When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Cittasanto
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by Cittasanto »

manas wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:When you're tired and need a rest, its OK to lie. :zzz:
:anjali: :anjali: :anjali:

to speak that which is not true? never, unless it is unwittingly done. i.e. when you do not know or accidentally say something incorrect.
Hi cittasanto,

I can think of a few other instances, for example if one's life or another's is at stake. I agree that lying is an awful practice, but if it could save a life, or save someone from torture, or some other horrible situation...in those particular instances, as a temporary measure, why not?

If some brutal government had high voltage wires strapped over sensitive parts of my body, and if lying could end the agony, I would lie - so long as my lying did not endanger the lives or wellbeing of others, that is. Otherwise, I hope I'd be able to endure it. But can you see my point? It's so easy, from our current state of comfort, to condemn all lying, in all circumstances...

:anjali:
it could easily be argued that the Buddha did not have our level of comfort, nor did his disciples.

it is easy to come up with scenarios where it would be appropriate to lie, but the simple truth of the matter is we don't know what we would do, or how effective it would be.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill
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Cittasanto
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by Cittasanto »

whynotme wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:When you're tired and need a rest, its OK to lie. :zzz:
:anjali: :anjali: :anjali:

to speak that which is not true? never, unless it is unwittingly done. i.e. when you do not know or accidentally say something incorrect.
lol, he meant lying down to get a nap

Regards
I know what bhante meant.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill
barcsimalsi
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by barcsimalsi »

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Barcsimalsi,
barcsimalsi wrote:Precepts is just a mindful guidance.
Basic Buddhism "Good action is the action that benefits one self and others".
I always squashed mosquito without feeling any remorse because it makes my life easier at the same time wishing the dead mosquito to take a better rebirth.
Is this the "self" and the "I" that the precepts, and other practices such as dana and reverence, help us to drop? :thinking:

:anjali:
Mike
Hi Mike,

Thanks for reminding me about the self-annihilation. What will i do is always inspire by what will i get, it's just too hard to go against the natural tendency of my mind and pretend not to see the self.
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Caraka
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by Caraka »

Ethical issues are not so easy, like always telling the truth. Bottom pitt, there is no need to be stupid. E.g. telling a truth that leads to damage of other beings.
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Cittasanto
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by Cittasanto »

Caraka wrote:Ethical issues are not so easy, like always telling the truth. Bottom pitt, there is no need to be stupid. E.g. telling a truth that leads to damage of other beings.
there is telling a deliberate lie and being non-discerning. just because you only speak that which is true doesn't mean you say everything at all times. picking the right time is a big part of being truthful.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill
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waimengwan
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by waimengwan »

I like what Confucius said about lying he said 'If you are under duress it is ok to lie' in the context if someone would kill you for not agreeing with them it might be alright to lie.

If a lie saves someone or a sentient being lie :), like if the hunter ask where did the deer go?
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Caraka
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by Caraka »

there is telling a deliberate lie and being non-discerning. just because you only speak that which is true doesn't mean you say everything at all times. picking the right time is a big part of being truthful.
This reminds me of a old saying my grandmother told me about. 'Talking is silver, but silence is gold' :tongue:
Buckwheat
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by Buckwheat »

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Lying always has a kammic consequence. You may not understand the magnitude of that consequence, so any lie under any conditions is very risky behavior. The Buddha stressed repeatedly that lying has very serious kammic consequences. The Buddha did not lie to save lives, to tell jokes, or as a "teacheing tool". He never condoned lying in any form (that I know of), so why does one think they know better than the Buddha?

I lie. Unfortunately, I do. It happens. I slip up and out pops a little lie. Sometimes out of jest. Sometimes to avoid an uncomfortable situation. But let us at least be honest with ourselves that there will be a kammic consequence, the Buddha was very straightforward in his advice on lying, and it is an unwholesome activity that the wise do not perform.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Cittasanto
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by Cittasanto »

Seeing the two sides here shows (unlike what I have said before) that the fifth precept is not the only one people can take as optional.

we can unintentionally tell a lie out of a lack of thinking, but that is hardly the same as being deliberately misleading.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill
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mikenz66
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Barcsimalsi,
barcsimalsi wrote: Thanks for reminding me about the self-annihilation. What will i do is always inspire by what will i get, it's just too hard to go against the natural tendency of my mind and pretend not to see the self.
I don't think it's a matter of "self-annihilation" or "pretend not to see the self". As I understand it, it's a matter of seeing through concepts such as self.

:anjali:
Mike
whynotme
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by whynotme »

Buckwheat wrote:If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Lying always has a kammic consequence. You may not understand the magnitude of that consequence, so any lie under any conditions is very risky behavior. The Buddha stressed repeatedly that lying has very serious kammic consequences. The Buddha did not lie to save lives, to tell jokes, or as a "teacheing tool". He never condoned lying in any form (that I know of), so why does one think they know better than the Buddha?

I lie. Unfortunately, I do. It happens. I slip up and out pops a little lie. Sometimes out of jest. Sometimes to avoid an uncomfortable situation. But let us at least be honest with ourselves that there will be a kammic consequence, the Buddha was very straightforward in his advice on lying, and it is an unwholesome activity that the wise do not perform.
I agree, so on a large scale, one should avoid situations leading to lying, put effort in preventing it from far away, eg right livelihood. It is easier to lie or doing bad actions if everyone around is lying, cheating.. So carefully choose one's own friends, job, choose location, environment to live are parts of 8 fold path. By putting effort in keeping the precepts, one puts himself forward on the path.

Also I see problem in hope and regret in relation with the precepts, some of them are wrong views. E.g one may put much effort in keeping the precepts and then makes mistakes sometimes, then he takes it like a big deal, he is not worthy any more because of that. IMO, of course it is a big deal because it is a rare chance to look into one's own mind, but not a big deal in the sense of his own value decreased. That is the wrong view about the precept, attaches oneself to the precepts, or think that sila or precepts actually make the holy life. The precept is the tool leading to live the holy life, it is not the holy life. If one makes mistake, learns from it, don't blame himself. Regret prevents good things in mind

Regards
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barcsimalsi
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by barcsimalsi »

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Barcsimalsi,

I don't think it's a matter of "self-annihilation" or "pretend not to see the self". As I understand it, it's a matter of seeing through concepts such as self.

:anjali:
Mike

:rolleye:
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mikenz66
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by mikenz66 »

hi barcsimalsi,
barcsimalsi wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Barcsimalsi,

I don't think it's a matter of "self-annihilation" or "pretend not to see the self". As I understand it, it's a matter of seeing through concepts such as self.

:anjali:
Mike
:rolleye:
Sorry, was there something confusing about my reply?
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Ill ... sions.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
Mike
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ground
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by ground »

Ervin wrote:By the way my answer is: It's always ok or right to lie, but its not always good. Wrong is nothing, everything is right but there is good and evil.

So the question should be: When is it good to lie?
The differentiation between "okay" and "good" appears obscure.
Anyway, you can find an answer in religions or legislation if you need "external" support. :sage:
barcsimalsi
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Re: When do you believe or know that its ok to lie?

Post by barcsimalsi »

mikenz66 wrote:hi barcsimalsi,
barcsimalsi wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Barcsimalsi,

I don't think it's a matter of "self-annihilation" or "pretend not to see the self". As I understand it, it's a matter of seeing through concepts such as self.

:anjali:
Mike
:rolleye:
Sorry, was there something confusing about my reply?
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Ill ... sions.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
Mike
No, not your fault. My mind isn't ready to digest the self or non-self conception.
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