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January 23, 2012



This example is absurd. It makes the dilemma seem black and white. One can avoid answering questions they don't want to answer. One can also answer questions in an indirect manner. It is also possible to communicate the truth while showing empathy at the same time. There are many options. Lying is unnecessary and destructive. It is by no means inevitable.

Drew Byrne

A good lie always hides best behind the truth, as it's usually the best place for it.

Ian Leslie

A recipe for strife, violence, and endless tedium. I will be taking pretty much the opposite perspective to Mr Harris.


Neuroscientist Sam Harris wrote a great, easily digestible tract called "Lying," in which he argues on behalf of 100% honesty. Against the notion of telling white lies to make people feel better (or hide from them a painful truth), he argues that in doing so we assume responsibility for how much another person should know about their own life--an assumption that we simply cannot justify, but which we often don't have to because it remains unconscious.

$3 for the hunderd-page PDF, and worth it: http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/lying

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