Thursday, November 02, 2017

A tweet from Brett Kunkle

If you think marriage & sex are primarily a means to self-fulfillment, you do NOT have a on these matters.


brownmamba said...

There is something ugly about the insistence that self-fulfillment ought not to be the primary rationale for marriage. Given the commitment commanded by marriage, self-fulfillment is crucial for the flourishing of a marriage. Otherwise, what exactly is the problem with an arranged marriage?

I'm getting the sense that the Christian conception of marriage is that it is something done out of "duty". If this is true, then the Christian take on marriage just isn't conducive to people's happiness. And, I think, for no good reason.

Victor Reppert said...

For most of human history, successful reproduction has been pretty critical to human happiness, both on the individual and societal level. You needed to keep the supply of warriors and providers up for your country and family. With industrialization, the mechanization of warfare, and the ability of women to make a living as effectively as men, and the existence of programs like Social Security to provide for people in their old age, things have changed. They have also changed in that we no longer fear underpopulation, but, if anything, have to be concerned with overpopulation. The idea of marrying for fulfillment and not being concerned at all about successful reproduction is a modern development. Historically, if you were attracted to the same sex, you still married the opposite sex, but some in the wealthier classes thought it OK to have fun and games with the same sex. But no one in ancient Greece or Rome, for example, thought that the institution of marriage could be extended to involve such relationships.

brownmamba said...

Fair point. I grant that the idea of marriage for self-fulfillment is largely a modern development. Of course then it makes sense that Christianity would not endorse such a conception of marriage.

However, this strikes me as a development that is clearly for the better. We should embrace this development rather than freeze our social institutions so that they conform to the social imperatives of the past.