Can the purposeful use of dishonesty ever be ethical, or is it inherently unethical?

Asked by: WillSelenus
  • They Can Be

    I dont know what theses words mean but im going to vote with the majority of the people. I love pizza and video games. Bob the builder is cool. Barney is mean. Soldiers are amazing. You all should stay beautiful btw. Beauty is on the inside, not the outside.... Bye.

  • The purposeful use of dishonesty may not only be ethical, but sometimes, the refusal to engage in purposeful dishonesty may be unethical.

    This conclusion obviously hinges on which system of ethics one adopts and the details thereof. Without engaging on that condition precedent, in general, a system of ethics which prioritizes life and wellbeing of humans is both more justifiable in fact and compassionate. When answered in the context of such a system, we can see that the classic conundrum exemplifies this:

    You are a German citizen living in Nazi Germany, but are a secret Jewish sympathizer. You have hidden Jews in your attic. A standard roving patrol of Nazis one day ask you, as per practice, if you have any Jews in your attic. A truthful answer will endanger them. A purposefully false answer will preserve them.

    In this situation, a system of ethics which prioritizes the preservation of life and wellbeing would likely support this action. A deontological or other system which categorically holds truth or honesty as virtue and their opposites as immoral would likely see this action as unjustified, despite the loss of life and wellbeing due to the ensuing unjust harm.

    As I do not see any coherent way to justify as per such a deontological system how honesty or truth have "inherent" value, in the sense of deontology, I find a more situational and/or utilitarian system more validly justifiable. For obvious, separate reasons, I also found this kind of system more compassionate, in general.

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