Marriage For Better Or Worse Essay

I say “unfortunately” because both views are wrong.They misunderstand and impoverish the social meaning of marriage. Modern marriage is, of course, based upon traditions that religion helped to codify and enforce.Because Japanese couples don’t expect as much emotional fulfillment as we do, they are less inclined to break up.

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Whatever else marriage may or may not be, it is certainly falling apart.

Half of today’s marriages end in divorce, and, far more costly, many never begin—leaving mothers poor, children fatherless and neighborhoods chaotic.

I’ll believe in gay marriage in America when I see it, but if Hawaii legalizes it, even temporarily, the uproar over this final insult to a besieged institution will be deafening.

Whether gay marriage makes sense—and whether straight marriage makes sense—depends on what marriage is actually for.

What’s a little extracurricular love provided that each partner is fulfilling his or her many other marital duties?

In the West, of course, love is a defining element.First, marriage depends on the consent of the parties. Call it a Hayekian argument, after the great libertarian economist F. Hayek, who developed this line of thinking in his book The Fatal Conceit.In a market system, the prices generated by impersonal forces may not make sense from any one person’s point of view, but they encode far more information than even the cleverest person could even gather.At one point, marriage in secular society was largely a matter of business: cementing family ties, providing social status for men and economic support for women, conferring dowries, and so on.Marriages were typically arranged, and “love” in the modern sense was no pre-requisite.Traditionalists say: marriage is for children, and homosexuals do not (or should not) have children, therefore you should not be able to marry.That, unfortunately, pretty well covers the spectrum.In Japan, remnants of this system remain, and it works surprisingly well.Couples stay together because they view their marriage as a partnership: an investment in social stability for themselves and their children.Love helps make sense of marriage emotionally, but it is not terribly important in making sense of marriage from the point of view of social policy.If love does not define the purpose of secular marriage, what does?


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