“Lying is bad.” Almost every child has heard this phrase or some variation of it. We are taught from a young age that the truth is important and that lying is unethical. Yet, lies can have purposes, and sometimes the truth can cause harm. Therefore, can lying be justifiable?
Yes, lying can be justified
Lying can be prosocial
Lying can be motivated by kindness and create trust, and therefore is an essential part of a harmonious society.
Sometimes lying is necessary to maintain privacy and safety
Everyone has the right to keep secrets about themselves. We should not be obliged to be truthful when we feel uncomfortable or endangered by telling the truth, so lying can be a necessary form of self-protection.
Lies are thought of as traps people fall into but sometimes people use them as shields. Maybe it doesn't work out the way they thought it would or wanted it to but the intention matters. When you care about someone, wanting to protect them isn't wrong. The execution of that protection though can be.
People in positions of power aren't always allowed to tell the truth
Those in power have bigger friends, but also stronger enemies. It's a coveted position people have that others long for. There are things in this world that are a need to know basis. A decision meant for the country or the entire world can not be answered instantly or with all the details they want.
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.
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.