Most of the articles suggest something along the following “Since monogamy is unnatural, in terms of evolution and biology, the institution of marriage of marriage and the idea that we ought to be monogamous should be re-evaluated.”
The ethical considerations regarding multiple sexual partners, married or otherwise, are interesting, but unfortunately not to be explored in depth here at that moment.
However I wanted to just point out that the above mentioned line of thinking is a total non-sequitor. It simply does not follow from a certain fact, evolutionary, psychological or any other type, that we ought to be doing something. This observation was made by David Hume and is sometimes referred to the is-ought gap or the fact-value distinction.
To be more specific, just because it is a fact that humans are psychologically inclined to multiple sexual partners it does not follow that one ought to have multiple sexual partners.
When we discuss eating meat in my intro classes the most common response from students is that eating meat is natural. Fair enough, that may be true, however so is murder and rape. But that does not make murder and rape morally permissible. Restricting oneself to a single sexual partner maybe unnatural however that fact alone certainly doesn’t tell us much regarding the morality of our institutions that regulate sex.
This post discusses the link between monogamy and Christianity and Grecco-Roman cultures. The author attempts to offer some sociological explanations for this fact. However, I think the more likely explanation has to do with these societies being committed, in some sense, to critiquing their behavior according to norms of reason. I guess I’m giving away my position on the issue, which is that I do believe there is a kind of ethical violation in many non-monogamous or non-committed relationships. I think when considered through a Kantian or contractualist approach this becomes clear.
The simplest way to see this is to think about Kant’s Formula of Humanity (“Don’t use other people as merely a means to an end”) and it becomes clear that non-monogamous and/or non-committed relationships often do this.
If you’ve enjoyed the content or learned something, click here to donate one dollar to help support the content here at Socratic Diablogs.