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Deceptions Part 1 - Observations by a sixty-year-old

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There is much talk, I believe, about how we all surely "must" lie, in order to survive. And that it is simply a means to getting our needs met.

But what if those "needs" are for Luxuries? For our "Drugs-of-Choice"? And do "White Lies" all too often turn into "Black Lies", as the singer Stevie Wonder talked of, in his song "Skeletons"? (

Might the Meth addict who robs homes - or deceives - in order either to steal someone's Identity or their monies and other items, deem the Meth a "need", in that without a continued supply of this Meth, he or she might feel so utterly "stressed out" that they literally jump out of a window? To the burglarized, the act in question is deemed to be in the pursuit of "recreation": but for the addict, it might well be a matter of life or death - a matter of Self-Defense, thus: of THIER "way of life". So, just how are we to decide what is a "necessity"? A "valid"-to-all justifier of "Acting in Self-Defense"? And again, what constitutes a "necessity" vs a luxury or "comfort"?

In other words, is there a serious issue in that one treads upon a "Slippery Slope", once one begins to lie?

And why did Native American Indians claim that "White Man Speaks with Forked Tongue"?

And what about the concept, by Joseph Fletcher, in "Situation Ethics", that the Measure of what is acceptable, morally or whatever, has everything to do with doing what one deems to be "Loving" to others? Could such an approach soon play into the "service" of doing what is most comfortable in the short term - in other words, what is expedient? Might such be used as a rationalization to conduct even horrid terror acts, wherein perpetrators claim their acts were designed to be "Loving"?

One last thought, on "lying": I would personally make a DISTINCTION between "lying" - as being a TERM that implies a philosophical position of "Free Will", wherein we are deemed to have "CHOSEN" to deceive, and thus are perhaps "morally culpable" - morally "blamable"; whereas the term "deception" appears to me to accommodate the philosophical positions of either a Determinist or those believing in Free Will - such that, in the former position, a deception might be carried out, but not be "Chosen", and so not be morally culpable - not be morally blamable.

A couple of books I have found useful to look at, about lying, are:

"Lies, Lies, Lies: the Psychology of Deceit", by Charles V. Ford, M.D.;
"Lying and Deception in Everyday Life", Edited by Michael Lewis and Carolyn Saarni; and Lying", by Sam Harris.

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