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Lying by Sam Harris
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Lying (2011)

by Sam Harris

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3391832,414 (3.66)1 / 8

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What would it mean to never tell a lie?

Harris is certainly right on one point: if you make this commitment & live it out, you will not find many companions on this path. For some, that self-imposed solitude is enough to abandon the pursuit altogether.

But for anyone else still interested, choosing to never lie also commits you to at least two other choices: learn to be tactful, & be prepared to re-frame every interaction you have with others. I can't decide which of these is the easier task to take on.

Ironically, I find myself feeling too honest lately, & feeling like I'm paying a price for it. But I harbor no illusions that I'm completely 100% honest all the time. So could I be better at this? Which leads me to why - what benefits are to be derived from increased honesty?

Harris talks a lot about the benefits of honesty, & a lot about the weight of lying. And they're all points worth considering, if only to challenge yourself. This is a very short read/listen. So I encourage you to put yourself to the test with it. At the very least, you'll better know why & when you lie. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
A fine, clear, straightforward, and convincing argument for the virtues of telling the truth, even when it feels difficult or may be hurtful. However, many of the examples had to do with telling the truth about "my opinion," which, I think, should have been distinguished from telling the truth in other circumstances. My opinion, after all, can change. My opinion, after all, is not always that important. Would have been helpful to point out that telling the truth about my opinion is not the same thing as telling the Capital-T Truth. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
Even though I like to think I stick with the truth, this Kindle single makes you look again at the so-called white lies we tell and what their implications are.
Interesting and thought-provoking. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
3.5 stars ( )
  lente | Dec 6, 2015 |
I liked this, but felt like it was way overly simplified. He made a lot of good points, but it's easy to do so when you only use examples that support your hypothesis. Mostly, I just wanted a lot more info. ( )
  heradas | May 31, 2015 |
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Among the many paradoxes of human life, this is perhaps the most peculiar and consequential.
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Book description
As it was in Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and Othello, so it is in life. Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruption—even murder and genocide—generally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie.

In Lying, bestselling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie. He focuses on “white” lies—those lies we tell for the purpose of sparing people discomfort—for these are the lies that most often tempt us. And they tend to be the only lies that good people tell while imagining that they are being good in the process.
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"Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruption--even murder and genocide--generally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie. In [this book] ... Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie"--Dust jacket flap.… (more)

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