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Yes! No!
Debate Score:44
Total Votes:61
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 Yes! (12)
 No! (14)

Debate Creator

GreenEyedGir(46) pic

Is Lying Acceptable?


Side Score: 21


Side Score: 23
3 points

Lying is acceptable, for example if you wanted to help a friend for say not to get in big trouble you could lie to help them out, so they might help you out another time if you were in trouble.

| Side: Yes!
0 points

Lying is bad and should be avoided. This is because lies obscure the truth and without a clear grasp of the truth it is difficult to behave justly. In a perfect world no would ever lie.

But in our imperfect world, lying can be acceptable. Any bad deed can be acceptable if it prevents something worse from happening.

| Side: Yes!
-3 points
3 points

Well, if you lied to Hitler that you don't have any Jews, it would be a noble maneuver, but if you told a white lie to a girl about how her dress fit's and than she'd figure out it doesn't at all and would stress all over it, it would be bad.

You can't be possibly as shallow as to say lying is always wrong, it's just very often wrong, yet there are many cases in which lying can be a good thing.

| Side: Yes!

Yes, people are going to lie to you all day everyday from the time you are born until the time you die so might as well get used to it. On the other hand........

The truth will set you free.

Like once, when I was in H.S., I was dating this girl that I wanted to break up with and we had a date to go to the movies and when I got to her house she was late (as usual) and I noticed an open gallon of ice cream on the kitchen counter and when she came down stairs she said, "Do these pants make my ass look fat?"

I said, "No, all the junk food you eat is what makes your ass look fat!" And I was free ;)

| Side: Yes!

Only if you are not caught is lying acceptable. If your caught, then it is not acceptable. ;)

| Side: Yes!

I agree with everything stated above. This is a complex matter, but decisions to lie should never be taken lightly.

I however lie about the following things with pride:

1) my wife is always beautiful--and I'm not sure this is a lie, because she really is :D

2) the fight was always my fault ;)

(unless we need to talk about it, and then it was my fault, "but...") :D

I suppose I would say that while we really shouldn't lie, not everything always needs to be said.

| Side: Yes!
4 points

If we have accept lying, the value of truth will be lost, as a result the basis of trust between fellow men is also lost.

| Side: No!

This brings up a very interesting point. Is trust a form of faith?

| Side: No!
arnesen(44) Disputed
2 points

I'd be more inclined to perceive trust as having instrumental value:

a) It makes social life more predictable

b) It creats a sense of community between people

c) Make cooperation and communication easier

These tree points are the means of trust in order to reach a goal of happiness and security, in which our lives are made easier.

It is true that lying in certain, very specific contexts serve a positive function, but in a broader and long-term sense I think the outcome will be negative (i.e. a realization of my last argument would mean an unstable and uncooperative society in which conflict would flourish).

There is of course the possibility of a compromise: Lying is initially unacceptable, but in certain situations one is allowed to lie, i.e. when the life of a human being is at stake. However, I am not in the position of making such trains of thought, and such a compromise would presume a larger and more complex system of ethics in which it would be integrated. Most probably, this would be a system of deontological ethics.

| Side: No!
jessald(1909) Disputed
1 point

Not in the religious sense. Trust is based on evidence.

We tend to trust people because we know from experience that most people generally tell the truth.

| Side: Yes!
2 points

What if a son refused to make medicine the father knew would cure him. Would it then be acceptable for the father to lie and put the medicine in the child's food?

| Side: No absolutes
2 points

Interesting question, which also begs the discussion of personal autonomy. One could very well argue that the father has no right to put the medicine in the child's food, not on the basis of whether lying is acceptable or not, but rather that it is the child's choice - not his.

I don't think we can give a definite answer to your initial question, before the issue of personal autonomy is answered. However, I have proposed some examples of situations in which lying can be acceptable, which might correspond to some degree with the stance you express in your argument.

| Side: No absolutes
2 points

lying is not acceptable because the moment you start lying it's quite hard to get away form it.

the moment you started lying you won't stop. you'll just have to keep lying to cover up for the first lying and also lying just brings distrust in a family or even in a relationship.

| Side: No!

Lying is never acceptable in my world, not even a white lie! Once you compromise the truth where is your character, your integrity and why should anyone ever trust you again?

People don't lie to protect you...they lie to protect themselves from having to confront something. Don't ever fall for that one. That's almost as big a lie as "the check is in the mail."

| Side: No!
arnesen(44) Disputed
2 points

To be that rigid about not lying can lead you into what I only can describe as quite uncomfortable situations, i.e.: Let's say it's World War Two, and you live in a nazi-occupied country. Your best friend is a Jew, and one day he and his family comes to you, asking you to let them stay in hiding at your place, or else they'll be sent off to a labor camp. You allow them to stay. Then the Gestapo comes knocking at your door, asking whether you are hiding any Jews. Since you principally cannot lie, you tell them yes - and both you, your friend and his familiy is subsequently arrested (and you will all, of course, be the victims of grusome torture and what-not).

As mentioned earlier, there has to be a kind of compromise in ones stance, in which lying is initially unacceptable, while acceptable in certain context, dependent on some other (deontological?) principles.

Of course, you can argue that you wouldn't let them stay in the first place, thus letting you off the hook. I'd then like to ask, why not?

| Side: Yes!

Then I would have been guilty of lying twice in my life! I certainly would have hidden or helped a slave escape as well. In neither point of history was I alive (I was born in Berlin after the war had ended) but in hindsight I'm sure I would have allowed it despite my rigidity about lying. If it came to my lying in order to preserve life, I would...but only under those circumstances. I believe that would be akin to a categorical imperative ala Kant. In a court of law I would have to speak the truth no matter who was on trial. So you have a valid point about extenuating circumstances.

In my world, today's world, I would have no reason to act in such a manner in day to day occurrences. I simply do not lie under ordinary circumstances.

| Side: No!
1 point

Ask yourself this! Does it feel ok to Lie and not get caught?. Now say you did get caught, How does it feel? I am willing to say that those that did get caught even in a little white lie, still wish they never said it. Your simple instincts tell you that it is not ok. I sometimes hate telling the truth but it needs to be said. If we all knew that we could get the truth and believe it, would the world be the way it is now?

| Side: No!

No, you should let the truth will set you free. On the other hand........

People are going to lie to you all day everyday from the time you are born until the time you die so might as well get used to it.

Like once, when I was in H.S., I was dating this girl that I wanted to break up with and we had a date to go to the movies and when I got to her house she was late (as usual) and I noticed an open gallon of ice cream on the kitchen counter and when she came down stairs she said, "Do these pants make my ass look fat?"

And I said, "No, baby, you look bootylicious!" And I kissed her as I patted her rump.

| Side: No!

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