That… depends. It is a lie if it would hurt someone, anyone, for them not to know. Including themselves.
Isn’t sheltering someone from painful knowledge simply the same as robbing them of a chance for emotional growth? Who decides what information is to hurtful to share? Isn’t making such a decision exhibiting a kind of superiority complex: “I know better what’s good for you to hear”?
It’s because of this sort of approach why I generally don’t trust what people say. Unless I can validate the information myself.
but at the same time you could argue that they simply aren’t ready for certain knowledge. my five year old nephew’s concept of where babies come from is simply that they come from mom. he doesn’t know the underlying functions and if we tried to teach him at this age then it would be sick and it would scar him for the rest if not most of his life.
you don’t stop maturing simply because you turn 21 and start voting or drinking. some concepts are out of your reach because you can’t fully comprehend why they should be needed or if you can then trying to comprehend it would literally harm you more than help. sometimes we get lucky and we go through a major ordeal like watching someone get hit by a truck and literally explode into many different pieces and we can come out on the other end with a hug from our family and the safe knowledge that it wasn’t you.
to say that it’s simply a power complex to withhold certain information is like saying that all prisoners should be executed. while the power might play a role it is more likely that they aren’t trying to make a power play and are simply trying to keep things running smoothly. in the end it’s a decision and the responsibilities of hearing something is a lot different than saying something. some people aren’t ready to deal with the consequences of letting someone else know the whole truth.
Why are people SIMPLY not ready? Who decided that? What are the objective reasons for their unreadiness? Or are they SIMPLY not ready JUST BECAUSE? You talk as though this was all obvious, but you give no reasons or examples.
How can you be sure knowledge of the inner workings of anatomy would scar your nephew? For life even. Have you heard of such a case? Or would it SIMPLY scar him JUST BECAUSE? Because you believe, through culture and tradition that has been instilled in you, that sexuality is taboo. A thing to shield children from.
You say people don’t stop maturing just because they turn twenty one. True. But does immaturity mean they should be denied certain facts, or would exposing them to those facts give them a chance to mature? In my country people can drink and vote and are considered legally adult after turning eighteen. In the Middle Ages fifteen year olds would often be married with children. This is all a matter of culture, and culture is transient, it is only our short lifespan that gives it the illusion of constancy.
Why should anyone be allowed to censor my reality if their choice will inevitably be a subjective one, influenced by their upbringing, their traditions, their worldview, their experiences, their superstitions, all of which are different than my own. Someone trying this is like saying: “I know you better than you know yourself”, now if that isn’t superiority complex, I don’t know what is. Of course this person might not think that consciously, but the subtext remains.
As for people not being ready for consequences… this is life. DEAL. WITH. IT.
If you’re not ready… TOO BAD
Who ever said that life was supposed to be easy? That the world should adapt to you and not the other way around?
Knowledge can be learned, but wisdom only comes from experience and reflection. So experience, and let others experience. Both the good things and the bad. If, as Alan said when he first met Jin, our lives depend on the choices we make, then make your own, but don’t make other people’s for them. Because you can always be wrong, and they may end up hating you more than if you had told them the whole truth.
I think it has to do with organic brain development. Some things just require a fully developed prefrontal cortex which doesn’t occur until the early twenties for some people. It is also why the military likes eighteen year olds. They can’t fully process the fact that they aren’t immortal. Telling people the truth when they don’t have the organic ability to process it is futile, like trying to teach a color blind person to pick out the red pencil. It won’t hurt them, but it is hopeless. You have to wait until a person is old enough or mature enough or has the tools to understand what you are telling them.
@ W.: or perhaps you can simply tell them the truth whenever it comes up, and leave them to reflect upon it later; i.e. whenever they develop the mental faculties needed to do so. Using your own metaphor, just because a person is colour blind, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be told of the existence of red pencils =)
Waldosan, I simply wish to share the example my two year old provided us (and a few astonished/horrified relatives and friends) during my 2nd pregnancy. We made no secret of the second heartbeat under my own from day one, and the illustrated childbirth and pregnancy books soon became her favorite bedtime reading. She knows all about pregnancy and birth, happily explaining to complete strangers what exactly was going on in her mother’s body. (Okay, our policy kinda backfired a little bit on us there *embarrassed*). She even knows fancy terms like zygote, sperm, and so on! The only thing I have not explained to her (for she has not asked, and I haven’t encouraged her to yet) is exaclty how sperm and egg get in the same body in the first place…
As a parent of 8, 9, and 10 year olds, I do my best to answer any questions honestly and accurately. A few days ago one of my kids asked what an enema was, so I explained it was putting fluid in the place poop comes from to clean it out but that it isn’t something they need.
My kids know what a condom is, what birth control pills are, and that sex feels good once you are old enough, but would probably feel yucky now.
From my studies of child psychology (from when I wanted to be a teacher) I know that kids are less likely to experiment if they already know the information, so by giving my kids sex ed now, I make it less likely I’ll be a grandfather before my kids are 18.
its classed as a lie of omission
or vulcan/elvish (pick your own poison) lying.
i personally hate people lying to me
but lying by omission? that’s not so bad.
Both are bad, but being a lover of wisdom, sometimes NOT knowing something can be worse than knowing the wrong thing. I find the lie of omission far more irritating in the long run. Not to mention to speak of the intentions… Lying due to omission is indicative of the person being UNABLE, or UNWORTHY, in your eyes, of handling the truth. The Opposite, being told the wrong thing, sometimes it is out of protection “Of COURSE your hair looks great!” As opposed to “Oh… Uhh… Scooter had to go back and be with his uhh own family…” “Why are all those people in front of that car?” “It’s alright honey, Let’s go inside. All those people should be able to handle… uhh… whatever is over there.”
a wise man doesn’t tell all that he knows.
A wise man does not quote proverbs about wise men. For he knows that all men are different and there is no one true path to wisdom.
How about when you tell someone the truth in a way that makes them think you are lying?
I am habitually honest, so I’ve had to learn ways to deceive without making false statements…
like in ID4: “plausible deniability
I would say it’s the intention to mislead that defines lying. Whether you spoke things that weren’t true or said only enough true things to deliberately lead the other person to a false conclusion, both are equally wrong; the latter just requires a bit of a sharper mind to pull off, that’s all.
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