Whereas humankind has executed various ground-breaking fetes, simple tasks such as telling the reality always still prove challenging. As a result, it turns into a common phenomenon for people constantly to inform lies. In light of this situation, Stephanie Ericsson examines various ways in which we lie, the more than one reasons given, and the effects that different lies have on distinct people. Some of the lies that Ericsson identifies include the white lie, facades, ignoring plain facts, and out-and-out lies. A consideration of Ericsson’s ways and sorts of lies facilitates the examination of a scenario witnessed in campus. In the event, a student lied to the professor that he had not cheated on a test and he almost got caught.
From the event, the student assumed that telling the truth would lead to more harm of possible disciplinary action than the implications of false assessment about the knowledge of a specific topic. According to Ericsson, a white lie is where a liar decides that telling the truth leads to more harm than telling a lie (Ericsson 496). As a result, the student’s lie can be classified as a white lie. In addition to the student’s lie being a white lie, it was also an out-and-out lie because he was confronted and almost got caught. As a result of the lies told by the student, various parties were affected by the lie.
In the scenario where the student lied about cheating in a test, the student lied to the professor, the institution, and the future prospective client or employer about their knowledge on the specific topic. Consequently, the lie presents various thematic and moral implications. One of the thematic implications that results from the false told by the student is the demeaning of the professor’s role in defining the student’s learning path. From the lie told by the student, the professor misrepresents the student’s academic progress to the institution who make various awards based on wrong information. As a result, the institution makes wrong recommendations regarding the qualification and character of the student misguiding prospective employers and clients served by the student.
Consequently, the student, the professor, the institution, and future clients lose from the student’s lie. The student loses the chance to learn of the virtue of honesty while the professor loses because of the chance to fairly evaluate the progress of their charge both academically and character-wise. Additionally, the institution fails as the lie undermines the standards they have set, leading to a loss to future clients and employers to the student as they will receive poor quality work. The losses experienced by the different parties presents various moral implications.
One moral implication resulting from the student’s lie is that it lowers the ethical standards of a specific community, if not the society. Having gotten away with the lie, the student replicates the lie in other areas of his life. As a result, this habit of lying becomes the ethical norm as the student becomes a model in the community. A good example of this kind of replication is the recurrent corporate scandals where the implicated persons begun lying during their periods in school.
In conclusion, it is clear that Stephanie Ericsson observed the habits of the modern society keenly and realized that there are different types of lies. Some of the types of lies that she observed and named include the white lie, the facade, and the out-and-out lie. An analysis of a situation where a student lied to a professor regarding the cheating in a test reveals that the lie is both a white lie and an out-and-out lie. The student’s lie leads to a loss to himself, the professor, the institution, and the prospective employers and clients.
Ericsson, Stephanie. “The Ways We Lie.” Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader and Guide. 9th ed. Ed. Laurie G. Krizner and Stephen R. Mandell. New York. Bedford, 2004, pp. 495-504.
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