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LETTER: When a lie becomes reality

Published on June 6, 2017 3:39PM

A free society must function on trust. Religion attempts to build trust and trustworthiness. But with today’s lying to gain advantage, integrity is suffering.

Adolf Hitler said, “The great masses of people ... will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.” Some lying is necessary, e.g. to lead a lethal adversary astray or to comfort a dying patient in denial.

All groups hold political and sometimes religious beliefs that help us cope with the harsh realities of life but may not be true.

Sissela Bok writes in her book, “Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life,” says this: “Trust and integrity are precious resources, easily squandered, hard to regain. They can thrive only on a foundation of respect for veracity.”

Fact-check agencies monitoring the Presidential debates found one candidate lied about every 50 seconds, the other about 13 times altogether. Bok says that “self-defensive lies can permeate all one does, so that life turns into living a lie.”

She continues, “to win an election, to increase one’s income, to outsell competitors –– such motives impel many to participate in forms of duplicity ... ”

Hitler was right, the biggest lies won this election. Now, integrity must win.

Don Scully

Sebastopol, Calif.

Scully is a part-time resident of Wallowa County and a long-time subscriber to the Chieftain.


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