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White lies and integrity - Essay Example

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In the political arena, it is particularly unacceptable for elected officials to hide facts from the people as they would prevent them from making informed decisions on public affairs and policy.
In the personal sphere, some people may find white lies more justifiable. A common example is a loving family member who attempts to hide the negative prognosis of her dying relatives, fearing that the bad news will further aggravate the relative’s health. Although such a lie may sound more like an act of love, it remains a violation to another person’s autonomy as it takes away her chance to evaluate the decision and make the best decision for herself. Every person has the natural right to freedom and each rational human being should be the most capable person to determine what his/her best interest is. Thus, not only are white lies dishonest and lack integrity, they may be self-defeating in the sense that they may at the end harm instead of protect the person. Returning to the example of the dying relative: if the relative has known that she is dying soon, she would have ended the hospital treatment and spend the remaining of her life relaxing at home; however, since she does not know the true prognosis, she continues the hassle of going to the hospital every day. In this case, her health may be harmed by the white lie. She would be better off if her relative tells her the truth and allow her to decide for herself.
Projecting this line of argument to the bigger picture, we as Americans may be hurt by the so-called white lies government officials present to us. This issue is especially controversial as the concern towards national security and international terrorism is severely heightened. After the 911 attack, it appears that the Bush Administration was allowed to conduct every operation in the “war of terrorism” under the name of homeland ...Show more


Whether lying is acceptable under certain circumstances is a hotly debated issue between Kantian and Utilitarian philosophers: while the former believes that lying is never permissible, the latter argue that lying is justified if it will lead to a greater good for more people…
Author : eleonorebeatty
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