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Indigo Blue

Is this a harmless little fib or a bit dishonest?

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On ‎3‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 8:49 PM, Ausmumof3 said:

Well we expect lying from the trolls but not our own cat.

Cats aren’t allowed to lie!

Dogs on the other hand lie all the time.  They are social pleasers by nature 😆

hey dog did you rip up that rubbish.  Dog wags tail and pulls cute innocent eyes.  Or rolls over for a belly rub!

otoh:... dogs will tattle on each other.

 

 

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On ‎3‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 6:49 AM, marbel said:

Hm, I disagree.

New life is beautiful, always.  But an individual baby can be very much not beautiful.  When we tell a new parent "your baby is beautiful" they do not hear that as "your baby represents new life and that is beautiful."  And they want to hear people say that their actual baby is beautiful, even if they themselves are worried that the baby is not.  So if you meet a new baby and say "oh, he's beautiful" while you think he's ugly but what he represents is beautiful,  you are lying.  (It is a lie I would tell and have told.)

 

 

then we disagree.

I may say they are beautiful, or even that they are precious- I don't consider either of them lies, even of the "white lies" kind.

On ‎3‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 7:42 AM, Catwoman said:

 

I agree with everything you wrote! 

I find it amazing that something as minor (and common!) as telling someone that their unattractive baby is beautiful would be judged, not only as a LIE, but as a moral failing.

And I’m sorry, but when someone shows you their new baby, I can guarantee that they will see right through you if you have to stretch to find a polite comment to make because you have to be “honest” so you say, “I’ll bet you think she’s just adorable” or “that lovely blanket matches the baby’s eyes,” or “you must be so happy to have a new baby.”  NO. That’s not what you say. You say the baby is beautiful and adorable. You just do.  And when you go to a wedding, you tell the bride she looks gorgeous and you tell the groom how handsome he looks. I thought everyone did those things unless they were entirely socially inept!

 

so do I.

many years ago, (having come from an unkind and dysfunctional family)  i spent much time pouring over Miss Manners books.

someone asked her what to say to someone whose baby was ugly, a "real mess".... Gentile Reader:  babies are by definition beautiful.

sadly, there are many people who are socially inept. (at best.)  I've heard remarks that absolutely make the mind boggle.  a friend and I weree visiting with a woman when her adult daughter was also present.  Her daughter turned a very bright shade of red when her mother made some (very oblivious) comment about an adopted infant not really being the adoptive mother's child...  (sadly, this is not the first time this woman made some completely oblivious remark that left me speechless...and she's not even in my family!)

eta: I just want to clarify, this woman is generally kind - just staggeringly clueless and oblivious.

Edited by gardenmom5
clarity
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Wow, the turns this thread has taken.   Once again it mostly falls along regional lines.

The OP's scenario aside, in nursing or foster parenting there are MANY occasions where one is called upon to politely lie, but I never felt guilty about it.  Especially not when working with hospice or dementia patients and actively praying about it because I found it puzzling that when trapped in a difficult situation the thing I felt peace about was the fib. When I did pray about it I found numerous occasions where you could argue that God lied to people in the Bible, or at the very least stated something was one way and then changed His mind. God cannot be all knowing and then change His mind, not really.  He was using the truth to communicate with people about something more deep than the literal. Even Jesus sort of baited people with something he knew to be untrue repeatedly. I'm pretty sure most Christians, in most of those examples, would argue that He was being wise, not telling a white lie.  But it certainly WASN'T the full literal truth as He knew it.

So yes, in most cases and with most people it is best to simply be honest. But in some cases and with some people it's either literally not allowed (medical issues, legal issues, foster parenting, etc) or just unwise (if someone is physically or mentally unwell). And in other scenarios the literal truth isn't what someone is asking for.  For example, if a stranger or distant acquaintance asks how you're doing and you're not obviously sobbing or have just been the victim of some sort of crime this person witnessed they don't actually care how you're doing.  You just say okay and ask them how they're doing because everyone knows it's not a real question. But I've never heard anyone go off on a self-righteous rant about that.

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About ugly babies - I asked my mom about that when I was a teen and someone surprised me with a photo of a really ugly baby, saying, "isn't she the prettiest baby you ever saw?!"  I prided myself on my strict honesty, and I was literally at a loss for words.  I think I just smiled and looked stupid.

So my mom suggested "how sweet" as an all-purpose baby compliment.  Brilliant!

I am one of those people who are born clueless about social graces.  But I have spent decades working on this.  I think I am generally up to par on the social graces now, LOL.  I do sympathize with those who find this difficult.

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5 hours ago, Katy said:

Wow, the turns this thread has taken.   Once again it mostly falls along regional lines.

The OP's scenario aside, in nursing or foster parenting there are MANY occasions where one is called upon to politely lie, but I never felt guilty about it.  Especially not when working with hospice or dementia patients and actively praying about it because I found it puzzling that when trapped in a difficult situation the thing I felt peace about was the fib. When I did pray about it I found numerous occasions where you could argue that God lied to people in the Bible, or at the very least stated something was one way and then changed His mind. God cannot be all knowing and then change His mind, not really.  He was using the truth to communicate with people about something more deep than the literal. Even Jesus sort of baited people with something he knew to be untrue repeatedly. I'm pretty sure most Christians, in most of those examples, would argue that He was being wise, not telling a white lie.  But it certainly WASN'T the full literal truth as He knew it.

So yes, in most cases and with most people it is best to simply be honest. But in some cases and with some people it's either literally not allowed (medical issues, legal issues, foster parenting, etc) or just unwise (if someone is physically or mentally unwell). And in other scenarios the literal truth isn't what someone is asking for.  For example, if a stranger or distant acquaintance asks how you're doing and you're not obviously sobbing or have just been the victim of some sort of crime this person witnessed they don't actually care how you're doing.  You just say okay and ask them how they're doing because everyone knows it's not a real question. But I've never heard anyone go off on a self-righteous rant about that.

I would have thought most official situations you would have a stock phrase like to cover it. I mean like police communications - they don’t generally tell actual untruths they just hold a hard line with media about what information they can share.

i also really don’t think Jesus ever told outright untruths.  He did turn peoples words on themselves.  

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I don't see big problem in this. I would simply have done my exchange and then bought the other item for myself.

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On 3/3/2019 at 5:36 PM, CES2005 said:

So let's review the options...

a) there is a morality, and in it fibbing is not harmless, and not ok (but may or may not be "excusable" for various reasons; this point hasn't been able to be explored)
b) there is a morality, and in it not fibbing in order to make people feel better is mean and not ok (whether limits to this exist has not been able to be explored)
c) there is moral relativism and it's all whatever works for everyone, yipee

I know this thread is a few days old and maybe people have moved on.  But, I was thinking of the paradigm above, when morality is assumed to be the driving force.

More and more I've come to think of love as the driving force.  I think this will most of the time play out in the same way as morality, but allows for some exceptions.  Maybe this is what makes me feel okay about "fibbing" in certain unusual circumstances.

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19 hours ago, J-rap said:

I know this thread is a few days old and maybe people have moved on.  But, I was thinking of the paradigm above, when morality is assumed to be the driving force.

More and more I've come to think of love as the driving force.  I think this will most of the time play out in the same way as morality, but allows for some exceptions.  Maybe this is what makes me feel okay about "fibbing" in certain unusual circumstances.

Well my list is and isn't my paradigm.  It was more a distillation of what seemed to be shaking out from the thread.  I agree that love is more of a key factor, and I don't think love and morality are actually separable.  However, I do realize and completely understand where people have had experiences that make these things look diametrically opposed.  I have, too.  But yes, if love is doing what is best for the actual good of the person, regardless of cost to self, then sometimes that may mean the lie is more loving--like with relatives with Alzheimer's or dementia.  I personally wouldn't feel ok (where ok = it's not really a lie and is totally fine), but I'd feel peace that it was the best option available.  I like the "lesser of two evils" phrasing.  In general, I opt for "silence is golden" and will also just dance around a subject or run it into the ground with vagueness (all for many various that have nothing to do with morality or love, either one).  It's a more complex discussion if we want to talk about transparency and/or honesty.

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Just thinking about this today. There is someone in my life who recently told me that "sometimes not lying about something can get you into more trouble than telling the truth".  But is coming from someone who lies a lot and from whose mouth I never know if truth is forthcoming. This person is comfortable with lying and really believes this.

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I have skimmed most of this thread and I know I am late to this game, but I just want to add my 2 cents. 

I am currently 6 months pregnant with my 7th baby. I weigh as much now as at the of most of my other pregnancies. Pregnancy has me chronically congested and snore and mouth-breathe a night so I wake up all gross and puffy faced. Everything looks bigger.

The only thing I want to hear is that I look fantastic. I know I look like a mess. I know I am bigger than my neighbor who just gave birth last week. I don't want to hear that I look like I should give birth any day. I don't want to hear that I look huge.

Lie to me.

Lie. To. Me.  

Tell me I am glowing. 

Tell me my gigantic baby bump is adorable. 

I have a mirror. I know what I really look like. But if you tell this hormonal, cranky pregnant lady that I look anything less than fantastic, I might punch you in the face.

 

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