And: what's the worst lie you've ever told?
Tracy's article about lying brought me back to a question I've had for a while. We're taught from a young age that lying is wrong. The Commandments, for those religiously inclined, sort of also tell you not to lie, although it's specific in the message: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." Television and movie plots often hinge on this deep secret that is also a lie that will inevitably rain fire and brimstone and shit upon the protagonist come season finale time.
But, as we now know through science and also real life, everybody lies. Do you feel bad about lying? Do you hold "the truth" to be the absolutely most important and sacred thing in your life? Is lying a really big deal to you?
And do you feel lying to be morally wrong? I don't mean lying to family or close friends about important things, because outside of special circumstances, I don't know that this is generally not morally wrong. Sacred bonds, and all that. More like, if a colleague or an acquaintance or a stranger asks you something that isn't any of their business, and wouldn't shut up about it, would you find it morally problematic to lie to them?
I'm not a lying sociopath or anything, I promise! I'm just curious to hear your responses because I have know people who would become very angry with even a slight omission of fact (e.g. if you had a boyfriend or secretly hated puppies, and didn't tell them, they would think you the Devil Incarnate — and I don't know that they would be wrong, because who hates puppies? What is WRONG with you?) and some other people who lie about the stupidest things in their life for no apparent reason. It just comes so easily and naturally to them, and they honestly don't see anything wrong with it.
And, just for fun, have you ever told, or been told, a heinous lie? I'm trying to think of any truly egregious ones I've told, but all I can come up with are silly ones. I once told my brother that if a chair is facing you when you go to sleep, it means the devil is watching you. To this day, he makes sure any chairs in his room, swivel or otherwise, are pointed away. That was mean, I guess, but I still giggle. (He knows it's not true, but it's just habit now.)
(I always wish I could be a micro-expressions expert like Paul Ekman, or the fictional Cal Lightman. I guess all of that could be total crap, but it's an interesting idea.)