Wouldn't you say that a major difference is that people know when they are lying to others but not when they are lying to themselves?
Hi JL - this can happen, but it's not always the case that a person consciously 'knows' they are lying to another. I have often seen people who deceive themselves - they repeat the lie to themselves until they 'believe' it, and in that 'belief', repeat that same deception to others.
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
There is an enormous flaw in your argument.
Because someone lies doesn't invalidate their belief that lies are not justifiable.
Hi Finn - I didn't say it does. What I said was :
This is what I meant. Many people think 'it is flat out wrong to lie'. These same people lie to themselves frequently, and to others most likely daily -never looking at either the hypocrisy, or the why.
The point of this comment is that before people pass judgement that it is flat out wrong to lie - they should look at and understand the reasons why they lie to both themselves, and to others...doing so may then lead to them gaining a better understanding of themselves, a better understanding of others, a more informed view, and perhaps even a different view.
I then followed that by this - which is in response to someones ascertations about conscience.
People ask about the justification, and conscience, but I would say that consequence is much more relevant to ones conscience than justification is to an ideal.
Essentially, people who say 'there is never any reason to lie' are willing to cause damage to others in order to not lie, claiming a higher good.
Let me put this to you. You are a long term family friend of a couple that have a marriage breakdown, and the wife flees to your house. The 'husband' kicks the door in, pumps a shotgun and waves it in the air screaming at you 'Where is my wife. I know you know, so if you don't tell me, I'll kill you'...do you say '2nd bedroom on the right'...or is it okay to say 'she hasn't told me where she's staying, only that it's at a refuge'.
Or another breakup scenario - you're best friends with a couple. The wife leaves and tells you one of the major problems was 'he's a lousy lover, too small, and never lasts long enough...and truth to tell, I've always really fancied you'. The husband later says 'I'm glad to have you as my friend. No one else seems to understand what I'm going through. It doesn't make any sense, the reasons she gave me. Did she tell you why she left?' Do you tell your best friend that she did tell you, and the reasons she gave?
The point being - saying the 'truth' can have negative consequences. The argument that exists over justification is an argument of positive vs negative. Can a blanket 'the positives will always outweigh the negatives' exist in all circumstances, where almost everything in life seems to have an exception to the rule? And should we be held to a blind ideal of 'it's just bad to lie' - which would make the ideal itself the justification (which is a plain silly way to justify something)...or should a decision be made from the best of our conscience after considering the good and bad outcomes of whatever path we choose?