This looks like such a simple question doesn’t it? It appears that it isn’t. If, for example, one person, let’s call them A has a history going back over several years of misstating the events of a series of interactions between themself and another person, let’s call them B just to keep it all annonymous, and always to the detriment of person B, can it be said that person A is lying?
I find this to be an interesting statement for many reasons. “to hold something which one knows is not the whole truth to be the whole truth”. This seems such an obvious statement doesn’t it, but in reality it may be quite complex. Let’s, for instance, take the cases of “witnesses” to a car accident. There is disagreement amongst them as to what happened. This can, easily, be put down to different perspectives, people standing in different places, beginning to notice events at different times and so on. Such people aren’t lying when they give their version of events, they are merely mistaken in their belief that what they report was the whole of the incident, and the respective lawyers will seek to clarify things by questioning. If, however, one of those witnesses is the driver of one of the cars who says that he was paying attention to the road and that his passenger was the one using the driver’s phone and not the driver himself, a “fact” corroborated by the passenger, when the truth is that it was the driver on the phone, then clearly both the driver and passenger are lying. Let’s take another example in order to examine the issue of the false statement being made intentionally. Someone, let’s call them A , convinces themself that something which didn’t happen did; they claim to genuinely believe what they say and express surprise when told it didn’t happen that way. Is that a lie? Well, clearly, on the face of it, according to the Wikipedia definition it isn’t. If, however, person A, has a history going back over several years of making this kind of statement about person B, then I submit that the statement can have been said to have been made intentionally. So, one part of the definition can be said to have been proved and yet it fails on the second part, the statement is not a lie. The question, in this circumstance must be asked, if it isn’t a lie what then is it?
In the blog killermovies Atlantis001 comments:”
A BBC articlecomments: “Lying is a form of deception, but not all forms of deception are lies”. So, are the statements which I have attributed toA deceptions? If they are deceptions are they then lies? Let’s delve further. as the article continues,”A lie has three essential features:
- A lie communicates some information
- The liar intends to deceive or mislead
- The liar believes that what they are ‘saying’ is not true”
“1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; anintentional untruth; a falsehood.