Is it Ever Right to Lie?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Anthro, Sep 24, 2003.

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Is it Ever Right to Lie?

  1. It is categorically never right to lie. There are no possible contexts and considerations that woul

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  2. There are certain and very rare contexts and slim circumstances wherein it is ethical to lie.

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  1. Anthro

    Anthro
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    Is it ever right to lie? Can there be some contexts and circumstances where telling a lie is ethical, given other ethical considerations that may come into play? Should CIA operatives nver lie in the process of intelligence gathering? Should humanitarians saving people from genocide never lie, even if to tell the complete truth would endanger lives? Are there other things that need consideration? Post your vote, then make your comments!
     
  2. Gina B

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    I think in some situations it would be ok. Like you mentioned with the CIA...and I really don't think a Jew in the holocaust claiming to be a gentile to save his/her life would be wrong.
    Then again, I lie to my kids and it's not a life and death situation...I make excuses about their dad so won't feel abandoned if he doesn't show up for visitation and stuff like that. (we need a wry smiley thingie in here!)
    Gina
     
  3. kung_foo_christian

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    Sure, sometimes it's a good thing to lie.
    Back in Exodus, the Egyptian Midwives lied about the hebrew biths (they were supposed to kill the children, but the said the women gave birth before they got there See Ex 1 v19-20).

    God didn't punish them for lying, in fact because they lied...
    " God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty"

    So sometimes lying is for the best.

    -KFC
     
  4. Terry_Herrington

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    Good point [​IMG]
     
  5. I Am Blessed 24

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    Abraham lied about Sarah and God was not pleased. The only reason God protected them was for Sarah's sake because she was to continue the lineage.

    He also was not pleased when Aninias (sp) and Sapphira lied. In fact, he killed them for it.

    It is never right-to do wrong-to do right.

    "Thou shalt not bear false witness"...that is lying.
     
  6. Lorelei

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    God dealt well with the midwives in spite of their lies, not because of them.

    God dealt kindly with the midwives because they feared God and did not do what the King told them to. They had already honored God in this way before telling the Lie. After they feared God and did not do what the King said, the King asked them why. This is when they lied.

    To say God honored them because they lied is is like saying Solomon was honored because David slept with Bathsheba and then killed her husband.

    God uses us in spite of our sins, not because of them. There are several verses that says that God despises lying, not one will be found that says he only despises some of it. God would be a liar, if he didn't despise all lies. Does he forgive them, yes, but that doesn't mean they were ever "honorable" or "the best" thing to do.

    ~Lorelei
     
  7. Anthro

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    How did she do that?

    By telling a "lie."

    [ September 25, 2003, 12:33 AM: Message edited by: Anthro ]
     
  8. Anthro

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    The above is in response to:

    Apparently, the Apostles had a different take on the actions of Rahab.

    Now,

    The midwives were being asked to murder. In Egyptian society, they had their midwifery role, and other women may well have loved for them to be displaced so they could take their positions. Somehow, the particular midwives under question had banned together to agree over the fact that they would resist the Pharoah's unjust law that all Israeli babies should be killed by them at birth. They could have told the bare truth, and been killed for not obeying the unjust law. Then, other women would have taken their place who would carry out the law.

    Hence, there options were to evaluate the many ethical considerations within their dilemma.

    Hence, in summary, they could:

    1. Obey the king and murder babies.

    2. Confess to the king when questioned that they had all along given civil disobedience to is unjust law, been killed in return, then had other women take their place who would murder Israeli babies.

    3. Stay in their position as long as they possibly could so they could avoid societal breaking of a high moral law (murder), even if that meant them breaking lesser moral laws (lying).

    They did not sin. They were wise within a very rare situation that required them to evaluate their actions within hiearchial ethics, i.e., it is sometimes needful to break lesser moral laws to avoid the breaking of higher moral laws.

    This is not an individualistic thing, but requires viewing one's individual actions within the collective actions and possible actions of one's group, in this case, women who would NOT murder as midwives, and women who wanted to and would become midwives, even if it meant murdering to become such.

    In the hierarchy of ethics within certain confined situations, it is sometimes right to "lie." But then again, in deeper truth of the matter, these are not really lies in the heart matter of lying and being a liar. They are just untruths told for very strategic and wise reasons to meet a pressing and urgent situation so as to obtain the highest possible ethical outcomes within them.

    [ September 25, 2003, 01:12 AM: Message edited by: Anthro ]
     
  9. kung_foo_christian

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    Lorelei, I am Blessed.

    How would you suggest the Egyptian Midwives should have answered the question?

    That is a ridiculous comparison.

    Please look at the text again.
    From th KJV...

    Here we see the description of them lying, what immediately follows is the result of them lying...
    God dealt well with them because they lied.

    They lied... Therefore God dealt well with the midwives.

    By lying they were doing the right thing, God recognised this and dealt well with them.

    I would suggest that as a general rule, honesty is the best policy, but there are exceptions.

    You can't simply give a blanket response on this one.

    Ananias and Sapphira lied in a bad way, they tried to deceive a servant of God and lied in a selfish way to garner money.

    The Egyptian Midwives lied to protect babies, I'm sure God was happy that they did that.

    Hypothetical, You're being chased by a guy with a gun, you run into a friends house to hide, the gunman comes to the door.

    Gunman: Did Lorelei come in here???
    Your Friend: Sure, you must be the gunman she was talking about, she's inside hiding under the piano.

    Is this what your friend should have said?

    -KFC
     
  10. Anthro

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    I think, KFC, that you and I are in perfect agreement there.

    [snipped by moderator]

    (Gunman makes a mad dash down the road "to catch Lorelei" as Lorelei's friend locks the door behind then dials 911.)

    [ September 25, 2003, 02:22 AM: Message edited by: Dr. Bob Griffin ]
     
  11. Anthro

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  12. Anthro

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    ...was a dialouged suggestion on how Lorelie's freind might perhaps respond very convincingly to the gunman; by saying Lorelei had committed adultery with her husband; then confessing her hate for Lorelei, and speaking with anger about Lorelei; then saying she had kicked Lorelei straight out of her house when she came just a moment ago, not caring of her fate; then pointing the gunman in the direction Lorelei "had ran down the road"; then locking the door and dialing 911 as the gunman "chased Lorelie down the road."
     
  13. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    (Anthro, when a Moderator deletes something; you are not supposed to repost it!) Having said that...

    This is NOT directed to any specific person!

    It sounds to me like we have a lot of Christians who are lying and trying to justify it through God's Word.

    There is no pretty way to say this. If a person lies........he is a LIAR.

    If you have a problem with that, talk to God. He wrote the Book.

    God told us not to lie.

    That settles it!
     
  14. Don

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    Not this again....
     
  15. Guitar25

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    Technically no. There are instences where you lie to make people feel good or to save someone in troube, but its still a sin no matter what.
     
  16. Dan Todd

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    I hate it when someone asks me, "Isn't that the prettiest baby you've ever seen?"

    I try real hard not to answer the question - because most babies (mine included) who are born vaginally - are not pretty - unless you mean pretty as in being pretty beat up!!

    Then sometimes the baby is downright ugly - looks like someone beat it with a stick!!!

    Please don't ask me that question?

    Just rambling,

    Dan
     
  17. Artimaeus

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    James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

    Slick situational ethics arguments aside, can someone show me ONE place where God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit found it necessary to tell an untruth to accomplish His goals? Christ is our example, not Rahab, midwives, or Abraham. We can all rationalize how "our" sin is justified but, God is the standard not other Christians.
     
  18. Dan Todd

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    artimaeus said:

    Well said!! [​IMG]
     
  19. Brett

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    But God, being omnipotent, can always - no matter what the situation - find a better alternative to solve a problem that to lie. Sadly, Christians have no such ability. If you were housing Jews in Nazi Germany in your house, and a group of military police came to your door asking if there were Jews inside, would you lie? Of course you would. Any decent purpose would.

    Of course, I'm not trying to justify lying under most circumstances. Honest is almsot always better and no sinful. But there are certain situations in which lying is necessary.
     
  20. Jim1999

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    I think we have been down this road before on the Board.

    My father-in-law suffered with Alzheimers. His memory was horrible and he didn't recognize anyone. Often he thought he was back in England. One day he said he parked his bicycle outdoors and someone nicked it. I said to him, Well, you know London. You musn't park anything outdoors and expect to find it still there.

    I lied! I went along with his beliefs that he was in London and he actually had a bicycle. Soon after that we talked in Cockney for about a half hour and he decided it was time to go visit with him mum up the street. I lied, and I went along with him.

    If anyone has dealt with this terrible disease, they will understand my lies. I make no apology for them and I would do it again.

    Is lying wrong? Certainly it is, but if we apply the principles of situation ethics, it is not properly a lie. A lie is when one purposely distorts the truth to deceive the other person. Well, you might say I purposely deceived the other person and call it a lie. I don;t denythe lie, I deny that God would object to this lie and I believe this is not the lie mentioned in scripture when we read No liar shall see the kingdom.

    Again, those who lived through the horrors of WW II, and faced possible imminent danger from the German forces, will know about the possibility of lying. My wife's family, who have a Jewish background, legally changed their name from Neumann to the English Newman just in case the Nazis made it to England. Call it a lie if you will, but live with us through those horrors of war and repeat the accusation. You will not do it.

    There are situations which call for cleverness. You call it a lie; I don't.

    I would never write a false statement on an application, or lie for personal gain.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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