I think you are taking it a little too far, Cormac, especially saying we are playing a part in people going to hell (for one, you know nothing of such kammic results, blatantly pulling this out of nowhere, and for two, this is far from the case).
[Edit: Comment withdrawn.]
I implied that if
people were to read and believe your comments that lying is ok in certain situations, that would lead them to a bad destination. I go by conviction in the Buddha on this matter - do you call this "blatantly pulling this out of nowhere?" If people acted on your advice, and we are to believe the Buddha, they would be highly likely to go to hell. It is you who are going too far.
Furthermore, the fear of committing but a small lie to prevent one or even a thousand people from dying, for the sake of having pure morality is probably rooted in large part in selfishness rather than wisdom.
Who says that self concern and wisdom are incompatible? You are here quite clearly calling stream-enterers, and those on the path to stream-entry, in fact all
noble disciples "selfish," for none of them would lie for any reason. Maybe they are selfish, but they're wisely selfish. As the Buddha says, no matter how hard you look in the world, you'll never find anyone you care for more than you care for yourself. (SN 3.8) Sila, for them, clearly has a much higher value than it does for you.
The fact that a Stream-Enterer wouldn't lie is true, but it is due to the fact that for a Stream-Enterer to lie is impossible. To invert the premises to claim that because a Stream-Enterer couldn't/wouldn't lie, that no one should lie, no matter the cost (and only to say such a thing would even result in playing a part in people going to hell) is an error in basic logic.
Please, Sam, show me my "error in basic logic." I fail to see it. Noble disciples are people who have trained
themselves not to lie, until it has become impossible for them to do so, until they've seen so clearly the harm that comes from it that they won't do it, for their own life, for your life, for their mother's life - not for anything. Even people on the path
to stream-entry are incapable of breaking the precepts. (SN 25.1) People are free to lie as they please, but if they do they can't be considered disciples of the Buddha, and they will reap painful consequences.
I can understand why it might make you uncomfortable, but by publicly declaring it to be ok to lie, you could of course be playing a part in other ignorant readers' journey downwards. You should rescind.
Cormac, I am sure it is fact that you broke the precept of lying many times. Maybe even today. Yet you claim you would tell the truth (or try to change the subject, say you don't want to answer and so on) to a Nazi soldier, even if that would directly cause the death of a number of people.
How ill-mannered and presumptive. Nevertheless, I'll respond. Yes I have broken this precept in the past. I have not broken it today. Also, I didn't "claim I would" anything. I stated that these would be possible alternatives, and actually "telling the truth" wasn't one I mentioned. Watch it. Seriously.