Do I have a Moral Obligation?


#1

Where do we draw the line of moral obligation and minding our own business? Here is my struggle.

Please know this is laying hard on my soul. At a far distance I know of someone who skirts around the law. They dont play by the rules and they have not paid a tax that other law abiding citizen in our area must. Who knows how many other persons avoid and manipulate their circumstance to cover up not paying it. My problem is I know someone who isnt.
I do not speak to this person because I will not subject myself to their wrath if I were to call them on what they are not doing.

Do I report what I know is true, or do I let it go? In reporting this I would strongly guess a huge can of worms would come to the surface and a laundry list of other fraud would surface. It is so difficult to sit back when I know that this is going on.

This is not just someone taking an apple from a grocery store and putting in their pocket because they are hungry.

What is my moral obligation and why am I having such a hard time with being silent? Maybe my answer lays within my last sentence. SNOWHITE you are having a hard time with this because you do have an moral obligation to report fraud of any kind if you strongly believe it is going on, no matter who it is.

Can someone offer help and maybe scripture reference on our duty as citizens? Or a Saint I can pray for guidence and support. If I do report this person will point the finger back and all *** will break loose.


#2

Can you anonymously report them to the authorities?

If you see a crime in progress, then I think we have an obligation to say something.

However, I can understand being afraid of the consequences if they find out it was you.

I've found that it's best to use my intuition in these situations. Usually, if something is on your heart, then you won't feel good until you follow through with what you need to do.

Good luck to you.


#3

I take the view that if I know something but do not have objective proof of it, there is no imperative for me to report it - i.e. hunches are not enough of a reason to intervene.

If, however, I know something to be true and provable, then I have to take the gravity of the matter into account as well as the quantity and quality of evidence.

If it were a serious criminal matter and I had enough proof at my hands to justify a supposition of guilt considering the evidence I had on the basis of "balance of probabilities" then that would be enough to make a report.

For trivial matters, I think it just comes down to one's own 'spiritual investment' in the issue at hand.

For example: I would probably not get involved if I suspected someone of avoiding a parking ticket, but I would probably make a report if I suspected someone, with good reason, of being in receipt of state benefits while, say, also working on the black market.

Go where your conscience tells you, but be safe in the knowledge that you are not the keeper of other people's souls, especially those not known intimately to you. Ultimately it is their sin to be judged and unless others are put directly at risk by their actions, it is up to you whether you feel it necessary to intervene.


#4

[quote="Snowwhite16, post:1, topic:315690"]
Where do we draw the line of moral obligation and minding our own business? Here is my struggle.

Please know this is laying hard on my soul. At a far distance I know of someone who skirts around the law. They dont play by the rules and they have not paid a tax that other law abiding citizen in our area must. Who knows how many other persons avoid and manipulate their circumstance to cover up not paying it. My problem is I know someone who isnt.
I do not speak to this person because I will not subject myself to their wrath if I were to call them on what they are not doing.

Do I report what I know is true, or do I let it go? In reporting this I would strongly guess a huge can of worms would come to the surface and a laundry list of other fraud would surface. It is so difficult to sit back when I know that this is going on.

This is not just someone taking an apple from a grocery store and putting in their pocket because they are hungry.

What is my moral obligation and why am I having such a hard time with being silent? Maybe my answer lays within my last sentence. SNOWHITE you are having a hard time with this because you do have an moral obligation to report fraud of any kind if you strongly believe it is going on, no matter who it is.

Can someone offer help and maybe scripture reference on our duty as citizens? Or a Saint I can pray for guidence and support. If I do report this person will point the finger back and all *** will break loose.

[/quote]

How do directly know they are breaking the law? Have they told you directly or is this a conclusion on your own?


#5

Previous poster, you aske how I knew.

Based on my on conclusion and based on what I see saw with my own two eyes at a distance but yes I saw it. And ample time has gone to by to correct it but they continue not to.


#6

[quote="Snowwhite16, post:1, topic:315690"]
Where do we draw the line of moral obligation and minding our own business? Here is my struggle.

Please know this is laying hard on my soul. At a far distance I know of someone who skirts around the law. They dont play by the rules and they have not paid a tax that other law abiding citizen in our area must. Who knows how many other persons avoid and manipulate their circumstance to cover up not paying it. My problem is I know someone who isnt.
I do not speak to this person because I will not subject myself to their wrath if I were to call them on what they are not doing.

Do I report what I know is true, or do I let it go? In reporting this I would strongly guess a huge can of worms would come to the surface and a laundry list of other fraud would surface. It is so difficult to sit back when I know that this is going on.

This is not just someone taking an apple from a grocery store and putting in their pocket because they are hungry.

What is my moral obligation and why am I having such a hard time with being silent? Maybe my answer lays within my last sentence. SNOWHITE you are having a hard time with this because you do have an moral obligation to report fraud of any kind if you strongly believe it is going on, no matter who it is.

Can someone offer help and maybe scripture reference on our duty as citizens? Or a Saint I can pray for guidence and support.** If I do report this person will point the finger back and all *** will break loose.**

[/quote]

Aside from the moral obligation question here, I wished to bring attention to this sentence. You say that all **** will break loose if you report this person, because they will point the finger back. Are you saying that you have broken laws or are hiding something that they know?

If this is so, if you report them, it will be, in a sense, hypocrisy. You will be pointing out the splinter in your eye while ignoring the plank in your own (figuratively).

On the other hand, the other way to interpret what you said is that this is a family member and it will cause a big family feud or something if you report them. Please just clarify which it is, as it will change the circumstances.


#7

We are supposed to talk with our brothers and sisters when they are going against the Church's teachings, in a kind and charitable way, telling them what is wrong and how to fix it. Not paying a tax is clearly stealing and needs to be corrected. If you are unable to speak to them then perhaps someone else could. A moral obligation exists but you have described circumstances where someone else may be better able to handle it. One time we received and anonymous letter at our house regarding how one of our children was driving. While I wish they had just called us the end result was the same, our child was placed on restrictions with the car and to this date never had an accident or ticket. The letter worked.


#8

[quote="Snowwhite16, post:5, topic:315690"]
Previous poster, you aske how I knew.

Based on my on conclusion and based on what I see saw with my own two eyes at a distance but yes I saw it. And ample time has gone to by to correct it but they continue not to.

[/quote]

I think you should get a good lawyer and speak to him about what you have seen and how you should proceed. I say this because if you witnessed a crime and did nothing yet someone else turns this person in, you could be implicated. If you have witnessed some kind of fraud or stealing which is what your post implies yet are worried about what kind of aftermath you may have if you do then you need a lawyer to protect yourself if you proceed to report a crime.


#9

I can tell you I do not break nor have I broken a law here. Nor is this person a part of my family.

My struggle was with my own moral obligation when I know something that continues to go on. Just for example of struggles other folks may have if they know of a person if manipulating numbers to collect goverment monies for food stamps, or housing vouchers.

When do we as members of society stop turning our blinds eyes to this? Or do we just continue to wake up and not say anything to the powers to be. So many poor families need govt help and yet just as many lie about it.

Thats all. What is our (MY) moral obligation. Some say "oh the truth will come out sooner or later"...

Is it sinful to say nothing at all?


#10

[quote="Snowwhite16, post:9, topic:315690"]
I can tell you I do not break nor have I broken a law here. Nor is this person a part of my family.

My struggle was with my own moral obligation when I know something that continues to go on. Just for example of struggles other folks may have if they know of a person if manipulating numbers to collect goverment monies for food stamps, or housing vouchers.

When do we as members of society stop turning our blinds eyes to this? Or do we just continue to wake up and not say anything to the powers to be. So many poor families need govt help and yet just as many lie about it.

Thats all. What is our (MY) moral obligation. Some say "oh the truth will come out sooner or later"...

Is it sinful to say nothing at all?

[/quote]

It may be sinful to say nothing at all. There are 9 ways to participate in another person's sin: by command, concealment, consent, counsel, defense, praise, provocation, showing, and taking part in the sin.

By remaining silent, you are helping to hide the sin of the other person. I don't see why you fear to reveal it, however. In what way could you be harmed?


#11

Thank you for the 9 examples and your caring answers.


#12

[quote="Snowwhite16, post:5, topic:315690"]
Previous poster, you aske how I knew.

Based on my on conclusion and based on what I see saw with my own two eyes at a distance but yes I saw it. And ample time has gone to by to correct it but they continue not to.

[/quote]

How did you see them "not pay a tax"?


#13

I do not wish to come across of not being specific but in this situation it is obvious by looking at X thing they are not paying a tax that most if not all residences must. It is defruding the town of their just due tax. Amongst other things they are doing which is questionable.

The persons I am talking about must change X thing in order to be taxed (like everyone else must) and they have clearly avoided doing so for a few years. It is unjust to everyone who has been responsible. The tax is something no one runs with great joy to pay but never the less we all must pay it.

I hope this helps. I do realize I have an obligation and by having full knowledge and not saying something is just as wrong.


#14

[quote="Snowwhite16, post:13, topic:315690"]
I do not wish to come across of not being specific but in this situation it is obvious by looking at X thing they are not paying a tax that most if not all residences must. It is defruding the town of their just due tax. Amongst other things they are doing which is questionable.

The persons I am talking about must change X thing in order to be taxed (like everyone else must) and they have clearly avoided doing so for a few years. It is unjust to everyone who has been responsible. The tax is something no one runs with great joy to pay but never the less we all must pay it.

I hope this helps. I do realize I have an obligation and by having full knowledge and not saying something is just as wrong.

[/quote]

If you have hard evidence that a crime has been committed it should be reported to the authorities.
However, from all the comments you have given I not not believe you do. It seems to be opinion and speculation from your side and I wonder if there is some personal problem between you and this other person.


#15

[quote="thistle, post:14, topic:315690"]
If you have hard evidence that a crime has been committed it should be reported to the authorities.
However, from all the comments you have given I not not believe you do. It seems to be opinion and speculation from your side and I wonder if there is some personal problem between you and this other person.

[/quote]

Thistle: I do appriciate your comments. I do have hard evidence and it becomes personal to me when it's paraded in front of me with great glee and it is expectd for me to sit back and do nothing on a notion of "how dare anyone report this".

I do not choose to know this person and it is most troubling to me to have this knowlege. This is the main reason I wrote on here because whether not I have an unmeaningful OR a meaningful relationship with John Doe really doesnt matter. What matters to me is what are my duties as a good Catholic or just a cititzen.

I am somewhat sorry I asked my question because it was pure.


#16

Just pray.

IMO, you’re not obligated to report a crime like this. Now, if it were a crime of violence or abuse or even theft of an ongoing nature, that would be different. But tax evasion is not such a crime.


#17

[quote="Boy_Wonder, post:16, topic:315690"]
Just pray.

IMO, you're not obligated to report a crime like this. Now, if it were a crime of violence or abuse or even theft of an ongoing nature, that would be different. But tax evasion is not such a crime.

[/quote]

Thank you.


#18

Thank you.
[/quote]

This poster may be wrong if you have hard evidence. There may be a moral obligation to rectify the situation by informing authorities.


#19

[quote="Boy_Wonder, post:16, topic:315690"]
Just pray.

IMO, you're not obligated to report a crime like this. Now, if it were a crime of violence or abuse or even theft of an ongoing nature, that would be different. But** tax evasion is not such a crime**.

[/quote]

Tax evasion IS a crime and anyone with hard evidence of any crime should report it to the authorities.


#20

[quote="thistle, post:19, topic:315690"]
Tax evasion IS a crime and anyone with hard evidence of any crime should report it to the authorities.

[/quote]

I know Thistle you are right it is a crime. And Thank you.


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