The Partisans of “Polyamory” Misunderstand Both Honesty and Humanity

In the past few years, newspapers, magazines, and television dramas have introduced a new term into the public discourse of sexuality: “polyamory,” which denotes romantic and sexual relationships absent traditional constraints of fidelity. Daniel Frost and Hal Boyd examine some of the arguments used to justify this phenomenon, which often focus on the supposed “radical honesty”—another new term—of polyamory:

Proponents often tout polyamory as an ethical, “consensual” form of non-monogamy. However, a recent survey . . . found that less than half of women who had been in a consensual non-monogamous relationship said that both partners desired the arrangement equally. . . . Another study on this topic found that “commitment emerged as a central concept in polyamorous relationships” but that when “rule violations” of commitment occurred they were “not generally interpreted as ‘cheating’ but rather as opportunities to renegotiate agreements.” In other words, even in polyamorous relationships, there are rules and violations of rules. The main difference, it appears, is that in “radically honest” relationships the dishonest partners—those who don’t play by the rules—face few consequences.

Radical honesty, [thus] understood, is particularly pernicious because it not only allows an individual to void prior moral commitments but also seeks to give the individual a moral justification for doing so—one is doing the right thing by following one’s honest desires. Many commitments can be canceled, and many responsibilities evaded, with this kind of honesty. Commitments made in the shadow of “radical honesty” seem always to have an implicit escape clause attached to them: “I will do X, at least as long as I feel like it.” Ultimately, “radical honesty” just means being honest about your desires, and in particular your sexual desires, even if you fall short of honesty in your commitments.

Polyamory’s boosters can claim honesty here only by importing a great deal of loose assumptions about right and wrong, human nature, and what it means to live a worthwhile and fulfilling life. In this view, humans are defined primarily by their felt desires, and the only way to live honestly and authentically is to obey them. Desire is most core to the self.

Of course, humans are not reducible to desires alone.

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Read more at National Review

More about: American society, Sexual ethics

 

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia