• patrickcarpenter199

When is Lying Ok? Is it Ever?

Hey all! Today I want to share my personal thoughts on the ethics of lying. This is a topic that seems to be pretty important to a lot of people and I think most people agree that, generally, lying is wrong. However, are white lies the same? Are there times when lying is better?

Let me start by saying that I am not a liar nor an advocate of lying, in general, but I do think this topic warrants further discussion, as it is not as black and white as I often hear it portrayed. For example, if you know a friend of yours is insecure about, say, their weight, it could be discouraging to tell them they look fat, even if you think it's true. In that case, lying and saying you can tell they have been losing weight (even if you don't think so) could make them feel good and encourage them to keep at it. Along the same train of thought, if your significant other asks you if you like his/her art project, but you hate it, what good would it really do to tell the truth? unless your spouse is trying to become a prolific artist, your critique is probably not super productive. Just say something that IS nice about the art and be sincere about it.

Now, if someone asks you for criticism or something, that is different. That means they want total honesty because they feel it may be productive. You have to be aware of a person's goal in situations like this.

Now, I also think that intent matters. If someone makes an honest mistake work, for example, and you are the only one who sees it, what would you do when the boss asks who messed up? I suppose it depends on the severity of the the mistake, but let's say it's not malicious and not dangerous, and this person is generally a good person. I wouldn't throw them under the bus, because again, intent matters. I guess some people would say this relates to karma; a person who generally has poor intent and shows low caring for the job is someone I am more likely to rat out.

There are many others angles here, all of which are discussed in the episode of "Does Anything Matter" with Pepin and I, which you can check out on YouTube with the link below.


To Summarize my thoughts, I believe that lying is always immoral, but not always wrong (more on the differences between morale/immoral and right/wrong to come). There are situations where lying can be better than truth, but generally, truth prevails.

Let me know what you think or if there are other philosophical questions that you want me to break down.

Till next time


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