I'm currently writing an essay on why lying is justifiable but I feel like the reasons I give are more so examples than anything. I'm currently at a standstill for what do. Feel free to give any feedback! Do you think I should change anything?
The definition of a lie entails the action of telling an intentionally false statement. Lying is part of human nature. We learn to do so from the moment we can talk and as we grow older, it begins to function more as a second language. We all know liars, and the vast majority of us lie from time to time. Of course, lying does not always attribute to dishonesty, untrustworthiness, or deceit, like we were taught early in our education. In fact, of the 200 lies we are exposed to every day, a fair fraction of them are harmless. We tell these types lies to help another person, or to avoid inflicting hurt feelings. Other times, we lie for the benefit of ourselves, without harming others. Lying has been always seen as morally wrong, however, there is a multitude of situations where lying is highly justifiable.
A white lie is defined as a harmless or trivial untruth that is usually told to avoid hurting someone's feelings. In many cases, white lies may be more beneficial compared to the truth. It can prevent unreasonable quarrels between people and leave both sides satisfied. For instance, if you receive a gift that you are not very satisfied with, you would be justified in lying and convincing the other party that you are happy with what you received. If you were to reveal your true feelings instead, you could create future conflict and gain a negative reputation from your peers. In this situation, telling a white lie would have lead to the most positive outcome.
Lying in specific scenarios in order to delay pain or suffering (emotional or physical) may also be justifiable. Sometimes, this may involve lying to a child. If you are given the task to talk to a young child about the death of their loved one, it would be better to lie and give them a scenario that they can cope with and process. The young brain has yet to develop the ability to digest such horrors, so in some cases, it might be better to gloss things over. Lying with the purpose of protecting or delaying a painful situation can be kinder to the receiver than just telling the truth when they may not be ready to hear it.
Moreover, telling a lie to save a life is also acceptable. For example, in a medical situation where a patient enters an operation that can cause him his life, lying about the survival rates can encourage the patient to push to fight for his life. In the case of war, lying to the enemy in a prisoner of war scenario can potentially save the lives of you and your peers. When you have the potential to prevent death through lying, it is completely warranted.
Ever since we were young, we were always taught that honesty is the best policy, and lying is something we should avoid. Whilst this holds some truth, being completely honest is not always the right decision to make. If you were to take anything from this, it should be that telling a lie in certain situations would bring better prospects than speaking the truth.