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15 Dec

(For those of you that read my post on the ethics of procrastination, some of the discussion of moral philosophy will sound familiar.)At the risk of spoiling the ending, let me reassure you that we'll find that adultery want to get together with that hottie in your office or at your club (sorry).But it might be justified in extraordinary circumstances, which to some people, unfortunately, might be rather ordinary.Of course, you could be wrong about your spouse's feelings, or even about how much you stand to gain from an affair (maybe your guilt would overwhelm any positive feelings).

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Answer 1: Because it hurts your spouse How would you feel if your spouse cheated on you?And to philosophers who teach an ethical system known as , hurting people is wrong, period.Utilitarians maintain that the morality of an action depends on the amount of utility it creates, which can be thought of (as seminal utilitarian Jeremy Bentham did) in terms of pleasure and pain (among other concepts).You want to lash out at the same time you want to crawl inside yourself and hide.Your spouse chose to seek out intimacy of one sort or another with another person-not you.Compared to remaining faithful, cheating lessens your spouse's happiness or pleasure and increases her pain.Of course, your spouse may not be the only one affected—your children may also be hurt, either if they find out and are vicariously hurt through Mommy or Daddy being hurt, or even if they don't find out and and your spouse's pain nonetheless flows over to them. And therein lies one reason utilitarians might allow for cheating in some circumstances, particularly cases in which there is good reason to believe that you will benefit from the affair more than others will suffer.This post also makes a general point about ethics and moral philosophy, that they're really good for coming up with general rules and prohibitions which apply in most cases, but there are always exceptions to those "do shall nots." Ethical systems are great for helping you frame moral issues (which is how ethics is normally taught in the classroom), but in the end, judgment is essential for arriving at a final answer. All of these may—or may not—seem like relevant questions, even if in the end Sally says that cheating is wrong.And you can't teach judgment—you develop it over time. What would philosophers have to offer on the subject of cheating?To make matters more ambiguous, there is another person who stands to gain from the affair—your paramour.She's a person, and her well-being must be included in your pleasure/pain calculations.