You probably know deep down that lying is wrong, but can’t give a concrete reason why you shouldn’t lie if that lie gets your idea implemented. That’s why today we’re going to discuss why you should always tell the truth.
There is actually a very good reason why it’s unproductive to lie. It’s the same reason why China quashing protesters and ‘re-educating’ people is wrong, and the same reason why it’s wrong to snub speech, hide the truth, or use disinformation.
Here it is: If you are truly correct, you will be able to convince everyone of it without lies. This seems strange, particularly because it seems extraordinarily hard to convince 7 billion people of any one thing. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
So in order to test your ideas, you need to try convincing people that it would work. If you’ve ever tried to convince a friend to vote for a specific candidate, you’ve likely had a really hard time. If someone isn’t immediately convinced, or you find yourself stumbling, then both of you are lacking information.
That’s why when you argue with someone, it seems like you live in different worlds: you are both unaware of the full truth. Ok, so when you can’t convince someone that your ideas are correct, that means both of you are missing something. What now? Well, if you talk to each other, you can find out what the other person knows that you don’t, and vice versa.
Here’s where the problems usually come up: if one of you lies, then the conversation becomes unproductive. Consider this: if you win an argument by fabricating data, then what have you achieved? You’ve allowed an idea to skip proper analysis, which means your idea is likely rife with flaws. If that idea then gets implemented, you’ve then effectively sabotaged the very cause you were trying to help, simply because you lied where you should’ve looked for a better solution.
If you are truly correct, you will be able to convince everyone of it without lies. So why do people lie? It’s because they think their ideas won’t be properly looked at by the people in power, or because they think other people are irrational. Of course people aren’t irrational, everyone has a reason for what they believe. Like I said before, if you think someone is irrational, at least one of you is lacking information, so it’s productive to talk!
But when someone thinks their ideas won’t be properly looked at by the people in power, they’re actually right, sort of. Can you guess why? It’s because the people in power think that their ideas, which they believe are correct, won’t get through if they allow other ideas to be addressed. This thinking is flawed. After all, if your idea is truly correct, you’ll be able to convince everyone of it without lies. Still, a case might happen where someone lies about their idea and causes others to lose out, so an inferior idea gets implemented. In fact, these cases happen all the time. It’s why current iterations of democracy fail to get things done. However, the more people tell the truth and talk to one another about their ideas, the more reliable the system gets. One person lying does not destroy the system on its own, so there is hope for democratic systems to improve.
I hope I didn’t go on for too long there; there’s a lot more to talk about, but I think I covered enough for you to understand my point. Here are the important things to remember: Lying does not help you. If you are truly correct, you will be able to convince everyone of it without lies.