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Dormin111
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Is it moral to violate a voluntarily signed contract if the individual immidiately submits himself to the punishment layed out in the contract for not following through on the obligations? Is it moral for an individual to violate a contract he voluntarily signed if he believes part of the contract is immoral?

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Is it moral to violate a voluntarily signed contract if the individual immidiately submits himself to the punishment layed out in the contract for not following through on the obligations? Is it moral for an individual to violate a contract he voluntarily signed if he believes part of the contract is immoral?

The answer to the latter is probably yes, though a concrete example would be nice. The former question is basically unanswerable until you provide context. Remember that morality is not concerned with hypotheticals occurring in a vacuum; morality is about what actions you choose to take in your life and for what reasons you take them. It doesn't make sense to sign a contract and then immediately violate it afterward for no reason; something would presumably inspire someone to take such a course of action.

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The answer to the latter is probably yes, though a concrete example would be nice. The former question is basically unanswerable until you provide context. Remember that morality is not concerned with hypotheticals occurring in a vacuum; morality is about what actions you choose to take in your life and for what reasons you take them. It doesn't make sense to sign a contract and then immediately violate it afterward for no reason; something would presumably inspire someone to take such a course of action.

Part 1 (the former): John signs a contract with Dave saying that John will mow Dave's law. It also says in the contract that if John fails to mow Dave's lawn, then John must pay Dave 1,000 dollars. Is it moral for John to sign the contract and then purposefully not mow Dave's lawn. Bonus question: would it be moral for John to sign the contract and then purposefully not mow Dave's lawn if the contract did not stipulate a penalty?

Part 2: (Directly from a friend) John buys a video game from EA Sports. EA Sports specifically prohibits digital replication and distribution of its video games. John disregaurds this stipulation because he doesn't believe in restrictions on his property, thus violating the contract signed with EA Sports upon the purchase of the game.

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It depends on the contract and the nature of the punishment. For example homeowners who were underwater and walked away from mortgages did receive consequences, poor credit score and/or bankruptcy resulting in difficulty getting future loans. In terms of this example, the contract states that ones credit score will be impacted, but that in no way compensates the bank for its losses. This example would be immoral, it is an exploitation. On the other hand, if someone were to break an employment contract that stipulates that the employee is liable for cost of replacing and and hiring a new person to the position, this could be arguably acceptable. In this case, the employer is presumably adequately compensated for the hardship. This is a rough generalization though and it does not factor in the cost of training a new employee and other job related factors. A concrete situation would be needed for a true assessment.

In short, if the contract is written in a fashion that the violater must fully compensate the other party for the hardships endured, it would seem ethical. In this case, I would conclude that this is not a consequence, all though termed so, but rather an agreement to provide reasonable compensation in return for the choice to void the contract. Therefore, if it is an agreement on conditions to nullify the contract, the violater, in accepting his responsibility, is in fact fulfilling the contract and in not acting in an immoral manner.

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Is it moral to violate a voluntarily signed contract if the individual immidiately submits himself to the punishment layed out in the contract for not following through on the obligations? Is it moral for an individual to violate a contract he voluntarily signed if he believes part of the contract is immoral?

I think it depends on the reason for the violation. When one enters into a contract there is a presumption of good faith, i.e. that both parties will make an honest effort to carry through on their obligations. Entering a contract where one has no such intention strikes me as dishonest. If John enters into a contract with Mary to mow her lawn, with a $25 penalty for non-performance, Mary's reason for signing the contract is to get her lawn mowed, not to get $25. If John never intended to mow the lawn, he has deliberately wasted Mary's time if nothing else. If Mary had been fully appraised of John's intentions she would never have entered the contract with him.

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