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Rafi Amin

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Is it OK to lie for a good cause?

I,m in a situation that if I lie , someone needy is helped but if I do it I will be a liar. What will you do if you were in my place.

Is it OK if you lie for a good cause ?

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Closing Statement from Rafi Amin

Dear All,

thank you very much for all your comments. I finally helped the needed person.

I dont know but I feel good for it.

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  • Jul 20 2011: Please do not dig a hole; some people are waiting for that.

    This means you have helped directly few people but harmed so many others indirectly.
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    Jul 19 2011: No.
    Because good is relative and whatever it is it will be a selfish cause.

    I would do it though.
    But with a full understanding it is wrong. Like if I got caught I will not resist. I will not suggest or promote it. I will not try to get support for it let alone get more people on it. If public condemn what I do I will not defend myself nor would I try to clear my name. It will be simply my choice. The reason won't be because it is good. But because I am who I am.
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      Jul 19 2011: Agreed
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      Jul 20 2011: Hi Judge.

      I didn’t get what makes it selfish. You lie to help someone else not yourself.

      Can you furhter elaborate you first point If I have got it wrong ?
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        Jul 20 2011: *smile*
        What is your ground to decide that someone DESERVE to be helped ?
        YOUR morality.
        YOUR opinion.
        YOUR religion.
        YOUR Ethic.
        You..you..you... *agent smith to neo kinda tone*
    • Jul 24 2011: Dear Judge Pau,

      I agree with you to some extent, but how should I trust your true words next time for a good cause?

      Don't you think it digs hole into truth and it is reducing trust on your overall words for a good cause?

      Thank you
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        Jul 24 2011: Absolutely.
        That's why employer fire lying employee, wife divorce lying husband and so on...
        If I decide to lie to you, losing your trust is the consequence I have considered before I execute it.

        Another way of putting it is - The only person I will never lie to is myself.

        Must keep in mind though what I said is for and about me and me alone.
        I'm not saying people should do things like I do.
        It's a choice.
        And there are no best choice. Just a choice.
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    Jul 21 2011: Well i normally lie IF it doesn't hurt or bother anyone but when its sth real big i just can't lie.
    Now in what situations one can lie cannot be stated but i assure you that we all are born with in built programs that tell us what is good and what is bad. please don't wait for someone to answer sth that you want to hear. You know your situation and you can judge well...

    Go ahead and let us know what you decided !!!
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      Jul 21 2011: Hi Sai,

      thanks. I might share my decision to you.
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    Jul 21 2011: This is what I got from net. what is your opinion on this.

    Elder Paisios give this advice,
    It is a sin for someone to lie. When he lies for a good cause, i.e. to save someone else, this is half a sin, because the lie is for the benefit of his fellow man and not for himself. However it is also considered a sin; therefore, we should keep it in mind, and not fall into the habit of telling lies for insignificant things.
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    Jul 20 2011: without unconditional honesty, the world will never change.
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      Jul 21 2011: Tim, What if we devide the lies into two part.

      Black & white

      white obviously the good cause one.
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    Jul 19 2011: If it does good to others it is good cause, if it makes you a lier then worst cause..........................if that someone really needs it very badly and not for personal gains...............than indeed is a good deed...............its your choice , only if it changes you to be a more better person.........
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      Jul 20 2011: AB, Well said. but what do you think if it is revealed later. How much will it impact my personality to my colleagues.
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        Jul 20 2011: What others think is is not what matters, what you think of it makes sense,......anyway if they are going to know it ,let them make their assumptions .....its easy for them ...........but you will be more respected than before if they know the reason behind it.................
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    Jul 19 2011: In my opinion the basis for moral action is loosely speeking to "maximize others well being/minimize the harm you do to others". A rule such as "never lie" is thus in my opinion not in itself the basis for moral action, but rather almost allways a direct consequence of trying to be moral in the first sense. Lying can in my view therefore sometimes be moral. One does however have to be very careful, because if one only takes into account the direct effects of the lie, then one may be tempted to lie far more often than what is good. For among other things that are affected as well are: your threshold for when it is okay to lie is lowered each time you lie, it can affects other people around in an unpredictable way because they not are able to make rational choices and you may induce bad behavior in others that makes choices based on the lie you have told, etc.
  • Jul 19 2011: There are two basic ways to look at morality. One method is categorical morality, where certain acts are viewed as inherently and categorically wrong. Examples of such acts include lying and murder. The other way to perceive morality is consequentialisticallly; in this view an act is deemed as wrong or right depending on results of the specific action without regards to the inherent morality of the act itself. For instance a consequentialist might say that it is alright to kill one person to save the lives of five other people.

    In my opinion it is better to take the consequentialist view of morality unless the action you are thinking of taking tramples on the rights of another person. Lying doesn't really infringe on anyone's rights, so if you think it would result in a better outcome than telling the truth I would say go for it.

    A question you might want to ask yourself is "why do you think lying is wrong in the first place?"
  • Jul 19 2011: Looking at morality like its perfectly black & white doesn't do anyone any good. There are a lot of grey situations where a defined moral rule may not apply. ("Shall not kill", but what about WW2? etc.)
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      Jul 20 2011: But morality CAN NOT be grey.
      Once you except the concept of grey you no longer fit to be a moral enforcer (don't think of it just as police or gov... first line of morale guardian is family... think of it as parents, big bro to your younger siblings... and it applies to any leader or caretaker role in any form). Accepting the concept of grey is the door to corruptions. That's why we can not have it.

      I also agree, however, there are grey situations.
      But my take is, if you choose to be on the wrong side of morale, don't do it cause you have to. Don't justify it. Choose with full understanding of the consequences and live with it.

      The case of wars and "shall not kill" is a good one.
      Do you know how to tell a good soldier and a bad one ?
      The good one can kill as good as the bad one, but they never like it...
      *soft smile*