How minute does a lie have to be before it doesn't really count as one? - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:09 PM
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Default How minute does a lie have to be before it doesn't really count as one?

Example: Someone asks you what time it is. You tell them it's half past four or 4:30. It's actually 4:29. Does that really qualify as a 'lie'? And if not, at what point does something that isn't actually true count as a lie?
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:02 PM
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A lie is saying something false and knowing at the time you say it that it is not the case. As far as I can see, that is what makes it different to an honest mistake. The example you describe would be a lie although one so small and insignificant it will not carry any repurcussions.

This seems like it could be an interesting topic, what made you think of it?
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Silver Stag View Post
A lie is saying something false and knowing at the time you say it that it is not the case. As far as I can see, that is what makes it different to an honest mistake. The example you describe would be a lie although one so small and insignificant it will not carry any repurcussions.

This seems like it could be an interesting topic, what made you think of it?
The example given was pretty close to a true story and when it happened, this was the question that came to mind. The difference being that the real times were 4:19 and 4:20 and I didn't want to open myself up to any 4:20 jokes.
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:00 AM
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I wouldn't count claiming 4:29 as 4:30 to be a lie. More like an approximation.

In my opinion, half-truths may be more damaging than lies.
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:03 PM
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I think the answer lies (forgive me) with the state of mind of the supposed liar. Mens Rea (guilty mind), generally a term used exclusively in the criminal justice system for determining whether a crime has been committed (similar to what The Silver Stag was getting at) could be applied to discover whether a lie has been said.

If you knew that what you are saying is false and has measurable consequences then that might be taken as a lie. This can change depending on context. For example telling someone the wrong time innocently and causing them to miss their appointment or bus, even if only by a minute would not be viewed as a lie as you did not give thought to the consequences even a minute difference would make.

A strictly positivist approach to the question would tell us that any spoken inaccuracy is a lie with no consideration for the intent or state of mind of the liar.
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