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Hmm. Would I be wildly wrong in describing Mrs Bennett (Elizabeth's mother) as a terrible narcissist though? In which case Elizabeth should be more likely to be a narcissist herself, or a people-pleaser? Maybe she got lucky, because she's hardly either. Although her sisters, well...

Good fiction often rings true to real life, but it's no more than a bit of fun to analyse it as though it were a case study of something that actually happened. Still, I'm not against fun. I bet it was fun for Jane Austen to write the character of Mr Collins. Let's see your science explain him ;)

"I have frequently detected myself in such kind of mistakes," said Elinor, "in a total misapprehension of character in some point or other: fancying people so much more gay or grave, or ingenious or stupid than they really are, and I can hardly tell why or in what the deception originated. Sometimes one is guided by what they say of themselves, and very frequently by what other people say of them, without giving oneself time to deliberate and judge."

Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Also, nobody knows whether people currently being cryonically preserved by current methods can ever be thawed and healed or uploaded into an emulator. It would suck to die and get frozen a year before they realise they were doing it all wrong.

It's automatically hazardous to give someone a false map of the world. If you do it knowingly you have the responsibility to make sure no harm comes of it. Even if you take that responsibility seriously, and are competent to do so, taking it secretly without consent is an ethical problem.

My take on this:

  • Few people take that responsibility seriously or are competent to do so, or are even aware that it exists.
  • Most of the time people's intuitions about minor well-intended deceptions are sufficient to avoid trouble.
  • If you call someone a liar, that has a strong negative connotation and social implications for good reason. We didn't evolve the capacity for deception primarily to hold surprise birthday parties for each other.

There are no dirty words, but there are inaccurate ones. Use with care.

Which is why I said it was kind. It's still not necessarily a reasonable expectation.

Anyway, the hypothetical preference to be lied to is a bit suspicious, epistemologically. Let's distinguish it from a preference to never hear of anything you don't like, which is on its face unrealistic.

How would you experience getting your preference to be lied to without thereby knowing the unpleasant truth that you wanted to avoid? You want to know but you want to pretend the other person doesn't know that you know? It's a bit crazy.

How would you safely determine that someone prefers to be lied to, without exposing them to the truth they might not want? This isn't trivial: if you lie to someone who doesn't prefer it, I hope we can agree that's worse than the other way round.

That's kind. But not all our preferences are reasonable expectations.

Anyway, maybe I weight things differently or it was a very short sucky play, but the downsides are still pretty compelling.

It's a dodgy metaphor at best anyway, but 'point' taken. :)

The breakup was a good thing for other reasons, but I still regret not lying to her about what I thought of the play.

Why? Best case scenario is she keeps taking you to unenjoyable plays until you find you have to end the relationship yourself anyway or finally tell her the truth. Out of all the things in a relationship whose end was "a good thing for other reasons", one argument about whether a play was any good seems like a trivial thing to regret.

I can't favour lies as such. I am however on board with people honestly communicating the connotation that they care how you feel at the expense of the denotational literal meaning of their words.

In lies, the intention is not to soften but to deceive. So I don't even like the phrase "white lie". It's like, if you're going to stab me in the back, is it better if it's with a white knife?

Voted down because its connection to rationality is so obscure I have to take it at face value, and at face value it appears to be factually incorrect in several ways. IOW, BS.

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