There is no solid, logical, coherent reason why polygamy should be illegal. There has never been one form of marriage that worked better than all others, and no society has ever suffered from giving people too much freedom to marry. The strategy that has worked best throughout all of human history is to adapt to the needs of the local environment. About 25% of the countries in the world today allow polygamous marriages, and while those countries have their problems, those problems aren’t caused by people living together happily in love.
4 illogical arguments against polygamy:
1. God hates polygamy: Some conservative Christians Americans would argue that, according to God and the Bible, marriage is supposed to be between one man and one woman. This is simply not true. Polygamy is very common in the Bible. So legalizing polygamy would be a step towards Biblical standards of marriage. However, while there are good reasons to legalize polygamy, the fact that the Bible approves of it isn’t one of them. If we’re going to base marriage laws on Biblical law, then women should be slaves, and fathers should sell their daughters for silver and beat them to death with rocks if they’re not a virgin on their wedding night… unless they were raped. In that case the father should sell his daughter to her rapist. The “traditional Christian” concept of marriage being between one man and one woman who are in love, has no basis in Christianity. That’s a modern, secular tradition. If you want to live in a Christian theocracy, then you shouldn’t be standing against polygamy. You should be standing against adultery, divorce and equality for women.
2. Polygamy is a slippery slope: Some people would argue that polygamy is a slippery slope towards legalizing incest and bestiality. However, incest is illegal because it causes birth defects, and bestiality is illegal because an animal can’t consent to sex. Neither of these apply to polygamy.
3. Polygamy oppresses women: You should not use this argument if you’ve never met a polyamorous/polygamous family, because you don’t really know what you’re talking about. I’ll concede that there have been polygamous families where women were treated poorly, but that was the decision of the individual men involved. It was not the inevitable result of people living together. If we’re to assert that people shouldn’t have the freedom to marry who they want because things could go bad, then that same logic would require us to make all marriage illegal. There are mountains of statistics of women being mistreated in “traditional” one-man-one-woman marriages. If you’re concerned about protecting people from themselves, then you should be petitioning to end marriage completely.
4. Polygamy would complicate taxes: It’s noble to be concerned with other people’s taxes, but that’s not a solid enough reason to take away people’s freedoms. If tax laws are oppressive, the solution isn’t to accept oppression.
There is no solid, logical, coherent reason why polygamy should be illegal. The only reason for wanting polygamy to be criminalized is because you don’t understand it and don’t want people to live differently than you. That’s just cut and dry oppression. It’s not yours or your government’s place to criminalize love or domestic partnerships.
The only thing criminalizing polygamy accomplishes is demeaning, frustrating and destroying people’s lives. Legalizing polygamy would reflect enlightened values of adaptability, love and freedom. We’ll never live in utopia as long as we’re taking people’s freedoms away for subjective, fantasy-based reasons.
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