When is infidelity allowed?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by BrianHarwarespecialist, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Bells Staff Member

    I'm looking at it from the perspective of benefits vs the detrimental aspect of it.

    Sure, a man, for example, would benefit from a biological standpoint, if he is able to propagate more in regards to his off-spring. A woman, would benefit more from having various sexual partners with strengths that would benefit her offspring and her rearing said offspring.

    But we also need to weigh that against the costs involved, from a health standpoint, to one that could very well diminish the capacity to care adequately for the offspring (if one is stretched out with children all over the place, the children suffer in a variety of ways), not to mention the fact that children do suffer psychologically when parents have affairs, which can lead to their not desiring to have children or even forming a long term relationship with another person, because of the psychological damage they may have suffered.

    Are there benefits from a biological point of view? Sure. But there are also costs that could completely override those benefits which would not one's chance of seeing one's genes live on in the family line, if you will.

    I find the question of whether infidelity should be allowed or not to be somewhat bizarre. From an emotional point of view, humans form deep bonds and we are emotionally tied to relationships for the most part. We are, for the most part, social beings. Once that trust is lost, we find it hard to trust in others in the same way again and if one is of child bearing age, one might not want to commit and risk the pain again. Those choices, however emotional they may be, do have an effect on biology in the long run. It is hard to discount the sociological and psychological aspect of it when it is so intrinsically tied to the risk of those involved, not being able to form bonds or desire to have children in the future. In that regard, it ceases to be a successful biological strategy.

    Our ancestors formed groups and had very strong bonds within those groups. Their survival depended on it. Cheating within those groups, would break that trust. Trust issues would pose a risk to the family group and the community group itself. Hence, in a way you are correct, our ancestors did not have the modern luxury of trust issues because if they did, they could very well find themselves dying. Ergo, it explains why from an evolutionary standpoint, monogamy became so vital to our ancestor's survival. A female had to be able to trust that her partner was going to be able and willing to care for and protect their offspring. If the male is off diddling all the other females in the group and having multiple children with the other females in the group, that presents a risk to her offspring's chances of survival because he is no longer in a position to focus on her offspring. Sure, it might have survival value in that one is able to father multiple children with different females. But that survival value is negated by the fact that the male would be unable to provide for all his offspring in an adequate manner, not to mention being able to protect all his offspring in a world that was filled with life threatening dangers. Which explains how and why pair bonding became so vital in our evolution and how monogamy played such a huge role. Certainly, there was infidelity. There still is and it is fairly common. But that doesn't mean it was always beneficial. A male, for example would view infidelity in the female even more negatively, because there would always be the risk that he would be expending his energy to care for offspring that was not biologically his.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Bells Staff Member

    I beg to differ with his opinion. There are advantages, but the disadvantages from an evolutionary point of view outweighs those benefits.

    Okay, biologically and from an evolutionary standpoint, "having children" is fairly important, especially in human history. To wit, sure, in modern times people choose not to have children. But from an evolutionary perspective and in the context of human evolution historically (ie when our ancestors were running around the plains with rudimentary tools) those choices were not viable. Do you understand now where I am going with this?

    There is a reason why "having children" is important. One, our species cannot survive if there is not enough diverse genetic material to be able to provide viable offspring, which reduces the risk of diseases one is inclined to have and can pass on (this is reduced if one breeds with one outside of one's community and/or family circle) and our species certainly cannot evolve if more and more people choose not to have children. Usually, when one chooses to have a child, they will want to be in a secure relationship (I say usually because of course, there are plenty of single people who want to remain single to have their children - through donors and the like). But usually, most want to be able to provide for and care for their offspring (again, most because some people should not be allowed to have a houseplant, let alone a child).

    Therefore, if there are trust issues (for those who seek to be in a relationship or be in a 'pair bond'), then one is less likely to want to have a child or even remain in a relationship with someone who is going to be having sex with others, thereby preventing them from either caring for their offspring with their partner, or being in a position to care for or support their partner if they do not have children.

    You haven't actually read any of the links provided, have you?


    http://www.pnas.org/content/112/38/11806 (which looks at the Grandmother hypothesis)



    Not to mention the fact that polygyny in our ancestry was something that could result in the increased risk of males killing the offspring of other males. Monogamy evolved for a reason. Your argument that it never played a part in evolution is not supported by science. If you have links to support your contention that monogamy played no part in human evolution, then please cite it.

    In modern times, yes. In the context of human evolution, if a male was unable to care for and provide for his offspring, it would mean that his offspring would die or be killed by another male if the mother decided to bond with another male.

    I'm not confused. And I am not the one arguing that monogamy played no role in human evolution, in direct contradiction to known science. You are.

    Sorry, I will amend that to "most".

    Well, we certainly have the luxury to make those choices now. But again, choices affect evolution.

    You may not think it is necessary, but there is enough information out there that shows that it is in many cases, necessary.

    And in that, you would be correct. In the past, people barely lived past 50. Now we are living to 80+ easily. And yes, that is a whole new ballgame. But human needs have not changed and our emotions and our emotional attachments to people, and the desire to belong, have not really changed that much over the years. Will people cheat? Of course. But there remains repercussions to infidelity. Be it from a financial point of view, to one that impacts on one's health and wellbeing, be it from the standpoint of opening one's self to things like STD, to being caught by the partner or spouse of the other and being killed or injured. Infidelity does not come without risk to life and limb.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Bells Staff Member

    Well of course it is personal. It falls to the issue of trust. How is that nor personal? It affects the happiness levels and stress levels of all parties involved, which I might add, also have repercussions. It can affect one's standing in one's community and/or family group, it can lead to people being ostracised by one's community or family and can result in damage to one's offspring, which can have repercussions such as they not wanting to form any form of relationship with others as adults or not trusting others as adults, which can impact on their desire or ability to have offspring later on, and so on and so forth. It can impact on one's finances, one's belongings and property and even one's health and wellbeing.

    It benefits the man, sure. But it provides little benefit to his offspring all over the place, who a) will not be cared for in an adequate manner if the father is spread thin trying to care for various off spring in different households and b) it provides little to no benefit to the women who then have to care for said offspring on her own and limit her chances of finding adequate mates or partners later on to care for her and to potentially have more offspring. And that's not even touching on his risk to his health from STD's and the risk to his life if he is caught by the woman's spouse or partner (or father depending on some communities that value virginity, for example) or the fact that this risk also poses a risk to his being able to spread it around, nor the fact that disadvantages to mating with people who may carry genetic diseases or issues that may correspond with his own, which leads to less chance of his offspring surviving.. Do you think the benefits outweigh the costs and risks that it becomes viable and necessary?

    I believe I have been pretty open in this discussion and I have supported my arguments. You have not.

    Even from an emotional view of "when is it allowed", I have also looked at the benefits and the risks. These things need to be weighed.

    So to address the topic of the thread, when do you think it should be allowed? When would you be happy for your male or female partner to start bonking other people? When do you feel they should be happy for you to do the same? Would you have a clause in your relationship, stating that after a certain number of years, you may want to start having sex with other people, for example?

    And you are free to state your opinion, just as I am free to state mine. You don't believe it is worthwhile, I happen to disagree. Is that a problem for you?

    *Raises eyebrows*

    Whatever gave you that idea?

    The point was that it has a function, to your claim that it does not. People also get along fine without a kidney, gall bladder, wisdom teeth, hearing, hair or spleen. Does not mean it does not actually have a function.

    Makes for glorious reading if you are into genocides. And so will you.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Bells Staff Member

    The article(s) were looking at the effect of infidelity. You are trying to attach other issues that do not really have any bearing on this particular thread or subject. If you wish to look at the effect of child abuse, etc, on children, then please start a thread to discuss those issues and I will gladly participate in those.

    To wit, there are many many things that will affect a child's development, be it psychological development and physical development. This is just one particular issue that can affect it negatively.

    Or you could, you know, utilise google and just have a bit of a read..




    As to whether more men cheat than women? I would say it's about equal.

    And it is becoming more common, and perhaps that has a lot to do with not having the need to invest as much in relationships now than one had to before. There are many reasons why people cheat. Does it mean that we are reverting back and away from monogamy? Perhaps. There are few signs that indicate that it is now more acceptable in our society. In societies where monogamy is not always practiced, or to be blunt, in societies where polygyny is common place, the notion of women's rights tends to suffer. In other words, they are not always beneficial to women in a variety of ways. Nor is it always beneficial for men.
  8. Retribution Banned Banned

    Er, Bells... you were the one who brought it up.
    What, you can introduce something and then when someone answers you tell them its off topic because you don't like the answer?
    Barney fuckin' Fyfe.

    Yes. A sense of "belonging" in a social environment being one of them. You're arguing that children's development requires pair bonding; I've given you several examples of where it is not, depending on the particular society you're talking about.

    We all know children's development might suffer due to adverse circumstance. We all know that being brought up in any environment not considered nominal might lead to issues down the track. Jesus, I spent half an hour not long ago on that.
    But all you can do is reiterate how infidelity harms kids, when I've already asked readers to consider that that is only partially true under the context of our current society, and therefore does not lend evidence to monogamy being evolutionarily beneficial in itself other than simply being a factor under some fairly specific circumstances.

    If those kids weren't brought up to believe that infidelity is so wrong, do you think they'd have any issues with it? That's a direct question, Bells. In response to what is effectively a strawman you're having trouble letting go of.

    Or you could, you know, read that little bit I typed on the bottom to explain I was just having fun... seeing as how it's become fairly obvious you have the sense of humour of a dog in a bear trap.

    Oh, and by the way... those articles you're presenting in support of monogamy are actually speaking about pair-bonding in many cases.
    So you still haven't figured out the difference? It's been mentioned only a few times so far. I've noticed you haven't made any attempt to address it.

    So would I. In recent times, anyway.
    As I've already said, in the past (think Victorian era, by way of our own cultural mores) there were more severe consequences for women who violated that social dictate. Continuing with the theme of societies showing considerable variance on the topic, even in this day and age, there are some cultures in which it will get a woman killed.
    That's a fairly big disincentive.

    Name one society in which monogamy is "always practised". Oh, of course. You still think pair bonding is the same thing.

    But here you have the mutable morality thing I've been mentioning.
    "There are few signs that it is now more acceptable in our society".... heh. Is that your version of a concession? Speak up. Stop mumbling. "Few" signs? Really? Fifty years ago, she'd hesitate to tell her best friend. Now, some of them will even post it on Facebook.
    In relative terms with regard to human history, 50 years is practically yesterday. It is a massive change.

    Speaking of people not reading responses.... you miss the bit about the Wodaabee, by way of example? Didn't bother? Think typing it in blue is going to make any difference?

    You say "In societies where monogamy is not always practiced, or to be blunt, in societies where polygyny is common place, the notion of women's rights tends to suffer."
    So in effect, you're saying the attempted imposition of monogamy is beneficial to women's rights?
    Pair bonding, monogamy... how many times...

    Sure, you can fire off a few articles proving "monogamy" has benefits in society (except that most of them are talking about pair-bonding more than monogamy), and some of them might even have some good points - but the vast majority of the animal world and societies other than our own will tell you to go shove it.
    Ours is joining in on the chorus.
    cluelusshusbund likes this.
  9. birch Valued Senior Member

    What a sad shame..

    What this whole thing is about people defending what they want to do whether it affects others or society negatively. So the justification is just 'commonplace'. Lol

    A lot of things are commonplace but doesnt mean its good or best either.

    Also, from what i can tell 'retribution' is thinly disguised form of justification of outright dishonesty because so many people do it. Thats just disgusting. So its okay to decieve because there is no law against it. Its okay to be careless or completely dishonest in personal relationships because there are no consequences through the law. People arent stoned anymore, for example, for infidelity. Well, not in most countries anymore.

    The responsibility of integrity just falls on the individual and you know what that means and how thats going to play out, right?? Cynical and jaded, of course, to boot. The same reason why we have to lock our car and house doors, bank accounts and why we have laws, jails and prisons to MAKE people accountable because many people are weak when it comes to temptation or honesty. If there were no laws with punitive consequences in other areas of life; mass looting, killing, raping etc would be a more 'commonplace' occurence similar to seeing a car pass on a major freeway. Ho-hum and whatever..

    How sad that most people have to be forced, otherwise its the path of least resistance all the way.

    I hear it loud and clear. So just survival and greater numbers are the benchmark for justification and not quality of life or relationships. Well, there you have it and it is. The divorce rate is 50% and that doesnt even include people in unhappy or untrustworthy relations and children damaged or suffering from absent or stressed parents since its difficult to raise a child as a single parent, not to mention the unseen emotional and mental damage..

    Its pitiful what we justify to validate our selfishness but it is what it is...
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I've been married three times for a total of 44 years (with long periods of bachelorhood between them) and I've never had extramarital relations.
    Many of those "weak" people were the children from broken homes, in many of which violence was common and education had no priority. So when it came time to get a job they couldn't qualify for one.
    That is certainly not true of "most people." If you base your opinions of the American people on what you read in the newspapers--or even worse, on what sensational thing is reported on TV--well then of course you'll begin to believe that people ain't worth shit.

    But the vast majority of Americans--even the members of the NRA, a group that I more often suggest sending on a one-way trip to Mars--try to treat each other fairly.
    Well we're finally on the same page. Single-parent homes have a very poor track record of the ethics of the children they produce. All I can say is that I never had any. I'm positive that my second marriage would not have endured for 36 years if we had children.
    Yet in other countries with other practices, it's not uncommon for children who have no father figure to grow up to be decent adults.

    Nonetheless, I stand by my earlier post: human children need two parents, and somewhere along the way to adulthood they also benefit very strongly from the attention of grandparents.
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Well, no - it's the path of most benefit for the least effort, usually.
    It is all four things, of course (plus several others.) Any time you say "there are really only two justifications and that's it" you are bound to be wrong.
    Everyone is the protagonist in their own story - and everyone is selfish to some degree. (Which is necessary; people who do not do _anything_ for themselves die.) The trick is balancing that inherent selfishness against other people's in a way that gives us a stable society.
  12. Bells Staff Member

    I don't believe I brought up any issues regarding "Auntie Dot" telling her family to go and fuck themselves, nor do I believe I brought up "Uncle Milat" and his murderous ways in Bangalow, just as I am fairly certain I never once brought up a father belting his kid(s) and watching the Cosby Show, nor have I made made mention of gay parenting and issues you claim may arise from that, just as I am fairly certain that I have made no mention of parents who stay together for the sake of the children and the damage that does to kids...

    Understand what the "[snip]" was referring to now? Understand why that fell under the [snip]?

    So we agree on one thing at least.. And I am sorry typing a few paragraphs took you so long. Please, don't put yourself out on my account.

    Secondly, do I think we bring up our children to believe that infidelity is wrong? Perhaps. After all, we explain the notion that 'cheating' is wrong, without going into specific, for example. Kids are not stupid and they can put two and two together, usually by the time they can speak. Is that wrong to do so?

    But research has shown that even without the child knowing, the sense that a parent is withdrawing or spending time in another household, can cause issues of anxiety in children. Would children respond better if they were told that it was okay, that it's just that parent wanting to spend time with another person because they have other needs that cannot be met in that household? What do you think? "That's okay son, it's just that Mum/Dad have needs and urges that I cannot meet, so he/she is off bonking someone else to meet those urges.. It's not that he/she doesn't love you.. It's just something he/she has to do to be happy and there is nothing wrong with it.. So don't feel abandoned or afraid, he/she will come back when they are done".. would be a good way to approach it with kids?

    Oh was that meant to be a joke? You know, you aren't very funny. Perhaps you should spend more time on the delivery. To wit, I am not suggesting spending half an hour typing up a couple of paragraphs, but just on the delivery.

    That would be because the papers and articles actually deal with both. Because you know, the two are quite closely related and often work well together.


    As such:

    In biology, a pair bond is the strong affinity that develops in some species between a pair consisting of a male and female, or in some cases as a same-sex pairing, potentially leading to producing offspring and/or a lifelong bond. Pair-bonding is a term coined in the 1940s[1] that is frequently used in sociobiology and evolutionary biology circles. The term often implies either a lifelong socially monogamous relationship or a stage of mating interaction in socially monogamous species. It is sometimes used in reference to human relationships.​


    is a form of relationship in which an individual has only one partner during his or her lifetime or at any one time (serial monogamy), as compared to polygyny, polyandry, orpolyamory.[1] The term is also applied to the social behavior of some animals, referring to the state of having only one mate at any one time.​

    Which is why they are so often coined together in papers about monogamy and/or pair bonding.

    Huzzah, we agree on something..
  13. Bells Staff Member

    Just as it can ruin a man's reputation in the Victorian era, since no respectable family would want to marry their daughter off to a man who was off bonking all and sundry and thus, lower her reputation. And the consequences for men could also result in death (in the Victorian era, duels, in earlier and more recent times, honour killings often also target men - in countries like India and Pakistan, both are often killed together)..

    I would say in those societies, they would count as a "fairly big disincentive"..

    Well there isn't one society where monogamy is always, and by that, I assume you mean "only", practised..

    People will cheat. Does not mean that monogamy and pair bonding were not inherently important to human evolution.

    I don't think it is something that was just in a 50 year time span. It is obvious that infidelity or polygyny has had a role in human evolution. And while you may deny that pair bonding and monogamy has had a vital role in human evolution, science does not exactly support your claims.

    People have always 'cheated'. But that does not mean that monogamy and pair bonding was not beneficial in an evolutionary sense. I argue that it played a vital role in the survival of our species in an evolutionary sense. Whether that will continue to be the case in the future, it is hard to determine.

    Fifty years ago, these things were secret, just as they continue to be secret. The Ashley Maddison affair certainly shows just how much people do not like to advertise that they are cheating on their spouse or partner. Is it more acceptable? Yes and no. There is a general understanding that it happens now as much as there was an understanding that it happened over 50 years ago. In today's terms, there are more options available in regards to therapy and the desire to figure out why it happens, usually to try to prevent it from happening again in a relationship.

    The words "tends to" does not mean "always". Just as "not always" does not indicate that it is always or the norm.

    And as all I have linked shows, humans are one of the few who practice it.

    And I am sure animals would tell us to shove it and do if we could understand their language.

    While touting the essentials of safe sex practices because of the risk involved.

    After all, it tends to stop being a chorus when people start dropping like dead flies.
  14. Retribution Banned Banned

    The story so far:

    "Children are affected by infidelity. Here's an article to prove it".

    <I don't particularly like that study, It's too limited>. "Children will grow up in a certain environment, and react to digressions in that environment accordingly. This doesn't have anything to do with infidelity as a concept in and of itself.
    This sort of thing doesn't speak to either the evolutionary or ethical aspect, unless you take into one factor - absolute morality. That old chestnut."
    (lots of examples and notes on how society differs both regionally and gradually over time)

    "You are trying to attach other issues that do not really have any bearing on this particular thread or subject."

    "If those kids weren't brought up to believe that infidelity is so wrong, do you think they'd have any issues with it? That's a direct question, Bells. In response to what is effectively a strawman you're having trouble letting go of."

    But... but... the links!
    *crickets* (note the complete ignoring of a direct question, even after going off-site to write two lengthy replies basically restating what she'd already said)


    (already addressed a page or so ago....)

    Yeah Bells. I do understand that snip.

    * - crickets actually do make a lot of noise for such a small creature.
    Ophiolite likes this.
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Children are affected by damn near everything that happens in their home.

    And they're also affected by a lot of the stuff that happens outside their home: War, weak economy, climate change, epidemics, rise of strong economic and/or military powers that are not friendly to us, etc.

    They especially don't like photos of civilians (especially children and even pets) dead or dying, that are obviously the result of gunfire or other weaponry, rather than natural disasters or simply bad luck.
  16. Bells Staff Member

    So, you don't really intend to provide anything to support any of your claims and instead of actually discussing what has been raised, you decide to throw about some 'shinnies', blame others for it and then post a response that really is not of any substance and is nothing more than flame bait and taking things completely out of context. Okay then..

    And you clearly did not understand the "snip". But please, carry on. You clearly need to win, astonishing how that never changes with you. Consider yourself a winner.
  17. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    This, from Retirbution, was a valid and relevant question Bells. Do you intend to answer it?

    If those kids weren't brought up to believe that infidelity is so wrong, do you think they'd have any issues with it?
  18. Bells Staff Member

    I actually did answer it:

    What part of that answer did you not understand?

    Do I think we teach our children that infidelity is wrong? Yes and no. That lesson comes about whether we want it to or not.

    As I pointed out already, we teach children that cheating is wrong, that lying is wrong, that being deceptive is wrong. Children are not stupid and if they feel that a parent is lying to them, is deceiving them or the other parent, for example, then yes, in that regard, we do teach children that "infidelity" is wrong. After all, infidelity involves lying, cheating and deception. How can children, with those all important lessons we teach them about being honest, not deceptive and not cheating, not think otherwise when it comes to infidelity?

    And we do that because we try to instill a sense of telling the truth and not lying to our children. We don't have to go into specifics with our kids. This is what we all learn as children. So of course when it comes to infidelity, the lies, the deception, the cheating itself, they are going to believe it is wrong, because children are taught to believe that lying, deception and cheating is wrong.

    I had assumed I had been quite clear in my initial and original answer. It seems I was not for some people.
  19. birch Valued Senior Member

    Its not a valid question at all.

    The question would be more accurate to ask if 'those kids werent brought up to believe open sexual relationships or polygamy is so wrong, do you think they would have any issues with it?'

    And the answer to that is obviously some would depending on their nature.

    Because the deception and lying needed to carry out 'infidelity' is really asking, is it okay to lie and cheat?

    The point and thats really ignored is some people are inconsiderate or selfish to decieve and defraud another under false pretenses when there EXIST plenty of people who are openly or honestly polygamous. But more importantly, why are some defending deception on this thread, not really polygamy or monogamy?

    There are even polygamist groups who if reading this thread would not defend infidelity or deception and understand people should be honest about who they are and how they are to others they are involved with so people dont get involved with incompatible people based on values as well as not hurt others in the process.
    Bells likes this.
  20. Bells Staff Member

  21. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    If memory serves:
    Infidelity was allowed between 3 and 4 pm(gmt) on the second Tuesday of last month.
    You seem to have missed it, so, I guess, it's back to masturbating?
  22. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    [QUOTE="birch, post: 3383404, member: 52980]
    Because the deception and lying needed to carry out 'infidelity' is really asking, is it okay to lie and cheat?[/QUOTE]I don't know what motivates Retribution's posts in this thread. I do not know what underlying agenda/position he may be trying to make. I do know that many of his observations and questions coincide with my own.

    As I have observed before there is a tenor to this thread I find unpleasant. It is true that the central theme, set out in the title and the OP concerns the morality of infidelity. However, to properly address that issue we need to properly explore matters of biology and culture. The points I have made and the questions I have asked are directed to that end. I have made no comment thus far as to my personal views on infidelity. Yet the sense I get from some is that if I make an observation about biology or culture that notes the reality of and possible reasons for infidelity, then I am somehow defending it.

    Let me state very clearly I find such a reaction, implicit or explicit, to be offensive, ignorant and self-defeating. If any of you are indulging in such mindlessness I suggest you take a step back and examine your consciences.
  23. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    I take responsibility when a reader does not understand what I have written. Apparently you take a different stance that involves a snide comment. This is symptomatic of why we do not get on.
    cluelusshusbund likes this.

Share This Page