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Delving Into The Purpose of The Lie

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    What is a lie? Can a lie be good, or is a lying always wrong? Can it be both? Typically, lies are perceived as bad things, however, diving further into the purpose of lying, some might discover that not all lies are as bad as they are understood to be. This brings us to the question, is it ever okay lie? Well, with a good intent in mind, a lie is no more harmful than the truth. As stated in the Gathas, using your own wisdom to make good choices is key. It is one’s judgment that can determine whether a lie or even the truth will be helpful or harmful. With the complexity of many situations, determining the morality of a lie comes down to someone’s ethical way of thinking, on whether telling a lie would be appropriate or not.

    In general, the morality of lie roots from the reason as to why the lie was told in the first place. For instance, if a lie is told with the intent of trying to protect someone, or to spare them the pain of suffering, it could be considered as something you had to use Vohu Mana for. Vohu Mana refers to “good thinking or good mind”. So, having good thinking involved in the thought process of creating a lie, along with knowing that the lie does not disturb the welfare of others, would not be perceived as a bad thing, but an empathetic thing. Sometimes, “it is not enough just to be good, kind, truthful”. This quote translated from the Gathas describing Spenta Manu, depicts how using progressive mentally to make decisions would be a more righteous thing to do, when compared to telling the truth. For example, parents all over the world are constantly lying to their kids about the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, ect.

    But again, this is considered ethical, because the truth has the potential to cause unnecessary damage. Zaratoshra once said, “To question and think for ourselves and make sure the answer we want to accept is the one that makes sense through a good, open and wise mind”. Like Zarathushtra said, sometimes to make the right decision one must question what the right answer is. He implies that there is no right or wrong decision set in stone, but right V.S. wrong is determined through the way one looks at a situation. Some might say that the Gathas have stated the immorality of lying repeatedly, because of the way the Gathas refer to telling the truth as “having Asha.”

    By definition, Asha means “truth, order, and righteousness”, however, there is more behind the meaning of Asha, than just telling the truth. While Asha is really just referring to doing the, “good or “right thing” , telling a lie could also be done for the better. Essentially, if a lie were told and it was not told to harm anyone, or hurt anyone, and it brings more total happiness, what’s there to call it bad or wrong? Exactly like telling the truth, many lies are beneficial and used in sensible ways. Hence, to have Asha is not necessary always telling the truth, but more or less to speak with an uncorrupt intent. All in all, lying on occasion with the right ambition is okay. With an open mind and constantly asking ourselves whether telling the truth is more harmful than a lie, we can settle disputes over whether telling a lie at the moment would be justified or not ethically.


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