They say that according to the ancient religious customs, a lie was not called a lie if - a) it did not hurt anyone
b) telling it actually made someone happy or be benefited and
c) it did not contravene any of the Natural Laws, which generally tend to follow scientific principles.
Taken this way, and in this spirit, how much nicer would an old person feel if he/she were told that their son/daughter, living far away, was enquiring about them to you when you last met them in ... ah ... Timbuktu? How well would you feel if you took the blame of a broken vase over your head instead of naming your much younger and more mischievous sibling!
Aside of such "beneficial" lies, one is sometimes forced to tell a lie to save one's face or self-respect, and occasionally, to escape a hiding! In such cases, which I classify to be utterly devoid of morals, the teller of the lie is plain guilty. I have been guilty of this throughout my childhood, as my father was the archetypal HITLER. He hit with his bare hands, with ladles and spoons, with a stick or with a utensil ... yes, you got me right, a utensil! To escape his unreasonable tempers and his attempts to make us all bite the dust, we often told lies. Whether it was that "Yes, papa, we have thrown away the garbage at around 1:00 p.m." or "No Daddy, I did not eat the cake in the fridge " ... my brothers and I all did tell lies from time to time, but at an average, at least 2-3 times a day!
Do you agree with my theory that lies need not all be harmful or be punishable with time-outs, banishment or spanking? Do you agree that lies CAN be harmful?
Awaiting your comments, please ...