William James

William James
We must get by on what truth we have today, and be willing to call it error tomorrow.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

God's Commandments vs. Secular Morality On Polygamy

The comment was made:

"This topic related to Mormonism in regards to polygamy, our traditional marriage and morality views, and to a lesser extent to the the topic that cannont be mentioned here.

Newsweek has a story about polyamory -- multiple, mutually-consenting adult partners. Newsweek declares it to be the new sexual revolution.

Only You. And You. And You.

A few interesting quotes:


Terisa and Matt and Vera and Larry—along with Scott, who's also at this dinner—are not swingers, per se; they aren't pursuing casual sex. Nor are they polygamists of the sort portrayed on HBO's Big Love; they aren't religious, and they don't have multiple wives. But they do believe in "ethical nonmonogamy," or engaging in loving, intimate relationships with more than one person—based upon the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. They are polyamorous, to use the term of art applied to multiple-partner families like theirs, and they wouldn't want to live any other way.


But they are beginning to show up on the radar screen of the religious right, some of whose leaders have publicly condemned polyamory as one of a host of deviant behaviors sure to become normalized if gay marriage wins federal sanction.


Conservatives are not alone in watching warily. Gay-marriage advocates have become leery of public association with the poly cause—lest it give their enemies ammunition. As Andrew Sullivan, the Atlantic columnist, wrote recently, "I believe that someone's sexual orientation is a deeper issue than the number of people they want to express that orientation with." In other words, polyamory is a choice; homosexuality is not.

One more milemarker on the road away from God-sanctioned traditional marriage.

Can you imagine the media coverage when the LDS Church comes out against legalized polyamorous marriages?"

To which one person responded:

"No one's arguing they can't choose. But they also need to be warned of their choices.

As long as we have had the power to choose, God has still commanded obedience to his standards. In the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve had their agency, God still gave them commandments. Agency still needs to be exercised in the manner God asks, or we one day face the consequences."

To which I responded:

I believe that, in general (with a few exceptions), God's commandments do not impose any greater restrictions on human beings than what objective morality dictates (taking at face value the book of Genesis, one example of such a restriction beyond what objective morality dictates would be God's commandment not to partake of the fruit of a particular tree). Because I believe that it is not inherently morally wrong for sane, mentally-normal adults to engage in consensual polygamy (including polyandry and polygyny), I also do not believe that God places a blanket prohibition on the practice. That being said, even consenting adults wishing to engage in polygamy have, in my view, a moral duty to attempt to minimize any potential negative impacts there may be on innocent parties, including children (for that matter, the same goes for monogamous adults as well). For example, you should choose a spouse who not only is likely to please you, but one who will be effective in raising children with love, nurturing, etc. We do not have a moral blank check to marry someone who will, for example, abuse or endanger our children.

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