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Should everyone wish to get married?

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Agreements help, yes. It doesn't then follow contractual agreements are enhancements of all non-contractual agreements. The problem is saying contracts can secure you from things they cannot secure you from when there is no way for the law to determine if a contract is broken.

My post was to say you've contradicted yourself, where you say marriage provides security of love, but then say Jill's mere accusation is sufficient to end the marriage and force a divorce. Jack wants the marriage, Jill doesn't.
 

How is it then, that the emotion love remains so mysterious to Objectivists that one apparently falls in and out of it for no reason at all?

No one said "no reason at all". If you think Jill has no reason at all, modify it to say that her reason is the values of the two have changed.

Jill: "Sorry, Jack, but ever since I changed my job to be a chef, my values have been changing, even in little ways. I don't think I love you anymore."
Jack: "But you said you'd love me, and we made vows even when we got married!"
Jill: "I know, but my life has changed in ways I didn't expect. I still like you, I just don't want to keep our romantic relationship."
Jack: "I love you though, how can you not love me too?"
Jill: "I don't know really, but it happened."
Jack: "Let's try to fix this, I don't want a divorce, the marriage still applies."
Jill: "No, Jack, I don't feel love. You didn't wrong me. I changed."

Jill fell out of love while still taking all the actions to maintain love. She didn't choose to fall out of love or even neglect Jack. But Jack is still in love. Marriage according to you secures Jack from the worry that this would happen. If Jill can force a divorce, she has suffered no consequence of betraying her love. Unless you want to say Jack can hold Jill legally responsible for the emotional pain the breakup caused? This should be a good example of 2 rational people disagreeing, where if a marriage secured love, it would be in Jack's favor. This is when love ends while still taking actions to support love.

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My post was to say you've contradicted yourself, where you say marriage provides security of love, but then say Jill's mere accusation is sufficient to end the marriage and force a divorce. Jack wants the marriage, Jill doesn't.

...

 

In you 1st example I said, if Jill could prove her case in court Jack would have to divorce Jill, not that her "mere accusation" would be sufficient.  There's a difference and you know it.

 

Your 2nd example still requires Jill to establish cause, i.e., some fault on Jack's part.  If for example Jill were contractually bound to supply Jack with parts, telling a judge she no longer felt like supplying them wouldn't be sufficient to release her from her obligation.  Jack would be entitled to restitution, and that would be in his favor.  Also the "consequence of betraying her love" would be a loss of integrity making any future agreements all the more difficult to secure.

 

Look, my argument is primarily supported by 3 premises:

1) Ayn Rand correctly identifies man as a contractual animal that relies on making agreements with others and holding them accountable,

2) Ayn Rand correctly identifies man's emotional mechanism as a barometer of the efficacy or impotence of his actions,

3) that the pursuit of happiness, e.g., spending the rest of ones life with a loving partner is more likely to be achieved by agreeing to hold each other accountable to actions that are mutually beneficial.

 

Any effort to force someone to continue loving you by contract or imprisonment is outside the scope of my argument, period.

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In you 1st example I said, if Jill could prove her case in court Jack would have to divorce Jill, not that her "mere accusation" would be sufficient.  There's a difference and you know it.

 

I didn't say "if she could" really, but of course if she could if she proved her case based upon her accusation. But what evidence would possibly be sufficient in a court?

If your argument is just those 3 points, then it looks like you retract this statement: "When individuals freely promise to love one another forever, then yeah they ought to be held accountable for having a change of heart later on." Yes, the consequence on Jill is possibly Jack's view of Jill, but that is not due to the legal agreement, since it isn't a consequence of the law. That's an agreement separate from marriage.

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I didn't say "if she could" really, but of course if she could if she proved her case based upon her accusation. But what evidence would possibly be sufficient in a court?

...

 

How about proving that Jack's sudden desire for "alone time" involved spending it with another Jill?

 

I'm a bit pressed for time now, but later on I'd like to take another shot at answering your initial question.

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In post #2, Eiuol asked the question, "How does marriage necessarily enhance or improve romantic relationships?" Having established the scope of my argument in post #77, I now want to respond more directly to Eiuol's initial question, and to this topic.

 

Given that an important aspect of man's nature as a contractual aminal is to plan long term and rely on observence of agreements, marriage is certainly appropriate to that end. As Objectivists, we recognize that emotional states like love result from actions, or more specifically, from interactions with others. Hopefully we understand that love doesn't just happen or go away for no reason.

 

So it follows that love can be effected by the actions one takes, i.e., that love can be enhanced or undermined. In terms of romantic relationships, a decision to live together long term generally takes two forms; cohabitation (legally unbinding), and married/civil union (legally binding). How then does adding legal security enhance the emotion love? By taking into account and planning long term for ones relationship, "in sickness and in health."

--

Marriage: "If one spouse becomes ill or incompetent, the other spouse generally has the right to make decisions on the ill spouse's behalf, on issues including health care and finances."

 

Cohabitation: "No matter how close the bond or how long the relationship has existed, a cohabitant may need to defer to immediate family members when it comes to making decisions for an ill or incompetent unmarried partner, unless a general power of attorney or health care power of attorney give that authority to the cohabitating partner."

 

http://family.findlaw.com/living-together/marriage-vs-cohabitation.html

--

Wanting to "be there" for someone you love, and havng them want you to and to want to be there for you too, objectively represents a deeper sense of commitment based on desire for each other. And marriage/civil union is the means of attaining that goal. Whether or not everyone ought to want to marry remains a personal choice, and primarily represents a preference for long term personal relationships over momentary relationships.  Considering the benefits one attains from trading with partners that one knows, has confidence in and share a history of reliable exchange with, one ought to prefer this kind of relationship over momentary, less familiar ones. And if the relationship is a romantic one, one ought to prefer marriage for the same reason.

 

finis

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agreed, Devil's Advocate.

 

wanna talk about whether no-fault divorce undermines all that? because i think it does. it's defined like this on wikipedia:

"No-fault divorce is a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage does not require a showing of wrongdoing by either party. Laws providing for no-fault divorce allow a family court to grant a divorce in response to a petition by either party of the marriage without requiring the petitioner to provide evidence that the defendant has committed a breach of the marital contract."

"Prior to the no-fault divorce revolution, a divorce was processed through the adversarial system as a civil action, meaning that a divorce could be obtained only through a showing of fault of one (and only one) of the parties in a marriage. This was something more than not loving one another; it meant that one spouse had to plead that the other had committed adultery, abandonment, felony, or other similarly culpable acts. ...

 

"The California Family Law Act of 1969... abolished California's action for divorce and replaced it with the proceeding for dissolution of marriage on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. The grounds of irreconcilable differences were accepted as true, based on the assertions of one of the parties to the marriage, and thus eliminated the showing-of-fault requirements to obtain a divorce"

 

"As of October 2010, no-fault divorce is allowed in all fifty states and the District of Columbia."

 

to go back to your trading partner comparison, you are only released from your contractual obligations there if the other person breaks the terms of the agreement. or, i assume, if both parties agree to end the partnership / cancel the contract.

 

that second case is what did not exist for marriage prior to no-fault and was what motivated the switch. there was no legal way to obtain a divorce when a couple had a mutual agreement to end the relationship.

 

i think the ideal solution would be that divorce is valid if either you both agree on it, or you are able to show breach of contract by one or both sides.

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i think the ideal solution would be that divorce is valid if either you both agree on it, or you are able to show breach of contract by one or both sides.

If one party wants a divorce, the divorce should be granted. Do you have a reason to say both should agree?

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well, if we are going to treat it like other contracts, that's how it seems like it would work (unless you build something in for this case). with most contracts one party can't just renege at any time for any or no reason.

if divorce is going to be granted when only one party wants out and there has been no breach of contract, i would say that's fine if the one initiating the divorce is the only one who can end up paying any damages. if i'm initiating a divorce against my husband, for instance, and he has done nothing wrong, i definitely should not be able to receive alimony.

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... with most contracts one party can't just renege at any time for any or no reason.

People are allowed to break contracts all the time, but end up liable for damages -- as you indicated. If one party wants  divorce, it should be granted. The courts have to figure out if damages are due, to divide joint property to the individuals, and to assign joint and several responsibilities (including for kids) to the individuals.

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...

wanna talk about whether no-fault divorce undermines all that? because i think it does...

...

 

And I tend to agree with you, if for no other reason than a divorce that isn't caused by someone attempts to fake reality.  Agreement that someone(s) made a mistake means that a mistake was made, or more generally that the consequences of mistaken actions can't be avoided.  But that's a country mile away from saying that one ought to be forced to remain married, or unfairly punished for wanting a divorce, particularly when both parties agree to it.

 

...  If your argument is just those 3 points, then it looks like you retract this statement: "When individuals freely promise to love one another forever, then yeah they ought to be held accountable for having a change of heart later on." ...

 

There is no contradiction in my statement that warrants a retraction.  My opinion states the necessary consequence of relying on the kind of agreements "contractual animals" make in reality.  I endorse Ayn Rand's description of man on this issue; your argument is with her...

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There is no contradiction in my statement that warrants a retraction.  My opinion states the necessary consequence of relying on the kind of agreements "contractual animals" make in reality.  I endorse Ayn Rand's description of man on this issue; your argument is with her...

Your argument from authority is both lame and disingenuous. (Also tiresome.)

Edited by softwareNerd
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There is no contradiction in my statement that warrants a retraction.  My opinion states the necessary consequence of relying on the kind of agreements "contractual animals" make in reality.  I endorse Ayn Rand's description of man on this issue; your argument is with her...

No, it's not a contradiction, but you didn't show how your claim that I quoted follows from the 3 points.

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"And I tend to agree with you, if for no other reason than a divorce that isn't caused by someone attempts to fake reality."

Maybe I'm wrong, and somebody tell me if I am, but doesn't no-fault here refer to there being no wrong-doing involved as opposed to there being no cause at all?

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Your argument from authority is both lame and disingenuous. (Also tiresome.)

 

Mea culpa, softwareNerd. My effort was to indicate my position is consistent with published statements by the author of Objectivism, not that it's necessarily true because Ayn Rand said so or that I agree with her.

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No, it's not a contradiction, but you didn't show how your claim that I quoted follows from the 3 points.

 

My statement is a necessary consequence of holding oneself and others accountable to agreements in order to establish reliable trade.  This follows from my 1st and 3rd points in post #77. The alternative is to make agreements without any consequence of not fulfilling them, no?

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...

Maybe I'm wrong, and somebody tell me if I am, but doesn't no-fault here refer to there being no wrong-doing involved as opposed to there being no cause at all?

 

What I'm trying to express here is that one doesn't marry in order to divorce.  Divorce is the result of someone making a faulty claim about their intention to remain married long term; a kind of misrepresentation.  My objection is primarily to the title, "no-fault" which suggests there isn't any, when in reality someone or both actually are at fault to some degree.

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What I'm trying to express here is that one doesn't marry in order to divorce. Divorce is the result of someone making a faulty claim about their intention to remain married long term; a kind of misrepresentation. My objection is primarily to the title, "no-fault" which suggests there isn't any, when in reality someone or both actually are at fault to some degree.

People aren't omniscient, are always changing, and can't predict exactly how their changes will mesh together between each other. That is the fault of no one, but a simple inevitability. If the change isn't continuously agreeable to both parties, why should either want to stay together?

The only time a misrepresentation could happen is if there is a lie about intent or personal preference before marriage, and yet the marriage takes place anyway.

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My statement is a necessary consequence of holding oneself and others accountable to agreements in order to establish reliable trade.  This follows from my 1st and 3rd points in post #77. The alternative is to make agreements without any consequence of not fulfilling them, no?

1. You didn't respond to my revised example.

 

2. Needing agreements doesn't mean all agreements can and ought to be legal agreements. Nor does it translate into failing to maintain an emotional feeling is a moral failing. The vibe I get from you is that if one person falls out of love, it is a moral failure to take the actions required for love. I disagree because falling out of love can happen for completely moral reasons, like in my revised case.

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i’ll take up your revised example. (post #76)

 

there is still a moral failure there. this couple intended to stay together, willed it, declared it, and couldn’t follow through. if Jill cared about the marriage, and was actually trying to maintain it or “take the actions required for love” like you say, Jack should have been part of all those “little changes” that were going on. they would have been talking about her values as they shifted or at least the difference would have been known to both, and either Jack’s values would have changed in step with hers, or in the course of their interaction he could have provided the check she needed, if the original values they shared, which she was abandoning, were the better ones.

 

we’re talking about fundamental values. it's already been covered here that you don’t fall out of love because your taste in food has changed. if you make it trivial enough that it’s a difference in preferences without any moral significance, then it’s too trivial to make anyone fall out of love. if the issues are big enough to make someone fall out of love, then someone either significantly improved or severely corrupted their philosophy, and in a healthy relationship this would never happen to one person in isolation. if Jack had known about the value change all along and they still managed to end up in disagreement, he would also want to end the relationship and it would be a mutual decision. but if Jill’s values changed like that, especially over enough time for the new ideas to have already been automatized so that her preferences are different but she can’t trace why, and Jack is only finding out about any of this when she’s serving up divorce papers, then Jill was absolutely NOT “taking the actions to maintain love”.

 

Jill is breaking a contract she made with Jack, who hasn’t breached it, and it’s not a mutual decision. if she wants to end the marriage, she can force a divorce and it will be a “no-fault”, but the damages are on her and so is the moral blame. Jill failed / is choosing to fail to honor an agreement she made.

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JASKN:

no one with that outlook should get married.

 

if you believe people “are always changing” in ways deep enough to disrupt their relationships, and this is “a simple inevitability”, it doesn’t make any sense to enter into that kind of contract. see post #43 about what kind of conviction marriage represents.

 

DonAthos explained: 

“By committing to my wife in any fashion at all, I'm speaking to… this belief that I maintain, about the compatibility of our fundamental nature, that will continue to provide the basis for a loving and happy relationship… I do not expect for either me or my wife to be fundamentally different -- even twenty years from now -- again due to my beliefs about who we are and human nature more generally.” 

“Marriage is a formal recognition of that”

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JASKN:

no one with that outlook should get married.

Of course, that depends on the particular kind of marriage contract.

Edit: And any contract which expects either party to never change is faulty at the outset.

Edited by JASKN
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Eiuol, JASKN, et al.,

 

There appears to me to be a persistant premise that the emotion love ought to provide a unique exemption from agreements about living together long term, e.g., it's only human to agree to love and not expect to be held accountable to that agreement.  To me, that represents a positive assertion that agreements involving love are fundamantally different than all other agreements that ought to be relied on.  I need some more persuasive evidence than, I don't feel like performing on my agreement, to reconsider my position.

 

There are wedding vows that substitute a promise to love until death do us part with a promise to remain with thee so long as we both shall love each other.  Is this not a better and more consistent way to avoid the kind of emotional trap you're concerned with??

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