Mahābhārata, the great Indian epic, reveals through its illustrations that failure to recognise the value of truth lies not in uttering true words but rather in truth’s conduciveness to trustworthiness.
Both characters, Kauśika and Yudhiṣṭhira, have been untrustworthy: Yudhiṣṭhira, by omitting the full truth, and Kausika in valuing his own reputation for truthfulness above even the lives of innocents.
MORE IDEAS FROM When Is Telling The Truth No Better Than Lying?
Kant defines a lie as an “intentionally untruthful declaration”.
Kant identifies truthfulness as an utterance that accurately represents one’s thoughts (including one’s beliefs), regardless of whether those thoughts are themselves accurate.
Kant argues that lying is not permissible, but he allows for engaging in deception through careful word choice or evasion.
We think philosophy has a role to play in identifying and correcting the disconnect between perception and reality with regard to politicians’ trustworthiness. By providing a theory of lying and truthfulness that is sensitive to lived experience, philosophers can help people to avoid talking past one another, when discussing such important issues.
Rather than lying and truthfulness hinging on the impersonal logic of assertions and declarations, one should also attend to the broader context of the utterance.
Augustine (354-430) was one of the first to define a lie explicitly as the intent to deceive.
Augustine argues that lying is not permissible regardless of the circumstances that provoked the lie.
While body language cues can offer clues to deceptions, it is often not good enough. More accurate signals are:
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