No truth is black and white: In a new Associated Press Poll, over half the respondents said lying is not justified, however two-thirds of the same respondents said it was OK to lie in certain situations.
The findings of the poll were put forth to students of Deanza College.
“At least two times a day,” said Sara Hamilton, 20, when asked how often she lied. “There are just certain everyday situations where you have to, like for example if my parents ask me what I have been up to.”
Replying to the two-third respondents in the poll who said it was OK to lie to protect someone’s feelings, Hamilton said, “Yeah, if a friend asked me how she looked, I would lie to make her feel better.”
This is however not the case for Tim K., a former U.S Marine who is now a student of Deanza College. “People are just overly sensitive, they have to face it,” he said. “People need to know the truth, there’s no point in lying to them.”
But when faced with the question of protecting the feelings of his family by lying, Tim answered that he would. “Or, when it comes to the safety of a person,” he added.
Other findings on the poll showed that very few would admit to thinking it was OK to lie on one’s resume, cheat on taxes or lie to a spouse about an extra marital affair.
Reading in the De Anza Cafeteria, Dennis, a 56 year-old Californian, became hesitant when posed with these questions. “In general there should be truth,” Dennis said.
When the extra marital affair was directed at the spouse of a friend of his, he replied, “That depends how close he or she is, but I think I’ll just keep mum.”
Not all questions received hesitant replies like those of Dennis.
When interviewee Duyen Le, 19, was asked if there should be an absolute world of truth, she answered, “No! I got away from drink- driving awhile back because I lied, it would be terrible if I couldn’t lie.”
“That depends,” Tim said. “In fact, truth is relative. No one can dictate what truth is because when one’s belief and hope prevails, a truth becomes a lie.”