Prompt: Many people believe that loyalty–whether to an individual, an organization, or a nation–means unconditional and unquestioning support no matter what. To these people, the withdrawal of support is by definition a betrayal of loyalty. But doesn’t true loyalty sometimes require us to be critical of those we are loyal to? If we see that they are doing something that we believe is wrong, doesn’t true loyalty require us to speak up, even if we must be critical?
Topic: Does true loyalty require unconditional support?
Well, I don’t believe that true loyalty is unconditional and unquestioning support. That’s just blind, uneducated faith, in my opinion, and it’s likely to end in catastrophe.
Perhaps the problem doesn’t lie in the loyalty itself, but in one’s ability to judge another’s character. As I’ve said before, someone can really only know what you show them, and even then how you present yourself can be false/misinterpreted/exaggerated/etc. So, someone may never know who you truly and actually are; they can only like/dislike the parts of you that you’re willing to show/present on accident.
Unconditional loyalty, in these circumstances, can be extremely emotionally dangerous. Without complete understanding of a person, how do you know who you’re actually pledging loyalty to? Maybe the risk is worth it for some, but not for me, and I’m sure not for some others.
But, perhaps true loyalty isn’t blindly and unquestioningly supporting another, but consistently and constantly wanting the best for another. If you’re allowing someone else to do something that will hurt others and themself, how can you really say you’re loyal to that person? You’d be allowing them to do something that will undoubtedly end in horrible consequences. Wouldn’t it be your job as a friend/partner to stop them, for their own sake?
In conclusion, the moral answer to this question lies in your own self-definition of loyalty and unconditional loyalty. I don’t think many people understand that it’s okay to question your friends/family/loved ones, if you just want the best for them. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean they’re suddenly incapable of unrighteous acts.