Do even sleeping dogs lie? 9-28-09
September 28, 2009
We've all heard the joke: How can you tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.
But what about lying? Don't most of us fairly regularly violate the guidance of religion to be honest by telling lies of various sorts?
One new study and an interview about this are worth looking at.
In the study, researchers from the University of Toronto and the University of California-San Diego found that parents regularly lie to their children as a way of influencing their behavior and emotions. I especially liked the example of parents who told a child that if she wrapped up her pacifiers as gifts, the "paci-fairy" would come and give them to children who needed them. Pretty inventive.
This example was rather different from the approach by my mother, who used to tell me to clean my plate because children in India were starving. Then, partly to prove to me she wasn't lying, she and my father moved our family to India for two years when I was a boy. Mom was right.
The question, of course, is whether there are times when "parenting by lying," as it's called, is a moral choice. What do you think?
Next, James E. Mahon, head of the philosophy department at Washington & Lee University, says that, strictly speaking, there's much less real lying in society than we might think. Here is his definition of a lie:
“Certain conditions have to be in place for a statement to rise to the level of a lie. First, a person must make a statement and must believe that the statement is false. Second, the person making the statement must intend for the audience to believe that the statement is true. Anything else falls outside the definition of lying that I have defended.”
For Mahon's full definition, click here. And for links to more of his publications about lying, click here.
When an unbelievably rude member of the U.S. House shouts "You lie" at the president, I'm thinking that representative needs to read some of this stuff about what lying really is. Well, that's not all I'm thinking but I'll leave it at that here today.
* * *
NOT KEEPIN' THE FAITH, BABY?
Are Americans increasingly walking away from religious faith? A new study would suggest something like that is happening. Well, look. These studies reflect reality, but not perfectly. It's really hard to get a completely accurate picture of the religious landscape in America for many reasons, not the least of which is that often Americans themselves aren't quite sure where they are with religious commitments.
James E Mahon: “Certain conditions have to be in place for a statement to rise to the level of a lie."
Luther's Small Catechism.
The Second Commandment GOD's Name "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God in vain" What does this mean? We should fear and love God that we may not curse, swear, use witchcraft, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and given thanks."
35. What is God's name? "God's name is -
A. Every name by which God has made Himself known, such as God. Lord, Almighty, Jesus Christ, Holy Ghost."
38. What is swearing by God's name? "Swearing by God's name is taking an oath in which we call upon God to witness the truth of what we say or promise, and to punish us if we lie or break our promise."
41. Which swearing is sinful? "Swearing which is done 'falsely, 'thoughtlessly', or in 'sinful, uncertain, or unimportant matters'.
43. What is lying and deceiving by God's name? "Laying and deceiving' by God's name is - A. Teaching false doctrine and saying that it is God's Word or revelation. (False prophets.) B. Covering up an unbelieving heart or a sinful life by a show of piety. (Hypocrites)"
Luther's Small Catechism is taught to Children in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Religion, before they become members at Confirmation at 13 years of age.
In 1971, My first Understanding - The Noah Year-long Flood was the Sinking of Atlantis, and a different Continent Joining from the one Science proposed.
I resigned from my Church, when they could not accept the new way I was shown to understand God, Scriptures, and Myth, with a High Tech translation of the Bible.
Posting on Bill's Blog, since July 2006, helped me explain about the High Tech Human Peace Gods and High Tech Human Killer Gods.
Posted by: Dolores Lear | September 28, 2009 at 06:35 AM
The Dover, Pennsylvania Intelligent Design case was only a DISTRICT COURT DECISION. One District in Pennsylvania; the case never made it to the Supreme Court and has no binding effect other than in THAT district of Pennsylvania.
It could have some value as a precedent, IF someone were to try the same approach with simlilar facts, which is not likely.
But if Scientists want to leave the definition of science to the courts, then they need to remember the horrific decisions that the court has made in the past.
The most shining example are DRED SCOTT (that a black man is only three fifths of a man), BUCK v BELL (that women could be forcibly sterilized) and ROE v WADE (that a fetus was not a person...and we now know the science that that decision was based on was wrong.)
And many others; usually siding with the power of the state.
So if you leave the definiton of Science to the courts, and can't make your case even with all the public funding science receives, you could find yourself in a classic "double bind". LOL!
Posted by: Will Graham | September 28, 2009 at 07:27 AM
When Jesus said that prayers worked he met both definitions of a lie then? He believed it and intended for his audience to believe it.
But this also would make "any" any statement to be a lie. what's missing is "facts", "common sense", "probability", "possibility", "duplication" and "verification". It's kind of like "porn" - I'll know it when I see it.
E.g. "evolution" is supported by a mountain of facts which Christianity cannot compare with, yet evolution is often labeled as "lie" by crazy Christian History Deniers.
Leave it to philosophers like the one above give a definition, next thing you know you get a cult and then religion.
Jesus - Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire. Show me a Jesus and I'll show you a liar.
Posted by: IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org | September 28, 2009 at 07:33 AM
Bill, there you go again, citing some third rate study (that does not even detail its parameters) on the end of religious belief.
Haven't the atheists learned by now, that even when they have had all the power of the state to back them up...even when those states could imprison, torture, and murder...that they could not win.
Look at all the things they have claimed they could do here'
1. Bring down a major church in six months.
2. Destroy religious belief in a small town, as a demonstration, with a postcard campaign.
3. Shut down this blog. (Their own discussion board collapsed. Twice! After it became mainly a place for porno advertisements. LOL!)
4. Make Believes SHUT UP and DIE.
5. Gain hundreds of new members with a Bill Board Campaign.
6. etc., etc. etc.
They will fail here, just like the failed in the glorious officially atheistic states of the past. LOL!
Posted by: Will Graham | September 28, 2009 at 07:46 AM
Whether or not Joe Wilson was "unbelievably rude" has nothing to do with the accuracy of his statement.
Posted by: PreacherDJ | September 28, 2009 at 07:50 AM
Bill: "..often Americans themselves aren't quite sure where they are with religious commitments."
Humans with High Tech Knowledge of flying in Space, and getting so many material things and food, that are harmful to our Bodies, does make Humans wonder about their Religious Gods.
What can God do for them, for the past 100 years of High Tech Science, and Materialism?
Do Humans still want to believe there is Life After Death in Heaven, where there is no Death, and No Unequal Sharing of the Earth's Resources, with Lying, Killing, Starving, Homelessness, War, and Killing our Eco System.
The Culture Shock of the past 100 years of High Tech, is coming to a Head, with a Nuclear War, and the Death of our Planet.
So what do Humans do in their Troubles? Rrealize Equal Sharing of the Resources, instead of Greed and Killing, is the Way to Live, taught in Scripture and Myth.
With High Tech Reproduction Science, Humans 'can' Know Humans can correct all the Body Birth Defective Genetic and Physical Problems, and Reproduce Equal Humans in a High Tech Womb.
Humans 'can' Know when Life made from Atoms and ElectroMagnetic Elements Die, they do return to Elements. Religious Going to Heaven.
Humans 'can' Know with Spaceships, they can travel in their Solar System and Colonize another Planet, like God/Us in Genesis did. Supernatural in Religion.
Humans 'can' Know High Tech Science Reproduction of a Female from the Male Rib, make Equal Asexual Male and Female Caretaker Humans, Supernatural in Religion.
Humans 'can' Know, in Spaceships, they can Escape a Dying Planet, Sun, Galaxy or Universe, and go to another Universe, and Have Eternal Physical Life After Birth.
High Tech Purebred Asexual Clone Life, on Planets and in Spaceships, is the Eternal Life After Death, in Religion and Myth.
Posted by: Dolores Lear | September 28, 2009 at 08:08 AM
Book Donation to a freethinking/agnostic/atheistic group anywhere in the country.
I have been contacted by a top honcho of one of the major publishing houses in the country who said he'll donate 20-30 freethinking books to any formally organized or not group in the country.
Books will be brand new (hard cover or paper back, depends) on archeology, religion, politics, science, philosophy, history and even some fiction with a freethinking twist.
If you are interested, please, contact me [email protected] I have received a box already and during last Saturday meeting almost half has been borrowed.
Posted by: IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org | September 28, 2009 at 08:25 AM
Bill, interesting article on ‘nones’.
That’s the evolution of religion. I think this shows religion has nothing to do with a god. The god of the bible is myth. Is there a god out there somewhere? Nobody knows. Is it probable? I think it is very unlikely. What facts do we have that a god exists? Zero.
The existence of a god, especially a religious god like that of the Xs, is fully on the shoulders of the believers. The burden of proof is entirely on them. We nonbelievers don’t have to prove anything, their god is not there. only in a book written by bronze age people.
‘The biblical god writings’ claims there is a force, which is all knowing and all loving yet there is no basis to show this.
The X god exists because they say it does. God has always been? What a cop out.
Look at all the claims some Xs have made and not one is ever shown to be real. Not one.
Look at all the facts in science. Take science away and see where will we be. Dead, most likely.
Only in the heads of the duped, can Will, adam, Just thinking and the others, think they can prove their god by proving imperfections in the nonreligious. Slamming us proves nothing. Slamming you is fun.
Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole
Posted by: memberofKCFreeThinkers.org | September 28, 2009 at 08:47 AM
Will, you are so dramatic. You ever have fun? Your god is obsessed with death. He gave us all these disasters and diseases. He and jesus, at this very moment, are plotting our death. Remember his plan.
I know some Xs who are not as completely happy with their life and have settled for what happiness they have because they see this as god’s plan. These aren’t my words but theirs. If they didn’t believe in god they would be doing something about this void in their life. But noooo… it’s god’s plan. And that sneaky holy spirit is in on it, too.
Lighten up Drama Queen and have some fun. Maybe that is god’s plan. Have fun and do what you want, within the law of course. I know the law is watching, right Will/adam? You two tickle me. Maybe your interpretation of god’s brain is wrong. How do you know you are right with what god wants?
I think if there is a god he wants me to be an atheist. He does have a plan for all of us.
I use to tell people years ago that my purpose is to be contrast. Without me, how do you know you are normal? If indeed normal can be truly defined- I was serving a purpose because god made me this way and don’t give me that crap about free will. None of us have free will whether it comes from god or not.
It’s all made up like god.
Will told me yesterday, “You are sick. Get some mental help.”
Okay, I’ll see a shrink, if you join me. Perhaps we can get a discount going together. Then we can have a third non-bias party to say which one of us lives in reality. You game?
Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole
Posted by: memberofKCFreeThinkers.org | September 28, 2009 at 08:49 AM
Just Thinking wrote>>>>>
"It's my life," he says, as though he created it. Even our government does not recognize your life as your own. There are laws against attempting suicide, too.
JT, I did not say it - I copied a title of the article which I agree with.
You still don't get it you crazy Christian History Denier?... It is NOT UP TO YOU to determine my morality. It's not up to the government either. It's not up to your space alien Yahwheh and his son, Jebus... It's up to "each individual" in a morally relativistic terms.
If you think it is you are "delusional", "illusional", and "irrational" - your "magic dust" by your space alien that permeates the world is no more real than "tooth fairies" and "pink unicorns".
Just shut up with your blabbering, crawl under the rock and die there with your crazy Christian History Denier ideas.
This is reality. Live with it. It's time for you and your crazy outlook on life to die out.
Stop polluting the world with your creationist nonsense. The world will be better off for it.
Come to some of our meetups - there will be plenty of rocks to stone you with.
Posted by: IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org | September 28, 2009 at 08:57 AM
Doesn't anyone post on topic anymore?
I think I've avoided lying to my kids, but that's much more unusual than you think. Here's what I do that many parents do not. When I say "maybe" or "we'll see" it means I'm not really sure at the moment. I do not use the phrase in place of "no" because when I mean no I just say it. (Some parents are rather passive-aggressive with their kids, sadly). I do NOT promise my kids something just to get them to do something I want. I only promise what I can deliver.
I also have never lied to my kids about Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny or any of that other fictional character masquerading as real nonsense that most parents think is necessary. That doesn't mean my kids haven't read stories or sung songs about these characters - but just that characters like Barney the dinosaur or Elmo or Cookie Monster prove that kids CAN enjoy characters they KNOW to be fictional! And contrary to what people critical of this say, my kids have BETTER imaginations than most (confirmed by their art and writing teachers, btw!) because they know the difference between real and fantasy. (It takes NO imagination to simply believe a phony story told by someone else! Imagination requires that you KNOW something is imaginary!)
Posted by: Lynne - www.kcfreethinkers.org | September 28, 2009 at 09:16 AM
Cole Mogan thinks we are obsessed with death!
This, from the guy who keeps telling us to "Crawl under a rock"! (When people crawl UNDER A ROCK they usually DIE! LOL!)
And, of course his little buddy comes on here telling believers to DIE and how he looks forward to his last few seconds of life so he can record it! (He even goes off the deep end even more in his 8:57 a.m. post)
Yes, Cole, you are SICK, because by your own admission you get fun out of "slamming" people. (Its called SADISM and it is a mental disorder.)
And "Free"thinker bellyaches about lying when he has admitted to going around to various churches and telling lies to ministers to get a rise out of them.
Yes, Cole, the law is watching.
Posted by: adam harrison | September 28, 2009 at 09:54 AM
I really got a chuckle out of "Free"thinker admitting that he is a moral relativist in his 8:57 a.m. post. (Also, I appreciate Cole Morgan telling us that there is NO FREE WILL in his 8:49 a.m. post while he signs off as "member of KCFREETHINKER.org. This reflects his schizoid thinking! LOL!)
But Iggy then turn around and starts making judgments on believers.
This is IRRATIONAL, ILLOGICAL, and out of touch with REALITY since he also says its up to "each individual" to determine their moral position.
I did, and I have decided you are wrong! Hahahahaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: adam harrison | September 28, 2009 at 10:00 AM
Lynne, of course people are posting on topic. The topic is LYING and that is what your atheist buddies are doing!
Posted by: adam harrison | September 28, 2009 at 10:04 AM
You think that societies do not have the right to dictate what is right and wrong? Wow, are you deluded. If you don't want to live in that society, then you can leave, but the authority to so govern is God-given.
"It is NOT UP TO YOU to determine my morality." Sure I can. This society does it all the time. For example, in this society, you can't just get you in your car and go run someone down that you don't agree with. Expect to spend time in jail if you do something like that. And your children can't be drunk in public or using drugs, either.
And if you attempt suicide, then we can lock you up in order to protect your life from *you*.
Get used to it.
Posted by: Just Thinking | September 28, 2009 at 10:22 AM
Will said, “Yes, Cole, the law is watching.”
You are so full of crap it makes me laugh. Dude, I’m not the one who believes in fairy tales/tails. You are so dramatic and so unconnected with the real world. You have to put words in my writings to make it sound the way you want it to, like: “they usually DIE” You are so silly.
Just thinking, you believe in a belief, not a god. You are all about law. Your bible is a law book. You are so delusional you don’t even know it. You are all about control as is your personal god.
This following video explains very well what I’m trying to get across. It’s all about the faith card. If you pull your faith card we should pay attention and abide or at least not question it. Why are Xs offended when others question? We can discuss cars, houses, politics, music, sports or whatever, but question your god in whatever way I choose then I’m going to hell. Watch it please. It explains exactly how I feel.
Dennett on how religion offers an excuse to stop thinking
MORE ON LYING
Steven Pinker & Richard Dawkins on Free Will
Richard Dawkins on Freewill
The Truth About Lying
More articles about lying at the bottom of this article.
Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole
Posted by: memberofKCFreeThinkers.org | September 28, 2009 at 10:28 AM
Lynne, I'm glad I truly looked into my older daughter's eyes, when she was 4, and realized she really was serious that she WANTED to know the TRUTH about Santa (and why would anyone NOT want the truth?). And I feel sad that before that, I'd lied because I thought otherwise I'd be depriving her of the "magic" of Santa. It seems so dumb now that I'd never realized how marvelous truth is ... marvelous because it's real.
Well, I never pulled any of these shenanigans with my younger daughter, who is now 4. And guess what -- she enjoyes the little stories and songs about Santa and Rudolph, just as she has fun with Peter Rabbit and all the other fun stories. Letting fantasy be fantasy doesn't take the fun out of fantasy.
I cracked up the other day, hearing about this couple that got really frustrated at the beach. They were enjoying some semi-alone time while their own kids played some distance away. Then this little toddler came up and wanted to play with some of their kids' sand toys that they'd left behind with the parents. So they let him, but he was being really wild and sand was getting flipped on them.
So the husband thought he was being really smart by taking the toys back and telling the toddler that they are "resting" now ... which of course meant the child kept coming back to see if they were done resting, and even trying to just take them. And the couple ended up feeling like they just needed to leave, and it wan't fair that the child's parents were so oblivious and just doing their own thing.
Dishonesty and indirectness is so passive-aggressive and tiring, and it also tends to generate an inner, low-burning rage in those who practice it. Honesty really is the best policy. While it can be hard to take that first step and tell the truth (i.e. the couple at the beach probably needed to say something to the toddler's parents, even they probably didn't feel they should "have" to).
Posted by: Susan | September 28, 2009 at 10:38 AM
If you live in a Communist society, then you will probably have to lie to your children, because the Truth becomes a dangerous idea in such a society. If you tell your children too much about the government, and if they rebel, then they will die.
Remember the protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, and the resulting massacre that took place? We saw those images in the Western world, but those in China know virtually nothing about what happened. Remember the image of one man who later stood in front of tanks? This man disappeared and was never heard from again.
Societies that force the adoption of the Communist philosophy are forced to shut out religion, which naturally competes for the allegiance that we owe only to God. Parents feel obliged to perpetuate the lies, or they put their children at risk.
If women in Muslim nations speak up against the reward of 72 virgins for Muslim Martyrs, a sick and perverted concept completely invented by Mohammad, then they know it could lead to death for them and for their children. It's hard enough to recruit suicide bombers when your society can raise you up in government-sponsored deceptions, but it's practically impossible to do it when people know the truth.
In this society, parents have the luxury of telling their children the Truth. They don't need to invent lies to deal with anything. And when someone is in Christ, they have the freedom to do what is right, which is a freedom that unrepentant sinners do not have. Those who are lost in sin do *not* have the freedom to overcome that sin. It is only through God that someone is set free from the bondages of sin, and given the freedom to choose to do what is right.
Posted by: Just Thinking | September 28, 2009 at 10:48 AM
It really is time for you Christian nutcases to shut up. The day is coming when you nutjobs will no longer be tolerated by the courts and half to pay taxes like everyone else.
Science has created life in the laboratory and clones are already being planned, where our minds will be transferred when the time for death comes and thus we will get a whole new body. We will live forever, you can go ahead an die if you want. I am tired of trying to be nice and "understand" your lunacy. That is what the new atheism is all about, and it is going to win.
I would rather live under one of those atheistic governments you complain about than the theocracy we live now. You are lying about atheistic governments committing crimes; that is propaganda from the capitalists to protect the big corporations. None of that stuff ever happened.
Cole, when do you guys have meetings and how do I get involved? We have to stop these people. You can e mail me at [email protected]
Posted by: DanB | September 28, 2009 at 11:01 AM
KCFreethinker, Go For It!
We have to pour it on to these nutjobs. The New Atheists have shown the way. The time of coddling and "understanding" is over. I am going to tell it like it is!!!
Posted by: DanB | September 28, 2009 at 11:13 AM
JUST THINKING, you are just telling lies about atheistic governments because you want to keep the theocracy we have. Crawl under a rock, shut up, and die.
Posted by: DanB | September 28, 2009 at 11:14 AM
Some people mistake freedom for a license to do whatever they please. That's not what freedom is all about. Real freedom is the freedom to do what is *right*. Freedom to serve God. Freedom to worship God. Freedom to tell the Truth. Freedom to speak respectfully with others. Freedom to love those who don't think like us. Freedom is not an excuse for abuse, as some have made it.
Some people think that teaching children respect for authority is a form of child abuse, and wrong. They have created a generation of hedonists where, if authority gets in the way of self-indulgent pleasure, then they draw their sword. They take whatever they want, and they do whatever they want to get their own way. We need to get back to basics: If it's not yours, don't touch it. Stay away from another person's spouse. Respect your elders. Freedom to whatever you want is not freedom. Respect for people, position, and property. Titles such Mr., Miss, Mrs., Dr., etc are not abusive.
Respect = honor. We should value people, see them as important, and respect them accordingly. Freedom is not the freedom to disrespect what is good and decent and right. We can disagree, but we can do it with respect. Otherwise we undermine the very fabric of our society. It is that lack of respect that will destroy the freedom of our people. Those who live in true freedom should show love. Joe Wilson should be removed.
When Christian freedom becomes an excuse for selfish indulgence, then it is enslaving us all over again, and there is no sacrifice that remains. Christian freedom is not to be a cover-up for sin. "I can do what I want -- I live in a free county." That's not freedom. That's destructive disorder.
Posted by: Just Thinking | September 28, 2009 at 11:21 AM
If children are taught proper respect for authority, then you shouldn't need to resort to lies in order to deal with issues of authority.
Posted by: Just Thinking | September 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM
Just Thinking, I'm just curious to know your definition for teaching children respect because it surprises me that anyone would call this "child abuse."
Of course, I meet some parents who think the only way to teach children respect is to hit them and punish them, and who think children won't learn without experiencing some pain for misbehavior. If this is your version of "teaching respect," then of course it's no surprise if someone has called this abusive. But in that case, it's not the teaching of respect itself but the disrespectful teaching method.
I think the best way to teach children respect is by showing them respect -- and also by helping them learn empathy for others. Whereas corporal punishment just sends the message that "I'm bigger now so it's 'my' turn to get respect ... you just need to hold out for 'your' turn."
I think this hierarchy is the cause of some bitterness in some older people today -- because they grew up in a system wherein the older people got respect unconditionally, regardless of how disrespectful they were being to those younger than them, the idea being that the young people just needed to bide their time and someday they'd be the elder with the sharp tongue who everyone else had to tiptoe around.
This hierarchy has created some discontent in some older people today, because after tolerating direspectful interference from their own parents and inlaws all throughout the the years when they were raising their own children, they feel like it's their turn to be the bossy, interfering Grandparent -- only to discover that their own adult children are setting boundaries and are not playing this game. The grandparents are often confused, angry, and hurt -- some manage to make the transition to a healthy relationship, but some don't.
Posted by: Susan | September 28, 2009 at 12:08 PM
Just Thinking wrote, "If children are taught proper respect for authority, then you shouldn't need to resort to lies in order to deal with issues of authority."
And yet, the examples Bill shared -- of the mother inventing a "paci-fairie" to get her daughter to give up her pacifiers, or his mother talking about starving children in India (actually true, of course) to get him to eat all his food -- to me these are not even issues of authority.
Children know whether they are hungry or not, so it makes more sense for them to decide when to stop eating anyway. And if you don't want your child to get a pacifier-addiction, then why not just nurse her whenever she wants to nurse, for as long as she wants to nurse? It worked for me, my children never needed a pacifier.
And whereas I guess there's some age-limit beyond which pacifier use can be detrimental to tooth formation, breasts don't come with any such warnings.
Posted by: Susan | September 28, 2009 at 12:19 PM