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Damn lies and White lies.

posted Oct 31, 2020, 6:51 PM by Upali Salpadoru   [ updated Nov 14, 2020, 8:25 PM ]

Damn lies and White lies.

One predominant politician  in Sri Lanka visited a high priest in Sri Lanka. During a discussion he declared ‘ I am an honest man that has never uttered a lie’ . The reply was ‘Learned Sir that's the biggest lie you have said’ 

:et us examine these lies that we often try to avoid.  It is not far from the truth to assume the definition of a lie as a statement which is not a FACT. If we define what a fact is it ay become easier to grasp the meaning of a lie. Now what is a fact? An action to be considered as a fact, there must be concrete evidence. For example Nimali may say You are holding the book. If she was watching you , this can be a fact. Her sight has provided the evidence. So the statement becomes a fact.




If Nimali said , ‘You were reading the book, unless you have been reading loud, the statement may not be a fact. It could have been true or false (a fact or a lie) Such a statement is a guess.

Here is an attempt to analyse them further. Although the lies have a detrimental effect , very often we lie for a good cause. Such lies we may recognise as good lies or white lies.

If you have to convert a message to Siriyawathi that her mother has passed away you don't go and bolt away the truth at pnce. If you are a sensible person, you will tell a lie and bring her to attend her mother’s funeral. This is a good example of a white lie.

Mrs. Strimanna was a teacher, Sunil was a backward student who hated every subject except art. What he scribbled for art was also of no value but  Mrs Sirimanna always praised his work.  ‘Oh putha, what a nice drawing’  This was a deliberate lie but a white lie used to encourage the child.

Mr Dhanusinghe came to NZ in 2019 just prior to Covid restrictions. He said , ‘ I am a Kandyan by birth but married a lowcountry girl. I worked at Levers and they are requesting me to come back’  Somebody who knew him told me he was born in Dondra, deep south and had been asked to resign from his job due to a fraud.  True he had been hiding the truth but his lies are not with the intention of damaging another person. It was just bragging, People do this just to get respect and attention.

An astrologer reads a horoscope and informs that his client is going to win a lottery. In what kind of bits that such an incident had been recorded in an ola leaf? If he at least said that the man will have some luck we may assume that was his actual prediction according to the planetary positions. The statement he made had been a concocted one to please the customer. So it is in the class of damn lies.

Peter coming home had a fight with Tom and got his shirt dirtied. He reported this to his mother as ‘Mummy, there was an oilpath on the road. I slipped there and had a nasty fall’ This is definitely a lie but not a damn lie. It is an innocent excuse.

There was a huge Nuga tree in front of our house at Patuwatha. My seeya used to tell me that it was the abode of a god. He had evidence. One night he showed me  a flash of light coming from a Bo tree to the Nuga tree. He honestly believed that there should be a divine power for the observed phenomenon. So from his side this was not a lie but a fact.  We now know that it was only a shooting star, a meteor. Therefore his statement was a lie, as it was not a fact. These are beliefs.

Due to a prediction Silva believes that if he steps out of his home in a northerly direction he will get selected for a job. We cannot classify this as we do not know. A belief may be true or false. Such a belief is similar to a guess. They fall short of getting into facts. Most of the dogmas coming down from ancient writings  and sermons fall into this category.


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