I can’t really tell. It was a simple question where almost no one replied that lies hurt. I’ll try to rephrase if I’m doing a research like that again but the point was to see how people react to this question. Some of them answered from a personal point of view while others were more philosophical.
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I’ve been reading a lot of these posts here and elsewhere, watching people get acclamations for honesty or just chewed up and spat out, and I just want to know what your immediate reaction is. If you could just answer yes or no then maybe someone else can start a discussion on why it is overrated or why it’s not overrated, but here on this discussion I would just like your knee-jerk reaction, from as many people as possible.
Please think as openly as possible – from cheating on a paper, lying about drug use, having an affair, taking a stapler home from the office…to government policy and climate change.
Is honesty overrated?
Honesty is teh rape. If you aren’t honest with people it means that you live dual lives and you can’t possibly be at harmony with yourself – a union of thought, word and action.
If people are “harmed” by your honesty it is only their ego being harmed. You are doing their Self a lot of good though, which is what is important.
@praneeth, i’ll get back to you shortly with the hinduism take on this
and @praneeth and @lisa, ok to put it very simply, i think we are all talking about being honest to ourselves… if you think about it, moral subjectivity is nothing but that.
so, in SkaFish’s exaMple of being questioned about drug use by authorities… its cool to lie to them cuz we are asking ourselves, “according to me, this guy trying to punish me, on doing what i think is right, is right?? ” and the answer is no. he’s wrong in the first place. so we are being honest to ourselves, and dishonest to the authority…
does that make sense? (pleasedo pleasedo)
I am an honest person, but I think sometimes we have to lie. I am going to be honest 90% of the time, unless it will fuck up my life. What I mean by fuck up my life if I am honest, lets say you have weed on you, I am going to lie about having it on me if I get pulled over. I don’t think that is the same as lying to someone about there partner cheating on them, or lying so you can have personal gain.
@daveb I hear ya about learning things, I just went on a huge neuroplasticity tangent yesterday reading a bunch of articles that say learning new things either increases the amount of neurons you have, or connects them better, or something along those lines. I agree that it is good for your brain to learn things, but in college nowadays (I just finished last year) students are required to take an increasing number of courses that are simply requirements, and don’t necessarily pertain to what you’re there for at all. As I said, no one should take offense to cheating though, since it is only yourself that you are cheating in the end.
As far as workers, I think we’re all undervalued, to the tune that our wages are stuck in 1960 while the cost of living, as well as boss’ wages, are in 2012. I simply can’t stand getting screwed over and I can’t stand bullies. Of course there are things I can do to escape them, but I haven’t figured out just how yet.
I believe in honesty for the most part but I also believe in doing whatever is necessary for self-preservation and resisting domination by powerful people.
Well, I have troubles with a lot of people for telling them the truth. I just can’t stand ass-kissers. And I had a tiny trouble with the law for telling the truth in someone’s face in front of an audience. It’s always fun to see how other people lie and then it comes back to them. I don’t know why they do it. It never ends well. I’m talking about big lies. Small lies are for everyone. Silence is dishonesty. Two months ago I made an experiment. I wanted to know the opinions of at least 50(they might have been 200. I stopped counting when I saw the major result) people that I chose randomly. My question was: “Which hurts more – The truth or that someone lied to you?” The majority answered the truth. I’d like to do the experiment again but on a bigger scale. I’m not sure if they answered adequately but I was amazed… Most of the people want to hide from themselves.
Sucks that your major had worthless classes in it, but I’m sure you’re not alone in that experience. I studied something I really enjoyed – something like 90% of my credit hours were in music. Since I only got 1-2 electives each year those were also classes I found really interesting. So we’ve got different perspectives based on our experiences.
I agree that many workers are undervalued, but I disagree that everybody stealing from their employer is any way to resolve that problem. I think that makes the problem worse.
as someone who used to lie and misrepresent myself a lot and has totally turned that around, honesty allows me to live a very simple life, without any pretense. everybody in my life knows where I stand and accepts me for who I am today. I never have to “fake” anything. in fact, when I started being honest it really helped me grow, because I was setting much higher standards for myself, raising my expectations for my own behavior.
as skafish illustrates above, lying and cheating are actions people use to cover weaknesses, compensate for making bad choices, and avoid changing.
Sasho, very interesting findings. I think that may be a big problem with many, many people today. They are scared of the truth and don’t have the ‘balls’ (excuse my french) to face it, like they know they should. They keep running from it until it becomes a habit of their ego. Then it just becomes the norm.
Running from the truth may make you feel safe for the time being, but in the end you’re always running. If you just face it in the first place you can nip it in the bud and deal with it from the get go. Then it’s out of the picture after that. Once this becomes a habit, you learn to deal with your problems instead of constantly trying to escape from them. Every problem has a solution.
Life certainly does get a lot simpler when you aren’t wearing masks or trying to remember what you said to who and whether it matches up to what you told someone who might possible talk to lie-ee A.
It can avoid some discomfort in the short term but often causes more stress than necessary. There are some things you just want to keep to yourself (e.g. “You are quite ugly.”) but you make things easier for everyone when you’re just upfront.
The most important in any realtionship, work or social, is trust. Trust is simply a manifestation of an individual’s honesty and how often they show it. I would much rather someone tell me they fudged something up than find out for myself.
It depends. Using your examples:
-Cheating on a paper? Totally ok in my book. Most likely it’s just something you need to do to get through a course to get to something else. If it’s really important knowledge, then you’re only cheating yourself and no one should take offense.
-Lying about drug use? It depends. To authorities who could punish you? Absolutely ok, especially since I don’t believe drug use is something they should be able to punish me for. If it is wrong to lie, then they are wrong for creating a situation where it is to my advantage to lie since I disagree with their belief to impose their will on me. To family members? I suppose so, simply because it avoids an argument and causes them less stress to lie than to tell the truth. I bear my family no ill will, but we have differences in opinion on drugs. In that case, I would call it a white lie, where the truth does more damage than the lie.
-Taking a stapler? Totally ok once again, if you’re working for someone else then they’re probably not paying you what you’re worth so that they can have a bigger piece of the pie themselves. If anything, you owe yourself to steal from work if you can.
But as for government policy and climate change, I would say no, since they are things that have the ability to affect the whole planet. In those cases I’d say the truth is best. Also with an affair, it would be best to tell the truth because I feel it is wrong to string someone along like that, and I would hate for someone to do that to me. For the most part, I would say honesty is a virtue, except in matters of self-preservation and white lies.
I really think people would be a lot better off if we just stopped lying to each other–lies lead to misunderstandings, which can quickly escalate to hatred and war.
…kind of on the topic, has anyone seen, ‘The Invention of Lying’? Check that out to see what a world of all-truth would be like…lol
A world with just honest people would be WAY better. People in corporations lie about their products, researchers lie about their results, mass-media lies about events. No wonder society is so messed-up. If we act on false information given by other people, of course we will mess things up even more.
And if you want a better and more honest society, you must break the chain of lies. How can we complain that x or y lies to us, when we are in fact doing the same thing on a smaller scale?
Granted, telling the truth can sometimes be really hard and it can take a lot of courage. I’m a work in progress but I do see that telling the truth is liberating and it is better in the long run.
And when we talk about honesty, we shouldn’t imply that it means saying things brutally to someone else. You have the option of being tactful and choosing the right moment.
i guess its ‘cool’ to say it is and all, but no, it is in no way overrated…
in hindu mythology, Krishna (that awesome, youthful, wise, and flirty rockstar of a god :)) advices dishonesty in certain cases (10 i think). like when it comes to saving another’s life… i dont remember the other situations, :P
but honesty FTW, i say!
@ daveb “as skafish illustrates above, lying and cheating are actions people use to cover weaknesses, compensate for making bad choices, and avoid changing.”
Not sure what you mean by this:
-Bad choices can be subjective, depends on the person’s views and the situation they are in.
-Covering weaknesses: explain?
-Avoid changing: Depends. What changes am I avoiding? Why should I change my views to something I don’t agree with simply because it is forced on me, especially when the only person being affected by my choices is myself?
If people want an honest society, then we have to all agree to get rid of power and some people’s ability to impose their will on other people. If you think about it, imposing your will on others is the underlying concept of all crimes and the reason why they are considered crimes (except for those things which shouldn’t be considered crimes, which is why I feel the way I do on drug use. Me choosing to smoke a joint isn’t imposing my will on anyone so why is it a crime?). Even on the tiniest possible scale of things that have next to no importance, this must be so.
oh yeah guys, if you want to really see the beauty of following truth in your life, and its beautiful i tell ya, read Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography ‘the story of my experiments with truth’…
probably change your life.
i read the first few chapters and i was affected.
Lies are fucking immature, cowardly and disgusting. I have no respect for people that lie. Whatever happened to holding values and principles for yourself? And if you don’t, why do you expect others to?
@TheSkaFish I think I understand what he meant there. Check this out, and see whether it resonates with you: http://myquestforgrowth.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-we-lie-and-radical-honesty-month.html
vishnu do you mind further explaining this ?
both you n skafish bring this up
get this (hopefully this makes sense)
question ->answer->a lie or the truth->justification for prev choice.
1 2 3 4
any subdividing after 3 , and we loose objectivity.
I would still love to hear the hindu take on this.
yess ghandis’(nice) sounds very intresting, soo many things soo little time