Lying: Should We Always Tell the Truth

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Lying has various connotations and an almost unanimous judgment or opinion – that it is unjust, or sinful. This is thinking in a general sense. When digging deeper into an honest man’s reason for lying, it is much more than can be defined through an emotional reaction or selfish intentions. While, a habitual liar’s reason for lying, is likely buried much deeper into their childhood. The motivations, lurking variables, intentions, fears, and other contributing factors that create a lie can be categorized as selfish, selfless, or a combination. There is one truth to lying –when done it is temporarily impossible to experience reality with whom you are deceiving.

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Lies change our perceived thoughts and realities in our minds and are harmful in ways of deceit, however, they are needed for basic social interactions. A lie holds a liar’s truth. Without speaking, a man holds the same amount of honesty, integrity, and respect, as the one who speaks the truth. With speaking lies, a man can find comfort. Comfort is found in different ways over different spans of emotional differences; for instance: lying to exaggerate skills and accomplishments for personal or social gain, boosting others’ self-esteem through unlikely or rash compliments, protecting himself from danger or imprisonment, protecting his ego and older chains of lies, concealing actions of betrayal such as cheating or abuse, protecting another man's secret, or to keep peace where it’s needed. When a liar is caught in their own web of deception, doors are opened for humiliation, retaliation, desertion, and imprisonment, because the liar is no longer able to feel comfort in his exposure.

It is learned at a young age that manipulation is possible, and an easy tactic to perform and get away with. A resource for American addiction centers,, published the article “Lying in Early Childhood.' The article states that: “young children lie to test adults or peers and see how they will react. This form of lying might be considered a social experiment. If kids get attention or feel rewarded, they will continue to lie throughout childhood (and perhaps, adulthood)”. However, children can also use manipulation in harmless ways, which allow them to play with peers in a creative or make-believe sense. But is dangerous when the lie is used for avoiding the consequences of their actions. When parents are not aware that around the age of three and four, the child’s brain is shaping their future, they punish their children in ways that lead to lying and manipulation. Because the children are punished for their actions without an understanding, they do not know why their action is punishable; thus, they have been robbed of the chance to broaden their knowledge, or, to ask questions and better their own understanding. Furthermore, if punished for lying, or praised (because of an unnoticed lie), children will find other manipulation tactics and get better at lying.    

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