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Debate: Divorce

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Is divorce acceptable in modern society? Should individuals feel free to seek divorce?

Background and context

In most countries, a concrete reason is needed to obtain a divorce, such as adultery or neglect. This reason must then be argued in a court of law, and its validity scrutinised. The question under consideration is whether the process should be made easier. The proposition might define the motion that either partner can independently obtain a divorce from a court without having to give any grounds for the separation. It might also be profitable (depending on the context) to argue both sides on purely secular grounds, due to the diversity of opinion of world religions on the subject of marriage.

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Commitment: Do people exaggerate the importance of commitment in marriage?

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Yes

  • The idea of lifelong marriage is outdated: This belief arose in ancient times, when life expectancies were much shorter than today, and there was no other way apart from marriage to ensure a secure upbringing for the offspring of a union.
  • The idea that a permanent marriage is the only possible type of relationship is outdated:
  • Scientists now doubt whether human’s are actually monogamous by nature.
  • If marriage comes to lack love and happiness then it should end: There is no point holding on in such a situation for the sake of a principle.
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No

  • Marriage is about union and love, both of which are hard to fulfill and need to be continually worked on, rather than abandoned casually: Modern expectations of a perfect marriage are unrealistic, and have been fostered by the entertainment industry’s concept of an ideal relationship. People should not go into marriage expecting perfection; nor should they think of marriage as based solely on romantic love. Marriage is both a union based on love and a practical partnership that, like all relationships, has ups and downs, and needs to be worked at to make it succeed. As such, it is right that a reason should be provided for a divorce to be granted, to prevent an over-hasty dissolution of a marriage that might have lasted if it had been worked at.
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The Children: Can divorces be beneficial for the children, or are they always bad?

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Yes

  • Households filled with fighting parents are damaging to children: While divorces may inconvenience the day-to-day lives of children, we also need to consider the repercussions for the children when their parents do not get along. Rather than force them to grow up in a loveless household, their parents should be able to split up and go their separate ways.
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No

  • It is more damaging for a child to have to suffer the break-up of their parents than to live through a conflicted household marriage: It is very difficult for children to see the two people they love most in the world fall out of love for one-another and break up. This is more difficult than the pain of living in a loveless and/or tense household environment.
  • Separated parents disrupt the day-to-day lives of children: With parents living across town or in different cities, children must accommodate the logistical problems of seeing both of their parents. This is a burden and comes at a cost to the happiness of children. In extreme cases, children are essential forced to live two separate lives.
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Vows: Does divorce not undermine value of wedding vows?

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Yes

  • Vows are made only with the best knowledge of the moment. The opposition's argument is a spurious one, as nowadays we regard a promise not as something unchanging and absolute, but as an expression of commitment for the time and the circumstances it was made. To punish people for a vow they made fully intending to keep, when they no longer love their partner, is heartless and cruel.
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No

  • Divorce devalues the meaning of the vows made at a wedding - ‘as long as you both shall live’. A society that allows these vows to be cast aside for no valid reason is reducing the stress placed by society on a person’s word as their bond.
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Adultery: Can a divorce avoid the problem of adultery?

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Yes

  • Divorce can avoid the problem of adultery: By making divorces faster and easier to obtain, we are reducing the incidence of adultery, both during a marriage and during the course of the divorce proceedings. The proposition would allow people to make the break more easily, rather than living a deceitful double life.
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No

  • Easier divorces may encourage adultery through the devaluation of the institution of marriage:The debate is not about mere sexual gratification, but about a deeper, life-long commitment. By making divorce easier you are devaluing marriage, thus actually encouraging adultery by reducing the stress on marriage as an institution.
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Yes

Divorces are still undesirable, both financially ( eg .the loss of tax benefits ) and emotionally. It is never something one would ever enter into without proper though and consideration.

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No

The proposition will actually increase the number of failed marriages, as people will enter into marriage lightly and without proper consideration, knowing they can always obtain a divorce if things do not work out.

See also

External and resources

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