Posts Tagged Lies

A short conversation about honesty

1: An Introduction

Let’s talk about honesty.

Why is a good person honest?

Because a part of what goodness means, is to care about others.

If you care about other people, you’re honest with them.

Honesty shows respect.

 

2: Introducing someone who doesn’t like you

The degree to which someone lies to you is proportional to their disdain.

If they truly felt you were important they’d tell you the truth.

If you matter to them, they’ll know the truth matters to you.

But you don’t matter to a liar.

That’s why they’re happy to go on lying.

 

Narcissism, self-interest and indifference is the world liars occupy.

It’s the very air that they breathe.

 

3: The moral context

Honesty is a moral imperative.

Morality tells us to nurture those around us, to care for them.

You cannot nurture someone by lying to them.

In fact, the very opposite is true. Lies undermine and disempower. Lies weaken those who are lied to. That’s why the powerful lie. It reinforces their power.

 

Even ‘lying to protect’ patronises. It implies you know better than the person you’re lying to. It implies your superiority; their inferiority.

 

4: Equality

Yet morality tells us that in ourselves, as individuals, we are all equal.

Our actions, not our attributes, determine our moral worth.

We are equal whatever our ethnicity, origins, class or education.

Being honest with others recognises that equality.

It says, “You are as deserving of the truth as me.”

 

5: Facts = Power

Honesty empowers.

It places the full facts at your disposal and allows you to base your decisions and actions on these facts.

Facts make us strong.

Look at our technology, our incredible industrial society – all powered by fact.

Look at our engineering, our medicine, our science.

Look at the machines we build.

 

None of this would have been possible without facts, without honesty, without truth.

Engines don’t run on lies.

 

6: A flourishing human being

To be genuine with people, to be honest with them, is a signpost of morality.

Who would consider a liar a flourishing human being? Who would think them moral?

Who would want their closest friends to be liars? Or their partner? Or their child?

A person’s honesty is what we all admire, not their snake-in-the-grass deceits.

 

 

7: The truth will set you free

Being honest with others encourages honesty in return. It encourages an environment of clear-sightedness in which we can exercise our powers of thought and decision-making to the full.

 

Honesty is something to which we should all aspire.

Honesty fuels integrity.

Honesty sets us free.

 

 

 

See also the previous article in this series: A short conversation about lying.

For a detailed discussion of the parallel topics of propaganda and lies, see Ethical Intelligence by Luke Andreski:

www.amazon.co.uk/Ethical-Intelligence-Luke-Andreski/dp/179580579X

 

Twitter & Facebook: @EthicalRenewal

 

 

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A short conversation about lies

1: An Introduction

Let’s talk about lying.

Lies are instruments of manipulation and control.

Liars weaponise our natural inclination to trust.

They intentionally distort our world view.

Liars want to manipulate and use us.

That’s the point. That’s why they lie.

 

2: Capability and effectiveness

Our understanding, our grip on reality, is what makes us effective and capable. With good data we can adapt to and influence our world.

Liars undermine that data. They attack our grip on reality.

Their purpose?

To disempower us.

 

3: An environment of lies

Lying has become a part of everyday life.

The most famous politician in the world is a famous liar. He uses language not as a means of communication but as a weapon.

Corporations lie.

Adverts lie.

We are surrounded by lies.

 

4: “Get used to it”

Apologists for lying like to say, “Everybody lies. Politicians always lie. Get used to it.”

But this itself is a lie, and it’s a lie which suits the liars.

They are using their lies to manipulate and control us – but, if “everybody lies”, then what’s wrong with that? It’s what everybody does.

“Everybody lies” lets them off the hook.

 

“Everybody lies” can also be a cop-out. It suggests we needn’t take the time to work out the truth.

But that’s precisely what we need to do – if we’re not to become pawns in other people’s games.

 

5: Knowledge = power

Lies disempower us. Accurate knowledge and good data empowers us.

We see that in science. In engineering. In medicine.

It’s also true in society.

If our world view is based on lies we are easily manipulated. Easily controlled.

 

6: A prediction

So, for the benefit of all of us, for the benefit of our society, the fewer lies the better.

In any case, not everybody lies.

If that were true our world would fall apart.

The more “Everybody lies” becomes true, the more our society will begin to fail.

 

7: The destructive power of lies

Every human transaction or agreement relies on a bedrock of trust. If I can’t trust you to do what you say then we’ll never get anything done.

Lies damage society. Lies disempower humanity. They are grit in the machine.

Liars are a cancer amongst us.

 

8: You choose

Some politicians lie a lot. Some lie about important stuff.

Some lie less, or even not at all.

Choose the politicians who are not habitual liars.

Deny the liars their day in the sun.

 

  

For a detailed discussion of honesty, lies and propaganda, see Ethical Intelligence by Luke Andreski:

www.amazon.co.uk/Ethical-Intelligence-Luke-Andreski/dp/179580579X

Twitter & Facebook: @EthicalRenewal

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