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Are there times when lying is more appropriate than telling the truth?


Lying is defined as an action of deliberately deceiving someone. It is often given a negative outlook. Children are taught that the practice of lying only causes harm and does no good. However do we practice what we preach? If someone tells you that ‘I never lie’ it’s a lie itself. So can lying be ever justified.

Scientific research shows that children start to lie since they are 4 months old. Babies often pretend to be hungry when what they really want is attention. It is proven that children learn to lie just like they learn to talk and write. Studies of psychologists have shown that lying has become a way for people to get around with life. People lie one fifth of the time when the converse for more than 10 minutes!



Considering situations like when a child comes across to you to show his latest artwork which he thinks is beyond the work of Picasso what would you do? Show him the hard reality or give him complements to encourage him. I personally believe that lying in such trivial cases is justified. With age I am sure that the child will get to know the reality and be able to accept it.

In an Indian epic known as Mahabharata once lord Krishna took the help of lying to support a greater cause. For a greater good lying was justified. Lord Krishna used deception to defeat evil and establish justice and order. Similarly it applies in today’s world. If your lie is a small bit which leads to the success of a greater cause it is a price that can be paid.

However, lying is the easy way around the problem. It is like a credit card but remember the dues must be paid later. It is never a good option to overuse it. Excessive use of lies leads to a debt too great to bear. A familiar story is summarized below which shows how lying can create problems:

The story is about a shepherd boy who likes to play pranks on villagers. He fools the villagers many times by telling that there is wolf on the hill. When they ran to save him they never found a wolf, they became angry with him. And then when the wolf really came, everyone ignored him Finally, the wolf attacked his sheep and also killed him. We can see how overusing lies lead to people not believing the shepherd and he had to pay the price.

We can deduce from the above discussion that lying is beneficial. However one must take care that the burden of lying should not exceed what one can take. Also a very important aspect that needs to be taken care of is that lying is addictive. Make sure you control your lies not that your lies control you.

Sayandeep Biswas (BIC)

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