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Is Monogamy unnatural for our sexy species?

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Posts

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Winky wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    Winky wrote: »
    It certainly can have an effect, particularly because of the way evolution works. Ideally it is producing a most stable environment. If a (relatively) short-term change goes against old genes or memes, you produce a conflict. It's not impossible that our culture could've changed towards monogamy that conflicts with historical values that still exist in society or biological predispositions towards certain behavior.

    Of course, in a long term sense, you'd have to suppose that either monogamy is going to die out or the genes/old memes that oppose it are going to die out. But in the short term it can produce explanations for why monogamy sometimes doesn't work.

    That makes sense if we assume we are causally determined, or somehow controlled or influenced by, the past. Which seems like a sensible assumption. Articulating how / why that is the case, though, could be problematic.

    This is not a free will thread. :P

    For what it's worth, empirical evidence highly suggests we have a large (if not complete) causal component to our behavior.

    But I thought you were a rationalist so I can guess how you feel about empirical evidence.

    Well, no. I mean, we could go off in that direction...

    My main issue was that if we say "X needs to operate as it did previously" and "Y can change from past operations" then we have to discern what the qualitative difference is between X and Y such that Y can change and X cannot. If we have to date / relationship in the manner our parents dated / relationshiped, but we can, say, consume different sorts of food? We need arguments for why that is the case.

    Also we would need to articulate a relation between genetic composition and behavior.

    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Arch wrote: »
    Also I am fairly certain that this
    Our ancestors evolved in small-scale, highly egalitarian foraging groups that shared almost everything. Anthropologists have demonstrated time and again that immediate-return hunter-gatherer societies are nearly universal in their so-called "fierce egalitarianism." Sharing is not just encouraged; it's mandatory.

    Is not true in the case of kinship, as I seem to recall that even modern hunter gatherers had notions of marriage, and if I recall have a similar kinship pattern to Inuits; which is to say that there are distinct monogamous (or mostly monogamous) family units within the tribe.

    I am fairly certain that the quoted text is complete horseshit. It pretends, first of all, that our evolutionary behavior fossilized (har) at the state of "small-scale foraging groups". It also pretends that a social group which shares resources is "egalitarian" or that sharing leads to a complete leveling of power disparity

    Three lines of plaintext:
    obsolete signature form
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  • Cedar BrownCedar Brown Registered User
    edited July 2010
    What is "unnatural" supposed to mean? That the values of our culture contradict our base drives?

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I didn't know about the tapering off. You have citations for that? I think the whole thing is fascinating.

    Not off-hand. It's something that I learned long long ago.

    I might be able to find them, though. I'm sure they're in one of my books, I'm just not home and not going to be home much this weekend.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    _J_ wrote: »
    Is it necessary to incorporate information regarding how X has come to be in order to assess the productivity / usefulness / efficiency / benefits of X?

    It can give us information on how difficult it is to change X and the measures by which we may do so.

    Even if there are no ethical implications, it's also an interesting academic question to those of us who care.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • mrflippymrflippy Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Forar wrote: »
    Monogamy versus polyamory? Hell, I have enough trouble dealing with one person's bullshit (and/or finding one person who'll deal with mine).

    I'll get back to you when I manage to find two or more at the same time.

    Honestly, this really depends highly on your definitions for both monogamy and polyamory and the personal contracts you make with your partners.

    Lots of people do pretty well with being married but also having sex with people that aren't their partner. While most people probably wouldn't call this monogamy, it also isn't necessarily polyamory either.

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