The principles of lying

Is lying good

When I later eat that piece of pie I discover that there really is a worm in it the case where nobody is deceived by me because they know that I always tell lies Lying and statements Some philosophers believe that lying requires a statement of some sort; they say that the liar must actually speak or write or gesture. It is important to learn what honesty is, how we are tempted to be dishonest, and how we can overcome this temptation. Providing inferior service or merchandise is cheating. In contrast, the devil is a liar. This is hard to do, because: consequences are hard to predict measuring good and bad is hard how do we decide what is good and what is bad? Yet many lies do little if any harm, and some lies do real good. Was he justified in assuming a deceiving manner? What if we altered this scenario so that the doctor actually lied? But what could we do in the real world? To become completely honest, we must look carefully at our lives. What would a reasonable public say about her policy, given all the reasons for and against it? Consider this scene: The Doctor enters your hospital room looking cheerful. This is an example of 'rule-utilitarianism'; considering every single action separately is 'act-Utilitarianism'. Sissela Bok married Derek Bok in a professor of law at Harvard from and later President of the University —

Consider this scene: The Doctor enters your hospital room looking cheerful. He already has preliminary indications of what the test results will show, and your prognosis is not good.

when is lying acceptable

She might reflect: Suppose my boss is just about to make a choice to promote me rather than a colleague — a close call — when he gets a phone query from a headhunter dropping unflattering rumors about me. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying.

You must weigh the considerations pointed to by these questions in resolving how to act. To become completely honest, we must look carefully at our lives.

what is lying

How it works If I act as if something is true, then other people around me have two choices. Sissela Bok married Derek Bok in a professor of law at Harvard from and later President of the University — Most of us would accept that an unbreakable rule against lying would be unworkable, but a more sophisticated rule perhaps one with a list of exceptions might be something we could live with.

The principles of lying

What if we altered this scenario so that the doctor actually lied? Even though my boss denies the rumors, perhaps hearing them leaves a residue of doubt in his mind, and he reverses his decision, promoting my colleague instead of me! Copying music, movies, pictures, or written text without the permission of the copyright owners is dishonest and is a form of theft. Virtue ethics Virtue ethics looks at what good virtuous people do. Some excuse themselves for stealing, thinking they deserve what they took, intend to return it, or need it more than the owner. Ask the individuals in each group to silently read their assigned section and consider the forms of dishonesty described in that section. First inspect our own conscience and ask whether the lie is justified Second, ask friends or colleagues, or people with special ethical knowledge what they think about the particular case Thirdly, consult some independent persons about it This sort of test is most useful when considering what we might call 'public' lying - when an institution is considering just how much truth to tell about a project - perhaps a medical experiment, or a proposed war, or an environmental development. When I later eat that piece of pie I discover that there really is a worm in it the case where nobody is deceived by me because they know that I always tell lies Lying and statements Some philosophers believe that lying requires a statement of some sort; they say that the liar must actually speak or write or gesture. When we take what belongs to someone else or to a store or to the community without permission, we are stealing. What is a lie? The liar, then, wants to be a free rider. However, if you are unwilling to make an exception of yourself, unwilling to believe you are more special than everybody else, then Sissela Bok supplies you all the argument you need to see why you should adhere to the Principle of Veracity: telling the truth is just your doing your part to uphold the practice you benefit from. Should we never lie? There may be yet other impersonal reasons, apart from her personal desire to get good intelligence to offer her clients and her personally recoiling at being the object rather than the author of a lie, that bear on her practice and that must be considered in a full accounting of it. Sissela Bok, Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life, If we were to apply this test as a thought experiment we would bring together a panel of everyone affected by a particular lie - the liar, those lied to and everyone who might be affected by the lie.

Sir Walter Scott, Marmion Lying is probably one of the most common wrong acts that we carry out one researcher has said 'lying is an unavoidable part of human nature'so it's worth spending time thinking about it.

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Sissela Bok on lying and moral choice in private and public life