QUOTE (Sparrowsmith @ Aug 13 2011, 06:31 PM)
There are situations though, where lying must be done. Truth is purely dependent of context. However, it really depends on your definition of truth.
If you dial the emergency services, give them your address, followed by the service you need, then proceed to describe the scenario. Pausing to tell that "As I was sitting down to a warm glass of milk, I was perturbed by a noise coming from outside, as I went to investigate I saw some hoodlums quickly approaching my home, having already made it past the fence, and attempting to cut the phone line... Hello? Well shit"
So there's an example where less is more
And of course, the old catch 22 of deontological reasoning.
"You're hiding jews in WWII Germany, some Nazis knock on your door asking if you are hiding jews, do you tell them the truth, or do you lie?"
Now of course, it's easy to say the truth is objectively right, even if in this example you would have to lie.
Truth is truth, it is neither right nor wrong. As much good can come from truth as from lies. Knowledge is simply power, or rather, the discrepancy of knowledge between opposing parties is power. An honest man either has no desire to be more powerful than you, is already more powerful, or is so much less powerful that they know it is not worth the risk.
If one applies this view to things, then friends will often lie to each other, because they're on equal footing.
Imagine, if you will, the classic clash where to close friends are fighting over a romantic interest, or a job, or pretty much anything substantial. They are going to compete, they are going to hide advantages from each other. It's only natural. However, if one side was entirely honest, well then you could only conclude that they'd either: Already won, already lost, or didn't care.
Well, I'm just spurting some vague philosophical stuff now.
I just accept that, in life, I don't always know best. I do know what's natural though, and competition is natural. That might not make it right, in fact it's probably not, but I can never regret acting naturally - and I cannot blame others for acting naturally either.
My argument would not be "truth is right/wrong". I make no reference to morals in my post. =]
I say "truth/knowledge/power is good" in the same way that I say "life/death/time/nature is good"; speaking of inherent "goodness".
I'm of the opinion that, in and of itself, almost any noun is objectively good. I do not find these things to be evil, though I do find humans to be both good and evil.
Because humans are able to be evil, they are able to use good things (almost any noun) to do things (actions) which c/sh/would be considered evil.
What is right, and what is wrong, would be a moral argument (which I won't get involved in, though I mostly agree with what you've mentioned in relation to right/wrong). =]
In relation to the first portion of the above quote, I would agree that there are certain situations where telling the truth wouldn't be the best option, though that is a matter of deciding whether or not it is proper to do so (at the time one is either asked, or decides to talk, about it).
If I were in the first situation, involving the police call, I would be telling the truth regardless of how many words I would say - thus it wouldn't relate to telling the truth, rather it would relate to how much truth is supplied.
If I were in the second situation, involving the Nazi soldier's question, I would be in a situation where I have chosen (based on whatever morals I would have had at the time that would have put me in that situation, hypothetically speaking) to lie about hiding the Jews.
But again, that is a moral argument (and both examples are emergency situations).
Thus, I could say that in emergency situations (where a life may be at stake) I would lie to ensure the safety of others.