Suggestions for EA wedding vows?

post by geoffreymiller · 2019-03-22T02:38:14.577Z · score: 38 (18 votes) · EA · GW · 12 comments

Diana Fleischman and I have been involved in EA for several years now, and we're planning to get married this November. EA is important to us and to our relationship, and we'd like to incorporate some EA themes into our wedding vows, and into the ceremony itself.

1) Does anyone know of other EA couples who have designed a somewhat EA-themed wedding, and who might be willing to share their ideas?

2) Does anyone have any suggestions for possible vows, readings, activities, ceremony elements, etc.?

Thanks much in advance -- Geoffrey Miller


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Ben_West · 2019-11-11T17:10:01.205Z · score: 21 (10 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Here's a poem I wrote for Gina:

If love is like Bentham
You're the push on my pin
If love is like Bostrom
You're the simulation I'm in

If love is like Pearce
You're the wire in my head
If love is like Borlaug
You're my millions fed

If love is MacAskill
You're my good better done
If love is like Beckstead
You're good in the long run

If love is Tomasik
You're a life that's pain-free
And if your love's a person
Then I hope it's me

comment by Ruby · 2019-03-22T16:04:32.991Z · score: 19 (7 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Congratulations!! Marriage between the right people is wonderful.

Miranda Dixon-Luinenburg and I had EA themes throughout our wedding ceremony. You're welcome to read and borrow from our ceremony text. (Eventually I'll post the audio recordings too, but they need some significant audio clean up.)

Context: we had our wedding in a planetarium and had our friends write speeches each according to a particular theme combining into an overall arc. Each speech was read while a matching starscape was projected on the dome.

comment by Ruby · 2019-03-22T16:15:21.338Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Holly's answer reminded me of some of the passages we used in a 3rd anniversary mini-ceremony last year. The mini-ceremony had a couple of posts from the Sequences, one of which appear to be mostly an expansion of that point from Origin.

comment by rosiecampbell · 2019-03-23T21:09:34.257Z · score: 10 (6 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Not strictly EA, but we used this humorous poem as a reading as it touches on transhumanist themes and we wanted something light-hearted:

Scientific Romance by Tim Pratt

If starship travel from our
Earth to some far
star and back again
at velocities approaching the speed
of light made you younger than me
due to the relativistic effects
of time dilation,
I’d show up on your doorstep hoping
you’d developed a thing for older men,
and I’d ask you to show me everything you
learned to pass the time
out there in the endless void
of night.

If we were the sole survivors
of a zombie apocalypse
and you were bitten and transformed
into a walking corpse
I wouldn’t even pick up my
assault shotgun,
I’d just let you take a bite
out of me, because I’d rather be
undead forever
with you
than alive alone
without you.

If I had a time machine, I’d go back
to the days of your youth
to see how you became the someone
I love so much today, and then
I’d return to the moment we first met
just so I could see my own face
when I saw your face
for the first time,
and okay,
I’d probably travel to the time
when we were a young couple
and try to get a three-way
going. I never understood
why more time travelers don’t do
that sort of thing.

If the alien invaders come
and hover in stern judgment
over our cities, trying to decide
whether to invite us to the Galactic
Federation of Confederated
Galaxies or if instead
a little genocide is called for,
I think our love could be a powerful
argument for the continued preservation
of humanity in general, or at least,
of you and me
in particular.

If we were captives together
in an alien zoo, I’d try to make
the best of it, cultivate a streak
of xeno-exhibitionism,
waggle my eyebrows, and make jokes
about breeding in captivity.

If I became lost in
the multiverse, exploring
infinite parallel dimensions, my
only criterion for settling
down somewhere would be
whether or not I could find you:
and once I did, I’d stay there even
if it was a world ruled by giant spider-
priests, or one where killer
robots won the Civil War, or even
a world where sandwiches
were never invented, because
you’d make it the best
of all possible worlds anyway,
and plus
we could get rich
off inventing sandwiches.

If the Singularity comes
and we upload our minds into a vast
computer simulation of near-infinite
complexity and perfect resolution,
and become capable of experiencing any
fantasy, exploring worlds bound only
by our enhanced imaginations,
I’d still spend at least 10^21 processing
cycles a month just sitting
on a virtual couch with you,
watching virtual TV,
eating virtual fajitas,
holding virtual hands,
and wishing
for the real thing.

comment by Nicole_Ross · 2019-03-23T15:52:04.128Z · score: 8 (6 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

This is so sweet and made me really happy to read <3

comment by Khorton · 2019-03-22T16:13:42.607Z · score: 8 (7 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Congratulations! If you're interested in a more traditional reading, I've always been partial to Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, because it shows not only how you can help each other achieve your goals but also how God or your wider community can make your marriage stronger ('cord of three stands' in verse 12).

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

comment by kokotajlod · 2019-03-22T16:13:41.270Z · score: 8 (7 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Congratulations! :)

My wife and I got married last year. Here are some quotes/sayings that we like. The first one (the shortest) made it into our wedding vows:

"Take pride in noticing when you are confused, or when evidence goes against what you think. Rejoice when you change your mind. "

" There are actually two struggles between good and evil within each person. The first is the struggle to choose the right path despite all the temptations to choose the wrong path; it is the struggle to make actions match words. The second is the struggle to correctly decide which path is right and which is wrong. Many people who win one struggle lose the other. Do not lose sight of this fact or you will be one of them. "

"One who wishes to believe says, “Does the evidence permit me to believe?” One who wishes to disbelieve asks, “Does the evidence force me to believe?” Beware lest you place huge burdens of proof only on propositions you dislike, and then defend yourself by saying: “But it is good to be skeptical.” If you attend only to favorable evidence, picking and choosing from your gathered data, then the more data you gather, the less you know. If you are selective about which arguments you inspect for flaws, or how hard you inspect for flaws, then every flaw you learn how to detect makes you that much stupider. "

Then we had this reading, from

"Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction. There is no comradeship except through union in the same high effort. Even in our age of material well-being this must be so, else how should we explain the happiness we feel in sharing our last crust with others in the desert? No sociologist's textbook can prevail against this fact. Every pilot who has flown to the rescue of a comrade in distress knows that all joys are vain in comparison with this one. And this, it may be, is the reason why the world today is tumbling about our ears. It is precisely because this sort of fulfillment is promised each of us by his religion, that men are inflamed today. All of us, in words that contradict each other, express at bottom the same exalted impulse. What sets us against one another is not our aims — they all come to the same thing — but our methods, which are the fruit of our varied reasoning. "

comment by reallyeli · 2019-03-23T15:10:12.605Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

I love "What sets us against one another..." and feel this is the best expression of an idea which is powerful to me. I had not found such a short expression of it before. Thank you for it.

comment by kokotajlod · 2019-03-24T15:06:06.490Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Yep. Some helpful context for the quote: It was written at the start of World War Two by a French pilot; the quote draws heavily from his personal experiences, e.g. once he & his copilot crashed in the Sahara, were stranded there for four days and nearly died of dehydration before being rescued by a Bedouin who happened to stumble across them.

comment by Ben_West · 2019-10-25T14:45:43.351Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Come, And Be My Baby by Maya Angelou could be interpreted in an EA-romance kind of way:

Some prophets say the world is gonna end tomorrow
But others say we've got a week or two
The paper is full of every kind of blooming horror
And you sit wondering
what you're gonna do.
I got it.
Come. And be my baby.
comment by zdgroff · 2019-03-23T02:57:57.752Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

I'm getting married in September and November (he's Brazilian, and we want to celebrate in the U.S. and Brazil). Mostly following out of interest, but some things we've thought of:

1) I'm interested in doing a giving game in the bags we leave for guests at the hotel. Guests can vote on where to give money from a list of charities and descriptions.

2) Obviously try to direct gifts to donations.

3) We're animal advocates, and we got officiants on board with that and who will probably talk about all sentient beings in addition to our vows.

comment by Holly_Elmore · 2019-03-22T16:02:05.708Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Not exactly EA, but part of a scientific worldview: I had the end of the last paragraph of Origin read at my wedding.

Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

In fact, it's pretty un-EA to say that "higher" animals are "the most exalted object we are capable of conceiving," haha.


There's a lot of Zen stuff about using your intimate relationships as a supportive place to learn altruism which can then be applied to wider and wider circles. That seems pretty appropriate for a wedding. I don't have any links off the top of my head because I usually hear this kind of thing at dharma talks, but it's usually along the lines of someone asking a Zen master how to be a better person and getting the answer, "Every day when you wake up, think 'only for my wife, only for my wife.' When your wife's welfare is like your own, think 'only for my family'" and so on through the neighborhood, the community, the city, the country, the world. The localist hierarchy isn't EA, but the idea that you have to level up your compassion with the support and commitment of those you are close to brings EA themes together with marriage.