Stephanie Ericsson's On The Decay Of The Art Of Lying

1177 Words 5 Pages
Part of lying is keeping the truth from others, which is crucial when the truth is hurtful, especially when this negative impact on others is perpetual. Still, lying is inevitable. In Stephanie Ericsson’s, “The Way We Lie” and Mark Twain’s, “On The Decay Of The Art Of Lying” both argue the rationale of lying. Ericsson states that lying is inappropriate and should not be practiced, while Twain believes lying is respectable when done right. Moreover, lying is an aspect of reality that should be embraced, but still at times avoided. There should be a balance between what is reality and what is not; so lying is only acceptable when people do it “lovingly and well”; otherwise, it is bad and should be eschewed.
When people make false assumptions,
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At one point in Twain’s essay, he asserts, “An injurious truth has no merit over an injurious lie.” Ultimately, It doesn't matter whether you lie or say the truth, but rather the effect it has on a person. Both truth and lies are good, but only when they don’t hurt others. Twain supports this when he states, “The man who tells a lie to help poor devil out of trouble, is one whom the angels doubtless say, ‘...let us exalt this magnanimous liar.’” In other words, a liar that lies to aid others is someone that even the angels respect. There is a lot of stigma on those who lie because it is considered a bad act, but Twain’s quote demonstrates that it is more bad when one hurts others by saying the truth. Therefore, lies are not as bad as people perceive them to be; however, there are exceptions. When we lie we have to do it judiciously. Ultimately, his insight brings a better view of how and why we should lie. Lying should be a Good Samaritan act where one helps others without asking anything in …show more content…
Sometimes people feel obligated to lie to others because they are put in situations where the result and effect of their lies is better than the truth. According to Ericsson, this is a white lie, which causes more good than the truth itself. At one point in her article, she decides to support her stance by including a Bergen Evan’s quote, “A man who won't lie to a woman has very little consideration for her feelings.” This is a quote we can all familiarize ourselves with because regardless of our gender, generally we all try to be kind and as a result, we lie when we compliment others by appreciating something about them when we truly don't. But as argued by Twain, integrity is not that important when the truth affects others. It is better to be benevolent than to be truthful and abrasive.
All in all, lying is a factor that makes us all humans, whether the lies are bad or good. We are not perfect, but the art of lying can be perfected and should be if it is being practiced. Still, lying should not be an option because it hurts others. Both Twain and Ericsson are right about their perspectives on lying because lying is bad as Ericsson reminds us. However, as Twain states, it is only bad when done erroneously. Their insights and examples are all microcosms of the reality we all live in. Lying is not bad, however, to some extent it is and should be

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