Presenter Peter Curran introduces the panel of philosophers. They will discuss the necessity of lying and the possibility of complete honesty.
Psychologist Sophie Van der Zee explains deception research and the questions it asks about lying. She says most people agree that lying is bad but tell social lies.
Philosopher Rae Langton explains the value of telling the truth and why it should hinder people from lying. She talks about the difference between lying and misleading.
Philosopher Tom Sorrell outlines the consequences of lying, such as spreading false information. He says lying can be a form a manipulation to serve a self-interest.
The panel discusses the purpose of lying and how it can be positive. Sorrell provides examples of when lying is positive. Langton talks about people's right to the truth.
Langton explains the danger of thinking about lying in cost-benefit terms. Sorrell says it is impossible to always assess the cost-benefit before telling a lie. Van der Zee says most lies are not for selfish reasons.
The panel talks about how modern society and the development of the internet have made people more dishonest. Sorrell says anonymity promotes dishonesty.
Credits: Of Lies and Necessities
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From lying politicians to dishonest lovers, we judge deception harshly and demand honesty and truth as core values. Yet small and not-so-small lies have a habit of creeping into our lives. Is it possible to be completely honest - and would it be desirable? Is lying a necessity for life or should we insist on honesty as a means for social cohesion and trusting relationships? The Panel Peter Curran trusts Cambridge feminist philosopher Rae Langton, Warwick professor of Philosophy and Politics Tom Sorrell and Cambridge post-doctoral researcher Sophie Van der Zee to give honest answers.
Length: 44 minutes
Copyright date: ©2015
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