To Tell Or Not To Tell Baracker, Gabe 2-16-98 Phil 102 GTF: Tim Rohrer essay exam #2 1. You are at a party and you see your best friends girl/boyfriend making out rather intensely with someone (someone other than your friend). After a while they get up, walking right by you without noticing you, they disappear into a room together. Do you have a duty to tell your friend what you saw? Do you consider the consequences of telling your friend before you decide whether to tell them about what you saw? Does it matter what kind of person you would be if you told/didnt tell them? Discuss this situation with respect to three of the theorists we have studied-one who focuses on duty, another who focuses on the consequences, and a third who thinks it is important to consider what kind of human being we are/want to be. What question(s) do you think to be most important to ask? Give reasons for your answer.
(You may supply details and vary the situation as necessary to bring out particular philosophical theories.) To Tell Or Not To Tell? That, Is The Question. Quite a predicament, isnt it? I really do not believe that there is a right or wrong answer for this type of situation. Either way you are going to get burned. It is just that by whom you will be burned, that is in question. I think that everyone has probably been in a situation somewhat like this, right? I sure know that I have. Actually, I think that I have probably been in all four positions, that of boyfriend being cheated on, on-looking best friend of boyfriend, cheating boyfriend, and of the boy making out with the girlfriend of the boyfriend who happens to be the on-looking friends best friend.
Therefore, I must have firsthand and pretty excellent knowledge to clearly assess and resolve the situation at hand, right? Wrong. It is quite a bit more complicated than that. What will your best friend think of you after telling him the horrible news? Will he not like you anymore? Should you just mind your own business and not tell him at all? It can be dealt with by any number of means. The innumerable amount of choices or avenues to be taken, make the final decision hard to determine. Immanuel Kant would argue that we must tell our friend the truth because it is our moral duty, while Bernard Williams would have us consider how we would view ourselves before or after we spilled the beans.
Still another, John M. Taurek, would have us consider the consequences to the parties involved if the truth was known. Theorists and philosophers such as these have argued for centuries about what would be the appropriate choice given situations like this. Immanuel Kant would have me tell my friend about his girlfriend fooling around behind his back. He believed that any action (my telling him the truth) must come from a sense of duty and that duty is a moral necessity. Categorical imperatives are moral requirements which are unquestionable in terms of commanding what a person must do. The categorical imperative is thought to be the rational action. Kant believes there is a connection between what is moral and what is rational.
This is because he believes that a moral action must be based on good reasoning. For instance, it is the morally correct thing to do to tell the truth because there are negative repercussions that result from lying. Furthermore, Kant believes that a categorical imperative must apply in all situations and for all people; to be universal or have a universal moral law. He thinks that it is the rational thing to have consistency in morals. So in the end I tell my friend what I saw.
I do this because it is my duty to do the right thing and to tell the truth. There are many people we are not in a position to help at all (Doing and Being, 51). This is how I feel in answering this question. There is not one brilliant answer to this situation. John M.
Taurek offers this solution to the problem of the cheating girlfriend. He focuses on whether or not the number of people affected counts as something to consider when presented with a dilemma. He also states in the life-saving drug example that I will save my friend. and it is not morally wrong to do that. Taurek objects to the utilitarian thought that treats people as objects.
He instead considers his friendship and personal feelings when assessing a situation because he does not believe that people have objective value. This leads me to believe that he would tell his friend about his unfaithful girlfriend because he respects his friends feelings and does not want to see him hurt any further. It is also important to consider what kind of person I would be and what kind of morals I would want to hold as my own if I did or did not tell my friend of his cheating girlfriend. Bernard Williams bases his belief in moral integrity. Take for example the case of George the biochemist.
If he takes the job in the chemical weapons factory, he is violating his own morals. If he turns the job down then he is putting his family deeper and deeper in debt. He thinks that it is important that a person feel harmony between the action he is doing and the result of it. When I choose to tell or not to tell my best friend about his cheating girlfriend, I am making a choice as to what kind of person that I am morally. The choice that I make will inevitably say what kind of person I am, whether I care about friends and family or whether I choose to sit back and see them suffer.
Ultimately, I believe that I do have an obligation to let my friend know that his girlfriend was fooling around on him behind his back, but I do not think that I would be able to tell him face to face. If I could let him know what was up by some sort of indirect means, then it would be much better and to my benefit because I would not be the one to upset him. My friend could not be mad at me for breaking his heart and his girlfriend could not hold me responsible for their impending fight and breakup. Philosophy.