Telling Lies.
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15-12-2013, 03:27 PM
Telling Lies.
Honesty is a valued trait, but is it really over rated.
One of the ten commandments teaches us not to lie, and Kant was very heavy into absolute truths as important social criteria.

Let us consider some instances of perhaps carrying honesty too far.


Do I tell my Hell fearing friend who is dying that he only has days to live, rather than the months that he actually, and wrongly, believes.

(2) I am hiding Jews from Nazi torturers. In keeping with the law, should I honestly divulge their whereabouts (for a higher cause)

(3)Do I tell the dying young person, who begs to hear my opinion, that I see extinction as far more probable than Heaven. Or should I lie?

(4) More stupidly should I convey to those dressing, looking, or acting really stupidly, what I really think, and invite offending them?

There are endless examples of how we lie to appease others, save our skins, and prevent causing emotional hurt, that seem to defy some honest dealings.
In some ways this is part of moral relativism, a system of ethics.
Of course situation ethics can be taken to ridiculous extremes too, so where does that leave us? Who becomes morals arbiter extrordinaire?

Any considerations?
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15-12-2013, 03:39 PM
RE: Telling Lies.
Its probably the biggest hypocrisy in the bible, for the believers.

Only 10 "major (displayed/known) commandments" and there is probably not a single Christian who has not broken this one.
How can we take their argument seriously when they ignore the commandments when it suits them, as if they know when god is giving out hall passes.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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15-12-2013, 03:40 PM
RE: Telling Lies.
context is everything in any ethical problem. It's like the train dilemma, if you go one way you kill 5 people if you decide to go the other way you kill 1, the problem is designed to lack relevant information and thus it leaves us in doubt.
The same applies to almost every problem (and I say almost just to be cautious), context is the ultimate moral arbiter extraordinaire

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15-12-2013, 04:17 PM
RE: Telling Lies.
(15-12-2013 03:27 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Honesty is a valued trait, but is it really over rated.
...
There are endless examples of how we lie to appease others, save our skins, and prevent causing emotional hurt, that seem to defy some honest dealings.
In some ways this is part of moral relativism, a system of ethics.
Of course situation ethics can be taken to ridiculous extremes too, so where does that leave us? Who becomes morals arbiter extrordinaire?

Any considerations?
I really don't like the concept of morality, it leads to black and white thinking through extremely blurred and murky waters.

When I look to make decisions, a phrase I think about often is "Know your outcome".
I don't consider there to be anything inherently right or wrong with lying.
So if I'm gonna lie it comes down to two things.
1. What is the outcome if I lie?
2. What is the outcome if I don't lie?
Then I choose the option with presumably the best outcome for me.

Telling lies has the consequence of others losing trust in you. This may cause issues down the line when you desire them to trust you later, or if you expect them to be truthful to you. If you lie to people, sometimes they recipricate the favour to you.

So, I'd say lying is to be used with caution.
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15-12-2013, 04:48 PM (This post was last modified: 15-12-2013 06:12 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Telling Lies.
(15-12-2013 03:27 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Honesty is a valued trait, but is it really over rated.
One of the ten commandments teaches us not to lie, and Kant was very heavy into absolute truths as important social criteria.

Let us consider some instances of perhaps carrying honesty too far.


Do I tell my Hell fearing friend who is dying that he only has days to live, rather than the months that he actually, and wrongly, believes.

(2) I am hiding Jews from Nazi torturers. In keeping with the law, should I honestly divulge their whereabouts (for a higher cause)

(3)Do I tell the dying young person, who begs to hear my opinion, that I see extinction as far more probable than Heaven. Or should I lie?

(4) More stupidly should I convey to those dressing, looking, or acting really stupidly, what I really think, and invite offending them?

There are endless examples of how we lie to appease others, save our skins, and prevent causing emotional hurt, that seem to defy some honest dealings.
In some ways this is part of moral relativism, a system of ethics.
Of course situation ethics can be taken to ridiculous extremes too, so where does that leave us? Who becomes morals arbiter extrordinaire?

Any considerations?

Mr. Wool-uff
The 10 Commandments say nothing about lying.
Bearing false witness against yer neighbor is all that's forbidden.
I figger if ya don't live in my block, yer not my neighbor.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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15-12-2013, 05:10 PM
RE: Telling Lies.
(15-12-2013 03:27 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Honesty is a valued trait, but is it really over rated.
One of the ten commandments teaches us not to lie, and Kant was very heavy into absolute truths as important social criteria.

Let us consider some instances of perhaps carrying honesty too far.


Do I tell my Hell fearing friend who is dying that he only has days to live, rather than the months that he actually, and wrongly, believes.

(2) I am hiding Jews from Nazi torturers. In keeping with the law, should I honestly divulge their whereabouts (for a higher cause)

(3)Do I tell the dying young person, who begs to hear my opinion, that I see extinction as far more probable than Heaven. Or should I lie?

(4) More stupidly should I convey to those dressing, looking, or acting really stupidly, what I really think, and invite offending them?

There are endless examples of how we lie to appease others, save our skins, and prevent causing emotional hurt, that seem to defy some honest dealings.
In some ways this is part of moral relativism, a system of ethics.
Of course situation ethics can be taken to ridiculous extremes too, so where does that leave us? Who becomes morals arbiter extrordinaire?

Any considerations?

(1) I think you should tell him that he has only 1 day to live, so that he
can be prepared: bring together his family, and perhaps even get the
last sacrament.

(2) Of course you should lie.

(3) You can tell your honest opinion while not being blunt about it.
You can say that you personally do not believe in heaven, but
that a lot of other people do, and that you could be wrong.

(4) The answer to the question "does this make my butt look fat?"
is always "no". Just trust me on this one.
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15-12-2013, 09:32 PM
RE: Telling Lies.
(15-12-2013 04:48 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(15-12-2013 03:27 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Honesty is a valued trait, but is it really over rated.
One of the ten commandments teaches us not to lie, and Kant was very heavy into absolute truths as important social criteria.

Let us consider some instances of perhaps carrying honesty too far.


Do I tell my Hell fearing friend who is dying that he only has days to live, rather than the months that he actually, and wrongly, believes.

(2) I am hiding Jews from Nazi torturers. In keeping with the law, should I honestly divulge their whereabouts (for a higher cause)

(3)Do I tell the dying young person, who begs to hear my opinion, that I see extinction as far more probable than Heaven. Or should I lie?

(4) More stupidly should I convey to those dressing, looking, or acting really stupidly, what I really think, and invite offending them?

There are endless examples of how we lie to appease others, save our skins, and prevent causing emotional hurt, that seem to defy some honest dealings.
In some ways this is part of moral relativism, a system of ethics.
Of course situation ethics can be taken to ridiculous extremes too, so where does that leave us? Who becomes morals arbiter extrordinaire?

Any considerations?

Mr. Wool-uff
The 10 Commandments say nothing about lying.
Bearing false witness against yer neighbor is all that's forbidden.
I figger if ya don't live in my block, yer not my neighbor.

You are quite right ! The ambiguity of the written word can create both planned and unplanned confusion, along with mis spellings and other devious ploys.
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15-12-2013, 09:48 PM
RE: Telling Lies.
I like to think of lying with a practical purpose as being tactful. There is nothing wrong with choosing your words carefully in favor of the most positive outcome for the most amount of people.
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17-12-2013, 04:07 PM
RE: Telling Lies.
(15-12-2013 09:48 PM)TheKetola Wrote:  I like to think of lying with a practical purpose as being tactful. There is nothing wrong with choosing your words carefully in favor of the most positive outcome for the most amount of people.

Life is far too complex to negotiate all of our problems via hard line absolutes, as is often the case in fascism and hard line intolerant religions....
All of the ten commandments become meaningless relevant to specific circumstances.
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22-12-2013, 08:25 PM
RE: Telling Lies.
I'm generally a trustworthy person, and I value honesty. I pride myself on being honest at least 98% of the time and I appreciate others who hold themselves to (roughly) that same standard. Society and interpersonal relationships just run more smoothly with honest communication imho.

I'm occasionally dishonest when children ask me questions about sex, and other questions involving waist lines and hair lines.

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