TED Conversations

Seigi Karasaki

Organizer @ TEDxTodai, TEDxTodai

TEDCRED 500+

This conversation is closed.

Do people deserve to know the truth, even if it isn't in their best interest?

Is truth always the best choice of action? In "On the Decay of the Art of Lying," Mark Twain argues:

"Lying is universal--we all do it; we all must do it. Therefore, the wise thing is for us diligently to train ourselves to lie thoughtfully, judiciously; to lie with a good object, and not an evil one; to lie for others' advantage, and not our own; to lie healingly, charitably, humanely, not cruelly, hurtfully, maliciously; to lie gracefully and graciously, not awkwardly and clumsily; to lie firmly, frankly, squarely, with head erect, not haltingly, tortuously, with pusillanimous mien, as being ashamed of our high calling. Then shall we be rid of the rank and pestilent truth that is rotting the land; then shall we be great and good and beautiful, and worthy dwellers in a world where even benign Nature habitually lies, except when she promises execrable weather. "

What are your thoughts?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 22 2013: If I am going to say something, it is going to be based on fact because my memory sucks and I can't remember what I lied about. I am honest to a fault...

    My friend wanted me to go wedding dress shopping with her, because i am so honest. and I was..

    but there are times that the truth can be said without saying the truth, and then no one has to have hurt feelings. For instance something small would be 'how does this dress look' if i honestly did not like the dress i would say 'i don't have to wear it, do you feel confident? do you feel good in the dress?" If she said 'yes' i would say 'then the dress looks great on you' (because it would be her confidence coming through in the dress. However, if she said 'no' i would then ask 'well, then, why are you wearing it?' that is just something simple. but i think you get my point.

    that is all.
    Ronney

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.