Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Limits of Loyalty


 
Michael S. Russo
Professor of Philosophy
Molloy College

 
I’ve often heard students of mine say things like, “you’ve got to support your family no matter what” or “friends have got to stick together no matter what.” When I hear statements like this in class, I can’t help being impressed by how important the idea of loyalty to friends and family is among the members of the Millennial Generation. I certainly don’t recall members of my own generation—Generation X, if you must know—being all that loyal to anything other than the idea to have a good time in life. So, on one level, I’m greatly pleased that a virtue as important as loyalty is making a comeback in American society.

However, as a teacher of ethics, I find myself somewhat concerned about the “no matter what” clause that Millennials often attach to their commitments of loyalty. As worthy a virtue as loyalty is, I can’t help but believe that this virtue could never be absolute in the real world. There’s got to be some natural limits to our loyalty, or the fidelity that we show those we care about becomes a kind of blind fanaticism.

So when ought our commitment to support our friends and family members come to an end? I’m inclined to agree with both Aristotle and Cicero that an intimate relationship of any kind must be terminated if the other party involved turns morally bad or wicked—that is, if they begin to act in such a way that they are causing harm to themselves or to other people.

Let’s begin with the issue of harm to others, since that’s less controversial. Let’s imagine a friend that you’ve had since childhood suddenly becomes obsessed with money and has developed a scheme to rob UPS trucks of their packages when they are left unattended by their drivers. Your friend has become quite successful at this and has managed to make thousands of dollars from his crimes. He confides in you about his activities one night. What should you do?

 Assuming that you yourself have any moral standards, the answer would be that you should attempt to convince him that what he is doing is wrong and try to persuade him that, at the very least, he has to stop his criminal activities. But what if he chooses not to? I think at that point, were you to continue to remain loyal to your friend, you would be complicit in his crimes. Instead, you’ve got to tell him that, unless he stops what he’s doing immediately, you can no longer continue to see him or be his friend. Any obligations of loyalty that you have towards your friend subsequently would come to an end, until such time that you friend decides to change his ways.

This is a very dramatic example, of course, but I think that the principle holds in less dramatic ones as well. If your friend was a bully, a bigot, a chronic liar, a cheat, a manipulator—if he repeatedly engaged, in other words, in activities that caused harm to others, especially innocent others—then you would likewise have no choice but to end your friendship.

The example of self-harm is a bit more problematic, but I think that the principle I’ve laid out holds here as well. Image that you have a friend who has developed a serious substance abuse problem. His behavior is causing him to neglect his job and his responsibilities to his family. You try taking to him about his issues, but he refuses to even acknowledge that he has a problem. So what do you do at that point?

Certainly, there are those who would argue that it’s wrong to abandon a friend in a time of crisis like this one—that you ought to continue to stand by him and remain loyal for as long as he needs you. But I think that this just makes you complicit in his act of self-destruction. The right thing to do in a case like this is to try as much as possible to get your friend to change, but, when it becomes evident that he has no intention of doing so, you have to put an end to your friendship for the sake of your friend. And any loyalty that you have towards him must be suspended until he agrees to do something about his problem.

The examples I’ve used above involve friends, but what I’ve stated about the limits of loyalty apply to family as well. If a family member—a parent, a sibling, or a child—becomes to engage in activities that cause harm to themselves or others, I think that we have a moral obligation to terminate our relationship with these family members in order to help them become morally responsible individuals again. To think otherwise would be to imply that family relationships trump all moral duties and obligations that we have in life, and this is simply not true.

I also think that if we really care about people—whether they are family, friends, or less intimate acquaintances—we would be as concerned about their moral welfare as we are for their physical, financial or social welfare. And the closer individuals are to us, the greater, I believe, are our obligations to care for their moral well-being. In this sense, we should have even higher moral standards for our close family members and friends than we do for other members of society…not because we want to treat them harder than we do others, but because we care about them even more.

I know that there are those who would reject the position that I’ve laid out on the limits of loyalty. Some would probably argue that I am being overly ridged and moralistic and that no one could adopt the kinds of moral standards towards family and friends that I’ve argued for here. If that’s the case, feel free to challenge what I’ve said in this piece. But consider first how you would respond if you discovered that a friend or family member was involved in the kinds of situations that I’ve described above. And then reflect on whether the continuation of your absolute loyalty towards these individuals—supporting them “no matter what”—would be better or worse for them than the kind of tough love that I’ve argued for.


52 comments:

  1. Well, in my eyes loyalty is seen as a very strong word. To get loyalty from me is a very big deal considering i dont trust, love, and connect with an individual so easily. When you throw the word loyalty around, it seems like you are using it just to connect it to the phrase - "no matter what." Loyalty is knowing what you're getting into before you even start it. By hearing that your friend/family member/acquaintance is doing bad things such as robbing a UPS truck, you must have known about that for some time now. For me, the people I am loyal with our people i've known my whole life, people who i can read like the back of my hand, people who i know better than myself.

    You can argue the fact that you would have to terminate the friendship until that friend clears up what he has done, but I just don't see that with how i am. Like i said, it isn't easy to gain loyalty. I would know that that person would be doing wrong before i even knew that i was loyal to he/she, that is how well i would know that person. Even if it is a sudden interest to do bad and it comes out of nowhere, you don't rat on anyone you are that loyal to. Loyalty is a strong word and it is a very serious. You have that person no matter what, that person is practically family.

    - Jacob Lascano

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    1. Nice work being the first to post. Here's my comment:

      So you've never been wrong about the character of a friend? And it's inconceivable to you that a friend could change his character for the worse? If your friends are that virtuous, you are a lucky man indeed!

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    2. I actually have been lucky with that. I've chosen my friends carefully, especially the ones I'm loyal to. I would definitely see if there was a change in my friend from early on, and before it hit an all time high i would definitely try and switch it around. If you are so loyal to a person, it's not like it can completely come out of nowhere and take you by surprise. I just don't see that as being possible at all.

      - Jacob Lascano

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    3. I agree with Jacob, if there is deviant behavior going on you have to see it coming.
      i believe that if you do not see it coming it is your own fault. If you are any bit observant about your relationship that you have with a friend, you would see something coming. If you do find out about this "friend" that has been stealing UPS trucks you do not rat on this person. Personally, I would no longer be interested in this persons life therefore I would not allow myself to be apart of his or her business.

      -Lauren Boglino

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    4. I agree with what you wrote, being a loyal person is very important and should be the way we live out our lives. Unfortunately, the reality is that people are not always loyal. Some people may not be loyal for the wrong reasons. However, in the event you promised to help somebody study for an important test that they must pass, but the night of the study session a family disaster occurs. Even though you have promised your friend to help them study, your family should be first priority.


      Valerie Grosso

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    5. I also agree with Jacob. Loyalty and trust are the most important qualities of a relationship without it theres no structure. Although I do have to say that family isn't always going to have that loyalty and trust. I've been in the position where family has betrayed my loyalty and trust towards them. Family won't always come first. I think that you should do what you have to do in circumstances such as this.

      Isabella Frias

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    6. hey nice post mehn. I love your style of blogging here. The way you writes reminds me of an equally interesting post that I read some time ago on Daniel Uyi's blog: How To Make Your Impossible Dreams To Become Possible .
      keep up the good work.

      Regards

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  2. There are definitely limits to loyalty. If this question was proposed to me a few years ago, I would have said that people deserve to be cut off and have their relationships terminated if they should choose to act inappropriately, morally or otherwise. As I get older, the idea of loyalty becomes much more important to me. There are very few people in my life that I would consider to be blindly loyal to; not all family members and certainly not all friends.
    When I think of loyalty I think of marriage. Since you are making the free choice to enter this lifelong commitment with someone, it should be an unspoken agreement that you will be loyal, faithful and stand behind this person for the rest of your life. Despite the circumstance, wether it be a substance abuse problem or criminal activity, it is your duty to get this person on the right track and make your best attempt at giving them proper moral guidance. You cannot give up on someone that you willingly agreed to spend the rest of your life with because they begin to act in a way that you consider to be unethical. However, to play devil's advocate, I would imagine that this gets extremely exhausting and eventually one would be forced to give up and get divorced.
    Although I love my family and friends, I would not consider myself to be loyal to each and every family member and friend. Loyalty is a two way street. If you don't think someone would be there for you, how can you extend yourself and be there for them? If family or friends are acting inappropriately, I would certainly do my best to convince them otherwise and help them. But it is a fact of life that you cannot help someone that does not want to be helped. To put it in perspective, if my brother became the next Ted Bundy, I would have no choice other than to turn him into the police. If the circumstance is this extreme, then all promises of loyalty are off the table.

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    1. Really thoughtful comment. So, if I'm getting your position right, short of becoming a mass murderer, you would remain loyal to your chosen friends and family members no matter what?

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    2. Maybe that example was a little extreme, but what I am getting at is if said person's actions are seriously harming innocent people, then something must be done; wether that be turning them into the police or terminating the relationship.

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  3. In my opinion Mike, I feel that the phrase "no matter what" is simply unpromising. It is virtuous and according to loyalty, you make an obligation to be there for somebody under any sort of circumstance. However, there are events that can happen without knowing, such as a death in the family, a sick family member, a family disaster, etc. that are unavoidable. Although keeping a promise with your friend is obligated, tragic events within the family could sporadically happen. With that said, the phrase "no matter what" is worse in these situations.
    If I were to experience a friend during a difficult time, such as a drug addiction, I would find any way to get help for them. Although my friend may have wanted to keep the addiction a secret from their family and friends so feelings would not be hurt, this act of reaching out and helping them overcome this addiction would be an action of love and caring toward them. It would hurt even more to the family and friends if they did not have the chance to catch onto the issue earlier, and may end up finding out too late.

    Valerie Grosso

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    1. Well, you certainly are a compassionate person!

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    2. I agree with you and the fact that once you become loyal to someone you have a part of you that is responsible for caring for them - through the good and bad. If someone you are close with is going through a hardship, I agree that you should do what you can in order to help them through it and try to help them get better. There are certain circumstances that maybe not helping out is what you have to do, but for the most part, I agree that you should do what you can to help.

      Ashley Hickey

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    3. I totally agree with you Val. I believe that there are certain things that can happen within a blink of an eye and often these are things that we couldnt have seen coming. I would always try to help a friend if they are reaching a difficult time in their life such as a drug addiction. Being a friend toward this person would make me want to really try to help them as best as i can because i care about this person.

      Rachel Wisniewski

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  4. If I found out that, a friend was involved in these kinds of situations I would try and help them. If their behavior continued or started to get worse, I would have to cut them off from not being friends with them. If there is no way that, I can help them anymore and they do not want to be help I would give up. It is their choice to make these foolish mistakes and I would refuse to get myself more involved then I really have to. Once this friend keeps up their deviant behavior I would not want to be associated with them if they are never turning back.
    The few friends who I am “loyal” to and “will always have my back” I know would never ruined our friendship over deviant behavior. If you have my loyalty, you are my friend no matter what. When it comes to true friends who I have known my whole life I would know if they were stealing UPS trucks. When you are loyal to someone, in return they should be loyal to you. If their making bad mistakes behind your back then they do not deserve your loyalty to begin with.

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    1. So you basically agree with the position I've laid out then, right?

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  5. I agree with the fact that their should be limits to loyalty, however I don’t know if I would be able to follow through with them as harshly, especially to family and close friends. When you develop a relationship with members of your family and your friends, you obviously develop a caring relationship for them. You don’t want to see them fail in life in anyway, whether it’s a drug or alcohol abuse problem, financial problems, or severe criminal problems.

    If, however, someone close to me did get involved in this type of situation, I don’t think I would necessarily cut them off and end all ties with them. I would want them to get better and want to help them get their feet on the ground, but ending the relationship with them I don’t think would necessarily be the best decision. Sometimes when people go through rough times like that they need their close friends and family beside them supporting them and helping them through it to get better. Sometimes knowing that you have people that care for you and are there beside you trying to help you get better, it can provide you with the motivation to get your life back on the right track. I’m not saying there aren’t times where cutting off someone is not the right thing to do, because at certain times it sure can be, but in most circumstances, if this were my situation, I would think that standing by the person and helping them would be more beneficial to their road to recovery than ending the relationship with them.

    Ashley Hickey

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    1. I don't consider my position to be harsh. I think of it as being in the best interest of the person I care about.

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    2. Hi Ashley! I don't necessarily agree with certain points of your point of view because what if what they are going through is beginning to negatively affect you and your well-being? I don’t think that you should cut ties with them forever. However, I think that for the time being, you should be distant. If you are loyal and dedicated to them even when they are acting incorrectly, they could start to believe that you are condoning their behavior. Also, if you are loyal to them then they will depend on you to always be there. What if in some cases they depend on you to lie, be deceitful, steal, etc. to benefit them or help them get out of trouble? I do agree that being loyal could in fact be beneficial at times but however in some cases I don’t think it would be the right decision.

      Victoria Cifarelli

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  6. I found this article to be quite intriguing, personally i agree with it. Some of the arguments are a little over the top and may not be possible for the majority of our society to adopt to those moral standards towards their friends and family members but the message behind it is good. If one of my friends or family members were engaging in any sort of activity that caused harm to themselves or others around them i would be forced to tell them how i feel and to tell them of the consequences of their actions and make sure they do not continue to do whatever they were doing any more. If my friend or family member did not want to listen to my advice, like the article says i would have to cut them off from my life until they had proven to me that they are not continuing cause harm to themselves or anybody else.
    I believe that loyalty is a very strong word that is thrown around way too often. I have numerous friends and family members but i can honestly say that i am not loyal to each and everyone of them. There are only certain people in my life that i am 100 percent loyal to all of the time, and that type of love and trust takes years to gain from me, the phrase " no matter what " is a little much in my opinion. Like i said before if a friend or a family member of mine was causing harm to themselves or others i would be forced to take action and cut them off if they continued to do what they were doing, therefore i believe the phrase " no matter what " is kind of meaningless to most people in our society since I'm sure others would act the way i would when involved in situations like this.

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    1. Are you saying that I'm "over the top" in my thinking. Woe! Now I'm wounded.

      Just kidding!

      So you basically reject the idea of absolute loyalty, as I do.

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    2. Hey Anthony I see what your saying I just think that what you said about leaving your friends is wrong you should always help out friends when their in a time were they need you. You should help them instead of denying there problem or problems.
      In these examples they are all very good situations that can bring loyalty into a friend or family members relationship. I believe that loyalty is shown through the care and care you have for your friend or family member. When someone tries to stop his or her friend or family member in a bad situation its thought as caring for the person’s well being. This is always a good thing but the bad thing always comes up which is, giving up the loyalty of friendship or family.
      I do have a friend who is still under a substance abuse and I try to talk to him as much as I can to help him stop what he is doing. When it does come down to it, it doesn’t only hurt my friend, but his other friends, close immediate family, and the one who probably cares most his best friend. For many years I struggled with the fact that my friend is a bright person and can do a lot with his life but because drugs have taken over his life he is quickly dropping down and is starting to become a failure.

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    3. Vinny i totally agree with what you are saying but i believe that continuing a relationship with a crook or a person who harms others even if it is a close friend or family members is in a way itself condoning the behavior of that friend or family member. I personally believe that if you were to stop talking your friend all together he would possibly come to his senses and realize that you are a good friend and are more important to him than drugs. Yet since you continue to talk to him he believes that you are in a way okay with it no matter how many times you tell him that you aren't you are still in his life and he is perfectly content with that and will never change his ways.
      Thus concluding that cutting off friends or family members who are behaving in unmoral ways and committing harm and or crimes is a good thing since it gives them a chance to reevaluate the situation, consequences and importance of your relationship.

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    4. I believe you are 100 % correct, loyalty cannot be thrown around and given to everyone.It has to be earned. But I would stand by my family "no matter what". Your views are a lot more tolerant than Russo's and there for make you more open and loyal friend. - Kevin

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  7. I agree with your point of view in some situations, for example if I had a friend that was bum or a drug addict , I would cut him off if he was not doing anything to change.You can be loyal to your friends but to a certain extent, sometime you just have to reach a limit. One can try and help his or her friend but if they do not want to be helped there is only so much you can do. If my friend was committing illegal acts I would let him do him , I have no business getting in the way of him making money.
    When it comes to family loyalty goes above everything else.I have had cousins that have been addicted to drugs , we don't abandon them we get them help and if they want to stay in that life style well so be it. I have family members that are drug dealers and support their family that way , I have nothing against that .They are doing what they have to do to make money and I stay loyal to them no matter what.There comes a time where you have to look past all the bull shit and unless their scumbags to the family I don't see why I cannot be loyal to them.
    - Kevin Correa

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    1. There goes you Colombian ethical system, again! So criminal activities are no concern of yours? One day you are going to have to write your "You Gotta Do What You Gotta do" ethics book!

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    2. You are right about not interfering with your friend making money to support his family, but don't think you have an obligation as his friend to convince him to not break the law? To protect him from potentially going to jail? He cannot support his family from there.

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    3. Emma I think your right there, I can tell him the risks of his actions, but when you have been put in a certain financial situation where you have to make ends meet or you have to pay the heat to keep you family warm , believe me no matter what the consequences or the risks are one will do what has to be done.I apologize for the grammatical errors .

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  8. The concept of unconditional loyalty can be a risky and problematic virtue to follow. I agree with the piece in saying that there are multiple limitations when it comes to the devotion one has to a family member or friend. My family and friends are extremely important to me and are my top priorities in my life. I know family is extremely significant. I believe that sometimes limiting loyalty in a relationship for a while might in fact bring people closer. If the other person in the relationship sees how much their actions are bothering you, they might stop for the sake of the relationship. Supporting them “no matter what” would be the incorrect approach in my opinion. The phrase being loyal “no matter what” seems too set in stone. This is because if you are supporting their risky and rebellious actions “no matter what” I think they'll only want do it more. They will view your support/loyalty as sign that what they are doing is acceptable when it is not. They will never learn from their mistakes and your relationship with them could be destroyed even more. I believe that being loyal is important yet unconditional loyalty “no matter what” could be harmful. For example, you and your friend have been best friends since grammar school. You are now in your senior year of high school together. This is the time in the year colleges are looking for the best students for their school. You dream was to attend Molloy College. You know that this college looks on social media when accepting students. You soon begin to notice that you’re “best friend” is participating in illegal activity and is posting it all over Facebook, Twitter, etc. and is tagging you in these photos with refusal to take them down. In this scenario, although you have been friends for ages, I believe it is best that you steer clear of your friendship for the time being. They are jeopardizing your academic future and even beyond that. Loyalty without limitations could be destructive for you and the other person(s) involved. I don’t believe that when you end the relationship that it should be permanent. I think during problematic times loyalty without limitations should be avoided.

    Victoria Cifarelli

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    1. So, is it still real loyalty if you leave out the "no matter what"?

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    2. i totally agree... when it comes to saying "no mater what," how far can no matter what really be? i guess when it comes to saying no matter what it means in terms with morals and rights. i will be on your side but if it comes down to helping you partake in something illegal the line is drawn there. i believe a friend shouldn't want to put you in a bad situation that is caused by their ideas or actions. a friend posting pictures on Facebook then tagging you is not acknowledging your request therefore not caring about what type of image you want to portray.

      kathy estrada

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    3. I think it still is real loyalty even without the "no matter what" because in some cases might leave you with no other choice but to limit your loyalty especially if it the situation is harmful. It depends on the situation.

      Victoria Cifarelli

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  9. It was 2 paragraphs but for some reason it combined into one when I published it!

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  10. In reference to, a friend who has developed a serious substance abuse problem. His behavior is causing him to neglect his job and his responsibilities to his family. You try taking to him about his issues, but he refuses to even acknowledge that he has a problem. So what do you do at that point?
    I agree with the fact that you should talk to your friend about having a problem. I believe that if you don’t, you’re not truly a friend. When I think of what a friend should be I think of having someone there when you need them the most, vise-versa. At the moment I’m actually experiencing this situation with a friend of mine. When I first met him he never consumed alcohol even when we offered him some. He was always just not “into it” he would say. After years have passed he began drinking a lot. He drinks now to the point where his judgments in life are careless. He doesn’t care about work, he dropped out of school, and he just has a big I DON’T CARE attitude and it really upsets me because I believe you should care because there are people out there who do care, including me.
    I began telling talking to my friend about his sudden change and letting him know that I’m here for him and if he ever needs to talk. In my opinion I believe he must be going through a rough time at home or wherever for him to start acting this way. But he stays cold and never gives me an answer. At this point I’m frustrated and don’t know what else to do. Do I continue “nagging” him (because that’s how I eventually felt) I began to feel annoying and he stopped answering my phone calls. The only time he would speak to me is when he wants to grab a drink. I want to continue being his friend like old times but it’s difficult when you see potential in someone who doesn’t see it on their own. In this case I believe its best that I leave him alone and hope that he snaps back to sense and realizes that the people who want to help are the people he should keep around not the friends who are encouraging to do wrong. I can’t force someone to do something they don’t.

    kathy estrada

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    1. That's a really powerful personal example. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  11. After reading this piece, i personally believe that there are certain oligations that we make to our friends and family. I do believe that loyalty is a virtue that someone should develop. Of course there are going to be certain situations that we might have to step back and really think of the obligations that we owe our family and our friends who we love. Loyalty isnt always easy to abide by and some people mistake loyalty all the time. It can be unpromising in certain scenarios.
    As the examples stated in the text, if my friend were to be the one who was criminally invested with UPS I would try to convince them that what their doing is wrong, but if they contiune what they are doing, I would have to keep my distance with them, I don't believe that this is morally wrong, I would just be aquantiances with this person and would no longer consider it a friendship.
    I believe that sometimes if someone is stuck in a situation they might not know what exactly to do at that given moment. I also agree that marriage is a significant example of loyalty and when two people are committed in a marriage, any given situation, I believe that they should help their spouse. Whether it be a substance addiction or anything else, once you're committed in a marriage I feel that marriage is all about loyalty and faith.

    Rachel Wisniewski

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    1. So if your spouse suddenly became evil, you think that you should remain loyal to him? What about the partner who is chronically unfaithful? Should you remain loyal to him as well?

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    2. I agree with what you said, especially that marriage is an extremely significant example of loyalty. Marriage is a huge commitment filled with loyalty, devotion, faith, trust etc. And I also agree when you said that loyalty isn't always easy to abide by, which makes "loyalty" so controversial, because in certain scenarios, you have to step back.

      Christine Cirillo

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    3. i believe that in some situations if my spouse was to disrespect me or lay their hands on me it would be a different situation but otherwise reguardless of anything else remaining loyal to someone who you share chemistry with is always significant.

      Rachel Wisniewski

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    4. I agree with you rachel marriage is an high example of loyalty,

      Jamelee

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  12. Personally I agree, that supporting friends or family members, "no matter what," is most definitely an overstatement. Sometimes the mentality of "tough love," might seem off guard and disloyal, but in fact it is the total opposite. Being devoted and loyal to someone, can only go so far. Especially in this generation, loyalty has to have its limits.
    In some scenarios which are not as serious as others, being "loyal" can just mean being there for when someone [family member or friend] who is in need. If you are loyal person, people depend on you, have complete trust in you, and know you are devoted 100%. In more serious scenarios, loyalty can only go so far. Sometimes one must put their foot down, and lay down the law. If there loved ones are causing harm to others or even themselves, you know for the sake of the action they might persevere, terminating or suspending the relationship is ultimately the best alternative.

    Christine Cirillo

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    1. So you agree with the position with the exception of harms that are not too serious. It would be interesting if we could figure out an objective way to determine whether an act is serious or not.

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  13. I feel as though the limit to your loyalty with friends has to do with how good your relationship is. If a friend that you’ve only known for a few weeks or months becomes involved in activities that can cause harm to themselves or others, you may end the friendship and have no problem with that. If a friend you’ve known for many years is in the same situation you feel like you owe it to that person to help them get through their problems and point them in the right direction. With me I feel like a friendship goes through problem just like a romantic relationship. If your boyfriend/girlfriend was going through a hard time you wouldn’t end the relationship, you would help them get through it the best you could. This also applies to a friendship.
    With family, it’s an unspoken rule that you have to be loyal to them no matter what. At the end of the day all you have is your family. If you can’t rely on your family to help you through hard times who can you depend on? Of course there are limits to how loyal you can be in certain situations but there are very few situations that you can end a relationship with a family member and not be criticized for it. If you saw someone in your family going down the wrong path your first thought would be to help not terminate the relationship.

    -Alicia G.

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    1. I like the fact that you're willing to support the absolutist stance on loyalty. I don't know if I agree that the length of the relationship is completely relevant to whether or not you remain loyal.

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    2. I think it does because the longer you have a friendship with someone the stronger your bond is and the stronger your bond the more loyal you are. At the same time it could not have anything to do with it . It depends on the person.
      -Alicia

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  14. I believe that we should help family and friends when they are dealing with something that they need help with. But I also believe that there comes a point when we can't always be loyal to our friends or family. Depending on how many times you've been there for that person and if they've respected your help towards them, determines if you should continue to help. I believe that once you've helped someone out so many times and they don't respect what you've done for them is when it's time to stop. I don't trust easily for the main reason that people just throw the word loyalty around. Once I give my trust to someone, I'm expecting a positive impact or change in return. It hurts even more when a family member makes it seem as if the time you took out of your day doesn't matter. The example of the UPS Truck explains a lot. If you see a family member rob a UPS Truck and you try to help them and they basically deny you're attempt to help them out then whats the point of trying anymore.



    Terminating the friendship or relationship with a person completely doesn't really help the relationship and probably creates more problems for you as well. If you notice the person does not seek assist with their problems then it's very simple to just not help and let them learn from their mistakes. But ending a relationship is too harsh.

    Isabella Frias

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    1. But if you let your friend or family member wallow in their bad behavior, are you really helping them at all. Some people never learn from their mistakes.

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  15. I agree with the fact that there are limits to being loyal. People tend to believe that they are loyal to their friends and family, but it’s actually not true. I have seen many people around me that turn their backs on their love ones, once that person gets into trouble. I believe that people should put certain limits on being loyal. I agree with Aristotle when he said that when someone turns morally wicked or bad, or if they harm others, you should stop the relationship with them. If I see my friends/ love ones causing harm to themselves or others, I would do whatever I have to do to stop that situation even if it means “rating on them.” Yes, I believe that you can only be loyal to certain extent. I know if I had a friend that was stealing from the ups trucks, I would stop being friends with that person and tell the cops. It would be detriment to you if you continue to peruse a friendship with that person.


    There are other situations that I believe that you should always maintain your “loyalty” and one of them is when you are in committed relationship. I believe that once you are in a relationship you should always help your significant others out no matter. Marriage in my eyes is the example of loyalty. Everyone who is married around me is committed and loyal to their spouse, they can always rely on their souse to help them out of situations.


    Jamelee James

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  16. Loyalty is a virtue i believe everyone should have, but i completely agree that it should have limitations. People get taken advantage of day in and day out because they are trying to remain loyal to their friend or family member. By doing this, everyone will eventually end up hurt. Taking it to an extreme case, say for instance ones sibling were to murder someone they knew and asked them not to say anything about knowing the murder or who the killer was, would you lie and " support your family no matter what"?
    i believe this is not loyalty anymore. the sibling is simply taking advantage of the fact that they think they can get away with it because they are bonded to someone by blood and is obligated not to say anything. i believe that if you love and care for someone you should distance yourself from them so that the ultimately learn their lesson and that if the relationship was really worth it, they would change for the better.

    - Spencer Williams

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    1. I agree with your view, I believe loyalty is reserved only for those who truly care for you and want the best for you. I have no room for negativity in my life and will cut off anyone who is self-destructive, if they are not looking out for themselves, then they sure are not looking out for me. In situations where a person is self-destructive due to a personal conflict such as depression, I will be there for them 100%, but if a person is self-destructive because “it’s fun” then I don’t have a place for that person in my life. An example of this would be if I see a friend taking advantage of someone or situations by being manipulative then I know that person has bad moral character because I myself would never do that, they say opposites attract but I like to surround myself with people like myself. I don’t believe you have to be loyal to your family, if my family member were to intentionally hurt others; I would no longer associate with them.
      I agree with Spencer, tough love is the best way to teach a loved one that he/she can’t take advantage of you and if he/she wants to be a part of your life then he/she is going to have to make positive changes and show that there is effort being made. Without tough love, you’ll be enabling that person to further harm himself/herself and others because that person knows he/she can always turn to you if they’re in a predicament, there are no consequences when love is unconditional.

      -Tina Rahman

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  17. I totally agree with your statement. At the end of the day your loyalty with someone may change if they part-take in risky behavior you don't allow. Personally, I will always be there for a friend or a family from the moon and back. But, once they start to take on qualities and behaviors that I don't like. I try to have a conversation with them about the situation first and try to have them change for the best. If that doesn't work then you have to take higher measure and have an intervention. Even when that doesn't work for the better of yourself and your friends you would have to end that friendship unless they change there ideals. Its not the facts I want someone to change but if its for the better and it allows them to better themselves in the future I will do everything in my powers to have the person change those qualities because loyalty is a quality very few have. And those that uses that one don't truly mean it since they wouldn't go through great lengths in order to maintain a friendship, family or marriage. The cases that you present may seem very extreme but under the right pretenses the loyalty that you have for those around is not only a façade of your willingness to help but also the moral strength you have to not allow yourself to be the crutch and give in which would only crush your friendship since you allowing yourself to change the morals and values that you may hold just to maintain a friendship that may not even last. No matter what tough love will always be needed because if you allow yourself to be controlled and don't take control of a situation pertaining to even loyalty that may end up putting you into a jail cell with that same person that you say you will be loyal to them "no matter what'.

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