The Value of Honesty

The Value of Honesty

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This is a discussion on The Value of Honesty within the General Psychology forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; Out of all of the virtues that is available to the human character, I prize honesty above all else. Let ...

  1. #1

    The Value of Honesty

    Out of all of the virtues that is available to the human character, I prize honesty above all else. Let us start with the definition of honesty:

    1. the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness.
    2. truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness.
    3. freedom from deceit or fraud.

    Although definition #2 states "truthfulness", I think it essential to discriminate two different types of honesty:

    #1: Objective Honesty: Truthfulness. This implies admitting ignorance if one does not know truthfulness.
    #2: Subjective Honesty: Sincerity. This implies that the communication of one's opinion, not necessarily truthfulness, is free from deceit or fraud.

    Due to the majority of peoples' communications are based in subjective ideas such as emotions and opinions, Subjective Honesty is the most common type of honesty and will be the focus of this thread.

    (I happen to value Objective Honesty over Subjective Honest, but that is just me being Subjectively Honest. )

    To explain why I value honesty, I must start with the opposite of honesty, deceit, lies, and fraud:

    A lie (also called prevarication), is a type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive others.

    People lie for many reasons, but the primary motive is fear of the consequences of telling the truth. We can all think of the cliche example of your friend asking you if they look fat when objectively, they are. Do you slip in a white lie to assuage their self esteem, or do you be brutally honest and tell them the opposite of what they want to hear?

    Personally, like the undiplomatic prick I am, tell the brutal and honest truth. Why? My friend is hungry for my opinion, something that is free and easy to give. Not giving your opinion to someone who really wants it is the equivalent of having an infinite supply of food but not giving it to a starving man. It is, frankly, selfish.

    "Hey! Telling a white lie is...selfish? WHAT?"

    Yes. It is selfish. I do not see telling white lies, or any other type of lie, as a beneficial thing at all. When you are not honest, you deprive others of something that is very easy to produce. It is deception of the very worst kind, it is personal and a breach of trust. If someone likes you when you lie and do not like you when you are brutally honest, they were never your friend to begin with.

    Do not think you are helping people when you tell lies, no matter how "white" they may seem. White is such a fucking fake color it makes me sick. White is the color of fraud, censorship, sterilization, false innocence and worst of all, insincere smiles. Nothing is pure in this world, opinions are markers of these imperfections, and they are what makes people be people. If you want convenient lies, go to your church or go to your congressman. If you want the truth, and nothing but the truth (so help me science ), then I am here.

    "There are two types of secrets; those we keep from others, and those we keep from ourselves."

    (As with all my thoughts, this thread will be constantly changing. It is only honest. )
    Psilo thanked this post.

  2. #2

    I assume when someone asks me if they look fat that they really want me to say that they don't. What I think they are asking for is comfort and an ego boost. I do not assume that they are asking for my honest opinion. Still when things like that happen I tend to struggle to find something to say to give them the comfort that they want so after a brief uncomfortable pause they just say, "I do, don't i?".

  3. #3

    How INTP of you, Marino.
    Honesty is great, but can be dangerous without compassion.
    Anony, Eylrid and MilkyWay132 thanked this post.

  4. #4

    Lying is a useful tool in the game of life.

    Telling the truth is great, but lying has it's uses as well. You can use it to persuade or completely change a situation it's quite useful in life.

    Knowing how and when to lie takes skill, it's not just all about not wanting to face consequences from the truth. Use it to your advantage.

    Lying is also a nice way to make something uninteresting, interesting. It's fun to make a lie and see how far it goes.
    Harley thanked this post.

  5. #5

    I am generally a very straightforward person, but I would like to think I'm not honest in a hurtful way. I think tact is a valuable social skill. Also, it would be very difficult for me to be dishonest for the purpose of material gain, etc. I am also honest with people about my feelings for them or lack of feelings for them and sometimes that has the unnecessary consequence of hurting people sometimes. Still I feel its a better alternative to leading people on.
    MilkyWay132 and Lucretius thanked this post.

  6. #6

    I try to be absolutely honest with everyone, never misleading even slightly. I expect people to be honest with me. But people do not desire honesty naturally. They want honesty when its convenient to them.

  7. #7

    I value honestly very much. In addition to compassion, humility is important to honesty as well. Nothing's worse than arrogance in the name of honesty. Well, ok, there are worse things, but still. Hopefully it's clear what I mean.
    Ungweliante, Eylrid and Lucretius thanked this post.

  8. #8

    I value honesty as well. But, there is there is something to be said for tact.

    Facts are either true, or not. Opinions, on the other hand, are relative. A friend may be fat compared to a fashion model, but not fat compared to a sumo wrestler.

    If your opinion is that they are fat, then telling them that honest opinion is subjective honesty.

    If you are willing to share unpleasant opinions, then the compliments you give mean more because they know you are sincere.

    How your opinions are delivered can make a difference. Also, some people are more able to take unpleasant opinions in stride.
    MilkyWay132 thanked this post.

  9. #9

    Authenticity and honesty are what I look for the most in a person. I don't care if you are someone who is a complete freak, I much rather be around you then an inauthentic, lying fake. Plus the former is more interesting anyways
    Eylrid, TurranMC and PeacePassion thanked this post.

  10. #10

    Honesty is badass.

    #1 trait.

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