Re: That's exactly why! (Or, an examination of marriage)
- From: Kenneth S. <nimrod9@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2011 12:27:00 -0400
On Fri, 5 Aug 2011 07:28:29 +0400 (MSD), Andrew Usher
Kenneth S. wrote:I agree with your last point. However, I don't see the
In my view, privatized marriage would be better than what we
have at present, although (as you say) it wouldn't be perfect.
But no marriage, I suggest, would be even better. The fact that
there already are so many couples living together and even
having children without marriage proves that there's nothing
wrong with the idea.
I think it would be better to take marriage completely out of
the hands of government, except for the enforcement of individual
Maybe this is semantics, but we shouldn't use the term
'prenuptial contracts' - that supposes an actual marriage to
which the contract is preparatory. There is no need (except for
child custody as I mentioned) for men and women in a
relationship to have any different rights to make contracts than
any two people would.
I completely accept your point that many men
foolishly enter into marriage, without thinking about how the odds are
stacked against them. The mere fact that so many men continue to get
married under the present rules is conclusive proof of what you say.
However, the requirement to think issues through prior to marriage
would be a corrective to this foolishness.
As I said, any compulsory requirement to make detailed contracts
would inevitably result in standard forms evolving, which
wouldn't be all that different from what marriage is today. And
men then wouldn't really be thinking things through more than
they do today.
emergence of standard contracts as a fatal objection to privatized
marriage. Those getting married would still have to give more thought
in advance to what they were getting into. For instance, men would
have to think about whether they would accept that, if a divorce
occurred, their wives would get sole custody of any children and they
would have to pay them child support. If their brides insisted on
having this, these men might have second thoughts about marriage -- as
well they should.
In addition, even if both spouses had signed a standardized
contract, such things as custody of children would all be spelled out
in advance. There would thus be less to wrangle over if a divorce
occurred. I think there would be many fewer divorces, which at
present are predominantly initiated by wives who know they will get
custody of the children. They still could in a privatized marriage
system, but at least their husbands would have agreed to this as one
of the conditions of the marriage.
I have never been involved in establishing a business
partnership, but I imagine that there is an element of standardization
there too. That's not a big problem. No one would suggest that in
the U.S. the terms of individual business contracts should be
specified by state legislatures. (Nor would anyone suggest that state
legislatures should be allowed to change the rules on business
partnerships, and then retroactively apply the new rules to existing
partnerships, regardless of which was the state in which the business
partnership was established.)
On the matter of custody, part of my thinking is that it is
altogether wrong that custody and child support arrangements do not
differentiate between formerly married and unmarried couples. I think
the disastrous consequences of single motherhood are abundantly clear.
It SHOULD be penalized.
So I would like to see an arrangement under which women who
had children without being married had no right to collect money from
the fathers of their children. I see that as part of restoring
marriage as a settled lifelong commitment. No privatized marriage
contract, no money from the father of your child -- that would be my
principle. Once that message had sunk in, there would be far fewer
unmarried women having children.
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