An idealistic quote attributed to amelinda.

Although a worthy goal, complete honesty is an impossible ideal due to the very nature of language. When I talk to you about the hoop-a-joob I saw on the street, you might have a different conception of what the heck a hoop-a-joob really is. Your hoop-a-joob might be what I think of as a how-zee-dig. It is also impossible not to commit the sin of omission whenever you speak with somebody else. Because you cannot tell somebody all the various and sundry details of your life story, you will always leave something out.

Since complete and honest represtation of yourself and your beliefs is impossible, the best approximation a person can have to being totally honest is to not consciously misrepresent themselves. For example, it's fine and dandy for Bill Clinton to believe that he didn't have sex with Monica Lewinsky. However, when talking with people who he knows don't share that same definition of sex, to say that there was no sex in the White House is a lie.

Although many people believe this statement to be absoposolutely ridiculous and that lying is a daily necessity, there are some who believe this to be an ideal worth upholding.

On a personal digression, I believe that the only reason there are people who are afraid of honesty is because they are surprised by honesty when they see it. If when a friend asks me "Does this dress make me look fat?" or "Do you think a wild emu would make a good conversation piece?", I am going to give my honest answer. I once thought, why hurt friends when you could tell a white lie, and she and I could both go merrily on our way. But...then, she might think wrongly that she's looking good, when in fact that dress really does make her look a wee bit on the pudgy side. Not that it should matter, I'd think, *grin*, but...if I ask a question, I want truth. If I'm fat, I'm fat. But, some people react violently when faced with a truth they can't handle. I think lies just make people have a harder time understanding the reality around them, who they are, and what people think of them, and it breaks down whatever chance we have at truthful, honest, and open communication that helps us connect better to the people around us that we care about. If everybody told the truth, people would have a better time dealing with reality and not have to be straining to peer through the clouds of the half-truths of our friends to see reality shining through. *smile*
I guess, since this is my quote, I should put a blurb here about it.

Like {hojita} says, this is a nearly impossible goal to achieve. However, in no way does the impossibility of this goal detract from its intrinsic value as a method of dealing with other people.

There are many people out there who think that lying as a matter of habit is a good thing. They just call it "manners." Heinlein advises it as a method of dealing with "Mrs. Grundy," the conservative folks everywhere. It's what's behind the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays. It's still lying.

Many people confuse honesty with forthrightness, and then get all tangled up about the supposed "lie of omission." Honesty, to me, is telling the truth when people ask you about it and not misleading or lying to people even when they don't. Forthrightness is a good old-fashioned word and, in my personal dictionary, is the next step up from honesty. Forthrightness, to me, means being open and honest about things, even if people don't ask. I try to be forthright, but honesty's a good start.

To those people I mentioned above, who practice habitual lying for social gain, my forthrightness and honesty are rudeness and insensitivity. I don't apologize for it. I have saved my sanity from stupid, melodramatic fools more than once because I refused to play their stupid lying games.

As an example of the power of honesty: for thousands of years, gays had a crummy time of it, until (in combination with other things) they stopped hiding what they were and wanted. They stopped lying about themselves and disproved many evil myths about them using their greatest weapon: truth. To be sure, some gays died because they were honest, but so did early Christians and members of nearly every persecuted minority. While the current (2000AD) situation of gays isn't perfect, it's infinitely better than it was.

I'm afraid this turned into more of a rant than I intended. Oh, well. That's how it goes when you feel strongly about something.

Sandy spent most of the day worried about the balance in the cash drawer.

“Say, you’re fifty dollars short.”
“Yeah, well, that’s because the spare change drawer owes me fifty.”
“Oh, right, right. Nevermind”

She mentioned it a few times, and usually does each day. But why is she worried? Is it because she knows she’s untrustworthy?

This is a prime example of how untrustworthy people gives themselves away to the honest. The beauty of it is that only the honest know about it. Ha ha!

This is but one more example of why honesty is the only policy.

By developing a habit of honesty (which, of course, the untrustworthy never bothered to do) you can also develop a habit of being honest with your own memories and thoughts, bringing a greater understanding of your own motives and mechanisms. Greater self understanding also leads to a better understanding of others. This effect magnifies with time. The habitually honest can relate to how powerful this effect can be over the years.

Knowing that people have their own individual perspectives, and learning to use communication to test, integrate and synthesize them, makes objective reality easy to comprehend. You might not always see it as clearly as you like, but if you are honest about your ignorance, there is no limit to what you can understand.

Despite the hypocrisies of the “there is no truth” crowd, who use their erroneous assumption to justify violence, I know that there is a comprehensible objective truth.

Again, the untrustworthy have little or no idea about this. Not only do they not realize that you can read them a mile away, they can hardly read themselves. More than that, they think its impossible for anyone to read anything, let alone you.

Intellectual honesty is the only workable philosophical position. A denial of reality (to others or to yourself) is a contradiction of your own nature. Philosophical positions based on ignorance and a lack of predictable results are called ‘lunacy’, or ‘dead’, but not ‘thinking’, or say, ‘human.’ Animals eat each other. Humans learn and formulate and design and teach. Dishonest teaching doesn’t even mean anything.

So, I figure two basic types of people are reading this. The honest ones are saying; “I’ve seen the effect, maybe you’re just hung up on it.” The dishonest ones are saying. “Yeah, dude. Sure. Whatever.”

To me, that is the most hilarious irony.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.