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Is it morally wrong for a person (X) involved in a romantic relationship with a person (Y) to leave Y to pursue her romantic interests towards Z who happen to be a teacher of both X and Y? In general, is it okay for teachers and students to date each other?

There are two, independent questions here: (1) is it morally permissible for X to leave Y to pursue another relationship and (2) is it permissible to pursue a romantic relationship with a teacher. At least, I don't see how answering (2) is relevant to (1). If X's relationship with Y (1) is unsatisfying or otherwise deficient, it's permissible to leave. Perhaps my colleagues will see something here I'm missing. About (2) much has been said and thought. I suppose I think it depends upon the kind of teacher. I think it's permissible to have a relationship with a ski instructor, maybe a yoga instructor, a Sunday school teacher, or other kinds of teacher where the stakes of engaging in the relationship aren't likely to have an adverse effect upon the class or others in it. University classes, however, where grades are distributed are otherwise, since the process of grading is likely to be corrupted by romantic relationships. By corrupted I mean that grades and letters of recommendation are likely to be...

Was I right or wrong in marrying out of a sense of duty as opposed to marrying for love? Some years ago I fell in love with an unavailable woman. We did not have a relationship but while still in love with her I met, had a long term relationship with and married a woman I was fond of and needed. My wife believes that I love her and she loves me. I am aware that if I had not had a long relationship with my wife she might have met and married someone who truly loved her. However, I stayed with her in the hope that she would help me get over the unavailable woman and that I would eventually grow to love her. This did not happen. Had I told her after being with her for a few years that I did not love her and that I wanted to end our relationship it may have then been too late (we are both in our late thirties) for her to meet another man and have children with him. Also deep down I must have felt that I had used her and did not want to admit this to myself. I felt I was obligated to marry her. Was...

The texts of intimate relationships are generally too complicated to make judgments about using simple moral principles. But as a weakly stated general rule, I'd say that it's not wrong to marry or simply remain in a marriage out of a sense of duty. In fact, I would say that a sense of duty is a desirable element of a good foundation for marriage. It is, however, wrong to marry or remain married for the sake of duty but do so deceptively--that is, it is wrong to marry or stay married only or principally for sake of duty when your partner in marriage believes otherwise.

Was I morally correct in asking my (now) ex-wife to delay the divorce which she had initiated, in order to retain her much needed health insurance under my employer, until she had obtained such on her own? Or was she correct in her assertion that it would have been morally incorrect for her remain married to me, regardless of her health needs, due to the example shown to our children when she was meeting and dating others?

I agree with Jyl Gentzler that marriage might for some people take the form of an open relationship, where extra-marital relationships were permissible; and if you find this form of relationship satisfactory, then keeping your then-wife covered by your insurance even while she engaged in extra-marital relationships would be permissible. But I hold a slightly different view of the issue of decption in this case, a view that leads to a different judgment about keeping your then-wife insured even if the relationship was for all intents and purposes over. I think the analogy with "Green Card" marriages in this case a weak one. Green Card marriages are different from cases like the one you describe because Green Card marriages are frauds from the very beginning. They never achieved the status of real marriage in the sense they don't involve relationships of love, commitment, sexual congress, or reproduction. Your relationship, I take it, was at the start a real relationship. Given that your...

Does love exist, or is it really love, without some amount of selfishness? Put it another way, if you want the best for someone and care about someone, but get no pleasure from simply knowing them, is it 'love', yet something like pity or hypocrisy? Considering that that is how it is, does it anyway apply to all sorts of loving; is mother's love, for example, an exception? Or should we say that though a mother always thinks of her children first, it is also selfish, because by being a mother she is able to express that side of herself?

"Love means never having to say you're sorry." "Love is blind." "Love is patient." "God is love." There are so many definitions of love. Here It seems you've defined love at least as (a) wanting the best for someone and (b) caring for someone. After that you raise the question of whether love requires that one must also ( c) get pleasure simply from knowing the person for whom one cares and for whom one wants the best. In exploring this question you seem to present the following possible argument for thinking that love isn't possible at all, that even calling a + b love is wrong. Here's the argument as I understand it: On the one hand, it seems that getting pleasure from someone else can't be love because it's self-serving. On the other hand, it seems that if one doesn't get pleasure from the person loved it's not really love either, but better described as something like pity. Since one must either get pleasure or not get pleasure from the person one cares for and wants the best for, love must be...