“Honesty is always the best policy. Life and society would be much better if everyone was completely honest.”
Really? All right, let us begin by acknowledging some truths as a baseline:
- All laws and authorities that we rely on to survive in society only exist as long as a majority of us are willing to go along with them.
- There is a strong probability that when you are long dead 100 years from now, few will remember you, and your greatest personal accomplishments will be long forgotten.
- It’s most likely that your significant other first noticed your sexual desirability prior to coming even close to caring about your intellect and personality.
- Age will obliterate your sexual desirability.
- All the flaws you notice in yourself, others notice, too. They just don’t care, because your personal problems don’t affect their lives.
- On average, your children have as good a chance of becoming failures in their lives, as they do of becoming successes.
- Money can buy happiness. But it’s just unlikely that you will ever make enough to really know it.
Is your life better off now that these truths have been pointed out to you?
The moral indignation people have about honesty is what makes lying such a dire necessity. What makes the dubiousness of our collective social modesty all the more palatable to ourselves is preserving lies as a daily course on the menu, and honesty as a mere condiment that we can mistake for the meal.