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Is it moral to associate with a person for mutual gain, when he expect

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Is it moral to associate with a person for mutual gain, when he expects you to accept a guilt over matters which I am innocent?

He expects me to accept an unearned guilt. As a reward / benefit I get to engage in a business deal for mutual benefit.

I can pretend to accept the said guilt, so as to engage in mutually beneficial relationship. It is just that something does not feel right.

Can somebody help me think through this?

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It would help if you elaborated - it is slightly difficult to understand as is. Is the guilt over a petty issue or something serious? Have you tried talking to him/her and telling them how you feel?

Not sure if it is petty: The last time we engaged in a business relationship it went like this: He found a buyer for a custom made software, asked me to make it, while he guided me according to his client's wishes. He went missing in action for a month after lying to me that his client had some changes to the original plan they needed to discuss and plan for a month while I had to wait for the new plans. When he came back he accused me as the reason why he missed deadlines of his client. When in fact it was he who caused an "artificial" delay so as to accuse me.

In the words, I'm sure he is a liar and does not wish to accept guilt which is his, but instead expects me to accept it. If I pretend to do so I get to engage in another mutually beneficial relationship.

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...

So you are saying he lied to the client about whose fault the time delay was? That does not seem like a big deal. Maybe you should question how good of a friend this guy is (if he is one), but I do not see how it would be immoral for you to continue to work with him. You didn't mention if you confronted him about this.

Edited by OCSL
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So you are saying he lied to the client about whose fault the time delay was? That does not seem like a big deal. Maybe you should question how good of a friend this guy is (if he is one), but I do not see how it would be immoral for you to continue to work with him. You didn't mention if you confronted him about this.

I do not consider my innocence in this matter debatable. Nor do I need his sanction of my innocence, Therefore I see no reason to confront him about this. He himself knows and remembers what he has done.

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So he accused you but he will do business if you admit guilt.

He should not want to do business with you if he believes that.

That suggests to me that he needs you, can't say that, and wants you to need him.

To such a person, I would say that you cannot accept guilt for his error and will do business if he can simply accept the truth. If he does not agree, then he does not need you badly enough and you would likely run into further problems with him if you sacrificed your prinicple and did it his way.

If you need his business so badly that you are willing to concede, then doing the latter could be considered an act of self-defense; you would be insincere of course and would have to accept that.

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So he accused you but he will do business if you admit guilt.

He should not want to do business with you if he believes that.

That suggests to me that he needs you, can't say that, and wants you to need him.

To such a person, I would say that you cannot accept guilt for his error and will do business if he can simply accept the truth. If he does not agree, then he does not need you badly enough and you would likely run into further problems with him if you sacrificed your prinicple and did it his way.

If you need his business so badly that you are willing to concede, then doing the latter could be considered an act of self-defense; you would be insincere of course and would have to accept that.

Thanks. I do not need his business badly because I already have a contract with a huge hedge fund in HK to develop what they need. So I think, I shouldn't sacrifice my priciples like you say. Thanks for helping me think through this. Wish I could pay people in here LOL!

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If I pretend to do so I get to engage in another mutually beneficial relationship.
Was that last deal beneficial to you, or did he also do you out of some money? For instance, did he pay you less than previously agreed because he created this delay and blamed it on you? If he created a problem (a delay) primarily to blame you, presumably he had some motivation.

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Wish I could pay people in here LOL!

I'm sure that any payments you'd send would be received with gratitude.

In what sense does this person expect you to accept guilt? Does he want you to admit to him (or to the client) that you were the cause of the delay, or does he simply blame you for the delay and doesn't want anything from you with regard to that blame? If the latter, I don't see him as a good business partner. If the latter, you could tell him that the two of you disagree about the cause of the delay and leave it at that (but if he's not willing to agree to disagree then you're back in the latter situation).

I see nothing immoral with associating with the person you describe, but it sounds like he has some problems accepting responsibility for his actions, including his mistakes. I don't like doing business with someone like that, but we all have our problems and what matters is whether you see the business relationship as profitable to you.

John Link

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Was that last deal beneficial to you, or did he also do you out of some money? For instance, did he pay you less than previously agreed because he created this delay and blamed it on you? If he created a problem (a delay) primarily to blame you, presumably he had some motivation.

He paid less than the contractually agreed amount the last time.

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He paid less than the contractually agreed amount the last time.

If you would have said that in the first post I would have answered differently. Ditch him (especially considering you are employed elsewhere). As for the original question, however, I still do not think it would be immoral to continue doing business with him (it is only my opinion that you shouldn't).

Edited by OCSL
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He paid less than the contractually agreed amount the last time.

That changes everything! I presume your fault for the delay is his justification for the short payment. Is that right?

Here's a possible strategy to get the money he owes you: Tell him you will go ahead with the new project but only after he pays you the money he owes you. (I predict that this strategy will lead to an end of the relationship.)

Here's another strategy: Tell him you will go ahead with the new project. Then, once he makes a commitment to the client, tell him you won't begin work until he he pays you the money he owes you. (This strategy is trickier, since you have to string him along and then stick it to him at just the right time.)

John Link

P.S. Do you really want to work with this guy? He sounds like trouble.

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Nor do I need his sanction of my innocence, Therefore I see no reason to confront him about this. He himself knows and remembers what he has done.
I would strongly suggest telling him, very politely, that you don't want to do this new assignment because you got paid less than you expected the last time.

You say that he himself knows what he has done, but I think you underestimate the way these types of guys operate. (I'm taking your description of events as accurate.) Guys like this think they can pull wool over other people's eyes. It is he, not you, who should be uncomfortable with the truth being stated. You don't have to argue about it; you can be very matter of fact. Still, it better to make him aware that he may have gotten away with paying you less, but that you have not forgotten.

If you think there is even a slight chance that you may do business with him some time in the future, it's best to at least make him aware and not assume that "he knows what he has done". Often, the deception of others is only possible with some degree of psychological evasion by the liar himself. So, stating your side clearly makes things clear where he might be obfuscating to himself.

You do not have to discuss this with him to any degree. If pressed, simply say "I do not want to discuss it". However, I recommend that you should not let it slide completely now that he wants something from you. Don't give him the message that you are someone he can fool with absolutely zero impact to himself. By stating that the last experience is the reason you are refusing this one, you will make clear that what he did has had at least this much impact to him: of not having you available for this project.

I think you will find that telling him will also help you fell more empowered. Try it.

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I do not consider my innocence in this matter debatable.

“Don’t burn your bridges” is one of those truisms freelance consultants always have to consider. Even with the details you’ve given, I don’t feel I can weigh your decision for you. I gather you weren't screwed out of enough money to sue over.

I’ve dealt with people who, in a sense, make their living from assigning blame. Most often they're deflecting blame. They’re not productive people, but they can sell, and particularly sell themselves. Cross them, and you’ll be bad-mouthed with vigor. I do try to avoid them, but I find that they’re ubiquitous. So document your communications, and CYA.

Hope this helps.

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