On Lying

 
Peter Sills
 
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Peter Sills
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22 April 2013 14:53
 

I really enjoyed this book, I wish there was more of it.  He’s preaching to the choir with me on atheism.  I wish there was more here said about being the kind of person who no one needs to lie too.  I’m sure some of you get the idea of who I am talking about. The world is full of individuals who are so neurotic that maintaining a truthful relationship with them is a day to day challenge.  Leaving aside brutal dictators or cult leaders, how about being a neurotic parent who ends up encouraging a child’s dishonesty because they cannot manage their anger when the child maintains the truth.  It seems to be of equal importance, especially to a parent.

 
Hypersoup
 
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Hypersoup
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13 May 2013 05:21
 

Not read “lying” but he did mention in the moral landscape sometimes no one benefits from the truth being told. In her boodk “braintrust” Patricia Churchland has a go at Kantianinsm and its dogmatic so called “respect for rationality” IIRC.

[ Edited: 13 May 2013 05:38 by Hypersoup]
 
 
boagie
 
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boagie
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13 May 2013 12:04
 

I too have not read the said essay, and perhaps that is best. Just common sense tells me, in order to adapt to reality we need to be aware of it, pleasing or no. It seems to me lying is necessarily the placing of barriers and the giving of false direction to the individuals power of reason, and therefore a disservice. It is paving the road the hell if you like, the degree to which this is done might be a measure of the character of the individual doing lying—just a thought, by no means a new one.


HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS!!!——-lol!!

[ Edited: 13 May 2013 12:36 by boagie]
 
 
Hypersoup
 
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Hypersoup
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14 May 2013 03:40
 

But if the individual has an evil charachter and an evil plan, then ones own ends probably are more worrthy of service. Which plant would you water, the tomato or the poison ivy? If lying is more fruitful, it is actually the wiser option.

[ Edited: 14 May 2013 03:50 by Hypersoup]
 
 
boagie
 
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boagie
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14 May 2013 05:19
 
Hypersoup - 14 May 2013 03:40 AM

But if the individual has an evil charachter and an evil plan, then ones own ends probably are more worrthy of service. Which plant would you water, the tomato or the poison ivy? If lying is more fruitful, it is actually the wiser option.

Hi Hypersoup,

Self interest is at the root of lying but in most instances being a member of a social group means you have an obligation, a social contract that says in order for me to reap the benefits of this society I must keep its standards of behaviour, its standards of morality. For most people keeping this contract is in their long-term self-interest even where they do not think so, people who greatly violate this principle go to jail or become CEO’ s of large corporations—not really a joke. We are social creatures so where you might believe you can take advantage of society by belonging to a sub-group society and violating your larger social contract, it often proves NOT to have been in your own self-interest after all. Here individual judgement it seems to me to be critical, and if your judgment is incorrect in the short term or the long-term regarding your self-interest, the lye’s you told to steer you course will bite you.

 

It is the talking snakes fault———-lol!!


 

Mark Twain on the Art of Lying
http://www.online-literature.com/twain/1320/

 

[ Edited: 19 May 2013 10:15 by boagie]
 
 
josephbenny550
 
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josephbenny550
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17 May 2017 22:27
 

Listen to Positive Affirmation and Affirmation Audio for a Better Living and Life

 

[ Edited: 12 February 2018 20:15 by josephbenny550]
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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18 May 2017 06:45
 
boagie - 14 May 2013 05:19 AM

Mark Twain on the Art of Lying
http://www.online-literature.com/twain/1320/

Thanks for posting this link.
Not many today can improve on Mark Twain’s writings, and would agree with him that “An injurious lie is an uncommendable thing; and so, also, and in the same degree, is an injurious truth.

 
 
lukefrmal
 
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lukefrmal
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21 August 2017 15:25
 

I think it’s wrong to say that there are instances where the truth is bad; it all depends. It could be the case at one moment for the exact same fact to one person, and not the case for another person (or even the same person who has a perspective change). Imagine you have a terminal illness and have 1 week to live, but you don’t know it yet. I somehow know it about you; should I tell you or should I not? Which would cause more suffering? On one hand, if you have a negative perspective, telling you might cause you suffering in your final week. If you have a positive perspective, it might make you savor and appreciate life over the next week more than you have your entire life, ultimately adding to your happiness before you die out of the blue in some confused state not knowing why.

So, it all depends on how we interpret new information; I argue that the more truthful information you have, the more likely it is that the next truthful information to come along will not harm you. A little bit of truth is dangerous because you might have a whole lot of nonsense to interpret it with. If you have a very factual-based understanding of the universe, new truthful ideas that seem harsh to others are less likely to ‘disjoint’ or ‘disrupt’ your well-being.

 
Warthawk
 
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Warthawk
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14 September 2017 22:36
 

there are two ways of lying, Lying to keep things under control and needs time to reveal. And a criminal lies just to protect yourself from the sin you have done.

 
unRheal
 
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unRheal
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12 January 2021 07:08
 
lukefrmal - 21 August 2017 03:25 PM

I think it’s wrong to say that there are instances where the truth is bad; it all depends.

(too bad so many of these posts are so old.. will any of the original authors ever see new replies..  Sam lies, and you can prove it to yourself, unless he’s changed, or changes - the way that demonstrates it after seeing this post.. but having tried to contact him a couple dozen times in almost all the ways I can think of over the last few years - seems unlikely he’ll see this.)  wink

You are of course correct on “it all depends.” - because it always depends on the circumstances.

Claiming that it’s wrong to say that there are instances where the truth is bad is saying that there’s literally not a single imaginable (though of course plausible) situation in which telling the truth is bad.

It’s trivial to come up with more or less infinite possible situations where either telling the truth is bad, unless is it good for the single reason that you believe the truth is *so* morally good that the results are irrelevant.

Like others have used the example of the Nazi’s at the door and 100 Jewish in the cellar. You’re saying telling the truth - “yes sir, there are 100 Jewish in the basement.” Knowing full well that they’ll either be shot, tortured, or sent to the concentration camps, which is more or less the same result - torture and/or death - the truth is still good?

You seriously think that way? Even then, telling the truth is good - to *you* and bad to most of the rest of the population on the planet who are not inhumane sadistic monsters as you would need to be to believe truth is always good, even if it causes billions of people to be tortured relentlessly until they die.

As far as your (to me) highly ambiguous and even apparently self changing example (changing the truth to good, depending on the very fact of telling the truth being bad).

My example taken from numerous other people using similar examples.. is one that could, and may well have actually happened many many times with varying details. So… giving up the Jewish people to an almost certain lengthy torture, starvation, and abuse - if not actual death… a situation that could save them from that by lying, and the truth would likely lead to horrors to these people. The truth is still good?

If you’re literally a clinically sadistic (and I guess also have to be masochistic), psychotic/sociopathic monster, then there could certainly be, in your mind, the idea that truth is inherently good and literally no imaginable situation where the truth would be bad. But If you are such a person (since you claim to believe there are no circumstances where the truth is bad) - I doubt you’ll find many in the ~7 Billion that would agree, as they’d have to be more or less the same type of inhumane monster you would have to be. (well, I imagine there’s nobody defined as a monster in the DSM, technically, but hopefully you at least get the point anyway.)

I could go on and on, but I think I probably already did. You’re really just saying there are no situations where the truth is bad, and go on by saying you can only use examples where the truth is either highly ambiguous or obviously good, (unless the truth is bad, then you have to cange your mind, along with everybody else, to suddenly the truth is actually good, again regardless of the results.

Well.. if you ever see this.. maybe you can clarify to me what you meant..?

Cheers