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Valuing Honesty And Your Conscience


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Im having to make a decision at the moment - and if I choose one option I'd have to lie to a number of people, but it would be financially advantageous to me and I'm currently in a bit of a poverty trap - and if I choose a different option, it means that I would tell the truth but that I would put myself under ever such a lot of financial stress. 

 

I realise to some people that telling the truth would be a no-brainer.  But the other day I found myself recognising how much suffering I had gone through by being open and honest in a past situation - at least that's how it seemed. 

 

I remember as a Christian worrying a lot over the state of my conscience and being really afraid of the verse where it said that a person could end up with a seared conscience.

 

Do other people here still think that a person can end up with a seared conscience?  How much ought a person to value honesty - even if honesty means having to suffer?

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That's a really good question. Honesty (nowadays) seems to only be valued on an individual('s) basis which is why honesty usually does mean trouble for the person who practices it openly.

 

There's not enough of the majority that recognizes it as being a virtue.

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I am scrupulously honest, its just the way I am wired I think. To me society seems very dishonest, most people are prepared to lie to get themselves out of trouble or to gain some advantage. 

 

It's up to you really what you decide to do.

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That you even bring it up tells me you would be unhappy if you were not honest. It's a good trait.

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It really depends on what the lie is. If you simply don't feel comfortable telling people what you're doing to earn money, then it's no big deal. If you'd be lying in order to get a job that you aren't actually qualified for, then that's a problem. If lying means you're going to make money by telling someone a product worked for you when in fact it's junk, that's a problem. If the lie falls in between those extremes, you'll simply have to weigh the consequences.

 

I am generally unwilling to lie to anybody about anything, but there are some things people just don't need to know, and if you can't deflect their questions, you may just have to fib a little.

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I got a little too good a lying as a matter of self defense and privacy. In some situations, I do still think that lying can be a valid choice. However, getting into the habit of doing so casually will affect your ability to have open, trusting relationships with friends who respect you and deserve honesty. I had to make a conscious effort to stop lying to a good friend of mine (not about anything big, just anything I was a little nervous about and unsure how the truth would be received) once I realized that I was doing so out of a lack of trust and fear for the friendship. I'd internalized the idea that I was inherently unlovable and that if anyone knew the full truth about me they'd reject me (because there are plenty of christians who would reject me for who I am, that is sometimes a very valid fear). I wouldn't say that lying itself was the root problem, but it was certainly a symptom of other problems and not a good thing.

 

Also remember that sometimes lies have to be maintained. You'll have to remember who you've told what to so that you can continue to present a consistent story. If it's that sort of situation, I would strongly advise against it.

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before I give an answer maybe it might be more pertinent to provide us with more of a background. there can be very good and valid reasons to lie. It is something children learn even as early as age 2. It has its purposes. However, there are consequences. Like having to maintain a lie people finding out the truth etc.

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Both have their problems.  A horrible financial situation can affect all aspects of life and in and of itself impacts our life in ways many people would like to ignore.  There's peace of mind knowing you're safe financially. 

 

Misleading people can certainly cause internal emotional strife but there's so many factors that play into whether it's really a big deal or not.  Have they done the same to you?  How does your decision impact them?  etc etc etc...  There's just too many unknowns here to clearly state what's right. 

 

I personally do not believe honesty is the best policy all the time.  Honestly can cause issues itself.  But at the same time, taking advantage of someone is not a noble human trait and is the main contributor to much of the suffering we see in the world. 

 

I hope it works out for you.

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Ok, so lets say hypothetically you're talking about coming out as a non believer and being cut off financially?  Either way you gain something for yourself.  If you stay in the closet, you must suffer with your secret beliefs but have financial gain, but if you come out, you have your mental and emotional and freedom from religion but you have to suffer poverty and disdain from your family.   So essentially this is the deal, you have to decide which personal gain means the most to you at this moment, if in fact this is the scenario, or look at the actual scenario in the same way. Also you need to look at future consequences. For example, once you get back on your feet do you plan to come out?  Personally, I'm staying in the closet mainly to spare my family the heartache.  My mother is ill and I feel it would just cause problems that aren't needed at the moment.  I have to suffer with my secret to maintain peace.  (peace is my personal gain)  Or I could tell them and possibly cause my mothers health problems to worsen, however I would be free from the religion.  See where I'm going with this???

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I can't speak for your situation, but I have found that honesty, sincerity, and an unwillingness to screw other people to get ahead is often noticed by those above you. And, because of this, doors often open that would not have otherwise.

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Also need to remeber that if there are legal consequences for the lie, you may have to face them.

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I chose the option that meant not lying, because I just didn't think I would be able to cope with it on my conscience. I know that I'm usually an open person, and I would have ended up telling the wrong person.

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