Here’s an argument for the analytically minded (read: intellectually virtuous) to analyze. However you assess it, you will come up with something important for living.
1. When a person with the capacity for moral responsibility and rational thought has put themselves in a situation in which no morally good person would find themselves, they are responsible to bear the pain of whatever may befall them for being in such a situation.
Ex: The moral thing for a teenager to do, when told by a parent not to snoop around in the parent’s drawers, is to obey. The teenager is responsible for his injury if there happens to be a rat trap in it; it is his fault and no one else’s.
2. One has no obligation to consider the well-being of people in regard to their immoral states. Such consideration is not obligatory (within the call of duty), but supererogatory (above and beyond the call of duty).
If the teenager with the rat-trap injury is your brother, you have no obligation to feel sympathy for him, or drop your important activities to take care of him, etc.
3. Some romantic relationships are immoral states in which no moral person would find themselves.
Ex: One should never voluntarily enter a relationship where one would be required or influenced to do wrong. Relationships in which one will be influenced by the other to abuse one’s children or break the law, relationships where one will be pushed to violate one’s conscience, homosexual relationships, etc are immoral relationships/states in which no truly moral person would find themselves.
4. Pre-marital, non-genital physical affection between opposite sexes is morally acceptable.
Ex: It wasn’t wrong for me to deeply and passionately kiss Rosario Dawson (she told me she wan’t married).
5. Therefore: It is not morally wrong to engage in premarital, non-genital physical affection with a person of the opposite sex who is in an immoral relationship, even though it would cause pain to their partner, since their partner would not have experienced such pain were they not in said immoral state. (From 1-4)
6. 5 is (almost certainly) false.
Were is the catch? One of the above statements in 1-6 has to be false. Which one (or one’s) is it, and what is the significant resulting ethical consequence?