Sunday, October 14, 2018

On the Importance if Monogamous Marriage as Societally Normative


[ Term-mapping ]
Free - Consensual
Total - Public
Faithful - Exclusive
Fruitful - Sexual

I define “monogamy” as the public, exclusive, sexual, consensual relationship between two and only two persons. Because of the requirement of consent, the parties must be adults as defined by their culture.
(Further, the order of the modifiers indicates centrality:
Consent places violent relationships beyond consideration and means the soul/mind is involved;
Sexuality means the body is involved, and in a way different from other bodily acts;
Exclusivity means there is no artificial addition of other parties beyond the pair required for the act previously specified;
Publicity means the revealing of the relationship to others, beyond itself.)


There are two aspects to monogamy as defined above which make it ideal and normative.
The first is its satisfaction of human biology.
The second is its satisfaction of the human psychological desire for love.
These two are interrelated, as the human person is composed of both soul and body.

First, biology:

There is a state of actuality toward which each thing inclines according to its nature, causing it to act in a particular, patterned way. Material objects as material objects incline toward proximity (this force being called gravity). Living things incline toward their perfected form (as a seed grows into a tree, a young lion grows into an adult lion, etc). Parts of substances also act in a similar way, with the actuality toward which they are inclined being subservient to the actuality of the substance as a whole. Hearts pump blood, lungs facilitate gas exchange, leaves allow for opportunity to photosynthesize, etc. Similarly, the reproductive system has an actuality toward which it inclines--the production of new organisms of the same kind as the producer(s). In animals, this requires a pair of producers which have differing organs. It is the only organ system in animal physiology which requires more than one organism--specifically, two--of its kind to become actualized; the two act as one unit. (Some animals are capable of acting as both producers, but this is irrelevant to humans, which cannot.)

Further, the actuality produced is a fully human being, not yet in perfected state. This new human is incapable of bringing itself to the perfected state (adulthood), and requires many years of care. They thus require some person or persons to care for them, and if human life has a value in general, a “right to life”, such that their particular life does, as well, then someone must have a corresponding duty to preserve their life to match. It seems that this would naturally fall to the cause of coming into being; their two parents, mother and father. Since this is so, the two must remain together to accomplish the task they began, and therefore they must be able to cooperate and should receive the external support from the community to make this possible more easily.

So biology is satisfied by a unique pair of man and woman who work together to raise a child.

But by itself, this does not rule out polygamy, since one could have several such relationships simultaneously, though this would become more difficult owing to the finite time and resources available to a person. Yet even in that case, the “polygamy” is composed of a set of one-plus-one relationships.

Directly related to this is the problem of inheritance and property rights among polygamous cultures, due to the complexity of family systems. Historically, this has been a source of conflict.

Second, love:

Love has been defined as the “manifested will for the good of some Other”. So more than mere well-wishing, it includes the actual expenditure of time and energy to promote the good of the other person. So we see that love is a giving of self (and one’s goods) for the other. But while there are degrees of self-giving, the sort of relationship we are talking about is the most complete, and includes one’s body, and thus, one’s sexuality, and thus, one’s potentiality toward reproduction when paired with the complementary organs. (To ask a person to impede their fertility is to ask the person to modify themselves in order to become an object of love, which is instead to love the concept of that person after the modification, rather than as they are.)

In addition to each person in a couple giving themselves to the other, the couple, because of their unity, naturally seeks some Other to together give themselves to, to benefit that other person. In a two-person, heterosexual couple, there is a natural tendency toward the production of a new person, the child, toward which they are then able to direct their love. Other such relationships do not have this inherent tendency to bring about that Other.

So this degree or type of love is satisfied by a paired relationship of opposite-sex persons.

Beyond the utilitarian bond between the two because of the child, there is then also the prior bond between the couple as such, which, in a healthy relationship, seems to be desired as an unending relationship.

Special Focus on Exclusivity:

(It is assumed that we are talking about public, sexual, consensual relationships, so I will address the point of contention directly.)

The above shows that a [male-female pair] [N] is both necessary (it takes two to have sex or to have love from self to other) and sufficient (no third person is needed for sex, love requires only self and Other, and even the quasi third person as an object for love from the two-person quasi unit is accounted for by nature of a male-female coupling’s potentiality toward life) for a [proper sexual relationship] [S]. When something is both necessary and sufficient, then we can modify the phrasing to become [if S, then N:] “if there is a proper sexual relationship, then it is a male-female pair”. Thus anything in excess is not proper. QED.

But to add to that, we can see that in a loving, sexual relationship, the lives of the two persons are more interrelated than in mere friendships. (While contraception makes the difference less, it is still not entirely the same, and I would argue that the above serves to give merit to the case against contraception.) Because there is a greater union, there is a greater injury upon disunion, should that take place. So preventive restrictions must be imposed to reduce the risk of disunion--one such restriction being exclusivity. Further, should a child be produced, as is the natural tendency of sex, the child has a right to the care of their parents, and the parents have a right (and duty) to care for their child. This is severely complicated when familial relationships are broken. Historically, it is very rare that polygamy can be sustained without a loss of justice. However, there are more serious failures in sexual relationships, such as rape.

A public, exclusive, sexual, consensual relationship which is acknowledged by the state or community at large in a formal manner is what is known as “marriage”. As the above makes clear, this is also ideally a permanent relationship. So we find the “traditional” view of marriage and sexuality to match the biological and amorous aspects of the human person.

My Own Modification of Aristotle's Four Elements

On The Elements
  • Because there are composite substances, there must be some first physical substance(s), element(s), from which they are composed.
  • Because there are multiple composite substances, there must be multiple first substances to account for the diversity.
  • Because substances are changed from one to the other, the elements must have contrary propria, according to their natures.
  • Because the substances both act and are acted upon, but cannot be potential in the same way at the same time, there must be two pairs of contrary propria.
  • Because there are now four combinations of the two sets of contrary propria, each contrary pair has a medium, which is both necessary and now sufficient to explain the substantial change which occurs in the universe.
  • Because the contrary propria are of the first physical substances, the propria must be such as are applicable to body in general as sensible, and having a contrary.
  • Because the elements change into each other, the propria must be such as can be imparted from one into the other. The propria matching those requirements are:
    hot, (actively separates each kind from the others)
    cold, (actively condenses all kinds together)
    adaptable (more passive, reactive motion of shape; = “wet”), and
    inflexible (less passive, reactive motion of shape; = “dry”).

  • Because the elements change their shape, the theory that the elements are each represented by one of the Platonic Solids is false, as Aristotle points out.
  • Because there would be an element composed of each pairing between the two contraries, there would be:
    a hot & inflexible ( = “fire”), [note that normal fire is not "inflexible", as the elemental fire described here must be -- "fire" is used here only analogously, as is true for all]
    a hot & adaptable ( = “air”),
    a cold & adaptable ( = “water”), and
    a cold & inflexible element ( = “earth”).
  • Because nature is a principle of motion and rest, each unique element must have a natural motion which is unique.

  • Because the elements are simple bodies, it is clear that they cannot have a natural motion which is a change of quantity.

  • Because the elements have a unique natural motion, they must have a unique locomotion, since this is prior to any qualitative change.

  • Because motion is finite in space, this locomotion must then be toward a natural place of rest.
  • Because motion is defined relative to some other object at rest, and all relative motions to some prior frame of reference at rest, elemental motion, being the first logical natural motion in the universe, must be defined relative to the universe itself.

  • Because one is prior to many, and the complete prior to the incomplete, a sphere is the first shape in three dimensions, and is prior to any other shape.

  • Because the whole is logically prior to the part, the whole of the universe is prior to any point within it, and therefore its shape must be a sphere.

  • Because the universe is finite and composed of point-like units, and is spherical in shape, there must be some point which is the center.

  • Because elemental motion is relative to the universe itself, the element must have:
    a motion toward the center and rest at the center (gravity), or
    a motion toward the periphery and rest at the periphery (levity), or
    a motion around the center & never at rest (orbit)
    - always actualized, in continuous motion, or
    a motion always at rest in any place (fixedness)
    - always actualized, at rest.

(Aristotle, at least, seems to think both eternal motion and rest are natural motions.)


  • ‘Fire’ is the most active element, and thus naturally orbits.
  • ‘Water’ is the most passive element, and thus naturally is fixed.
  • ‘Air’ is closer to fire, and thus naturally has levity.
  • ‘Earth’ is closer to water, and thus naturally has gravity.

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How to Demonstrate That God Must Exist

On God; "The Being"

I. The Existence

  1. A disjunction (‘OR’) is true if and only if one of its disjuncts is true.
  2. What is potential is made actual if and only if by what is actual.
  3. A composite being is caused (at all times) by its parts.

  1. There exist some actualizations of a recipient thing’s potentials which occur if and only if the actor’s potentials are themselves actualized by some other third thing’s actuality. (“Essentially-ordered causes”, True for all N, incl. infinity)
  2. There exist potential, composite things. (Sometimes exist, sometimes not)

  1. ( D1, A1 )
    Therefore, for any essentially-ordered causal sequence, there must be some thing which actualizes but is not actualized in the manner under consideration, and therefore which is primary in the sequence.
  2. ( A2, S1 )
    Therefore, when considering “Being as such”, common to all things, there must be a unique uncaused cause of the being of all subsequent things.
    [ “Being as such” is considered because Existence & Essence differ in things. ]

( Symbolic )

Braces and parentheses simply designate groupings,
Lowercase letters designate ‘things’,
Bolded capital letters designate special states, namely “True” and “Causes”,
The ◊ designates what is potential/possible,
The -t> designates temporal sequence,
Pairings of italicized capital and lowercase letters designate things with Attributes,
Underlined letters designate that attribute was held by the thing at initiation,
The ⇔ designates “if and only if” relationships,
A floating equality is a compression of the left into new form on the right,
The | surrounding a character is only to facilitate readability,
The ∃ designates the assertion of real existence,
Subscript designates ordinal position of the member of a sequence,
The specific Greek letter Omega ( Ω ) designates “Being as such”.

  1. { ( a ∨ b ∨ c... ) == T }{ ( a == T ) ∨ ( b == T ) ∨ ( c == T )… }
  2. { (◊A)y -t> Ay } Ax    == Ax|C|Ay
  3. (Ω)a ⇔ {(Ω)x, (Ω)y… }|C|(Ω)a    == Ca
  4. { ( A-1|C|A0 ) ⇐...⇒ ( A(-n)|C|A(-n)+1 ) }    == An|C|A0 ==    A{Σn}
  5. ∃ (◊Ω)Ca
  6. ∴ A{Σn}An
  7. ∴ Ω{Σn}Ωn

II. The Attributes or Energies

  1. What is uncaused is necessary.
  2. A thing can be either uncaused or other-caused, not both. ( Corollary of ↑D2 )
  3. What is spatial (including matter) is in some way always in potentiality with respect to space, because motion is always possible given a continuous quantity.
  4. A thing is called “good” to the extent that it is complete in being.
    [ This is because a thing is called “good” because it either is a more complete/fulfilled version of its kind, or because it is contributive to something else attaining its completion/fulfillment, as a “good” pen is one that writes well, or a “good” sandwich is one that is filling &/or tasty, etc. -- This is known as the “convertibility” of being and goodness, which, like the other direct, universal attributes of being itself, “true” and “one”, are called “transcendentals”. ]

  1. There exists The Being. ( S2 above: Ωn == “The Being” )
  2. All actions and attributes which are not being are consequent upon being.

  1. ( I.D3, A1 )
    Therefore, The Being is not composite.
  2. ( D1, A1 )
    Therefore, The Being is necessary.
  3. ( I.D2 [& D2], S1 )
    [ If The Being were to change attributes, there would need to be some actualizable potential with respect to its being, since it is with respect to this that the attributes are either in potentiality or actuality, but since The Being is known to be actual in at least one way, and simple, there can be no other part of its being which is able to change from potentiality to actuality. ]
    Therefore, The Being is unchanging/eternal.
    Therefore, The Being is perfect.
  4. ( D3, S3 )
    Therefore, The Being is not spatial (nor material).
  5. ( A1, A2 )
    Therefore, The Being is the cause (actual & possible) of all actions and attributes.
  6. ( D4, S3 )
    Therefore, The Being is all-good, and Goodness itself.
    Therefore, The Being is the fulfillment of all beings.

III. The Intellect

  1. A nature is a principle of motion toward some end.
    [ That is: what a thing is determines the pattern of what it can do. ]

  1. II.(sum)
    There exists “The Being”, which is the unique, uncaused, necessary, simple, perfect, eternal, immaterial, all-powerful, cause and fulfillment of all subsequent things, being Goodness itself.
  2. There are five attributes unique to intellect to be considered:
    1. Abstraction of Essences/Natures
    2. Propositional Truths
    3. Logical Reasoning
    4. Production of Words
    5. Free acts of will
[ This is the least clear axiom of all, but basically means minds can think abstractly,
have intentional/propositional states, reason logically, communicate using true signs
(syntax and lexis cannot be derived from each other), and make choices on the basis
of the sum of their abstract reasoning. ]
  1. Causes produce effects in an orderly manner, according to forms they contain.
    [ This is because a thing is determined by its form, not its matter, and the form must come from the cause in some way, when a new thing is the effect. ]
  2. Logical causality cannot be reduced to physical causality.
    [ That is, if someone arrives at a conclusion due to compulsion from some other cause than the merit of the argument itself, it is considered irrational and invalid, as when someone is insane, or biased, or severely mentally ill. ]
  3. The end toward which non-human things naturally move is often not yet existent.
  4. The immaterial human intellect is uniquely known to act for an abstract end.
    [ The five attributes above are taken to demonstrate the intellect is immaterial. ]

Syllogisms: < There are five ways - (#5 follows from #4 as a special case) >

  1. ( D1, A5 [& A1] )
    Therefore, The Being directs natures toward their ends, which is mind-like.
    [ This is the argument made in the Fifth Way of Aquinas. ]
  2. ( A1, A2-b )
    Therefore, The Being contains the ultimate ground of all propositional truths.
  3. ( A1, A4 )
    Therefore, The Being must, itself, be Rational.
  4. ( A1, A2-a )
    Therefore, The Being contains all perfections immaterially, which is mind-like.
    [ This is Aristotle’s argument. ]
  5. ( A1, A3 )
    Therefore, The Being contains within itself something analogous to intellect.
  6. ( A1, A6 )
    Therefore, The Being is like the human intellect in being immaterial and in having the power to act toward an abstract end.

THEREFORE, There exists THE BEING, which is One, Uncaused, Necessary, Simple, All-Perfect, Eternal/Unchanging, Immaterial, Intangible, Infinite, All-Good, All-True, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Sovereign Mind, Who is the Creator of all things, Governor of all things, Enlightener of the human intellect, and Fulfillment of all things, beyond definition or comprehension.
This we call “GOD”.