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Should We Always Tell the Truth

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Should We Always Tell the Truth

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Should we always tell the truth?

Telling the truth seems to be a rule that we have to follow in any circumstances. We learn not to lie during our childhood, and we try to follow that moral obligation during all our life. However, it is sometimes better not to tell the truth. In certain circumstances, it seems better to lie for reasons which maybe more or less legitimate. Hence should we always tell the truth? Or can we sometimes lie and stay morally irreproachable? Are there any circumstances where lying is legitimate?

When two people are together and one of them knows something which concerns in a direct way the other one, the first one has two possibilities: he can tell what he knows and be honest; or he can lie or stay quiet – lying by omission – and be in a certain way dishonest. The difficulties appear when the truth known by the first one may hurt the second. It that situation, shall the first one tell the truth? The truth is sometimes a fact which implies no consequences. For example, if I say “the weather is beautiful today”, there are no consequences. It is a fact and it is true. But in certain situations telling the truth causes problems; for example: a doctor who knows that his patient is going to die soon or a husband who cheats on his wife.

We have to tell the truth because it seems more respectful to people and it is how we can gain their confidence. But sometimes, it is hard to tell the truth because it may causes difficulties and pain and, in certain circumstances, it seems more comfortable to lie or to stay quiet. Of course, in some cases, it seems normal to lie: for example, not revealing information about someone which could lead to his death. In that case, lying tends to be a moral obligation because preserving someone’s life appears morally much more important than telling the truth. But in other cases, it is hardest to know if you have to tell the truth. For example, when you are friends with a couple and you know that the husband...