09 March 2018

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Is it necessary to lie in life? + News

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Is it necessary to lie in life?

But first some feedback about finding a quiet place for our meetings. We
have an offer from a restaurant where we can meet in the basement that
is very cosy and quiet. The place is in the centre within easy reach
from Sol. However, the condition is that the first drink is 5 Euros and
subsequent drinks at normal prices. I need to report back in a few days
time. So basically please let me know what you think.

Miguel has also sent us details about more Mathematics meetings, details

Estimado tertuliano:
Te anunciamos la siguiente conferencia: Segmentación borrosa de
imágenes, por Carely Guada Escalona (UCM)
Saludos cordiales,
Tertulia de Matemáticas

Is it necessary to lie in life?

Lies can be serious mischief makers; or lies can be lubricating grease
to go with the flow.

The problem with this distinction is that we are not always able to tell
when a lie is intended to create mischief and when a lie is just a means
to keep life uncomplicated. Today we know that claims that immigrants
lower wages or take jobs away from the host population are just bad
taste propaganda. One of the reasons why immigrants, legal or not, do
not affect the labour market is because the government do not spend much
effort making sure that there are no inequities in the labour market.
But as we know governments go out of their way to limit the validation
of qualifications from other countries which does limit access to the
labour market. The truth is that immigrants do not make good voters
because usually they don't have a vote although many pay taxes.

On the other hand, a child knows very well the value of utilitarian lies
for personal peace and tranquillity at home. Denying responsibility for
a missing slice of cake might not create much mischief but it certainly
keeps one's parents at bay. In any case, parents always know when we
take an extra piece of cake.

The fact is that people generally lie but this is similar to saying
whales are not fish. It's not very informative and we still don't know
what we'll do if we came face to face with a whale. So when it comes to
lying, lies like meeting whales most of us prefer not to come face to
face with a whale without prior notice. And most of us prefer not to lie
if we can help it.

It is very interesting that our question is about the necessity of lying
since this implies that we have no choice and when we do lie we do so
because we recognise the utilitarian value of the lie. The problem with
utilitarianism is that we cannot go about our lives or our morality
based on numbers.

Lying is more an intuition than an art which is why they are not that
reliable; even less reliable than painting by numbers. There comes a
point when it becomes very difficult to distinguish necessity from
sufficiency; lying can make us lazy since we do not feel the need to
distinguish fact from fiction, responsibility from carelessness, or
short term expediency from long term unintended consequences.

But if utilitarianism might make us lazy, trusting some sort universal
law might prove very dangerous, if not worse. The problem with universal
laws of the kind that are supposed to establish ethics and morality tend
to be man, and sometimes, woman made laws. In other words, man/woman
made laws tend not to be universal, some might survive the test of time,
but that does not make these laws universal.

Thou shall not lie might be good for a normal society but what are we
supposed to do if we are governed by a deceiving government? Should we
always be honest with the Gestapo, especially if can bluff them
successfully? The categorical imperative might be impractical, but
Kant's idea that we ought to be reasonable is not a bad idea at all.

It seems, therefore, that lying, like a corrupted file on our computer,
is here to stay for awhile longer. The balance is between lying from
necessity and being reasonable when we have no option but to lie.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
MeetUp https://www.meetup.com/PhiloMadrid-philosophy-group/

PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Café Madrid
Calle del Meson de Panos in Opera

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Is it necessary to
lie in life? + News

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