Ethics of Lying

Topics: Morality, Question, Truth Pages: 2 (643 words) Published: July 23, 2014
I think that many people have found themselves in situations where they must make a decision on whether to lie about something or tell the truth. Many would probably agree that people choose to lie to save themselves from a problematic outcome telling the truth would have caused. Most people have been raised with the foundational principle that lying is wrong, and yet all the people will, at some point in their lives, most likely will choose to lie instead of telling the truth. The interesting phenomenon however is that sometimes when people choose to lie, the result can be less suffering for others than if they told the truth. Although the majority of the population would agree that “lying is wrong”, I think most would also agree that others enduring unnecessary suffering that is not beneficial to them because of the truth is also wrong. So what guidelines should I choose to follow to determine whether it is acceptable for me to lie or not? This is a very hard question to answer because the criteria must be both flexible to meet differing circumstances (which oftentimes have many “gray areas), yet firm enough to ensure that I don’t start lying for the “wrong” reasons. I think my criteria would consist of three questions. Question 1: Will the truth result in unnecessary suffering for others? If the answer is yes I would move to question 2, if no I should tell the truth. Question 2: Will lying benefit or harm others? If lying would harm others I should of course tell the truth, if it would benefit them I will move on to question 3. Question 3: Am I lying for my own personal gain or trying to hide my sin/mistakes from the world? If I am lying for these reasons I should instead tell the truth; I don’t believe selfish lying is morally right. However If I am not being selfish I should move to question 4. Question 4: Do I honestly believe that Jesus would choose to lie instead of telling the truth in this instance? This is a hard question to answer because I of course...
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