polygamy
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03-12-2012, 10:05 AM
polygamy
How is the math of polygamy even supposed to work? If men are to have multiple wives, there have to be way more women than men, or there would be a whole bunch of lonely, single men. If each man were to marry two women, men could only comprise one-third or less of the population. The last time that I checked, the population split is much closer to 50-50.
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03-12-2012, 10:24 AM
RE: polygamy
The rules of marriage apply to the believers of that faith, not the whole world's population. Since not all men are members of the faith, and all women are fair game for marriage, it works out nicely.

See how brilliant god's plan is? Dodgy

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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03-12-2012, 10:27 AM
RE: polygamy
Well, I don't know about all polygamous cultures, but I know about the Mormons.

For the early Mormons, they were being "persecuted" (the Persecutions, yes, with a capital P, are a big big topic in Mormon history). These Persecutions resulted in men fighting to defend their homes, families, and religious views and those men often got killed. Also, frontier life is hard on men. They were dying at a faster rate than the women (even accounting for women's mortality rate giving birth). Which means there really were more women than men.

And since women can't get into the Celestial Kingdom without being called there by their husbands, and since those men needs lots of breeding material to infest their universe with souls after they become gods, well, a shortage of women in heaven would be a problem.

So they married multiple women to some of the men, thus ensuring that all women could go to heaven.

Not all men in a polygamous culture want multiple wives. Not all men can get multiple wives. Just like in a monogamous culture where not all men get married (for reasons such as too poor, too ugly, too shy, or just plain don't want to be married).

Also, don't forget that the more prestigious men get more wives. Joseph Smith had (best estimate) 34 wives. Brigham Young probably had over 40 wives. Both of these men sometimes married women who were already currently married (presumably nullifying the existing marriage - it's good to be in charge). Both were accused of sending men far away, even overseas, then marrying the (pretty) wives those men left behind.

Not every Mormon did so well; many Mormon men only had one wife and some had none. So even if women only slightly outnumber the men, polygamy at the top ranks runs rampant and the lowly schmucks at the bottom of the heap still get just one wife. Or two. My Mormon great-great grandfather had three.

Finally, don't forget that "polygamy" means plural marriage, technically it goes both ways so women could have more than one husband. This is not the case for the Mormons, so technically they practiced "polygyny", one male with multiple females but never the other way around. I guess since that is a subset of "polygamy" then it's technically true to call it by either word, but to the educated, calling it "polygamy" seems to indicate that women could have had multiple husbands which they could not, at least not in Mormon culture.

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03-12-2012, 11:42 AM
RE: polygamy
An excellent system if you can replace the redundant ones.
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03-12-2012, 12:03 PM
RE: polygamy
(03-12-2012 10:27 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Well, I don't know about all polygamous cultures, but I know about the Mormons.

For the early Mormons, they were being "persecuted" (the Persecutions, yes, with a capital P, are a big big topic in Mormon history). These Persecutions resulted in men fighting to defend their homes, families, and religious views and those men often got killed. Also, frontier life is hard on men. They were dying at a faster rate than the women (even accounting for women's mortality rate giving birth). Which means there really were more women than men.

And since women can't get into the Celestial Kingdom without being called there by their husbands, and since those men needs lots of breeding material to infest their universe with souls after they become gods, well, a shortage of women in heaven would be a problem.

So they married multiple women to some of the men, thus ensuring that all women could go to heaven.

Not all men in a polygamous culture want multiple wives. Not all men can get multiple wives. Just like in a monogamous culture where not all men get married (for reasons such as too poor, too ugly, too shy, or just plain don't want to be married).

Also, don't forget that the more prestigious men get more wives. Joseph Smith had (best estimate) 34 wives. Brigham Young probably had over 40 wives. Both of these men sometimes married women who were already currently married (presumably nullifying the existing marriage - it's good to be in charge). Both were accused of sending men far away, even overseas, then marrying the (pretty) wives those men left behind.

Not every Mormon did so well; many Mormon men only had one wife and some had none. So even if women only slightly outnumber the men, polygamy at the top ranks runs rampant and the lowly schmucks at the bottom of the heap still get just one wife. Or two. My Mormon great-great grandfather had three.

Finally, don't forget that "polygamy" means plural marriage, technically it goes both ways so women could have more than one husband. This is not the case for the Mormons, so technically they practiced "polygyny", one male with multiple females but never the other way around. I guess since that is a subset of "polygamy" then it's technically true to call it by either word, but to the educated, calling it "polygamy" seems to indicate that women could have had multiple husbands which they could not, at least not in Mormon culture.

In most cultures that allow for multiple wives, the male must be able to provide for them and potential offspring. They aren't allowed to just marry because they want to. I actually know two triads personally. They aren't that way for religious reasons tho. :-)
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03-12-2012, 01:03 PM
RE: polygamy
(03-12-2012 10:05 AM)cturner2020 Wrote:  How is the math of polygamy even supposed to work? If men are to have multiple wives, there have to be way more women than men, or there would be a whole bunch of lonely, single men. If each man were to marry two women, men could only comprise one-third or less of the population. The last time that I checked, the population split is much closer to 50-50.
Well I suppose if a bloke married two women, who each married another bloke who each married other women it would be incredibly complicated but the numbers would work out XD
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03-12-2012, 01:37 PM
RE: polygamy
Obviously you need a society of either A) great wealth and/or power disparity, which can be divided into have-and-to-holds versus have-nots-and-to-holds on a roughly 4-to-1 basis, or B) very violent and warlike tendencies, in which roughly 75% of the male population gets itself killed doing soldiery stuff.

But a deeply religious society would have neither of those. Nope. Not ever.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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03-12-2012, 02:38 PM
RE: polygamy
Obviously the entire world isn't going to start practicing polygamy; wherein a single man marries multiple women.
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03-12-2012, 02:46 PM
RE: polygamy
On a cultural, or world-wide, level, "practicing polygamy" doesn't mean 2 wives for every man (heck, "polygamy" could mean two 2 husbands for every wife, too).

If a culture practices polygamy, it doesn't mean everybody in the entire culture is taking part. My culture practices monogamy, but I'm not married. If my culture practiced polygamy, I still wouldn't be married. Maybe my neighbor would have 2 wives but I would have none - the population would still be balanced. Maybe my neighbor would have 6 wives but the woman across the street would have 5 husbands, so the numbers could still balance out.

Now, probably the whole world wouldn't practice polygyny, certainly not at the same time, but even then, the unmarried or once-married men of the polygynous world culture would still balance out the men with multiple wives. They would, obviously, have to balance out. At least until we invent cloning.

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03-12-2012, 02:50 PM
RE: polygamy
Should it be legal? Why is it illegal in most countries?

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