"Living a fully ethical life involves doing the most good we can." - Peter Singer
"Common sense is not so common." - Voltaire
“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

When telling the truth is actually dishonest

By Jena McGregor
The Washington Post
Originally published December 29, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

The type of lie known as a lie of omission might be thought of as being similar to paltering. In both cases, the deceiver isn't telling the whole truth. But they're different, says Rogers: One is the passive failure to disclose something a negotiation counterpart doesn't know, while paltering is the active use of truthful statements to mislead.

Say you're negotiating with a buyer over a used car you're trying to sell. If the buyer says "I presume the car is in excellent shape and the engine runs well," simply failing to correct him if the engine has had problems is a lie of omission, Rogers says. But if you say "I drove it yesterday in 10-below temperatures and it drove well," even if you know it's been to the shop twice in the past month, that's paltering. Opportunities to lie by omission, Rogers says, actually "don't arise all that often."

Of course, classifying whether voters or negotiation counterparts will see "paltering" as ethical is vastly complicated by an election in which the usual standards for truth and political rhetoric seemed to be ignored. Seventy percent of the statements by President-elect Donald Trump examined by the nonpartisan fact-checking outlet Politifact have been rated mostly false, false or "pants on fire."

The article is here.
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