Should Moral Individuals Ever Lie? Insights from Jewish Law
21 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2013
Date Written: August 28, 2013
A study conducted in Britain found that the average man lied about 42 times a week, twice as often as the average woman. Of course, many of these lies are white lies such as “I’ve got a headache” or “Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine.” Dishonesty and deception are serious crimes in Jewish law. The Bible explicitly demands that one should “Distance himself from a false matter.” There are, however, situations in which Jewish law permits or even demands that one engage in deception. This paper will discuss when it is permissible in Jewish law to prevaricate and deceive.
Keywords: business ethics, lying, lying for the sake of peace, Jewish law
JEL Classification: A22, A23, G18, G21, G28, M14, Q28, Q20, Q38, D81, M19
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