Lying

Who is ready to discuss “lying”?  😛 

CPE has this type of assignments. Such an assignment enourmously helps develop the skills of making comparisons. 

“Read the two texts below. Write an essay summarizing and evaluating the key points from both texts. Use your own words throughout as far as possible, and include your own ideas in your answer.”

Before writing the essay below, I read this article https://www.scu.edu/ethics/ethics-resources/ethical-decision-making/lying/ I also thought about these phrasal verbs:

Finally, I thought about these headlines:

After these steps above, I wrote my essay:

Both texts express their attitudes towards lying. While Text 1 uses the expression “Honesty is the best policy” with sarcasm, Text 2 asserts that lying is always morally wrong.

Text 1 puts forward the idea that if practically all people lie despite the knowledge that dishonesty is a negative character trait, it is justified to continue lying to avoid conflicts. In marked contrast, Text 2 is dogmatic and categorical. It claims that each lie contradicts the part of the human being that gives humans moral worth. Moreover, lying to others, the individual harms the others’ dignity too, which consequently results in their disrespect for the liar.

In my opinion, Text 1 does make a convincing argument. “White lies” can benefit as the liar as the people who are deceived. For example, if the doctor lies that the patient can recover, though he knows with a 99%probability that the sufferer will die in two months, such a noble lie can with all likelihood stabilize the sick person’s condition. Otherwise, knowing the truth, the patient runs the risk of falling into depression or even committing suicide. Text 2, on the other hand, does not provide the reader with conclusive evidence for its assertions. It does not mention if a lie told in pursuit of another virtue, for instance compassion, is right or wrong. It also suggests being economical with truth. However, it means “to be DECEITFUL by withholding truth,” does not it?

Analyzing both texts, I believe that Text 1 is more honest and objective than Text 2. Both texts have inclined me to the viewpoint that in each particular situation when a person chooses between telling a lie or the truth, one should weigh the benefits against the harms of possible consequences. In addition, one should be aware of the danger to endlessly remaining on “the slippery slope” of lies. The latter inevitably converts a righteous person into an incorrigible sinner.

 

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THIS TOPIC? 

 

4 comments

  1. Both texts express their attitudes towards lying. While Text 1 uses the expression “Honesty is the best policy” with sarcasm, Text 2 asserts that lying is always morally wrong.  [Good terse summary]

    Text 1 puts forward the idea that if practically all people lie despite the knowledge that dishonesty is a negative character trait, it is justified to continue lying to avoid conflicts. In marked contrast, Text 2 is dogmatic and categorical. It claims that each lie contradicts the part of the human being that gives humans moral worth. Moreover, lying to others, the individual harms the others’ (1) dignity too, which consequently results in their disrespect for the liar.

    In my opinion, Text 1 does (2) make a convincing argument. “White lies” can benefit as the liar as the people who are deceived (3). For example, if the doctor lies (4) that the patient can recover, though he knows with a 99% probability that the sufferer (5) will die in (6) two months, such a noble lie can (7) with all likelihood stabilize the sick person’s condition. Otherwise, knowing the truth, the patient runs the risk of falling into depression or even committing suicide. Text 2, on the other hand, does not provide the reader with conclusive evidence for its assertions. It does not mention (8) if a lie told in pursuit of another virtue, for instance compassion (9), is right or wrong. It also suggests being economical with truth. However, it means “to be DECEITFUL by withholding truth,” does not it (10)?

    Analyzing both texts, I believe that Text 1 is more honest and objective than Text 2. Both texts have inclined me to the viewpoint that in each particular situation when a person chooses between telling a lie or the truth, one should weigh the benefits against the harms (11) of possible consequences. In addition, one should be aware of the danger to (12) endlessly remaining on “the slippery slope” of lies. The latter inevitably converts (13) a righteous person into an incorrigible sinner.

    T.Lee’s Notes

    1. Okay, but I would probably use the singular here because we generally lie to one person at a time.  My opinion only.
       
    2. “Does” sounds strange to me here.  I would normally only say this if someone previously said it did not make a convincing argument.  However, it depends on the emphasis you are thinking about in your mind.  If you are somewhat surprised that it makes a good argument, then your use of “does” is justified.
       
    3. “can benefit as the liar as the people who are deceived.” – bad grammar; makes no sense.
       
      …can benefit the liar as much as…
      …can benefit not only the liar but also the people…
       
    4. “to lie” can’t take a noun clause as an object. => …lies and says that
       
    5. “patient” would sound better here.
       
    6. “within two months” = anytime between now and two months from now
      “in two months” = after two months have elapsed (but not before)
       
    7. I would use “may” to express uncertainty.  It may or may not have any effect.
       
    8. Would sound much better if “that” were inserted here to flag an upcoming noun clause.
      Otherwise, “does not mention if” makes me expect a choice clause to follow:  “does not mention if X is the case or not”.
       
    9. if a lie told in pursuit of another virtue, for instance compassion => “virtue, compassion for instance,”
      would sound better by keeping “compassion” next to its antecedent “virtue”.  My opinion.
       
    10. does not it => does it not  🙂
       
    11. “Harm” is uncountable.  We don’t use it in the plural. 
      Consider rephrasing using something like the following:
       
      => weigh the benefits against the adverse consequences
      => weigh the benefits against the potential harm or damage that could be caused.
       
    12. => the danger of (gerund)
       
    13. converts => subverts (more accurate depiction)

    Your expression of your opinions and rationale was clear, cogent, and logically presented.  Despite my corrections, you did very well.  

    1. Good use of linking words:  while, in marked contrast, moreover, consequently, in my opinion, for example, otherwise, on the other hand, however, in addition.
       
    2. Good use of introductory participial phrases:  lying to others, knowing the truth, analyzing both texts
       
    3. Good use of advanced vocabulary:  sarcasm, practically, dogmatic, categorical, noble lie, stabilize, assertion, slippery slope, righteous, incorrigible
       
    4. Your paragraphs are logically sequenced, and each focuses on a central theme or idea.
  2. All things being equal, I consider lying to be dishonest.  Once a person lies to me for no good reason, he has lost my trust from that moment forward.

    Except for harmless white lies in social, small-talk contexts, I prefer not to lie. It should also be noted that I have very few close friends. 

    Is there a causal relationship between these two facts?  I don’t know.

    A quote by Dr. Seuss: Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

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