one are the newest version of Howard Stern - shock people into defending themselves, make people smarter.

thanks for the feedback (5.00 / 1) (#219)
by jerfgoke on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:27:00 PM EST

I'll say this: I think you are completely wrong, and if I cared a lot I would explain exactly why.

I am happy that you are able to disagree with the article and at the same time leave it to criticism of the issue at hand, not resorting to personal attack. I have nothing wrong with disagreement; in fact, if everybody agreed with me, we probably would all be a bunch of liars or hypocrites.

90% of so-called "religious" people don't actually do what the bible tells them, don't actually remain chaste, don't do unto others, etc etc.

About this comment-- I agree, somewhat. For a long time, this issue was my "sticking point" on being a Christian. For the longest time, I could not deal with being around supposed "Christians" because the people who claimed to be so surely didn't act like it. At one point I even renounced my faith, which you can see in one of my older diary entries, written on the topic of questions of God and religion.

And then I got involved with the church I'm at now. The faithfulness and love these people demonstrate, coupled with the way they act and live is commendable and gained my respect immediately.

I have since come to realize that even though many Christians act in hypocritical ways, all reproof (even if it comes from a hypocrite) can only be used to better my life. However, one might question the faith of a person who does not demonstrate any of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.



[ Parent ]
on pre-marital sex.... (2.33 / 3) (#226)
by noodles on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:34:38 PM EST

Folks have been commenting that the argument against it is that you should only have sex with someone that they'd be willing to raise a child with, should it come to that.

Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but these folks are planning to get married, if the courtship works out. So, once that decision is made, the condition of 'intention to marry' is fulfilled, right? So why not then be even more cautious and ensure sexual compatibility as well? I think having this one last test might lower the divorce rate quite a bit, at least among marriages involving women self-assertive enough to hold out for a man who isn't an ass in bed. Um. Pardon the weird metaphor.

Is it just me, or does the idea of more testing and extra caution before marrying only make sense to me because I'm an atheist and finding all this church-cult encouraged mating about as amusing as hearing about another Jonestown or Moonie group... I have sympathy for anyone talked into marrying because it's a bloody fad among thier friends and peer-group.



dating: non-Christians and Christians (4.50 / 2) (#230)
by anon0865 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:37:20 PM EST

Congratulations on the article- it points out many things that I have observed (from the outside) on our liberal campus.

I would add too, that the concept of courtship within these religious circles, in some cases, completely over-rides any potential dating. I know many Christians that do not place emphasis upon orthodox courtship- but these same folks are usually the type that engage in a more modern style of dating.

I do find it troublesome, however, when the other type of Christians- namely those that adhere more firmly to the tenements of their faith encompassing all aspects of their life, reject all other types of modern courtship, including dating with non-Christians.

I suppose that it wouldn't irk me if it was merely a preference; after all, everybody has certain preferences. As I view religion as a powerful species of personal philosophy (perhaps this is where my logic is flawed), I do understand why the latter type of Christian might prefer to date within their religious group. But I have met more than a few that automatically reject all suitors (or damsels, if it may be :) before giving the suitor a chance.

One of my friends once asked me if I understood her views- why she would not even go out with a non-Christian, even if she found him fascinating. I must confess that I do not understand. Love often happens in the most unexpected of ways; why exclude both yourself and another from something that might be meant to be?

re: dating: non-Christians and Christians (none / 0) (#244)
by uncleFester on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:28:31 PM EST

One of my friends once asked me if I understood her views- why she would not even go out with a non-Christian, even if she found him fascinating. I must confess that I do not understand. Love often happens in the most unexpected of ways; why exclude both yourself and another from something that might be meant to be?

ooo.. let me take a stab at this.

I am a Christian.. sadly, not a currently practicing one, but a person who was raised in a Christian household, taken to church every Sunday possible (at least until I went to college, and even then for half my 7+ years there). I strongly believe the tenets of Christianity even though I'm currently not a regular attendee (Baptist denomination). Okey, set the stage here...

The last person I dated was a lovely woman, PhD candidate in Sociology at the same Big10 school I attented.. and unknown to me when we started dating, a Pagan/Wiccan. As we dated, it steadily began to bother me. The beliefs of Christianity, of life after death, forgivness for all sins, etc.. were the major stumbling blocks for her, given her beliefs. The potential for not having my partner with me beyond this life and witchcraft-type rituals (and knowing what Christianity said about these rituals) were major stumbling blocks for me. Nevertheless, we remained together for 7+ years before she finally decided our issues could not be overcome. (to be honest, there were other issues as well, but by and large those were rooted in this division). We had some other major differences (the most fun was political beliefs.. her liberalism against my conservatism), but this type of core belief (imho, at this point) is something which may provide major (possibly insurmountable) division, and both people should share the same outlook.

Because of this, I feel the same as your friend; differences between two people are items you may cherish or even enjoy/like about each other, but the two individuals should probably be based in the same social mores. To me, a partner is someone I want to spend my life with, be it here or hereafter. Christians believe this is possible. Thus, I can (now) truly understand this decision. I don't know if this is your friend's justification, but it's my thought on explanation.

(and for the record, if another non-christian partner came into my life I would not dismiss them out of hand.. but I sure will be a damn sight more wary of the choices I make)

[ Parent ]

As a Christian married to a Christian (none / 0) (#431)
by sgp on Sat Jun 29, 2002 at 09:41:54 PM EST

I dearly love my wife, and as my belief is that non-Christians will, by their choice, spend eternity in hell, it would break my heart to know that the woman I love choses not to join me in heaven.

Not that marriages continue in heaven, just "til death do us part", but the pressures on the couple must be enormous.

Some friends of mine are married, she's a Christian, he's not. I really admire them for managing it, as I don't think I could cope with either (a) my partner's not going to join me in heaven, or (b) my partner is the most important thing in my life, but I'm only 2nd-most-important after God.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Simple... (none / 0) (#246)
by Skywise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:34:35 PM EST

Let's say you're Jewish and she's Christian.  The point of her getting married to you is ultimately to start a family and have kids.

When you have the kids she's going to want them to celebrate Christmas and believe in Christ.  If you're Jewish, you're probably not going to want that and so she's striking that from her list of potential suitors.

It's not forbidden in Christianity to marry a person outside Christianity, and many people do and have no problem with it.  It's a personal decision.

[ Parent ]

Marrying Outside the Church (none / 0) (#423)
by Robert Uhl on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 09:11:10 PM EST

It's not forbidden in Christianity to marry a person outside Christianity, and many people do and have no problem with it. It's a personal decision.

Not true. We are forbidden by canon law from marrying non-Christians. We are, however, allowed to marry schismatics and (I believe) heretics.

Think of the example in the Old Testament, when the Israelites are forbidden from marrying pagan wives. The reason is that it is impossible to raise believing children in the presence of unbelief. The reason that marriage to schismatics and heretics is permitted is probably economia or something similar.

[ Parent ]

No compromise. (none / 0) (#247)
by Souhait on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:40:07 PM EST

Not that it's a bad thing, but the people who travel in those strict religious circles do not allow their beliefs to be compromised.  Someone will compromise in a relationship - either the Christian or the outsider.  The Christian isn't going to compromise, so the outsider must then become a christian for it to work out.  Besides, ensuring compatibility of beliefs will go a long ways to help out a relationship.

[ Parent ]
Only half mistaken (none / 0) (#254)
by fraise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:55:21 PM EST

"The Christian isn't going to compromise, so the outsider must then become a Christian for it to work out."

I hereby submit myself as concrete evidence to the contrary. I was a Christian when I met my agnostic boyfriend, and a year later I too was agnostic. That being said, I did not compromise (it was a decision I made on my own and in the best interests of my well-being and those I care about), and my decision was not solely based on our relationship. I won't go into all those reasons though.

Also, whereas compatible beliefs are often a good thing, differences can also be a treasure trove for a couple - I'll always enjoy discovering new, weird quirks about my boyfriend, and certainly hope I can still surprise him while entering the sixth year of our relationship. (He believes that dinner should always be eaten at 8pm sharp - silly lad! Doesn't he realize that it MUST be eaten at 6:30pm?? I shall have to scold him dearly for this treacherous heathenry... That and his nonsense about only eating camembert that's been left out of the fridge for at least three hours!)

[ Parent ]
Cultural differences (none / 0) (#258)
by On Lawn on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:02:38 PM EST


I actually gave equal chance to everyone, but my beliefs were a liability and made me boring to most non-christians.

There were even some that just didn't feel loved or were otherwise perplexed at our religiously defined cultural differences.

[ Parent ]

difference of worldview can be disastrous (2.00 / 1) (#264)
by avdi on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:17:45 PM EST

I have experienced the nearly marriage-shattering effect that a clash of worldviews can have on a relationship.  IME, if in a marriage at least one person has religious beliefes that are important enough that they are at the very core of that person's being, and the other's beliefs are either not as strong or incompatible, they will have serious relational trauma in the first year of marriage.  It's easy to talk about "agreeing to disagree" when you've never held the kind of religious conviction I'm talking about; believe me, it doesn't work that way.  Before getting married two people must either know that their core beliefs are compatible, or must make solemn promises that their beliefs will simply never be discussed or practiced with each other.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]
Why don't we just ask a priest... (none / 0) (#285)
by Sesquipundalian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:53:00 PM EST

who's wrong and lobotomize her?

Or how about adopting memes that can stand on their own merit and not need unconditional surrender from the other memes in the local memescape. Besides, chicks dig guys who have convictions and tolerance.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Sex is like a broadband internet connection (3.66 / 3) (#231)
by enVy on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 03:38:18 PM EST

Once you have it you can never go back.

I *estimate* that I cannot afford the emotional baggage and/or possibility of a potentially parentless child that comes with pre-marital sex, therefore I refrain. Of course my estimation of the cost could be wrong, however I am standing by *my* estimation.

envy

Expecting witty "envy" remarks regarding sex :)

Strangely enough... (4.00 / 1) (#301)
by Gord ca on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:18:19 PM EST

I generally don't agree with your statement... Though sex may lead to increased desire for more sex, you seem to imply it'll turn you into a sex maniac. Unlikely.

I should point out that in countries [ie the Netherlands] where proper sexual education isn't repressed by the 'pro-abstinance' types, teenagers manage to avoid making kids while still having sex. (Sorry, the link I had was dead...)

Strangely enough, I'm currently using dial-up after ~7 mos of broadband, and I don't mind it. Maybe I'm just incredibly easygoing. Would this translate into the realm of sex desire? ;-)

If I'm attacking your idea, it's probably because I like it
[ Parent ]

Re: broadband (3.00 / 1) (#338)
by Rainy on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 04:18:22 AM EST

I Disagree. I use the 'net mainly to read k5; read usenet; e-mail; occasional e-book; occasional googling.

None of that would be much worse on 56k. I have cable now that does 650KBytes/sec to a good site, but I only have it because it was $30/month and that was *cheaper* than a 2nd phone line + $20 for a good isp. I wouldn't pay more than $5-$10 extra per month for broadband.

If I were downloading mp3s, game demos, warez, porn all the time, broadband would be indispensible, but since I don't, it ain't.

YMMV.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

That is just sick (none / 0) (#401)
by pde on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 10:29:21 PM EST

Speaking as an individual with no religious hangups, and a healthy sex life, I can assure you that sex is not like a broadband internet connection, in any way, whatsoever. The comparison is, in fact, rather alarming.

As another poster pointed out, if you are careful and make sure that you are informed about contraception, the risk of accidental pregnancy can be made extremely low.

Having had sex, in my experience and that of everyone else I've discussed it with, massively reduces the psychological baggage involved in extended periods of celibacy. Once you've tried it, you'll realise that it really isn't such a big deal.

From this I can reasonably conclude that, provided you and your partner(s) are emotionally and mechanically responsible about it, and that you don't have any unfortunate religious beliefs, loosing your virginity is a good idea.

Visit Computerbank, a GNU/Linux based charity
[ Parent ]

Speaking as (none / 0) (#413)
by dipipanone on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 12:43:01 PM EST

someone who has been sexually active for over thirty years, and who has had an internet broadband connection for just two, my experience is that broadband is actually better than sex.

Sure, sex is often pretty good. But broadband is ALWAYS ON!! Hookers may charge £25.00 for a blow job, but Blueyonder charges just £25.00 per month!! Finally, you need to buy a fresh condom every time, but Zone Alarm is absolutely free.

I think I'd rather have a sexually transmitted disease than a computer virus though.

--
Suck my .sig
[ Parent ]

Irresponsible (none / 0) (#407)
by Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 07:38:30 AM EST

As with anything one does, there are consequences. Mature individuals will take responsibility for their actions. Your child born out of wedlock won't be parentless as long as you step up and take an active part in your child's life.

As for not wanting emotional baggage, I think that's a pretty limited world-view. For a long time, I let my fear rule me, but lately I have come to the realization that I'd rather live now, than cower behind rationalizations and possibilities and end up never having lived at all. And sometimes, the only way you learn is by making the right mistakes and working through them (what some of us call "experience").

But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.



--
Rev. Dr. Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated, KSC, mhm21x16, and the Patron Saint of All Things Plastic fnord
I'm proud of my Northern Tibetian heritage!
[ Parent ]
re: Irresponsible (none / 0) (#409)
by enVy on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 10:28:43 AM EST

First, the comparison to broadband was merely anecdotal. It is a shallow analogy.

I agree with your statement:
Mature individuals will take responsibility for their actions

However our implementation differs. You seem to have chosen to have sex AND to accept the responsibilties that come with it (ie, child..possible baggage...etc). I have chosen to wait for sex and, consequently, only face these issues within the bounds of marriage.

Am I "missing out"? Maybe.

Is it worth it? Maybe.

It's one of those things in which you can't experience both. I am sure that you can at least appreciate my viewpoint, if only for the reason that it provides variety. I certainly respect your opinion and I often wonder about my "long-term" views on life.

[ Parent ]
Why I didn't kiss dating goodbye (4.14 / 7) (#249)
by gblues on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:46:44 PM EST

An introduction: I am a born-again Christian, and began dating my girlfriend-currently-fiancee about 14 months ago. The wedding is in 17 days (not that I'm counting...).

The concept of "kissing dating goodbye" is based on a book of the same title by Joshua Harris. This book has been the single worst influence on modern Christianity in terms of the act of finding a wife.

Consider the following:

  • The Bible contains advice and instruction for nearly every aspect of day-to-day life. However, guidelines for choosing a mate are conspicuously absent.
  • Likewise, there are only a handful of examples of God actively making marital decisions for His followers. One of these is inevitable (Adam and Eve), one of them is prophetic, and the others are providential (e.g. Isaac and Rebekka).
  • For much of human history, choosing a wife wasn't even the man's responsibility--it was his parents! This of course varies from culture to culture, but the modern concept of "dating" only goes back a couple hundred years.
  • Josh makes the assertion that, by making your own decision, you are committing a sin. However, God's only commandment in the marital area is, "Be fruitful and multiply." Hmm, Josh Harris vs. the Bible. I wonder who wins?
  • Joshua Harris was 19 years old and not yet married when "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" was written.
"Kissing dating goodbye" is one of the newer Christian fad teachings (not quite as new as Jabez, but we won't go there).

Granted, Josh does a good job of illustrating many of the pitfalls of modern dating, but Josh's definition of dating is very narrow. I would even go so far as to call it a straw-man argument against dating. Even though there is some good advice, it goes beyond advice and is given as gospel.

People like to think that "kissing dating goodbye" is going to prevent them from having bad relationships. The fact is that bad relationships happen, and breakups are going to hurt no matter how "safe" you try to make the process. Relating with other people (in any context) is inherently dangerous!

Personally, I find it incredibly absurd that, when I die and stand before my Creator, He is going to criticize me for marrying the wrong woman. I may be judged by how I treat my wife and my future children, but not for the act of getting married.

I also find it implausible that God would avoid imparting this "teaching" for 6,000 some-odd years. The lack of supporting Biblical teaching really makes it hard to "kiss dating goodbye."

Nathan


... although in retrospect, having sex to the news was probably doomed to fail from the get-go. --squinky
That's easy... (1.00 / 1) (#253)
by Skywise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:54:33 PM EST

There are no dating rules because, as you said:

-Marriages were arranged.
and
-Women were property.

But there IS stuff in the Bible about courting (When and what should be expected) and wooing a woman (Song of Solomon).

[ Parent ]

What book did you read? (5.00 / 1) (#260)
by avdi on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:10:55 PM EST

As far as I can tell, God didn't include anything in the Bible that's pro -dating either.  Does that mean all Christians must stop dating?

Yes, I've read the book.  No, I don't entirely agree with it; nor do I consider myself a Christian anymore.  Nonetheless, you show by your statements that you either didn't read it, or didn't pay attention.

IIRC, and I believe I do, Josh never once says that his recommendations are the Revealed Wisdom of God, or that if you don't follow his advice for courtship you'll wind up sinning by marrying the wrong person.  In fact, the book was much more about how to treat your future spouse honorably than about how to pick the right spouse.  

What on earth is wrong with Josh expressing his opinion in book form?  Just because God didn't say anything about dating in the Book, does that mean that nobody is allowed to say anything about it?  Just because there is very little in the Bible on environmental conservation, does that mean it would be wrong for a Christian to write a book about his/her opinions of what a Christian's perspective on the environment ought to be?  Are we not allowed to have any public discourse about anything the Bible didn't explicitly mention?  

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]

OT - Congratulations (none / 0) (#395)
by Cantara on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 08:45:44 PM EST

The wedding is in 17 days (not that I'm counting...).

Then you must be a steely eyed missleman. I counted every hour starting at about T minus three weeks. And most of that time was trying to stay the hell out of the way of the dreadnought that wedding plans inevitably evolve.

Here's to wishing you and your betrothed happiness and health!

Cheers!

[ Parent ]
there ARE a few guidelines/recommendations (none / 0) (#445)
by bolthole on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 09:58:34 PM EST

there is some bit here and there about choosing a 'God-fearing woman' as a wife. or similarly, "A God-fearing woman is a blessing to her husband, ..."

Someting like that. Being male, I'm not too familiar with the stuff pertaining to what women should look for. But presumably, a similar thing is appropriate :-)

[ Parent ]

"I speak on the topic of Romantic Love... (4.12 / 8) (#252)
by On Lawn on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:54:03 PM EST

"I speak on the topic of Romantic Love, of which I am an authority of"

That was the words of the revered, yet whithered and old "Founder of Physician Assistants" as he spoke at the commencement of my sister's graduation from medical school.  With all the talk on this article, I thought stories would be a cool way to contribute.  I happen to be in a group that has lived and practiced this "courtship" described above, and its interesting to see how its worked real peoples lives.

That talk, by the way, was honestly one of the best discourses I've heard on the matter.  Among my mental notes of the speech are the impressions that romantic love works on entirely different guidelines and, funny enough, produces an entirely different kind of "intimacy", he even said it produces a different kind of sex.

I was single at the time I heard that, and had been eligible for 8 years.  Naturaly I recieved it with great interest and importance to my dating life.  This is as I was checking out the girls graduating with my sister.  What did I do with those eight years?  Two was spent in religious service, and the other six had amounted to three proposals to women I dated for 9 months of which all had ended bitterly.  

To say the least, having a strong desire for that entire time to not have sex until I was married had made me rather anxious.  There were times I admitted that I wished I had sex with those women since we never got married, and now I missed the opportunity.  But looking back that was a very rash comment from an understandably scared and lonely person who figured he was missing out.  Now that I have a fulfilling love life, I'm glad I don't have any additional spechters and baggage from old dead and gone relationships.

I do still sometimes look back and wonder what it would have been like with them, but from as far as I did go back then in my single dating life I gained very peculiar and vulgar opinions.  Like, breasts look better in their packaging, everything after taking the shirt off was anti-climatic, etc...  It was just a way to express that intimacy seamed so enticing up to a point, then after that I always felt more let down and trapped into staying around because of social pressure then actually enjoying anything.  This wasn't an isolated case, it was what happened every single time.  Every time until I got married that is.

To my friends I would explain it with the comment I heard a long time ago from someone who said "the best part of sex was holding my son for the first time."  He's since amended that to include the births of his daughter and other sons, going fishing with them, attending certain milestones in their lives, and other family events.  He never said it was the only good part, but it was the best part.  I didn't have a child at the time, but it described something inside of me that was telling me there had to be more to sex than a performance, and you can't get it outside of marraige.  Now with a beautiful smiling daughter and wonderful wife of my own I know what he meant, and testify of it even more.

Its probably the form follows function engineer part of me, but I had the opinion that if you need to turn on flashing lights, wear costumes(1), or otherwise augment the "event" then your doing something wrong.  Its like a movie, if you need to distract my attention with overplayed drama, marketing hype or special effects you must just be trying to keep me from realizing it was a bad movie.

As this may or may not make sense, so I'd like to illustrate with the stories I promised.  As I said before, I had a number friends that got married within a few months, and we've all stayed friends, and we've all had wildly different experiences but similar conclusions.  Oddly enough I had attempted to form a comedy troupe in the last days of my single-hood.  I wound up marrying one of the directors, two of the actors got married to each other, and the other director and one of the actresses got married to someone from outside the troupe.  One of our recurring guests also got married to someone outside of the group.  We have only one lone man remaining in singletude.

The recurring guest in particular had an interesting journey.  The guy had done it all and had interludes with more women than is useful to count.  He married a virgin, so you could imagine that the topic raised by some of the people posting here was heavily on their minds, as they both wanted to be "adventurous" but pondered how sex before and after marriage would be strange.  He was the kind of guy that came off like the old alt.sex.wizards with all sorts of tips and tricks.  (Some of which I have used and can verify they work. ;) )  He is somewhat machismo, and had more play then anyone else I knew at the time.

Just to illustrate this, the week before he started dating his future wife was not unlike any other week of his life.   He had "action(2)" with an ex-girlfriend and then some more with his ex-girlfriend's best friend.  After that first date with is future wife however, we all noticed that he had gone mysteriously manogomous.  Still flirty with any woman he met, but never dated or kissed anyone else (turning down more women then I've kissed in my lifetime in the following months).

We were close friends, and when the time came for him to put money down on the deal, I was also anxious to bring my relationship with my future wife to the next level.  We went ring shopping together and bought nearly identical small but clear and perfect diamonds from the same jeweler since our girlfriends were similarly Bohemian and didn't want big rocks getting in the way.  It was such a curious event that we had even been asked by one particular proprietor if we were getting married to each other. When we told him "No", just presumed that we were just embarrassed to admit it and went on with his false presumptions.  

At that point in time I had only known my future wife for three months, and he had known his for almost two years.  He proposed immediately to her at Disney land while I continued to date for four more months.  He continued to propose weekly and monthly for the next year.  

In the mean time, I had kept my ring secret from my future wife.  We had decided in a cloaked way that we weren't going to discuss marriage until I proposed.  I hated how some guys would ask "lets get married", she would say yes, they would announce it to all their friends but would retort "but we haven't proposed yet".  

Even worse in my mind are the mealy people that probe in  ineffectively obscured ways "um, what do you think if we got married."  I told my wife I would never do anything "half asked."  So even though she told me at the beginning of our relationship "I'm not looking for a relationship" we had pretty much known that we were going to marry each other for a number of months before I proposed, but we never talked about it.

I took her to the temple grounds (which oddly enough were closed every time I tried to propose to anyone else), proposed on both knees, and she said yes.  We got married, and three months later my friends girlfriend finnaly said yes.

Which brings me back to their worry about the topic of sex.  He being schooled in various techniques and technologies in performance based sex, he was worried that marriage would take all the fun out of it.  Our bishop had counciled us both that "movie sex, I think you will find, is tawdry and dull."  Only, he explained it to my friend in much greater detail and emphasis than me and my wife.

My friend had balked at my believe that "holding your child for the first time is the best part of sex," and rightfully so.  Sex is really between you and your spouse and the child is not a part of it.  Only as a product of the union is it important.  He said it sounded to much like when one "buys a T.V. and every thing they watch on it makes them appreciate that moment of sale with the store clerk even more."  In retrospect, its kind of funny how something about the marriage union makes it much different than a relationship with a salesperson.

But as he told me after the marriage it was funny how the marriage union produced a different sex altogether than anything he experienced.  He said it felt much more like something friends would do together then what "lovers" would do together.  And by lovers, I think he meant in the temporary and sex dominated kind of relationships.

They are now expecting their first baby, and already for all the fun he's had in his life, he marks the time he watched the first sonogram of his child as one of the most important moments of his life.  He said "you know what? what you said about having sex and then children makes sex better is kind of true."

Another set of friends got married at the same time.  She was one of the actresses in the Comedy Troupe (we called ourselves the "Uncanned Upstarts") and was someone I dated a few times.  She had confided in me once that she was afraid of "scaring [whoever her husband would be] off on their wedding night".  She was probably the wildest child of the group.

Within a weak of dating one man who I consider a giant among men, they knew they were going to get married and secretly conspired to do so.  As an interesting aside I had a dream where they told me they were getting married, and when I asked her about it she replied with a shocked look on her face "yeah we are, that is a strange dream."

Their marriage was scheduled for some date in the next two months.  Planning such an event turned out to be much too demanding, and they postponed it indefinitely.  Then about six months later, they announced they had gotten married by a Justice of the Peace.

They have had a happy marriage.  Now, our good friends have been sealed in the temple and have had no complaints, and he never ran away scared.  Although he is a very private individual, she has mentioned on a few occasions that "married sex is the best there is," and that "you don't have to try as hard either".

My wife shares the sentiment.  She had probably seen more than her share of the dark side of sex.  In some ways we both still deal with it as part of our marraige.  But ever since we've gotten married she has mentioned how more comfortable, natural, and satisfying everything is.  We have a great friendship, and a wonderful daughter.  And although marriage has had its share of problems, and I've turned out to be a less than optimal companion she's never wanted to trade it in for what she had before.

I'll be the first to admit that intercourse rarely runs the course I want it to.  Often I have to deal with a wife with headaches, mood swings, and worries of my own lackluster performance.  Nothing about a marriage cures these things.  But as I read questions from people about monogamous sex in marriage and no sex outside of marriage I'm reminded of an old joke.

Whats the difference between a puritan and Las Vegas wedding?

The Las Vegas couple asks "how can you get married to them until you find out how they are in bed" and the puritan couple says "if you knew, why would you get married to them?"

In my "extra" years of singleness I studied marriage with a keen interest.  I'm very appreciative of the extra time to learn what it is really about, I have a much better marriage now, I think,  because of it.  And in all my study of marriage I've found that there aren't really two definitions of the word.  People may have come up with different definitions, but they aren't really marriage.  There isn't a "two people live together and have sex" definition and a "two people legally get to share health benefits and child rearing responsibilities" definition.  

I've found that the definition that makes the most since is true for ideas as well as people.  A marriage is the union of two elements where they become a single entity capable of doing more than the sum of the parts.  It does not mean that you need marriage to become a complete individual, it means you need a two complete and whole individuals.  The stated doesn't make a marriage, it recognizes it.  A man and a woman's wedding doesn't make a marriage, but it starts one.

People can marry ideas, they can unite for common causes, but only when a man and a woman live a life together doing what only man and woman can do together is made.  Unfortunately I lack the skill with English to make this sound anything more than a platitude.

Just to round up the stories, the other two couples had interesting relationships.  One couple married the very comedic and sometimes vulgar style of our best comedian, with a puritan style of a very no-nonsense straight laced stoic woman.  They perhaps have the best relationship out of all of us, but they are also the most remote.

The other couple is a happy twosome of entrepreneurs.  They are the ones that were both in the group.  Having known them for a while (she dating the comedic person mentioned above) I can tell you they are the sleepers of the group.  We all know there are people out there that pretend to be all pure, but inside are caging very active and passionate feelings.  Ever wonder what happens when two of them get together?  Apparently they have a happy marriage.

Another friend of mine got married recently.  What makes this one interesting is that it is his second marraige to the same woman.  He was my roomate when he was getting the divorce.  Between smashed phones, yelling and crying at night, and the sorrows of having to dispute custody of a child they both loved, I gained a perspective on the dark side of marraige.  He said something very insightful to me once, "Sex is a theatre where you play out what is already going on in the relationship."  He explained that when they were happy and cooperating already in their marraige that the sex was that way.  When they were going through power struggles and angry times their sex was dominated by that dimension.

He and his wife now have a much happier marraige now, and he's directly attributed that to their re-prioritiezed outlook.  Sex is now not the icing on the cake, its the sugar that is in all things and through all things that make up the cake.  But the sugar isn't anything really spectacular on its own.

1)  My sister the PA, worked in a hospital serving perhaps the very same Midwest university the writer of the article goes to.  She tells the embarrassing tale of an adventurous couple who wound up in the emergency room one night.  Aperently she was tied to the bed in a playful bit of role-playing.  He, dawning a cape (and only a cape) had climbed onto the night-stand to jump and rescue his wife.  Only when he jumped, his head was hit by the whirring ceiling fan and he fell unconscious onto his immobilized wife.  After an hour of calling for help, the embarrassed wife finally coaxed her neighbor to come in and get her husband off her and untie her.  Still unconscious, he was taken to the emergency room.

2) In the world of double-entendres, it is difficult to know the scale of the delicate meaning.  I married as a virgin, and all of our friends saved sex for their wedding nights.  You can be assured that as in this case, make-out or other play on the innocent side of the spectrum is usually what is meant by my vague colloquial references.

Gack... stop me before it's too late... (3.66 / 3) (#262)
by fraise on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:14:21 PM EST

That is PROPAGANDA in the purest sense of the term.

In your one amazingly long post, you have managed to bring together every single church discussion/prayer group/flyer/etc. etc. that I ever participated in/heard/read throughout the 20 years that I faithfully attended church as a born-again Christian. So I know that basically, it's pointless to argue against it, because your 'experience' speaks the truth - correct?

Here's my experience, then: I am now agnostic, have shared life with the same man for five years (starting our sixth), and am very happy. No long-winded explaining needed - we each met the right person, and plan to continue enjoying life together for as long as we can. I respect others who do things differently, especially if they're happy - that's great. But your post is really, absolutely identical to everything I was taught as a (Christian) kid. I can't help but find that odd.

[ Parent ]
Stop! (5.00 / 1) (#270)
by On Lawn on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:38:06 PM EST


Wait, stop you from what?

I don't understand.  The post is odd becuase whats happened to me and my friends is like what people told you about relationships?

[ Parent ]

what if you end up married... (1.25 / 4) (#255)
by toastman on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 04:56:48 PM EST

and you find your parter utterly repulses you?..you don't 'click'?

Total disconnect (1.14 / 7) (#267)
by RandomPeon on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:27:51 PM EST

This is one of the most irrelevant things I've read on K5 in a long time. It's not an insult, it's simply a statement of fact. I'm not suggesting it shouldn't have been posted either.

In order for this thing to have any meaning for me you first have to convince there is at least one higher being and then that the it is the God of the Bible. The first one is much easier than the second, but is by no means a trivial undertaking.

This is a real problem with America today. We live in a land of total disconnect on religious issues. Biblical literalists, non-religous people, and practioners of religions other than Christianity constitute 60% of the population. For a quarter of the population your article has no substance. For a third, it's irrefutable. I don't think this is a sustainable state of affairs.

Several things (3.75 / 4) (#269)
by Yellowbeard on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:29:32 PM EST

1. Just when I thought we were all just a bunch of heathens. Well, though I wouldn't choose to live my life this way (and, interestingly enough, my father, my mother's father, my sister, my uncle and my cousin are all ministers), I found the article well written and interesting. It kinda reminded me of, oh, I don't know, Sgt. York or something.

2. As I said, I don't choose this as my lifestyle, and doubt that many K5ers do so (though I am surprised by the number that seem to from the comments I read below). That being the case, I think it was quite brave and outstanding of you to write this and face probably ridicule.

3. Here's my question: Sex is the only activity reserved for the marriage bed. Conversation (which is what truly, I think, leads to love), recreation, work, all other things are allowed between married partners and others. Clearly sex is quite important to the people of your church (as it is to all animals), as they view "purity" of body to be such a major issue. However, what if, upon marrying (and, I assume, not really having divorce as an option), a couple finds that they are completely sexually incompatible, whether it be because of emotional or desire fulfillment problems or just sheer mechanical incompadability (it does happen)? This is my main problem with no sex before marriage. I mean, if you were going to buy a car, and it was the only car you could drive for the rest of your life, wouldn't you want to see how it handled first?

I mean, I think there are lots of reasons for the no pre-marital sex rule (not the least of which is that it helped to keep women's near unlimited control over the act in check a bit), but I still think that I would like to find out if I was sexually compatable with the only person with whom I would ever again get to share this wonderful act.


"Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt." - Deniro in Ronin


It's all about attitude (none / 0) (#383)
by Nathan Dial on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 05:35:16 PM EST

I can't say I have much expertise in this area, but my perspective has always been something like this: If a man and woman who are committed to spend the rest of their lives together--how could they possibly be "sexually incompatible." She might not turn him on? (he'd know this before he even spoke to her, much less got married) He might come too soon for her? (never happens for non-Christians, right?) Are you talking about a matter of size (yes, if she's a virgin, it'll be a bit snug--who knew?) What problem might a couple have that they couldn't work out between themselves over the honeymoon? Or if it took longer than the honeymoon, a few years?

Sex is something that you can get much, much better at if you're trying to make it better. How a couple who was committed to making it better could keep getting better somehow "not being compatible" just doesn't make sense to me. (But again I don't have any more experience to speak of than my own in this matter)

[ Parent ]

You don't understand. (none / 0) (#441)
by Matadon on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 08:05:07 PM EST

I think you missed the point -- sexual fulfillment is more than just a matter of size, stamina, or level of physical attraction; there are a lot of psychological factors involved.  Almost everybody has some type of "kink" -- something that really "does it" for them, from a sexual standpoint.  Some people have quite vanilla kinks; a favorite position, or lacy underwear, for example.  Others, such as myself, have less mundane kinks, and aren't easily satisfied.

I've dated (and bedded) girls who were, to all other extents, quite nice; attractive, nominally intelligent (very important indeed), but who just didn't fit that "kink", and if there's one thing that will end a relationship quickly, it's a thoroughly unsatisfying sex life.

Two people who have no sexual experience will have no idea what they want out of a sexual relationship; they may (and likely will) find themselves dissatisfied with their sexual situation, and the means to rectify the problem aren't usually readily available after a couple has gotten married.

It's a simple fact of life: You don't know what swimming is until you jump in the water.  Talking about it, thinking about it, and preparing yourself is all well and good; but before swimming a long race, it's advisable to spend some time playing around in the pool.

This last bit is anecdotal, but seems to hold true for the people I know (and I know a very large number of people).  The ones that follow the standard Xian dogma of no-sex-before-marriage, get-married-young are often the most miserable, most likely to cheat, and most likely to get divorced.


--
"There's this thing called being so open-minded your brains drop out." — Richard Dawkins.
[ Parent ]

Sounds like an ICOC church to me... (2.66 / 3) (#273)
by -ryan on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:47:20 PM EST

This wouldn't happen to be an ICOC church would it? I was in one for quite some time and the dating pracitices sound very similar. That was the first church I had ever been to with that type of practice. I am also aware that over time many of their "practices" have almost become doctrinal, like there is no other way to find love and be married in the church.

ICOC church (none / 0) (#392)
by thedrumheadlady on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 07:07:17 PM EST

It may or may not be an ICOC church, but this kind of dating policy is poor indicator if such. I'm in a strange point in my life where I don't really know what I -really- believe. I have spent years in the church, even leading a small group for intervarsity for a semester. This kind of dating is highly prevalent in the modern "christian community." In my opinion, it's merely another example of two things-

1. The mass groupthink in christian culture.
2. The tendency to want to "out-holy" other christians.

Now, I can't really say that the amount of groupthink/conformity/whatever in christian culture is more than that of popular culture at large, but I, after years of seeing it around me while being something of an outcast in certain church groups, (intervarsity- I didn't dress like them, listened to -gasp- non-christian music, etc.) I have found it to be amazingly annoying, and even, I think, contrary to some of what christians "believe".

As for the "out-holying" other christians, I find this to be a popular pastime within the church. Things like this style of dating, the amount of christian music you listen to, how much you don't drink, etc, become markers of how "holy" an individual is.

I think that's all crap, myself.
But I might be a bit bitter. Just a warning.



You Pick it. C'mon, admit it.
[ Parent ]
Dating sucks. (4.60 / 15) (#274)
by avdi on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 05:51:03 PM EST

Hokay, back when I was a Messianic Jew (which in my case meant basicaly a Christian), I read the book that this article is based on.  Liked it enough to take a sunday-school teacher to task for not including it's point of view in the teen dating class.  These days I consider myself an agnostic, and I do not agree with everything the book, and hence the above article, have to say. Nonetheless:

First of all, dating as we know it in modern US culture is a fucked-up, unrealistic way of getting to know people.  I don't know how many people I've know who have dated for months, even years in an attempt to "ensure they were compatible", and then they got married lo! and behold! It turned out they weren't compatible after all.  Obviously there was something wrong with the dating process that lead them to the (apparently) false conclusion that they were compatible.  But this never occurs to people; they just go right back to dating again.  Over and over again.

Getting yourself all gussied up to stare at your SO through candles over a fancy dinner doesn't tell you if you're compatible.  Neither does silently staring at a TV or movie screen together.  Neither does sleeping with each other on the weekend and then parting before you've really had a chance to get sick of each other.  None of those things gives you an accurate notion of whether you're going to be "compatible".  It just tells you that you both like doing fun frivolous things together.  Wow, what a revelation.  

Holding your SO's head over a barf-bucket at 3am when you have to work the next morning might give you a little better idea of whether you're "compatible".  So might doing three loads of laundry when you'd really like to be having a beer and making out on the couch.  So might standing still nodding while she screams out all the things she finds most repulsive and childish about you, your appearence, and behaviour.  But these aren't things people do on dates.  You don't see boys walking up to girl's front doors asking them if they're ready for a big night of cleaning up baby puke.  You don't hear about couples getting together for an intimate night of balancing the checkbook.  No, no, - that might spoil the mood.

But with all that said, I still don't think that's the biggest problem. Oh no, the biggest problem with dating today is the notion of "compatibility" itself.  Leaving aside whther it's possible for two people to be genuinely, completely incompatible, I submit that it is nearly impossible to make a relationship work when either of the people involved believe in the concept of compatibility/incompatibility.  There seems to be an infinite variety of incompatibilities that bring relationships to an end.  Sexual, emotional, stylistic, religious incompatibility - you name it.  And the reason is is that we are raised with the idea that we have to be very careful to find the "right" person who's totally compatible.  You just never know when someone who seemed perfect will turn out to be  "incompatible". And so, whenever a couple gets into an argument, rather than resolving to work throught it they decide "ohmigod! we must not be compatible!" and break up.  Here's the deal: if you believe in incompatiblity, than you will find yourself incompatible with the next person you're with.  It's much easier to interpret personality differences as "incompatibility" than to buckle down and work through them.  It's much easier to just give up.  The way to perservere in a relationship is to believe with all your heart that any relationship is potentially compatible if you put enough work into it.  What "compatibility" really seems to mean in relationships that work out is "I finally decided to commit myself to making it work".

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir

Jews for Jesus (1.00 / 1) (#279)
by epepke on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 06:34:20 PM EST

It's fun to sing "Jews for Jesus" to the tune of "Ride of the Valkyries." It's also fun to sing any Emily Dickenson poem to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas.

And I also agree with you about everything else in your article. As Frank Zappa said, love lyrics are a big cause of bad mental health, because they set people up for this dream ideal that they are never going to have in their lives.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Jawas for Jesus (3.00 / 2) (#281)
by avdi on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:04:40 PM EST

Please, whatever you do, don't equate "Messianic Jew" with "Jews for Jesus".  For most of my messianic life I was only dimly aware of JfJ - and once I became more aware of them, I wished I hadn't.  There's an enourmous difference between a Jew who happens to have decided that Yeshua really was the prophecied messiah, and is just trying to live his/her life without being ostracized by both Jews and Christians - and a militant faux-Jewish Baptist outreach program.

--
Now leave us, and take your fish with you. - Faramir
[ Parent ]
But... (none / 0) (#282)
by epepke on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:13:17 PM EST

It's still fun to sing "Jews for Jesus" to "Ride of the Valkyrie." Try it and see.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Tell me more.... (none / 0) (#346)
by SaintPort on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 09:12:08 AM EST

Until today I had no idea there was any disconnect between "Messianic Jews" and "Jews for Jesus".  I just thought that JfJ was a certain sect/group/society of "Messianic Jews".  What is JfJ "militant" about?  Is it financed by the Baptist Church?

For years I've been under the impression that a Messianic Jew would probably have the deepest faith among Chrisitians.  They should have a better understanding of the Old Testament and how Jesus fulfills its prophesy.

Recently a friend related to me the meaning of this scripture as explained by a Messianic Jew...

Matthew 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

There was a custom that when a marriage was being discussed, the prospective bride and groom would meet with their fathers.  A dowry would be worked out as part of the deal.  Once the deal was struck it was sealed by each drinking from the same cup.

In this case, the marriage being worked-out was between Christ and the Church.  Part of the deal was that Jesus was to take-on all of the world's sin.  This part of the deal was so distasteful to Jesus, that he dreaded drinking from this cup.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

I heartily agree.. (none / 0) (#344)
by sasquatchan on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 08:36:43 AM EST

Something I've said to various friends who have asked me about marriage.. I always say it is mostly about compromise. It's about being able to get along, and not putting up walls, and not walking away, but taking the harder path of working together through things that makes it work best.

Your last paragraph should be framed for folks getting married.
-- The internet is not here for your personal therapy.
[ Parent ]

Well, to a point... (none / 0) (#354)
by iostream79 on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 10:30:27 AM EST

Well, to a point, he's right. There's a point when two people's differences are just too great to make it worthwhile to make it work. Relationships should enhance life, and if trying to make it work causes an infinite stream of heartache with no light at the end of the tunnel, then it's not worth the trouble and for all intents and purposes, you are incompatible with that person. There is such a thing as an unhealthy relationship, and it's usually due to "incompatibilities" and not because at least one of the two is psychotic. If you've never been in a sadistic/masochistic relationship in which you bring out the worst in each other and you spent a lot of heartache trying to making it work with that person, then it's difficult to understand why some people are driven to say that enough is enough.

True, many people seem to drop each other like water balloons (fun for about seven seconds), but it is just as bad to keep on putting yourself and another person through a lot of emotional pain just to have the supreme satisfaction of saying that you're not one of those terrible, terrible people who get divorced.

If relationships and marriage were a simple algorithm of always trying to work things out, then we might as well all have pre-arranged marriages from a random drawing.



[ Parent ]
Unhealthy vs. healthy (none / 0) (#371)
by twh270 on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 02:35:23 PM EST

My viewpoint is that any relationship can work as long as the people are treating each other in a basically healthy fashion.  Which doesn't mean they don't get angry at each other, and doesn't mean they don't ever hurt each other's feelings.  It means that in general, they treat each other with respect, with care, and with an eye towards doing things to make each other happy.

An unhealthy relationship IMO is one in which the general tendency is for one or both of the people to treat the other in a hurtful fashion.  This results in a downward spiral; eventually, the relationship will break apart unless there is some kind of intervention to cause a change in behavior.

IMO any other differences are icing on the cake.  If you're treating the other person in a respectful and caring fashion, it doesn't matter how different you are in other areas.  It may make things difficult at times, but there's always a solution when you're working together in a positive fashion.


[ Parent ]

acceptance (none / 0) (#400)
by meatsack on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 10:20:37 PM EST

They main key in relationships working, long-term, is simply acceptance. This is especially the case in marriage.

Marriage is about 2 IMPERFECT people getting together. They accept eachothers flaws, know the other person is simply human, and then get on with it. Compatability is a myth. How can you possibly be 100% compatible with someone? Everyone isn't even compatible with themselves. Ever get depressed? Ever wish you (not your mate) were something more? Thats a stretch, but there is some truth in it.

[ Parent ]
Bravo! (none / 0) (#404)
by gotak on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 12:47:17 AM EST

I agree totally. In my experience, mostly of getting rejected, the girl I am after have faults I am aware of. I am just ready to accept them because her vitues are more important. But of course they don't see the same.

And so at the risk of sounding bitter I would have to say yes people tends to think the person has to be perfect. Ending up being really wrong.

[ Parent ]

What ever happened to the phrase..... (none / 0) (#406)
by NDPTAL85 on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 01:29:14 AM EST

...... "Don't settle"?

[ Parent ]
Good sex is a requirement. (3.83 / 6) (#275)
by shaggymonkeybuns on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 06:00:31 PM EST

I view "courtship" as having many phases of trust and intimacy.

Friendship. <singing>"Getting to knooow you... Getting to know alllll aboooout you...."</singing> My boyfriend is my best friend, and I wouldn't have it any other way... I can tell him anything. Friendship and good communication are imperative for an enduring relationship.

Dating. This is when a couple begins exploring their relationship as a romance. Several months (or years) are spent determining if your partner is a potential candidate for marriage. If my boyfriend survives this stage, then he is allowed to proceed to the next challenge...

Sex. Sex is an important part of intimate relationships. Sex builds a strong bond between lovers, boosts confidence and esteem, and relieves stress. If my man doesn't keep me satisfied in the "Big O" department, I become very frustrated, irritable and I don't feel very sexy (something that is important for most women's self-esteem). I will not marry someone unless they can sexually satisfy me. A marriage without sex would be hell.

Co-habitation. By this point in the relationship, I enjoy spending lots of time with my boyfriend. Does that mean I could spend the rest of my life with him? Not necessarily. People have many habits and idiosyncrasies that don't become noticeable until you live with them... that's when they let it all hang out. Maybe your partner passes eye-watering, toxic gas every five minutes or drools massive pillow puddles in their sleep. If you don't own a gas mask or if you get grossed out every time your head accidentally lands in a pool of drool, that person may not be a compatible partner for marriage.

Jumping into marriage usually results in a divorce (or a very unhappy marriage). I would rather be "impure" and 100% sure about someone than end up a lonely old woman.

--
*shaggymonkeybuns* 8:P
hell is other people (2.00 / 1) (#292)
by dalinian on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 08:38:44 PM EST

Note: This is not a troll. I could have just modded you down, but I'm interested in your opinions.
A marriage without sex would be hell.
But don't you know that "hell is other people"? You don't need other people to be able to have sex, if by sex you only mean the physiological (I don't know if that's the correct word) part of it. And if you mean something more, there are people that can help you with your problem.

All addictions are treatable. You don't have to suffer if you don't want to.

[ Parent ]

Sex is healthy. (5.00 / 2) (#320)
by shaggymonkeybuns on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:53:14 PM EST

Oh, believe me... I don't need other people to have sex and be sexually satisfied... >:) but if I were to commit to a marriage, I would expect it of my husband. I would rather be alone than with a man who couldn't or wouldn't have sex with me. I'm not a nympho, rather I was raised to believe sex is a very healthy part life and love. It is more than just a physical act... it is an act of passion and an expression of love between two people.

--
*shaggymonkeybuns* 8:P
[ Parent ]
hmm (none / 0) (#339)
by dalinian on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 04:25:58 AM EST

Okay, I see. But then it seems an exaggeration to say that marriage without sex would be hell. What if you completely lost your ability to have sex? I don't think it would hell either. It would be different, and perhaps very hard as well, but nothing like hell, I think. Programming is often very hard, and it certainly is not hell.

[ Parent ]
Over-analyzed. (none / 0) (#349)
by shaggymonkeybuns on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 09:44:09 AM EST

I think you've read far too much into my exaggeration of word choice...

--
*shaggymonkeybuns* 8:P
[ Parent ]
maybe (none / 0) (#380)
by dalinian on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 05:15:47 PM EST

Well, I didn't think you meant it literally, with flames and demons everywhere. :-)

But I believe you are still exaggerating.

[ Parent ]

Yes, I was. (none / 0) (#386)
by shaggymonkeybuns on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 06:07:39 PM EST

Yes, that's the point I was trying to make with my last reply. I was exaggerating.

--
*shaggymonkeybuns* 8:P
[ Parent ]
what about your original post? (none / 0) (#387)
by dalinian on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 06:20:29 PM EST

So, if you were exaggerating, have you changed your mind about marriage without sex?

I understand you will still consider such a relationship quite unpleasant - for a reason, I guess - but would you still say it was unbearable, like you seemed to imply in your original post?

[ Parent ]

depends... (none / 0) (#403)
by shaggymonkeybuns on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 12:26:40 AM EST

It would depend on the circumstances.

If someone I met wasn't capable of having sex, I probably wouldn't be attracted to them, let alone pursue a committed relationship with them. Not because I'm mean, only because it's human instinct to strive for procreation... simply, there would more than likely be no chemistry.

If I was married and my husband suffered a trauma or was stricken with a disease that rendered him incapable of having sex, I would find other ways to express my love, no matter how difficult life was. I would seek counseling or do whatever it took to reserve the sanctity of our marriage because I love him.

--
*shaggymonkeybuns* 8:P
[ Parent ]
ethics (none / 0) (#408)
by dalinian on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 08:16:32 AM EST

If someone I met wasn't capable of having sex, I probably wouldn't be attracted to them, let alone pursue a committed relationship with them. Not because I'm mean, only because it's human instinct to strive for procreation... simply, there would more than likely be no chemistry.
Okay, I have heard this before, and there is a mistake in your reasoning. You justify your actions with a theory about human behavior, and dismiss the moral dimension entirely. You don't seem to consider that we are moral beings with free will (you have to assume free will, if you don't want to fall victim to nihilism), not just biological robots that do whatever our instincts tell us.

I'm not saying that we can control all aspects of our behavior, but I think that very few of them are beyond our control.

If I was married and my husband suffered a trauma or was stricken with a disease that rendered him incapable of having sex, I would find other ways to express my love, no matter how difficult life was. I would seek counseling or do whatever it took to reserve the sanctity of our marriage because I love him.
In this "love" phenomenon you repeat the fallacy I mentioned.

Also, why would it be necessary to first fall in love with him? You say you probably couldn't fall in love with someone incapable of having sex, but you could love someone incapable of having sex (like a wife loves a husband). This is something I have never understood, and something I probably won't ever understand.

[ Parent ]

You've got me all wrong. (none / 0) (#410)
by shaggymonkeybuns on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 11:56:29 AM EST

"You justify your actions with a theory about human behavior, and dismiss the moral dimension entirely."

It's not just a theory... it's my observation. I know that, personally, I have never been attracted to someone who was incapable of having sex. It would probably be a big turn off when I found out that he couldn't. I'm not worried about what's "moral" when looking for a mate... "oh that guy is impotent, that would cause a big problem in the future, but marrying him would be the moral thing to do because i shouldn't discriminate against people with handicaps." I'm not saying it would be impossible for me to fall in love with someone like this, but it's highly unlikely.

"You don't seem to consider that we are moral beings with free will (you have to assume free will, if you don't want to fall victim to nihilism)."

I am a very independent woman who trusts her instincts and wields her free will proudly (it is possible to do both, you know...). It is my free will to decide whether or not sex is important to me in a relationship and make that a criteria for marriage. It is my free will to decide that I do or do not want to continue a relationship for whatever reason... I'm not just submitting to animalistic tendencies, I truly believe that sex creates an important spiritual bond between a couple.

--
*shaggymonkeybuns* 8:P
[ Parent ]
instincts and rational love (none / 0) (#416)
by dalinian on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 05:37:55 PM EST

"oh that guy is impotent, that would cause a big problem in the future, but marrying him would be the moral thing to do because i shouldn't discriminate against people with handicaps."
Oh, I didn't mean to say that you are immoral (using the word "moral" would not have been necessary in my last post, but it is strongly linked to free will). I meant to say that you are slightly irrational. That impotent guy might be a great person, and could quite possibly compensate his sexual impotence with some other skills. Human beings are great in adjusting to any kind of situation.
I'm not saying it would be impossible for me to fall in love with someone like this, but it's highly unlikely.
Falling in love is suspicious. It's not something you do, it's something that happens to you. It is irrational to go around seeking experiences like that, because you may never find what you are looking for, and even if you do, you may lose it any given day, because you are never in control. True, rational love is not something that happens to you. It's something that you yourself build, and something that you can't lose unless you completely lose your focus.
I am a very independent woman who trusts her instincts and wields her free will proudly (it is possible to do both, you know...)
It is not logically possible at the same time to be rational and obey your instincts.
It is my free will to decide whether or not sex is important to me in a relationship and make that a criteria for marriage.
I am not sure about that. You seemed terribly sure that the other alternative is completely out of the question, and that you couldn't change that even if it served your best interests.
I'm not just submitting to animalistic tendencies, I truly believe that sex creates an important spiritual bond between a couple.
Are you sure this spiritual bond isn't just one of those irrational instincts in a disguise?

[ Parent ]
hey shaggymonkeybuns, (none / 0) (#427)
by RelliK on Sat Jun 29, 2002 at 12:00:34 PM EST

do you like it anal?
---
Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism it's just the opposite.
[ Parent ]
hey RelliK, (none / 0) (#449)
by shaggymonkeybuns on Fri Jul 05, 2002 at 01:58:22 AM EST

...

--
*shaggymonkeybuns* 8:P
[ Parent ]
not just once or twice before marriage... (3.00 / 5) (#276)
by ph0rk on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 06:13:10 PM EST

I think it needs to be taken farther, and i'll tell you why. It is one thing to have sex. Chances are, if both persons are inexperienced, niether will have that much fun.After 7-10 times or so, maybe less, maybe more, the couple will have figured out how "they" do things, and get more enjoyment. but, it's not until they've known each other for years and slept together many many times that each other's fetishes see the light, so to speak. I'd sure hate to marry someone only to discover she doesn't perform oral sex, just as I am certain many females would be a tad bit upset to marry a man only to discover he didn't perform oral sex either. (or insert fetish here) oh, wait, i forgot, non reproductive intercourse is evil.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
non-sequitur (none / 0) (#444)
by bolthole on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 09:33:56 PM EST

I'd sure hate to marry someone only to discover she doesn't perform oral sex,

Then again, if you didnt have pre-marital sex, you wouldnt be 'missing' what you never knew to begin with.

[ Parent ]

A not unrealistic perspective... (3.75 / 4) (#283)
by souldOubt on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 07:14:46 PM EST

and one I find refreshing, at least insofar as it represents some folks' efforts to embody spiritual teachings in their lives.

The Baha'i Faith, as progressive as are some of Its features, also exhorts Its adherents to follow a similar (but not identical) approach to marriage, citing that it will contribute to healthier, happier people and families.

And since marriage as an institution has its roots originally in religious traditions and secondarily in secular ones, I applaud the attempt to explore the topic among enlightened thinkers by seeking understanding from a holy Text.

Overall, a completely relevant and important piece.
+1FP, for what it's worth...

Reflexion (4.00 / 5) (#300)
by nomoreh1b on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:16:49 PM EST

I appreciate having a window on a sub-culture of the K5 community that might not be voiced otherwise. Frankly, there are statistics on dating in America that make the situation look even worse than this author indicated(about one in three married women in America have at least one child for which the husband is named the "father" on the birth certificate, but wasn't biologically the father--see the book Sperm Wars by Prof. Robin Baker for more on this).

The real question I would like to see addressed though is how do courtship inspired marriages fair over time and what are their identifiable characteristics. For all the problems people in alternative lifestyles have had(i.e. things like STD's including some that have few symptoms other than sterility later in life), Conservative Christians have had their own characteristic problems. One public health nurse I know from the midwest said that she's been seeing a lot of patients with various problems(including fertility issues to impotence that was causing marital stress) that fit one profile:
Conservative Christian
Married fairly late in life
Were virgins when married

I'm not saying that this is the case in the community discussed here, but it might be helpful to all concerned to gather some complete data here.

get your causality straight (none / 0) (#443)
by bolthole on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 09:32:06 PM EST

One public health nurse I know from the midwest said that she's been seeing a lot of patients with various problems(including fertility issues to impotence that was causing marital stress) that fit one profile: Conservative Christian Married fairly late in life Were virgins when married

that COULD just show that the people who come to her are older people, and she lives in a christian community. (the midwest. what are the odds?)

[ Parent ]

Is sexual incompatibility really a problem? (4.50 / 6) (#304)
by khallow on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:32:12 PM EST

I keep hearing the "but what if he likes to be spanked and she doesn't..." arguments. Can you relate actual problems with sexual incompatibility? The biggest sex-related marriage problem I know of is sterility which you won't figure out just from spinning the wheels.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

Precisely! (4.40 / 5) (#312)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 09:57:05 PM EST

As if being good at sexual activities wasn't a learned skill . . .

One would presume that anyone sincere enough to make as permanent commitment as marriage would comfortable enough with their spouse to work on making sex fun all around.

[ Parent ]

One would (3.00 / 1) (#376)
by MKalus on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 05:03:12 PM EST

but in reality I don't think it is happening that often.

Think about it this way: If you just don't WANT to do something / have sex more often why would you try to "change"?

Sex in itself is something that comes from within, means it's a physical desire (like hunger) and you usually don't eat when you're not hungry, do you?

No, I think you have to "testdrive", heck you should probably even live together for a bit before you can decide if it'll work out for you or not. I never understood how people can just "jump" into marriage.

[ Parent ]

you're working on a bad assumption (none / 0) (#394)
by khallow on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 07:25:16 PM EST

No, I think you have to "testdrive", heck you should probably even live together for a bit before you can decide if it'll work out for you or not. I never understood how people can just "jump" into marriage.

And what happens when desires/hungers change as they invaribly do once marriage occurs? This all sounds like a sophisticated rationalization for getting laid, not for building a relationship. Living together on the other hand isn't such a bad idea.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Riiiigggghhht.... (none / 0) (#397)
by MKalus on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 09:54:26 PM EST

... that happens if you don't know what you want or figure out you can "try until you find something you like", sure that might work but I never thought of it that way.

Let's face it, if you want to get laid you can go out, getting laid isn't half as hard as it is made out to be (if you have some basic social skills as it was mentioned in other places before).

[ Parent ]

Over time (none / 0) (#430)
by sgp on Sat Jun 29, 2002 at 09:30:27 PM EST

If you're thinking of getting married for the next year or two, this argument makes some sense.

However, if you're considering marriage for the rest of your life, what significance does relative sexual appetite in your twenties matter? In your 30s you'll both change, also in your 40's, 50's and so on.

Marriage includes sex, but isn't about sex.

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

People change. (none / 0) (#439)
by MKalus on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 07:46:32 AM EST

constantly. i just don't believe in having a committment to something that might not make either side happy anymore.

fine call me a cynic but I grew up in a family where my parents only stayed together because they were afraid NOT to have someone. They choose misery over happiness and a lot of people seem to do this 'for the kids'.

[ Parent ]

Hmmm... (2.00 / 2) (#323)
by lumen on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 12:00:22 AM EST

It makes some people very sad? Is this so tough to see? Does that count as a marital problem?

[ Parent ]
Yeah it can be (3.00 / 1) (#331)
by On Lawn on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 01:19:06 AM EST

For example some people use it as a weapon, pacifier, barganing chip and other things.  But thats more malignant disfuncionality.

The "stylistic differences" type of disfuncionality stems from feeling spurned or put up with or looked down upon when they are turned down for this or that.  It could be a problem, especially if sex is a main reason for the relationship in the first place.

[ Parent ]

Well (3.00 / 2) (#365)
by jred on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 12:56:59 PM EST

My ex-wife & I decided to wait until we were married to have sex (with each other, she had 1 previous partner & I had a couple).  Based on my experience and anectdotal evidence, I'd say the frequency is the biggest sex-related marriage problem.  She was happy having sex 3-4 times a year, which wasn't very good from my point of view.  Most ppl. seem to think that men always want it more than women, but that's really not the case.

And no, that's not the reason she's my ex.  The best I've been able to figure out, she left me because I didn't like to do the dishes...
jred
[ Parent ]

The Evolution of the Sex Is Bad Meme (2.75 / 4) (#314)
by Gord ca on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:00:49 PM EST

Somewhere in the history of Christendom, somehow the meme slipped in that sex is evil. Possibly it has something to do with the idea that the material world is evil, thus its pleasures are dangerous and should be partaken of as little as possible. This of course went against the basic biological reality that sex was required for procreation - so it was allowed for making babies and nothing else. (I'm aware that the majority of people probably never fully subscribed to this view at any point. But the idea's influence has been strong.)

Around the Reformation, when scholars started realizing that many 'Christian' ideas were unbiblical and stupid, the 'sex is bad' idea was officially dropped. Hense most Protestant pastors are allowed to marry.

However, it seems to still be not quite dead yet. While many modern Christians will whole-heartedly say that sex is a gift from God to enrich our marriages, they still seem to think it's evil when done out of the proper procedure, ie, out of wedlock. They'll give many reasons why. (The standard unwanted babies, stds, as well as 'defiling yourself', not giving your whole mind & body to your mate, etc.) They feel to me to be justifications, not reasons - excuses for previously held beliefs that are proported to be the reasons for the beliefs. The standard reasons can be eliminated by good sex ed that is actually applied (Condoms are your Friends). As for the whole 'saving yourself for that special one' 'argument' - its pretty much too vague and 'feely' to be either defendable or attackable.

One unstated argument that seems to always be present is that the unmarried should err on the side of non-pleasure. If the argument is washy, well, you'd better follow it - defiling yourself sounds dangerous, and you're just giving up a bit of carnal gratification. Well... We've established that religions that promote self-inflicted pain are ethically wrong. Why is self-inflicted deprivation without reason any less wrong?

Then of course there's the admittedly ultra-liberal treatsy, Body Plesure and the Origins of Violence. It argues sexual stimulation not only feels good, it inhibits violent behaviour. This isn't anything like a consensus among psycologists, but it shakes up the idea that "There's no way not having sex will do any harm."


If I'm attacking your idea, it's probably because I like it

"sex=bad" arose from the gnostic heresy? (2.00 / 1) (#336)
by xriso on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 02:15:03 AM EST

Interesting idea. As for the adultery/fornicating aspect, I believe that there are actually some scriptures that deal with the issue, but not many.
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
[ Parent ]
sex vs imortality (none / 0) (#454)
by thogard on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 11:32:37 AM EST

In the early sections of the oldest part of the bible, you will see some interesting bits that imply that what the cahtolics call orignal sin brought with it mortality.  Odd thing is if you look at cells that don't use sex to reproduce can live thousands or potentialy hundred of thousands of years while all cells that use sex to reporduce seem to have a system to die from old age.

As far as the concept of inhibiting violence,  there are stats from Australia that show that violet crimes are lower in areas where sex can be bought leaglly and higher in other locations.

[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#457)
by Verax on Sat May 31, 2003 at 11:34:38 PM EST

As far as the concept of inhibiting violence, there are stats from Australia that show that violet crimes are lower in areas where sex can be bought leaglly and higher in other locations.

Really? Where are these "stats"? And how were they obtained?



----------------------------------------------
"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." -- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
[ Parent ]
Let's think about that. (none / 0) (#456)
by Verax on Sat May 31, 2003 at 11:30:51 PM EST

Somewhere in the history of Christendom, somehow the meme slipped in that sex is evil.

The problem isn't sex per se, but rather the abuse of sex. Because widespread abuse of sex was obvious, some people concluded that sex itself was bad. An analogy would be living around people who abuse alcohol, getting really drunk, doing stupid and/or hurtful things, and becoming ill. Without alcohol, those bad, alcohol related things wouldn't happen, so someone might naturally (although incorrectly) conclude that alcohol in and of itself is the problem. The same can be said for extramarital sex: there's the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, children with no father, the loss of human dignity involved with prostitution, the suffering that results from adultery, incest, and rape. The thing is that these all point out why abuse of sex is bad, and it would be incorrect (although easy) to assume that the problem is sex in and of itself.

Around the Reformation, when scholars started realizing that many 'Christian' ideas were unbiblical and stupid, the 'sex is bad' idea was officially dropped. Hense most Protestant pastors are allowed to marry.

The reason Roman Catholic priests are not allowed to marry has nothing to do with any 'sex is bad' idea (the Catholic Church does not teach that sex is bad). The idea is that being a priest requires a lot of time and effort. In effect, priests are referred to as 'father' because they are fathers of a community. Trying to head up more than one family at a time requires so much of them that one or both families could be neglected. In the Eastern Catholic churches, priests are allowed to get married. The whole married priests thing is a matter of discipline which can change from time to time, depending on circumstances, not doctrine which is a matter teaching faith and morals. Because the Catholic Church teaches the truth regading faich and morals, and because truth does not change, doctrine can not change.

The standard reasons can be eliminated by good sex ed that is actually applied (Condoms are your Friends). As for the whole 'saving yourself for that special one' 'argument' - its pretty much too vague and 'feely' to be either defendable or attackable.

First, condoms do not guarantee no pregnancy. Second, condoms do not guarantee no disease transmission. Third, more subtle, yet more with a more powerful effect on society in the long run, is the change in attitude that comes about from contraception and acceptance of extramarital sex. A few areas where this can be seen is pornography and premarital sex, and their effect on a marriage.

If sex is acceptied outside of marriage, then the idea of fidelity in marriage is weakened: If sex isn't solely for marriage, then it becomes something that you can do with anyone. If sex outside of marriage is ok, then there doesn't really seem to be anything wrong with pornography, and those who watch it become highly desensitized to the destruction of human dignity, and come to believe that any sexual request at any time has some degree of legitimacy. This easily leads to nasty thoughts along the line of "well, if my wife won't 'put out', I'll just find somebody that will". There is a loss of respect for human dignity, and sex for the sake of sex turns human beings into mere objects to be used for release. If a husband comes to see his wife in that way, is there really any doubt that she will start to feel used? Is there much doubt that their marriage, and, by extension, those around them (like children, family, and friends) will suffer? If there's nothing special or permanent about marriage, why not give up and try again? Is there any doubt how much human misery results from divorce? Who would you trust to love you for yourself rather than for your body parts: somone who resisted their urges and led a chaste life, or someone who is very comfortable spankin' it to porn?

Sex before marriage with someone other than who you eventually marry leads to other problems. Imagine, after "playing the field" for a while, that you really do find that special someone whom you love enough to get married. Imagine explaining to them that you have aquired a disease, if you actually have one. If, on the other hand, you don't appear to have a disease, imagine explaining to them that you can't say for sure that you don't have a disease because many of them present no symptoms at first, especially in men. Imagine enjoying a happy marriage for a while, until it is discovered that you really did have and pass on a disease. Condoms do not protect against a family of about 110 viruses, some of which cause warts (and some do not), and some of which cause cervical cancer (and some do not). Even if you don't actually have any diesaese, there is still concern and stress about it because you care for your spouse. Also, if there have been other sexual partners, there is anxiety related to "performance". How would you feel, thinking that your spouse could be mentally comparing you to previous sexual partners? Premarital sex, from an emotional standpoint, is essentially "cheating" in advance. Christian marriage is the complete gift of one's self to one's spouse. Isn't a new gift, carefully wrapped more meaningful than a gift that has previously been opened and messed with by other people before being re-wrapped and presented again? Who would you trust more to remain faithful: someone who was able to resist their urges for the entire time before you married them, or someone who's been with half of the volleyball team?

Sex before marriage with someone that you actually do marry has problems as well. If sex is divorced from marriage, and the appetite for sex is satisfied, then why make the commitment for marriage at all? I know that many people do, but think of how many people don't. Also, sex does complicate relatioships. How many people have picked the wrong spouse because the sex felt good? A marriage based on that feeling alone is in trouble because that feeling never lasts. If sex is experienced outside of marriage, it loses some of it's specialness within marriage. Christian marriage is the complete gift of one's self to one's spouse. Isn't it a little weird to give someone a gift, then take it away, wrap it up, and give it back to them again? The meaning the second time around is less significant than the first. That's what happens when a couple shares the marital embrace before they are actually married. When a couple lives together before marriage to facilitate having sex, the marriage is significantly more likely to end in divorce. Who would you trust more to take your marriage seriously: someone who loved you enough to fight their urges and not have sex with you before marriage, or someone who insisted on sex before marriage?

The divorce and suicide rates in the United States were fairly stable until contraception became legal and widely available. Contraception fails, so soon after any contry legalizes contraception, they legalize abortion as well. Once contraception became legal and available in the United states, the divorce and suicide rates jumped, and have remained high ever since. Abortion has claimed about 1.3 million human lives per year in recent years in the United States. Abortion is not a simple and painless "choice" without consequences. It's not unreasonable to think that rates contraception, abortion, divorce, and suicide in the United States are at least somewhat related. Just because someone can't conclusively prove that's the case, it does not follow that there is no relationship; something is going on there. Who do you trust more stay with you and take care of you and your children: someone who put in the hard work to develop self control, or someone who has been "gettin' action" all over the place and/or who has allowed convenience to dictate whether they allow their offspring to be killed (via abortion)?

Why is self-inflicted deprivation without reason any less wrong?

"without reason"? As you can see, there are plenty of reasons. Just because they may not be obvious until they are carefully thought about doesn't mean they don't exist.



----------------------------------------------
"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." -- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
[ Parent ]
Interesting point (4.27 / 11) (#316)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Jun 26, 2002 at 10:13:43 PM EST

Acronos linked to an excellent article further down. Religous Tolerance has a nice conglomeration of resources concerning religion and divorce rates.

Per the statistics, Christians (especially "Born Again" Christians) have rates of divorce much higher than for the US as a whole. If one compares the various studies (which is probably fraught with peril due to variations in statistic gathering making the groups overlap) we have the following:

    Percentage of people who are divorced from their original partner:
  1. Members of the Unification Church: 17.4%
  2. Atheists: 21%
  3. Lutherans: 21%
  4. Catholics: 21%
  5. Mormons: 24%
  6. US General population: 25%
  7. Born Again Christians: 27%
  8. Baptists: 29%
  9. Non-denominational Christians: 34%
Anyway, the statistcs state seem to say that the last people we should be taking courtship advice from would be lay person Born Again Christians, Baptists, and non-denominational Christians.

Interesting point-needs more depth (none / 0) (#324)
by nomoreh1b on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 12:04:38 AM EST

I rated this article a 5 because I thought it was pointing in a useful direction. The real question though is how to get some finer grain statistics. The stats cited don't control for the fact that these groups vary considerably for other demographic reasons. For example, it is plausible to me that Baptists/non-denominational christians have marital problems because those groups may have more financial stress on their marriages.

There are some real fundamental questions here: what are the decisions that lead to a fruitful and happy union for any given person? This is something that is hard to get good info on.

[ Parent ]

It's all about family (4.00 / 2) (#328)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 12:31:55 AM EST

At least, eleven years ago it was. When my wife and I went through the marriage counseling required to be married by our congregation's pastor, one of the activities was to take a standardized test that rated us where we were compatible and where we were not. The point was not to discourage us if we weren't compatible, but to say that "these are the areas that you are likely to have problems with".

To make a long story short, the company that prepared the test made the claim that the number one predictor of a successfull marriage was the family background of each of the participants. The test rated each individual on two axes. One axis was the governing style of the family from authoritarian to anarchy. The other axis was cohesiveness from total independance to total dependance. Supposedly, the closer both individuals were to the middle of both axes, the more likely the marriage was to be successful.

Also, note that the test measured perceptions not objective facts. There is hope if one has a fucked up family, but coming from a truly fucked up family will make one more likely to be fucked.

The irony in the test was that being raised by my born-again pagan lesbian mom ended up putting me almost dead center in the "sweet spot" and my wife who was raised in a very traditional home ended up way skewed over in one quadrant or the other.

After eleven years (last weak was our 11th anniversary) we're still going strong. Sure, we have our problems (most of which are different now than the test predicted, 11 years later we've found that we've both become different people). But we'll work them out.

-l

[ Parent ]

Self-selection (none / 0) (#332)
by jasonab on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 01:28:11 AM EST

Lee, you know as well as anyone that self-selection skews a survey. In addition, you didn't list the error percent of the survey. Assuming a standard 3%, athiests and "born-again" Christians have the same rate.

--
America is a great country. One of the freest in the world. -- greenrd
[ Parent ]
Self selection? (none / 0) (#333)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 01:52:08 AM EST

Most of these stats come from a random poll done in December of 1999 by the Barna Research Group.
These findings are based upon telephone interviews conducted throughout 1999 with random national samples of adults. In total, 3854 adults from the 48 continental states were interviewed. The estimated sampling error for the aggregate data is +2 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

All of the interviews were conducted from the Barna Research Group telephone interviewing facility. Households were selected randomly through a random-digit dialing procedure (RDD), with just one adult interviewed per household. Quotas were also deployed to ensure accurate regional distribution and minor statistical weighting was used to ensure that the samples reflected national demographic norms. Multiple callbacks were used to increase the probability of selecting a representative sample of households. [Christians Are More Likely to Experience Divorce Than Are Non-Christians, Barna Research Group ]

Also you should know margin of error doesn't work quite like that. You have to work mojo with the confidence interval and the margin of error.

Lastly, I already admitted that comparing the percentages from a conglomeration of different surveys was shakey statistics. Although, if you would have followed the link to the article, you could have found out which numbers were from the same survey and were comparable.

Regards,

Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

Self-selected religious choice (none / 0) (#337)
by jasonab on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 03:00:49 AM EST

Most of these stats come from a random poll done in December of 1999 by the Barna Research Group
I understand that - I actually did follow the link and read the article. My point is there's no way to know the actual leanings or seriousness of the respondant's religious beliefs. People are much more likely to label themselves as "Christian" than "Athiest", mostly because people are much more likely to be nominally Christian than nominally athiest.

I think it's very reasonable to conclude from the survey that religious Christians have a divorce rate that approaches non-Christians, although I have to say that doesn't match my experience.

I'd be very interested to see the statistics for people who had premarital counciling versus people who didn't, as well as statistics for age. I heavily suspect that the reason there's a higher rate in the South is there are more marriages at a younger age, versus the Northeast, where I suspect people are more willing to simply live together until an older age.

--
America is a great country. One of the freest in the world. -- greenrd
[ Parent ]

That makes more sense (none / 0) (#353)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 10:13:16 AM EST

I believe that you meant to say "self identifying" rather than "self selecting". When speaking of polling, self-selecting has a very specific meaning.

I still largely disagree with your point, though. For the life of me I can't think of any more valid method than self identification. Although, self identification does have its own perils. As a case in point, in Russian more people self identify as being Christian than self identify as believing in God. I suspect that in Russia, as well as in the US, many people culturally identify themselves as Christians.

That said, I don't think that there is any good reason to not take self-identification on its face.

And as always, we must keep in mind that correlation does not imply causation. And the better we can control for other factors, the more meaningful the numbers become.

[ Parent ]

labelling, other factors (none / 0) (#382)
by Nathan Dial on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 05:20:06 PM EST

The biggest problem with these results is labelling. If you ask someone who calls himself "Christian" but doesn't attend church anywhere what kind of Christian he is, he'll likely say "non-denominational." That puts him in the same category, for purposes of the survey, as the full-blown fundies. And someone who lived for years without religion before converting would call themselves "born again." Their current religious behavior would likely be different from (possibly a reaction to) their past actions, including those that may have caused divorce.

More noticeably absent, at least to my eyes, was any mention of whether people had been married before or not. (correct me if I'm wrong.) 0% of people who have never been married have been divorced, and without being able to find any solid stats, and I'd wager Atheists are less likely to have ever been married. This seemed to look solely at the likelihood of someone in each of the groups to be divorced, not on the likelyhood on someone who had been married to be divorced. There are of course other factors as well, such as differing ages and ethnic background, that would correlate significantly with divorce rates as well as different religious beliefs, making it rather hard to imply causality.

I think what the linked article mentions about the Unification Church is interesting with respect to the (posted) article as well, but I'll save that for another post. . .

[ Parent ]

Why would you do that? (none / 0) (#402)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 11:25:01 PM EST

I'd wager Atheists are less likely to have ever been married.
What on earth would make you think that? Most, if not all, of the atheists I personally know are married. Most of the famous atheists I can think of off the top of my head (A.J. Ayer, Madaleine Murry O'Hare) were married. That just seems like a bizarre assertion to me.

Other than that, you bring up some good points. I agree with most of them.

[ Parent ]

Keep in mind about divorce rates... (4.16 / 6) (#330)
by Nuup on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 01:18:50 AM EST

I've seen lots of comments about the 50% of people get divorced in America numbers, these numbers are actually a bit misleading. They include people who were already divorced before and re-remarried which can easily happen 3 - 4 times. The real numbers are more like 1 out of 4 relationships end in divorce. The people who get married, divorced, re-married, divorced, rinse and repeat skew the numbers. Though even 25% divorce rates are still high if you ask me.

My problem with courtship like this is that it draws people who have little experience in relationships or have been hurt badly. Though obviously there are people who lead great lives from these marriages, the people who enter with little or no experience barely even have a vague understanding of love or what they want in a person. I've seen my friends who are women go in to a courtship like this with a guy who I could see wasn't right for them, but in their inexperience they committed to the first person they thought they loved and who loved them. One of them already split up while the other's marriage is completely miserable with a child now at 22 years old. Like it or not, the pains and fears of growing up and going through the "Dating game" are part of coming to understand the person who is right for you and the various extremes of love. It's so important to find out when you're young which type of person you feel comfortable sharing the rest of your life with, you don't want to be guessing at it when you land your first relationship at 25. People try to skip past those pains (and pleasures) by going straight in to a courtship such as this end up with someone they usually don't know if is the right person for them outside of experiencing a bit of love. Once that love wears off, they become another contributing factor to our divorce rates.

Though I do understand why people would rather not do the dating game, I did it and quite frankly I'm tired of the superficiality of it. Down in Arizona it's just a big fest of everyone cheating on each other, but none the less. Get sick of it after you have a general idea of what you actually want in a person so you don't have to take the only thing that's before you.


-------------------------------------------------
Did you exchange a walk on part in the war, for a lead role in a cage?
25% is about right (none / 0) (#334)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 01:55:11 AM EST

Multiple surveys by multiple organizations have come up with the same figure (25%) of how many many people in the US have had at least one divorce.

[ Parent ]
Dating != experience for marriage (none / 0) (#381)
by spraints on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 05:17:02 PM EST

Like it or not, the pains and fears of growing up and going through the "Dating game" are part of coming to understand the person who is right for you and the various extremes of love.

I don't know that I agree with this statement. Or at least its implications. I agree that playing the dating game is a very good way to experience all the highs and lows that emotional love can bring.

However, I was under the impression that long-term love, the kind of love that is required to make a marriage work, is more of a rational choice than just an emotion. Granted, when I met my wife, there was definitely some emotional affinity that attracted us to each other. But neither of us is under the impression that our emotional bond will be the source of what we hope will be a long marriage. Choosing to love each other is what we expect to make our marriage a lasting one.

An interesting side note to this is the tradition of arranged marriages. According to this article and other anecdotal things I've heard, happiness can be found in arranged marriages. It's not too far-fetched to presume that people who end up in arranged marriages have little, if any, dating experience. So they probably don't know what they want. As one guy in the above article stated, his parents probably have a better idea of the type of person who would be a compatible mate for him. On the other hand, people who make arranged marriages happy marriages look at their marriages as a commitment on which they will build love and happiness.

I guess what I'm saying is, is that dating experience is not what is required to find a successful marriage. Coming to the realization that both you and your prospective spouse have to be committed to the relationship in order for it to last is what is required.

I'm also of the opinion that having God involved in the marriage adds quite a bit more strength to the relationship.



[ Parent ]
A Little Note (3.66 / 6) (#345)
by pridkett on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 08:37:45 AM EST

Preface: I am a Christian, lead a small group Bible study and am involved in a longer term relationship currently.

This is in response to a lot of questions.  First of all there have been some people saying that Christianity says that sex is evil.  Not true.  Sex is good, it's a true and good gift from God (read Song of Soloman).  It's when it gets taken out of the bounds of wedlock that bad things happen.

That brings me to my second point, one sticking issue is that of adultery and it's definition.  Many churches that I've been associated with define it as Sex outside the bonds of wedlock.  If you define it as that, then I believe the Bible is quite consistent.

Thirdly, when going into marriage without the preknowledge of your partners sexual performance requires some faith on the part of you toward God.  If you are true born-again Christian then you'll know that God will take care of everything, this doesn't mean you can be lazy, but it also means that he didn't let you get to that point in life without a reason.

Another interesting thing about the divorce statistics is that I know many people who attend Catholic or protestant services who aren't Christian at all, meaning they haven't let the love of Jesus overflow and wreck their lives.  It would be interesting to take a survey of people who understand what the cross means and how it affects our lives and see what their divorce rate is.  This isn't to say that Christians don't sin or ever mess up, it's just that Christians are the only beings that do it willingly.

Finally, I'd like to caution people who see this as a piece saying that Christians are better than non-Christians because of their views on sex and marriage.  I'd also like to apologize on behalf of the Church to anyone who has felt scorned because of their past divorces or sexual habits in the Church.  It is not my place to judge, nor was it theirs, and I sincerely apologize for my brothers and sisters who do such.  You might want to ask them to read Romans 2.
--
Read this story.

a little clarification, please. (none / 0) (#352)
by ph0rk on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 10:10:33 AM EST

>>>If you are true born-again Christian then you'll know that God will take care of everything, this doesn't mean you can be lazy, but it also means that he didn't let you get to that point in life without a reason.

this seems, to me, to be an awfully deterministic (read: puritan-like) view of things.  Are you a strong believer in fate and things like that?  everyone born is already saved or damned?  can they make choices? if so, why can't they choose the wrong spouse, even if the church steers the couple together?

>>>It would be interesting to take a survey of people who understand what the cross means and how it affects our lives

not to be pedantic, but you touched on a fine point here, one that i think you did not mean to.

the bloody cross affects everyone's lives in America, and I believe a great many of other nations, no matter their religion.  How many pieces of the dating game, or everything else, are a result of that symbol and the dogma associated with it?

I realize that your post was aimed at being nonjudgemental, but it was also slightly confusing. did you mean that the non-Christians attending Catholic and Protestant services do not get divorced because they do not let jesus wreck their lives?   and that Christians willingly let their lives be wrecked?

i mean, if so, then i'm all for it.  I tend to feel that organized religions are really organized ignorance apparatii.

Organized religion is the scariest, deadliest thing on this earth.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

Clearing stuff up (none / 0) (#396)
by pridkett on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 09:05:08 PM EST

>>> this seems, to me, to be an awfully deterministic (read: puritan-like) view of things.  Are you a strong believer in fate and things like that?  everyone born is already saved or damned?  can they make choices? if so, why can't they choose the wrong spouse, even if the church steers the couple together?

I'm not a strict believer in fate, I don't believe that we can sit back and God's plan will work.  God has a plan for us, but it's up to follow it.  God will work with us, to cover for iniquities.  I don't take the view that there is only one person who is destined for me.  Rather once you walk down the aisle with that special someone, there is only one person for you.  Without God's help all of my relationships (friend, romantic, familial and otherwise) would be in failure.  That's what I mean by God taking care of everything.  The central message of Christianity is LOVE.  The Love that God has for us is something I can't begin to understand.

Another thing is to make a distinction between Chruch and God.  The Church is run by man, and as such it is entirely fallable and frequently makes mistakes that are too many to list here.  God by his very nature is perfect and cannot make mistakes.   So while the Church may steer us wrong, a heart truly after God's will not be led stray by God.

>>>>>> It would be interesting to take a survey of people who understand what the cross means and how it affects our lives

>>> not to be pedantic, but you touched on a fine point here, one that i think you did not mean to.

What I meant to do is acknowledge that there are those who attend church for reasons other than the right ones.  I can say this with 100% confidence because I used to be one.  After all, Church is a pretty good place to meet women (I became a Christian about three years ago and have since started going for what I know to be the right reasons).  What frequently happens in such surveys is that rather than seeing if someone really believes the Bible and lives God's love, they surveyors are quick to lump all people into groups.  If you go to church you're a Christian.  If you don't you must be atheist and the likes.  I'm not sure exectly how that survey was done, that was the point I was trying to get it.  On the other hand, it's not for me to judge if someone is a good Christian or not.  We all have sins that are equal.  Can these sins cause ruin for God's plans for us?  Certainly, see the story of creation and the fall of man in Genesis.

I'm not saying that divorce never happens in Christian churches, we're very vulnerable to it and it's very easy to misinterpret messages and prayers.  I'm just wondering if among those who know and understand God's love if the divorce rate is as high.  It very well might be, after all evangelicals were some of the main people behind segregation, so it's not like were always right, or even remotely right.  That might have just been my initial response where you feel the need to defend groups you belong to.  I'll look into it more.
--
Read this story.
[ Parent ]

God doesn't exist. (2.11 / 9) (#355)
by bitgeek on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 10:43:44 AM EST

At least, as defined by christianity, he doesn't.

How can anyone let an irrational belief system dictate how they run their lives is beyond me.

But when they move to force, or convince others to run their lives in this same manner, its time to get the gun.

Furthermore, christianity is so full of internal contradictions that trying to have a discussion about it is just plain silly.  On top of that there are so many people out there calling themselves christian that the word has no meaning.

Or are the Pope and Hitler equally christian?

People have long enough lived with harassment and violence at the hands of christians for violating their immoral "morality" that its time for rational people to stop putting up with this nonesense-- believe what you like, say it even, but anyone who sanctions these beliefs or pays any respect to them has the blood of brandon teena, mathew sheppard and millions-- not thousands, but millions of others killed for heresey on their hands.

Enough is enough.
-- Between 1982 and 1988 US Income tax revenues doubled from approx. $500 Billion to $1 trillion due to Reagans tax cuts.

Hitler speaks for himself.... (none / 0) (#359)
by SaintPort on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 11:26:56 AM EST

"    Fascism may make peace with the church in God's name. [He alludes here to
     Mussolini--SMR] I'll do that too. Why not? But that won't
     prevent me from tearing out Christianity in Germany, root and
     branch...

     No matter whether it's the Old or the New Testament... It's all
     the same Jewish swindle.  It's all the same and doesn't make us
     free. A German church, German Christianity is nonsense. You are
     either a Christian or a German."

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Hitler = Christian ?? (5.00 / 2) (#424)
by tuj on Sat Jun 29, 2002 at 02:06:01 AM EST

http://www.freethought-web.org/ctrl/quotes_hitler.html

http://answers.org/apologetics/hitquote.html

http://jews-for-allah.org/messianic-jews/christianhistorywithjews/speeches.htm

http://www.nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm

http://www.enteract.com/~digialex/arc-t/debates-hitler.html

The issue seems to be quite unclear.

[ Parent ]

Good research! (none / 0) (#436)
by SaintPort on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:38:42 PM EST

Obviously Hitler's quotes can be used by many to support many agendas.  And most of us want to disclaim him.

I feel the quote I posted explains the supposed Pro-Christian stance others would point to as propagandish lies.

One thing that worries me is that Christians could still be fooled into thinking Neo-Nazi ideas are approved by God.  From God's point of view there is one race... the human race.

Thanks for the links!

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Reich and Paganism (5.00 / 1) (#370)
by eurasian on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 02:13:53 PM EST

AFAIK, Hitler was really into the whole (norse?) mythologies of Valhalla and all that jazz. He apparently was also realy into numerology and who knows what other neato beliefs. But he was not, as succintly quoted by saintport, a Christian.
he was a failed painter however.



[ Parent ]
Show me one logical contradiction (3.66 / 3) (#375)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 04:31:29 PM EST

God doesn't exist. At least, as defined by christianity, he doesn't.
All alleged logical contractions in the Christian definition of God are either (1) straw arguments based on premises that Christianity does not accept; or (2) based on relatively new variants of Christianity such as Calvinism.

Go read the definition of God in Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica or Saint John Damascene's An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. Then come back and show me where the logical (or ontological) contradiction is.

Regards,

Lee Irenæus Malatesta

[ Parent ]

The Marriage Monopoly (2.71 / 7) (#356)
by bitgeek on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 10:56:54 AM EST


On top of these loony ideas about sex (not outside wedlock!) christians also have a monopoly on marriage.

Despite this being an explicit violation of the first ammendment, marriage in this country is defined as christian marriage, and any other belief systems are not allowed.  (more than two people, gay marriage.)

So, if anyone is going to complain about the real harm done by christianity- look at their locked grip control over marriage in this society.  Only those who marry in the christian fashion are allowed to do so.  Some are even trying to get rid of the option of divorce.

Its shocking how much hatred and control is demanded by this "merciful" god of theirs.
-- Between 1982 and 1988 US Income tax revenues doubled from approx. $500 Billion to $1 trillion due to Reagans tax cuts.

marriage marriage marriage. (2.66 / 3) (#360)
by ph0rk on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 11:27:54 AM EST

I think the last poster was on to something there.

Christians don't just have a handhold on marriage though, there is also a convenient system to pre-program half the population in the Country to actively seek marriage.

I call this system "Tee-Vee".

In all seriousness, however, would nearly as many couples get married if many women were not programmed to not feel complete until they were happily wed, from day one?

Now before the cries of "troll" begin, i realize that not every woman feels this way, and many men do.  I also realize that many members of both sexes marry because they want to, or at least they think so.  However, the social pressures to marry cannot be denied.  

What does this mean?  For a bit of anecdotal information, I myself am against the concept and idea of marriage.  I personally believe that if two people enjoy each other's company, they don't need a sheet of paper to prove it, and the certainly don't need it recognisd (sanctioned) by a government, or a Diety they may or may not believe in.  It isn't about a god, or a government, it is about the two of them.  And only the two of them.

Furthermore, this concept of permenant union for all time was excellent when we only lived to our late 40's, but who can possibly know in a few short years if they can stand to spend the next 60 or 70 with someone?  I have relatives who are over the age of 90, and were married for over 65 years.  Can any of you really conceptualize 65 years?  I can't.

And yet, there are so many pressures to be married.  Single parents recieve social pressure, for one.  Hell, technically children born out of wedlock are still bastards, and while the original term wasn't necessarily an insult, it certainly is now.

But, back to myself.  I don't believe in marriage.  I don't want to get engaged, i don't want to sign the license, any of it.  But, and this is all personal experience, mind you, but the women I have met and conversed with who feel similarly are quite few and far between (read: figments of my imagination).

One could say, of course, that if I am not interested in marriage to just walk away, but as anyone who has had a relationship lasting more than a year or three will tell you, sooner or later the subject comes up. (well, that or you come home from work one day to find the entire appartment packed into two small bags and your once girlfriend storming out.)

What the hell am I getting at?  Simple.  Even though I am an athiest, and don't believe in marriage to boot, I find myself backed into a corner.  Sooner or later, I'm going to have to either propose to my girlfriend, or she will leave me.  She's a pretty sane individual, and a good person, but because of her social programming, I find myself forced into a situation I don't want to be in.

Here is the part where most of you say that I've come up with several problems and offered no solutions, but I've got one.  I say we create a new type of union or marriage, if you will.  This one lasts about 2 years or so.  At the end of the term, if both parties are not interested in renewal, it ends, and they both walk away.

I suppose that comes off as too sane, though.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]

Not a troll, but (5.00 / 1) (#366)
by epepke on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 01:07:17 PM EST

Why is it that every time a woman does something someone else doesn't like, it is because she is "programmed"? And why is it that the people who most loudly proclaim that women are human always speak of them as automata? (I know the answer, but it's annoying.)

Isn't it possible that women may want marriage due to personal choice, whether rational or emotional? I want money, not because I have been "programmed" to want it, but because it gives me the power to do things I want. Perhaps marriage gives power to women, and therefore they want it.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
good point, however (5.00 / 1) (#372)
by ph0rk on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 02:58:24 PM EST

Yes, it is very possible that women want to get married just because.

however, isn't it a bit strange that nearly all of them desire to?  I don't know of many things (short of aquiring cash and prizes) that nearly all men, or nearly all women want to do.  In most other respects, like men, one woman can be very different from another.  

Anecdotal information is academically worthless, but i have almost never (as i recall) met a woman that was not at least somewhat interested in marriage.  Many were GREATLY interested.

And the kicker is; marriage isn't nearly as good a deal as it used to be.  In many marriages, both members work, and yet women still take on the bulk of housework.  Many men make more money than their spouses, yet in some working couples, expenses are shared equally, rather than proportionally (I have seen better correlations between height and pay than sex and pay, mind you).  Men can, to a certain degree, get away with adultury in our society, and women cannot (to the same degree).

Women, or a large number of them, tend to behave in a very dependent manner.  Is this because they need to?  because they are incapable of self-reliance?  because they are weaker than men naturally?  

Of course not, that is all rubbish.  So why do most of them start planning their weddings at age 5?  (even those that are not interested in children).
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

I think you've got it (5.00 / 1) (#384)
by epepke on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 05:37:57 PM EST

however, isn't it a bit strange that nearly all of them desire to? I don't know of many things (short of aquiring cash and prizes) that nearly all men, or nearly all women want to do.

I think you've put your finger on it, here.

Women, or a large number of them, tend to behave in a very dependent manner.

Let's look at this another way. Women frequently behave in a manner that you, being a man and not being a woman, judge as "dependent." What if women don't see it that way? I can only speculate as to how they might see it, being a man myself. What if, for instance, what you see as dependence might be perceived by women as entitlement, connection with other people, security, or being part of a community? Why do you think there's something curious about it? Is is possible that it might be because of societal expectations on you, as a man, always to be able to handle everything? When a man and a woman are in a car and it breaks down, which of them is expected to stride manfully to the hood and diddle the doohickeys until it's all better? The whole concept of "dependence" means an entirely different thing when applied to men versus women. Dependence, to a man, is frequently fatal, so of course men find it a terrible thing. But what if the costs were reduced, would it be so horrible then?

And it might affect everything you talk about. It might affect the perception of a job versus a career. It might affect the differential between the power to spend money versus the power to earn it. I started off this reply with a discussion of things I thought might be in place (including my marriage and divorce which taught me that, as a man, always making a lot of money all the time is supremely important even to women who deny it eight ways from Sunday), but then again I'm a man, so maybe I can't empathize with the real appeal.

And then, perhaps, the claims that marriage is such a terrible deal for women is a simple strategy, a means of shaming to shift more of the burden of making things work onto men? I do know that women pass down strategies from mother to daughter and discuss tactics in women's rooms (why do you think women go to the toilet together?) So, maybe there's a lot of misdirection going on.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
FUD! (5.00 / 1) (#388)
by ph0rk on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 06:23:13 PM EST



They spread it to their advantage ;)

I agree, i can't quite grok everything there is to "being" a woman. But (isn't there always one?), we've shifted a bit into gender roles, but hell, it's all the same monkey anyway.

What i was originally referring to with the term "dependence" is, well, social dependence. For example: most male friends I have that are involved seem to have difficulty doing things that do not involve their partners (i regret most of my data pertains to heterosexual relationships, i just don't have that many friends that swing the other way. besides, it's all about me, anyway.)

Right. what do I mean by difficulty? Their girlfriends/fiancee's/wives feel slighted that they would want to do something without them.

that's not quite right, slighted may not be the term. To put it another way, most of my (male) friends have hobbies, several of them. most of their S.O.'s (aged 18-30, and an outlier sitting at 39) don't. Oh, they may have a hobby-like interest, but they don't really engage in activities that take up time.

why is this a problem? lets get down to numbers. Lets say I have twenty hours of free time per week. Lets say my S.O. has the same amount (There have been times she has had more than me, but thats irrelevant). Lets say that of my twenty hours, I chose to spend ten on myself, split between gaming, cars, and writing. The rest, is to spend time with her. Not that bad a setup, right? Half my time? wrong.

she has few hobbies, and from what i've been able to gather, i'm not quite alone in this situation. What does that mean to me? She enjoys the ten hours per week we spend together (rough estimates, btw, i'm not using a stopwatch. just numbers.), and everything is hunky-dory. but, once i wander off to rack up headshots or drink beers with friends, the guilt starts.

in other words, her main hobby is me. my other hobbies she sees as rivals for "US" time.

now, it is entirely possible that it is related to age, as i haven't spoken with many couples above 30, but it is definately there.

This is what I mean by dependence, or independence. Does she wander off and do her own thing? much more now than she used to (hence our continued relationship, and my continued sanity), But not as much as she could.

The kicker to all of this is as I said before, she's a bright girl. We've spoken about all of this, and she understood exactly what i was saying, but wasn't able to change her behavior much.

As for whether or not woman get "programmed": remember now, that as little kids, boys are given guns, trucks, robots, and computers to play with. we grow up wanting to be policemen soldiers firemen truckdrivers geeks and other things.
what are little girls given? a multitude of toys with which they can play.... house. dolls, families of them. miniature houses. toy ovens (?!?!?). I would love to see a little corner of the world where each and every child was given an equal dose of pistols and dollhouses, we may have less firemen and more interior decorators, and that just might be okay.

Back to the original article, marriage will continue to be treated as it is (read: FUBAR) until we fix the underlying social training.


[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]
Sure (1.00 / 1) (#390)
by epepke on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 06:55:16 PM EST

Right. what do I mean by difficulty? Their girlfriends/fiancee's/wives feel slighted that they would want to do something without them.

Sure. I've known many friends who, once they got married, were expected to drop all their old friends and get a new, approved circle.

This is what I mean by dependence, or independence. Does she wander off and do her own thing? much more now than she used to (hence our continued relationship, and my continued sanity), But not as much as she could.

The kicker to all of this is as I said before, she's a bright girl. We've spoken about all of this, and she understood exactly what i was saying, but wasn't able to change her behavior much.

Good God, man! (And I'm an atheist.) This is the first time something I've read on K5 has made my eyes water, not from sadness, but from sheer incredulity. (And I am over 30.) She's doing this to you, now, even before marriage, and you still can't figure out what the appeal is? And you're saying that she's a bright girl but she just can't change her behavior? And you're maybe sympathetic about how she's been programmed? You are making my teeth sore.

I never give unsolicited advice, but this is extreme enough for me to break my rule. Get. The. Fuck. Out. Of. There. Right. Now. Whatever the cost. Whatever it takes.

You probably won't listen. Maybe you'll even try to explain to me that it's really OK. But please print out this message and keep it in an extremely safe place (preferably with your parents or attorney). You will know when to read it again.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
heh (none / 0) (#391)
by ph0rk on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 07:05:32 PM EST

I'd have said the same thing a few years ago.  It isn't like it was originally (we took time off, blah blah). There are plenty of spiffy things in the relationship, I merely mentioned the parts that illustrated my point(s).  

Advice duly noted, however.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

Right (none / 0) (#393)
by epepke on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 07:11:59 PM EST

Print it out and put it in a safe place anyway.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
advice (none / 0) (#419)
by OoerictoO on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 06:14:51 PM EST

i'd like to step up and defend.  you do NOT have enough information to give that advice.  and it's not as if the poster needs it either.  seems smart to me.

but anyway, relationships are all about compromise and when they are important to you, you make them work, whatever the costs, how ever hard it is.  to many people, i think, including myself, relationships with a caring mate are the most important and fulfilling thing in my life.  
the trick is making them work while still making everyone happy.  

jetting when shit gets rough is not always the answer.

oh, and marriage is a weird thing.  i've never wanted to get married.  even told people straight up that i never was getting married.  but never is a long time, even longer than "as long as you both shall live".  i feel very close to the corner the poster descibed.  anyway.  there are solutions.  especially when people feel that $16000 is too much to pay for a party for people you don't even like.  such as:
vegas, and a small reception for friends  (and family perhaps) you want around to celebrate your union with.
you miss out on the gift registry (maybe not necesarily), but that tradition is pretty bad in and of itself.  

i suggest people go and checkout some of the websites that describe the roots of wedding traditions.  i think you'll descover most to be disgusting and sexist at best.  
however one feels marriage and relationships should never be taken lightly.

okay, enough cents dropping.  i'm well over two

[ Parent ]

You know (none / 0) (#420)
by epepke on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 06:20:35 PM EST

Honestly, you don't have to listen. Nobody's holding a gun to your head.

jetting when shit gets rough is not always the answer.

Well, I truly hope you never have some of the experiences I have had. But, if you do, you will probably have completely forgotten having posted this message.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
By and large... (none / 0) (#435)
by rokzane on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 04:35:42 AM EST

By and large, marriage is nothing more than a contract between 2 people.

Those 2 people involved should make of it what they will. Each relationship is unique--which is how it should be.

As far as my husband and I, we did not date for very long. We saw no need to draw out our "courtship." We were friends for many years before we began to think that there could be anything more.

He did not propose to me. Marriage was a mutual agreement for us. As I recall, both of us brought up the topic and we discussed it in length before we either one of us said yes or no.
We did not have a wedding either. We went down to the county courthouse and signed the legal documents. For my parents sake, we signed a contract with the Local Spiritual Assembly (the local governing body of the Baha'i Faith), but that's unessential to our relationship. Neither one of us is involved in the religion we were raised in.

Both of us still live our independent lives for the most part. James has his gaming, computer stuff, and what not (non of which I'm really interested in), and I have my friends, my cooking
(which I really get into), my career. I also spend alot of time reading and crocheting.
I definitely don't need James to keep myself occupied.

I didn't marry him to find enjoyment and fulfillment in my life. I married him because he is a genuine character and I very much enjoy his friendship. He truly enhances the experience of living, but he doesn't create it for me.

I just thought that offering a different view of marriage would be appreciated.
"I'm ok when everything is not ok"
[ Parent ]

...and also... (5.00 / 1) (#389)
by Shpongle Spore on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 06:25:41 PM EST

Why do so many women want to get married so badly that they'll marry men who are abusive, controlling, or otherwise totally unacceptable partner? I've known two women who came frighteningly close marrying boyfriends who made them miserable, and I know one who actually did and regretted it immediately. The funny thing is they all admit now how stupid they acted, but at the time they were just to dazzled by the idea of that getting married is the ultimate victory for a woman.
__
I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor bar,
drinking 'Mad Dog' margaritas and not caring where you are
[ Parent ]
Forced? (5.00 / 1) (#432)
by Guncrazy on Sat Jun 29, 2002 at 11:34:40 PM EST

She's a pretty sane individual, and a good person, but because of her social programming, I find myself forced into a situation I don't want to be in.

What the hell do you mean by "forced"? Are you saying that when she gives you the "No ring, no schwing" ultimatum, it's the equivalent of a gun to you head?

You get no sympathy from me. Her "social programming" isn't what will put you in this situation. It's your decision that will get you there. You already know, and probably have for a long time, that she's going to get frustrated with your reluctance to commit to marriage, and yet I'll bet that you're doing all you can to conceal the depth of your contempt for that institution just because you want to keep the sex coming. In short, you're lying to get laid, and you're asking us to see you as the victim.

I think you'd be doing both yourself and her a favor if you'd dump her, as both of you would be free to search for a more compatible partner--to court, in other words.

Courting, to me, is getting to know as much as possible about another person's character, values, and future plans and evaluating whether or not they complement and match your own. It's not something that works exclusively for Christians, but for atheists as well. It's a good policy for straights or gays, the monogamous and polyamorous, those seeking lifelong commitments or just someone to share a bed for a wild weekend in Vegas.

If people would simply take the time to think about what it is they want, and select partners based on discriminating choices rather than random chance, the world would be a much happier place.

Race is irrelevant 99.999% of the time. And the 0.001% of the time it is relevant, someone is looking for a donated organ.
[ Parent ]

this is because you don't like God, isn't it... (5.00 / 1) (#438)
by JyZude on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 09:28:16 PM EST

It's true that TV does suggest that marriage is a required element to happiness, (I mean just look at Friends; Rachel has to shut up, and Ross... three times divorced. That's not even funny, though it's frequently used as joke material. I mean, WTF?) But your solutions is seriously warped. I mean, two-year renewable marriages. God, the kids are gonna be messed up.

As for permanent union, it was a social necessity at one point - required to preserve peace within a tribe. Somebody discovered that rather than spontaneous coupling with whoever they want followed by continual violence as the males fight for dominance, it's much better to get all that out at the beginning (via a test of manhood, courtship, or whatnot) and then marry "forever" to preserve peace in the community. That's why marriage appears, in a myriad variations, amongst nearly all cultures on earth. (IMHO, anyway).

Our culture, at the moment, suffers from a lack of community, a lack of love. Although we have limitless communication, we are more disconnected now from true community than ever before. Marriage intends to fill that gap by providing family, people that you can be close to. However, this requires effort in a turbulent world, and it seems to be an effort that is not put forward, since it is much easier to drop a relationship and return that significant other to the insignificance of the masses. Hell, there's no community to see what you did, (and you're right, pieces of paper are generally meaningless).

It seems that God and eternal marriage are linked in that you must have love for God to truly love another person. I'm not even talking about a Christian God here - most cultures declare their gods as eternal beings, and marriage follows as an eternal bond (lasting through death in many cases). If you can't discover the love of God (or love in God, or more specifically that God is Love), how can you be expected to love another person? Perhaps there's a link between your atheism and your inability to imagine a life-long marriage? But that's okay: I think most people can imagine a life-long marriage but fail at it, just as they imagine a God but fail to understand/love it.

So I guess what I'm saying is that if you and your partner both love God (the real God/life-energy/consciousness which has nothing to do with organized religion) then maybe you can marry for life. If not... well, good luck to you both.

-----
k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye


[ Parent ]
excuses, excuses (5.00 / 1) (#442)
by bolthole on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 09:21:14 PM EST

Furthermore, this concept of permenant union for all time was excellent when we only lived to our late 40's, but who can possibly know in a few short years if they can stand to spend the next 60 or 70 with someone?

I've seen this 'argument' before, and all that comes to mind is, 'what a lame excuse' (to try and rationalize divorce)

You make it sound like marriage is something that people are bound into, and undergo 20 or so years of service/work, and then "PHEW! I'm finally DONE with that!"

If two people are truely happy together for 20-30 years... why would they not want more time together?

There clearly do exist people for whom it is a burden... and those people should never have gotten married in the first place.

Your 'argument' should really be "there are some (many?) people who should never get married (to ANYONE) and in recognition of this, there should be a way to null marriage out.

Even though I am an athiest, and don't believe in marriage to boot, I find myself backed into a corner. Sooner or later, I'm going to have to either propose to my girlfriend, or she will leave me. She's a pretty sane individual, and a good person, but because of her social programming, I find myself forced into a situation I don't want to be in.

(...) I say we create a new type of union or marriage, if you will. This one lasts about 2 years or so. At the end of the term, if both parties are not interested in renewal, it ends, and they both walk away.

Gee, sounds like you have exactly that already. In another few months or so, you're going to 'walk away'. or at least, you SHOULD. There is no need to invent some kind of half-hearted fake at 'marriage' to solve your current selfish wants.

[ Parent ]

The Art of Bonding (3.00 / 1) (#374)
by Fon2d2 on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 04:31:28 PM EST

Although courtship offers a higher level of security I would be warry of the reasons people would seek that security. Not that it's bad: I know one girl who has been through several abusive relationships and another who was divorced by the age of 22. But, like others have said, I would be warry of those who choose courtship as a way to avoid the angst of dating. The opposite of that, in the dating world, would be those who choose dating as a way to avoid commitment. The universal problem here, as I see it, is neither system truly addresses the art of bonding. Sure, courtship goes to greater lengths to ensure compatibility, but unlike dating, it does not force people to understand themselves.

Don't knock it till you've tried it. (4.50 / 2) (#385)
by Nathan Dial on Thu Jun 27, 2002 at 05:53:44 PM EST

A lot of people seem to have poor opinions of the idea expressed in this article (and there are also quite a few blatant trolls--thanks guys, that is so entertaining, really!) but I don't think the poor opinions are truly trying to see it from the point of view of someone who is doing this. I have a few friends who have prepared for marriage this way, and they all seem to be thrilled with the results so far. My wife and I didn't follow the official Josh HarrisTM certified rules for courtship, but we had a very low-key dating experience and were both virgins when we got married, and so far it is wonderful. I can't say there haven't been any kinks to work out, but we're a lot happier than we were dating. (and the sex is great, and getting better every time!)

The religioustolerance.org page on religion and divorces has a mention (near the bottom) that members of the Unification Church who participated in pre-arranged marriages in "mass blessing" ceremonies had rates that compared favorably with the mainstream population.

courting and patience (2.00 / 1) (#418)
by OoerictoO on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 05:57:14 PM EST

while i know this system is not for me, I hope that A LOT of people take a good look at how they do things and compare the outcome to the outcomes of people who attempt the above described courting rituals.  the way i do things is much more similar to the above than the tactics most "meat market daters" employ.

that said, i have to say that there is a lot that is important in a relationship and being patient so you can learn enough about the other person so you don't HURT THEM is the most visible tenant.  

BUT, there are certain things that are not allowed to be patient when this system is employed.  Just two of them are living together and sex.  These two things can give vast amounts of detail into whether a relationship will last and should last.  in the above courting system, these things and others are never tried on until "too late".  

things to ponder...
-eric

[ Parent ]

Uhhh.... (3.00 / 1) (#421)
by tthomas48 on Fri Jun 28, 2002 at 07:03:48 PM EST

but the Unification Church is regarded by most people as being a cult. So um, I would be interested in seeing what their marriage stats are like after the people are un-brainwashed. Seriously I think this is a good idea. My wife was the first woman I kissed. The Unification church thing just scares me a tad.

[ Parent ]
A Crash Course in Courtship | 457 comments (416 topical, 41 editorial, 1 hidden)
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