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Self-honesty is a bit of a nonsense term; you cannot lie to yourself (know and not know something at once). But you can be true or untrue to yourself.

You can be true to yourself while lying to someone else by serving your own purpose, and you can be honest with a person while knowingly sabotaging your purpose. And that is why self-honesty is different from general honesty.

If a person does anything but what they believe will help them achieve their goals, they are not being honest with themselves. It's not about information--lying to oneself about the facts of reality--it's about denying the existence of one's emotions.

If reality reminds one of an emotion he or she is afraid of recognizing, then the fact of reality may be denied by association.

For example, a fear of recognizing ones vulnerability may come from a fear of recognizing ones fear of death. Why would one be afraid of knowing one is afraid? Because fear is a sign of weakness, and evident weakness is evolutionarily an invitation for predators of one form or another.

Self-expression is the result of pursuing one's desires; it's an attempt to affect reality in a way that reflects the essence of oneself. Self-actualization--a sense of identity--comes from external feedback from reality. This is why we feel lonely when we're not around people for a while, because other people are the most powerful sources we have for feedback on ourselves.

A person's self of identity cannot be strong unless they are pursuing what they want... that is how we judge other people, and it's how we judge ourselves. Why do they do what they do? Why do I do what I do? The subconscious answer is how we decide how we feel about people and ourselves.

Being untrue to oneself leads to feedback conflicting with how we really feel about ourselves.

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You can be true to yourself while lying to someone else by serving your own purpose,

Could one say then that all liars are "true to themselves" due to the fact that every liar is aware of the truth he/she wants to keep hidden from others because the liar believes that hiding the truth serves his/her own purpose?

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You can be true to yourself while lying to someone else by serving your own purpose,

Could one say then that all liars are "true to themselves" due to the fact that every liar is aware of the truth he/she wants to keep hidden from others because the liar believes that hiding the truth serves his/her own purpose?

I would say so. I am honest here on OL, but in real life I lie all the time for the usual everyday reasons. I specialize in the white and the Jesuitical, which I believe means to tell the literal truth in the order to achieve or maintain deception.

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I don't think self-honesty is at all a nonsense term. You only have to contrast it with its opposite - self-deception. Everybody self-deceives at some time, many all the time. Truth is often inconvenient,

or unpleasantly contradictory to one's pet beliefs. Only look around to see how seldom people change

their shallow prejudices or deep convictions.

Lying to others helps a person render 'truth' from self-dishonesty - i.e. attempting 'to make it so' by

convincing them of the falsehood, too.

Which is called rationalization: "Faking reality", in Rand's parlance, and "The only real moral crime

that one man can commit against another..."

("To thine own self be true, and...thou canst not then be false to any man.")

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You can be true to yourself while lying to someone else by serving your own purpose,

Could one say then that all liars are "true to themselves" due to the fact that every liar is aware of the truth he/she wants to keep hidden from others because the liar believes that hiding the truth serves his/her own purpose?

No, not all liars are aware or sure of why they are lying. Lying is like doing anything else, it can be have different motives. What is the motive of the person who knowingly overeats, for example? Do they fully understand why they are doing it? No, but they know they do it...

Sometimes lying is moral and sometimes it is not, like any other action it depends on the context and what the actor believes at the time.

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I don't think self-honesty is at all a nonsense term. You only have to contrast it with its opposite - self-deception. Everybody self-deceives at some time, many all the time. Truth is often inconvenient,

or unpleasantly contradictory to one's pet beliefs. Only look around to see how seldom people change

their shallow prejudices or deep convictions.

Lying to others helps a person render 'truth' from self-dishonesty - i.e. attempting 'to make it so' by

convincing them of the falsehood, too.

Which is called rationalization: "Faking reality", in Rand's parlance, and "The only real moral crime

that one man can commit against another..."

("To thine own self be true, and...thou canst not then be false to any man.")

I disagree, though. I actually explained that right after the part where I said "self-honest is a bit of a nonsense term".

We don't choose what to believe; it's impossible. We can't know something, then choose not to know it.... and we can't make choices involving information we don't already have.

What is it, then, that seems to be an act of evading knowledge? If it is not a deliberate act, how does it happen--and what deliberate act initiates it?

I think self-esteem comes in here because whether or not one is capable of deciphering the facts of reality really determines whether or not one bothers thinking. Thinking has become such a chore these days... There's so much stuff going on, it's how can one possibly think everything through?

I think we absorb information faster than we can properly integrate it. The fact that highschool kids pretty much learn calculus around 15-16... they don't really understand what they're doing, they just know they have to memorize the formula. This is the mindset at the root of self-dishonesty. Let's not bother thinking things through, there's no point.

We're taught to imitate rather than how to really understand something from the ground up, with the potential for future innovation. To be the best at something, you can't just imitate, you have to be able to push the limits of what is known to be possible. So if we hope to advance as a society, encouraging kids to really think things through, and trust themselves enough to be true to themselves... that's really what will produce amazing individuals.

Self-honesty takes thought... but people spend their energy on programming themselves for success... or so they believe. Maybe that's it... they believe that in order to succeed they can't think, because it's too overwhelming... there's too much going on for them to possibly find any real information by just thinking. Good information is passed on to us by others. -That's the belief at the root of "self-deception".

So people do not evade knowledge, they evade the urge to think.

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Self-honesty is acting upon what one knows in the present moment; equally, not acting

against what one knows. This isn't just concerning information, per se - but the accumulation

of information gathered into principles and into one's morality.

It is a conscious act, of faithfulness to reality (as best one has grasped it).

Burying and denying one's knowledge and principles is also a conscious act - one, I think, with psychological as well as philosophical causes.

"We can't know something, then choose not to know it".

Hmm - not sure how you mean. I think that's your own self-truthfulness showing. Though it reflects well on you, I have to say: Speak for yourself, buddy! The obverse of your statement contains most of the wrong mankind has suffered. One simple example - if you have experienced pain (of any kind) as we all have, how possibly can you inflict it needlessly on another person? People can, and do such.

"We don't choose what to believe, it's impossible."

Why not? Why don't/can't we? If one doesn't choose, someone else will choose for one - like it or not..

Evading "the urge to think" is the central point. Conscious thinking, followed with the fortitude to hold to one's thoughts, is the ideal obviously.

Broadly, I don't see overall disagreement between us.

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Tony, do you honestly think people consciously misjudge reality? You don't think they have reasons to believe what they believe?

I can't agree with this. I don't think people have control over what they remember or how they perceive reality. This is up to their brains and sense organs.

They can choose where they look for information, or more specifically, where they place their focus, and how hard they focus (isolate relevant information), but the result is not up to them--everything else is circumstantial.

What I'm getting at with this thread is that if people believed that thinking could actually benefit them--when, let's face it, thinking is constantly being attacked on a philosophical level for being unfeeling, cold, etc.--they would do it much more often.

Rand's characters loved solving problems. That's how Rand put it. I'd say they loved thinking.

Rand's argument could be boiled down to: You can think and be happy... in fact, you can't really be happy any other way!

It's a common belief that thinking too much leads to unhappiness. In We The Living Leo's way of dealing with dictatorship (which is really just one example of a situation where one cannot accomplish what one wants) was to "kill his brain", or to just stop thinking.

In The Romantic Manifesto Rand defined real art as being a source of inspiration to man. The role of art is to enforce man's self-efficacy; to show what man can and should be, and in turn incite self-motivated action.

I'm not sure where Rand said that man cannot keep going without seeing the result of his effort (thought), but I believe it's a true statement. This is why people choose not to think. They, like Leo, have killed their brain's, but killed them young. Children are not encouraged to think, or to solve problems... but to do what they are told for no other reason than to be rewarded or avoid punishment.

Most people do not have the patience to raise dogs, let alone children... and they use similar tactics to effect the behavior they desire.

This whole, "People lie to themselves," stuff is just lazy, in my opinion.

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Self-honesty is a bit of a nonsense term; you cannot lie to yourself (know and not know something at once). But you can be true or untrue to yourself.

One can lie to one's self by omission.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Self-honesty is a bit of a nonsense term; you cannot lie to yourself (know and not know something at once). But you can be true or untrue to yourself.

One can lie to one's self by omission.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Who does the omitting and how do they know what to omit and why?

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Self-honesty is a bit of a nonsense term; you cannot lie to yourself (know and not know something at once). But you can be true or untrue to yourself.

One can lie to one's self by omission.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Who does the omitting and how do they know what to omit and why?

Refusal to think about something is an act of free will. One can even refuse to think about why one refuses to think. Just think about something else.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Thinking about something and knowing something are two different things. I can't choose not to know what an elephant is.

Essentially, you are correct. Except...as soon as you think about something -

it's too late! You know it. :) Consciousness (and my constant refrain, self-consciousness), covers both "thinking" and "knowing", doesn't it?

Looks like we are slightly at cross-purposes due to our different framing of 'self-honesty'.

True, you can't stop knowing what information you have(assuming a good memory) - but one can deny the evidence of our senses - or, not conceptualize/integrate one's percepts, leaving them to hang as floating abstractions.

And even given that one does, one may still disregard and deny that same conceptual knowledge when applied to outward action. (Morally, for instance - most significantly).

I'm arguing then that a person can be self-dishonest with input, and with output.

Self-dishonesty "By omission" as Ba'al puts it. By "evasion", Objectively.

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No, not all liars are aware or sure of why they are lying. Lying is like doing anything else, it can be have different motives.

A lie is always an attempt to hide a truth, the motive being to avoid negative consequences. This principle is at work universally.

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Dglgmut said (in #5): "No, not all liars are aware or sure of why they are lying. Lying is like doing anything else, it can be have different motives." (end quote)

A lie is always an attempt to hide a truth, the motive being to avoid negative consequences.

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Dglgmut said (in #5): "No, not all liars are aware or sure of why they are lying. Lying is like doing anything else, it can be have different motives." (end quote)

A lie is always an attempt to hide a truth, the motive being to avoid negative consequences.

Well, I guess it's that simple then...

You give a very general definition and a very general motive. So they are hiding the truth to avoid negative consequences; I guess that's true. But do they understand the consequences and do they understand why they believe them to be negative? Not always. I'd even say rarely. I could just as easily say overeating is eating far beyond necessity, the motive being to enjoy the taste.

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Thinking about something and knowing something are two different things. I can't choose not to know what an elephant is.

Essentially, you are correct. Except...as soon as you think about something -

it's too late! You know it. :smile: Consciousness (and my constant refrain, self-consciousness), covers both "thinking" and "knowing", doesn't it?

Looks like we are slightly at cross-purposes due to our different framing of 'self-honesty'.

True, you can't stop knowing what information you have(assuming a good memory) - but one can deny the evidence of our senses - or, not conceptualize/integrate one's percepts, leaving them to hang as floating abstractions.

And even given that one does, one may still disregard and deny that same conceptual knowledge when applied to outward action. (Morally, for instance - most significantly).

I'm arguing then that a person can be self-dishonest with input, and with output.

Self-dishonesty "By omission" as Ba'al puts it. By "evasion", Objectively.

Again I have to disagree, and say that this claim that people can choose what information to acknowledge and what information to evade, before actually knowing what they are evading, is ad hoc. It supports your premise that people are rational or irrational based on the choices they make, but that isn't enough to make it true--even if your premise is.

To learn or not to learn? Perhaps that is the question. How do you know what you'll learn? You'll have to wait and find out... well, think and find out.

Does that make more sense? People choose to open themselves up to new information or not. They can fear new information without knowing what it is based on where it is coming from... it's an effort to stay in control of what they already have going for them.

Yeah?

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No, I definitely disagree, Calvin.

People know.

The mind of an adult isn't only a sponge passively soaking up random info (deemed important by other sources - media, authorities, etc ).

Its an active instrument seeking out facts to build and confirm concepts by.

Where self-dishonesty enters, is with many people who abnegate their self-responsibility to put in the work to try to achieve those ends.

At the very moment that some fact penetrates, the fear of what they are seeing/hearing blocks any further acknowledgment. You can almost see it on faces

of people you talk to, as the shutters come down, and their minds work frantically to evade this invasion of truth. We might accept or reject the fact explicitly, but each of us is a conceptual being. And anything new which conflicts with any irrational concepts we hold, we recognize immediately - but some violently resist as if their lives depend on it.

Accordingly, it is not the 'information' per se we resist - it's the implicitly

contained challenging principle which is a threat to our own principles; which means our morality; which ultimately refers to the self.

It is surely a self-constructed breach between reality and consciousness.

It must be. We are 'geared' powerfully towards reality by our nature:

Therefore we are all rational - until we 'learn' how to be evasive.

The subsequent guilt from denial and self-denial is overwhelming. However, I think that fades too, with long practice.

People know. Especially when they refuse to know.

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Dglgmut said (in #5): "No, not all liars are aware or sure of why they are lying. Lying is like doing anything else, it can be have different motives." (end quote)

A lie is always an attempt to hide a truth, the motive being to avoid negative consequences.

A lie is already its own most severely negative consequence. Upon the liar, primarily - secondarily upon

the object person(s).

(I don't beieve strangers have the right to know gratuitous information about you, when often it's simply none of their business and could be told so, rather than lie to them).

A lie is mostly for the purpose of short-term gain or self-aggrandizement - telling people you are something you are not - and is faking reality which will become a long-term habit.

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Dglgmut said (in #5): "No, not all liars are aware or sure of why they are lying. Lying is like doing anything else, it can be have different motives." (end quote)

A lie is always an attempt to hide a truth, the motive being to avoid negative consequences.

A lie is already its own most severely negative consequence. Upon the liar, primarily - secondarily upon

the object person(s).

(I don't beieve strangers have the right to know gratuitous information about you, when often it's simply none of their business and could be told so, rather than lie to them).

A lie is mostly for the purpose of short-term gain or self-aggrandizement - telling people you are something you are not - and is faking reality which will become a long-term habit.

and sometimes a lie is self defense or avoidance of a sin.

For example if a bunch of scruffy looking guys who look like they are armed ask you the way to the Second National Bank, misdirect them.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Dglgmut said (in #5): "No, not all liars are aware or sure of why they are lying. Lying is like doing anything else, it can be have different motives." (end quote)

A lie is always an attempt to hide a truth, the motive being to avoid negative consequences.

Well, I guess it's that simple then...

You give a very general definition and a very general motive. So they are hiding the truth to avoid negative consequences; I guess that's true. But do they understand the consequences and do they understand why they believe them to be negative? Not always. I'd even say rarely. I could just as easily say overeating is eating far beyond necessity, the motive being to enjoy the taste.

The general definiton and the general motive provide the groundwork in that they are applicable to all types of lies, without exception.

[Dglgmut]: But do they understand the consequences and do they understand why they believe them to be negative? Not always. I'd even say rarely.

What precedes every lie is always a 'mental prognosis' in the mind of an individual regarding the possible outcome of

a) telling the truth about a fact.

versus

b) lying about the fact.

The decision ln favor of the lie is made because the liar believes that the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging than telling a lie.

As to whether the liar is correct in assuming this is another issue.

[Dglgmut]: I could just as easily say overeating is eating far beyond necessity, the motive being to enjoy the taste.

But this example does not address the issue of lying, not even the issue of 'lying to oneself' (which, strictly speaking, is impossible).

So the overeater either knows that he/she is eating far beyond necessity or (in case the person really does not know this), he/she is in error about a fact, and being in error about a fact is something else than lying.

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No, I definitely disagree, Calvin.

People know.

The mind of an adult isn't only a sponge passively soaking up random info (deemed important by other sources - media, authorities, etc ).

Its an active instrument seeking out facts to build and confirm concepts by.

Where self-dishonesty enters, is with many people who abnegate their self-responsibility to put in the work to try to achieve those ends.

At the very moment that some fact penetrates, the fear of what they are seeing/hearing blocks any further acknowledgment. You can almost see it on faces

of people you talk to, as the shutters come down, and their minds work frantically to evade this invasion of truth. We might accept or reject the fact explicitly, but each of us is a conceptual being. And anything new which conflicts with any irrational concepts we hold, we recognize immediately - but some violently resist as if their lives depend on it.

Accordingly, it is not the 'information' per se we resist - it's the implicitly

contained challenging principle which is a threat to our own principles; which means our morality; which ultimately refers to the self.

It is surely a self-constructed breach between reality and consciousness.

It must be. We are 'geared' powerfully towards reality by our nature:

Therefore we are all rational - until we 'learn' how to be evasive.

The subsequent guilt from denial and self-denial is overwhelming. However, I think that fades too, with long practice.

People know. Especially when they refuse to know.

It's an attempt to hold on to what they have. A fear of change when they are not confident they will be able to deal with it.

They don't know. They just know they won't like it.

Back to self-esteem again.

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Dglgmut said (in #5): "No, not all liars are aware or sure of why they are lying. Lying is like doing anything else, it can be have different motives." (end quote)

A lie is always an attempt to hide a truth, the motive being to avoid negative consequences.

Well, I guess it's that simple then...

You give a very general definition and a very general motive. So they are hiding the truth to avoid negative consequences; I guess that's true. But do they understand the consequences and do they understand why they believe them to be negative? Not always. I'd even say rarely. I could just as easily say overeating is eating far beyond necessity, the motive being to enjoy the taste.

The general definiton and the general motive provide the groundwork in that they are applicable to all types of lies, without exception.

[Dglgmut]: But do they understand the consequences and do they understand why they believe them to be negative? Not always. I'd even say rarely.

What precedes every lie is always a 'mental prognosis' in the mind of an individual regarding the possible outcome of

a) telling the truth about a fact.

versus

b) lying about the fact.

The decision ln favor of the lie is made because the liar believes that the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging than telling a lie.

As to whether the liar is correct in assuming this is another issue.

[Dglgmut]: I could just as easily say overeating is eating far beyond necessity, the motive being to enjoy the taste.

But this example does not address the issue of lying, not even the issue of 'lying to oneself' (which, strictly speaking, is impossible).

So the overeater either knows that he/she is eating far beyond necessity or (in case the person really does not know this), he/she is in error about a fact, and being in error about a fact is something else than lying.

It was an analogy. I'm saying people can overeat and know they're doing it, yet not know why they feel like doing it, or why they're giving in to the feeling. Sometimes people lie and don't know why they wanted to lie, or even why they gave in to the urge. All they know is they felt like doing it and they did it.

A lot of the time people do not identify their feelings, and so they don't know what to do... like a baby not knowing why it feels hunger, because he hasn't yet noticed that it stops once he's eaten. This is why people evade information. Not because they thought about it and went, "Nah, I'd rather not know this." It's a defense mechanism, not an attempt at self-manipulation.

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It's an attempt to hold on to what they have. A fear of change when they are not confident they will be able to deal with it.

They don't know. They just know they won't like it.

Back to self-esteem again.

Further than this, it's a guilty fear of being found out.

They know they are defrauding reality and their consciousness.

To negate self-honesty, is to negate consciousness and self-awareness.

Whatever individuals know and don't know, there can hardly be an excuse for

not having intimate knowledge of themselves.

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