Is it ok ever to lie?

Discussion in 'Family, Relationships, and Single Life' started by bwallac2335, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Active Member

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    I would say only in extreme circumstances where not lying would lead to greater sins. A great example of this would be lying to Nazi's to hide Jews.
     
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Truth is a virtue, and scripture tells us it will set us free.

    Of course this leads to a discussion of Pilate's Question What is Truth?, or in the context here, what amounts to lying or bearing false witness?

    Clearly lying outright for personal benefit is wrong. Sometimes in order to preserve a confidence one might deflect, engage in obscurification, mishear the question and provide an alternative truth, or simply declare the no knowledge position you would have been in without that which was told you in confidence, or simply prefer a no comment answer.

    If we could live in a binomial world one might be able to be outright in an answer. However we do not, and there will always be a multitude of situations where we are called upon to evaluate the propositions in front of us and choose the greater good or the lesser evil.

    I would always prefer to equivocate, or dilute the truth, rather than tell an outright lie, when in circumstances where truth in not an option. None the less I can imagine situations where it might be the best option.

    As Christians we generally try to be helpful, kind and honest. One of our great problems that gets us in a mess is that generally when you cease to be honest, then you are neither help or kind.

    Joseph Fletcher is often maligned for his work Situation Ethics, and I think unfairly so.

    The abiding principle is Truth, however sometimes its value may need to be seen in the relevant situation.
     
  3. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    As with all things, intent is key. Sometimes a lie is the kindest thing you can give someone
     
  4. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    It’s actually “Thou shalt not bear false witness” like in the court of law, not “Thou shalt not lie.” Still it is not good to make a habit of lying.

    I agree its best to reserve lies for protecting people. Like if you lived on Syria and the invading Turks who have orders to kill Syrian Christians, ask you if you’ve seen any. You can lie then.