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Is Honesty Always The Best Policy?

1932 words - 8 pages

Aisha Islam
ENG 104-07
William Plummer
18 April 2014
Topic: Is honesty always the best policy?
Should one always speak the truth? Is telling the truth at all times the better option? Consider a person who is a. This person is likely to have a good reputation and be trusted by others. Furthermore, he or she will never be caught in a lie. On the other hand, consider both the act of lying and the person who lies. Lying is defined as “believing or thinking one thing and consciously expressing another” (Shibles). One lies by expressing something other than what he or she thinks or believes. Lies could be told for various reasons. The primary reason is to conceal the truth. A person might obscure the truth to maintain good relationship with others, to avoid hurting their feelings, and/or to protect innocents from harms such as tortures or death. Some other reasons are to hurt or fool someone, to be funny, or to develop some sort of reputation. If one lies and the lie is discovered, he or she could lose others’ trust and respect. Earning them back could be difficult or impossible because the people that the liar had deceived will be reluctant to trust him or her again. Therefore, for any of the above mentioned cases, except when protecting an innocent from harms, being honest is always the better option. Lying to save people from fates they do not rightly deserve, e.g. protecting an innocent person about to serve a jail sentence for a murder, is a noble and just reason to lie. The other reasons for lying are not as just or noble, so honesty is the better option.
Two of the reasons a person could lie include maintaining good relationships with others and not hurting their feelings. For instance, before leaving it is considered polite in the society to thank the hosts and hostesses of a party, business dinner, auction, or any other event that is taking place. Consider a party that none of the guests enjoyed because the famous live band booked for the event was stuck in a traffic jam and could not show up. The guests all decided to spend time by making small talks with each other. Meanwhile, the hosts of the party try their best to make sure all their guest are enjoying the party. Within two hours, they arrange for better, more expensive refreshments and manages to hire a well-reputed, personal favorite local street band to perform at the party. Now, it happens that the band specializes in piano rock music, which is the hosts’ favorite music genre but not the guests’. However, the guests decided to pretend they are having fun to please the hosts. At the end of the party, as the guests are thanking the hosts, one of the guests is asked whether they enjoyed it. Truthfully, these guests had been bored throughout the event but not wanting to severe their friendship reply that the party was great. Few days later, these people told some other guests that they were bored throughout the event. If the hosts discover that their “friend” did not enjoy...

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