What if people did not know how to tell lies?
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Lies! Lies! Lies!
Telling lies is one of those things we associate only with human beings...although we know many animals have learned very well the arts of disguise and deception. Changing their colors to hide from predators, luring prey into their clever "traps", and so on. While such survival techniques might not fit the definition of "lying", they do represent some of the same basic motivations behind the practice of lying...that of "survival".
We know that most everyone learns how to lie at a very young age, because we see it as parents, and because it is well documented. When parents begin to discipline children, the children learn that admitting to the truth about a particular infraction or error in judgment would very likely lead to something they'd rather not deal with...so, they begin to stretch their imagination to form something they think will save them from that...by learning how to weave lies.
In addition, many children might see and hear lying behavior being carried out by people all around them. Their parents, siblings, relatives, friends, TV and other media personalities, politicians, even religious leaders...are all known to lie about some things. So, to expect our children NOT to lie is probably out of the question.
If it were possible to magically transform everyone on earth into people who simply COULD NOT LIE, there is no telling what kind of world would exist. At first look, we would expect everything to be peaceful and blissful and absent the negativity that lying behavior brings about; and, most likely, some things would surely be better.
Of course, lying is just one facet of the intricate dynamic which makes up the larger picture of human relations and interactions. Absence of lying behavior does not mean every other behavior would improve. It might just mean that people would become bolder, colder, and more in-your-face about things...without thought of any consequences of always telling the truth.
If people never learned the art of lying, we would at least know the truth about one another; be that a good thing or otherwise. Sometimes, the truth does hurt, as we all know; and, sometimes, stretching the truth might be the more compassionate thing to do. If nobody knew how to lie, people would probably barely associate with one another, for fear of knowing more than they'd like to know..."TMI", as they say, can be overwhelming and detrimental to healthy relationships.
The Bible tells us that "God hates lies". Of course, not everyone believes in God, so this would not mean very much to them. Even those who do believe in God likely have some sort of understanding of God's forgiveness that allows them to indulge in white lies and fibs and even real lies, if circumstances somehow dictate such behavior in their individual thinking.
Sometimes, it's true that "the truth would be more harmful to others", so we opt for the easier way out of a 'potentially precarious predicament' by fabricating lies. I think we'd all prefer to see a bit less open lying behavior in some of our leaders and highly-influential personalities, but I am a realist, too; so I don't expect them to change for me. I can only expect to try making changes in myself.
- Why Do Kids Lie? | World of Psychology
We seem to be in an ongoing analysis of why people lie... First, clients to therapists. And now we bring you a well-written, in-depth article in yesterday's New
- Are Kids Copying Their Parents When They Lie? -- New York Magazine
Kids lie early, often, and for all sorts of reasons...
- Art Markman, Ph.D.: Punishment Helps Kids Learn To Lie
There is some research suggesting that when children grow up in an environment with extensive physical and verbal punishment they are at risk for behavioral problems as they get older.
- Seven Things God Hates
Relevant Bible Teaching is the online Bible teaching ministry of Brent Barnett, featuring his books, commentaries, devotionals, and more.