Oslo, Norway—UPF observed International Day of Families with a lecture on the benefits to society of healthy families.
Sixteen participants attended the event, which was held in the Main Library of Oslo on May 22, 2023.
In his talk, titled “The Family: A Fundamental Unit of Society,” UPF leader Steinar Murud emphasized that all members of a family benefit from good family relationships. Experience shows that health, school results, happiness and future development all are strongly connected to good relations within the family.
He also pointed out that family breakdown represents a major burden not only for the families themselves but also for the society. According to the Marriage Foundation UK, the costs are estimated at 50 billion British pounds a year.
Studying history can give us useful lessons for the organization of our societies, Mr. Murud said. In a time in which the critique of norms is a trend, it is worth remembering that traditional, monogamous marriages have been a success factor in most societies.
Finally, he referred to a book written by the American political analyst Yuval Levin: The Fractured Republic: Renewing America's Social Contract in the Age of Individualism. In this book Mr. Levin describes how a family-based mode of relations can “spread outward to interpersonal relationships, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, religious communities” and even into the work of local governments, businesses and professional affiliations.
A good dialogue followed the presentation. One of the participating scholars pointed out that his articles about these topics had been well received in the Arabic world and even quoted by the Qatari television network Al Jazeera.