The New York Times Magazine’s “The Ethicist” feature is just Dear Abby in highbrow. So, I generally avoid it — except that time when it featured Peter Singer and others of his “animal liberation” ilk assigned to judge essays on why it is ethical to eat meat. Riiight.
To the point of this post: Note that in the answer to ”the Second Letter” — gaining attention now because some believe it may have been written by the husband cuckolded by General Petraeus– “The Ethicist” tells the wronged spouse not to publicly expose the affair with the high government official because it is never ethical to act for the purpose of causing public humiliation. To borrow a bit from Gilbert and Sullivan: What Never? Well, hardly ever. From the letter:
Don’t expose the affair in any high-profile way. It would be different if this man’s project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The only motive for exposing the relationship would be to humiliate him and your wife, and that’s never a good reason for doing anything.
To liberals, destroying social conservatism is always the highest ethical principle.