Lying precept

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
James Tan
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Lying precept

Post by James Tan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:33 am

Greetings to all ,

I wish to understand more about lying precept . Hope someone or bhante can help . For example ,
Say if my relatives or good friends ask what is my salary and I don't intend to tell them , how should one reply ?
:reading:

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one_awakening
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Re: Lying precept

Post by one_awakening » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:36 am

You could just say that you're not comfortable talking about that.
“You only lose what you cling to”

James Tan
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Re: Lying precept

Post by James Tan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:39 am

one_awakening wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:36 am
You could just say that you're not comfortable talking about that.
Thanks . But ,
Maybe you don't understand Asian culture , sometimes it is impolite not answer them . We are in awkward position . Say, if my salary is 10k , I say 6k, does this constitute unwholesome kamma ?
:reading:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Lying precept

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:56 am

James Tan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:39 am
one_awakening wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:36 am
You could just say that you're not comfortable talking about that.
Thanks . But ,
Maybe you don't understand Asian culture , sometimes it is impolite not answer them . We are in awkward position . Say, if my salary is 10k , I say 6k, does this constitute unwholesome kamma ?
I think it constitutes a breach of the precept, at any rate. If you think you are in an awkward position because of the culture of the person you are talking to, you might want to consider that although the Buddha recommended friendliness, the lay person's precepts do not include conforming to the standards that others have.

James Tan
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Re: Lying precept

Post by James Tan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:16 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:56 am
James Tan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:39 am
one_awakening wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:36 am
You could just say that you're not comfortable talking about that.
Thanks . But ,
Maybe you don't understand Asian culture , sometimes it is impolite not answer them . We are in awkward position . Say, if my salary is 10k , I say 6k, does this constitute unwholesome kamma ?
I think it constitutes a breach of the precept, at any rate. If you think you are in an awkward position because of the culture of the person you are talking to, you might want to consider that although the Buddha recommended friendliness, the lay person's precepts do not include conforming to the standards that others have.
So, this is unwholesome since the precept already broken right ? I want to understand why the intention is not to harm other people , so would it be unwholesome ?
:reading:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Lying precept

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:21 am

James Tan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:16 am

So, this is unwholesome since the precept already broken right ? I want to understand why the intention is not to harm other people , so would it be unwholesome ?
Sorry, I don't understand what you mean here. The precept is not broken until you tell a lie. It is better to negotiate your way around the giving of offence than to tell a lie. You might have to mildly offend someone who mistakenly thinks they have some sort of right to know about your personal details, but - providing you don't give way to the temptation to offend them more than necessary - that's their problem, not yours.

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one_awakening
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Re: Lying precept

Post by one_awakening » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:35 am

James Tan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:39 am
Thanks . But , Maybe you don't understand Asian culture , sometimes it is impolite not answer them.
No I don't understand Asian culture, but you may have to be impolite. You're not being impolite out of hatred, anger, or any personal gain, you just want to keep some things private. At the same time you're not lying.
“You only lose what you cling to”

James Tan
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Re: Lying precept

Post by James Tan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:01 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:21 am
James Tan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:16 am

So, this is unwholesome since the precept already broken right ? I want to understand why the intention is not to harm other people , so would it be unwholesome ?
Sorry, I don't understand what you mean here. The precept is not broken until you tell a lie. It is better to negotiate your way around the giving of offence than to tell a lie. You might have to mildly offend someone who mistakenly thinks they have some sort of right to know about your personal details, but - providing you don't give way to the temptation to offend them more than necessary - that's their problem, not yours.
You said I would breach the precept if I say my salary is lesser compare to the actual . That’s a lie if it's not a fact if I understand you correctly .
In this case , I assume it is unwholesome if I break it , right ?
:reading:

James Tan
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Re: Lying precept

Post by James Tan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:22 am

one_awakening wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:35 am
James Tan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:39 am
Thanks . But , Maybe you don't understand Asian culture , sometimes it is impolite not answer them.
No I don't understand Asian culture, but you may have to be impolite. You're not being impolite out of hatred, anger, or any personal gain, you just want to keep some things private. At the same time you're not lying.
You are right but one had to be very careful as not to offend and create further problems . Have to find out how to deal when in this type of situation .
:reading:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Lying precept

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:34 pm

James Tan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:01 am

You said I would breach the precept if I say my salary is lesser compare to the actual . That’s a lie if it's not a fact if I understand you correctly .
In this case , I assume it is unwholesome if I break it , right ?
Yes, that's correct. If you deliberately misrepresent something (in this case, the size of your salary) then you are telling a lie. That's generally an unwholesome thing to do.

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Volovsky
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Re: Lying precept

Post by Volovsky » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:11 pm

Even if you are telling a real salary but through intonation or gestures are trying the other person to think you are kidding and exaggerating, it is still lying.

On the question about salary, I would say something like "Top secret" (with a smile).

James Tan
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Re: Lying precept

Post by James Tan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:18 pm

Volovsky wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:11 pm
Even if you are telling a real salary but through intonation or gestures are trying the other person to think you are kidding and exaggerating, it is still lying.
Really ? Even telling true fact in joking also breaking precept , that is difficult to hold.

I can see not many able to do that good and most of the time it is not practical .
:reading:

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Volovsky
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Re: Lying precept

Post by Volovsky » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:28 pm

James Tan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:18 pm
Really ? Even telling true fact in joking also breaking precept , that is difficult to hold.
If your intention is to make a joke, it is not lying (even if the other person doesn't understand you are joking). But if your intention is to make him think that your truth is not truth, but a joke (i.e. you want him to misinterpret your words), then it is lying.

James Tan
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Re: Lying precept

Post by James Tan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:48 pm

Volovsky wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:28 pm
James Tan wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:18 pm
Really ? Even telling true fact in joking also breaking precept , that is difficult to hold.
If your intention is to make a joke, it is not lying (even if the other person doesn't understand you are joking). But if your intention is to make him think that your truth is not truth, but a joke (i.e. you want him to misinterpret your words), then it is lying.
OK I get the meaning . Thanks .
:reading:

santa100
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Re: Lying precept

Post by santa100 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:54 pm

James Tan wrote:Maybe you don't understand Asian culture , sometimes it is impolite not answer them . We are in awkward position .
Lying should be the choice of last resort, like that "lie to the Nazis to save the Jews" kind in a parallel thread. Otherwise, there're various creative ways to communicate without having to lie, like simply smile and say something like, "Oh, enough to put food on the table and a shelter over my head" and then switch subject, or something similar...

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