We are the aliens, we are the natives
Analytic philosophy be damned, marriage really is defined this way: a man-and-woman in the most natural sense.
But, wisdom to praised, how unlike to the unfallen world is the right way to live in the fallen one.
“Modesty in all things“, when applied to things both righteous and foolish (the respective epitomes of which are charity/love and selfishness/murder), becomes a contradiction and a meaninglessness worse than the following self-referential ‘statement’:
“There is no reason not to assent to the claim which this statement makes.”
There are three kinds of logical circularity. The most trivial, or empty, kind of such circularity is seen in the above ‘statement’.
The next-most important kind of logical circularity is the insufficient kind of logical circularity. This kind has actual content, but the content is short of express qualitative sufficiency on its topic. Most normal statements in natural language lack express content sufficient to be analytically fully self-explanatory. But, when misconstrued as fully self-explanatory, such statements are twisted into this second kind of logical circularity, such that the subjects of the statements are reframed within the ‘principle’ of ‘the logical extreme’.
The, third, and most important, kind of logical circularity is the sufficient kind. The above definition of marriage, as a man-and-woman in the most natural sense, is an example of this sufficient kind. Richard Dawkins’ claims about our genes seem to be an attempt at such sufficiency, though he also takes exception to his own seeming attempt at that sufficiency.
Dawkins’ ‘digital’ mutation of ‘good science’ teaches that the circular ‘account’ of the existence of mind-and-feeling is actually a natural linear account: mind-and-feeling is mere product of indifferent matter; the pleasures of constructive activity are in some sense added by ‘Mother Nature’ after-the-fact so as to induce/trick us into engaging in such activity. As if such activity is most essentially unpleasant or non-attractive to us creatures who already do think and feel.
For his desire to be rid of toil and death, Dawkins’ infers that the dominion powers of mankind implies that the material world potentially is entirely comprehensible to him, in his heady presumption that the Ground of Being, that is, the Most Concrete Kind of Entity, most basically is a teleologically inert, cold, indifferent, unknowing kind.
Reality is made open for sake of encouraging the good and true, not closed for sake of discouraging the bad and false. But, the world into which we all are born is full of bad things. So, we need wisdom. Wisdom to know what is sacred from what is ‘common’. Wisdom to know, even, what is life from what is death, what is joyous work from what is needed toil, and what is needed toil from what is undeed.
So again, marriage is a male and a female in the deepest and most direct kind of association with one another. Such an association is inherently self-sustaining, that is, marriage is most essentially its own sovereign society. Ideally it also is progenitive. But, ideally, there would be no disease or death, so go figure.
So, in a world of death and disharmony, marriage is a commitment, and a community-binding vow, to remain married. Is there any doubt about this? There thus is a normative need to avoid all socio-sexual ‘relationships’ which are not entered by such commitment. After all, in the fallen world, the normal expectation-and-hope of human socio-sexuality includes precisely this committed kind of socio-sexual relationship. It is easy for us fallen individuals to imagine for ourselves the benefits of one, but it is not easy for us to provide those benefits to another fallen individual.
So, now, marriage—of the enduring kind―consists in the right of two to act on their mutual compatibility; in which their right to so act does not consist in their compatibility, but in their competence in face of factors weighing against the endurance of their action.
So, the wider society has a right to demand enduring marriages. So, if contra-enduring factors exist or may exist, then two persons who wish to be married to one another had best have, and otherwise be provided, the requisite competencies.
Short of such competencies within a reality of contra-enduring factors, and short of a ‘rationalistic’ carefree indifference on the part of the wider society, the two do not have the right to act at all as a sexual/socio-sexual couple, that is, to be married. (Rights are creatures of expectations, but not simply of the most short-term expectations, but of every basic expectation, both short-and long-term, on the part of all whom an act impacts, including all yet-to-be-born).
So, marriage is a sustainable culture regardless of the presence or absence of disharmony in that culture. In other words, marriage is the deepest and most personal kind of society. So, marriage is, in truth ‘society writ small.’
All this is why, in face of disharmony between the rightful needs of the two genders, and between the variety of persons that exist as either male or female, marriage as a binding vow is the first form and act of civilization.
Now you know.
So, civilization is just the story of romance and disharmony: disharmony between everyone and everything, but romance between exactly two.
Marriage is defined as the direct and most meaningful kind of relationship between a man and a woman, and, ideally, includes the reproduction of additional marriages by way of offspring. For this reason does a fallen world require regulation of marriage in order to protect marriage and thereby to protect civil society in general.
As it was in the beginning, the purpose of man and woman is a direct and most meaningful association with each other, including the production of offspring who themselves find their own instance of such a meaningful association. In short, the purpose of marriage to anything that stands outside of marriage is the reproduction of marriage. In other words, the reproduction of society. Now must it be civil, and its formation normally regulated by entities external to the two who wish it between themselves.
So, unless neither of a mutually attracted two define marriage as the willingness of a couple to grant that the wider society has some say on whether they may reject each other over a given conflict or sudden lack of interest in the other, then they should not act toward each other as a couple: no hand holding, no kissing, no kind of freedom to exchange expressions of sexual attraction to one another, and no general freedom to be with each other outside of the plain sight of elders who know them to not be rightly married to each other.
With no experience of the other gender, with no other potential mates in effective existence, and with no prior commands or expectations, a mutually very attracted man and woman sense simply that they belong together, forever. And, they do belong together. This is marriage.
They are rightly free to act on that belonging. They are original to each other. This is why naïve persons tend to have their hearts broken, even if they have never seen or read anything involving romantic attachment.
Adam and Eve had a trouble-free non-history prior to, and at the outset of, their marriage. Then their marriage defined the outset of the history of human society. So, unless humans are reproduced asexually, the marriage of a man and woman is the essential core of, and thus the prerequiste to, all human societies. Every living human is the result of the marriage of the two sexes, and, regardless of the endurance or non-endurance of the marriage which resulted in them, they each wish, at least sometimes, to be married themselves.
Too many secular people think that Apostle Paul was making either arbitrary or phobic assertions in saying that homosexual behavior is bad. But, he was simply implying that there must be many things which are unnatural and bad despite that people can become attracted to these unnatural things: For every realm of human life there are many bad things that are possible, including many bad things that people can be changed into enjoying.
Only in an unfallen world, in which each person is in an unfallen state, would Adam and Eve’s offspring have grown through the stages of reproductive and cognitive development without cautionary or prohibitive actions by their parents. One of only three possibilities do I see for those unfallen children in an unfallen world: 1) They would be subject to restrictions on their pairing-mating instinct, just as in the fallen world; 2) they would lack such instinct and thereby require no restrictions; or 3) there would be no kind of disharmony that requires the invoking of restrictions, and they would be free to act on instinct toward their own one true, and original, mate from earliest childhood.
Only the third possibility I mentioned is reasonable in terms of a very good original world without death, disease, or any other disharmony.
But, in the fallen world, everthing and everyone is a case of ‘Plan B’. Even the societies, and the marriages they form, are not those that would have been in an unfallen world. Then add the many and complex consequences of routine forms of greed, and even the fallen world is made more distorted than it would be without such greed. So, there is no one true mate for anyone, at least not in the sense of the greatest mutual compatibility. You want something, you have to add at least two cents to make it happen. But, even in cases in which children did put in the two cents of asking why, Adam and Eve took the trouble to tell them why: ‘Because we, the first two humans, screwed up, and now the world that would have become has been un-become, so that now we, and you, must each-and-together learn how to flourish in spite of ourselves, in spite of each other, or else we become merely rats in each others’ effective rat races: our own most ignorantly self-preferential ideas about what actions to take, both inside ourselves and out.’
In the absence of any cultural force to the contrary, young people pair up purely by instinct. In an unfallen world, such instinct would never be misplaced or retaken, because in such a world there would be no kind of disharmony that, in the fallen world, causes couples to break up, or causes one person to ‘dump’ or otherwise de-select another, or causes either to be oppressive of the other, or causes either to fail to care for the other, or causes either to deeply misunderstand the other, or causes either to fail to appreciate the other.
Adam and Eve faced no behavioral or emotional restrictions on their sexual instincts. If the unfallen world would have involved such restrictions on non-adults, then it would have been unnecessary for God to have created such instincts in non-adults. A very good world that does not include death must also be a world that does not include instincts that require prohibition. There is only one way to harmonize a pre-fall theory with the fact that the fallen world involves such instincts, and that is to allow that the unfallen world had no kinds of the disharmonies that, in the fallen world, make necessary the behavioral and even emotional restriction on those instincts.
In the fallen world, the wisdom of those restrictions are intuitively known, and are recognized as necessary until the persons are cognitively and culturally mature-and-informed enough to maintain their coupling in face of disharmonies, toils, and their progressive biological entropy. In other words, it is only the fallen-ness of the world and its natives that makes such restrictions and cautions necessary.
So, in the unfallen world, couples would have formed with no chance either of dissolving or of being ‘augmented by unfaithfulness, and their instincts would be free to act exactly as, and to whatever extent, they were impelled to act. This is how the hymen would never have been ripped, unlike the result of being let to have sex after having been restrained and self-controlled for one’s entire teen years.
It is offensive to some to be told that the unfallen world would have involved the freedom of merely pubescent youth to have even semi-sexual intercourse. But, such sense of offense is based on the sensibilities acquired from being used to thinking only in the terms which a life in the fallen world requires for living well in the fallen world. So, such offense is even less objective, and more baseless, than that felt by those who reject the idea that Seth married his own full sister. Both these cases of ‘offense’ are based on the accustomed sense that the ‘offending’ ideas are of themselves irreducibly counter-intuitive and contra-natural.
To point up the false-ness of this sense of the ‘irreducible counter-intuitiveness’ of the former idea, imagine that all but a pubescent boy and girl were suddenly wiped out by a cataclysm. What ought that lone pubescent couple not do with each other in terms of their pubescent level of sexuality? Ought they not kiss until they are fully grown 20 year olds? Ought they to not act on any sexual instinct? Imagine that the girl is so healthy that, unlike most girls in the fallen world, she will be very well able to bear children nine months after she is first impregnated at age thirteen. If that image still lacks something, then consider the very reasonable possibility that young women in the unfallen world, who we may well suppose would reach initial reproductive capability only after sixty orbits of Earth around the Sun, would have been far more able to bear children than the corresponding thirteen-year old girl of the fallen world—a girl who was dying from the moment she was conceived in her own mother’s womb.
But, I harbor the notion that, in the unfallen world, no one below the age of full initial adulthood, corresponding to twenty years of age in the now thoroughly post-Noahic world, would have the power to reproduce. One way to imagine this is to suppose that the way we in fallen world develop such reproductive maturity is sufficiently unlike how it would have been in the unfallen world: namely, that in the unfallen world such maturity would arrive at the end of the physical maturation process, rather than near the beginning (mid-point) corresponding to the current proximate age of thirteen-to-fifteen. My own such power began in my fourteenth year.
So, in any case, there is no simple one-to-one comparison between the unfallen world and the fallen one. Nevertheless, there is enough similarity to begin to understand how unlike the unfallen world would have been to the fallen one, and how unlike to that unfallen world is the right way to live in the fallen one. In short, the unfallen world would be all-but-alien to us who are fallen.
In fact, no one in the fallen world is worthy to be taken in spirit to the fallen world that was-and-would-have-been. Even Adam and Eve were naked and, far more than that, they were by far the best specimens that any post-Flood human has never seen. Talk about pornographic: the force of sexual imprinting in seeing such specimens might well make a modern human wish at once to think only of that vision and to commit suicide for not having any possibility to have such a specimen for a mate.
But, nothing would have been pornographic in the unfallen world, because, by way of the sheer harmony of that world in terms of a person’s desire, there would never have been any risk of inappropriate imprinting. The story of Adam and Eve contains all we need to know to figure out what the unfallen world would have been like had it continued through multiple generations.
http://asis.com/users/stag/starchiv/numbers.html (English Gematria on 153)
by Saphirecrackerjacksunnydelightsoutsideways 7/17/2012