04 August 2005

Pants on fire

I recently finished reading Telling Lies: Clues to deceit in the marketplace, politics, and marriage by Paul Ekman, and I admit feeling some vindication.
There are two primary ways to lie: to conceal and to falsify. In concealing, the liar withholds some information without actually saying anything untrue. (p.28)
Sound familiar? Yup, a lie of omission is still a lie. Not convinced? Try this:
In my definition of a lie or deceit, then, one person intends to mislead another, doing so deliberately, without prior notification of this purpose, and without having been explicitly asked to do so by the target. (p.28)
The prior notification and explicit asking apply to things like playing poker, negotiating to buy a car, or watching actors perform. I concede that sometimes there are good reasons to lie (e.g. admitting a rescue mission is underway in enemy territory would jeopardize lives), but when it's over and the truth comes out, let's not deny having lied.

As for all the other lies, I think I'd feel a little better if the liar, having been caught or having confessed, wouldn't try to pin the fault on me.

But you never asked...

Oh please. Suck it up and admit you lied (omitted) because it was advantageous to you so I won't be distracted from kicking your ass to the curb.

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