How Adultery Is Permissible

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Erik Turley
Paper #4
12/5/11
How Adultery is Permissible
In Don Marquis’ “What’s Wrong with Adultery” he gives several examples of why adultery can be used or justified in a marriage. He brings up issues like one partner agreeing to a marriage contract but not fulfilling their side of the contract in the marriage. Another point he uses is one spouse not fulfilling the others desire in the “sex and love” department (213). Adultery is a sinful word for many; while some have justifications for the act. I believe that adultery is morally permissible in some cases.

In the story Marquis talks about a married couple in a bad relationship. In many cases most people would get a divorce if their relationship broke down to an extent where they could no longer be around each other. But in some cases as Marquis said, that is not the best option for the married couple. Sometimes a married couple has younger children or even teenagers who would be dreadfully hurt if their parents split up. The married couple fears the worst for the kids and stays together for this reason. If they both agree that they cannot satisfy each other’s sexual desires, then what is wrong if they both agree to get that sexual happiness with someone else? If a woman knows and accepts that if her husband is a happier person if he does this, than I believe it is ok. An outside individual might scream this is wrong, but that third party is not in the contract between the married couple. If the couple mutually agrees that those actions would be the best for each one of them and even the best for their immediate family then I believe that adultery is morally permissible in this instance.

In Marquis’ story he shows Richard Wasserstrom’s reasons on why adultery is impermissible (209). Marquis disagreed with Wasserstrom’s statement on how adultery is to inflict pain on the spouse. I also disagree with Wasserstrom because that is not the main reason people commit adultery. However, if the...
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