Michael's argument, if I'm reading him correctly, boils down to something like this: All social constructs boil down to sex. Money is a social construct. Therefore money boils down to sex.
That's basically right, so I won't bother quoting any of my earlier post myself. Rich then goes on to make an irrelevant point about repugnancy (which has little to do -- as a principle -- with veracity) and then tries to tie my point to evolution:
The theory of evolution never stretches itself as thin as when it attempts to explain complex human behaviors. While it posits a correlation, it cannot positively argue to it. It assumes evolution (a hefty assumption indeed) and then extends that assumption over all living activity. This is a suspicious mode of argumentation and consequently adds to the suspiciousness of Michael's first premise as I have formulated it.
But I never mentioned evolution, and I didn't even approach the question his statements are begging: why is sex itself so important? I've got lots of ideas on that, but I haven't yet attempted to answer it. My only assertion up to this point is that sex is foundational to all human activity. The "why?" of that is a different question, but I suspect it has more to do with orgasms than evolution.
Man desires to be happy. This is a self-evident first principle. There is no man who truly wants to be unhappy (there are men who want to be in what you would consider an unhappy state, but none who want to be TRULY unhappy) Happiness is a sort of perfection over and above mere existence or survival.
And what makes men (and women) happy beyond mere survival? Sex. And the enjoyable things that aren't sex themselves are generally always related to sex. That's my premise. He can't refute it just by rewording it.
Michael, granting himself the first conclusion, goes on to offer further clarification with a few other suspect and, I think, overly-simplified principles. Namely, men want only to have sex and women want only to settle down and be protected. There are both men and women (religious and non-religious) who abstain from sex. There are women who remain single and self-sufficient.
Quite true, and they're generally a tiny minority. Homosexuals could be lumped with these others if one's only understanding of my first point is from an evolutionary perspective. The reason homosexuals don't fit with abstainers is because homosexuals are highly motivated by sex -- not to reproduce (which is what an evolutionary cause would indicate) but simply to have orgasms.
The American Association for Single People reports: "The United States Census Bureau reported in 1998 that only 56% of the adult population was married and living with their spouse. More than 19 million adults or about 10% of the adult population was divorced. The number of adults who have never married has more than doubled in the past two decades, growing from 21.4 million in 1970 to 45.9 million in 1997." Michael's "all" is actually more like "half."
Those statistics aren't even vaguely related to who's having sex and who's abstaining. They're all about marriage and divorce, which are only peripherally related to sex these days.
Further troubling his position, Michael neglects all marriages that are not financially beneficial to the, using Michael's position, female party in the marriage. A full 10% of married, two parent homes in the U.S. live below the poverty level according to the census bureau. It seems unreasonable, then, that these marriages took place for financial stability in return for sexual favors. Sex certainly occurs in these marriages, but financial stability does not.
10% of married, two-parent homes may be below the poverty line, but that says nothing about whether or not the woman would be even poorer without a husband. Furthermore, marriage isn't even required to obtain the financial benefits of sex. Women who bear children are automatically entitled to child-support payments from the father, married or not. (The father, however, is not entitled to have sex with the mother.)
What I get from Rich's argument is basically that people aren't only after sex, they're after happiness -- but that's avoiding my real point, which is that what makes people happy is sex and those things that relate to it.