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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Half Truths and Lies

What is the difference between "half-truths" and "lies"?

Is half-truth not a lie?

For example, imagine this hypothetical scenario. You're away at work, and leave your wife alone at home with the kids. You came home, have a chat with your best friend neighbour (let's call him John), who hinted to you that rumour is your wife has been cheating when you are away with a neighbour. Your attention immediately turns to Mike, who is single and likes to flirt around with your wife before. You thanked John for the heads up, and later, at the right time, when the kids are asleep, you asked your wife this direct question - "Dear, have you been seeing Mike lately?", and your wife immediately said "No, why do you ask?". And because you have an honest relationship with your wife, you confided in her - "Well, I just heard a rumour from John that apparently said that you have been sleeping behind my back". And your wife looked at you in the eye, and in the most honest answer you've ever heard ... she said "Darling, I swear to God that I have never slept with Mike in my entire life, and I have no intention of sleeping with Mike ever despite his handsomeness and his past flirts". She further added ... "Darling, you can trust me on this.".

Would you feel reassured with this response, when she looked at you in the eye?

What if the reality is such that yes, she did not flirt with Mike, but actually, she's been sleeping with John, your best friend?!!!

She never lied!

She told a half-truth.

She didn't sleep with Mike at all.

But she simply didn't tell you that she's been sleeping with John!

Read the attachments here, and tell me whether Syed Hamid and The Star is telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Or whether the Government and the mass media are experts in telling half truths?

And more importantly, can a country prosper with its citizens, if the Government is only concerned with telling half-truths?

1. http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/14176/84/ - "How Much Longer can the Government Lie to the Malaysian Public"

2. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/5/27/nation/21368814&sec=nation - May 27 Star article consistent with May 26 Bernama article referred to in 1. above.

3. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/7/14/nation/20080714124856&sec=nation - July 7 Star article referred to in 1. above.

4. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/10/22/nation/20081022191045&sec=nation & http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/10/23/parliament/2354544&sec=parliament - - Syed Hamid's response claiming that he did not lie.


jasonred79 said...

The difference between lies and Syed Hamid's half truths?
The difference is you cannot be charged in court for what he did.

On the other hand, when you behave like he did, everyone loses trust in words coming out of your mouth.

Legally, though, when you are on trial for Offence A (say, cheating on tax returns), you are under no obligation to disclose any other offences that have not come up. (littering, whatever)

However. The defendant is the opponent of the prosecution.

Similiarly, this sort of behaviour is making Syed Hamid into the opponent of the Rakyat.

The Madviruz said...

A lie is a lie! There is no such thing as to the quantum of truthful content in a lie. A lie is malicious and meant to deceive. Credit should never be attributed to the truthfulness of a lie.