The Instigator
MoralQuestions
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Complicated_Mind
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Under what conditions would it be ethical to lie or keep secrets from your spouse or life partner?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Complicated_Mind
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/18/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 537 times Debate No: 68536
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

MoralQuestions

Con

We should not allow ourselves to lie to our significant others. When it comes down to it I am not sure if there is ever a true "moral reason" to lie to or keep secrets from a significant other. I would argue that the person being lied to is deprived of information that they might find useful even if they found it unpleasant. When a person chooses to lie, that person may find it easier to lie in the future, and they may come to blur the line between white lies and more blame worthy lies. We make mistakes and tell lies, but we should not choose to tell lies on the grounds of morality. We should choose to tell the truth, even when the truth is hard to tell.
Complicated_Mind

Pro

I would first like to thank Con for giving me the opportunity to debate this. This topic looks very interesting. I will provide a couple examples of when it is morally and ethically right to lie and/or keep secrets to/from your partner/spouse. These examples are out-of-the-box, but they still negate your case. Without further ado:

===Keeping Secrets===

Hypothetically, if you found a guy that seemed perfect in every way possible, but gradually got more violent towards both you and your son, to the point where he beat both of you, and you found out from vigorous Internet searching that his first wife and son (at the time, they were the same age as you and your son) were murdered by him, and he was under the FBI most wanted list for murdering his women he swooned over, and any witnesses but he didn't know you knew this information, wouldn't it be best to keep it a secret from him that you know in order to save yourself and your son? Isn't it ethical, as you say, to keep a secret in order to save your son. This is given that your son is young and is probably constantly with you. So this isn't a question of "if" but WHEN he is going to murder you, it is pretty much guaranteed your son will be a witness; your husband kills witnesses.

Keep the secret that you know, divorce him, and get a restraining order. Simple. If you DON'T keep the secret, what will happen to your son? He will get murdered. Keeping this secret is the most ethical thing to do in this situation. You have to keep this secret from your current (and hopefully temporary) husband.

This alone negates one half of your point: keeping secrets from your spouse.

I will now negate the other half: lying.

===Lying===

If your husband held your six year old daughter at gunpoint and said: "Did you get paid to marry me? I will kill both of you and myself if this whole marriage was a lie!"

Let's say you DID get paid. His mother desperately wanted grandchildren, so she paid you a butt ton of money to marry him and have at least one kid with him; and you did. That's where your daughter came from six years ago.

But you love your daughter more than you've loved anything else: your love for HER was genuine.

So you lie in order to save your daughter's life. That is beyond ethical. The negative concept of lying is overpowered by you saving your offspring's life.

===Conclusion===

Though these scenarios may seem unlikely, they are possible, even if the chances are slim. How is saving your child's life not ethical? If that is unethical, I don't know what WOULD be ethical.

Unfortunately Con has made this very confusing by not only forming the title in the form of a question, but also instigating a debate as Con. Because s/he is the instigator, s/he is affirming the following: "It is not ethical to lie or keep secrets from your spouse or life partner." That is the impression they give off.

Therefore, they are affirming such a statement as instigator, while I am negating as the contender.

At this point I have negated both of their contentions, and I am filling every obligation I have as contender.

With that, I hand this debate back to Con.
Debate Round No. 1
MoralQuestions

Con

MoralQuestions forfeited this round.
Complicated_Mind

Pro

I would like to clarify, since Con's resolution is vague, that their lack of specificality led to a general affirming case which leads to the fact that I have successfully proved that there ARE ethical times to lie and keep secrets from your spouse.

As such, I have negated the resolution and fulfilled my burden. My opponent has not done the same. Unfortunately, my opponent has forfeited, so the audience will have to extend my points.

If my opponent fails to post again next round, I win this debate by default.
Debate Round No. 2
MoralQuestions

Con

MoralQuestions forfeited this round.
Complicated_Mind

Pro

I have successfully negated my opponent's baseless assertions.

I would individually refute every point they have made in the first round, however there is no need. They are simply opinionated assertions that we should not lie or keep secrets from our spouses or life partners, even if the knowledge may hurt them.

However, through argumentation, I have refuted the resolution as a whole, with those refutations never getting challenged due to numerous forfeits by my opponent. If the knowledge hurts them, they may kill you or your other loved ones as well as themselves, so it would be ethical to lie or keep secrets in order to prevent such results. This is the epitome of the word 'ethical' as a matter of fact.

So, I win.

Goodbye forever to this debate.

Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by RealCS 2 years ago
RealCS
This does not seem to be a debate, it is more like a question. It should be in the opinions, and even so, it would be terribly confusing for users to ponder whether they should choose yes or no.
Posted by Skepticalone 2 years ago
Skepticalone
I would be happy to take this debate, but I ask for a longer period to submit arguments. (24 hours at least) Also, I ask that you make your resolution more clear. It seems you are arguing "lying or keeping secrets from your spouse would be unethical in all situations". If these changes are possible, please feel free to challenge me directly.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
It seems your arguement is that their is never a moral reason to lie to ones significant other. That would be a far more clear debate resolution
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Paleophyte 2 years ago
Paleophyte
MoralQuestionsComplicated_MindTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeits
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
MoralQuestionsComplicated_MindTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff