Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Liar, Liar, We Should Set You On Fire...Or Shouldn't We?

Lying is a very touchy subject. Everyone lies, unless you're Jesus. No, I mean really are Jesus and not some psycho who's trying to start a cult. I lie (more than I should) to my parents. Usually to save my own skin from being flayed from my body. I've also lied to other people to save their feelings and not cause a scene. I've also been lied to, mostly by people who are either evil, stupid, mean or just an ass. Lying comes to some of us as naturally as breathing, eating, sleeping and fucking does to most people. So why are we so uptight when someone lies to us?

First lets look at what constitutes as a lie shall we?

What is a lie? If one were to look up the word lie on Google, they would find
this page, on which contains a definition that states "[to] tell an untruth; pretend with intent to deceive...a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth...". Now, not to sound cliche, but what exactly constitutes as the truth? Well there are many different kinds of truth when you think about it. There's the truth you find about yourself, your true nature...There's that great big truth of what happens after we check out of the Hotel Living...There's the truth that's mentioned in that great Superman catch phrase, "Truth, justice and the American way."...And then there's just plain old truth. All the other truths are the one that can be "tricky", but this one is just plain and simple.

What is 2+2, were you sitting in that chair, where were you at 12:05? Simple black and white truths. Nothing philosophical. This is the truth I'm talking about. Stuff that if you lie about, and someone's able to prove you wrong without a doubt, you get screwed. Now that that's settled...

Is lying acceptable? That's the question. And lets not make it easy by cutting up the "lies and truths" categories any further. No little white lies, no lies for their own good, no exceptions. We are using the plain old-fashioned definition: a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth. So with that put on the table, I ask you, can you except lying? Is lying any better if one has a good reason? That's usually the case. One that we normally see when a government is keeping something away from the public "for our own good".

But if we can except that, then why can't we except when a teenager lies to their parents about where they've been or what their doing? They have a perfectly good and logical reason too: they don't want to get in trouble. Another example would be the vice versa of the previous statement, a parent lying to their child. It's like the initial example because when the child asks their parents why they lied, the usual answer is that "it was for your own good". Is it better for a person in athority to lie than it is for someone who's not? Better yet is it acceptable for one to lie to the other and be upset when the other lies as well?

Some people would say that they're totally different, but in essence it really isn't.

Another thing is, is it acceptable to lie to someone who lied to you? Most would say yes. But then you'd be perpetuating the same behavior that hurt/angered/offended you. Would that make things any better? Not at all. Then again, what right does that person have to be told the truth? They didn't tell it to you, so why should you tell it to them? It's all perspective really.

So the question still stands: Is a lie, any lie, acceptable? Something to think about when you're bored.


Blogger JohnK, No relation to SarahK said...

I believe it was St. Augustine who said that you tell the truth to people who deserve the truth.

And on the other hand, most people agree that when Pilate asked Jesus "What is truth," Jesus didn't reply for one reason, basically, "If you don't know, then nothing I can say will make you understand."

And there is a thing called human freedom, that people need facts to make decisions, and every time you lie to them, you are manipulating them, and taking away their freedom.

9/08/2005 5:07 PM  
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