Marriage; atheists vs. theists
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28-12-2016, 11:03 AM
RE: Marriage; atheists vs. theists
Only thing I can think of is a Catholic Bishop made this atheist promise not to interfere with any resulting baby Catholics' religious indoctrination to get married in a Catholic church by a Catholic priest. Kept my promise. Kids now in their 20s turned out atheist anyway.

#sigh
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28-12-2016, 11:58 AM (This post was last modified: 28-12-2016 12:11 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Marriage; atheists vs. theists
(28-12-2016 11:03 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Only thing I can think of is a Catholic Bishop made this atheist promise not to interfere with any resulting baby Catholics' religious indoctrination to get married in a Catholic church by a Catholic priest. Kept my promise. Kids now in their 20s turned out atheist anyway.

I applaud you for this. Without a promise, yet I keep to this oath as well because of my love and respect for my Beloved, and my desire to see that my son has a chance to be raised in his mother's family tradition (and my family, other than myself) while still being taught science and skeptical thinking. Other than the last two things, I will not interfere with his indoctrination attempt. His mother, being a scientist, has simply taken him to church while also teaching him science and skeptical thinking in most areas.

Over the holiday weekend, I had an interesting long talk with my son about commercials and how they try to manipulate you. He had been watching a kid's cartoon (he's 10) and in the middle of the cartoon, a commercial for a moisturizer brand came on which showed a woman as if she was a piece of sandpaper, "like no one would want to touch her then" (his words). He asked why they were showing that, and I explained that its goal was to manipulate his mother (whom they assumed was watching the program with him, and not me) into feeling bad about herself, as if she was unworthy to be touched without their product, so she would go out there and buy something she doesn't really need.

I went on to explain how the next several commercials were trying to manipulate him, "the kid watching the cartoons".

He was fascinated. The kid is already so skeptical that he watches me cook (and still checks every piece of food) just to ensure we didn't "slip him" something he wouldn't like. So the idea that someone was trying to manipulate him and his mom really seemed to strike him.

We talked about how to protect one's self by thinking critically, and checking our facts. He brought up the example of a claim a friend of his had made, of which he was skeptical-- a man who supposedly had held his breath for over 20 minutes. I told him I thought that was unlikely, as I've never heard of anything more than six. So I pulled out my phone and said, "why don't we look it up?"

Turned out, Aleix Segura Vendrell holds the Guinness World Record at over 24 minutes.

So we talked for a bit more about testing the claims others will make about various things, and it was he who first brought up religion, saying, "...except for the Bible. I should just accept it, my pastor says."

I was careful not to react, but it was clear from the look on his face that he realized what he had just said. I gathered up our breakfast plates (we were eating together in the hotel's excellent breakfast room/lobby at that point) and said, "I think one should examine all claims made to them by other people."

Ten years old, and I think he may have had his Moment of Realization. Smile

[Edited because of broken link to GWR and thus citation of wrong person and record. It has now become a different guy, at 24 minutes, not 22.]

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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28-12-2016, 12:08 PM
RE: Marriage; atheists vs. theists
Legally there is no difference in the USA. My marriage certificate is issued by the government and is not a religious document.

Differences between theist and atheist marriage arise in terms of the location of the ceremony, the person who performs the ceremony, and the content (wording) of the ceremony. Priests or ministers often conduct theists' wedding ceremonies, often in churches or other religious venues, and the language of the ceremony frequently references god.

I was married by a Justice of the Peace, in my apartment, in a ceremony which did not include the words god and obey. Inexpensive and simple, just the way we wanted it.
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28-12-2016, 12:22 PM
RE: Marriage; atheists vs. theists
Kerim, I'm curious: Why do you need to know this, and why are you asking us?
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28-12-2016, 01:29 PM
RE: Marriage; atheists vs. theists
I would think all marriages are as different as the people in them, a theist marriage won't be any more or less happy because they have God in their lives and the same for atheists, the absence of a God won't make these two people get along better or fix their problems.

But I do think it's worth mentioning the divorce rate among Christians is higher than other groups and even though I've heard this mentioned many times it's never clear why that is. There are many theories and for myself personally there is no way I'm going to be completely submissive to my husband b/c a God said so.

I would guess for many very conservative theists they have a lot of pressure to save sex for marriage and will tend to marry younger and have kids really early, they may not have time to mature, get to know each other and get a career going which can cause a lot of issues. Most Christians I know don't wait though, they have as much sex or more than any atheists I know including myself.

I think this is a conversation worth having because if being religious supposedly makes your life better, why does it not make your marriage better? I mean on average or statistically? It's interesting for sure but really in the end a marriage is two people, just human beings trying to build a life together and no two people are perfect so no marriage is perfect.

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28-12-2016, 02:26 PM (This post was last modified: 28-12-2016 02:47 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Marriage; atheists vs. theists
It should be noted that there are 3 or 4 different types of relationships (often overlapping) referred to by the word "marriage".

Addressing the ambiguous one first, there is the purported supernatural relationship, the thing established by a god or whatever other supernatural entity may have been evoked by the various mummers that busy themselves with marrying people in this sense. Such a relationship may impose arbitrary restrictions upon who may enter into it, may purportedly have supernatural significance in the afterlife, turn some otherwise-acceptable acts into sins if it is or isn't in place, burden the parties with additional obligations beyond the other types of marriage, and even assert various types of authority or obligation within the marriage (such as a husband being at the head of the wife or the wife's duty to self-immolate at her husband's funeral). The details vary from religion to religion, sect to sect, denomination to denomination, priest to priest, and even marriage to marriage. There is little to no coherence, no draw together to a universally-recognized or -imposed template. Atheists usually will maintain that such a supernatural relationship is not an element of marriage at all and does not exist at all, while the religious will often (but not always) insist that it does. Evidence to this effect is notable in its absence.

Second, there is the legalistic relationship of marriage. This is how marriage is defined, established, and enforced by the government. It often entails certain legal privileges, obligations, and conditions such as tax breaks or not being forced to testify against a spouse, assumed guardianship of children and default inheritance status, details of divorce, restriction to monogamous relationships and bars against incestuous relationships, age criteria, shared property, and so forth. Details vary by polity. In theocratic countries the legal status of atheists and theists regarding marriage can be quite different, and the terms and conditions of the marriage can be defined by the template of one or more religions. In many modern Islamist countries, and quite a many past Christian nations, religion justification produced laws rendering wives as the chattel of their husbands and banned interracial marriage. In countries with religious freedom wherein the government is not allowed to use the status of an individual's beliefs about gods as criteria for discrimination or to elevate one religion above others or all religion above none in crafting or executing its laws, atheist marriages and theist marriages (and marriages between atheists and theists) are theoretically equal. In practice, they are mostly equal, with atheists getting the short end of the stick in several ways (judges granting custody to a religious parent in divorce proceedings so that the child will be raised in the religion, or the inability of atheists to find someone authorized to legally execute a marriage certificate who is willing to perform that ceremony in a secular manner, to name two examples).

Then there's a third type of relationship in social marriage. This involves how the rest of the society treats the marital unit. Is marriage a precondition for cohabitation or is cohabitation expected with marriage in society's eyes? How do the families of the parties to the marriage treat the unit? Is a groom now regarded as part of the bride's family, for example, or vice-versa, or both at once? Is there social pressure to have children once married, to be in a sexually-closed relationship once married, or to be sexual at all? Is a new wife expected to stop working, to the point where an employer will fire her? All of these things vary from society to society. I can't speak to how it works in other countries, but in the United States, with regards to atheists versus theists in a marriage, theistic marriage is the norm. There is a spectrum of how society tends to treat marriages with atheists, with the theistic norm on the upper end and descending from there into general nastiness. Marriages between atheists may be denigrated by members of society as invalid, for example. Instead of accepting an atheist groom into the family, a theistic household may expel the theist bride from the family instead, or try to undermine or sabotage the new marriage by preaching to her dogmas like "unequally yoked".

Finally, there is individual marriage itself, the relationship between the individuals involved in the marriage. This can take a great many forms, healthy or unhealthy, and may in many ways be shaped or mandated by the other three type of marriages. Due to many forms possible, it's hard to make generalizations that are both broad and accurate, but there is a small tendency for marriages between theists to reflect the theism they subscribe to (for example, Christians are more likely to insist on man at the head of women) while atheists are more likely to reject these doctrines in their marriages. Marriages between atheists and theists, or between different types of theist, may often find stress lines in these differences, and religious disagreement is a common cause of divorce.

It should be noted that wrongfully conflating these four types of marriage is a great source of confusion. For example a marriage that exists in an individual and social sense need not exist in a legal sense, and changes to the legal concept of marriage do not impact and need not be dictated by this or that concept of spiritual marriage.
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28-12-2016, 04:04 PM
RE: Marriage; atheists vs. theists
I honestly see no practical difference between my marriage (two atheists) and that of my parents or grandparents (two theists). I could say that the division of influence or control is different, since we don't go with the whole man as head of the household and the woman must submit deal, but that's not how my grandma is.
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28-12-2016, 06:26 PM
RE: Marriage; atheists vs. theists
(28-12-2016 08:49 AM)KerimF Wrote:  Could someone here describe seriously the main difference(s) between a theist’s and atheist’s marriage?

Thank you.

In one god gets an invite in the other it gets lost in the mail.

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28-12-2016, 06:29 PM
RE: Marriage; atheists vs. theists
(28-12-2016 09:31 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(28-12-2016 08:49 AM)KerimF Wrote:  Could someone here describe seriously the main difference(s) between a theist’s and atheist’s marriage?

Thank you.

Both types of weddings would follow the traditions of the couple's choosing, to whatever extent they decide.

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28-12-2016, 06:40 PM
RE: Marriage; atheists vs. theists
(28-12-2016 08:49 AM)KerimF Wrote:  Could someone here describe seriously the main difference(s) between a theist’s and atheist’s marriage?

Thank you.

I've heard it said that jesus freaks pray before fucking. I wouldn't know for sure.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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