Is is right to tell the truth even if it might hurt/harm someone?

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  1. rikabothra profile image61
    rikabothraposted 12 years ago

    Hi everyone,

    Here's a thought...

    We have been taught to speak the truth, but it is right to do so in the cost of hurting/harming someone? Especially if that someone is a person we care for? It is one of the biggest dilemmas, what do you think?

    1. Dave Mathews profile image60
      Dave Mathewsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Always tell the truth no matter what the circumstances. It may hurt someone but it may hurt more if they hear it from someone else and not you.

    2. maxravi profile image44
      maxraviposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Well I still say go with the truth.even if it hurts the person feel better later..It starts with pain but ends with peace smile

    3. stanwshura profile image71
      stanwshuraposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Ahhh...I have very deliberately thought out this question, and the corollary "would you kill someone to save someone" or the "do the ends justify the means" needle-threading which was prompted by the conditions and practices at Abu Ghraib.

      Basically it's "which right is MORE right" or which is the lesser of evils.

      Would I lie to a rampaging dad who stormed into my school (workplace) DEMANDING to know where his daughter is, even though he is not only not on the list of permitted "picker uppers" we have for each kid - and he is in fact officianlly "persona non grata"?  Yep.  I would lie. 

      If I had to.  In that situation, I'd more than likely just flat out say I can't tell you.   

      Okay, okay - an addict storms into a pharmacy and I'm the tech/clerk/pharmacist (none are true, and I have never worked in a pharmacy).  He says - "you got any Oxycontin stashed away??  Don't lie to me man, or I'll cut this dude up".. or whatever. 

      I don't know.  If there were that med in the facility, I would probably give it up.  A life versus giving in to an addict who wants his fix?  That's a no brainer.

      "Does this dress make me look fat?" - hmmmm....actually, I could answer that truthfully with a "no".  Either she looks great and fit and glamorous and all that - or, frankly, it ain't the dress.

      The short answer is, for me, that if I had absolutely positively know other choice but to lie in order to save an innocent - especially a kid - from harm - yes, I'd lie.  And I know God would be fine with it.


  2. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 12 years ago

    Of course you don't always have to tell the truth. If hurting someone's feelings will be the outcome and no one is harmed by withholding information; why not?

    Does someone really need to know they look fat in a dress? If they are already out, with no chance to change it; what good comes by ruining their confidence?

    Honesty is the best policy, but it should be tempered with compassion.

  3. viryabo profile image96
    viryaboposted 12 years ago

    It depends on how hurtful or how harmful the truth is. If the truth revelation will be really bad, i'll be more compassionate than upright.

    I hate to be a bearer of bad (but true) news. Someone else can do the dirty job.
    But then, that's my opinion.

  4. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 12 years ago

    It may be right when people proclaim to be telling the truth to others, when they may not be, though they may be thinking themselves experts.

  5. jean2011 profile image63
    jean2011posted 12 years ago

    As a child I learnt a Memory Gem that went like this: "Speak the truth, and speak it ever, cause it what it will. He who hides the wrong does the wrong thing still". The truth might hurt, but in the long run you will be at peace with yourself.

  6. FaithDream profile image79
    FaithDreamposted 12 years ago

    While it is right to always be honest, telling someone the truth even it might hurt them requires discernment. One must look at their inner motives as to why they want to tell them the truth.
    Every situation is unique. Who are you telling? Is it about someone else, that could represent gossip? Why are you telling? Is it to lift up another or you truly believe your helping them.
    There is a saying to "speak the truth in love" When telling someone something that might hurt, but it's for their own good, like an intervention, walk cautiously.
    Being honest, and a person of integrity, sometimes will require raw truth. Just review the motives first, then take it slow.

    1. Rajveer Verma profile image60
      Rajveer Vermaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      hii i have this same . dilemma. i told a truth to a lady friend  about what people office think about her and gossip regarding i dropping her home, truthfully . But she retaliated and backfired me and called me a cheap person as i had not told abt this to her  from long time. 'she is furious and not even interested to talking and caled our friendship OFF. I m very simple person. I liked her too much . but i think i hurt her and pointed a finger at her character . but it was never my intention . I told her truth but she is considering me liable and called me a cheap. where did i went wrong . I am so sorry and i am heavily stressed as i am very emotional person.

  7. emjwafa profile image60
    emjwafaposted 12 years ago

    the sooner the better.. the more you hurt that person by hiding the truthit... better if it came from you, than he/she will find it out to other person...

  8. Cardisa profile image89
    Cardisaposted 12 years ago

    I always consider the consequences both ways.

    What happens if I tell the truth?

    What happens if I don not tell the truth?

    Will someone else get hurt if you do not tell the truth? Will an injustice be served if the truth is not told?

    Think about the pro and con of the situation.

  9. mcgreg28 profile image66
    mcgreg28posted 12 years ago

    The lie eventually hurts more.

    1. Cardisa profile image89
      Cardisaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Then absolutely tell the truth.......better in the long run.

  10. Castlepaloma profile image76
    Castlepalomaposted 6 years ago

    I have only 2 rules.
    Be honest
    Do not harm

    I only break the first rule if I know it will harm someone.  Mostly related to unetheical rules that do harm. Like Trumps terrorism nonsense, hidden in humor.

  11. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago

    "Always tell the truth" as a 100% always rule is clearly immoral.  That would means that if the Nazis asked where some Jewish people were hiding, you would tell them, leading directly to their death.

    "Do no harm" as a 100% rule is also clearly immoral because you would never let anyone jab your child with a needle, and then they might die due to not being vaccinated.

    That matters is intent and foreseeable outcome.

    1. Castlepaloma profile image76
      Castlepalomaposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I would lie too to save my own skin. Not surprised to find Christains or Jews will die to save their Religion, even though it is not going anywhere fast.


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