The Unbearable Truth
Why we must tell lies.
by Sam Harris
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What is perhaps most curious about our belief that it is wrong to lie is that it requires us, both individually and as a culture, to engage in a particularly egregious kind of cognitive dissonance. It’s easy for me to insist that it is wrong to kill human beings because I have never killed another human being (at least not directly, though I am a citizen of a nation that kills innocents). I can teach my children that it is wrong to steal with a mostly clean conscience, because it’s been a long time since my preteen shoplifting days. But when it comes to lying, the situation is different. I don’t remember having told any lies in the past week, but I know that if I reviewed a detailed recording of that time I’d catch myself in several. So can I really sincerely insist that I believe it is wrong to lie?
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