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Self Deception In Engineering Ethics Essay

1847 words - 8 pages


People intuitively have the desire to make things go their way even when they are being put through very difficult situation that require doing something or believing in something that could be out of their hands. They tend to overly hold favorable views of their abilities in such ways that support their views to the extent of self-deception. They allow themselves to believe that a false feeling, idea, or situation is true just so they can achieve a certain goal that they have in mind. This paper aims to define self-deception and how it differs from lying in addition to finding the relationship between self-deception and ethics through real life examples.

What Is Self-Deception?

Numerous studies have found different interpretation for the definition of self-deception. Nonetheless, most of the findings of the studies indicate that self-deception could be defined as “the acquisition and maintenance of a belief (or, at least, the avowal of that belief) in the face of strong evidence to the contrary motivated by desires or emotions favoring the acquisition and retention of that belief” (Deweese-Boyd, 2012). In other words, people who are self-deceit mislead themselves into thinking or accepting certain circumstances that are invalid for the sake of accomplishing a certain goal or avoiding an unwanted outcome. They usually rely on unconscious motivations, intentions and emotions that play an important role in the process of misleading themselves. In order for someone to be considered self-deceit, he/she must hold contradictory beliefs and intentionally gets himself/ herself to hold a belief that he/she knows truly to be false.
Lying Vs. Self-Deception

According to Paul Ekman (1997), lies can be distinguished from other kinds of deceptions, including self-deception, through a certain criteria that liars tend to follow. Liars intentionally choose to mislead the people that they lie to. In some cases, they might actually tell the truth but only when it helps them misleading that people that they intend to lie to. When people choose to lie, they do not notify people of their true intentions, which is to mislead. Nonetheless, the targets might be notified when someone is lying to them under certain circumstances but choose not to not to react to the action out of respect.
Concealment and falsification are considered to be techniques of lying as long as the one who is being lied to does not expect concealment. Honest people expect others to reveal all information related to the topic that is being discusses and that is not the case of deliberate concealment without notification. Liars always prefer concealment to falsification in acceptable situations for many reasons. One of the most important reasons is that they do not need to remember that story that they made up to support their lies. Another important reason is that when people detect that they are being lied to, and liars are being put on the spot, “they can always claim that they...

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