For this reason, from the books of the new Testament, except the figurative pre-significations used by our Lord, if you consider the life and manners of the saints, their actions and sayings, nothing of the kind can be produced which should provoke to imitation. For the simulation of Peter and Barnabas is not only recorded, but also reproved and corrected. For it was not, as some suppose, out of the same simulation that even paul the Apostle either circumcised Timothy, or himself celebrated certain ceremonies according to the jewish rite; but he did so, out of that liberty of his mind whereby he preached that. Wherefore he judged that neither the former should be tied to the custom of the jews, nor the jews deterred from the custom of their fathers. Whence are those words of his: Is any man called being circumcised let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
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Neither do they confess that they are awed by those citations from the Old Testament which are alleged as examples of lies: for there, every incident may possibly be taken figuratively, although it really did take place: and when a thing is resume either done. For every utterance is to be referred to that which it utters. But when any thing is either done or said figuratively, it utters that which it signifies to those for whose understanding it was put forth. Whence we may believe in regard of those persons of the prophetical times who are set forth as authoritative, that in all that is written of them they acted and spoke prophetically ; and no less, that there is a prophetical meaning in all those. As to the midwives, indeed, they cannot say that these women did through the prophetic Spirit, with purpose of signifying a future truth, tell Pharaoh one thing instead of another, (albeit that Spirit did signify something, without their knowing what was doing in their persons. For if a person who is used to tell lies for harm's sake comes to tell them for the sake of doing good, that person has made great progress. But it is one thing that is set forth as laudable in itself, another that in comparison with a worse is preferred. It is one sort of gratulation that we express when a man is in sound health, another when a sick man is getting better. In parts the Scripture, even Sodom is said to be justified in comparison with the crimes of the people Israel. And to this rule they apply all the instances of lying which are produced from the Old books, and are found not reprehended, or cannot be reprehended: either they are approved on the score of a progress towards improvement and hope of better things,.
They who think it is, business advance testimonies to their opinion, by alleging the case of Sarah, who, when she had laughed, denied to the Angels that she laughed: of Jacob questioned by his father, and answering that he was the elder son Esau : likewise. They add also a case with which to urge not only those who are devoted to the divine books, but all men and common sense, saying, suppose a man should take refuge with you, who by your lie might be saved from death, would you. If a sick man should ask a question which it is not expedient that he should know, and might be more grievously afflicted even by your returning him no answer, will you venture either to tell the truth to the destruction of the man's life. By these and such like arguments they think they most plentifully prove, that if occasion of doing good require, we may sometimes tell a lie. On the other hand, those who say that we must never lie, plead much more strongly, using first the divine authority, because in the very decalogue it is written you shall not bear false witness ; under which general term it comprises all lying: for. But lest any should contend that not every lie is to be called false witness, what will he say to that which is written, The mouth that lies slays the soul : and lest any should suppose that this may be understood with the exception. Whence with His own lips the lord says, let your communication be yea, yea; nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these comes of evil. Hence the Apostle also in giving precept for the putting off of the old man, under which name all sins are understood, says straightway, wherefore putting away lying, speak ye truth.
If, however, either thinking that to be true which is false, or accounting as known that which is to us unknown, or believing what we ought not to believe, or uttering it when need is not, we yet have no other aim than to make. For there is no need to be afraid of any of those definitions, when the mind has a good conscience, that it utters that which to be true it either knows, or opines, or believes, and that it has no wish to make any thing. But whether a lie be at some times useful, is a much greater and more concerning question. Whether, as above, it be a lie, when a person has no will to deceive, or even makes it his business that the person to whom he says a thing shall not be deceived although he did wish the thing itself which he uttered. But none doubts that it is a lie when a person willingly utters a falsehood for the purpose of deceiving: wherefore a false utterance put forth with will to deceive is manifestly a lie. But whether this alone be a lie, is another question. Meanwhile, taking this kind of lie, in which all agree, let us inquire, whether it be sometimes useful to utter a falsehood with will to deceive.
But then these instances may be turned the other way, so that the one should be supposed to wish some more grievous suffering to the person whom he wishes not to be deceived; for there are many cases of persons who through knowing certain things. The question therefore is not with what purpose of doing a kindness or a hurt, either the one said a false thing that he might not deceive, or the other a true thing that he might deceive: but, setting apart the convenience or inconvenience. For if a lie is an utterance with will of uttering a false thing, that man has rather lied who willed to say a false thing, and said what he willed, albeit he said it of set purpose not to deceive. But if a lie is any utterance whatever with will to deceive; then not the former has lied, but the latter, who even in speaking truth willed to deceive. And if a lie is an utterance with will of any falsity, both have lied; because both the former willed his utterance to be false, and the latter willed a false thing to be believed concerning his utterance which was true. Further, if a lie is an utterance of a person wishing to utter a false thing that he may deceive, neither has lied; because both the former in saying a false thing had the will to make a true thing believed, and the latter. We shall be clear then of all rashness and all lying, if, what we know to be true or right to be believed, we utter when need is, and wish to make that thing believed which we utter.
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The one, who knows or thinks he says a false thing, and kobe says it on purpose that he may not deceive: as, if he knows a certain road to be beset by robbers, and fearing lest some person for whose safety he is anxious should. The other, who knowing or thinking that to be true which he says, says it on purpose that he may deceive: for instance, if he tells a person who does not believe him, that there are robbers in that road where he really knows them. Which then of these lies? The one who has chosen to say a false thing that he may not deceive? Or the other who has chosen to say a true thing that he may deceive? That one, who in saying a false thing aimed that he to whom he spoke should follow the truth? Or this one, who in saying a true thing aimed that he to whom he spoke should follow a falsehood?
Or haply have both lied? The one, because he wished to say a false thing: the other, because he wished to deceive? Or rather, has neither lied? Not the one, because he had the will not to deceive: not the other, because he had the will to speak the truth? For the question is not now which of them sinned, but which of them lied: as indeed it is presently seen that the latter sinned, because by speaking a truth he brought it about that a person should fall among robbers, and that the former.
Therefore he who utters a false thing for a true, which however he opines to be true, may be called erring and rash: but he is not rightly said to lie; because he has not a double heart when he utters it, neither does. But the fault of him who lies, is, the desire of deceiving in the uttering of his mind; whether he do deceive, in that he is believed when uttering the false thing; or whether he do not deceive, either in that he is not believed. But it may be a very nice question whether in the absence of all will to deceive, lying is altogether absent. Thus, put the case that a person shall speak a false thing, which he esteems to be false, on the ground that he thinks he is not believed, to the intent, that in that way falsifying his faith he may deter the person to whom. For here is a person who tells a lie with studied purpose of not deceiving, if to tell a lie is to utter any thing otherwise than you know or think it.
But if it be no lie, unless when something is uttered with wish to deceive, that person lies not, who says a false thing, knowing or thinking it to be false, but says it on purpose that the person to whom he speaks by not. Whence if it appear to be possible that a person should say a false thing on purpose that he to whom it is said may not be deceived, on the other hand there is this opposite case, the case of a person saying the truth. For if a man determines to say a true thing because he perceives he is not believed, that man speaks truth on purpose that he may deceive: for he knows or thinks that what is said may be accounted false, just because it is spoken. Wherefore in saying a true thing on purpose that it may be thought false, he says a true thing on purpose to deceive. So that it may be inquired, which rather lies: he who says a false thing that he may not deceive, or he who says a true thing that he may deceive? The one knowing or thinking that he says a false thing, and the other knowing or thinking that he says a true thing? For we have already said that the person who does not know the thing to be false which he utters, does not lie if he thinks it to be true ; and that that person rather lies who utters even a true thing when. Concerning these persons therefore, whom we have set forth, there is no small question.
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For not every one who says a false thing lies, if he believes or opines that to online be true which he says. Now between believing and opining there is this difference, that sometimes he who believes feels that he does not know that which he believes, (although he may know himself to be ignorant of a thing, and yet have no doubt at all concerning it,. Now whoever remote utters that which he holds in his mind either as belief or as opinion, even though it be false, he lies not. For this he owes to the faith of his utterance, that he thereby produce that which he holds in his mind, and has in that way in which he produces. Not that he is without fault, although he lie not, if either he believes what he ought not to believe, or thinks he knows what he knows not, even though it should be true : for he accounts an unknown thing for a known. Wherefore, that man lies, who has one thing in his mind and utters another in words, or by signs of whatever kind. Whence also the heart of him who lies is said to be double; that is, there is a double thought: the one, of that thing which he either knows or thinks to be true and does not produce; the other, of that thing which. Whence it comes to pass, that he may say a false thing and yet not lie, if he thinks it to be so as he says although it be not so; and, that he may say a true thing, and yet lie, if he thinks. For from the sense of his own mind, not from the verity or falsity of the things themselves, is he to be judged to lie or not to lie.
It is, indeed, very full of dark corners, and has many cavern-like windings, whereby it oft eludes the eagerness of the seeker; so that at one moment what was found seems to slip out of one's hands, and anon comes to light again, and then. At last, however, the chase will bear down more surely, and will overtake our sentence. Wherein if there is any error, yet as Truth is that which sets free from all our error, and Falsehood that which entangles in all error, one never errs more safely, methinks, than when one errs by too much loving the truth, and too much rejecting. For they who find great fault say it is too much, whereas perhaps Truth would say after all, it is not yet enough. But whoever readest, you will do well to find no fault until you have read the whole; so will you have less fault to find. Eloquence you must not look for: we have been intent upon things, and upon dispatch in putting out of hand a matter which nearly concerns our every day life, and therefore have had small pains, or almost none, to bestow upon words. Setting aside, therefore, jokes, which have never been accounted lies, seeing they bear with them in the tone of voice, and in the very mood of the joker a most evident indication that he means no deceit, although the thing he utters be not true. For which purpose we must see what a lie.
in inculcating the love. This also i was minded to remove from my works, because it seemed to me obscure, and intricate, and altogether troublesome; for which reason I had not sent it abroad. And when I had afterwards written another book, under this title, against lying, much more had I determined and ordered that the former should cease to exist; which however was not done. Therefore in this retractation of my works, as I have found this still in being, i have ordered that it should remain; chiefly because therein are to be found some necessary things which in the other are not. Why the other has for its title, against lying, but this, Of lying, the reason is this, that throughout the one is an open assault upon lying, whereas great part of this is taken up with the discussion of the question for and against. Both, however, are directed to the same object. This book begins thus: Magna quæstio est de mendacio. There is a great question about lying, which often arises in the midst of our every day business, and gives us much trouble, that we may not either rashly call that a lie which is not such, or decide that it is sometimes right. This question we will painfully discuss by seeking with them that seek: whether to any good purpose, we need not take upon ourselves to affirm, for the attentive reader will sufficiently gather from the course of the discussion.
Please help support the mission of New Advent and plan get the full contents of this website as an instant download. Includes the catholic Encyclopedia, church Fathers, summa, bible and more all for only.99. De mendacio, this book appears from its place in the. Retractations to have been written about. 395, as it is the last work named in the first book, which contains those which he wrote before he was Bishop. Some editions represent it as addressed to consentius, but not the manuscripts. The latter are probably right, as his other work on the subject was written in answer to the inquiries of Consentius on the case of the Priscillianists many years later.—.
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Deception refers to the act—big or small, cruel or kind, casual or calculated—of causing someone to believe something that is untrue. Even the most honest among us practice deception, with various studies showing that the average person lies several times a day. Some of those lies are big (Of course ive never cheated on you!) but more often, they are little white lies (Yes, that dress looks fine that are deployed to avoid uncomfortable situations or spare the feelings of a person we care about. Some kinds of deception arent exactly lies—like combing hair over a bald spot or nodding when youre not really listening—and some experts suggest that a certain amount of deception is actually necessary for a healthy, functioning society. Deception isnt always an outward-facing act. There are also the lies we tell ourselves, for reasons ranging from healthy maintenance of to serious delusions beyond our control. . While lying to yourself is generally perceived as harmful, some experts argue that there are certain kinds of —believing you can achieve father's a difficult goal, for instance, even if evidence exists to the contrary—that can have a positive effect on your wellbeing and lead to improved.