Understanding Why Lying Is Considered To Be Always Wrong

Human has an aptitude to lie and that is one of the most common fault that we all have probably done. I cannot say that I have never lied before but I cannot also justifiy that it resulted into any good. There was this time in my high school years when I lied to a friend when she asked me whether her art project is good or not. Despite knowing that something about that project is missing and it is not even close enough to the word okay I still said “Yes, it’s good”. The day after that, when our teacher returned our project, it surprise her that she got a lower score. Little did I know that she expected a number higher than that because I intentionally said that her project was good when I now for a fact that it is not and she trust me with my opinion. On that same day, she said to me that she is never going to ask me again about that kind of stuff because I intend to agree and always say yes to avoid getting their feelings hurt or making me look like a superior. That drew me to believe that lying does not do any good regardless the intentions but instead it can only cause harm to people and their relationship by disregarding the essence and importance of honesty.

Timothy R. Levine said that people lie when honesty would not work. In his Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, he concluded that 44% of people lie for self-promotion and that includes economic advantage, personal advantage, self-impression and humor. While 36% lie for the purpose of self-protection and another 11% and 9% for impacting others and unclear reasons respectively. According to the report conducted by the National Registry Exonerations, 68. 3% or 571 of 836 homicide exonerations are cause of perjury or false accusation. An example to that is the recent issue about Michael Cohen (US lawyer) who intentionally lied to the congress about the construction of trump tower in Moscow and was declared for 36 months imprisonment after being pleaded guilty for various violations such as in campaign finance and evasion of tax. It only proves that lying does not always cause damage to the person being lied to but also to person lying itself. Lying for religious people means misusing God-given gift of human communication. Speech is said to be meant for accurately sharing thoughts and lying do the opposite. It corrupts the liars mind in a way that one lie is followed by endless counts of another lie until it became their habit and be comfortable with the wrong-doing. Furthermore, it diminishes trust between human beings and cause people to develop trust issues. It will be very hard for them to trust if they constantly hear lies about them or the people around them. On the contrary, there are instances when lying is said to be good or acceptable and we call it the “white lies”. This is where we lie to spare the feelings of others or to prevent them from experiencing psychological harm just as what happened to me in the story I’ve said earlier. But why does it still put me in a bad position if it is called white lies? In a research conducted by Levine and Scheweitzer identifying when lying is considered immoral. The results shows that people lie to help another person, while lying had no exact effect on the person being lied to. In the paper, Levine and Scheweitzer said that even if people lie they are still considered moral and honest if their intentions are selfless. But, Levine point it out on the end of their research that there are a lot of lies that are harmful and just plain wrong. He makes it clear in the end that people tell lies for that does not benefit anyone but them. Lying is what makes us human but we should critically think when or where lying is the best thing or the right thing to do.

We should start considering the consequences of our actions and treat everyone equally to avoid being bias to your own sake. We are all going to lie for once in our lives but at least try to balance the impact or the effects it will cause to you and to that specific person. In conclusion, I agree with Deontologist in their beliefs regarding the moral thinking on general universal laws that an act can only be justified as right or wrong act regardless the result. So, even if lying will produce good consequences it is still considered morally wrong and should be avoided as possible.

10 December 2020
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