Originally Posted by polyexplorer
Throughout history rigidly held values and beliefs have created cultures and societies that are unhealthy. The rigidity of these beliefs and values make it more difficult for society to find a pathway into new and healthier beliefs and values.
I have a value that it is wrong to take another life. Would I take the life of someone who was about to kill my daughter - of course I would! That is an exceptional case.
I don't lie to people. I am a very honest person. Would I tell a lie in WWII days if I was harboring a Jew in my house in order to protect them from Nazi Germany? You bet I would! That is an exceptional case.
While these two cases above are quite dramatic, could I say that there would ever be a time that I feel like it would be better to lie to my wife in order to protect her? I hope not. But I don't want to rigidly say no, never... And I also don't want to create a rigid culture that makes it too difficult for someone to question their own values in exceptional circumstances...
The problem with hypotheticals is that they are just that. You don't know that you would be able to kill someone just as you don't know that you would be able to lie in the second case. You hope you would, but at that moment, you might not follow through.
If the case you presented at the begining is real, an ongoing situation, you have the ability to evaluate it in its full context. By going forward your actions would ultimately be disrespecting and hurting someone else. If you can rationalize that (the SO is evil etc.), then so be it. Otherwise, it's unconscionable behavior imo.
Why are you intent on the word "rigid"? My definition of honesty isn't rigid, it doesn't mean honesty in all circumstances. Instead, it is tied to other values I hold important in relationships, such as not hurting others, respecting them, allowing them to be party to decisions that will affect them and so on. Each situation I confront forces me to weigh out the possible outcomes and evaluate my actions. It's more about trying to live according to my principles, knowing that sometimes I will fall short and that's what it means to live in an imperfect world.