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LearnEnglishBest / Рассказы, статьи / Топик Is It Worth Lying? - Стоить ли врать?

Топик Is It Worth Lying? - Стоить ли врать?

Is It Worth Lying? - Стоить ли врать?There is hardly a person in the world who can say that he or she has never told a lie. Lying is quite natural and people often do it in case of emergency, intentionally or even without any reason. People are not born with a capacity to lie. They begin to do it at the age of three and the older they get, the more resourceful and sophisticated they become. Many philosophers such as Saint Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Immanuel Kant condemned all lying. They were convinced that 'one must be murdered, suffer torture, or endure any other hardship, rather than lie, even if the only way to protect oneself is to lie'. Immanuel Kant said that 'by a lie, a man annihilates his dignity as a man.'

A lie is something you say that you know is untrue with the intention to deceive other people. There are different reasons for telling a lie. One may do it with the intention to maintain a secret or to save his or her face, to derive some benefit or to avoid a punishment, to get out of an awkward situation or to help another person and what not. Many people are fond of exaggerating some facts or lying for fun.

There are different types of lies from white lies to perjury. A white lie does not harm anyone and it is usually told in order to avoid hurting someone's feelings. It is often used to avoid offense, such as complimenting something one finds not very beautiful or attractive or saying that you like a present even if it is not true. A white lie is a part of good manners as sometimes it is rude to say exactly what you think. When a person does not tell the whole truth about something such kind of lie is called half-truth. A bold-faced lie is one which is told when it is obvious to everybody that it is a lie. For example, a person who has been caught red-handed by the police and denies that he has stolen the money. Perjury is the crime of telling a lie after promising to tell the truth in a court of law.

In fact it is difficult to imagine the world without lie. Lie is everywhere: on TV, on the radio, in newspapers, in the street and even at home. Everyday people have to face misinformation, hoax, fabrication, propaganda, puffery, forgery, etc. That is why many of us have become distrustful and suspicious and we don't believe most advertisements, commercials, speeches and promises. If one doesn't want to be deceived or to become a victim of fraud, he or she should take into consideration people's behaviour and body language.

It is possible to distinguish a lie by facial expression, movements, tone of voice and other methods. Some people are sure that lies can be detected through both verbal and nonverbal means. Scientists say that lying takes longer than telling the truth. So if a person hesitates before answering a question or makes a long pause, he is probably going to tell a lie. A liar may avoid eye contact, turn his head away, stammer or blush. A liar usually has a stiff expression and a forced smile. A person who feels guilty may speak too much, adding unnecessary details to convince his interlocutor. A liar feels uncomfortable and is often eager to change the subject. This knowledge is especially helpful for police, security experts, businessmen, politicians and employers. But one should remember that there is no absolutely reliable sign of lying.

Polygraph measures the physiological stress a person endures while he or she gives statements or answers questions. It is well-known that lying causes bodily changes. Polygraph measures the suspect's heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and respiration. If there is increased activity in these areas, the suspect might be lying. The accuracy of this method is questionable as this machine can be deceived. That is why polygraph results are not admissible as court evidence. The fact is that no machine, or expert can detect a lie with 100% accuracy.

Sometimes telling a lie can be essential if it helps save another person's life. But sometimes lying makes things worse, especially after it has been discovered. Discovery of a lie may spoil one's reputation or lead to social or legal sanctions. Besides you can't lie all the time. One shouldn't forget the saying, 'Liars should have long memories'.

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