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Anisha Rikhy

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Is it acceptable to lie whilst attempting to protect some one else ?

Albeit most of us are brought up with the 'lying is bad' concept, is it acceptable to lie when we are attempting to look out for some one else, when we are attempting to protect them and attempting to retain their happiness? However, to what extent can we lie and for how long? Can the truth forever remain hidden? If no, then isn't it better to simply not lie at all ?

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  • Jul 1 2012: Don't make hole to the beautiful truth, so many people are waiting to abuse that.
  • Jul 1 2012: One must closely examine one's motivations when it comes to lying.
    In general, a reason that lying is bad is that it weakens the bonds of trust that are essential to a stong social group. As a rule of thumb, it is best not to lie.
    While there are some situations where one might argue that lying is morally permittable or morally just, for example: to save a life, often it is still better to avoid saying anything rather than to commit to a lie, as lying is highly stressful and lies can become complicated and difficult to remember and control.
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    Jul 1 2012: No. Tell the truth. If you are their friend you are not doing them a favor by lying. If you are their friend you can stand by them during this tough time. If they are really your friend they would not put you in the position of having to lie.

    AND to me the most important thing is that you have to live with that lie.

    All the best. Bob.
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      Jul 6 2012: Bob! Isn;t this amazing? Another point on which we disagree!

      If it were necessary for survival, I surely would lie my face off (especially for you BOB!) If a Nazi asked me if he were a Jew I would say no he is my cousin a Lutherin!
      And I hate llies but I would sleep just fine knowing that he did not die a useless death and knowing Bob he would do something great with the life he had left to him.
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        Jul 6 2012: I did not see that a life and death decision was implied. However, since it was introduced I would be thankful for the assistance. I understand all of the sob stories that were also interjected. However, back to the question at hand. Once you begin to deceive at what point are you trustworthy or when do you lose your credibility. Base this on common daily events not life and death as you pointed out. Say your spouse was out all night and the police question you and say that your spouse told them you would verify that he was home and in bed with you. He has put you in a heck of a spot. Quite frankly I would not lie in this case. I think that this is closer to the events that the question is about.

        Don't worry kid, stick with me and you will be thinking correctly in no time. I have faith that you will come around. LOL. Gotta go and quaff my thirst. LOL

        As ever, all the best. Bob.
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          Jul 6 2012: Bob you are correct. I added the scenario to delineate when I might lie. I agree about any otheR circumstance. Lying undermines all we work to achieve in life. No lies no how, except as I think Kierkegaard says a higher good would be achieved.
          For goodness sakes, Bob, if I let the Nazis take you who would take care of those wild and crazy tea partiers?
          Big hug to you!
          Debra
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    Jul 1 2012: This is very situation specific. If your friend cheated on a test or did something really quite harmful to others, it's probably best not to lie for him to protect him from bearing the conseqences of his wrong-doing.

    In contrast, if you are in an environment in which people are persecuted for being of his religion or something and someone asks you his religion, it is more hiumane to say you don't know, even if it is a lie.
    • Jul 1 2012: I agree..

      Few of our moral rules are absolutes. Morality and values go hand in hand; they are roughly hierarchical and depend on the situation. If a good, true friend was faced with serious harm, there are very few moral rules you would not break to protect your friend. Protecting the people you love is close to the top of the hierarchy.
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    Jun 30 2012: If cause is good & it is not hurting anybody you can do it.

    By the way I had asked a similar question sometime back. Link is below.

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/4366/is_it_ok_to_lie_for_a_good_cau.html