Christian-Traditional insights on lying: The deficient categorization in the debate on lying and a refreshing view on lying itself
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In this thesis I show that the current debate regarding lying is broadly categorized into two groups, namely Deontology and Utilitarianism. I do not use these terms to stereotype the debate but the lines of reasoning from both are easily recognizable when answering the question if lying is permissible. I argue that from a possible third perspective there are valuable insights available that in my opinion has been overlooked because mostly this perspective is categorized under the group of Deontology. I describe this group as Christian-Traditional. Although the association is reminiscent of a theological approach, I would like, on the contrary, to show three valuable insights from a philosophical approach that are a valuable addition to the debate. Firstly, I show the value of stating that uttering a lie also makes you a liar. Secondly, I argue that truthfulness and honesty are in practice more important moral categories than lying. And thirdly, I argue that in complex cases involving lying, such as the case of the Nazi at the door, there may be no right answers to the question of whether one should lie in such a situation. In themselves, I think they are three valuable insights, but these three elements together also show that categorizing the debate differently yields valuable insights that may have been overlooked because of the current categorization.