BIRT (be it resolved that) honesty does more harm than good.
Should we lie to people so as to not hurt them.
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Telling the truth could hurt people.
For example if your friend is excited about something and you tell him/her that it's stupid s/he might start to feel weird and left out. Where as; if you simple say that you are happy for her/him, instead of telling the truth s/he will not be hurt.
The alternative is lying and making your friend remain excited.
But you are doing your friend no justice if you leave him/her excited about something which you think is unexciting/stupid.
Of course the question here is whether we are talking about objective opinion or subjective opinion. For example, your friend is exited because she thinks the moon is made out of chocolate.
Telling her the objective truth that in fact the moon is not made out of chocolate will not harm her more than lying to her and agreeing.
Of course if she is excited because she is going to see Westlife in concert, giving her your subjective honesty that Westlife are not very talented will harm her feelings.
The alternative to telling the truth is not always a direct lie. You could phrase the truth diplomatically (e.g say 'in my opinion Westlife suck but your musical opinion is just as valid as mine' or 'the moon is not made of chocolate but there's plenty of chocolate still available to eat on Earth') or you could just flat refuse to answer the question.
This only applies in the long term, we should be more forward thinking
In the short term, yes honesty may hurt people's feelings. However, if we are giving an honest opinion that we believe will help them in the future then we should not prevent ourselves from doing so. In the long run, honesty will help the people we are directing it at. If our friend think they are good singers and are trying to make it in the industry, then we should save them the time and tell them that they will not make it.
Lying creates mistrust.
Even if I lie about another person for their own good, they will eventually find out and they will be upset at being lied to. Not necessarily because of that lie, but because you cannot be trusted to be open with them. You might be lying about other, more important things, keeping important information from them or not keeping their secrets. The closest friends can share anything and rely on each other for an honest opinion.
Lying gives you power over others that you don't deserve.
Your opinion of someone else's own good may differ from a person's own, but with you holding the information and them being given only distorted copies of it, you can influence them so that they live their life more the way you want them to. If you give them all the truthful information that they need, it might hurt their feelings, but at least they are in control, so they have the opportunity to act accoridng to their feelings or despite their feelings.
People being in power who don't deserve it is rather more than just a minority case, it is a major and widespread problem.
A politician who consistently needs to lie and withhold important information in order to keep their reputation isn't a good politician. Why would a politician with good intentions have something to hide? Why do they need to lie, rather than reword the truth?
This is only the case if you are not deserving of the power, what if you are? If we think of the realm of politics for example. Now we may have to accept that all candidates lie and distort information from each other. What if a truly good candidate, hard working and deserving of the role where to enter the scene. Should he tell the truth and get knocked out of the political ring altogether? Or knowing that he can make some positive influence on the country he is ready to rule, surely he would be better to distort the truth as much as the others in order to stay in the game. Without this, he would not be able to exert his positive applications.
What do you think?