Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H

"Lying is knowingly giving false information to a person who may or may not have a right to the truth" (Radio Replies, Volume 2, Question 903; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2482).


It is felt that if you tell lies to save lives in times of trouble and war then the lies are virtuous.  Religion says that they are never virtuous and that even if you lie under force it is nothing to expect praise or a reward for.  It is odd how religion can be so popular for popular faith argues that they are indeed virtuous.
Like several religions, the Roman Catholic Church pretends to be against lying under all circumstances and calls it a sin.
"Does not the Catholic Church permit the use of lies in the defence of her worn-out dogmas?  Her dogmas are anything but worn-out. However, to your main point I must reply by giving you the moral teaching of the Church concerning lies. The Church absolutely prohibits the use of any dishonest means, and declares that a deliberate lie is a sin under all circumstances. No good end in view can justify a lie" (Radio Replies, Volume 1, Question 1024).
See also Volume 2, Question 904; Volume 3, Question 150, Question 998 – which argues that since God is truth lying is always wrong, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2475-2487, see page 229, Moral Philosophy which also forbids lying on the basis that God is literally truth).
Speech is not the only thing that can be used to deceive. Let nobody think that lying is wrong and that going about in disguise or hiding is right. There can be no moral difference. If a reason lying is wrong is because it is stealing the truth from someone then all other forms of deception are in the same boat.


Another reason lying is bad is because it opposes what is real and to oppose reality is to oppose the most sacred thing there is existence. For example, if I tell my wife I was at the golf when I was really with my mistress I am trying to make reality as good as unreality. I am trying to take my wife away from what is real. That is the same in effect as trying to destroy what is real for her. To do that is to try to destroy her in the sense that she needs reality to live and function. A man who hates flesh and says he loves his wife isn’t being consistent with that love for his wife is flesh. In the same way reality makes his wife and what she is and to try and corrupt it for her is to hate what she is made of. Just like Jesus Christ said that you are either for him or against him, so you are either for reality or against it. You think you can oppose reality a bit but accept the rest of it? Wrong. If you do that with maths you automatically bring down the whole mathematical edifice. Why? Because if you are against two and two being four then you can’t say that three and three are six for if two and two are not four then three and three are not six either for the whole system depends on every law in it being totally right. And so it is with reality for without the laws of mathematics there can be no reality at all. So it seems the view that lying always hurts people is correct. It hurts them even if they don’t see they are being insulted by lying for lying despises the reality that creates them. In this view, we have to agree with people who say that nothing we do is good for we cannot live without deception. For example, we use clothes to make the illusion that we are more attractive than what we really are.
What about lying to save somebody’s life? Which is the lesser evil? Lying or letting the person die? Some say that you can’t do an evil to prevent a future evil. The Catholic Church says that abortion is wrong even when intended to save the life of the mother for you can’t kill a baby to save the mother when as nobody knows the future the doctors could be wrong that continuing with pregnancy will kill her. It’s to do with certainties. You put the bigger certainty before the lesser certainty. Lying is against the reality that makes a person so it would be hypocritical to save their lives with something that is against their existence anyway. It is worse to hold that what makes a person should be opposed than to kill them for it puts no value on them or their entire existence at all. The killer kills for some reason but wouldn’t oppose the person’s entire existence. After all you have to be glad a person exists to enjoy killing them.
A God who asks for faith can never condone or approve of deceit because that would eradicate his right to ask us to believe him. If he was for deception then he could and would delude. His invitation to faith would be cruel for he would be asking us to suffer for what may be untrue when he cannot be trusted for his commandments are difficult and unusual and the rationale behind them often eludes us all. When anybody tell us you a needless like it is foolish to believe them ever again. And if God deludes for a good reason we still wouldn’t have a clue when to take him seriously for his purposes are inscrutable before us (Romans 11:33-36). Rome’s brand of faith is immoral, irrational blind faith thanks to her doctrine on deception among other things.

What if God did not command faith but instead enabled us to know the truth? We still couldn’t be trusting of anything because he could make us mistake arguments for proofs that are not proofs at all.
Even if God has not spoken, like to a prophet, we still have grave problems for he is kind of speaking to us through what he has made. For example, beauty would speak of his beauty.

If God exists then lying is absolutely wrong. If somebody asks you where your brother is and you know he wants to shoot your brother you cannot lie. God would explain that the reason you can’t kill is because it is a truth so you should respect truth by telling the truth even when it gets a person killed. You cannot use the excuse that you had no choice for lying is worse.
Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount that we should have no need for oaths for we should be so truthful. His meaning was that all lies are forbidden for oaths are needed to make a person tell the truth and are undesirable.

God could be good and forbid all lies. Saying that God cannot ask anybody to die to avoid fibbing and be good is nonsense. If the doctrine of divine providence is true then he has the right to decide how we shall leave this world and he wants us to sacrifice our lives for the truth because he makes all things work out for the best.

Approving of a lie means you would do the same yourself. Therefore God disapproves of all lies for he wants us to disapprove of anybody telling lies.

Some say that if they can set someone who is fooled by a misunderstanding caused by another’s double-meaning talk straight and don’t then that person’s delusion is not their problem. They think they have the right to let the delusion go on for “They shouldn’t be so sure of their interpretation of what X said”. This excuse could be used for lying. “They shouldn’t have listened to my lies”.

It is a sin to be in the police or to be a detective for these jobs cannot be done without lying.

The proclamation of religion is attempted murder for it orders people to die rather than lie.

Religion and this belief in sin have to be against all lies so that proves that both should not exist. For the world to believe that lying is wrong is to sign its death warrant. And for the world to have a sense of sin is to believe that lying is never justifiable.
Even if lying is always wrong it is one of these things that we wish was sometimes right. We would wish it were right  out of compassion when we feel we need to lie to get a sick relative to the doctor who refuses to go near doctors.  If there is no God wishing it is right is bad. If there is a God then wishing it were right is far worse and especially when God is the absolute good and the king. We do not want another reason, namely God, for condemning our compassion, for that reason. We should not want him. It is true that truth comes first but only sometimes but if you refuse to tell a lie to save somebody’s life you are not putting truth first for if the person lives truth will be served better. You are not doing wrong for you are forced to lie.

The ban on lying makes a person bound to confess to the person they have lied to that they have told a lie to them. This leaves an impossible burden on us all. People will find us boring if we are too honest and our honesty will force them to lie and set us up to cover their own tracts and they will fear us so we will have no friends. Why should God care in his ivory tower in Heaven?
What we have learned so far shows that lying must be a horrific sin and blasphemy for nothing justifies it. The damage may not be substantial but the attitude expressed in the lie is gravely malicious. If the man thinks his wife is faithful and you know that he is not then you have to tell him for abetting deception is approving of it. By saying nothing you are deceiving him. The world would soon be as red as Mars but with blood if people obeyed God’s lying ban.
God has a plan. He allows suffering and mishaps as part of that plan. The Church says we can’t see exactly what God is trying to do but we can see a bit of it. To lie and warp truth is to stop that insight. To lie about being sick is to slander God by saying that he allowed you to be sick. Sickness is always serious. For example, when you have a tummy ache it seems minor but it could still be a sign of something worse. The sickness you lie about isn’t part of God’s plan so you are or would make it look like he allowed unnecessary suffering. If such suffering took place it would prove that God never existed.
The need for lying proves that belief in God is an enemy.

Christians say keeping truth back is not a sin if there is a sufficient reason. Fr John Hardon says that there are secrets we are obligated to keep. The idea is that you can break secrets if the great good of another demands it.  He says that a mental reservation is a way of giving a vague answer to another person that rather than misleads them lets them know you will not tell them any more.  He says a strict mental reservation that gives the other no reasonable chance to know that something is concealed in the answer is a lie.  A mental reservation is about making the questioner feel they should mind their own business.


A worry for many is that if it is not a lie for the gospels to keep things back what are they not telling us? But why is it only allowed if there is a good enough reason then?  There is something potentially dubious then!


For grave reasons some religions that absolutely forbid lies permit using the truth in such a manner as to lead the listener to deceive himself or herself.
Radio Replies Volume 1 question 1027, deals with Jesus Christ using mental reservation (page 210). Jesus told the apostles in John 7:8 to go to the festival day in Jerusalem and added that he would not be going. However, Jesus went in secret.
Everybody agrees that Jesus knew the disciples would be misled. But all Christians deny that he lied here.
Catholics say he said, "I am not going to this festival", but he meant, "I am not going to this festival openly". Or that he meant, "I am not going to a future festival but am going to this one". Or that he meant, "I am going to this festival but not immediately or with you". So they want to say he was telling the truth but used his words to give the impression he was saying something different to what he meant.
They say he was using mental reservation. If he was, then if Jesus hadn't wanted people to deceive themselves, if he didn't want to take advantage of their mistake or the lie they accidentally told themselves, he wouldn't have chosen the words he used.
But the episode can be interpreted as Jesus telling a lie.
So we have to decide if John should be interpreted as saying Jesus used mental reservation or was a liar.
Now few people know of this mental reservation stuff. The gospel was not written for experts but for ordinary people. They would have understood him to have been saying Jesus lied. In fact, it is the most natural interpretation.
Many people think of mental reservation rightly as the homage a hypocrite pays to deception. If it is right, then deception cannot be wrong. The Bible never authorises mental reservation. It is safe to assume then that John was saying Jesus lied.
Had Jesus been thought to have been using mental reservation, the gospel would explain why he couldn't tell the truth. The Church teaches that mental reservation is only allowed for a very serious reason. That it is restricted so, indicates that the Church thinks that it is bad but prefers not to admit it. Jesus went to the festival in secret and this secrecy was unnecessary for he still went publicly about the Temple and preached after the festival.
Jesus could have answered, "I might go to the festival and I might not." People were used to him taking time out and going into solitude. He didn't have to say he if he was going to the festival or not. That should settle the question if Jesus lied or used mental reservation or if he did not. He used words that can be taken as lying instead of mental reservation. For a man to say a woman is his wife when he means, "She is not my legal wife but my wife in my heart for today" is to lie not to use mental reservation. Any lie could be turned into a case of mental reservation with Christian logic. And the believers do lie a lot to promote the faith as believable and they use the mental reservation excuse to wallow in their sanctimonious claim that they are so honest.
Jesus in John says he is the truth. Some take this to mean that John must have been thinking of mental reservation as an explanation for Jesus saying one thing and doing another. But this is assuming books don't contradict themselves when they are in the Bible. It is really making our prejudices and not the text the decisive factor. John couldn't approve of that.
Also, John 2 has Jesus miraculously making wine for drunk people at a wedding which shows an occasional tendency in this gospel to make salvation depend on faith alone without good works and without even repenting sin! Why insist then that Jesus didn't lie? If he can do one sin then why not another?
Christians, Jesus lied. Live with it.
Here is an example of mental reservation. An adulterer is permitted to reply that he is not guilty of adultery if he has repented and got rid of the sinful responsibility by turning to God to wash it away when someone asks him if he did the dirty on his wife because he is now innocent.

This is deception for it is meant to mislead. The cults say that it is not deceiving for the listener has duped himself and the truth has been told. But then you are telling yourself that you are too devoted to the truth to lie while you are encouraging deception which is not consistent with this.

It is deceiving him for it is presenting what is not an answer to his question as an answer. If everybody used the truth to take in people who had no right to know the truth it wouldn’t be long before people would be phrasing their questions so that nobody could give an ambiguous answer. It doesn’t do the world any good in the long run.

They say that mental reservation is a lie when it is not required. Otherwise it is not deceiving as far as the will is concerned though deception is the effect. The effect is not intended but the greater good. But the problem is that the truth would be the supreme good if lying is always wrong. If the deception is not intended then what is mental reservation needed for?

Roman Catholicism permits mental reservation. Suppose someone asked you something they had no right to know. You could tell them a lie like, “I did not kill him” and add the words, “But I am lying”, in your own mind and say them to yourself mentally. Only cults like Roman Catholicism could deny that this is lying.

The theologians of the Roman Catholic Church claim that the following behaviour is not lying but equivocation. If you are sitting typing at a computer and you are emailing the damning data to a manager about an employee suspected of stealing and the employee comes in and asks you what you are typing for and you say, ”Practice” the Church says this is not lying but equivocation for every time you do your typing it is practice as well. But you are lying two ways. For instance, you know the employee is asking for your main reason and you are pretending the practice is your main reason. There is no point in asking questions when you will not get the main point as a answer. Plus you are lying to the employee by pretending to be somebody that would not do him any damage or shop him. It is bad enough to be a liar but to lie barefacedly and then deny that you are a liar takes some gall. As usual, the Church only gives solutions that are worse than the problem. Here they want you to be a sneak. A devious person is worse than a liar. The difference between a devious person and a liar is that the former is harder to catch out and therefore more dangerous. A liar is a person who tries to be devious but isn’t necessarily really devious hence the difference between a liar and a devious person.
Equivocation can be very destructive when practiced on simple people who comprise the majority of the membership of the Church. When the Church accepts this form of deceit who is to say it is not fooling everybody it can fool?
The believers are so weak in faith that they run to miracle sites in search of the miracle of consolation and of miracles they can see. Their belief in miracles depends on God being a God of truth who sends miracles to attract people to what he has revealed say in scripture or through the pope and the bishops or all of them. But this doctrine of divine truth and the sinfulness of lying is so deadly that we can only conclude that such miracles come from a source that is unreliable and misanthropic.


If lying is always wrong, it is a pity it is.  We do not need the wrongness of lying impressed more deeply and reinforced by the notion that there is a God of absolute truth who never countenances or tolerates lies.  In that sense, even if lying is wrong belief in God cannot really be good.


One of the ten commands bans lying against a neighbour.  The command not to bear false witness seems to refer to telling the truth in a legal context or in taking an oath. Many feel it does not rule out lies of any other kind when told for a good enough reason. But that still would not be a licence to do so.  Also the command says you cannot bear false witness against your neighbour.  Why neighbour? Why not just say anyone?  Nobody would have been called on often enough to testify legally to justify needing it to be a major command.  It means that all lies about a neighbour are wrong no matter about legal context or not.
No good done by religion can justify religion for its fundamental attitudes are anti-people. Praising it is as foolish as praising and rewarding a seemingly devoted husband who is wishing his sick wife would die soon so he can be free to have a good time.

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