Spinoff: Lies, it's all lies I tell you!

SisaSisa Registered Users Posts: 759
OK, now that I've got your attention... :lol:

***

As I was reading Springcurls' thread about lying to her mother regarding the cat situation, and calling the animal welfare people, I got to thinking...

Most of you had no problem with the fact that she lied, and a few of you almost seemed to have the mentality that her lying was in fact the "right thing to do".

When is it OK to lie?

When is it "right"?

I ask this because like I said in Spring's first thread about the cats, I have that Jim Carrey (in the movie Liar, Liar) "I CAN'T LIE!!!" syndrome. :wink:

My refusal to lie has got me into situations at work where bosses would like me to "cover" for them, or tell a "little white" lie to a client / customer. Someone (actually, a few people) once told me that if I didn't "lighten up" about stuff like this, that I wouldn't get ahead in life. If I have to lie to do it, I'm not so sure I care.

Anyway, discuss... I would like to understand your perspective!

***

Also, I've added a poll to this thread... I don't want you to answer based on what you've done - for example: "Well I've lied before so I can't choose *No, never.* as my answer". (Because we all know we do things we don't want to do!)

I want you to answer based on what your own personal moral code dictates, whatever that may be.

Thanks! 8)
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Comments

  • NetGNetG Registered Users Posts: 8,116
    I would not lie to a customer about work being done, because that's unethical. To me, if there's a problem with something you're getting paid to do, you sure as heck better make sure the customer knows the truth. Even if ethics weren't involved, being honest when there are problems is going to be a lot more helpful with trust levels in the long run than dishonesty. I wouldn't want to advance either, if I were you. And would probably end up a whistleblower when I saw something unethical enough that there would be a change made if I made the knowledge public. That does *not* mean you have to share everything, of course. The customer doesn't care about the backstabbing idiot everyone hates (unless that idiot's going after the customer in attacks) and would rather not have to deal with internal personnel issues. Just get the job done.

    There are times when lies are easier and worth it. Springcurl does not, and will never, have a decent relationship with her mother. Unfortunately. If they had a healthy relationship, honesty would have allowed them to discuss issues and make progress in having a healthier trusting relationship. However, in this specific relationship (going purely on what we've seen of Springcurl's posts) I feel like the relationship would only get worse, and cause more pain and frustration.

    How about if I'm asked about the backstabbing jerk in my first paragraph? I'm not sure exactly what I'd do, but I wouldn't claim to like him. I wouldn't necessarily say "I hate so-and-so and think you should fire him." But I would try to figure out if that individual had performance flaws to point out! I have seen people who were in positions they were not qualified for resort to backstabbing and unprofessional behavior-so in those cases I point out the weaknesses in their background which their management knew when promoting them, but didn't help them remedy. This is in a case when I really trusted the individual to whom I was speaking, and knew it wouldn't be held against the individual, but instead would be used to help that individual learn.
    The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
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  • CGNYCCGNYC Registered Users Posts: 4,938 Curl Connoisseur
    Sometimes I think it's really ok to lie. In the situation with all those cats, I think telling the truth would allow the mother to feel put upon by her daughter instead of focusing on the this situation with the animals - which is what's important here. Also, would it really help an already shaky relationship to tell the mom that yes, the daughter did make the call? No.

    And sometimes it's the kindest thing to do. There are times people will ask you to do things you don't want to do or become involved in situations you KNOW you don't feel comfortable with and the kindest, fastest, easiest thing to do is say, "nope, already have plans" and leave it at that.

    When your SIL asks you moments before her wedding - does my hair look ok? And you think, if you were going for a big fluffy helment then yes, it's perfect - that's also a good time to lie.

    I think people also use, "Hey, I'm just telling the TRUTH" as an excuse to pick fights or treat people badly.

    So yes, sometimes it's just fine to lie.
  • curlyarcacurlyarca Registered Users Posts: 8,449 Curl Connoisseur
    alright, I chose C. Everything's relative when it comes to lies.

    I don't like lying either. In some case, I think it is justified. But in Spring's case, I think taking the kittens wasn't a good idea to begin with and that was followed by a lie. And hey, I'm all for exceptions. But the exception isn't the rule. So then when she says her mom asked if she called the spca, I just thought that was getting a bit chronic.

    Lying is wrong in most circumstances. Sometimes a lie is in order. But looking at the pattern of the lies that have occurred and the history she has with her mom (bad, bad relationship), I don't think she's really lying for the greater good of the cats; maybe that's the manifest function of the lie. I think the latent reason is she's trying to get back at her mom. Lying for that reason (in my opinion), isn't ok.

    I can understand her being angry with her mom and wanting to punish her, but that's not a good way to deal with people. Even though her mom is pretty much described as a bad person, that doesn't mean lying to her is ok. And why put those animals in the middle of everything.

    Honestly, in the first situation (and this will probably get me in trouble) with the two kittens it was a "proactive" lie, although i would have just told her what i was up to. she was thinking about the kitten being ill and not getting help. the second lie established a pattern of lying when there was really no reason to lie. She doesn't like her mother, the relationship is suppossed to be unsalvageable, so I don't think she was protecting her feelings.

    but who am i to judge? i don't know either of them, and i only know what i've read on this board, of which ive only been a member for a short time. like i said, everything's relative.

    "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

    4a, mbl, low porosity, normal thickness, fine hair.
  • MiscellaneousMiscellaneous Registered Users Posts: 27
    A coupla scenarios:

    Me: Hello?

    -Yes, can I speak to Mr. Muh-leek?

    Me: Sorry, he's not home right now, can I take a message?

    Truth: if you had known how to pronounce my name, maybe I'd admit to it. Also, if you were somebody worth talking to, you'd leave a message.


    Girlfriend: What time did you finally stop working last night?

    Me: I was done by about 11, not too bad.

    Truth: Well, I worked until 2:30 am, but I don't want you to worry about me.
    ...a little straight-haired testosterone on the curlygirly bored. :)
  • CGNYCCGNYC Registered Users Posts: 4,938 Curl Connoisseur
    curlyara wrote:
    alright, I chose C. Everything's relative when it comes to lies.

    I don't like lying either. In some case, I think it is justified. But in Spring's case, I think taking the kittens wasn't a good idea to begin with and that was followed by a lie. And hey, I'm all for exceptions. But the exception isn't the rule. So then when she says her mom asked if she called the spca, I just thought that was getting a bit chronic.

    Lying is wrong in most circumstances. Sometimes a lie is in order. But looking at the pattern of the lies that have occurred and the history she has with her mom (bad, bad relationship), I don't think she's really lying for the greater good of the cats; maybe that's the manifest function of the lie. I think the latent reason is she's trying to get back at her mom. Lying for that reason (in my opinion), isn't ok.

    I can understand her being angry with her mom and wanting to punish her, but that's not a good way to deal with people. Even though her mom is pretty much described as a bad person, that doesn't mean lying to her is ok. And why put those animals in the middle of everything.

    Honestly, in the first situation (and this will probably get me in trouble) with the two kittens it was a "proactive" lie, although i would have just told her what i was up to. she was thinking about the kitten being ill and not getting help. the second lie established a pattern of lying when there was really no reason to lie. She doesn't like her mother, the relationship is suppossed to be unsalvageable, so I don't think she was protecting her feelings.

    but who am i to judge? i don't know either of them, and i only know what i've read on this board, of which ive only been a member for a short time. like i said, everything's relative.

    Are you aware the mother has like at least one sick dog, other misc animals, 28 house cats - none of witch are fixed or get vet care? Spring has consistently tried to get them to do something with these cats (have them fixed, give some away, get them to the vet - SOMETHING) and they seem to think they are totally justified with this "choice" to neglect these cats and let them breed rampantly. I honestly think you're way over thinking the situation - Spring really is just trying to sort out a few of the cats. Maybe if you're not an animal person, it just doesn't seem that big a deal but I don't even know these people and *I* would be willing to call the SPCA on them and lie about it. I really think in this case it is all, if not mostly, about relocating a couple of cats before they all end up sick or dead.
  • curlyarcacurlyarca Registered Users Posts: 8,449 Curl Connoisseur
    CGNYC wrote:
    curlyara wrote:
    alright, I chose C. Everything's relative when it comes to lies.

    I don't like lying either. In some case, I think it is justified. But in Spring's case, I think taking the kittens wasn't a good idea to begin with and that was followed by a lie. And hey, I'm all for exceptions. But the exception isn't the rule. So then when she says her mom asked if she called the spca, I just thought that was getting a bit chronic.

    Lying is wrong in most circumstances. Sometimes a lie is in order. But looking at the pattern of the lies that have occurred and the history she has with her mom (bad, bad relationship), I don't think she's really lying for the greater good of the cats; maybe that's the manifest function of the lie. I think the latent reason is she's trying to get back at her mom. Lying for that reason (in my opinion), isn't ok.

    I can understand her being angry with her mom and wanting to punish her, but that's not a good way to deal with people. Even though her mom is pretty much described as a bad person, that doesn't mean lying to her is ok. And why put those animals in the middle of everything.

    Honestly, in the first situation (and this will probably get me in trouble) with the two kittens it was a "proactive" lie, although i would have just told her what i was up to. she was thinking about the kitten being ill and not getting help. the second lie established a pattern of lying when there was really no reason to lie. She doesn't like her mother, the relationship is suppossed to be unsalvageable, so I don't think she was protecting her feelings.

    but who am i to judge? i don't know either of them, and i only know what i've read on this board, of which ive only been a member for a short time. like i said, everything's relative.

    Are you aware the mother has like at least one sick dog, other misc animals, 28 house cats - none of witch are fixed or get vet care? Spring has consistently tried to get them to do something with these cats (have them fixed, give some away, get them to the vet - SOMETHING) and they seem to think they are totally justified with this "choice" to neglect these cats and let them breed rampantly. I honestly think you're way over thinking the situation - Spring really is just trying to sort out a few of the cats. Maybe if you're not an animal person, it just doesn't seem that big a deal but I don't even know these people and *I* would be willing to call the SPCA on them and lie about it. I really think in this case it is all, if not mostly, about relocating a couple of cats before they all end up sick or dead.

    i don't think all animals need to be 'fixed'. in some cases, they should be. i guess it depends on where you live, if the area is overpopulated with the animal of interest, what the laws are, etc. i think it was a good idea to call the spca, i never said she was wrong to do that.

    i am an animal person. i've owned horses, cats, dogs, and various farm animals. i love animals. i also think that having 23 cats that are possibly all ill is a problem; it is a big deal.

    if its all about the well being of the cats/animals, why does spring get this sense of satisfaction from reporting them? if it's all about the well being of the cats, and if she's so right, why not admit to her mom that she called. from her (mom's) responses on the phone, she probably knows spring called anyway. spring's intelligent, and i'm pretty sure she picked up on that.

    all i'm saying is that i dont think its a completely benign, selfless, i'm thinking of the other person's feeling's/the animal's safety kind of lie.

    and again:
    curlyara wrote:
    but who am i to judge? i don't know either of them, and i only know what i've read on this board, of which ive only been a member for a short time. like i said, everything's relative.

    it's just my evaluation of the situation, albeit from a huge distance. i'm not condoning her mom's behavior concerning the cats, and i'm not an "animal hater" or anything.

    "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

    4a, mbl, low porosity, normal thickness, fine hair.
  • SisaSisa Registered Users Posts: 759
    Thanks for your responses so far... I don't mean to simplify this too much, but what I'm getting here is that the general consensus is that it's OK to lie if it benefits you or someone else in some way.

    Not being a poop disturber or trying to be ridiculous, but...

    Couldn't stealing be viewed in the same light? (A Robin Hood scenario...)

    ***

    Also, even though I was prompted to start this thread after reading Springcurls' thread, I do want to point out that this thread is not intended to spark discussion only about that situation. I am genuinely curious about what others think about lying in general, and would hate to see this thread solely focus on Spring's situation, and turn into some spinoff argument thread - not that it has yet!

    ***

    At any rate, long live the Cat Ghetto Pimpcess!!! :lol:
  • gekko422gekko422 Registered Users Posts: 4,869 Curl Connoisseur
    Stealing is against the law. Lying is not. Therefore comparing stealing to lying is apples and oranges.

    BUT to address the comparison, lying for the better good of someone can be viewed as a victimless crime. Noone gets hurt and everyone goes home happy. Stealing is not a victimless crime, you are taking something from someone else and possibly causing them pain and grief in the loss. So, although you may view your actions as noble, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, they are not because you have caused someone else pain.
    Democracy is not a spectator sport.

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  • rouquinnerouquinne Registered Users Posts: 13,737 Curl Connoisseur
    gekko422 wrote:
    Stealing is against the law. Lying is not.

    sure it is.

    isn't that what Martha Stewart was convicted of?

    :D
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  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    Sisa wrote:
    Thanks for your responses so far... I don't mean to simplify this too much, but what I'm getting here is that the general consensus is that it's OK to lie if it benefits you or someone else in some way.

    Not being a poop disturber or trying to be ridiculous, but...

    Couldn't stealing be viewed in the same light? (A Robin Hood scenario...)

    I don't think lying is OK if it benefits you or someone else. Because any lie is bound to benefit someone. I think it is important to weight the upside and downside of lying vs. the upside or downside of telling the truth. And not just in material benefits to you, but in considerations of benefits, material and emotional, to others involved.

    For example, your friend invites you to lunch with her and her sister. You hate her sister.
    Should you say "I'm sorry. I really can't stand your sister so I don't want to go" or "Thanks for asking, but I have lunch plans already." Which is better. If your friend and her sis are really close and have a good relationship, and your reasons for disliking her sister are superficial and silly, even to you, then telling the truth would only cause your friend unnecessary hurt. If, you think that her sister treats your friend like crap and takes advantage of her, then you might be better off telling the truth, something like "I'm not comfortable with the way your sister treats you. I hope you don't mind, but I'd ratherhave lunch with just you, some other time". If your friend already knows how you feel about her sister but doesn't want to hear about it - if the subject is a dead horse you beat many many times already, you may just tell her you are busy to avoid getting into the unproductive discussion again.

    The big cost of lying is the distance it creates in realtionships between people. If you constantly lie to someone you are supposedly close to, then you are not really that close. You don't trust them or you are afraid they don't trust you.

    When I think Lying is not OK:
    A. When it will get someone in undeserved trouble
    B. When it will cause someone to suffer some loss, even though you benefit
    C. In most cases, to keep yourself out of trouble. You need to accept responsibility for your actions. To do otherwise is to not live up to your potential.
    D. Under oath

    When it is OK:
    A. When the outcome will not really change whether you tell the truth or lie, and the truth will hurt someone's feelings
    B. When people invade your space/privacy (i.e. telemarketers, pushy neighbors or relatives, people selling things door to door) and lying is the quickest way to get them to stop bothering you.
    C. When being interrogated by enemies
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • SisaSisa Registered Users Posts: 759
    gekko422 wrote:
    Stealing is against the law. Lying is not. Therefore comparing stealing to lying is apples and oranges.

    While I do believe rouquinne's reply was delivered tongue-in-cheek, she does have a point. Of course lying is against the law... Perjury! (I think you mean lying to anyone except for law enforcement officials, though. But the point is, lying can indeed be against the law.)

    Also, is your own personal moral code derived by the law in your land? Some people think marijuana should be legal, others think abortion aught to be illegal. So some people think smoking pot is "OK" and even "RIGHT", and still others think abortion is "NEVER" OK... And these convictions would go against what is and isn't against the law.

    When laws in other countries violate the rights of women and children, for example, are they "OK" or even "RIGHT" because "it's the law"?
    BUT to address the comparison, lying for the better good of someone can be viewed as a victimless crime. Noone gets hurt and everyone goes home happy.

    I'm not so sure (in the Springcurls example, for example!) that lying was a "victimless crime"... Honestly, I believe that her mom knows full well that she called, and tried to give her multiple chances to admit to it. There are two victims here, because Spring has laid down her integrity to lie to her mother (she seems to have integrity in other areas, that's why I'm wording it that way), and her mother is not being dealt with directly -confronted in her actions directly by Spring, therefore furthering the division between the two of them.

    Also, is lying ever a "victimless crime", really? Someone either gets hurt through being forced to compromise their integrity and the value of their word (ie: having a "good name"), or someone is directly hurt through being on the receiving end of a vicious or deliberate lie.

    But I think that this is where we disagree... Because I don't believe you think someone has to "compromise their integrity" when telling a "little white lie", no? (Please, correct me if I'm wrong.)
    Stealing is not a victimless crime, you are taking something from someone else and possibly causing them pain and grief in the loss. So, although you may view your actions as noble, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, they are not because you have caused someone else pain.

    Again, this was / is debated... Would Bill Gates really notice and "suffer pain and grief in the loss" of $100 to buy a kid some food or clothing? (Not that I agree with it - I'm just playing "Relativism's Advocate"! :lol: )
  • SisaSisa Registered Users Posts: 759
    Geeky, thanks for expounding on your beliefs regarding when lying is OK, and when it's not. It's helping me to understand this point of view more...
    geeky wrote:
    For example, your friend invites you to lunch with her and her sister. You hate her sister.
    Should you say "I'm sorry. I really can't stand your sister so I don't want to go" or "Thanks for asking, but I have lunch plans already." Which is better. If your friend and her sis are really close and have a good relationship, and your reasons for disliking her sister are superficial and silly, even to you, then telling the truth would only cause your friend unnecessary hurt. If, you think that her sister treats your friend like crap and takes advantage of her, then you might be better off telling the truth, something like "I'm not comfortable with the way your sister treats you. I hope you don't mind, but I'd ratherhave lunch with just you, some other time". If your friend already knows how you feel about her sister but doesn't want to hear about it - if the subject is a dead horse you beat many many times already, you may just tell her you are busy to avoid getting into the unproductive discussion again.

    In the situation where the sister is decent, but *I personally* don't like hanging out with her, I'd just tell her that I didn't want to go with her and her sister to lunch... "No, thank you... Not this time. But thank you for thinking of me, and inviting me along!" (Because she probably *is* being kind with her intentions to invite me along.)

    If I'd already addressed the way her sister had treated her in the past (in the situation where the sister treated my friend poorly), I'd use the same answer. If she pressed me, I'd gently remind her that she knew why I didn't want to go to lunch, because it had been addressed before.
    The big cost of lying is the distance it creates in realtionships between people. If you constantly lie to someone you are supposedly close to, then you are not really that close. You don't trust them or you are afraid they don't trust you.

    This is a very good point. Lying seems to be a communication killer, and has potential to further damage relationships that need mending or that require complete seperation / termination.
  • AmmerieDriftsAmmerieDrifts Registered Users Posts: 73
    Lying is definitely not the best. And good point about it creating distance and there not being full trust.

    That said, I probably lie on a daily basis. Not big lies by any means -- but something as simple as an aquantaince passing me by in the hall and saying, "Hi, how are you?" and me saying, "Good, how are you?" I'm not necessarily "good" at those times, but I'm not about to unload on this person.

    It totally depends what you're lying about, in my opinion.
  • geekygeeky Registered Users Posts: 4,995
    Now that I read your latest reply, Sisa, I do think that in many many situations, either omitting part of the truth or trying to spin it in a more positive way can serve the same purpose as the little white lie. Because some things are better not said, even if they are true.

    Either way, the goal is to spare someone's feelings and prevent aggravation, when the outcome won't be affected by what you say.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • ShrekLoverShrekLover Registered Users Posts: 2,551 Curl Neophyte
    Sisa wrote:
    While I do believe rouquinne's reply was delivered tongue-in-cheek,

    Actually, Martha Stewart was convicted of lying to the Feds. That is a crime.
  • SisaSisa Registered Users Posts: 759
    sdcurly wrote:
    Sisa wrote:
    While I do believe rouquinne's reply was delivered tongue-in-cheek,

    Actually, Martha Stewart was convicted of lying to the Feds. That is a crime.

    Yes, of course. I realize that.

    I just think that Rouquinne was being a bit playful in the way she responded. (Perhaps I am mistaken, though.)
  • MzShvyMzShvy Registered Users Posts: 121
    When people's feelings are on the line, I sometimes lie. :? Take for example, my Grandmother made this absolutley BEAUTIFUL (tacky) rock/yard ornament garden, and she's really proud of it, but it's kind of an inside joke throughout the whole town. When she asks, " Don't you like it, is it too much?" I lie. I tell her it's gorgeous, because I know she likes it and that's all that matters. Even it's hideous to everyone else, including me, I lie and say it's pretty.

    I lied to an old friend once about her ex. She was totally heartbroken over him, and was always asking me how he was and if I'd seen him. I'd always just say no, I have no idea about what he's doing. But truth was I saw him all the time and knew who he was dating, and so on.....but I didn't want to tell her because it would just hurt her.
    MzShvy

    "If we get a little crazy, blame it on the alcohol." Pat Green

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