Whats wrong with having many wives?

If we believe what is written in the Scriptures then there is nothing wrong with it?
So, who changed things?
Was it the same twisted minds that changed the Sabbath?


I don’t believe what is written in the scriptures. I believe that it is a collection of thousands-year-old fairy tales and that taking anything therein literally is a recipe for disaster.

Nonetheless, I also believe that if a group of people want to live in a polyamorous relationship, and that they’re all consenting adults, then they should be free to go do that.

Of course, that philosophy also applies to a woman who would like multiple husbands, gay marriages, and hot, steamy college dorm orgies.

Whatever floats your boat, you know?

Men having many wives means that more women will end up married. This will result in more ugly women being married. (Think about to quality of pitching in the MLB since expansion.) Married women tend to have sex with their husbands. That act could produce children. These children will tend to be as physically unattractive as his/her parents. The female children will be more deformed than the parents, and on and on. Within a few generations, you won’t be able to staff a Hooters.
So one man, one woman, and unless a lot of alcohol is involved. Much fewer ugly children and more strip clubs.

SSG Schwartz

What’s wrong with having many husbands?

So long as consenting adults are involved, there’s nothing ethically wrong with polygyny. In the times of the Hebrew tribes, and in many pastoral societies, it was a legitimate way to make sure widowed women were taken in, and their children had food and shelter.

That being said, there is ample room for abuse. This happens especially when girls are raised to believe that their own possible fate is to be married to a patriarch when they are not yet at a majority age. There is very little room for them to determine their own lives, and they can be shamed and driven into a relationship in which they do the lion’s share of the work and get little in return. Because there is no “legitimate” reason for a girl to remain unwed (because that guy, right there, is ready to marry her), she is often denied the opportunity to pursue education, work outside the home, and manage her own finances. This is a recipe for abuse.

The men who indulge in polygyny often do so to cement political bonds with other men–the fathers and brothers of the girls they marry. They often use their power to rule over a larger society, whether that society consents to it or not.

In the end, those who are most harmed by polygyny are actually the men. If, for instance, polygynous marriage is expected and the average number of wives a man takes is just two, that still means that half the men in the society will never marry. If you’re looking at this from a Biblical point of view, that’s extremely unhealthy, as man was meant to have a mate. If you increase the average to four wives, well, somewhere around 75% of the men in a society will then be without the Biblically prescribed helpmate. That’s ignoring the common medical knowledge that married men live longer and happier lives than single men.

The Bible? I always figured it was some sort of union rule. Try having two girlfriends some time. See if you don’t end up in section 17 of the Brendan Byrne Arena.

Also, in a society that embraces Polygamy, what role do unwed men play? Maybe its just me, but I perceive polygamist men to associate many wives with social power and/or sexual prowess. I’ve heard that in polygamous sects in Utah teenage boys are actually driven out of communities, to eliminate competition from older men seeking additional wives.

I would think a big problem is a restless majority population of unwed males feeling like they are out of place in a society that puts a value on being married, or for that matter having multiple wives. Particularly since polgamists seem to prey on jailbait-age girls, there’s very little left for an 18yo guy to pick from.

Call me a misogynist, but I thought SSG Schwartz’s explanation was hilarious :stuck_out_tongue:

Bigamy: 1 wife too many

Monogamy: see Bigamy

Honest, dear. It’s only a joke. Don’t get out the…

I’m okay with it, as long as I get to pick out our next wife. I want one who cleans, please.

I once worked with a Somalian guy named Daler. Daler told me he was a practicing Muslim with three wives. He also said these wives were in other countries, so I take his story with a grain of salt. I did find this anecdote amusing:

“One wife? Is no good,” he said, making a swiping gesture with his hands. “Two wives? Is okay, but no good. Three wives? Is good.” Here paused before continuing, “Four wives? Is very bad.”

I have no idea what, if any, Muslim proscriptions exist against polygamy. Perhaps the problem lies not in having multiple wives but, as Daler so succinctly put it, how many wives one has.

My father-in-law, deceased for many years now, had another wife apart from my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law was his main wife, and the other lady was what is called here his “minor wife.” They suspect he had a third one hidden away somewhere, too.

It’s considered normal for successful men here – especially of Chinese ethnicity, like my father-in-law – to take a second wife, although the practice has been offically outlawed in Thailand for almost a century now. It’s not kept very secret, though, and is widely accepted. In my father-in-law’s case, his other family mirrored his main one. My wife is one of three daughters and a son, while in his other family he had three sons and a daughter. They all attended our wedding, but the two families never did get along very well, and now that my father-in-law is dead, I don’t think much, if any, contact is maintained.

The main wife is usually, from what I can tell, not happy about the situation. I understand that at one point, my father-in-law wanted both families to live under the same roof, and my mother-in-law then HIT that roof, putting her foot down that that was NOT going to happen. It was just as well, because it gave him a place to go when my mother-in-law got on his nerves too much. I don’t know if the main marriage was an arranged one, but it was no secret that he loved his minor wife best; THAT was definitely a love match.

It’s not only ethnic Chinese. Ethnic Thais will often take minor wives, too, and it does not seem always to be a matter of wealth. I have a friend who lives in the Northeast, the poorest area of Thailand and where wages are lowest. A fellow American farang (Westerner), he’s told me he knows Thai men earning only US$100 or $200 a month who still take a second wife. He doesn’t know how they can afford it, but there seems to be no shortage of candidates to be a minor wife. Minor wives seem to enjoy a certain degree of social status, although I can’t figure out why a lady would put up with it if the man were not rich.

Another American I knew who used to live in the Northeast (he’s back in the US now) fell head-over-heels in love with his Thai-language tutor. I believe he was actually making plans to take her back home with him. But apparently the attraction was one-sided, and his heart was shattered one day when she arrived for his scheduled language lesson to announce that it would be their last session, because she was going to be the minor wife of some low-level local official. He pulled quite a drunk in Bangkok soon after.

Who gives a fuck what was written in scriptures 2000 years ago? Ok, one might find it historically interesting, and it shows that some people then had similar thought processes to some people today. So what?

You can’t seriously mean that something written 2000 years ago must be followed as the letter of the law today?

If so, that would make you a dogmatic moron.

Thngs change, dipshit. By and large for the better. Or do you prefer slaves and crucifixion?

If you believe what is in the Scriptures you are ignorant, a fool or a lunatic. And if you take it as a moral guide, especially the Old Testament you are either an outright monster or have never actually read it.

That being said, having many women marry one man leaves no women for other men, which can cause social problems.

Most people don’t seem to like it, male or female. Not “wrong” so much as unpopular. Which is too bad, since it would eliminate the gender balance problem produced by polygyny.

Most likely, the change occurred when the Jewish heretics who were getting Christianity started began to expand into the Roman world. Judaism tolerated polygyny, but there was no provision for it under Roman law. (The Romans tolerated a bit of polygyny among the various nations they had conquered and they tolerated (not to say embraced) concubinage, but as Christianity became a religion of the Roman empire, the Christians defined it in terms of Roman law and monogamy became the rule.)

Of course, if you expand your rant and begin to complain about “unfairness,” I look forward to your espousal of polyandry, as well.


Isn’t that a children’s book character?

I personally think that consenting adults (emphasis on “consenting”… and “adult”, come to think of it) should be allowed to make whatever civil marriage arrangements they want. Including the ones I personally find a bit squicky. The crime of “bigamy” should be eliminated.

A new crime of “marriage fraud” should be created to take care of fraudulent situations like “has another family I wasn’t told about”, which have until now been considered part of the “bigamy” crime.

If you do choose a “one partner only, for life” marriage contract, you should live up to it. Breaking your marriage vows, whatever they may be, by cheating or whatever, would be prosecutable by other marriage partners as marriage fraud. If you need change, renegotiate.

I know, I know, that’s too sane and sensible. No one will ever want to change. But enough people wanted to change that Canada got gay marriage, and civilisation here hasn’t collapsed yet. So, who knows? Maybe it’ll happen.

Re: polygamy…

These examples pf polygyny that people always drag out with women being multiply married to patriarchs before they are of age… that’s already prosecutable under existing law, aren’t they? They would be as illegal id there was only one underage woman and one patriarch, correct?

There’s also a financial end of it: is the income of the whole group adequate to support in acceptible style the total number of adults & children?

Which is apparently a problem in some of the current polygamous groups here in America. Legally, the second (third, fourth…) wife isn’t married, so she can collect welfare and so forth for herself and the children. Some people who don’t much care who beds who get bent out of shape over the idea of one man setting up several households and having several families that he knows going in he can’t and won’t support. Why should he be allowed to have all ‘the fun’ and leave the taxpayers to pick up the tab?

But remember, if good-looking men can have multiple wives, then perhaps more ugly men will end up staying single, and will not produce offspring carrying their ugly genes. This will counteract the effect you postulate of having more ugly women passing on their ugly genes. So we might end up with no net uglification of the gene pool after all. Whew! :rolleyes:

Muslim religious law permits polygyny (multiple wives) up to a maximum of four wives. Some Muslim countries have civil laws that recognize both polygynous and monogynous marriages: that is, when a man marries for the first time he and his wife must legally declare whether this is a monogamous marriage or not. If not, the husband may subsequently marry up to three other wives.

Well, if one partner is setting up families that cannot be supported within their marriage(s), that’s clearly some sort of scheming to get state benefits, but the state isn’t doing itself any favours, by outlawing a solution, polygamy, in which all partners could collectively take responsibility for themselves.

Scripture also endorses slavery and genocide. Maybe it’s not really the best template for building a modern society.