Category: Business Culture
Author: Sam Harris

About This Book

Identifies how the human willingness to lie is behind most acts of betrayal, fraud, and corruption, arguing that radical societal improvements can be enabled by merely telling the truth where others often lie.

As it was in Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and Othello, so it is in life. Most forms of private vice and public evil are kindled and sustained by lies. Acts of adultery and other personal betrayals, financial fraud, government corruption--even murder and genocide--generally require an additional moral defect: a willingness to lie.

In Lying, best-selling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie. He focuses on "white" lies--those lies we tell for the purpose of sparing people discomfort--for these are the lies that most often tempt us. And they tend to be the only lies that good people tell while imagining that they are being good in the process.


by tacon   2020-10-20
This story reminded me of Sam Harris' book "Lying"[0], in which he makes a detailed argument for never, ever lying. The book grew out of a philosophy course at Stanford that devoted a semester to working through the implications of lying. Since taking that course at Stanford, Harris admits to only telling one lie since, an odd situation that otherwise would have endangered his young child. For example, his friends always know that if he gives an opinion, it is real and not told to make them feel better, which leads to rather deeper interpersonal interactions.

It is not at all clear why a sociopath would be better at detecting lying. Is this a skill that can be transferred? How can the absence of emotion better detect an emotional act (lying)?