In court and similar settings, people are requested to promise or swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And if it turns out they lied, they may be in big trouble. But outside of courtrooms, many people volunteer lies in different degrees around the clock and without any state-issued consequences. Why is that?
From occasional white lies to being professional con artists, people lie to get your money for something else than they promised. And that’s not always prosecutable fraud. “Buy this ring and all your back pain will be gone. It almost always works. Here are hundreds of satisfied customers.” Try to get your money back. “Give us your savings and we guarantee you a good afterlife.” Full refund when not completely satisfied?
I love you deeply and want to marry you. And what if the snake was only out to get the other’s goods, securities, lifestyle, good name? Not illegal.
Vaccinations may leave your child brain dead. Climate change is a hoax. The bank is a safe place for your money. The media are all lying. There are aliens among us — it’s proven. Smoking doesn’t kill. If sexual abuse was as rampant as claimed, we’d all have been abused — which is clearly untrue.
Don’t vote labor — they would ruin the economy. Vote me and I will take care of you. I’m not a racist/anti-Semite.
Some people are more hateful, more worthy of hatred, and less deserving and some myths and prejudices about groups of people are simply true.
If any of the above is a lie, a liar spreading it will go our free. Why is that?
Stealing is outlawed. Injure people/property; when caught, you must pay. But when you lie you go free. You may have hurt the relationship of those you lied to — forever — but it will not give you a criminal record. Why?
Let me suggest: the same reason why we can have a democracy that clearly endangers the wealth of the richest people. The answer is that democracy is the most stable, least costly system and the pretense of equality (and of the intention to create more equality) safeguards the wealthy’s moneys.
Dishonesty makes equality, liberty, and democracy safe for the powerful rich. They would never allow this all without an ability to buy elections, the media, ads to get the main things their way, profit from wars.
We need to teach the rich to part with most of their dough and still be happy. And we must all regain our honesty and integrity for the good of our personal relationships, for justice and for living all well to the fullest.
On a related subject, withholding information is a form of lying. A lack of free Internet access hinders equality. The UN must label it a human right.