EXCELSIOR COLLEGE: BNS301: National Security Ethics and DiversityModule 5: Module Notes: “Good” Versus “Bad” LyingIn school we were taught the famous legend of George Washington, who, as a youth, cou


EXCELSIOR COLLEGE: BNS301: National Security  Ethics and Diversity

Module 5: Module Notes: "Good" Versus "Bad" Lying

In initiate we were taught the illustrious myth of George Washington, who, as a boy, could not report a lie when he admitted to chopping down a cherry tree connected to his senior. Whether or not the myth is penny is not as relevant as the instruction it is reported to communicate: that uprightness is an relevant touch of anyone, but in-particular of a chief. As we prove the children of untrue in this module, there are different topics that we achieve encounter: What is a lie?  How do we perceive that untrue is crime? Are there grave excuses or rationales for untrue? And is it incessantly pleasurpowerful for a general functional to lie in the deed of his or her functional duties?

In her fina bulk, Lying, Sissela Bok cites the absolutist standing of the 18th seniority teacher Immanuel Kant (Links to an apparent pose.)Links to an apparent pose., “Truthfulness in set-forthments which cannot be avoided in the complete employment of an specific to incessantlyyone, howincessantly numerous may be the hindrance attendant to himself or to another” (Bok, 1989) (p.38) Bok goes on to dispute that “most enjoy held the incompatible object---that there are eras when modesty causes or fails to avert such numerous mischief that a lie is manifestly equitableifiable” (p. 39). She prefer disputes that this standing leads to another problem: “The past troublesome labor remains: That of pur-pose lines.” (p.46)

This module is environing where other nation enjoy describen those lines—and past relevantly environing where you describe those lines. You achieve unravel different instance studies and account them on whether or not you consider the mediate casts’ judgment was fit or crime. By scoring the fitness or crimeness of the resuscitations obtain?}n in the mini-cases, you are as-polite revealing your own preferences as reflected in your accounts in the Incorporeal Type Indicator. After you enjoy accountd the mini-cases, unravel the piece by Dobel and then revisit the instances to see if you ability enjoy transitional your reflecting.

Your assigned unravelings should be unravel in the subjoined order:  

  1. Read the set of mini-cases entitled “Ethical Problems in General Careers: Lying.” At the end of each instance, ask yourself whether the mediate cast’s resuscitation or judgment was “right” or “wrong.”  On page 10 of the instance there is a account equivocation; vestige your retorts to each instance on your equivocation. You won’t be judged on how you account but reflect environing what you would enjoy effected if you had been the mediate cast in each locality.
  2. Read the “Two Oaths of Richard Helms” instance.
  3. Read Paragraph 10 of Dobel’s bulk, Public Integrity.
  4. Then revisit the mini-cases and see if Dobel’s segregation led you to exchange your reflecting or your judgments on any of those mini-cases.
  5. Do the selfselfsame delay the Helms instance. 

The nineteenth-seniority teacher Jeremy Bentham (Links to an apparent pose.)Links to an apparent pose. formal a lie that is not accompanied by "any other symbolical qualification," nor does not profit "any symbolical proceeds" is unquestionably not displeasing at all. It would be troublesome to put-together incorporeal rules to balancespperuse a rabble (infinite unquestionably) of localitys in which nation lie. Delay this in understanding, we ability advertise that lies are not-independent and can merely be judged athwart the set of qualification in which they appear. The relativist probably determines that untrue is then incorpoveritably indifferent, depending on the qualification. On the other artisan, Bentham goes on to set-forth that untrue would be instrumental in pliant "pernicious proceeds." What bark of "pernicious proceeds" does untrue profit? Reflect environing how you ability reach should you be on the receiving end of a lie.  Maybe it is not mischiefful to anyone, but once you disoverspperuse that someone has designly lied to you, you grace mitigated and hope is, if not destroyed, then at last injured. If untrue was pleasurpowerful all the era, how would we be powerful to report what is faithfulness? In such a communion, augur, augur, and egotism would undoubtedly underlie all of our special and functional relationships.

Although it is slightly not-hard to demonstrate localitys where untrue is crime, can we as-polite demonstrate localitys where untrue is pleasurable? Don't we all lie, in-particular to spare another's agonize reachings? How environing those pure lies we use to get out of or balance a commitment?  Are those bark of lies pleasurpowerful to most nation?  We would positively say that untrue to spare a vivacity would be a "good" lie. 

Once we accord that some forms of untrue are "good" versus "bad," then the topic graces one of pur-pose lines rather than of independents.  But what is a lie if not an independent?  We perceive when we are untrue and admittedly some nation are substantially very amiable at it. The webpose lexicon.com gives the specification of the expression lie as "a sham set-forthment made delay grave eager to delude." This specification points to the speaker's eagerions.  Intentions though can depend on who is exploration the topic, how it is asked, and in what matter. It is rarely troublesome to report if there is a sensible force to delude or if it was equitable a ignorance of what was meant.  Politicians use this technique repeatedly, vestibule tail what you reflect they said or entity designly equivocal.  There are as-polite examples of candidates making promises they don't perceive if they can or achieve tend or diplomats reporting each other of their countries' reciprocal whine for each other.

In this module, you achieve unravel some narrow instance studies, determined mini-cases that achieve exact you to dissect incorporeal dilemmas.  These dilemmas exact you to obtain?} a standing of fit or crime but to as-polite sift-canvass when, if incessantly, falsity is equitableified.  As a general employment functional, you achieve be confronted delay extremes of fit and crime but you achieve as-polite countenance different localitys in which the fitness and crimeness may not be so manifest.  The design of this exertion is to aid you whitewash and ameliorate the forced way that leads to incorporeal judgment making.  It is as-polite relevant to prove considerations upon which your judgments tranquillity, the inconsistencies or contradictions, and to procure out whitish arguments that ability exchange your judgments or at last lay the frameeffect to formulate guidelines to discover troublesome incorporeal rares.


Bok, S. (1989).  Lying:  Moral rare in general and indivisible vivacity.  Random House, Inc. New York.

Bentham, Jeremy. The Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)

Let's round our vigilance to a sift-canvassion environing untrue and what constitutes a lie. Please reach unhindered to adduce your special experiences or distribute your organizational examples as polite as cited sources from the unravelings when

M5D1: Pleasurpowerful Lying

This module outcomes addressed in this breath are:

  • Explain the fitness or crimeness of untrue (CO5);
  • Compare the inconsistencies or contradictions of incorporeal judgments (CO4); and
  • Identify whitish arguments that ability exchange your judgments to discover troublesome incorporeal rares (CO4, 5).

Please subscribe at last one primordial column. Keep in understanding that if replication columns succeed in Sunday late, this is not a vigorous sift-canvassion. I modesty the fit to ask you to subscribe sooner or past constantly if this achieve improve acquirements. 


Based on the unravelings and activities for this module, retort the subjoined topics:

  • After unraveling the mini-cases and the Helms' instance, sift-canvass your responses to the incorporeal hypotheticals on page 10 of the mini-cases.  Why did you control as you did?
  • How would you collate the way in which incorporeal judgments were made in the instances?  Do you see any inconsistencies or contradictions in these incorporeal judgments?
  • Address the Dobel paragraph and his concept of "political knowledge."  How would you use this concept to exchange your primordial judgments on the mini-cases and the Helms' instance?  Illustrate your retort.


Your replies to classmates must be substantive; columning “I accord” is a set-out, but you as-polite scarcity to illustrate why. Replies should subscribe to the sift-canvassion as a unimpaired by integrating what you enjoy scholarly from your exactd unravelings. When participating in the sift-canvassion forums, be twain virtuous and reverential of ideas and comments from your classmates. Please bear-in-mind the board sift-canvassions obtain?} fix in an known forum, so abstain from coarse dialect and racial, sexist, or any other comments that an specific ability discover displeasing.  

Consult the Discussion Posting Guide for counsel environing congruity your sift-canvassion columns. It is recommended that you transcribe your column in a instrument primeval. Check your effect and amend any spelling or verbal errors.

This is a “post first” sift-canvassion forum, which resources you must resign your initial post before you can object other students’ posts.

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