Notes on a web journey

posted on: 10 February 2009

Lying

filed under: @ 11:09:23 by 7colors

I wanted to think about this topic because it seemed to me to have a number of features not shared by other moral concepts such as murder, cruelty, theft, or promise-breaking. First,while almost all of us would refrain from these acts, most of us lie on a daily basis. Second, if any of us were to act cruelly when this was pointed out to us we would either deny that was an appropriate description of our action or admit we were cruel and, at least, feel guilt or remorse. Whereas many of us are prepared to defend our lies - indeed, to glory in them sometimes. Third, there seem to be contexts in which not only does the fact that something is a lie not count in any way against what we are doing, but seems to count in favor - poker, spying, lying contests, getting someone to a surprise party, lying to the murderer at the door about where his victim is hiding.

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