Of the Heart and of the Mind. Three point one four one five nine.
Monday, October 04, 2004
Is it still a lie if something you say doesn't feel like a lie to you, but isn't the precise truth?
For example 1: Telling only the truth, but not necessarily the whole truth.
My feelings are:
1) If you leave out some of the truth and doing so changes what is told so it contradicts the truth, or is just plain not the truth, that is lying. (He said: "No good can come of this." You say: "He said 'good can come of this'." Yes, he said those words, but you are lying because you left out another word he said which changes the entire meaning.)
2) Otherwise, it's not lying.
For example 2: Saying something slightly different from truth, but which you don't consider in the moment to be lying.
My feelings are:
1) A lie is a lie.... You can only keep this situation from being a lie if you immediately correct yourself.
Does that make me a hypocrite, or was I not lying?
Today I was pulled aside to be told that after I left last week four tests of code I had worked on were failing. The failures were one problem which was explained to me. My response was "I fixed that." I still took blame/accepted fault for the time and panic that was caused last Friday by the tests not working, in the form of I must not have put my fix where everyone else could get it so their projects worked too. The truth is: I thought I had fixed the problem in the project, and other tests which had been failing before my fix then passed after my fix, but I saw those four tests still failing last week and I decided not to care about them for various reasons. Everything in the project itself worked correctly, the fix for those four failing tests ended up being something the tests themselves were not doing. So I had been correct that I had fixed everything, but the real truth is I had fixed everything in the project and not including the bad tests. I didn't say I had fixed the tests, I said I had fixed the problem. And I didn't realize at the time I was lying, because I don't think I did lie. But afterwards, as I was apologizing, I realized I was apologizing for something I knew I hadn't done (that being fix the failing tests).
I just don't know... now it kinda feels like I lied, but I'm still not sure I did...?