Sometimes a single lie sits upon hundreds of others.
Wed 15 Jan, 2020 08:36 am
In 1st century BC, Jewish sages proposed some answers to the OP. One of the many issues that separated the House (i.e. school) of Shammai from the House of Hillel was precisely whether one should always abide to "Thou shall not lie" or whether there was some room for "white lies".
The question was framed like this: If you're invited to a wedding and find the bride ugly, should you say so, or should you say that you find her beautiful?
The House of Shammai said it was wrong to lie, always, so if someone asks your opinion on the matter you should say: "the bride is ugly".
The House of Hillel said: "a bride is always beautiful on her wedding day", meaning she's always at her personal best on that day, so you should say: "the bride is beautiful".
I suspect what Hillel really meant was more utilitarian. Note the context of the conversation: nobody was asking for precise, accurate information when they asked you: "Don't you find the bride beautiful?" They were just engaging in social pep talk, and in such context, it's fine to give them social pep talk. Nobody is being deceived here.
No need to comment on anything negative. If asked, just say, "she's a beautiful bride." Everybody's taste is subjective. Everybody doesn't have the same "taste or feeling" of what is beautiful or ugly. To me, my wife is beautiful. After the initial physical attraction, she turned out to be intelligent and kind. What does it matter how other's think about her? Her career as a nurse told me enough about her character.
Maybe it should be restated as: wisdom is kinder than truth.
Sat 18 Jan, 2020 02:16 pm
Our social circle is unique in many ways, including the fact that most of us have known each other when we were all single; and we're now seniors. None ever divorced, and our group lives in the San Francisco Bay Area including the East Bay, North Bay, and South Bay.