The Insufficiency Of Honesty Essay

Better Essays
In discussions of deceitfulness, one controversial issue has been if it is ever right to lie. Both Anton Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Dog” and Stephen Carter’s “The Insufficiency of Honesty” argue that lying can be rationalized. On the other hand, some people argue that lying is never virtuous as it misleads others. However, I argue that, lying can be justified if it is not used for malicious intent, because it is often used selflessly to protect the feelings of others. This is because no one wants to be cruel and upset someone by telling the truth when the lie protects that. Being nice is considered socially acceptable and telling the truth is often the opposite. Why tell the truth and loose someone you love when a little white lie can protect …show more content…
Dimitri shows himself to be a different person than he really is, to Anna and she loves him because of who he pretends to be and he enjoys being the person he would rather be. The author states, “she had insisted in calling him good, remarkable, high-minded. Evidently he had appeared to her differently from his real-self. In a word he had involuntarily deceived her” (471). The author shows that Dimitri makes himself look good because he wants someone to look at him differently for once, not as some lifeless, secretive, judgmental man. The author shows that Dimitri is happy for once that he is seen as a good man, contrary to the life he actually lives, but all that is useless because he will not tell anyone how he really feels because of his fear of hurting his wife and destroying his life. Dimitri is deceiving Anna in that he portrays himself as a totally different man than he really is. I think that by deceiving Anna he is not only living a lie but allowing to let her believe he is the perfect man. I think if he were to tell her how who he really is she would be crushed and he would have no chance with any woman. I believe that anyone can lie to make themselves look to be different, but living a life full of lies gets tiring and it is hard to keep up with. At some point the lies will break you down and ultimately not allow you to continue on. In a way it seems …show more content…
He does not realize how it could make her feel, he is selfish in that he is just thinking about himself. After he admits his mistakes to her and passes away, he leaves her in shock as she thought she knew the man she loved. I think that in this case, not telling his wife would be virtuous in that leaving her is hard enough, but making her question the whole fifty years of their marriage is enough to make her want to die. I believe even if you spend your whole life lying, at some point you will breakdown and feel guilty for what you have done; like this man who on his death bed reveals his affair. For people who tell the truth only to clear their own conscience they do not realize that not revealing the truth could have saved hearts from being broken. Realizing how the truth effects others is what a selfless person does. Sometimes holding in the truth can hurt us, like it would have the old man, but revealing the truth can hurt others even more. Revealing the truth can make us feel like we have integrity, but not realizing the guilt we should feel for hurting others feelings can destroy that. When someone dies and you have time before with them you often get closure, yet in this case you then question everything they ever did or say to you without any

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Many people who lie do it to protect another person or to save a person from getting offended (160). Many would argue that no one has the right to decide for someone else whether or not they should be denied the truth because they may get offended. It may be considered evil to leave someone in the dark of something that could be completely life changing because, it they may not take it very well (161). No one would consider being polite to be immoral. If a person cannot stand to be around someone and pretends to be that person’s friend when they are around, that would be considered deceit.…

    • 1018 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    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.…

    • 1177 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    You will start feeling guilty and want to tell someone. This matters because you will lose trust from people and if it contains they would no longer believe you even if your telling the truth. In conclusion, lying isn't always acceptable because there are so many costs, and reasons why lying is bad and it never goes the way you want…

    • 871 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Always remember that your integrity does not lie on the things that come as a result of a circumstance, but on your intentions. If you live your life with the intention of being truthful in every aspect, there is little temptation that can sway you into doing otherwise. Practical Application: 1. Tell the truth, even if it might hurt other people – Just like the “Robin Hood mentality”, many people think that telling lies to protect others is virtuous. It isn’t.…

    • 1211 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    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…

    • 2243 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Why Do People Lie Essay

    • 1453 Words
    • 6 Pages

    For example, if there is a person who does not like conflict, he or she may tell a lie to fix the problem (Ford 98-99). People will also lie to other people by leaving out less desirable information that might hurt the other person emotionally. Lisa Firestone wrote “Even lies told in the name of protecting others can leave you feeling pretty bad about yourself, because you don’t feel like an authentic, strong individual when you aren’t being honest” (Firestone). The most common reason that lies by omission are told is to prevent unpleasant situations from occurring, even if it causes one to feel guilty (Firestone). People who have a big heart or cannot stand the thought of hurting someone or embarrassing them typically will lie to the other person by leaving out the more displeasing details.…

    • 1453 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The only reason when it's okay to lie is when you're really are in a life or death situational problem. But either ways Blanton’s says to not even lie even if it's a white lie. He gives many reasons why lying is bad because you're hurting someone by not tell the truth or it feels like they're not being trustworthy. The article “Brad Blanton: Honestly, tell the truth”, by Barbara Ballinger states that you shouldn't never lie unless if there's a life in danger. It seems to me that you should lie because no matter what the circumstances are it might still save your life.…

    • 437 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    But to me I would accept a lie if it was like an actual thing that you just couldn’t tell me and it was serious and you just didn’t know if hurting me was worst or just lying to me. I think that if it’s a really serious situation and you just can’t tell them the truth then yes tell the lie and god and that person will understand why you did it and god will forgive you of your sins and that person may or may not forgive you for what you lied to them about if it was that important to lie to them or if you could of just told them then you shouldn’t have lied. Lying in society being acceptable would be like your trying to get out of trouble for something you did but you don’t want to get into trouble so you tell a lie to get yourself out of trouble all because you don’t want to get into trouble you shouldn’t have did what you shouldn’t have done to get into trouble and by lying yourself out of trouble you’re going to get into more trouble just because you are…

    • 800 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Danforth thinks of himself as a perfect being and remains intolerant to others. He is arrogant and acts as if he were one of ‘God’s fingers”. Since he believes that he is perfect he doesn 't think that there is anything that he needs to forgive himself about. As a result of his arrogance, he finds it easy to judge everyone since he believes that he is more important and superior to others, whereas Proctor throughout the whole play learns to accept his imperfections and refuses to judge others. FIND QUOTE ABOUT THIS When John Proctor confesses to his affair with Abigail, his refusal for the written confession puts Danforth’s reputation in jeopardy.…

    • 1272 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He has the opportunity to save his life by confessing to witchcraft, but refuses to smear his name any more. John’s name is highly important to him, and disgracing his name is like disgracing himself. John has the opportunity to keep his life by destroying his name, but he feels that his life is not worth living if he is unable to keep his name. John also feels that he is unworthy of doing the right thing and acting like a hero. He feels he does not deserve to stand next to Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey, and this almost causes him to save himself by confessing to lies.…

    • 1018 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics