?KARA BUTLER ENG-1104 – SUMMER 2010 MAY 27TH, 2010 How is Lying Beneficial? Lying is a crucial component of everyday life. Like it or not, lying is always going to be a part of life. The definition of lying is a known untruth expressed as a truth. A lie is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive others, often with the further intention to maintain a secret or reputation, protect someone’s feelings or to avoid a punishment or repercussion for one’s actions.
Lying can remove unwanted attention, can get you out of a bad predicament, make people feel better about themselves, and can help people even though it might cause you a little harm. Few people care to consider the positive impacts lying has on our lives, as a result, lying has a negative image. This essay is to show how lying can sometimes be useful, beneficial, and acceptable. Most people look at lying in a negative perspective and do not realize the good in it. According to Julian Keenan, there are some good reasons that allegedly go back five million years.
He asserted: Lying has played a key role in our evolution, in making humans, human. It’s one of the most amazing, sophisticated, advanced cognitive abilities we have. All evidence indicates that we are genetically programmed to lie. The liar has such an advantage over you. So the gene is passed on (2004). Keenan said that lying is to be genetically programmed into our minds and it is not able to be helped. Lying is a lesson learned early, nearly 95% of children lie and they start the practice at the early age of two.
According to Keenan, lying is a beneficial product of evolution—it helps give humans more control. Lying can be a big help in removing unwanted attention. For instance, say someone was giving a speech in an enormous room crowded with hundreds of people and they accidentally got their words mixed up. If someone would scream as loud as the possibly could and yelled that there was a humongus black rat in the room, when there honestly was not, all the attention would be on the person screaming and noone would even think about the words the person just previously mixed up.
This would take an immense amount of pressure and grief away from the discombobulated person. If you are stuck in a bad predicament, lying is an easy way to get out of the bad situation. Of course you’re going to lie to get yourself out of being stuck between a rock and a hard place. For example, if you were sixteen years old and young and naieve again, you might tell your parents you are going to a friend’s house to work on homework for a few hours so you can go to that movie you had been dying to see.
Eventually, your parents are, more than likely, going to find out that you lied to them. You, then, would tell them that you thought they knew that the movie was part of the homework. After all that lying, you and your parents would have rationalized the situation and you wouldn’t be in trouble anymore. Sometimes, it is acceptable to lie if you are making someone feel better about themself. The following is a good example: If a teenage girl goes to get her hair done at a beauty salon for a prom, homecoming dance, or formal, she is going to want it to look spectacular.
Say, for instance, the beauty salon cuts too many inches of the hair off and the outcome of the design turns out horrible, lying and saying the updo looks great, might be a good thing. If you tell the teenage girl that her hair is hideous, it might ruin her night and maybe even days to come. This type of lying could benefit a lot of happiness, even if it is just for one night. I’d like to demonstrate a form of lying that can cause harm and also still be acceptable. The lie of personal inconvenience.
An example of this form of lying would be telling someone that doing them a favor will cause you no trouble. Personally, I have done this several times. Such as, there was a time when my neighbor had to take her two children out into the piercing, cold snow storm. She was running extremely low on gas and did not know if she was going to be able to make it to the gas station. I, then, asked her if she needed a ride down to the store to get gas, but she didn’t have any money.
Thus, I gave her my last ten dollars and gave her a ride to the store. Even though I hated the horrible stench of the gas can behind my seat and I didn’t have anymore money for the next couple of days, I still told her I had enough money and didn’t mind doing her the favor. Lying is typically used to refer to deceptions in oral or written communication. Other forms of deception, such as disguises, or forgeries, are usually not considered lies, though the general intent may be the same. However, even a true statement can be used to deceive.
In this situation, it is the intent of being overall untruthful rather than the truthfulness of any individual statement that is considered the lie. The Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible both contain statements that God cannot lie (Num 23:19, Ps 89:35, Hab. 2:3, Heb 6:13–18). However, examples of God lying can be found in both testaments (2 Thes 2:11, 1 Kings 22:23, Ezek. 14:9). Other passages feature exchanges where lying seems to be conditionally promoted. (However some Christians would argue that lying is never promoted, but that even those who are righteous in God’s eyes sin sometimes. Old Testament accounts of lying include: Rahab lied to the king of Jericho about hiding the Hebrew spies (Joshua 2:4–5) and was not killed with those who were disobedient because of her faith (Hebrews 11:31), Delilah repeatedly accused Samson of lying to her (Jg. 16:10, 13) as she interrogated him about the source of his strength, and Abraham instructs his wife, Sarah, to lie to the Egyptians and say that she is his sister (Gen 12:10), which leads to the Lord punishing the Egyptians (Gen 12:17–19)
In conclusion, lies are very common in the world today and have been very common for centuries. As seen, there are many reasons why lying is beneficial and acceptable. Indeed, many things that aren’t typically considered to be lies actually are. There are many different forms of lying; Such as, bluffing, barefaced lying, contextual lying, emergency lying, exaggerating, fabricating, lying by obsolete signage, lying by omission, lying in trade, lying through your teeth, misleading/dissembling, perjury, puffery, and white lying.
Even though lying is bad, usually, it can be used for good purposes. Lying can remove unwanted attention, can get you out of a bad predicament, make people feel better about themselves, and can even help people even though it might cause you a little harm. Ask yourself, how many times do you lie a day? And how many times are those lies for good purposes? You will then realize the acceptability, beneficial advantages, and usefulness of this critical component.