Moral absolutes? Lying, in this case.

Discuss the June 2015 book of the month, "The Message?" by Avam Hale.
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zeldas_lullaby
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Moral absolutes? Lying, in this case.

Post by zeldas_lullaby » 20 Jun 2015, 20:32

The author discusses moral absolutes in one of the philosophy class scenes. If I understand the concept correctly, it involves saying that something in particular is always right, or always wrong (depending). Such as, honesty is always right. Killing someone is always wrong.

But killing someone, for example... you can't say it's always wrong, because what about self-defense?

Let's start a discussion about lying. Do you all think it's always right, always wrong, or sometimes right or wrong, depending upon the individual circumstance? Do you have a definition of lying as being different from fibbing, stretching the truth, etc.?

There's this scene where the reporter asks Leah about her experience, and she says she doesn't want to teach her kids to lie. And she launches into her near-death experience, which the reporter clearly doesn't believe a word of.

I personally think that she could have been discreet and not shared the experience, but it wouldn't have morally corrupted her sons. It would have taught them that sometimes you don't share the whole story with just anyone.

Thoughts?

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Post by Narcissa13 » 21 Jun 2015, 05:06

I think this depends upon the reason for lying. The questions that immediately jump to mind are "Is this lie intended to hurt someone" and "Is this lie intended for selfish reasons". For instance I'd say lying to get out of trouble(in a non-life threatening or dangerous situation) is wrong, whereas telling your mother you forgot your drivers license and then running up to your room to hide her birthday gift from her ( I actually did this one) isn't in any way immoral. Morals are intended to be rules and guidelines to prevent people from hurting each other or being at each others throats. However circumstances play a large role in moral decision making. In the case of lying I'd say it depends on the situation.

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Post by zeldas_lullaby » 21 Jun 2015, 11:40

Wow, I love your answer! Especially the part about how you lied to your mom to run and hide her birthday present! :occasion-gift: Way to improvise!!

Yeah, I agree--in fact, you've made me realize that we have certain lies built into our culture. Like when you're leading someone to their surprise party--you have to lie!!

I guess that morality--right and wrong--can lie outside of the lies?

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Post by bookowlie » 22 Jun 2015, 10:44

zeldas_lullaby wrote:The author discusses moral absolutes in one of the philosophy class scenes. If I understand the concept correctly, it involves saying that something in particular is always right, or always wrong (depending). Such as, honesty is always right. Killing someone is always wrong.

But killing someone, for example... you can't say it's always wrong, because what about self-defense?

Let's start a discussion about lying. Do you all think it's always right, always wrong, or sometimes right or wrong, depending upon the individual circumstance? Do you have a definition of lying as being different from fibbing, stretching the truth, etc.?

There's this scene where the reporter asks Leah about her experience, and she says she doesn't want to teach her kids to lie. And she launches into her near-death experience, which the reporter clearly doesn't believe a word of.

I personally think that she could have been discreet and not shared the experience, but it wouldn't have morally corrupted her sons. It would have taught them that sometimes you don't share the whole story with just anyone.

Thoughts?
Good question. I agree with you regarding the scene where the reporter questions Leah. In that particular case, I think her children would have understood if she didn't shared her near-death experience. Also, if she didn't want to lie, she could have just told the reporter she didn't want to talk about her experience to the media.
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Post by literarycat » 25 Jun 2015, 11:10

Narcissa13 wrote:I think this depends upon the reason for lying. The questions that immediately jump to mind are "Is this lie intended to hurt someone" and "Is this lie intended for selfish reasons". For instance I'd say lying to get out of trouble(in a non-life threatening or dangerous situation) is wrong, whereas telling your mother you forgot your drivers license and then running up to your room to hide her birthday gift from her ( I actually did this one) isn't in any way immoral. Morals are intended to be rules and guidelines to prevent people from hurting each other or being at each others throats. However circumstances play a large role in moral decision making. In the case of lying I'd say it depends on the situation.

I completely agree with you. I don't think there are absolutes in everything. In the case of lying like Narcissa stated it is a questions of what is the intended purpose of the lie, is it to hurt someone, hide something, gain something. It is one thing to lie to your spouse saying you are going out with friends when you are going out with another person (as in cheating) but something else like you said saying your forgot a license to hide a gift. It wasn't intended to hurt her, but intended to surprise her with the gift.

When the reporter asks about her experience, Leah could have said she didn't want talk about it, or it was something too personal to discuss.
The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, some are strong at the broken points ~ Ernest Hemingway.

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Post by cgoss74 » 27 Jul 2015, 13:10

Actually, I took a Child Psychology class in college that said children learn to lie as a baby. A baby will cry when it is hungry, wet or needs his/her parent. However, after a certain period of time the baby learns that the crying is what gets the parent to come to him/her. The baby will then use this cry to get the parent to come to him/her when they do not have any of these basic needs thereby lying to get the parent to come to him/her. I found this fascinating, so do we teach our children to lie or is it a basic genetic makeup of being human that we lie?

The philosophy lessons of this book were just as fascinating as the religious ones.
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Post by zeldas_lullaby » 27 Jul 2015, 13:17

Wow, that's interesting, CGoss. I majored in psychology and find that sort of info fascinating as well!

My mom has been dealing with that with her puppy. The dog wakes her up in the middle of the night, pretending to need to go out. Then, she goes out and runs away to play. HA HA. So then last night, my mom wouldn't take her out, and she barked for ten minutes. (The dog, not my mom.) ;-)

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Post by Jausten11 » 28 Oct 2015, 09:16

Well I believe that defending yourself by killing would be acceptable. I imagine if someone broke into my home and threatened me or my child, I could shoot them with no doubt (mainly because I used to be a police officer and know what my response would be). It would be something on my mind of course because I took someones life. However just taking an innocent life? No I would live with such guilt for a reason. Because it is just morally wrong in so many ways.

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Post by Morgan_Malone » 17 Dec 2015, 01:16

I don't think lying is necessarily always wrong. However, I think that you can apply this point to most things. For example, you said killing isn't always wrong it could be self-defense. You could take stealing as an example too. If someone is say stealing food or money to support their family can we still consider stealing absolutely wrong? As for lying I think in most cases it is best to tell the truth, but we could consider a case where lying might hurt someone's feelings. In this case it may be better to just stick with a lie. Overall, I don't think there are absolutes to anything. You can't really say this thing is wrong or right all of the time because there will be situations where that's not true.
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Post by DarkestbeforeDawn » 17 Jan 2016, 19:32

I don't think that there are moral absolutes in the case of lying. Because a person really only lies when he/she is afraid. This could be fear of retribution, loss of respect, basically fear of a negative consequence. That being said, it is completely subjective to the priorities of that person and the moral spectrum of the judge. Lying and morality is a measurement used by humanity, and thus flawed.
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Post by Disneyland » 06 Oct 2018, 18:16

The female protagonist in the story, Lee Warner should have been quiet when asked about her experience with God in the situation when the reporter doesn't believe even a word of what she was saying.This wouldn't have hampered the inspiration of her kids but in fact would have been a model of action in their lives.Yes, the concept of duty and action is flexible.The attitude and response to truth is learnt and acquired with time, in life!

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