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havok579257

Are Little White Lies Sins?

  

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havok579257
I mean like when someone asks you if they look good or if they are fat or if they are good at their job? Is it a sin to lie or should we tell the person they don't look good or are fat?

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havok579257
[quote name='goldenchild17' post='1672931' date='Oct 8 2008, 08:05 PM']little white sins :ninja:[/quote]


So if someone asks you if they are fat, and you think they are, do you tell them they are fat?

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Autumn Dusk
Lying is a sin. However, mental reservation is not. If someone asks you if they look fat and they're your boss and they'll be pissed at you for the next few weeks and make your life he-- then you can tell them they don't look fat. Without telling that their expansive beer belly is nothing compared to the 590pound man you saw on Oprah.
But if your best friend asked you in confidence for an honest answer then you should do your best to answer. I had a friend who lost alot of weight, looked GREAT and gained some of it back (not too much). She was concerned she was fat. I told her that she did gain some weight back but it looked nice on her (kept her boobs big) and fit her frame. I could of told her no and I think that would of damaged our friendship.

If a skeezy man asked for your address and you said "I just moved, I forgot" even though you've been living in your house for a long while...its ok. You just moved your foot and you forgot why he needed to know.

Its a fine line. You are NEVER except under oath bound to tell the WHOLE truth. Thats what small children do until they learn about people's feelings and how what we say affects the well being of others. Our society is divided by those taught to be private (older people genrally) and those taught to give information freely.

And you "lie" without knowing it every time you turn on your computer. That is unless you've read the entire warentee, end user lisence agreement, update stipulations and terms&conditions of use.

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eagle_eye222001
Whole article can be found [url="http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09469a.htm"]here[/url].

I tried to post the relevant paragraphs although I would encourage readers to read the full article as it is not that long and is fairly interesting.

[i]Lying, as defined by St. Thomas Aquinas, is a statement at variance with the mind. This definition is more accurate than most others which are current. Thus a recent authority defines a lie as a false statement made with the intention of deceiving. But it is possible to lie without making a false statement and without any intention of deceiving. For if a man makes a statement which he thinks is false, but which in reality is true he certainly lies inasmuch as he intends to say what is false, and although a well-known liar may have no intention of deceiving others -- for he knows that no one believes a word he says -- yet if he speaks at variance with his mind he does not cease to lie.

Following St. Augustine and St. Thomas, Catholic divines and ethical writers commonly make a distinction between (1) injurious, or hurtful, (2) officious, and (3) jocose lies. Jocose lies are told for the purpose of affording amusement. Of course what is said merely and obviously in joke cannot be a lie: in order to have any malice in it, what is said must be naturally capable of deceiving others and must be said with the intention of saying what is false. [b]An officious, or white, lie is such that it does nobody any injury: it is a lie of excuse, or a lie told to benefit somebody.[/b] An injurious lie is one which does harm.

...
But if the common teaching of Catholic theology on this point be admitted, and we grant that lying is always wrong, it follows that we are never justified in telling a lie, for we may not do evil that good may come: the end does not justify the means.
...

Sometimes a statement receives a special meaning from use and custom, or from the special circumstances in which a man is placed, or from the mere fact that he holds a position of trust. When a man bids the servant say that he is not at home, common use enables any man of sense to interpret the phrase correctly...When a statesman, or a doctor, or a lawyer is asked impertinent questions about what he cannot make known without a breach of trust, he simply says, "I don't know", and the assertion is true, it receives the special meaning from the position of the speaker: "I have no communicable knowledge on the point." The same is true of anybody who has secrets to keep, and who is unwarrantably questioned about them. Prudent man only speak about what they should speak about, and what they say should be understood with that reservation. Catholic writers call statements like the foregoing mental reservations, and they qualify them as wide mental reservations in order to distinguish them from strict mental reservations...

...It is not lawful to use mental reservations without good reason. According to the common teaching of St. Thomas and other divines, the hurtful lie is a mortal sin, but merely [b]officious and jocose lies are of their own nature venial.[/b][/i]

So it appears that yes, white lies are venial sins. Although this article has more in it than I have posted. Edited by eagle_eye222001

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White Knight
[i][b]Lying is always sinful, rather its venial or mortal, it depends on the degree of the offensive, lying under oath in a court of law while bearing testimony for a murder trail, [size=4] is Mortal[/size].[/b][/i]

[i][b]Lying to about stealing a candybar in a store, [size=4]is venial[/size].[/b][/i]

So a White Lie to not hurt someones feelings, is still lying and sinful, it just may or may not be mortal, it may be venial, like I said it depends on the degree of the offense.

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cmotherofpirl
[quote name='White Knight' post='1673213' date='Oct 9 2008, 03:25 AM'][i][b]Lying is always sinful, rather its venial or mortal, it depends on the degree of the offensive, lying under oath in a court of law while bearing testimony for a murder trail, [size=4] is Mortal[/size].[/b][/i]

[i][b]Lying to about stealing a candybar in a store, [size=4]is venial[/size].[/b][/i]

So a White Lie to not hurt someones feelings, is still lying and sinful, it just may or may not be mortal, it may be venial, like I said it depends on the degree of the offense.[/quote]
Lying is lying. If someone asks you something that is
A] not their business
B] you are uncomfortable answering - ask them why they want to know.
Personal information is just that - personal -and shared because you want to, not because some busybody wants to know!
If your friend asks you if she is fat, ask her how she defines the word. If your boss asks you, try to be diplomatic, but do not lie. Usually if you put the question back on them and they have no legitimate reason, it flusters them and you can change the subject. :)
Most people, unless there is some pathology [ anorexia etc] know the truth about themselves and you do them no favors by helping in their deception. Honesty in a friend is a priceless comodity. But unless the person asking has a right to disclosure, it is simply not their business, so feel free to gently point that out.

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Bubblicious
[quote name='havok579257' post='1672929' date='Oct 8 2008, 07:58 PM']I mean like when someone asks you if they look good or if they are fat or if they are good at their job? Is it a sin to lie or should we tell the person they don't look good or are fat?[/quote]

In this specific instance, I say tell the truth, but you don't have to be mean about it. I have asked this question of people before, and I've always wanted the truth, and not a "feel good, I love you just the way you are" answer. We don't always see ourselves as we really look (sometimes we think we're huge, when we're actually not). Sometimes you really do need a second opinion on clothing choices. So gauge the people who ask you that question to see what they really want. You should be able to tell if they're looking for a warm fuzzie or if they want an honest opinion. If your boss is asking you, find another job, lol.

Assuming "shes" are the ones who ask this question the most...
(I've never been asked by a guy, lol)

If she wants an honest answer, the answer is no, and you're afraid of hurting her feelings, well, chances are she feels fat in it anyway, or the question wouldn't have been asked. So say something like, "I'm not sure if that works for your body type." or, "Honestly, yes, let's go find something that doesn't." or, return the question with a question, and ask her if she feels comfortable in it. She'll most likely say no, and then go back to her closet.

As far as white lies being a sin... depends on which one you're referring to:

white lie - a lie with good intentions

white lie - a lie about something trivial, or a lie for which there will be few consequences if you're caught

white lie -A white lie would cause no discord if it were uncovered, and offers some benefit to the liar, the hearer, or both. White lies are often used to avoid offense, such as telling someone that you think that their new outfit looks good, when you actually think that it is a horrible excuse for an outfit. In this case, the lie is told to avoid the harmful realistic implications of the truth. As a concept, it is largely defined by local custom and cannot be clearly separated from other lies with any authority. As such, the term may have differing meanings in different cultures. Lies which are harmless (but told for no reason) are generally called white lies. (thanks, Wiki)


My thoughts...

If you're reserving truth because the answer will be found out later (a surprise, for instance), then you're okay.

If you're reserving truth because you don't want to offend (in instances like the horrible outfit) there are other things you can say (It's not my style.).

If you tell a child that babies come from mommy's tummy. Not a lie, it's limited information that will be delved further as age or situation progresses.

Honesty is the best policy. (coagulated milk and all)

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eagle_eye222001
[quote name='Bubblicious' post='1673421' date='Oct 9 2008, 02:35 PM']In this specific instance, I say tell the truth, but you don't have to be mean about it. I have asked this question of people before, and I've always wanted the truth, and not a "feel good, I love you just the way you are" answer. We don't always see ourselves as we really look (sometimes we think we're huge, when we're actually not). Sometimes you really do need a second opinion on clothing choices. So gauge the people who ask you that question to see what they really want. You should be able to tell if they're looking for a warm fuzzie or if they want an honest opinion. If your boss is asking you, find another job, lol.

Assuming "shes" are the ones who ask this question the most...
(I've never been asked by a guy, lol)

If she wants an honest answer, the answer is no, and you're afraid of hurting her feelings, well, chances are she feels fat in it anyway, or the question wouldn't have been asked. So say something like, "I'm not sure if that works for your body type." or, "Honestly, yes, let's go find something that doesn't." or, return the question with a question, and ask her if she feels comfortable in it. She'll most likely say no, and then go back to her closet.

As far as white lies being a sin... depends on which one you're referring to:

white lie - a lie with good intentions

white lie - a lie about something trivial, or a lie for which there will be few consequences if you're caught

white lie -A white lie would cause no discord if it were uncovered, and offers some benefit to the liar, the hearer, or both. White lies are often used to avoid offense, such as telling someone that you think that their new outfit looks good, when you actually think that it is a horrible excuse for an outfit. In this case, the lie is told to avoid the harmful realistic implications of the truth. As a concept, it is largely defined by local custom and cannot be clearly separated from other lies with any authority. As such, the term may have differing meanings in different cultures. Lies which are harmless (but told for no reason) are generally called white lies. (thanks, Wiki)


My thoughts...

If you're reserving truth because the answer will be found out later (a surprise, for instance), then you're okay.

If you're reserving truth because you don't want to offend (in instances like the horrible outfit) there are other things you can say (It's not my style.).

If you tell a child that babies come from mommy's tummy. Not a lie, it's limited information that will be delved further as age or situation progresses.

Honesty is the best policy. (coagulated milk and all)[/quote]


Interesting comments, however note that you are using relativism in the idea that you can do whatever you want as long as the end result is good.

In a very brief summery, the Church teaches that means are not justifiable by an end result.

If I make it okay for myself to lie as long as a good result will come, then should I not be able to apply this elsewhere? Even to cases of a higher magnitude that may involve human life?

Can a white lie be truly harmless? Wiki seems to think so, but when you get to the core of the matter, there technically is some harm as lying is not the truth.

Would Jesus tell a white lie? :bigthink:


Although when kids do ask where babies come from, it is not really appropriate to biologically tell them.

Then you have the Santa Claus issue. I know some parents will not tell their kids about Santa as that would be lying...this is another whole thread.

Bottom line is that you should not tell white lies as you should instead find ways to bypass answering by either asking another question or saying a true statement.

I remember that when I asked my parents about where babies come from, I would get told something to the effect of "special hole in mommy." Children usually accept virtually any answer and would then move on to something else. The phrase used "special ..." is not lying at all.

As for the Santa issue, look for another thread as I will start one on this in the Debate section.

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Socrates
[quote name='eagle_eye222001' post='1673448' date='Oct 9 2008, 02:17 PM']Interesting comments, however note that you are using relativism in the idea that you can do whatever you want as long as the end result is good.

In a very brief summery, the Church teaches that means are not justifiable by an end result.[/quote]
Quite frankly, I don't see any relativism in Bubblicious' post, as you accuse her of. Nowhere does she say "you can do whatever you want as long as the end result is good."

Methinks you need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills before posting further.

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Bubblicious
[quote name='eagle_eye222001' post='1673448' date='Oct 9 2008, 03:17 PM']Interesting comments, however note that you are using relativism in the idea that you can do whatever you want as long as the end result is good.

In a very brief summery, the Church teaches that means are not justifiable by an end result.

If I make it okay for myself to lie as long as a good result will come, then should I not be able to apply this elsewhere? Even to cases of a higher magnitude that may involve human life?[/quote]

No way was I being relative! Can't stand that word. I never said it was okay to lie as long as a good result will come, in fact, 'I said honesty is the best policy' at the end of the thread.

[quote name='Socrates' post='1673672' date='Oct 9 2008, 09:51 PM']Quite frankly, I don't see any relativism in Bubblicious' post, as you accuse her of. Nowhere does she say "you can do whatever you want as long as the end result is good."

Methinks you need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills before posting further.[/quote]

Thanks, Soc.

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dairygirl4u2c
"thou shalt not bear false witness"

if you're going to be literal about it all, a lie is a lie, white or not.
i like the distinction eagle brought up, cause it seems most consistent within catholic theology. the ends don't justify the means, you can't blatantly lie. but, you can skew the truth or be deceptive without literally be lying. that would be properly a mental reservation.

even i say that you can blatantly lie in a few situations where the greater good would by far benefit, when thousands of lives are at stake etc.
the end does justify the means, sometimes, just not always or even usually. it's a matter of good judgment, and common sense.

"thou shalt not kill"
doesn't mean you can't kll in a just war or self defense.
just a rant, sort of related to the last point. ie, why would it be okay to kill someone in self defense, but not lie in self defense etc?
i'd bet the "you can never lie" thing just grew out of a misundertanding similar to "you can never kill" could as well.
common sense man, common sense. Edited by dairygirl4u2c

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JustJ
[quote name='Bubblicious' post='1673421' date='Oct 9 2008, 02:35 PM']In this specific instance, I say tell the truth, but you don't have to be mean about it. I have asked this question of people before, and I've always wanted the truth, and not a "feel good, I love you just the way you are" answer. We don't always see ourselves as we really look (sometimes we think we're huge, when we're actually not). Sometimes you really do need a second opinion on clothing choices. So gauge the people who ask you that question to see what they really want. You should be able to tell if they're looking for a warm fuzzie or if they want an honest opinion. If your boss is asking you, find another job, lol.

Assuming "shes" are the ones who ask this question the most...
(I've never been asked by a guy, lol)

If she wants an honest answer, the answer is no, and you're afraid of hurting her feelings, well, chances are she feels fat in it anyway, or the question wouldn't have been asked. So say something like, "I'm not sure if that works for your body type." or, "Honestly, yes, let's go find something that doesn't." or, return the question with a question, and ask her if she feels comfortable in it. She'll most likely say no, and then go back to her closet.

As far as white lies being a sin... depends on which one you're referring to:

white lie - a lie with good intentions

white lie - a lie about something trivial, or a lie for which there will be few consequences if you're caught

white lie -A white lie would cause no discord if it were uncovered, and offers some benefit to the liar, the hearer, or both. White lies are often used to avoid offense, such as telling someone that you think that their new outfit looks good, when you actually think that it is a horrible excuse for an outfit. In this case, the lie is told to avoid the harmful realistic implications of the truth. As a concept, it is largely defined by local custom and cannot be clearly separated from other lies with any authority. As such, the term may have differing meanings in different cultures. Lies which are harmless (but told for no reason) are generally called white lies. (thanks, Wiki)


My thoughts...

If you're reserving truth because the answer will be found out later (a surprise, for instance), then you're okay.

If you're reserving truth because you don't want to offend (in instances like the horrible outfit) there are other things you can say (It's not my style.).

If you tell a child that babies come from mommy's tummy. Not a lie, it's limited information that will be delved further as age or situation progresses.

Honesty is the best policy. (coagulated milk and all)[/quote]
And Santa Claus doesn't actually exist. Neither does the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy, or the boogeyman. God probably does not exist.

And yet children hear otherwise all the time. Of course, you usually don't believe you're lying when you tell your children about God, so it doesn't really count (the lie is the intent, not any factual errors). But telling your children about Santa Claus is a white lie, and that is a sin, though as it's not of a grave matter, the first requirement to be a mortal sin, you can pretty clearly tell it's venial.

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ardillacid
[quote name='JustJ' post='1676076' date='Oct 13 2008, 03:04 AM']God probably does not exist.[/quote]
Since we're talking about probability now, why don't you tell me how you calculated that? :smokey: :detective:

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