Is it true what they say, will the truth set you free? Do you think it is necessary to lie, even if it may hurt you or someone else in the process? For many years, there has always been a debate on whether lying was necessary or not. We live in a world where no one wants to be lied to but at times we may lie to prevent ourselves from hurting others.
When we lie to protect someone, whether it’s their feelings or safety, essentially, we think we’re doing the right thing but according to Philosopher Kant, lying is always wrong no matter the circumstances. Looking deeper into Kant’s theory, he sees telling the truth as a duty and if you lie you’re responsible for all the consequences after that lie is told.
It’s easy to agree with a statement like that if it’s a white lie such as telling a friend that she doesn’t look fat in that dress to spare her feelings compared to telling a lie to save your life or someone else’s.
Kant’s whole theory was tested when he gave an example in response to his theory stating that lying to murderers is also wrong and if the murderer succeeds in killing their victim even after you lied then you’re still partially responsible. In my honest opinion, just throw the whole theory away at that point. Steering away from the idea that the murderer found its victim.
Say your lie worked and the victim’s life was saved then you did the right thing in your eyes and other people’s eyes regardless of what Kant theory states. Most of us were raised around the idea that we should always tell the truth. It is wrong to lie but as life goes on, we realize that sometimes it is, in fact, necessary to lie. Telling the truth all the time isn’t always the moral or ethical thing to do.
For example, if I see a woman with a black eye and she looks scared and later on a man approached me who looks angry with a bruised knuckle asking if I’ve seen her. Do I tell him the truth because that’s the “right” thing to do? or Do I lie to protect a woman against her abuser and potentially save her life? The choice seems so simple which it should be.
If I lie and it saves her life, then I will feel good about myself and my lying would be justified but if my lie didn’t work and he still had the opportunity to get a hold of her I honestly wouldn’t believe I’d be responsible. I did what I thought was right and it’s not my fault if it backfires. The results could’ve gone either way. To conclude, Kant’s theory is very flawed, and I do believe it is necessary to lie sometimes.
Whether its to protect the feelings of others around us or to protect the lives of others. Saying that lying is always wrong or its never necessary isn’t something I can agree with for the simple fact that there are so many possible scenarios out there where it is.
Lying to help someone is always seen as good by most regardless if most of us were raised to believe that “lying is wrong” or “honesty being the best policy”. The truth sometimes can be harmful to others and if you have a choice to prevent that harm then it’ll be seen as the right thing to do.