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Sacred Cows

The Truth About Divorce & Marriage

By Danielle Teller and Astro Teller
10-minute read
Audio available
Sacred Cows: The Truth About Divorce & Marriage by Danielle Teller and Astro Teller

Sacred Cows (2014) tackles the sacrosanct subject of marriage, an institution often considered to be above criticism. Rather than offering practical guidance on how to fix a marriage or how to recover after a marriage dissolves, these blinks consider how society is arranged to make us feel bad about divorce. The advocates of certain societal viewpoints are given a firm dressing down.

  • Anyone looking for a novel perspective on divorce
  • Individualists and libertarians
  • People interested in sociology and psychology

Danielle Teller is a Canadian-born doctor of medicine, currently residing in Palo Alto, California. She trained at several universities, including Brown and Yale. In 2013, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.

Astro Teller, the husband of Danielle Teller, holds a PhD in artificial intelligence from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He studied computer science at Stanford University. He is also the author of Exegesis, a science-fiction novel.

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Sacred Cows

The Truth About Divorce & Marriage

By Danielle Teller and Astro Teller
  • Read in 10 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 6 key ideas
Sacred Cows: The Truth About Divorce & Marriage by Danielle Teller and Astro Teller
Synopsis

Sacred Cows (2014) tackles the sacrosanct subject of marriage, an institution often considered to be above criticism. Rather than offering practical guidance on how to fix a marriage or how to recover after a marriage dissolves, these blinks consider how society is arranged to make us feel bad about divorce. The advocates of certain societal viewpoints are given a firm dressing down.

Key idea 1 of 6

Cultural assumptions are there to be torn down, especially when it comes to marriage.

We all know the world isn't flat, but it took us a long time to get there. For millennia, it was thought by most people that the world couldn’t be anything but flat. An unquestioned cultural assumption like this is known as a sacred cow. These sacred cows feel so much like facts that they are often thought to be integral to society. Challenging them can be difficult.

For example, thinkers like Galileo, a man who disputed multiple “facts,” including the earth’s flatness and the geocentric model of the universe, were harshly criticized by their contemporaries. But time – and science! – proved them right.

Of course, sacred cows can also exist on a smaller scale – for instance, in the world of marriage and divorce. For a number of reasons, society regards people who divorce as morally suspect, disloyal, irresponsible or even defective. Such a dogmatic view of marriage and divorce is more than questionable – it’s a modern-day sacred cow, and it needs to be challenged.

We’re taught that the institution of marriage is the bedrock of decent society. Married people are thought to be logical, responsible and caring. And divorce threatens these societal norms and personal attributes. Indeed, America is seething with people who propagate the sacred cow of marriage.

In the following blinks we'll look at some of these people, including the Holy Cow, the Expert Cow, the Defective Cow, and the Innocent Victim Cow. This myth-mongering herd can and must be challenged!

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