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Jean-Charles Longuet

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Telling the truth: are there limits?

Two recent talks focused on "Truth" as something good/moral. Practically, however, some information may cause havoc: the Wikileaks diplomatic data disclosure, for example, coulad have put some people at risk.

How should we manage the decision to disclose (or not) such information? Or manage the moral dilemma when telling a lie may have a positive outcome?

[update 2012/11/25] The conversation initially mixed a few things : Truth is something that is not as obvious as it seems, and Lies are more related to a deceiving/manipulative intention that to the hiding of some Truth.

Anyway, all points of views are welcome.


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    Nov 25 2012: Beyond the irrefutability of facts, I think we all lie, and should just come to terms with it. That is the complication of being human.

    As said below, we live in a highly politicized environment, and are constantly hedging what we really want to say, just to keep the peace. Yet, others have said that we weave a tangled web in society if we don't speak the truth. Both are "true"! Ha ha!

    I find that our "evolved" sense of fashion, appearance, esp. in the West, is the perfect analogy for all this. We don't smell this good, we can't travel this fast, we aren't this tall, this pretty, this enhanced, yet, we pretend we are in order to secure a mate, a job, a loan. We even train ourselves to "see through" all of that in others in order to be on top of the game.

    At this point, I don't think anyone can say with a straight face that there are absolutes in terms of: should we lie or shouldn't we, except about facts. We all know it's political. For the issue of Wikileaks, governments owe their taxpayers, funders and international supporters, a level of care. If there are facts showing flagrant abuse of that, then, as painful as it is, they need to be known and addressed.

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