Lying Essay

For the most part the act of lying is viewed badly and  is frowned upon in society .There are very limited exceptions but for the most part it is viewed as a wrong doing and will most likely for as long as mankind exists . A majority of the world’s population, no matter culture, race, gender, believes that the truth is what should be told and that if a lie is told there should be some sort of consequence to discourage the act of lying in the future.

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Like stated earlier there are some people that believe if the situation permits a lie may be told. Some of these same people believe that it is not necessarily okay to tell a lie, but the right thing to do. There are many different views on lying and other ethical topics. A couple examples of these views are the ones of Immanuel Kant and the utilitarian’s. The first of these views is that of the utilitarian. A utilitarian typically has the view that any action is justified and correct if the action benefits the overall good of others in the situation.

Therefore, they do believe there are times when lying is right. If lying helps the overall in a good way than that it justified. For example, if a person asks for your opinion about something that they are very strong opinioned on, you may tell them something that is not necessarily the truth but you do it so that you do not hurt their feelings. Another example is if somebody asks if say it looks good in order to encourage him or her and make him or her feel good.

Another view is that of Immanuel Kant who is a famous philosopher. Kant has a different view on lying. Kant believes that there is never a time when lying is okay. He believes it is morally incorrect. Kant says that each person is born with a moral worth and that a person has the right to live life freely and make decisions freely. When people lie, Kant states that it takes away from this person’s freedom and diminishes their moral worth.

Kant also sees lying as hurting other peoples freedom of life and choice at times. He believes that when people make decisions or choose an action that it should always be focused on the ends of the decision and not the means. An end is whatever the final result or consequence of this action will be. He believes this is the most important thing and that the mean for this end should not be something wrong like lying. Overall he believes that lying is not allowed in any circumstances at all.

Overall these two views are very different. They are on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. The utilitarian believes in the overall utility, or benefit, of everyone. Therefore they believe that lying can be okay. As long as the lie benefits the overall in a good way, they feel that lying is right in this situation. On the other hand, Immanuel Kant does not think lying is acceptable at all. He believes that people have duties that are required to follow and lying is included in this. If an action is done without the motive of duty than that action is without moral value.

Since lying doe not follow a duty, it does not have moral value and therefore is morally incorrect. These are the two separate views on lying from two different philosophies.

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