In previous posts, I wrote about the ethics of adultery and infidelity, from the viewpoint of different people in an adulterous situation as well as from different varities of moral philosophy. But even if you feel that cheating is wrong, it may still be tempting for various reasons (including evolutionary ones). Of course, it may even be tempting precisely because it's wrong, but let's set that aside for now—I want to stick to cheating driven by something attractive in the affair itself, not the lure of the forbidden. So how do you resist the temptation to sample some emotional or physical intimacy outside of yourmarriage or committed relationship, even when you
To explore this, we'll borrow some moral psychology from Immanuel Kant, who is definitely better known for his duty-based school of morality, but who also wrote extensively on the ability of people to follow the path spelled out in his ethics. (I applied these concepts to adultery previously, in the context of assessing whether someone is a serial adulterer.) Kant recognized that although we are rational beings, we are also physical beings; essentially, we are beasts who are aware we are beasts, and have the power to control our desires and inclinations, a power which he called autonomy.