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Types of Lies, Its Benefits or Harms Essay

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Updated: Nov 26th, 2019

Introduction

According to Lewis and Saarni, “truth and deception – like good and evil – have long been viewed as diametrically opposed and irreconcilable” (1). A lie can be defined as a falsehood or being dishonest by telling untruthful statements with the intention that people will accept the statement as truth. Lies have been part of human life since existence; for instance, in the Bible, Delilah frequently accused Samson of lying to her when she asked him about the source of his strength.

In this case, when Samson lied, he was able to maintain his strength to defeat his enemies, but the moment, he disclosed the source of his strength he lost it. Moreover, Smith mentions that lie has a biological grounds (1). The ugly side of telling a lie is revealed in Mark Twain’s statement, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything” (Carson, PP. 285).

This statement implies that if one tells lies, he/she has to remember everything pertaining to it in the future; however, if he/she sais the truth, the person is not forced to remember anything as the truth stands by itself. In my native culture, lying is condemned, and people are advised to practice good morals by being honest and telling the truth. Lie erodes trust among friends, and generally, between any two or more persons, so it should be avoided at all costs.

Types of lies

There are many types of lies, but the paper will only mention three of the most common types. The first type of lie is known as spiteful lie; these are lies told in order to gain benefit and hurt others. They may come in form of cheating and being dishonest.

For example, sellers lie while selling a product to woo a customer into buying it. In another instance, a politician and his party may make rumors about their rivalry party being involved in corruption or drug scandals; and this will ruin another party’s reputation. This form of lie encourages meanness and should be discouraged.

Beneficial lies are lies mainly told out of kindness to avoid hurting the third party. In this case, the liar will always be praised instead of being criticized. For example, when person has to lie to save someone or to avoid some difficult situations that can cause a lot of harm to everyone. This means to lie for good, that is why, lies can be justifiable in some cases.

White lies are seen as such that do not affect or injure the person, but can even achieve good outcomes. A general description of a white lie is to tell only a half of the truth, thus one does not lie or misrepresent the facts. This form of lie does no harm to both sides and are used as protection to private life. For example, when asked about your personal life, you can lie about it to some extend, so it will not cause any harm to anyone.

Conclusion

Generally, all the people tell lies in one or many occasions either in oral or written communication. In some cases, one will find out about this lie, and this may have a heavy consequence. Lies can sometimes be useful or harmful.

Before opting to tell a lie, one should consider the long-term consequences of such a decision. However, one fact that remains is that lies undermine trust among two or more people. Hence, one should only lie when he/she is certain that the results of such a move will be worth more than the trust that he/she might lose when the lies are found out.

Work Cited

Carson, Thomas L. The Definition of Lying. Nous, 40(2), 2006. 284–306. Print.

Lewis, Michael, and Carolyn Saarni. Lying and Deception in Everyday Life. New York: The Guilfort Press. 1993. Print.

Smith, David Livingstone. Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007. Print.

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"Types of Lies, Its Benefits or Harms." IvyPanda, 26 Nov. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/types-of-lies/.

1. IvyPanda. "Types of Lies, Its Benefits or Harms." November 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/types-of-lies/.


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IvyPanda. 2019. "Types of Lies, Its Benefits or Harms." November 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/types-of-lies/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Types of Lies, Its Benefits or Harms'. 26 November.

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