I have heard it said "We are the stories we tell." I have been thinking about the role lying plays in our lives. More specifically, I am interested in your thoughts about the role of the emergence of the tendency to lie in the human species, played in the shaping of human identity. Take this wherever you will.
How hard is it to be honest, to be yourself?
Drop the mask(s) of phoniness, and face the truth of what it is your hiding from, what it is you are denying.
Spirituality and the development of psychic abilities blossoms forth by knowing what is within you. And by so doing, you heal yourself... and are more in-tuned to your inner self. Thereby, becoming strong intuitively and more out to be able to connect to a higher power. The universal calling that wants you to become aware.
It has everything to do with cosmic consciousness and connecting to your divine self/ higher self. By being more of the person you are internally, and less of the person you pretend to be you are opening the door to psychic awareness and your divine calling.
It appears that to be honest with oneself is more difficult than one can "imagine."
Yet, if one were honest with themselves, they would understand that whatever beliefs they hold that cannot possibly work in reality are just things they want to believe and not things that actually exist.
Then, extending that further, if they can't be honest with themselves, how can they be honest with anyone else?
We eat, sleep, and breath. My psychic abilities are that real to me. I don't need you or anyone else to tell me how to think or act.
What the heck do you know anyways!
You are free to pretend you have special abilities. No one is trying to take that away from you.
I know that your 'abilities' violate physical laws, as does flapping your arms with the intent to fly or trying to walk through solid walls. No difference.
I do walk through solid walls with my spirit body and so will you in a short time from now. You know even 100 years is just a drop in the bucket.
Lying is for self preservation -- most men lie to their wives because they fear of retribution like flying pans etc. It is more of afraid of facing the consequences
The more they love a person the more they will lie if push to the end because they don't want to hurt the other's feelings
there is a problem with consistent lying
lying can be in different degrees as well like white lying -- it is measured more on the effect or gravitation and consequences of lying
Lying is also culture based, I think that the more closely knit a culture is they are more prone to lying as they like to destroy a relationship
Lying is usually only done out of self-serving fear.
Sometimes I find I exaggerate the truth to accentuate the truth when I am defending myself against aggressive people
Good Evening MyMoneyTalks
Interesting response. You exaggerate a truth in one area in order to bolster the perceived force of a truth in another area, in order to defend yourself from aggressive people, their attacks. Do I have that right?
Please tell me if the following analogy hits the mark. Suppose your commanding the starship Enterprise. You find your vessel under attack from the vile Romulans. You're in a desperate phaser fight. You raise shields -- while lowering a portion of them to fire.
The battle goes on and you take damage on your starboard port, or something. The power to generate the protective field around that part of the ship is compromised -- you have to direct engineering to divert extra power from another area of the ship to bolster the weakness of the shields in that area of the ship.
Crudely put, we have become a nation and a world of liars. One need only to listen to any politician for 10 seconds to discern this.
We bend the truth, we spin it, we ignore it while knowing better. We tell "white" lies that aren't very white and we ask questions and then demand that the respondent lie to us in return as we don't want the truth.
We exaggerate and we minimize. We lie with statistics and pictures.
All in the name of getting someone to do or believe what we want them to.
Good Evening Wilderness
Politicians certainly do tailor, shall we say, the facts depending on the specific constituency they are talking to. You may recall that sometime early last year, when our glorious leaders were getting their heads around this financial collapse and subsequent economic recession, President Obama gave a speech to a joint session of congress, I believe, talking about what his administration intended to do about it and what help he wanted from Capitol Hill.
In that speech he said something to which Representative Joseph Wilson of South Carolina, shouted out "You Lie!" What do you think about that?
Just what are we to make of the situation when a politician actually accuses another politician of lying, in so loud, forceful, and public a way like that?
There is a down side to lying but it also has it uses. It's why I'm a skeptic.
Good Evening Flightkeeper
Lying certainly is a double-edged sword. It has short-term advantages to be sure and potential long-term consequences. The long-term consequences present themselves in the form of a double whammy, if you will.
If the lie is found out, one can find herself facing consequences coming from both the fact of the lie, as well as the thing she lied about. What do you mean when you say you're a skeptic? What, precisely, is the skepticism directed at?
I find it it interesting that many primates lie to get what they want. One slightly funy case comes to my mind on this subject. While watching Animal Planet I saw a show with a monkey that would hold its side and pretend to be hurt, thus luring in the zoo keepers. When they would check on him he would bite them! Bad monkey!
That's pretty cool. The monkey obviously holds a grudge against his keepers. I don't blame it.
Good Evening ambersagen
I'm sorry but I hit the reply button beneath your icon image and this capsule opened up under Flightkeeper's image beneath yours, for some reason. Anyway, that is funny. I've heard little amusing tales about lying animals.
There was a dog who would mess up his owner's clothes closet and bedroom, and then place a stuffed rabbit at the scene, as if to frame the rabbit.
Do you think certain animals learned to lie from being around human beings? If so, to what extent do you think lying serves as a means of communication?
Like most people (everyone, maybe), I'll run into the rare time when I see some reason to tell some relatively minor lie to someone, either to protect my own dignity or someone else's usually or else because someone asks about what is their business); but in general, I don't lie. Those times when I run into some reason to lie are very, rare. It think if you're secure you also secure enough to (at least most of the time) just be honest. (There are things I won't share, but then I'll be honest about the fact that there are things I'm not sharing. I don't know... it just makes life easier, less complicated, and more pleasant.)
Good Evening Lisa HW
Thank you for joining our forum. You said that you are honest the vast majority of the time. Most of the time you have no reason to lie, but once in a blue moon you have occasion to tailor the truth a little. But as a general rule you do not lie. Would you lie more often if you had more occasion to do so?
You said that you believe that there are times when lying "just makes life easier, less complicated, and more pleasant." Is that the crucial social function of lying then?
We lie when we don't want people to know the truth. No fancy complicated reason. We all do it all day. Why tell the truth when a lie will do, and keep everybody happy?
Good Evening Bacall
Welcome to the thread. Do you consider keeping "everybody happy" a vital social function of lying?
Of course not. Lying is the easy way out we all take to avoid being real Men and Women of integrity. Just git rid of that word because it has no place in todays society!
Good Morning Bacall
I take it you find lying morally and ethically objectionable. But I wanted to get your thoughts about how society, as a whole, a collectivity, objectively functions. Do you believe that lying -- from your point of view "the easy way out" -- serves a social function of "keeping everybody happy?"
If so, why do you think society functions this way?
It's definitely a vital part of social functioning. You have to lie to get ahead in a job. You have to lie to save yourself embarrasment. You have to lie to save someone's life or your own. That's way the word integrity is so out of place and that was the point I was addressing.
Good Morning Bacall
Thank you for your continued interest in our forum topic! In your second posting on this you said that "[l]ying is the easy way out we all take to avoid being real Men and Women of integrity."
In your latest post you say that lying is a vital part of social functioning, and that one has to lie to get ahead in the world, on the job, to avoid embarassment, and even to save someone else's life or your own. On this last point, its interesting, another hubber, Precious Williams, says that she saved her own life, once, by doing so. I haven't asked her for specifics, in case she still finds the experience too traumatic to talk about it.
Here's my question for you Bacall. Since, on the one hand, you believe that lying represents the easy way out we take to avoid being real men and women of integrity; and you also believe that lying is a vital part of social functioning; do you think that the complexity and increasing complexity of life makes it harder to live with total integrity, and are human beings any worse for it?
I don't necessarily believe that lying for the purpose of saving a life or not to hurt someone is lack of integrity at all. I think living by "ten simple rules" that include "never say anything that isn't true" is thinking that is too immature or poorly developed to be able to sort out what is truly right and wrong for oneself. That gets into narrow, black-and-white, thinking that doesn't cut it for a person with integrity and thoughtfulness.
People with integrity and thoughtfulness have to make choices. Do we lie just to be liars or to stay out of trouble? No. Do we tell our 100-year-old grandmother on her deathbed that we've always really hated her, or do we lie? We lie, of course. Having integrity includes having compassion, aiming to do what is right for others, and acting on what we believe, in our hearts, to be the right thing.
Good Day Lisa HW
Integrity, for you, is not a simple matter of never lying. You believe this is too simplistic. There must be room for compassion and empathy. One should have some basic, fairly consistent principles she lives by; one mustn't be as movable as leaves in the wind.
We have to take responsiblity for our choices in life, and all the rest of it. Are you saying, Lisa HW, that the ability and tendency to lie has, in a way, brought compassion into the human species? Would you guess this is so from an evolutionary point of view?
I'm not a fan of lying, liars, or living with having lied; but I'll mainly lie for two reasons: In order not to hurt someone by out-and-out saying what I'd like to say and instead being a little more vague; or else in order not to answer a question someone asks me that I don't think is his business. Rather than rudely saying (often to someone I care about) "None of your business", I'd first try not to answer at all, but if the person kept it up, I'd say whatever I felt like saying. It doesn't happen very often, though.
Hello again, Lisa HW
You cleared that up nicely. A lot of people, I find, use the excuse of "honesty" to unleash the floodgates of nastiness; they use it as an excuse to abandon all civility.
By the way, do you remember last year when President Obama gave a speech to the joint sesssion of congress. He said something to which Representative Joseph Wilson from South Carolina, shouted out "You lie!" What do you think about that?
Yeah, Lisa! Honesty is usually the best policy but I have been known to be economical with the truth when I think the truth will hurt someone gratuitously.
Good Evening Paradise7
Do you consider lying to prevent injury to people, something that makes you a good person?
Paradise, I'm the first to try to spare people's feelings if necessary. I'll try to be honest first. For example, if someone asks, "Do I look fat in this dress," I may say something like, "I do think you slimmer in your blue dress." But, if someone says, "Do you like my new haircut?" there's no way I could do anything but say I did. (Fortunately, I live among people who aren't too interested in my opinion anyway. )
Two key words in the OP post - lying and identity. Our words, thoughts and actions make up the sum total of our personal integrity. Without integrity we are nothing. Even compromising or rationalizing the use of lying degrades our integrity. There's really no way around it. Standing strong and resolute in the face of the option to lie and to refrain from that option for perhaps the harder road magnifies and justifies one's integrity. If we say something that we know in our hearts and minds isn't true according to our understanding we stand blamed by ourselves and those whom we lied to.
Be resolute and strive to live the life of truthful dialogue. You will have the respect of those around you even those that may not agree with you. Whether you believe in a God or not just ask yourself if you want to die with or without strong personal integrity. It should be a "no brainer" for all of us.
Good Evening again, Goldenpath
Do you find integrity to be the foundation that supports all the other elements of the structure of identity? Lies make cracks in that foundation and repeated lies will eventually bring down the foundation and then the whole structure. Do I have that about right?
Am I right to gather that: YOU would not be YOU if you lied?
Well said. Lying does indeed become part of our identity and absolutely comes at the price of integrity. Lying may be the first chink in our integrity, but it seems to snowball from there and grow to the point that our loss of that integrity becomes us. Again, one need only look at our politicians to see the effects of such a snowball.
Good Morning wilderness
Tell me, what are we to make of a situation in which one (lying) politician calls another (lying) politician a liar, as Representative Joseph Wilson did last year when President Obama made his speech to a joint session of congress? What can this mean, do you think?
In my opinion, the outburst was uncalled for and should not have been done. Common courtesy dictates that a respectful attitude be maintained in such settings and that was not done. Possibly connected to the deterioration of integrity in our politicians although that connection is tenuous at best.
On the other hand, perhaps it is time we began calling people on obvious lies - I really believe the behavior is damaging our society, as Goldenpath pointed out above.
Good Afternoon wilderness
What do you think was happening phenomenologically with Congressman Joseph Wilson, such that he (presumably just another lying politician) was moved to actually call Obama (a lying politician, pehaps, but still the president) a liar?
I'm interested in "What in Sam Hill?" could have been going through his mind to say that. Did Representative Wilsn "forget" that he, too, is/was a liar? Did he have some kind of internal reversion back to his pre-political innocence?
Good Evening RecoverToday
Some people believe, at least, the occasional tactical lie is easier. Tell me, what do you think that such a person and you, RecoverToday, might have in common?
I tend to lack tact and then end up hurting feelings by being honest. Most people find honesty too confronting. Not quite sure how to approach this, as I don't feel comfortable lying either. I'm an observer and find it interesting but peculiar how people manipulate each other for their own gain
Good Day Baileybear
Welcome and thank you for joining our forum. May I ask what you mean when you say: "Most people find honesty too confronting. Not quite sure how to approach this, as I don't feel comfortable lying either"?
What is the "this" you are trying to approach? Are you looking for a "third way" between what you refer to as your hurtful honesty, which most people find "too confronting" and lying, which makes you a little uncomfortable?
I prefer honesty, but perhaps I need to just keep my opinion to myself or say it in a different way? I didn't realise that people find my directness offensive. It's backfired on me many times to be "too honest". I'm not very skilled at negotiating work politics. People are very complicated beings
I feel the same way. Most people have learned not to ask me to lie to them, but there are always a few that haven't and I sometimes get into trouble by not providing the lie they want.
In other words, I don't think it's 2 extremes. There are shades of grey. I got fired because a workplace didn't like me being too honest. The others kept their jobs because they said what the bosses wanted to hear, rather than the full truth - the politics of how workplaces operate
sometimes lying is good ,but sometimes lying is bad
Good Evening chinese-girl-may
Thank you for visiting our forum. What meaning are you assigning to the concepts of 'good' and 'bad' in your reply?
i mean "Good" for white lie .Do you think so ?
Good Day chinese-girl-may
A good lie is a white lie, then. It is a lie that is of no consequence to say, and is usually of a positive consequence to say: (i.e., giving the "right" answers to questions from one's wife like "Does this dress make me look fat?" and so forth).
Do I have that right? A bad lie is decidedly darker, yes? But I don't want to put words in your mouth. Tell me, please, what is a 'bad' lie?
It depends... if your girl has a huge grin on her face because she's wearing her new dress and she asks you how she looks, and in your humble opinion she doesn't look good in it, yet you say she does because you love her and want her to be happy... then that type of lying is good, in my opinion.
I know some people that tell white lies left and right, it's usually in a form of an exaggeration.. they always have that "need to be better than everyone" type of thing, so they will always seek to outdo you even if it's not true.
Good Day Origin
Welcome to our forum. Thank you for joining us. Am I to understand that you believe there are at least two categories of white lies: the occasional kind told to serve a social function of maintaining harmony in a romantic relationship; and the kind told by habitual liars to increase their own sense of importance?
Tell me, do you think "we are the stories we tell," even if they are not quite actualized in all their details at the moment?
I think people lie a great deal more than they think (though they would describe it as a white lie or a fib).After all although it may be 'easier' to tell the truth as some hubbers have suggested. Actually when asked various questions like "Did you enjoy that meal", "What do you think of this tie", "Are you tired?"... and so on, people often don't tell the truth because you might hurt the person's feelings. Some parents frequently lie to their children praising something to boost their confidence. Men and women lie to their partners about different things, sex, money, children, relations ...People lie for lots of different reasons - and sometimes it could be a matter of life or death in extreme circumstances. Do I lie - of course I do. And on one occasion I saved my own life by doing so.
Good Day Precious Williams
Thank you for visiting us this morning. You believe that people lie more than they, themselves, realize; and they tell themselves that they are not lying by calling their lies "white" lies or "fibs"? Somehow these categories are downgraded severely -- in their minds?
Are you saying they lie and have to tell themselves they are not lying at the same time?
You gave some examples of real life situations in which people might lie. Do you think lying serves a vital social function?
Yes I do think people believe white lies or fibs are okay but a an outright lie where perhaps you are lying to deliberately deceive someone is much worse. My belief is that a lie is a lie - end of story whatever the reason for doing it. I think people are not being honest about how often humans do lie. Recent research in the UK said that men and women lie on average more than 8 times a day. Don't ask me how they compiled the data because I don't know. Does lying serve a social function ? unfortunately yes.
Ricky Gervais made a movie called The Invention of Lying that looks at a lot of this. The first half is fall down hilarious, the second is humorous but was more like a typical romantic comedy. Still very worth watching.
Like others have said, there is a social point to lying (which that movie makes very clear). I disagree with the idealistic view that lying undermines who we are in some sort of spiral. Lying is a social tool that enables harmony. Truth is subjective anyway in the vast majority of cases (not to the point of Derridian extremes or to nihilistic ones... but subjective just the same). The tooth fairy keeps little kids from freaking out about their bodies falling apart. It coudl be called lazy parenting to the idealist, but it is a tool to preserve harmony. Many will argue that religions were invented by the socially cognizant as a means of keeping order and for explaining frightening things (this was hit on very nicely in the Gervais movie).
I think the real debate is one of "good" versus "evil." The moral quality of the lie is dependent upon the purpose of it. If, for example, you invent gods to calm the people who are dying or to bind them to a set of social rules that maintains order and provides a sense of unity and belonging in a society, it's good. If you invent gods to frighten people into submission so you can control them, then it is evil. It's not the lie that is the problem, it's the person and the reason behind it that has some moral value or another.
Good Afternoon Shadesbreath
Welcome and thank you for visiting our forum. I'm glad you mentioned religion, because this now, opens up the opportunity for us to tease out something, if you don't mind. Please evaluate and add your thoughts to the following hypothesis.
Lying as a component of the development of the human identity as revealed to us from religious mythology. Let's think about the story of Cain and Abel from the Bible. Let's imagine it with a slightly different ending.
Its after Cain has killed his brother Abel. He flees and travels a very long, hard way until he ends up, let's say in the land that would become Canaan (Is Canaan named after Cain?).
Bear with me, Shadesbreath, but one night Cain goes to a bar for a mug of ale -- he's still brooding, planning his future and so forth. He's sitting with his ale at the bar for a while, until, out of the corner of his eye he spots a pretty little "Canaanite bar wench."
They get to talking, winding up in a cozy corner of the bar. They tell everything - or almost everything about themselves. Then its Cain's turn. The woman asks him about his family and Cain says:
"There's mom and dad..... (here he chokes up)... I had a brother..."
The woman (let's call her Zelda): "Had a brother? What happened to him?"
Cain: "I ki- ... he died."
Zelda: "You were going to say you killed him."
Cain: "I did, I failed him. That's why he died."
Zelda: "What do you mean?" She puts a hand on his arm consolingly. She can see Cain is in a great deal of torment -- poor thing.
Now, Cain, realizing that there is no one around to contradict him, tells a story about his brother, Abel, being attacked by two giant sabertooth tigers. He heard his brother's screams of terror, and came running to his help -- armed with only a single hunting knife. Of course, he fought as hard as he could, for he loved his brother dearly! But, alas, by the time he had reached his beloved brother, it was too late.
Cain was only spared because a massive hunting party had been tracking the tigers for weeks and just happened to come upon the savage beasts....
You see, Cain wanting to "put the past behind him," wishing to "start over," realized that he could simply be someone else.
You've given an illustration, but have made no conclusions. So I'll simply agree that humans will lie to create an identity for themselves--some with greater deviation from facts than others, and in keeping with perceived value of the relationship(s) at stake and with the social context, etc.
Thank you Shadesbreath
It is never my intention, in hosting these forums, to come to any conclusions myself. I am more interested, here, in what you and the others think. I set myself the task, in hosting this forum, of learning from others, not necessarily advancing my point of view forcefully.
Now, you agreed that people lie to create an identity for themselves. What I'm interested in finding out from you is: Do you think human identity would have been less complex were it not for the emergence of the ability to lie, in the species? If lying hadn't been included in the natural history of the evolution of our species how do you think that "human nature" (a problematic term I know) would have been different today?
Watch the Ricky Gervais movie. The first half of it has a great time with this old idea. They actually blow some really humorous light into a conversation that has been going on for eons. You really should watch it, at least the first forty minutes or so.
Very well Shadesbreath, I will watch the Ricky Gervais movie. Since you recommend it so strongly, I take it this film is more or less in line with your view.
It's not so much that it embodies or simplifies or encapsulates my view, but it's one those things that exemplifies how art really refines ideas and moves a conversation forward in huge leaps.
It's like how much easier it is to talk about "original sin" if people have read the Bible, or, how much easier it becomes again if they've ALSO read Milton's Paradise Lost etc. Otherwise you have to sort of reinvent the whole wheel to talk about anything.
Yes wingedcentaur, I've noticed that you keep asking other's opinions, yet never seem to really give your own.
Yes, my approach to running a forum is a little different. My aim is to learn what others think and understand their position. It is not to advance my own opinions, views, ideas, and arguments very forcefully. I play the role of forum interviewer.
But the conversation seems to have built up a very nice momentum. Soon I will withdraw entirely and let it continue and come to its own end. I will be reading the posts with interest, of course.
Telling the truth that would intentionally hurt another individual “(without further legal action, that would hold them accountable), is somewhat insensitive.” and does little to show much of a moralistic value in a person.
In fact: there have been situations where I have actually gained respect for telling a lie.
Good Morning Bearded Lady
Welcome and thank you for visiting our forum today. I know what you mean. There are some people who start off with "I'm just being honest but...." and this is a precursor, a supposed justification for opening up the floodgates of nastiness.
"Honesty" is often just an excuse to abandon all civility. I don't know... maybe its just a "post modern" (whatever that means) thing.
This puts me in mind with a conversation I've been having with a hubber called wilderness. You may remember that sometime last year, President Obama gave a speech to a joint session of congress.
Obama said something to which Representative Joseph Wilson of South Carolina shouted out "You lie." Parts of his constituency actually praised his action, here, as basically "just being honest." What do you think about that?
Obama should be held to a high standard in public, as should anyone who weilds power of that magnitude that the Presidency entitles. Yet he never has been.
Joe Wilson had guts and should never have apologized for calling Obama a liar.
As for your question about human nature and the effects of lying, I'll tie that into the question about Joe Wilson and Obama-----
IF people had allowed Joe Wilson's comment to continue to expose and critique Obama's lies and pattern of manipulating facts and events, then Obama would probably not be President anymore. Therefore, all those people who voted for him would be mad and offensive (well, heck, they are already), and the rest of America would've had to face the horrid () task of putting an actual honest person in charge.
Seems like honesty is too hard for not just our Government, but for way too many American citizens.....
American is taking the easy way out, some of it intentionally, some of it because we're insulted and attacked when we try to hold anyone to personal or political responsibility.
It is, right now, in that state of benign tolerance that's much worse than having to be truthful.
So, yes, the human identity would've been less complex if the ability to lie wasn't there. It's easier on the surface (for some people) to lie than to be honest, but it complicates the psyche.
Seems they often leave out the possibility of just not answering a specific question. People are rarely put into a situation whre they feel they HAVE to lie. They can just say they don't know, or they can say hey that's a personal subject I'd rather not discuss, etc.
A very good afternoon to you, Brenda Durham and welcome to this forum! My, that's quite a long post you've submitted there. I can see you're very passionate about the topic -- that's good. I like that. Your views seem to be very much in line with those of another hubber, Bacall, and the minister, goldenpath.
They, and I assume you as well, believe that each time you lie means that each time you are making a choice that compromises your integrity, and yourself, perhaps your soul. I take it you believe this is so on a macro-level, on the level of a country.
I assume that is what you mean where you say that America "is taking the easy way out, some of it intentionally, some of it because we're insulted and attacked when we try to hold anyone to personal or political responsibility."
You believe that President Obama has lied about several matters, and you consider it a good thing that Representative Wilson called him out on one of his lies -- for a change. According to you, Brenda Durham, we need more people or public servants like Wilson willing and able to call out the president on his lies. Do I have that right?
Interestingly, you also fault people for tactical blindness, by failing to simply refuse to answer questions that they're only going to lie about anyway. Does that approximate your position?
Also, you say that the human identity would have been less complex were it not for the ability to lie, yes? Also, you don't think people are "forced" to lie nearly as much as they make out -- out of self justifying rationalization, no doubt, to satisfy their self-indulgent laziness.
I have two question, if you please.
A) You wrote that the ability to lie and the practice of lying "complicates the psyche." Is a simple psyche preferable to a complicated one?
B) If human beings did not have the characteristic of lying, how might this have affected politics? Would politics have even been possible?
People are rarely put into a situation whre they feel they HAVE to lie. They can just say they don't know, or they can say hey that's a personal subject I'd rather not discuss, etc.
I'm sure that would be your response while being waterboarded by Mark!
B. Yes politics would've been possible. Politics includes judges, lawmakers, etc., and judgement is always needed. But it would've made politics simpler and swifter, would've cut out most of the confusion. Obviously it would be a simpler scenario if people couldn't lie. Lying is about running from the facts, the truth. People would have no place to hide; the lines would be more clearly drawn between what's right and wrong, etc.
That wouldn't necessarily leave out the ability of judges to sentence based on motivation either. The truth could come out about each individual case, and justice meted out accordingly.
And their rights under the Fifth Amendment could still be preserved as well.
Good Morning Brenda Durham
I want to thank you for your continued interest in our forum topic. It is internally consistent, passionately held, forcefully advocated, and articulately stated views like yours that keep us all on our toes!
Your answer to my first question is straightforward enough -- yes, a simpler (I don't think you're not actually advocating for 'simple' psyches) would be better than the self-defeatingly and needlessly, if I read you right, complex one that human beings have.
You believe politics would have been possible without the ability and tendency to lie. But remember, we are talking about politics not the judiciary. You included the category of judges with elected officials in your answer.
How do you think the inability to lie would affect communication between people running for office and their various constituencies -- people their trying to get to vote for them?
Well, it would certainly be a huge step toward transparency, wouldn't it?!
And then the voters would only have themselves to blame if they elected the wrong official.
I'd sure like to see Obama interviewed without him being able to lie!
I bet he'd have to plead the Fifth at least 75% of the time!
Good Day Brenda Durham
I shall study your response and I want to thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us!
Good evening wingedcentaur.
I am involved in politics in Canada (not as an elected official) where I live, and have a good understanding of the need of politicians to lie.
First off if any candidate told the truth he would never get elected. Most of what I do involves holding the opposition accountable. As much as possible.
The person who has never or never will tell a lie does not exist. unless they are about to die.
I hope that is sufficient enough to answer your question.
Good Day Bearded Lady
Since you are involved in politics in Canada, and you believe that the person who will never lie doesn't exist unless he is about to die, perhaps you could give me your thoughts on something. I don't know how closely you follow American politics, but last year President Barack Obama made a speech to a joint session of congress about the administration's response to the financial and economic crisis, and the help he needed from congress to speed up America's recovery and all that.
Well, Obama said something to which Representative Joseph Wilson of South Carolina shouted out "You lie!" What do you think about that, Bearded Lady, a politician calling another politician a liar?!
Hello again, Flightkeeper
Welcome back! I had a question for you. In your first post on this topic you said that lying was both useful, but also has a downside. You said that's why you're a skeptic.
Please tell me: What do you mean by this? What is your skepticism directed at?
Some of my best lovers, were the biggest liers!
Hey! I should write a hub about it!
Good Day lightning john
Thank you for visiting our forum this morning. You probably should write a hub about that. I would definitely read it. It occurs to me, also, that that would make a decent country song! Seriously, it should be called "Best Lovers, Biggest Liars."
Lying in personality is hiding the real information from the existing one just to avoid the problem or to show off the things. Well, we lie when we feel insecurity. But people who are more confident in speaking truth always hesitate to lie.
I always avoid lying, just its against my nature, and I have learnt that lying always trouble us even we try to run away from it...
Well... LYING is BAD.
We can avoid it if we know that what we are doing is wrong.
Good Morning khmohsin
That's a strangely beautiful name. Is it pronounced 'commotion'?
Thank you for visiting our forum today and welcome! Your solution would be just to not do things that we know we're going to lie about later. Do I have that right?
But you also mentioned insecurity as a source of lying, and self confidence as a source of truth. If by 'insecurity' you are referring to a state of being, we have to say that an insecure person hasn't done anything wrong to lie about, but merely exists in a perpetual state of unease.
If you believe insecure people lie, what could they do to prevent themselves from lying?
This is a very interesting thread on a number of levels but first I'd like to mention something about lying; When I come home from work and my wife has been to the hairdressers and she says. "Do you like the way my hair is now?" The truth would be that she looks the same to me today as she did yesterday but that is not what I say. I tell her it's great. I am lying, she knows I'm lying but our relationship is warmer, gentler because of such lies. If a little girl was to ask me "Am I pretty?" even if she is the ugliest thing I ever saw I would still lie and tell her she is pretty. During the second world war the British government fed false information to the Germans about the effectiveness of their bombing raids. Lies, yes but those lies saved many lives.
The point of those kinds of lies is that they are not done for personal benefit. Such lies are told for the primary reason of benefitting others. An opposed point would be lies told purely to benefit yourself. In my youth, young scoundrel as I was, if a girl was to ask "Do you love me?" I wasn't going to let honesty spoil my chances. A not so honorable lie.
Though not a Christian myself I find a phrase from the Bible to be appropriate; "Be as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a Dove."
Winged Centaur, you make a number of references to congressman Joe Wilson. Was he wrong to call the President a liar? Absolutely. The duty of the opposition is to scrutinize, and to oppose those policies that they consider harmful to the nation. The hearty condemnation of policies and programs is an essential part of a free democracy. The President of the United States, someone who should be uplifted in public, especially world, view. To call your President a liar while he is on the world stage reflected badly on Joe Wilson's lack of self-control and embarrassed America before the world, to say nothing of giving comfort to the enemies.
Why he did it, you would have to ask him.
This has already become a long post so I will leave discussion of your excellent grasp of Socratic questioning for another post.
Good Day iantoPF
Thank you for visiting our forum today and welcome. If I understand you right, you recognize at least three categories of lies: those for social harmony (complimenting wife, child, etc); opportunistic lies (the young man on the make, as it were -- "Do you love me?" the girl says and in order not to miss your "chance" you say...; and lies that actually saved lives during World War Two.
You are the third or fourth hubber to mention lying's life-saving function. Do you believe there's an evolutionary component in the emergence of this characteristic in the human species?
You mentioned President Obama and Representative Wilson. What do you think was happening phenomenologically with Wilson, that he, another politician, after all, would call Obama, another politician a liar?
Do you, iantoPF, believe that all politicians lie or at least tailor the facts, on occasion, depending on the circumstance and the constituency they are talking to? If you do, how would you relate that back to the episode between Wilson and Obama?
Winged Centaur; thank you for replying to my post.
I really see only two categories of lies. Those that are primarily self serving, I say primarily because there are obvious personal benefits to making my wife feel good about herself etc. Then there are lies for personal gain.
As for an evolutionary trait, no.One of our most powerful urges is the one geared to self survival, at times we may perceive, rightly or wrongly, that a lie is necessary for our personal survival. Not just in life or death but in our survival as menbers of a peer group and so on.
Again, I do not judge Joe Wilson in the sense that you require, I have no idea what he was thinking. That is for him to answer. I do not generalize about politicians any more than I would generalize about any other section of society. I consider Joe WWilson's outburst to be ill-advised. It was the wrong time and place, he embarrassed his colleagues and the only ones who could get any real comfort from it were not the opposition but those who would wish us ill. It is irrelevant that Wilson is a politician. The remark, in such a setting would be inappropriate from anyone. To his credit, Joe Wilson recognised that and apologised for his remark. That is not the same as apologising for his views. Whether Joe Wilson is a liar or not, I do not know and will not speculate having never met the man. Being a politician has no bearing on his personal integrity.
As for politicians tailoring facts towards the constituency they are talking to, yes I hope they do lie. I would be very disturbed by a politician who was completely honest about our nations defence system. I would not want a politician to be honest about the whereabouts of our international agents. I would rather a politician tell a lie and point at the wrong person if he was asked who are our agents within terrorist organizations.
I am certain that politicians, as I hope any one else woukd, will lie if they are convinced it is in the best interests of the nation. It is when they lie for personal benefit that it becomes an offence.
Good Day wingedcentaur.
I find this very interesting reading given all the different opinions expressed.
I am involved in provincial politics...and do not follow federal politics quite as closely. However there are many similarities, so I feel I can respond to your question.
In my opinion Representative Joseph Wilson of South Carolina hurt himself and/or his cause and his colleagues by those actions. In situations such as these the colleagues often are the ones who force such people to apologize.
Reading some of the different opinions here has caused me to entertain a new thought, that I don't think has been expressed here yet.
And that is we all have a mask or a face that we put on when we go outside of our homes, that does not represent our true selves. In fact I believe it can intentionally be designed to hide the truth. And some of that can show up in the things we post on sites such as this, as well as the way we interact with others.
So in some respects lying may well be a necessity. What is more important to me is if a person will do something designed to hurt another because they have done something they do not agree with. Which I believe was the situation with Joseph Wilson. And I believe that is what hurt him.
I think there is a difference between "The truth" (absolute truth, whatever that means) and "My truth" which is based on perception - the stuff of memoirs - one side of the story which may have "lies" to colour a bit or because memory is flawed.
I don't tell potential employers that I have Asperger's and have suffered from a depressive disorder - how not to get a job. I don't consider that lying, but because I know that it is human nature to discriminate unfairly, it's something I don't advertise.
Even with "memoir type stuff" I write as if I'm under oath; because I have legal cases "out there", and I never know if I may want to take something I've already written and hand it over to a lawyer for one reason or another. One of the first things the divorce lawyers asked for was "all writings" (in the discovery process). I also ended up specifically writing lots and lots of stuff for the attorneys (when the case turned into something bigger); and that got me in the habit of being super careful too. I've never wanted to lose any cases because anyone could punch holes in what I've written/said (that may have ended up in court or lawyers' offices). (Of course, not all writers have, or had, the whole "multi-legal case" thing running through their personal lives.
I was surprised to be asked for that kind of thing, but it made me realize writings can always be asked for in even the simplest of court cases. I figure, it doesn't hurt to make a habit of being very careful to say things like, "If I remember correctly," when not absolutely certain.
People lie on average 25 to 30 times per day, especially when talking to members of the opposite sex and this I belive is necessasry, if a little annoying to those of us who refuse to play that game.
Our integrity is measured by our Word. How many of us would buy from a company we know lies to us?
I personally feel lying has become a way of life in the modern society however we don't call it lying anymore especially if we are focused on improving business and increasing revenue. What would commonly be called a lie is simply now called clever marketing strategy!
It has been reported with news agencies such as 60 minutes, people today think cheating on an exam is really no big deal. It's only a problem if one gets caught.
If one is a liar, how does one trush a liar?
I think that telling the truth is just easier than lying. (Oh what an evil web we weave, when first we practice to deceive)
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