The dictionary defines a lie as an intentionally false statement.
Arguably, being lied to is the worst act of treason. But what raises more than one eyebrow in a general and rather naïve audience is how some fail to realize they are being lied to or choose deliberately to accept being misled.
I dug into my bag of trivia and other useless intelligentsia tricks leftover from college and I pulled the Latin dictum "Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur”. If you take the saying seriously, the fact that the world needs to be lied to becomes rooted in antiquity, no?
It has also been said that if you take away a man’s ability to lie you take away his ability to choose. Think about that for a second.
Lies made or destroyed presidents. Most times while offering cheap entertainment to the masses .Lies destroyed or maintained marriages; triggered wars or avoided them.
The consequences of lies therefore can be benign or malignant and the made up topic of a lie has given rise to the "Science of lying” with the truth, paradoxically the prototype for a good lie ...
Some lies make disasters occur, while others do no harm.
People lie to get something they do not have, to escape a punishment, to protect others feelings, to get out of a mess, to hide things, to make others happy, or even themselves, to sweeten a story or simply to amuse themselves or a crowd.
So, is there anyone out there free of lying?
I know people who lie to themselves, some who lie to others, and in the end everyone potentially lies
Some even consider lies the glue that keeps society together, as reassuring and comforting to humans as the purring is to felines.
In, Virginia, as part of a social experiment designed to unravel how often people lie, a total of 147 students and local residents were instructed to keep a lie diary for 7 days. They were to report each and every lie. The only exception was the classic greeting case in which someone asks “how are you” and the unchallenged answer is always "Well, thank you.” Although a lie most times , the answer is too banal thus not deserving to be quantified ... After the lies were registered and counted in the surprise came from the well intended , so called sincere lies .It turns out people lie, on average, once or twice a day. People lie in one out of the 3 or 4 social meetings they encounter routinely.
So we lie to at least one of three or four people we meet daily, it turns out.
Of course, not all lies are created equal.
First, we lie to protect ourselves from disgrace or disapproval. This type of lie is used by everyone. "I misled people, including my wife. I was influenced by several factors. First, I was ashamed of my behavior. "(Bill Clinton, former President of USA).
The ex-president did not try to say, for example, that he did it because he was a good person and because he tried to protect his family. He chose shame, or rather avoidance of it.
Second, we lie to create a good impression in front of others. For example, when we begin a relationship and are worried about our power to impress our mate, in trying to look more attractive, more interesting we resort to lying. Lie about age, weight, or everyday life. As Shakespeare brilliantly put it in a sonnet:
"Therefore I'll lie with love, and love with me,
Since that our faults in love thus smother'd be. "
Thirdly, we lie to gain an advantage or to escape a penalty. When most people commit a crime, they will do anything to escape punishment. Who can forget the Susan Smith’s story? Crying she said:
"I cannot sleep. I cannot eat. I think of of them. "
In this case, lying is a desperate act to avoid punishment for a horrible deed.
Another important category of lies are those "humane" ones, precisely when we lie to make someone feel good. A lie that would make someone’s life while undergoing chemotherapy look a little better than the heartbreaking truth. These kind of lies are the hardest to criticize.
A quarter of the amount of lies told in the world are feel good lies. Another quarter is made off by so-called innocent lies. These lies told every day are meant to boost our confidence and tickle our vanity bone. Seriously, now, between you me and the internet, who is the hero to answer yes when, cornered with the question “Do I look fat in this dress?”
Lying becomes a disputed fundamental point many times. When closely analyzed it sheds light on the thinking process, tasks handling, and the dynamic of the extra step taken into lying by anybody. It seems this step is learned very early in the course of our lives.
Psychologists have established that around 3-4 years of age, a child becomes aware of the presence of others. That is why children bring things and show them to any audience. To lie, a child needs two skills: to understand his interlocutor's mind and to control over his own behavior for his lie not to be discovered.
As we become adults, the potential success of our lies resides in our intellectual capacity, in the brain alchemy controlling all our capabilities of handling misinformation.
As liars become very talented, their prefrontal cortex develops very well. They acquire the ability of scrutinizing the audience’s response and if needed, of changing their story to accommodate the general anticipation. It is very difficult to know who is a liar and who is not. It has been believed that less than 5% of the population can detect a liar. The rest belongs to chance.
Let us assume that part of the evolution of the human brain is the result of the internal cerebral struggle between fraud as a concept and our ability of detecting and dealing with deception. It becomes truly an advantage to possess not only the talent of lying, but realizing when others lie as well. Fact is, sophisticated liars require sophisticated methods of identification.
We consume so much energy and resources to catch liars, to mock them, to revel in the fact that someone out there is worse than we are, and in the process, we forget to live by example. Alongside any lie detectors we invent in the future, or any other sophisticated mechanisms for detecting lies we will have to stay focused on the plain moral teaching of lying being wrong.