A discussion on Marriage

The following discussion looks at the institution of marriage from Hindu perspective and what each party gains from the institution. Since this institution developed independently across all societies, marriage should serve some teleological function.

D:

Regarding this modern woman problem, the issue is the halo attached to this thing called ‘career’. This is originally a Protestant idea where routine work came to be seen as service to god. In the ancient texts we read that duty of men was to bring wealth and glory to the family. Women were care-givers for the family. Both worked for the family in their different capacities. But ‘career’ is for oneself. Once men get hooked on it, it is unfair to expect women to remain care-givers for the family. If salvation for men lies in building careers for themselves, the same will be demanded by women as well. I see men as the root of the problem here. They have switched from being ‘settler’ to ‘hunter’. Women merely emulate men in whatever they do.

DF:

So much of the modern world can be traced back to Protestantism.

PT:

DF the primary motivations under Protestantism is also the same, but protestantism spins it into work is worship. That’s the point. The primary motivation is always the same because humans are all the same animals fundamentally. The religions shape our baser instincts into something greater. Counter religions just do a shoddy job of it IMHO.

AS:

Within the confines of religion, counter religions sacralize primal instincts of man. For example, Islam grants four wives to men along with infinite number of sex slaves. It incentivizes aggression against a perceived ‘enemy’. So naturally, anyone choosing Islam is not maladaptive as far as base instincts are considered evolutionarily. The women on the other hand have a steady supply of good number of alpha men. Men who are polygamous and ever ready for war. Where Counter-religions fail is at building civilization. The costs of polygamy and being in war always within or without makes them incapable of building civilization.

Also as far as women participation in the industrialized work force is concerned I would blame that on not only ‘feminism’ but also viewing women as primarily economic beings. This erodes the inherent value they come with- which is giving birth. Consequently, the relation between working women of today and their low TFR makes eminent sense.

About ‘Sex’ being the primary motivation for men to marry. I think this whole approach is wrong from a Hindu perspective. Creating dichotomies between sex, procreation, filial piety, etc. is wrong. I have seen numerous Hindu couples who have got married without consummating the marriage.

YP:

Good point AS. Islam is a war machine and is used to gain new territory, but once in peace it cannot build civilization unless it gives up its Islamic core.

AS:

Their aim is not to bring order which civilization brings and with that progress. That is why they are unmattas.

DF:

Procreation and sex being divorced is very much a post-contraceptive development.

AS:

Due to degeneracy or for that even the way marriage was conceptualized in the Judeo-Abrahamic traditions. Sex is often seen as the primary motivation of marriage. It is a very good incentive, no doubt. And biologically perhaps the single biggest motivation for men to marry. Women of course have their own motivations to marry. But we are I feel not analysing the role of Religion and culture in bringing about marriages. Religion as PT pointed out curbs the primal urges to bring about a modicum of order. And we cannot discount that. DF, contraception is just an excuse. The larger forces at play is progressivism. Islamic societies still do allow free sex.

YP:

Successful easily available contraception is not an excuse. But you can say putting condom machine at every corner is definitely a choice by state.

DF:

Of course, but contraception is a dysgenic technology which has altered our understanding of sex/reproduction/marriage.

AS:

Granted. But who or what incentivizes the use of contraceptives? What I am trying to say is contraception is just a tool.

DF:

Liberal democratic state 🙂

AS:

Yes.

DF:

I’m making an entirely different point though.

AS:

Yes DF I got your point.

PT:

My point in saying sex is the primary motivation of men to marry is the base instinct. Why else marry, if you can simply sleep with whoever you want? And we can see that once women started sleeping around in the West and there was easy access to sex through these women plus porn, men have stopped marrying. It has nothing to do with the Hindu perspective, rather I’m hypothesizing about the fundamental reason marriage existed at all in all societies everywhere.

YP:

Historically speaking marriage was a way to get alliance and resources as well. But yes, in the end resource acquisition too boils down to value in sexual market. Cannot close eyes to its primacy.

PT:

Well let’s say there’s no marriage at all, then no one inherits any property right? Along with the institution of marriage Svetaketu also instituted property rights. So inheritance/alliance/resources pre-Svetaketu didn’t exist?

YP:

They must have existed in some form.

PT:

Well not property rights but inheritance laws. See here’s what I’m trying to figure out. Why marriage? What does a man gain out of marriage, similarly what does a woman?

AS:

PT- why would men marry if they get free sex like in the West? It used to be the case pre-Svetaketu. Of course, no one here is saying that sex is not one of the motivations of marriage. But there are other elements to marriage which the elders and wise understood and hence imposed upon the philandering men and women. Religion/Culture played a crucial motivational role.

YP:

I did not say sex does not play a role. It is primary market. Even other resources help in the same market. So thinking that it does not matter is foolhardy for Hindus.

SV:

The primary beneficiary of marriage (or similar agreement as in animal) is female in keeping the male bound as female is the known parent and the one that knows the male parent of offspring. Male’s motivation is two-fold: its fiefdom without which its existence is meaningless, and its possession of female (which again is twofold, mating and ownership).

AS:

Yes, what I am saying is along what YP is saying I guess.

PT:

Fiefdom in what SV? Isn’t ownership of the female the same as mating rights? Else ownership in what sense? I know the motivation for women. It is to have a protector, resources. Men I still don’t fully grasp.

YP:

Beta men gain by marriage! Weaker men have fitness incentive to not sow the oats everywhere but use one partner and see that his genes get passed on.

AS:

SV- in keeping the male bound, does the Female also possess the man?

SV:

Not just mating – the region it owns and rules, the food that the female gets, the protection of offspring, holding the sense of unit (pride or clan or family) etc.

PT:

Yes, YP I know that. One way I look at marriage is that it exists only to restrain alphas and enable betas to lead fulfilling lives.

SV:

Female possesses the male too, but I guess it is not of the same nature. Say for instance Sita tells Hanuman she does not know whether Rama’s affection for her is more or his ego of owning her.

PT:

AS if you look at the data on how marriage causally reduces crime it’s because the woman controls the finances as well as persuades the man not to indulge in risk taking behaviour.

SV:

After all things of nature apply to both genders but to varying degrees.

PT:

The civilizing aspect of marriage is because women control men within marriage and because men have duty to women. Simply being married in itself restricts a man’s liberty.

AS:

PT, yes aware of that. SV, interesting.

SV:

Call it restriction of liberty or finding a means of fulfilment through family 🙂

PT:

All limiting of that kind of liberty is good according to me so I use it interchangeably.

AS:

In a marriage, therefore, the man gives away his liberty, in exchange of ‘fiefdom’. I get it now.

PT:

Men probably gain much more than women in marriage else women wouldn’t initiate divorces.

AS:

So we both understand the teleos of marriage and how it is beneficial from a man as well as women’s perspective.

YP:

Not true PT. Women now marry the social security. Women would have cheated even in the past or would have had dalliances but they would not get divorce, just because state would not fund them.

SV:

I guess women initiate divorces because they stop thinking like women (except in extreme cases of course).

YP:

The institution of marriage has changed over time, giving more power to women both in and outside the marriage. If you give progeny to the male, divorce would again fall. But in the west 80-90% times they get child custody.

AS:

Yes, laws are destroying civilization.

Good point YP.

YP:

Divorce is a function of incentives. So you can say modern marriage don’t offer much to the women (in the west). Not so much true in Asia yet.

AS:

Interesting to note how the institution of marriage has changed based on progressive legislations.

SV:

Modern marriage is no marriage at all. It is a joke – sleep around for years and get married just like that and then separate when you want.

AS:

I am with the classical liberals here when they say that the state should have no role in passing out marriage certificates. If you stop that much of the stresses on modern marriage would go.

PT:

Right that makes sense, YP.

AS:

Let the ownership of marriage return to the society.

Discussants- AS- @Abhra Sarkar, D- @Damanaka, PT- @PaganTrad, SV- @SkandaVeera, YP- @YugaParivartan

Image Source:

https://partycruiserevents.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/homa_agni.jpg

  • guest

    cool, thanks or bringing us all of you together!! especially during the wedding season in India!!

  • guest

    SV:
    ”Modern marriage is no marriage at all. It is a joke – sleep around for years and get married just like that and then separate when you want.”

    one sentence, simple, clear, so true and covers so much!! The decline of civilisation started with the free sex movement in the west.

  • guest

    cool, thanks for bringing us all of you together!! especially during the wedding season in India!! PS: you might want to say who’s who. I found out about the people in this group through your tweet feed. PS: saw it towards the end. It should be presented both at the beginning and at the end.