Humanist Weddings, Equality and Aggression

This morning Facebook directed me towards a clip from ‘The Big Questions’, a BBC series that runs in the UK. They tackle three questions in an episode and the Big Question the clip is of is this: “Should humanists have equal rights to religions?” To be honest, the question made me laugh. I’ve long believed that humour is a type de-bugging, so I spent a moment trying to understand what logical or discursive error I had laughed at. My best guess is the error being that the question might be relevant in any way. I live in the UK, and I thought we were proudly not bigots. The answer struck me as so patently clear–we should not be bigots–the question became comical.

The question was raised because the UK government vetoed Humanist weddings in England just before Christmas, and they did it very quietly. This was despite their review finding a majority of people were in favour of it. In Scotland, where they used their autonomy allow Humanist weddings in 2005, Humanist weddings are now the third most popular style of wedding, over taking Catholic weddings, and resulting in more marriages as people who identify as Humanists opt for marriage instead of just cohabiting. The question also includes aspects about student education: should Humanism be a part of the Religious Education Curriculum?

To the former question–should Humanist ceremonies be legal–the answer is clearly yes, if we wish to continue being a multicultural and tolerant country. Religion has no monopoly on marriage. The Catholic Church, for example, didn’t declare any rights to define a marriage until it argued (very unbiblically) for monogamy in the 6th century and (sort of) won by the 9th century. But it was a contract between families until 1215 when the Catholic Church decreed any marriage should be public knowledge. Even then, the Church accepted that such contract had been wilfully arranged without requiring a witness until the 16th Century (according to this). Not only that, but marriage appears to be at least 4,350 years old. Religions have no special rights to marriage, except the ones they demanded when they had power (and that’s not a right, that’s tyranny). I don’t think it would be sensible to undo marriage, therefore it should be extended. I find it an interesting concession on religion’s part of acknowledge the marriages of other religions, admitting that no one religion has dominion over marriage, but many religious people still maintain the state should not be able to reclaim dominion over marriages, as has always been the case.

To that latter question (of education), the first speaker demonstrated the need for a ‘yes’ answer. Taiwo Adewuyi, the founder of Discuss Jesus, described Humanism as the “cancer of Thanksgiving” (an odd reference to an American, non-religious, holiday) and “the Devil’s PR; it is a first-class ticket to the sea of wantonness and debauchery”. Taiwo also blamed today’s “very hypersexualised culture”. But Andrew Copson, the Chief Executive of The British Humanist Association describes humanism as “the non-religious worldview that, instead of looking to revelation or authority, we look to reason and evidence to understand the universe. Instead of looking to moral rules that come from outside human beings, we look to other human being to generate value in the here and now… the Humanist view is that men and women, in the course of our lives, create and sustain meaning together…” Given the disparity here, at least one of the speakers would have benefited from an impartial education.

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain wished to thank Humanists and secularism for a very important contribution they have made to public discourse: freedom of speech. As he points out “freedom of speech was never a religious value… we’ve had to learn it from the secular world.” Another good reason that Humanism should have a position in the British education system.

The last reason I think Humanism belongs in the Religious Studies curriculum is because of the presentation of Humanism as anti-religious. The Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin was “quite puzzled” as to why an organisation “that is anti-religion is then trying to take the religious practices”. Taiwo (he is a bundle of laughs) accuses secularism of “forcing down people’s throats” the “doctrine… that there is no God”. That’s not Humanism. And it makes a similar confusion that I have faced in the comments section of other blogs, so it does need addressing. In the comments section here you will note a blogger called TFBW intentionally equate ‘nontheist activism’ with anti-theism. It’s like calling all feminists “supremacists”. It’s simply a mistake. When there is inequality and the group getting the shorter-end of the deal requests equality, it is not anti-other. Humanists are not necessarily anti-religion; feminists are not necessarily anti-men. It’s a false equivocation. It requires education, but I think the roots of the mistake are easy to discuss.

I have done a study that you too can repeat. Go to YouTube and look for videos where a secular person and a religious person discuss the place of religion or secularism in society. Draw up a table with “Religious” on one side and “Secular” on the other. Then, tally each time someone behaves aggressively: every time someone interrupts, tally that; record everyone who shouts; count the number of times the opposition is, without provocation, compared to a heinous historical event. When I do this I find the religious side to be approximately three times more aggressive than the secular side. (You can repeat this for education, by marking each misrepresentation of the opposition or of facts, or each logical fallacy. But that’s a lot harder to be accurate and unbiased.) I admit that a bulk of the aggression-scoring events are carried out by a subgroup of the religious side (Taiwo, in this example), but the reason for the aggression and simultaneous accusation that the opposition is the one being aggressive can be understood in terms of psychology: loss hurts more than gain pleases.

It is called the Endowment effect; to value things more because you have them. Religion has an artificial special place in society. People believe that marriage is a religious institution, that there should be Bishops in the House of Lords on no greater merit than being Bishops, that religion belongs in politics. In an argument for equality, the religious stand to lose this special position. Because they already have this special position, they value it more highly than people without it value it. Therefore, the greatest invested emotions are on the side that stand to lose. More emotional investment results in a higher probability aggression and ad hominen.

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49 thoughts on “Humanist Weddings, Equality and Aggression”

  1. Having participated (briefly) in religion discussion groups on FB, I can endorse your assertion that pro-religious argument is generally more aggressive. The Christian Right are particularly vocal in this respect, although, the atheist position can be just as hard line. I’m just trying to understand, in a personal way, where the connections are between faith and rationality (science, in this instance). It’s not an easy quest.

    1. I think, realistically, there are extraordinarily few and minute connections between faith and rationality. They are entirely different methods and when they are in disagreement, we tend to know which one gives the right answer. (And I don’t think I have to tell you which it is…)
      They are considered by many to be non-overlapping majesteria. That basically means they answer different questions. That’s not true. Instead, as one is capable of answer more and more questions the other recedes, claiming to answer only those questions that have not yet been answered.
      When the option that answers the receding number of questions gives an answer, it basically guesses, panders to preference or plays off of your intuition. The other one tries to look at questions dispassionately and gives us the most true answer it can, even if we don’t like it.
      Like I said, I won’t tell you which is which. But I suppose I don’t have to.

      I don’t doubt that the secular side can get aggressive. But I find it happens less frequently and to a lesser extent.

  2. Excellent! I learned much I did not know.

    People who refer to themselves as being a “person of faith” as saying “I believe things that not only I cannot prove, and neither can anybody else … and I am proud of it.” It is hard to argue with people taking such a stance without generating their ire. (I admit to invoking that ire deliberately for sport, a failing on my part.)

  3. Just so you know, the rest of the world thinks of the inbred island and its inhabitants as a bastion of the worst racism and affectation yet expressed by humankind, second only to Israel (and there’s even some question there).

    For an English citizen to express disbelief at his country acting racist is like a U.S. citizen expressing disbelief at his country starting a war with a smaller country.

    And there’s proof. That nasty rape-murder empire of yours has been deeply involved in nearly every horror the human race has experienced since the Hundred Years War. Even now, you’re producing Downton Abbey, where the head patriarch and his valet are celebrated heroes of the Boer War, where they murdered as many darkie children as they could.

      1. You’re welcome. If you’ll consider British history, you’ll notice that the course of your empire’s rampage across the world has been conjoined to attitudes just like the ones you expressed in your original post: verbose whinging about domestic social policy, used as a cover for ignoring the ongoing financial and military destruction of the rest of the world.

        Modern British atheism is only an updated version of the Anglican Church’s normal narcissistic hand-wringing. You’re the 2015 equivalent of a bunch of 1890s church ladies fretting about the scourge of prostitutes in their fair city.

        Yes, London has prostitutes, celebrities, and people who don’t like humanist weddings. Those things are tabloid fluff, obsessed over to distract you from the endless tide of imperial murder.

        1. I am fully aware that i am part of a distracted populace. But your diatribes that can’t distinguish electromagnetism, evolution and economics aren’t helping. And neither is Russell Brand. I don’t actually know how to run a country and so until i have meaningful ideas other than ‘don’t do that’ I’m not going to engage in the politically childish practice of pointing at problems and offering no solutions. Instead, I’ll do something i enjoy. I’ve been snowboarding, to the gym, and shared a light think piece.
          Like i said, when i know how to run a country, I’ll offer political ideas.

        2. “I am fully aware that i am part of a distracted populace.”

          That’s a self-contradictory statement. Your distraction is why you’re not fully aware.

          Nor do you want to be aware. You only want to enjoy yourself. Your games are paid for by the blood of children, and you call the process “politics” to justify not giving a damn.

          That’s exactly what your people have been like for centuries: self-absorbed pleasure-seekers who howl like cowards at the first suggestion that the Afrocelts are coming. More cameras! More police! Somebody save us from the world!

          You have all the mental faculties necessary to offer solutions. Deep down, you know where your hideous comforts come from. You may not be brave enough yet to stand up for the victims, but you could take a small first step, and be brave enough to acknowledge that you know what the problems are, and are too afraid to do anything about them.

          Owning up to your own selfishness and cowardice will help you become more humble, which will help you feel a little more pleasure in kinship with others, and a little less pleasure in mocking their belief systems. As one of your forebears’ victims used to say, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

        3. I’m not important, here. What you should be taking note of is not me, but all the people that your taxes and attitude are helping to kill.

      1. Do you not see how you consistent condescension, misrepresentation and patronisation of particular groups (whether it be humanists or British people) comes across as discrimination?

        1. If I’m correct, then it’s not “discrimination” in the pejorative sense. And I am correct about the reason that “humanists” are trying to take an old chattel-slavery term of ownership, drop the old definition down the memory hole, and then make-believe a new meaning for the word. That kind of co-option of our ability to communicate is a dangerous thing.

          And it’s how Britain thrives–calling the natives of Wales “welsh” for “foreigners,” then eventually changing the meaning of the word in order to conceal the hideous brutality of that particular occupation. That’s why Orwell’s criticism of that nasty island was so spot-on: because changing the meanings of old words in order to make critical analysis impossible is exactly how Newspeak works in the real world.

        2. Humanists aren’t making up the new definition of marriage. The new definition was made up long ago. And it’s less ‘made up’ more ‘evolved’. Humanists simply want to be allowed a part in the modern definition of marriage. But you don’t care about that… You care about scoring sophistry points.
          The way you talk about Britain, as if it were still the worst parts of colonialism, is discriminatory. Tell me where you’re from, and i will compare you to the wrist of your country’s history. Maybe then you’ll see why it’s a nonsense argument and discriminatory.

        3. Consider the following statement, in which I answer your question by saying that I’m from Britain.

          /begin statement

          Icelanders aren’t making up the new definition of British. The new definition was made up long ago. And it’s less ‘made up’ more ‘evolved’. Icelanders simply want to be allowed a part in the modern definition of “British.” But you don’t care about that… You care about scoring sophistry points.

          /end statement

          As you can see, using your logic, I am British. I have redefined the term “British” to mean whatever I want it to mean. Since for you, that’s acceptable for humanists vis-à-vis the term “marriage,” it must also be acceptable for me vis-à-vis the term “British.”

          Therefore, I am British.

          Now, if you don’t feel that I actually am British, you’ll understand the problems with your revision of the term “marriage.” You’ll see how language is only useful if it is not so flexible that it can mean anything at any time, depending on what the speaker wants it to mean, or else the listener and the speaker will never be able to share an understanding. That’s why Newspeak was such a good critique of modern trends in “evolving” words: it showed us how altering meanings to suit an agenda could eventually make communication, criticism, and thought impossible.

          If humanists wanted some kind of celebratory union, they should have come up with their own term. They could have held ceremonies and established contracts under this term, and after a while, their term would look far superior to those who had continued to practice chattel-slavery/marriage. The word “marriage” might have passed into disuse, as even conservative people began electing for the humanist version of the union. But we would still possess the clearly defined word “marriage” (the chattel enslavement of a woman to her male owner), giving us a starting point from which to discuss our preferred social arrangements.

          Doing it the “humanist” way–trying to change the definition of marriage–leaves us with no means by which we might remember the horrors of the past. It’s as if employers began “evolving” the meaning of the word “slavery” to mean, simply, “employment.” A thousand years from now, people might cordially discuss what kind of business they slave for–and in so doing, they will have forgotten what it really meant to be a slave. They will have cleaned over their history.

          The children of a thousand years from now might not be able to recall the history of chattel marriage, because the humanists of today eliminated those thoughts from our collective consciousness in an attempt to selfishly traditionalize their own behavior. Ironic–especially given that, lacking a historical basis for comparison, chattel marriage is more likely to return in the future than it would have been if we had left the word, and our understanding of it, in our lexicon.

        4. I get really tired with having conversations with people who insist on misrepresenting what I have said to them. The problem is now the only way to progress with conversation is to go backward and say again what I have already said. I will have to repeat this process until you make a comment in which you represent my comment back to me accurately.
          It is not my revision of the definition of marriage. It is not humanists revision of the definition of marriage. It has been an evolution and change in the way culture practices some of its rites. Nothing to do with humanism, and nothing to do with me. You know full well that in non-Humanist settings, religion doesn’t mean “chattel” or “slavery”, and it hasn’t done in either of our life times. The fact that you know this means your attempt to accuse me of redefining words to suit my cause of bullshit. It is you, holding on to a long-since archaic definition, who is playing the game of sophistry here.

          So, I restate my point once more: there is a cultural rite, a celebration a pair may have to announce their desire to be joined together, an agreement that two people are close enough to join their property and their offspring, a ceremony in which people can make a declaration of love: weddings and marriage. Humanists, as a part of modern culture, want to be allowed to be a part of that.
          They are being denied the ability to be a part of that because religions (mistakenly) think marriage belongs to them. It doesn’t and never has, and when they seized marriage and demanded authority over it they created something we today would not recognise nor want.

          If you can’t address the actual point, I won’t be responding to you again. You really don’t want to have a conversation, just a soapbox for your unintelligibility. And I don’t like you enough to afford you it here.

        5. “Tell me where you’re from, and i will compare you to the wrist of your country’s history. Maybe then you’ll see why it’s a nonsense argument and discriminatory.”

          Such stunning, terrible narcissism! The worst of your country’s history is not over. It is now. Right now. The British financial empire is still immiserating millions of men, women, and children, to this very day. London’s banks, corporations, and affiliates are, this very second, extracting resources from the African continent and exterminating the natives who resist. In Europe and Asia, Britain is working with America and NATO to encircle Russia, China, and Iran, playing about with threats of nuclear world war in order to stabilize the energy flows that keep an inbred “constitutional monarchy” functioning.

          Have the centuries of pillaged gold and souls been given back? Has London even attempted to give recompense for anything it has ever done? No. The worst of your country’s history is still going on.

          If the scum of Britain wanted redemption, they would begin by letting Scotland and Northern Ireland go free, and offering billions of dollars in payment for the genocides and thefts conducted against those peoples. Scottish seniors voted to stay with the U.K. because independence would’ve meant losing their pensions. Yet they wouldn’t need those pensions if the heartless princes would give back hundreds of years of pillaged goods.

          While we’re at it, you owe Africa far more than that. The value of the oil and copper that London has extracted from the continent numbers in the trillions of pounds, and that doesn’t even count the priceless nature of the many, many lives that were snuffed out by the rampaging empire.

          And you would dare claim that these things are history? As BP destroys Angola and Mozambique to this very day, making billions for white investors while black children starve to death in the ruins of their parents’ villages? For shame.

        6. “the scum of Britain”
          “inbred “constitutional monarchy””
          “Stunning, terrible narcissism”
          “British financial empire” (nice equivocation there!)
          Tell me, in all this bullshit, where is my motive to respond to you?

          Is economics pretty, ethical or fair? No. And I have never said they are. And I’ve never defended the actions of colonialists or oil companies. Neither am I an oil company nor a colonialist. Come to think of it, neither is the UK a colonialist or an oil company. We have long-since established your heart-felt disdain for the way economic bodies can pervert any concept of justice for money. I share your disdain. But when you bring it into conversations where it simply doesn’t belong (such as this one) I am simply going to be condescending and intentionally dissocial (which, by the way, is closer to my actual personality disorder. I am closer to a sociopath than I am a narcissist. That should help next time you choose to replace argument with muck-slinging.)

          Britain gave Scotland a vote on going free. They voted to stay. It had one of the best young-people turn outs in history, so saying it was in fear of losing a pensions seems a poor excuse to me.
          Britain doesn’t owe Africa anything. Just like it would be meaningless for the President of the US today to apologise for slavery, it would be nothing but charity for the UK to repay stuff stolen in colonialism. In both cases, all the transgressors are long-dead. And justice tends to eschew the idea of the guilt down a blood line.
          Now, if you have a problem with BP and banks, refer to them as BP and banks. Referring to them as Britain really damages your case. You come across as a conspiratorial dumb-arse who can’t tell the different between a country and a company. You simultaneously denigrate Britain for having over-reached its authority in the past (colonialism) and request that Britain extends its authority to control BP in a foreign venture. Make up your mind! BP’s operations in Angola are for Angola’s politicians and laws to catch (as an autonomous country), or Britain can enforce itself globally. Which is it? I know I agree that Britain over-reached in the past, so I would like to see the autonomy of Angola, personally.
          But hey, if you’re a non-interventionist until you change your mind and apply all things at whim, whatever. It’s not an intellectual discussion worth having.

        7. “[T]here is a cultural rite, a celebration a pair may have to announce their desire to be joined together, an agreement that two people are close enough to join their property and their offspring, a ceremony in which people can make a declaration of love: weddings and marriage.”

          Okay, so to you, it’s “archaic” that marriage was originally chattel slavery, and therefore, because it’s “archaic,” the original meaning of the term doesn’t matter.

          What makes it archaic? According to you, there are religions out there, the members of which claim that marriage “belongs to them,” and they wish to define marriage religiously. And you wish to define marriage “as a part of modern culture,” excluding their definition and replacing it with your own.

          Why is your preferred definition correct, and their preferred definition incorrect?

          Is it because of majority modern opinion, or political power? In that case, their legislation wins. Humanists, and humanist marriage, have been excluded by the majority power of a (theoretically) democratic legislature. Therefore, you are wrong by your own standard.

          Another example for you:

          A thousand years from now, Christian extremists have seized control of the entire world. All professional medical associations have, for the past several decades, classified atheism as a mental illness. Those atheists who do not convert during their time in re-education are incinerated.

          Presume that you live in such a society. Do you believe that you are insane? If 100% of licensed medical doctors diagnose you as insane, and 99% of the populace calls you insane, do you:

          1) Accept that you are actually insane, because the word “insane” now means “atheist”?

          2) Accept that you are actually insane, because expert scientists have decreed it so?

          Or, like me, do you take the unpopular but true route, and conclude that:

          3) The entire society is insane, but not you, and

          4) It was wrong of them to alter the definition of insanity just because they wanted to “evolve” culture in a more Christian direction.

          Of course, in the example, you’re not insane. Perhaps you’re not correct, in the sense that maybe there is actually an old man living in the clouds, but you’re not “insane” in the sense that “insane” was originally conceived of as a term (i.e., to refer to someone who had intense delusions that made them literally unable to cope with reality on a day-by-day basis).

          That’s what you’re missing about marriage. Even if your revised definition of “marriage” is nicer than the original use of the term, it’s still incorrect. If we allow language to be altered every time a majority opinion says so, then we lose our own past and future in the process.

          You yourself say of marriage, for example, “It doesn’t and never has, and when they seized marriage and demanded authority over it they created something we today would not recognise nor want.”

          That’s true, in the sense that modern religions seized marriage. However, what you’re attempting to do is to re-seize marriage. You’re carrying out the same act that religions did.

          Why not just come up with a new ritual, instead of trying to pervert old rituals to make them yours?

        8. (1) Why is the archaic term archaic?
          Because it has fallen out of use among all people, including the religions which claim to own marriage. I am not replacing the ‘proper’ definition with my own, I am recognising what the word means.
          Your persistence to cling to archaic definitions is still sophistry.
          (2) Why is “their” preferred definition incorrect?
          Whose? Who is there that still insists marriage is a chattel slavery? Religion doesn’t. Humanists don’t. UK law doesn’t. Who are you supposing the opposition is?
          (3) Humanist weddings are overthrown by the same method of modern-definition of marriage.
          Wrong. Fractally wrong. Wrong in every conceivable way. The method of defining marriage has been to look at what people, religions and law mean when they say marriage. Nothing about that method excludes humanist weddings. If you think that it’s a case of ‘the majority’, then you’re wrong again: the majority of people in the UK are in favour of Humanist weddings. Secular weddings are already available, so it’s not even a submission to the assumed power of religions.
          (4) What if “Insanity” was redfined to mean “Atheism”.
          Perhaps you should look up the definition and symptoms of insanity. Insane people do not know they are insane.
          Perhaps you should also take some time to consider history. Modern culture is a testimony to the untenable nature of such a claim. Your thought experiment doesn’t warrant proper investigation because the premise has been demonstrated to be untenable. That’s how atheists escaped the death penalty.
          (5) You’re just trying to re-seize marriage yourself.
          Wrong, again. having noted what the current definition of marriage is, without hoping to make any alterations at all, using only the actual definition (not an archaic definition and not a pet-preference of a religion, but the actual definition — making no changes to it), I am simply stating Humanists have equal rights to marriage as anyone else.

          Unless you have something new (and relevant) to bring to this discussion, we’re done. Any reasonable reader has enough fodder here to understand our positions.

        9. “Britain doesn’t owe Africa anything.”

          Okay. Here’s a hypothetical for you:

          It’s 2015, an alternate timeline. In this timeline, Hitler won WW2. He killed 3/4 of the inhabitants of the United Kingdom, and shipped the rest off to penal colonies in New South Germany (which used to be called “Australia”). The Nazi army establishes Hitlergrad as the capital of New North Germany (which used to be called “England”), and both New North Germany and New South Germany are placed under military rule. All former Australians and British are considered non-citizens, and their settlements are regularly demolished whenever resources are found nearby. Military police patrol the whole of those lands, regularly raping and killing any native they feel like.

          The Third Reich reaps billions in profits selling Irish girls as concubines to wealthy Arabs. The the crown jewels are sold to American investors, and the contents of the British museum are sold to a Japanese corporation. A fleet of cargo ships carries Big Ben to Dubai, where an oil tycoon hollows the clock out and turns it into a luxury hotel.

          Occasionally, the New South Germaners plead for local control of the Sydney Opera House or fishing resources off the coast of New South Germany. They beg the Third Reich for mercy, saying that they are starving, poor, and have no hopes of recovery. They ask that their land be returned to them.

          The response of Hitler’s daughter Angela is, “The Third Reich doesn’t owe New South Germany anything.”

          An even easier hypothetical is, suppose some bloke comes to your flat, beats you up, leaves you crippled, steals all your money, then kills your entire family. The robber goes on to become a millionaire, while you languish in poverty.

          Does the robber “owe” you anything? All the things he stole were your things.

        10. In response to the “easier hypothetical”… you have gotten rid of the guilt down the bloodline. No accident, I’m sure.
          As to what you must therefore consider the “harder hypothetical”, do you really think that is an accurate analogy of Britain’s political presence in other countries? Again, you get rid of the guilt down the bloodline. See, in your example, it is the Third Reich (the political party) that is continuing to oppress people through a police presence etc. Thus, the Third Reich -now- is responsible for what it is doing -now- and each individual is responsible for what they have done in their lifetime. However, Britain does not have such a political and police presence globally.
          This conversation is also over. You’ve become dishonest and disingenuous in the way you’re conducting yourself.

        11. “Wrong, again. having noted what the current definition of marriage is, without hoping to make any alterations at all, using only the actual definition (not an archaic definition and not a pet-preference of a religion, but the actual definition — making no changes to it),”

          Do you understand that what is “current” to you is not “current” to all people who have ever lived?

          How often should people be able to redefine words to be “current”? Every thirty years? Every century? Every five years? Every five minutes?

        12. Spend 15 minutes looking up the philosophy of language.
          Or words that have changed meaning.

          Do something other than bother me about an entire philosophical discipline. I can’t a conversation with you about the different between electromagnetic radiation and speciation of biological units due to change and adaptation over time. The idea of engaging with you over a philosophical point seems like the ultimate in fatalistic nihilism.

          But here’s clue for you, to get you started. Words mean the intended definition. If there isn’t mass agreement, then language falls apart. This grass-roots behaviour allows for change.

      1. You know, it’s interesting…when it’s time to promote marriage, you talk about love, celebration, familial security, etc…

        But when you’re disparaging the defenders of traditional marriage, you talk about how marriage is really just “chattel slavery” where men own women for breeding.

        You’ll adopt any argument that supports your point of view, and change the argument at a whim. Traditional marriage really is about the chattel slavery of a breeding wife to her husband/owner. Why don’t you make up a new tradition that can actually be about love and celebration, instead of trying to nerf real marriage to suit your whims?

        1. Sorry, in the future I’ll get a solicitor to read over my comments to make sure i appropriately distinguish between traditional, biblical and modern marriage practices.
          (NB this is sarcasm.)

  4. When you mention about: financial and familial security, declaration of love, celebration.

    Currently, based on the life of Western either Europe or US. All above can be achieve without being married.

    1) Declaration of Love? Sex outside marriage are norm. Lost of virginity among teen are uncounted. People living together are norm. So, the meaning of “love” itself is being question.i
    Or it just, a comfort being label as “husband” and “wife”.
    2) Familial security? It mean, when you are being make love and accidentally impregnated. Someone need to take care of the baby? Is that the meaning?
    3) Celebration? One day celebration is being praised? No wonder so many people are divorce after married. Married is not about ritual. If it was about ritual, I believe that was the most stupid answer I ever heard about marriage.

    I don’t want to pin point to Humanist or any religion.

    When you are such person, a person who screw any woman you meet, or changing girls like diaper or selling the a wife to pornography. In this context, the marriage is meaningless, it just only a piece of paper. The respect of marriage is not there.

    In term of marriage, Religion or Atheist is not an issue. The issue is, at the same time, Atheist/Humanist who the one promoting “sexual liberation”, “multi-partner”, “homosexual”, etc. So, there are clash between fundamental of “marriage” and what your being promoting.

    In the end, it just trying to imitate “religious ritual”. (In this context, Catholic ritual of marriage)

    1. Normally your view is quite respectable. But your view of people screwing everyone they meet and of selling wives to pornography and of marriages lacking respect doesn’t warrant a response. The idea that familial security is only needed in the case of accidentally impregnating someone also doesn’t warrant a response.

      The only idea you stated that deserves a response is this: “In the end, it [is] just trying to imitate [a] “religious ritual”. (In this context, Catholic ritual of marriage)”.
      Do you not find it suspicious that Catholics have one idea of marriage, Muslims have another and Jews have another and each religion recognises that the other religions have their own concept of marriage, yet they all think it is religious? Is it not strange that all religions will accept other religions’ wildly different ideas of marriage, but still think religion owns marriage? Should Humanists not be allowed marriage in the same way that Christians and Jews are?

      1. I viewing the issue that are also happens in my neighboring country and the reality happens around me and I know it happens. It sound gross, but we need to face the reality. Man “selling” his wife for prostitution. Its happen.

        It may happens in your country in “lighter” way, here (not in my country, but in neighboring country) it heavy weight.

        I don’t see suspicious seeing other religion “marriage”.

        In philosophy of my religion, marriage is a needs/nature of any human being. Therefore, as long you are human being, you are require to married and to get married.

        As per main philosophy, we are recognize all other religion “marriage” as marriage.

        Now, the issue is “Should Humanists not be allowed marriage in the same way that Christians and Jews are?”

        You are not Christian or Jews, why you want to get married as Christian or Jews? If, I were Christian or Jews, I also will question this issue.
        The question is not for Christian or Jews to answer it. It Humanist to answer it.

        Why Humanist want to get married similar to Christian or Jews?

        #Note : I know the answer earlier is quite provocative and over reacting, provocation sometime will push our imagination/ answer to the limit.

        1. When I say Humanists want to right to get married in the same ways Jews and Christians do, I do not mean that the wedding ceremony should be the same (after all, Christian and Jewish ceremonies are different to each other). I mean that Humanists should have equal rights to marriage and the legal protection that offers them (as well as the cultural status).

        2. Then, Humanist should have equal rights to marriage and the legal protection that offers them.
          #Cultural status are only achieve if you have the numbers. Without number, you are nobody and commonly associate with race or ethics. Not religion.

          After being recognize. In a view of humanist.
          Who are humanist? What are the roles of marriage to humanist? What are moral value of marriage

          In view of Christianity, (i believe). They will think that: are “they” (humanist) will destroy their traditional moral value of marriage?

          Why I ask this?
          Because “religion” thinking based on biased community structural compare to “humanism” which based on biased individual structural of thinking.

          When someone from “individual” basis clash with someone that “community” basis. Like it or not, the clash of ideology will happen.

          When it happen, I rather stand with community basis of thinking.

        3. “When it happen, I rather stand with community basis of thinking.”

          So would Allallt. If the Taliban took over his home, he’d adopt all their definitions, and call all previous definitions “archaic.” If Scientologists took over the year after that, he would adopt their definitions, and call all previous definitions “archaic.”

        4. That the reason humanist keeps clinch to religion value even they against it.

          They, themselves (humanist) will can not agree even with among them self. That the problem when you don’t have tenets or fundamental to agree with.
          They will criticize and against it, at same time can not offer an optional/option to something that they against.

        5. Still, you require to come out with own definition, meaning, purpose, requirement, exemplary, moral, rules, leadership, etc.
          Religion have facilitate the value for a long time. Denying this fact not going make you anywhere.

          The question, are you going to embrace the same system and trying replacing with new system.

        6. I’m not coming up with my own definition. The definition I am sharing is my interpretation of what the working definition is. I’m not changing the definition, I’m telling you what marriage is. I’m not trying to change marriage to suit my requirement; I’m explicating the definition for which humanists should be able to join in with.

        7. Hifzan is not coming up with his own definition. The definition he is sharing is his interpretation of what the working definition is. He’s not changing the definition, he’s telling you what marriage is. He’s not trying to change marriage to suit his requirement; he’s explicating the definition which necessarily excludes humanists from joining in.

        8. Perhaps, in Malaysia, that is what marriage is legally and socially like. I doubt it, it seemed very multicultural when I was there. But maybe.

        9. Perhaps, in some hippie commune, humanists can legally and socially get married. I doubt it, it seems to me the hippie communes are all gone. But maybe you live with unicorns on the moon, where words can change their meaning whenever you feel like it.

          Actually, wasn’t it Lewis Carroll–who was both a mathematician and an Anglican deacon–who, along with Orwell, critiqued the British tendency to make up new definitions for words whenever convenience suits them?

        10. If people can change the meanings of words whenever they wish to, then they destroy language itself, turning it only into a tool of the powerful.

          For someone sitting comfortably on the inbred island, trusting that international bankers will always meet your every need, that philosophy seems appealing. For the rest of the planet, it’s not.

        11. (By the way, what makes my aggression “passive” aggression? I thought it was more “naked” aggression, or just simply plain old “aggression”…?)

  5. Language root : Arab (nikah) = bind, knot, bond, combine.

    Definition of marriage : A (1) contract/bind system that (2) allows (unallowable interaction, sexual, fusion, companion, etc) between (3) man and (4) woman that are (5) allowable to married according to the (6) law.

    Purpose of marriage : To achieve happiness and peace as family and blessing according to the law.

    Wisdom of marriage:
    1) To fulfill religion recommendation.
    2) To maintain the purity of descendant
    3) To take care ourselves from unlawful act. (fornication)
    4) To produce a quality human being
    5) To form a basic social triangle toward bigger society.
    6) To form a bigger human network

    Law of marriage:

    Should married – Basic law (All person should married)
    Recommended to married – A person that fulfill the requirement to married
    Must married – A person that fulfill the requirement to married and if he not, he will do unlawful act
    Not recommended to married – A person that not fulfill the requirement to married
    Forbid to married – A person who married to bring harms to girls or vengeance.

    (all above are direct translated Islamic Law of Marriage- Introduction)

    In philosophy of my religion, marriage is a needs/nature of any human being. Therefore, as long you are human being, you are require to married and to get married.
    State act : A person must register a marriage with Authorities.

    In Malaysia, other religion have their own way according to their religion or law. They have their own way/laws. At the same time, there are an intercept with State Law that bind them in Family Law.

    If, in the case above, Humanist are required to register with Registers of State to inform their marriage to State. This act are require to protect their rights, entitlement, etc according to Laws.

    The issue is, are they sync together with basic understanding of marriage?

    In marriage, every other religion have their own definition as a basic to their fundamental philosophy.

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