A philosophy I adhere to in an attempt to simplify life. This is, of course, a vastly misguided attempt, which I devalidate (but manage to function socially beneath) by allowing myself the sin of omission; that is, if you can't say something true (for reasons of politesse), don't say anything at all - steer the conversation in a different direction.

It's much harder to lie than to tell the truth. You have to keep up with what you said and who you said it to, you have to strain your mind to come up with something plausible... Altogether too much like hard work for my liking.

However, not everybody (including me, at times) is prepared to pay the price for perfect honesty. Or have others pay the price for oneself - after all, is it really worth telling your little sister her prom dress is hideous and wounding her feelings forever just for the sake of your own self-imposed ideals?

I supposed as one grows up one finds a workable compromise in regards to lying to others - unfortunately, very few people ever learn that the absolute worse thing they could ever do is lie to themselves.

Sometimes the trick is whether or not to include lies of omission in this category. Carrot of Discworld fame would be the best example, fictionally speaking: he makes it a policy never to tell a lie, but sometimes he strategically avoids telling the truth in order to get the desired results.

The definitive example of someone who never told lies of any sort, of course, would be Jesus Christ. His fundamental inability to avoid telling the truth to people who wanted to kill him for it eventually led to just that. Of course, to Christians anyways, it all worked out well in the end.

This is a meme that seems very competetive, not in the sense that it has a chance of displacing memes for lying on various occasions in more than a tiny minority of the population, but in the sense that even the vast majority who do not follow it will repeat it to other hosts under the right circumstances.

Many people will punish children severely for lying to them. Lying to an adult and getting away with it is the only disobedience it is impossible to punish by definition. Very few adults who punish their children for lying never lie themselves - or even manage to sustain this belief in their children over the long term. Probably just as well, imagine the trouble you could get into if your boss asked what you really thought of him. Many psychologists believe adults teach children to lie by encouraging them to thank others for gifts they dislike, among other ways.

Few people have a well thought out and consistent policy on when lying is OK, the decision is usually based on what goal is being interfered with and to what extent.

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