Is lying ever moral?

Marwikedor

Marwikedor
Banned User
Is it ever moral to tell a lie? Ever? Like if you don't want to tell a girl her ass looks fat in those jeans (especially when she doesn't ask) because she'll hit me. Again. What about when if you tell Mr. Nazi no, no, no, Mr. Nazi, I am not hiding Jews in my basement, even though it is a lie? Do you think Governments have the right to lie on occasion for security reasons?
 

Marwikedor

Marwikedor
Banned User
But Thou Shalt not Lie doesn't make any distinctions between white lies and lies that save millions of lives. A lie is a lie. Or is it? People of faith would do well to learn of Mental Reservation.

Example of that: Dieting Kid: Mom, I assure you, I did not have one piece of cake at the party tonight.

Now mom can say, well then how many pieces did you have. Or she may not. But no lie has been told.
 

ralphfan

Thank you based god
Marwikedor said:
But Thou Shalt not Lie doesn't make any distinctions between white lies and lies that save millions of lives.
Who says you have to follow the Ten Commandments? Not everyone is religious, you know.
 

Marwikedor

Marwikedor
Banned User
Sharks Territory said:
Marwikedor said:
But Thou Shalt not Lie doesn't make any distinctions between white lies and lies that save millions of lives.
Who says you have to follow the Ten Commandments? Not everyone is religious, you know.
FYI, Thou Shalt not Lie ain't one of the Ten Commandments. But I'm sure there's a rule against it somewheres.
 

Vera Misham

Ace Artist
Marwikedor said:
Sharks Territory said:
Marwikedor said:
But Thou Shalt not Lie doesn't make any distinctions between white lies and lies that save millions of lives.
Who says you have to follow the Ten Commandments? Not everyone is religious, you know.
FYI, Thou Shalt not Lie ain't one of the Ten Commandments. But I'm sure there's a rule against it somewheres.
It is one of the Ten Commandments.
 

Pokemon DP

God I'm good at being an owl
Retired Wiki Staff
There is no commandment against lying. There is a commandment against making false or insincere promises to God, and another against falsely accusing others or falsely testifying against them, but nothing about lying in the broader context you're speaking of.
 

Paper Mario the First

He is the one and only....
When it comes to lying, it really depends on the situation.

You wouldn't tell the truth about specific details where you live on the internet, would you?

Honesty is still a really good trait to have, but there are situations where you need to lie or not say anything at all.
 

Mario4Ever

A price for everything.
Retired Wiki Staff
*I can picture the booing now*

There is no objective morality. What is "right" and what is "wrong" is labeled as such according to an individual's biases, wants, and/or needs, so I cannot definitively provide an opinion on lying one way or another. I can, however, say that I have found it useful in certain situations.
 

Bop1996

Power Star
Retired Wiki Staff
As much as there is to be said for some things in life being relative, the fact that absolute truth is subjective may be true for everyone else, but it isn't true for me. The self-contradiction of allowing such a policy to rule one's life is nearly laughable. Lying is typically immoral, but if the question is being asked for immoral purposes, a lie would typically be morally sound.
 

Mario4Ever

A price for everything.
Retired Wiki Staff
Bop1996 said:
As much as there is to be said for some things in life being relative, the fact that absolute truth is subjective may be true for everyone else, but it isn't true for me. The self-contradiction of allowing such a policy to rule one's life is nearly laughable. Lying is typically immoral, but if the question is being asked for immoral purposes, a lie would typically be morally sound.
*Subjective statement in bold*

Anyway, how would you define "morally sound" (it's easier to discuss these sorts of things if I have a definition from which to work, since I don't define these myself)?
 

Bop1996

Power Star
Retired Wiki Staff
That was sarcastic, if you didn't know. Morally sound in this case falls under the commonly accepted principle of utilitarianism, where whatever causes the least amount of harm to the least amount of people is the preferred choice.
 

Mario4Ever

A price for everything.
Retired Wiki Staff
I didn't know (you should know how difficult it is to portray sarcasm through text alone). Does it matter what sort of people they are (e.g. farmers vs. suicide bombers)?
 

Bop1996

Power Star
Retired Wiki Staff
Next time I'll use fake XTML tags... Not usually in the common principle, but if it were up to me, if X number of people were going to die, I'd rather only one that would kill innocent people be the ones that die.
 

Marwikedor

Marwikedor
Banned User
Mario4Ever who says no morality is objective, if truth and morality is relative, then to what is it relative?
 

Mario4Ever

A price for everything.
Retired Wiki Staff
Marwikedor said:
Mario4Ever who says no morality is objective, if truth and morality is relative, then to what is it relative?
To individual biases. What is "right" to one person is "wrong" to someone else, same with similar concepts (excluding certain individuals and doctrines that try to legislate morality and fail miserably).
 

Dr. Javelin

Nathan Latsk
Um, truth is not always relative.

Two plus two will always equal four. That's a truth. Theory disproven. Just because someone who hasn't learned that yet doesn't know it doesn't mean it's any less true.

I also believe in absolute truths. One of my greatest inspirations is Socrates's motto "Question everything.". And I have. One of the strange things about our culture is that we question old beliefs such as religion but we never question current beliefs such as evolution (which in my opinion lacks sufficient evidence to be a good theory). I question the thought that there are no absolute truths.
 

Lily x

Goodbye
Lying to Morails?
In some cases a white lie is better because being honest can hurt peoples feelings.
 

Mario4Ever

A price for everything.
Retired Wiki Staff
Dr. Javelin said:
Um, truth is not always relative.

Two plus two will always equal four. That's a truth. Theory disproven. Just because someone who hasn't learned that yet doesn't know it doesn't mean it's any less true.

I also believe in absolute truths. One of my greatest inspirations is Socrates's motto "Question everything.". And I have. One of the strange things about our culture is that we question old beliefs such as religion but we never question current beliefs such as evolution (which in my opinion lacks sufficient evidence to be a good theory). I question the thought that there are no absolute truths.
Read George Orwell's 1984. It is possible through extreme conditioning to make an "absolute truth" false. I live by Socrate's motto (as such, the statement "there are no absolute truths" may not be an absolute truth). You seem to misunderstand the definition of a theory: "A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena." What separates evolution from the claims of organized religion is that we can test the former. I'm not going to get into an "I'm right, you're wrong" kind of thing, but the statements of the faithful are based almost entirely on a set of books written thousands of years ago that have not been corroborated by any external source (they're written in so vague a fashion that essentially everything in them can be taken out of context and applied to the present day to be passed off as "fulfillment of prophecy"). There's no way to prove anything in any religious text occurred, if it occurred, on the scale described, and even if one could, there's no way to test whether it had to do with Yahweh, Zeus, Thor, Ra, or Vishnu.
 

Bop1996

Power Star
Retired Wiki Staff
Just to clarify, 1984 proves it's possible, but the thrust of the point in the book is that just because Big Brother says 2+2=5 doesn't change the fact that 2+2=4 is the truth absolutely, no matter who you are. I have nothing more to say on this topic, as this too is getting off-topic; I just love 1984 too much to see it misunderstood.
 

Mario4Ever

A price for everything.
Retired Wiki Staff
Bop1996 said:
Just to clarify, 1984 proves it's possible, but the thrust of the point in the book is that just because Big Brother says 2+2=5 doesn't change the fact that 2+2=4 is the truth absolutely, no matter who you are. I have nothing more to say on this topic, as this too is getting off-topic; I just love 1984 too much to see it misunderstood.
But that's only the truth because we say it is. If the conditioning is extreme enough, the concept of four, for example, can be replaced if not erased in the mind, and if the truth doesn't exist in the mind, it's no longer truth, regardless of what logic would dictate.

Anyway, Marwikedor, on what basis do you claim morality to be objective rather than subjective?
 

Dr. Javelin

Nathan Latsk
Mario4Ever said:
Dr. Javelin said:
Um, truth is not always relative.

Two plus two will always equal four. That's a truth. Theory disproven. Just because someone who hasn't learned that yet doesn't know it doesn't mean it's any less true.

I also believe in absolute truths. One of my greatest inspirations is Socrates's motto "Question everything.". And I have. One of the strange things about our culture is that we question old beliefs such as religion but we never question current beliefs such as evolution (which in my opinion lacks sufficient evidence to be a good theory). I question the thought that there are no absolute truths.
Read George Orwell's 1984. It is possible through extreme conditioning to make an "absolute truth" false. I live by Socrate's motto (as such, the statement "there are no absolute truths" may not be an absolute truth). You seem to misunderstand the definition of a theory: "A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena." What separates evolution from the claims of organized religion is that we can test the former. I'm not going to get into an "I'm right, you're wrong" kind of thing, but the statements of the faithful are based almost entirely on a set of books written thousands of years ago that have not been corroborated by any external source (they're written in so vague a fashion that essentially everything in them can be taken out of context and applied to the present day to be passed off as "fulfillment of prophecy"). There's no way to prove anything in any religious text occurred, if it occurred, on the scale described, and even if one could, there's no way to test whether it had to do with Yahweh, Zeus, Thor, Ra, or Vishnu.
Yes there is. I heard about one study where a group of guys took astronomy software and calculated the date when Jesus died, and there was a solar eclipse and some sort of cosmic alignment too on the supposed day of his death. Which is what the Bible said, it says that the day was darkened or something.

So yes, you can certainly test religious claims. They don't often prove true, but they can be tested. A lot of evolution claims have been tested and disproven also, like the numerous false missing links over the years.

Ah, here it is. I think.
 

Scarecrow von Steuben

I'm very friendly.
Lily said:
Lying to Morails?
In some cases a white lie is better because being honest can hurt peoples feelings.
But at least they've been told the truth. If I found out everyone around me was lying about every nice thing they'd ever said about me I'd be infinitely more miserable than if they'd been honest. You can be honest and polite at the same time, y'know.

Mario4Ever said:
Marwikedor said:
Mario4Ever who says no morality is objective, if truth and morality is relative, then to what is it relative?
To individual biases. What is "right" to one person is "wrong" to someone else, same with similar concepts (excluding certain individuals and doctrines that try to legislate morality and fail miserably).
Okay then. I'll kill you and that will be just fine because all morality is subjective.



Mario4Ever said:
Marwikedor said:
Mario4Ever who says no morality is objective, if truth and morality is relative, then to what is it relative?
To individual biases. What is "right" to one person is "wrong" to someone else, same with similar concepts (excluding certain individuals and doctrines that try to legislate morality and fail miserably).
There is a very easy way to tell when something is right or wrong:

"Would you want it to happen to you?"

If not, it's immoral. By doing it anyway you make it okay for people to do bad things to you in turn.

Dr. Javelin said:
One of the strange things about our culture is that we question old beliefs such as religion but we never question current beliefs such as evolution (which in my opinion lacks sufficient evidence to be a good theory). I question the thought that there are no absolute truths.
Because there's scientific evidence backing up evolution. Not that this automatically makes it proven true and religion prove false, but from a subjective viewpoint it makes it more likely.

I've always been amazed that people think evolution and religion are mutually exclusive, though.





Anyway. IMO lying can be justified, but only when it's a serious issue (i.e., as the OP said, "no, Mr. Nazi, I'm not hiding Jews in my basement")

Dr. Javelin said:
Yes there is. I heard about one study where a group of guys took astronomy software and calculated the date when Jesus died, and there was a solar eclipse and some sort of cosmic alignment too on the supposed day of his death. Which is what the Bible said, it says that the day was darkened or something.

So yes, you can certainly test religious claims. They don't often prove true, but they can be tested. A lot of evolution claims have been tested and disproven also, like the numerous false missing links over the years.

Ah, here it is. I think.
Never cite a Christian website when it comes to 'scientific evidence supporting the Bible.' In my experience, most of them will pass on the vaguest rumor as fact if it means more people will believe.

Cite a scientific or agnostic or atheist website. The people on those websites would either be indifferent to or biased against religion, so if they post something that supports the Bible and goes against their previous position, you know it's fact.

I'm not saying the Crucifixion didn't happen, or that there wasn't an eclipse, but if you want something that'll convince anybody who doesn't already believe, you'd best cite a non-Christian on that.
 

Dr. Javelin

Nathan Latsk
Scarecrow von Steuben said:
Never cite a Christian website when it comes to 'scientific evidence supporting the Bible.' In my experience, most of them will pass on the vaguest rumor as fact if it means more people will believe.

Cite a scientific or agnostic or atheist website. The people on those websites would either be indifferent to or biased against religion, so if they post something that supports the Bible and goes against their previous position, you know it's fact.

I'm not saying the Crucifixion didn't happen, or that there wasn't an eclipse, but if you want something that'll convince anybody who doesn't already believe, you'd best cite a non-Christian on that.
Ah, sorry. I was just trying to show that people do try and prove religion, I'm not trying to convert anyone or anything. I don't even know if it's actually valid info or not, I was just trying to prove my point.
 

Mario4Ever

A price for everything.
Retired Wiki Staff
"Okay then. I'll kill you and that will be just fine because all morality is subjective."

It would be, since I'd be dead and thus couldn't react to it.

"There is a very easy way to tell when something is right or wrong:

"Would you want it to happen to you?"

If not, it's immoral. By doing it anyway you make it okay for people to do bad things to you in turn."

I disagree, if only because I think the Golden Rule has its limitations (if respect given is not returned, there is no point in continuing to show respect in that situation, since my worldview when it comes to morality is closer to lex talionis). I don't see the world in black and white, and if harm were to befall me or those I care about, I'd do anything I could to ensure that the individual's "generosity" was repaid in kind.
 
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