Exceptions to the rules?

Discussion in 'Forum for Polls' started by Alcott, Dec 29, 2005.

?

In which of these cases is it alright to imply something which is not true?

  1. Calling in sick for work, when there is another reason you want to be off

    89.7%
  2. Not picking up the phone because you think it’s someone you don’t want to talk to

    2.6%
  3. When driving home, you see a stranger knocking on your door, so you drive around the block

    5.1%
  4. Wearing a wig if you have thinning hair, or no hair

    5.1%
  5. When you unwrap a present, giving a big smile and a “thank you” when it’s something you’d rather not

    2.6%
  6. Voting FOR a motion at a church business meeting when you are really against it, but you don’t want

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Telling a child a picture he drew is “real good” when you have no idea what it’s supposed to be

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. A pregnant woman marrying a man who is not the father of her baby, but ignoring any suggestions that

    2.6%
  9. If you work nights and your house is vacant all night, to set a timer on the television to switch it

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. If you have had an amputation, to wear a prosthesis meant to look like the ‘real thing’

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. To go to a sports event wearing the colors of the home team, when you are a ‘secret’ fan of the visi

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. To be still with a bowed head when there is prayer in church, but you are thinking about something t

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Alcott

    Alcott
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    Are “rules made to be broken,” are they absolutely rigid and unchangeable regarding every situation in which they may be applied, are they to be ignored as long as we can get away with it, or...? The recent threads and polls about lying and drinking alcoholic beverages are what spurred this one into existence.
     
  2. billreber

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    Good poll, but minor problems/comments with it:

    1. The question about drinking alcoholic beverages -- for me, alcohol is ALWAYS forbidden, since I am an alcoholic. I can NEVER pick up a drink for that reason. The Bible does NOT forbid drinking alcoholo, but only forbids "becoming drunk".

    2. "Implying something which is not true" -- turning on a TV of some other light when you are not at home is a safety matter in some locations.

    3. Gambling -- playing games with friends is one thing, but staking money on it is another. Your excample showed $1, but what if the amount is slightly lareger? Or smaller? Gambling can be just as addictive as alcohol!

    Bill
     
  3. Helen

    Helen
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    Bill has some good points. I printed off the results so I could make some comments about some of the choices listed:

    1. not picking up the phone: the phone is not my master! I do not feel an obligation to answer it if I am pretty sure it is a sales call during dinner, for instance. That is not a lie or any sort of an untruth. It is a declaration that I am not slave to the thing and that I can make my own choices about it.

    2. Agree with Bill about the safety issues. That has nothing to do with an untruth -- it has to do with being careful and using your common sense.

    3. Wearing a wig? For Pete's sake (or anyone else's), if it makes you comfortable wear one! Lost your hair from chemo? Get that wig! Don't want to look like a plucked chicken at 75? Find a nice wig and enjoy it! It is arguably just as much courtesy to others that you don't cause them to stare and then turn away in embarrassment as it is a matter of self-confidence for the wearer. This is just as much an 'untruth' as me wearing a bulky sweater so I don't show my winter ten pounds around my middle!

    4. Saying thank you for any gift is a courtesy. It doesn't matter if you wanted it or not. The person took the time and money and effort to get it for you and that by itself deserves a warm thank you. This comes, at the least, under the command to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

    5. If you don't understand a child's picture, ask him/her. I will tell you now, though, if Chris (21, profoundly retarded) EVER picked up a crayon and drew even a line on a paper by himself, I would be beside myself with "VERY, VERY GOOD, Chris!!!"

    6. Joseph married Mary when he was not the father of the child and I doubt very much she was advertising that fact. Was that a lie? Isn't it the business of the people who are getting married and no one else's? Keeping private matters private is not lying.

    7. A prosthesis made to look like the real thing is a courtesy to others as much as a comfort to oneself. Again, it helps to keep others from feeling uncomfortable around you and staring and then turning away. It allows more normal friendships to develop more quickly. This has nothing to do with an untruth but is a blessing from modern technology.

    8. What is the alternative to being still with bowed head in church even if your mind is wandering during a prayer? To be heads up and writing notes to yourself on the paper or something? Courtesy, at the very least, demands a bowed head! All of us have been in this position, I am sure, at one time or another. A bowed head also helps one to get one's mind back on track during the prayer.

    In short, many of these 'options' regarding what is not true or promoting an 'untruth' are false.

    As far as drinking goes, that is a matter of personal conviction when the subject is only a glass or two of wine.

    Killing animals -- we are told to have dominion over the earth. We don't do very well at it, and my personal opinion has more to do with finding a good balance between tree-hugging and killing everything that is inconvenient. I am against killing for sport or trophies and I do not like the apparent necessity of using animals in medical research. I try to understand those with different points of view.

    Gambling -- agreement with Bill. However tossing dice to choose a job to do or who opens a gift first or that kind of thing is not gambling!

    Nudity? partial and total are quite different! Medical and cleanliness reasons are certainly not immoral. I'm glad that 100% agreed that it was right to be naked with your marriage partner! I also find that when I am changing clothes or getting ready to take a shower that I am naked when alone...I used to take my 2 year old daughter in the shower with me so I could keep track of her (she only slept two hours at a time until she was three and I also slept during those times!). Babies who nurse certainly 'see' their half-naked mothers! So some of the options seems a little strange to me.

    Some strange choices, but an interesting survey.
     
  4. Deacon

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    You ask, "In which of these cases is it alright..."

    Some of those things may be acceptable but I would never do them.

    I would suggest each of us should ask, "Is it wise to..." before doing each of the listed things.

    Rob
     
  5. Paul of Eugene

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    One can always come up with scenarios that aren't related to our normal lives. Is it OK to be a spy for your country? The lies you must tell! The heathen mob comes to your house demanding to know the adress of your pastor. etc etc.

    Its idle speculation. Don't worry about the abnormal just follow the regular rules we all live by such as being truthful with each other. Let those who actually live the special circumstances deal with them.
     
  6. SaggyWoman

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    Not answering the phone isn't a lie. We dont' HAVE to answer the phone.

    Being nice is okay. There is nothing wrong with saying thanks.
     
  7. Alcott

    Alcott
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    Yes, I agree. But consider the poll "Is it a lie?" 81% said it is a lie to "imply something which is not true." And here 90%, so far, have said it is acceptable to have a television switched on at nights when you are at work. That's precisely what I had in mind for this poll-- to show there are cases where some do not really believe what they have already answered.

    Whether it's $1 or $1000, it's playing for money; this just shows many do think the 'acceptability' of such depends on the extent.

    No, it's not a lie any more than ignoring a question when you are face-to-face with someone. Years ago, refusing to answer the phone probably did imply you are not home, but that is less true now, with caller ID and answering machines. If there is any moral dilemma about this, it would probably be about missing an important call, perhaps an emergency, by habitually refusing to answer the phone. Or another one may be that you have assured someone [your employer, a fellow committee member] that you WILL answer if they call, and you still don't.

    Except that it's hypocrisy if you desire to not have been given what you have been given. But hypocrisy is one of our earliest childhood lessons ["Say 'thank you,' tell Aunt Gertrude you're real glad to see her, tell Grandma you liked the dinner she made for you, even if it's eggplant and spinach..."]
     
  8. Helen

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    Courtesy is not hypocrisy.
     
  9. Alcott

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    It is if your words and actions are not sincere. Maybe Jesus should have been "courteous" when He went to the pharisee's home for a meal and did the ceremonial handwashing, but he not only skipped that, he directly confronted the pharisee and addressed his host as "hypocrite."
     
  10. standingfirminChrist

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    Alcott, you need to produce scripture to show Jesus called a host hypocrite. I see where His disciples were accused of eating with unwashen hands and He called the Pharisees hypocrites in those passages, but He was not in someone's home at that time.
     
  11. Alcott

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    Examining the scripture, Luke 11, you are correct He did not address his host as "hypocrite." He used that word so much in relation to the pharisees that if we go by memory we jumble the specifics. He did, however, address the host and his cronies as "you foolish ones" (v.40), and that would not be considered a "courteous" term of address to a host either-- or have you addressed a host that way?
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    There's a fundamental problem with the idea that the aim of the Christian life is living by a set of social and religious rules.

    We are called to live by the Spirit and have the mind of Christ. Rules can be somewhat helpful as opportunities to consider the impact of our actions, but they should not be what controls and motivates us.

    Jesus and the disciples frequently broke the accepted religious rules in their ministries in order to fulfilled the true work of the Kingdom. Sometimes Jesus seemed to do it for the usefulness of the action (eating handfuls of raw grain as they passed through a field). Other times He seemed to do it simply to irritate the "religious" legalists so He could make a point about the emptiness of their religion of rules (healing the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath).

    As your poll clearly demonstrates, rules that dictate action are inadequate because they do not take into account the intent of the person who may be trying to follow rules. These kinds of rules only seem to work well for those people who want to self-righteously judge others by appearances and feel better about themselves. The Baptist Board is full of such ungodly dreck, as well as our churches. It's no wonder that the Western church has forgotten how to be a disciple of Christ (hearing His voice, growing in grace, and having our character transformed as we obey His call) and have wasted our efforts alternating between condemnation and self-congratulation. [​IMG]
     
  13. thomas not doubting

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    Helen, I agree with all the points you made!

    Saying thank you IS a courtesy even when it's a gift you never would have picked for yourself.

    Keeping private matters private is not being deceptive.

    I have no problem with a lady who wears a wig to counter the effects of chemo, or hair loss at 75. (On the other hand, we've all seen men in foolish looking hairpieces who should just "buzz" it all off.)

    It seems many of these questions (though certainly not all) can be answered with just a good dose of common sense, which unfortunately seems to be in short supply the last 20 or 30 years!
     
  14. Helen

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    When I thank someone for a gift, it is first and foremost a thank you for thinking of me, for taking the time and, usually, money to do something for me. There is no hypocrisy in that at all. Of course I like some gifts better than others, but that is not really the point where I am concerned. I am deeply grateful for the caring of friends and relatives and I want them to know that.

    Maybe some concentrate on the gift. I would rather concentrate on the giver.
     
  15. ronthedisciple

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    It should be noted that implications can have two sources. Sometimes the communicator implies something by intent in their speech or actions, but sometimes the receiver imagines an implication based on the appearance of a message where no implication was originally intended:

    [But consider the poll "Is it a lie?" 81% said it is a lie to "imply something which is not true." And here 90%, so far, have said it is acceptable to have a television switched on at nights when you are at work. That's precisely what I had in mind for this poll-- to show there are cases where some do not really believe what they have already answered.]

    I think it is generally safe for me to assume that those who leave their TV on when they are out (or make use of other measures to give their home an occupied appearance) is not an example of implying that the occupants are home. The message is more accurately, "I am home sometimes, and I am not sometimes, but I manage my home in such a way, theif, that you won't be able to predict when I will be absent, so, do you want to take that chance?" That message is NOT a lie, even by implication. If the theif supposes that someone is in fact at home due to the appearance of the home, the implication was created by their own imagination.

    ---

    [Whether it's $1 or $1000, it's playing for money; this just shows many do think the 'acceptability' of such depends on the extent.]

    While it is true that there are those that base the acceptability of gambling on how much is at stake, there are cass in which the use of money does not necessarily make it gambling for money. There is a such things as gambling for fun. The instances of two friends betting who buys dinner on the outcome of a TV sporting event appears to me more a case of friends amusing themselves. Most likely they had already agreed to go to dinner and that one would pay for the other, and this becomes a fun way to decide who. Same for the movie theatre. I suppose one could argue that it is still a question of the size of the stake, but I have heard and read about cases of friends gambling for fun and friendship where hundreds, even thousands of dollars were involved. These cases have the common link of never involving stakes greater than their friend can cheerfully bear.

    ---

    [Except that it's hypocrisy if you desire to not have been given what you have been given. But hypocrisy is one of our earliest childhood lessons ["Say 'thank you,' tell Aunt Gertrude you're real glad to see her, tell Grandma you liked the dinner she made for you, even if it's eggplant and spinach..."] ]

    Receiving a gift that you really didn't like, and being polite and graciously thankful (as best you can) is at the very least a weak attempt at exercising thankfulness (a Christian virtue). It only becomes a lie if you are asked if you really wanted that gift, and you actually state that you did. If you are asked how you feel about something, I believe we are to tell truthfully how we feel, remembering that the Bible teaches us not be complainers. So, whatever we say, we ought to seek to do so in a humble, meek, peaceable manner, that is gracious and thankful and loving. All too often, when we receive a gift, our attention is on that material object that is given, when we ought to focusing on the giver and the REAL gift - the thoughtfulness, care and concern of the giver. The material offering is merely a token of the person's generosity and regard for you - isn't that something we all desire? to be regarded as someone worthy of generosity? Isn't that the heart of the gift of Salvation, "that God so loved the world", in that the giving of his Son was the visible token of that Love; in that "od demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Christ's death is NOT the gift - it is Love that is the gift. When we receive a new pair of shoes for Christmas, the shoes aren't the gift, it is the love of the person who gives us the shoes. What could be wrong with being grateful for that? no matter what the shoes looked like. (Jesus dying on the cross was exactly a pretty package of ribbons and bows - but we shall never forget it.)
     
  16. Alcott

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    Many Christians like to say this, but many also (certainly many Baptists) will change their tone if you get specific and bring up drinking or dancing, among other topics.

    I definitely agree. Still, polltakers here make a blanket statement on one poll [e.g., "Implying something which is untrue" is alie], then if you get specific, there are numberous exceptions [it's alright to have timer a switch on your TV if you are going to be at work all night].

    Fine. I just wonder if the giver follows up your "thank you" with the question, "Do you really like it?" what do you say? If you're inclined to wordplay on "it" as taken to mean their thoughts and efforts (when the pronoun inevitably refers to the object given), then what if they name it and say "Do you really like the orange and brown polkakot curtains with pink camels thatI gave you?"?

    To deliberately create a false implication in someone's mind is not a lie then? Okay.

    Exceptions to the rules are what this is all about. I'm sure you would get a load of different opinions at what is gambling for "fun" and what makes the activity more serious.
     
  17. standingfirminChrist

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    Leaving one's lights on at night has nothing to do with lying. It is preposterous to even suggest such a thing!

    I used to leave my lights on when I went away, not so people would think I was there, but so neighbors could see if there was movement in my yard or inside the house. They knew when I left home, and they also had a key to my home.
     
  18. Melanie

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    I thought the nudity question thought provoking... as a nurse my patient will be stripped in the shower, I would knock or call out if all is well when my presence is not strictly necessary, if I needed to get something I had forgotten, the patient is covered up and the water off if required...the bedfast patient is never fully exposed, only the portion being washed.

    People have a dignity which is a frail garment and it is not to be torn off when admitted into hospital.

    Having said that, when my father was ill, I assisted the palliative care team when able but was NOT comfortable in the assisting of washing my father other than face and hands. [​IMG]
     

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