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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
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Age Group: Adult
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Author: An Enchanted Spirit
Posted: March 10th. 2013
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Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth and doing so with the intent to deceive or to injure them or another person. A lie need not always be verbal. It can also be expressed in action, that is, a person may be living a lie.
Lies are untruths told for selfish reasons and which cause injury to others.
Lying is never really good, but let us say that there may be certain situations when it would be morally permissible to withhold the truth. For the good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and for the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not to be known or for making use of a discreet language.
No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it". In other words, sometimes people do not have the right to know the truth, such as when someone asks you questions about your personal life and they have no need to know, then you are not bound to give them the truth.
The sad thing is that today lying has become so habitual that people do not even seem to know the difference anymore. Children lie to their parents, spouses lie to each other, people lie on their tax forms/applications…and the list goes on and on. If we were to sit and meditate on it deeply, we would realize that in every situation when there is lying, something is always wrong.
Lying is indeed a very serious matter and most do not even realize how serious it is.
Our world has grown very accepting of dishonesty. In business, it is viewed as “salesmanship” or being “a go-getter.” In courtrooms, it is viewed as “avoiding self-incrimination.” In politics, it is “good campaigning.” In relationships, it is viewed as “doing one's own thing.” -- Yet in spite of all of this, the truth paints very different picture of lying.
1. Why We Should Be Careful Not To Lie.
We tend to view lying as a misdemeanor among bad things, considering it something that's bad, but not too serious. However lying is a very serious thing because:
A. Lying corrupts a person and makes them insensitive to other wrong doings. A liar is more likely to do other things that are harmful to themselves and others.
B. If we do not love the truth, we will become prey to lies ourselves, and suffer their consequences. When you don't consider others worthy of the truth, they won't consider you worthy of it.
C. Lying diminishes our respect for the truth and reduces our sensitivity to the ugliness of lies. When one gets used to lying to themselves and others, they start to convince themselves that all people lie. They will try to surround themselves with other liars to fit their belief, rather than facing their own problems with lying. They get upset when they are lied to, however they also keep the other liars around. They also get upset at those who tell them the truth, because this brings their own lies to the surface, which they do not want.
D. Lying becomes habitual, even to the point that a person doesn't even know they are lying. To a practiced liar the truth becomes so loose and indiscernible that they can't recognize the truth from a lie. When one lies regularly they have trouble even seeing the difference between a lie and the truth. The lies come out so easily after a while, without a thought even given to telling the truth.
2. The Many Ways To Tell a Lie.
There are many ways to lie, and we need to be aware of all of them if we are to be safe from this corrupting force. Consider the following ways that we often practice deception:
A. The bold-faced lie to escape a difficulty or to get our way.
Lies of this type are the most obvious and the most self-serving. Anyone who knows the person, and often those who don't, can tell that they are being lied to. For this reason we have no problem condemning them, and usually we have no problem avoiding them. But not all lies are so obvious, and it is the more subtle type of lie, which is most dangerous. They are however quite contagious. How many people, in an attempt to avoid the liar, lie to them?
B. Deceiving by telling a technical truth.
Such lies do lots of harm. No matter how we may rationalize them, the person we have lied to feels deceived. Over exposure to such lies leads to the end of a friendship or relationship. What's more, once we begin to manipulate the truth so as to mislead people, it isn't long until we begin to rationalize the more direct type of lying. This type of lying often leads to the person who was lied to doing something to get back at the person who lied to them. Relationships should be based upon trust and respect. If we wish to learn how to respect ourselves and gain the respect of others, we should mean what we say, and not use technicalities to excuse ourselves.
C. Being cruel through brutal honesty.
This is the tool of the mean and hurtful person. They are telling the truth, technically. They are, however, doing it in a mean spirited way, intentionally. This makes it a bad truth. There is a very large difference between telling someone you didn't care for the play they wrote and telling them it was a horrific pile of garbage. The components needed in this situation are compassion and tact. Without these two aspects, even the truth can be bad.
D. Deception in business dealings.
We should provide the same honesty to others that we would like to be shown to us. To earn the respect of your peers, business associates and customers, you must be honest in your dealings with them. Although a person may acquire some temporary financial gain through lies, in the end they will lose the same and more.
E. Claiming to be righteous and ethical while we are deceiving others.
When we violate the principles of our own professed faith, we cast the truth of that faith in a false light. This is a dangerous lie indeed, for by it we deceive ourselves as much as anyone.
F. Saying bad things about others when we do not really know if it is true.
This is the danger of gossip. Often it is nothing more than slanderous lies. When we pass on information we should always ask ourselves if we know for a fact that this information is true.
Is the person who gave us the information a trustworthy source? Where did they get the information? Is there an ulterior motive on the part of one or more of the sources of this information? More importantly, if the information is negative, we should make sure that there is a constructive purpose to what we are saying.
Before opening ones mouth, and saying things about other people, you should look at the real reason you are going to say things about and what you are about to say. Is it to do harm? To gain attention? What is your intent? If it is of a negative nature, then you will eventually be the victim of such vicious lies and gossip yourself.
We should work hard to always be straightforward and honest in our dealings with other people as well as with ourselves. There is no merit or virtue in being slick and crafty. No matter how much you might want to believe there is. Deceiving, misdirecting, and misleading people are nothing but lying, no matter what name you may wish to call it.
We must learn the truth, and speak the truth, about others and ourselves. This may cause us trouble at times, but nothing like the trouble that all liars will find themselves in. It is better to be known as an honest person than to be liked by all.
Those who are not capable of being honest with themselves are the ones who will not like you. Are those the kinds of people you want in your life? I think not.
As I have tried to express to you here, lying is serious business. It's not cute. It's not clever. It is not cool. It is harmful. It is hateful. It is deadly. It is destructive.
Be kind and caring to others... and to yourself… don't lie.
Peace To You, An Enchanted Spirit
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