A controversial debate recently aired on the television where one of our assumptions was challenged.
Spiritually, socially, morally, adultery is generally comdemned. Yes, some societies are overtly and covertly permissive of it, but practically all religions rave against it, while most of society does not support it (openly?).
The crux of the debate was, what exactly constitutes adultery.
Here is a definition of the term, ADULTERY.
“Extramarital sex that willfully and maliciously interferes with marriage relations.
adultery is often cited as grounds for divorce
= criminal conversation, fornication
~ extramarital sex, free love”
That’s one definition but clearly it can be expanded upon. The question that cropped up was, could you be maritally unfaithful despite having no physical sexual contact?. Before you assume, I am not talking about emotional infidelity, but rather about surrogate pregnancy, and specifically, artificial insemination.
If a couple have problems having children naturally, and the wife, without telling the husband, goes to a sperm bank, gets herself inseminated, has she committed adultery? After all, she didn’t sleep with any man! Surely, most people would say, that’s wrong, even if it’s not directly classifiable as adultery.
Now, supposing the couple agreed that the wife should undergo artificial insemination, does that change anything? Is it the mere agreement or knowledge of the second party, that changes the equation?
Is it the act that constitute an infraction, or the intention behind the acts?.
Could we apply the definition above, and conclude that the woman committed adultery, despite the man agreeing and being in the know?
Turning the table around, if the man goes to a sperm bank to donate his sperms (people do that for money, like blood!), knowing that it would be used to fertilize a woman that is not his wife, would that be adultery (whether he informed the wife or not)? Could we cheekily suggest that he is doing a noble acts, putting happiness in the life of barren couples, seeing that a man is an inexhaustible supply of semen?
As another angle, if childless couple agrees that the husband should “go and try his luck outside with another woman… or the husband brings a friend to ‘do the deed’ (assuming a medical condition makes him incapable of impregnating the wife), would this be wrong, and be an adulterous infidelity?
Can we not say that a cat is a good cat, white or black, as long as the mouse gets killed by it?
What’s the view of the moralists and the religionists on this?