The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Marriage: A Tradition, An Institution, Needed?

You can relax, this is the end of the series
So, who did "invent" marriage? We have no idea, it seems to pre-date written history. We know, however, that it is mentioned in Hammurabi's Code and even before that (by some three hundred years at least) here in something called the "Code of Ur-Nammu". Suffice it to say that it's been around for a very long time. But how did it start? And, more importantly, I think... why did it come about?

Desmond Morris, in his book "The Naked Ape" talks of something called "pair bonding", a term that began in the 1940's psychological papers. It seems to be a natural habit of many animal species. Some pair bonds are short term and some are long term. Humans idealize the long term bonding... "Till death do us part." But I suspect we "invented" divorce soon after we came up with marriage.

I think it was women who came up with the concept of marriage. I think that because they have a greater stake in the idea of long term relationships. Young human males do not seek long term relationships... they have no need for them until they are old and feeble.

I am not mocking marriage. After all, I have been married twice (first in 1970 and second in 1986... four years after the formal ending of the first one) and marriage is good for me. It has induced a need for stability (financial and otherwise) in me that I have come to respect, even like.

But I still think it was a woman's concept to begin with. A good one because it helped stabilize the primitive societies which then grew into human civilization. It formalized relationships. It provided generational linkages. It provided a status for those within its framework. It also created conflict (which is part of why those law codes were developed... though not, of course, the only reason) as it smoothed over other conflicts.

In the beginning, I suspect, the strongest male in a clan would simply take those females he desired and dump them as he desired. This is fairly common in the rest of the animals (common, not absolute). This, of course, put females at great disadvantage. What to do about that? Marriage deals with it neatly.

I also believe that marriage is a religious construct. That is, when humans first formed into groups (clans, tribes, and eventually villages), religion was the first "government." It made the rules for primitive societies. I believe it "blessed" human pairings and gave them a status within the group. And a permanence.

Why are we primarily monogamous? It makes it easier to establish paternity; which is important to both sexes.

There is much more I could add but this is already too wordy and I am sure you are bored with my take on such things. I am sure you have your own ideas about these things I have been droning on about the past week.

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