When is infidelity allowed?

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

  1. Bells Staff Member

    Okay, let me ask you this, what wasn't clear in that original response? The comment wasn't snide. Because clearly, "some" people did not understand something that I thought was very clear.

    I'll put it this way.. We do not teach our children that screwing around behind someone's back is wrong. Simply because having a discussion about the birds and the bees is hard enough for most parents. Going further and trying to define infidelity and explain why it is wrong and somehow impose the belief about infidelity on small and impressionable children, is nearly impossible without exposing them to things that they are too young to understand, for one and should not be exposed to.

    To wit, when we teach our children about why lying is bad, for example, the goal is not to teach them about why infidelity is wrong. So the question, in that regard, was not a good question. Because we don't teach our children about "infidelity". Instead, we teach our children about not lying, about not cheating because we don't want our children to grow up to be little narcissistic sociopaths who lie, deceive and cheat. We try and impart some good behaviour and hope like hell it sticks and they aren't lying about stuff and aren't cheating their way through school or something.

    The question itself, as it was posed, has no correct answer. It is a yes and no response. Because I don't know about you, but I don't know anyone who teaches their toddler that "infidelity" is wrong in the context of this thread. Because lessons about lying, cheating and deception, usually starts right from when they start to understand things and when they do try to lie or cheat or be deceptive.. It's when as parents, we have that little chat about why lying, for example, is wrong and explaining why their behaviour or actions involved lying and why it was wrong. We teach our kids these lessons from a very early age. So in that regard, it isn't about infidelity. It is about teaching our children about honesty.
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I have never been an enthusiastic liar, for the practical reason that I've never had a very good short-term memory. I can be sure that if I lie to someone I'll completely forget that I did it, and then contradict myself a couple of hours later.

    As for fidelity, that ties in with the whole barrel of emotions that don't start to manifest until puberty. I can't imagine trying to tell a four-year-old WHY Daddy is usually happy to be kind and attentive to Mommy. I'd just let him learn by example.

    And of course, if Daddy is an asshole who is cheating on Mommy (or vice versa), I have no idea what I would say in this case either.

    One of the many experiences I have not had, because I have no children.
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  5. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    IMO the only time infidelity is 'allowed' or ok is if both partners agree that it is ok. AND the person outside the relationship understand the situation. If those conditions exist then let the hedonism begin!
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  7. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    The expression "some people" is frequently used to convey disdain for the actions or beliefs of a group to which the person the message is directed to is a member. I would be surprised to learn you were not aware of this usage. It is context dependent, but in the context of contrary views within a thread I believe it would be the default interpretation.

    You ask what was not clear in your original response. What can I say other than it did not appear to answer Retribution's question. On re-reading the response seven or eight times and building a chain of logic I think you may have answered the question, though I can't be 100% certain and I am only marginally confident of what the answer was. (I think it was no.) If it requires that much effort to figure out what you were saying then I do conclude that you were not being clear.

    Was Retribution's question about how individual parents teach their own children about infidelity, or was it about how "we", our society, teach "our children", the young of our society, about infidelity. I read it as the latter. And in that regard we assuredly teach our children that infidelity is wrong. It it therefore not to be wondered at if they react negatively towards evidence of infidelity on the part of one or both parents.
  8. Retribution Banned Banned

    Thank you.

    "couldn't have said it better myself" doesn't really apply - pertinent point is that I didn't.

    In my defense, though, when I said "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 evolutionaryily beneficial in itself other than simply being a factor under some fairly specific circumstances." ...something I thought fairly self-explanatory.

    But now that I'm looking at it... "evolutionarily". Yech.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  9. birch Valued Senior Member

    You are some trifling people man!! All ya'll can be as intellectually dishonest as those of lower class!! Think your blatantly amateur attempts at cognitive dissonance go unnoticed!!

    Its clear its not about monogamy or polygamy!! Its about infidelity!!! Stop equating infidelity (dishonesty) which you are slyly defending with polygamy!!

    I told you there are openly polygamist people!! Its called honesty so everyone involves knows where they stand! They know what kind of relationship they are in! Otherwise, its a wreck!

    Just like you dont go into a grocery store or car dealership with a blindfold on! That would be a wreck!
  10. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Two independent points:

    1. Is Retribution defending infidelity? Perhaps, but I cannot see where. Can you point to specific points in any of his posts where that defense is made? (And if Retribution is defending it, perhaps he can make such a declaration so that we can move on.)

    And just to be sure we are not talking across each other, for me the word defend, in this context, strongly implies an ethical component. i.e. To defend infidelity would be to declare it is not a morally bad thing. Is this how you intended it?

    2. From an etymological standpoint it is clear that infidelity is a dishonest practice. Would you consider that the word cannot, therefore, be used to describe extra-marital affairs that are conducted openly and with the approval of the partner? Or would you accept that the meaning of words does change and that infidelity could be used in such situations?
  11. Retribution Banned Banned

    No, I'm not defending infidelity, neither am I advocating it.

    Trying not to say what else I might want to on the matter, though.
  12. Bells Staff Member

    If you think about it, I would say that society and parents and community, tribe or whatever, tend to teach children that dishonesty in itself is wrong. We don't teach out children that infidelity is wrong. We teach them that lying and cheating is wrong. We teach them that being honest and truthful is correct. So of course children will react negatively if a parent cheats or lies. Infidelity doesn't even have to enter the fray with how we deal with dishonesty, lying or cheating.. We have laws in place about lying (such as lying under oath, for example), about cheating. I would say that teaching about lying and cheating is both parental and societal. Of course when infidelity does enter the fray, children and adults will consider it negatively because the very basis of infidelity involves lying and cheating.

    Not to mention that children feel when parents withdraw, spend more time elsewhere emotionally.

    You make a very good point. In a society where polygamy is practiced, each person knows what the boundaries to that relationship happens to be. The same would apply in open marriages or relationships, where one or both parties to the relationship have sex with other people with the other party to the relationship being fully aware.. Usually with open relationships, the party's involved in said relationship establish ground rules and are quite open with each other about their sexual activities.

    It is also worth noting that polygamy itself is not really that beneficial or advantageous in the long run. And I would wager that lying and cheating would still be viewed negatively in those societies as well.


    Henrich, Joseph. "The Puzzle of Monogamous Marriage." Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences 367.1589, The Biology of Cultural Conflict (2012): 657-69. Web. 7 June 2016. <http://bit.ly/1HDYjAn>.
  13. Retribution Banned Banned

    I'm wondering what category(s) many of the preceding arguments fall into.
    Some elements of A Priori, affective fallacy, appeal to tradition...
    Certainly confirmation bias and some essentializing.

    That aside, it seems to me that Tiassa was attempting to clarify some questions regarding the framework very early on in the piece, and received a reaction not too dissimilar to the one I did.
    It is a pity the wider viewpoint has now been lost... or, rather, marginalised to the point of near-extinction.
  14. river

    Open Communication .

    Both need to communicate. It is trust .

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