Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Art of Lying

As usual some days before my Missive comes out, I try to think of something to write about.  In this case, it was the art of lying.  Maybe you can guess why?  I put it into Google and sure enough up came an article from the Scientific American titled, “The Art of Lying”. “Lying has gotten a bad rap. In fact, it is among the most sophisticated accomplishments of the human mind. But how can one tell if a person is fibbing?”

From the same article, “Of course, not everyone agrees that some lying is necessary. Generations of thinkers have lined up against this perspective. The Ten Commandments admonish us to tell the truth. The Pentateuch is explicit: ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.’ Islam and Buddhism also condemn lying. For 18th-century philosopher Immanuel Kant, the lie was the ‘radical innate evil in human nature’ and was to be shunned even when it was a matter of life and death.” Here is a link to the entire article,

In a report for the BBC called “The Devious Art of Lying by Telling the Truth” Melissa Hogenboom addressed the interesting issue of the art of omission. She pointed out that we all lie, often as a kindness, such as “you look great” even if we don’t think so. “It is when individuals use lies to manipulate others or to purposely mislead that it is more worrying. And this happens more often than you might think.”.  Isn’t that why politicians lie.? Day one Bernie Sanders is going to legalize marijuana and shortly thereafter give us universal health care, Biden is going to bring this country together (Obama tried and look where that got us).  Unfortunately, the lies from our current president are dangerous to you and me by denying the reality of Covid-19 (initially another hoax) and then contradicting the advice of medical experts.

From The Week Magazine, website

Abraham Lincoln summed it up, "no man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar".  I know I don’t … do you? 

When Trump lied about the imminent danger posed by Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani saying he had plans to bomb embassies, he said it did not matter if he lied since Soleimani had committed so many atrocities.  Why did it matter … 

When you know people are lying to you, you learn not to trust them.  Reminds me of the old joke, “there is youth, middle age and you're looking good”.  After a while when people say the latter to you, you no longer give it credence.  If many other lies follow, you do not know what to believe so you ignore what you are being told. 

From The Week Magazine, website

It is something to think about.  Why do we accept lies of a certain type and from certain people?  We recognize soon enough if people lie as a rule, or occasionally to make us feel better or to get themselves out of trouble.  If someone lies to us regularly, at some point, we realize we are being misguided.  Evaluating the source of the information with which we are constantly bombarded is more important than ever.  In the present circumstance, misinformation could be lethal.