Sunday, May 1, 2011


Anonymous said...

Suurely not being recognised abroad now doesn't mean that it will continue to be do. It's already changing in the EU, there are directives etc currenlty being discussed because things have changed in the world. The royal wedding is the expection, no other country does it like the UK. Royal weddings are not the norm so why base your whole theory on the extraordinary.

JP said...

Under this analysis, the only two people who could not get married would be two men.

All you need to mate these days is one womb and two pieces of genetic material.

This would bring the possibility of a marriage of three people. An egg donor, a sperm donor, and a womb donor.

JP said...

Anon, things *always* change in the world.

*Change* is value-neutral.

Stuart's point is that there is an underlying reality. He kind of misses the point a little, but hey, don't we all?

Stuart Schneiderman said...

The royal wedding was a bit larger than life, but it was a role model more than an exception. I am thinking that when you say it was "extraordinary" you are saying that it was an exception to the rule.

Surely, it was an assertion of traditional marriage. True enough, there have been directives and there have been some laws, but I still do not believe that there will be universal acceptance of same-sex marriage.

If you have to issue directives then you are forcing people to do something that they do not really want to do or that does not make sense to them.

I mentioned in a previous post a while ago that some gays who have gotten married in one of the states that allows it in the USA have ceased presenting themselves to other people as married. They noticed that many times when they did so the other person would wince. And they did not want to deal with the wince.

Anonymous said...

Marriage is over.

You may as well comment on the last passenger pigeon, or how the printing press has destroyed the scribe's livelihood.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed that a lot of your posts seem to assume that the needs of a culture don't change. But just as humans evolve biologically as conditions change, so do customs.

At one time muscle and speed were more important than IQ – that has changed, and we emphasize different attributes. At one time hereditary social positions and “careers” made sense. And certainly different sex marriages made sense in most cultures (whether polyandrous, polygamous or monogamous depended on culture).

But technological changes, demographic shifts (dropping fertility and increased life expectancy) and other changes change cultural needs deeply. What is best for a culture changes as the conditions change – that’s just the nature of evolution.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I would agree with you when you say that the needs of cultures do change and that they change our views of, for example, sexual relations.

If memory serves, I did argue in my book about Saving Face that the way a culture viewed contraception and non-procreative sex had a great deal to do with whether it was over or underpopulated.

Clearly, societies that are on the verge of extinction have a much more negative attitude toward non-procreative sex than do those that are overpopulated.

That being given, it is also true that marriage, as a social institution, has always been between people who belong to opposite sexes.

There have been different configurations, but that has remained constant.

Do you think that half the world, literally, would have been fascinated by the Royal Wedding if it had married Will and Steve?

And if it was the most watched televised event of all times, doesn't that tell us something?

Anonymous said...

There was a time when democracy was considered idiotic (and in the context often was), and yet now millions turn on the TV to watch elections in foreign lands. There was a time when in most cultures childless marriages were were considered a trajedy, yet today those in crowded developed countries frequently view such marriages with respect, if not envy. We can't predict the future, but the changes we've seen in just the last 20 years are faster than most predicted - a new culture evolves at a much quicker rate (for good of bad) than does a new biological trait.

Anonymous said...

I'd be willing to bet more people tuned in to watch the twin towers fall than watched Will and Kate marry - what does that tell us about how important such numbers are?

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