Throughout my life, friends have come and gone. This is normal and it happens in every person’s life. I find the ones that have come and gone are those whose morals are not in conjunction with my own. For instance, I had a friend who cheated on her boyfriend with my ex. What bothered me wasn’t that he was my ex. What bothered me was the amount of time it took for her to tell me it was happening (6 months). The lying. I was supposed to be her best friend. Best friends don’t lie to each others faces. Cheating for me is morally wrong. It’s difficult for me to accept a friend who has made those destructive life choices.
But how are morals determined? In an experiment designed to test individual’s morals, I was surprised at how inconsistent my beliefs were. Even though I was raised to be extremely honest and forthcoming, I could not trust in the statements I thought I was 100% certain of.
For instance, when asked, “Torture, as a matter of principle, is morally wrong”, my initial answer was, ‘Yes, it is morally wrong’. But when they gave me an example testing the true meaning of my answer, I couldn’t stick to it.
The example was this. This experiment suggested that if a man placed a bomb somewhere (that could kill one million people) and there was a 75% chance that its location/diffusion could be tortured out of him, I would change my answer. The torture of an evil man overruled the death of a million civilians.
After these questions were asked I came back my personal vendetta regarding cheating. Is cheating, as a matter of principle, morally wrong? If a husband cheats with a mentally unstable and vicious wife because he is too much of a saint and loves his 3 kids, is it morally wrong if someone else comes along and gives him the attention he deserves? What if you had a once in a lifetime opportunity to be seduced by someone famous? What if you thought the relationship were over, but it turned out to be a mistake?
It seems the right answers to these questions are situational. Cheating for one couple might be different than cheating for another. This is why communication is important to whoever you have a relationship with (professional, romantic, platonic, family, etc…). Understanding one’s morals is a gateway to bringing good people into your life, and excluding those who are not.