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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

A hypothetical ethical... How far would you go in breaking the law to help out a friend?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30874points) July 1st, 2009

Let’s just say, that a friend calls and needs your help. The friend knows you have the equipment necessary to create fake license plate tags. He is broke and unemployed, yet has a great job offer 100% secured in another city, if he can just get there.

He doesn’t have the money to fix his car good enough to pass inspection and get the proper tags. He doesn’t have the money for the new tags even if his car would pass. He asks you to commit fraud to help him get out of town. He promises to set the license right when cash flow permits.

Yes, the job is 100% secured. No, the employer will not advance a check. No, he cannot wait for days getting inspection and license taken care of. He must be on the job by tomorrow morning.

Would you break the law to help out a friend in need?

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19 Answers

eambos's avatar

I would try find a buddy who has an extra car to lend him. If he gets caught driving with the fake plates, not only will he not be able to get to his new job, he will probably have to pay huge fines or jail time.

Disc2021's avatar

@eambos Right. I would do everything I can to help him – but I wouldn’t do anything like that which would not only endanger my friend but endanger myself as well.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

I would not bother with that situation. Leasing him a car would be a proper response to that. If I was able to without hurting myself. You don’t help people by doing what they ask but by providing a solution to the problem (it could be the same one). If they don’t like it they can go elsewhere.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Anybody see what’s wrong with this question? If I had the equipment necessary to make fake license plates, I would probably be unethical enough to make them for anybody who would pay for them. Maybe I’d give my buddy a discount or even a freebie, but if I were the friend, I’d be a fool to trust somebody like me.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Noooo. I sure wouldn’t get involved with that mess. Sorry.

gooch's avatar

No don’t ask if you are a friend

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex you mean I’ve been thinking you were a straight shooter all this time? LOLLLLL

skfinkel's avatar

Nope—a real friend would figure out a way out of this without getting another person involved with fraud.

whatthefluther's avatar

I would arrange alternate legal transportation for a friend. The hypothetical criteria in the test case are just too far out there. It would be interesting if someone could come up with a more plausible case. See ya….wtf
PS: @RealEyesRealizeRealLies…very clever user name, by the way.

TabernakAttack's avatar

Depends on how good of a friend he was. I’d do it.
Or just give him a butterknife and tell him to grab one off another car himself.

cwilbur's avatar

No, I wouldn’t help him break the law, because there are valid reasons for those laws to be in place. If his car won’t pass a legitimate car inspection, it shouldn’t be on the road. If he can’t afford to deal with the insurance and registration, he shouldn’t be driving.

That said, if he was a really good friend, I’d help him find another way around it.

bea2345's avatar

I wouldn’t help him break the law; I would sooner lend him my car (if I had one to lend) or find some other way to help him – bus or air fare, etc., that kind of thing.

YARNLADY's avatar

You have a different definition of friend than I do. I don’t associate with people who knowingly break the law and then have the gall to ask me to assist.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@YARNLADY Geez, this pretty much narrows it down. Good point!!!

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

yeah why not. I suppose my willingness to break the law to serve a purpose isn’t the norm.

YARNLADY's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 It appears that it is the norm, in every level of our society

tiffyandthewall's avatar

if i have the machine, i bet i’m used to committing fraud. (;
but anyhow, yeah. i’m not saying it’s the right thing to do, but i’ll admit that i’d probably do it. especially if i believe that said friend will actually make good with their word that they’ll right the wrong, so to speak, when they get there.

alive's avatar

in this situation, no i wouldn’t help him break the law. i wuold be willing to give him money for bus, train, possibly plane. and just ask him to pay me back once he gets his shit together. even if he never paid me back at least i didnt break the law. what’s a hundred bucks gone compared to jail time for a felony.

milla101's avatar

Nope, don’t include yourself in it if it could come back to you, especially when there are other options. If he’s good for it buy a plane ticket for him and get him to pay you back, catch a train, bus, give him a lift if possible.

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