A World Without Lies

By Ande Jacobson

As happened most nights, Alex and Rowan Jeffries were having an impassioned discussion over dinner. The twins had been sharing a house for most of their lives, Alex a professor of biochemistry and Rowan a professor of music and religious studies at the same university. Having grown up together and only living separately as university students because they attended different schools in different states, it was both comforting and financially practical to have come together again once their student days were over. Neither had ever been married, and they considered one another perfect roommates. They relied on each other and were the best of friends even though they had a few notable philosophical differences. In fact, those differences often helped them, though they really only differed dramatically in a few areas. In other areas of their lives, they were often in agreement even when their approaches sometimes diverged. This evening, they were engrossed in a discussion in which they agreed for the most part, but differed in application. The subject this evening was honesty, or more directly, the value of truth and dangers of lies.

“We agree that lies should be avoided as they cause great harm,” said Alex.

“You’ll get no disagreement from me,” responded Rowan.

“So explain to me why the so-called social contract has been corrupted from its original intent to foster cooperation based on an agreed upon set of rules of moral and ethical conduct that allow people to live together in a society. Instead, it has become something that not only promotes lies, it penalizes people if they don’t lie if what they need or want to say ‘might’ make somebody uncomfortable even if it is entirely accurate,” said Alex.

“Argh,” sighed Rowan furrowing his brow. “You’re getting hung up on the niceties of social interaction again.” Continue reading