Truth and Lies

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Reply Fri 2 Nov, 2007 08:27 pm
Due to recent experiences in my life I have come to the conclusion that lying is an act of cowardice. I do not mean little white lies to spare another's feelings over something not important.

I think it takes courage to speak the truth, especially when it is something that the person you are speaking to does not want to face. The truth hurts sometimes(ok many times), but ultimately it is for our own good to know the truth. I value my friends who are willing to tell me like it is, I trust them. I know where I stand with them. I know they love me because they care enough about me, and respect me enough, to be honest with me.

I want to know the truth. I do not want to be misled, especially for my own supposed good. And people who lie to me for that reason cannot really respect me very much after all.

If I see a friend doing something I feel will ultimately hurt them down the road, or see they are not being honest with themselves I have to speak up. I think it would be wrong not to. It is not easy to do, but so what? I could not live with myself if I just lied, or ignored the problem. And I would not be a very good friend either.

This is bothering me because recently a friend I trusted very much, well I confronted him about lying to me. He never gave his reasons and said under the circumstances he would do the same thing again. Now I am left to wonder, was it all a lie? And for someone to lie to me like that, and feel justified in it, I do not understand. It did me no good, just made me feel like a fool, who cannot handle the truth, at least by his perceptions. I feel very disrespected by this. I ended the friendship, as much as it hurts, because I cannot stand being lied to. How can I ever know where I stand with someone who lies to me? Was there really a friendship there? I don't think so.

Relationships need trust and honesty, and you cannot have one without the other.

What do you think? Am I idealizing truth too much here?

& If a person lies often, do you think they also lie to themselves?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 3 Nov, 2007 09:31 am
@cmarie phil,
cmarie wrote:
Due to recent experiences in my life I have come to the conclusion that lying is an act of cowardice. I do not mean little white lies to spare another's feelings over something not important.

I think it takes courage to speak the truth, especially when it is something that the person you are speaking to does not want to face. The truth hurts sometimes(ok many times), but ultimately it is for our own good to know the truth. I value my friends who are willing to tell me like it is, I trust them. I know where I stand with them. I know they love me because they care enough about me, and respect me enough, to be honest with me.

I want to know the truth. I do not want to be misled, especially for my own supposed good. And people who lie to me for that reason cannot really respect me very much after all.

If I see a friend doing something I feel will ultimately hurt them down the road, or see they are not being honest with themselves I have to speak up. I think it would be wrong not to. It is not easy to do, but so what? I could not live with myself if I just lied, or ignored the problem. And I would not be a very good friend either.

This is bothering me because recently a friend I trusted very much, well I confronted him about lying to me. He never gave his reasons and said under the circumstances he would do the same thing again. Now I am left to wonder, was it all a lie? And for someone to lie to me like that, and feel justified in it, I do not understand. It did me no good, just made me feel like a fool, who cannot handle the truth, at least by his perceptions. I feel very disrespected by this. I ended the friendship, as much as it hurts, because I cannot stand being lied to. How can I ever know where I stand with someone who lies to me? Was there really a friendship there? I don't think so.

Relationships need trust and honesty, and you cannot have one without the other.

What do you think? Am I idealizing truth too much here?

& If a person lies often, do you think they also lie to themselves?


Don't you really think that lying in some circumstances is not only excusable, but also it is justified? A famous example is that of your friend begging you to hide him from someone who is going to murder him. When you do so, the potential murderer comes along and asks you whether you know where your friend is. Would you tell him the truth?
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Sat 3 Nov, 2007 09:44 am
@kennethamy,
I think people who are habitual liars maybe don't understand the nature of truth. I mean they just don't understand it. There is an honour and a nobility attached to telling the truth because of what the truth means and what the truth has done for one on a personal level.

But those who don't understand the beauty and the value of the discoveries regarding the truth, they don't really recognize truth. And to these people -the natural born liars- telling the truth is something that suckers and children do and something that they distinguish only if it works to their advantage.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 20 Nov, 2007 07:42 pm
@cmarie phil,
cmarie wrote:
Due to recent experiences in my life I have come to the conclusion that lying is an act of cowardice. I do not mean little white lies to spare another's feelings over something not important.

I think it takes courage to speak the truth, especially when it is something that the person you are speaking to does not want to face. The truth hurts sometimes(ok many times), but ultimately it is for our own good to know the truth. I value my friends who are willing to tell me like it is, I trust them. I know where I stand with them. I know they love me because they care enough about me, and respect me enough, to be honest with me.

I want to know the truth. I do not want to be misled, especially for my own supposed good. And people who lie to me for that reason cannot really respect me very much after all.

If I see a friend doing something I feel will ultimately hurt them down the road, or see they are not being honest with themselves I have to speak up. I think it would be wrong not to. It is not easy to do, but so what? I could not live with myself if I just lied, or ignored the problem. And I would not be a very good friend either.

This is bothering me because recently a friend I trusted very much, well I confronted him about lying to me. He never gave his reasons and said under the circumstances he would do the same thing again. Now I am left to wonder, was it all a lie? And for someone to lie to me like that, and feel justified in it, I do not understand. It did me no good, just made me feel like a fool, who cannot handle the truth, at least by his perceptions. I feel very disrespected by this. I ended the friendship, as much as it hurts, because I cannot stand being lied to. How can I ever know where I stand with someone who lies to me? Was there really a friendship there? I don't think so.

Relationships need trust and honesty, and you cannot have one without the other.

What do you think? Am I idealizing truth too much here?

& If a person lies often, do you think they also lie to themselves?


It takes a whole herd of bawls to thin you know the truth let alone can speak the truth. HIstory shows human are sorely lacking of each quality. We some times like the art of today. If I say I like it life like in regard to life, I mean that it faithfully represents reality. Oh but look at some human representation of the past. What were they looking at? Do people look like that or was an artist suffering from his conceptions?

If I was to try to rationally approach the subject of truth I would ask what can I know long before I asking what I should say. Existence contains all reality, and reality contains all truth, and truth contains all experience; and that is as far as it goes. No one can speak the truth or even truthfully reveal their experience. Try to remember an event exactly as it happens. Are you sure in asking for the truth that you are not asking what someone knows, which is usually what they think they know? Who is honest about that? And this brings up another problem. People experience life, but society, and humanity learns the lessons. It is people that know while individuals learn, first, what is known, and then what can be learned based upon what is known. It is a difficult question, so until we get some answers look for me in the chicken koop.
 
Miltiades
 
Reply Tue 20 Nov, 2007 08:03 pm
@cmarie phil,
cmarie wrote:
I think it takes courage to speak the truth, especially when it is something that the person you are speaking to does not want to face. The truth hurts sometimes(ok many times), but ultimately it is for our own good to know the truth. I value my friends who are willing to tell me like it is, I trust them. I know where I stand with them. I know they love me because they care enough about me, and respect me enough, to be honest with me.
I want to know the truth. I do not want to be misled, especially for my own supposed good. And people who lie to me for that reason cannot really respect me very much after all.
If I see a friend doing something I feel will ultimately hurt them down the road, or see they are not being honest with themselves I have to speak up. I think it would be wrong not to. It is not easy to do, but so what? I could not live with myself if I just lied, or ignored the problem. And I would not be a very good friend either.
This is bothering me because recently a friend I trusted very much, well I confronted him about lying to me. He never gave his reasons and said under the circumstances he would do the same thing again. Now I am left to wonder, was it all a lie? And for someone to lie to me like that, and feel justified in it, I do not understand. It did me no good, just made me feel like a fool, who cannot handle the truth, at least by his perceptions. I feel very disrespected by this. I ended the friendship, as much as it hurts, because I cannot stand being lied to. How can I ever know where I stand with someone who lies to me? Was there really a friendship there? I don't think so.


I agree with you on most things. Not neccesarily on lying, but on the truth. It is amazing that you can actually learn more from a person through lies than the truth. For example, the doctor always says "this wont hurt" even though it does. They lied, but to make you feel more at ease. After a few goes, you can predict if it will be painful or not because they will lie about it.
I try not to lie at all (But I often cheat and bend the truth. I didn't lie, just didn't tell ALL of the truth), not because it is has no moral or it is cowardly, but because it is the truth. The truth must be heard. I don't care if it hurts someones feelings-it's the truth. Now, if the truth doesn't need to be heard, and it will only cause pain...I will tell it sooner than later. I would rather live a sad truth than a happy lie.
One always holds the truth for one reason or another, and I understand why as I have done it myself. We all do. But the truth is something that I can't let pass by unheard in humanity.
 
Greta phil
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 09:34 pm
@cmarie phil,
cmarie;5705 wrote:
Due to recent experiences in my life I have come to the conclusion that lying is an act of cowardice. I do not mean little white lies to spare another's feelings over something not important.

I think it takes courage to speak the truth, especially when it is something that the person you are speaking to does not want to face. The truth hurts sometimes(ok many times), but ultimately it is for our own good to know the truth. I value my friends who are willing to tell me like it is, I trust them. I know where I stand with them. I know they love me because they care enough about me, and respect me enough, to be honest with me.

I want to know the truth. I do not want to be misled, especially for my own supposed good. And people who lie to me for that reason cannot really respect me very much after all.

If I see a friend doing something I feel will ultimately hurt them down the road, or see they are not being honest with themselves I have to speak up. I think it would be wrong not to. It is not easy to do, but so what? I could not live with myself if I just lied, or ignored the problem. And I would not be a very good friend either.

This is bothering me because recently a friend I trusted very much, well I confronted him about lying to me. He never gave his reasons and said under the circumstances he would do the same thing again. Now I am left to wonder, was it all a lie? And for someone to lie to me like that, and feel justified in it, I do not understand. It did me no good, just made me feel like a fool, who cannot handle the truth, at least by his perceptions. I feel very disrespected by this. I ended the friendship, as much as it hurts, because I cannot stand being lied to. How can I ever know where I stand with someone who lies to me? Was there really a friendship there? I don't think so.

Relationships need trust and honesty, and you cannot have one without the other.

What do you think? Am I idealizing truth too much here?

& If a person lies often, do you think they also lie to themselves?

You can always trust a person to be themselves. We must try not to take dishonest qualities in another person personally - but realise it is about that person and other experiences that person may have had. Put aside any personal reactions to lies ( as hard as it may be) - look deeper at the other person to find out why and where this comes from. Maybe it is something inside of them that they do not like.
For me - I live in a way that if I do not want anyone to know something about me, I won't do, think, feel or say it. This gives certain sense of freedom and peace of mind - nothing to hide from.

---------- Post added 06-07-2010 at 03:46 PM ----------

It is hard to face the truth. I believe the truth must always win - no matter how difficult it is. IF someone is lying to you - yes that person is also lying to himself. This is of no benefit to either of you. Why pretend? Face the truth and deal with it....find out who you really are and the you'll find out where you belong. It can only be done by complete honesty - and isn't it better to be 100% yourself than anything less.
Maybe we are all afraid if not being accepted for who we are. As soon as we accept everyone for the exact person they are regardless of what has been said or done - this is the path to 'healing'.
...it is ok to be.....who ever you are, what ever you do.

---------- Post added 06-07-2010 at 03:47 PM ----------

and wouldn't you just love someone who could let you be the person you are inside....wouldn't that be the greatest gift?
Let me be, set me free.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 10:21 pm
@cmarie phil,
If you were mine, I wouldn't mind if you were free... And that is the truth, and not because your conclusions were wrong, but pretty nearly obvious... No one can have a good relationship, a loving relationship if there is not trust, and trust comes from truth... It is still wrong in my opinion tto think of the truth as an individual characteristic... True people are created by true communities, true societies... If the truth becomes an article of commerce, something one person trades to have power over another, then the society is doomed, just like the relationship would be doomed if we were talking of a love relationship... Just consider it as a form of relationship essential to love or to marriage; which is an ancient form, one of the oldest, if not the oldest... And you can see in that form how much people are bound with their honor, but if they have no sense of truth, then they have no honor, and their relationship is doomed, done, and over before it has begun....

Truth is life in that we all need enough of it to survive... What I do not care much for are the sort of people who will tell you the truth when it will hurt you, and tell you a lie when it will hurt you, and never manage to do you any good... Some people can keep their truth and their lies... To speak truth one must know truth, but to know it does not mean say it... Tell the truth when it will help... Say nothing when the truth will not help, and never lie...
 
north
 
Reply Sun 6 Jun, 2010 10:30 pm
@cmarie phil,
cmarie;5705 wrote:
Due to recent experiences in my life I have come to the conclusion that lying is an act of cowardice. I do not mean little white lies to spare another's feelings over something not important.

I think it takes courage to speak the truth, especially when it is something that the person you are speaking to does not want to face. The truth hurts sometimes(ok many times), but ultimately it is for our own good to know the truth. I value my friends who are willing to tell me like it is, I trust them. I know where I stand with them. I know they love me because they care enough about me, and respect me enough, to be honest with me.

I want to know the truth. I do not want to be misled, especially for my own supposed good. And people who lie to me for that reason cannot really respect me very much after all.

If I see a friend doing something I feel will ultimately hurt them down the road, or see they are not being honest with themselves I have to speak up. I think it would be wrong not to. It is not easy to do, but so what? I could not live with myself if I just lied, or ignored the problem. And I would not be a very good friend either.

This is bothering me because recently a friend I trusted very much, well I confronted him about lying to me. He never gave his reasons and said under the circumstances he would do the same thing again. Now I am left to wonder, was it all a lie? And for someone to lie to me like that, and feel justified in it, I do not understand. It did me no good, just made me feel like a fool, who cannot handle the truth, at least by his perceptions. I feel very disrespected by this. I ended the friendship, as much as it hurts, because I cannot stand being lied to. How can I ever know where I stand with someone who lies to me? Was there really a friendship there? I don't think so.


there was no friendship there , at all

Quote:
Relationships need trust and honesty, and you cannot have one without the other.


absolutely


Quote:
What do you think? Am I idealizing truth too much here?


absolutely not

Quote:
& If a person lies often, do you think they also lie to themselves?


yes
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 04:27 am
@cmarie phil,
What must Marie think of her Government and the lies they tell... How can anyone make wise dicisions without the truth, or self govern without knowledge??? Yet, the government, having a monopoly on choice, and a monopoly on the facts cannot seem to get anything right, and the trust is quickly going out of that relationship...

What does one do, when they think they cannot live without the liar, and the liar will not mend his ways, or admit that all the lies have become like eggs hatching out catastophe???? Sometimes it is not individuals who are false so much as whole societies that are false, and cannot bear the glare of truth being shone upon them... We cannot expect truth from our forms, our institutions like church, and press, and school... Here is where truth lies, -in every failed relationship rejected as false... Build up your numbers commited to truth, and to justice, and to love... Form new relationships, and reform the relationships you have... Cut all the fat and nonsense out of them... Ask: What are the essential qualities in any form of relationship, and accept nothing less in every form of relationship from large to small... What is it no two people can live without??? Because if we will survive, as individuals, as communites, as a nation, and as humanity we must also have the answer to that question... What are the essential qualities in every healthy form of relationship...
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 07:02 am
@cmarie phil,
Ah yes, Lying...

In almost all cases, one must be truthful; not so much for the person to whom we're speaking, but for ourselves. I've learned - quite painfully I might add - that when one makes a habit of lying they hurt themselves. They lose a sense of personal respect and run a very real risk of skewing their own reality. Once the act of lying is justified internally (which can be an act of either paternalistic superiority or ego, depending) it becomes easier and it often catches up to the liar with painful results. We also destroy trust when our lies are discovered and trust is perhaps the only attribute that helps us to live, cooperate and co-exist with relative peace. Unfortunately, it's not all that simple.

  • Choosing the truth to Reveal a "Painful Truth" to Someone: This is very thin ice. Yes, in a general sense if asked, one should be honest - but this can be a virtual lose-lose situation for the speaker (thus the safe road of honesty is usually best).


  • But in that same breath I'll tell you that if I was gut-honest with every "painful truth" that I thought ought be said, I'd become a harbinger of unintended pain precisely because what I think is the truth, may well not be.


  • There's also the very real risk of causing pain by misrepresenting the situation if my "truth" disproportionately incriminates.


  • One might also justifiably ask: If I care for or respect someone, why would I interpose myself into their lives - their situation - knowing that for their welfare, not knowing this may be best?

Respect for individuals dictates that honesty is best - yet must the conscientious human completely disregard the effects of their action? All situations are different and each could mitigate - one way or another. All told, honesty is best, but no; not always.

cmarie;5705 wrote:
I think it takes courage to speak the truth, especially when it is something that the person you are speaking to does not want to face.


Yes, I'd agree. But as I mentioned on this above, one must be very VERY careful here. Prudence dictates that there exists the distinct possibility that this is only something you THINK they need to face (or that this 'need' is real at all). Some cases are obvious, most aren't. The import you ascribe to details of someone else's situation is just your view; its quite likely that either to them (or perhaps objectively), it isn't significant at all - we view the situations of others through our own eyes. With this in mind, one ends up running the risk that this honorable-truth they tell might end up doing far more damage than good. Again - these risks depend.

If you must speak, one good alternative might be to carefully couch the painful truth with the admission that "this might be important but...", or "I don't know for sure, but I fear that <yada>", etc. By doing this you consciously allow that person a "way out" if you're incorrect or placing disproportionate value on whatever it is you want to tell.

cmarie;5705 wrote:
This is bothering me because recently a friend I trusted very much, well I confronted him about lying to me. He never gave his reasons and said under the circumstances he would do the same thing again.


I think you're right to feel hurt or betrayed, but I'd temper that. The circumstances he spoke about might well have left him in an unwinnable situation - perhaps even that those circumstances cornered him to decide between the lesser of two evils. Everyone has different ideals, each will see facts and circumstances differently. Assuming he's chosen with your best interests in mind, its possible that while we can condemn the lie we can also forgive the friend (depending on motives and specifics).

Yes I think you're idealizing truth too much. Yes it needs to be upheld, yes lying is a destroyer of trust and yes, you have a right to be angry. But Truth, despite the vigilance it rightfully deserves, not only varies wildly from person to person but also has drastically differing measures of import.

Given this, isn't it likely that (particularly in your kind of situation) your friend could see this as best, necessary or even direly important to lie? I suppose whether or not to cast off your friendship for the pain of your betrayal will be a product of your value of the friendship -vs- the pain of the lie (mitigated with your empathy for the dilemma that cause your friend to lie).

I know this sounds contradictory; no surprise there, we're talking about the dynamics of human perceptions, priorities and their effects on truthful interaction - talk about a tangled web!

Thanks
 
salima
 
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 09:03 am
@Khethil,
i certainly agree with everything you have said, and a really good in depth comment it is. the only thing i would add is that the person who tells lies often enough does indeed tell himself lies and believe them. they then seem to be unable to determine who is lying to them and who is telling the truth as well, so that they are sometimes foolish and gullible, easily fooled, and other times so unwilling to trust that they become isolated psychologically and socially.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 10:15 am
@salima,
salima wrote:
...the only thing i would add is that the person who tells lies often enough does indeed tell himself lies and believe them.

Oh, absolutely!

I know it sounds like a cliche, but yes, I agree that this is a very real risk for perpetual liars. Most folks might look at this and say (as I once did), "Oh, that's not me - I only lie when absolutely necessary" but it's much more slippery than it might seem on the surface.

As I mentioned; I did this for a long time on certain issues. I couldn't remember my lies - they had to synchronize to various parties and that stress over time tore me apart. I learned my lesson quite painfully at the cost to myself and to those I loved.

Very true - and a much needed caution: Purposefully lying, no matter how justified, carries very real risks to the liar - most of which can't be immediately seen.

Thanks
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 10:41 am
Khethil wrote:
Purposefully lying


This is a pleonasm, since all lies are purposeful. If one tells a a non-truth unintentionally, it isn't a lie.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 12:58 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin wrote:
This is a pleonasm, since all lies are purposeful. If one tells a a non-truth unintentionally, it isn't a lie.

I suppose not, unless they do so as a matter of habit, without purposeful intention. If someone's hopelessly mired in the habit of saying things that benefit them best - or to perpetuate another condition - and don't do so consciously, this would be closer to the state I'm referencing (err... trying to).

If one is "on autopilot", and lies as a matter of course, would you then call this, too, "purposeful"?
 
salima
 
Reply Mon 14 Jun, 2010 07:07 pm
@Khethil,
most people are on autopilot-love that story called 'the automatic car'...

you cant call that kind of life purposeful...in fact it is purposeless.

so that is where we get into the issue that you cant change other people, they are what they are-you cant bash people for being what they are-but at the same time, those who are on autopilot have in fact forgotten who they are and are being something they learned but forgot.

 
 

 
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