Monday, October 13, 2008
LIFE WITHOUT LYING
I was intrigued by an article in last Monday's Guardian (the G2 section) titled: Is it possible to live for a year without lying?
Not only does the experiment undertaken by Cathal Morrow appeal to my philosophical bent but his unorthodox way of going about it speaks to my deep-rooted DIY tendency. Unable to find a publisher for the book he is writing on his attempt to break the lie barrier, he put a synopsis of it on a social networking site, seeking backers who would finance him for a year's writing in return for half the profits of the book. It worked: a private equity company agreed. This makes me smile. I love to see rule-breaking schemes succeed and I certainly hope Cathal succeeds, both in truth-telling and selling his book. You can read a sample chapter here.
Inevitably, it makes you think about the lies you tell, why you tell them, and whether it would be morally preferable not to tell any lies at all, even little white ones. What do you think?
The really big bad liars tend to be people in high places, politicians for instance, and lying seems to go with those jobs the way uniforms go with being in the forces. But most people lie out of kindness, or out of cowardice, and often out of convenience. And then there's self-deception. Do we even know what the truth is in the conversations we have with ourselves inside our own heads?