Philosophy Paper on Morality and Polygamy

2844 words 12 pages
Morality and Polygamy
There are many people opposed to the concept of polygamous marriages. Polygamy is legal in some countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, but illegal in others, such as the United States of America. Many have personal, religious, and/or cultural reasons to disagree with such practices, but is the practice of polygamy morally wrong, or is it acceptable? Some argue that it is wrong because of the negative consequences caused by such marriages; yet ignore successful polygamous marriages altogether. I do not agree that all polygamous marriages have negative consequences. I argue that the practice of consensual polygamy can be morally acceptable under these conditions; (1) All parties must be aware, in advance, of
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Sometimes, the subsequent wives do not have as much power in the relationship as the original. This can create inequality in the marriage and even lead to unequal division of labor. This is not the case in every polygamous marriage, and it is not the kind of marriage being evaluated here. In fact “many polygynists care for their spouses and..strive to avoid unfair divisions of labor” (Strauss, Gregg 517). Another issue mentioned is the problem of sexism. Most polygamous marriages include a husband with multiple wives. The women are typically not allowed to marry other men. It is usually a one-sided deal allowing only men to have multiple wives. This can be seen as sexist. If a woman enters this situation knowingly and willingly, very little argument can be made against the marriage. It is a woman’s choice to choose whether she is comfortable with the arrangement or not. If, she is not, she can find an arrangement where both parties can marry multiple spouses and the marriage can consist of many wives and husbands. The specifics are different in individual cases and are not determining factors in the morality of polygamy as a practice. Monogamous relationships can have sexism as well, where one sex undermines and dominates the other. Sexism is not exclusive to polygamy. Once again, it is an individual thing. Another argument, is that polygamy has large economical risk factors. Some claim that


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