General Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Here is a moral dilemma.

Asked by SuperMouse (30723 points ) July 10th, 2009

You have two friends; Friend A and Friend B. You like both them but you have a deeper, more long term relationship with Friend A. Friend B wrongs Friend A. This has absolutely nothing to do with you, but you know that Friend A is really, really hurting. Friend A decides that they want to get revenge on Friend B. Nasty revenge, things that really hurt friend B and could potentially make Friend B pretty sick. You have told Friend A that even though you are sympathetic, you are 100% against the revenge scheme because it is just wrong, Friend B is so far unaware of Friend A’s actions so is not on the look out for potential land mines. Do you tell Friend B what Friend A is up to or do you just bow out and hope no one gets seriously (physically) hurt?

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41 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I get involved only to inform them that their animosity toward each other is damaging not only to themselves but to all who are involved and for that reason I can’t be involved.

hearkat's avatar

I don’t think I could be friends with people who are hurtful to other people.

hug_of_war's avatar

I tell friend A if they do not back down I will be forced to tell friend B, and then stop contact with both.

nayeight's avatar

I agree with hearkat, you need new friends.

jamielynn2328's avatar

It would be my moral obligation to warn a friend that they are in danger. I also agree with @hearkat. I wouldn’t be friends with people that intentionally and maliciously hurt others. Gandhi said it best, “An eye for an eye would make the whole world blind”

kevbo's avatar

You should be a true friend to both, if possible, including talking friend A off the ledge or diverting his/her anger toward something more benign.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

You make them sit down in the same room and tell them to stop it right now, or you’re dumping them both. Death to drama queens.

Adina1968's avatar

People who are cruel do not deserve to have friends.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yes I would let Friend B know as a last resort. If losing you as a friend means nothing to Friend A, then it is time you went your separate ways.

chyna's avatar

“Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” Friends don’t knowingly let friends hurt each other. Stop it before it gets out of hand.

Bri_L's avatar

Friend A needs to grow up and go talk to friend B. Friend B needs to grow up and own up.

I should say “Friend” A. If that were the case the person wouldn’t put you in that position.

What ever the case, I would tell friend A that it isn’t in your nature to let someone be hurt when you can stop it.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

It doesn’t matter at this point which friend is the “long-term” friend. Bring them both together and figure it out… life is too short for Hatfield and McCoy.

ru2bz46's avatar

Tell friend B. If friend A is of the caliber to cause harm to friend B, do you really even want friend A around? Friend A may do the same thing to you…

YARNLADY's avatar

@ru2bz46 That’s exactly what I was thinking. How long before “friend” A turns on you, too?
This person is no friend of yours.

Corey_D's avatar

I agree with @hug_of_war I think that is the best thing to do.

CMaz's avatar

If A will hurt B if you help or not. You need to go to plan C. Tell A if she attempts to hurt B you will have no choice but to tell B. Then tell A to stop being an A-hole. See?

cak's avatar

Once you can make a statement like, ”...and hope no one gets seriously (physically) hurt” you have to realize how serious this really is. If you know about something that could (and probably will) cause physical harm, you must put a stop to the action. Keep in mind, you would be a party to the injury, since you knew about the action. Is that something you could live with?

Whatever Friend B did to Friend A, physical retaliation is never okay.

I would have to put a stop to the craziness. Friend A may really need to think about why she would resort to physical harm.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I sort of went through this a couple years ago. Friend A told me to choose between him and Friend B after Friend B was hurtful towards him, my first thought was, what is this, elementary school? and then told me he would do anything to destroy Friend B’s reputation, business, etc. I told Friend B. Time passed, and after some drama, I found out that Friend A and Friend B aren’t worth my time. Friend B ended up fucking me over, and since Friend A made me choose, and I chose Friend B, I lost both friends in the end.

But you know what? Neither of those bastards are worth my time. If my friends can’t treat me with the same respect as I try to treat them, then fuck ‘em! I can always make new friends, and that is one thing I have no difficulty with.

So yeah, tell Friend B if you think it will help, but be prepared for fireworks in the future.

Blondesjon's avatar

Real Life Moment: If you had nothing to do with the original squabble stay the hell out of it. It’s between the two of them.

I think you have perfectly fine friends who act like actual human beings. Shame on you people above for passing judgement on an A & B you don’t even know.

Bri_L's avatar

@Blondesjon – even if there is potential for someone to get physically sick or hurt?

cak's avatar

@Blondesjon – That is advice I generally follow; however, when there is the threat of physical harm, or serious physical harm – I gotta take a different direction.

I don’t know what the squabble is, I’d say it’s got to be pretty serious when someone want to cause harm to another person. I’m not passing judgment when I say Friend A might want to think about why she would resort to physical harm, I’m saying that because she needs help working through her anger.

Blondesjon's avatar

I think friend B might just be venting a bit. I have plotted, out loud, several graphic revenge plans when I have been angry, but 9 times out of 10, that shit wears off.

cak's avatar

@Blondesjon – I see what you are saying. I’ve had that anger and it’s passed – I guess I don’t air it, though. I don’t involve a third party…I quietly plot revenge, then eat ice cream.

I guess though, if it is really happening, I do feel that something should be done. I think I would have to intervene. I couldn’t let someone get hurt.

Whatever happened to people talking things over? A cold beer, a conversation and an apology! Sheesh!

Blondesjon's avatar

If friend A and friend B are both women I respectfully remove my posts.

I wouldn’t put anything past you gals when you take it into your heads to hate on each other.

filmfann's avatar

This happened to me recently. Friend A peed into Friend B’s hot sauce bottle. I didn’t say anything, but stole the bottle and threw it away. Crisis averted.

cak's avatar

@filmfann I just spit my drink out. That’s terrible…why the hell am I laughing?

Jack79's avatar

Look, overall I’d stick with friend A, which is what you seem to be doing. But if this is going as far as you say it is (are we talking about poison in their tea here?) then you have a new set of parameters: the first is that your friend A turns out not to be such a nice person after all if she’s going that far. So I’d actually stop seeing either of them at this point. The second is that you do have a moral obligation to somehow inform the second person (no longer your friend I guess) that their life is in danger. We’re not talking about some angry letter here, are we? If there is going to be a physical attack, then you should stop it.

augustlan's avatar

If friend A doesn’t calm down and is really serious, I think you have an obligation to tell friend B about the plan. Think of it this way, what if one of your children were planning on hurting the other and you could stop it… what would you do?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I would tell friend B. Whenever physical violence plays a role (and one that you obviously think has real potential to happen), it doesn’t matter if it would piss friend A off. I would never be friends with someone who planned to physically hurt another person. As Blondesjon said, yes, people vent and talk a lot of shit sometimes, even if they never actually plan on doing anything. But honestly, I don’t think you would have asked this question in the first place if you didn’t think friend A is going to do something…

augustlan's avatar

I’d like to add that I would inform friend A that I had told friend B of her plans. I would explain that while I love friend A, I felt it was in everyone’s best interests to stop this in its’ tracks. After all, friend A could get in serious trouble if she carried through with her plans.

Jude's avatar

It all sounds awfully childish to me. It’s really sad when grown adults act this way. I agree with those that said if someone’s in potential danger, I would step in and say something to friend B. Like augustlan said, explain to them both why you did this – it’s in everyone’s best interest.

What a crappy situation to be in…

casheroo's avatar

Friend A needs a talking to, so they don’t actually hurt Friend B. I wouldn’t want to be friends with either.

Judi's avatar

If someone gets hurt and you could have prevented it, are you at all concerned about the criminal liability?

Judi's avatar

@filmfann ; I hope friend A got jalapeno sauce all over his thang!

SuperMouse's avatar

I would like to state for the record that Friend A is not a sociopath in any way at all! Friend A is just really very, very hurt.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

The only way this can end well is to put them both in a room and let them yell it out. Anything else belongs in middle school.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

it’s a sad world when revenge is sought before all else.

Darwin's avatar

I would trick both of them into being in the same room at the same time, tell them both that they are behaving very badly, and then tell them both that until they can kiss and make up you will not have anything to do with either of them. Then I would leave and go find some new friends.

Bobbilynn's avatar

Sit back and stay out of it! Everything happens for a reason!

augustlan's avatar

@SuperMouse Not that this matters at all, but I’m curious… did friend B purposely hurt friend A?

captainshalfunit's avatar

Friend B is obviously insecure and wants only one friend at a time. You must inform Friend A of what is being plannefd against her and let Friend B know that you refuse to sacrifise your friendship with Friend A. Who knows, Friend B may soon be plotting against you in the near future! OUCH!

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