I value honesty very highly and try to be honest consistently. However, there are times I say things that I don’t truly believe. I don’t like getting into arguments with people as I don’t enjoy conflict, so I just go along with the conversation and keep my opinions to myself. This could be interpreted as lying by omission.
If the subject of conversation is something I feel strongly about, such as, racism or discrimination, I am likely to speak up. My philosophy is generally, to live and let live. I can have friendships where people vote differently or have a different religion. I respect people’s right to have their own views.
In my post yesterday, “Women and War”, I wasn’t entirely honest. I suggested I didn’t support affirmative action for women, where in fact, I do. I know it is contentious and so I didn’t want to create a wedge or alienate myself. Was it wrong? Did it hurt anyone? I don’t think so, in the context of writing a blog, I think it was ok. If I was running for public office, I think it would be wrong to misrepresent myself in that way.
In our society there is a degree of public respect or good manners. If I went around being blatantly honest with everyone about everything, I suspect I could upset a lot of people. I would be considered rude, naive or ignorant. That is what tolerance is about.
Being deceptive is a different matter. Holding back information to pretend you are living a decent life while you are being unfaithful, stealing or abusing your entitlements, is a different matter. Even so, it is not for me to judge.
Each situation is different and one cannot generalise. Why hurt or alienate people when it is not necessary? How do we judge where to draw the line? That is for each of us to decide and live with our consciences.