What Is Honesty?

Time is the test of honest men,
one day is space enough to know a rogue.

- Sophocles, Oedipus the King, 614

Podcast of the Day

Lying is one way of deceiving with words, but it's not the only way. Jonathan Webber explores the morality of deception with words in conversation with Nigel Warburton.

Listen to Jonathan Webber on Deception With Words

Video of the Day

Short Article of the Day

Most of us believe that lying is wrong. We teach our children that it is wrong, and hope or expect that value judgment is shared by our friends and family. In public, we decry politicians and public officials when they lie, which we have frequent occasion to do these days. But the truth about lying is more complicated.

We tell lies to one another every day. But when we commit other acts that are generally believed to be immoral, like cruelty and theft, we do not seek to justify them. We either deny that the acts we committed are appropriately described by these terms, or we feel guilt or remorse. But many of us are prepared to defend our lies: indeed, to advocate their general use...

Continue reading  Gerald Dworkin's article: Are These 10 Lies Justified?

Further Reading

There is no universally accepted definition of lying to others. The dictionary definition of lying is “to make a false statement with the intention to deceive” (OED 1989) but there are numerous problems with this definition. It is both too narrow, since it requires falsity, and too broad, since it allows for lying about something other than what is being stated, and lying to someone who is believed to be listening in but who is not being addressed.

The most widely accepted definition of lying is the following: “A lie is a statement made by one who does not believe it with the intention that someone else shall be led to believe it”...

Continue reading the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article: The Definition of Lying and Deceiving by James Edward Mahon

Related Topics

 Hypocrisy | Testimony

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