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John Milton Argues for Divorce (2021) (wustl.edu)
29 points by pepys 14 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 46 comments



The style is a little too flowery and verbose for my taste, so I skimmed and might be missing something.

This is the (long) period of British history where the main political & rhetorical battleground was the protestant reformation. Milton himself was a convert, as were many (most?) notable Englishmen his generation. Divorce was a primary/defining point of contention between catholics & protestants.

I feel like there's not enough context here, to get an understanding of what being pro-divorce means in his time & place.


So he went to collect and debt payment, and instead married the guys daughter.

How does that happen?


Kind of off topic but I sometimes wonder how many unhappy marriages that should end in divorce for the benefit of both parties don't due to financial hardships. Which might also explain why the trope of rich men being on their 3rd or 4th wife exist as there is no financial hurdle to them staying in a marriage. They are able to decide that the marriage is not working and just end it and start again.


Rich folks can be as naive as anyone else, and they certainly must attract different predators... Not that I would know. ^_^

> marriages that should end in divorce for the benefit of both parties don't due to financial hardships.

The Sunken Cost Fallacy. It's a cruel -- and common -- steady-state among married people.

It makes no sense to gamble that ten years from now two people will be the same and want the same things. People change. You might reach the SCF steady-state, but you might also be stuck with a wretch or a lunatic.

Having children gives the SCF steady-state even more inertia.


Wouldn't SCF imply the cost has already been born? Divorce is relatively simple without kids.

If kids enter the equation, the cost of divorce is the differential between what it ACTUALLY costs to support the kid, and what you'd be paying in mandatory child support (many states like 30% salary after taxes.) That could mean a huge wealth transfer from the one without custody to the one with, with no change in resources spent on the child.


or maybe it is not due to financial hardship, but for the sake of their children. while growing up i have seen too many kids being socially disadvantaged due to their parents being divorced


Anecdotally, it's definitely way cheaper to be married with kids. Child support is commonly like 30% of salary after taxes (20% before). As a married couple we definitely don't need to spend anywhere near that to maintain the kid, but the courts after a divorce say you must pay it or go to jail. So the end result would be the one in custody gets to pocket that difference. Very expensive on the parent without custody.

If my wife and I ever split, I would much prefer to stay estranged while being half responsible for the kid, to being divorced paying 30% of my salary for no fucking reason beyond that's what some bean counter decided is the cost of the child.


is this really a thing? I mean if you can afford it, go on, but why make the same mistake 3 or 4 times in a row


The triumph of hope over experience.


I think the primary reason Jesus never argued for divorce is that he didn't reach middle age.


Please don't post unsubstantive comments like this. It leads to worse discussion. In this case we got a religious flamewar—the dumbest and most avoidable kind of flamewar.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


It's unfortunate that just bringing up Jesus can cause the discussion to go off into the weeds like this, but FWIW I don't think GP can be blamed for that. I think their comment was relevant (the main reason Milton would have even had to argue for divorce was because of the way Jesus' words were interpreted by the powers that be at the time) and respectful (lots of people are unrealistically idealistic when younger, and develop more complex views after being exposed to more life experience). I think it would be a shame to prune off relevant points just because other people are prone to start flamewars in response.

The comment was a shallow one-liner which doesn't come close to supporting your interpretation. The Jesus bait just made it more flammable. Commenters can, and should, do better than that here.

Actually the primary reason he never argued for divorce was that in his day, divorce was actually super easy. During his day there were two schools of thought on divorce; one required specific grounds for divorce (which included adultery, abuse, and abandonment); the other allowed it for "any cause". There's a case to be made that Jesus' teaching on divorce (most fully represented in Matthew 19[1]) was aimed exclusively at the unfair use of this "any cause" divorce [2].

[1] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+19%3A1-...

[2] http://www.instonebrewer.com/DivorceRemarriage/Articles/Whit...


Jesus never married in the first place. Nor had sexual/romantic relationships.


Maria Magdalena would like to have a word with you.


Dan Brown and Nikos Kazantzakis are novelists, not historians.


Nor is the Bible reliable historical evidence.


Neither did they invent Maria Magdalena.

...joining a long tradition of storytelling about this person.


...some of which claim to be eye witness accounts, being weirdly restrained in describing the highly miraculous, placing these miracles against a backdrop of great received wisdom and mundane details, all the while sounding as if they actually have the personal backgrounds, sources and motives they claim to have.


Sure but some stories are a little more reliable than others.


I don’t know. The story that a charismatic 30 year old man has no sexual history is a story I find to be totally unreliable.


Reliability requires some fact checking. Rather impossible in this case


Which do you consider reliable?


especially the ones that talk about people performing magic...


Have HN Gold my friend.


Haha this made me laugh :)




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