Scenario:  You're in a commited relationship and your partner says that s/he still loves you and still wants to be with you, but can no longer repress the desire to undergo a sex change operation.  Is it morally permissible for you to decide to leave the relationship if s/he proceeds with the sex change?


I don't believe it's morally permissible.

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If, if, if. If your aunt had balls, she'd be your uncle. (sorry, I love that saying and never get to use it)

I think it is morally permissable. A much more plausible scenario is that you are in a committed relationship and the two of you change over the years and become two different people than you were when you started the relationship Is it morally permissable to fall out of love? To move on to another relationship that makes you happy? Are we obligated to stay in relationships where we are unhappy, no matter the reason for it? Is it even fair to the other person to stay if you no longer want to but do so because you think it morally reprehensible to leave?

I think not.
Are we obligated to stay in relationships where we are unhappy, no matter the reason for it?

This depends on whether you are the payer or the payee of the alimony check.
of course.
i think Reggie covers the reason.
Morality isn't even in play here. There is nothing morally wrong in falling out of love, it sucks for the one that's still in love, but it's better to end it then drag it out until it come to a head it explodes in anger and you end up hating each other. Also, there is nothing morally wrong with being superficial either, not that it's recommended, Morals only come into play when your disguising something that could harm society as a whole - Murder for instance is morally wrong.

There is nothing morally wrong with having profound dislikes even prejudice as long as you understand it is your personal issue and not a "God given law and death for anyone that doesn't agree."
I don't agree. Its' my opinion that a moral issue is one in which a person's action has the potential to cause existential harm to another self interested being. Also let me stress that I'm not suggesting one should not leave the relationship, only that it would be immoral to do so. Whether the immorality of staying in a bad situation outweighs the immoral action of walking away from a commitment is not the same, and may indeed apply in this situation. Specific circumstances that were not posed in the question would have to come into play IMO. For example, if my spouse wanted a sex change but hoped I would stay with her, I'd probably end up leaving, unless I knew she only had 6 months to live. In such a case, I might consider it more important to see her pass without the pain of losing our relationship. Of course I'm introducing new points here, so I recognize that your previous comments may not entirely apply anymore given the new information.
If it is immoral to leave a relationship one no longer wants, isn't it also immoral to stay in that same relationship, too? Lying is immoral whether the lie is discovered or not, right? Or is lying okay as long as it does no harm? And I'm not talking about white lies, but more in the context of a person in a relationship they no longer want.
Morality is not only about impact to society as a whole. If you are stranded on a desert island with one other person, if you torture him that is immoral.

But it's not immoral to leave a relationship if you fall out of love. Attempting to choose the lesser of two "evils" when forced to do so is the MORAL thing to do, not IMMORAL to a lesser degree.
Attempting to choose the lesser of two "evils" when forced to do so is the MORAL thing to do, not IMMORAL to a lesser degree.

Well said!
How can it possibly be immoral?

If anything, what's immoral is making such a drastic change to oneself and expecting the partner to just put up with it. If a homosexual cannot help the fact they are attracted to the same sex, a heterosexual cannot help the fact they are attracted to the opposite sex. Altering your own sex is not a trivial matter; what would happen to the couple's sex life? Would you honestly expect a person to have sex with their newly altered partner? What if it were a man and he could no longer become aroused because his wife now looks like a dude? Is that his fault? This goes beyond someone gaining weight or aging. It's not a superficial issue, otherwise we wouldn't be fighting for the right of a homosexual to enjoy a relationship with someone they love even though they're both male or female.

Hopefully, the person desiring the sex change would have been open enough in their relationship that it doesn't come as a surprise to their partner. If their desire for the change is valid, they would have been feeling disjointed for a long, long time. This is not the kind of thing you can just spring on someone out of the blue. Maybe if he/she had been honest from the beginning, and their partner knew it could be a possibility, then maybe it could be considered immoral for them to leave.
Excellent points!

We are not ghosts in a machine. Our appearences do define who we are to certain degrees. While physical beauty is only skin deep, it should not be overlooked as merely superficial. While a spouse scarred in an accident might present a trickier landscape to traverse, a spouse intentionally changing their gender (physically, at least) is a major issue that can't be brushed aside in the name of tolerance or morality.
Ever heard of Ghost in the Shell?! Great anime series :D
Yes! I even watched it for awhile on TV, but never could keep up enough to know what was going on.


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