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  #16  
Old Sep 23, '12, 8:02 am
IanGE IanGE is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat the elder View Post
Five mothers-in-law


As Sair writes, a man needed (and still needs) to be very wealthy to support many wives. Curiously, in the 1920s, when Kamal Ataturk was cleaning up the Muslim religion in Turkey he declared Polygamy to be illegal. It was the WOMEN who hit the streets to protest!! The custom had been that when a man took this year's model as his second wife, the first wife became head of the house and gratefully handed over bedroom duties to the new bimbo. And so on and so on, each old wife taking up responsibilities under No. 1. They LOVED the system.....
Of course in the Old Testament polygamy was Kosher. A read of Genesis 29 and 30 is revealing as Jacob's two wives, Leah and Rachel, battled with each other. When they stopped having Children they gave their maidservants to Jacob to sleep with and bear children for them by proxy. There was that curious custom of babies being born "in the Lap" i.e. the barren wife would sit on the lap of the maidservant while the baby was being born. Also Abraham and Saraiwho didn't believe that Sarai could conceive some 50 years after menopause; Sarai laughed so God renamed her Sarah, the one who laughs! and gave her maidservant, Hagar, for Abraham to sleep with and Ishmael was born in Sarah's lap. After the 90-year-old Sarah produced Isaac Hagar and Ishnael were kicked out and God prophecied to Hagar that Ishmael's offspring would be forever enemies with Abraham's seed. Shades of 9/11.
In Deuteronomy 24:1, Moses allows a man whose wife becomes DISPLEASING to him to write her a bill of divorce. She then had to leave the marital tent at once in the clothes she was wearing and nothing else. I believe civil or religious marriage ceremonies were later raised to afford some protection for women. I don't know when marriages, per se, were instituted (Deuteronomy and Leviticus go into nit-picking detail about the various laws, blessings and curses, but no mention of marriage. If anybody has researched this I'd love to know.
However, we know there were marriage ceremonies in the New Testament (e.g. Cana) and it seems monogamy had been introduced by Jesus' time.
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  #17  
Old Sep 23, '12, 8:03 am
Equites Christi Equites Christi is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

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Originally Posted by ReapReason View Post
God is not arbitrary: there is a rational basis behind all moral commandments.
I'm not sure how I feel about the wording of this. It seems to hint that reason is something outside of God, with which God is careful to act in accordance. On the flip side, I agree that more often than not when people reject religious commandments they suffer practical consequences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sair
I do appreciate the feminist critique of polygamy - it does, as it's played out in a practical sense, treat women as little more than chattel. But if we expand this out to say that it's likewise okay for a woman to have more than one husband, then this problem ceases to be.
So it's only ok to treat women as little more than chattel if men are treated as little more than chattel as well?
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  #18  
Old Sep 23, '12, 8:35 am
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Crescentinus Crescentinus is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

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Originally Posted by JRKH View Post
Have you considered that God says it's wrong precisely because of all these practical reasons?

Peace
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^This.
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  #19  
Old Sep 23, '12, 8:47 am
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starsmurf starsmurf is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

I believe it is because God does not approve of women being treated as objects to be acquired. If men do not want to be treated this way, why would women?

The comment about women protesting at the end of polygamy in Turkey was the fact that it would leave thousands of women, who were in such relationships, without a husband. They would be damaged goods as they would be divorced and no longer a virgin. They would also have to leave their children behind. It was not that women thought that polygamy was a good thing. Younger wives (often as young as 9) were treated as little more than slaves by the older wife unless the husband was infatuated, in which case the other wives would make the younger wife's life hell. Situations like this are still taking place in many countries, such as Afghanistan.

In offshoots of the Mormon faith, the wives (who are often married at the age of 13 to men in their 40's or older) have to share a bed in many homes. They are assigned a week in which to have sexual relations with their husband, sometimes in a seperate bed, but usually in the same room. The women have no say in their husband having another wife, so they have no control over who they not only live with, but have to share a bed with, and be intimate with a man in front of. The psychological impact of that alone would be grounds enough for any God of love to ban polygamy.

In cultures where women have more than one husband, it is two men (usually related) "sharing" a wife (who is again an object, not a person), not a woman having the choice to have more than one husband. So philosophical arguements about that making things "fair" are only valid for a very small number of people in "open relationships" in Western countries.

While this may not be a philosophical argument, I would've thought that the feelings and needs of women would a good enough reason for God to forbid the practice.
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  #20  
Old Sep 23, '12, 8:58 am
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lerapt78 lerapt78 is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReapReason View Post
You are all giving me practical reasons not to be in a marriage with more than one woman.

But I am asking why its "wrong".

Yes God says its wrong, but why does God say its wrong.
OP, I might be a little confused as to what argument axactly you might be seeking because in your first post you said that you were not interested in statements of faith, and then you say that God's laws are not arbitrary and therefore His commandments must have a rational basis to them. I would say that the statement below provides the rationale behind the moral law, and in fact this law should suffice even for those who do not believe in God.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRKH View Post
Have you considered that God says it's wrong precisely because of all these practical reasons?

Peace
James
If we are to consider why God finds polygyny (I assume we are specifying men having multiple wives and not vice versa) to be wrong, then aside from the practical consideration of money/inheritance/genetic diversity, etc arguments we have to consider the immorality of it to be related to the way in which a polygamous society would affect the overall happiness of mankind (which is what God wants for us). Or in other words, God says it is wrong not because of the practicality of it, but because He loves us, and it just so happens that His love is practical. Devoid of the consideration for others, the accepted practice of polygyny (indeed, either form of poygamy) reduces us to the level of animals which, absent God, is the only way in which we are capable of behaving. People of faith know that we are not simply animals, but that we are made in the image of God and are to live in a way that will please Him. The animalistic urges or tendencies we have are tools that enable us to function, but do not define us in their entirety, as we are meant to seek Him and not simply survive. Therefore, the subject of morality is a point of contention that distinguishes deists from atheists, and the reasons His laws=morality (and are not separate issues for us) is perhaps because since we accept that, it is not necessary for us to assign a rational basis behind His commands.

I'm not sure if what I explained that in a sensible way. . . .but I guess I'm saying that since God's law equals morality (right and wrong), it is not necessary to search for a reason behind it - it just is. So, as to why God says it is wrong (assuming I need to question it), I would say it's because polygyny can only bring about a general unhappiness and dysfunction, which is not in His plan for us. I think Sair touched upon this, especially when considering the outcome of polygyny on men in general, though I disagree slightly with the premise that polygyny is only about sexism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sair View Post
In fact, that is one of the main social arguments against polygamy - that those who are not wealthy are also denied the opportunity to marry and have children, whilst those men who have sufficient wealth accumulate more and more wives. That leads to large groups of young men who feel deprived and discontented with their lot..
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  #21  
Old Sep 23, '12, 8:59 am
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Crescentinus Crescentinus is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

Hordes of in-laws.
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  #22  
Old Sep 23, '12, 9:18 am
LucyLight LucyLight is offline
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Post Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

Quote:
Originally Posted by starsmurf View Post
I believe it is because God does not approve of women being treated as objects to be acquired. If men do not want to be treated this way, why would women?

The comment about women protesting at the end of polygamy in Turkey was the fact that it would leave thousands of women, who were in such relationships, without a husband. They would be damaged goods as they would be divorced and no longer a virgin. They would also have to leave their children behind. It was not that women thought that polygamy was a good thing. Younger wives (often as young as 9) were treated as little more than slaves by the older wife unless the husband was infatuated, in which case the other wives would make the younger wife's life hell. Situations like this are still taking place in many countries, such as Afghanistan.

In offshoots of the Mormon faith, the wives (who are often married at the age of 13 to men in their 40's or older) have to share a bed in many homes. They are assigned a week in which to have sexual relations with their husband, sometimes in a seperate bed, but usually in the same room. The women have no say in their husband having another wife, so they have no control over who they not only live with, but have to share a bed with, and be intimate with a man in front of. The psychological impact of that alone would be grounds enough for any God of love to ban polygamy.

In cultures where women have more than one husband, it is two men (usually related) "sharing" a wife (who is again an object, not a person), not a woman having the choice to have more than one husband. So philosophical arguements about that making things "fair" are only valid for a very small number of people in "open relationships" in Western countries.

While this may not be a philosophical argument, I would've thought that the feelings and needs of women would a good enough reason for God to forbid the practice.



This:

I'll add that people who argue that women have been in favor of polygamy or that it somehow benefits women don't know history and dont have an understanding of what marriage really is. Marriage is a complete giving of oneself to your spouse.
If a man has more than one wife than he can't totally give of himself to all of them leaving the women with a deficit.
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  #23  
Old Sep 23, '12, 9:27 am
pete 29 pete 29 is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

Are you nuts!!!! What man can keep one wife happy, let alone five?
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  #24  
Old Sep 24, '12, 2:36 am
IanGE IanGE is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReapReason View Post
You are all giving me practical reasons not to be in a marriage with more than one woman.

But I am asking why its "wrong".

Yes God says its wrong, but why does God say its wrong.
Hang on, WHERE does God say its wrong? Old Testament prophets and other men had more than one wife. OT Jews scrupulously followed the Law so polygamy obviously wasn't banned. Whatever and whenever monogamy was introduced it was to protect the women. Good thing. Tyrone Power (as Joseph Smith) did society a disfavour by "discovering" the Book Of Mormons!
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  #25  
Old Sep 24, '12, 2:50 am
Qoeleth Qoeleth is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReapReason View Post
Do Catholics have a philosophical argument for why having more than one wife is wrong.

I am not interested in statements of faith.

God is not arbitrary: there is a rational basis behind all moral commandments.
Well, since the number of males and females born is basically equal, it would seem to be in acord with the way of nature for one man to have one woman. If one man has five, there will be (on average) four men with none.

It would seem polygamy goes hand in hand with economic inequality. And since people have equal material needs, this would seem to be contrary to the way things 'should' be.

I don't think there is much of a Scriptural case against it, though.
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  #26  
Old Sep 24, '12, 2:51 am
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Crescentinus Crescentinus is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

Here's some food for thought.
Suppose a man had married 5 women. He would gain many in-laws. Suppose all those in-laws fight.
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  #27  
Old Sep 24, '12, 4:31 am
Sair Sair is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

Quote:
Originally Posted by starsmurf View Post
I believe it is because God does not approve of women being treated as objects to be acquired. If men do not want to be treated this way, why would women?

The comment about women protesting at the end of polygamy in Turkey was the fact that it would leave thousands of women, who were in such relationships, without a husband. They would be damaged goods as they would be divorced and no longer a virgin. They would also have to leave their children behind. It was not that women thought that polygamy was a good thing. Younger wives (often as young as 9) were treated as little more than slaves by the older wife unless the husband was infatuated, in which case the other wives would make the younger wife's life hell. Situations like this are still taking place in many countries, such as Afghanistan.

In offshoots of the Mormon faith, the wives (who are often married at the age of 13 to men in their 40's or older) have to share a bed in many homes. They are assigned a week in which to have sexual relations with their husband, sometimes in a seperate bed, but usually in the same room. The women have no say in their husband having another wife, so they have no control over who they not only live with, but have to share a bed with, and be intimate with a man in front of. The psychological impact of that alone would be grounds enough for any God of love to ban polygamy.

In cultures where women have more than one husband, it is two men (usually related) "sharing" a wife (who is again an object, not a person), not a woman having the choice to have more than one husband. So philosophical arguements about that making things "fair" are only valid for a very small number of people in "open relationships" in Western countries.

While this may not be a philosophical argument, I would've thought that the feelings and needs of women would a good enough reason for God to forbid the practice.
Sorry to have to point this out, but by assuming that all women want just the same things, you are perpetuating the inherent sexism that suffuses Western culture - the belief that, as Joan Smith (UK journalist and human rights activist) put it, all women are different from men but the same as each other.

Different people benefit from different relationship structures. It's tragically obvious that the supposed ideal of heterosexual monogamy just doesn't work - and will never work - for all people. Until mainstream society accepts and embraces this fact, the moral constructs applied to intimate relationships will always be inherently discriminatory.
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  #28  
Old Sep 24, '12, 1:09 pm
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lerapt78 lerapt78 is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

Just a question regarding polygyny in the OT: Weren't the references made to polygyny used as a teaching point against the practice? Didn't they illustrate all of the problems that were caused because of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sair View Post
Different people benefit from different relationship structures. It's tragically obvious that the supposed ideal of heterosexual monogamy just doesn't work - and will never work - for all people. Until mainstream society accepts and embraces this fact, the moral constructs applied to intimate relationships will always be inherently discriminatory.
I'm not sure I understand this post. I understand that extenuating circumstances may sometimes call for actions that take place "outside the norm", but in a relatively stable population (equal number of ment to women), which would be the reasons heterosexual monogamy would not be the ideal option?

I also don't find discrimination to be an inherently flawed practice (again, depending upon circumstances). I would say that discrimination toward relationships usually comes about from examining prior experiences and outcomes and deciding to follow which is best; that it is not normally decided upon on a whim.
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  #29  
Old Sep 24, '12, 1:15 pm
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tabycat tabycat is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

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Originally Posted by Pat the elder View Post
Five mothers-in-law

Not if the wives were sisters! (Then maylbe only one mother-in-law)
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  #30  
Old Sep 24, '12, 1:25 pm
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tabycat tabycat is offline
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Default Re: Whats wrong with having five wives

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Originally Posted by pete 29 View Post
Are you nuts!!!! What man can keep one wife happy, let alone five?

Five to one odds--sounds like good odds- for the wives.
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