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How did the concept of marriage evolve?

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posted on Jun, 16 2004 @ 10:26 AM
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Let's think about this.

Evolution is all about the survival of the fittest. It is about the random mutation of DNA resulting in beneficial traits that give the mutated organism a better chance of survival. In order for the maximum number of random genetic mutations to be produced within a species each sexually active member of the population should obviously mate with many different partners as often as possible.

I cannot think of any possible scenario that would have resulted in the evolution of marriage, a concept that places ultimate importance on the abstinence of sexual relationships outside of the marital partnership.

Believe it or not, I will have plenty more to say on this subject, but I firstly want to get some initial input from y'all on the ATS ward.

Go for it!



NB: I think this is only the second main thread I have started, and as with the first I have tried to ensure that I'm not going over exactly the same ground covered by a previous thread. However I must say that this board is a dynamic entity that is always going to be the source of new ways of looking at old topics. I understand the concerns of some moderators and members about repeating old discussions in new ways - but my view is that such repetition is invaluable in that new people will always bring new ideas to the floor. Any thoughts?




posted on Jun, 16 2004 @ 10:46 AM
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IMO the custom developed from the " Sacred Wedding" rituals of the long
ago times, and developed through the attempts of Royal lines to " keep the blood pure". it also has roots in pauline christianity where it was used mainly
as a deterent to the Isian churches that were one of the main threats to its
existance.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 03:59 AM
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OK - I've been asked by the mods to make sure that this thread quickly becomes relevant to the Conspiracies in Religion forum.

Here goes.

I'm sure the claim that evolution is ultimately based on faith - and is therefore a religion - has been made on these boards before now. It is not my intent to allow this thread to dwell on that point, however a brief statement is necessary.

Evolution claims that all living things are descended from a common ancestor. For those evolutionists amongst us who believe in the Big Bang theory of origins, that ancestor is either nothing, or whatever existed before the Big Bang. For those evolutionists amongst us who believe in a Creator as the source of life, evolution becomes the tool which the Creator chose to utilize to achieve whatever it is the Creator set out to achieve. In this case, our common ancestor would be whatever life form the Creator initially created.

Regardless of the theist or atheist stance of an individual who believes in evolution, many facts are the same. Evolution is a theory constructed by a man struggling to come to terms with the death of a loved one - a man who suddenly began to question his Christianity. Darwin set out to come up with an alternative to the traditional Christian belief in the direct creation of humanity by God. Driven by sorrow and anger, Darwin relied on his intellect to solve the problem.

Since the inital publication of Darwin's theory, many modifications and revisions have been made, and it is fair to say that even amongst evolutionists there is constant disagreement over many issues. Evolution - despite what many might claim - is by no means a proven theory. My basic question to those who make such a claim is:

Where are the current examples of ongoing evolution? To suggest that evolution is a one-time thing that has a definable and unrepeated path is illogical. If the process is random, it follows that it would be constantly visible in every form of life. It is not. Micro-evolution, maybe. Macro-evolution, no. If the process is not random, it must be the result of design. But wait - if evolution IS the result of design, the designer must be utterly, utterly cruel. Survival of the fittest. Discard the weak.

OK - where does marriage fit into this thread now?

I claim that it is one of the many conspiracies surrounding evolutionary theory that has not been properly addressed. Since the widespread acceptance of evolution, family life and marriage has been attacked by the new understanding that after all humanity is just another animal with individual survival as it's ultimate goal. Belief in evolution has eroded humanity's belief in God, something which in itself requires careful examination to understand. Why? Why has belief in evolution eroded belief in God if many people still accept some form of creatorial power? The gradual replacement of the Christian God with endless different explanations of creatorial force is impossible to understand without realizing that the change is the result of malevolent intent. Why would a large percentage of the human race simply turn away from the faith of their forefathers and replace it with faith in something ALMOST similar - without the need for individual responsibility inherent in Christianity?

At the very centre of this conspiracy is the concept of marriage. A Christian views marriage as an institution introduced by God. How does an evolutionist view marriage? As I mentioned in my initial post, marriage does not seem to make any sense if looked at through the eyes of random evolution. Has this anomaly been looked at before? Can anybody help me understand how the institution of marriage might have been the result of evolution?

If the answer is:

Well, it is simply something dreamt up by religious leaders to keep people under close control and more easily accounted for - then my next question is going to be:

How does evolution explain the concept of religion?

I believe that there is an ongoing conspiracy with a supernatural source that is directed towards preventing people from considering these questions. And, as an added bonus, evolution is responsible for a drastic shift in people's attitudes towards marriage. After all, as I am claiming, if evolution is true and God is dead, there is really no point to marriage to begin with.

The religion of evolution is conspiring to bring down one of the central pillars of Christianity.

Comments?



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 04:49 AM
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While it's most likely that the earliest concepts of marriage were based on breeding strong, healthy people, the Code of Hammurabi dating to 1780 B.C. has some interesting things to say about the woman's place in marriage, such as "The bride-price varied much, according to the position of the parties, but was in excess of that paid for a slave." Marriage by this time seems to have been a matter of property exchange and status, a theme that is still retained to this day.
There are also very familiar provisions in the Code for divorce, including alimony, though some aspects are sure to raise modern eyebrows.

I also found a quote from Proverbs from Ki-en-gir of Sumer (2000 BCE) that shows marriage was established at that time (and it's a bit of a giggle besides): "Since my wife is at the outdoor shrine, and furthermore since my mother is at the river, I shall die of hunger, he says."



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 05:03 AM
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It appears I posted a bit hastily, as there were other ancient references I came across immediately afterwards.


From The Precepts of Ptah-Hotep, dating from 2200 BCE: "If you are wise, look after your house; love your wife without alloy. Fill her stomach, clothe her back; these are the cares to be bestowed on her person. Caress her, fulfil her desires during the time of her existence; it is a kindness which does honor to its possessor. Be not brutal; tact will influence her better than violence; her . . . behold to what she aspires, at what she aims, what she regards. It is that which fixes her in your house; if you repel her, it is an abyss. Open your arms for her, respond to her arms; call her, display to her your love." Also, "If you take a wife, do not . . . Let her be more contented than any of her fellow-citizens. She will be attached to you doubly, if her chain is pleasant. Do not repel her; grant that which pleases her; it is to her contentment that she appreciates your work." Beautiful sentiments, IMHO.

While I respect your view that marriage was established by God, the evidence suggests that it was in existence in pagan societies a long time before the Bible was written.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 05:04 AM
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Originally posted by Hecate100
While it's most likely that the earliest concepts of marriage were based on breeding strong, healthy people....

I also found a quote from Proverbs from Ki-en-gir of Sumer (2000 BCE) that shows marriage was established at that time (and it's a bit of a giggle besides): "Since my wife is at the outdoor shrine, and furthermore since my mother is at the river, I shall die of hunger, he says."




I have to question your first point. How does the concept of marriage relate to the breeding of strong, healthy people?

I am not (yet) saying I disagree with you, however I need help to understand your statement.

Take arranged marriages for example - a practice still carried out in a surprising number of cultures even today. These decisions, it would seem, are based on social standing rather than the prospects for breeding strong, healthy people. Marriages that happen as the result of 'falling in love' are also based on factors more related to personality and social compatability. I think some suggest that evolution has resulted in an inante ability to 'sense' the best mate, however this in itself raises further questions about the whole subject of marriage as an institution. Why bother with it if we are always programmed to look for a better match? Why would evolution result in an institution that makes it very difficult, energy sapping and in some cases even fatal to move on from on partner to another?

Your final quote is, however, utterly applicable. Marriage often seems to result in one difficulty after another as inter-family relationships are built, strained and broken. How does dying of hunger because your wife and mother are not feeding you promote the production of strong, healthy offspring?




posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 05:08 AM
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Originally posted by Hecate100
It appears I posted a bit hastily, as there were other ancient references I came across immediately afterwards.


From The Precepts of Ptah-Hotep, dating from 2200 BCE: "If you are wise, look after your house; love your wife without alloy. Fill her stomach, clothe her back; these are the cares to be bestowed on her person. Caress her, fulfil her desires during the time of her existence; it is a kindness which does honor to its possessor. Be not brutal; tact will influence her better than violence; her . . . behold to what she aspires, at what she aims, what she regards. It is that which fixes her in your house; if you repel her, it is an abyss. Open your arms for her, respond to her arms; call her, display to her your love." Also, "If you take a wife, do not . . . Let her be more contented than any of her fellow-citizens. She will be attached to you doubly, if her chain is pleasant. Do not repel her; grant that which pleases her; it is to her contentment that she appreciates your work." Beautiful sentiments, IMHO.

While I respect your view that marriage was established by God, the evidence suggests that it was in existence in pagan societies a long time before the Bible was written.


Just a quick point on this contribution (thanks, btw!):

As a Creationist Christian, my faith tells me that God instituted marriage at the very instant he created the first woman.

You get a friendly
for that remark!




posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 12:08 PM
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As a Creationist Christian, my faith tells me that God instituted marriage at the very instant he created the first woman.


would i be correct that in this statement you are refering to Eve ?



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 01:34 PM
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Like any of the so-called "divine laws" marriage served a purpose in the social order. Holy matrimony was devised as a social contract for the subjugation of women and to tie them into being one of the chattels of a man, pure and simple.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 02:22 PM
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If you indeed mean Adam and Eve, illimey, then you need to look into Sumerian mythology for their origins as well. The Goddess Namu commanded her son, Enki, and the Goddess Ninhursag to knead the "heart" of clay and give it form, whereupon humans were created. The two immediately had a fight over the results. Upon resolving their differences, they had children who healed the wounds Enki received during the battle, and the one who healed Enki's rib was named Ninti. One of Ninki's names/titles is "lady of the rib". The Sumerian mythos contains all the core concepts of Genesis (and that of other early books of the Old Testament), clearly reworked at a later time to suit a monotheistic perspective.

As to marriage as a means of breeding strong and healthy individuals, one has only to look to the existant (and accounts of those since dispersed) primal tribal groups. Rites of passage and feats of physical prowess to win a potential mate are in every body of mythology, and even remain in the fairy tales. I'm not sure how you can miss this.

Arranged marriage is, indeed, a way to ensure the continuity of a culture, social class, and/or wealth. However, there is also the danger of inbreeding, and the genetic hazards are evident in both the royalty of ancient Egypt and that of Europe. (See Hemophilia in the European Royal Families for an illustration of the latter.) In modern times, other societies have also shown the dangers of arranged marriage within a closed system. The Amish are one example, and India has had its share of problems as well.

Love as a basis for marriage has historically been the perogative of the lower and working classes, though in some cultures all follow the arranged model. When done by the upper classes, overlooking the convention has led to a great deal of contention and worse, as in the case of Caesar & Cleopatra and King Edward & Wallis Simpson. In both cases cited, the cause of the problem may be simple xenophobia, but traditionally closed arranged-marriage systems are not accepting of "outsiders", thereby limiting the gene pool and leading back to the dangers of inbreeding.

Love certainly does have a physiological component, and there is a body of research that would seem to suggest there are many biochemical and olfactory cues influencing what attracts us to an ideal partner. Some are less a matter of physical compatibility than one would think, as I recently saw an article that women subconsciously respond to men whose perspiration smells similar to that of their own fathers. To me, this would indicate attraction to a person who may prove to be a better parent in the caregiving sense, rather than merely the physical.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 03:22 PM
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Originally posted by MaskedAvatar
Like any of the so-called "divine laws" marriage served a purpose in the social order. Holy matrimony was devised as a social contract for the subjugation of women and to tie them into being one of the chattels of a man, pure and simple.

And, then the government got involved. No sense not getting in on a good thing, which they saw marriagae being.
So, now we have the double whammy: religion and government telling us how to live our private lives.

MA
, I wondered how long it would be before someone mentioned controlling women. Which is a big reason for marriage, IMHO.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 07:11 PM
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Well I gotta agree with the feminists as usual: Marriage is a social construct (it is currently defined as such by science as well) and one of the main reasons was to keep women home with their children and preserve the status of men as the provider. (and I as a man think this is wrong, women are perfectly equal and in today's world should be treates as such, none of this hunter-gatherer bull)

I think that one of the things that is most oppressive today towards women is the idea that women should stay at home.

Tax breaks for children makes sense, tax breaks for being married do not.

May Peace Travel With You
~Astral



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 07:32 PM
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Originally posted by illimeyAs a Creationist Christian, my faith tells me that God instituted marriage at the very instant he created the first woman.

Let's examine the Biblical concepts of marriage:

1) Men are supposed to marry more than one woman (Genesis 4:19 , Exodus 21, and all over the Bible)
2) The man can have Official Affairs with slaves/servants and the resulting children belong to the wife/wives (Abram and others -- Genesis 16 is a good example)
3) You give your virgin daughters to mobs of men for Sex Fun (Genesis 19)
4) You tell people your wife is your sister if it's convenient... and let her move in with another man. Genesis 12 and onward.
5) You marry your sister. God sanctions this (Abraham, Genesis 17)
6) You can also have lots of concubines (nearly every patriarch)
7) You can take a little girl as young as 3 years old as your wife (yes, this is Jewish law, dating back to the time when the laws were first written down.)
8) If you decide you hate your wife, you don't divorce her. You say she wasn't a virgin when you married her. If her father can't prove she was a virgin, then then everyone can get together and stone her to death (Deuteronomy 22)
9) Your wife can't object to your keeping mistresses in your household.

Yep. Real family values, there -- the original, immutable, God-approved ones. Most women today would find them rather objectionable.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 07:38 PM
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Originally posted by illimeyI cannot think of any possible scenario that would have resulted in the evolution of marriage, a concept that places ultimate importance on the abstinence of sexual relationships outside of the marital partnership.

You might want to read up on this... there's a LOT of material about marriages and kinship systems in anthropology.

Marriages do not necessarily "place ultimate imprtance on the abstinence of sexual relationships outside the marital partnerships." In some cultures, it is considered an honor to allow a guest to sleep with one of the marriage partners. In Europe, there was a custom of "droit du seigneur" where the lord could take any man's wife (usually he took the bride, however) for a sex partner and would give her back after he'd taken her virginity or after he got tired of her.

In some societies, there were homosexual marriages.

Marriage establishes kinship and relationship and power.



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 09:08 PM
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Byrd's absolutely right, the concept of marriage is not exactly show in the most ethical light in the bible, and it varies from culture to culture.

Even in so called Christian culture the acts of adultery, polygamy and other things that the church sees as sin have been in the cultures since their founding.

Polygamy was big among the Mormons, and there are stories as far back as the middle ages about adultery in the Catholic Church (Miller's story in Canterbury Tales comes to mind LOL)

Also, in case you haven't noticed, the Commonwealth of Mass has not been smited from the face of the earth by a vengeful god, and they legalized homosexual marriage. Something that some Christians seem to think is the worst thing to happen to them since the Roman Empire.

Besides, I would be interested in knowing just what the actual statistics on marriages that stay manogamous would be. As a French politican once said to me, "We all have our mistreses, even our wives have mistresses." It is after all the unwritten rule of marriage to many people.

May Peace Travel With You
~Astral



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 04:49 PM
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Byrd that stuff you got out of the bible was mad.

I have never seen the point of marriage, if two people love each other and want to stay together then good for them I don’t see the need to make it official with a piece of paper. Love is the important factor and only factor, as far as im concerned. Marriage I think is worse for kids in some cases. While some say that its good that a child should know there real parents I often wonder if this would be the case if marriage didn’t exist and if this concept was not such a social issue whether the children would care much about it at all. Although not knowing who your real parents are could end up in a case of inbreeding which so I heard is what some royals have been up to for a long time. Personally I think marriage was a man made concept to keep control of [as someone else put it] there property. I guess it has a lot to do with ideology.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 07:29 PM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe

I wondered how long it would be before someone mentioned controlling women. Which is a big reason for marriage, IMHO.


Okaaaay....not anymore........., maybe was originally, but from what I can see these days - how do ya figure? Seems to me it might even be the opposite today - LOL. So if this WAS a conspiracy of religion - it has totally backfired.



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 10:47 PM
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Originally posted by kode
Byrd that stuff you got out of the bible was mad.

And all quite true. Read the Bible. Most folks just think they know what's in there.


I have never seen the point of marriage, if two people love each other and want to stay together then good for them I don’t see the need to make it official with a piece of paper. Love is the important factor and only factor, as far as im concerned.

Well, this was the case in ancient marriages, however there were some important social differences.


Marriage I think is worse for kids in some cases. While some say that its good that a child should know there real parents I often wonder if this would be the case if marriage didn’t exist and if this concept was not such a social issue whether the children would care much about it at all.

Well, it depends on what kind of social structure you have supporting the kids. In today's society, we don't live in bands or extended kinship groups. And one of the major outcomes of sex is children. Without some way of determining who raises them and how to stabilize the environment for them, the resulting system causes kids a lot of problems.

Just read up sometime on the horrible effects of the ex child soldiers in Africa.



Although not knowing who your real parents are could end up in a case of inbreeding which so I heard is what some royals have been up to for a long time.

Err... not asmuch as earlier dynasties (Egyptian, for instance.)



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 10:58 PM
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when women didnt want THEIR MAN scr**wing other women? or is it the other way round



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 01:15 AM
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Originally posted by illimey

Evolution claims that all living things are descended from a common ancestor. For those evolutionists amongst us who believe in the Big Bang theory of origins, that ancestor is either nothing, or whatever existed before the Big Bang. For those evolutionists amongst us who believe in a Creator as the source of life, evolution becomes the tool which the Creator chose to utilize to achieve whatever it is the Creator set out to achieve. In this case, our common ancestor would be whatever life form the Creator initially created.



I don’t see why a person can’t believe in the big bang and the creator. First off if there was a big bang it happened billions of years before life even existed. The universe was probably an unstable and very hot place. In order for life as we know it to exist you need 2 elements to exist. H2O and C3 basically water and carbon. Water was still in vapor form but as the universe expanded starts started to form. After the stars form then the planets. All of these things had to be in place before this “common ancestor” could form. Obviously the simplest form of live is asexual and reproduces by splitting in half. Over generations differences occur through mutations/adaptations.

I don’t really claim to know what happened to before life existed. All I can do is observe the things around me and come up with a logical conclusion. One thing I find interesting is how male and females came about (not just human). Life forms became more complex so there had to be another way of reproducing. The male species (not just human) came about from a mutation. This is supported by a well-known fact from people in the medical field. Let me explain:

We all know that within every cell of our bodies we have this thing called DNA. Our DNA is a combination of our mother and fathers DNA. However there is a part of our cells called the mitocandrea (sorry don’t know how it is spelled). It is in the center of every cell in our body. With in the mitocandrea is an exact copy of your mothers DNA. This is the same for all life that has male and females species. So you can only concluded that the first beings were females and males came about later. If it was the other way around what would be in the mitocanrda of a male if males were first?


Originally posted by illimey
I have to question your first point. How does the concept of marriage relate to the breeding of strong, healthy people?


I think you need to take a look at nature. How do many animals pick their mates? Well for most females it the males that have to fight over them. The one who wins (which is the stronger opponent) wins and gets to mate with the females . You can especially is this in lions cultures. The males provides security and the females hunts for food. If the dominate male or males are over taken by there other lions looking for a pride, the winners kill all infant cubs to insure that it is there genes that are passes down.

Even though we humans are not as brutal we in essences think the same way. Woman wan security and a mate that will help them raise there child. Now a days it not about who is strong enough to hunt but who can provide enough money to support the family. Women naturally want to be taken care of is some way or another. They are beautiful being that like to be pampered. Men look at women as divine almost. That is why a woman who sleeps with a lot of men is considered a “whore”. He “divineness” is some who tainted buy the many men she sleeps with. But a man who has a lot of woman is considered a stud/pimp. The next woman wonders “Well all theses woman like him there must be something special about him. This is kind of like natural selection. We all are just trying to ensure that our genes are passed on to the next gereration.



[edit on 23-6-2004 by DaTruth]



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