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The Ethics of Marriage

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The study of ethics outlines many questions asked by people in present-day times. Such controversial ethical questions can be seen from various viewpoints, therefore leaving the topics up for ongoing discussion. One specific topic considered in the study of ethics is the morality of divorce. Divorce has no easy answer, since the different situations of troubled marriage vary so widely. Although marriage can be defined in the simple and well known quote "till death do us part", no one can be expected to live in a family where abuse of any kind is present, whether it be physical or emotional. Eternal unhappiness is also not seen as a justifiable way to live, so divorce seems to be the answer in that case. To be examined are different views on this topic, keeping in mind the question, "Is easy access to divorce good?" In the book Man as Man, the Science and Art of Ethics, by Fr. Thomas J. Higgins, S.J., the author writes with the influence of the Thomistic accounts of ethics. ...read more.


This could cause a decrease in procreation, because of the adult fear of separation. One might find it easier to marry and not reproduce, in order to selfishly remain confident that they will not have to carry around a burden to future lovers (375). The second reason Higgins points out as being one of Aquinas' thoughts on the negativity of divorce is that it "militates against the good morals of husband and wife" (375). With the possibility of divorce, two people cannot be completely unified. The idea that there can be an end to the marriage leaves a loophole for the whole idea of the sacrament that unites heart and mind. As mentioned before, selfishness can result from the possibility of marriage. A couple could forget the importance of an even give and take relationship in a marriage, if they know that when they do not get their way they can break free. Higgins suggests that desperate people would even be lead to commit serious crimes in order to escape a marriage, which in return would increase the crime rate, making the society an unsafe environment. ...read more.


When a child is forced to move back and forth, his or her sense of belonging is damaged. This can impair a child's social life as well, since he or she cannot commit to certain activities while constantly being moved around. And as St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out, children who have divorced parents must learn to love the parents equally, when children in traditional households generally do have equal love for their parents. What many people do not realize is that the effect of divorce does not stop with the immediate family. When a person is brought in to a family by marriage, the attachment is extended to everyone in relation. Respectively, when the tie of marriage is broken, this attachment cannot be pursued. As much as one wants his or family to accept the partner he or she has chosen to spend a lifetime with, the painful separation of divorce is experienced all throughout the family in the end. A true marriage takes the ups and downs, the good and the bad. A true marriage works through any problems and rejoices over any happiness, but it always lasts. ...read more.

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