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Don Marquis Adultery

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There are many different ethical topics that philosophers give most of their attention such as abortion, prostitution, cloning, overpopulation, reparations, etc. One ethical topic that many philosophers do not draw a lot of attention to is adultery. Adultery is defined by Merriam-Webster as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband. “What’s Wrong with Adultery?” by Don Marquis is an essay written in response to different accounts on the wrongness of adultery and is the essay on which this writing will focus. Don Marquis addresses the debate question: Is adultery immoral? His position on the debate is affirmative with exceptions. Marquis…show more content…
He describes a marriage where your life or well-being has been altered without sufficient justification. This is a bad marriage. Marquis says that divorce is usually the best option, but in some instances, a person may have good reasons for not getting a divorce. For instance, the person may believe that the overall good of the marriage outweighs the bad or that it will be better for the children and other relatives involved if the two stayed together (Marquis 212). Marquis continues with describing two situations in which the contractual account of the wrongness of adultery allows for a justification of adultery (212). The first is that your spouse is committing adultery. Your pledge for not committing adultery was made on the condition that your future husband or wife would not commit adultery. Since that term of the contract has been violated, and your vow not to commit adultery was conditional, your adultery is not a violation of the terms (Marquis…show more content…
However, I feel as though his account makes more instances of adultery acceptable and creates loopholes within the covenant and contract of marriage. For example, if you and your spouse are not fulfilling each other sexually or in the loving sense, you should not just take the easy way out. Even though Marquis states that the vows “for richer, for poorer, for better, or worse” do not hold up in certain situations, I believe that they do hold up in every sense. When you take your vows and say I do, you and your spouse agree to problems and rewards both seen and unseen. Although this is not explicitly stated in the vows and neither is sexual fidelity, it is implied. Since I am a business major, I come in contact with different situations where all terms, exceptions, conditions, assets, and liabilities are not explicitly expressed in the written contract. In this case, as long as the liability or unwritten term is reasonable and can be easily implied, it should be upheld. The idea of marriage that Marquis is describing is one that is tainted and does not uphold the original emotional purposes of marriage. Marriage is more of a covenant than a contract. When you vow to be with someone for the rest of your life through the good, bad, and ugly, it is universally understood. In my opinion, adultery is not morally permissible in any circumstance because one should be
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