Marriage Part 2: Marriage is described not defined

When I hear some people speak of marriage, it is as if some committee sat down many years ago and decided to set up an institution that discriminated against certain people or as a legal entity for the benefit of men. This is not the case, of course, it has evolved or developed over time. (Or as I believe, was created by God.)

Some other people like to see marriage as a “cultural construct.” This implies that people (within their culture) have created marriage. If marriage is indeed a “cultural construct” then it would follow that we can indeed reconstruct it in some way that is acceptable to the dominant culture. The problem of course for such marriage “constructivists” is that marriage (at least until recent reconstructions) has miraculously constructed itself the such similar ways* across every single culture**.

Marriage exists as a result of a biological and psychological reality. We can use words to describe it, we can construct rules and traditions around it, but to think that we change its basic nature is to show that we don’t actually have a grasp of the reality of what marriage is.

* Many cultures of course accept polygamy as a form of marriage. It should be noted a man with two wives (as an example) typically is involved in two separate but concurrent marriages. This in no way detracts from my argument that marriage exists as a result of a biological and psychological reality.
** I note that in discussion threads on various forums that some people note that some cultures in older times other forms of relationships have been established and even recognised in a way that is similar to marriage. We need to be careful when including these in current debates around marriage as some of them are miniscule exceptions to the overwhelming norm, while others are simply not acceptable forms of relationship by any current standard.

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