Remember, You Can Always Lie in a Good Cause

…and there will never be any consequences if you do. Whenever you lie in a good cause (and come on, a great person like you would only lie “speak misinformation” to people who don’t deserve truth in a good cause, right?) just remind yourself that you are *exactly* like somebody hiding Jews from Nazis and then proceed full speed ahead. In fact, just shut your eyes and *lunge*. What could it possibly hurt?

Polio Breaks Out After the US Breaks Trust

Only two diseases have ever been completely eradicated worldwide: smallpox and rinderpest. But hopes for eradicating a third have dimmed with the World Health Organization’s announcement that the spread of polio has become a global health emergency.

After over 25 years of eradication campaigns, polio had been beaten back into only a handful of countries, and, by 2012, polio was eliminated or in sharp decline in all but three countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. But, as the virus has come roaring back, the WHO has set travel restrictions on new hotspots. Residents of Pakistan, Syria, and Cameroon are advised not to leave their countries unless they have been vaccinated against the disease and cannot carry it beyond their borders.

Pakistan is the cradle of the resurgent polio. Of the 74 cases of wild polio reported this year to date, 59 occurred in Pakistan. The increasing prevalence isn’t due to a new mutation or drug resistance; the resistance is coming from the Pakistani people, not the microorganisms that live inside them.

The vaccinators lost moral credibility when, in order to confirm the identity of Bin Laden prior to his assassination, the United States ran a fake hepatitis vaccination campaign in Abbottabad. Although doctors claimed they were going door to door to give inoculations, the blood draws they conducted were used for DNA tests discover whether any relatives of Bin Laden were living in town.

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  • Dave G.

    Actually there are several issues at stake here, not the least of which was manipulating the medical services for dishonest gain – even if the end (finding Bin Laden) was good. As for lying, again I’m more worried about lying for all those reasons that don’t have to do with saving a life on the spur of the moment. If only I would be courageous enough to be in a situation like that in the first place and not just buckle and spill my guts or turn a blind eye to save my own skin. But it’s those other lies, to gain something for myself or build myself up or tear someone else down, that’s the focus I should have. I always think of Peter Jackson denying that he had ever seen Ralph Bakshi’s version of LoTR, only later admitting not only had he seen it, but was influenced by it (as anyone who has seen the two films could recognize). That’s lying, building ourselves up, and slighting someone else that could have benefited from the acknowledgement. That’s the kind of lying we should focus on. It happens often, and doesn’t involve much debate over whether it’s good or not. I think of that example when the lying debate comes up. Sometimes I think we spend much time on the gnats of an issue and almost dismiss the camels as no big deal.

    Not to mention the fact, of course, that lying really isn’t the focus, Truth is the focus. Like so many things, the point isn’t that lying is bad as much as Truth is good And honesty is what we should be about. Bearing witness to Truth in honesty. Which also gets rid of that notion that dishonesty is OK, as long as I don’t *technically* lie.

    • Marthe Lépine

      I may be wrong, but it seems to me that all those “smaller” lies can “desensitize” (forgive the spelling) the conscience, build a habit and gradually bring someone to lie in more serious circumstances, and later the person may start believing that lying is “not such a big deal”. And so on…

      • Rebecca Fuentes

        I think you are right about little lies being stepping stones to big lies. Even the common, little exaggerations some people pepper conversations with can build to bigger lies and easier lies.

      • Dave G.

        Oh, I’m not saying smaller lies are good. My point is, those smaller lies are the ones we tell. Focus on those, rather than the cases in which lies and heroics begin to merge. Focus on the lies that have nothing to do with heroics.

  • Heather

    Funny that you should link this story today… I mentioned it in a conversation with my friend about the anti-vaccine movement. There is a measles outbreak going on in the town I grew up in, with the latest case potentially putting a neonatal ward at risk. It’s bad enough without actual conspiracies to feed to the theorists.