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

    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.

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

    It's not even close to being as bad. An outright lie involves the speaker conveying false information, whereas a "lie of omission" involves the receiver lying to themselves by way of assumption.

    In one instance, th3 speaker is actively doing something dishonest. In the other, the receiver is actively doing something stupid. The blame in the latter case falls on the receiver.

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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.
    I think you've just described Fox News "We Report, You Decide"


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

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    It's not even close to being as bad. An outright lie involves the speaker conveying false information, whereas a "lie of omission" involves the receiver lying to themselves by way of assumption.

    In one instance, th3 speaker is actively doing something dishonest. In the other, the receiver is actively doing something stupid. The blame in the latter case falls on the receiver.
    There is usually some level of assumption, sure, but that does not automatically mean the 'receiver' is lying to themselves. Made up example...

    Politician: You citizens are safer because I implemented stronger criminal protections and got common thugs off the streets. (Yay me!) [Looks and sounds good.]
    Untold truth: I was able to do it by increasing your taxes three-fold and suspending the Constitution. [Oh, wait, maybe it's not so good.]

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    It's not even close to being as bad. An outright lie involves the speaker conveying false information, whereas a "lie of omission" involves the receiver lying to themselves by way of assumption.

    In one instance, th3 speaker is actively doing something dishonest. In the other, the receiver is actively doing something stupid. The blame in the latter case falls on the receiver.
    What have you done with Tucker???? Let me see if I understand what you've said. If someone omits a pertinent factoid, the blame lies on the listener. Huh?? Tucker!!! Change your password!!!
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    Re: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    I think it depends entirely on intent. If the intent is to deceive, then it is likely wrong. Otherwise, it is probably innocent.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Politician: You citizens are safer because I implemented stronger criminal protections and got common thugs off the streets. (Yay me!) [Looks and sounds good.]
    Untold truth: I was able to do it by increasing your taxes three-fold and suspending the Constitution. [Oh, wait, maybe it's not so good.]

    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.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    There is usually some level of assumption, sure, but that does not automatically mean the 'receiver' is lying to themselves. Made up example...

    Politician: You citizens are safer because I implemented stronger criminal protections and got common thugs off the streets. (Yay me!) [Looks and sounds good.]
    Untold truth: I was able to do it by increasing your taxes three-fold and suspending the Constitution. [Oh, wait, maybe it's not so good.]
    In this case it is not a lie, the person doing the listening can easily find the information


    But in the case of

    Question Where were you last night?


    Answer At home (but leave out the 3 hours spent at the strip club) that would be a lie and just as bad as an actual lie
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    Re: Is "lying by omission" just as bad as outright lying?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    What have you done with Tucker???? Let me see if I understand what you've said. If someone omits a pertinent factoid, the blame lies on the listener. Huh?? Tucker!!! Change your password!!!
    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.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    Question Where were you last night?


    Answer At home (but leave out the 3 hours spent at the strip club) that would be a lie and just as bad as an actual lie
    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.

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