Society – Is Based on Lies

I recently heard someone say, “Society would unravel if everyone told the truth.” That made me start to think. Is our society really based on lies? I would have to say YES. I am not talking about conspiracies, but about the little white lies. The lies everyone tells on a daily basis that if people quit telling, would unravel our society as a whole. How often do each of us lie on a daily basis. If you say you never lie, then answer this question. Have you ever told a Parent a lie? And if you answer it as no, then you just lied. Everyone at some time in their life has told a Parent a lie.

How many times have you lied to protect someone? I am not taking about lying to keep your friend out of jail, but the little white lies that we say to keep people as friends, family, and co-workers. The most common lie you will tell is when someone asks you, “How was your weekend?” Even if your weekend SUCKED, you will respond with a, “It was good”, or “I enjoyed my weekend”, or the even more popular, “It was not long enough”. How many times have you lied to answer questions about what people are wearing, if you like something someone cooked for you, or if you like the project they just finished? Everyone jokes about the questions, “Does this dress make me look fat?” That may be an extreme example, but think about it. How often have you lied to protect someone?

The funny thing is that the people that are the most honest, and will honestly tell you the truth to questions like this, end up being the society outcasts. Because they speak their mind, and tell the truth. How does society reward someone who always tells the truth? There are times to keep comments to yourself. I am not talking about off hand comments, but answers to questions that people ask you. How does society reward those that give an honest answer to the questions that are asked to them regularly?

I now ask another question. What happens when someone always has their social filter on, and is always telling people what they want to hear, or lying constantly to protect people? How does society reward them? We wonder why everyone thinks that politicians lie. Think about it. The only way someone is elected into office is by protecting the feelings of everyone in their communities. My personal belief is that they start lying to protect people, and then they don’t know when to stop lying. Society has made politicians the way they are. Because society expects clean, unhurtful answers to the questions they ask people. Society has created a social filter to eliminate bad feelings between people.

I would like an answer to this question. When is a lie to protect someone a good thing, and when is it a bad thing? Telling lies at times will re-enforce behavior that does not help society, or that will even hurt the individual more than telling the truth. But then at times telling lies will help society and the individual. Can you have it both ways? Is lying ever good? I remember reading somewhere (not is school, because it is now against the law) a saying, “Thou salt not lie.” Do you think that means, tell the truth, unless it will hurt someones feelings, and then it is OK to lie to protect them? I am sorry, some people do look fat some outfits. Some people can’t sing, draw, or paint. Some behavior is bad, and should not be lied about when someone is participating in it. If you don’t want someone to tell you the truth, then don’t ask the question. If you really don’t want to know how someones weekend was, and you don’t want them to explain the fight they had with a spouse, then don’t ask the question.

Just my two cents… (And I know some of you don’t care about my two cents, but I feel that my two cents is worth adding.)

And I am asking the question: What do you think of this post? And I don’t want the social filter answer, I want the real answer. That is one of the problems I see in America right now. Everyone is willing to ask the questions, but they only want to hear the answer that PROTECTS them, or is the one they want to hear. I am sorry, but sometimes the behaviors and wants of the minority go unchecked, and unstopped because the majority does not want to hurt someones feelings, and wants to PROTECT them by telling lies.

So again, I asks, When is it OK to Lie?

Comments

  1. Sometime people lie to protect themselves from the reaction the other person might have. If we want people to be honest with us we need to be able to take it when someone says "yeah, you do look fat in that…."

    I don't know if it ever ok to lie, I don't know the answer to that question.

  2. I agree with Momzoo – I don't really know the answer. I try hard to give honest answers, and if the answer isn't going to make that person feel good, I try to find an honest way around it. But the fact is, by the definitions in this post, I still lie all the time. I think it's sad too that we lie to protect those around us, when it actually hurts ourselves. For example, your friend or family member does something that's hurtful to you, and when they ask if it bugged you, you say, "Oh no, it's no big deal. It's fine." And we do it because we don't want them to think we're mad at us, but we're really just encouraging bad behavior. Also, think about other societal lies: Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter bunny… Also, empty threats or promises as parents: "I'll take you with me next time" "Knock it off or you're grounded! 1… 2… 3…"

  3. Your Question: When is a lie to protect someone a good thing, and when is it a bad thing?

    My Answer:
    It depends on the situation, and it's all about the Who and What. WHO are you protecting, and WHAT are you protecting them from?

    Example (and I may be way off base here, but I started so I might as well finish): Your child's pets gets run over by a car, you are the only one to see it. It is suffering and won't make it, you have to put it out of it's misery.
    What do you tell your child? This is where the WHO comes in. You know your child better than anyone, you know what they can handle and what they can't. And WHAT are you protecting them from? Again, you know your child better than anyone, you probably know how they will react to the news.

    I submit that it's ok to tell a white lie if it protects loved ones from needless pain and suffering. It's ok to tell a white lie to protect innocence.

    In the example above, you could tell your child the truth to teach a lesson on the fragility of life. You could tell the truth to teach a lesson on the dangers of playing in the middle of the road. You could tell the truth to teach a lesson on responsible pet ownership (did a child leave a gate open?). But would you tell them how much the animal suffered, or that you had to kill it because it was fatally wounded? You may, depending on the WHO and WHAT.

    Let's jump over to the real world. Do I tell little white lies (as per your definition) to people everyday? Absolutely. Is it to protect them from something? NO. Why do I do it? Mainly to get them out of my hair so I can go about my business. Someone asks me how my weekend was, they don't care, they are just trying to be nice. I give the short and quick answer so I can move on, I do not want to have a lengthy conversation with everybody I walk past. Do I think it's ok to "lie" for this reason? Yes, not only do I think it's ok, I think it's a necessity. Otherwise I'd never get anything done. I'm not trying to be mean, my quick answers always come with a smile. Don't take it personal, I just have better things to do (and that is the painful truth, but I never say that to anybody).

    Now close friends, on the other hand, I'll tell them all about my weekend. But that is my choice to do so, and because I enjoy having conversations with them. I make time to have conversations with them.

    I completely agree with you on your last paragraph. So I guess the second answer to your question (when is it a bad thing); it's a bad thing when the lie compromises your beliefs/values. We have been the silent majority for too long. It's time for people to stand up for what is right! Political Correctness (and I think it's part of the white lie thing) is killing this country!

    -Plop

    "Do these pants make my butt look big?"
    "No, your butt makes your butt look big."

Comments are closed