CMV: Cheating is not morally wrong, provided you aren't the person in the relationship

As I was typing this response I had to pause because I realized you convinced me of my wrongness on a pretty significant point. Now I left what I had originally typed because I think most of it still applies (most of it was half formed thoughts rather than concrete opinions) but if anything I said is internally consistent it's the latter half that I now hold as true.

So two issues here. First, that means you don't get to draw a line between "tell your wife or I will tell her" and "if you don't give me $1k I'll tell your wife.

So maybe ultimatum was the wrong word. Are you positing that in this situation "tell your wife or i tell her" is also wrong, just less so than $1k or I will tell her? If so I would agree that the $1k or I tell her is worse but the way that I would do it is by calling it an additional wrongness to demand the money. (robbing is wrong, robbing and murdering is more wrong because the are two wrong acts being perpetrated, even if those acts are tied together)

If a TA tells a student "You failed this test, but sleep with me and I'll give you extra credit"

If the student (an adult) legitimately failed the test, and the offer is made after legitimate grading has been done then I would simply call this prostitution. I don't see any infringement on rights here. She can say no and take her the grade that she earned the same as any other student who didn't get that offer. The fact that the same TA game someone else extra credit in a different situation has no bearing on this.

I'd like to be able to say that you have lost free speech if I forbid Democrats from using megaphones but not if I forbid everyone from using megaphones near residential areas between 11PM and 6AM.

And this is the reason that I keep bringing up intent. In the first example the intent is to silence certain peoples voices, in the second the intent is to give people the right to sleep in silence. In my mind the best way to rewrite my statement would be in defining what exactly the right to free speech meant, and define it in such a way that it's wrong for me to follow you around 24/7 shouting into your ear with a megaphone.

Obviously we disagree on the zero. I think there's a complex balancing act, whereas you think there's a threshold.

And this is really where I'm rethinking everything. I'm trying to find a grand unified theory of morality that can fit on a single sheet of paper. I doubt one that included every variable could fit on 1000 if it's even able to written at all.

I think so, though I've stacked so many intensifiers on this that removing one or two leaves me with what I'd still consider an insurmountable obligation.

I definitely understand why you feel the latter part; it's the former that dumbfounds me.

So for example, a surgeon...

So this is a bit of a complicated scenario but here's where I'm going with this. First it's my understanding that infections can happen even when everything is textbook, or at the very least 100 other people in the hospital could be fault. For the purposes of this discussion I will assume the surgeon is at fault. I will also assume that the surgeon didn't maliciously cause this infection and didn't intend on this to happen (so all my reasoning through intent doesn't apply). this would leave negligence as the cause. This really brings me back to your drunk driver example from before that I couldn't figure out why it was morally wrong.

So I went down a few different lines of reasoning trying to get them to mesh together. (I first started in the direction of negligently causing harm is wrong, etc but this just wouldn't fit. Also tried something along the lines of being morally obligated to correct our own mistakes, but again nothing fit) So ultimately I'm going to concede a few points. I really wish I could award multiple deltas for this because you just significantly changed my views. Below is the basis of the direction I'm going to be going with these.

Firstly I think before I was defining not helping someone as being the same as hurting someone. I realize this is wrong (specifically because the opposite isn't true, i can't remember if De Morgans law would prove this or just simply multiplying by a negative. Anyway I'm not going to make a distinction between these four terms in my reasoning as being different: helping, hurting, not helping, not hurting.)

I'm still standing by "It is always morally wrong to take an action whose sole intent is to hurt someone"

So here's the big one I'm conceding to you. "In general we should take reasonable measures measures not to hurt other people." What constitutes "reasonable measures" is very messy and I think this is the complex balancing act as you said. Some of the prominent variables are how well you know the person, how responsible you are for the hurt, how reasonable that hurt is, your knowledge of the hurt being caused, willing negligence, etc. While how much pain was caused is a variable I think it's overall a relatively small one. Also going back to the zero as it relates to strangers I now concede that the value assigned to strangers is non-zero.

i think one of the largest variables for me is how much personal choice the person that you hurt had. I'm not saying that their having a choice negates the wrongness, simply that it influences it.

So wow, this is a lot of me to unpack and it's going to take some time to really wrap my head around it.

My initial reaction is that I still find that there is nothing morally wrong with being the outside cheater in a typical adultery situation, but I understand that if a few variables were slightly shifted I would feel otherwise. Ultimately I think when dealing with complete strangers this moral obligation is very small. I also don't buy the magic of marriage (even being very happily married myself) I just think it's a little bit stronger form of a seriously committed relationship, which is stronger than a kinda committed relation, which is stronger than a casual relationship, etc.

So ultimately I see where you're coming from. You really changed my mind on a lot of things and I greatly appreciate that but ultimately the sticking points we are left with don't seem as flexible. I do now see and understand where you're coming. Whereas before I thought there was something wrong with your opinion, I now understand that it's simply different.

Thank you again for all of this discussion the past few days. It's been incredibly stimulating and I've appreciated it.

/r/changemyview Thread