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]

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa bull View Post
    Am I to assume that you don't know the difference between a lease and a loan? Not being financially sophisticated enough to understand that loans and leases are completely different things in all regards would explain all your confusion on this matter.
    They're both promises to pay a certain amount per month over a defined term of years. The agreements are both secured by an asset, both agreements have default provisions, etc. One is a house, one is a car - that's an important difference.

    So the standard is it's moral to break a contract that contains a promise to pay if the promise to pay is structured as a lease, but IMMORAL to break a promise to pay if structured as a loan. Interesting. So if I have a car loan of 60 months, and at month 22 I'm drowning etc., it's immoral to turn those keys in because it's a loan and not a lease? I'm not seeing the moral distinction there myself.

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    You've spent several posts telling me why you WILL NOT articulate an objective standard for breaking contracts and why I'm stupid for asking.

    Why not just explain your standard? It's a simple question.

    My standard is fairly simple - the golden rule. I expect the lender to maximize profits according to the amoral terms of the loan contract, and my obligation is the identical standard - to maximize my own financial situation. With a personal, unsecured loan, my 'security' is my integrity, and so I will go to great lengths to repay that loan even when it's contrary to my financial interests.

    See, not so hard to do....
    People like you are the reason that the government should NEVER pressure banks to lower lending standards and downpayment requirements. The best defense against unethical borrowers is a large downpayment (or a minimum of 20% equity) in the property that is security for the loan.

    By the way... next time I hear you bashing businesses for unscrupulous, immoral, unethical, self-serving behavior, I'll remind you that (if your accusations are correct) they're acting just like you do.
    Last edited by Papa bull; 01-27-15 at 06:32 PM.
    You can't reason anyone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    They're both promises to pay a certain amount per month over a defined term of years.
    Leases and loans are completely different. I'm with Tres Borrachos. The degree of financial ignorance you are demonstrating makes it impossible to have a reasonable discussion with you. Educate yourself and maybe one day you'll be able to discuss finance without such embarrassing displays of ignorance.
    You can't reason anyone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Depends on the overall character of the economy and its basic funding tenets. Where money is essentially identical with debt, or where living wages can only be secured through loans, there is no moral obligation to repay if it becomes impossible for the person who has taken the loan to do so.

    If, on the other hand, money tracks resources and is distributed equitably, there is a moral obligation to repay a loan which, I would suggest, extends even to family members of the person who takes the loan.

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    Depends on the overall character of the economy and its basic funding tenets. Where money is essentially identical with debt, or where living wages can only be secured through loans, there is no moral obligation to repay if it becomes impossible for the person who has taken the loan to do so.

    If, on the other hand, money tracks resources and is distributed equitably, there is a moral obligation to repay a loan which, I would suggest, extends even to family members of the person who takes the loan.
    And where is it that "living wages can only be secured through loans"?

    And what is the rest of that about "if money tracks resources and is distributed equitable" supposed to mean? What you said, as stated, isn't making sense.
    You can't reason anyone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into in the first place.

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by tres borrachos View Post


    Please bother someone else. I don't get paid to educate people on here about basic fundamental best practices of money and life management. And I'm way too tired to explain my posts to someone who can't understand them.
    I had to leave the thread. The way people tried to rationalize and justify their reasons for not (necessarily) paying showed they used excuses in life to prop up their behavior. Ignoring the fact that cheating, fraud, and non-payments are not included in business models and spread out so that everyone else had to pay for their defaults. Rationalizing that 'big business didnt feel it' or 'it was too small for people to notice.'
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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa bull View Post
    People like you are the reason that the government should NEVER pressure banks to lower lending standards and downpayment requirements. The best defense against unethical borrowers is a large downpayment (or a minimum of 20% equity) in the property that is security for the loan.
    We've had this discussion and in my world the lenders were BEGGING borrowers to take out liar loans, NINJA loans, negative amort. loans, 110% of principal loans, home equity loans to finance a trip to Disney World, a new car, etc. And all along the way the lenders paid out massive bonuses, reported record profits, etc.

    By the way... next time I hear you bashing businesses for unscrupulous, immoral, unethical, self-serving behavior, I'll remind you that (if your accusations are correct) they're acting just like you do.
    As I've said, we have never failed to repay any loan, don't have car loans, and we paid off my mortgage about a decade early. So what we DO is pay our obligations on time, always.

    And what I expect is companies will act in their own self interest, period. It's why I don't wish they'd pay higher salaries when the market rate for a e.g. Walmart worker is $8.00. They WILL pay $8.00 and they WILL force my state to cover Medicaid and food stamps for many of them. Walmart managers don't consider morality in that decision, or to keep 2 people part time instead of 1 full time, etc.

    And lenders sure as hell aren't making moral decisions when they extend a loan - they're maximizing profits/bonuses/share price, whatever. I see no reason why borrowers should be held to a higher moral standard than our 'free market' businesses.

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa bull View Post
    Leases and loans are completely different. I'm with Tres Borrachos. The degree of financial ignorance you are demonstrating makes it impossible to have a reasonable discussion with you. Educate yourself and maybe one day you'll be able to discuss finance without such embarrassing displays of ignorance.
    They're just not "completely different." There are tax and GAAP rules that draw fairly arbitrary lines around what kinds of transactions qualify as "leases" and which may be called "leases" but are disguised loans, and vice versa. The differences are a matter of degree not kind, and parties entering into the agreements have to be very careful that their "lease" payments are fully deductible instead of capitalized and treated like a loan with principal and interest components, and whether the remaining payments on the lease/loan show up on the balance sheet as a liability or just in a footnote to the financials.

    Sheesh, don't you all have better arguments than childish insults? Pretty lame. I'm asking a simple question - what is/are the objective standards you're using. I guess it's not that simple....

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by tuhaybey View Post
    Fundamentally, it seems to me that most liberals believe that helping the needy is the most fundamental aspect of morality. That's what "good" is to us- helping the less fortunate.

    The the right, it seems like "morality" is more like "obedience" or "loyalty" or something similar. Conservatives are instinctively rule-followers, so they've created notions of morality that are centered around obedience.

    Really, it isn't that one concept is right and the other wrong. It is just how we were raised I guess. But, I would suggest that you just play it through in your head. Is a world where people are more subservient to the powerful really a better world? Wouldn't a world where the needy suffered less be a better world? It just doesn't really compute for me how you could not see that. But, yeah, I guess mostly it is just how we were raised. Liberal parents praise their kids when they help out the kid that's getting picked on, conservative parents praise their kids when they sit quietly during church, and sooner or later, we think those things are the most important things I guess.

    This isn't the first time I've talked with a conservative. You guys don't hide it. But, hey, let me just ask you if you think I'm incorrect- do you believe that you have a moral duty to help the poor and sick?
    This wasn't addressed to me, but I would like to answer your question.

    Yes, I have a moral duty to help the poor and sick when it is obvious that such need my help and I am in a position to do so.

    But. . . .

    I have no moral basis to require YOU to help the poor and sick, most especially when I then feel righteous because I forced you to do it.

    And whether I help the poor and sick or you help the poor and sick, neither of us have a moral basis on which to steal or forcibly take the money from somebody else to do it. And neither of us have a moral basis on which to decide we don't have an obligation or moral duty to repay money we borrow on anybody's good faith just because we want to use the money for something else or think the money will do more good elsewhere.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

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    Re: Are you morally obligated to repay a loan that you take?[W:461]

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    This wasn't addressed to me, but I would like to answer your question.

    Yes, I have a moral duty to help the poor and sick when it is obvious that such need my help and I am in a position to do so.

    But. . . .

    I have no moral basis to require YOU to help the poor and sick, most especially when I then feel righteous because I forced you to do it.

    And whether I help the poor and sick or you help the poor and sick, neither of us have a moral basis on which to steal or forcibly take the money from somebody else to do it. And neither of us have a moral basis on which to decide we don't have an obligation or moral duty to repay money we borrow on anybody's good faith just because we want to use the money for something else or think the money will do more good elsewhere.
    None of that stuff about "stealing" or "forcing others to help" and whatnot connects with me. We are all deciding, together, how much of our resources to pool and what to do with those resources. We're all deciding it together, we're not forcing somebody else to do something.

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