Friday, August 17, 2012

Is Honesty Important?

I have been talking a lot lately to young adults about trust and honesty. See one my lessons about this HERE. They seem to be subjects which many people, especially young adults, struggle with. In the discussion we had before my most recent lesson, I asked the group What is a white lie?” Though the answers varied, almost all of them seemed to define a white lie as something less than a real lie. Most thought white lies were sometimes the “best” way to respond to a situation. Clearly the group did not see white lies as an honesty problem.

We then discussed a list of situations that the group was supposed to rank from most honest to least honest. It was actually a trick question because NOTHING on the list was honest. Though some of the things on the list were definitely more clearly dishonest than others, nothing on the list should really have been acceptable to a person who held honestly in high regard. To my dismay, not a single young adult in the room picked up on my “trick” question. Instead they promptly listed the items in the order they thought they should go and felt pretty happy with the results. When I pointed out that NOTHING on the list was honest, they did not seem to follow my train of thought. Wow, what have we taught our kids?


  1. situational ethics and self-focused ethics
    (sorry I know you were asking a rhetorical question but I couldn't help answering :) )