View Poll Results: Is there a moral obligation to repay money you borrow?

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  • If you borrow money, you are morally obligated to repay it.

    110 34.48%
  • I feel no moral obligation to repay loans I've taken out

    209 65.52%
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Thread: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

  1. #481
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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrilla View Post
    philosophically, you are probably correct.. it's probably possible to justify ..well, pretty much anything on self interest alone.

    the question is over what you do though, not what is possible.
    Yes, one can use either or both of interests or morality to justify just about anything.

    When it comes to politics, govt policy, the law, and similar things, I prefer to use interests (as in "national interest" or "legitimate governmental interests") to justify those things
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    the vast majority of folks that need healthcare are on Medicare.. both rich and poor..

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Moot View Post
    The loan is illegal and/or was made in bad faith by the lender.
    Agreed.
    You can't reason anyone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

  3. #483
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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrilla View Post
    so , in your own way, you've assigned a moral obligation to pay those bills?... it might not be a moral obligation to the bank itself, but instead to society?
    I think that is accurate. While our economic system isn't perfect it does seem to do a decent job of providing folks with food, shelter, etc and seems to increase the general standard of living over time. It would be a harm to subvert that system and take from society.

    I mean really reflecting on my intuitive motivations here, you could say I see a business as an arm of the greater society which I care about, even if that individual business is not worth moral consideration.

  4. #484
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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    When the loan agreement contains provisions that allow other methods of settling the loan.
    Agreed. I've never seen one that didn't require repayment as the only means of settling the loan. Walking away from it and letting them foreclose on your property is not settling the loan. It is defaulting on the loan. It triggers the foreclosure, but the foreclosure is not a "means of settling the loan". It's what they have to do when you don't do what you agreed to do. Seeing foreclosure as permission to default is convenient if you're looking for an excuse to screw the lender and duck your obligations but it's not an honorable way to deal with your obligations.
    You can't reason anyone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

  5. #485
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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa bull View Post
    Agreed. I've never seen one that didn't require repayment as the only means of settling the loan. Walking away from it and letting them foreclose on your property is not settling the loan. It is defaulting on the loan. It triggers the foreclosure, but the foreclosure is not a "means of settling the loan". It's what they have to do when you don't do what you agreed to do. Seeing foreclosure as permission to default is convenient if you're looking for an excuse to screw the lender and duck your obligations but it's not an honorable way to deal with your obligations.
    Don't forget that when the collateral fails to meet the balance due, the borrower is STILL on the hook for the remainder, only now they've surrendered the collateral as well. Do these people think they should be able to walk away from the remaining balance due guilt-free? Do they think that they have now satisfied all aspects of the agreement?


    Quote Originally Posted by Moot View Post
    The loan is illegal and/or was made in bad faith by the lender.
    If the lender is solely at fault for fraud/bad faith, yes. If it is a collaborative effort, i.e. the recent housing and mortgage boom/bust where lenders knew they were setting people up for failure and knew they were going to package and sell these bad loans before they failed, AND where borrowers were gambling that they could re-fi into a new teaser ARM forever, then no.
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

  6. #486
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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadaJohn View Post
    Nonsense. Banks pay you to use their money and they expect you to pay them to use theirs. When you deposit your money in a bank - be it a savings account, chequing account, GIC, retirement account, etc. - you loan your money to the bank to use in their business for the fee they offer. If you don't like the fee, you take your business elsewhere. Likewise, the bank then uses those deposits to generate income by loaning the funds to those who wish to borrow. Just as it's your money when you borrow from a bank, it is the bank's money when you loan it to them, regardless of whether you take it out the next day or leave it in there for years.
    You should read fractional reserve banking in the document Modern Money Mechanics, or as economists tend to term it, MMM. It was a document written by the Chicago Fed on how banks operate in the 60's, because the senate required it. Since the document is so old, there is more theory as to what banks do, but it is known that they practiced fractional reserve banking.

    In this process, the banks bet that not everyone is going to withdrawal their money at the same time. So a fraction of their reserves is allocated to withdrawals of their consumer's money. The rest of the money, which is the consumer's money, is used for loans. It isn't the bank's money. I'm not going to spell everything out to you, but the banks actually create money out of thin air for every dollar they loan out. Ontop of that, they receive interest. This money they then use in financial instruments, to increase their wealth.

    I have no problem not paying back a bank. It is our money that is putting us in servitude.
    "Don't care. I don't care about polar bears, and I don't care about people who think our policies should be dictated by the effects on polar bears. Polar bears are basically Ice Monsters. Like that thing in the second Star Wars movie. **** em. And anything with more than four legs." -Deuce

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?

    If you got a loan from somebody that was doing you a favor, then yes, you have a moral obligation to pay it back.

    But if we're talking about loans you get in the market that the other party gives you in order to turn a profit for themselves, then I don't really think "morality" is the right framework to think about it in. When a corporation lends you money, they aren't doing it as a kindness. They don't wish you well, they are your adversary in that transaction. They're going to try to trick you and scam you and take the shirts right off your back and your kids' backs. You have no moral obligation to treat them any better. If you can figure out a way to take the shirts off the backs of the bankers instead and come out ahead in the long term, my god, that's the American dream. That's playing a game of one-on-one with LeBron James and beating him.

    The thing is, you can't actually do it. In the basketball game between you and the bank, the bank is a pro basketball player and you're just some average couch potato. They're not just taller, stronger, faster, more experienced and more skilled than you, but they start the game out with a 200 point lead already on the board. Just flatly skipping out on a loan entirely always hurts you a lot more than paying it would. And that's no coincidence. They don't give you a loan until they're damn sure that is the case.

    So, you generally should pay back your loans, but not for moral reasons, for self interest reasons.

  8. #488
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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?

    Quote Originally Posted by tuhaybey View Post
    If you got a loan from somebody that was doing you a favor, then yes, you have a moral obligation to pay it back.

    But if we're talking about loans you get in the market that the other party gives you in order to turn a profit for themselves, then I don't really think "morality" is the right framework to think about it in. When a corporation lends you money, they aren't doing it as a kindness. They don't wish you well, they are your adversary in that transaction. They're going to try to trick you and scam you and take the shirts right off your back and your kids' backs. You have no moral obligation to treat them any better. If you can figure out a way to take the shirts off the backs of the bankers instead and come out ahead in the long term, my god, that's the American dream. That's playing a game of one-on-one with LeBron James and beating him.

    The thing is, you can't actually do it. In the basketball game between you and the bank, the bank is a pro basketball player and you're just some average couch potato. They're not just taller, stronger, faster, more experienced and more skilled than you, but they start the game out with a 200 point lead already on the board. Just flatly skipping out on a loan entirely always hurts you a lot more than paying it would. And that's no coincidence. They don't give you a loan until they're damn sure that is the case.

    So, you generally should pay back your loans, but not for moral reasons, for self interest reasons.
    So you figure that you really are only morally obligated to keep your word with people that are doing something for you out of the goodness of their heart? That's a rather queer perspective on things. I guess you figure that a bank is just screwing you by loaning you money, so why not screw them back, huh?

    I think I'm going to start asking people if they're liberals before doing business with them from now on because I don't want to have anything to do with people that think they only have to keep the promises they make if it's a promise they made to someone they like. A promise is a promise and when you enter into a loan, the bank promises to write you a check for a certain amount of money under the condition that you pay it back with interest at the schedule you agree to pay on. They make good on their promise, so they're not the immoral party here.
    You can't reason anyone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

  9. #489
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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?

    Quote Originally Posted by sookster View Post
    You should read fractional reserve banking in the document Modern Money Mechanics, or as economists tend to term it, MMM. It was a document written by the Chicago Fed on how banks operate in the 60's, because the senate required it. Since the document is so old, there is more theory as to what banks do, but it is known that they practiced fractional reserve banking.

    In this process, the banks bet that not everyone is going to withdrawal their money at the same time. So a fraction of their reserves is allocated to withdrawals of their consumer's money. The rest of the money, which is the consumer's money, is used for loans. It isn't the bank's money. I'm not going to spell everything out to you, but the banks actually create money out of thin air for every dollar they loan out. Ontop of that, they receive interest. This money they then use in financial instruments, to increase their wealth.

    I have no problem not paying back a bank. It is our money that is putting us in servitude.
    Wow. I see why this country is in the sad state of affairs it's in and going downhill quickly. I think I'm going to have to give up reading political discussion forums because hearing what makes people tick these days is making me lose all faith in humanity.
    You can't reason anyone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

  10. #490
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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa bull View Post
    So you figure that you really are only morally obligated to keep your word with people that are doing something for you out of the goodness of their heart? That's a rather queer perspective on things. I guess you figure that a bank is just screwing you by loaning you money, so why not screw them back, huh?

    I think I'm going to start asking people if they're liberals before doing business with them from now on because I don't want to have anything to do with people that think they only have to keep the promises they make if it's a promise they made to someone they like. A promise is a promise and when you enter into a loan, the bank promises to write you a check for a certain amount of money under the condition that you pay it back with interest at the schedule you agree to pay on. They make good on their promise, so they're not the immoral party here.
    You're not "giving your word" to a bank, you're entering into a contractual relationship. The rules at play in that kind of situation are economic, not moral.

    I mean, I suppose you could do a moral analysis of the question- figure out whether the world is better off if you pay the loan back or if you don't. But, moral reasoning is not a tool well suited to that kind of question. Probably the most "moral" thing you can do with your loan would be to give the money to a charity instead of the bank. But that wouldn't be in your self interest. If your goal is to maximize your self interest, as people's goal usually is in economic situations, then you should be using economic analysis instead of moral analysis.

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