ViewPoint: Honesty and White Lies

ViewPoint: Honesty and White Lies

Hello guys, so today is Monday, the 6th of November and yes it’s the first Monday of the month, therefore a ViewPoint post. ViewPoint is basically a post that shows opinions or “viewpoints” of people on subject matters. This is the second post on ViewPoint and the topic discussed is on Honesty and White lies. BTW, if you missed last month’s own (which was on polygamy), you can check it out here

Before I go on further, I have to warn you, this is a looooong post. I got the opinions of 14 people, so it’s expected. Hopefully, you have the patience to get to the end but it’s worth it.

What is honesty and white lie?

According to Oxford dictionary, honesty is the noun of honest and honest means “free of deceit; truthful and sincere”. Oxford dictionary also defines white lie as “a harmless, trivial lie, especially one told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings”.

I asked a total of 14 people (6 guys and 8 females) what they thought about honesty. This is exactly how I asked it.

“What’s your take on honesty and is it possible to be completely honest? On white lies, is it necessary to tell a white lie? What’s your take on white lie? Can telling white lie be seen as a form of dishonesty?”

Indeed the views I got were interesting, some made me rethink some things. The names of the owners of the opinions will remain unknown, but I’ll put an initial of their names. Below are the opinions.

Mr. H: Honesty simply means being open, truthful and being real to someone, not keeping secrets. It entails concern. If you are concern on the other person, you won’t be dishonest. Honesty is a key element in building up a relationship, not only for marriage but for business, mental relationship and so on. On white lies, to some extent is good. Because some of the white lies end issues. They prevent quarrel, fighting, and prolonged argument. So it ends all these. So to some extent, it’s ok. But every lie is lie, whether white, black, blue and so on. But it depends on the level to which lie you are expected to lie. The degree you are expected to lie. Because there are some lies, you know that this one is a lie.

Miss T: Honesty is a good thing, it’s an admirable quality. Is it possible to be completely honest? Yea, it is, I know people are but in other ways, in their bid to be really honest, they come up as blunt and unemotional. On white lies, it might not necessary but sometimes I feel like it’s what you have to do to protect something or someone. But in the end, the truth prevails and they find out, maybe like years later. At the end maybe it’s not the best option because if they find out, it’s like, you betrayed me, why did you lie to me? But then againat that point in time, that little white lie has saved them from a lot of grief. Yea it’s a form of dishonesty but for me, it comes with a lot of good intentions.

Mr. C: Honesty is a virtue to be cultivated by everyone. Absolute honesty is not feasible because humans are imperfect beings in an imperfect world. White lies are sometimes necessary to save some embarrassing situations and yes, telling white lies can be seen as a form of dishonesty.

Mr. E: Honesty is a virtue that should be encouraged and emulated. No it is not possible to be completely honest. Sometimes when necessary, one can tell white lies, for example, in situations to save life, protect someone’s interest and so on. White lies and lies are all lies. One cannot lie to his conscience but sometimes white lies are good and necessary.

Mr. A: Unless someone comes clean with me, I think everyone has, in one way or the other told a “white lie” before, consciously or unconsciously. And most often than not, we don’t feel guilty about it especially if its result is “good.” Unfortunately, telling one white lie usually “opens the way’ for more lies to cover up the initial one.

About whether or not it is necessary to tell a “white lie,” I know a lot of people use the saying that “it is better to hurt me with the truth than to comfort me with a lie,” but I feel that to most people, that is just a saying. This is because most of us cannot handle the truth, as such would prefer to be comforted with a lie. So in as much as I know it is not necessary to tell a “white lie,” I feel that when the going gets tougher; in extreme circumstances, most of us do tell “white lies.”

A lie is a lie; whether ‘white” or “black”, whether the outcome is “good” or “bad” or whether it benefits the culprit or the victim or even both and is still considered as dishonesty.

As for honesty, from the Biblical point of view (since I am a Christian), it is obvious that there is only one side to this, that is being honest. Now that is the ideal. Unfortunately, we are sometimes confronted with realities of life and deviating from the ideal seems to be the best option.

YES, one can be completely honest but it is going to be extremely difficult. Only a few people “I guess” are able to keep to that anyway. Sometimes it seems the only way to get things rightly done is to act contrary to the standards of honesty.

In a nutshell, if I am going strictly according to the ideals, a “white lie’ is a lie and is considered as a form of dishonesty, thus in as much as some extreme circumstances necessitate that you tell a white lie, it is really not worth it. Also honesty is a great virtue and without any doubts, very difficult to keep but I believe one can be completely be honest especially if guided by Biblical principles.

Miss C: It is possible to be completely honest. I mean what’s so difficult about saying things the way they happen. Dishonesty emanates from selfishness. People think of themselves alone, how it would turn out for them and the best case scenario for them. Next time a person says “I can’t tell the truth every time” ask them if they prefer hearing lies from people they trust. White lies are still lies. The idea that telling a white lie will protect a person’s feelings is basically flawed. If you cared so much about a person you will endeavour to speak the truth. When people say “I did it to protect you” all I hear is “you don’t deserve the truth” or “you are so stupid you bought my lies”

Mrs V: It only takes a man that has the fear of God to be Honest. You know why? Because in these society that we are today situations and circumstances around you would even discourage you from being honest because when u look around, you will see there are a lot of dishonest people. But if one fears God then no matter the situation he or she will be honest! So I say Yes!! It is possible to be honest. I “quote”, it only takes a man that fear’s God to be completely honest. Talking about white lies, It’s actually not necessary to tell it but when one find’s him/herself in a circumstance where only a white lie can be the solution then it is just better off than making the situation worse. Sometimes it’s a way of trying to ease oneself from embarrassment.

Miss G: Yes white lies can be seen as dishonesty depending on the issue. One thing with lies in general is it never lasts because no matter how little or big the lie is, your statement can never be stable. Also, that’s when the other individual will figure out you told a lie before. So I guess yes, white lies can also be seen as a form of dishonesty. As humans we say white lies especially in situations we can’t help but lie, just for peace to reign.

Miss K: So about white lies and honesty, I feel like it is impossible to be completely honest in this life. Although that’s what’s expected of us but it’s impossible. Sometimes you have to tell white lies to either save yourself or save other people (from trouble or shame or whatever).

Mr. K: I don’t think people can be completely honest. Complete honesty would be seen as disrespectful and cruel because you’ll say and do what you feel like cause that’s what you think you know or feel. That’s where honesty takes you and sometimes you can’t only look at the person being honest you have to look at the other individual who they are telling these things to. This person may see the world differently than you, so what you deem honest and truthful might just seem so wicked and selfish to this person.

For examples, when it’s comes to relationships, some men definitely just want to have sex with the lady and go, no form of emotional feeling whatsoever but the lady who is being approached with such honesty might be offended and disgusted that she just wants to be used for sex and nothing else. It might not be the best example but I’m sure some guys will agree this is true and some girls too might feel the same way. So pure and brutal honesty is not completely possible.

And when it’s comes to white lies I think it’s acceptable because sometimes it doesn’t hurt. What actually hurts is that the victim couldn’t tell the person was lying and actually feels cheated on or not being smart enough to notice a lie. And also it depends on the motive of the person telling the lie. Personally I feel white lies are OK not like OK where you should tell them every time.

In conclusion, complete honesty is possible but it will seem heartless, self-centred. The right question everyone should be asking is “ Can you handle the truth and your feelings if everybody is completely honest” OR “do we all prefer lies as long as it’s makes us happy?

Miss P: I believe one should be honest (according to the way it’s defined in Wikipedia) you must not tell me all the truth in this world but do you have virtuous, positive attributes, is your intention clear, are they good? You too also need to know when to keep shut about specific things. I don’t believe in dishonesty in truthfulness, telling me all the truth, some even to hurt me. It’s not possible for a person who has your best interest at heart to tell you everything 100%. I think that’s when that ‘white lie’ people talk about comes to play. It all depends on what you see honesty as.

Mr. G: First of all I would say it is possible to be completely honest at least within 24 – 48hours ??. I don’t know if it’s possible to be honest till Jesus comes. But if we are conscious of working at it, then nothing is impossible with God. A white lie to my understanding is a harmless lie. Imagine the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. His disciples had gone to get him food but when they came back and asked him….  He talked about a different kind of food he partakes of – and that is in doing the will of his Father.

Imagine you call me on a day I’m fasting – of which I don’t intend to make a show of it. Then you’re like “G have you eaten?” If I said No, you would ask “Why?”, if I said yes, then I have lied. But if I said “Don’t worry dear you won’t imagine the kind of food I ate this morning, but I’m full – that’s a white lie. In my mind I mean to say I ate spiritual food by mere studying the word and meditating but am not explicit with you because I don’t want you to worry, because I know you love me. Either ways. A lie is a lie. Whether it is black, red or white. The bible is clear on that. White lie is clearly a form of dishonesty. That’s why I rather deviate from giving an answer to a question than lie.

When a question has multiple interpretations, I’m yet to know if picking a form of interpretation to answer would be a white lie. Just like my answer to a lady who asked why I don’t have a GF, it could mean God Father, Good Friend, Guy friend, Great Faith. So because I can’t answer the obvious interpretation, I could choose from the rest. But I would still say… not minding the fact that am playing with words, Lie is Lie, be it for a good reason or not.

Miss P: It’s very possible to be completely honest. Let’s not justify honesty with white lies. A lie is a lie and not different from a lie. If we have to be completely honest, there’s no need for white lies. Let’s say it as it is.

Miss H: Honesty is what we should have or show always. Even the bible says it in Romans 13:13, “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying”.

It is possible to become completely honest when you dedicate yourself to follow the characteristic of Jesus which is being honest. However, humans, due to so many things in the world, love of worldly things or situations we find ourselves, tend not to be completely honest.

I would say, a lie is a lie, whether white, little, big, or black, it is a lie. Telling a lie leads to dishonesty. For example, when one is not having possession of some things but tend to lie to friends about it, or when in a relationship, you keep on telling small lies to your partner. All these show that the person is not honest.

So folks, that’s the last one. There you have it. What do you think? Feel free to join in the discussion.

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27 thoughts on “ViewPoint: Honesty and White Lies

  1. Honesty is telling people the truth instead of what they wanna hear or telling people false information to protect yourself or someone else.
    To be completely honest, that really depends on the person. I don’t think possible to be completely honest. I was thinking, our parents lie to us when we were little to protect our feelings. They lied to us about Sanat clause, Easter bunny, tooth fairy etc.
    The more sensitive you are, the more likely the chances are higher in which people will not be completely honest with you.
    Also in the movie baby boy, the scene where baby boy lied to Evvette telling her “I lied to you becuase I care about your feelings” he was protecting her.

    I hate to admit it but sometimes white lies are neccessary

      1. Np and just too add one more question cuz I this question wrote a blog about hsomething about this a while back
        Do you think the world would be a better place or a more cold violent place if everybody in the world was forced to tell the truth all the time and could never lie?
        You don’t have to respond just something to think about

  2. Wow. Quite a long read but worth it as you said. For me, honesty is a making a pact with your self at all times. With regards to honesty, my motto is ‘ To thine own self be true’

  3. Wow. Quite a long post but worth it as you promised. For me ,honesty is about been one with yourself in every moment. When it comes to honesty, I go by the motto ‘ To your own self be true’ if I fail sometimes, no big deal, I just get back to myself. The issue of white or black lies just complicates things.

  4. Long post but well worth it. For me, honesty boils down to being true to yourself in every moment. I go by the motto ‘To your own self be true’. Yeah, sometimes you err, that alright, you can always realign. The issue of white, black, blue lies are a tad bit complicated for me.

    1. Thank you dear for reading. Lol, it’s really long. Yeah it can be complicated. ‘To your own self be true’. That’s nice, especially considering the fact that sometimes we struggle to tell ourselves the truth. Thank you Clare for your contribution.

  5. Lol. Now I get where you are coming from. I’m a Christian therefore we are told to be honest plus there is nothing like black or white lie. A lie is a lie. You are either telling the truth or lying. No Grey area

  6. Quite a popular topic and an interesting read to see everyone’s thoughts on this. Personally I think lies generate more lies and quite often end up hurting others. I always try to tell the truth no matter how painful but there are those times when white lies are necessary to protect others

  7. Interesting topic and kudos to all your respondents for their candid opinions. As for me honesty is being truthful at all time and whether is possible to be completely honest.. Yes it is possible and it is a matter of choice. In whatever situation we find ourselves there’s always a choice to make. Say the truth or Lie. Truth is truth and lie is lie irrespective of the colour or name. life is all about choice.

    1. Thank you for reading and for the contribution as well. I also believe complete honesty is possible and it takes God and due diligence. Lies indeed are lies, no matter how they are painted.

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