View Poll Results: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

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  • Yes.

    9 34.62%
  • Yes, but only for important issues. "Little white lies" not so much.

    11 42.31%
  • No.

    3 11.54%
  • Note sure, let's discuss.

    1 3.85%
  • Other (plase explain).

    2 7.69%
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Thread: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

  1. #11
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    Re: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    The self-deception is right there in your post. As soon as the receiver said "yay" and assumed that it looked and sounded good they lied to themselves because they did not review all of the facts before developing their opinion. It is not the speaker's job to alleviate the ignorance of the receiver so that teh receiver can make an informed decision, it is the receiver's job to do this.
    You misunderstood. The "Yay me!" was intended to be the politician saying it to themself. IOW: "Praise me, people, for how great I am."

  2. #12
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    Re: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Speakers are not required to present all of the facts (if they were, we'd all be guilty of lying constantly, because such a requirement would be impossible).

    Receivers who assume that all of the facts have been presented are at fault for their own assumptions. It is their job to alleviate their own ignorance. It is not the speaker's job.

    Will dishonest speakers take advantage of the stupid assumptions of others? Of course they will, they are dishonest.

    But that does not alleviate the receiver of their complicity in their own self-deception.
    The receiver's part has nothing to do with it. The speaker, and the relative importance of the information omitted, is the issue.

  3. #13
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    Re: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    That would be an actual lie, not a lie of omission, since the statement, "the speaker was not at home last night" is a true statement.

    If the question was "What did you do last night", saying "I walked around for a bit and I watched some TV as well" while leaving out the portion about the strip club would be a lie of omission.
    The statement "at home" would be true, he was at home for some of the time, not just all of the time.
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    Re: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    You misunderstood. The "Yay me!" was intended to be the politician saying it to themself. IOW: "Praise me, people, for how great I am."
    Gotcha. then the receiver is only lying to themselves when they assume that what is obviously partial information is a good thing.

  5. #15
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    Re: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    The statement "at home" would be true, he was at home for some of the time, not just all of the time.
    If the statement "The speaker was not at home last night" is true, then an answer of "I was at home last night" would have to be a lie, at least partially.

    A lie of omission would be something like "This car is serviced regularly" while failing to say "And on its last servicing, we discovered about a million things wrong with it". The statement has to be 100% true while leaving out some fact that would change teh person's perception of said statement. Your example is not 100% true because it is a lie.

  6. #16
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    Re: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    A lie of omission would be something like "This car is serviced regularly" while failing to say "And on its last servicing, we discovered about a million things wrong with it". The statement has to be 100% true while leaving out some fact that would change teh person's perception of said statement. Your example is not 100% true because it is a lie.
    No. By your own criteria, the receiver should have presumed there was missing information, and the onus is on them.

  7. #17
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    Re: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    No. By your own criteria, the receiver should have presumed there was missing information, and the onus is on them.
    Ah, since when do you determine my criteria?

    The part you pointed out was a lie of omission, but at no point did I say that the fault does not lie on the receiver for not following up to get more information. They are assuming that simply because it's serviced, there is nothing wrong with it. That is their own fault.
    Last edited by Tucker Case; 10-25-11 at 01:30 PM.

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    Re: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    When I say "lying by omission", I mean that a person makes a statement or claim about something knowing full well that they are omitting an important piece of information that might cause the listener or reader to think less favorably about the issue.
    Lying by ommission is one of the key tools of Public Relations. Accentuating the positive and downplaying or ommitting the negative.

    For an example. At one point during the runup to the Iraq war, the inspectors were pulled out because of failure to comply on the part of Hussein. I watched the whole runup on Free Speech tv, which included a lot of reports and documentaries we never see here. And they had a documentary piece from the BBC (iirc) that shed a little light on the subject that never made it into our media.

    There was a procedure in place for the inspection of Husseins palaces, the ones he actually lived in. Inspectors were allowed by agreement to inspect without notice, but were only allowed to send in two inspectors initially. If those inspectors found something they could bring in the rest of the team.

    The new American head of the inspectors unilaterally changed the rules and demanded the whole team be allowed to enter from the outset.

    Palace guards refused to allow this, as it was contrary to their orders, and the inspectors were pulled out based on this "non-compliance".

    Its been a while and I can't remember all the details, but it was such a big deal that I'm sure I could get the details.

    The upshot is the example.

    "Saddam Hussein refuses to allow inspectors to do their jobs" while leaving out that it was a unilateral, non-negotiated change in protocols that caused the reaction in the first place, is a lie.

    And the kind not easily debunked by the listener.
    Last edited by What if...?; 10-25-11 at 01:53 PM.
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    Re: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    I've been rethinking what I've said in this thread and I realized how I might be coming across is not exactly what I'm trying to say.

    I'm saying that, in the dichotomy of the thread question, an outright lie is worse than a lie of omission because a lie of omission must be coupled with an assumption by the receiver in order for it to be deceptive. There must be some degree of self-deception involved in a lie of omission, while there is no self-deception when someone is lied to outright.

    That does not excuse the person who is taking advantage of the listener's assumptions, though. It just makes it a lesser form of dishonesty than an outright lie would be.

    That's also just a comparison of the two forms of dishonesty in general. Comparing specific lies of each sort to each other can lead to different results (lying to the wife by saying I was at my friends house because I didn't want to tell her I was at the mall buying her a surprise gift for her birthday would not be as bad as saying "I was at work" omitting the fact that, while I was at work, I was banging my secretary).

    And there are certain specific instances where a person is under a legal obligation to divulge all of the facts of a situation and in such instances, a lie of omission is essentially the same as an outright lie.

    I hope that clarifies my position somewhat.

  10. #20
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    Re: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    I've been rethinking what I've said in this thread and I realized how I might be coming across is not exactly what I'm trying to say.

    I'm saying that, in the dichotomy of the thread question, an outright lie is worse than a lie of omission because a lie of omission must be coupled with an assumption by the receiver in order for it to be deceptive. There must be some degree of self-deception involved in a lie of omission, while there is no self-deception when someone is lied to outright.

    That does not excuse the person who is taking advantage of the listener's assumptions, though. It just makes it a lesser form of dishonesty than an outright lie would be.

    That's also just a comparison of the two forms of dishonesty in general. Comparing specific lies of each sort to each other can lead to different results (lying to the wife by saying I was at my friends house because I didn't want to tell her I was at the mall buying her a surprise gift for her birthday would not be as bad as saying "I was at work" omitting the fact that, while I was at work, I was banging my secretary).

    And there are certain specific instances where a person is under a legal obligation to divulge all of the facts of a situation and in such instances, a lie of omission is essentially the same as an outright lie.

    I hope that clarifies my position somewhat.
    It does. Thanks.

    What I highlighted in red was why I provided the option in the poll about "little white lies", because I agree there are instances where it's not a big deal.

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