Siinviidatu ei kuulu küll eksplitsiitselt ühegi siinse kodulehe teemavaldkonda, kuid on kõiki valdkondi puudutav. Valetamine on ühest küljest igapäevane ja teisalt ei saa see piisavalt tähelepanu.

Lisaks võiks see tekst huvi pakkuda neile, kes huvituvad Cass R. Sunstein`i loomingust. Tegemist on õigusteadlasega, kelle vaated ja huvid ületavad levinud kujutluse õigusteaduse piiridest.


We live in a period of grave concern about lies and lying—on social media, in newspapers, in personal life, in commerce, in the White House.

Autor seab eesmärgi:

With an eye on issues of policy and law, I aim here to make some progress toward that understanding, by focusing in particular on the wrongness of lying.


According to a standard definition, summarizing many efforts, “A lie is a statement made by one who does not believe it with the intention that someone else shall be led to believe it.”


By contrast, the wrongness of many lies consists largely in the damage they inflict or make possible. Some lies are best seen as a kind of “taking” of people’s liberty or property—in the most extreme cases, even of their life. Consider, for example, a libel, falsely reporting that someone has committed a terrible crime (say, murder, rape, or assault), or falsely accusing a candidate for public office of corruption or drug abuse, or falsely stating that a neighbor was fired from his job for incompetence, or falsely stating that someone committed acts of race and sex discrimination.


From the utilitarian standpoint, it is almost certainly good to have an ethical taboo on lies, which often create a great deal of harm. If people lie, they destroy trust. If trust is destroyed, it will be difficult for people to create productive relationships.


Some of the most interesting liars are paternalistic; they seek to get the person to do what is, in the liars’ view, in that person’s interest. […] On this view, a serious problem with paternalistic liars is that they lack relevant knowledge—about the chooser’s situation, tastes, and values.


Many people are not utilitarians; they believe that people should be treated with respect, and as ends rather than means. (In Kant’s words: “Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only.”

Lugemishuvi suurendamiseks:

If people do some kind of cost-benefit analysis before deciding whether to lie, they may have one thought too many, 39 and they will almost certainly lie too much. But the reason that lying is bad is that it leads to bad consequences, even if that conclusion does not fit at all well with our moral intuitions.

Sunstein, C. R. (2022). On the Wrongness of Lies. Philosophy & Social Criticism, 48(4), 484–495.