Dr Richard Carrier on polyamory

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I've recently become reacquainted with the work of Dr Richard Carrier. I used to read him on the Secular Web atheist's forum years ago, but lately I've been watching his talks on YouTube, and reading his book "On the Historicity of Jesus" (hint: there is no convincing evidence he existed).

But on topic: today I realized Carrier is polyamorous. :) He has a blog on which he covers many topics, and here is a long and extremely well-written and interesting take on certain aspects of how the growth of poly will benefit society. Check it out!

 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Good article ... many good points about it, but I personally especially liked his comparisons (of the truths and myths) of monogamy versus polyamory, and Christianity versus atheism. I know something of what it is to transition from one to the other in both cases. People are scared of polyamory (and comforted by monogamy) because for most people, polyamory is a vast unknown. But as Dr. Carrier said, we should at least leave the path open for exploring that unknown to the next generation. I hope we will.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
Thanks for posting this, Magdlyn. I hadn't heard of him.

I liked his blog post on polyamory even though it's quite a bit long-winded.

I enjoy researching "historical Jesus" theories. I will check out his book...but man, just looking at the Amazon sample, his writing style is obnoxious. :)
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Another article defining polyamory or ethical non-monogamy:


I agree with most of it, but I have some quibbles. Most glaring is his assertion that most polyamorists swing! I have not found this to be true. I know some EX-swingers who now ID as polyamorists.

He asserts that swinging is really a form of polyamory, since most swingers are friends with their sex partners. I agree that swingers often are friends with the people that are enough attracted to, to fuck, but this leaves out the distinction of the couple-centric nature of swinging. While friendships are allowed, most swingers are in committed couples and do not allow deep romantic love to develop with their "outside" sex partners.

Friendship is fine. Liking a friend is a form of love, I guess. But as he does admit, there are degrees of love. Swingers generally try to prevent friendship+sex from deepening into deep romantic love, and all the behaviors that entail from that (one-on-one romantic dates or vacations that don't include your committed partner, for example).

Thoughts?
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
It is generally (but not universally) understood that swinging is not a kind of polyamory. Polyamory is characterized by romantic love, where swinging is more of a friendly interaction. Swinging and polyamory are both kinds of consensual nonmonogamy. Some polyamorists do swing; I'm not sure whether "most polyamorists" would be the right thing to say.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
It is generally (but not universally) understood that swinging is not a kind of polyamory. Polyamory is characterized by romantic love, where swinging is more of a friendly interaction. Swinging and polyamory are both kinds of consensual nonmonogamy. Some polyamorists do swing; I'm not sure whether "most polyamorists" would be the right thing to say.
Yeah, I found those ideas kind of quirky. But he wrote that in 2015, so maybe his views have evolved. I think he was just going by what he saw in his polycule and hadn't done enough research yet.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
Another article defining polyamory or ethical non-monogamy:


I agree with most of it, but I have some quibbles. Most glaring is his assertion that most polyamorists swing! I have not found this to be true. I know some EX-swingers who now ID as polyamorists.

He asserts that swinging is really a form of polyamory, since most swingers are friends with their sex partners. I agree that swingers often are friends with the people that are enough attracted to, to fuck, but this leaves out the distinction of the couple-centric nature of swinging. While friendships are allowed, most swingers are in committed couples and do not allow deep romantic love to develop with their "outside" sex partners.

Friendship is fine. Liking a friend is a form of love, I guess. But as he does admit, there are degrees of love. Swingers generally try to prevent friendship+sex from deepening into deep romantic love, and all the behaviors that entail from that (one-on-one romantic dates or vacations that don't include your committed partner, for example).

Thoughts?
I think the line between deeply hierarchical poly and the type of swinging where you have more permanent relationships is pretty damn blurry. I mean, we see those folks show up here occasionally, they still ID as swingers but their relationships read as polyamorous... I'm willing to let people choose their own identities, but it's definitely a spectrum.
 
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