Sam Harris -- When Lying is Justified

What a shame! Sam Harris announces that he will lie to support his political choice.

Its all about the method.


I don’t see the connection here. Trump repeats an old cliche about bad publicity being better than none. So? [Everyone should click on that link and read the article. It’s not long.]

It would have been more to the point to find a quote from Trump where he himself justifies lying, if there is one, or at least pointing out that Trump and the truth don’t have a very close relationship with each other. But even then, Sam Harris loses the moral high ground with respect to telling the truth to the American people.

Sam Harris said that the mainstream media’s lying about Joe Biden’s son’s laptop was justified, in order ot prevent Trump’s election.

So, from now on, when Sam Harris – whom I admire, although I think what he does is a waste of time, since religion is dying off naturally – says anything, I will have to stop and think: is he lying to me, since he believes it would be justified to do so to convince me to support his political choices.

And his religious opponents are going to use this against him:. They’ll argue like this: “He admits he supports lying to achieve important ends, like electing Joe Biden. Well, he considers discrediting Christianity an important end as well. So why should we believe anything he says?”

They’ll go further. Sam Harris is an important figure among the ‘New Atheists’. So they will hold him up as an example of how atheists – not having an invisible man in the sky watchng them – openly admit they lie to acheive their ends.

No matter that many religious fanatics lie blatantly … now people will conclude atheists are as bad as their opponents.

A bad move by Sam Harris. I wonder if he thought out what he was saying before saying it?

Sam Harris is a public figure with books and podcast shows, at least in intellectual circles, in my observation. He will be popping up a little more on the publicity attention radar with this “controversial” statement."

I admit that Donald Trump could have been lying in his above quote, though.

And FWIW, I fully acknowledge that controlling the narrative where damaging information is concerned during an election is a thing.

I read that article, and I do agree that Sam Harris is a hypocrite for denouncing lying and then embracing lying. So what, that is all there is to it, Sam Harris isn’t completely honest. That does not prove anything else in that article as true.

@Doug1943 I read the entire article. I am a firm believer in free speech and you have every right to post it. But I also have the right to disagree and denounce that article.

A word of caution. You may be homophobic, but if you attack anyone in this forum you will disappear faster than a snowflake in the sun.

Are you aware that Trump’s mentor and close friend was Ray Cohn, who had boyfriends and died of AIDS-related complications?


Yea, @Doug1943 the picture of who you are is getting much clearer. I’m not buying any of the crap your selling here.


Homophobic? Do you mean ‘afraid of homosexuals’, or ‘dislikes homosexuals because they’re homosexual’? Please cite the evidence for this.

One of the many lies people on the Left repeat about Trump is that he is homophobic, also that he is anti-Semitic. Saying nonsense like this is worse than a crime, it’s a blunder. There is enough to criticize about the man without making things up.

I have to laugh when I see snowflakes screaming ‘homophobia’. I spend a certain amount of time (too much!) on various rightwing forums, and one of the things I do there is to try to knock some sense into certain thick heads: namely, (1) you can have your own personal reactions to someone else’s sexual preferences, but what they get up to in the privacy of their own homes with consenting adults is none of your business and none of the government’s business. Conservatives are supposed to be against the state intervening in our private lives – so live up to it. (2) Above and beyond the ‘moral’ issue, there is the practical issue of politics. There are plenty of conservative gay people – anyone on the Right who tries to drive them out of our movement is doing the work of the enemy, possibly consciously.

After those dunderheads in Texas wouldn’t let the Log Cabin Republicans attend the Republican Convention, I wrote to the Texas branch of the former and expressed my disgust, as an old, white, conservative Texan. Idiots! [ ]

Most of the people I argue with about this on the Right, are not readers, but just in case there are some, I recommend the novels of Mary Renault about ancient Greece (The Praisesinger, Last of the Wine, The Mask of Apollo, Fire From Heaven, The Persian Boy): she deals brilliantly with the homoeroticism that was absolutely natural and common among the Greek upper classes, not making a big issue of it, just describing her characters’ ordinary lives as they were lived then.

And we rightwingers are big on Western civilization, of which ancient Greece is, as the cliche has it, the cradle. Or, as I sometimes put it, “You wouldn’t say that [ie some bigotted slur] to Alexander the Great. At least not twice.”

Now … the real issue is the sexualization of children. And here, I take my stand with these good people:
[ ]

And on the other hand, I’m probably more ‘liberal’ than these folks: [ ] (Abortion is a complex issue, mainly because there is no sharp dividing line beween an-sperm-embedded-in-an-egg, and a fully-developed baby ready to be born. So where you want to allow it to be killed is arbitrary. But that’s another issue. (I will say that part of the progress of civilization is moving towards making the killing of other humans a ‘taboo’, something we just don’t do. It’s one of the best arguments against capital punishment. Unfortunately, the necessity to wage war puts sharp limits on advancing this taboo.)

I thought the ‘civil partnership’ for all couples, gay and straight, was a good compromise, but that’s no longer on the agenda.

There are more important issues to fight on. The most important thing is do something about the birth rate among the advanced peoples. (And anyone who thinks that it doesn’t make any difference whether the average IQ of our descendants is 80 or 120 is a fool, although in reality, most of these people know perfectly well why it’s important but are too cowardly to say so. Hopefully, genetic engineering will take care of this.)

(I see I said ‘the most important thing …’ etc. Actually, the most important thing is to prevent WWIII, which is becoming a real possibility. That would result in very rapid de-population, so I guess some people would be happy.)

As for the family, we may be seeing something wonderful: technical progress being able to reverse the destruction of the traditional family, as outlined here:
[ A man’s place is in the home - by John Jalsevac ]

Whoops, one more thing, before I turn in: I don’t want to sound TOO moralistic re Sam Harris. I too would lie, cheat, steal, whatever to prevent a genuine Nazi takeover of a country. If I were counting the ballots in Hitler’s August 1934 referendum, I would miscount them without a second thought. But anyone who conflates Trump and his followers with genuine Nazis is an ignoramus, who has no idea of what genuine fascism is.

Great! Don’t read anything I write then! And I suspect that will mean you won’t read anything at all.

Don’t worry, I will continue to read your ridiculous narcissistic whining. Keep crying like you’re the misunderstood victim here.

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This is who you are acting like.
Pick Up Artist Bootcamp - YouTube

So what is the difference between you and Harris? He advocates dishonesty when it suits his agenda, and do you.

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Uh, just poked my head in to see what’s happening here. And for what it’s worth, here’s my two cents on the matter…

Personally, the ONLY times I think it is okay to lie is:

  1. When the truth will get me in trouble, and…

  2. When telling a lie helps me get what I want.

Otherwise, I avoid lying whenever possible, because I believe telling lies is a totally dishonest thing to do.


lol like how good Doug will make a post and then go back on it and say he never wrote it lol. He’s like a pothead who gets caught with big bag of weed by a cop but tells the cop “that’s not my bag of weed” and denies the evidence of his own actions just like he doesn’t want to own his words.

I lie on a regular basis. On the job. In professional practice.

There are absolutely times it’s ok to do so, IMHO.


“Lying” is such a harsh term. I prefer to think of it as Tactical Verbal Maneuvering. Although, depending on the scope of the situation, there is also Strategic Verbal Maneuvering.

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Yes. I used to lie to my managers at Wal-Mart over 12 years ago to avoid getting wrote up. It was mostly over dumb shit. I ended up quitting.

It’s mostly the so called ‘lie to children’ technique elucidated by Cohen and Stewart.

Strategic Verbal Maneuvering occasionally makes an appearance when needed, too.


Personally; there is only one good time to lie. Whenever you open your mouth. There are of course other times; however, having an open mouth makes it so much easier.


I also agree. If it serves a higher purpose and one is aware they are doing so.

“Manipulation of Facts for Self Preservation”
For me this is the only circumstance when analysis beforehand or identified justification is superfluous.
I figured out when I was a kid that lying was complicated. Every lie led to a new reality, and frankly, I was having hard enough time trying to deal with the reality everybody else seemed to accept.
Now it is just a part of my normal behavior to lie to the extent that it creates an entirely new alternative universe, of which I am the supreme commander…

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