Monday, September 22, 2008

White Lie

A white lie...Is there a such thing? Or is it a paradox? Because white symbolizes pureness and goodness whereas lying is obviously sin and therefore bad, which means it's like "good bad"...Is there such thing as "Doing bad for the Greater Good" or "Doing Wong Things for the Right Reason"?

I'm sure that each and everyone of us has experience this before..Doing something, knowing it's wrong, but justifying with our inner conscious that it was for the best...Some of us would hardly give a thought and others might agonize whether they did the right thing...

So the question is whether it is just our way of justifying ourselves for the bad and wrong stuff we have done, and is truly wrong, or is it correct to break all laws if it is for the good of everyone?

And then some of us might say,"If not too bad then can la. If just a small lie to help someone should be OK la..but not until kill people la." But to me, a big wrong and a small wrong makes not different...If it is wrong, then it's wrong and if it's right then it's right...So is "Doing Wrong Things for the Right Reasons" right or wrong?

First, let's assume it's right. Which would mean that despite really really wrong actions, if we mean the best, it's right... In stories, there are always the Good and the Evil sides. Some, the evil side is obviously wrong, like wanting to kill people for pleasure and so on. But I've read a couple of books where this is not the case..The so-called Evil side only does bad stuff for a good aim...And I ask myself, are they really that bad? Because at the end of the day, their intentions are no less noble than the good side...but still, they become "villains".

Let's say the Heroes 2 series...In this series Takezo Kensei aka Adam Monroe aka the Evil dude wants to release a deadly virus that will kill 95% of the world population, which he thinks it's corrupted. But the twist is, by doing so, he is planning to rally the rest of the world under this crisis and make the world a better place..So, is that so different than a white lie? Can it actually be a right thing to do as it is for the Greater Good? Is it much different than a white lie? For me, no. If you agree with a white lie, you're saying this is correct...which most of you would not say...

So, most of you would say that "Doing Wrong Things for the Right Reasons" is wrong. That all wrong things are wrong no matter what the reasons are. And I too have much to dispute about this.

Imagine this...An evil man capable of killing a lot of people and only the murder of his innocent son will stop him...Murder, not killing...It's definitely wrong to do it...So do we do the right thing and let the son live and thousands die? For murdering him would be "Doing Wrong Things for the Right Reasons".

Dilemma dilemma dilemma...Personally for me, I think that if I truly believe that my reasons are right, even though my actions may be wrong, it with be correct, unless God intercedes and tells me otherwise...

I'll end with some equations..

Wrong Things for the Wrong Reasons = Wrong
Right Things for the Wrong Reasons = Wrong
Right Things for the Right Reasons = Right
Wrong Things for the Right Reasons = ????

What'cha think?

May's point of view


May said...

I believe that there are many, many grey areas which we cannot possibly have clear cut answers to.

So at the end of the day, I guess we just have to allow God to search our hearts and judge our motives. That's why we all need forgiveness. =)

Tweesa said...


ja said...

yeah...but if our motives are totally pure, can our actions still be wrong?

Tweesa said...

how sure are we if our motives are totally pure or not? we can't be the judge of our motives as we ourselves are imperfect. So let God be the judge.
if our motives are totally pure , well our actions musn't be wrong in the eyes of God for pure motives comes from God not from what we think or say.

May said...

Theresa's right. We are all blind to our own spots. We may think we have the right intentions, but in actual fact, there are underlying motives that motivate our actions. In this case, who are we to judge ourselves, even?

j@Ve said...

hey there, javier (julius' brother) here..


there's something i learnt in moral while i'm studying in university.. (no there is NO ESCAPE from moral)

a moral person has 6 criteria, and one of them is "feeling of guilt/disapproval" which is defined (here we go =P) as:

"the feeling of guilt when doing something which one considers as opposite of one's intrinsic motivation"

(there's a definition for intrinsic motivation as well, but that's another story)

what i'm trying to say is, if you feel or believe that "Wrong Action in the name of Right Motivation" is wrong, then wrong it is! you don't need to justify why you feel that way.

unless somebody asked.

"somebody" excludes yourself. (i don't mean you're a nobody, so don't get me wrong)

but my stand is: a lie is a lie, lying is sin, so DON'T lie.

and by the way...

this is so... deep. it's been centuries since i last spoke or thought about deep stuff, so even shallow things seem deep to me.

sorry for crapping so much.

p/s all the best for PMR!

ja said...

re Theresa, May:
I agree that we are definatly no good for judging ourselves...God definately knows the best but it's not like He's gonna tell us outright... We still have to judge ourselves with help from God's word when we are on's either judging ourselves or fearing every second that every action or reason may be considered wrong by'll be a life of fear, which I don't think God wants..

re Jave:
yeah..I see what you're saying...but the question still remains that whether we may actually not truly believe what we think we believe in, like May said,"underlying motives"..

May said...

Jave, a conscience can be misleading. Hardened criminals are a perfect example. A conscience is developed weighed against the values of people around us (ie your family and friends) so it might be skewed. Therefore, a conscience alone isn't reliable.

Is silence a white lie? If you know something someone else has the right to know lar. Just something to think about. =P

JA, God has forgiven our sins already, and perfect love casts out all fear. I agree that that is no basis to sin EVEN MORE like what Roman argues, but there really is no need to be such a neurotic. =P Also, I believe that if one is a true Christian, somehow the conviction will come if there is something you've done that isn't pleasing in the sight of God. As we grow up, we learn more and more. And the Bible will reveal to us even more.

Remember, God doesn't require us to be perfect. =)

j@Ve said...

may, i can argue with you.

but i choose not to.

because i hate the subject "moral studies", and the lecturer.

ARGUING about these issues isn't going to bring back too fond of a memory.

but my point is, i have something to say in reply to what you said. and i'm keeping mum about it.

Tweesa said...

Ja, God does and will tell us. He speaks to our conscience. take an example like, when our parents scold us for something we did not do and we yell back at them. But after that, we feel guilty for yelling at them and we apologize to them. That's God talking to our spirit.
It is good to be concerned with having pure motives but it is not good to analyze yourself to fear for every actions you did or will do in the future.
God knows that we are imperfect and we are all sinners. we cant help ourselves not doing mistakes at time though yes we can prevent from doing so. That is why there is forgiveness from God. We'll never reach perfection in this world.
In Jeremiah 17:9-10, it says that " The heart is deceitful above all things amd beyond cure. Who can understand it? 'I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind'".
Let our lives as Christian be growth,letting God control more and more of our attitudes and motives.

Anonymous said...

For me, its very very very very simple.

God tells us not to lie, right? So a WHITE lie is still a lie right? Isn't it obvious?

I learned something from my pastor from what he said. "Obeying God is very simple, there is no argue to that"

He says don't lie, don't lie la!

About that murderer, i think what he needs is deliverance. But i don't understand one thing, "Murder... not killing" hmm, you make it sound like killing isn't a sin. (although i roughly know what you are going to argue)

All in all, just like what May has said, we have a FORGIVING GOD! AMEN!

And yea, conviction will come when we do things wrongly.

For me,
wrong things for the right reason = WRONG!!

ja said...

"As we grow up, we learn more and more. And the Bible will reveal to us even more."
"Let our lives as Christian be growth,letting God control more and more of our attitudes and motives."

That is exactly what I'm trying to do...=)

re waileem:
i respect your stand, although you know from my post that mine differs...

haha...and about the 'killing' thing, although you roughly know what i'm are going to argue, i'll still say my arguement...hehe..yes, i think killing is not a sin..from a certain point of view...after all, God commanded Israel on certain occasions to evade and kill their enemies...and i don't think they were considered 'sinning' depends on the situation, i guess...but, murder, to me, is killing incapable and innocent people, which is totally wrong...

and, yeah..Amen that we have a forgiving God...=)

Anonymous said...

As expected.

So, to you, what is opinion now?

wrong things for the right reasons = ???????

or is it

wrong things for the right reasons = maybe, don't know

or is it

wrong things for the right reasons = right

or is it

wrong things for the right reasons = wrong


wai leem

ja said...

wrong things for the right reasons = right

if our reasons and intentions are totally pure..

The SJS DM said...

Shaun here, Pan and Javier's classmate, if you've forgotten.

I personally think white lies are a short-term solution to any particularly sticky situation. Sure, your friend might feel better that their dress doesn't make them look bad, but what if your friend finds out you said a white lie (people have their ways of finding out the truth, no matter how long it takes), s/he'll think if you're capable of telling a little lie, then surely you can tell a bigger lie in the future. That's the long term effect of white lies, and they're obviously not pleasant.

Of course, with white lies having such horrible long term effects, I will not go into details of 'black' lies.

That's my two cents on white lies.

Anonymous said...

wrong things for the right reasons = right

i heard a story bout a lil girl once who was always top in her class and scored top notch for nearly every paper in exams. however her best friend was just a little off and apparently no matter how hard she tried she could never get 100% for a certain paper unlike the lil girl mentioned.

so during exams, the lil girl decided that she would make a few mistakes on that paper on purpose just so that she would get 'near 100% but not quite there'

i dunno maybe 90% + ?

unsurprisingly enough, the lil girl got a fit from her mother when the mom found that she didnt get 100% for the paper. in the eyes of her mother, had she known what the lil girl had done, would've been wrong and she would've scolded the lil girl even more.

but the lil girl felt happy as her best friend finally didnt feel so bad about herself to the results of her own paper.

I get the feeling God would've been very proud of her.

hope you understood.

ja said...

re: anonymous

yeah...i do...thx..any chance i know u?

Anonymous said...

oo.. i like chances.. i'll say probably as much as a penguin knowing a polar bear ..?