You know that religion consider cheating a sin.. you know also that the concept of cheating is different from religion to another and from one society to another.


I always wonder about these kinds of ethics issues and I would like to ask some few questions,


# How can atheists and agnostics practice faithfulness in their relationship?

# What is your concept of cheating in the relationship?

# What is your understanding about faithfulness?

# When you can call somebody a cheater?


Thank you!

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# How can atheists and agnostics practice faithfulness in their relationship?

@ When such a bond is made, you uphold its terms - which I suppose are based on those expected of the culture, and are possibly altered from this cultural base by mutual agreement.

# What is your concept of cheating in the relationship?
@ Forsaking the other for someone (or in certain cases, possibly something) else. Not necessarily sexual, but in common practice I think it generally is.

# What is your understanding about faithfulness?
@ In this context, and these words don't quite match what I have in mind, but "Upholding the bond."

# When you can call somebody a cheater?
@ I suppose it would be very appropriate once one has cheated.

I like when you said "forsaking the other for someone else"... yes! this also a good point!


Cheating, or sexual unfaithfulness aside, I think lying and breaking a promise to one who believes you love him is unkind.  Dishonesty can ruin trust.  If a couple agrees to have an "open" relationship, that is fair.  I was about to say "fine", but having been the outside person in such a relationship, I believe it is seldom really fine with both original parties in the relationship.

If one member of a previously monogamous relationship wants to sleep with someone else, he or she should be honest, and talk to his partner BEFORE doing so.  I think it is cowardly to do otherwise.  Usually the one who goes outside the relationship wants to keep it secret so he can have his cake and eat it too.  He does not want his partner to stray, but he wants to.  (I use the pronoun "he" here for grammatical reasons, only.  I can't make myself use "they", as is the present custom.  It does not agree.

The stupidest thing I hear said to explain unplanned sex, unplanned pregnancy, unplanned STDs, is "It just happened!".  I love dogs, but can't we be a little more thoughtful than they, about taking an action with so many possible results?

You should think about the consequences of your actions. Whether towards a spouse, lover, or friend. The guilt associated with infidelity would drive me crazy personally. I would have to confess my transgressions and suffer the consequences. Over the years I have had plenty of opportunities, while working out of town for extended periods, to be unfaithful. Very tempting when you realize that your better half would never find out. But I can honestly say that I feel good about myself for passing on those opportunities. To me a clear conscience is more desirable than the memories of a brief physical interlude. I guess I'm just old fashioned in some ways.

Ed - halle-totally-fucking-luliah.  A clear conscience is my bestest friend.  Nothing's worth the torment of shitting in one's conscience.  Really.  Once was enough and that was the worst six weeks of my life (crime unstated - shame repeated).  (OK, stealing out of revenge.  Didn't work.)  On the other hand, it seems not everyone's made that way.  My friend is a complete shocker, and she just lives with it breezily, though a little uneasily.  I guess it's worth it.  She's a very good person in general, an angel - she just lives by her own rules. Which I admire.  But I could NEVER do what she does - I'd be a tormented husk.  I'd probably end up joining a monastery, flagellating myself with nettles and pushing thorns into my flesh... but never making it OK...

(sorry for cursing, but - hey.) 

"It just happened!"

In my experience, these things don't "just happen". One party or the other is probably trying very hard to make it happen... Not once have I been at a party and seen two people, not interested in each other, go and be somehow intimate with each other (whether that be a D&M conversation or sex).. It just doesn't happen lol! Worst excuse ever!

# How can atheists and agnostics practice faithfulness in their relationship?

With open communication and not cheating.

# What is your concept of cheating in the relationship?

For me, cheating is engaging in intimacy at a level usually reserved for relationships while also being in a relationship which prohibits such intimacy outside the relationship. What does that mean? Basically, nothing is cheating if your existing partner(s) are ok with it, with the caution that if something hasn't been discussed previously, social convention should be followed instead. For example, if Mr X is in a relationship and has discussed with his partner that he is allowed to flirt with women at bars or parties, then Mr X can do so without being considered a cheater. If Mr X then goes home with a woman and sleeps with her, this would be cheating as Mr X hasn't discussed it with his partner and this is usually considered cheating by social conventions.

# What is your understanding about faithfulness?

When in a relationship, faithfulness is the respect you have for your partner and the relationship you are in with them (note: this also applies to partners and relationships). For example, if you enter into a monogamous relationship and promise never to even touch someone of the opposite sex other than your partner, then being faithful to your partner requires respecting that agreement.

# When you can call somebody a cheater?

When they have fulfilled the definition of cheating as defined in question 2 above.


Hope that all makes sense!

1. Ethics and morals come from societies themselves--not religions.  We choose to remain faithful not based on religion, but based on the love and respect we have for our mates.

2. Cheating can range from flirting to sex. 

3. Faithfulness is being committed to your partner and respecting the sanctity of your relationship.

4. See #2

Cathy, Are you sure "sanctity" is what you mean? 


  1. The state or quality of being holy, sacred, or saintly.
  2. Ultimate importance and inviolability.
holiness - saintliness - sainthood - sacredness
But, then, you said "see #2!  Ha, Ha!

You are right--I should have chosen a better word--although definition #2 is what I was thinking.  Thanks for pointing that out.

I've never been able to find much of a correlation between religious belief and propensity to have extra- or pre-marital sex.  If anything, I find religious (or at least believing) people in my country to have more active sex lives on average possibly because they think that God will forgive all their sins in the end.

Sory to say that, some men here 'not all of them' show pride of having a sexual relationship outside marriage..It is shocking to me when people do such a nasty behavior and feel no guilt about it..

but, when it comes to women, it's a crime!

Our society dose not care about religion as much as it cares about the customs and traditions.

Our society is complicated and strange! but still there lots of good and pure people here in SA.


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