Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Yes, occasions come when it’s better to avoid telling the truth and even, sometimes, to lie.

“Thou shalt not lie” cannot always be a categorical moral imperative, since the consequences would be too costly, the harm done worse than if the truth were told outright—or outwrong.  Hence “white lies,” as opposed to black lies, or lies in shades of gray.  Distinctions must be made, circumstances reckoned and consequences anticipated.

One danger of deciding to lie is that of lowering the barrier thereafter against further prevarications.  Having once compromised the truth, you may find it easier to do when next tempted down the slippery slope.  While strict judiciousness must be practiced, with truth-telling held as normal and rightful behavior, a requisite for trust and confidence among people—even so, upon a rare occasion, a well-devised lie may save the day.