Lying is a part of our psychology that comes naturally to us. In fact, lying has become part of our daily lives and in a variety of ways, it’s what makes us human. This leads us to a commonly asked question: when is lying acceptable? I believe lying can be justified when it creates more positive results than negative ones. People lie for diverse reasons and for different motives such as to protect friends\ loved ones, to protect themselves and to be accepted by others. One major reason why people tend to lie is to protect their friends\loved ones. In the article, “It’s the Truth: Americans Conflicted about Lying” by life on NBCNEWS.COM released on July 11, 2006, DePaulo says, “People who say lying is wrong are often thinking in the abstract…In our real lives, we can’t always pick honesty without compromising some other value that might be as important — like maintaining a happy relationship. ” Some people who lie often do so of good intentions by using “white lies” in which it occurs to avoid causing someone else unnecessary pain.
Usually, whenever the subject of lying is brought up, our minds immediately think it’s connected to unjustified doings but that’s not always the situation. For instance, you might lie to a friend about how nice their outfit is to spare their feelings or to increase their confidence. Lying in some circumstances can also be a life or death situation. In “Brad Blanton: Honestly, Tell the Truth” written by Barbara Ballinger, published by RealtorMag, Ballinger interviews Blanton who says “…we shouldn’t manipulate the truth except for rare times– if you’re hiding Anne Frank in your attic because her life is in danger.” Blanton implies that lying can only be considered appropriate in the case of someone’s life being at risk. Not only do people lie to protect others they do so to protect themselves. Many kids and adults lie to escape from an unpleasant situation or conflict that includes having to deal with the consequences to their actions. In the article, “Teens do their Share of Lying” written by Loretta Ragsdell published by Austin Weekly News on March 25, 2009, Ragsdell interviews teens on their view on lying.
“The best lie I ever told was when I had taken the car and didn’t get a chance to put it back before my mother knew it was gone…I told her I had taken it to get it washed for her birthday as a surprise, but the carwash was closed. She thought it was so thoughtful, she didn’t even holler about me driving without a license.” Tim, another teen also said “Becoming a good liar is a necessary life-survival skill…Sometimes, it’s the only thing between you and a guranteed beat down from your parents.” We will unlikely volunteer to tell the truth if we realize that doing so will affect the chances of achieving what we desire to happen. Furthermore, another common reason why a great amount of the population indulges in lying is simply to be accepted by others. As we know from experience, it’s human nature for us to want to be liked and to be part of a group, therefore, we end up bending the truth. Generally, people make up lies that present them in a better light or perspective, in other words, they do so to create a good impression for others.
In “Honestly Tell the Truth”, Brad Blanton tells Ballinger, “Because all our lives we’ve been taught to lie. We live our lives by what we think we should do. In many cases, we lie to maintain an image.” It’s natural for us to be driven to accumulate approval and praise from other individuals just to be liked. If you are You might think lying is immorally wrong and shouldn’t be an act individuals practice on a daily basis, however, there are many circumstances where telling a lie is considered justifiable. In an excerpt, “Rejecting All Lies: Immanuel Kant” by Sissela Bok, Immanuel believed that “A lie even if it does not wrong any particular individual, always harms mankind individually… even worse, it harms the liar himself, by destroying his human dignity and making him more worthless even than a small thing.
” I completely disagree with Kant’s theory. In what ways would making up a lie to avoid someone’s feelings getting hurt or potentially put their life on the line categorize under affecting mankind? We all lie instinctively and our worth isn’t defined by the lies we tell or do not tell. This philosophy is very insensitive and naive. If we live by the lifestyle Kant describes, we wouldn’t be able to strive in our society today. Lying is always within reach, you can’t avoid the concept of it for your entire life. To conclude, lying can be justified when it creates more positive results than negative ones. It is acceptable in the case of protecting other people’s feelings (physically or mentally), protecting yourself, and to be accepted by others. If someone asks you your opinion on their hair and you aren’t the best fan of it, the best way to deal with it is to nod and compliment it. You aren’t hurting them in any way and it doesn’t make you any less worthless of a person neither are you harming mankind. In the end, the decision of whether or not a lie is okay to tell is in your perspective.