Analysis: Essays About Lying

1063 Words Jun 18th, 2018 5 Pages
Webster’s Dictionary defines a lie as an intentionally false statement. However, defining a simple three-letter word is not as easy as it seems on the surface. Upon reading or hearing the word lie, people are instantly associated with a general feeling of negativity. Lying generally creates feelings of dishonesty, untrustworthiness, deceit, and betrayal. However, lying is one of the oldest human social practices. Erin Bryant explains in her essay “Real Lies, White Lies, and Gray Lies” that even though lying has a derogatory label, it is a very common social behavior used by a majority of people on a daily basis. It has been a subject of scrutiny through the millennia by philosophers such as St. Augustine, Aristotle, and Plato. Can lies …show more content…
Greed and self-preservation usually assume precedence. Think of all the cases similar to O.J. Simpson’s, or more recently, the Penn State scandal. Those accused swore their innocence even in the face of obvious guilt. Gray addresses this aspect of lying as follows: “Here rest the domains, familiar to everyone, of being on the spot, of feeling guilty, of fearing reprimand, failure, or disgrace, and on the other side of the ledger, of wishing to seem more impressive to others than the bald facts allow.” This type of lying is used to make the liar seem better than they really are. It can be used to increase publicity, wealth, or interest for a relationship. Scenarios such as these have been laid out for the world to see time and time again. A man at the bar, hoping to spark interest in an unlucky lady, creates an alter-ego he uses in an attempt to impress her. The young lawyer pretends to have a vast successful case record in the attempt to gain a new client. The Chief Executive Officers of large corporations falsify documentation to entice stock owners to invest, all the while embezzling and taking the money as their own. There are countless examples of such cases: the Enron incident, Watergate scandal, S & L debacle, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, etc. The final category of lying is lying with the intent to harm others. This form of lying is the most sourly looked upon. Thankfully, it is also the rarest of

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