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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?

No, lying is never justified Show more Show less

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Lies hurt, no matter the intentions

Lies are just words that go against the truth. Whether they have good intentions or bad intentions are up to the one who tells them. Lies don't end well for anyone though. They are easy to tell, and can easily destroy trust, but trust is one of the hardest things to regain once it's lost.

The Argument

With lying, is there ever a situation where the one lied to doesn't end up hurt? Their trust damaged in some sort of way or even broken? To protect someone, rarely do people think about the future, the fall out of lying. They're caught in the moment, trying to prevent the immediate pain without thinking about the pain their lies could cause in the future.[1] Good intentions, bad execution is the phrase that best describes lying. There's a fallout that comes with lying. Hurt feelings are usually the minimum but people have killed others for less. With relationships, familial, romantic or otherwise, it's not just about trust and communication but truth. Without it, if those relationships are built up on lies, they'll crumble. [2] They're just white lies in the beginning before they're transformed into the ugly truth. That truth though doesn't start out terrible.[3] Painful, yes, but not the ugly terrible that lying makes the truth turn into. Lies are never justified because no matter the intention, when people learn the truth, they always get hurt. The truth will always come out in the end.

Counter arguments

With the idea of lying being unjustifiable doesn't account for the times when there's no other option but to lie. As much as people would like to believe it, not everyone in the world is kind. There are terrible people and liars. It can be dangerous, especially by yourself. Lying is justifiable when its for your safety, especially if its for your safety. Many times it's done to deescalate a dangerous situation.[4] People get mad when they're lied to but in some situations it's the safest course of action. Everyone's been out at night maybe a bit too late. Possibly approached by a stranger and no matter how amiable it sets you on edge, gets your paranoia going. So you lie to get out of it, get away.[5] Lies like 'my friends are waiting for me' or 'I have somewhere to be.' The situations scary and dangerous so if lying will get you out of there quicker than you don't hesitate to lie. You do it without shame or hesitation in fear of that paranoia being right. Is lying the nice thing to do? No, but one should never compromise their safety for 'being polite.'

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Lies turn the truth into something painful [P2] Lies almost always have a fallout that ends painfully

Rejecting the premises

[PR1] People lie to protect themselves

References

  1. https://www.thehopeline.com/how-lying-hurts-you/
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201209/why-being-lied-hurts-us-so-much
  3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/deception
  4. https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/understanding-people-who-lie/
  5. https://www.seattletimes.com/life/when-is-it-ok-to-lie/
This page was last edited on Monday, 9 Nov 2020 at 05:25 UTC