Ethical Dilemma: At what cost do you maintain your commitment, stand by the power of your word? Do you channel your inner captain and go down with the ship, or do you channel your inner deck-hand, cut your loses and jump overboard?
Let’s say I commit my life to you, regardless. We commit to a monogamous relationship. We commit to being faithful to one another. We commit to “till death do us part.”
A. The g-d-forbid happens. You become incapacitated. You’re still living and breathing, but you’re less than you were.
From my perspective the commitment holds. I remain bound. What happened is beyond your control.
B. You acquire an addiction. Doesn’t matter to what: drugs, gambling, pornography, internet, exercise. The addiction affects you. Overwhelms you. Takes over your life. You mortgage the house. You lose your job. You put the kidlings at risk. You put me at risk.
A little more difficult. One school of thought believes addiction is a chemical and/or circuitry imbalance in your brain. Another believes that theory is a cop-out and you need to “own-up and get over it.”
C. Turns out your actions prove you don’t share my commitment. You decide monogamy isn’t the way to go. You become unfaithful.
Even more difficult. Am I still bound to my word when you clearly are not? (With AIDS as a possibility, your affair(s) could literally cost me my life.)
In conclusion, it’s easier to remain fluid and open (thus allowing yourself the option of “cutting your loses”) when you approach a situation with an open, “Wow! Let’s see where this leads” versus “I’ve committed. I’m in for the duration, regardless.” Does that “regardless” still bind you when the other parties comport themselves differently?
Definitely a tough call, this sticky wicket of ethical dilemma.
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