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Old 2015-07-30, 16:36   #1529
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"Gang aft agley"
Sep 2002

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Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post

Emphasis added.

I agree with you that whether or not people decide to have a religious ceremony or not would be the same. But even you noticed a significant difference--biological consequences.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you seem to be positing that the only difference would be the rate of child bearing. And that this wouldn't even be present if we changed society and had difference scientific techniques.
No, I mean that fertility has no bearing on two people who love each other getting married. If they for whatever known or unknown reasons want children but for other known or unknown reasons do not produce children themselves, they have the entire system of options already existing in society. Some of those options emphasize their own genetics including the option of raising children of relatives.
But this very answer reveals important differences. One being a need to change to society so it wouldn't balk at the creation of children without a mother (or without a father)-- which would again be a difference (at least in the eyes of the children thus created) from how things are now. Second, the need, on a massive level, for technology rather than biology to reproduce.
I'm positing no disruptions. I'm saying the number of couples that exist will continue to exist other than difficulties in childbearing introduced by your thought experiment.
Only_human, no affective forecasting is necessary. You can keep comparing apples to apples.
Your hypothesis is that all apples are suddenly oranges.

First suppose two individuals are healthy, and there are no known issues with respect to virility.

If they are an opposite sex couple, then they should discuss with each other before marriage whether they will use birth-control, how many natural children they want to have, if they want to adopt or use other means to try and overcome any infertility issues should they arise, etc... As their marriage progresses, they may find that they are infertile, which (for many) is an emotionally difficult discovery. In any case, their plans may change as children come and they realize they want more or less children, or enjoy adopting, and so forth. Their relations also have the strong possibility of creating children at unexpected times.

If they are a same sex couple, birth control is irrelevant, and if they want children they either must adopt, use surrogacy for half the genetics, or wait for further scientific breakthroughs (and discuss what effects this might have on the children--if homosexuality is genetic, there are other issues here as well). If they find out they are infertile, this has little affect on their relations with one another. Their plans could of course also change over time. No children will ever come at unexpected times.
Children often arrive unexpectedly regardless of planning. I see no reason to deliberately introduce barriers to keep people who do not expect children from getting married. Nor do I see any reason to make it easier for people who do expect children to get married.

Second suppose one of the two individuals before the marriage date is known to be infertile.

If they are an opposite sex couple, then when the infertile one reveals this fact, it could be a deal-breaker. Or the partner may make the conscious choice to marry knowing they will never product a genetic child. If the infertile one doesn't reveal his/her infertility, before the advent of the easy divorce, this put such a spouse at fault for defrauding the other one.

If they are a same sex couple, a revelation of infertility is much less relevant to whether or not to go through with the union. If the infertile one doesn't reveal the infertility, the other may never know.
So you are concerned that some people may unnecessarily employ birth control or that in other cases people who want children may take a long time waiting for a child to arrive before seeking medical help or adoption mechanisms.

So to say there is no difference, even on a personal level much less a societal level, doesn't seem to hold up when we consider some of the most basic things couples talk about and then accomplish during their unions.
I'm saying that restricting allowable marriage to enhance or decrease foreseeable pregnancies seems to be unnecessary.
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