Ok, I need some help here. These questions are purely hypothetical.

Suppose Boy A and Boy B are friends, and both like Girl A. Girl A likes Boy A, but doesn't like Boy B. Boy A wants to go out with Girl A.

1. Does Boy A need Boy B's permission to go out with Girl A? Do the facts that Boys A and B are friends, and that Boy B likes Girl A imply that if Boy A is a "real friend" he won't go out with Girl A without first asking Boy B?

2. Suppose Boy A does ask for Boy B's permission, but Boy B refuses. Can Boy A then go out with Girl A, or would doing so prove that he isn't a "real friend" to Boy B?

My own position is that if Girl A likes Boy A rather than Boy B, then Boy B will just have to deal with it. His feelings may be hurt, but if he were to interfere in Boy A's relationship with Girl A, then Boy B would be the one who wasn't being a "real friend".

Furthermore, if Boy A is required to ask Boy B for permission to go out with Girl A, I think that shows a profound lack of respect for Girl A, on both the boys' parts. Girl A has made her decision, and she likes Boy A. For the boys to have some sort of external negotiations over her based on their own relationship reduces Girl A to a commodity, a mere object.

I can understand that Boy A would be concerned for his friend's feelings, but Boy B has no claim on Girl A. If Boy A restricts his involvement with Girl A based on the desires of Boy B, doesn't that dehumanize Girl A?

R. Alex responds. He thinks it's all dependent on "emotions" or something (whatever those are). If so-and-so feels such-and-such with a certain magnitude, then everything changes. That's fine, and it's probably the right answer. But I'd feel more satisfied if we could draw a bright line and really quantify everything.



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