It is not fair to call a liar as an offender. If the intention of a liar behind lying is not to obtain any selfish advantage; if it is merely an attempt to gain esteem, then lying does not tantamount to an illegal act. Because any person’s right to lie is protected by the ‘Freedom of Speech’ clause incorporated in the constitution. The above quoted statement is a recent decision of the US Supreme Court.
One American named Xavier Alvarez had the habit to lie. He once lied in public that he was in the Army and that he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour. Because of his above statement, Alvarez was prosecuted under the Stolen Valour Act. Eventually, the Court gave the above mentioned verdict.
Maybe that the said judgement was influenced by the free speech philosophy propagated by Voltaire in the 18th century, who said then that, “I may not agree with what you have to say. But I will defend unto death your right to say it – even if what you say is a blatant lie.”
Generally, lying is not taken seriously by today’s world. Even in the past, there were many instances of lying and deceitful deeds.
In fact, lying is an art, some are experts in it. Moreover, digesting a lie is more difficult than telling it. Many a times for digesting one lie, we are required to tell a second lie. And for digesting the second lie, we are required to tell a third lie. And so, it goes on.
Some people are so habituated to lying that they cannot live without them. Such people are called ‘sada fating’ in our Konkani language. Even though such people speak a truth anytime, people believe that it is a lie. Thus, their image in society is like that of a shepherd in the story ‘wolf wolf’.
Many a times, people believe an untruth to be a truth. For instance, in the past, people believed that our planet, the Earth was not round, it was flat and that the sun and the moon revolve around it. But in course of time, untruth was replaced by truth. All the superstitions, beliefs are different forms of lies in disguises.