Lying is probably one of the most common wrong acts that we carry out. However, it is an unavoidable part of human nature. Most people would say that lying is always wrong, except when there's a good reason for it - which means that it's not always wrong! I disagree with this belief. From my understanding, it is not Okay to knowingly lie, no matter what. Always tell the truth.
Most people make up excuses all the time because it's easier than telling the truth which may be hurtful to the other person's feelings. For example, a friend wants me to go to an event with him but I'm not really interested to go with him. Instead of telling him the truth I'll make up something like I'm not feeling well or I have something else to do. Somehow I feel that it's going to be easier for him to hear that I’m not well rather than telling him that I don't want to hang out with him.
If you are concerned that somebody’s feelings are going to be hurt, based on what you say, just try and say it in as harmless way possible. Be aware in your own mind that what you are saying has no direct ill intent. Maybe explain before you say anything that you are not intending this to sound bad, or I am not wanting to hurt your feelings.
As the moral climate of our society has been deteriorating, lying has become a major problem. The business world is particularly plagued by this problem--men’s dishonesty with each other, meetings "forgotten", company theft, promises not kept, contracts broken, etc. Lawyers have increased in numbers over the last decade, mainly because of irresponsibility and broken contracts among men due to lying.
I would like to add that the Buddha would often refrain from answering a question. If he thought telling someone the truth would confuse them, or not lead them in the right way, he would refuse to answer their question. However, this in no way means you can tell a lie in order to avoid answering the question truthfully. Unfortunately, in...