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The Truth About Lying

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    “By age four, 90% of children have grasped the concept of lying, and it just gets worse from there”(Benjamin). Lying is the action of not telling the truth, you are being dishonest and providing false statements. Throughout our years as children, adolescents or adults, we have lied at least once in our life regardless of the lie being told is big or small. And this is normal, because lying is part of who we are, we are all liars in some type of shape or form. Lying is within us no matter what we just have to control the reasons why we do it and the extent of how much we do it.

    Ordinarily, the action of deception is nothing new at all, it’s nothing new in this millenium. Lies and lying is as old or ancient as humanity and in our present day they still persist. Lying goes way back to the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree and lied to God by saying that they did not do this action. After this, the exercise of lying amongst each other just grew bigger and bigger as times passed. Previously in the early fifth-century, a bishop named Augustine claimed that lying and lies in general are a terrible sin and therefore every lie should be avoided at all costs. Nothing morally good can be achieved with lies, nevertheless it is a sin regardless of it coming from a place with the best of intentions (Denery II). Moreover, in the Middle ages in terms of what individuals thought about the aspect of lies was different than from that of the Renaissance age. In the Renaissance, they thought that lying wasn’t so bad since they had a more realistic view of what it takes to survive in this world. Meanwhile in the Middle Ages, lying was beyond forbidden, but that still didn’t stop people from doing the action.

    The fact that we universally possess the ability of deceiving one another shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone because it’s part of our brain and human development. The younger children are the least likely to tell lies amongst anyone. This is because they are still in the process of learning how to do it (Hallett). Certain experts have considered lying to be a developmental milestone just as crawling, talking, and walking, because this is an action that requires sophisticated well thought out planning skills, attention, and the ability to detect a situation and manipulate it effectively (Wan & Kaplan). According to Kang Lee, a psychologist at the University of Toronto claims,“the emergence of the behavior in toddlers is a reassuring sign that their cognitive growth is on track”. Honesty is something that comes naturally to us, however lying requires effort and a sharp flexible mind that we slowly develop the older we get. Between the ages of two and five years old, children have gradually comprehend the concept of lying (Morris & Bhattacharjee). Along with this development, children eventually develop a sense of self-regulation and morality which places limitations on how much they are willing to lie. Nevertheless, lying is just part of our nature, we are all born liars. No matter what or in what circumstances, we will all lie at least once in our life.

    Furthermore, deception can be achieved either directly and indirect.. Directly would be when you explicitly state the lie and indirectly would be when you purposely leave out important information (Petersen). Individuals, however have a preference for indirect lying since it makes them feel less “guilty”. There are countless reason why people tell lies and no matter who it is, a friend, a family member, a co-worker we still do it. For example, we lie to spare someone’s feelings, we do this to be sensitive and protect those that could be hurt from the sometimes harsh truth. Yes, those slightly small details matter but if you know that it will hurt someone you care for, you rather turn to a lie. For instance, if your overweight friend asks you if she looks thinner, when in reality she might of gained a little more weight. You are not just going to straight out tell her she gained more weight because you know it will hurt her feelings even though it’s the truth. You rather spare her feelings with a white lie and upbring her self esteem than lowering it. Lying should never be an option to turn to, but we are humans and we care for others, so we can’t help but lie when it’s to protect someone we care for (Firestone). Another reason of why we lie is for self protection emotionally and physically. There are certain things we keep to ourselves and either lie about it or don’t state them because we fear that in some type of shape or form it may be used against us and or bring harm to us somehow. For example, the topic about virginity can be differently viewed by individuals. Meaning for women for example if they lose their virginity at a certain age that can sometimes be controversial and lead to negative name calling. Which is why, when it comes to that question or that topic people rather avoid it or lie just as a way of self protection. Then there’s the lie you tell to protect yourself from physical harm, like a child who all alone at home and who lies to the stranger knocking on the door, “my father is taking a nap at the moment come back later”(Ekman). There’s also the lies we tell to avoid punishments on us. “My phone died, which is why I couldn’t tell time and call back” claimed the teenager who came from the party after his/her curfew or “I’m sorry officer, I thought I was going 55 mph” stated the driver speeding at 70 mph through the street. Lies to evade punishments are one of the most common and frequently told by individuals not matter the age (Ekman). Moreover, there’s also the lies we tell to self benefit. This is considered a terrible reason for lying because most of the time they are said for selfish reasons. You control the response, shading the truth with false statements so that he or she don’t get something both the liar and the victim desire. All these reasons run through the threat of significant consequences if the lie is uncovered. It may result in loss of freedom, a job, money, relationships and more.

    Subsequently, in all cases deception is not good at all but it is perceived that is just something so necessary for us to continue our lives properly. As it seem we are certainly very adapted to lying.

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