Romantic infidelity is not necessarily immoral.
NOTE: If you are interested in taking part in this debate, please say so in the comment section. I will accept the first person who responds, provided he's not a troll.
The claim is that romantic infidelity is not necessarily immoral. Under certain circumstances, there is nothing inherently wrong with cheating on one's partner.
I, the instigator, will provide evidence confirming this claim. The contender will attempt to refute the claim by responding to the presented evidence.
There are many conceptions of morality, so to simplify the discussion, a working definition of "morally good action" will be used: The action must not harm another person, and the action increases the wellbeing of at least one person.
The first round is for acceptance. The second and third rounds are for debate. The fourth round is for closing statements.
I accept this debate battle!!!
Rest assured I'm not a troll.
Two conditions must be met in order for an action to be morally good.
1. The action must not harm another person.
2. The action increases the wellbeing of at least one person.
Infidelity can satisfy both conditions.
First, infidelity does not necessarily harm another person. Infidelity is harmful only when the other person is cognizant of the cheating. As long as the other person is ignorant of the cheating, he will not feel upset and will happily live his life as if there were no cheating. (This is called the Tinkerbell effect, for those unfamiliar with the concept.) In order for infidelity to meet the first condition then, it is necessary for the cheater to keep his partner ignorant of any indiscretion.
Second, infidelity must make at least one person better off. This condition is easily met. The cheater can be better off due to his romantic involvement with two people rather than only one person.
If those conditions are met, then based upon the working definition of morality, no one has been harmed and at least one person is better off.
Relationships are Investments and Infidelity is Deception
Relationships require temporal, intimate, emotional and financial commitments.
It is equivalent to investing in a bank. It is not expected for the bank to maximize returns,
The PRO is making the argument that investors are not harmed if they are unaware of the wrong
However, it is precisely the conflicts of interest which diminish the bank’s ability to fulfill its obligations and causes it to split the dividends unevenly.
Contrary to PRO’s argument, I shall show that covert infidelity causes MORE harm than
disclosure and it is in fact honest disclosure that brings happiness.
Covert Infidelity Causes More Harm
In the case of romantic relationships, infidelity forces the offender to divide commitments
when commitments are expected to be exclusive.
This is harmful since the romantic partner is denied the dedication that is deserved if the relationship is one-to-one.
When the offender divides time, energy and money between lovers, the quality of the relationships
Furthermore, the offender can never take both relationships simultaneously to the next level
(living together, civil partnership, family, marriage).
At least one person is therefore deprived a fruitful romantic life. Especially in cases when the relationship is deceitfully prolonged, the person was made to wait a period of time when it could have been best spent living a happier life with a more committed lover.
One cannot bring back time. And when infidelity is covert, the wronged partner loses opportunity to find true happiness. Prolonging it therefore makes it even more harmful.
Honest disclosure brings happiness
Covert infidelity is nothing but fear of consequences – scorn not only from the
lovers, but also from family and friends.
But disclosing it opens the opportunity to end the cycle of deceit and let the offender finally commit to the relationship he/she wants to keep.
The betrayed person is given the chance to learn from the experience, to move on and find true happiness elsewhere. This is better than keeping to a relationship with empty promises.
For the offender, Birthdays, Christmases, Valentines, Anniversaries and all similar moments and occasions will finally be free of emotional and financial anxiety.
But most importantly, it clears ones conscience.
You have ignored both my presented argument and the working definition of moral behavior. We are assuming that an action is moral if it meets the criteria presented in round one. I have shown how infidelity meets those criteria. You were supposed to have shown that infidelity does not meet those criteria. Instead, you ignored everything I said and gave reasons, independent of our working definition of morality, supporting your position. Please address my original points.
Regardless, I'll respond to your digressive argument.
The bank analogy is false. You don't invest in a bank. You invest in equities, securities, and real estate. You save money in a bank. Investing and saving are not the same thing. Even if they were, the analogy is still false. If you invest your money into a security and the manager mismanages you money but nevertheless increases your capital, you won't care. To your knowledge, there is no corruption. Yeah, you might have less money than you should, but who cares? You'll live your life as if there isn't any corruption. Your ignorance prevent you from being upset.
You say that love cannot be divided. This also is false. It is possible to love two people equally without loving one less than the other. Parents with multiple children love each child equally. Children love both of their parents equally. People love both of their eyes equally. Love most certainly can be divided.
Commitment is different since it cannot be divided without being diminished. But the point is still flawed. As long as the other person is ignorant of the infidelity, she will not be upset. If she believes that her partner is giving 100%, she'll live her life as if he's giving his 100%. It doesn't matter whether he's actually doing it.
Think of it this way. If a doctor said you have cancer, would you be upset? Probably. But what if he was lying and you didn't know? Would you still be upset? Yes, because you would think you have cancer. Whether you actually have cancer is irrelevant. It only matter whether you believe you have cancer.
You say that dishonest relationship cannot be taken to the next level. What if both relationship are exactly where all parties want them to be?
Honest disclosure doesn't necessarily bring happiness. If the cheater is honest, he could lose both partners. If he lies, he may be able to keep both, at least until he can end one relationship on his own terms.
You said - You have ignored both my presented argument and the working definition of moral behavior. We are assuming that an action is moral if it meets the criteria presented in round one.
I never ignored your arguments.
You said that any moral good does not cause harm.
So I replied – people spend time and money in relationships. And serious
relationships are like investments. Some people expect something out of it
eventually; like marriage or living together.
But you can’t marry two people. You can only marry one.
So here’s how it goes down -
All of these cause HARM.
In a similar fashion, when you invest in a bank and the bank tells you lies and
Your definition of what is morally good is irrelevant.
You already lost this debate because you failed to make a similar ad-hoc definition for what constitutes harm. There many kinds of harm and its obviously not limited to feelings.
I never talked about love. I was talking about time and money.
Think about it this way – you paid a whore a thousand bucks. She handcuffed you in bed, and tells you to wait while she undress in the bathroom. But she bailed out, and you are unaware.
You may not be upset but unknown to you, you were already conned.
And that is some major harm!
You said - Think of it this way. If a doctor said you have cancer, would you be upset? Probably.
But what if he was lying and you didn't know? Would you still be upset? Yes, because you would think you have cancer. Whether you actually have cancer is irrelevant. It only matter whether you believe you have cancer.
Harm is not about being upset.
In your example, the doctor lied to a patient. Because of this lie, the patient is now making decisions that affects not only his life but also of others.
So instead of spending his money on prostitutes, bucket lists and everything to make his short life worthwhile, he spends them for more check-ups with the lame a$$ doctor.
Double major harm!
You said - What if both relationships are exactly where all parties want them to be?
You were talking about infidelity (covert) in general. So let’s talk about relationships in general.
And in many relationships, some people want to go to the next level.
Cheaters can’t bring things to the next level so what do you say to the girl who wasted her 20’s and 30’s on him, her virginity and all her savings?
You said infidelity makes at least one person better off. The cheater can be better off due to his romantic involvement with two people rather than only one person.
In addition, you said - Honest disclosure doesn't necessarily bring happiness. If the cheater is honest, he could lose both partners. If he lies, he may be able to keep both, at least until he can end one relationship on his own terms.
You confused well-being with pleasure.
Your cheater is better off in terms of pleasure but I said – his conscious is not clear and he has to spend more money on two instead of one.
His moral and financial well-being are in wreck!
In conclusion, you don’t satisfy your own definition of what is morally good despite given the advantage of having to define it arbitrarily.
Closing. Okay, you didn't ignore it. But you failed to understand it. A wasted investment is not equivalent to being hurt. If the person investing in the cheater doesn't know better, then the investor will still be happy. It doesn't matter whether the outcome is less-than-optimal. It doesn't matter whether the relationship can be taken to the "next level"; the topic is infidelity, not poor matches. It matters only whether the infidelity is exposed. There is no harm done until the other person is cognizant of the infidelity.
As long as the the cheater keeps his partner ignorant, everyone is happy. The cheater is happy because he has more than one person and the other two people are happy because they're in what thy think is a meaningful relationship. That's all that matters. If, however, the infidelity is exposed, then it becomes immoral because then it DOES hurt the other person. But unless that happens, there's nothing immoral about infidelity. No one becomes upset, and at least one person is better off.
The assumption of the debate is that if it can be shown that infidelity harms no one and makes at least one person better off, then infidelity is not necessarily immoral. I think I have successfully demonstrated this.
Everyone should vote and leave comments.
My key argument is – Infidelity causes financial harm
In relationships, people make personal decisions that affect the rest of their lives. And this is
the reason why we invest time and money into it.
These are examples of decisions people make for the sake of relationships -
In short, people in relationships give up their time, aspirations, finances and their own freedom in exchange for commitment and dedication.
But when there is cheating and is not disclosed, people are being deceived into making long-term
In today’s society, time and money are valuable. And when you spend them in an unproductive relationship, it is no better than throwing time and money into the drain.
And if it doesn’t hurt you emotionally, it hurts you financially.
Because money that should have been invested or as payment for bills and debt are instead
The fact that is this is kept hidden and prolonged makes cheating even more financially harmful.
Harm does not require knowledge, and this is evident in the example of the run-away whore
Cutting your limbs is a form of harm and it remains true even if you were given a heavy dose of anesthesia that prevented you to feel anything.
My 2nd argument is – Infidelity shatters the moral and financial well-being of the cheater
Unless they are psychopathic, some cheaters will feel ill-at-ease, remorseful, and burdened
with a heavy conscience.
Since the cheater also has to go out with two instead of one, his financial burden is
When it came to harm, the PRO has centered his argument towards emotional hurt and
When it came to well-being, the PRO only considered pleasure as the main criteria.
However, as I have shown, hurt can also come in the form of financial harm, and that while
In closing, PRO has a narrow definition for hurt and well-being and failed to meet his own