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lies.

billy rubin

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lies.
« on: January 26, 2021, 11:15:37 PM »
i just read this. somebody who grew up in a family where they told the truth and then in his maturity has decded that telling lies is preferable.

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2021/01/what-its-like-growing-family-never-lies/617773/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

i don't lie.

i have told a lie perhaps two times in teh alst 40 years and both times have gone out of my way to locate the victime and retract my words.

i consider telling lies to be the most dehumanizing thing someone can do to another person.

am i an idiot for holding to the position that there are no good reasons to tell lies?

im always open tore evalutaing what i think is right


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xSilverPhinx

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Re: lies.
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2021, 12:34:10 AM »
I don't see how good intentioned lies harm other people. In this case I wouldn't call them "victims", either. There are a number of situations in which I would lie to someone if I thought the truth is better left unsaid for their sake.

Not all lies are good intentioned, of course. But not all lies are bad either.

If you don't mind me asking, what were the two lies you told? Did they shape your belief that all lies dehumanise their victims or did you already hold that conviction?
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billy rubin

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Re: lies.
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2021, 01:38:50 AM »

If you don't mind me asking, what were the two lies you told? Did they shape your belief that all lies dehumanise their victims or did you already hold that conviction?

i lied to IBM about an employee who was dying of cancer and couldn't afford to buy both the antidote to the chemo and food at the same time. even though he could no longer work, i signed his time sheet every week so he could get paid. eventually i went to the IBM contact and explained what i was doing. he told me, keep the man on the payroll whether he works or not.

the second time i was workign wellhead on a frac job. we were lubricating a well head valve and in a moment of confusion i pulled the wrong valve and  cut the wire holding up the guns down hole, it cost the usual three million dollars or so to go in and grind the guns up to clear the hole.

at first i didn't want to admit that it had been me that had cut the wireline, and to be honest, i wasn;'t sure it had been me in the dark and the confusion. but after a few days of going over it, i decided that it had to be me who had done it, and so i went to my supervisors and took responsibility. i was firesd, but other people who were in line to be blamed were able to keep their jobs. over time, i have decided for sure that it was me that cut the wireline.

i my opinion, there is no lie that is excuseable. all lies require that you make a decision that someone else does not deserve to know the truth-- that they are somehow subordinate to the liar. to lie to someone, especially the traditional  white lie, is to relegate them to an inferior position, subordinate to  one which the liar reserves to himeself alone. the only other lies are the ones where someone lies to take advantage of someone else. but those generally do not engender controversey.

there is an extremely difficult special case to all of this, which is the situation of the jew in the closet. my views of how to manage this dilemma have changed over time, and i'm frankly not sure how i look at it now.

"leaving the truth unsaid" is different from lying, unless the intention is to convey a false impression of the truth. there are lots of things that i simply don't tell people, because i don't regard telling the truth and answering all questions to be the same thing. but if silence misrepresents somethjing i know to be true, i cnsider myself obligated to speak up and correct the misapprehension.

the mantra i use is

do not lie.

do not misrepresent.

do not decieve by silence.


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Icarus

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Re: lies.
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2021, 03:19:05 AM »
Billy  that is philosophic position that deserves some respect.  Not to say that I agree with everything you have said but I apprecite that we HAF people can even entertain a conversation of that sort.  In some other environments such stuff could lead to condemnations or even fist fights.

For what it is worth I too think that lying not the best way to live. If for no other reason for adhering to truth, lying forces one to remember what he/she might have said. 


billy rubin

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Re: lies.
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2021, 03:29:19 AM »
lying is often called th3 grease that makez thexwheels of society turn

but think about it, icarus

if it takes mutual deception to make a society work, then that society is not work8ng. something eli se is going on that all the liars are trying to cover up.

in the end, liars are mostly lying to themselves, by pretending that that they live in a world that actually doesnt exist.

ive thought about this issue a lot over a lit of years, and i dont see anythin good about lying.


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Dark Lightning

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Re: lies.
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2021, 04:08:16 AM »
I got the lying beat out of me at a young age. It's interesting, watching people lie through their teeth in an effort to prevail at something. I've seen so much of it in my life that I expect that it is just part of the human condition. By the same token, telling the truth is a much better action. I've been in situations at work that, in the short term, lying would have been advantageous. But when the truth was found, heads rolled (and lawsuits abounded). Little white lies to spare people's feelings don't always pan out, either. I'd just as soon tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. At least people know where I stand, and more importantly, they know that they can trust me.

Randy

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Re: lies.
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2021, 01:19:34 PM »
We've seen the ramifications that lying can have here in the US. Half the country, roughly, believes that Trump won a second term and that Biden somehow stole it from him. It's preposterous. I'd rather know the truth and take what comes.

Another example: A few months ago I was in my ENT's examining room. Somehow we got to talking about my cancer and he said, "We can't cure it. All we can do is keep it at bay." I knew this early on but to hear it finally struck home. I know I'm living on borrowed time. Now it's up to me to take that truth and do something with it.
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Davin

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Re: lies.
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2021, 01:49:39 PM »
So I walk into a store and a worker says, "hi, how are you doing today?"

I lie and say, "just fine."

I do not think they are subordinate to me, I do not think they don't deserve the truth. But I do think that taking the time to explain the truth about how I'm doing is worse than saying two words so we can both go about our day. I don't see how anyone is harmed in this common scenario, but I do see how all parties involved benefit from my lie.

With every action, it's not necessarily the action itself that is harmful, it is what happens from it. Punching in the air is fine, punching a sparing partner is good, but punching a random person on the street is bad. Context matters far more than the action.

I have a co-worker who works in a different department who lies all the time to make him not look like the terrible applications developer he is, and I often get hurt by the results and have to do far more work defending my work than is reasonable. His lies on this matter harms others in order to help himself. Context is what makes the difference when determining if something is harmful or not. Even lies.
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Re: lies.
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2021, 02:17:03 PM »
There is a utilitarian consideration here, as well as a deontological one. Yes, honesty is generally the best policy.  But there are utilitarian, consequentialist exceptions.  A captured soldier lies to his torturers about the location of his unit.  A person hiding a persecuted minority family lies to the oppressors about the presence of his guests.  Here the benefit of lying may far outweigh the pluses of telling the truth.  So, I try to live by the general rule of duty, but make room for exceptions in exceptional situations.

Randy

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Re: lies.
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2021, 03:01:25 PM »
Here's another lie to consider: Telling a ten year-old girl on her deathbed when she asks, "Will I go to Heaven?" My reply would be, "Of course you will."
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Re: lies.
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2021, 05:15:41 PM »
We are men of action, lies do not become us.

That being said, I love everyone.

billy rubin

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Re: lies.
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2021, 06:00:19 PM »
There is a utilitarian consideration here, as well as a deontological one. Yes, honesty is generally the best policy.  But there are utilitarian, consequentialist exceptions.  A captured soldier lies to his torturers about the location of his unit.  A person hiding a persecuted minority family lies to the oppressors about the presence of his guests.  Here the benefit of lying may far outweigh the pluses of telling the truth.  So, I try to live by the general rule of duty, but make room for exceptions in exceptional situations.

. . . and the jew in the closet.

at one time when i was religious, i wrestled withis question. th eonly answer i could come up with was to siply to refuse to answer, and to have a known history of refusing to answer questions like that so that my refusal could not be construed to mean one thing or another.

i was quite comfortable with ending up dead because of that choice. like hard-core pacicism, you have to be ready to die for what you believe, or you don't really believe it. the old existentialist position.

the key then was that telling the truth when one spoke was a specific duty to god, which outweighed any proximate unfortunate consequences. the faith element was that if you were faithful, then the situation would be resolved for the best. any action which required disobedience to god by lying was automatically not the best action, a priori

not having any beliefs anymore, i don't follow this logic. but i still make a big deal to myself about not lying. th elast vestige of religion, in my case, it seems.


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billy rubin

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Re: lies.
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2021, 06:11:01 PM »
Here's another lie to consider: Telling a ten year-old girl on her deathbed when she asks, "Will I go to Heaven?" My reply would be, "Of course you will."

^^^anothe rproblematic one.

i;ve been asked whether i can tell my elderly father with dementia that, yes, his dead wife will soon be over to visit him . . .

this shit happens al the time in hospitals, when doctors lie to a terminal patient about his immediate deteriorating future. i know nurses who have to bite their tongues when a doctor lies to someone with the expectation that they will back him up
 and lie to the patient as well.

i can't speak for anybody else, but if i was going to die in two days, i would consider it a betrayal of trust for a doctor to conceal that from me. how could i possibly compose my life when people i had trusted to help me didn't consider me good enough, or strong enough, or smart enough, to deal with the information about me that they possessd? to lie to me would be to rob me of the opportunity to face up to my future in the way that i would prefer.

if i had a dying child in my care, i wold explain to the child that yes, she was going to die, and no, i did not expect her to go to heaven, or anybody else. that would have been a no-brainer for my children, because i have never lied to any of them, about anytjhing, ever. they have alwasy gotten the truth from me about whatever they asked, and they depend on that. this ia very tough question to answer, and i might be persuaded otherwise if someone were t present me with a convicning argument. i haven't heard one yet.

to have a child ask about heaven means that the lying has already been going on, and so i suppose adding another would be no big deal. but i wouldn't be th eone doing it.


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Icarus

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Re: lies.
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2021, 11:22:53 PM »
Here is an interesting read that is pertinent to the subject at hand.  read and agree or disagree.

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2021/01/what-its-like-growing-family-never-lies/617773/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

billy rubin

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Re: lies.
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2021, 09:29:15 PM »
well, i'll say that that gentleman certainly had a fucked-up upbringing, and it took him a long time to dig out of it. in the end, in my opinion, he swung too far the other way and decided that a life of comfortable deceit was spreferable to what he saw as his only other alternative, one of glib openness and vulnerability. those aren't the olnly ways to live-- integrity is possible without opening your mouth all the time.

i don't lie, but i pick my battles when i live in a world that values deceit over honesty, appeasement over confrontation, and social facilitation over integrity. in that respect, i agree with your author that i save my honesty for those people who appreciate truth.

but unlike the author, i haven't concluded that lie are necessary to live.  i don't sugarcoat truth, and i don't look for easy ways out of situations where the truth is dificult. sometimes i choose not to participate in a conversation where the truth is awkward and i have no dog in the fight. but if i am asked for my view oe decide to give it, then that is what they get. this causes me problems with some people, but they are problems that i am perfectly willing to have.

in my opinion, truth is a necessary f5oundation of every worthwhile human experience and human relationship. if you don't treat yourself or someone else with honesty, you do noot have a real life or a real relationship with other people. to the extent that that is important, one must make decisions. in my own case, i pick and choose who i want to have a relationship with, and some people don't qualify. but i don't lie to those folks.i just ignore them, as someone with with whom a meaningful relationship isn't possible. and i don't lie to myself.

maybe this is a cold view, but its the only valid way i see to live


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