Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So they got married and lived hapilly ever after

Back by popular demand here is the latest Thoughts editorial.

Today I'd like to stream a little about mating. No not sex in particular, but selecting and staying with "that special someone". Some of you already know my view about love (I might post my argument from Long Beach Philosophy about love as an illusion later for those who are unclear). But my first post about free will should explains it also. Essentially love is just what we call the biological drive to mate and procreate. The only reason we experience this sensation of love is to ensure that life goes on. Still with me? Good. Now, I like to imagine what life would be like if we were all robots. That is to say, not having an organic body that is hindered by the need for sleep, food, and sex. I think you can see where Im heading with this. If there's no need for sex, then does the whole monogamous (and even polygamous) mating thing fall apart? I'm probably making this more difficult than it needs to be, but my whole point is why do we mate? Why do we marry?

For as long as I can remember it seems that society has deemed marriage (or at least mating for life) as something everyone needs to forever be seeking. Teens are encouraged to date and beyond that you need to be always seeking your soul mate. That special someone that you have to spend the rest of your life with. That special person of the opposite gender (I would like clarify again that I am not sexually attracted to men, and if you recall I'm actually trying to kill my sex drive). Why does your one-and-only have to be of the other sex? If there is anything that I took away from my philosophy classes at Long Beach its that I need to think for myself and analyze why I believe the things I do. In this case, mating and marriage. Now you may say that marriage is a good thing to work towards because if it wasn't it would have been abandoned long ago. And rightly so. Studies have proven that time and time again married couples provide a batter environment for raising children. And thats great. I'm all for happiness and raising children in a good environment. However, my problem with marriage is that far too many people don't know why they strive to attain it. It seems like most people would say they do because its the normal thing to do.

I'm going to try to summarize and clarify a little now. But of course you probably won't agree if you don't follow the first premise.

Mind > Body (biology)
Sex depends on the body
Marriage (mating) is a direct product of sex
Therefore, mating is unnecessary.

Please note: This is just my own view and it is still in its infancy. I've only been toying with this for a few years now and I'm only twenty one. Things change, people change. This is where I'm at now.


Camille said...

so then what do companionship and other things related with a relationship satisfy? the mental stimulation of having someone to converse and be close with, to depend on etc, is not a physical thing. or what about older couples who dont have sex anymore but still have fulfilling relationships in other regards. of course sex is a big part of any marriage/relationship but is it really the only reason to pursue one?

Christian said...

Thanks for the comment Camille. You just reminded me of something that I forgot to mention. The idea of marriage encourages that you need to pick one person, and only one, to spend the rest of your life with. Could someone explain that to me? I guess it comes down what constitutes a marriage. I think it goes something like you have to like each other a lot and live in the same house (minus the legal stuff). Its tradition that when a couple gets married they find their own place to live. Its not often you see more than one couple sharing a house. That doesnt make much sense to me. Seems like it would be more fun and practical to share a house.

I guess I just don't buy into the idea that I need to find one person, select one friend above all others, to share my residence and rest of my life with.

Jimmy said...

is this your 2nd speach towards you coming out of the closet one day?

no but seriously while love is chemically controlled (as is everything) there is still more behind it. not just biological. there is a human psychological reason behind it. if it were just biological, other mammals would express love in a similar manner (and they do not, they mate to survive plain and simple). love is not needed to procreate. all species procreate. from prokaryotic bacteria to shelby. it's pretty much basic instinct #1. the goal to reporoduce is what drives everything (evolution, natural selection, everything). also keep in mind reproducing doesnt necessarily require a partner either. love is human only, which could be why it's an illusion like you have eluded to before. if youre so focused on the mind, then why express the desire to be a robot? robots are mindless. there is nothing like the human mind.

lastly, marriage and mating are completely different and should not be associated. marriage is a human only institution as well and usually tied with a religion or belief of some sort. marriage product of sex? no. maybe to humans it's precursor/means to/of sex and reproduction. and without mating, and without a body, a brain more specifically, there is no mind. without mating there is nothing.

Jimmy said...

monogamy is very human related. im sure other species might only go with one mate, maybe not i dont know for sure. it's funny though. species like mammals have actually evolved to mate less then other species as a means to survive better. k-selectiveness. so for some reason it's better for our survival.

Camille said...

oh also- is this ur attempt to rationalize ur belief that jimmy is your soul mate and also set up for when you two live together with you families? (which will inevitably screw up ur children as multiple parent figures can confuse young children and alter their ability to learn social behavior due to confusion as to the difference between normal adult that merits respect, and parent that merits love as well)

Jimmy said...

i think originally it was our desire to mate less that ultimately led to marriage which proposes one partner. kind of opposite of marriage leading to monogamy. other species are not married but reproduce similarly. i'm fairly certain we would have ended up similar to how we are now w/o marriage

Camille said...

james- some animals that have one mate for life include: penguins, lobsters, and dolphins. I also read about a guy who left his human girlfriend in order to pursue a monogamous relationship with his dolphin girlfriend. But thats a totally different topic WHICH ill be covering in my paper on beastiality due in 3 weeks. anyone have thoughts? i need fluff- its 20 pages.

Jimmy said...

thank you camille. there ya go. monogamy not specific to marriage.

Christian said...

Thanks for comment james. And now for my rebuttal.

All animals do experience what we call love. Thats why they mate. Media and society have just made it out to be something magical and unexplainable because its hard to quantify.

When I say 'mating' I mean selecting a partner. So I think its more close to marriage than you do. Marriage is just the legal and human term for it. I probably should have just used 'mating'.

When I say that marriage/mating is a product of sex, I mean that sex came first and mating followed somewhere down the historical line.

I dont quite follow what you mean by "without mating there is nothing"

Camille thank you for bringing up the children. Im aware of the effects that multiple adults can have on developing minds of children. I'm not sure what to do about that, I would need to read up on it more. Could it be that having multiple adults just skews the child vision of a family aware from tradition, not necessarily in an outright bad way?

Now, both of you (and whoever is reading), tell me why you want to get married.

Camille said...

personally i dont care if i legally get married (i would like to but it depends on the person) but i do want to have the monogomous long term relationship that is supposed to go "till death do us part." Why you ask? because having a constant source of companionship, a stable friend who is always there, someone to share troubles and responsibilities with, someone to guarantee that i will not be alone, someone to take care of and all that sappy shit. and of course someone to be intimate with, even if its just physically being together- not even sex- just having an arm around me. that comfort and security is irreplacable and imcomparable to anything or anyone else.
However- i personally do not have much faith in the whole "getting married in a church will make our love real" thing. if you love someone you can be together without the party and the license. (thats all it really is- to make ur love public) with the background that i come from, parents whos marriage came apart and now a step mom whos marriage to my father is based on children and not love/companionship, i can honestly say that i would take unmarried monogomy over the risk of what happened to my mother. further questions can be directed to me via aim, phone, etc. thank you and good nite.

Jimmy said...

when i say without mating there is nothing it's exactly what i mean. with no reproduction there is nothing which is why its every living things number one instinct.

and no, not all animals experience love. prokaryotes. r-selective species those are just two examples.

selecting a partner is a means to reproduce. not dependant on marriage. it has been morphed into more than it really is in referance to humans. but it still ties down to instinct.

mating/reproduction did lead to the institution of marriage like i said. evolution. its a way that humans have found to encourage reproduction to survive. but obviously only related to us.

I want to get married so I can spend my life with someone I care about and that cares about me. That's what I have evolved that's what we all have evolved too. needy little bastards.

Jimmy said...

if you and a woman were the last two people on earth and the human race depended on you to mate. even though you do not love her, you would mate (i hope) to save human kind

(regardless of inbreeding that would occur thereafter and badrecessive genes becoming more frequent in the gene pool probably resuslting in our doom anyways)

andy said...

Both Jimmy & Camille raise good points here. I think Jimmy in particular has many thoughtful points in which to judge your arguement, Christian, and he did NOT pay me to say that...this time. So, kudos James. Camille, tough paper topic I think! I hope you didn't have to do any video research....ugghhhh.

Christian, I think I understand your current stance but I think it needs careful consideration. It's def. good to consider why we believe the things we do, and I agree some people just enter marriage becuz they think it's normal (or required by parents, family, or society...which it sometimes is).

I took a Family Studies course here, and the things I learned from all those boring statistics was: married couples are generally happier with their lives than unmarried couples. Of course, this is survey-based and could have flaws, but overall, this was the common result.

I think most people can agree that there is some part of us fundamentally that desires companionship and fears or dislikes loneliness. I heard a story about a baby that didn't stop crying (literally for a full day or more) until someone held it. Later, they found that holding a teddy bear with an artificial heartbeat could calm the baby as well, since they couldn't hold it forever. Interesting note, I felt, since you mentioned robots. So, humans need each other.

The curious part now, as you said, is the desire to choose a "life-partner" which ironically has become a term for unmarried couples. There is of course the fairly common fear (mostly male) of commitment to one person being like watching TV with only 1 channel. At your and my age, I think this can be especially powerful. (Which is why less people marry at our age I guess).
But let's face it:

Current trend:
-Less people getting married, and more people living in dating-type relationships. Why? Financial issues is one issue, time (e.g., both people work) is another. Desire for multiple partners? probable.
The interesting thing is that they end up living in marriage-type relationships usually, just without the legal aspects (which actually has government issued financial incentives, I might add).

Tangent: I just had a mental flash of the propaganda video in Futurama: Don't Date Robots!! Relevant? You be the judge.

I think, as Camille said, and many girls & guys with a good fashion-sense will say: marriage and mating are not the same thing. Objectively, I think marriage provides somewhat of a security blanket for the potentially possessive, jealous, & insecure human mind. Having just one girlfriend/boyfriend takes enough time, so I think we are most comfortable with just 1. But having that 1 makes all the difference, as it's just a nice feeling to have someone you can be vulnerable around (especially if you an president or emperor).

I will not get into MY thoughts on love, as it might be too illogical, romantic, & idealistic that you'll all be gagging.
But you CAN read about my thoughts on "Creativity" on my site.

Christian said...

Thanks for comment Andy. Yours are always the most helpful, non-aggressive, and easy to follow (yeah take that, other people).

It makes sense that married couples would be happier than singles. Company is great. But again, the convention is that people live alone. Either as a single or a couple, you have your own residence, which just doesnt make sense to me. So maybe its just a result of being alone rather than being single.

You're right, people NEED to be with other people. If fact we actually go insane without other human contact. But I'm not saying we should isolate ourselves, i just dont get why I should have to choose one person above all others to be with. Whats wrong with friends?

And youre right about some people needing the implied security that comes with officially staying together. Perhaps I'm just independent.

helpful andy said...

in your face, everyone else!! I'm helpful, non-agressive, and easy! (hey, wait a minute....)

Also, thanks for ur comment on my page, CH.

I think you're slightly torn between 2 sides. You say you're independent. But you agree that we need each other and you seem to disagree with marriage becuz it limits you to one person.

I think we should consider just how marriage "limits" us as human beings. Much of this depends on what the couple themselves believe, for as I'm sure many of us know, that are very "loose" marital relationships, particularly among nudist coloinies, (excluding the entirely single Naked Alliance). In a very possessive relationship, one may have to choose between partner & friends. But I think that's normally not the case. It's more a personal choice on how you manage your time, as well as what the couple feels comfortable with.

Christian, perhaps consider more what you want/consider important in a relatonship, rather than rebel against it completely. I think it's better to have high standards than to have none at all. (indirect reference to Jimmy)

Lastly, I think 1 major problem you are drawing on comes from modern suburbia culture and capitilism. We live in a society where individualism is highly encouraged. (Japan is a fairly good counterexample, where some people may be weird...but are still within the standards of specific groups of other weirdos. Most people don't want to be 'different.') This sounds very foreign to us. I think a balance is necessary between both views.

But regarding suburbia, this style of living seems quite unhealthy when you analyze it, right? Living alone in a big house, where the "world" comes to YOU (TV/Web/Shipping 2 ur door/Netflix/etc.)...you drive alone to ur workplace, work in a cubicle, drive to a quick drive-thru for lunch, return home. You could be in a family of 2,3, or more and never see each other. Contrast this with living in a more city environment, like an apartment building. You interact with neighbors, take the bus, buy groceries in smaller, friendly markets, run into old friends on the street, etc. You get the idea. I like aspects of living in both country and city, but especially at this age, I like to be around people. (which is why living alone kinda sucks somtimes, but i manage).