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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"Character is what you have when the lights go out."

A good time is what I want to have when the lights go out!  (Or when they are on, or when they are just on dimly, or, well, you get the point.)  ;-) 

Honesty and communication are the keys. When you enter into a relationship it's important to discuss what the 'rules' of that relationship are. If you break the rules then you are cheating, period.

In my relationship the agreement is you can look but you can't touch. Fantasizing is OK but getting emotionally involved with another person beyond a friendship is a no-no too.  In fact my partner and I will regularly point out other people that we find attractive. It's actually fascinating to learn of all the little things that are attractive to my partner and he finds learning those things about me to be fascinating.

I should add respect too. I think cheating (breaking the rules of the relationship) is disrespectful. If something isn't satisfying you or things have changed too much then it's time to talk not time to cheat.

As a waman, I totally agree with you.. Every relationship needs honesty as a representation to our love, care and respect, to the one we love.. And the result of all these elements will be trust of course.

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

Faithfulness is a term whose meaning is decided upon during the onset of a relationship. Most people when first entering into a new relationship quickly make each other aware of what would constitute that faithfulness. Whether one is an atheist/agnostic/christian/scientologist should be of no relevance, simply avoid performing any action that your partner would deem unfaithful. If you cannot avoid such actions, your likely in the wrong relationship.

# What is your concept of cheating in the relationship?

It's based entirely on personal preference. Some people are perfectly happy in open relationships, others prefer absolute exclusiveness. Yet people in open relationships may feel cheated on if their partner becomes emotionally unavailable to them, but more open to another. People who prefer exclusive relationships will become upset even if their partner is caught merely kissing another person, even if that partner was drunk/high/roofied simultaneously when it occurred. If you think it's cheating, it's cheating, If they don't think it's cheating, you shouldn't be dating them.

# What is your understanding about faithfulness?

In a relationship, it is the unwritten contract between two individuals who decide to become a couple, that determines what would constitute an infraction on their relationship concerning issues that arise when they affiliate themselves with other potential suitors.

# When you can call somebody a cheater?

When they have broken the above contract

On the side, Religion shouldn't be a deciding factor on what your view on faithfulness is, people should believe what feels right to them, else they will never achieve the level of happiness that they have the right to achieve.

I agree with the majority of the responses here.  There is not some objective truth that can be applied to everyone in all situations.  To me, a romantic relationship is a sort of social contract between those involved.  I have my personal preferences, but I see no reason to impose those preferences upon others.  My answers, therefore, to all questions posed by the OP are, "it depends."  I believe that you should be free to set your own terms within a relationship and live with them or leave the relationship.  No matter your terms, clear communication and agreement are key.  That being said, there should be no coercion or abuse involved, and these terms are up for editing should things change.  I do, however, think you should try your best to make other parties aware of any edits prior to taking action.


1. By not cheating.

2. Acting on sexual affection of another man.

3. Not cheating in deeds.

4. After she has cheated.

Should be noted that I have been cheated on. She believed I should trust her after coming clean, I believe trust would have to be re-earned at that point. Relationship subsequently ended unamicably.

Sorry for what you've been through! Yeah, I totally agree with you.. you cant trust the one who cheated on you..

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.

Is it though? Biblical marriage seems to allow for marriages of one man and multiple wives, and the owning of concubines. Granted, there is no indication of whether such situations is agreed to by the husband and wife (wives). But we can at the very least determine that relationships that aren't monogamous aren't 'sinful' by default.

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

I feel that this answer may be different for everyone. For my wife and I, it is about a dedication to one another. We promised to be true to one another, and that is the plan. It's an establishment of trust. Partners that can trust one another typically live longer and happier live together. So in my opinion, it is healthy for a healthy relationship to have as few secrets as possible. It is also a symbol that we love one another so much, the we are all the other desires and needs. In short, we are faithful to one another because it feels right, and seems to be the best thing for our relationship with one another. Not because some deity said so.


# What is your concept of cheating in the relationship?


I'd say that it would be any sexual or sexually motivated actions done without spousal consent. If the husband and wife agree that it's okay to have other lovers, then that's okay. But if you agree (like my wife and I), to a monogamous relationship, then having sex with another, sexual kissing and holding, or even dating with the intention to lead to sex would be cheating in my book.


# What is your understanding about faithfulness?

Basically, both parties in the relationship adhering to the agreements on which the relationship was founded. The could be remaining monogamous. It could be that an open marriage was agreed upon, where anything goes. One could still cheat in an open relationship if each party requests veto rights on extra-relationship sexual partners, and sexual encounters take place without this clearance first taking place.

# When you can call somebody a cheater?


When one cheats, as defined prior.

I believe that a sexual relationship outside of a committed relationship is cheating, religion or no religion. Multiple sexual relationships outside of a committed relationship is not cheating. A "committed relationship" can mean anything the two people involved agree that it means - marriage generally means, "until death do us part," but any commitment, including marriage, is really nothing more nor less than a mutual agreement, and that can be for any length of time upon which the two agree. Though unconventional, there's nothing wrong with two people saying that they agree to commit for, say, ten years, and if it works out, they can agree on an extension.

OK - so it's hardly romantic, but there's nothing wrong with thinking outside the box --


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