Sunday, March 4, 2012

Crazy Idea #2: Quasi-Marriage

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I call this crazy idea #2 due to a previous blog entry where I came up with an arguably crazy solution for the controversy over whether we should legalize same-sex marriage. The crazy idea of this blog entry is “quasi-marriage.” This idea is a solution (and arguably a crazy one) to the following problem. In a large percentage of marriages, the “for better or for worse” marriage vow is kind of a lie, because when the worst reveals its ugly head people often get divorced. If you really don’t mean the “better or for worse” part of your vow you shouldn’t say it. So here’s my crazy idea: quasi-marriage. Quasi-marriage is similar to a regular marriage except that the “for better or for worse” is replaced with “for better but not necessarily for worse” and is designed so that when the worse happens the divorce process is for the most part legally painless, e.g. the government says “you’re no longer married” and that’s that. If you’re thinking, “this is a terrible idea; nobody should enter into a quasi-marriage!” I agree, but if I’m right about this making more sense than making the marriage vows meaningless, I think this exposes the problem of how we don’t treat marriage sufficiently morally or even rationally. A world where vows are easily and routinely broken with social acceptance is not only ethically objectionable it also just doesn’t make sense; it renders vows meaningless and pointless. So give me quasi-marriage, or give me a world where marriage vows make moral and rational sense.