Ethics: Theory and Practice

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The decision to lie to Jesusita about her son’s condition was clearly not the right thing to do. First of all, Jesusita had the right to know about her son’s death so that she could say goodbye to him and start to grieve. Secondly, the decision to lie to her and tell her that her son was actually on an extended business trip was clearly an unsustainable lie. It was clear that in the end it would do more harm than good. Even though Jesusita initially believed what her family told her, she grew increasingly worried, because the days passed, and she heard no news of her son. Seeing how she grew worried and became difficult to care for, it is clear that lying to her has made the situation worse. Her health and tranquility deteriorated because of her growing concern for her son’s safety. This makes it clear that it would have been better for her family to be honest with her from the beginning and tell her about her son’s death. Finally, the decision to lie also put stress on the family, as they had to see Jesusita become increasingly worried and difficult (not to mention the fact that they too grew increasingly worried as they did not have the heart to tell her the truth, nor did they have the will to continue lying).

I personally believe that lying and breaking promises are detrimental to society as a whole. Society is founded on two fundamental principles, trust and truth. People are able to live in peace with one another (each pursuing his/her happiness), because they believe that they can trust others to respect their rights and liberties. Friendships and marriages occur, because people pledge a vow to trust that they are truthful to each other. If people were to disavow truth and trust, I believe that society would inevitably break down into ruin and chaos. The social contract keeps society united and strong. If, however, this contract were to be betrayed trough lying and broken promises, the contract would become null and void, and man would abandon society in favor of a solitary life, distrusting the words and intentions of others.

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