A Conversation for Lying
Indigo Starblaster Started conversation May 22, 2003
My question is, why bother lying? It is inconvenient to remember the alternate reality you've created for the purpose of the lie, and embarrassing (or disastrous, depending on the scope of the lie) if you get caught.
To get more philosophical about it, misrepresenting the state of the universe takes away from other people their autonomy in dealing with the world (e.g., the friend who would do something about his health if you told them honestly and non-judgmentally that he's getting fat). And finally, it seems to me that if I am ashamed to let people know what I'm really about, it would be better for me to clean up my life than to lie about it... and if I'm not ashamed, I shouldn't be afraid to let people know the truth.
I know that there are a number of arguments about lying for the good -- for e.g., if you were hiding Jews in Nazi Germany and the Gestapo came to the door and asked if you knew where they were -- but I doubt that many of us are faced with this kind of literally life-or-death situation when we're deciding whether to tell the truth or lie.
Just my two cents,
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