Would you, a secular person, be against cheating?

Why? How do you justify it without religion?

And then, could you possibly forgive someone who would cheat on you in moderation (in other words, not compulsively)?


I just thought about that today... I'm not a particularly jealous person. I think that besides developing an emotional connection with another person and running off on me, I wouldn't really oppose it in my partner...

Anyway, what do you think? I'd like to get the debate going.

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I am against cheating, but I have a lot of chick friends. I do understand, not how mind you, we all get caught up in the moment sometimes. Now, this does have a few exceptions I'm sure you know for yourself but all in all it only points out I'm doing something wrong if I am cheated on. This can be worked on.
As for why it's wrong, you're giving your time to one person that is also spending theirs with you. TO cheat and break that solo thing (unless that was their thing and both agreed) is breaking trust.

I would give the benefit of a doubt the first time, after that it depended on the person. No more than two time however, God forbid I get caught up in some crap and end up on Jerry Springer.
ah, yes. that is the point though. Why is jealosy so powerful that you wouldn't allow your partner to cheat?

It seems to me that by banning anything (weed, alchohol, premarital sex, etc.) and by "demonizing" it and suppressing basic instincts, it causes more harm than good.

If I were a parent, I would introduce my teenager to contraceptives and although I would support his/her decision to have sex or not, becoming a bible thumper and condemning sex would only create more fear in them and lead them not to trust me with important information and thoughts.

The extreme rage associated with cheating leads to partners not talking to each other and only then does it become "untrustworthy"
'Cheating' is immoral because it is a violation of trust. It's as simple as that. There is no need to invoke religious proscriptions, or the prescription for fidelity. It all comes down to trust, which is a secular value. Indeed, it is one of the foundations that support any community: without trust there is no community.

The issue is monogamy. For the most part, religion prescribes monogamy. But that is not the natural state of Homo sapiens, at least not life long. Serial monogamy perhaps, but we certainly are a promiscuous species. Hence the harsh punishments for violating the fidelity of monogamy.

Could I forgive cheating in moderation? It's a strange question. What is in moderation? How much trust must be lost before one has lttle to no trust? As with most things, it depends on the circumstances and length of relationship. But, generally speaking, I'm prepared to forgive something like a one-nighter. A long term illicit relationship is another matter.

But given our tendency to wander, why not just favour a polyamorous relationship. Establish the rules beforehand, and abide by them.

There's a poly group here on A|N if you're interested.
But that [monogamy] is not the natural state of Homo sapiens, at least not life long.

Not today, surely, but for most of its history, Homo Sapiens had a life expectancy less than 30 years. It's still less than 40 today in Swaziland, it was between 20 and 30 in Pericles' Greece and Caesar's Rome. When you realize most of your life is behind you when you reach the age to marry, monogamy seems natural and even rational. While in our modern Western world, monogamy looks like a cultural fossil.
Well, Jaume, life expectancy was lower but I think a lot of that was due to infant and childhood mortality. Not sure that the lifespans were that much shorter once somebody reached adulthood/breeding age. Of course, death in childbirth for women was much more common then also but that doesn't really apply to the cheating discussion as framed.

Regards,
Well yes. But it's estimated that in ancient times 2/3 of infants survived to turn 5, and that mortality rates dropped significantly past that age. Would make the higher figure for Rome and Greece a 40 or 40-some. Still short enough to consider strict monogamy the likeliest default social behavior (without even factoring in religion), I think.
My response on trust is the same as the one above ^

why be offended by cheating (or the thought of cheating) if your partner wants to discuss it with you?
The immorality is in the lying and the breach of trust as Stephen Moore indicated and not in the act itself.

People have many kinds of relationships and as long as people are honest and all parties are consenting adults there isn't a problem.

Cheating, involves lying and a breach of trust and that's why it's wrong and immoral.
hmm... perhaps cheating isn't the right word then...

sex outside the home, then.

The issue comes from jealousy. What exactly is the purpose of jealousy if you trust that your partner will always come back?
IMO this is where two partners have to be honest with each other.

For example, I'm single and date from time to time.

A few years ago I met a really great guy who, on our second date, told me he was a polyamorist. He explained the philosophy, how it worked and how honesty and trust were critical components of polyamorous relationships.

I really respected his honesty and we continued to be friends.

However, I explained to him that I was just not cut out for a polyamorous relationship.

The reason? I want the man I'm involved with to be "mine" and no matter how much I intellectualized it I would not be able to accept him being with someone else.

Now, I suppose one could call that a form of jealousy and certainly possessiveness but it's the way I am.

So, if a person (like my friend - and he's still a friend) felt that they needed an open relationship I would simply wish them well (and I did) and suggest they find another woman with whom they might be more compatible.

It's all about honesty and trust whether you have a monogamous relationship or an open relationship.

Any relationship will fail if those components don't exist.

Realistically people need to be compatible when it comes to deciding on the type of relationship one has.

So, I don't see it as an issue of whether someone is jealous or not.

I see it as an issue of compatibility.
"Would you, a secular person, be against cheating?

Why? How do you justify it without religion? "

Being against cheating is a moral value. You seem to be asking how I can have a moral value without religion.

I have no desire or need to justify my morality.

My explanation is: Morality is based on pragmatism. My own life philosophy is based on egoism.

I am in favour of fidelity. It's to my advantage to be faithful and that my partner be faithful.


I've stated a position which I am not willing to argue. I do not even try to have a debate on an internet forum:I've seldom seen it work,and I do not conflate winning an argument with being right.
well, well. I would disagree with you I'm afraid.

I am rather against anyone who doesn't care to justify their morality. It reminds me too much of theism. That's why I'm here. I don't want to put up any false illusions that my current morals are the right ones without examining them.


Well... it is to your advantage, true, in our current social structure. It would be extremely hard to find a woman who is ok with an open relationship. I deem that that is from your experience in your own relationship though and the rules that you have happily agreed on. That's absolutely fine for you perhaps not relativistic enough for what I'm going for. I'm actually kind of wondering about if open relationships work.

Your opinion is yours. We need not debate it further =)

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