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Old 10-31-2017, 09:46 AM   #1
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Important question on lies

I understand lying is forbidden. I have heard from a Baha'i if I enter Iran and I am a Baha'i and I get asked if I am a Baha'i I must say yes as lying is forbidden .. Now what if your intentions are really clean and clear but a lie is said is it still forbidden as the bhagvad Gita is based on Krishna lying for the overall good .. And that makes sense to me
 
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:49 AM   #2
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If you agree that lying is totally forbidden how you would you answer this ..You're at home and a friend bursts in and hides in your home. He is being chased by someone who wants to kill them. Said person bursts in and asks you if you have seen your friend and if he friend is hiding here. What do you do? From a baha'i perspective, how do you remain truthful if doing so will get your friend killed?
 
Old 10-31-2017, 11:19 AM   #3
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What specific scriptural verses are you referring to?

It sounds like you're just talking about the verses on Taqiya, which is a type of lying, but not lying in general. Rather it is an act of concealing one's religious convictions.
 
Old 10-31-2017, 12:02 PM   #4
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Dear Yousefy2,

I don't think that lying is forbidden at any cost. But surely one should try to avoid lying in instances where the lives of others don't depend on it. Lying is not a proper course of action simply to avoid difficulties.

For the example you mentioned I would answer "I cannot tell you". You don't have to lie, because you don't answer the question at all. Saying nothing is not lying IMO. And of course it is true that you cannot tell the person trying to kill your friend - or even a stranger - where he is because your ethical values forbid. ;-)
 
Old 10-31-2017, 03:18 PM   #5
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If you say "I cannot tell you" they know that you have either seen him or are hiding him.
 
Old 11-01-2017, 09:58 AM   #6
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Your premise is faulty - the Baha’i teachings do not say that you must not lie at all costs.


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Old 11-01-2017, 10:20 AM   #7
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Can you provide any passages from the scripture allowing one to lie under certain circumstances
 
Old 11-01-2017, 10:22 AM   #8
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Certainly for an intelligent man death is better than sin, and a cut tongue is better than lying or calumny. - abdul baha
and Bahaullah has many passages on being truthful
 
Old 11-01-2017, 10:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
I understand lying is forbidden. I have heard from a Baha'i if I enter Iran and I am a Baha'i and I get asked if I am a Baha'i I must say yes as lying is forbidden .. Now what if your intentions are really clean and clear but a lie is said is it still forbidden as the bhagvad Gita is based on Krishna lying for the overall good .. And that makes sense to me
Abdulbaha said, certain lies are not blameworthy. It is in Some answered questions. Search for keyword 'blameworthy' in that Book.


Here:

"Consider that the worst of all qualities and the most odious of all attributes, and the very
foundation of all evil, is lying, and that no more evil or reprehensible quality can be imagined in all
existence. It brings all human perfections to naught and gives rise to countless vices. There is no
worse attribute than this, and it is the foundation of all wickedness. Now, all this notwithstanding,
should a physician console a patient and say, “Thank God, you are doing better and there is hope
for your recovery”, although these words may be contrary to the truth, yet sometimes they will ease
the patient’s mind and become the means of curing the illness. And this is not blameworthy."

Last edited by InvestigateTruth; 11-01-2017 at 10:35 AM.
 
Old 11-01-2017, 01:21 PM   #10
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Yeah but it's not a lie if it becomes the means of his recovery I feel
 
Old 11-17-2017, 11:23 AM   #11
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In Abdul Baha's wonderful example of the physician talking to a fearful patient, truth cannot be communicated if the receptor cannot bear it, or handle it, and as a result of that mishandling, the receptor may inflict damage over himself or others.

The wise doctor perceives that such patient with a terminal illness does not want to know the Ultimate truth to the question: Am I going to die? and is not ready for it... because the Ultimate Truth is that we are spiritual beings having a mortal experience, and this is a metaphysical concept that the patient is not interested in grasping. He just wants to feel better. And the physician, by saying "a lie", is giving the patient the emotional analgesic her patient needs so that he can die in peace and face that Ultimate Truth.

When a Nazi soldier asks you if you are hiding a Jew, the soldier is not interested in knowing the Ultimate Truth, because the Ultimate Truth is that the Jew is a human being that deserves respect and love. That truth that soldier is unable to handle, either because he is not willing or because hes is unable, as he is himself under threat.

What the soldier wants is access to the hidden Jew so that he can get him executed.
So, by saying a "No" to his question on whether we are hiding a Jew, you are indeed safeguarding the Ultimate Truth that you, the Jew and the Nazi soldier should all serve.


My take is that every word we utter we should do it rationally... this is, under the light of the Holy Spirit.

.

Last edited by camachoe; 11-17-2017 at 11:26 AM.
 
Old 11-17-2017, 11:44 AM   #12
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The search for absolute rules, to be followed in each and every case, usually is not rewarded. We are endowed with judgment in order to figure out to what extent each rule should be obeyed under what circumstances. That, as I understand it, is our main task: to let our souls grow, through applying self-discipline, enlightened by prayer, and efforts to actually do something as well.

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Old 11-17-2017, 11:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InvestigateTruth View Post
Abdulbaha said, certain lies are not blameworthy. It is in Some answered questions. Search for keyword 'blameworthy' in that Book.


Here:

"Consider that the worst of all qualities and the most odious of all attributes, and the very
foundation of all evil, is lying, and that no more evil or reprehensible quality can be imagined in all
existence. It brings all human perfections to naught and gives rise to countless vices. There is no
worse attribute than this, and it is the foundation of all wickedness. Now, all this notwithstanding,
should a physician console a patient and say, “Thank God, you are doing better and there is hope
for your recovery”, although these words may be contrary to the truth, yet sometimes they will ease
the patient’s mind and become the means of curing the illness. And this is not blameworthy."
I think the key is the words "you are getting better". I think a doctor should tell a patient that they are going to die.
 
Old 11-17-2017, 12:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yousefy2 View Post
Certainly for an intelligent man death is better than sin, and a cut tongue is better than lying or calumny. - abdul baha
and Bahaullah has many passages on being truthful
Ah, but is it also not said "A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding." (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings pg 289)??

So unkind honesty would surely not be a good thing.

Your specific quote on lying here is about calumny, which is lying for the purposes of defamation.

We are also forbidden from back-biting (I know of no situation that allows back-biting if the things you are speaking about are true) and fault finding (even if the person truly holds that fault).

Honesty doesn't enter into the equation for the other two, but I think from looking at all the prohibitions on certain types of speech, there is a specific pattern that emerges: The type of speech that is forbidden is the speech that harms others.

Though if you still don't want to lie for whatever reason... you could just learn to get really good at "lying by omission" which is not actually lying despite the name, but is merely choosing not to reveal certain truths.

Like in the example you give: "Said person bursts in and asks you if you have seen your friend and if he friend is hiding here."

You could say something to the effect of "My friend was here last Thursday, but he left around 10:00" (or whenever he was there last before this incident). This is technically the truth, yet it would cause the person asking the question to believe you are saying the person he is after isn't here now, even though that isn't what you said.

Technically if you get really clever you can speak only truth yet still deceive people, so if you have serious compulsions against lying you can still get around such scenarios if you really want to. I do think that, based on what others have said here, lying in this situation would certainly be allowed. But if you REALLY want to commit yourself to not lying anyways, "not lying" doesn't mean you need to reveal a truth that would harm another person.

Or when "said person bursts in and asks you if you have seen your friend and if he friend is hiding here." you're reply could be "This is private property!! Get out now or I shall be forced to call the police or defend myself!!" which is not revealing your friend's location but not also is not lying.

(Also, sorry for the delay on responding to your latest PM. I am working on gathering my sources so my reply can be fully cited and give you links and verses to the appropriate topics. Just to let you know, though, it hasn't been ignored, I'm just putting a deal of research into my answer. )

Last edited by Walrus; 11-17-2017 at 12:34 PM.
 
Old 11-17-2017, 01:15 PM   #15
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And consider how many marriages that are saved by little cute lies. Let's say that you have a wife, who is a real bitch, but when you call her "kitten", she starts to purr. That's a kind of creative lie that actually turns into reality.

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