Monday, July 11, 2016

Marriage versus parenting

So far, the dispute in the Church over marriage has been concerned with just that - marriage. People's promises to each other, under the attention of God, and the union they make. And, as usual, the entire question quickly gets framed as one of 'mercy'. Are we really going to make two people live together for the rest of their lives (under penalty of being considered sinning, anyway), just because they both made a promise to each other that they were too stupid to understand the meaning or at least the gravity of at the time?  Come on, etc.

Okay: go with the 'mercy' logic. Say it's unfair, even unreasonable, to expect people to honor their marriage vows, on the grounds that they had no idea what they were getting into. Fine.

Now, turn around, and tell me that - marriage or not - they have to look after their kids for the rest of their lives. Even though you can (and more and more, people often do) make a child without even an oath being involved. Most marriages involve a hell of a lot of lead-up and planning in our culture, longer than it used to. Making kids is as easy as it ever was, and far more all-consuming than a marriage is. You can take some time away from your spouse to cool your jets. Doing that with a kid requires money or criminal neglect.

Tell me -that- isn't a potential recipe for a couple decades of misery too, or that people had no idea what they were getting into there either. Will someone be pleading the case to me that a guy shouldn't have to be on the hook for at a minimum 18 years of his life just because he made a several-minute consensual mistake? You don't expect him to stick around with his wife because he or she were ignorant. But sticking around to take care of a kid, -that- he understood the gravity of? To say nothing of the mother being expected to do the same?

Even if you put the 'abortion' phantom aside, this invites a tangle of questions, none of which have good answers. And the same general kind of logic which says 'Well, mommy and daddy are happier and (in their minds, anyway) better people when they aren't together, so it's okay when they split up' is going to be pretty easy to recycle for 'Well, mommy and daddy are happier and (in their minds, anyway) better people when you're not around, so it's okay that they left'. The only reason it hasn't happened yet is because SOMEone has to take care of that kid once it's born, orphanages are scary (and thus social stigma stays in place a bit more easily), and the compromise has been to treat the state as a father stand-in insofar as it will write checks and try to shake down dad for his share for as long as possible.

How long that situation can last is an open question, but I think it's safe to say it requires - at a minimum - a constant flow of money from the government to have any hope of lasting. And that's speaking purely in a pragmatic sense where we ignore, contrary to what feminists would like to insist, how screwed up these kids and households alike tend to be. Watch what happens if a severe economic downturn pops up.

But to circle it back, the question will eventually become: if the duties and obligations of marriage are treated as null and void largely on the grounds of 'Well, you didn't know what you were getting into', how in the world do you keep the duties and obligations of parenthood itself in place? Argument from 'Well damn it's going to be real inconvenient if we don't'? Argument from 'Well we don't care if it's tough, this is your responsibility now and if you can't handle it then stop breathing'?

14 comments:

JBsptfn said...

I agree with you that marriages involve way too much lead-up nowadays. And, they cost way too much money. Also, sometimes, I wonder if families are bad in a way because it takes people's focus off of the problems of the world, and makes it narrower (spouse, kids, money).

Switching gears: Remember that post you did on how the world looks with or without God? Well, Skeppy did a blog post on it on Sunday (I won't post it here out of respect). Him and the other stooges (Merrill, Papa Plagiarizer) are commenting up a storm.

Crude said...

Wait.

Are you telling me Skep is making blog posts in reaction to -my- blog posts, and linking here?

JBsptfn said...

Yes. I don't know where he found your link at. I didn't link it on any blog.

Crude said...

No, that's probably him desperately trying to get attention.

Would you be so kind as to give me the link to my blog he's using? I'm curious, and I don't go to his site, wherever it is.

Crude said...

Excellent, I got your message. Thanks JB.

Crude said...

Alright, this has been handled. Thanks again!

Either way, back to the topic at hand.

I disagree; 'the problems of the world' shouldn't be the concern of most people. People's concerns should be narrow. I'd go so far as to say I consider it immoral for someone in Nova Scotia to be deeply concerned about the plights of people on the other side of the world, especially if their own surroundings - much less their own lives - are in a state of shit. The modern obsession with macro-scale problems seems heavily related to thinking that there's a big correlation between 'doing the right thing' and 'doing the thing which everyone praises you for'. Getting married, being loyal to your spouse, raising your children well - to put that in perspective, that's a trick that many of the big movers and shakers with their macro-focuses cannot pull off for the life of them. Not coincidentally, that same inability underwrites a lot of other problems.

JBsptfn said...

On the last paragraph: I read your blog posts, and it seems to me that you are a conservative who wants a small government with corporations being left alone to do what they want. That can equal disaster (remember a thing called the Gilded Age?).

Also, while people should get their own lives together before budding into others, I don't think that having everyone being married robots with four kids and jobs that take up a lot of their time is going to make this society better. That's my two cents on that.

On Skeppy: What did you do to him?

Crude said...

JB,

On the last paragraph: I read your blog posts, and it seems to me that you are a conservative who wants a small government with corporations being left alone to do what they want.

Actually, not quite. I largely have animosity towards corporations, at least large multinationals. I want small government in general, but I'm also very much a nationalist and an anti-monopolist. I do not enshrine corporate independence, especially since they've demonstrated a willingness to become quasi-agents of the state (I'm talking here about Google, Facebook, etc.)

Also, while people should get their own lives together before budding into others, I don't think that having everyone being married robots with four kids and jobs that take up a lot of their time is going to make this society better.

Well, I couldn't support that for -everyone-. I'm Catholic, we have priests and nuns. But even someone who's single should focus on their community and their culture before 'the lives of people on the other side of the planet'. Granted that differs for spreading the gospel, but to be frank, even that should largely be about converting natives to preach among their own.

As for Skeppy, I just changed the blog post he's apparently linking to to explain what an idiot he is, what a plagiarist Linton is, and why I ignore them.

JBsptfn said...

That's good (about the corporate thing). I wouldn't mind a small government if the corporations don't run amok. I think that a lot of the politicians are shills for Big (put organization here). That's why I don't vote much.

I also agree with focusing on your own community and culture. The people on the other side of the planet need to deal with their own problems.

As for that blog post, I like what you did there. Awesome!!

Crude said...

I agree with you about the politicians and shills. Corporations, at a certain point, become monstrosities that impact people's private lives similar to how overreaching governments do.

And, to be clear: I don't mind assisting people in other countries. What bothers me is that this has become a fetish, almost. Not just 'in other countries' but even in our own country. We're a large country of hundreds of millions. There's little glory in helping out poor people in your own neighborhood, or helping maintain your own section of town, or even taking care of your own friends and family. People run around looking to slay much, much bigger dragons, and then are surprised when disrepair spreads.

JBsptfn said...

In some cities, you don't just get a lack of glory for helping out the homeless, but you can get in trouble with the law enforcement. Pretty sad.

Crude said...

That sort of thing depends. I think there's good ways and bad ways to help. I remember reading a while back about someone who was in trouble because he kept giving homeless free food at his house. People were outraged when that was discouraged. I wonder if anyone has ever lived right next door to someone doing that.

malcolmthecynic said...

I googled and found skep's blog, then clicked the link to your original post and started cracking up.

Then I skimmed the post and comments. It is all ridiculously uninteresting, but on the flip side, the stuff he writes there is like fifty times smarter than anything written by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Maybe they can get him to host "Cosmos" or guest star in "The Big Bang Theory". That'd be a hoot.

JBsptfn said...

Last night, I did a Google search for "Im-Skeptical Feser". On one entry, someone named Martin was really pissed at him because he would go on a lot of blogs (like DI) and just stir up trouble. I laughed my head off.