The moral obligation of seeing your friend being cheated on

Rather like children of alcoholics? Such things between friends, family, or partners are understood, but not mentioned aloud.

We can always tell ourselves we did the right thing—even our friend may actually say that to is, while he or she is crying, punching a wall, or emptying one bottle after another.

How do we compare these? To describe the same distinction, Hart also distinguished between being obliged to do something and having an obligation to do it. Respect what I think my friend would want: This ties back to what I wrote in the last post about the external and internal views to relationships, which borrowed from the legal philosophy of H.

Are we comfortable with that? The typical marriage vows include their own obligations, which the married couple may or may not choose to adopt as their own.

So rather than try to do the best thing, whatever that might be, maybe we should just do the right thing—and in this case, the right thing would seem to be to tell our friend the truth, and let the chips fall where they may.

In this post, I want to elaborate on those thoughts a bit, this time focusing on obligations within relationship. Splitting hairs, I know—philosophers, go figure. With the external view, on the other hand, partners feel obliged to each other in the negative, detached sense that Hart used the term.

OK, but those chips may hurt, and they may hurt a lot. How awkward it would be to assert, after your friend picks up the tab for lunch, that you owe her a meal—or, even worse, if she told you that she expected you to pay next time, or that she deserved to havethe next meal paid for!

Hart and his book The Concept of Law. But why does this bother me so much? He feels no further reason to obey the law, since he considers himself "outside" of it, or that they were imposed on him by "the man. This is a sign of a deontological approach to ethicswhich corresponds more to duties, rules, or principles than to goodness or utility.

She values the relationship, she values her partner, and so she naturally feels the obligations that go along with it, however their particular relationship is defined.

So, if you know someone is a serial adulterer and is currently having another affair, would it be better to tell his wife? We do have legal and sometimes moral obligations to other people we interact with, as defined by our relationships with them and the relevant rules and norms governing them.

Different couples value different things, which leads to different obligations. In the end, it always comes down to judgment, and believing that you found the "right answer" that maintains the integrity of your moral character. I owe my bank money on my house, my students deserve and expect fair grades on their work, and I assert my rights in a property dispute with my neighbor.

How do we work in all the uncertainties, risks, and unknowns? This reflects a utilitarian outlook, in which the act that would produce the most good is morally required. What about the longterm effects on his daughters? SHARE In my last postI discussed the value of commitments, and also why commitment—especially in the case of marriage —gets a bad rap.

This question is heart-wrenching, but exactly why is that? Better for him perhaps?


Our relationship would deserve no less. An anonymous commenter to an earlier post on adultery asked: This sounds like an argument for rule utilitarianism, which recommends we follow simple rules that generally maximize the good, rather than try to calculate the consequences of uncertain actions as would be required by act utilitarianism, discussed above.

I would ask myself, "What would my friend want me to do? But on the other hand, telling our friend would likely hurt him or her in some way.

Of course, some relationships do deteriorate to the level at which such language is used and even seems natural. Recall that someone with the external view treats the commitment like something imposed by others and pursues his own goals within it, while someone with the internal view "owns" the commitment, appreciates it, and works within it to make the best out of it.

Part of my dislike of the use of these words within intimate relationships is that they seem more appropriate for less personal interactions. Is it better for her to know? I shudder to imagine telling the person I love that she "owes" me something, or that I "deserve" something from her or vice versa.

If she and her partner value honesty, then she will feel an obligation to be open and truthful; if they value fidelity, she will feel an obligation to be faithful; and so on.Romper. 7 Things To Do If A Friend Is Being Cheated On.

assuming that you found out a friend was being cheated on, you've made sure that is really happening. A random Facebook post on your. Jun 11,  · How to Tell a Friend That His or Her Partner Is Cheating. Can you think of a more awkward and uncomfortable situation than knowing your friend's partner is cheating and deciding if and how you should tell?

Probably not. It may seem like a 71%(9). If you act selfishly, you are well within your rights to do so because you don't "owe" your friend anything. But if your friend is angry with you after that, don't be surprised.

How do you start seeing yourself as a sexual being (and getting others to see you as such)? If your friend cheated on their girlfriend/boyfriend, would you continue being friends with that friend? If your friend cheated on their girlfriend/boyfriend, would you continue being friends with that friend?

Should you Snitch on your Cheating Friend?

by eHarmony Staff. May 26, Then again, Mike may be totally in denial, allowing himself to be fooled because the knowledge of being cheated on feels somehow more shameful than living the lie. Minimize the shock and anger that Mike might feel by coming prepared. When you meet to tell him Liz.

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The moral obligation of seeing your friend being cheated on
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