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Is lying ever justified? Show more Show less
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“Lying’s bad.” There’s not a single child who hasn’t heard this phrase or some variation of it. We’re taught at a young age that the truth is important, that you shouldn’t lie, and yet lies slip off the tongue so easily, some small, others painful. If so, can they be justifiable?

There are only some times when lying is justified Show more Show less

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Acting is another form of lying

The difference between an actor and a liar is that you're aware one is already lying. Acting has been a form of entertainment for ages. The popularity of things like Netflix speaks for itself. As a form of lying though it's intentions are almost always geared towards entertainment.
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The Argument

Lying is an art form and acting is that art taken to the screen, the stage. Not quite living a lie but creating one. Making an elaborate lie with layers and depth, a story that you tell to people and then you make people believe it. Acting and lying, while almost synonymous, have been kept in different categories due to acting being seen in a more positive light.[1] While both are skills and art forms when someone says acting they think of theater or movies. When someone says lying they think of the avoidance of truth, being purposefully deceiving. Is that not what acting is though? A deception. Actors bring people joy and entertainment with their lies. They've polished their skills so that when we see them we believe the lie, the persona they've taken on and get immersed in the story.[2] There are those who use their acting to lie. To catfish people online, to fake who they are to take advantage of them but those are lies meant to hurt instead of entertain. With lying there's no justification to lies that hide and hurt, but with there's justification to lies that are meant for fun, for joy. They're lies that are supposed to have a good ending.

Counter arguments

With lying, one of the questions to ask is what constitutes as lying? Is it saying the opposite of the truth? Obscuring it? Is it creating something that everyone knows is a lie, or does everything that contradicts the truth count as a lie? The best way to really define it though isn't by what it's supposed to be but what it does.[3] Is the lie a joke that makes people laugh or is it something mean? Is it meant to protect or hurt? Lies are complicated territory because it's not about the morality of telling them but the mentality you have when telling them.[4] Good or bad, lies seem to be bad yet have good intentions when used correctly, and are negative from start to finish with bad intentions. Depending on the mentality you have, what the lies are supposed to do, supposed to mean, determines the true stance the lie has.[5] With acting people go into it with the idea that they'll take on different personas, become different people and entertain. It's a positive take. Using your acting skills to become a con artist or something else along those lines is a very negative take. The reason behind the lie is just as important as the intention. The problem with lies though is that more often than not they're used to weasel out of confrontation and shift the blame from those that deserve it. Good or bad, acting or not, justification is rarely these things when more lies are used to justify it in the first place.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Acting is another form of lying that twists and/or completely ignores the truth

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://rowanthepoet.com/2014/07/21/the-fuzzy-line-between-acting-and-lying/
  2. https://www.theodysseyonline.com/acting-lying
  3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-nature-deception/201905/what-is-lie
  4. https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=7396&context=jclc
  5. https://www.britannica.com/topic/lying/The-morality-of-lying
This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Nov 2020 at 05:26 UTC