Is it morally right to tell a lie under any circumstance?

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  1. choneycutt profile image73
    choneycuttposted 6 years ago

    Is it morally right to tell a lie under any circumstance?

    We always justify why we lie with the term "white lie."  However, is it morally right to do so in certain situation.

  2. Mr. Happy profile image82
    Mr. Happyposted 6 years ago

    Immanuel Kant dissected this topic in a brilliant manner in my opinion when he was talking about the categorical imperative. I am not going to explain that here but I will give his example of when it is morally right to lie.

    The example he gave was of a man running away from someone who is trying to kill him/her. If that person knocks on your door and asks You to hide them, it would be morally right to answer the door when the killer comes and lie, saying that You never saw anyone. Thus, saving that person's life.

    Every situation has to be analyzed, in order to act appropriately.

    1. choneycutt profile image73
      choneycuttposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      But, Immanuel Kant argues that it is never morally justified to tell a lie.  In his example, Kant would argue that you could not morally lie to the killer.  With Kant, the context does not matter.

    2. Mr. Happy profile image82
      Mr. Happyposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      lol This is where philosophy is fun: ""Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law." - Would saving a life not be a maxim able to become a universal law?

    3. choneycutt profile image73
      choneycuttposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I see what you are saying.  If saving a life and not lying are both universal laws and they contradict in a certain circumstance, it is up to our better moral judgment to choose the correct maxim to follow.  Well, done.  *applause*

    4. Mr. Happy profile image82
      Mr. Happyposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      If You get a chance and feel like it, check out:  - Either way: Thank You and all the best!

  3. peachpurple profile image63
    peachpurpleposted 6 years ago

    Depending on the situation. If at home or work, shoyld be ok but not in the court

  4. dashingscorpio profile image85
    dashingscorpioposted 6 years ago

    Of course it can be morally right to tell a lie.
    Everyone has their own "moral compass".
    If you knew someone was looking to kill one of your friends or family members and this person asked you if you knew where they were (which you did) but chose to lie to them.... Most people would say you did the moral thing by lying to the would be killer!
    People have also been known to lie to their spouses in an effort to throw them off track while planning a surprise birthday party for them.
    If someone at work asks you how are things going and you say "fine" when in fact you had a fight with your girlfriend last night or bill collectors have been calling your house that would make you a liar.
    However on the other side of things (you have a right to your privacy) and therefore are not obligated to run down your list of problems to everyone who asks you:" How are things going with you?"
    A parent who tells their "average looking" child they are handsome, beautiful, or talented does so to attempt to build up their self-esteem or confidence. What's the upside to being a "dream killer"?
    "Morally right" is determined by what the {intention} of the lie is.


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