Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Is It OK to Lie?

Is It OK to Lie?

Manners matter, but is it ok to lie? Many people think that telling lies is morally wrong, but what about when your friend asks you if you like his haircut and it looks like a child cut his hair. Would it be ok to lie to him so you don't hurt his feelings. Maybe, maybe not. I think it is ok to lie to prevent someones feelings from being hurt. Would you like someone to say something true and mean about your clothes or have someone lie and be nice? In the scholastic article "Is It OK To Lie?"it says " people who tell "polite" white lies are happier and more popular than those who prefer the brutal truth."

I think lying is bad. BBC Ethics agrees "There are many reasons why people think lying is wrong; which ones resonate best with you will depend on the way you think about ethics.
  • Lying is bad because a generally truthful world is a good thing: lying diminishes trust between human beings:
    • if people generally didn't tell the truth, life would become very difficult, as nobody could be trusted and nothing you heard or read could be trusted - you would have to find everything out for yourself
    • an untrusting world is also bad for liars - lying isn't much use if everyone is doing it
  • Lying is bad because it treats those who are lied to as a means to achieve the liar's purpose, rather than as a valuable end in themselves
    • Many people think that it is wrong to treat people as means not ends
  • Lying is bad because it makes it difficult for the person being lied to make a free and informed decision about the matter concerned
    • Lies lead people to base their decisions on false information
  • Lying is bad because it cannot sensibly be made into a universal principle
    • Many people think that something should only be accepted as an ethical rule if it can be applied in every case
  • Lying is bad because it's a basic moral wrong
    • Some things are fundamentally bad - lying is one of them
  • Lying is bad because it's something that Good People don't do
    • Good behaviour displays the virtues found in Good People
  • Lying is bad because it corrupts the liar
    • Telling lies may become a habit and if a person regularly indulges in one form of wrong-doing they may well become more comfortable with wrong-doing in general
  • Some religious people argue Lying is bad because it misuses the God-given gift of human communication
    • God gave humanity speech so that they could accurately share their thoughts - lying does the opposite
  • Some philosophers say lying is bad because language is essential to human societies and carries the obligation to use it truthfully
  • When people use language they effectively 'make a contract' to use it in a particular way - one of the clauses of this contract is not to use language deceitfully"
I challenge you to go one week without lying. Do you think you can make it? You should find out.

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