… Sex? Your World View?

  • you-get-to-know-someone-very-well_8-pros-of-being-in-a-long-term-relationshipAre we really meant to have “until death do us part” relationships?  Sex with only ONE PERSON,  til death do part?
  • Is monogamy an outdated concept? A religious / cultural tradition that seems hard to get rid of?
  • Is monogamy natural or is it a choice?   Is it a rational choice that tries to overcome a natural, biological tendency to wander and NOT be monogamous?
  • Why would we stay with our ONE person when someone better comes along?  …. someone better looking,  someone richer, someone with a nicer personality, someone that really thinks like us, someone smarter, someone more interesting, someone who shows a real interest towards us etc.

I would maintain that your views regarding monogamy are influenced by your world view, your personality, and your character.

WORLD VIEW

worldview11

Your world view should have a profound influence on your views regarding long-term relationships, marriage and sexuality. We often forget that basically there are two choices… just two.  I am either A) a biological accident,  or B) created by God?   Both positions are mutually exclusive;  it’s one or the other. We are either a random accident or created by intelligent design.

A)  Random Accident … A creator does not enter the picture.

If we are just evolved products of some primordial soup of organic compounds and everything happened by chance, then there is no intelligent design and no fundamental purpose to our existence. If we are just another animal that evolved over a few million years, then it would seem logical to act like an animal.  Sexual monogamy is rare in the animal kingdom. Our DNA is approximately 95% identical to chimpanzees. Should our sexual behavior parallel an ape’s sexual behavior?

images (2) Can you attach meaning and values to a collection of molecules that “accidentally” came together (namely, the human body).  It is quite difficult to explain to Billy, a 17 year old boy, with raging hormones and the urge to merge, that he should wait until he is married before having sex.  After all, his biology teacher does teach that he is just another animal. So, if Billy asks his teacher, “Is it OK for me to have sex with with the first pretty girl I meet at a party on Friday night?” logically, the teacher could answer, yes.

intelligent_design_is_stupid_mug-p168424944889404614en711_216In the animal kingdom, it is “normal” for adolescent mammals to have random sex. The Bonobos (chimpanzees) are our closest genetic relatives, and that is what they do. Does this video  of Bonobo sexuality shed some light on human sexuality? That depends upon your world view. Regardless, the video is revealing (pun intended), and perhaps entertaining for some!   (Hyper-sexual Apes,  ABC News special)

B) Intelligent Design: Humans are created by God.

images (1)

If you believe you are created by God, as taught by most religions, you will hear essentially the same message.  Walk into many different churches, mosques, synagogues, and other places of worship and you will hear common themes:

  • God created us and put us here for a purpose.
  • We are eternal beings, and are on this temporary earth for a very short time.
  • Man is not just an animal, but created in God’s image.
  • God knows best how we should behave.
  • Marriage is ordained by God.
  • Sex is sacred and beautiful and mysterious: (the two actually become one.)
  • Sex is reserved for marriage, with one partner, “til death do us part.”
  • Monogamy brings stability to families and society.
  • Life begins at conception

bertrand-russell-quote-1

A)  Random Accident … A creator does not enter the picture.

Bertrand Russell, mathematician, logician, and philosopher, was considered by many to be one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th Century. I have been fascinated by this extended quote from Russell for the last few decades, as he attempts to look at life in “logical” terms. (His words are in blue.)

But even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home.

6a00d83451c0aa69e2017d3f8994bf970c-320wiSo we have to find our home in a place void of meaning.  If we are in a place of no meaning, then everything we do has no meaning. If all of human existence is built upon of foundation of void of meaning, it is then impossible to arbitrarily attach meaning to anything that we do, including intimate relationships. How can you attach meaning to anything which is completely random and purposeless?

That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms

life_is_randomAll that we do, all that we think, all of our “noble” efforts are nothing more than a bunch of molecules whirling around in  purposeless fashion.  Everything is an accidental collocation [collection] of atoms.    Can you attach meaning to an accident? Can you attach significance to love which, according to Russell, is also the result of the random collocation of atoms? 

that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins. Brief and powerless is Man’s life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. 

According to Russell, there is nothing beyond the grave, and absolutely everything is destined to extinction.  Russell’s words are one of the most eloquent descriptions ever penned of View A that all of life is a random accident and ultimately meaningless.  Simply put, every great achievement and every great accomplishment throughout all of human history is ultimately buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins. 

Absolutes  

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In terms of View A and View B, they are polar opposites, with nothing in between.   If life is random, then there are no absolutes.  If there is no God, Hugh Hefner perhaps has it right. Hedonism (the pursuit of pleasure) is a logical life philosophy. If if feels good, do it.  Concern yourself less about the welfare of others.

monogamyfront.jpg old schoolAyn Rand’s philosophy of “objectivism” sums it up quite well: pursue your own happiness… a philosophy that glorifies the individual…. and therefore legitimizes self-centeredness. Some argue, if we are just some random organic molecules, we may as well screw every attractive person we can (as do our bonobo chimp relatives who unlikely ponder God, gods, intelligent design, or moral absolutes )

Hugh Hefner is simply an extension of Bertrand Russell. As early as 1929, Russell advocated the rejection of stifling Victorian/Christian morals and embraced “open sexuality” and liberal open sex education. While he was formulating and writing of these radical new views of sexuality, his wife was having affairs and got pregnant with another lover. Meanwhile, Russell was having multiple affairs as well. His sexual lifestyle was consistent with his philosophy and world view, as is Hugh Hefners.

B) Intelligent Design: Humans are created by God.

Back to 17 year old Billy, with raging hormones and the urge to merge.

chimproseIt is unlikely Billy got a convincing answer from his biology teacher.  But if Billy ponders the two choices, View A: we are  just a random accident that will be extinguished upon our last breath, and View B: we are eternal beings created in the image of God,  it may influence his decision as to whether or not he should have sex with the first pretty girl he meets at the party. Billy may embrace View A that he is just like our closest genetic relative, a Bonobo chimpanzee. In that case, Billy’s response may be obvious… Go for it.   Or he may consider View B, that he is “more than a chimp” and restraint may be in order!

Love-God-Love-People2If I was an atheist, I would possibly embrace the lifestyles of Hefner, Russell, and many others like them. Their lifestyles are consistent with what they believe. However, I am not an atheist, but instead, I reside at the other  extreme, View B.  I am quite convinced of the existence of God.

I do strongly advocate that we live our lives so that our actions are consistent with our world view. Although I completely disagree with the philosophy of Russell and Hefner, and although I would never encourage my children and others I care about to adopt such a life style, some of my friends do share the views of Russell and Hefner.  Regardless,  I still love them. And I must admit, that if I had been born with their DNA, and raised in their environment, I too, would more than likely share their world view.

QUOTES:  Both For and Against  the Ideal of  Til Death Do Part

  1. images (5)There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one.      G.K. Chesterton
  2. I do think that monogamy is possible. I just don’t think it’s the natural way of things.    Hugh Hefner
  3. I was always anti-marriage. I didn’t understand monogamy. I couldn’t figure out how that could last. And then I met Bryn and I started to understand the beauty of constancy and history and change and going on the roller coaster with someone – of having a partner in life.    Maria Bello
  4. Marriage requires a special talent, like acting. Monogamy requires genius.     Warren Beatty
  5. Infidelity is a deal breaker for me. I’ve broken up with people over it. You can’t do monogamy 90 percent of the time.     Alanis Morissette
  6. Monogamy_Not_For_Me_xlargeMy mom is going to kill me for talking about sleeping with people. But I don’t want to put myself in the position where I’m in a monogamous relationship right now. I’m not dating just one person. ‘Sex and the City’ changed everything for me because those girls would sleep with so many people.     Lindsay Lohan
  7. We want different things. Men want to have sex with a woman. Then they want to have sex with another woman. And then another. Then they want to eat cornflakes and sleep for a while, and then they want to have sex with another woman, and another, until they die. Women… want a relationship. They may not get it, or they may sleep with a lot of men before they do get it, but ultimately that’s what they want. That’s the goal. Men do not have goals. Natural ones. So they invent them, and put them at either end of a football pitch. And then they invent football. Or they pick fights, or try and get rich, or start wars, or come up with any number of daft bloody things to make up for the fact that they have no real goals.        Hugh Laurie,  The Gun Seller
  8. Carrie: In a room where everyone was gorgeous, cool, and under thirty, monogamy suddenly became to seem like a quaint notion.     Sex and the City
  9. Carrie: In a city of infinite options, sometimes there’s no better feeling than knowing you only have one.    Sex and the City
  10. To say that you can love one person all your life is just like saying that one candle will continue burning as long as you live.      Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910)
  11. t1larg.negotiate.monogamy.tsLove has been in perpetual strife with monogamy. A great poet has seldom sung of lawfully wedded happiness, but often of free and secret love; and in this respect, too, the time is coming when there will no longer be one standard of morality for poetry, and another for life.     Ellen Key (1849 – 1926)
  12. Anthropologist Donald Symons is as amazed as we are at frequent attempts to argue that monogamous gibbons could serve as viable models for human sexuality, writing, “Talk of why (or whether) humans pair bond like gibbons strikes me as belonging to the same realm of discourse as talk of why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.    Cacilda Jethá,   Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
  13. I can’t fly a flag for monogamy or whatever the opposite is; it depends on the person and on the situation.    Sting
  14. Promiscuity is like never reading past the first page. Monogamy is like reading the same book over and over.     Mason Cooley (1927 – 2002)
  15. Love has been in perpetual strife with monogamy. A great poet has seldom sung of lawfully wedded happiness, but often of free and secret love; and in this respect, too, the time is coming when there will no longer be one standard of morality for poetry, and another for life.      Ellen Key (1849 – 1926)
  16. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.      Genesis 2:24
  17. I don’t think being monogamous is a natural instinct for human beings, but it doesn’t mean I don’t believe in monogamy or true love. I believe in finding a soul mate. Monogamy can be hard work for some people. I don’t think it applies to everybody, and I don’t think a lot of people can do it.      Scarlett Johannson 
  18. Monogamy is impossible these days for both sexes. I don’t know anyone who’s faithful or wants to be.     Goldie Hawn
  19. monogamy_is_for_ugly_people_shirts-rc4f25f684db1484999b18c33ec04b96d_f0cj7_512For two people in a marriage to live together day after day is unquestionably the one miracle the Vatican has overlooked.    Bill Cosby
  20. In a time when nothing is more certain than change, the commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare. Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced.    Robert Sexton
  21. There is so little difference between husbands you might as well keep the first.      Adela Rogers St. John
  22. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female, for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.      Mark 10: 6-8
  23. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.     Jane Austen (1775 – 1817)
  24. Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.     Benjamin Franklin
  25. A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.      Mignon McLaughlin
  26. Before marriage, a man will lie awake all night thinking about something you said; after marriage, he’ll fall asleep before you finish saying it.    Unknown
  27. My wife and I have the secret to making a marriage last. Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant, a little wine, good food….. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.    Henry Youngman
  28. We have the greatest pre-nuptial agreement in the world. It’s called love.     Gene Perret
  29. To avoid mistakes and regrets, always consult your wife before engaging in a flirtation.     E.W. Howe
  30. smiler-monogamy1Woman wants monogamy; / Man delights in novelty. / Love is woman’s moon and sun; / Man has other forms of fun. . . / With this the gist and sum of it, / What earthly good can come of it?     Dorothy Parker
  31. Monogamy is like good crystal – beautiful – but once you get it, all it takes is one chip and it’s never the same again.     Fred Barton
  32. Monogamy is ideal as a standard, but if you look around you, it’s not the end result. Justen Michael
  33. I don’t think I was constructed to be monogamous. I don’t think it’s the nature of any man to be monogamous…. Men are propelled by genetically ordained impulses over which they have no control to distribute their seed into as many females as possible.  Marlon Brando
  34. Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.     Oscar Wilde
  35. For me, the highest level of sexual excitement is in a monogamous relationship. Warren Beatty
  36. Carrie: True, we had never discussed exclusivity. But while for me, the idea of seeing another man would be trying to fit another outfit into an already over-stuffed suitcase, …. Is it that men have an innate aversion to monogamy, or is it more than that? I wondered. In a city like New York, with its infinite possibilities, has monogamy become to much to expect?    Sex and the City
  37. monogamy_sRandom Woman: Monogamy is fabulous. It gives you a deep and profound connection to another human being, and you don’t have to shave your legs as much.   Sex and the City
  38. Carrie:    And while Charlotte embraced fidelity, and Samantha flaunted her infidelity… I felt myself caught somewhere in between.      Sex and the City

 

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