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Veritas

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Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


0 posted 07-19-2007 02:44 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Obsequium parit amicos, veritas parit odium

"Compliance begets friends, truth begets hate"

- Cicero


If telling the truth meant no one would be your friend, and lying and flattery meant that everyone would be your friend, which would you do?

oceanvu2
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since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


1 posted 07-19-2007 10:13 AM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Essorant!  This is a tricky question.  If you mean no one in a literal sense, I'd be inclined to flatter; if you mean everyone in a literal sense, I'd be inclined to tell the truth.  I don't want to be totally alone, and I couldn't possibly handle the burden of being everybody's friend.

Best, Jim
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


2 posted 07-19-2007 10:58 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Yes, literally.  But in this hypthetical case, I am suggesting you can't have both.  You may only choose one or the other.  What do you think is more important: truth or friendship?  

If lies were the way and the only way to get friendship and love, would you still choose friendship and love?

[This message has been edited by Essorant (07-19-2007 12:03 PM).]

oceanvu2
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since 02-24-2007
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3 posted 07-19-2007 01:40 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

I'd lie.  The abstract "truth" has a way of taking care of itself.  Me, I'm just human.

Isn't it possible to express appreciation without flattering?  Isn't it possible to speak one's "truth" without offending?

A communications thought:  Flattery is in the province of the speaker while truth in in the province of the listener.

I don't know the answer.

Jim
Ron
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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
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4 posted 07-19-2007 04:37 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

"Compliance always begets friends, truth always begets hate"

Cicero also said, "Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide." I think he, like me, would have rejected the excess implicit in your either/or hypothesis. As I noted above, Cicero left out a key word that you seem to be implying with your question. (We should also, I suspect, take Cicero's words in the context of his life. He was a politician first and foremost, and a philosopher and poet only after the fact. In that context, his words take on a slightly different hue?)

Francesco Petrarch, in a 1345 letter to the long dead Cicero, wrote, "For, if censure that is true angers us, true praise, on the other hand, gives us delight." If you always lie to your friend in order to maintain the friendship, he clearly can't believe any thing you say -- including the good things. If you're unwilling to risk the pain that might come from telling the truth, you have to also give up the gain that the truth can bring. What good is a friend who can't believe a word you say?

Personally, I don't think you have to always tell the whole truth to a friend or even to a dearly loved one. No matter how close you are to another human being, I believe there are still things that fall into the realm of "none of your damn business." Those are the areas where I will remain silent in hopes of preserving the friendship. I will not, however, ever lie to a friend. At best, I think a lie could only preserve the illusion of friendship. The reality would have died with the lie.


 
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