Relationships II

This is a responce to a comment in response to a post from two weeks ago You should probably read at least timdude’s response prior to reading this.

Completely unrelated, but hi to jimatta1 and poundmyarsehard, whoever you are :p

I’m going to respond to some of this here, and some of this elsewhere…

Firstly, you’re right, axioms was a bad word. Ideals would have been better.

I would like to add one axiom though:

* Change is inevitable

I’m not going to explicitly refer to this, but you’ll see that it’s implied in much of what I write below. I think it’s inevitable that as we travel through life, many things change, including people. This can mean that two people who were perfect for each other at one stage of their life aren’t so perfect any more, and sometimes it’s preferable to accept that change and move on rather than fighting the change and refusing to grow.

I don’t think there’s much I need say about “accepting” vs “better”. As you so amply pointed out, they’re not opposites at all – accepting someone as they are doesn’t stop you from having opinions about how they should change; it just means accepting that they only person with the right to insist on that change is the person themselves. You seem to agree with me on this:

I will not stop encouraging you otherwise, however this does not mean I will not love or accept you.

It’s interesting that you used the word “encouraging”, when what you really mean is that you’ll discourage me from my sinful ways… :p

Your second point, about needing God, is entirely subjective, and not something I’m going to attempt to converse about. First, prove that God exists; second, prove that your description of God is the correct one; then we can talk about whether or not God is a neccessary component of my life.

Regarding your summary of our earlier conversation:

*You believe that when you are in a relationship, at any given time, someone who would give your partner more pleasure/happiness at that given time, should replace you without ramification. This is because you would want the ultimate pleasure/happiness for someone you love.

Close, but not entirely true. Personally, I feel that long-term low-intensity happiness/pleasure is preferable to short-term/high-intensity happiness/pleasure. If I were to make a rational choice, I’d choose the former most of the time – I say most, because some degree of short-term/high-intensity pleasure is neccessary as well.

Thus, in a relationship, choosing between a certainty of short-term/high-intensity pleasure and a certaintity of long-term/low-intensity pleasure, I’d aim for the long-term goal most of the time. I definitely believe that that’s the rational choice – but I’m not entirely a rational being, and sometimes decisions do get made based on emotion…

Of course, there’s also the complicating factor that neither choice is actually guaranteed, they’re both risky and both gambles. Both choices also expose one to the posibility of pain and hurt…

What I will not do is expect anyone else to follow the same guidelines as I do; nor will I expect them to make the same choice that I believe I’d make in their place.

If my partner chooses to focus their attention on someone who they believe going to give them great short-term happiness than I am – that’s their choice, and I’ll respect that. It doesn’t matter how wrong I think they are, or how much this decision hurts me – the choice is theirs.

In short, you seemed to think that I thought they’d be making the correct choice by choosing short-term happiness. In truth, I think that that choice would often not be the best choice – but it’s their choice to make, not mine.

* You believe that sex and other lesser intimacy is not sacred, necessarily-meaningful or impacting.

Not neccessarily, no. Context can make it so; and I do think it’s a good idea to be aware of that.

* You hold a utilitarian view that pleasure = good and pain = bad. Where there is a conflict, simple addition and subjective valuation can determine whether something is good or bad. E.g. big pleasure – little pain = good still.

Not at all – as anyone into B&D can tell you, pain is good 🙂

I do agree that a simplified version of the Moral Calculus can be used as a tool in decision making, but it’s a very flawed tool; the answers that it produces will always be subjective and will never be complete.

* You believe that an agreed good and bad value system between two people is correct and viable, and not accountable to a higher system outside that relationship.

Not neccessarily correct; but, provided the decision has been made between two consenting adults with full access to all relevant facts, they should certainly be able to come to any agreement they like without outside interference.

I may still have the opinion that their decision was unfair, unbalanced, or just plain wrong – but I’d respect that the decision was theirs, and not mine, to make.

However, I believe you also have to take into consideration the future. You said something along the lines of you would be happy to give up your boyfriend if he found someone who made him happier. But I would say in a relationship where there is committment, your boyfriend would have decided to ignore that possibility and stick it out with you for the golden time that would eventuate, including trust, reliability and genuine caring

As I’ve said above, I agree with you in general about long-term vs short-term benefits.

I agree with you that if my partner’s was committed to our relationship, he’d place a higher priority on nurturing that relationship in order to get the long-term benefits of that relationship rather than pursuing short-term happiness. However, to some degree I think it’s neccessary that he find both short-term and long-term happiness outside the relationship as well, so the mere fact that he’s looking for outside pleasure isn’t neccessarily an issue.

If, however, he does decide that the relationship isn’t worth pursuing, that’s evidence that he isn’t/wasn’t committed to the relationship already.

I’m not “giving him up” just because he wants to look elsewhere; I can never own him in the first place. What I am doing is recognising that, no matter how stupid I feel his decision might be, it has already been made, and failing to recognise that is only going to cause more pain than neccessary. Also, no matter how stupid I think the decision is, I respect that it’s his decision to make.

Sex is sacred. … I don’t believe it is just an act, but a process, a reward and a privilege. Used as just a detatched act it is a perversion of its potential and purpose.

You’re seriously saying that using sex as a privilige or a reward is *less* of a perversion than viewing it as simply short-term pleasure?

There is nothing as despicable as a man who quotes himself. — Zhasper, 2004

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