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    1. #1
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      A Question Of Loyalty

      If I might, I would like to have a frank, open discussion about the term Loyalty and the thoughts and wisdom of others on the subject. What does Loyalty mean to you? How do you apply it in interacting with others? Is it a good or bad thing to be loyal to others? Is it a virtue or a curse... or both? Is true loyalty situational or absolute? Is there ever a justification for betraying a bond of loyalty to another? These are serious questions I know, and I hope it will provoke an earnest response, perhaps even a civil debate (key word being civil).

      A few small things to keep in mind:

      1) I freely admit I'm still very young compared to many others here, I don't pretend otherwise and I'm eager to learn from those with more life-experience and wisdom then myself. That's part of why I brought it up.
      2) My personal opinion is that loyalty is indeed a virtue and a important one. Some might ague that my age and inexperience make my opinion on the subject unimportant, but nevertheless I wanted to be clear on how I feel.
      3) I think this can make for a good and serious discussion, but please remember the forums rules when mentioning any personal examples that might reflect on other forum members or the forum as a whole.
      4) Well I'm hoping for thoughtful serious posts, a little playful banter and humor is always welcome. But let's try to keep it on subject and relevant please?

      I did want to get people's thoughts on this, but I know that it can sometimes be a sensitive subject. Let's all try to keep that in mind when responding to others here, please be respectful. Thank you! ^^
       

    2. #2
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      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      Meine ehre heißt treue.
      "Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight on to the end."

      Earl Douglas Haig, Order to the British Army, 12 April 1918

      So death, the most terrifying of ills, is nothing to us, since so long as we exist, death is not with us; but when death comes, then we do not exist. It does not then concern either the living or the dead, since the former it is not, and the latter are no more.

      Epicurus Letter to Menoeceus


    3. #3
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      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      That is a very good way of looking at it Moulders. So you feel loyalty is connected to honor and vice-vera. Would you care to further explain why (I'm far from disagreeing, quite the contrary I'd just like to get your thoughts if it's okay). Thank you for the input I will remember those words well (if I didn't mess up the translation "Loyality is my Honor" is that correct? My language skills are terrible I know sorry.
       

    4. #4

      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      @Sadaku

      For me loyalty is related to trust in some ways. I think that after explaining my approach to trust, the loyalty issue should be clear.

      So there are two things:

      1. Without trust it's not possible to act as a group. Often a single person cannot achieve their goals if not acting as a part of a larger group.
      2. Trust can be abused very easily. Trusting people can be used by others.

      These two are in obvious contrast. So it's necessary to find a middle ground.

      I'll explain it in my next post.

      I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)
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    5. #5
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      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      All right, I'm loving it so far Uno, please continue! ^^
       

    6. #6

      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      Imagine the following situation (it's called a prisoner's dilemma):

      Two members of a criminal gang are arrested and imprisoned. Each prisoner is in solitary confinement with no means of communicating with the other. The prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to convict the pair on the principal charge, but they have enough to convict both on a lesser charge. Simultaneously, the prosecutors offer each prisoner a bargain. Each prisoner is given the opportunity either to betray the other by testifying that the other committed the crime, or to cooperate with the other by remaining silent. The offer is:

      If A and B each betray the other, each of them serves two years in prison.
      If A betrays B but B remains silent, A will be set free and B will serve three years in prison.
      If B betrays A but A remains silent, B will be set free and A will serve three years in prison.
      If A and B both remain silent, both of them will only serve one year in prison (on the lesser charge).
      Let's say you're B. In a purely individualistic way of thinking, one can consider the following two situations:

      a) A betrayed me. If I betray B I will spend 2 years in prison. If I don't betray B I will spend 3 years in prison. So I should betray B.
      b) A didn't betray me. If I betray B I will be set free. If I don't betray B I will spend 1 year in prison. So I should betray B.

      So I should betray B regardless of the situation I'm in.

      If A thinks in exactly the same way, the final outcome will be 2 years in prison for both. But if they were shomehow able to trust each other and for some reason they'd be sure that the trust wouldn't be broken, they could spend only 1 year in prison each.

      To be continued…

      I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)
      Information wants to be free. (Stewart Brand)

    7. #7

      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      Is each prisoner allowed to assume that the other one will use the same reasoning and instead of following the previous reasoning (let's say it's the basic level reasoning), use a kind of reasoning on a higher level, or not?

      E.g. A can think something like:

      I know that B is smart and (s)he will reach the same conclusion as me that it's better to betray. So we'll both betray each other. But (s)he also knows that I will reach the same conclusion. So (s)he knows that we will spend 2 years in prison, but it's possible to spend just 1 year. So (s)he might understand that it's in our common interest not to betray. So maybe I shouldn't betray after all.

      to be continued…

      I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)
      Information wants to be free. (Stewart Brand)

    8. #8

      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      I think people as a species developed cooperation mechanisms to overcome exactly the situations like this one. For example the idea of trust and breaking trust. But it's just a naive mechanism.

      I think it's better not to naively trust people in general, but instead to assume they are trustworthy and also be trustworthy yourself as the default until someone shows some signs that they're not trustworthy. In this way you can both overcome the prisoner's dilemma.

      One needs to observe people carefully looking for any symptoms that they're not trustworthy. But if they do not show these they are either trustworthy, or really, really good actors. If one has good observation skills very few people will be able to cheat them. So one can treat such people in the same way as e.g. road accidents. One normally doesn't stay at home because road accidents happen, right? In the same way one normally is not afraid to cooperate because there exist genius actors who will never be discovered until they brake the trust.

      To simplify, if someone broke your trust once, you are allowed to brake their trust as well. Otherwise don't do it, but OBSERVE CAREFULLY. Test if they're trustworthy with small things first. If they're not trustworthy it will be difficult to keep the image of a trustworthy person at every moment. Unless they're genius actors, you'll find out eventually.

      That's my approach.
      Last edited by unoduetre; 04-16-2019 at 04:08 PM.

      I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)
      Information wants to be free. (Stewart Brand)

    9. #9
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      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      It's a very wise way of looking at things Uno. Certainly I agree that trust when earned is probably stronger and better in adversity then the sort of casual freely given trust one might have sometimes for example with authority figures like teachers or a principle that you really only know through school. I will take your advice on observation, although I'm not sure if I'd be very good at the testing stuff.

      About the trust breaking in regard to loyalty I'm not sure what to think, I suppose it depends in part on circumstance. It's the difficult thing in speaking generally I suppose. I'd like to imagine if someone I was loyal to betrayed my trust I'd know what to do, but I'm not so experienced.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts Uno, it's given me a lot to mull over and consider. ^^
       

    10. #10

      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      @Sadaku

      Be trustworthy in the beginning. If they break your trust, destroy them.

      I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)
      Information wants to be free. (Stewart Brand)

    11. #11
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      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      I'm not sure if I could do that personally Uno but I appreciate the advice on a course of action, though hopefully the situation never comes up. ^^
       

    12. #12

      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      Oh, and also be understanding and forgiving. People may someone break your trust without bad intentions, by accident etc.

      I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)
      Information wants to be free. (Stewart Brand)

    13. #13
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      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      That could be so, as long as we can talk it out in such cases and correct things then all should be good right? ^^
       

    14. #14
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      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      I always look at the personal gain in the value of people. Reliability and honesty is more important to me than loyalty. Everyone has something to gain from betrayal, thats a given. For me its important that if I need something done and someone agreed to help me with it, they will help me. If they don't then I want to know why. It can be just " I was too lazy, I wanted to play video games", for me, thats a completely valid reason to ditch someone and I will take that into account when judging their value.
      I expect to be betrayed by everyone, because everyone has a price. If the gain is high enough, loyalty will fail. And if they tell me why and what they gained, I wont hold it against them.
      I'm talking about my personal level, not a mob family criminal "Your secrets or your life" kind of deal.
      And example would be like I tell a friend about something weird I did at some point. They go hang out with their other friends and they get to sharing weird stories for laughs over a few drinks. I wont blame them for telling their group of friends my weird story that they will laugh at me if they ever see me. They had something to gain, laughs and a fun time with friends. That doesn't mean they're not loyal, it just means I wont tell them the "Don't tell this to anyone" stories, which lets be honest, if you didn't want those stories to be told to anyone, you wouldn't share them with anyone in the first place.
       

    15. #15
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      Re: A Question Of Loyalty

      I suppose it's a very careful way of looking at the world Beerkeg. I'm not so sure about the "everyone has a price" part, but certainly there are many examples out there of people whom have been "bought" and then of course there's personal experience, which I've said before I don't have much practical experience yet. I believe there are some whom can't be bought off, whom remain loyal despite any and all temptation or for that matter threats. Perhaps when I'm more grown up I will think different I don't know. It's certainly food for thought, thank you for taking the time to share your point of view with us! ^^
       

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