Exercise 4.4

The biggest lie of all that we tell ourselves is that lying is not OK, at least according to a newly released poll.

Over half of respondents in a new Associate Press-Ipsos poll said lying is never justified. Yet in the same poll, up to two-thirds said it was OK to lie in certain situations, like protecting someone’s feelings.

“Not all lies are necessarily bad,” said Abby Garcia, 21, film major. ”Lying is fine as long as it doesn’t break the law or hurt anyone.” Garcia said.

Even though most of us believe that lying is never justified, but certain form of lies have become an act of kindness.

In a situation where you know the other person does not necessarily want the truth and is prompting for a certain answer that he or she wants to hear, then it is OK to tell the lie, Garcia said.

Some do not see white lies as deceit.

When asked about why so many people contradict themselves about their thoughts on lies, Hiram Carroll 20, film major, said, “White lies has become more of a self-preservation mechanism that has become almost something we do subconsciously without any thought or guilt.”

For Carroll, telling little white lies means the opportunity to avoid unnecessary conflicts and arguments.

For others, telling lie is the way to avoid the blame and shift responsibilities.
“Most of my lies have been about why I was late to work and class so I don’t get into trouble,” said Melissa Epps, 19, undecided.

According to the same poll, a third of respondents said it was OK to sometimes lie about being sick to take a day off work.
Though not everyone agrees that telling little white lies is a behavior that we should justify and make comfortable. Like the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, some believe that all lying is bad and should not be told at any cost.

“It’s best to tell the truth even if it hurts,” said Kenny Lee, 23, paralegal major.

In the AP-Ipsos poll, four in 10 people claimed that they’d never had to lie or cheat. But one in 10 of those people said in the very next answer that yes, they might have told a lie in the past week.

It can be hard to get people to face the truth sometimes. Especially about lying.


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