Lying is something we all do, probably on a daily basis. We tell lies to our teachers: “Oh, I didn’t know we had homework.” We tell lies to our parents: “I totally studied for that test.” All in all, we lie a lot. When we were young, we are taught that it’s wrong, and we should never do it. But in the end even the most honest people end up lying. Even our parents that taught us not to lie have lied to us. So is lying even that bad?
Some psychology experts have actually said that lying and deception is essential to society. You know that one friend you don’t really like? Well, chances are they don’t really like you either. Many experiments have shown that up to fifty percent of people you think are your friends don’t actually like you.
In a friend group, people will tolerate those they don’t like because of the benefits of being friends or because they need to remain friends with this person to stay friends with someone they actually like. Additionally, it’s likely they tolerate those they don’t like so that the friend group can remain functioning; it’s the unsaid rule. Lying, in this sense, is keeping a friend group from falling apart. In a larger sense, lying keeps an entire society from falling apart.
This doesn’t mean lying about every detail in your life is a good idea and helpful to society. This means that sometimes white lies can be beneficial in keeping the calm between people. This way unnecessary disputes don’t take place and break apart the people within a group. To prove this, researchers from Mexico conducted a study about whether white lies were beneficial. They found that lying too much and complete honesty can both be damaging to any relationship.
The morals of lying, however, are tricky. Is it okay to lie if it’ll make someone happy? In a sense, yes. One situation we’ve probably all been in is the mother’s ugly dress. If you think it’s absolutely hideous, is it okay to lie and say, “That dress is gorgeous!”? These are all questions that even great philosophers don’t have shared answers to and are continuously debating. But, from what I’ve found, the best path towards these questions and the dilemma of honesty is to do what brings about the most happiness with the least amount of deception.
Lies are always going to be a part of our lives. While we’re in school, once we leave school and beyond, there’s no escaping it. Lying in itself isn’t bad but can be if it is abused. So go ahead and make that choice for yourself.