Mar 15

Is Honesty The Best Policy?

Well I just saw a Twitter post by Random, a.k.a MegaRan. The exact tweet is as follows:

Today’s essay question: is honesty the best policy? Is it ever okay to lie? Explain using specific reasons and examples.

So, let’s give it a go, huh? Since it’s an incredibly subjectivist question, I wanna try and steer clear of touting what I think as fact.

Here’s my simple-as-possible answer to both questions: Yes and yes. I feel that while being as honest as possible is as noble a virtue as helping somebody close to you that might be going through emotional trouble and is in need of a friend to lean on, lies can also serve value to your life.

Well, “value” might not be the word I’m looking for. Thinking back on recent memory, I can’t recall what lies I’ve told that seemed to ultimately have a worse backfire when I needed to come clean on the whole thing later on. But the tricky thing about lying is how easy it is to do or not do in most cases.

The classic example is if it’s really worth it to tell a friend-girl or girlfriend that “yeah, that dress actually makes you look fat”. Despite it being overused, I also have found that is isn’t really explored in much depth. The concept is presented and then the rest of the conversation is skipped because the person has gotten the point. I think I’d like to explore that argument, though, as it still conveys the meaning adequately.

So the scenario is that you are shopping with a friend-girl or your girlfriend. As she tries on clothes, she asks you what you think. Often times she may even ask you to “be honest”. What you honestly think is that she looks like a heifer wearing DressX. Except most people are so very easily able to think one thing and say another. It is as easy for you to say “I think you look fat in that dress,” as it is to say “I like it; that really suits you!”

So whether you physically can or not isn’t really important here. What comes into your mind regarding whether to lie or not, though? Ultimately, what is important in your mental processes regarding your answer is the people affected. In this case, you and her.

You have the in-joke with your poker buddies or whoever that when a girl wants you to be honest, “she never really means it.” You have in your head the assumption that telling her that you like it is the absolute-best path to take, because if you tell her what you honestly think, she will be offended.

But therein lies another question: is an assumption a lie? Well it might be lying to just yourself in this case, but it still can be technically counted as such. If you’re assuming that she will rip your head off for telling your honest opinion, is that really fair to her? Consider it as if you were going to be lied to, because of an assumption that you wouldn’t mind, or that you would react negatively to the truth. Do you suddenly feel cheated?

So let’s continue the scenario, not assuming that she will react negatively. Because ultimately, any assumption is trying to fill a gap in your knowledge with what you are not certain is fact or not. You really don’t ever know if she will be the one girl you’ve ever met to not react negatively to being told that a dress makes them look fat.

I was going to say how telling her a lie that results in her wearing the dress to a night on the town might end up hurting her more when people tell her she looks/is fat in groups. Instead, now we are taking what she’s said at face value: she wants you to be honest. (Do you see that we just spent three paragraphs diverging from the actual scenario just trying to figure out whether we should assume something about this girl? Even a little white lie such as this has so much information to try and sift through.)

In any case, you’ve had to think about how a lie or the truth would affect her. Now you would do the same for yourself. This one is much easier. Basically, if you’re even considering lying to begin with, you’re mentally strong enough to do it. You would likely skip over this step, where you should be thinking about how you might be affected by your lie in the same way you thought about how she would be.

Jesus Christ: this example has already gone on longer than I’d expected it to and I’m not even finished yet. Although I have forgotten where I was even going with this… Well, I’m in it now; might as well keep going.

So after thinking about how it’ll affect everyone involved with the lie and hopefully, what the consequences of everything would be if the lie succeeded or failed, I would imagine you’d have to come to the point where you need to make a decision. Despite how much work it looks like for your brain to do, everything there is processed really quickly.

Man, I’m digging myself into a hole with this metaphor. Can I just start over?

Look, the point I think I had been trying to get to is that it’s not a science: lying and the decision to lie is a moral decision that your emotions influence, or should influence, at least. It might not seem like any of what I mentioned above should count or matter, since it’s just a little lie about the appearance of a dress, but the same basic procedure would apply to any kind of lie, whether it’s as small as”no, I didn’t eat your sandwich (and it wasn’t delicious),” or as big as “I honestly don’t know how his foot got in my glovebox.”

I think I had made a mistake trying to make it a science earlier. It kinda contradicts me saying that I’d try to not present opinion as fact.

A lot of what I say is nonsense and irrelevant; most of this essay included. I’m hoping the following statement won’t be, though: If you say that lying is okay, you are one-hundred percent correct. If you say that lying is not okay, you are also one-hundred percent correct.

It’s not an easy thing to try and dissect. There are so many forms of lying, so many things can be counted as a lie and people try to justify what either counts as a lie or is okay to lie about.

Protecting somebody’s feelings.

Helping someone better themselves.

Trying t-wait, I’m sure Cyanide & Happiness already covered this, didn’t they?

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Yep; they sure did!

Anyway, it’s just grown so out of hand. Persons of faith have it quite easy for them, knowing that it’s as simple as telling the truth and not telling lies and accepting the consequences full-on.

I think I was about to get out of hand there again. As I said, it’s a question that there is no right answer to and every right answer to. In my opinion, though, you shouldn’t try to be the kind of person that has clear-cut rules about what truths and lies to tell when and where. I don’t try to identify whether a situation in my personal ruleset has said that it’s okay to tell somebody that they’re an idiot or not.

For me, I try to follow that procedure I babbled on about up above me somewhere. Analyse the situation and then make my decision based on that and my personal feelings about the situation. The only hard part to that method is that you usually only have about three seconds on average to answer a question, which doesn’t leave a lot of time to do the decision-making part.

So, in conclusion, if you hadn’t guessed from my attempts here to mentally approach this topic, the question of whether honesty is the best policy is not something you can answer with your head. You have to answer it with your heart.

And for heaven’s sake, a little tact if you’re gonna tell a girl that she looks fat in a dress doesn’t hurt either. As in, never tell a person that an item of clothing makes them look like a heifer. That’s not cool. What’s the matter with you? Honesty is as good a policy as dishonesty, but you don’t have to be a jerk about it.



Mar 02

And The Minicast Was No More

I really didn’t plan for it, but the Minicast lasted for 42 episodes. Go figure.

Anyway, Minicast is done. I’m done putting out one every weekday. There’s various reasons as to why, but they’re hardly important. All that is is it being over.

And if absolutely anyone had ever listened to any of them (which I wouldn’t know, since I can’t check traffic figures at all) then thank you for listening to them.



Mar 01

I Take It Back! Minicast, 03/01/11

Month three; look at me! Still going strong with this…whatever it is I’m doing here. Well, here’s to the next two months.

So I watched that “Prince of Persia” movie that came out last year. You know, “The Sands of Time”. And while it was my first time watching it, I still sorta felt like this was set up in such a way that you could make a tie-in videogame. How would that even go?

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time: The Game: The Movie: The Game: The Fuck?

…And three seconds later, I realise that I’m pretty sure either Giantbomb or The Escapist already did that multiple titles joke.

So, anyway; it’s a short one tonight. But short things aren’t that bad, right? Takes less effort for everyone to get through them. It doesn’t take much effort to listen to it: just press that button right underneath this paragraph.


Takes a bit more effort to download it, though: where the text went blue? You were supposed to click it. Possibly right-click it and select some sort of drop-down option.



Feb 28

It’s M-Day! Minicast, 02/28/11

And so, we enter week…nine? Well that’s about eight-and-a-half more weeks than I thought I’d be keeping this up for. Aren’t I the best?

Tonight, it’s another of the few movies that’s made me cry, if only slightly.

So without further achoo, have a listen to today’s Minicast, on a film that struck an odd chord with me: “Millions”, by clicking that little-ol’ button down there.


I betcha think there’s gonna be a link to download the Minicast here, right? Well you’re wrong! There’s no link, and there never will be!






Feb 25

I Am So Sad, So Very Very Sad – Minicast, 02/25/11

Oh no, I already did Scott Pilgrim, didn’t I¿

So due to various unimportant factors, I’m a lot more bitter towards tonight’s film than I probably intended. The way I end the Minicast makes it almost sound like I don’t think it’s worth watching, when the opposite is true.

So to listen to the whirlwind tour of “Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs” in tonight’s Minicast, click just under where this text ends.


Hey look! Over there! It’s a download link!



Feb 24

Quirky Humour Post Title – Minicast, 02/24/11

Well, today’s movie really showed me how much I’ve changed. I used to love the movie. As for now?


To hear a mature (read: bitter and jaded) Minicast on “The Polar Express”, clickerate that buttonmabob!


And if you want to downloaderise it, follow that linkedydoodad!



Feb 23

I Can Speak With An Australian Accent – Minicast, 02/23/11

My fingers keep feeling so irritated all the time, right under the nails. Frankly, I’m not sure writing two hours nonstop each day like this is that good for them when I keep getting this compulsion to rub the fingertips harshly against the keys.

But wait…I spend my entire Thursdays and Fridays and half of Wednesdays sitting at a computer doing nothing but typing! So I guess I’m not really gonna get away from it, am I¿

Bah well. My fingers hurt, but I’ve got another Minicast for ya. Tonight is “Robin Hood: Men In Tights”, the first Mel Brooks film I’ve watched as part of this so far. I’m not fully sure if I’ll get around to all of the other ones, though, but for now you can listen below. Oh and Phil: if you actually ended up looking at this when you went back home, leave a comment!


You can download the Minicast as well, but I don’t think it’ll help my fingers any.



Feb 22

Someone’s Been Painting And I Think I’m High – Minicast, 02/22/11

If it isn’t clear in the Minicast, I watched a new-to-me movie today, so it’s pretty short. Kinda unfortunately comes off sounding a little like a review that’s about 18 months too late, though.

Bah, whatever; it’s done and dusted, so let’s just keep on goin’. To blahblahblah Minicast blahblahblah “Surrogates”, blahblahblah right down there.


And blahblahblah download blahblahblah.



Feb 21

“Psst!” What? “Say Something Suave!” Uhh… Minicast, 02/21/11

While I try to think of something that would make a member of the opposite quiver with antici…pation, why not listen to tonight’s Minicast, on the 2006, serious version of “Casino Royale”?


And then why not download it afterwards, because I’ll probably still be thinking.



Feb 18

Don’t You Die Just Yet – Minicast, 02/18/11

I’m using a sketchy connection from my iPhone to write this blog post, so I guess I should be brief.

If you want to listen to tonight’s Minicast on “Titan AE” — and you know you do — you can click that triangle below:


And if you want to download it — and you don’t fully know if you want to yet — then, um, the link was back there.



Older posts «

» Newer posts