Is it ever okay to lie to someone? 13 replies

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Andron Taps Forum Mod

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#1 2 years ago

I'm sure we've all heard the (what I consider silly) question of, "What's worse, a lie that draws a smile or a truth that draws a tear?"  In other words should be people be lied to for the sake of their feelings?  

Of course there other reasons to lie to someone besides their feelings.  Governments keep all kinds of secrets and proliferate misinformation about secret operations overseas and even domestically.  The question is, do you know or can you think of any conditions under which it is better to lie than tell the truth?


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#2 2 years ago

Depends what you mean by better. I can think of situations where the return is better on lying vs telling the truth quite easily.

e.g: "Did you look for jobs this week?" Asks the benefits centre adviser. "Yes," lies the person on benefits.

And so they keep their benefits.

As long as you're diligent; tell the lie, remember the lie, never open your gob about it to anyone in any circumstances; the chances of being caught are very low. It's similar in some companies, where bosses will say that they want the truth, but in effect only want the truth when it's what they want to hear. (The eternal problem of, 'You can't pay for honesty if you're an arsehole.')

Morally better? I don't hold much stock with universal morals. I will observe that if you need to ask the question, then lying seems likely to make you less the sort of person you want to be. It's tempting to do it at times. However, the point of having values is to stop you doing things that are immediately tempting in some way but have a bad long term effect. Someone who lies, in my experience, can never truly trust themselves. They may say they'll do something, and intend to carry through with it at the time, but there's always this 'Escape from obligations' button sitting next to them. It's an easy solution to many problems, and that has a corrosive effect on the character traits that actually having to solve those problems the hard way would otherwise foster.

I suppose the obvious example is you lie that you've done your homework, so you get a pass. And then the end of the year comes around and you've got to take an exam on all this shit you've never studied. So you stick an earpiece in and a radio in your shoe, and cheat your way through the exam. And then you get to the end of school and you've got these qualifications for a job that you have no real idea how to do. Then what? What do you do when you're finally expected to produce results? Find some new lie? Move into sales? Heck even sales requires things that you can only gain via a diligence you've denied yourself the chance to develop.

Eventually the liar ends up, and again this is just in my observation, in a position where they haven't made much of themselves; where there's little that can be respected about them - even by themselves. Once you've lost your self-respect, that's a damned difficult thing to get out of. It requires action, not all of which is pleasant or easy, to build that self-respect up again. Unfortunately, to a degree, self respect is a necessary criteria for taking any sort of action.

There are people out there who will then substitute self-esteem for self-respect to try to escape that last problem. Which is a dumbass, mentally toxic, move ¬_¬




Barbas

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#3 2 years ago

"Honey, does this dress make my ass look fat?"

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Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#4 2 years ago

"No, I like the dress."

Your fat makes your arse look fat.




Admiral Donutz VIP Member

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#5 2 years ago

One may sometimes need to keep secrets, you obviously don't want to too many people to know your PIN codes etc.  And in certain situations it might be wise to lie about (not) knowing certain information. If you are being robbed I'd rather give the robber a false code or say I don't know the access code if I would be able to keep my head cool. 

But besides such unlikely situations I can't think of any good reasons to lie. If you would be on benefits you could, should, expect the civil servant to ask you some evidence of whatever effort you claim to have done in finding work. It  would be much smarter to fake putting a genuine effort. Try to apply for a position that you know they probably won't hire you for or that the chanches are simply very slim. Atleast it would look like you are trying. Though if the civil servant would then ask you if you actually want to find a job it would become harder to answer without lying. Being selective with the truth might work, sure you want to find a job but you are not saying that you don't want a job for any position that you actually have a good shot at. 

Remembering all the lies may be a bit of a challenge, and once caught in a lie you would have a bit of a challenge to regain the trust that people may have had in you. That's one good reason not to lie. I myself cannot think of anything I need to lie about. I may just cherry pick the truth a bit to prevent damage to me or those that I care about. 'Does this dress make me look fat?'  I'd answer that without a yes or a no. If I would not be excited about the looks of that person in that dress I might say I prefer a certain other dress for whatever reason. Or counter with a question of my own 'well how does it feel? Does it feel comfortable or too tight?'. If pressed I would give a honest answer but with respect: 'It does look too tight, your figure might look better in an other dress'.  And if one would insist on a blund yes or no answer... I'd speak the truth. I rather upset  a person a bit for a moment than to having to put up some act and worry about being caught not being truthfull down the line. 

I did lie once to my wife, and I regret it ever since. I was a bit upset when she called me in the middle of the night to pick her up (after going out with friends). She had told me that she would let me know in advance if she would be out late. She didn't keep her promise and at that moment I was pissed off being awoken from my sleep and her not keeping her promise. I ignored the phone and when she arrived home much later she was rather upset, having walked home and feeling very afraid. I did lie that I dind't hear the phone. That was a lie and I deeply regret doing so and I do regret never having told her that in the moment I let my frustration get the better of me.  It would have been much wiser to simply have answered the phone and if had ignored that to truthfully explain why I had not. It would have caused a fight for sure but in the long run it would have allowed for us both to learn from the mistakes we made and I would not have had the burden of bying a liar. I am truely sorry. 

However, if people do lie, don't judge too quickly. As far as I know my dearest was always truthfull to me though I did caught her in a lie once. I perfectly understand why she would have lied about it, I might have done the same ( I hope not but I can perfectly understand why one would). Keeping a grudge would have been wrong, instead she knew that no matter what I would be by her side and support her. I'd like to think that just like the truth set us free in that case, it would have done exactly so if she ever had found out and challenged me and my lie. No person is perfect and if two people truely respect and care for eachother, ultimately being truthfull is the only way to keep that relationship strong. 




Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#6 1 year ago

I used to make it a point to be honest and trustworthy. I thought these were values held in high regard. 

Once you realise that every single person in your life - be they parents, siblings, friends, lovers, casual acquaintances, and any other category I've missed - will completely abuse your trust and tell you heinous lies to satisfy their own greed or cowardice, however, you realise how naive that position is.

Lie whenever it suits you. For any reason. Everybody else does, and if you think they don't, you just haven't caught them out in it yet.




FileTrekker Über Admin

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#7 1 year ago

I honestly don't think that is necessarily true, there are few people you can truly trust, but there are one or two people I know who I can say I know wouldn't lie to me.


Danny King | Community Manager | GameFront.com



Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#8 1 year ago

I can't say I can think of anyone who wouldn't lie to me about anything. Most people are honest most of the time, but most of the time it wouldn't matter overmuch if they lied anyway since they're not involved in anything important. It's the edge case which gets you. One of the big learning points for me at work was to guard my opinions very closely. I used to answer anyone on any subject - not rudely, but I spoke my mind fairly freely.

Ah, naivety. I should have known better even then really but people were just so fucking friendly I didn't fit them into the threat model.

Trust is valuable. And in the style of most things of value it's a limited resource. There's a lot to be said for just adopting the 'I have nothing bad to say about anyone' or 'I have nothing bad to say about anything' response as your standard and creeping back from there in terms of how much you share. In times of great need or in times where you're sure that if it all goes royally tits up you can just cut that group of people out of your life it might be acceptable to share a negative opinion or something that might be used against you. Beyond that... rarely. It's very calculated disclosure after considered reflection and it takes a while to get it as a habit.

Turns out yo' mama was right :p 'If you can't say something nice, it's better to say nothing at all'




Admiral Donutz VIP Member

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#9 1 year ago

Most people can indeed be trusted most of the time and Matt you are right that such values are to be hold in high regard. Now I'd think that the chanches of being lied to by those I love on rather important items are slim, but it could have happend or could happen. But honesty remains important so I'll stick to my values unless I truely see no other option but to lie.  And I'd be selective with the truth before that.   Some things are best not said, I may like or be okay with various people but ranking some people to be nicer than others, but telling your colleagues or family members that you like them all but prefer person A a bit over person B... I can only see that being used against you or back firing in some other way. :p 




Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#10 1 year ago
"FileTrekker"I honestly don't think that is necessarily true, there are few people you can truly trust, but there are one or two people I know who I can say I know wouldn't lie to me.

Then you've just not caught them out yet.




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