ANSWERS: 13
  • in my opinion, yes definitely.
  • No, a half truth is a whole lie.
  • There are instances of that, yes. I think the biggest problem with this kind of inquiry is the tendency to "absolutize" our notions of truth and falsehood. In most cases involving non-trivial truths, it is nearly impossible to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth -- simply because there are so many moving parts and the exact details are often impossible to render without passing them through distorting factors (like our own point of view, memory, prior conditioning, etc). Reality is infinitely complex. Where is the edge of a lake? If you look on the map, it seems to be a sharp line, but if you go there and drive by, it has many nooks and crannies. If you get out of the car and walk down to the water, the edge is constantly moving as the waves lap back and forth. If you get a microscope and try to study the edge, it disappears from view altogether! So how does one "tell the truth" about where the edge of the lake is? There's no way to respond to such a question without imposing some limits on what you're going to say -- trying to get the answer to be USEFUL and *accurate enough for the situation* is about as good as it gets, most of the time. Does that mean we lied about the part we left out or blurred over? To tie this back to the claim that absolutism is a problem, much of our common-sense arguments about truth are based in the naive notion that the absolute truth CAN be told for any non-trivial matter. That just isn't so, you could talk until you're dead and not really cover the edge of the lake in sufficient detail to satisfy an absolute criteria. If one is sensitive to this issue, it's possible to see it cropping up in almost all of the long-standing philosophical, religious, and ethical debates that seem unresolvable: what is the nature of a human being? How can we tell right from wrong? What is my relationship to the world? Is society responsible for helping individuals who have messed up? We're naive in thinking our ideas have captured the absolute truth in all but a few cases (mostly abstract domains like mathematics). We reason from that naivete and build cloud castles of "truth", entire complex systems of interconnected ideas, with each level becoming more out of touch with reality as the towers ascend to the heavens. At least, that's what happens if we trust our "truth cornerstones" with more weight than they can actually hold. So it's good to be skeptical of what we think is true, and hold all ideas with a certain distance. If they're useful, no problem... but lets not use them to build up absolute black-and-white walls to divide humanity into warring groups, or separate ourselves from simple daily life, or think we've got it all figured out. Often half a truth is as good as it gets.
  • Good question. To me, a lie is more deliberate and malicious. Some half-truths are more in vein of the litlle white lie. It depends on the circumstances I suppose. If somebody asks if their but looks big in something and it does, but you were to tell them that red just isn't their color instead of saying yes. . .that is the white lie variety. The deliberate and malicious types of half-truths are the type I would consider to be of the half-lie variety. That is that the teller purposely leaves out details to make what they are saying sound like the truth.
  • No, it's 1/2 truth, 1/4 lie, and 1/4 random crap that no one wants to hear.
  • No, because a half-truth omits some details, but it doesn't lie. You can not tell someone everything and not be lying. Now if you start making things up, then its a full-blown lie.
  • There is no "half lie". I lie is a lie. A half truth is not necessarily a lie. A half truth could be a statement that is totally true, just not the whole truth. Example: "I eat healthy. I eat six servings of vegetables a day." True, but irrelevant if the servings of vegetables are served deep-fried and soaked in butter.
  • Not necessarily..as long as the half you disclose is true, there is no lie. For example..a friend has been gone for awhile. You ask where/why..the friend says "I've been ill..needed a rest". The whole truth is that the friend has been undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. She does not wish to disclose this to you. What she said was true. Where is the lie in that?
  • Just because something isn't complete or true doesn't mean it's a lie. Intent enters into the equation.
  • well it does make sense.
  • No. You can tell a truth and hold back unnecessary harsh portions of a truth. That doesn't make it a lie, it makes it less ugly.
  • Not necessarily. A half truth may be unintentional but a half lie is a deliberate attempt to cause confusion.

Copyright 2018, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy