Skip to comments.Is lying always wrong?
Posted on 08/18/2018 10:09:46 AM PDT by Salvation
The Bible and the Church never praise lying, even when there are good intentions behind the act Msgr. Charles Pope
Is lying always wrong?
Question: We are told not to lie, but the Bible says Rahab the prostitute lied to protect the Jewish spies. The Bible later praises her as being justified for doing this. Does Scripture praise lying, which is a sin? — Tamarah E. Jones, La Plata, Maryland
Answer: No. We should be careful to recall that the Bible records many things that are not praiseworthy. There are murders, rapes, theft, polygamy, adultery and the like. The mere reporting of these behaviors is not approval of them. In many cases, such behavior becomes an object lesson to illustrate what happens when such bad behavior ensues. In other cases, the sinful behavior simply goes unremarked. But silence is not the same as approval.
It is true that Rahab lied. Here is the account of it: “So the king of Jericho sent Rahab the order, ‘Bring out the men who have come to you and entered your house, for they have come to spy out the entire land.’ The woman had taken the two men and hidden them, so she said, ‘True, the men you speak of came to me, but I did not know where they came from. At dark, when it was time to close the gate, they left, and I do not know where they went’” (Jos 2:3-5).
The incident is simply recorded. And while the two Hebrew spies benefit from her lie and even promise her reward for her protection, there is no explicit praise in the text for the lie itself.
Later in the Scriptures there is praise of Rahab, but there is no mention of her lie, only her act of receiving the spies and sending them out by a protected way. Here are those texts: “By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish with the disobedient, for she had received the spies in peace” (Heb 11:31). “And in the same way was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route?” (Jas 2:25).
Hence we should be careful not to say that the Scriptures affirm lying in this matter. There is a care in the sacred text to focus the praise on her overall benevolence, not the lie. St. Augustine affirms this stance: “That therefore which was rewarded in them was, not [her] deceit, but [her] benevolence; benignity of mind, not iniquity of lying” (“To Consentius, Against Lying,” 32).
Monsignor Pope Ping for OSV column.
“Honey, does this dress make my butt look fat?”
The short answer is ‘No’.
Lying is not always wrong when done for the purposes of civil diplomacy or physical survival.
I had to learn that as a teenager, after being taught not to lie.
I’ve lost jobs because I refused to lie and my family has suffered as a result. I don’t know if what God thinks of that.
Crazy man with gun enters your home, say, “I’m here to kill your wife!”
Do you tell him, “upstairs, first door on the right.”
In some cultures it ok. So is stealing.
“Ah did not have sexual relations with that woman...”
“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor...”
I hate to lie. I usually would rather tell the truth. People that know me, know this, so I do not get bothered with silly q’s.
It would seem that lying is not objectively wrong in a matter where the truth is inconsequential. Even a criminal charge of perjury requires the person To make a willful misrepresentation about a fact that is actually relevant to the legal proceeding.
Yes, and lying can be avoided altogether, too...
Your Q: “Honey, does this dress make my ass look fat?”
My A: “Yes, but you can’t hide a pig in a hamster cage.”
I believe that the “holy” book of a certain religion actually condones it.
Now, for $0.0000000000001, guess the religion.
If the Roman Catholic truly believes it is a "mortal" sin they will keep their priest right by their side to "receive their forgiveness" as it is clear people lie all the time.
Social commonplaces can be understood in metaphoric, rather than literal terms. For example, “How are you?” (between strangers in the Post Office line) really means, “Initiation of ritual greeting,” and “I’m fine today. How are you?” means “Ritual response to greeting. Openness to additional exchange.”
“Isn’t my grandson beautiful?” means “Affirm my joy in being a grandparent.” It does not mean, “I want to know what you really think about how my grandson looks.”
Most people who have been normally socialized understand these things without being specifically told. Those with less-than-average social perception, like my Patrick, need to have the inputs and outputs codified for them.
A real set of instructions: “When a random adult at camp asks, ‘How do you like being on camp staff?’ you must give a positive response, such as ‘It’s okay,’ or ‘I’m having fun,’ because he is really saying, ‘I want affirmation that the staff have a positive attitude.’ If you have a real problem, find your supervisor and explain the problem. If you can’t explain the problem to your supervisor, ask him to call me.”
I used to lie for the government. It was codified in my job description, except they used a more palatable word than “lie.”
In the world of men, one sometimes can avert a greater evil through the preemptive commission of a smaller one.
No. The allies created all sorts of lies prior to the D-Day landing. And there are many cases when dealing with evil doers where lying, or deception is called for.
“Remember Jerry, if you believe it, it’s not a lie’.
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