Are there situations when it's OK to break a promise?

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In this issue, we'll be writing the THINKING QUESTIONS from Session TWO as a post.

Are there situations when it's OK to break a promise?

Please share your answers in the comments section and reply to other BNC members here.

Remember to support your opinions with reasons, and be open-minded to viewpoints other than your own. Bring in the knowledge you've learnt from your Burnet News Club too!

Comments (72)

  • Weston-Favell-logo-250x250.jpg honorable_conclusion | Weston Favell Academy | United Kingdom
    10 Sep 2019

    A promise is either a written or vocal pact that you make to either do or not do something. Therefore, the person that you promise trusts you and puts faith in you to uphold your half of the deal so ,if you break it, you are abusing their trust. Also, the deal that you make can benefit other people. For example, the magna carta was signed ,in England, to say that everyone was subjected to the law ( including the king and his sheriffs) and put a limit on the king's power. It also gave rights to the citizens of the country. However, when King Charles i began his reign, he abused the power and did not adhere to the rules of the Great Charter. The result of this was the English Civil War. Therefore, you should try not to break a promise as it can lead to terrible consequences.
    However, there can be situations when you have to break a promise. As, if the other party that you made the promise with have failed to uphold the conditions of the deal, then there are certain times when it may be necessary to break the terms. For example, looking back to the Magna Carta, the round heads (the people opposing Charles i) had to break the deal that they would not up rise against the cavaliers as the King had created an army to fight them.
    In conclusion, I believe that most of the time you should always try to keep your promises. However, there are specific moments when you have to break conditions of pacts or deals.
    https://www.bl.uk/magna-carta/videos/what-is-magna-carta

  • Birchwood-logo-250x250.jpg entertaining_strawberry | Birchwood C of E Primary School | United Kingdom
    11 Sep 2019

    Realy, there is no right reason to break a promise, escpecilly if its between countries. But in school, it still wont turn out well either, they might fall out or call each other names, it wont end in a good way. The only good reason i can think of to break a promise is if its a birthday. If someone says, are you going to get me a present, what is it? Most of the time you say, nothing or, youll see. But those are tiny lies to keep a secret.

    Now that has made me think, is it good to lie to people just to keep a secret?

  • Portobello-logo-250x250.jpg passionate_dinosaur | Portobello High School
    13 Sep 2019

    No because if you promise something you shouldn’t break a promise because It is wrong and if you break it there is no point of keeping it.

      1. Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg adaptable_beetle | Boutcher C of E Primary School
        gregarious_moon's comment 05 Oct 2019

        what do you mean gregorgious moon why should it. advice: please back it up

  • Birchwood-logo-250x250.jpg fabulous_panda_bear | Birchwood C of E Primary School | United Kingdom
    13 Sep 2019

    I think that there is sometimes you should break a promise because you might say that you will not get involved with anything that it has nothing to do with you and it starts become something else you will get involved. Or if you say that you will play with someone at dinner and you promise and you might forget and play with someone else and then it will become and argument between you and who you promised to play with then who you where playing with will be alone if you play with them and just leave them. But then there should be no reason for people to break a promise.

    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      fabulous_panda_bear's comment 13 Sep 2019

      Thank you for this. I'm interested to know what kind of situation could 'become something else' and mean it's acceptable for you to break an earlier promise. Can you think of an example situation?

  • Ormiston-Bushfield-logo-250x250.jpg discreet_goat | Ormiston Bushfield Academy A | United Kingdom
    16 Sep 2019

    I think that in some situations its okay to break a promise because it could escalate into a bigger and more dangerous situation which could cause someone being harmed because they didn't know it was going to happen to them and got caught by surprise for example: One of your mates tells you that they are going to do something bad to one of your other mates because they had fallen out and tells you to keep it to yourself and not tell anyone but this could harm your mate so in this situation it would be okay to break a promise.So in conclusion there are situations where it is okay to break a promise.

  • Woodhill-logo-250x250.jpg vibrant_tiger | Woodhill Primary School
    16 Sep 2019

    A promise is a mutual agreement between to or more people. However if one person is acting unfair or against the promise I think it is then ok for the other person to break the promise as well. Both people need to work together. But when you make a promise you should always try to keep it because that is your morals and values. Sometimes it is hard to keep it when lots of people are involved, but you should use integrity to make the right choices. If people break it first there should be a consequence for breaking it, depending on how bad it is.

    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      vibrant_tiger's comment 16 Sep 2019

      Thanks, vibrant_tiger. Are there any situations where one person is acting unfair or against the promise but the other person should still keep their side?

  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg steady_fish | Michael Faraday Primary School | United Kingdom
    16 Sep 2019

    Sometimes it depends on what you are promising. But something as big as this you should not break the promise,I think this is wrong that China are saying that they will give people freedom but from the looks of it Hong Kong looks like the victim. We did used to rule Hong Kong so maybe we should help them out in this. But that could result in war or China not sending us the thing they have made so this is a bit of a dilemma.

    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      steady_fish's comment 16 Sep 2019

      Thanks steady_fish. You say Hong Kong looks like the victim and we maybe the UK should help them out. What do you think the UK could do?

  • St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg best_raspberry | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School B | United Kingdom
    18 Sep 2019

    Yes i think sometimes its OK to break promises because maybe you are being bullied and the bully tells you not to tell anybody but you have to do it to resolve the problem so it is OK to break promises sometimes even though that isnt really relevant!

  • St-Gregorys-logo-250x250.jpg energetic_cherry | St Gregory's Catholic Primary School B | United Kingdom
    18 Sep 2019

    I think we should never break a promise against countries because it might end up in a argument or an attack

  • Brompton Westbrook logo cheerful_deer | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
    18 Sep 2019

    no i hate when pipple do lat

    1. Brompton Westbrook logo tenacious_trombone | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
      cheerful_deer's comment 23 Sep 2019

      True (you apparently spelt some words wrong).

  • Brompton Westbrook logo ethical_lake | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
    18 Sep 2019

    I think that you can break a promise if you mum says you can have something and you are not good and you said you broke a promise.

  • Arnhem-Wharf-logo-250x250.jpg lively_thought | Arnhem Wharf Primary School
    19 Sep 2019

    I don't think it's ok to break a promise at all. When you are about to break a promise, you should think about the person that you made the promise with. Think about how they would feel. If they were your friend they might even stop being friends with you!

  • Arnhem-Wharf-logo-250x250.jpg persistent_effort | Arnhem Wharf Primary School
    19 Sep 2019

    I think sometimes because if someone has done something very bad then you make a promise you will not tell it’s fine too inform a adult in case they do something worse in the future.👋🏻

  • Portobello-logo-250x250.jpg talented_clementine | Portobello High School
    20 Sep 2019

    It think it’s never ok to break a promise unless u really really have to. Like if ur life depends on it or if someone else asked u to promise the opposite. They are the only situations when it is ok

  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg focused_hurricane | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    20 Sep 2019

    Probably because when you make a promise to a best friend i feel you keep that promise because i may hurt someone.

  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg mindblowing_clarinet | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    20 Sep 2019

    Sometimes you might need to break a promise to keep everybody safe

  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg strong_tomato | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    20 Sep 2019

    I think maybe it might be ok
    to break a promise depends if it's bad or even terrible

  • The Sherwood School lively_coconut | The Sherwood School | United Kingdom
    20 Sep 2019

    It is not nice to break a promise as somebody has trusted you and believed you. However,there are some terms and conditions for instance if somebody says " _____ I am getting bullied and they threatened me." This could be a serious matter and somebody could be in danger, so I think the person should break the promise because he could somebody's life.

    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      lively_coconut's comment 21 Sep 2019

      What promise would you be breaking by saying that?

  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg strong_tomato | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    21 Sep 2019

    I think maybe it might be ok
    to break a promise depends if it's bad or even terrible

  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg passionate_lime | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    21 Sep 2019

    If you make a promise you should keep it, if you can't keep it don't make it.

    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      passionate_lime's comment 21 Sep 2019

      Can you explain why you say this, passionate_lime?

  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg impartial_shark | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    21 Sep 2019

    Yes, but only when the another country has broken their promise to you as well because if they can't keep their promise, then why should you?

    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      impartial_shark's comment 21 Sep 2019

      Good question - why should you? Can anyone think of an answer to this?

  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg involved_watermelon | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    21 Sep 2019

    you should keep a promise but if that other country or person{ETC} cant keep a promise then you should have the right to break that promise and if that person or country comes over to you and says why did you not keep your promise you should say i did not keep my promise because you did not keep yours.That is just being hypocritical

  • Portobello-logo-250x250.jpg passionate_dinosaur | Portobello High School
    23 Sep 2019

    I agree you should keep a promise, but there might be some situation where you need to
    break a promise.

  • Brompton Westbrook logo tenacious_trombone | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
    23 Sep 2019

    Usually we have to keep promises,but sometimes have to break promises or it will lead to even bigger things than your broken promise.But sometimes they don't and it gets them or you into trouble and also, they may reveal it unnecessarily.

    1. Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg adaptable_beetle | Boutcher C of E Primary School
      tenacious_trombone's comment 24 Sep 2019

      honestly your answer was really good but I do not agree with you because it is never ok to break a promise because you should think before you talk don't make promises before you keep them

      1. Portobello-logo-250x250.jpg passionate_dinosaur | Portobello High School
        adaptable_beetle's comment 30 Sep 2019

        In situations were it is for the safety of the person would you still say it’s not ok to break a promise?

        1. Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg adaptable_beetle | Boutcher C of E Primary School
          passionate_dinosaur's comment 05 Oct 2019

          yes because if its to keep someone safe we have to think about that first rule1 for me think before you talk because the most pewful thing in your body is your mouth i should know because i have been in a situation were tis has happened and i learnt from that day after day

  • Brompton Westbrook logo warmhearted_dog | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
    23 Sep 2019

    To answer this question there is many types of promises that you can break and make! For example someone asked you to keep a secret that they were doing something terrible would you break thier promise or keep it for the promise they asked you to keep?

  • Brompton Westbrook logo lovely_hippopotamus | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
    24 Sep 2019

    Well at first I thought of course not . But then after thinking about it I have mixed feelings. NO you should never break a promise . When you make a promise you should stick and keep I it no matter what . However , then I realized that actually if somebody is putting themselves in danger and you promised not to tell anyone than you need to tell an adult about it.

    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ Topical Talk
      lovely_hippopotamus's comment 24 Sep 2019

      This is an interesting comment. Are you able to give an example to support your point of view?

      1. Brompton Westbrook logo lovely_hippopotamus | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
        Olivia @ Topical Talk's comment 24 Sep 2019

        Well once I was watching a movie about danceing and this girl injured her leg and she pretend that nothing was wrong but she actually injured it very badly . She told her friend and then her friend did the right thing and told an adult . Sometimes are friends can be in danger so as their friend the right thing to do is tell an adult for their safety.

        1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
          lovely_hippopotamus's comment 25 Sep 2019

          A very good piece of evidence to support your point, lovely_hippopotamus!

          1. Brompton Westbrook logo lovely_hippopotamus | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
            Tom @ Topical Talk's comment 25 Sep 2019

            Thank you, I really appreciate it .

        2. Brompton Westbrook logo tidy_world | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
          lovely_hippopotamus's comment 04 Oct 2019

          Because what if someone say's that you're going to be fine when your not but you don't want to make them sad in the process

        3. Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg adaptable_beetle | Boutcher C of E Primary School
          lovely_hippopotamus's comment 05 Oct 2019

          I've watched that. That's the right thing to not a bad thing you put someone before yourself even though they wont be your friend sometimes you just have to sacrifice

  • Lyons Hall Primary School effervescent_otter | Lyons Hall Primary School C
    24 Sep 2019

    I personally would say that most promises shouldn't be broken but on the other hand some promises can be broken for the persons own good if the promise is that serious.

  • Brompton Westbrook logo eager_tiger | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
    24 Sep 2019

    I think it depends on what kind of promise you break. If your best friend told you that they have a crush and they don't want you to tell anyone then you promise them, you can't.If your friend broke school things and you promise you won't tell , it'll be better if you tell an adult instead or you might get in trouble also for knowing.

    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      eager_tiger's comment 25 Sep 2019

      A very open-minded approach, eager_tiger, well done!

    2. Brompton Westbrook logo assertive_keyboard | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
      eager_tiger's comment 25 Sep 2019

      I agree if my friend told me that he's moving and doesn't want me to tell enyone because they'll be sad and I told everyone my friend will be mad and might not be my friend

    3. Brompton Westbrook logo assertive_keyboard | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
      eager_tiger's comment 25 Sep 2019

      By the way well done for the star!

  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg passionate_lime | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    25 Sep 2019

    sometimes you can=
    China broke their promise so why can't Hong Kong break their promise to?
    It's unfair for Hong Kong

    1. Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg sceptical_orca | Boutcher C of E Primary School
      passionate_lime's comment 26 Sep 2019

      well said passionate_lime you took the words right out of my mouth

  • Beverley-St-Nicholas-logo-250x250.jpg extraordinary_message | Beverley St Nicholas Primary School A | United Kingdom
    26 Sep 2019

    It is ok to break a promise as long as what the results of breaking the promise leads to nothing that will have a bad impacts or bad results of the promise

  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg fearless_crab | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    26 Sep 2019

    It depends on the situation.

  • Hammond School logo happy_politics | Hammond Junior School A
    28 Sep 2019

    It is not ok to break a promise. A promise is like a vow, you have told them that you will always keep that a secret, or you will never do a certain thing, etc. They have then put their trust into you. If you break that promise, it could create various consequences. (Honourable conclusion has the example I would use)

    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      happy_politics's comment 29 Sep 2019

      Well done for linking your point to someone else's, happy_politics. You also show good reasoning by defining what a promise is to help you explain why it should not be broken.

  • The Sherwood School intrepid_coconut | The Sherwood School | United Kingdom
    30 Sep 2019

    No because if you weren't sure you could keep the promise then you shouldn't have done it. You now have a deal with that country/person so if you break it, it won't be fair for the other person or country.

  • Birchwood-logo-250x250.jpg focused_maths | Birchwood C of E Primary School | United Kingdom
    01 Oct 2019

    I think its not okay to break a promise because if I went up to one of my friends and told them who I had a crush on and they went and told that person a that I had a crush o them it could lead to tears.

    1. Brompton Westbrook logo serious_signature | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
      focused_maths's comment 02 Oct 2019

      My opinion is that you should never brake a promise,for example the Hong Kong crisis China keep on braking there promise to make Hong Kong a better place

  • Brompton Westbrook logo loyal_shark | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
    02 Oct 2019

    Well, technically, never. There is only 1 situation when it is OK, and that is when the person who has made you make the promise says it is definitely OK

  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg honorable_meerkat | Michael Faraday Primary School | United Kingdom
    02 Oct 2019

    I think it is not OK. Only if something gets really serious. Like what currently is happening in Hong Kong. Or if the person says it's alright because they need you to do it.But in any other situations you can't break them unless these to examples are done.

  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg adaptable_beetle | Boutcher C of E Primary School
    04 Oct 2019

    if you want to break a promise you have the excuse to keep people safe but if you want to break a promise because you've change your decision you can never do that think about the other people first because you do not know what to expect because lets just say you are keeping a promise to your friend that you are never going to tell them off but then you think back yourself that's not right they need to learn from their mistake just like everyone else you tell off that's the right thing to do :)
    but if you made a promise that you are going to give someone an iPhone 11 because their your friend and then suddenly you have fallen out and you are not going to give it to them again that is just silly :(

  • Brompton Westbrook logo tidy_world | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
    04 Oct 2019

    Well, it depends for example if you say your going out but it rains you need to go inside because at that time you can keep people safe from hurting themselves even more if it's rain.
    So sometimes you have to break your promise

  • Braiswick Primary School spirited_insect | Braiswick Primary School
    06 Oct 2019

    It depends how or what it affects, for example, (this didn't actually happen) but what if England made a promise with the US that they would make both army's become one giant one, that would be good because they would be able to help each other with their differences. But, if Brazil promised that they would start war with Britain, that is a threat instead and would affect the physical and man-made geography and hurt both citizens.
    So promises are a powerful tool. The definition of a promise is a declaration or assurance that one will do something or that a particular thing will happen or assure someone that one will definitely do something or that something will happen. And as lots of people say, a promise can never be broken. If you break a promise for a GOOD reason that is always sensible, but in this case, China has deliberately chosen to ignore the 'one country, two systems' joint declaration from both the Sino (Chinese) and the British.

    Thank you for reading.

    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      spirited_insect's comment 07 Oct 2019

      Good use of examples to back up your opinion!

  • Lyons Hall Primary School comfortable_flute | Lyons Hall Primary School D
    08 Oct 2019

    It depends on weather it's a good promise that you agree with if it's not a good promise then it's your decision if you want to break it or not !

  • Phoenix-logo-250x250.jpg admirable_signature | Phoenix Primary School
    08 Oct 2019

    I believe personally there could be a time you could break a promise or there is a time there is no necessary point to break a promise Unless there is an emergency which is more important than your promise whereas a promise could mean alot to someone like during a Wedding You make pledges and promise to cherish those pledges and not to break them this could be an example of a Promise At a wedding Its an important part of someones life and breaking that promise it could lead to concomitant and their trust in you could break.If Britain made a promise to Hong Kong to help them Britain could also need to solve their own problems like brexit then meaning that they have the option to themself to break the promise or fulfill the promise,Breaking the promise could lead to war with Hong kong which is what people think could be World war 3,Therefore Only break a promise if necessary.

  • Braiswick Primary School succinct_leaves | Braiswick Primary School
    08 Oct 2019

    I think it depends on the situation. If someone promised you that they would keep a secret surprise for somebody else, then it isn't okay for you to break that that promise because that means youwill be annoyed and maybe angry with the person who broke the promise because it ruined the surprise for someone else and the person whose surprise it was will have the same emotions for them because they didn't get their surprise. If it's anything like that then it isn't okay to break a promise.

    If you promised someone that you wouldn't tell a teacher, like in lovely_hippopotamus' example, if someone was hurt then it is okay to break a promise as it could get worse. Also, if you promised someone that was asking you to do something that could get you into trouble or get you hurt then it is okay to break it because that is unkind since they are setting you up to be hurt.

  • Hammond School logo adventurous_tennis | Hammond Junior School B
    21 Nov 2019

    Otis not ok to break a promise. A promice is like a vow , you have told theme hat you will always keep that secret ,or that you will never do a certain thing ,etc . They have then put their trust in you. If you break that promise, it could create a verity of consequences . (Honourable_conclusion has the same example I would use.)

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