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?
I think everyone here would agree with you 100%, except maybe Dustin.
I think it would be healthier if we Anglo Saxons were a bit more free and easy and relaxed about the whole thing - like the (grrr) French. They certainly seem to know what they're doing, and after all, they're the love experts of the Known World. Yes, we should be more French about it.
Seriously though, I am starting to like the "cluster" model (sorry for horrible term) where we can get different aspects of what we require from relationships from several different people. Intense love from one, sex from another, etc., whatever we need from the right people. Why should one person be expected to supply all my needs? It seems very unrealistic, and possibly a recipe for unhappiness. Actually it's a big old-fashioned Iron Clamp from where I'm standing. Just like the (Christian) OId Days, before the '60s, when everyone was unhappy and beating their wives or on Valium... to cope with all that bollocks we were forced into....
In a game or contest there are different ways to cheat based on the rules of the game. In my opinion it's all about the rules. When you enter into a relationship you have to establish rules between yourself and your partner/partners. Personally I prefer a monogamous relationship with one woman but I have tried an open relationship and a friends with benefits relationship. As long everyone involved is a consenting adult I believe anything goes.
Yeah, many people prefer the monogamous relationship.
It may be what many people prefer but it doesn't make it the "right" type of relationship. I had fun in my open relationship and my friends with benefits relationship. At this moment it has been a while since I got laid so if a woman were to offer me an open relationship I would be inclined to accept.
Romantic relationships amount to a social contract between those involved. The terms of a healthy relationship should be clear and understood by both parties, and faithfulness amounts to living up to those terms.
The ethics surrounding relationships have shifted throughout history and culture. As long as all parties are consenting adults I don't think there's an ethical issue.
I'm going to let u in on our opinions (my SweetHeart & I) regarding that matter...
+How can atheists and agnostics practice faithfulness in their relationship?
Well, we think a relationship is like a firm/company, and that it's main business/aim is the well being of the people forming that company (as in revenues/profit), and the well being of the universe--literally (as in the product/service, the company sells).
So, the cornerstone here is us being open about everything, sincere too, confronting...
The second cornerstone, is that there are no rules, except two; those are :
<1>Willingness to stay together (in the abstract sense at least), for any reason, typically, for the induced joy when the company members convene LOL :D, i.e. when the people in a relationship are together (again, in the abstract sense at least)
<2>Everything should be agreed upon, beforehand. Even the stuff that--we feel--should be agreed upon, should be discussed and agreed upon :D
If you like to stop calling it a cornerstone, and add "Sincerity/frankness/openness about everything" to the list of rules then that would be our third rule...
Then comes the unorthodox part...
Since we were intelligent enough to abandon religion, we should as well account for the human nature, how it is dynamic, and creative, we also should take into consideration that people around the world from different cultures/societies have different practices when it comes to intimate relationships, and they all perfectly qualify as a measure of the degrees of freedom, human nature has.
Therefore, monogamy is only an artifact of religions..
Therefore, we think, intimate relationships could take place between two people, three, four, or any number. Not only that, but different sexual orientations should be regarded as normal and natural. It's called "Polyamory".
So basically, people should format their intimate relationships in whatever way that makes them comfortable, happy, and stable.
As for us, we feel, we are not ready for such forms, since the phase of our lives we're currently at, is not the best of phases..
When our life becomes more stable, and the circumstances betters; we're willing to expose our adventurous side :D
+What is your concept of cheating in the relationship?
In the lines of the previous paragraph; cheating, then, loses it's orthodox meaning (whatever that was).
Cheating behavior is whenever one party (or more) in an intimate relationship, does something/acts in a way, that is contrary to what's been agreed upon between all the relationship-forming parties,
one party (or more) in an intimate relationship, does something without getting back to the other person/rest of the group; when they have agreed on discussing that kind of thing, or informing the other person/rest of the group beforehand...
Which are basically the same thing.
+What is your understanding about faithfulness?
The commitment of all relationship-forming-parties to the well-being of each other and to that of the relationship's itself (Duhhh! :D )
+When you can call somebody a cheater?
So yeah.. It absolutely ain't about sex...
Men are so difficult to understand O.o
All what I know is that they are polygamous in nature!
LOL... You honestly don't think women cheat? Men aren't always cheating with single women. Women whose work has them traveling often have partners for serial one night stands in the cities they visit routinely. Read here.
BTW, speaking about nature, did you know that the female birds of various species which supposedly "pair" actually behave promiscuously? Read here.
Thought birds are cute! Turns out out, that birds are nasty! LOL
Next time you see a female bird, think "You whore!" ;)
It's really simple: by being trustworthy.