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Is honesty always the best policy?

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by Everylyric, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. Everylyric

    Everylyric New Member

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    My answer is no. There are cases in which you have ethical obligation to lie...
     
  2. Lilly Marlene

    Lilly Marlene New Member

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    I agree with you on that.

    I told my children there are three kinds of lies:

    White lies such as "Oh, don't worry about that ...it is hardly noticeable at all ! "
    where you protect somebody's feelings;

    Weasel lies such as "No I was NOT looking at that [person of the opposite sex]"
    where you keep yourself from getting in trouble;

    and

    Bearing false witness such as "That guy is the one who stole the statue [when he wasn't]"

    The first one is completely harmless in my opinion.
    The second one will just get us a reputation as a weasel.
    But
    The third one is a sin and we will owe a great price for it.
     
  3. saggyjones

    saggyjones New Member

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    I agree that sometimes it's alright to lie, but even white lies can be bad. If you're friends with someone and you don't tell someone they look bad in a shirt or whatever (if they ask you) then their embarrassment is partially on your shoulders.
     
  4. Lilly Marlene

    Lilly Marlene New Member

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    :)

    Just to be a reciprocal thorn in your side ...

    No, I don't think white lies can be bad. The example you just gave is not a white lie.

    Why not ?

    Because of course I would tell someone if their shirt looked bad, especially if they asked me.
    If I didn't, it could only be because I wanted to avoid an unpleasant reaction from them ...which makes it a weasel lie according to my model because I would be trying to keep myself out of trouble.

    In the example I gave of a white lie, I was thinking not of clothing (which can be quickly changed) but rather of things a person can't help, like say a stone fell out of a woman's earring, or a guy had a chunk accidentally cut out in a haircut.

    If this is unclear, bring it up to me later: my house is very noisy now and I find it hard to concentrate well in noise.
     
  5. Koios

    Koios New Member

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    The benefit of always telling the truth is that you never have to keep track of your lies and in a way live without that burden. However, this is probably impossible and so in a way you will always have some amount of distress--there are many moral situations (involving you lying or telling the truth) which have no clear answer and so you might end up questioning your decision.
     
  6. Friendindeed

    Friendindeed New Member

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    Honesty is not always the best policy. No way.
     
  7. saggyjones

    saggyjones New Member

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    Well if someone got a bad haircut I believe they deserve my honest opinion about it, not a made up thing to make them feel better. Anyway, I said sometimes they can be bad, not all the time.
     
  8. saggyjones

    saggyjones New Member

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    If politics are involved, then honesty isn't always the best policy, because sometimes you have to lie to achieve more important things.
     
  9. Friendindeed

    Friendindeed New Member

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    Like what ?
    I disagree. Politicians work for us and have no right to lie.

    Also in the haircut example I don't think it is bad to tell them that the mssing chunk is not very noticeable. It is all subjective anyway how much anyone is going to notice so why not make them feel more confident.
     
  10. Eternal

    Eternal New Member

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    yes saggy, please elaborate or give some examples.
     
  11. HighVoltage123

    HighVoltage123 New Member

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    sometimes it's just necessary to tell a little noble lie
     
  12. kobzikov

    kobzikov New Member

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    If we are talking about what is the right thing to do then that's telling the truth.

    But that doesn't mean telling the truth is always the best policy. Is it the best policy to say that you can't stand Hitler or his wars if you lived in Berlin during his reign? Is it the best policy to tell the guards of a prison that beating up prisoners is wrong after you witnessed it and that you will speak up against it if you are one of the prisoners? These are extreme examples, but there are millions of them. A better question is what is the best policy? Is doing what's right the best policy? Is not hurting other's feelings the best policy? Is self-preservation the best policy? Depending on what you consider the most important to you your answer to the above question will be different.
     
  13. r0beph

    r0beph New Member

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    You're kids get in trouble for that?
     
  14. r0beph

    r0beph New Member

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    I personally don't like mistruth of any kind. White lies are lies nonetheless. How about learning to structure the truth so it informs yet does not hurt? Lying to them in many cases that appear white, harmless lies, can often result in more damage than the truth ever would have brought upon them. Boyfriend: Do I smell ok, I didn't get to shower today, I'm running late for work Girlfriend: Yeah you don't smell bad (white lie)....later that evening after work he goes to a meal with the boss to discuss a promotion....the boss is not impressed with his scent.

    While that is pure hyperbole, it functions the same on lower levels, Learning to speak a conscientious truth is much fairer and a better choice than a possibly harmful [at a later time] white lie.

    A short anecdotal bit here.

    My girlfriend at one time had put on a few extra pounds, of course her self esteem was dipping questionably low, and she asked me if she was fat. Well she wasn't fat, a bit of extra weight, but nothing that effected the fact that she was beautiful. I told her quite truthfully No, she wasn't, I noticed she gained some weight, but it's not in the slightest unattractive, and if she wanted we could go jogging each day until she felt better about it. not a bit of hurt in her eyes, a smile and a kiss later I was running circles around my block with her. To me, the truth is much better than a shallow lie that only has a short term effect.
     
  15. OPGhostdog

    OPGhostdog New Member

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    I do believe that being honest is a very good thing. Thereforth
    when lying one might forget the lie that was told in the beginning,
    and one would then have to lie in order to cover the other lie.
    I am the kind of individual who is totally honest about anything I
    say or do.

    Where I came from during my days as a street warrior. What
    happened for me to change my lifestyle and attitude, and the
    many goals that I have accomplished today I do not have to
    lie to NO ONE.

    Sure...honesty is always the best policy, due to the fact that
    all lies will get uncovered, and because of lies relationships,
    jobs, human lifes has been destoryed.
     
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