Thursday, January 10, 2008
Choices, Freedom, and Happiness: Gay Marriage and Divorce
A fascinating little talk, one of the interesting byproducts of this research that increased choices cause decrease satisfaction and reversible choices being less conducive to happiness than irreversible choices allows for two arguments to be made, one unjustified and one justified.
Gay marriage makes other unrelated marriages less happy and satisfying. If one is given the option to second guess their choice of mate not only on account of other members of the opposite sex but other members of the same sex this should lead to less happy straight marriages. Now, men will be second guessing their wives not only because they might very well have found a better woman but they could have found a better man. -- I feel this argument is probably crap, what's an additional 3 billion more choices if you aren't slightly drawn to any of them. Further on the flip side, have 0 choices is worse than having more than 0... (it's a law of diminishing returns).
Divorce makes marriages less happy. If you aren't stuck with this individual for the long haul, you can do better and are going to constantly debate reversing your decision. Kids make for a more stable marriage not simply because of any other factor but because they mean you're really stuck and there's no going back. -- Oddly enough, I think there's some real truth to this one. The option of a divorce makes marriages less stable and less happy. I'm not saying it's an argument against it, just an interesting factoid. With the possibility of leaving your spouse you're less likely to turn on your "psychological immune system".
I'm not sure what the argument does or means, but it's interesting.