Lying Is the Easy Way: But Is It the Best Way?

Ryan and Kristin had been going out for two years and they really missed each

other now that Ryan was in college. Kristin talked her parents in to letting her go and

visit Ryan as long as she found a girl there to stay with. Ryan did not really know a girl

for her to stay with, plus they wanted to stay together. So, Kristin just gave her parents

Jami's room and telephone number (a girl that Ryan knew), with no intention of staying

there. That weekend, Kristin drove over to see Ryan. They toured the campus, saw some

movies, and had a lot of fun. On Sunday it was time for Kristin to go home. When she

got there, her family was nowhere to be found. She got worried and called the police. It

turned out that they had been in a terrible accident killing her mom and dad instantly.

Her brother and sister were in need of medical attention, but they could not operate with

out a family member's consent. They had tried calling Kristin at the number that she

gave her parents, but could not reach her. So, now her brother and sister are both in a

coma and she feels that it is all her fault. If only she would not have lied her brother and

sister could be okay today. Now she has no family to be with.

In my example above, you could see how lying provided immediate

gratification but then the consequences were detrimental. In contrast, Sakai and

Ide talk about how lying is the answer to your problems and the least amount of

effort you put forth the better. I disagree with Sakai and Ide in that lying is not

the best answer, because lying usually postpones problems and could make them

worse. I think that you should always put forth your best effort anyway, it will

get you ahead in life.

In their 1998 book, "The Art of Lying", Kazuo Sakai and Nakana Ide argue:

It is easy to get bogged down when you are entangled in a number of

problems. You begin to wonder just how you can ever extricate yourself

from them! The answer is to learn how to lie well. Just use a lie and say

something that you know very well is not true to the people around you,

and even to yourself. We have all been taught since childhood that one

should be diligent and sincere, and put forth our best efforts at all times.

But unfortunately, effort and sincerity alone will not help us lead life

easily in our own society. If a problem can be solved easily then extra

effort is not necessary. If you can get along well at work and with your

partner, then why hold on to sincerity as a symbol alone?

As you can see, lying may seem appropriate in some situations, but in The

Art of Lying, Sakai and Ide state that lying is the best and easiest answer; the less

effort the better. In the article "In What Mode Faith Should Be Kept by Princes,"

by Niccolo Machiavelli, he describes how leaders should appear truthful, but to be

effective they may need to be deceitful on some issues. In the article

"Reenactment and Docudramas, or No News Is Still News," Neil Postman and

Steve Powers display how the news programs are using possibly deceptive media

forms. For example, when the media uses clips from the movies to illustrate the

current news.

I think that lying is just an easy way out and not the best answer. As you

saw in my example, Kristen had a good time until she saw how it affected her

family. Lies might look like they have solved a problem at first, but in time, that

problem or a worse one will most likely resurface. In many instances, that

problem, which may have only been minor, can become more complex.