• Question: I Wanted To Know Why is Honesty better than DisHonesty?

    Asked by issi2001 to Anil, Blanka, Emma, Mike on 4 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Emma Trantham

      Emma Trantham answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      Well part of the way society works and the way we stay as friends (or at least acquaintances) and don’t fight all the time is that we trust each other.

      We can’t check up on each other all the time so if someone says that they have done something or that something happened sometimes we have to make a decision to believe them without seeing the evidence for ourselves. We might change what we do based on that information so if the person was lying it would be really bad.

      If people were dishonest all the time we would never be able to trust what anyone said and so we would have to check everything out for ourselves – this means we wouldn’t get a lot done!

    • Photo: Michael Cook

      Michael Cook answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      In some ways, it’s better for you to be dishonest – but it’s worse for everyone else! Lots of laws and rules are about situations like this, because if everyone was dishonest, everyone would be very unhappy. But if everyone is being honest, it’s quite tempting to be dishonest because you get a lot out of it!

      This is similar to a famous problem in mathematics and economics called The Prisoner’s Dilemma.

      So we all agree to be honest because, on average, it’s better for us as a society if we all tell the truth. Of course for some people the temptation is too strong!

    • Photo: Blanka Sengerova

      Blanka Sengerova answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      Thanks for answering so wel, Mike and Emma! Although for personal gain it may be good to be dishonest, on balance society punishes dishonesty because it’s bad for soceity as a whole. So in the end individuals tend to be more honest.