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Ethics 101 -- What If Everyone Did It? = an error in mathematics or to defeat of global peace.

Reader comment on item: Harems Accepted in the West

Submitted by GWK (United States), Sep 2, 2008 at 13:06

To greatly simplify ethics, the question to ask is what are the consequences of an action. As a male, I would find the idea of having legal in-marriage sex every night a joyful one. And if a 2nd wife would improve the chance for that, I'm in favor of my taking a 2nd, and if having a 3rd improves the chances, so then that's better; and the logic continues on and on.

Reality, not ethics, poses a few kinks and questions. 1. Polygamy isn't legal, so even though there are people who live double lives and have children with multiple women, being married to more than one woman at a time is against the law; 2. Polygamy isn't socially acceptable, so I wouldn't want to be ostracized by my neighbors and community; 3. Polygamy has to be a bit more expensive than monagamy. Sure Mohammad had multiple wives and concubines and one-night stands. He lived in a different era, and in his age his power and his 1st wife's wealth which he inherited before becoming a polygamist enabled him to afford the polygamous lifestyle. But now really big harems are usually the province of wealthy men like the Bin Laden family men or the emirs of the Persian Gulf or the Sultan of Brunei.

But, and this is the simple ethics questions. If having multiple wives were allowed what would result would be a surplus of men with NO wives. Imagine, if 50% of all MEN had 2 or more wives, and less than 10% of all child-bearing women were single, it is difficult to imagine the math and demographics to make that work) then you would have lot of men with virtually no chance of ever getting married, fathering a child in wedlock, or having heirs. What would that lead to?

Given that the male-female ratios are essentially about 1:1 in the first year of birth, the only way you could have widespread polygamy without social unrest from other men cut out of the equation, would be to have a shortage of men in the child-rearing years. That could only happen in a situation where a vast number of men perished before getting married, and in a war-like society where early death among males is common, then polygamy makes some biological sense. It also makes biological sense if you are trying to modify the gene pool so that only elite males get to mate, and second-class males get to serve the elites.

This unequal ethic seems to be what egalitarian Islam is endorsing. The elite males get the women, the below average male gets to become a suicide mass-murderer. (And he gets his orgy with 72 imaginary virgins and 16 eternally youthfiul dark-eyed servant boys in Paradise if his effort is deemed worthy enough! Ha! Ha! Unfortunately enough sad-sack males have bbeen brainwashed into believing such drivel that their radicalism and mental illness is more common than isolated.)

So, again, using the Aristotlean equation to ethics -- "what if everyone did it?", leads to an error in mathematics or to defeat of global peace. Either, (A.) Every child rearing male cannot today have more than one wife!, or (B.) The only way to be fair about this is to eliminate from competition other males from having even 1 wife -- that happens through tragedy or violence, neither of which is a pleasant prospect.

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