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Thread: And she called me stupid

  1. Top | #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    Mar 7:
    Her: remember the January 1 agreement?
    Him: yes, it’s where I loaned you $100 and you never paid me back.
    Her: about that; I have no intentions of paying you back
    Him: why? Because I slept with your sister? That’s not a good reason not to pay me what you owe me.

    Mar8:
    Your advice: balance the books while you can; you tell him to take it upon hisself to square up by repaying the net difference ($100) between the two agreements.
    Not my advice. I said it depends on the situation. In this case, she's not paying him back because he had sex with her sister. That may well be a good reason. It depends on the circumsstances! (Were the two in a committed relationship? Is the sister too young? etc.).
    But now consider:


    Mar 7:
    He: I'm going to pay you your $200 back. But I also want my $100 back. When are you going to pay me?
    She: I'm not going to. But I need the $200 back, and you agreed on March 1 to give them back, knowing that I needed them.
    He: Yes, alright, I'm paying you back. I agreed to pay you back, and in doing so, I implicitly gave you more time for the $100. But I just wanted to know, because you agreed to pay me back the $100 long ago. I get that you do not have them now. That is why I agreed to pay you back on March 7 (Friday), since you need them for some reason.
    She: No, I mean, I'm not paying you back at all. It's not that I really need the $100. I only need $100. But you agreed to pay $200, so you have an obligation to pay $200.
    He: But if you can pay $100, you have an obligation to pay $100 as well.
    She: Sure, but I will not pay you.
    He: Why?
    She: Because I do not want to. I prefer to keep the $100.
    He: So, okay, you will pay me later, because I implicitly gave you more time?
    She: No, I will never pay you.
    He: But you promised.
    She: Yes, but I choose to break my promise, so that I keep $100. Think what you want, but you have an obligation to pay me $200.

    My advice to him: You do not have an obligation to pay more than $100, at least on the basis of what I know about your situation.

    As usual, it depends on the case!

  2. Top | #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angra Mainyu View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    Mar 7:
    Her: remember the January 1 agreement?
    Him: yes, it’s where I loaned you $100 and you never paid me back.
    Her: about that; I have no intentions of paying you back
    Him: why? Because I slept with your sister? That’s not a good reason not to pay me what you owe me.

    Mar8:
    Your advice: balance the books while you can; you tell him to take it upon hisself to square up by repaying the net difference ($100) between the two agreements.
    Not my advice. I said it depends on the situation. In this case, she's not paying him back because he had sex with her sister. That may well be a good reason. It depends on the circumsstances! (Were the two in a committed relationship? Is the sister too young? etc.).
    But now consider:


    Mar 7:
    He: I'm going to pay you your $200 back. But I also want my $100 back. When are you going to pay me?
    She: I'm not going to. But I need the $200 back, and you agreed on March 1 to give them back, knowing that I needed them.
    He: Yes, alright, I'm paying you back. I agreed to pay you back, and in doing so, I implicitly gave you more time for the $100. But I just wanted to know, because you agreed to pay me back the $100 long ago. I get that you do not have them now. That is why I agreed to pay you back on March 7 (Friday), since you need them for some reason.
    She: No, I mean, I'm not paying you back at all. It's not that I really need the $100. I only need $100. But you agreed to pay $200, so you have an obligation to pay $200.
    He: But if you can pay $100, you have an obligation to pay $100 as well.
    She: Sure, but I will not pay you.
    He: Why?
    She: Because I do not want to. I prefer to keep the $100.
    He: So, okay, you will pay me later, because I implicitly gave you more time?
    She: No, I will never pay you.
    He: But you promised.
    She: Yes, but I choose to break my promise, so that I keep $100. Think what you want, but you have an obligation to pay me $200.

    My advice to him: You do not have an obligation to pay more than $100, at least on the basis of what I know about your situation.

    As usual, it depends on the case!
    He didn’t GIVE her more time. The time came (and then went). She can NEVER follow through like she said she would. The best she can do is pay him back (or that, some interest and a hug), but the deadline has come and gone! Saying he gave her added time is pleasant to the ear; it has a nice ring to it, but her chance at fully living up to her word is buried in the past.

    There is something [he] said that has greatly captured my attention: I find it mightily deceitful and underhanded that he would say, “that is why I agreed to pay [her] back.” I expect parties to be bound by what is explicitly said. It’s mighty convenient that when he stands to lose, that WHY he supposedly agreed, all of a sudden matters. If it mattered so much, maybe it should have been spelt out. I call these two separate agreements independent for a reason. One has nothing to do with the other.

    If I agree to pay contingent upon (oh say) services being rendered and services aren’t rendered, then I didn’t make a pure non contingent promise. The scenario calls for being taken as is, where what is specifically and explicitly said is what is being held for everyone to account.

    Now, all of a sudden, fuzzy words like “tacit” and “implicit” are sprouting about. Reminds me of threads on tipping. No one said anything about what might have been in the back of their minds. This is the doorway to justifying immoral behavior. No one cares nor should care about what was residing in the dark recesses of his mind. If it’s not apart of the program with zeros and ones, a computer is not going to consider it. Since his expectation is at best a product of self-produced thought, maybe there is less to analyze than we might prefer.

  3. Top | #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    He didn’t GIVE her more time. The time came (and then went). She can NEVER follow through like she said she would. The best she can do is pay him back (or that, some interest and a hug), but the deadline has come and gone! Saying he gave her added time is pleasant to the ear; it has a nice ring to it, but her chance at fully living up to her word is buried in the past.
    Those are two different things. She already broke her promise in the past. That happened already, and that would be the case regardless of whether he later gave her more time, whether explicitly or implicitly.
    As to whether he implicitly gave her more time, again, that depends on the specifics of their relationship, but after thinking more about the matter, I'm thinking that, in such odd cases, that usually happens, so I am actually conceding that you are correct that he (probably) should pay back without demanding the $100 first.


    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    There is something [he] said that has greatly captured my attention: I find it mightily deceitful and underhanded that he would say, “that is why I agreed to pay [her] back.” I expect parties to be bound by what is explicitly said. It’s mighty convenient that when he stands to lose, that WHY he supposedly agreed, all of a sudden matters. If it mattered so much, maybe it should have been spelt out. I call these two separate agreements independent for a reason. One has nothing to do with the other.
    That is not deceitful. I was thinking of a reason for him to agree to pay her back. It's not that his reasons for agreeing were a condition stipulated to pay her back, but that explains the unusual agreement on his part. If you think there was another reason, what was it? Regardless, that is not the issue. So, here goes again:



    Mar 9:
    He: I'm going to pay you your $200 back. But I also want my $100 back. When are you going to pay me?
    She: I'm not going to. But I need the $200 back, and you agreed on March 1 to give them back, knowing that I needed them.
    He: Yes, alright, I'm paying you back. I agreed to pay you back, and in doing so, I implicitly gave you more time for the $200. But I just wanted to know, because you agreed to pay me back the $100 long ago. I get that you do not have them now.
    She: No, I mean, I'm not paying you back at all. Not now, and not later. It's not that I really need the $100. I only need $100. But you agreed to pay $200, so you have an obligation to pay $200.
    He: But if you can pay $100, you have an obligation to pay $100 as well.
    She: Sure, but I will not pay you.
    He: Why?
    She: Because I do not want to. I will keep the $100.
    He: So, okay, you will pay me later, because I implicitly gave you more time?
    She: No, I will never pay you.
    He: But you promised.
    She: Yes, but I choose to break my promise, so that I keep $100. Think what you want, but you have an obligation to pay me $200.

    My advice to him is the same as before.

    Quote Originally Posted by fast

    If I agree to pay contingent upon (oh say) services being rendered and services aren’t rendered, then I didn’t make a pure non contingent promise. The scenario calls for being taken as is, where what is specifically and explicitly said is what is being held for everyone to account.

    Now, all of a sudden, fuzzy words like “tacit” and “implicit” are sprouting about. Reminds me of threads on tipping. No one said anything about what might have been in the back of their minds. This is the doorway to justifying immoral behavior. No one cares nor should care about what was residing in the dark reces/uses of his mind. If it’s not apart of the program with zeros and ones, a computer is not going to consider it. Since his expectation is at best a product of self-produced thought, maybe there is less to analyze than we might prefer.
    I think we have ourselves a moral disagreement I'm not sure how to get out of. Your sense or right and wrong says he has an obligation to pay. Mine says he does not. The hypothetical scenario was meant to convince you, as your hypothetical scenarios were meant to convince me. It's not working. Fortunately, I will never be in that situation, and neither will you (not even giving advice; the scenario I considered is too improbable to happen), so nothing will come out of the disagreement.

    There do not seem to be significant practical consequences, fortunately.

  4. Top | #44
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    There is no coercion or anything funky going on except that there is a completely and totally separate prior agreement that wasn’t lived up to. Had that original agreement not occurred, I suspect you would have no qualms agreeing that he owes the $200 to her. Even after we go ‘round the mulberry bush and weed out threats, dire circumstances and her favorite ice cream flavor, the very fact alone that he borrowed the money and gave his word to pay it back would suffice for thinking he in fact has a moral obligation to pay it back.

    If I would have left out the first agreement and asked if he has a moral obligation to pay it back, you likely would have wanted more information, and had I come back and said he agreed at gunpoint, you would rightfully say that the threat of violence either nullified the obligation or more likely that the threat of violence negated the promise made under duress disallowed an obligation to even form.

    Since there is no coercion, duress, threats, disadvantages, incompacities or anything remotely similar going on and just that first agreement (coupled with the idea that maybe he doesn’t have an obligation) goes to show that why you think he has no moral obligation to pay stems not from coercion or the like but rather the first agreement.

    That would be called playing tit for tat if you thought it was wrong to not pay and chose not to anyway. I don’t know what to call it when you don’t even think it’s wrong. Why you don’t see it as wrong is what’s troubling me. He wasn’t coerced. He wasn’t threatened. He didn’t stipulate that getting his hundred back was part of the bargain. He did borrow the money. He did say he’d pay it back. He grasps that she needs it. He understood that when he borrowed it. All you have to fall back on is some distant (two months even) and unrelated (one has NOTHING to do with the other) agreement and some sorted details surrounding how the promises ever came to be made in the first place.

    If he doesn’t pay her back like he said he would, I don’t think he should be trusted. We already know she can’t keep her word, and ya know what, that’s up to her. How can I justify advising him to not pay after he’s already said he would. He can. He’s able. He’s willing. Sure, I can SAY (speak the words) that he doesn’t have an obligation, but the first agreement was not a factor in his mind when he GAVE HIS WORD.

  5. Top | #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    There is no coercion or anything funky going on except that there is a completely and totally separate prior agreement that wasn’t lived up to. Had that original agreement not occurred, I suspect you would have no qualms agreeing that he owes the $200 to her.
    You mean, in the scenario I described in this post?
    Of course. The whole scenario revolves around the previous agreement. Had there been no previous agreement, she would not be saying she will not honor the previous agreement, so of course I think he should pay her.

    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    Even after we go ‘round the mulberry bush and weed out threats, dire circumstances and her favorite ice cream flavor, the very fact alone that he borrowed the money and gave his word to pay it back would suffice for thinking he in fact has a moral obligation to pay it back.
    It's one of the scenarios meant to show that this is not so, by appeal to immediate intuition. If you do not see that as immediately clear, the scenario has not worked as intended - which we already know.

    On the other hand, if you are talking about other scenarios we have discussed, I'd like to ask which one(s)?

    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    Since there is no coercion, duress, threats, disadvantages, incompacities or anything remotely similar going on and just that first agreement (coupled with the idea that maybe he doesn’t have an obligation) goes to show that why you think he has no moral obligation to pay stems not from coercion or the like but rather the first agreement.
    No. At first, I was considering that, given the oddity of the situation, maybe something was amiss. But later, in this post, I replied to a previous post of yours in which you said "I don’t want you to flat out assume it’s obligatory in my scenario to keep a promise, as I do leave room for an exception, but unless you can tie the first agreement in as morally relevant, the next issue isn’t whether paying back what is owed is morally obligatory but colloquially stupid.", and said that if you wanted me to tie them, I would do so - and provided a scenario tying them.

    The point is that the previous agreement is one among several reasons to be considered. On its own, it does not block the obligation to pay back, as I think that - for example - in such circumstances, there often is an implicit agreement to give her more time.

    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    That would be called playing tit for tat if you thought it was wrong to not pay and chose not to anyway. I don’t know what to call it when you don’t even think it’s wrong. Why you don’t see it as wrong is what’s troubling me. He wasn’t coerced. He wasn’t threatened. He didn’t stipulate that getting his hundred back was part of the bargain. He did borrow the money. He did say he’d pay it back. He grasps that she needs it. He understood that when he borrowed it. All you have to fall back on is some distant (two months even) and unrelated (one has NOTHING to do with the other) agreement and some sorted details surrounding how the promises ever came to be made in the first place.
    No, she does not need it at all. Recall the scenario I'm considering. She's even telling her she does not need it. What you say "some distant (two months even) and unrelated (one has NOTHING to do with the other) agreement", well, I do not think it's unrelated, but it is distant, in the following sense: personal relationships between people involve implicit agreements and obligations as to how to behave. The fact that he agreed later suggests that he is either condoning the previous debt, or giving her time, implicitly - though one would need more info about the specifics of their relationship to be certain.

    Now, when she explicitly says she will not pay because she prefers to keep the money, it seems obvious to me he has no obligation to pay $200. I regret it's troubling to you that I do not see it as wrong. It is troubling to me that you find troubling that I do not see it as wrong. The scenario was meant to be a reductio, so it was meant for you to immediately and intuitively reckon he had no obligation. Obviously, it did not work. How about the following one:

    S2: Joe is a plumber and rents a room from Jack. Jack asks Joe to fix the sink on Monday, and tells him he'll pay him $200 the next day, because he does not have cash at hand (say it happened a few decades ago if you like). Joe agrees, and fixes the sink. On Tuesday, Joe is due to pay $300 as rent. Jack asks him to pay.

    Joe: I owe you $300 for the rent, but you owe me $200 for the sink, so I pay you $100 and we are even, alright?
    Jack: No. I have decided not to pay you for the sink. But you have a moral obligation to pay me $300 for the room.
    Joe: But you promised to pay, and I did the job properly. You have a moral obligation to pay me.
    Jack: Yes, I have a moral obligation to pay you $200. I choose not to comply with my moral obligation, so that I get an extra $200. Now, will you also behave immorally by failing to pay me $300?
    Joe: I only owe you $100. I will pay that, and then leave your room. And I'm not doing anything immoral.

    Let's swap roles, so that the person with the earlier obligation fails to comply: .

    S3: Joe is a plumber and rents a room from Jack. Jack asks Joe to fix the sink on Monday, and tells him he'll pay him $200 the next day, because he does not have cash at hand (say it happened a few decades ago if you like). Joe agrees, and fixes the sink. On Tuesday, Joe is due to pay $300 as rent. Jack asks him to pay.

    Jack: I owe you $200 for the sink, but you owe me $300 for the rent. Will you pay me $100, and we are even?
    Joe: No. I have decided not to the rent. But you have a moral obligation to pay me $200 for the sink.
    Jack: But you promised to pay the rent, and I did give you the room. You have a moral obligation to pay me.
    Joe: Yes, I have a moral obligation to pay you $300 for the room. I choose not to comply with my moral obligation, so that I get an extra $300. Now, will you also behave immorally by failing to pay me $200?
    Jack: I owe you nothing. You owe me $100.

    Barring legal obligations (that's another matter; there might be a legal obligation that creates a moral obligation), it seems clear to me that Jack has no moral obligation to pay. Do you think he does?

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    As WC Fields said, never give a sucker an even break.

  7. Top | #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angra Mainyu View Post
    S2: Joe is a plumber and rents a room from Jack. Jack asks Joe to fix the sink on Monday, and tells him he'll pay him $200 the next day, because he does not have cash at hand (say it happened a few decades ago if you like). Joe agrees, and fixes the sink. On Tuesday, Joe is due to pay $300 as rent. Jack asks him to pay.

    Joe: I owe you $300 for the rent, but you owe me $200 for the sink, so I pay you $100 and we are even, alright?
    Jack: No. I have decided not to pay you for the sink. But you have a moral obligation to pay me $300 for the room.
    I like the way you set this up. The reasoning was “does not have cash at hand.” There’s nothing tying the two separate agreements except that it so happens to be between the same parties; hence, there’s no “i’ll take it off your rent” lingo. It’s as if there are two distinct contracts. Maybe if you didn’t let the fact the same parties are involved in both contracts consume you, you wouldn’t commingle them. There’s no “but”. It’s “and”. There shouldn’t be a “so.” Joe can see the convenience of using a calculator since both of his separate agreements are with the same person, but as soon as Jack said no, he should realize that it was just that, a convenience. He should treat each agreement just as separately as he would had the agreements been with two different people.

    Joe: But you promised to pay, and I did the job properly. You have a moral obligation to pay me.
    Jack: Yes, I have a moral obligation to pay you $200. I choose not to comply with my moral obligation, so that I get an extra $200. Now, will you also behave immorally by failing to pay me $300?
    Joe: I only owe you $100. I will pay that, and then leave your room. And I'm not doing anything immoral.
    There’s ole calculator-happy Joe again still swinging those words about, “I only owe you $100.” If a company owes you a referral check yet you owe a bill, there’s a good chance that you’re gonna get a late charge if you fail to pay your entire payment. You don’t pull out the ole calculator and subtract the referral fee from the balance due. Joe owes and is owed, and somebody doesn’t seem to get that. Math doesn’t absolve contracts or agreements.

    In one agreement, Joe was supposed to fix the sink. He did, so check (mark).
    In another agreement, Joe was supposed to pay rent ($300). He didn’t, so no check.

    Joe needs to put the calculator down and review the separate agreements, and it would benefit him greatly to see my point of view if he also closed his eyes to who the agreements are with. He should ask himself, did I do as I said I would do with agreement one and if he did as he said he would with agreement two.

    Let's swap roles, so that the person with the earlier obligation fails to comply: .

    S3: Joe is a plumber and rents a room from Jack. Jack asks Joe to fix the sink on Monday, and tells him he'll pay him $200 the next day, because he does not have cash at hand (say it happened a few decades ago if you like). Joe agrees, and fixes the sink. On Tuesday, Joe is due to pay $300 as rent. Jack asks him to pay.

    Jack: I owe you $200 for the sink, but you owe me $300 for the rent. Will you pay me $100, and we are even?
    Joe: No. I have decided not to the rent. But you have a moral obligation to pay me $200 for the sink.
    Jack: But you promised to pay the rent, and I did give you the room. You have a moral obligation to pay me.
    Joe: Yes, I have a moral obligation to pay you $300 for the room. I choose not to comply with my moral obligation, so that I get an extra $300. Now, will you also behave immorally by failing to pay me $200?
    Jack: I owe you nothing. You owe me $100.
    So long as one agreement doesn’t tie to the other, meaning, there was no part of one agreement intertwined with the other (e.g. say man, fix my sink and i’ll knock $200 of the rent), then Jack is wrong. Judge the performance of the contracts (or agreements) independently.

    Jack owes Joe $200. After all, he agreed to pay Joe for fixing the sink. Rent had nothing to do with that agreement. Recall, it was all about not having the cash at the time. If the agreement regarding the sink was between Joe and Jack’s son while the agreement for rent was between Joe and Jack, we wouldn’t be doing all this subtracting.

    When it’s the same person, the agreements must be viewed independently; otherwise, you’ll justify not keeping your word based on other people not keeping theirs. That’s no way to be.

    Barring legal obligations (that's another matter; there might be a legal obligation that creates a moral obligation), it seems clear to me that Jack has no moral obligation to pay. Do you think he does?
    No moral obligation to pay!? He just got finished telling the man yesterday the only reason for not paying him was because he didn’t have the cash. Now all of sudden, the next day, on a completely unrelated matter, after Joe screws Jack over by refusing to pay $300 rent, Jack justifies his refusal to keep his word on one agreement because of the immoral deeds of another.

    If jack had any character about him, was principled, had some ethics about him, and a working moral compass to boot, Jack would teach Joe a lesson about what it means to be honest: pay the SOB just like he said he would; that, and throw his ass out for not paying rent. If I’m Jack, (and if my ‘moral hat’ is on tight—not too tight but snug), he’ll understand that I’m a person of my word, no matter what unscrupulous lad might come my way.

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    If it is the moral duty for a borrower to repay their loan within a reasonable time frame, not doing so without explanation to the lender means that the borrower fails to meet their moral obligation, creating stress for the lender, thereby straining whatever relationship there may be between the two parties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    I like the way you set this up. The reasoning was “does not have cash at hand.” There’s nothing tying the two separate agreements except that it so happens to be between the same parties; hence, there’s no “i’ll take it off your rent” lingo. It’s as if there are two distinct contracts. Maybe if you didn’t let the fact the same parties are involved in both contracts consume you, you wouldn’t commingle them. There’s no “but”. It’s “and”. There shouldn’t be a “so.” Joe can see the convenience of using a calculator since both of his separate agreements are with the same person, but as soon as Jack said no, he should realize that it was just that, a convenience. He should treat each agreement just as separately as he would had the agreements been with two different people.
    The "hence" does not seem to follow, though he did not use the expression “i’ll take it off your rent”. The fact is that Jack did not just say "no". If he had, then he could have given after that a different argument, evidence, etc. But Jack made it clear he was breaking his moral obligation. Again, it was meant to get an immediate assessment from you that Joe did not have a moral obligation to pay here. I guess we are at an impasse - it's looking more and more as a fundamental moral disagreement. Those aren't so easy to find, but sometimes, they happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    There’s ole calculator-happy Joe again still swinging those words about, “I only owe you $100.” If a company owes you a referral check yet you owe a bill, there’s a good chance that you’re gonna get a late charge if you fail to pay your entire payment.
    Yes, there is a good chance of that. It's different with a company in that situation, where no one is making a decision to break their moral obligations, and also, there are legal regulations in place, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    You don’t pull out the ole calculator and subtract the referral fee from the balance due. Joe owes and is owed, and somebody doesn’t seem to get that. Math doesn’t absolve contracts or agreements.

    In one agreement, Joe was supposed to fix the sink. He did, so check (mark).
    In another agreement, Joe was supposed to pay rent ($300). He didn’t, so no check.

    Joe needs to put the calculator down and review the separate agreements, and it would benefit him greatly to see my point of view if he also closed his eyes to who the agreements are with. He should ask himself, did I do as I said I would do with agreement one and if he did as he said he would with agreement two.
    He would be losing valuable information if he closed his eyes to whom the agreemetns were with. In human relations, we keep an intuitive track of obligations in the long term. It would not benefit Joe to reject what is obvious to his moral sense. So, we disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    So long as one agreement doesn’t tie to the other, meaning, there was no part of one agreement intertwined with the other (e.g. say man, fix my sink and i’ll knock $200 of the rent), then Jack is wrong. Judge the performance of the contracts (or agreements) independently.
    It seems fundamental, yes. My scenarios are meant to debunk your claim that one has to judge the contracts or agreements independently, by means of counterexample. It's not working because you insist on that, instead of reckoning they are in fact counterexamples. There might be something else I'm not seeing and that prompts your judgment, but so far, I haven't found it, so it seems like a raw clash (i.e., your moral sense and mine just disagree, and there is no way around that).

    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    Jack owes Joe $200. After all, he agreed to pay Joe for fixing the sink. Rent had nothing to do with that agreement. Recall, it was all about not having the cash at the time. If the agreement regarding the sink was between Joe and Jack’s son while the agreement for rent was between Joe and Jack, we wouldn’t be doing all this subtracting.

    When it’s the same person, the agreements must be viewed independently; otherwise, you’ll justify not keeping your word based on other people not keeping theirs. That’s no way to be.
    You keep making that argument. Okay, I get that you believe that. But that Joe (and Jack) are not on the wrong by not paying when the other party has made it clear they're going to break their own moral obligation is obvious to me. That's the very reason I came up with the scenarios, hoping it would look obvious to you as well. My assessment is of course that whether it's justified not keeping one's word to a person who is not keeping theirs depends on the circumstances, including factors such as why they fail to keep their word. I make that assessment precisely on the basis of counterexamples such as the ones I present.

    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    No moral obligation to pay!? He just got finished telling the man yesterday the only reason for not paying him was because he didn’t have the cash. Now all of sudden, the next day, on a completely unrelated matter, after Joe screws Jack over by refusing to pay $300 rent, Jack justifies his refusal to keep his word on one agreement because of the immoral deeds of another.
    And the reason was that he did not have the cash. Now not "all of a sudden", but after the other person made it clear that he was choosing to break his moral obligation in order to get an extra $300(!), he reasonably chooses not to pay.

    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    If jack had any character about him, was principled, had some ethics about him, and a working moral compass to boot, Jack would teach Joe a lesson about what it means to be honest: pay the SOB just like he said he would; that, and throw his ass out for not paying rent. If I’m Jack, (and if my ‘moral hat’ is on tight—not too tight but snug), he’ll understand that I’m a person of my word, no matter what unscrupulous lad might come my way.
    Well, of course I disagree. The claim "was principled" is obscure, but I think it's proper to assess morality on a case by case basis, using one's sense of right and wrong, rather than adhering to general moral theories (the "principles") that are unwarranted (as they have not been properly tested), or worse, tested as false. But here the disagreement between us seems to be about working moral compass part. Clearly, one is not working properly. We disagree about which one. But it seems it's a disagreement with no solution. It has no practical consequences, though, other than perhaps getting into an argument on line. It's not as if the cases will actually happen to either of us, either as parties or as advisers (too unrealistic for that).

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    Quote Originally Posted by fast
    I think some may hold that it wouldn’t be wrong to pay back only the $100, but for those that think it is actually wrong but also thinks it’s stupid, if they are right, it would be stupid to do what’s right.

    Any thoughts?
    I think it would not be stupid to act according to one's sense of right and wrong. In fact, it would be rational and good for your well being, except for some unusual cases among the already unusual ones. On the other hand, for someone whose sense of right and wrong agrees with mine, paying when they reckon they have no obligation to pay would seem only rational if they have some other (i.e., non-moral reason). Otherwise, they would seem to be doing something completely without reason (e.g., if Joe reckons he has no moral obligation to pay Jack, and has no non-moral reason, then it would be puzzling if he were to pay Jack. It would appear like an action with no reason whatsoever. I don't think "stupid" would describe it, though. It would just be...inexplicable, not in accordance with human psychology, alien, or something like that).

    But given your moral assessment, it would not be stupid on your part to always pay, even if the other party is laughing at you and telling you they're breaking their moral obligations so that get extra money. In fact, it's better for you to pay some money (an amount that is small to you) than feel guilty after doing something your sense of right and wrong reckons is wrong, and not due to a misconstruction of the situation. Given the improbability of situations like that (obviously, the bad guys don't just laugh in your face when they want you to willingly give them money), this is not a practical issue. In at least nearly all and maybe all real cases (where we have a lot more information about the situation, which we intuitively grasp), I suspect we would probably not disagree, and we would both get the morality right.

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