"When someone is not ashamed to tell a deliberate lie, there is no bad deed they would not do"

I’ve recently come across the case about Chandler Halderson, he’s lying about getting to college, having an internship, getting a job at SpaceX, etc, … and finally when confront with his lies, he killed both of his parents.

It’s amazing how true it is - the word of the Buddha.

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I recently read the quote in the title in the Maha Rahula Sutta.

I thought then that idea was extreme.

People tell white lies all of the time…and without committing murder. :slight_smile:

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People tell white lies all of the time… and without committing murder. :slight_smile:

Drop by drop the jar is filled.

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Well, we can argue that white lie is mixed nature.

In the case quoted above, it is not white lie. It is shameless person.
Not sure if it is the case where one progressively become bad. Or the case of lying as a sign that this shameless person can do something worse.

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It appears that some Buddhists, instead of try to train themselves in the precepts as they are, tend to explain away the Buddha words to justify their own defilement.

There is no white lies. There is only truths, or lies.

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I have trained myself with this precept; however if we take this idea completely seriously and expect that people we interact with be always truthful (because otherwise they would be capable of anything) it can make our life virtually impossible. In my country of origin white lies are not really considered that bad, and many people lie - it’s just conditioning.
Two examples:

  1. I once refrained from collaborating with a person because she told me a white lie, so I thought she would be unreliable. In practice I see that she is a pretty good person, so not collaborating with her was probably a mistake.
  2. I have had great benefits from acupuncture, and I am really grateful to my doctor. However, he does tell me some lies (unrelated to the treatment); for example he promises to bring me a book next time, and then he doesn’t (Ajahn Chah taught that if you do not keep your word that’s equivalent to lying). Should I think that he is a bad person capable of any action? I don’t, and I think he has many good qualities.
    So I have found that if we take this idea dogmatically it’s not really conducive to wisdom. The guy who lied to his parents in the OP told a very different kind of lie from someone who would for example perhaps tell a white lie to their terminaly sick parents to give them some extra hope (not recommending the latter, but just saying there are many types of lies and what counts is the motivation really).
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There is no white lies. There is only truths, or lies.

Really? There are millions of people living under brutal regimes in which they might have to tell lies to protect themselves or others. For example, lying about one’s own or another’s sexuality if one lives in a country in which homosexuals receive the death penalty.

If someone tells a lie with the intention only of protecting themselves or another, in circumstances in which telling the lie does not cause harm to some other person, then why would it have bad karmic consequences? Aren’t the karmic consequences of actions determined by the intention behind the action?

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