Sunday, January 23, 2011

Berger on polyamorous unions

Sociologist Peter Berger writes about the increasing popularity of polyamourous partnerships and marriages--relationships which involve multiple people. Among his examples, we hear of the Unitarian Universalists for Polyamorous Awareness, an organization created in 1999. While he is not one of us, Berger concedes that cultural conservatives appear to be empirically correct that "once you legitimate same-sex marriage, you open the door to any number of other alternatives to marriage as a union of one man and one woman."

The moral theory underlying the push for gay marriage is what we might call "consensuality"--if a union is voluntary, it is good.  Following this principle, the list of possible arrangments is limitless. It is an invitation to moral choas, a road we have been on for half a century.   

I was stunned the other day when a very conservative friend of mine said she didn't have a problem with Mormon polygamous families. I didn't ask, but I presume she would be cool with Muslim polygamy as well. Moral libertarianism--or perhaps lifestyle liberalism is a better term--cripples conservative thinking.


  1. Consensuality is the foundation of legitimate government.

    The problem isn't consensuality, but unity. Unity demands supremacy of one moral system over another. As a consequence only the moral system that is capable of grabbing centralized power is permitted.

    We see this in the present day trends toward centralized sovereignty and the consequent moral horrors.

  2. Anonymous11:02 AM

    Unitarian Universalists for Polyamorous Awareness


    Every far-flung group of people these days can congeal together (like pond scum) and use the language of civil rights to anoint their group as this-or-that "awareness". Ive even seen child molesters being referred to in print as "pedosexuals" in an attempt to clinicalize pederasts into some type of psychological phyla, in order to begin the process of legitimizing it.

  3. If these things become legitimate, they will whether or not the government ""officially" approves of them, simply by social process. Government approval may speed the process somewhat, but it is not particularly important.

    The only way to "prevent" this "chaos" is by organised social opprobrium.

    Not legalising gay marriage is simply a way for the majority to avoid subsiding an arrangement of which they either disapprove or at best do not care about either way (through marriage related tax breaks and legal benefits), which is perfectly within their right to do so should they choose (it is absurd to suggest there is a "fundamental right" to marriage - marriage is merely a social convention).

  4. Anonymous9:28 AM

    There is a difference between what you can get some majority to go along with and what will actually engender success. All the lib BS is leads to eventual failure.

  5. The only way to "prevent" this "chaos" is by organised social opprobrium.

    Lacking control of the power of socialization, or the powers of morally-legitimate propaganda, you do not get a say in meting out this opprobrium.

    Quite the opposite, in fact. It is meted out upon you. Unless you shut your mouth and keep your head down.

  6. Could we be living through a "morality flip"?

    Cf. "Brave New World", in which it was immoral not to have casual sex with all persons in one's vicinity.

  7. Anonymous12:25 PM

    Liberals approve of incest.

  8. I was stunned the other day when a very conservative friend of mine said she didn't have a problem with Mormon polygamous families.

    Why were you stunned?

    I didn't ask, but I presume she would be cool with Muslim polygamy as well.

    Would you prefer it she was instead in favor of fighting a massive crusade to eradicate the practice of Muslim polygamy?

    One of the few things I’ll give to George W. Bush is that at least he didn’t try to ram monogamy down Iraq’s throat.

  9. Also it should be noted that homosexual marriage is infinitely more unusual a development than legalized polygamy would be.

    Monogamy will likely be remembered as a blip on the radar screen of history.

    There may be some advantages to monogamy, but it must be understood that we aren’t enjoying any of those advantages now.

    All we have now is the worst of both worlds.

    Evolution toward polygamy is much more likely than a return to monogamy.

    All we have now is the poorly mimed pretence of a monogamy based society.

    People will tire of this imposture sooner than later.

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