Stephanie Ericsson The Ways We Lie

2243 Words 9 Pages
the recent discussions of the intentions of lies, an issue has arisen about the selfishness of lies. On one hand, some argue that lies which are created with the feelings of others in mind are never selfish. On the other hand, others argue that all lies are based on selfish needs. They claim that every lie, no matter how small, is created from the selfish nature of people that want to better themselves. In short, the issue is whether lies can ever assist others.
My own view is that there is no such thing as a lie that does not hurt others. Although I concede that there are lies that are intended to help others, such as white lies, I still maintain that even these lies are selfish as they contribute to hurting the recipients in addition to
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According to Stephanie Ericsson in "The Ways We Lie", "façades can be destructive because they are used to seduce others into an illusion." Thus, Ericsson is saying that in general façades are used create an illusion to present to other people. And, these illusions are potentially dangerous because they capture others and trap them in the illusion. She says that the destruction that the façades create is a result of others being tricked into a …show more content…
According to Ericsson, "The white lie assumes that the truth will cause more damage than a simple, harmless untruth…it is an act of subtle arrogance for anyone to decide what is best for someone else" (Ericsson 425). Hence, the white lie says that the truth can do greater damage and therefore should be avoided. In addition, Ericsson says that this is not necessarily true as this assumption requires knowledge of the future and as people cannot see the future, the white lie does not guarantee that the pain would be avoided. Extending from Ericsson 's ideas, I say that as the white lie is generated out of assumptions that are assumed to be true, the speaker of a white lie is essentially trying to play god in the life of another person. True, the wanting of playing god, and having power, is not grounds for calling this type of lie selfish but it clearly defines it as self-interested. However, when white are lies are not kept in check, they may make the truth that much more painful to take. Taking the example from the previous paragraph, when the kids find out that their father is not the hardworking businessman that their mother told them he was but was in fact a criminal, would their ideas of him not change, would their respect for their father diminish? However, if the mom did not lie about what happened to the kids’ father, they would be able to accept their dad for who he is and

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