DECEPTION IN THE LANGUAGE GAME. TRACING THE NATURAL ROOTS OF THE VICE OF LYING

Celia Deane-Drummond

Abstract


 In the public political sphere truth telling is becoming more the exception than the rule. Of all the tendencies to sin, lying is arguably one of the most destructive and most distinctive of human societies. Or is it? Is it, for example, right to exaggerate the importance of keystone species in order to enhance public support for biodiversity conservation? Longstanding philosophical debates exist about the moral legitimacy of lying in certain circumstances where not to do so would lead to harmful social outcomes. What might be the evolutionary roots of tendencies to deceive and how might this map onto human capacities for lying? Is an Augustinian approach to lying as always fundamentally wrong too rigid an approach or is it essential to Christian witness in a world where truth telling is habitually compromised? This paper will explore the fuzzy boundaries between natural and social evils and tease out in a preliminary way their relationships with original sin.


Keywords


Deception; Truth; Lying; Language; Morality; Natural evil; Original sin

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/119-2-1688

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


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