“Should I marry you?” Answers from the philosophers

How philosophers talk to their sweethearts.

rodin-thinkerThe Aristotelian: “I wish to marry you, for I know that my happiness, both of body and soul, is contingent upon our union in the best and deepest of friendships.”

The Utilitarian: “Would our marriage contribute to the greatest happiness for the greatest number? Please consider waiting for me, dearest, while the best social science does its calculations.”

The Kantian: “I do not love you. Indeed, I find you repulsive in every way. But if I do thus marry you, I can be certain that my motives for marrying are pure and dutiful.”

The Paternalist: “Those who know best have decided that I should marry you. Who am I to question their wisdom and authority?”

The Machiavellian: “Why bother? It is better to be feared than loved, and I can get what I want from you more simply by a judicious mix of threats, bribes, and occasional indulgences.”

The Stoic: “You and I are creatures of Time and Chance, and to embrace you is to embrace a dead thing.”

The Pessimist: “Over half of all marriages end in divorce, so why don’t you just take half my stuff now, marriage-broken-eggand we’ll go our separate ways and save ourselves a lot of grief.”

The Christian: “I will not marry you, for as the Apostle says, ‘It is better for a man not to marry.'”

The Malthusian: “In this world of limited resources, would it not be wrong of us to contribute to the geometrically-increasing rate of population growth?”

The Altruist. “Love is selfless, and I would like you to know upfront that I will get no personal benefit from our marriage; but I will do it because I love you, and love is sacrifice, and marrying you will be a major sacrifice for me.”

The Existentialist: “If I commit to you, I thereby commit all of mankind to you, and the responsibility for a decision of that enormity fills me with dread.”

The Nietzschean: “We are fated to marry and remarry for all eternity, and I embrace my fate vigorously!

The Humean: “Marriage is neither a matter of fact nor a relation of ideas, so I commit it to the flames.”

The Platonist: “As a philosopher-king candidate, I cannot marry you, marriage-greekfor our selves and offspring belong to all communally, while marriage is a private and selfish thing.”

The Heraclitean: “Can I marry you? I cannot marry you twice — nay, I cannot even marry you once, for the you and the I have no identity in the flux and flow.”

The Parmenidean: “I cannot marry you, for to marry is to change from not being married to being married and, as has been proved, one cannot change from not being to being.”

The Marxist: “I spit upon bourgeois marriage, yet our synthesis will breed a mass of revolutionaries dedicated to the cause.”

The Leibnizian: “It is impossible for us to marry, for our monads are complete within themselves and must of pre-established necessity realize all of their possibilities independently.”

The Hegelian: “The generative World-Spirit moves within me greatly, and I will not shrink from crushing to pieces the innocent flower that you are in bringing forth the Divine Self-realization.”

The Augustinean: “I lust for you, and for that I tremble that God in his infinite justice will condemn me to damnation for all eternity.”

The Objectivist: “Before one can say I do, one must know how to say the I.”


Related: Philosophicalish Humor.

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11 Responses to “Should I marry you?” Answers from the philosophers

  1. Derik says:

    Kierkegaard “I need time to think about this.” Disappears for 6 months. “The answer is yes… What? You’re marrying someone else?”

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