Sunday, April 5, 2009

Rule #43

Sometimes lying is the right thing to do.


  1. Hmmmmmmm...

    Any good examples?

  2. An easy example would be that if a girl asks how she looks, the answer is always good, regardless of the truth. But, there are less trivial situations where the rule still applies.

    For example, there are times as a pastor where the person I am trying to minister isn't quite ready or simply unwilling to hear the truth theologically. So, I tell them a half truth or let them keep believing the "lie" they already believe until they are ready for a more honest answer. I was thinking of the noble lie spoken of by Plato, although his view was a little too atheistic and pragmatic for my tastes:

  3. I wonder how many times a pastor has "nobly" lied to me.

    And not just any lies, but those that would "cause discord if uncovered."

    I'm still not completely convinced. In the first situation, I hope that you would tell her that she looks good not because of her physical appearance (whether it be good or bad), but because her beauty transcends such shallow standards.

  4. I wouldn't tell a noble lie in quite the same way that Plato explains it, but there are somethings you just can't tell some people, true or not. Take Open Theism, for example. Some people readily accept it, others don't, but aren't threatened by it, and others could potentially have their faith destroyed by it.

    If I had a congregant who came to me and earnestly asked me what I thought about God's knowledge of the future, and I was sure that they weren't ready to hear the truth, I wouldn't tell them I was an Open Theist, not because they didn't deserve the truth, but because the truth would be potentially harmful to them.