Exercise 4.4

Over half of the respondents in a recent study said lying is never justified, according to a new Associated Press-Ipsos poll taken on Oct. 8-10. While some claimed this, others said its ok to lie in certain situations, like protecting others feelings.

After talking to numerous De Anza students, it became clear that these ideas are fairly similar with them as well.

David Po, a computer science major, believes lying depends on the situation. “If you need to win friends and influence people, it’s necessary,” he said. “If you need to write sweet codes, then no.”

On the other hand, John Potter, a psychology major, believes that it depends on whom you’re lying to. “If you care about someone or know them on a deep personal level, you should be able to tell them the truth,” he said. “But white lies in everyday situations are fine.”

According to this poll, white lies are an acceptable, even necessary, part of many lives- even though most people dislike the idea of lying.

Isabelle Anderson, an English major, agrees that she prefers the truth in most situations, but finds everyday white lies to be harmless. “I would never lie to someone close to me,” she said. “In fact, I have trouble not telling the truth. But if it comes down to whether or not I’m going to hurt someone’s feelings, I’d prefer to not make them feel bad.”

Nearly two-thirds of those questioned said it was OK to lie to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, even though overall, 52 percent said lying was never justified.

Kathleen Murphey, a computer science major, said she prefers to always tell the truth, even if it’s a white lie. “I always try to be honest,” she said. “If someone asks me my opinion, I’ll tell them. The only time I may evade the truth is if I don’t think they really want my advice and I don’t want to hurt their feelings.”

Additionally, about four in ten people said it was OK to exaggerate a story in order to make it more interesting, and a third said it was OK to lie about their age.

Sophie Johnson, an art major, believes it’s perfectly fine to lie about her age because it’s not all that important. “I’m always 5 years younger with strangers,” she said.” “No one really needs to know.”


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