Archive for the ‘Libertarianism’ Category
What is marriage? Is is a legal form of partnership between two people where their property rights are legally recognised and in which they can take advantage of their tax situation? Or is it a religious ceremony undertaken by two people to show their commitment to each other in front of their peers?
In modern times the two have been mixed up and this is starting to cause friction as human rights are being encouraged to be expressed. Marriage was introduced as a legal concept to allow and man and his wife to share their property with each other and their family. It was also introduced so that the state could decide who were allowed to marry and who weren’t. Originally this was the concensus of the society at the time. Since religion was a key part of society at that time, marriage was defined by relgious concepts and so only a man and woman could marry and they had to be of certain ages. Some places even stipulated that the couple had to have the same skin colour. Some places even try and stop a married couple from having children. Initially there were no problems because the law coincided with society’s views.
As society changed the laws didn’t. So we now get to the situation where marriage laws are tied in with the Christian marriage even though there are many different faiths and concepts accepted by society. Christian marriage doesn’t allow homosexual partnerships but society has changed to accept it.
To understand how to change it we need to understand the purpose of the State and religion. The State’s role is to administer society’s laws. The key points understood by any society is the right to life, the concept of property ownership, the need of a society to defend itself from others, and that no one should harm others. These are the basic tenets under which laws should be created. No more no less. To be able to adminster the state needs some money and it does this through taxes.
The purpose of religion is to allow groups of people to be controlled by authority figures. This is a variation of the caveman principle of tribal leader. This is because the human being is naturally part of a group in which there needs to be a leader. The other purpose of religion is to allow people to understand their world around them in simple terms and to accept such things as unfortunate events as “acts of god”. The human brain is not very good at coming to terms with random events and uses religion as a form of understanding it. Finally religion allows groups of people to define the way they live where they can be with like minded people. Be it with black caps, white towels, shaven heads, long beards, or what ever. Religion needs some money to create the temples and it collects them in the form of taxes and voluntary donations.
Marriage as a legal concept should not be any more than recognising that the couple in the marriage have made a contract to share their property. So any problems arising from breaking these contracts, such as inheritence and the sharing of tax, can be sorted out through a legal system. Generally a country needs a single legal system to ensure that everyone is fairly treated, but that doesn’t presuppose the existence of other legal systems which can be used if both sides of the argument freely care to use it.
Marriage as a religious concept is the understanding that (generally) a man and woman have made a commitment to each other for the rest of their lives. As part of this the relgious group allow the couple to have sex and to procreate to create more adherents to their religion.
Therefore if a couple are not part of a religious group that forbids a particular practise, then the state should not get involved in the marriage. It should allow any form of partnership and ensure that the property laws are upheld. It could mean that legal marriages between siblings are allowed as they show that they wish to make a contract in which their property (usually the home they live in) will be shared. It also means that homosexuals can legally marry to show that they wish to make a contract to share their property.
In both cases, if there are any children in the union (biological, adopted, guardianships, relatives, etc.) their rights are upheld by the state just like any other person. They are also allowed to take advantage of any property rights.
In order for this split in different marriages to take place the best course of action would be for the State to remove itself from the control of marriage. In effect marriage would be privatised and allowed to be administered by which ever group the couple belong to, be that religious or other.