Zjamel’s boyfriend Bernard seems to be spending more time with Ethel than with her. Finally, Zjamel asks the question: “Are you having an affair with Ethel?”
Bernard is, in fact, having an affair with Ethel but doesn’t regard it as “serious.” Ethel is married, and Bernard sees himself as committed to Zjamel over the long term. He doesn’t want to upset Zjamel, who has been depressed lately, and so he answers, “Of course not, darling.”
Zjamel now feels much better. After a few months, Bernard and Ethel get tired of each other, and everyone forgets about their little fling.
Was Bernard’s lie ethical?
Dilemma 7 in 101 Ethical Dilemmas by Martin Cohen.
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