Monday, May 09, 2005

The Moral Defense

The idea that humans can be involved in romantic relationships with more than one person at the same time is not a new concept. Various arrangements of this idea have been practiced throughout history and in various cultures. When these mutliple partners decide to enter into the bond of marriage, their union is called polygamy. The term polygamy has over the years (and I would argue, mostly due to Christian theology) acquired a very negative, almost perverse, connotation. Modern civilization frowns upon people engaging in such behavior, and has always seeked to institute a monogamous system of relationship between humans. In fact, in many cases, it is even against the law of the land to enter into a polygamist marriage. The notion that relationship choices besides monogamy should be made available for humans to engage in, is not new. Usually, such opinions are either heard from people living in so-called 'alternative' lifestyles or in the fringes of mainstream society, or are heard from within the safe protection of academic environments wherein "radical" thoughts and ideas are encouraged mainly for scholarly contemplation and debate. It is hard to conceive of the notion of multiple-person marriages or relationships as ever being endorsed and adopted by the mainstream society (atleast mainstream western society). The reasons given for the rejection of such an idea are: it is against the basic nature of humans, it does not fit the definition of love, it reduces the love and bond of marriage between two people into whimsical fancies for anybody to get in and out of, it goes against religion and the biblical teachings, it raises questions about parenting, etc. All of these are important issues that need to be dealt with when advocating polygamy or multiple-person relationships (MPR). In most cases, adopting this notion of love has almost become 'fashionable' - like a any new statement of fashion on the street - without any real contemplation into the fundamental morality and motivations that such an idea deserves. The idea itself becomes avant-garde-like, and neo-hippies, disillusioned artists and arm-chair philosophers might be quick to adopt such an idea. In fact, many of them might even become vocal proponents of the theory and perhaps be instrumental in the eventual acceptance of this idea by the mainstream society. Nevertheless, unless the key moral and ethical principles of such a theory is defended and validated, this will become just another new-age movement that will lose its potency as time passes. However, the notion of multiplicity of choices in human romantic relationships or marriages is not an ephemeral discovery of human nature that is a sign of the modern times. While the practice of polygamy is ancient and has been observed in many cultures, its proper and moral motivations have probably never been fully understood or respected. Moreover, the essential philosophical principles and dynamics of my own conception of MPR and the common concept of polygamy has some crucial differences. I will elaborate on these philosophical differences in another blog. Nonetheless, the commonality that they both share is more important than many of the differences. The underlying common foundation of polygamy and MPR should be properly recognized as a deep and profound respect of that fundamental characteristic that differentiates and defines a Human Being from other species - the fact that we are unique, individual volitional beings. This fact does not and will not change with time. Based on this principle, a clear and rational moral argument can and should be constructed to defend, validate and legitimize this theory to the point that the non-acceptance of MPR by the mainstream society as a proper and valid alternative to monogamy will in effect be a violation of fundamental human rights and unequivocally immoral.


Blogger Tyrel said...

You stated, "The idea that humans can be involved in romantic relationships with more than one person at the same time is not a new concept." I agree with that statement 100%...but, perhaps the reason society has not accepted it is because it has been proven not to work. Doesn't it only seem likely that society would want to accept, therefore begin practicing things that would improve their life. If this idea has been in existance for so long then the people should by now know whether it is something right or something wrong.

5/10/2005 05:02:00 PM  

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