We, as humans, are liars by nature. Shocking statement to make isn’t it? But if you step back for a moment and examine your own life, as well as those friends or family members closet to you, I think you might agree.
We lie for all sorts of reasons. Many times, it’s to spare someone else’s feelings. Sometimes it is for revenge over a perceived injustice to ourselves, it can also be due to a faulty memory of an incident in our life. But yes, we all lie.
A lie is an intentional misrepresentation. We see it all the time in our daily lives and have become so accustomed to it that we tend to ignore something that is blatantly untrue, sometimes even believing what we’re told without any specific attribution.
I know there’s going to be someone reading this that will claim they never lie. I think you just did, to yourself. We look at the word lie as something profoundly negative, that somehow it reflects on our character. Not necessarily so. As I mentioned, we sometimes lie to spare others feelings and that lie itself isn’t dispositive of our character in any way. It just shows that we have empathy for others.
When we lie to take revenge on another is when we cross the line. I think we’ve all seen this in our lives to one degree or other. Causing harm to a persons reputation because we think it’s in our best interest to do so, is not only damaging to that person, but also to the one making the lie.
We need t do a lot better at calling out obvious lies we hear not only from friends and colleagues that may cause harm to another person, but those also propagated through the media. As skeptics, we should always seek attribution for any statement made by anyone that seems just a little too convenient.
In this case, it’s not about sparing someone’s feelings, but calling out those that have an agenda that’s anything but the truth.