lies or the truth?
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28-11-2012, 10:41 AM
RE: lies or the truth?
I cannot remember the last time I lied with the intent to deceive someone.

Now, lying when someone asks how I'm doing and I reflexively say "great" even when I'm not great, yeah, but I know they aren't really interested - it was just a ritual greeting and a ritual response.

I also lie for entertainment, usually to tease someone. They pretty much always know I'm lying, but it's even more fun when they don't - but in the end I come clean because then it's funny to watch them realize that I was yanking their chain, pulling their leg, busting their balls, whatever you want to call it.

Occasionally I'll tell someone what they want to hear because I recognize that they've asked a rhetorical question and don't really want the truth, like when someone asks if the dress they're wearing makes them look fat - even if it does, they don't want to hear that. But even then, if it's someone I have any kind of relationship with beyond a casual acquaintance, I probably would try to gently let them know the truth, though I might downplay it a bit, soft sell the truth rather than smacking them in the face with it - they'll get the idea from there.

Those aren't deceptions.

As for lying to truly deceive someone, this I never do.

It's not a matter of ethics. I couldn't care less about ethics. It's a simple matter of the golden rule. I don't like being lied to, so I don't lie to others. Most people who know me recognize this fact about me, or they learn it, and many of them tell me that it's something they like about me, that they can always count on my honesty. Who knows, maybe they hate it and they're lying and I just can't tell, but I take them at their word.

Besides, what is a good reason to deceive someone? Usually it's because you've done something wrong and you want to hide that fact. You cheated on your spouse, were lazy at work, didn't complete an assignment, broke your parent's rules, whatever. Lying is almost always a self-preservation mechanism we use to cover up the fact that we screwed up.

I simply try not to screw up. I try to do the right thing. When I do screw up, I own up to it. This is especially easy because when I do screw up, it's usually either an honest mistake (as opposed to laziness or deliberate malfeasance) or was due, at least in part, to outside factors that I couldn't control - those cases are easy to admit and move on.

The only other good reason to lie is to control people. To con them into doing something they wouldn't do if you told them the truth. I don't treat people that way, again, for the golden rule.

So being honest with people is a choice I make, but it's also an easy one because I never really find myself presented with a reason to lie. At least, not a reason that's acceptable to me.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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28-11-2012, 11:19 AM
lies or the truth?
I always lie.

Even that is a lie.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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28-11-2012, 11:28 AM
RE: lies or the truth?
(28-11-2012 11:19 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  I always lie.

Even that is a lie.

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28-11-2012, 11:36 AM
RE: lies or the truth?
If there's one thing people will never tell you the truth about, it's how much they lie.

In my short 37 years on this rock, I've learned that he who claims to never lie, is the biggest liar of them all. It appears that lying is conversely proportionate to how insistent someone is that they do not lie.

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28-11-2012, 11:57 AM
RE: lies or the truth?
(28-11-2012 11:36 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  If there's one thing people will never tell you the truth about, it's how much they lie.

In my short 37 years on this rock, I've learned that he who claims to never lie, is the biggest liar of them all. It appears that lying is conversely proportionate to how insistent someone is that they do not lie.
And everyone who says they don't have a drinking problem is actually an alcoholic because denial is the first sign, right?

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28-11-2012, 12:18 PM
RE: lies or the truth?
(28-11-2012 11:57 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(28-11-2012 11:36 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  If there's one thing people will never tell you the truth about, it's how much they lie.

In my short 37 years on this rock, I've learned that he who claims to never lie, is the biggest liar of them all. It appears that lying is conversely proportionate to how insistent someone is that they do not lie.
And everyone who says they don't have a drinking problem is actually an alcoholic because denial is the first sign, right?
I don't do the whole "your argument doesn't fit into my box" game.

First, I'm talking about lies, not booze.

Second, if you honestly think my statement is that black and white, you must be looking to either argue, or make a point. If it's the former, well, ok, but I'm not gonna qualify every statement I make with "of course there are exceptions." that's just a pain, and I like to discuss things like a human, not a robot. If it's the latter, just go ahead and make it. No need to be shy.


To be perfectly clear, my post was written from my perspective. It's what I've learned from my experience. In fact, I actually said so in my post. I don't know why this must be repeated so often on Internet forums, but hey, I do what I gotta do I suppose.

Not sure where you drew your conclusion about alcoholics, but perhaps a discussion about that is warranted. I've never made that correlation myself, but perhaps you could share with us why you think all people who deny being alcoholic are, in fact, alcoholics?

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28-11-2012, 12:55 PM
RE: lies or the truth?
(28-11-2012 12:18 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  
(28-11-2012 11:57 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  And everyone who says they don't have a drinking problem is actually an alcoholic because denial is the first sign, right?
First, I'm talking about lies, not booze.

It was an analogy. Sometimes analogies are relevant. See below.

(28-11-2012 12:18 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Second, if you honestly think my statement is that black and white, you must be looking to either argue, or make a point. If it's the former, well, ok, but I'm not gonna qualify every statement I make with "of course there are exceptions." that's just a pain, and I like to discuss things like a human, not a robot. If it's the latter, just go ahead and make it. No need to be shy.

Your post to which I responded was quite cut and dry. "he who claims to never lie is the biggest liar of them all". That doesn't leave a whole lot of room for exceptions or interpretations. You didn't qualify that with words like "probably" or "maybe". Perhaps what you meant to say was "often, he who claims to never lie is probably a liar"? In that case, go for it. You may be right, if that's what you meant.

(28-11-2012 12:18 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  To be perfectly clear, my post was written from my perspective. It's what I've learned from my experience. In fact, I actually said so in my post. I don't know why this must be repeated so often on Internet forums, but hey, I do what I gotta do I suppose.

I have no problem assuming that. In fact, I always assume that what people write is their own opinion, unless they present it as quoting someone else's words. It's just that I disagree with the black-and-white opinion that you presented.

(28-11-2012 12:18 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Not sure where you drew your conclusion about alcoholics, but perhaps a discussion about that is warranted. I've never made that correlation myself, but perhaps you could share with us why you think all people who deny being alcoholic are, in fact, alcoholics?

Not to sidetrack, but since you asked, I have often heard that if you suspect someone of having a drinking problem and ask them about it, they will deny it even if they know you are right, usually because it's humiliating. So people often say that "denial is the first sign" meaning that if you suspect someone of having a drinking problem and they deny it, that's the first sign that they actually do have a drinking problem. I disagree with that "proof" because people who really don't have drinking problems will also deny such accusations, correctly so, but how can anyone tell the difference between denial because the non-alcoholic has no problem and denial because the alcoholic is lying to hide his shame about his problem?

It's not my conclusion. In fact, I completely disagree with it. Yes, alcoholics usually lie about their problem, at least until they're ready to deal with it. No, it's not the first sign. No, denial is not a litmus test to identify an alcoholic.

I said I never lie (to deceive). You said people who say that are the biggest liars. Essentially I denied being a liar because I'm not a liar. While you didn't say that denial is the first sign, you did essentially say that denying being a liar makes me a liar so I drew that analogy. How can you tell whether I'm lying when I deny being a liar? You can't, just like the people who say "denial is the first sign" can't tell if a person is lying when they deny alcoholism.

There's the analogy. That's how it's relevant.

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28-11-2012, 01:05 PM
RE: lies or the truth?
(28-11-2012 11:36 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  It appears that lying is conversely proportionate to how insistent someone is that they do not lie.

On a related note, I tend to agree with this statement. Especially since in relates to the insistence of not lying. There is usually no reason at all to insist that others accept you as an honest person. If you're honest, they will usually recognize that fact. If you're not, they will usually recognize that fact instead. Insisting that you're honest won't help your case either way, and would probably hurt it because I think most people would agree with what I've quoted above, so your insistence would only serve to convince them of your dishonesty.

Interestingly enough, if you're dishonest but exceptionally good at hiding your dishonesty, you might deceive most people most of the time - but if you're that guy, you are almost certainly not insisting that you're honest because doing so would NOT be exceptionally good at hiding your dishonesty.

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28-11-2012, 01:46 PM
RE: lies or the truth?
It appears we actually agree.

The alcohol analogy is insufficient because they do not work the same way.

I didn't provide proof, I provided experience.

I was very clear about the fact that I wasn't being black and white. I just don't see the need to quibble with so many words like, "from my experience", "probably", and all the others that go with it. And let's be honest here (see what I did there? Wink ), I really doubt you'd even bother having a discussion with me if you really thought I was dense enough to think I'm stating a steadfast rule.

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29-11-2012, 06:44 PM
RE: lies or the truth?
(24-11-2012 01:48 PM)Dom Wrote:  Do you always tell the truth?

Or are there things you lie about?

Are there situations where you think a lie is more ethical than the truth?

And what is "truth" anyways?



1. Nobody tells any truth at any time, they only relate the extent of their knowledge. Absolute knowledge does not exist to the human condition because we are physically incapable of arriving at 100% conclusiveness on anything.

2. Everybody who has matured to the point of understanding right from wrong lies.

3. Yes, when someone religious is on their deathbed and terrified and truly believes they will go to heaven, should we increase their terror in their final moments and tell them God and heaven do not exist? As an act of compassion, we should allow them their final moments with their faith.

4. There is no such thing as truth, we can only approximate it.

How can anyone become an atheist when we were all born with no religious beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were ...
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