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And she called me stupid

TSwizzle

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In a casual arrangement such as this, I would hang on to the $200 until I was asked for it. When asked, I would pay back $100 and explain I am withholding the other $100 as it is being used to pay a long overdue debt of $100. Then I would promise myself never to lend or borrow from that person again.

What does it being casual have to do with anything? It doesn’t give you a moral pass to shrewdly balance the books.

It's a casual arrangement based on a friendship or some kind of relationship, it makes the agreement a bit more flexible as opposed to dealing with a financial institution. Getting payment for what is owed is not "shrewdly balancing the books". It's settling an overdue debt. I have no qualms about it. Lesson learned is not to lend or borrow with this person again.

Actually, the stupid part of it all is borrowing $200 from someone that owes you $100. That makes no sense in the first place.
 

ronburgundy

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Depends.

I'd say that it is within your moral rights to only give $100 back, but it isn't "stupid" to give the full $200 back.

After the first week when they didn't pay you, it becomes equivalent to theft on their part. You have a right to get your property back short of causing them direct physical harm to do it. Lying is not inherently immoral, and can even be a moral requirement. So, pretending you'll give it all back but not is not immoral itself. And I would say that if the consequence of lying is that you get back your rightful property, then you've done nothing wrong.

However if it is someone you care about and they might need the full $200 back now and you don't really need the $100 now, then give the $200 back and hopefully they will be able to pay you in the future. IOW, giving the $200 is not morally required but would be a kind and generous act, and it's not stupid to be kind.
 

fast

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Angra Mainyu,

I want to take this moment to explicitly express that I have respect for you and value your perspective. Thank you.

In my struggle to reconcile what seems to be differences, it has dawned on me what might be going on. Explaining it, with my atrocious skills at clearly and concisely explaining it might require ibuprofen afterwards, so forgive me as I take a pot shot at explaining it.

You speak of one party having an obligation. I’m sure you recognize people can have a variety of obligations, but when you speak of a particular obligation, it’s singular in nature (which it should be if you’re focused on one), whereas I am so hung ho on compartmentalizing things, I don’t complete what you might call something similar to a cost-benefit analysis.

Your stance is reminiscent of an approach a judge might take when reconciling the fall out from a divorce or dissolution of a business partnership. You look at everything and make an evaluation that’s reflective of all things considered. That is not abnormal. When most people list the pros and cons of something, it culminates in a single overall conclusion after the evaluation.

When the benefits of something or some course of action outweigh the costs, people won’t conclude that the course of action is harmful; indeed, they’ll say it’s beneficial, and they’ll do that even if there are elements (or fragments) of harm within the cons.

What I see is the preanalysis. I see Jack owing $200, and I see Joe owing $300, so I don’t have a conclusion whereby I arrive at a single obligation (Joe owes $100). I see two obligations. If you were a judge (and remember, I admitted there was an air of unfairness in what I’ve been saying), you would evaluate (as would the judge) the individual things I see and arrive at your conclusion.

If there is a tradition that is outdated and it’s replaced with a more progressive appeal, I see harm (the destruction of the tradition) and I see benefit (the bringing of the new), and if the new outweighs the old, there is a net benefit and thus won’t be regarded as harmful but beneficial. People will refuse to acknowledge my take that there is harm because they want to reserve that term for post analysis only.

If you write 3 checks ($100 a piece) and make 10 deposits ($100 a piece), I see the parts and label them for what they are. You may evaluate the transactions and see $700 and see a net gain, and that’s fine. I do too, but I see the destruction of tradition as harmful (not necessarily as a post analysis conclusion though). The net gain may not be harmful overall but in fact beneficial. Kinda silly of me to say it’s harmful huh, when generally people save such attribution for the final analysis.

How about this: are there two individual obligations that when evaluated yields a net obligation; or neither promise alone makes for an obligation and it’s the net difference of the promises that breeds the obligation?
 

Angra Mainyu

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fast,

Thanks; I also respect you and value your input. :)

Regarding your analysis, I'm not sure I'm getting it right, but I do think I am trying to assess the whole thing. But it's not only the whole thing combining the $100 and the $200 into a single obligation, but rather, trying to assess their respective obligations from the perspective of the whole interaction and the relationship between the two. For instance, in the first scenario you described here, I think he probably should pay $200 as you think, rather than only $100. On the other hand, it the scenario I described here, I think it's only $100. I make those assessments intuitively, but if I had to guess the reason, I think it has something to do with the entire context of their interaction. In particular, in one case, she needs the money, and while she failed to pay before, the reasons are unspecified, and he agreed to pay knowning she had already failed to pay. In the other scenario, she grants that she's immorally not paying just to get an extra $100. I think her callous behavior with respect to the previous agreement may well be what makes a difference.

Generally, the whole relationship between the two people matters. For example, suppose my mother asked me for $400 the day before yesterday, and told me she'd give them back to me on Friday. If, on Friday, she tells me she got a great offer for a tour and she spent the money, so she'll pay me back later, then she's not doing anything wrong, and has no obligation to give them back (actually, she may just keep them). Now, I'm not saying that that would be the case for every mother with respect to her son. It depends on the situation. But I know she would not have an obligation. On the other hand, if a coworker did the same, she'd be acting immorally by spending the money on a tour when she promised to give it back to me. And this is so even if both my mother and the coworker use the same words, telling me that they'll give me the money back on such-and-such day, etc.

I think you also consider the whole thing when making those assessments, by the way. When you focus on those separate promises in your anaysis, I think that's probably because, upon contemplating the whole thing intuitively, you reckoned that those two remain separate for the morally relevant matters at hand.

But why do we have different intuitions in some of the cases we have presented?

I can only speculate here, but I think that one potential reason is that sometimes, in hypothetical scenarios we are unfamiliar with (including but not limited to unrealistic ones), it's very difficult to fill in the blanks and make good probabilistic assessments about what is really going on in the interaction between the people whose obligations we are trying to assess, and that makes it difficult for us to get the right moral answer. In other words, the descriptions of the scenarios in this thread are not only incomplete (as always), but unfamiliar, and it may be that you and I are intuitively making different probabilistic assessments about other parts of their relationship, and things like intent, information available to each of the parties, etc., so we are actually assessing considerably different scenarios 'in our heads' so to speak. If so, the moral disagreement may not be fundamental after all, even if we can't find a way out. Still, there is an alternative possibility: it might happen also that the sense of right and wrong of different people diverge in some unrealistic scenarios, and this is happening here. I believe the human sense of right and wrong is generally reliable in realistic and in many unrealistic scenarios, but there are unrealistic scenarios when it is not so reliable, so either of us might be going wrong. I do not know for sure.

But as I said before, I do not think in an actual scenario we would have much trouble figuring out our moral obligations. In an actual scenario, we would have plenty of further information about our respective relations with the other person, so we would both very probably be able to make an informed and correct moral assessment (even if we might not be able to pinpoint the reasons for our assessment).

At any rate, as I said, I would agree that you're not being stupid. I think your friend probably made the following mistake: she failed to put herself properly into your shoes, and consider how your sense of right and wrong was assessing the matter. Maybe she is thinking of a scenario very different from the one you had in mind, by filling in the blanks differently.

fast said:
If there is a tradition that is outdated and it’s replaced with a more progressive appeal, I see harm (the destruction of the tradition) and I see benefit (the bringing of the new), and if the new outweighs the old, there is a net benefit and thus won’t be regarded as harmful but beneficial. People will refuse to acknowledge my take that there is harm because they want to reserve that term for post analysis only.
I'm not sure I'm getting this right, but if you're talking about a tradition about how to evaluate obligations, I see both the tradition and the new idea as approximations that may yield the right verdict in cases that may be more or less common depending on the place, time, country, etc., but not as a replacement for the basic method of considering things on a case by case basis, and using the intuitive human sense of right and wrong. There is no need to destroy the tradition, or to replace it. Rather, it's about considering that neither theory or method (the traditional or the new one) is general, but a shortcut applicable to some specific cases (maybe a good shortcut in some social environments, in the sense it works in nearly all cases in those environments, but we should take into consideration it might not work in others).

fast said:
How about this: are there two individual obligations that when evaluated yields a net obligation; or neither promise alone makes for an obligation and it’s the net difference of the promises that breeds the obligation?
I tend to think there is no simple answer. Rather, I think the relationship between two people results in many obligations, forming a very complex network. Promises do create some of those obligations, but the extent and conditions of them depend not only on what is said, but also on all sorts of complex interactions (e.g., consider the scenarios with my mother vs. my coworker above: they may both say the exact same words, and yet the resulting obligations are very different; that is so because of the whole context of the relationship between each of them and me).

In short, I think that we can generally make proper assessments in realistic cases (and many unrealistic ones), but the study of the rules by which the obligations are governed (including those involving promises) is a very difficult matter for future research in human psychology and moral philosophy. :)
 

Gun Nut

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By paying back only $100 you ARE keeping to the deal. You paid her $200... it's just that $100 of it evaporated with the closing of the previous deal.

I do not think the thought experiment survives past the "How can she have $200 to lend you if she didn't have the $100 to reimburse you" observation.
 

zorq

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I agree with Gun Nut... who is agreeing with Treedbear back on post #7.

It is an unrealistic scenario. The exploration of moral intuition between fast and AM is fascinating but so implausible that it is impractical, at least to my POV.

Suspending my disbelief for a moment though; I have to say that I agree with Angra Mainyu. The context is key, and we gain more information when we consider all the aspects of the relationship between the two parties rather than segregating individual aspects of their relationships into self contained units. Choosing to ignore ANY part of the relationship context when coming to a final evaluation of which course of action to proceed with is a mistake.

Fast's insistence on separating the agreements into discreet moral choices reminds me of the runaway trolly problem. Would fast be willing to divert the trolly onto the side track killing one person or would he abstain and let the trolly kill 5? Taken as a seperated choice, I would never choose to deliberately kill one person by my intentional action. It's the larger context that gives that option some merit.

Fast insists that the moral quandary under consideration is not a dichotomy like the trolly problem in which the two agreements have a necessary link. In the trolly problem we are not given the option to both divert the trolly away from the 5 workers and NOT divert the trolly into the lone worker. We are FORCED to take both options into consideration because the two are inextricably linked. But is this moral quandary really that different? Not a single scenario presented in this thread involves instantaneous decisions by the two parties. Each one happens over a period of time which gives one of the parties experience and knowledge about the other before the final judgement is made. This establishes the relationship between the two people. I have never made a decision in my life in which I did not bring all of my knowledge, experience, and intuition to bear to reach a judgement. It is unrealistic to me for a person to blind themselves to knowledge they know might be relevant.

To me, the two agreements are inextricably linked.
 
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fast

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It’s an unrealistic scenario.”

I don’t think this is as unrealistic as it seems. I say this because some older people have recollected similar situations where similar circumstances have occurred. As to the issue of whether an obligation continues to exist, I just don’t know.

But, if I tell you (unrealistic as it might be) that’ll i’ll pay you $200 back, i’m not going to use that opportunity to balance the books for your failure to pay me as you had originally said you would. It seems dishonorable. Maybe it’s technically not if the obligation isn’t really there, but say what some might, it has the feel of being wrong.

That’s not to say I might not grin if I see another otherwise good person say towards an otherwise bad person, “hey, you screwed me; I screwed ya back!” In the end, it may be an equitable and fair outcome, but I would not personally place trust in such a person should I enter into such an agreement with him, and that’s because his sense of obligation is in stark disaccord with my view on his willingness to keep his word.
 

Treedbear

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It’s an unrealistic scenario.”

I don’t think this is as unrealistic as it seems. I say this because some older people have recollected similar situations where similar circumstances have occurred. As to the issue of whether an obligation continues to exist, I just don’t know.

But, if I tell you (unrealistic as it might be) that’ll i’ll pay you $200 back, i’m not going to use that opportunity to balance the books for your failure to pay me as you had originally said you would. It seems dishonorable. Maybe it’s technically not if the obligation isn’t really there, but say what some might, it has the feel of being wrong.

That’s not to say I might not grin if I see another otherwise good person say towards an otherwise bad person, “hey, you screwed me; I screwed ya back!” In the end, it may be an equitable and fair outcome, but I would not personally place trust in such a person should I enter into such an agreement with him, and that’s because his sense of obligation is in stark disaccord with my view on his willingness to keep his word.

Trust has to be mutual. That's why I don't understand how you could seek to borrow any money from her when she had already demonstrated her own ongoing lack of integrity. There's a distinct irony in assuming she should trust you when it's obvious to everyone you have no reason to trust her. The only exception I can see is as an act of charity, which would be commendable if that was the motive. But that would imply you've forgiven her debt.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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It’s an unrealistic scenario.”

I don’t think this is as unrealistic as it seems.
The unrealistic part is the whole, you don't discuss the owed $100 during the $200 borrowing episode.

But, if I tell you (unrealistic as it might be) that’ll i’ll pay you $200 back, i’m not going to use that opportunity to balance the books for your failure to pay me as you had originally said you would. It seems dishonorable.
It seems passive aggressive, but from you, it fits I suppose.
 

fast

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It’s an unrealistic scenario.”

I don’t think this is as unrealistic as it seems. I say this because some older people have recollected similar situations where similar circumstances have occurred. As to the issue of whether an obligation continues to exist, I just don’t know.

But, if I tell you (unrealistic as it might be) that’ll i’ll pay you $200 back, i’m not going to use that opportunity to balance the books for your failure to pay me as you had originally said you would. It seems dishonorable. Maybe it’s technically not if the obligation isn’t really there, but say what some might, it has the feel of being wrong.

That’s not to say I might not grin if I see another otherwise good person say towards an otherwise bad person, “hey, you screwed me; I screwed ya back!” In the end, it may be an equitable and fair outcome, but I would not personally place trust in such a person should I enter into such an agreement with him, and that’s because his sense of obligation is in stark disaccord with my view on his willingness to keep his word.

Trust has to be mutual. That's why I don't understand how you could seek to borrow any money from her when she had already demonstrated her own ongoing lack of integrity. There's a distinct irony in assuming she should trust you when it's obvious to everyone you have no reason to trust her. The only exception I can see is as an act of charity, which would be commendable if that was the motive. But that would imply you've forgiven her debt.
If I’m the borrower, the trustworthiness of the lender is irrelevant. If you tell me you have to have it back, I should not say I will pay it back if I tell you I will but won’t.
 

Treedbear

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It’s an unrealistic scenario.”

I don’t think this is as unrealistic as it seems. I say this because some older people have recollected similar situations where similar circumstances have occurred. As to the issue of whether an obligation continues to exist, I just don’t know.

But, if I tell you (unrealistic as it might be) that’ll i’ll pay you $200 back, i’m not going to use that opportunity to balance the books for your failure to pay me as you had originally said you would. It seems dishonorable. Maybe it’s technically not if the obligation isn’t really there, but say what some might, it has the feel of being wrong.

That’s not to say I might not grin if I see another otherwise good person say towards an otherwise bad person, “hey, you screwed me; I screwed ya back!” In the end, it may be an equitable and fair outcome, but I would not personally place trust in such a person should I enter into such an agreement with him, and that’s because his sense of obligation is in stark disaccord with my view on his willingness to keep his word.

Trust has to be mutual. That's why I don't understand how you could seek to borrow any money from her when she had already demonstrated her own ongoing lack of integrity. There's a distinct irony in assuming she should trust you when it's obvious to everyone you have no reason to trust her. The only exception I can see is as an act of charity, which would be commendable if that was the motive. But that would imply you've forgiven her debt.

If I’m the borrower, the trustworthiness of the lender is irrelevant. If you tell me you have to have it back, I should not say I will pay it back if I tell you I will but won’t.

Well the way I see it if a friend is willing to lend money to me and I'm willing to accept a loan from a friend then it means I'd be willing to lend money to them also. It needs to be a two way street. That's the way interpersonal relationships work. Banks are different and have stricter means of accounting that don't always reflect how honorable and trustworthy they or the individual are, but are simply based on balancing out accounts. Which means you'd get to keep your $100.
 

fast

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Friend or no friend, if you’re the borrower and capable and willing to keep your word, then you should. I don’t particularly feel too inclined or somehow obligated to lend someone money just because they would lend it to me, especially if they a proven track record of failing to live up to their end of the bargain.

I’ve met a few people (and believe me when I say they’re far and few between) that would not dream of reneging on their word. They wouldn’t be swayed in the slightest by some argument that they had no obligation to do as they said.

If you borrowed fifty dollars from someone and later you caught them stealing from you, you may net keep your word. You may feel justified. You may feel that the obligation has gone away. Heck, you may be justified and no longer have an obligation, but for a proud few, no matter what you say, you will never have good reason to call them a liar.
 

fast

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Clear? Clear. CLEAR?? Crystal.
People are always capable of coming up with excuses for why they don’t do what they said they would—and don’t do what they said they would.

People (but substantively fewer) may have a legitamate justifiable reason for why they didnt do what they said they would—and also don’t (forgivably so) do what they said they would.

Then, you have people who let’s neither justification nor good sense stand in their way. Of course, there’s numerous hypotheticals where one cannot do as they said they would, but there’s plenty of justifiable reasons that can be overcome.

Some people will accept a little inconvenience before not keeping their word, but how many would down right suffer?
 

fast

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Yeah. Prisoners don't choose.
They are held against their will. But even still, they can choose which of their sides to sleep on.


If you’re saying we’re trapped to choose what we must, like prisoners of our limitations, or some such jazz, then even though we are bound by our abilities, we can freely choose between our available choices.
 

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Friend or no friend, if you’re the borrower and capable and willing to keep your word, then you should. I don’t particularly feel too inclined or somehow obligated to lend someone money just because they would lend it to me, especially if they a proven track record of failing to live up to their end of the bargain.

I’ve met a few people (and believe me when I say they’re far and few between) that would not dream of reneging on their word. They wouldn’t be swayed in the slightest by some argument that they had no obligation to do as they said.

If you borrowed fifty dollars from someone and later you caught them stealing from you, you may net keep your word. You may feel justified. You may feel that the obligation has gone away. Heck, you may be justified and no longer have an obligation, but for a proud few, no matter what you say, you will never have good reason to call them a liar.

Re-reading the OP it looks like the two people involved actually never were described as friends. So I guess you'd say I was mistaken. It was confusing because you were discussing a hypothetical with a friend who also happened to be a she, and I guess I conflated them. But then again the two of you were taking on the roles pretty well. Be that as it may, it seems logical to ask why you would lend $100 to her in the first place. There has to be something in it for you, if only friendship. I told you what I believe friendship means and that it needs to be reciprocal. The same goes for her when she lends you the $200. Why would she do that for a stranger? Is there interest involved? First born son perhaps? No and no. Playing you for a fool does start to make sense. Of course it's just a hypothetical situation so that's not an attack on your character. The scenario just doesn't seem plausible, and so I think you may be using it as a stage for moral self-righteousness. Yeah, I think that's why my mind keeps going back to the Merchant of Venice. You promised a pound of flesh?? Really? A pound of your own flesh? What rational, moral reason is there for anyone to ever ask for that?
 

jab

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I would definitely have said something. Like “Do you want me to just pay back the $100 so we’re even up now? I’m prepared to pay what I borrowed, but if you want to use the opportunity to square up, let me know.”

I wouldn’t say “stupid”, but I would definitely have used the opportunity to discuss.

So you (like me) would have been willing to pay the entire $200; granted, it’s post discussion, but ultimately, you wouldn’t have just commingled the agreements and adjusted accordingly.
It's no longer an agreement if it's commingled without the agreement of both parties. The sensible thing is to ask clearly, "How much of this 200 dollars is to be paid back, in light of the 100 dollars you owe me?"--then, if the answer is $200, and if you need the 200, take it, and pay the whole thing back with the reminder, "You still owe me $100."
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Didn't really need a bump, however, I was getting tired of the previous thread that is still on the main page list.
 

fast

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fromderinside,

Even a statement with no obligatory thrust is true or false. If I say, “I will pay,” even the absence of obligation will not twirl a falsity into a truthhood.

If I adopt a second class sentiment, be wary of me, for I am shrewd.
 

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I overheard a conversation she was having, and in light of it decided to pose a hypothetical scenario question. We’ve known each other a long time, and we speak our minds, so trust me when I say calling me stupid was mild. Although I’ve been called a whole lot worse by her over the years, truth is, we’ve become friends and there’s just no telling what we might say. At any rate, my hypothetical was meant to simplify and parallel the jist of something she said in the conversation I heard. I’ll now pose it to you all.

Let’s say someone comes to you to borrow $100 — with the agreement that it will be paid back next Friday. You lend it to her. Next Friday comes, but you are not paid back. So, this someone still owes you $100.

Fast forward a couple months later. The person still hasn’t paid nor has forgotten, but you need to borrow $200 —with the agreement that it will be paid back next Friday. She lends it to you.

When Friday comes,

do you A) pay back a hundred dollars (of the $200) thereby balancing the books such that no one owes either any money, or

do you B) pay back the entire two hundred dollars, with that person still owing you $100?

She said “A”

She said, “what, you’d pay [$200]?”

I said yes and she called me stupid.

She said her not being paid back is partly why she’s in the mess now—would of only had to borrow $100.

My reasoning is that two wrongs don’t make it right; they’re independent agreements. A person not honoring her agreement doesn’t justify me breaking mine.

I told a couple others what had happened. Both said they’d only pay back $100. One also thought I was stupid. One understood where I was coming from. She tried to explain that people that lend shouldn’t expect it back. I said, as the borrower, I can still decide to keep my word and honor my agreement regardless of the choices others make. If she wants to turn around and pay me back the $100 she owes, that’s her choice.

On moral grounds, I think I have the upper hand, but on stupidity grounds, that’s still up in the air. If this were a legal transaction with extra zeros and there was a caveat for me to take an “A” type position, morality be damned, I wouldn’t be stupid, but with little money, I don’t see the advantage of doing what’s wrong—even if the person you’re doing it to would actually understand and accept it.

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?

Imo, it would be generous to repay all the $200.

It wouldn't be particularly stupid though.

It seems to me like some sort of game theory scenario. A long-term strategy involving paying back the $200 might work out better. The repayer can decide their views on that. Generosity can be rewarded via reciprocity (or reputation) later.
 

fast

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Imo, it would be generous to repay all the $200.
Tipping a waitress is generous. There is no obligation to tip. There is a social expectation, but that doesn’t produce a responsibility, duty, or obligation—morally, legally, or socially.

Satisfying the check is not an act of generosity. I would in fact owe that bill. There is an actual obligation to pay. There too is an expectation to pay, but the originating thrust behind that is spawned elsewhere. If it turns out there was no obligation and I unwittingly payed anyway, it would not be considered generosity. If it turns out there was no obligation and I willing paid anyway, it would be generosity but not expected.

In the borrowing situation, it’s not the case that I don’t have an obligation to pay, and not paying you because you so happen to also owe me is a rationalization and at least akin to an attempt to justify immoral behavior. It’s similar in form to revenge; you screwed me so I screw you back. I should be judged by my actions. I don’t have to wrong you when you yourself have wronged me.

However, let’s say (in light of many posters comments) that I somehow do not in fact have an obligation to pay. There’s still the everpresent issue that I gave my word. I said I would do something, and if I don’t, then I will not have done what I said I would. Does our word not mean anything anymore? To many in this world, they not only don’t care, they don’t understand why they should. Not even the absence of obligation alters the fact that my word is unkept if I choose to reconcile the books by balancing them.

If there is no obligation, payment (the $200) would still not be born out of generosity. That is not the spark igniting the flames (it is not the rationale behind the gesture to pay). So why pay? Because I said I would. When I looked into your eyes and said I would do something, you can expect that I will do just as I said I would. I don’t care why you haven’t lived up to your end of an entirely different bargain. That’s on you. Whether you keep your word is on you.

When a patron sits down at a restaurant, there is no tacit agreement between the help and the patron, but there is an obligation to pay the business whether I verbally express my word to pay or not, but let’s say I do promise to pay for my meal, there is a tacit agreement that an exchange is in order. If you don’t provide the meal, it is not the breaking of my word if I don’t pay, for what I gave my word to was to pay for a provided meal. If the meal is not provided, there is no word to live up to. It would be like me promising to pay you $20 for you selling me your $50,000 car. If you don’t sell it to me, I haven’t went against my word to pay.

It wouldn't be particularly stupid though.

It seems to me like some sort of game theory scenario. A long-term strategy involving paying back the $200 might work out better. The repayer can decide their views on that. Generosity can be rewarded via reciprocity (or reputation) later.
I follow you. There can be a strategic advantage in play that may ultimately prove fruitful—a short term tactical maneuver fostering eventual completion of a longer term strategic goal.

One, there is no such intent or aim to come out ahead. Not so stupid indeed if such an intentionally executed shrewd plan workes out.

Two, what fuels my position is that keeping my word (with an obligatory thrust or otherwise) is the notion that it’s smarter to keep one’s word and accept a minor financially disadvantaged position.

When I set this scenario up, it was done hurriedly. I did not anticipate it being deemed so unrealistic—especially since it’s a not so infrequent occurance I’ve heard discussed outside these forum gates before. If the scenario was adjusted to accommodate this barrier, I wonder how things would have panned out.
 

fromderinside

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I would try to avoid problems by having $200 on hand which I display to the other party. I then consciously put the two hundred on the table with my hand atop the cash. I remind the other party of their obligation to me and suggest they use $100 of the two hundred under my hand to settle their debt to me. The other party can object but they don't yet have possession of the two hundred. I take back the two hundred. But I remain in the room giving the other party time to reconsider the situation. All they have to do is ask for accounts to be settled whereupon I'll give then $100 dollars and say accounts settled.
 

fast

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I would try to avoid problems by having $200 on hand which I display to the other party. I then consciously put the two hundred on the table with my hand atop the cash. I remind the other party of their obligation to me and suggest they use $100 of the two hundred under my hand to settle their debt to me. The other party can object but they don't yet have possession of the two hundred. I take back the two hundred. But I remain in the room giving the other party time to reconsider the situation. All they have to do is ask for accounts to be settled whereupon I'll give then $100 dollars and say accounts settled.

Nice try. But, you have only until Midnight to pay; otherwise, you have won to keep the upper hand—yet FAILED in another and important way. Recall, there was a time limit. If you’re a microsecond or more late to pay, you will not have done what it is you said you would.

Debtors are the most blind people I’ve ever met. You can’t just agree to one thing and later make a promise to do another thing and consider yourself a person of your word because you did what you said you would. You became a piece of shit the moment you made the latter promise and being a person of your word becomes irrecoverable the moment the clock strikes twelve.
 

fast

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Naw. As I see it a contract spoken is a thing of honor and not one entirely of law. One can be called a liar by either party. So provisions are made in handshake law to permit such as I set forth.

I don’t care about the legality of it; moreover, I’m not phased by its enforceability. If we meet upon the stump in the wilderness and without even so much as a handshake or spit to seal a deal, if you look me in the eyes and I utter the words that I shall be back with food in exchange for fixing my broken leg, no boulder, storm, nor nary a reason, let alone an excuse, will stop my every efforts to honor my commitment.
 
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