Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thou Shall Not Lie

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. This is the eighth commandment in the Catholic Lutheran and the ninth commandment in the Orthodox Church. This commandment is telling us (or at least the believers) to not to tell a lie all the time. Sounds good right? Christians also believe that whoever disobeys this rule is considered as sinful and immoral. Thus any one who will disobey this rule (and the others) will suffer eternal damnation.

When I first thought of this, I said to myself "Well this commandment is a good moral standard". But after more deeper pondering and reading, I noticed that this commandment and as well as the other commandments is not that flexible and good. Is it really good to tell the truth all the time? Christians here would answer yes for they know that that is the commandment of their God. They are also aware that if they will disobey this commandment, they will suffer eternal damnation. But telling the truth all the time is not really a good idea. There are instances/situations wherein one should lie in order to improve his/her situation or other's (or in order to expect a better outcome). Example, what if a killer is chasing someone innocent, say a child, and that child hides in your house. Then the killer asked you if you saw the child. Would you tell where the child is (the truth) or would you tell that you don't know (lie)? Well I (hope) know you know what to do.

But what do you think would happen if a Christian would follow Commandment number 9 at that situation? What if a Christian would base his/her action/s on the said commandment? So its either the Christian would follow the commandment or could lie and suffer eternal hell. As you can see, their Commandments are not flexible (unchanging). And that is the problem there. Christians are claiming that they have a good basis of morals (Bible) but as you can see above, their basis is not that good or flawed. Christians (the way I see it) just blindly believe in these commandments not knowing that following them could cause more damage (in some situations/instances) instead of lessening it.

All in all, morality should not be based merely on ancient texts and fear. The way I see it, morality should be based on society in general. One should base what is right on what we see as beneficial to the public or the other party involved and what is wrong should be based on what can be harmful to others (both emotionally and physically).


jong said...

"Christians (the way I see it) just blindly believe in these commandments not knowing that following them could cause more damage (in some situations/instances) instead of lessening it."

When you said that statement above, do you mean ALL Christians or SOME Christians?

Discreet Infidel said...

Not all. But majority that I know. This also applies to Islam.

innerminds said...

Okay, no further questions Your Honor. :)

Discreet Infidel said...

Okay, next witness please.

BarnStormer said...

What if you lie to make somebody else feel better?

Person A: Does this hat make me look stupid?

Person B: No, of course NOT! [<- A Lie]

innerminds said...

Then the lie becomes even more unjustified, because you let someone who trusted your fashion sense walk around feeling good but looking stupid. :)

Discreet Infidel said...

Truth hurts but lies are worse.

Maybe one should evaluate first if lying or not (on the situation) could be beneficial to the parties involve. Person B must choose the option that would result to less damage.

Anonymous said...

The original poster brings up a great point. "You will not lie..." is a commandment in our Christian beliefs, however when the lie goes against the word of God, in the awesome example given of a murder chasing an innocent child, then not telling the truth is completely acceptable. This is so because to not protect the innocent child, would be to agree with the killer, who is breaking the "you will not kill" commandment, thus going against the word of God.

Discreet Infidel said...

But you basically disobey your God's commandments to not to lie and clearly contradicts the word of your God. So why is it not written in your commandments that it is ok to lie as long as it also follows other commandments?

it is written also in your bible to "obey your parents in the lord for this is right", what if your parents are criminals? or rapists? or bad?
or what if your God would permit killing homosexuals, unfaithful, people who works in the Sabbath Day? would you kill them?

you see, the commandments of your (omniscient and perfect and loving) God is not that flexible (and good). he couldve written it more clearly and more eh, perfect/better.

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