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  #41  
Old 03-30-2013, 12:41 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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As reasonable people we can have similar discussions about living arrangements and determine the objective qualities of these different arrangements. Monogamy and polyamory are two such states in which we can attempt to come to objective understandings of how these two arrangements can work.
Objective? No. The assumption that there are objective, unilateral truths to any of these arrangements is flawed. It's all about what works for some people and what works for others. That's the very definition of subjectivity.

POW vs Farm Fresh is hardly a fair comparison. We both know it, and that's why you chose it. Instead, let's compare Manhattan to Rural Oklahoma. Some people are city folk, others are country folk. Each environment will be well suited to some people and poorly to others. There is no objective criteria by which one is unilaterally better than the other.

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So you would make the point that titles do not come with assumptions of responsibility or authority? Do you think that there are no responsibilities or authority associated with the titles Husband and Wife? Do you claim that those titles are incapable of stifling someone from functioning in a way that doesn't agree with those assumptions?
I don't need to. I'm not the one attempting to place labels on your relationship. The onus is on you to prove that all married people do hold these assumptions. And you must do so on a case-by-case basis, so as not to introduce an assumption bias yourself.

I don't even have to agree with you that "husband" and "wife" are hierarchical titles, any more than "sister" or "cousin." They are merely words that indicate the relationship of one person to another. In our case, they designate an explicit commitment that we made to one another, and in no way pre-determine any relationship between ourselves and others.

I don't need to prove that marriage titles are incapable of stifling anyone; I need only state that I myself, and my husband, are not stifled by them. Proof by example.

I find it ironic that in the process of so vehemently encouraging autonomy and opposing control, you give yourself permission to label my marriage by your definitions. You are using the assumptions that you would bring into a marriage to declare which assumptions I brought into my own, without having any first-hand access to that information. You are using your own criteria for your own relationships in an attempt to control what language I may or may not use to describe my relationship.

In an attempt to ensure I don't put anyone else in a box, you are putting me in a box.

My husband and myself are the only people who get to declare whether my marriage is hierarchical. You present your definition, and I will tell you whether it applies to my marriage. I am, after all, the only person on this forum qualified to answer that particular question. In return, I will not attempt to label or define your relationships. Fair?
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  #42  
Old 03-30-2013, 03:52 PM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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POW vs Farm Fresh is hardly a fair comparison. We both know it, and that's why you chose it. Instead, let's compare Manhattan to Rural Oklahoma.
It isn't a fair comparison, it wasn't supposed to be a fair comparison. I wasn't substituting POW camp for monogamy, though I had no doubt that's what some people would hear.

That's why I stated very clearly that's not what I was doing...
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(Note: I used extreme examples to illustrate the discussion of comparing lifestyles, not as a value statement of monogamy or polyamory)
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I don't need to. I'm not the one attempting to place labels on your relationship.
SC, if you don't want to put labels on your relationship then don't. I am not trying to do this for you. It is pretty obvious that's what you are hearing but I literally couldn't care less about how you label your relationship.

Can we move on from this "don't tell me how to live my life" argument? I did not and will not make assertions about how you should look at your relationship. In all honesty, I couldn't care less and I refuse to get dragged down into that kind of discussion.

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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
I don't even have to agree with you that "husband" and "wife" are hierarchical titles
Then don't, but they are titles and my argument is that titles in general (and those in particular) come with assumptions of authority and responsibility.

You (and others) seem to think that titles don't come with implications of authority and responsibility. That's very odd, but you guys are entitled to have odd opinions if you want. It just means that no rational conversation can occur if words have "fluid" meanings like that.

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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
I find it ironic that in the process of so vehemently encouraging autonomy and opposing control, you give yourself permission to label my marriage by your definitions.
I do give myself permission to discuss relationship types. Who is telling you what your marriage is? I'm talking about titles and the assumptions they come with. You find a discussion about the implications of titles to be an attempt to control your actions? That's very strange to me and I am becoming really confused about where this conversation has gone.

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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
My husband and myself are the only people who get to declare whether my marriage is hierarchical. You present your definition, and I will tell you whether it applies to my marriage. I am, after all, the only person on this forum qualified to answer that particular question. In return, I will not attempt to label or define your relationships. Fair?
You can redefine words however you want, SC.

No one is telling you how you have to define or classify your relationship.
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  #43  
Old 03-30-2013, 04:21 PM
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Natja Natja is offline
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Then don't, but they are titles and my argument is that titles in general (and those in particular) come with assumptions of authority and responsibility.

You (and others) seem to think that titles don't come with implications of authority and responsibility. That's very odd, but you guys are entitled to have odd opinions if you want. It just means that no rational conversation can occur if words have "fluid" meanings like that.
i don't understand that sort of viewpoint either Marcus, I can not even imagine anyone not getting the fact that there is inherent status in the titles "Husband" and "wife". I admire people who can see past titles, but I certainly can't and I think that those with certain privilege just don't see it really, but having been in a position when I have heard a primary partner get on the phone and talk about his 'wife' to someone and the pain it caused me knowing it is a title I couldn't possibly hold, I know the effect that the hierarchy of legal marriage and the trappings thereof, can have.

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  #44  
Old 03-30-2013, 06:05 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Those "assumptions" of authority and responsibility are precisely why Spouse and I got married. I have very few blood-relatives, none of whom I trust to make decisions for me if something happened, nor do I want Spouse to lose "rights" to something that is "mine" if we didn't do paper-work on it (such as inheritance of our house which is in my name only at this time). Also, we want to be able to share our insurance benefits, etc. and for that, you have to be a "legal relation". These are examples of "assumptions of responsibility" that are offered by secular marriage.

We do NOT, however, subscribe to the "assumption of authority" placed upon legal/secular marriage because we don't believe that marriage = ownership.

I do not understand why some folks get bent out of shape when other people, especially strangers, make "assumptions" about marriage and other personal/relationship things, because we all tend to use our own frame of reference when it comes to making sense of the world we live in. If someone makes a "wrong" assumption about why I'm married (for example, I get "why did you get married if you don't want kids?" once in a while), it simply DOES NOT THREATEN ME AT ALL. In fact, it feels ridiculous trying to explain it or justify it so those people can understand, because it suggests that their opinion has some sort of merit in my reality.

So, go ahead everybody - assume anything you want about me. I'm sitting on my butt judging you too. At the end of the shift, you go your way, I'll go mine, and I'll keep doing what I'm doing and so will you. (Not very conducive to the "poly mentality" of "ohhhh I just loooooove everyone! group hug!" I know, but there you have it. It's a wonder anyone wants to spend time with me or be my friend, isn't it? ).
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  #45  
Old 03-30-2013, 06:24 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Oh. I just wanted to add that I don't care too much for this "language is fluid/words can mean whatever you want them to mean" either, because if I order a piece of chocolate cake, I expect to be served a piece of chocolate cake, not a burger cooked medium-well.

"But in this restaurant, "chocolate cake" is what you got! Tee hee. Language is fluid. Deal with it."

No. Fuck that. YOU deal with it.

Last edited by BoringGuy; 03-30-2013 at 06:26 PM.
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  #46  
Old 03-30-2013, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
I do not understand why some folks get bent out of shape when other people, especially strangers, make "assumptions" about marriage and other personal/relationship things, because we all tend to use our own frame of reference when it comes to making sense of the world we live in.
That's a good point BG. In general the way we come to an understanding about the world around us is to look at the facts we have available, such as the definitions of the words we are discussing, and filter it through our personal experiences to come to a point of view. It shouldn't be shocking that the value judgment of how this knowledge "should" be applied varies greatly but we can cover a lot of ground without ever bringing in these personal judgments.

However, it is unfortunate that there are assumptions that all knowledge is relative (or even offensive) and therefore cannot or should not be discussed in any rational fashion. This just isn't true in the least. We can have all manner of discussions about (using this topic as an example) titles, the assumptions that commonly come along with those titles, and the possible impact those assumptions can have on particular goals. No attacks need be made and no one needs to get their feelings hurt by the conversation.

All of this can be done while trying our best to filter through our own subjective bias.

You guys dig Sam Harris? He is probably my all time favorite intellectual. I want to have his fat, pink, theoretical babies. In his book The Moral Landscape he devotes a lot of time early on, discussing the idea of how to talk about subjective topics. He frequently comes under fire from the hardline relativists and goes to great lengths to try and get some of this sorted out so that a meaningful discussion can take place.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ACUlGDP32c
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  #47  
Old 03-30-2013, 06:53 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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You guys dig Sam Harris? He is probably my all time favorite intellectual. I want to have his fat, pink, theoretical babies. In his book The Moral Landscape he devotes a lot of time early on, discussing the idea of how to talk about subjective topics. He frequently comes under fire from the hardline relativists and goes to great lengths to try and get some of this sorted out so that a meaningful discussion can take place.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ACUlGDP32c
Don't think I ever heard of Sam Harris, but it is possible that I am familiar with those topics.

I like Alfred Korzybski's ideas, but I have not been able to sit still long enough to read more than a page or two of "Science and Sanity" at a time. However, other writers have summarized his work that I have been able to assimilate it into my brain. LOL. I still find myself using the verb construction "to be" and its derivatives... especially on the ipod. I "am" just lazy, it seems. (See what I did there?)

btw i'm going to check out that video link right now.
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  #48  
Old 03-30-2013, 07:03 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Watched the video. Spent five minutes nodding my head and thinking "yes, and what else?" It's great that someone can make a living studying these things, LOL. I don't mean that sarcastically, either. I'm not sure if it's something I figured out on my own, or if I had help from reading what someone else wrote about in a book.

Dude looks kind of like Ben Stiller.
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  #49  
Old 03-30-2013, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
Watched the video. Spent five minutes nodding my head and thinking "yes, and what else?" It's great that someone can make a living studying these things, LOL. I don't mean that sarcastically, either. I'm not sure if it's something I figured out on my own, or if I had help from reading what someone else wrote about in a book.

Dude looks kind of like Ben Stiller.
I didn't imagine he was going to surprise and enlighten you. I pass videos like this around periodically in the hopes that people who *don't* understand the objective/subjective topic can gain some understanding. Hard line relativism is corrosive to a constructive discourse.

He does have a Ben Stiller look lol. He's has his PhD in cognitive neuroscience and is frequently a speaker at free-thought events; debunking dogmatic thought processes etc.
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  #50  
Old 03-30-2013, 07:27 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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I didn't imagine he was going to surprise and enlighten you.

He does have a Ben Stiller look lol. He's has his PhD in cognitive neuroscience and is frequently a speaker at free-thought events; debunking dogmatic thought processes etc.
Heheh. It's always fun to be validated by someone with academic credentials.

Side note: While I do not feel required to explain why I write the way I do, I want to point out that i don't speak as concisely in real-time. This is because writing gives a person the chance to look over what they have written and make it better, or shorter, or whatever (it's called "editing", LOL). I have this personal rule of trying to not over-use adjectives and adverbs in written speech, because scientific papers are like that. A good scientific write-up simply says what happened and draws conclusions from the data and empirical observations. While I don't live my day-to-day life ONLY according to these principles, I try to always be mindful that these principles can be applied to almost any situation (I have yet to observe a situation where they CANNOT apply, I have observed many situations where those involved do not WANT to apply them). I do have a hard time understanding why a person with years of education in the hard sciences would resist this kind of systematic thought-process in other areas of interest.

Last edited by BoringGuy; 03-31-2013 at 04:30 AM.
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