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Monday, February 05, 2007

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Daniel

to clarify: Do you think it's morally reprehensible that a forty-something woman would have an affair with one of her high school students?

jmsloop

Ab-so-friggn-lutely. Especially when the kid is 15, but regardless. Bad Bad Bad.(I'm guessing your question is a joke). But there's a lot of behavior in this film that's morally reprehensible. Indeed, other viewers, including my Bonnie, think it's morally reprehensible that the film uses the predatory-lesbian-vampire stereotype in the film. So much to discuss with this film.

Daniel

No joke. "Morally reprehensible" is one of those phrases around which "a great gulf is affixed." To say that something is morally reprehensible is to wall it off as beyond consideration. So when anyone says that something is morally reprehensible, I want to poke at that thing, to find out why one thing is a cardinal sin and another thing isn't so bad. I mean, if you really get down to it, homicide isn't even morally reprehensible the way most people view it.

As in: When it comes to sexual affairs, what are the non-morally reprehensible ages and gender combinations? Is it different if it's older man and younger girl? What if it's 25-year-old woman and 15-year-old boy? What if the boy is 16? Does it matter if he's 17? Or 18? Why?

jmsloop

While there are of course all types of ways in which morals/values operate in shades, and while I would be willing to engage in conversations about those gradations, I stand by the fact that the affair in this film is morally reprehensible and walled off. Forgetting the age difference for a second, this was a student in her class. What makes this morally reprehensible is not only the fact that the job DISALLOWS such behaviors (she would have had to agree to that condition to take the job), but that the parents of the child send the kid to the school with the implied guarantee that such behavior will not happen. It's the break of faith/trust that is the reprehensible part.

It is on similar grounds that I think almost any perjury, or lying under oath, is morally reprehensible regardless of the lie told (e.g., if we assume that Clinton perjured himself about sex, it is the perjury that would be the reprehensible part of the equation more so than the sex). If we agree to live together as a nation, there are indeed certain norms that we have to agree to whether you take them to be Moral Laws, good ideas, or inconvenient agreements.

Daniel

I'll buy that.

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