On Telling Lies

Truthfulness is a Christian virtue but what counts as lying? Exploring how we misrepresent things will clarify both what we mean by 'truth' and help us understand the ethics involved in truth-telling and lying. This topic is huge for spiritual growth and character formation.

How can I lie to you?  Let me count the ways:

bluffing
exaggerating
dissembling
white lies
being ‘tactful’
body language
using truth to mislead
telling half the truth
withholding truth

Questions to ask:

  • What was Jesus doing on the Road to Emmaus?  Read it carefully (Luke 24:13-35)
  • Talk about the ways your spiritual life would be different if you considered lying as having the same degree of sinfulness as do murder or adultery.
  • Think of the movie, The Invention of Lying  In what ways would the world be a better place if everybody said exactly what they were thinking all the time, without censorship.  In what ways would this make the world worse?
  • What modes of deception can you engage in and still remain a moral person?  Talk about the role of ‘intent’ and ‘context’ in determining your answers.

Slide presentation

FR_2010_-_Sept_26_-_On_Telling_Lies_-_notes_only.mov (click screen to change.)

FR_2010_-_Sept_26_-_On_Telling_Lies_PDF.pdf