Essay On Always Speaking Truth

The Live Action “Actors” Lied Let us begin, then, with the first set of objections.

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In fact, the authorities mentioned in the previous paragraph did not hold this: Aquinas, for example, condemned lying in war, but he allowed that military feints might be carried out.

In a military context, it is assumed (as it is in poker, and in the theater) that what is will not always have the significance it otherwise might, since soldiers have good reason for preventing the enemy from inferring from what they do what their true plans are. But if lying is always and everywhere wrong, these possibilities do not serve as counterexamples: they are not themselves lies.

Second, some think that the Live Action actors made, or perhaps could have made, no false assertions.

The second set of criticisms concerns whether it is always wrong to lie; many critics deny just this, for one or more of the following reasons. Many critics have claimed that if it is always and everywhere wrong to lie, then such practices as undercover police (or journalistic) work, and some forms of espionage are also wrong.

The first set of criticisms calls into question whether the behaviors and utterances of the Live Action “actors” were really lies.

First, some think a false assertion is a lie only when told to those with a right to the truth.This judgment reaffirms a claim from the Catechism of the Council of Trent: “In a word, lies of every sort are prohibited.” But we seek here some further understanding of why this unequivocal condemnation might be entirely reasonable.The first objection was, to recall, that lying is permissible in war.In the Bronx Planned Parenthood Transcript, for example, the “pimp” says, “Now, also, so we’re involved in sex work, so we have some other girls that we manage and work with that they’re going to need testing as well.” While these seem like straightforward lies, some have suggested that “sex work” here is ambiguous, and that the actors mean something like “work that will end the sex trade.” I can only say that this view strains credulity.Others have claimed that Live Action did, or could, work only with “hypotheticals”: “what would you say if…” sorts of questions.But consider again the Catechism’s definition of a lie, which suggests that one can lie in action as well as in speech, by using one’s actions—including, presumably, one’s personal presentation—against the truth, in order to lead someone into error.And this too the Live Action “actors” surely did: they were dressed and acted , information that they also conveyed in speech: “we’re involved in sex work.” So, it is not the case that they worked only in hypothetical questions, and it is unclear whether, in practice, a hypotheticals-only approach would, in fact, serve their ends.Lying is Always Wrong As a preliminary point, those who think, for intellectual or religious reasons, that the theological and philosophical tradition of Western Christianity has evidential value should be much more impressed with the agreement between Augustine, Aquinas, the Council of Trent, and the updated Catechism, all of whom hold that the norm against lying is absolute, than with the secondary tradition which admittedly also exists within Christianity that holds that lying is occasionally permitted.Catholics in particular have very good reason for taking the updated Catechism’s view to be normative for them: “By its very nature, lying is to be condemned” (CCC 2485).Christopher Kaczor and several others have been gracious enough to respond to my essay on the tactics of Live Action with a number of criticisms, many of which deserve a response.For convenience, we may divide the major objections into three sets.


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