Friday, August 11, 2006

Lying and Weakness

Why is lying bad ? Alternatively, why is lying immoral ?

I do not consider lying as being either bad or immoral. However, I do consider lying as perhaps an indicator of weakness (although not neccessarily in the person telling the lie).

In essense, when one lies, one uses the lie as a sort of manipulator to influence existing circumstances. Simply expressed, the lie becomes the means to a certain end. In fact, lies exist for no other purpose than to service that end. A lie cannot either exist idly without purpose or be an end in itself.

Yet, that is not my objection to lying. My objection lies in the fact that lying be taken as the means to the end. If deception is truly the only possible solution, then this implies a great weakness which tells that one is insufficent to effect the solution otherwise.

Perhaps some examples would be more enlightening. When you lie to another regarding your bankruptcy, the weakness underlying this is not only your poverty, but also the inability to accept this state of affairs, and the inability to accept the social stigma associated with it. When you lie to a child by giving a simple (but wrong) explanation to a complex event, this reflects an inabilty to teach as well as an inabilty to learn. When you tell a white lie, this indicates that the other party has some deficiency which disallows her from the truth.

I am inclined to believe that all lies are indicative of weaknesses - The man who does not lie out of necessity may be the strongest of us all.

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