Is lying ever acceptable?


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Lying: to speak falsely or utter untruth knowingly as with the intent to deceive. In many ways lying is in every part of life. Whether it is lying out of love or out of hate, it can either burn bridges or build them. It can be someone’s greatest strength or worst fault. Nevertheless it is a part of every human being.

Lying can be as simple as stating casually, “I forgot,” “I will do it later” or “I’ll do it tomorrow.” However, it can also be done on a grand institutional scale. There is an old adage that describes this perfectly: All governments lie. We have seen that play out throughout history. Governments have also told many lies through the ages; the most notorious one being when the Nazis told lies about the Jewish population and other minority groups, which resulted in the murder of six million Jews and four million others such as Roma, LGBTQ and socialists. 

America also tells lies through its very efficient and slick propaganda machine. Propaganda initially was used to drum up volunteers for the army for WWI. All countries engaged in massive propaganda machines in order to convince young men to sign up to fight a war that had no real meaning, and it worked. Once WWI was over, the people spreading the propaganda went to Madison Ave and that became the advertising industry. Advertising can be seen as another set of lies to create insecurities in people and encourage them to buy stuff they do not need. 

However, lies can also be personal, and we all have lied at one point in our lives. Sometimes it is needed and done with good intentions. Lies can protect people. If someone asks you, “Does my outfit look okay?” The best thing to do is lie. People lie to one another out of love or respect, out of kindness and friendship. Therefore, lying is not always bad. In fact, it makes us human.

I lie to myself all the time. I am a notorious procrastinator. I tell myself that I do not have much work to do, or the really common one, “I’ll get to this later.” This lie plays out very badly in my life; it is a lie of self sabotage. The reality is that I put off my obligations, and I never get to them, letting myself and others down. All people who procrastinate take part in the lie of time. We tell ourselves we have time, but we know deep down it is a lie.  For example I’m writing this past the deadline but hey at least I’m getting it done.