Right wrong and honesty

Father and daughter

Often humans struggle with defining right and wrong and being honest. We rationalize and often we omit details when we feel those details or the whole truth may make us look bad or bring pain. This is all part of the normal human experience.

My wife and I questioned whether or not we should participate in the Santa Clause lie when we began raising our children. We ended up only halfway participating and explained things quite soon to the children. Now that my oldest son and daughter are raising their children we see that my son has decided to be honest with his kids and not "do the Santa thing".

When your wife asks you if the dress she is wearing makes her look fat we know there is no right answer. Honesty often ends up being adjusted to fit our needs. Personally it is easier to tell the truth because you don't have to remember your lies. So is truth relative is the question?

About twentyfive years ago we were in Idaho in a remote area and my wife and I came to a fourway stop and since the terrain was flat for many miles we could clearly see that there were no cars coming in any direction. I put my turn signal on and my wife began to laugh at me. I came to a complete stop and she laughed even more. She said "Why would you bother to stop at all if you know that no one is coming and there are no car?" Actually that is a very good question that we can extrapolate to all areas of our lives. I have habits as many of us do and when those habits are tied to norms or rules that are put in place to keep us safe being consistent will never hurt you. When we decide to ignore those rules, laws or norms because of circumstances or when no one is watching it can and will get us in trouble.

It is said that integrity can be measured by what you do when no one is watching

Religion has been called the opium of the masses, a way to control people with foolish teachings. Many people firmly believe and have faith in their religions and their idea of what is right and what is wrong and the thought that no one is watching but God can see me and will judge me later and I will be punished later for the sins I commit now causes guilt. Guilt can have positive and negative effects.

Often we speak of extremes to make our point and some religions seem extreme and others don't.

Is it ever justified to lie, is telling the truth always the best policy, should we avoid telling the truth or all of the truth when it will end up hurting someone? All of these questions are important and religion does help us form our idea of what is right and wrong. When guilt helps people avoid doing bad stuff is that a positive thing? If we got rid of religion and just had our laws and rules would that affect people's idea of honesty in a good or bad way?

I would be interested in your thoughts and ideas on the subjects of law, rules, lies, truth, honesty and integrity.