- Mar 28, 2007
My answer is no. There are cases in which you have ethical obligation to lie...
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.
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.
If politics are involved, then honesty isn't always the best policy, because sometimes you have to lie to achieve more important things.
I agree with you on that.
Weasel lies such as "No I was NOT looking at that [person of the opposite sex]"
where you keep yourself from getting in trouble;