Quick thoughts for the day.
I try not to lie. I try Very Hard. But my therapist brought the question of what constitutes a lie to my awareness today.
For instance, if I am listening to someone speak and though they are rather droll and boring I pretend to act interested and make a grocery list in my head all the while, am I lying?
When presented with the above question, I answered in the negative: I was not lying to the person I was listening to. But, was I?
Let us consider the definition of the term, “lie”:
1. A false statement made with the intention of deceiving
2. Anything misleading or of the nature of imposture
3. (with the) an accusation of lying
Intransitive verb (ly’ing; lied):
1. To make a false statement with the intention to deceive
2. To give a false impression
(Via The Chambers Dictionary App, found here: iTunes/ChambersDictionary
I asked my boss his opinion on the scenario and he also answered in the negative, stating that in his opinion, a person is not lying if they are not orally communicating something. Given the definition of the very term, though, I am going to say that I was wrong, and though entitled to his opinion, he is also wrong.
At the basis of a lie is deceit. If I am intent on deceiving someone, whether consciously or subconsciously, verbally or nonverbally, it is a lie, is it not?? I was at a business supper the other evening during which I found little to no value in the conversations held, but I listened intently, appearing interested. I was interested in analyzing the words, phrases, unspoken meanings, the interactions between various people, and the like, but I was not actually interested in the conversation itself.
So was I lying? Am I lying every time I listen to my coworker drone on about something I care nothing for? I came to the conclusion during the supper that I am not interested simply because there was nothing I deemed of any value, nothing that would help me grow as a person, or in my relationship with these people, or in my present employment. I thought it was pretty much all trivial and pointless and that I could not find a response to present because I am a deep thinker/philosopher and there was nothing I could really relate to.
I suppose if I would have tried a little harder I could have found something to share that ran along the lines of the conversations being held. I could have spent a little time trying to figure out something to share. Alas, it ran perpendicular to my worldview and therefore I found nothing in it, thus proving the theories I ran across in sociology class: that one’s worldview pervades one’s life in every way, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
But I digress.
So, what is lying? Morally? Ethically? Spiritually? I am asking your opinions, dear friends, because everyone thinks so differently that it is interesting to better understand what lying means to the individual.
I am a liar. Even though I try not to be. And I have thought of trying to be completely honest for a week, in deed, action, and word, but I don’t know if I could do it. What are your thoughts?