Is this considered lying?

A forum for discussion of Buddhist ethics.
sattva
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:52 pm

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by sattva » Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:39 pm

Norden wrote:Hello all,

I would like to ask if you guys know if these all actions below are considered lying or not. In a way they are not lying but when you look carefully they are all lying.

1. Women wear make up, women do plastic surgery.
2. Actor
3. Write fictional books
4. etc.

Any thought would be appreciated.
Thanks all.
My thoughts in reading all of this, starting with this first post are this:

Are you or is someone you know contemplating plastic surgery? Why is this important to you?
Are you an actor or contemplating acting?
Do you write fictional books and feel that you shouldn't be doing that?

:namaste:

Norden
Posts: 83
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:31 am

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by Norden » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:43 am

SeeLion wrote:Clearly the actor/writer has no intention to deceive, but that may fall under gossip/idle chatter.

Also, I think lying refers to speech, as in spoken or written.

So intention to lie would need to be related to the act of lying not to the hope or desire to create a certain impression in people. Wearing fake jewels isn't a lie, telling people they are real is.
Telling people wearing a fake jewels is lie through speech.
If he or she wants other people to believe she wears real jewels when in fact she does not. Why is this not considered deceiving?

Norden
Posts: 83
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:31 am

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by Norden » Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:45 am

sattva wrote:
Norden wrote:Hello all,

I would like to ask if you guys know if these all actions below are considered lying or not. In a way they are not lying but when you look carefully they are all lying.

1. Women wear make up, women do plastic surgery.
2. Actor
3. Write fictional books
4. etc.

Any thought would be appreciated.
Thanks all.
My thoughts in reading all of this, starting with this first post are this:

Are you or is someone you know contemplating plastic surgery? Why is this important to you?
Are you an actor or contemplating acting?
Do you write fictional books and feel that you shouldn't be doing that?

:namaste:
It says etc., so no I'm not a woman wearing make up. I'm on Dharmawheel forum to ask fourth precept. To get more clear understanding.

User avatar
seeker242
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by seeker242 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:58 pm

Norden wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Norden wrote:
I think whether everyone understands or not is not relevant.
Why do you think that?
And, since we're on DW, can you back up your 'think' with arguments from the sutras or other relevant sources?

:namaste:
Kim
Intention does not depend on the perceiver but depends on the doer.
Other people can think other thing but that doesn't change the intention of someone who is committing certain action. I think it's common sense.
True, however, a fictional book is not trying or intended, by the doer, to be passed off as real to begin with. For example, Stephen King does not say "This is a true story" about his books. :) Now, if a person wrote a biography and included things they know are false, then that would be lying.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

User avatar
Ayu
Former staff member
Posts: 7210
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 am
Location: Europe

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by Ayu » Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:20 pm

Norden wrote:
sattva wrote:
My thoughts in reading all of this, starting with this first post are this:

Are you or is someone you know contemplating plastic surgery? Why is this important to you?
Are you an actor or contemplating acting?
Do you write fictional books and feel that you shouldn't be doing that?

:namaste:
It says etc., so no I'm not a woman wearing make up. I'm on Dharmawheel forum to ask fourth precept. To get more clear understanding.
You learn more about the precepts, when you try to follow them yourself.
What kind of impact does a woman with make-up or plastic surgery have on your personal life? How does the answer to your questions affect you personally?
Are you planning to have some plastic surgery? Do you put on your make up daily and wonder if you are deceiving the people? Did you try to go out without make up? What happend? Did anybody notice it?

I mean, silas are something practical, they are applied in practical life. But your questions on the contrary seem to be very theoretical only. And: are you interested in the answers you've got already so far?
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

SeeLion
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 8:09 am

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by SeeLion » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:08 pm

If he or she wants other people to believe she wears real jewels when in fact she does not. Why is this not considered deceiving?
What I said above: because there is no claim.

Wanting is wanting.

Deceiving is deceiving.

Why would wanting be deceiving ?

User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 20137
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:14 pm

catmoon wrote:The world is illusion, it's all deception. The mind misapprehends just about everything. The fault lies in ourselves, not the stars.

Come to think of it, even the appearance of a fault is just an appearance.
Me punching you in the head will just be an appearance, but it will alter your appearance somewhat! :)

Meaning that though ultimately everything is... at the relative level everything is...
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
Posts: 3415
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by catmoon » Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:30 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:
catmoon wrote:The world is illusion, it's all deception. The mind misapprehends just about everything. The fault lies in ourselves, not the stars.

Come to think of it, even the appearance of a fault is just an appearance.
Me punching you in the head will just be an appearance, but it will alter your appearance somewhat! :)

Meaning that though ultimately everything is... at the relative level everything is...
Um I think you have misapprehended what I was saying. When looking at an apple, we greatly misapprehend what it is. We have no gut feeling for the fact that it is mostly space with a few particles whizzing around in it. It seems to have definite sharp boundaries but those boundaries don't exist. And those are just the things we know we misapprehend... after that comes all the stuff we misapprehend and have no clue about at all.

Misapprehending something does not mean there is nothing there.

Let me see we need an example .... something like your punching in the head thing ,,, Something random and arbitrary and emotionally unloaded,,,, aha!

So if we were to bury you in a hole in the highway with just your head sticking out above ground, and then drive an Abrams tank back and forth over you a few dozen times. the illusory nature of the tank would not exempt you from injury, nor would it particularly invalidate your experience - you can't say the pain is unreal. However, you, and all the witnesses cheering in the grandstands, would be misapprehending the tank as a large solid object, which it isn't. It just acts a lot like one.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 20137
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by Grigoris » Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:44 am

catmoon wrote:Um I think you have misapprehended what I was saying. When looking at an apple, we greatly misapprehend what it is. We have no gut feeling for the fact that it is mostly space with a few particles whizzing around in it. It seems to have definite sharp boundaries but those boundaries don't exist. And those are just the things we know we misapprehend... after that comes all the stuff we misapprehend and have no clue about at all.

Misapprehending something does not mean there is nothing there.

Let me see we need an example .... something like your punching in the head thing ,,, Something random and arbitrary and emotionally unloaded,,,, aha!

So if we were to bury you in a hole in the highway with just your head sticking out above ground, and then drive an Abrams tank back and forth over you a few dozen times. the illusory nature of the tank would not exempt you from injury, nor would it particularly invalidate your experience - you can't say the pain is unreal. However, you, and all the witnesses cheering in the grandstands, would be misapprehending the tank as a large solid object, which it isn't. It just acts a lot like one.
I know what you were saying, I was was just joking, a bit of a word play... You're not a humorless German by any chance? :tongue:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
Posts: 3415
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by catmoon » Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:01 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:I know what you were saying, I was was just joking, a bit of a word play... You're not a humorless German by any chance? :tongue:
*munches on a wiesswurst and sauerkraut thoughtfully*

"Nein".
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

sattva
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:52 pm

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by sattva » Thu May 19, 2016 9:14 pm

Norden wrote:
sattva wrote:
Norden wrote:Hello all,

I would like to ask if you guys know if these all actions below are considered lying or not. In a way they are not lying but when you look carefully they are all lying.

1. Women wear make up, women do plastic surgery.
2. Actor
3. Write fictional books
4. etc.

Any thought would be appreciated.
Thanks all.
My thoughts in reading all of this, starting with this first post are this:

Are you or is someone you know contemplating plastic surgery? Why is this important to you?
Are you an actor or contemplating acting?
Do you write fictional books and feel that you shouldn't be doing that?

:namaste:
It says etc., so no I'm not a woman wearing make up. I'm on Dharmawheel forum to ask fourth precept. To get more clear understanding.
Hi :smile: Sorry that I did not respond before this. I don't get on here very often. Have you ever read the koan "Man of Three Disabilities"? Your questions made me think of this koan and I responded, at least to some degree, the way the teacher in this koan might have responded to your question (at least I think so). NO, I am definitely not a Zen teacher!
Kind regards,
sattva

Pumo
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 11:24 pm
Location: Puebla, Mexico
Contact:

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by Pumo » Sat May 21, 2016 4:42 am

Norden wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Intention does not depend on the perceiver but depends on the doer.
Exactly. And there is no intention to deceive, therefore no lying.

:namaste:
Kim
It does not depend on whether other people understand it or not. When someone has the intention to misrepresenting something false, why is that not deceiving?
As a hobby I like to write fictional stuff about futuristic characters from other planets in a Sci-Fi alternative version of our galaxy, and BTW, the charaters are not exactly human-like and I also like to draw them on paper, with their big round black eyes and 'U' shaped mouths.

So do you consider I have the unwholesome intention to actually deceive someone by telling them the obviously fictious stories I wrote, or by showing them the drawings of my imaginary characters I made?

So in your point of view, every artist, writer, actor, musician, etc. out there is accumulating Akusala Karma with their works, and may even reborn in lower existence states, even hell? :shrug:
'may all beings be happy at heart.' - Karaniya Metta Sutta :buddha1:

Nirveda
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:46 pm

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by Nirveda » Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:26 pm

Norden wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Intention does not depend on the perceiver but depends on the doer.
Exactly. And there is no intention to deceive, therefore no lying.

:namaste:
Kim
It does not depend on whether other people understand it or not. When someone has the intention to misrepresenting something false, why is that not deceiving?
It depends on whether the doer believes that the other people understand it: that differentiates the doer's intention. If the doer is an actor giving a performance in a theater, the context is in the social understanding that the people in the audience believe that it is performance and not real. So the actor is not intending to deceive because he believes that the audience understands that it just a performance.

If the actor does the same performance in a shopping mall, people in the vicinity may think it's really happening. In that case, the actor would be acting with the intention to deceive.

This is why author James Frey got into so much trouble with his book A Million Little Pieces years ago. It was sold as a memoir, as autobiographically accurate. Most of it was, but some aspects of it were fictionalized so that it worked better from a storytelling perspective. Frey originally tried to publish it as a novel, but then agreed to his publisher's suggestion to publish it as a memoir. That's where he got into trouble. William S. Burroughs similarly wrote the book Junky about his own addiction experiences, but it was published as fiction. Most of it was his own experience, but it was published as fiction, so there was no assumption that all of it (or any of it) was factually correct. Frey, by calling his book "memoir" instead of "fiction" essentially was not being truthful, because how he labeled it caused people to believe that everything in it was factual to the best of his knowledge.

User avatar
Kaccāni
Posts: 1083
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:03 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by Kaccāni » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:55 pm

Alternate definition of lying: communicating in a way so somebody else creates a defilement, in order to support your ego.

Best wishes
Kc
Shush! I'm doing nose-picking practice!

User avatar
Footsteps
Posts: 69
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:53 pm

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by Footsteps » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:31 pm

Norden wrote:Hello all,

I would like to ask if you guys know if these all actions below are considered lying or not. In a way they are not lying but when you look carefully they are all lying.

1. Women wear make up, women do plastic surgery.
2. Actor
3. Write fictional books
4. etc.

Any thought would be appreciated.
Thanks all.
1. Women wear make up, women do plastic surgery. Yes. She deliberately obscures what she perceives as physical faults. She deliberately attempts to portray an image other than her natural self.

2. Actor Yes, but their lying is that of a position and it mutually agreed upon by society. When it is not mutually agreed upon or if the actor begins to deceive themselves by over identifying with a role, the territory can teeter between dangerous and useful.

3. Write fictional books Not necessarily, unless the author is somehow engaging in self-deception(or deliberate deception of others) regarding their text. Fiction is not expected to be taken as truth, yet sometimes can be used to illustrate greater truths and underlying principals.

4. etc. If somebody asks you how you are, and you say fine, and you are not fine, you are lying. Is it wrong? Depends on the context. As the question is often used as a greeting without expectation of an in depth response, the social expectation is to keep it brief and impersonal. There is nothing wrong with doing so. If the individual asking is actually expressing concern about how you are and you say fine and you are not, you are lying and failing to meet social expectation. If you attempt to appear as if you never have negative internal states, you are lying.

5. The funny thing about lying and facades, is that when one puts on a mask, it is evident they are wearing a mask, evident they have a reason for hiding their true self, and thus their mask betrays them.
"Don't interrupt the mountains or the lake."

daelm
Posts: 486
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:49 pm

Re: Is this considered lying?

Post by daelm » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:56 pm

Norden wrote:Hello all,

I would like to ask if you guys know if these all actions below are considered lying or not. In a way they are not lying but when you look carefully they are all lying.

1. Women wear make up, women do plastic surgery.
2. Actor
3. Write fictional books
4. etc.

Any thought would be appreciated.
Thanks all.

Right speech.

[1] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."

— MN 58


That's the whole definition.

Post Reply

Return to “Ethical Conduct”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests