Have you been looking for good General Paper sample essays on the topic of Moral Values & Truth? Are you going to prepare this sub-topic of social issues, philosophy, etc as one of your main content topic for your upcoming GP examinations? A good choice, as this questions allows many perspectives and angles, so one cannot really go wrong.
We at Ace Specialist Hub, offer new essay answers every week, so do remember to book this this page. And comer back often for more answers of essay samples.
Q1: Telling lies can never be justified. Do you agree?
From the moral perspective, telling lies, which is a form of dishonesty and a means of deception, is wrong. However, in reality there are really very few situations which are totally black or white, and in between the many shades of grey, it may be possible to justify lying. On the other hand, the moral weight of dishonesty cannot be taken lightly, and so the reasons for ever telling a lie should be seriously considered and lying should perhaps be one of the last few options in dealing with any situation.
Unfortunately, most of the lying that is done is casual lying, done almost without thought; a social function. We lie to be polite, out of courtesy and consideration so as to not offend with our true opinions. We also lie to ‘save face-not to embarrass others and ourselves. Actually, such lies may make this world a much nicer place to be in. Considering the amount of feelings of hurt, anger and psychological agony avoided by this brand of social lying, which hurts no one, lying in this sense may indeed be justifiable; desirable even.
However, there are dangers in ‘white’ benign lies too. Sometimes a small harmless lie has the potential to develop into a tangled web of deception when, in the need to maintain the initial lie, more lies are made. This may hurt more than help – and it is not only the person being lied to who suffers – the one who lies bears the burden of maintaining his deception (ironically sometimes to ‘save face – one of the ends to lying) is plagued by fear of discovery and is weighed down by guilt and regret.
Even worse, relationships are compromised because of lies. Being ‘tactful’ in social lying may ease tension in our interactions with others, but carried to too far an ex tent may mean there is no honest communication, no true knowledge of another person. Relationships become superficial and shallow it may be devoid of conflict (be cause people refuse to express their true feelings for fear of offending) but it is meaningless. A relationship based on lies is a lie! This case illustrates that though the short term benefits of lying may at first glance seem enough to justify the deed, the long-term repercussions may off-set that justification.
However, there are many cases where it is difficult to decide whether a lie can a justified or not. Can a wife who lies blatantly to hide her murderer husband be pardoned on the grounds of love alone? Perhaps yes, per haps no, depending on perception but even those who demurred may change their minds when the fact that this woman has six children to support and cannot do so with out the husband, is brought in. Justification varies from situation to situation. We cannot just tabulate a list of il legitimate such and such kinds of lies which can be excused but other types cannot. There will always be exceptions, depending on circumstances.
There are many ways to try to come up with a frame work to facilitate justification of lies. One way is to assess the ends; another is to examine motive.
“The ends justify the means’ is a rather controversial statement. It seems to imply there is a lot of leeway for evil as long as the end product is good and beneficial. In the case of lies, this is a possibility. Consider this case in World War II: a German woman lied to her nation’s soldiers to conceal five Jews who had taken residence in her house, because she knew what happened to Jews when they were caught – even at the risk of her own family. The ends: Five lives were spared endless torture and eventual painful death. It is very hard to say this woman’s lies were not justified – lives are highly significant ends. In fact, our army trains our soldiers to lie in the event that they become prisoners of war. Not only would we justify the lies of soldiers who endured for the sake of their people; we would glorify their obdurate lying!
Yet, not everyone agrees that ‘the end justifies the means’ in the event of political propaganda. Governments always claim their motives are good- and sometimes even the end results are good, yet even in the face of such evidence of benefits, there is resentment if people feel they were tricked by lies (or manipulation of the truth) on the part of the government. The bottom line is that people do not like to be deceived and will feel cheated even if you did it for their own good. For these people, the ends which may well include higher standards of living, improved facilities, high employment, do not justify their loss of personal freedom and choice when they were not told the total truth and could not make informed decisions. (Funnily, nowadays, the concept of ‘delayed truth‘ is in.)
It may be better to assess motives to see if a lie is justifiable, since lying is a moral issue and motives are very much linked to morals. In the practical world, if a lie doesn’t seem to lead to anything worthwhile, it may not be justifiable. But on the moral level, lying when done out of true compassion and a conscious need to do what is right, is justifiable, no matter what the ends are or whether the lie succeeds in doing what it was intended to do. Very likely lying will lead to pain because it is a dangerous and complicated tool – but many of us still lie knowing that because it is an abstract concept. Sometimes it seems kinder to lie than tell the truth when we rationalise a real life situation. Even a person who is hurt by your lies may forgive you when it is clear your intentions are good, because pure motives are a universal language, recognised instantly and instinctively in a way that all the rationalizing in the world to justify any deed cannot do.
Let us ask ourselves why there is this inherent need to justify lying – isn’t it because on some level we recognize that lying is a potentially harmful thing which we have no right to truly wield because it is in a sense playing with other people’s lives without their permission? The need to justify… reflects the need to be forgiven, by not only those we implicate by our lies, but also ourselves. We all want to know we have tried our best to do what we think is most right. And it is this desire that will continue making lies justifiable.
Lyrics: You‘re always telling lies, and that’s the only truth. “I’m not scared” by Eighth Wonder.
(This essay on Moral Values & Truth is written within time, similar to actual exam conditions.)