A Moral Dilemma

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    A Moral Dilemma

    I have a hypothetical question, and would love to hear the thoughts of the greatest debaters on the planet, here on BGP. This really isn't political or religious, but I suspect it will be debated on moral grounds; so I'm asking it here. This is the question:

    Suppose you have a close friend who has entrusted you with a piece of very sensitive information. Then, another friend somehow gets wind of it, or suspects it to be true. They come to you and ask you to confirm it. Do you lie to this friend, or betray the the trust of the first friend?

    Also, I know this isn't a strictly "Christian" issue at all, but I would be interested to hear some of your thoughts on how it should be handled from a Biblical perspective.
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    Is this because I posted you have a phobia about green vegetables on your Facebook wall?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdsfan View Post
    I have a hypothetical question, and would love to hear the thoughts of the greatest debaters on the planet, here on BGP. This really isn't political or religious, but I suspect it will be debated on moral grounds; so I'm asking it here. This is the question:

    Suppose you have a close friend who has entrusted you with a piece of very sensitive information. Then, another friend somehow gets wind of it, or suspects it to be true. They come to you and ask you to confirm it. Do you lie to this friend, or betray the the trust of the first friend?


    Also, I know this isn't a strictly "Christian" issue at all, but I would be interested to hear some of your thoughts on how it should be handled from a Biblical perspective.
    OK...serious now....

    You don't betray the friend who told you something in confidence UNLESS it is information that is dangerous to the person who told it to you or others. Even then, you find the appropriate avenue to pursue, which likely isn't the 3rd party who's trying to verify the information.

    I'd just say, "You know, Witchipoo, if I knew anything like you're suggesting, I wouldn't tell you. You know what you should do? You should ask HR Puffenstuff straight out. This constitutes gossip, and I don't participate in gossip."

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
    Is this because I posted you have a phobia about green vegetables on your Facebook wall?
    No, I haven't had the pleasure of gazing upon that little gem yet. But thanks for the heads up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdsfan View Post
    I have a hypothetical question, and would love to hear the thoughts of the greatest debaters on the planet, here on BGP. This really isn't political or religious, but I suspect it will be debated on moral grounds; so I'm asking it here. This is the question:

    Suppose you have a close friend who has entrusted you with a piece of very sensitive information. Then, another friend somehow gets wind of it, or suspects it to be true. They come to you and ask you to confirm it. Do you lie to this friend, or betray the the trust of the first friend?

    Also, I know this isn't a strictly "Christian" issue at all, but I would be interested to hear some of your thoughts on how it should be handled from a Biblical perspective.
    Are the squirrels after you again?

    If that friend shared with you in confidence then he trusts both your wisdom, your friendship and your integrity.

    You do not lie but you say, "Ask the individual in question." Put the responsibility back on Friend B (who might be a snoop or not, I can't tell in your story). Even explain, "If you heard something like this about me, I'd hope you would come straight to me and have the courage to ask me about it."

    Don't let them "triangulate" you. Your responsibility is to person A and him alone. If person B wants to know then he has to ask person A. I would remind friend A at some point that secrets are always destructive. In whatever form, they eventually spin out of control and wound others including the holder of the secret.

    Hope it helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
    OK...serious now....

    You don't betray the friend who told you something in confidence UNLESS it is information that is dangerous to the person who told it to you or others. Even then, you find the appropriate avenue to pursue, which likely isn't the 3rd party who's trying to verify the information.

    I'd just say, "You know, Witchipoo, if I knew anything like you're suggesting, I wouldn't tell you. You know what you should do? You should ask HR Puffenstuff straight out. This constitutes gossip, and I don't participate in gossip."
    Well, first of all, if I either called someone anything ending in "poo," or quoted H.R. PuffnStuff in any way, I would have to burn my man card.

    Secondly, as a point of clarification: This isn't something that would be dangerous to either party. However, the news might regard the fact that the first person faces some kind of danger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdsfan View Post
    Well, first of all, if I either called someone anything ending in "poo," or quoted H.R. PuffnStuff in any way, I would have to burn my man card.

    Secondly, as a point of clarification: This isn't something that would be dangerous to either party. However, the news might regard the fact that the first person faces some kind of danger.
    Well, then, my Witchipoo/HR Puffenstuff scenario applies. There's no moral dilemma here, in my opinion. Witchipoo has no "right" to info, unless HR Puffenstuff gives it to her directly. You are entrusted with something that's as valuable (or maybe more) than if they'd given you their wallet to hold on to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatz View Post
    Put the responsibility back on Friend B (who might be a snoop or not, I can't tell in your story).
    I'd like to give ya more details, but that would pretty much negate the need for asking the question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
    Well, then, my Witchipoo/HR Puffenstuff scenario applies. There's no moral dilemma here, in my opinion. Witchipoo has no "right" to info, unless HR Puffenstuff gives it to her directly. You are entrusted with something that's as valuable (or maybe more) than if they'd given you their wallet to hold on to.
    I guess I never thought about the option of turning it back on them, and not answering, as you both suggest.

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    I would tell them pretty plainly, "I can't answer that. I think you should ask them yourself if you want to know."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdsfan View Post
    I guess I never thought about the option of turning it back on them, and not answering, as you both suggest.
    That's why you have us! You know how we are....if 1/2 the people say it's black, and the other 1/2 say it's white, Hatz & I will find the grey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
    OK...serious now....

    You don't betray the friend who told you something in confidence UNLESS it is information that is dangerous to the person who told it to you or others. Even then, you find the appropriate avenue to pursue, which likely isn't the 3rd party who's trying to verify the information.

    I'd just say, "You know, Witchipoo, if I knew anything like you're suggesting, I wouldn't tell you. You know what you should do? You should ask HR Puffenstuff straight out. This constitutes gossip, and I don't participate in gossip."
    Excellent.

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    I think Hatz and rockmom have it pegged, that's how I would handle it if I were in you shoes. Though, I have to commend you for taking your obligations seriously. I know far too many people who would love to be in your shoes so they could manipulate both sides to inflate their own self-importance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
    That's why you have us! You know how we are....if 1/2 the people say it's black, and the other 1/2 say it's white, Hatz & I will find the grey.
    Yes, we will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
    That's why you have us! You know how we are....if 1/2 the people say it's black, and the other 1/2 say it's white, Hatz & I will find the grey.
    Well, for you older folks, that's an ongoing adventure of follicular discovery.


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