Friday, January 21, 2011

It takes [x>2] to tango

Anyone with knowledge of American religion will not be surprised that polyamory has become an issue in the Unitarian Universalist Church, ever in the forefront of progressive causes.[...]

Conservative cassandras (please note: I am not one of them) are turning out to be empirically correct, even if one disagrees with their philosophy: once you legitimate same-sex marriage, you open the door to any number of other alternatives to marriage as a union of one man and one woman: polygamous (an interesting question for Muslims in Germany and dissident Mormons in Arizona), polyandrous, polygenerational – perhaps polyspecies? [...]

Pluralism—the ideological acceptance of plurality—is necessary if a modern society is to retain a degree of stability, especially if such a society is democratic (I maintain that pluralism is a virtue as well as a necessity). The question is where pluralism—any reasonable form of it—must define the limits of what is acceptable. [...] This is not the place to discuss whether the canons of Islamic modesty or the practice of polyamory should be accepted in a Western democracy. But, as a sociologist I can propose a hypothesis, and as a concerned citizen a recommendation. Hypothesis: There will be cultural and political compromises in the area of sexual behavior. Recommendation: In a democracy these matters should be openly and extensively discussed.
 ~"Virginity, Polyamory, and the Limits of Pluralism," by Peter Berger

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