search instagram arrow-down
Jack Weinstein

Need advice? have a philosophical question or comment?

Explore a topic:

Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email to follow PQED.

Join 3,114 other subscribers

Recent Comments

Saby J Carrasquillo on Is it ever okay to put a Star…
Saby J Carrasquillo on Is it ever okay to put a Star…
QueenKarma on Are restaurant customers oblig…
julietewe on Should there be children’s boo…
sjohnson@aol.com on What’s it like being Jew…

Click image for the Why? Radio podcast

Why? Radio’s Facebook

Instagram

Twenty-eight years ago me and my horrible hair graduated @sunyplattsburgh, thanks to the mentorship of Professor David Mowry. We lost him yesterday. Read my very emotional tribute to him at www.pqed.org. #philosophy #collegife Hi listeners! Do you want to see our host Jack Russell Weinstein (@diasporajack) in person as he deejays fun and exciting music? Come down to @ojatadogmahal records this Saturday for the fourth installment of Ska and Waffles! Rehearsing for Tuesday night! Want to hear #Klezmer music live? Come to Why? Radio’s 10th anniversary party, Tuesday at 6:30. Details at www.whyradioshow.org @prairiepublic @diasporajack @empireartscenter Above two folds! Thanks @gfherald @prairiepublic ❓📩❓📩❓📩❓📩❓📩
#philosophy #ask #morals #advice #questions #help #curious #hardquestions #anything #podcast #discussion #currentevents #philosophyiseverywhere #whynot #politics #ethics #art #metaphysical #religion  #myund #questionoftheday WHY? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life, the Prairie Public radio show is celebrating its 10th birthday and we’re all invited to think philosophically about music with them!

Join the party for food, an interview with legendary Jazz flutist Mark Weinstein, and live Klezmer music! All for free!

For more information, visit https://goo.gl/FVRj3B or go to www.whyradioshow.org
-----
Award winning Jazz Flutist Mark Weinstein plays World Jazz and Straight-Ahead with world-class musicians rooted in the music of Cuba, Brazil, Africa, Argentina and his Jewish heritage. A Latin Jazz innovator, Mark was among the first jazz musicians to record with traditional Cuban rhythm sections in an epic album, Cuban Roots, released in 1967 with Chick Corea on piano. He also has a Ph.D. in philosophy and is a professor of Education at Montclair State University, in New Jersey. His music is the soundtrack to Why? Radio. You can learn more about him at www.jazzfluteweinstein.com 
Stay after the recording for a live concert, as Mark joins the Balkansi Klezmer Band for a jazz-infused exploration of the classic Jewish folk music, Klezmer. Balkansi is an ensemble based in Grand Forks that specializes in traditional music from one of the richest and most diverse musical regions in the world. The members of the band include Tamara Auer on violin, Haley Ellis on clarinet, Edward Morris on guitar, Zephaniah Pearlstein on cello, Michael Ferrick on bass, Rachel Agan Muniz on percussion.

And then stay even longer for an informal Q&A with Why? Radio host, Jack Russell Weinstein. 🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼
@prairiepublic @whyradioshow @diasporajack @empireartscenter #logic #philosophy #podcast #jazz #flute #grandforks #music #event #klezmer #northdakota #philosophyiseverywhere #birthday #10 #markweinstein #jackweinstein #jackrussellweinstein #free #concert #interview

Follow PQED on Twitter

What is Philosophy?

Archives

It is no secret that people cheat in their relationships (although it may be a secret to their partners). Given that infidelity is so frequent, it is worth asking whether it is moral to sell cheating and whether it is acceptable to celebrate those who have affairs. Famously, the website ashleymadison.com advertises their find-someone-to-cheat-with service using the tagline “Life is short. Have an affair.” Now they are using Newt Gingrich as their poster boy. I have to admit, I love their billboard (pictured above).

It is difficult to determine how many people cheat, but the most reliable statistics suggest that 12 percent of men and 7 percent of women have cheated on their spouses and that the number of women cheating is increasing every year. If you consider people under 35, this number is about 20 percent of men and 15 percent of women. For people over sixty, the lifetime rate of infidelity has increased dramatically in recent years.

It is harder to find statistics on unmarried couples, but the best I can discover tell us that 30 to 40 percent of those relationships involve at least one instance of infidelity. Also, I once heard a claim from what I recall to be a reliable source that while men cheat more in relationships, women cheat earlier. I don’t remember where I heard it so I can’t confirm the statement.

Regardless of the statistics, the fact of the matter is that cheating is frequent enough that there is a tremendous market to be tapped. (Excuse the pun.) And, while the products involved in cheating range from mouthwash, to lingerie, to birth control, only Ashley Madison and Las Vegas have managed to make it the centerpiece of their advertising campaigns. (Remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.) Are they wrong to do so?

The question of whether or not it is actually immoral to cheat is another question; for the time being, let’s just assume it is. Our concern now is whether it is immoral to provide tools to help people do immoral things. The folks at Ashley Madison and Vegas tourism can honestly report that they aren’t forcing anyone to do anything, they’re just providing a wanted service. This is no different from what the liquor-store owner might say about dozens of activities, from cheating to binge drinking. Encouraging vice is so central to capitalism that one of its central texts is subtitled “Private Vices, Public Benefits.” That book was first published in the year 1705.

These questions have many versions for other contexts: do we give heroin addicts clean needles so they don’t contract HIV? Do we sell radar detectors so people can speed without getting caught? Questions of infidelity are further complicated by the fact that adultery, like other “immoral” activities, is legal in most countries. You can’t get arrested for it; you’re just a bad person if you’re doing it.

The argument against all of this is pretty straightforward. Helping someone engage in immoral acts encourages immorality, therefore it is immoral itself. Finding ways to encourage people to fall off the wagon just isn’t very nice. You don’t taunt someone on a diet with a Ding Dong; you don’t knowingly give a recovering alcoholic a bottle of scotch, and you don’t encourage cheating.

But again, these arguments run counter to our daily experiences. Virtually everything we see tells us the opposite: get people to buy your product even if what they do with it is unethical. And, if this is the case, why shouldn’t we celebrate those who engage in bad behavior? The Republic Party, the “family values” party, doesn’t seem to have a problem with Newt Gingrich’s bad behavior. Why should anyone else?

In the last blog entry I asked whether hypocrisy was a vice. Here we are even further down that road. If our culture endorses bad behavior, if we cover the infidelities of the famous with glee, if we write books, make movies and television shows, and sing songs about all those whose exciting lives involve cheating on their partners, then why shouldn’t we just be up front about it? And, if we are up front with it, why not make some money in the process?

One comment on “Is infidelity just another product to sell?

  1. This is more of a mud slinging campaign. It is a tactic in elections wherein opposing people pull out wrong doings to discredit one another.

Leave a Reply
%d bloggers like this: