Honesty Or a Wake Up Call?

This app seems to mainly spread good cheer, so far. I'm not sure that total honesty is always the best policy. Some have thought that a totally honest person would be a dysfunctional person.:unsure:

I can think of two situations where it probably is the right thing to be absolutely honest:

  1. when speaking to a doctor about a health concern you have

  2. when providing information to an attorney you have retained.

In both instances, you maximize the chances that you will be given the best possible advice concerning your situation (of course, you further increase the odds if you select a doctor and attorney who is likely to be honest with you rather than telling you what serves their interest [good luck with that!]).

For all other situations it is almost certainly better to allow discretion to be the better part of valor.

The one case where you absolutely should choose discretion is a situation in which somebody asks you to "tell me what you really think?"

That is never a question--it is alway a plea for validation and should be handled accordingly. Usually the best response is to nod sagely, and ask something like, "what if.....?"

When asked in a court of law if you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, you should answer in the affirmative although you would be lying by doing so.

Officers of the court are generally not familiar with or interested in the field of epistemology and tend to hold those who raise such matters in their presence in contempt, often in a somewhat unpleasant way for the totally honest person.:frowning:

I might add to your two well laid out situations that require honesty: one must be honest when one's significant other asks you how they look, for if one cannot be honest with the most important and loved person in one's life, then one is in trouble. It's always a "Sarahah" response from me.

Speaking of honesty in a court of law, when I have been called for jury duty, maybe 30 or so times over the years, I start to grimace when the judge and lawyers start asking the prospective jurors, in spite of their answers to prior questions, if they can keep an open mind about the case, with the answer almost always yes, and with the summary dismissal of a few honest beings who have answered no.

"For all other situations it is almost certainly better to allow discretion to be the better part of valor." Seems as if this maxim is not taken to heart on the internet and by some automobile drivers as much as it is in our daily face to face interactions. Driverless cars might be a big plus after all.

Telling the truth in some work-related settings can lead to negative outcomes, hurt feelings, and new opportunities in the legal business.


Failing to tell the truth in other lines of work does not necessarily do so to such a great extent. That may be attributable to the concept of qualified immunity.


The concept of qualified immunity has been held to prevail, in matters relating to telling the literal truth, in cases of any and all interactions with significant others, by experts in the field. In such instances saying exactly what the significant other would wish to hear becomes, by its very saying, the absolute truth.

It will be most interesting to see if driverless vehicles begin to exhibit symptoms of road rage in certain circumstances.

The link below poses the interesting question of whether the truth was in fact being told in a work-related situation.


What's a "reasonable person" to think about this "Tied Up in Knots" circus. One can imagine that the circus nature that surrounds the book can only increase its popularity and thus increase the sales revenue for the author(?). And due to increased revenue, an acceptable monetary settlement acceptable to all parties concerned should be forthcoming. Yet Ms. Tantaros worries may not be over in that her book may have borrowed many themes, particularly the knots and tied up stuff, from the hugely successful "Fifty Shades of Grey" without proper permission.(humor)

"Qualified Immunity" Apart from the question of what a reasonable person would know, and what people who have been trained to enforce the law should know, this concept has been invoked to great effect, notably by the Keystone Cops and the duo from "Car 54, Where Are You".

Road Rage and driverless cars: One would think that it would go without saying that these cars will be programmed to never exhibit road rage but to act as any other reasonable person would. I do wonder, though, how they will be coded to deal with a tailgater threat? Will be taught to speed up, slam on the brakes, get out of the way, call 911, or do nothing. We shall see.

Dressed to kill: Dressing oneself as a car seat causes me to ponder how is was possible that humans were actually capable of making a car in the first place. Next thing you know, they're liable to put a life sized bobblehead toy in the driver's seat. It's not related, but this reminds me of an incident a few years ago where a few people were putting life sized dummies in the passenger seats of their cars so they could use the carpool lanes. I realize that the researchers behind this car seat are supposedly doing some important research, but it seriously seems as if this could cause significant distraction(or poor communication) to other drivers and pedestrians leading to a serious accident.