Little white lies essay


The golden rule, telling the truth, is called the golden rule because the truth is what most people desire. People would rather be hurt with the truth than comforted with a lie.

Little White Lie

In situations, I have found myself wondering which…. In the ideal of autonomy, it is against benevolent lies by claiming that benevolently lying restricts people to acquire the real information about their situation Hill , so benevolently lying infringes the autonomy of the one who is deceived.

Then, his lists out two possible objections of his claim. One of the objections is that an agent needs to lie in order to make the deceived one living autonomously.

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In short, the issue is whether lies can ever assist others. My own view is that there is no such thing as a lie that does not hurt others. Although I concede that there are lies that are intended to help others, such as white lies, I still maintain that even these lies are selfish as they contribute to hurting the recipients in addition to promoting the speaker.

The lie of omission on…. In the story, the reader learns that Christopher does not believe in lying and in turn he refuses to lie. Even though, Christopher says that he does not believe in lying, he tells white lies many times in the novel. Essays Essays FlashCards. Browse Essays.

When Is it OK to Lie?

Show More. Also, to avoid embarrassment for example, a student lies and says that he is passing because he is embarrassed to tell truth which is that he is failing. He lies because he does not want people to think that he is of inferior intelligence. Another reason can be because of selfishness. Someone can lie and possibly harm others, just to gain attention or to gain a possession for example, from personal experience, a child will lie and say that his friend's toy is his so he can take it home with him.

On the other hand, in some situations, telling the truth leads to more bad than good.

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A sample of nearly university undergraduates completed a structured personality inventory before being assigned to one of two groups. The first group viewed a slideshow and film on child malnutrition while the second group viewed a neutral film. All participants then completed a cognitive task requiring them to press one of two keys indicating whether there were more dots on the right side of the screen or the left.

They were also provided information on the charity including the work they did to combat malaria. As expected, participants in the compassion condition who viewed the child malnutrition film and slideshow were significantly more likely to lie about their responses to benefit charity though it made no difference for selfish lying. Even when personality traits and emotional state were taken into consideration, the link between compassion and prosocial lying seemed as strong as ever. So, what can we make of this research?

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While we are trained to value honesty and to treat lying as dishonourable, we still seem inclined to resort to lying as long as it's in a good cause. As Lupoli and his fellow researchers point out, people who feel compassion for others seem remarkably prone towards lying, whether to avoid hurting other people's feelings or to promote the welfare of others. Though these three studies highlight how common it is to engage in prosocial lying, it also raises questions about how far we are really likely to go with this kind of deception.

Are we more likely to lie to friends or strangers?


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For that matter, what if our lying is potentially more damaging than the truth in the long run as it often is? Whether or not honesty is really the best policy, the need for "little white lies" to avoid hurting others is something that most of us simply take for granted. That caring for other people can often mean lying to them just seems like another of life's great ironies.

Lupoli, M. Lying because we care: Compassion increases prosocial lying.


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  • Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 7 , New research explores the key motivators underlying extremist violence. New research explores why many people seek out scary experiences. New research looks at the role of creativity in sustaining romantic passion. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive.

    Back Today. Romeo Vitelli Ph. Follow me on Twitter. Telling "Little White Lies" Does compassion play a role in the lies we often tell others? Liking something on Facebook that you don't actually like resembles giving a dishonest answer to the question, "Do you like my new shoes? Lying online doesn't begin and end with the Like button, however.

    It's often what people don't say or do online that could be perceived as dishonest, Rosen said.

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    This type of dishonesty isn't really lying in the strictest sense of the word; it's more like monitoring the truth that you're willing to share with others. Some might argue that engaging in selective sharing online isn't lying — it's just self-preservation. Dunbar's study of primates supports this interpretation. In some primate species, the line between lying and self-preservations is a blurry one. For example, female hamadryas baboons have been observed deceiving their mates.

    The baboons live in harems, each guarded by its own dominant male.


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    • If the male catches a female baboon grooming a male from another group, he'll likely punish her physically, Dunbar said. To avoid getting caught in the act, female hamadryas have been known to hide their illicit grooming behind a rock. While spending time with another male, a female will keep her head sticking out from behind the rock, ensuring that she remains visible to and unpunished by her mate. But is this animal deception really the same thing as lying? Not quite, Dunbar said. When she chooses what truths to show her partner, the female baboon is certainly practicing self-preservation, he said.

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