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Moral Life Chapter Seventeen

The Eighth Commandment

J. Wallace

on 15 May 2014

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Transcript of Moral Life Chapter Seventeen

spreading the truth
exposing secrets
The desire for knowledge, and ultimately, truth, is what binds people together and makes life in society possible. Imagine what life would be like if no one ever told the truth!
The eighth commandment offers us the bare minimum moral obligation: namely, don't lie. Conversely, we are called to be authentic in every area of our lives.
Since truth gives meaning to life, and offers freedom, it follows that it is likewise good for people. We must therefore propagate, or spread
the truth.
spreading the truth
There are some cases in which you may reveal a secret: 1) when it is necessary to correct a grave injustice, or 2) when it can prevent harm to the common good.
in the new testament
truth & freedom
The act of lying is objectively evil. It includes the following evils: 1) it involves self-betrayal, 2) it causes interpersonal conflict and 3) it is destructive toward society.
in the Old Testament
The eighth commandment is stated in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy:
Lying occurs when a person speaks against the truth in order to induce a deserving person into error. It requires a statement that is contrary to what is believed or known, and an intention to lead the listener into misjudgment.
There are several ways in which we can violate this commandment. They include:
1. Calumny: Lying about something a person has
done in order to ruin his or her reputation.
2. Detraction: Disclosing a person's faults for
no good reason.
3. Rash Judgment: Attributing a defect to a
person without sufficient evidence.
exposing secrets
study questions
Please do the study questions on p. 316, and P.E. 1.
We live in a world full of things. When your intellect conforms to a thing in the world, we say you know the truth.
God is both the Object of His thought, and the Subject Who thinks. So, truth is in Him, and because of His radical simplicity, it actually IS Him.
God is Truth
As God incarnate, Jesus reveals the fullness of truth to us. He teaches that we must love and defend the truth.
Jesus also teaches that the truth will set human beings free. What does that mean? Two things: 1) His doctrine reveals the truth about the meaning of life, and 2) falsehood diminishes freedom.
Although lying is always evil and harmful, not all lies are equally serious. To judge the gravity of a lie, we have to consider the following:
Civilized society cannot exist without truthful communication. Our truthfulness enables others to trust us. We must not only speak the truth, but also defend it when necessary.
& life
There are three, main things we can do to propagate the truth.
1. Share the Christian faith with others.
2. Communicate the truth in your social life.
3. Reveal secrets when morally necessary.
Since lying causes serious harm, we have an obligation to repair the damage that our lies may cause. This may include publicly admitting the lies, and testifying to the truth.
A secret is any information given to a privileged person or persons that is otherwise to be kept hidden or concealed. We are obligated to keep a secret when the good of another requires it, when we promise to do so, or when our job demands it.
The 8th
what is truth?
The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said that all people, by nature, desire knowledge. Our minds have an innate drive to know the world as it truly is.
Truth just is the conformity of intellect and thing.
It requires a knowing intellect.
It requires a knowable thing.
I answer that, As said above (Article 1), truth is found in the intellect according as it apprehends a thing as it is; and in things according as they have being conformable to an intellect. This is to the greatest degree found in God. For His being is not only conformed to His intellect, but it is the very act of His intellect; and His act of understanding is the measure and cause of every other being and of every other intellect, and He Himself is His own existence and act of understanding. Whence it follows not only that truth is in Him, but that He is truth itself, and the sovereign and first truth.
"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
In essence, this commandment is telling us to have respect for the truth.
truth = good
As Aquinas puts it:
what is being lied about?
what is the intention?
what are the
what are the effects?
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