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Vow Of Never Lying jack vero

Vow Of Never Lying

Written by Jack Vero

The Vow of Never Lying was an experiment that lasted nine months from from the fall of 2010 to the summer of 2011. The following document outlined its rules and conditions. Though the experiment is currently on hiatus, I plan to continue it one day, hence my last name, Vero, which means "truth" in Italian.

Overview:

I originally considered naming this an Oath of Perfect Honesty but now think that would be an inaccurate title because it's not that I'm always totally honest, I just won't lie explicitly. I am not interested in being perfectly honest in every sense of the word all the time because I think it would be a destructive, and therefore immoral undertaking in a world as flawed as ours. And also not much fun. So like virtually everyone else on the planet, I do permit myself to occasionally manipulate or omit certain truths when the need arises.

However, I differ in that I do not ever explicitly, intentionally lie about anything. This is extremely useful because it enables people to immediately trust me when I say something outright. Surprisingly, it hasn't been all that difficult either. There have only been two occasions in the last couple of months where I was inconvenienced by the vow, and both had only minor consequences. Perhaps it's been so easy because I was already a fairly honest person.

How Do You Know I'm Not Simply Lying About Never Lying?

Test me. Ask me a difficult question, one that I shouldn't answer truthfully, and when I do, you'll know I never lie. However, if it is an exceptionally difficult question, and I do not really care whether you believe me or not, I may simply not answer at all. But I usually do answer, so don't ask if you don't want to know. It's actually pretty easy for me, because the onus isn't on me, it's on the person who asked. If you back a dog against a wall, it's not the dog's fault if you get bitten.

The Difference Between Lies and Falsehoods:

I have always found the difference between Lies and Falsehoods to be quite obvious, but for the sake of utmost clarity:

To lie is to claim something is true, when you do not believe it to be true, regardless of the actual validity of the statement. A falsehood is simply any statement that is not true, regardless of intention. So if I believe it will rain tomorrow, and I say "I think it will rain tomorrow," and it doesn't rain, then I committed a falsehood, I was mistaken, but I did not lie. If however, I didn't believe it would rain tomrrow, and then said "I think it will rain tomorrow," that is a lie, regardless of whether it rains or not.

Whether something is true or false has nothing to do with whether it is a lie, that only determines whether it is true or false. Something is a lie if the speaker did not sincerely believe it at the time.

So though I do commit accidental falsehoods, due to my flaws as a person, I do not ever intentionally say things I don't believe, and therefore I never lie.

Reasons for the Vow:

Makes it easy for everyone, even strangers, to immediately trust me, which is very valuable in business, Hollywood, and life in general.

Since high school I have felt misunderstood, so I have consequently taken steps to become a more open and honest person. This is one of them.

It's a philosophical statement. I think the ideal of truth is under-appreciated in our society and I would like to do all I can to support it. Everyone thinks no one else can handle the truth. Well I think they can.

When I first told people I was never going to lie again, they told me it was impossible. How sad is that? And how beautifully ironic, that never lying isn't only possible, it's easy and rewarding. It's not hard to be a good person, people just think it is. It's actually really easy and fun, and I think I'll inspire more people to live a moral life if I end up enjoying my own.

It's hard to live a sinful life when you can't lie. So this vow will not only keep me on the right path, it'll also expedite the rate at which other people recognize me as a person of integrity.

The world is complicated enough, we don't need to aggravate the issue by lying about things.

Exceptions:

Speaking sarcastically or hyperbolically shall not be deemed a lie.

Jokes or other "performances," in which my intention is clearly not to be truthful, will not be considered lies.

In the rare event that I have to lie to preserve someone else's secret -- one that I do not have the right to tell, and one that cannot be preserved through omission or other subtle manipulations of language -- I will permit myself to lie.

If this vow is ever in conflict with a matter of physical safety for myself or others, I may lie.

If I am not in my right mind, due to severe intoxication or other extreme circumstances (deprived of sleep), I will still attempt to uphold the vow but will not hold myself as accountable if I should fail.