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Scot Wilcox

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How do we save the family?

According to many, the family as we know it is changing. Divorce, separation, children out of wedlock, high workloads and decreased time together seem to be rendering the nuclear family as null and void. How can we prevent this? Do we need to prevent it? What problems are brought about by the disintegration of the family? Are there any benefits from it? Your opinions are welcome.
There's been a host of research done on the benefits of a two-parent, stable home to children. Increased financial, emotional, and even medical welfare seem to derive from the nuclear family. I believe it's the fundamental building block of society. Kids without strong role models and mentoring in the home seem to have more difficulties succeeding. If the homes the children are raised in fall apart, those children are going to have a much more difficult time. I'm certainly not saying any kid whose parents get divorced is doomed to failure. That's just not true. But I do know that divorce, or the problems in the marriage that caused it, cause emotional damage that lasts for years.
If the new generation is raised in a world where there are no more permanent relationships, how will that change our society?

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Closing Statement from Scot Wilcox

Dang, the debate closed long before we even got really started! I wish we could open this back up again so I could reply to all your comments. I did want to talk to Grace Greene and Random Chance though. You both seem to have grown up in broken homes. By that I mean a home where the nuclear family didn't work. The balance was off. I obviously don't know the details, but it seems very clear to me that a nuclear family done wrong is much worse than no family at all. A nuclear family does not need to spell oppression for women, it doesn't need to be founded on lies. The possibilities for love, openness, education, and even training for careers and human relationships is endless with educated, qualified parents who are committed to doing it right. They have their priorities straight, with each other and their children elevated above their own welfare. I wish we could have more families like this. I feel like then at least 90 percent of our society's problems could be solved. Unfortunately, the kind of personal and spiritual growth necessary to get to that point is a very personal thing that can't be legislated and can't be forced. That's what I feel will save the family. Better parents.

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    Feb 6 2013: In the West the family is closely related to Christianity. As Christianity is marginalised, marriage will be as well. Our present preoccupation with money & science may prove to be our downfall.

    :-)
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      Feb 6 2013: In what sense in the West is the family closely related to Christianity? Do you believe Christian parents love their children and grandchildren more than parents and grandparents who are not Christian love theirs?

      I am, frankly, astonished.
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        Feb 7 2013: Genesis 2:24 (KJV)
        Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
        Nothing to do with the amount of love. Right from the start the bible lays down the guidelines for marriage. One man, one woman, respectful children etc. Most western countries followed this plan up until recently.

        :-)
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      Feb 7 2013: Fritzie, I do not see any reason to be astonished, and I do not interpret Peter's words in any way that would support what you suggest. My astonishment is that you do not recognize the truth of Peter's words with respect to marriage here in the west. It is Christianity that is working hard to define marriage for everyone - even to the point of denying it for same-sex couples. Some states do not acknowledge common-law marriages because of Christianity. Peter did not even hint that theists and non-theists love their children less or more than the other.

      Perhaps you read Peter's answer too quickly, thereby missing the gist of what he is saying?
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        Feb 7 2013: I do not see that the family is any more central as a value to Christianity than to other common faiths or those without any particular faith. I gave feelings about family as an example of a commonality among humans.

        Elizabeth Spelke, of Harvard, writes in a recent book that people share the same fundamental concepts, values, and concerns. One shared core system , however, "centers on a notion that is false- the notion that members of different human groups differ profoundly in their concepts and values. This notion leads us to interpret the superficial differences between people as signs of deeper differences."

        Specifically, I think many people hold to mistaken notions of the value placed on family of groups with different beliefs.
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      Feb 7 2013: In the West? How many people are we talking about?
      What do the people in the rest of the world do, the non-Christians?
      We might also ask how we evolved in with just a tribal structure, when for tens of thousands of year there was no "Christians."
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        Feb 7 2013: You obviously believe the evolution theory. For me there were Jews before Christians & a flood before Jews. We are all descendants of Noah, & knowledge of God is passed down in our shared heritage & in our conscience .

        The bible starts at the beginning of history & wastes no time in outlining marriage.

        Genesis 2:24 (KJV)
        Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

        :-)

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