24 September, 2008

Lying and S.A. positions (not a good combination)

Well, I was walking down the mall today at UD, and as I walked some very UD-ish trains of thought were running through my mind. I'm going to apply for one of four S.A. (student assistant) positions for my Rome semester(only two would be available to me: there are two positions for girls and two for guys). The application isn't bad at all really, but it does require two short essays. These are of the usual type for scholarship or student job applications: vague, feeling-oriented, and (it would seem) determined to force the applicant to write in a very self-congratulatory manner indeed.

Wouldn't life be so much simpler, I mused, if people couldn't lie? If you could just march up to the Rome Office and tell them, "Yes. I am quite sufficiently qualified for this job, and I understand everything it would entail," and they would have to believe you because you could be lying neither to them nor to yourself?

Hmmm, I wondered (conscientious UD student that I am). Would it be possible for human beings to be unable to lie and to still have free will? I suppose the answer is rather obvious once you begin to ponder the question, but looking at lying as an isolated action it might seem at first that we could possibly be unable to lie and still capable of choosing to sin in other ways (I know my manner of writing of free will in this post is a bit loose; that's not really my primary focus). But you know, every sin is essentially a lie, isn't it? I mean, most of us aren't walking around saying: "Oh, what fun, I think I'll commit a couple of sins today and be on my merry way." Not at all. Most of us are pretty well convinced that what we're doing is right. But that conviction itself rests on an untruth: we have, either intentionally or mistakenly, deceived ourselves as to the nature of good in relation to that action.

So, no, it seems that you can't really have free will without having the potential to lie. All men desire truth and goodness, if we're to believe Aristotle, so rejection of the ultimate Good requires one to believe falsely in the superior goodness of something else.

But it really is a pity about that Rome position.

1 comment:

MissDaisyAnne said...

Thank you for visiting my site, I love to meet new friends!