Lying and Deceit and Questions Its Acceptability Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

lying and deceit and questions its acceptability in society. Lying is something which stands at a different perspective for everyone. Every form of lying is because an individual is trying to gain or achieve something, most of people's actions are meant to deceive in some way for personal gain, and this goes on underlying, since people are so used to doing it. There is, however a possibility to change someone's patterns of duplicity. The detection of this duplicity is what may be difficult.

These patterns of duplicity are difficult to detect since they are already embedded within the person. This does not mean, though, that the person is of ill will. There are needs for this deception, justifiable or not, which arise through certain stressors in one's life. These types of stressors present themselves as challenges or types of competition in an individual's life. The drive for success or material gain rises, and this pushes a person to deceive in order to get his or her will.

2. Dishonesty is something which is dynamic in people's eyes. The perspectives on lying are different depending on the person lying and the person being lied to. People lie to each other yet are still surprised when an individual is not being honest with him or her. There are questions of motivations which are brought about by different emotions, the author regards to this as troublesome. There are various interpretive theories which are applicable to dishonesty; however it is still not clear of how to make connections between them.

Everyone has the power, along with the motivation to be dishonest, and to conceal some truths. Talking is simply the communication between individuals when one person is trying to tell the other what is on his or her mind. This can be easily manipulated by dishonesty. People can modify certain situations to their liking through their speech and actions. This creates grounds for people to lie about their motivations, their actions and even their speech.

3. The truth is something which does set us free, however it is not what we want and it ultimately makes us miserable. Everyone at one point does not measure themselves up to their own ethical standards; the standards regarding the truth. The scriptures say a lot about the act of lying, it claims that many people do this. We are described as representatives of the government before God. This lying hinders us from doing God's duty, and God being ruler of all, is not capable of lying.

It is all within our moral choices; to lie or not. However, most cannot justify their lies as to a life or death situation. There are certain circumstances in which we feel that we should lie, however most of the time this lying is not something which can be justified. Some people try to justify their lies in regards to their feelings, claiming that there are instances which call for it. However, the big question is that if it is ever right to tell a lie. This is a personal thought which can only be answered by an individual's ethics.

4. Opinions are now expressed so loosely, even though one of the most popular mottos to date is that "the truth will set you free." The truth is supposedly an objective thing, and it is supposedly only known in the mind of the individual who knows that truth. There is a certain crisis today which we are facing, regarding the importance of truth in our culture. This is in connection with postmodernism and the assaults truth is undergoing.

The concerns of truth are not only to be seen as theoretical and analytical, it is something which should be practical and positive. There are certain postmodernist views on truth which are created to make society seem so cynical. Truth and virtue can be traced back from intentions; these intentions include truth and bias. The issues on truth have far deeper meaning, and cannot simply be explained through the politics we compare it with. Throughout history, there seems to be justification of lies which are permissible, and the truth is something seen as subjective.

II. The Point

The overall point of the readings was an attempt to define lying in the human context. There are different motives and intentions which may dictate people in their actions and cause them to lie. Stirring away from the truth is not something which is uncommon today, and it is very prevalent especially in terms of politics and news. People have these intentions for personal gain and achievement that they manipulate their words, actions and speech patterns so that they are able to deceive others. Lying is something which can be determined under a number of theories and explanations; however why people lie is still something that puzzles a lot of people.

The example of The Lottery was given in comparison to humans and humanity. It seems unthinkable if taken literally, that a whole village can be so cruel as to do that to a person. However, it can be compared to people and their lies. There is a certain need for it in society, and it comes from intentions and their views on morale. People who are close to you and people who you love in one point will hurt you and lie to you. They can do this without flinching or even thinking twice. You would be surprised at who can lie to you and cause you damage.

Numerous other examples of lying, deceit and dishonesty were given in terms of politics. However, this does not only go on in the government or in the workplace. Lying is extensive and can be from small too big. No one can really measure a lie, just the impact or damage it can do. The damage can be literal damage, but the worst is the emotional damage it does to the one being lied to.

III. Ethical Base

As I have understood from the readings, the ethics on lying and deceit have being very rampant that the truth is a subjective issue. No one can tell what the truth is unless he or she is the one holding it, or withholding it. Most would believe that honesty is the ultimate key for ethical virtue; however this is not seen in society today. Organizations, institutions and corporations all include a code of ethics in running their establishments, most people follow these norms and ethics; however when it comes to lying and deceit, it is much harder to catch (Malpas, 2008). Studies have shown that people show different attitudes when it comes to lying, and this has made the issue more of subjective because it depends on one's ethics, moral values and beliefs (Sims, 2000).

People are only often ashamed or even the least bit defensive, only when we are caught lying, cheating or diverting from the truth (Carson, 1988). Rarely do we see an individual confess to his or her lying and/or deceit when there is no chance that they will get caught. The articles speak of lying and deceit from a perspective of the on committing the lie. Explanations are given, such as for personal gain or success. This is seen as a very self-centered reason for telling a lie; although everyone does it more than once in their lives.

I believe that it is very hard to write about lying, deceit or dishonesty from a purely innocent perspective because no one is clean of doing this. This is also made more difficult since lying, deceit and dishonesty provides a barrier in real communication between two people where trust should be established. The bigger issue when it comes to lying is when that trust is broken, not in the lie itself. Relationships are destroyed and bridges are burnt because of simple lies, even though everyone has been guilty in their lives of doing so.

Some people would consider lying to be in the same line as killing (Decosimo, 2010). This is because the truth is seen to be killed and justice must then be served. This is seen mostly through religion. Lying has many dimensions and there is conflict on the essence of a lie, and to what extent can the truth be bent. There are people who say that by neglecting the truth it is already lying; however some state that a lie is the direct disfigurement of the truth. Whatever way it is put, lying is in the same ranks as murder.

It would be very quite easy for people to understand the ethics on lying and why it comes about since everyone does do it. People can generally relate to the articles and the explanations they offer because it is not something which is new to society; this has been going on for years and has been a problem since the beginning of time. People only want an explanation when they are lied to; however when they are the ones lying, they would…

Sources Used in Document:


Carson, T.L. (1988). On the definition of lying: A reply to Jones and revisions. Journal of Business Ethics. 7; 509-514.

Decosimo, D. (2010). JUST LIES: Finding Augustine's Ethics of Public Lying in His Treatments of Lying and Killing Journal of Religious Ethics Just Lies. Journal of Religious Ethics. 38(4); 661-697.

Malpas, J. (2008). Truth, Lies and Deceit: On Ethics in Contemporary Public Life. International Journal of Applied Philosophy. 22(1); 1-12.

Sims, R.L. (2000). The Relationship Between Employee Attitudes and Conflicting Expectations for Lying Behavior. Journal of Psychology. 134(6); 619-634.

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