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Do People Have a Right to Lie?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Nakosis, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    A fundamental right to lie?
    Outside of being under oath or a public obligation to tell the truth?

    News reporters, do they have a public obligation to tell the truth?
    Does the 1st amendment get in the way of this?

    In some cases, the truth can cause unnecessary harm or unwanted consequences. People, for your own good lie to you. Do others have a right to decide what is good for you?

    If there is an obligation to tell the truth, where does it begin? Where does it end?
     
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  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    We have a right to lie.
    We (not me) exercise it frequently.
    But there are sometimes negative sanctions.

    Oh, there's also a right to prevaricate & otherwise mislead.
    Even a right to be incorrect, & not even wrong.
     
  3. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    I would consider news reporters lying to be a breach of ethics, relating to journalism specifically. Though everyone else has the right to lie. They don’t have the right to avoid the consequences of those lies, though.
     
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  4. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I don't see reasons to lie. Ideally, media ethical guidelines prevent reporters to lie and fudge the truth. There's a lot of legalities involved in it.

    Five Principles of Ethical Journalism - Ethical Journalism Network.

    I'd be at a standstill morally if I lied to protect myself or my loved one. Doing it out of self-defense (therefore not premeditated) I believe that's justified. Premeditated lying, I disagree with. That's just one of those "sins" I never really committed since I'm not around people to even be in the position to lie. Though, not an obligation.
     
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  5. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    This reminds me of a story from India I've heard several times with different protagonists. In short:

    A man sitting on a rock was known to be absolutely honest. A young woman ran up to him and say rapists are chasing me, please protect me. The honest man had the woman hide and then moved to another rock. When the would-be rapists ran up, the honest man said that he had seen no one while he was sitting on the rock. He was honest in that his words were literally true but said in a misleading way.

    Should the honest man have not mislead the rapists? I don't think anyone would say that he should have been.

    And of course we have the classic "does this dress make me look fat?" which is a typical example of this kind of situation. There are many answers which are literally honest rather than saying that the dress is utterly hideous, the wrong color, unfashionable and makes the woman look like a hippo.
     
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  6. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    I guess there is deliberate lying of the malicious kind......and there is telling half truths, which are worse than lies in my experience....and then there is the 'fibbing' so as not to hurt someone's feelings....(honey, does my butt look big in this?)
    And there is the media's version of a headline that the article following reveals was baiting. The actual headline bears no resemblance to the story, or someone just made up the story around a rumor. When have the media ever allowed the truth to get in the way of a good story? :rolleyes: News sells $$$

    Sometimes its not just a brutal honest response that will reveal the truth, but a more subtle way of addressing it might be required. e.g. responding to the last question with "yes honey...your butt looks huge in anything you wear"....might be the truth but the delivery will sting even though she asked for an honest opinion.... the truth does not need to be a battering ram.

    I heard a good illustration once where, someone can toss a ball gently to allow you to catch it easily....or they can throw the ball so hard that it hits you in the head and gives you concussion. :eek: It's all in the delivery.

    We Christians are under obligation not to lie and that I believe extends to those whose agendas we support for any reason. If we support liars, then we are as accountable as they are....imagine how that correlates to any Christian who supports a political party or agenda and then finds out that they were liars all along. Does God separate you from them? I don't think so, because Jesus has already told us to be no part of that world.....and for a good reason. (1 John 5:19) We should know who is running this show and realize that there are no "good guys" since they all have the some puppet master. :oops:
     
    #6 Deeje, Feb 23, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  7. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I weigh the smaller lies, and try to take the path of the least harm. For example, when I taught, a kid with an abusive parent might get into minor trouble at school, and we wouldn't tell the parent, as it would mean he/she would get a severe beating.
     
  8. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I wonder if sometimes politicians feel that it is ok to lie to the public if they feel it is necessary to create the "right" public opinion. nobody likes to find out they've been lied to of course, Like the idea of preventing a public panic if they knew the truth.
     
  9. rational experiences

    rational experiences Well-Known Member

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    Truth. A science truth to have learnt destruction and how to sacrifice life.

    The elitist truth don't take my life style away from me.

    Communal human family truth we are strong enough to work together for our greater good.

    Elite plus science organise lying as they own status and lifestyle involved in choice making.

    An everyday human just making choices about life owns truth telling.

    Elite control was never any truth owner.
     
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  10. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I generally see it as situational. Most of the time I have no reason to lie. So I don't. Sometimes, I wouldn't say the greater good, but you weigh the pros and cons and the pros tip the scale.
    I wouldn't lie for selfish reasons but that is just my personal feelings.

    Though I suspect everyone who lies feels they have some justification for lying, whatever that reason is.
     
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  11. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Most definitely. I asked about a situation even on RF and was told that if media downplayed (or told it as it is) highly sensitive events, no one would care. So, if they put more emphasis on the news, people would care out of maybe fear or high concern. Emotions that draw people to the television and marketing to add. I actually don't care for media at all. Looks more like fabrication and infotainment than anything else.
     
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  12. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    That sounds more like keeping a secret. Would you consider keeping a secret synonymous with lying?
     
  13. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    If the parent asked me, it would be a lie, yes, and sometimes I did that. But yes, sometimes it was simply withholding information. There have been other times I've lied. Lots of children are told to lie by their parents, when they're home alone. There are lots of great and ethical reasons to lie. For selfishness, no. To avoid responsibility, no.

    I think the lying-bad, truth-telling-good is a syndrome of folks who think in black and white only. For me, it's always more complicated.
     
  14. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    Hard to say. I've heard that "little white lies" may not be so bad. For example, if you had dinner over at a friend's house and you didn't like the food, you might still lie and say that it was delicious, just to avoid hurting their feelings. Or if one's wife or girlfriend asks "Do I look fat?"

    I guess I would differentiate between private or personal lies among individuals, as opposed to public statements or written declarations, to include contracts and matters of commerce. Regarding matters of the law, as long as one has the right to remain silent and as long as the Fifth Amendment exists, then one doesn't really have to lie.

    My brother used to have a certain talent for lying. He would talk quite a bit about how to lie, what kind of facial expressions to use, and so on. Because he was my brother, I could read him like a book and knew when he was lying, but other people really couldn't. And he would tell some of the dumbest lies. One time I found out that he lied to his circle of friends and said we were related to a semi-famous celebrity, so he was stuck with that lie. He was kind of embarrassed that I found out.

    Liars need a good memory.
     
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  15. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    Technically , if we all live in a narrative , ours being the western adventure narrative , then are we not simply looking for points that support the points that allow for it to thrive?
     
  16. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    To lie in a manner likely or intend to do unwarranted harm or injury to others? Do people have a right to point a loaded firearm at others with a willingness to resort to doing them harm or injury? What if they cover the firearm with a bag and claim being in the way of the bullet was the victim's fault?

    Honestly. What's the question here?

    A more interesting one to me would have been something along the lines of, do people have a right to pretend lying to other people will do no immoral harm or injury if the lied to people are for some reason to be blamed for any harm or injury it causes them?

    Got any kids, friends, family you care about? Ever worried enough something might harm or injure them so you didn't just brush it off that it could not?

    Human nature is human nature, but it sure can take some interesting turns when DNA decides to translate into behavior.
     
  17. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    When do you suppose was the last moment in human history right before humans had learned so much about so many things that there were no longer any humans who couldn't be fooled into doing themselves some kind of harm by someone who knew a little something more than they did about this or that thing, and was thus able to gain an advantage on them in lying to them?

    Have you had a chance to think about that in terms of how many tradition-based morals, customs, laws, and regulations might be out of touch with reality when it comes to the dangers of some common kinds of lying?

    Bet you will find plenty of posts in this thread that sound like truisms, folk wisdom, platitudes, noble defenses of personal freedoms. Bet you won't find one that jives with the science on lying.

    This is by no means directed at you, friend. You're RF's leading candidate in my book for being our Forum's most likely to be here to actually learn something member. Just want to say, these are very dangerous times for anyone who's been coasting on what they learned of the world back in high school.
     
  18. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    If anyone is genuinely concerned with this issue, and I know a few are, I think a good, solid approach to this question is along the lines of John Stuart Mill's 'Harm Principle'.

    Basically, back around 1860's, Stuart came up with the novel idea (until then) that a person's right to speech was limited only by when it would likely harm some other person. Of course, the idea went viral, swept the British Empire, surfaced so popular in America that newspaper editors mistook it for a wet dream, and so on and on to become today's most universally accepted notion of the limits to free speech.

    Today, it is under sustained and increasingly threatening attack from an emerging idea that would essentially mean extending Mill's notion of 'harm' from meaning more or less physical or at least seriously mental/emotional harm to much more along the lines of causing any feeling in someone that they had more or less been traumatized by hearing something.

    The extension first took root on the extreme left among some fringe academic groups. Mostly, undergraduate students looking for a trendy way to virtue signal, led by a fraction of the adjunct professors on a campus, and especially those not much older than the students.

    The idea is still mostly found on the far left, and isn't popular at all even with progressives, but you wouldn't know that if your understanding of the left relies on the right's views of the left.

    As always, it's just silly to think you are ever going to find too many Toyota car salesmen you can count on for accurate information about Ford's line. I keep trying to understand why so many of us do that thing when understanding the other side of the aisle. I mean, the competition is a great source for what the other guys won't say about their own product. Granted. But how can we humans so often convince ourselves that a competitor should be our only source of information about their competition?

    I think if we were being honest, the idea that words can be so traumatizing as to in some sense warrant being considered legally harmful is a case where it seems empirically true that verbal abuse is a real thing, and a real way to cause someone lasting harm, but perhaps the most important question is whether it's even close to possible to outlaw speech in accord with the extended principle of 'harm' in any way that would not create more damage than it prevented.
     
  19. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    Would that apply to Christians who support the leaders and agenda of their particular religious group and then hear that they have been lying but don't want to believe it. Have we an obligation to investigate whether they have been lying?
     
    #19 Brian2, Feb 23, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  20. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    well, can you listen to both , and then project a third human into the intercise between them , that will judge more fairly ? For is there not a truce between two poles , be it as it may that they each pull
     
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