One of the central concepts discussed in ethics is honesty, which implies always telling truth and never telling lies. Why is it important? When a person is lying it means that he/she is distorting the reality by saying and doing things which don’t correspond to the actual state of affairs. According to the majority of ethical theories, lying is considered to be immoral as it does not correspond to the basic principles of morality. Of course it is very difficult to follow all of the principles of morality; however, it is necessary to avoid lying as much as possible. In my opinion, it is wrong to lie. And it doesn’t matter who tells lies, it is still wrong. Everybody knows that lying is wrong, but still a lot of people continue to lie, while trying to justify their being dishonest. But when somebody else is lying such people would stand up against it, stating that lying is immoral. But how can it be so? One person lies and thinks that it is ok; however, when he/she is told lies, this person thinks that it is wrong. According to Kant, who was the follower of Deontological theory of morality, when a person told a lie he/she “implicitly said that it is morally all right for people to lie” , however, nobody would bare hearing lies constantly.
The author of the book “Contemporary Moral Issues: Diversity and Consensus” Lawrence Hinman states that “you cannot approve of your own lying without approving of everyone else’s, and yet the advantage you get depends precisely on other people’s honesty” . Thus, no exceptions can be made when referring to lying. This is one of the basic principles of Kant as well as morality as whole.
Nowadays, there are lies everywhere; and it comes not from poorly educated or immoral people. It comes from highly educated politicians, economists, scientists, who tell lies following their own interests. Of course, when they were children, their parents told them that it was bad to tell lies; however, they grew up, occupied important positions, but still didn’t learn to be honest. Even mothers lie to their children when they are too little to get to know something. This kind of lying cannot be considered totally wrong, as it is a so-called “white lie”. A lot of people tell white lies in order not to insult their friends and relatives by saying the truth that might hurt them. However, it is necessary to be aware of the verge of white lies, as this verge can be very fuzzy, and it is not difficult to step out on the other side of the white lies and become a liar.
Some people want to justify their dishonesty by saying that they were doing it having positive motives, however, when it comes to lying the consequences of lying can very rarely justify it. So, it would be much better if people tried to be honest as it is a very important feature of any person, which is highly valued in every society and in every country. Besides, when people are involved into constant lying, there is a very little chance for them to stop, as one lie provokes all following ones.
Bibliography Hinman, L.M. “Contemporary Moral Issues: Diversity and Consensus”. Prentice Hall/Pearson, 2006.
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