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  1. #11
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    That's not what Kant or for that matter anyother moral philosopher states. Quite the contrary, you're obligated not to tell the murderer where he can find his intended victim.
    Kant holds that lying is wrong regardless of the circumstances (unless you think that lying is right under any circumstances). Therefore, he actually does say that one is obliged to tell the murderer where he can find his intended victims.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Kant holds that lying is wrong regardless of the circumstances (unless you think that lying is right under any circumstances). Therefore, he actually does say that one is obliged to tell the murderer where he can find his intended victims.
    But isn't this assuming that one has to pick between lying or telling the truth? Other options such as simply refusing to answer the question would be permissible wouldn't it - under Kantian ethics that is?

  3. #13
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Depends on what people call lying.. is hiding the truth lying as well? Or must you be 100% truthful at all times?

    I don't find lying inherently bad.. but I cannot help but notice it causes a lot of bad things as a result of it.

    Things I typically lie about:
    How cute someone's kid is.. some kids aren't cute. I'll never tell you which ones I don't find cute, though. Ever.
    My voice. Everyday of my life, pretty much. I don't much think about it now-a-days.
    My past. I don't like everyone in my business, so I'll make up stories as to how I got scars or things of that nature. I try to keep those stories consistent.
    My relationship status. This is done exclusively with strangers trying to hit on me.
    My personality. Typically at work, I force myself to be more people-friendly, less abrasive, and more... agreeable? I suppose. I work jobs that need a lot more patience than I typically have for people.. pretending helps a lot.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    But isn't this assuming that one has to pick between lying or telling the truth? Other options such as simply refusing to answer the question would be permissible wouldn't it - under Kantian ethics that is?
    Well, the thing is that the categorical imperative can be stretched, that is, you can formulate a maxime so rich in abstract detail that it applies to only one moment in time and space, making it much less categorical. But in the way in which Kant wanted it to be understood and used, you should approach it thus: If someone poses a question to me, should I answer it correctly, incorrectly, or not at all; and: supposing I choose 'not at all', do I really want that to be a universal law (for all people and all times), that everyone who poses a question to someone receives no answer? This is the moment were you would say: but why not put the murderer into the maxime. You are right: I, too, think it is reasonable to do that; but then you have to allow for further details to be introduced, which, of course, leads to the ultimate uselessness of the categorical imperative.

  5. #15
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    It all depends on the circumstances of the situation; who is lying about what, to who, what's the lie is about, the effects of the lie, why, etc. Sometimes lying is completely fair (no, you don't look fat), other times it's wrong (perveting the truth on a grand scale).

  6. #16
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    You are right: I, too, think it is reasonable to do that; but then you have to allow for further details to be introduced, which, of course, leads to the ultimate uselessness of the categorical imperative.
    Which is one reason why I think Natural Law provides a better basis for judging the ethics of this situation.


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  7. #17
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    Lying is a survival skill. Lying is more and more necessary pending on the situation, whether your life is in danger, or you're just working as an exotic dancer.

    On the other hand, actively lying to people whom you have real relationships with - friends, family, significant others - is always wrong, IMO.

    Unless your significant other is beating you and you need to get away.

    See how that works?

    Always telling the truth is stupid, but lying to people who you have genuine relationships with is totally destructive and immoral.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Which is one reason why I think Natural Law provides a better basis for judging the ethics of this situation.
    Do you really need a basis other than your own judgement?

  9. #19
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Do you really need a basis other than your own judgement?
    In order to avoid the impasse of ethical subjectivism, yes.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I think that people lie to themselves as much as they do to others, there's very few people who can cope successfully with totally unfiltered reality and I admire the people who more closely approximate that than anyone else, as to whether or not the truth will set you free, I doubt it, not by itself, there's plenty of people who're addicts who know about the impact their choices are having on themselves and others but carry on in the same unmitigately selfish and self-centred fashion, use all sorts of rationalisations to permit them to do so.

    A better question is whether or not honesty is the best policy, I would say in most instances it is, although like anything else is a good idea to be mindful and take a care when dispensing it, be sure that you're not kidding yourself or serving your own rationalisations or will be believed/dismissed as doing so.

    There's a principle of harm to be considered with this as with anything else.

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