“ Is Honesty always Good” Do you think that “Honesty is the best policy”? Is being completely Honest always good? This is an old and often repeated saying, but it is true? Now if someone of complete honesty will not ask whether being truthful will pay or not. He feels he must be truthful, even if honesty brings him loss or pain, simply because it is right to be honest and wrong to be dishonest. Perhaps honesty does pay in the long run.
A prime example can be shown through the Presidential election, a man who deals straight forward with the pubic, who sells himself, who gives noble quality, and can be trusted upon not to cheat, will usually establish a reputation that will be a fine toward the voter’s opinion. People will be glad to deal with him; and hopefully will vote for that specific candidate. Although the candidate decided to take the “higher road”, the sad truth is that these candidates usually don’t win. Knowing this would the candidate want to follow his campaign and lose? Or would he be willing to go and adjust his opinions and started lying “Politically?
For this situation is “Honesty the best policy”? There are those that will always agree or disagree. On the other hand, there is no doubt that in Politics success is often due to dishonesty, and great success has been built upon lying. Too many successful people have proved by experience that for them dishonesty had been the best policy. Of course some of these people come and suffer at the end and lose everything that they achieved by their lies; but many maintain their Political success is more due to ability, lucky opportunities, and being smart savvy than to honesty. Many people today tell lies to protect others.
What I mean is “How far will you go to protect someone”? A simple example to clarify my point can be the topic of the Holocaust in Germany. Pretend you were a German living in the time of Hitler. If a group of Nazi soldiers came knocking too your door and asked you if you knew the whereabouts of a Jewish boy, would honesty be the best policy? To further understand this situation, we need to realize the advantages and disadvantages of the two decisions we can make. For those who argue “Honesty is the always best Policy”, let us analyze the pros and cons of making the “truthful” decision.
The first and obvious “pro” for telling the truth is that your moral values toward being truthful are protected. Another advantage for you would be simply the protection of yourself. By telling the truth to the Nazi soldiers of the whereabouts to the Jewish boy, you are protective yourself. Although you have successfully protected your own well-being, wouldn’t your conscience be eating you up right now? By revealing the whereabouts of the Jewish boy, essentially you sacrificed his life, in order to protect your “Moral Policy” that you decided to follow not matter the situation.
As for those who do not follow “Honesty is always the best policy”, there are also pros and cons to this decision. The first benefit by lying to the soldier would be the protection of the Jewish boy and possibly his life. By not revealing the truth, this person can feel good about themselves for standing up against their unjust actions that would happen towards the boy. The person would then realize that he protected the boy’s life. The disadvantage of not telling the truth is the risk of your own well-being. By lying to the guard you are risking the chance that they might find out.
And if the truth does come out and they realize you lied, the consequences can be severe. Personally, from this example honest isn’t always the best policy. This honesty policy is very subjective and living by white and black rules doesn’t allow much for room to adjust to certain situations. To clarify, I am not trying to say that we should lie and say anything to get away with it. But what I am saying is that we should base our actions on what is wrong and right, not on some set rules or policy we might have. Throughout my life I was always taught that “Honesty is always the best Policy. I remember a time where I was put in a situation that conflicted with the policy that I have been taught since I was a kid. Flashback to my sophomore year in High school, one night my friends and I decided to vandalize my friend Leo’s house with toilet paper. We wanted to do something reckless and as fifteen years olds this was the best idea we came up with. As we approached the house we started throwing toilet paper everywhere. We threw it on the roof, in the trees, and on their cars. After almost half an hour we completely covered his house, and decided to head home.
The next morning, Leo was complaining about what happened last night. He told us his parents forced him to clean the entire house, and ordered him to find out who did this. Leo turned to all of us and asked “Did any one of you teepee my house”? One by one all my friends immediately were denying everything. When it got to me, I hesitated. I knew telling the truth was the right policy, but deep down I was fearful of the consequences that would come with this. Quickly, I started to think of the pros and cons of what would happen.
If I lied I knew that I would be getting away from all the consequences of my actions, alongside of that I would be lying to a close friend of mine and risking my friendship. On the other hand if I told the truth I would have to face the consequences and deal with them. The other advantage would be that my inner conscience would not bother me, because I told the truth to my friend. Ultimately, I chose to lie to my friend and deny what happened. My fear of the consequences was the overwhelming factor which made me decide to lie to him.
This situation exemplifies the conflict with either protecting oneself or just being a good friend. In this circumstance honesty would be best to protect a friendship rather than yourself. As for lying you would be protecting yourself, but also risking the friendship that you created. To clarify, I am not trying to say look at for yourself by lying, but rather think carefully of the situation and be willing to deal with the outcomes that arise with each decision. At the end of the day “Honest is always the best Policy” will always be challenged, followed, or ignored.
Human beings will continually make decisions based off our upbringing, the situation, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each decision. And through this essay I’ve showed various situations that showed these three things that have been used that I’ve learned or experienced. As for my view towards this policy, I cannot fully say that I favor one side against another. I believe, the key is basing all of our decisions on what is right, not just right for you, but for what is just. Honesty is not always the best policy; having the right intent combined with right action is always the best policy.