Humans lie as a general rule. You lie. I lie. We all lie. For some, lying can be an art form; they might lie for fun, to get certain emotions out of some people. For others, lying might be a defense mechanism for getting out of trouble. It’s true, in some situations lying can get you in deep trouble. If you ask yourselves why you lie, you will find a thousand different reasons for a thousand different situations, but still, you feel like you don’t get down to the basic lying instinct, to the science of lying. Why do we lie? This is a complex question, more complex than I can answer in an article like this one. Nevertheless, I’ll do my best and come up with a viable answer. What I think, though, is that you should always ask yourself this question and try to find a specific question. Sometimes, lying is not such a bad thing as we’re thought when we’re little and as the Bible has preached.
Why do we lie?
We lie to maintain relationships and lead an essential communication process with other humans. We lie to survive. We, humans, are really complex beings. Therefore, imagine saying everything you think about a person to her face. Everything you cannot stand about that person, everything you hate about her, imagine telling that to her face. Ouch, right? Our extended use of language has permitted us to devise many ways of lying and deception. From the little white lies to big, monumental lies, we learn as we grow up that the truth is not always desirable in our social and political lives.
Lies and human cooperations have tied the knot a long time ago on the evolutionary scale. We lie because we live in groups of people and have to keep these relationships with others intact. We lie and deceit because the truth is the sole enemy of separation and we need each other in order to survive and thrive.
Do Animals lie?
Yes, Animals do lie. It has been proved through various studies that the most cooperative primate species are also the ones who are most capable of lying. On a basic level, lying for the primates helps them take advantage of the other companions’ cooperation so they can help in various situations. Both unintentional and deliberate lying and deception are components of the “social structure” of the animal kingdom. Just think of small animals using camouflage to confuse the big predators to birds using tricks to confuse other animals that the predators are coming and so they can leave their food behind.
We are hugely social animals if you’d pardon my language, and our relationships webs are so complex we usually get lost in them. We need this crucial tool: the lie. A totally alone person has no reason to lie; but when you add family, boss, workplace, colleagues, friends and best friends when you get involved emotionally and fear of losing these relationships, then you return to lying.