When is Lying OK? Rejecting All Lies: Immanuel Kant by Sissela Bok

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Lying is an issue that has been debated on for a long time. Some people believe that lying is sometimes ok in certain circumstances. Some people believe lying is always acceptable. In contrast, some believe lying is always bad. Keeping all other’s opinions in mind, I believe that lying is a deficient way of solving problems and is a bad thing. I claim that only certain situations allow the usage of lies and that otherwise, lying is bad. Dishonesty is bad because it makes it harder to serve justice, harms the liar individually, and messes up records. Furthermore, it should only be said to protect someone from grave danger.

The article “Rejecting All Lies: Immanuel Kant by Sissela Bok also presents the same argument. Sissela Bok presents the ideas and viewpoints of Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher. Kant believed that lying was bad and that “truthfulness is statements which cannot be avoided is the formal duty of an individual to everyone, however great may be the disadvantage.” He believed lying was always bad no matter the situation. Kant said that lying “vitiates the source of law,” or makes the source of law weaker. Our whole purpose of the government is to serve justice and if everyone is lying in court, it gets harder to serve justice. The purpose of the government would not be fulfilled if people lie. According to Kant, lying also “harms the liar himself, by destroying his human dignity and making him more worthless even than a small thing.” Kant says lying makes the liar lose his or her pride and honor. And I think it probably makes the liar feel bad and makes them feel guilty. In the article “Teens Do their Share of Lying” by Loretta Ragsdell, a quote from Sabrina, a college freshman, takes about how she lied...

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... I think that was one of those rare situations that made it OK to lie.

With different views on when it is OK to lie, the people continue to debate. But personally, I respect Kant’s views on the idea that lying is bad. Lying weakens the purpose to serve justice, destroys the liars’s dignity, and messes up the records. But I think that rare situations justify lies. I believe lies to save someone's life or just to protect someone from a big danger is the only type of lie that is justified. Those situations are the only times I think it is OK to lie. It might seem that lying to get yourself out of trouble is a situation that makes the lie justified. But I think that is a selfish reason for your own good and that people are thinking less about the society and more about their own good. Lying to get out of trouble is one of those many lies that are not justified.
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