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White lies: necessary evils or just as unacceptable as 'black' lies?

  1. kate12402 profile image59
    kate12402posted 5 years ago

    We all know that every once in a while we tell a little white lie, and sometimes (okay we'll be honest, a lot of the time), those 'little' white lies snowball into giant monsters we no longer have control over.  But there are certain instances, I'm sure you can think of a few examples, where you've told a white lie with the pure intent of protecting someone else's feelings, or avoiding a confrontation.  Is that really so bad??  How do you reconcile those little white lies with a spiritual calling that tells you to be impeccable with your word?

    1. mischeviousme profile image59
      mischeviousmeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      By being mindful of yourself and how you affect others... If I am only mindful of myself though, I may miss the rest. One must be aware of lifes consequences and be prepared, though it's easier said than done.

    2. couturepopcafe profile image59
      couturepopcafeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      You may think you're protecting someone with a white lie but you may be keeping them from growing. Give everyone the opportunity to grow from the truth.

    3. kate12402 profile image59
      kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I think i agree as well, although like micheviousme said, it's a lot easier said than done.

      1. noenhulk profile image54
        noenhulkposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Amen. That's right!

    4. Mankman profile image61
      Mankmanposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      It's not always necessary to lie, but many do for a good reason.

      It's okay to sugarcoat things, occasionally.

  2. Cagsil profile image61
    Cagsilposted 5 years ago

    I always find it interesting when people bring up this topic.

    Actions are tied to morals. Morals are either immoral or moral. Thus, black and white.

    To think there's a grey area of acceptance is dishonest. Integrity is to lead our individual character and to not up hold it, is dishonest.

    Aside from that, telling people little "white" lies are not giving people the truth, just to give them a sense of self esteem or self confidence, doesn't work because it works in reverse in other things.

    Boosting a person's confidence can give them a false sense of themselves, if you lie to them. Which can result in later harm.

  3. kate12402 profile image59
    kate12402posted 5 years ago

    I think the grey area comes when some people consider one action to be moral, and others consider it to be immoral.  The grey comes from the disagreement.  There are plenty of things that people disagree about when it comes to morality.  So for individual people there is no grey area because you either think something is moral or you think it isn't.  But for groups of people, where the opinions join to form collective opinion, then there is grey.

  4. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 5 years ago

    I think any white lie told with a pure heart is not a lie as much as it is a kindness.

    But, that is only if it is told out of love and concern. Not to cover your butt because you are late for work or something.

    I think people get so caught up in defining the parameters of right and wrong that they don't think about what it means.  What do you expect to accomplish with 'right'? Is it kind to be honest with a cancer patient and tell them they look like death warmed over?

  5. kate12402 profile image59
    kate12402posted 5 years ago

    Interesting point.  You're right, I would never say that.  In that situation I would lie, and wouldn't bat an eyelash at lying.  Although where do you draw the line?

    1. profile image0
      Emile Rposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I think you draw the line at the expected end result for the person. A lie for yourself is a lie, no way around that. And the lie can not be seen as doing potential damage. Telling someone they look great may seem expedient at the moment, but if they don't and being honest would save them future embarrassment...truth is the kindness. Not a white lie.

      1. kate12402 profile image59
        kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I like that answer.  Thank you!

    2. mischeviousme profile image59
      mischeviousmeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      When one's actions do direct harm to the self, it's probably better to find a different way. I would lie to protect a friend, but only to an extent... I won't harbor a fugitive and that kind of lie does damage.

      1. kate12402 profile image59
        kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Haha have you been asked to harbor a fugitive in the past??

        1. mischeviousme profile image59
          mischeviousmeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          No... Just using an example, even if by proxy.

          1. kate12402 profile image59
            kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Either way, I do agree with you.  It kind of goes with what Emile R said above about how you would never tell a cancer patient that they look crappy.  You just wouldn't because telling them the truth would do more harm than good, and lying to them would lift their spirits possibly.

            1. mischeviousme profile image59
              mischeviousmeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              they would also know were lying, even with fake humility.

              1. kate12402 profile image59
                kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

                depends on what you say? i mean obviously if you say "hey you look amazing where'd you get your haircut?" they're gonna see through you.  But I think maybe if you say something like "you look like you could some rest" instead of "you look anorexic and bald doesn't look good on you" you might get a better response.

                1. mischeviousme profile image59
                  mischeviousmeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  How about talking to them like their human beings and not patronizing them with false sentiments...

                  1. kate12402 profile image59
                    kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    i don't think what i suggested was false sentiment.  have you ever had someone close to you die from cancer?  I have - one of my closest friends.  I agree with you about talking to people like they are human beings, but there's no reason to be mean or say things you know would do more harm than good.  And most people with cancer aren't just fighting the disease, but also the fact that they (and others around them) begin to define themselves by the cancer.  They need breaks from constantly being reminded that they're sick.  They are people too, not just cancer patients.

                  2. profile image0
                    Emile Rposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    That sounds somewhat rigid. Everything is relative. Someone who is sick  may not look like they could win a beauty pageant; but truth can be found other than stating that.

                    Maybe white lies could be better defined as finding the elusive positive and leaving the glaring negatives unspoken.

  6. Cagsil profile image61
    Cagsilposted 5 years ago

    People can be polite without having to resort to lying.

    You don't have to tell a Cancer patient that they look crappy. But, you can tell them that they don't look so good. They expect it.

    1. kate12402 profile image59
      kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I would agree.  Although you could also just avoid telling them anything about their appearance at all and talk about other things going on in your lives as well.

      1. Cagsil profile image61
        Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        When you are asked a question it is polite to answer said question if you can do so. Detracting away from the subject is dishonest, just because you feel uneasy about answering said question.

        1. kate12402 profile image59
          kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          you're assuming they asked you in the first place.  as you had not mentioned this stipulation at the beginning of the conversation, it can't apply to anything I said before you invoked it.

  7. SandyMcCollum profile image79
    SandyMcCollumposted 5 years ago

    I agree with Kate, I have taken care of people in a hospice situation, and once I was unfortunate enough to be a patient in a hospice. They were so sure I was dying, but even so, I appreciated the ones who bothered to notice if I looked good. Telling someone they look better than last time you saw them isn't building false hopes, but a positive in an otherwise bleak situation, and if they know you're lying, so what, they know you care enough to try and make them feel better.  I have and likely will tell this lie again, too. But dishonesty isn't the ticket, if a lie MUST be told let it be from love. Otherwise, a lie has no size or color, it's just a lie, any lie is a lie. Just mho.

    1. kate12402 profile image59
      kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Thank you for commenting!  It's one thing for me, having never been in the place of such a patient, to express my opinion, but it speaks volumes to hear your opinion.  Thank you smile

    2. noenhulk profile image54
      noenhulkposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      It means white lies is building positive hopes while black lies to false hopes. Is that so?

      1. kate12402 profile image59
        kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        That's a pretty good way of looking at it I think.

  8. kate12402 profile image59
    kate12402posted 5 years ago

    Okayy I'm going with that is sarcasm, in which case I would say this: the pursuit of understanding humanity (anthropology) is my passion.  You insult it and me by purposefully working to confuse others, and inhibit intellectual discourse.

    1. mischeviousme profile image59
      mischeviousmeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      No... I drop logic pills, you just don't see beyond the words and infer your own meanings. As far as I'm concerned, I'm absolutely right. Which brings me to my point... It's all personal nonsense.

      1. kate12402 profile image59
        kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        You are purposefully blocking intelligent conversation for your own entertainment.  Frankly, it's disgusting.

        1. mischeviousme profile image59
          mischeviousmeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          And your still reacting with emotion, that's all you. I didn't tell you to give into your frustration, it's all how you choose to react. Being mindful of how I'm affecting you is your own business, telling me how to conduct myself in an open forum isn't.

          1. kate12402 profile image59
            kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            It is considering the open forum was started by me, and I take responsibility for the conduct of the people within this forum.  I take responsibility because I genuinely care about others, and about the noble goal of genuinely pursing knowledge.

            1. kate12402 profile image59
              kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

              However you're right.  Clearly you want the last word, so go ahead.  Take it.  I'm done.

            2. mischeviousme profile image59
              mischeviousmeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I do to, but like all other people, it's my process. You care one way, I care in another. I will never see it exactly your way nor will I ever feel your pains. It's an individual experience, we conduct ourselve's as life comes at us. We handle it as we were conditioned to, by our elders. Don't blame me or yourself, blame my parents.

              1. profile image0
                Emile Rposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                You do understand that your posts haven't fooled even the most casual of observers? If you didn't understand what the word lie meant you should have asked. We wouldn't have laughed.

                1. mischeviousme profile image59
                  mischeviousmeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't tell lies, I don't feel I have to. There's no need for it... Maybe for you scumbags, I got other $#!% to do. Like being honest... You're all dirt, if you think it's cool to lie to any degree, should actually be ashamed of yourselve's...

                  1. profile image0
                    Emile Rposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    lol lol lol

                    Now I am laughing at you. You first claim lying is beneath you, then you claim you are full of lies...now your last post.

                    Make up your mind little guy. Or not. I think what you are is obvious.

  9. stclairjack profile image80
    stclairjackposted 5 years ago

    I always approached the truth vs. honesty conundrum with not just morals but also expediency in mind. It may be Machiavellian of me, but I tend to ask myself,.. “what best serves the purpose of the moment?”

    I guess it’s a judgment call following an examination of conscience,… am I telling the truth because it will aid the situation or because I get some perverse glee out of it,…. It comes down to motive.

    and i must admit,... if your dumb enough to ask me,... your liable to get the unvarnished truth,.. if i think you need it.

    1. kate12402 profile image59
      kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      That's an extremely interesting way to view it, and actually I think that's the best answer yet!  I'm not sure how Machiavellian it is lol, but I think you're right about the need to question the motive behind the honesty.

      1. stclairjack profile image80
        stclairjackposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        thank you!

 
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