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“”A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
|—A quote with many variants that is falsely attributed to many (e.g. Mark Twain and Winston Churchill)|
“”He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.
|—Thomas Jefferson, 1785.|
Deceit is a term denoting the misrepresentation of the truth.
Deceit can be used for many purposes, some more innocent, some more destructive. Lying, or explicit misrepresentation, is a subset of deceit.
Deceit can take many forms:
- Lie — The most basic form of deceit, where some sort information is divulged where it is known that is information is in fact not true.
- Affinity fraud — abuse of the trust of others because you are (or pretend to be) a member of the same socio-economic, religious or ethnic group.
- Censorship — silencing all dissenting viewpoints.
- Equivocation — using wordplay in a way that you're not technically lying, but you are trying to give an incorrect impression.
- Misdirection — distracting or diverting from the issue at hand in order to avoid further conclusions to be drawn.
- Quote mining — presenting a real (but "hairdressed") quote, deliberately placed out of context and presented in a new or different context, so as to make it seem like it meant something else than was originally intended. This differs from making a "misquotation", as those are simply mistakenly attributed or phrased wrongly.
- Obfuscation — nonsensical claptrap, or words without any particular connection to reality.
- Omission — failing to report something that wasn't specifically asked for (yet perhaps cannot be asked for as it is an unknown unknown to other people), with the express intent to deceive others via manipulating their perception of the truth.
- Burning the evidence — attempting to secure plausible deniability by destroying possible trails of evidence that could, if left intact, allow potential investigators to correctly identify the true culprit.
- One single proof — claiming that without a specific key proof, the whole argument is invalid.
- Propaganda — affect or control the perceptions and behavior of a population.
- Revisionism — revising history to something it wasn't.
- Self-deception — metaphorically (or literally...) sticking your fingers in your ears and going "Lalalala! I can't hear you!".
- Statistics — sometimes statistics are used as a drunken man uses lampposts — for support rather than illumination.
Deceit in the Bible
Perhaps the best known example can be found in Genesis chapter 27. Isaac is dying, and wants to bless his first born son Esau but needs some munchies first (it would be silly to bless someone on an empty stomach), but Esau's twin brother Jacob overhears, gives Isaac his needed munchies, and receives the blessing instead. Jacob is later renamed to "Israel" by God (Genesis 32:28) and goes on to become the father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and ancestor of Jesus Christ.
- Biblical contradictions
- Intellectual dishonesty
- Logical fallacy
- Stephen Glass
- Iraq War
- Weapons of mass destruction, need to say more?
- Mainstream media, who propagate jingoism and science denialism
- Biblical claims of divine honesty
- Potemkin village
- Fake news
- Donald Trump — a case study in pathological lying
- Pentagon Papers, exposed systemic lies from the administrations of three presidents.
- Liberal deceit
- Misrepresenting the Facts, Bruce Thompson
- A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes: Mark Twain? Jonathan Swift? Thomas Francklin? Fisher Ames? Thomas Jefferson? John Randolph? Charles Haddon Spurgeon? Winston Churchill? Terry Pratchett? Anonymous? Quote Investigator
- Jefferson's Letter to Peter Carr. Yale Law School, "Avalon Project"
- Of course Trump called Comey a liar: That's always been his strategy by Dana Milbank (June 12 at 4:28 PM) The Washington Post.