We always have the problem of having other people’s goals thrust upon us. Some of them are well thought out and tested against our group’s aspirations like our country’s laws. Some things seem like they might be good, such as what our television shows us as appropriate behavior, but obviously, one’s personal morality being learned from several hours per day of TV dramas is unlikely to be good for anyone.
Our society is embedded with an abundance of nonsense. I have written about the common Christmastime lie, Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus, and the New Year’s Resolution absurdity about dieting and Epictetus’ thoughts on lying.
The most pernicious lies are probably brought to us by local moral authorities of the various religions telling us what we should be doing. These authorities of virtue are occasionally caught doing things that are directly contrary to their pronouncements. Their standard defense is, “Do as I say, not as I do!” But that means they are incapable of following their own advice although they claim to be on a higher moral ground when they make their proclamations. What that means to me is what they ask is impossible, or they don’t believe what they say and that implies they are only preaching what sounds appealing with the intent of getting control of you and your money.
To base our behavior on what those people say, and to do as they say, is to base our acts and thoughts on their premeditated lies! – Let’s call it what it is! Lies! Therefore it becomes essential for us to learn how to identify lies, and probable lies, and eliminate their influence on our behavior. Think about your personal needs, and choose your own goals for satisfying those needs.
A simple indicator of a lie is when it seems too good to be true, coupled with the probability it will be a benefit to the speaker if you do as they say.