When is it okay to tell a lie?

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Mahmoud Etemadi's picture
When is it okay to tell a lie?

I am wondering when it is okay for an atheist to tell a lie. For instance, is it okay to tell my father that I have lost the watch he gave me for my birthday so I don't hurt his feelings? Or is it okay, to cheat on my biology test if I don't get caught? Etc etc.etc.

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chimp3's picture
I would lie to save myself.

I would lie to save myself. Convert to Islam or die? Praise Allah!

mykcob4's picture
Stupid question. You assume a

Stupid question. You assume a great deal about atheists. Atheism just means that we don't believe your myth or any myth. Atheism has nothing to do with lying or not lying or the motivations of which. Since believing in a god is just lying to one's self, lying is the guiding mantra of all believers.

MCDennis's picture
awesome response mykcob4

awesome response mykcob4

MCDennis's picture
Interesting questions. Tell

Interesting questions. Tell us what you think Mahmoud

Cognostic's picture
No one lies for a bad reason.

No one lies for a bad reason. At least they did not think it was bad at the time. It's not okay when you get caught. Until that point you can continue believing that you are smarter than those around you.

algebe's picture
There are atheist liars, just

There are atheist liars, just as there are Christian and Muslim liars. All that atheists have in common is their refusal to believe the greatest lie of all.

Randomhero1982's picture
This was a brilliant thread

This was a brilliant thread by the original poster...

:D :D :D

See, it's fine...

Pitar's picture
The tiresome assumption being

The tiresome assumption being ethics and morality are lost on atheism is conversely wearing with the polar opposite claim that both are gifts from a god that man conjured up to worship himself through. The joke cuts both ways, depending on your sensibilities, but the latter is just plain insulting. I prefer to be known as a lawless traitor running free to combat notions of god than succumb to some archaic imagination calling me down to the level of groveling idiots defeated by practiced fear mongering doctrines.

Obviously, theists are not the genius polywogs in their primordial ponds. Atheism was around a whole lot longer than theism and man seemed to manage his survival without it just fine. Was he barbaric? Absolutely, and with the advent of religions it has only gotten worse.

So, no, lying is recognized as wrong well before religions came along to give us plenty of examples of it in their own doctrines. With pre-religious knowledge of right from wrong, man was able to judge religious merit and he judged it by dying for it. This is a good thing, right? I mean, the advancement of humanity should follow a path that culls the stupid aspects of its psyche if progress is expected. The more man kills himself over religion stupidity should follow him to the grave. Eventually, the religious morality sanctioning killing will disappear altogether leaving man with his original morality for observing his barbaric tendencies at the manageable one-on-one level.

Sheldon's picture
I'd suppose a lie would be

I'd suppose a lie would be morally acceptable if it helped rather than harmed someone. Though of course things are usually a bit more complex than being presented with two distinct mutually exclusive choices. Generally lies are pernicious, but not always, though not being harmful would not be reason enough to lie on it's own.

Sirkenstien's picture
How's this for a lie? Hey

How's this for a lie? Hey little Johnny, if you don't except jesus in your heart your are going to a place of torment for eternity.

Chica__2009's picture
I'm thinking that it's never

I'm thinking that it's never okay to lie, just from common sense and because of the "Thou shalt not lie" rule. But don't get too hung up over this because everyone lies whether they want to or intended to or not. Some people tell white lies and lies to protect someone. BTW this goes for everyone, not just atheists.

mykcob4's picture
"Thou shalt not lie" is a

"Thou shalt not lie" is a bunch of crap. Morals don't come from a god, they never ever did! Morals come from society and have always done so. I am so tired of proving this point over and over.

Randomhero1982's picture
"Some people tell white lies

"Some people tell white lies and lies to protect someone"

Such as the Catholic church in protecting it's members over child sex offences?

Chica__2009's picture


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