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JoC's picture

I doubt this topic will have an atheist-theist divide but I'd like to ask about what marriage means to you. What is it for? Why does it exist? I've got my own answer but I'd like to hear from theists and atheists alike on their thoughts on this.

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Aposteriori Unum's picture
It exists in the same way a

It exists in the same way a mortgage contract exists and for similar reasons. You can have a verbal agreement with a bank to buy a house and pay back what you borrowed just the same, but with the actual contract it protects the back from a dishonest borrower. So it is with marriage; a couple could be together and share stuff, like houses, accounts, cars, et cetera and they can promise to be honorable to each other forever and it could be just the same, but again, the contract binds them legally to each uphold their end of the bargain. Overall, a good thing. Really not much to disagree with on this topic. \m/

CyberLN's picture
For me it it a civil contract

For me it it a civil contract that protects people in the event one, the other, or both decide to violate or end the contract. Additionally, in the U.S. it provides a number of other legal and financial benefits. I also think the contract should be much denser than it currently is...think in term of the currently optional use of pre-nuptials that cover property, earnings, child care, living arrangements, etc.

Algebe's picture
In the event of death, a

In the event of death, a marriage license can also protect the survivor from rapacious relatives These days de facto marriages are recognized in many countries (as in "palimony" cases), but with a marriage license it's more clear cut.

Marriage is also a defense against immigration officials, who are mostly corrupt, evil slime. Until WW1 people could generally move and live where they wanted, but nowadays you have to jump through all kinds of legal hoops. Informal relationships don't hold much water in immigration courts.

MCD's picture
Marriage in the holy babble

Marriage in the holy babble is between one man and one or more women, plus his slaves and concubines. What a sweet deal for the guy.

Flamenca's picture
Why does it exist? I agree on

Why does it exist? I agree on the definitions above and about the anthropological reasons for marriage I'd say that it's useful to ensure wealth through heritage and to recognise paternity. It could also fulfill romantic longings to possess someone exclusively and also a way to make them part of your family.

mykcob4's picture
Do you really think that YOU

Do you really think that YOU (a catholic) should really be discussing "marriage"?
The catholic church ended priest getting married to end dividing property and giving it to the priest children.
The catholic church does not recognize divorce and that has NO biblical significance whatsoever.
Marriage is a contract between two people that ensures that if they split up the assets will be divided fairly.
Marriage isn't about love or anything of that nature. people don't need a piece of paper to be in love or committed to each other. The contract of marriage is JUST that. A financial legal transaction.

ZeffD's picture
I perceive three different

I perceive three different forms of marriage (at least). Legal, social and religious. Social (or 'real') marriage is a matter of conscience.

I knew of a guy who was married to two women socially, but only one legally as the law didn't permit polygamy however consentual*.

The state should stay out of religion and write all laws for citizens as individuals. Everyone should make a will at 18 and that should be cheaply available and notarized via the Internet.
(*consensual if preferred :-)

Sheldon's picture
Why does marriage have to be

Why does marriage have to be defined in narrow terms anyway, what right does anyone have to tell someone else they shouldn't be allowed to get married? Beyond a basic legal contract to protect both parties, why can't marriage encompass what all consenting adults want from it? I'm married, and what my wife and I get from being married is not affected by other consenting adults viewing it in a different way, more power to their elbow...

Burn Your Bible's picture
Hey Jon why don't you tell us

Hey Jon why don't you tell us your thoughts on marriage?

Do you think rape victims need to marry their rapist as punishment? You know because they have no value to their fathers anymore.

Hungry's picture
To be frank, it means jack to

To be frank, it means jack to me - I see it as an archaic institution that can be just as easily enshrined in simple legal or civil contracts without the associated religious dogma because lets face it, regardless of whether marriage originated from religion, the latter has definitely left its stain. Not that I have anything against atheists that choose to be married, I just prefer not to get to close to things with religious connotations.

Whilst I wouldn't say no to one if my partner (who am I kidding, lol) sincerely wanted one, I could get by without it. At the end of the day, it's more about the relationship than anything else and who said you need a contract to love someone.

TLDR: If you want to get married with no religion involved, do that. If you want religion to be part of it, do that. If you want it purely to be a civil partnership / contract, do that. The only bit I really care about is that if you enter a contract in this regard, it's recognised the same in the eyes of the law (inheritance, tax breaks etc). Of course, if you'd prefer not to enter any sort of contract at all, that's also good!

Burn Your Bible's picture
I agree with hungry... but if

I agree with hungry... but if you have religion tied to law regarding marriage, and you say who can and cannot get married, well that's bullshit!

California Girl's picture
In today's times, it's a bad

In today's times, it's a bad business deal, especially for the wealthier person in the marriage. As an educated woman with a good income and a lot of assets that I've earned through my hard work, i am not about to enter a legally binding contract where i may be subject to split those assets if we decide to part ways. I'm not looking to be anyone's cash cow.
My dad's cousin and her husband are a perfect example of this. She was a no good gold digger who's first husband left her and their 2 kids because she treated him like shit, and alienated the kids from him. She is a real b***h, but she's pretty, so she hooked a guy with his own successful business a few years later. After they were married for a while and bought a huge ranch that she wanted, she quit her job and now does nothing except ride horses all day, and f**k around with the Mexican horse trainer. She treats her husband like shit. He's told me many times that he wants a divorce, but if they split, she gets half of everything, plus alimony. He's screwed, so he stays with her to avoid financial ruin.
I've been married before and will never do it again. Honestly, my boyfriend and I have discussed it at length, and both of us agree that we would rather be together without being married, because it means that we are together by choice, and not by force. Either one of us can leave at any point without any repercussions, aside from the obvious emotional distress that occurs with any break up. I personally find comfort in that, knowing that we are together because we truly want to be.

JoC's picture
Gosh, you’re from the US

Gosh, you’re from the US right? I see. Thanks for the input.

chorlton's picture
1st it's origin:

1st it's origin:
Marriage predates all religion & was to ensure a women was protected & provided for whilst pregnant & not solely burdened with child raising provision.

Meaning to me:

What is it to me:

Why does it exist:
Social pressure from archaic immoral religion hell bent of power & money regardless the human cost.

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