Thursday, June 30, 2011

Honesty thoughts

"No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar."  ~Abraham Lincoln

"It is not without good reason said, that he who has not a good memory should never take upon him the trade of lying."  
~Michel de Montaigne, translated

"The truth is the only thing worth having, and, in a civilized life, like ours, where so many risks are removed, facing it is almost the only courageous thing left to do."  ~E.V. Lucas

I like the Pinocchio concept.


  1. But does it count as regular old lying if a person has said it so long and so loud that s/he really begins to believe it IS the truth?? Is Truth always truth, or is "reality" subjective? ... Pain is inflicted either way, of course.

  2. To answer Jenn's question ... I once had a friend, in high school, who had told so many lies over the years that he could no longer distinguish lies from the truth. He would tell a lie when the truth would have served his purposes much better than the lie that he made up instead.

    I think his ability to understand reality had been so distorted and weakened by all the lies he had told, to himself and to others, that he completely lost confidence in his ability to understand the truth. So, he found it easier to make up a story as he went along because he could no longer grasp the whole truth himself or explain it to someone. By lying he could fool himself into believing that he was in control of the outcome of the story.

    Reality is not subjective. Sooner or later, it falls upon us with unremitting and unmerciful consequences for our choices. If we have made good choices, then we reap the good rewards that those kinds of choices bring. If we have made selfish, bad choices, then we reap the rewards (or punishments) that those choices bring. We can choose our actions . . . we cannot choose the consequences of our actions.

    Yes, sometimes we can escape the consequences for a while by telling ourselves or others additional lies, but in the end we cannot escape the consequences that grow out of our choices, no matter how much we lie to ourselves.

    Choosing the path that seems easiest in the short run, even though we know it is wrong, is the worst form of lying to ourselves. In the end, we will not be able to use the excuse that, "I lost touch with reality" because we consciously chose the path that led to our losing touch with reality. We can lie to ourselves and convince ourselves that we shouldn't have to endure the effects of reality, but in the end they will come crashing down upon us whether or not we think we deserve them or whether or not we think they are fair.

    "It's not fair!" will be no excuse in the end.


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