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Honesty

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#1
Dylan.

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Honesty can be described by many as the policy of social etiquette to tell the truth. Now, what I am wondering is: How far should we take honesty? When the negatives outweigh the positives, does it give us the right to lie? Everybody lies, so is honesty even logical?

I want to know your perspective on honesty, and I want to know whether or not you actually want to know the truth. I know that sometimes, we all say, "I just want to know the truth." But in the end, are there not certain things we should just go the rest of our lives without having to know?

#2
Mikle

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Well, here in Argentina we have this saying called "mentiras piadosas" which translated would be something like "devout lies". It's commonly used to say that there are certain situations when not saying the truth could benefit everyone involved more than actually telling the truth. I don't share this view however, I've always preferred to be honest and suffer the consequences (and oh boy I have suffered them), somehow I feel like it just makes sense and there's no other way to go about things. If I ever try to lie something inside me doesn't let me get away with it and makes me come clean right away, I dont know why.
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#3
koolkev

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Lies are important in certain situations (Not just for your own sake), but honesty is normally the better choice.
Good topic BTW :)

#4
captain peroxide

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Well, here in Argentina we have this saying called "mentiras piadosas" which translated would be something like "devout lies". It's commonly used to say that there are certain situations when not saying the truth could benefit everyone involved more than actually telling the truth. I don't share this view however, I've always preferred to be honest and suffer the consequences (and oh boy I have suffered them), somehow I feel like it just makes sense and there's no other way to go about things. If I ever try to lie something inside me doesn't let me get away with it and makes me come clean right away, I dont know why.

I fucking love it when you post :happy:

As for me, I'm not sure where I stand. It depends on who I'm talking about, I guess. I could lie about something small, if it wasn't important or if lying did more good than harm, but I don't know. For something big, I'd have to come clean. The big things always come out eventually. I'd also find it a lot easier to lie to a casual friend or acquaintance than to a close friend or family member.

#5
Dai.

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Well, here in Argentina we have this saying called "mentiras piadosas" which translated would be something like "devout lies". It's commonly used to say that there are certain situations when not saying the truth could benefit everyone involved more than actually telling the truth. I don't share this view however, I've always preferred to be honest and suffer the consequences (and oh boy I have suffered them), somehow I feel like it just makes sense and there's no other way to go about things. If I ever try to lie something inside me doesn't let me get away with it and makes me come clean right away, I dont know why.

Miguelolcho! Que lindo es encontrarte por estas partes :woot:
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#6
Mikle

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I fucking love it when you post http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...

As for me, I'm not sure where I stand. It depends on who I'm talking about, I guess. I could lie about something small, if it wasn't important or if lying did more good than harm, but I don't know. For something big, I'd have to come clean. The big things always come out eventually. I'd also find it a lot easier to lie to a casual friend or acquaintance than to a close friend or family member.


Been here for a while, mostly posting in the gaming section as you would expect :p

On topic: I agree, I think it's easier to lie or not to say the whole truth to someone you barely know compared to someone you really care about. I still find it very hard to lie, I feel like most of the times there's no good reason to alter the truth of things.

Miguelolcho! Que lindo es encontrarte por estas partes http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...



Hey Dai :) today I was remembering the "cracky cookies" from the call center, remember? I bought a pack of them recently!
Also, we should really hang out more often, specially when Mr. Librie is around, but definitely more often.

#7
Isabel

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Very often I would inadvertently tend to agree with certain things that friends might say, even if it's not something I agree with or just something that I think is downright stupid. So if one of my friends is yapping on about something that I think is idiotic and could easily call them out on, (which has happened quite a few times) I very often leave it and sometimes even agree with them, instead of being honest and saying: "Well, that's not really true" or "Ok, but I think that's mental." But sometimes I think that it might be the better option because the problem with honesty is, some people are too honest; too honest that they actually lack tact, which isn't a good thing. I have a friend like that, she'll just say whatever she wants and will immediately call someone out on something if she thinks they're either bullshitting or some equivalent....and you can actually guage the annoyance from the person's response when she does this. It's like, ok fair enough, you can spot when someone is bullshitting about something but while the rest of us all sit there and silently smirk about it, she'll just outwardly say something to catch them out on it. And while I can understand the frustration in not wanting to listen to someone bullshit on and on, why bother pointing it out in front of everyone? People don't like to be challeneged and deep down that person knows that they are bullshitting about whatever it is, so why bother telling them again? But then again, I suppose you can sort of see why it happens. Why be silent about something that you know is wrong? Shouldn't you just be honest and upfront? I think it's a hard one to call on.

#8
chewychorizo

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I don't really live my life through honesty, personally I believe if it does benefit the happiness of others on a larger scale, it's...well, maybe not okay? But I don't feel morally wrong to do it. I guess im a big fat utilitarianist but who carezzz.

#9
kck1

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Respect. Means so much

#10
Daughter.of.Rage.and.Love

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I think honesty is very important, and lying is one of the things I hate most. I almost always tell the truth. I'm a decent liar, but even when I plan to lie, I tell the truth anyway when the time comes. I find telling the truth more important than having a small profit or "enjoyment" from a lie and to be honest I don't see that much value in lying, the consequences will never be horrible. There are things that validate lying, but not much.
Maybe it's because I've been raised by fair parents who also find the truth important (so I know the value in telling the truth) and live with a sister who constantly lies about everything (always for egocentric reasons) which annoys the crap out of me, but yeah.

Most of the times when I lie, it's to prevent someone from getting hurt (that sounds bigger than it is, it's like when someone has a new shirt and I don't like it, but I'll say nothing or say that I like it when they ask me. What's the point in telling them I don't like it? It'll only make the other person feel bad.), or not telling the truth and being silent instead. I won't say I never lie because of course that's not true, but I lie as little as possible.
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#11
Kaddi.

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I think honesty is very important, and lying is one of the things I hate most. I almost always tell the truth. I'm a decent liar, but even when I plan to lie, I tell the truth anyway when the time comes. I find telling the truth more important than having a small profit or "enjoyment" from a lie and to be honest I don't see that much value in lying, the consequences will never be horrible. There are things that validate lying, but not much.
Maybe it's because I've been raised by fair parents who also find the truth important and live with a sister who constantly lies about everything (always for egocentric reasons), but yeah.

Most of the times when I lie, it's to prevent someone from getting hurt (that sounds bigger than it is, it's like when someone has a new shirt and I don't like it, but I'll say nothing or say that I like it when they ask me. What's the point in telling them I don't like it? It'll only make the other person feel bad.), or not telling the truth and being silent instead. I won't say I never lie because of course that's not true, but I lie as little as possible.


I'm pretty much exactly like that. Exept I'm a horrible liar and most of the time, people would notice I'm lying anyway, so there's no point in trying it.

I don't see why people do it. If you did something that will lead to consequences you don't like, you shouldn't have done it in the first place if you knew about the consequences. In that case, you should just tell the truth, because you deserve whatever is going to happen. This might sound a bit harsh, but that's what I think.
I'm almost always honest, even if it sometimes hurts people. The only thing I do if I don't wanna hurt anyone is not say anything. I also have real problems trusting people again once they lied to me.

#12
Daughter.of.Rage.and.Love

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I don't see why people do it. If you did something that will lead to consequences you don't like, you shouldn't have done it in the first place if you knew about the consequences. In that case, you should just tell the truth, because you deserve whatever is going to happen.

I think there are exceptions (super strict parents with unreasonable rules, things like that), but as a general rule I agree with this.

#13
Kaddi.

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I think there are exceptions (super strict parents with unreasonable rules, things like that), but as a general rule I agree with this.


Yeah, that's true. But if the consequences are reasonable, you shouldn't lie.

#14
Hermione

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I think it comes down to common sense really. It's best to tell the truth most of the time but sometimes it does more harm than good to tell the truth so it's better to lie. And there's other times where it simply isn't necessary to say the truth so it's better to be tactful and just not say anything.

#15
Dylan.

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Great comments, everyone. This can certainly be a very introspective topic. In my opinion, I believe that honesty is something we have all been told to exhibit since we were small children. Parents don't want their kids to lie to them, so they teach them about honesty. Ironically, parents seem to lie more than anybody. Close your eyes kids, because the truth is about to be told right here...

There is no such thing as Santa Claus.

I know that may be tough for some of you to deal with right now, but I will move on to my point. Santa Claus is a perfect example of parents lying to us, and rewarding us for believing in the lies. Now, I'm not here to bash on Santa Claus. I'm not THAT bitter. (Yet.) I am simply stating that parents teach honesty without living up to the expectations of the concept. Lying to your parents is worth a grounding or what have you. But a parent lying to their kid?? A regular every day activity. Obviously there are things kids shouldn't know, and I completely respect that. But I feel it should not stop there.

Let's be honest with ourselves. There are things nobody really wants to know. In the instance of adultery, someone made the very good point that confessing a horrible mistake that you feel disgusting about, but will never do again, makes you feel better, but makes your partner feel destroyed. This is true, and in my experience, honesty can be one of the worst policies possible.

In summation: While I am not advocating compulsive lying as a practice, honesty is not a very good exclusive policy. We are all going to lie, and we are all going to tell the truth at some point. That is a given. But choosing when it is in your best interest, and the best interest of the person you are speaking to, when deciding whether to lie or be honest, can make all the difference in the world. There are always going to be the moral purists that denounce lying as something horrible and wrong. But sometimes, it may be better than the alternative. Sometimes there are no good outcomes from honesty.

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#16
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I don't have time to fully reply to Dylan's post, but I think that when it comes to telling the truth and lying, you should weigh the pros and cons, but I think that in any situation "telling the truth" itself is a heavy weighing pro of telling the truth. It depends on how big the cons are, but in my opinion there aren't many cons enough to weigh up to the pro of being honest. Adultery is a good example of a maybe, and a quite difficult one as well.

Will comment on the lying to parents thing later (this is more a note to myself than anything else, haha).

#17
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You can't always tell the truth, because many times if you do that you're probably going to get your ass kicked. Doesn't mean you're not a honest person, you're just someone who likes to preserve his own (often physical) safety.

#18
captain peroxide

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I think that in any situation "telling the truth" itself is a heavy weighing pro of telling the truth.

I feel like telling the truth is just as neutral as lying. The problem is, lying usually creates more problems than telling the truth (not always), and so we see it as an inherently negative thing, but neither act is inherently good or bad. It all depends on the consequences. If someone asks me "hey, did you see that episode of __[insert popular tv show here]__ last night?" and I lie and say I did, and that's the end of the conversation, how is that in any way a negative thing? No one is the slightest bit affected by it and it makes no difference in the overall scheme of things. Now, whether I had a reason to do it is another debate, but it's certainly not a negative thing.
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#19
Dylan.

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Alex makes a good point. Lying, as you say, is not inherently bad. In fact, I would say that, the biggest threat of lying, is getting caught. So, lying requires a bit of skill to pull off effectively. Whereas telling the truth requires the recollection of the events that occurred. Not to glamorize lying whatsoever, but you get my point.

#20
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I guess that's just a difference in opinion and how much value you attach to the truth.
In Alex's example I don't see anything bad about the subject of the lie either and if I find out you lied about that I wouldn't think anything of it, maybe because it's not important or relevant to other things. I'd love to put a "but" after that, but I don't know anything... The only bad consequence is people finding out you lied and losing trust. However, I think telling the truth is important so from an outsider's perspective I do not think about even that lie as completely neutral, whereas you two do. Maybe that's my mistake though, because I have conflicting opinions.

Lying is very practical in a lot of situations, it's your personal moral that decides what you think of it and whether you will lie sooner or not.

I am not sure what needing skill to lie and only needing to recollect the events for the truth has to do with when to be honest, though.


And as a general observation: Of course "the truth" is a very subjective thing as well, but that's more philosophy than an actual debate.

#21
Mikle

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This debate is kind of turning into a debate about what we consider morally as good or bad, but I'll play along because I like it and it has became very interesting to read your opinions on this subject:

I think that wether or not we like it, there's this "instinct" of preservation regarding our life in a modern society that sometimes "inspires" us to do things almost without thinking but 100% certain that we are doing the right thing at the moment. I bet you've seen a hundred interviews on tv to anyone from artists to politicians who very often answer hard questions with "I prefer not to talk about that" or "That matter is something that needs to be discussed further ahead", that there is what I call that instinct of preservation and is also liying, because hell, they are hiding the truth, doesn't that imply that such person is liying too?

I think it's a matter of perspective, we could also tear it appart by semeiology and analize the discourse depending on the subject. But since we are now focusing on the action, on the lie itself I'm just gonna leave it here.

This has turned into a very nice debate, great idea, Dylan.

#22
whatsmyname_jimmy

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Great topic btw

As an individual, i just prefer to be honest all the time. It can be a blessing and a curse but i just can't force myself to lie to someone. However, i can understand why people would tell little lies to protect someone. The only thing i can't stand is when people outright lie to save themselves, it's just selfish. The truth always comes out, so why not just admitt your fault in something and get it out in the open? But people are different, so every ones level and view of 'honesty' will be different.



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