Oh Those Wacky Japanese!

  • Steve

    Proposition: The Catechism states: To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead someone into error.

    The man in the dinosaur suit acted in a way to make the man believe he’d fallen victim to an office-dinosaur attack. Thus, he was lying and his actions, while hilarious, were against the moral law.

    • bear

      I deny your major. This falls under the realm of imagination and creativity, and therefore poetry, and, as Sir Philip Sidney says in his Defense of Poetry, the poet nothing afirmeth, and therefore never lieth.

      • Steve

        Rebuttal: One of the subjects of this performance, the terrified man, had no idea he was taking part in an act of fiction. A stage performance features people who are all aware of the parameters of the performance. This man was ignorant – and thus deceived.

        • bear

          Rebuttal: Such a deception would require the man to be ignorant of the fact that dinosaurs are extinct. The man was confronted with a clear impossibility. Further, the dinosaur costume was a clear fake, as the operators legs were sticking out underneath. There was an attempt here to shock and surprise, but hardly deceit.

          • Stu

            Are you saying dinosaurs are extinct? Next thing you’ll tell me the Doobie Brothers broke up.

          • Steve

            I’m betting a sample of his underpants would reveal that he was thoroughly convinced a dinosaur was chasing him.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      I suspect the whole thing is rigged. When watching any reality TV, and wondering whether the participants are aware of the taping, ask yourself:

      Is there any way that the man could not see the cameraman following him down the hallway? It wasn’t fancy zoom; that guy was moving.

      • Ghosty

        I don’t know these people specifically, but generally in these kinds of Japanese pranks these would be people who work at the studio in question, whether interns, office workers, or on-air talent. They are accustomed to cameras following them around, and may have even been told that there is a documentary being filmed.

        Peace and God bless!

        • Andy, Bad Person

          Sure, that makes sense. I still think this one is staged. There’s a big difference between documentary crews following you around the office and “camera guy running alongside the dinosaur that’s chasing me.”

          • Newp Ort

            A significant portion of the Japanese public has a documentary film crew following them around at all times for reasons unknown to the followed.

            • Andy, Bad Person

              If you were being chased by something unbelievable, like a modern-day dinosaur, and a cameraman was running alongside him, would you assume it’s a prank or some weird kind of snuff film?

              I’m pretty sure I’d assume prank. Not that it would stop me from running if the dinosaur were realistic enough.

              • Stu

                But you might not notice him initially if you were shocked enough.

    • Irenist

      This is what is called a “jocose lie.” From the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia: “Following St. Augustine and St. Thomas, Catholic divines and ethical writers commonly make a distinction between (1) injurious, or hurtful, (2) officious, and (3) jocose lies. Jocose lies are told for the purpose of affording amusement. Of course what is said merely and obviously in joke cannot be a lie: in order to have any malice in it, what is said must be naturally capable of deceiving others and must be said with the intention of saying what is false. An officious, or white, lie is such that it does nobody any injury: it is a lie of excuse, or a lie told to benefit somebody. An injurious lie is one which does harm.”

      • Stu

        I think this is a real stunt and I think it is hilarious. I agree with Andy that the last camera shot is from a camera man, but the initial ones look like hidden cameras to me. And in the end I don’t think seeing a cameraman would have made any difference given the flight response has set in. Consider this. Did you see the real legs of the man in the suit right away? I didn’t.

        I also don’t think this is a “lie.” Instead it played on a man coming to a wrong conclusion on his own. That being said, I do believe some practical jokes and even using a mistruth for something like a surprise party do need to be considered. I don’t think those area have been completely considered or “run to ground” in this discussion on lying.

        Now, where can I get one of those suits.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        I also see the difference between this and a lie here:

        After the man has run a bit, and everyone has a good laugh, they let him in on it. They don’t allow him to continue in the idea that he is dino food. There’s likely a distinction in there that I can’t articulate, but it’s clear to me.

        • Stu

          I think that is a distinction worth exploring and perhaps why the falsehood told for something like a surprise birthday party may not be a lie.

        • Steve

          Does the fact that they eventually tell him the truth change the nature of the first act or Dino-deception?

          • Andy, Bad Person

            Frankly, I don’t know.


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