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An honorable person suffers more from lying

  1. Jan 13, 2007 #1
    Does an honorable person suffer more from lying than one less honorable? Is their punishment more self-inflicted or by others? Is their concern more about their reputation or their values? Do their morals regarding honesty tend to be more absolute or relative?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2007 #2

    verty

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    #1: That surely depends on what you mean by 'honorable'. If by honorable you mean 'suffers more from lying', then yes.

    #2: This seems a specific question. Also, what do you mean by punishment? If you mean unhappiness, then it seems likely that the one who abhors lying would be more unhappy at the circumstance.

    #3: Surely a specific question.

    #4: I would think a dislike of lying is most likely absolute (any lying is bad; lying must be well justified).
     
  4. Jan 17, 2007 #3
    The Quantification And The Purpose Of Evil

    Subject: The Quantification And The Purpose Of Evil

    The following is a quote from a commentary on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter 1850 at the link http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/scarlet/themes.html, which seems to fit your speculation.

    “Dimmesdale also struggles against a socially determined identity. As the community’s minister, he is more symbol than human being. Except for Chillingworth, those around the minister willfully ignore his obvious anguish, misinterpreting it as holiness. Unfortunately, Dimmesdale never fully recognizes the truth of what Hester has learned: that individuality and strength are gained by quiet self-assertion and by a reconfiguration, not a rejection, of one’s assigned identity.”

    Value is defined as the sum total of all the benefits and losses to infinity in time. The quantitative definition of evil or crime can be given based on the solution of value: What decreases value is evil. Thus, evil is like a credit card, which one uses during the month and needs to pay back at the end. Using a credit card is not considered an evil by society, but often an evil by oneself, especially, one with high financial moral standard. For some very poor people, a credit card can often help them survive.

    The calculation of value of evil still depends on the concept of value in any particular culture, as you have wisely pointed out. Here we need to resort to life science, where the design specification for the creation or self-creation sets the original concept of value. Our society, which has yet to be rationalized, uses evil and pain for many reasons (e.g. traditional religious teachings against evil, pain used in torture) other than their main functions for survival: evil is a way for the weak to compete against the strong in the struggle for survival, and pain is a warning device for us to avoid harm. ### [CYL]
     
  5. Jan 17, 2007 #4

    verty

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    I don't like this type of hearsay where one quotes someone else saying what something is but doesn't qualify it. If Mr Lee has something to say, he should say it himself.
     
  6. Jan 17, 2007 #5

    baywax

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    You'd think that when an honorable person lies they would suffer in a state of cognitive dissonance which can be physically demanding. This is an immediate reaction to a self-inflicted wound.

    When a self trained or professional liar lies, it is second nature to them and the suffering seems minimal and not immediate. However, over time, when the consequences of their lies come back to them often the suffering is visible in the way they sweat or turn beet red and, in some cases, pay dearly for their lack of honor. Who would suffer more between the two personalities could be discovered through dedicated and honorable research.:smile:
     
  7. Jan 17, 2007 #6
    How do pathological liars feel about the truth that conflicts with their deception?
     
  8. Jan 18, 2007 #7

    baywax

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    Threatened, I would imagine.

    Often liars and dishonorable people like them actually come to believe their own lies. It is a function of making their lies true. It a survival trait. The same thing happens when a method actor is so emersed in their part that they become their character.

    Dustin Hofman actually sustained chronic injuries to his left leg from his method of maintaining the character of "Rizo" in Midnight Cowboy". You can still see his hobble, many years later, in "Rainman".

    so you can see how the dishonorable person and the lllusionist become similar in their methods. They must believe their own illusions to make them seem more real to the unsuspecting public. And they end up paying the consequence for believing their lies and illusions.

    You could say anyone who believes something they've made up about themselves will end up actually experiencing the trials of the person they pretend to be. Because it seems to be the nature of the liar to become their lie.

    In this thread I would think we need to define "honor".

    I would simply define honor as a state of adhering to the truth of any matter.

    Like if you walked into a lab and it was completely "honorable". This would mean it was totally efficent in every detail in order to give the most accurate results in research. Honor seems to speak of correctness and the utilization of as little duality and illusion as possible.

    To quote a cool bumper sticker: "Dont believe everything you think".
     
  9. Jan 18, 2007 #8
    Do any of you think that the trend toward students cheating shamelessly may lead to a society with life-long character deficits?
     
  10. Jan 18, 2007 #9

    verty

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    No, I think it shows that education is flawed.
     
  11. Jan 18, 2007 #10

    baywax

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    For one the shamelessly cheating student will find it more and more difficult to cheat as they try to function in the professional world.

    I don't know if the odd cheater is going to bring down society to the level of having "life-long character deficits". But, when you look at the number of politicians and CEOs, to name a few positions, who cheat or commit felonies you can see that there is shameless cheating going on that has been taking place for centuries.

    Is the cause of character deficit in society inherent in how a few people conduct their affairs in school? Or does the deficit stem from examples set by family and/or prominent members of a society who use lies and other shameless and dishonorable methods to get ahead and stay ahead?

    Your statement is "An honorable person suffers more from lying". Can you please offer us some references that back your claim?

    I find it to be incorrect in that the definition of an honorable person is that they are not a person who BSs regularly. Therefore the suffering they might experience will be minimal when compared to the suffering experienced by someone who regularly BSs.

    Suffering the consequences of lieing will increase only in accordance with the amount of lies being produced. A dishonorable person lies all the time and so, perhaps not immediately but at some point, that person will suffer an amount that is equal to the number of lies (infractions) they propagate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2007
  12. Jan 18, 2007 #11
    baywax,

    My original statement was a question, not a declaration:

    One might otherwise ask "Does society suffer more from an honorable person lying than one less honorable?
     
  13. Jan 18, 2007 #12

    baywax

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    I'm sorry Loren Booda I picked that quote up out of context from another post I guess.

    Re-configuring my responses to suit the question.:blushing:
     
  14. Jan 19, 2007 #13

    baywax

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    Society would suffer from any lie made at anytime by anyone. However, I'd suggest that this thread gain a definition of "suffering" before continuing. Its like I fail to see how a society could be construed as being "uncomfortable".

    I can guess what it means. Take my lab as an example again. Let's equate a contaminated test tube to a lie. Whether or not the test tube is always contaminated (dishonorable) through many experiments or its the first time its happened, the lab and the experiments still suffer for it. It might be this one contamination that shuts down the lab and it might be the continuous contaminations that shut it down.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2007
  15. Jan 20, 2007 #14
    To me, a society suffering from lies is one whose communication is distorted and eventually ineffectual.
     
  16. Jan 20, 2007 #15
    You have set up a contradiction. It is impossible for an "honorable" person to lie, since by definition, honorable is taken as one that is "characterized by honesty" [Webster], and "honesty has the meaning "to refrain from lying". There is no concept of "less honorable", only (1) honorable and (2) not honorable. Now, perhaps we can say someone is (3) "less not honorable" than someone just (4) "not honorable" and ask the question again--since now (3) and (4) both lie but in different degrees. And so, restating your question we ask, does a (3) type person suffer within them self more or less than a (4) type person--both being lier's ? And I think the answer is the (3) type person suffers less because neither find any fault with lying, but elevate lying to be a good, and the more of a good the better.
     
  17. Jan 23, 2007 #16

    baywax

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    A less not honorable person would contain some of their thoughts where an honorable one would blurt out everything that came to mind. Which is better suited in society?

    an example would be the totally honorable person expressing their likes and dislikes without any regard for how it affected the people in their vicinity. Would this hurt or progress society?

    whereas, is it less than honorable to express only the positives they can see about any particular topic while ignoring the negatives? Is it lieing? Is it destructive? Is it anti-productive? Or is it social?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
  18. Jan 23, 2007 #17
    Comment well taken. Yes, the "less not honorable" would hold back "truth statements" and substitute in their place "lie statements", but not for the right reason. Another defining aspect of the honorable person is that they also, in addition to telling truth (veracity), have a sense of right and wrong (morality), while the less than honorable has neither. Thus, a false statement of fact posited for a moral reason is not a true lie, but a just lie (less trivial than a white lie, which may also be used by an honorable person). An honorable person may commit "just lie statements" in those cases where actions would result in an immoral effect, and "white lie statements" where action results in trivial effect of a polite nature, but it is impossible for an honorable person to commit a true lie.
     
  19. Jan 24, 2007 #18

    baywax

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    Yes its a funny twist on life. The honorable husband says only that his wife is beautiful, even in a safeway paper bag.

    Yet, he then goes to work at the fashion designer's studio and won't let one dress or model wearing it go by without dragging the whole design and model through the mud in name of design.

    Keep in mind that the designer is catering to society at large when at work while, at home, he is simply keeping the peace in his life with his lie.

    If its ok to be trueful at the studio, how is it ok to tell "white" lies at home? Wouldn't society be better off if the scrutiny of well educated and trained professionals was universal?

    Another example like this can be found in Governmental "white lies". They are often defended as "what's best for society" and the truth never revealed. When, in fact, spreading the opinion (which may or may not be a truth) generates counter opinions and productive discussions that may enlighten the perpetrators of the lie and produce another approach to a problem.
     
  20. Jan 24, 2007 #19
    Because it is not a trivial effect of a polite nature to tell a white lie at studio--the effect is loss of jobs of all that work at the studio. If you do not understand why is it always OK for a husband to tell wife she is beautify (even at times not)--well, all I can conclude is that you must not be married :wink:
     
  21. Jan 25, 2007 #20

    baywax

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    good point Rade. The designer resorts to educated criticisms and opinions only because it is his/her profession and it is ethicical in that it supports his/her work and partners. The work is worth supporting because it expands the experience and horizons of not only his/her employees but society in general. As for the designer's spouse, they probably suffer for the lack of truth in the relationship. It may seem imperceptable but after a long marrage the damage of the white lies will have rendered some incapacity in the spouse.

    What really blows this thread out of the water is the definition of the "truth". Opinions are one thing but how do we identify absolute truths?
     
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