1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No lies.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Wreybies, Jul 10, 2009.

    The other night I was reading one of my favorite authors, James White. His Sector General novels are a perennial favorite of mine. In his stories taking place on the multispecies Sector 12 General Hospital, one of the species which figures prominently are the Kelgian people. Big honkin’ caterpillar lookin’ people with fur that is constantly moving and shifting in response to the individual's emotional state. This movement is involuntary and thus Kelgian peoples are unable to lie about their emotional state. The author extrapolates this inability to lie about emotional state into an all inclusive inability to lie about anything. The Kelgians don’t even really understand politeness, because to them it seems a very illogical attempt to mask the way one really feels or what one really means.

    Anyway…

    Using that as an example. How do you think the world would be if humans had no choice but to to say exactly what they were thinking, without ability to edit, and were completely unable to lie in any of that verb’s many, many, many versions and guises.

    EDIT ~ To extend the question to another level... If this had always been a quality of our species, always, where do you think we would be now as compared to the way things are? Do you think it would make a difference to where we are technologically, spiritually, culturally, socially?

    Discuss amongst yourselves. I've shpilkes in my geneckteckessoink. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    I think that us having choices is incredible.
    And if we have a path to choose whether to tell the truth or the lie that is a wonderful thing.
    I don't think we should tell each other what we exactly think all the time.
    It's to cruel and to painful that way.
    I mean yes, painful to never hear what they really think.
    But painful to know what they truly think.
    They come hand in hand.
    And I think we should have the ability to choose between lie and truth.
    And not always tell the truth.
     
  3. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    Everyone would hate everyone's guts.
     
  4. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    If we hadn't been like that before and then suddenly we were, my relationship with my MIL would be even worse than it is now. :p

    If the human rase had always been like that, though, maybe we just wouldn't notice if people said something that was rude. Of course, having lived the way we have, thinking about someone just coming out and saying "that dress makes your butt look really big" sounds like a really rude thing to say, but if we had spent our entire existence being bluntly honest about everything, would it really be that big of a deal? Or would we have thicker skins about things like that?
     
  5. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Ahh crap, whilst writing my post, hiddennovelist said exactly the same thing... buggerations... only one thing for it...

    I agree with the above :p
     
  6. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lol sorry. I should have typed slower. ;)
     
  7. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    A world without choice? Well, we'd all be running around naked with the lions and the lambs, lol. I'd probably be spending too much time listening to an intriguing snake and wondering how I could convince one of the studs to have a bite of my fruit (literally, speaking). :cool:
     
  8. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    From the standpoint of just waking up one day and being unable to say anything but the truth...I tend to think it would be disastrous. Imagine your SO asks you what's on your mind, and you blurt out, "I wish you looked more like Brad Pitt."

    Or your crazy old aunt asks what you thought of the pink jumper she got you for your birthday, and you say, "It was horrible. I wouldn't even dress a chimp in that thing."

    Or your sick mother asks you how she looks, and you tell her, "Like you're going to die in four to six months."

    Our days are made up of little lies. Telling the president of the company that you like her shoes in hopes of getting that job recommendation you want. Or telling your friend that you don't mind being a crying shoulder, when you really do. Not all lies are bad. Some just help us get through our days.

    However, if we were always wired that way...I don't think it would matter so much. We wouldn't really have anything to compare it to. Things like job interviews and court cases would be a lot easier.
     
  9. tbeverley
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    tbeverley Senior Member

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    They'd have to first know what they were thinking.

    I don't think we know ourselves enough to be forced into honesty. If we reduced it to a fundamental principle, we'd be saying: "I feel pain." "I feel pleasure." Not much else.
     
  10. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    That would be awkward. Especially if the SO in question was your wife/girlfriend...
     
  11. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    Everything is based on choice. Choice choice choice. Imagine someone telling you "I want to kill you kill you right now" and you being able to see that they are beeing serious o_O I can't imagine me suddenly blurting out a mental image in words o_O And if I did, some of those stray mental images would scare away my current friends and perhaps attract someone with a... darker personality o_O
     
  12. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not being able to lie means not having the ability to make a self-conscious moral choice.

    The problem with this fantasy is that the ability to choose is the hallmark of our humanity.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    But would the removal of this one kind of choice really make such a clean sweep of what we are?

    Not being able to lie does not take away my ability to choose what food I eat, what job I have, the profession in which I study, the mate I choose, etc.
     
  14. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it would, because to remove the choice to lie means cutting off the legs of other things impacted by our ability to self-consciously choose--such as empathy or motivation or other cognitive functions.

    Perhaps I'm being too literal with this exercise. :p
     
  15. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think not being able to lie cuts off our ability to choose to show empathy to someone. I'm sure there are ways that not being able to lie could effect other areas, but not being able to tell "yeah, your new haircut looks great" if you think it looks terrible doesn't take away your ability to feel bad for that person because they got a bad haircut.
     
  16. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Trying to imagine what society would be like without lying is as bad as trying to imagine it beyond a technological singularity, impossible. The ability to lie is basic to literally every decision we ever make. Change things now and everything would collapse. Change things back at the beginning and you've got butterfly effects that are the bastard offspring of The Day After Tomorrow and the upcoming 2012.
     
  17. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    At first glance, it might not. But to cut off the ability to lie means, inherently, to stop all self-conscious choice. The choice to lie, to stay up all night to study for a final, to reject a cute guy because he's a druggie...all of those kinds of decisions stem from a single place. You can't isolate lying. At least, that's what I'm proposing here, lol.
     
  18. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have any of you seen Celebrity Rehab season 2 with Gary Busey? He was in an accident and has brain damage that makes it so those filters on thoughts and feelings aren't really there anymore. So...whatever pops into the head comes out the mouth. People find it very off-putting. It makes people uncomfortable. Now, if everyone was like that...I think the shock and the change from how controlled and filtered we are would really cause problems. If it was simply part of the culture...we would do ok. But right now, if it just happened...it would mess us up as society big time.
     
  19. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    You just gave me the idea for my next painting.
     
  20. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ooh, you have to show me when it's done.
     
  21. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    Yaay! 2012! When true prophecies shall be proven inexistant once and for all :)
     
  22. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    Personally, I think more problems are caused by people guessing/assuming what someone else thinks and feels than actually knowing what they do.

    Eventually, we wouldn't be so shocked and precious about how other people perceive us because we'd know it was nothing but the truth. I see more good in that than bad. :p
     
  23. Necromortis
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    Necromortis Member

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    I can kind of see where you're coming from, but I don't really agree. Unfortunately, I can't really explain why. It just seems that you're making an illogical jump when you go from "not being able to lie" to "there is no choice." I think you can very well isolate lying - I see no correlation between always telling the truth and rejecting the guy because he looks like a druggie.

    Here's how I see it. I have no self-conscious ability to just get up and fly around my room. Because it's impossible. That doesn't affect my ability to choose where I want to take my girlfriend for dinner, right? I think for this exercise, Wrey was simply asking, "What would happen if it was physically impossible to lie?"

    Which leads me to actually answering the question. I think that if suddenly the human race woke up and wasn't able to lie, there would be massive problems initially. Mass-scale fighting, turmoil in the streets, etc.

    However, I think it would have a positive effect overall. No one would ever go to jail if they were innocent. "I didn't do it" would literally mean "I didn't do it." I think a lot of dubious political decisions would be avoided - politicians would be elected into office because they actually cared about benefiting their country, rather than for personal gain. Stuff like that. We'd just have to get over the first 100 years or so, to the point where the entire population, or at least the majority of it, was born unable to tell a lie.

    Where this situation gets really interesting is the other part of the question - what if we were never able to tell a lie? I think the socio-economic and political differences would either be exacerbated or nullified, depending on the way we swung. A lot of historical problems that were based on lies would have been avoided. Religion...I don't know what would happen to religion. I don't think it would be as strong as it is today at all, but I can't explain why.

    ~Christian
     
  24. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    I agree with you Christian.

    It makes me think about the movie LIAR!LIAR! with Jim Cary, or on the TV show Charmed (when using the truth potion) how people react when they are unable to lie, or be lied to.

    I do think society would change drastically, violently, and dramatically. Just our interpersonal relationships would have to take on a whole new dynamic. We would have to change our way of handling emotions.

    If you think about it... Your girlfriend asks you if the dress she is wearing makes her look fat. You know no matter what you answer, yes or no, she is always irritated, but you always say "OF course not!" Now, you have to tell her the truth. The truth is, "Yes. It makes your butt look huge, and your boobs too small." No longer is she irritated as normal saying "you're just bias." implying she still thinks she looks fat. Now you have confirmed her fear that she is fat. That relationship would probably be over right about now.

    People who aren't meant to be with one another wouldn't hook up. Unplanned pregnancies would probably have a dramatic decrease, if women knew what men were really thinking...they'd never sleep with them again.

    Religion would go in the toilet when everyone who fakes stuff for the sake of fitting in, all those preachers who say they hear "god", and the scam artists would all be put out of business. People's sins would all be right there in the open. Confessionals would be closed down. And people would stop lying to themselves that the "devil made them do it."

    I think it would change dramatically how we view taking responsibility for our actions. When we can't lie to get out of something, we have to take responsibility for them. How many cheating spouses might be slaughtered in the process? A few I would bet.

    Criminals would be punished, innocent people would never see court. Cop's jobs would be so much easier, and the ones protecting us would never be corrupt.

    Politics would probably collapse and some other form of rules would be set in place. Capitalism would probably collapse too when companies can no longer lie to the consumer.

    Life would be a lot easier after everyone adjusted though. No more people in our lives that didn't really belong, because we would have to be able to like the person for who they are, flawed, obnoxious behavior and all. Marriages would last, because wrong people wouldn't pair up anymore.

    I think the inability to lie would be a great thing, maybe not right at first, but a couple of years into it, I would probably enjoy it.
     
  25. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I just saw a preview for a movie called The Invention of Lying.

    How apropos to this thread. :rolleyes:
     

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