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Key insights from Sam Harris'


Key insights from Sam Harris'


8 minutes

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Why keep lying when telling the truth might get you the results you really want?

In "Lying," Sam Harris challenges you to examine how often you are being deceptive with the people around you and asks you to consider what purpose your lies are serving. Do you lie to preserve goodwill in a relationship? To keep someone from worrying? To protect someone else? Harris suggests that although you might believe you’re telling white lies for a noble or moral reason, in the end, lying damages your integrity and makes others think twice about trusting you.

Read this Snapshot if you:

  • Think a few “harmless” lies are sometimes necessary in business and relationships
  • Are curious about how our willingness to lie impacts our culture
  • Wonder if you should lie to someone to spare them discomfort
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We all know the expected response to ethical questions about lies and truth-telling. From the time we’re children, most of us are taught that it’s wrong to lie and right to tell the truth. Yet even a child quickly learns to navigate the gray zones between lying and truth-telling, and we soon begin bending the truth in our favor to avoid punishments or gain rewards. Lying comes naturally to us.

In Lying, Sam Harris pushes us to think more carefully about the unintended results of lying by focusing not on big, consequential lies but instead on the cozy, little white lies most of...

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