Can there be such a thing as a good lie?


Good day,

This issue of lying has been bothering me for quite some time now, and I felt I couldn't keep it to myself. Jesus said in Revelation 21:8 that all liars will go to hell. Are there good lies? For example, if I am faced with a threatening situation in which a man threatens to kill me with a gun, if I don't tell him where my friend is hiding, to save my life and my friend's life, I would be forced to lie to the man that my friend is hiding in another place. Would this also be considered a sin?

Thank you.


Situation ethics claim that right and wrong change depending on the situation you find yourself. What might be right in one circumstance is claimed to be wrong in another. "Proof" is offered in contrived situations where the choice to do right appears to be harmful. The flaw is that limited options are offered, but the number of possible responses is greater. In your example,

  • How do you know that telling where your friend is will save your life? The man with a gun can just as easily lie to you as you could lie to him.
  • How do you know that telling him where your friend is will save her life? Since he has a gun, we can assume he means her harm. Therefore what you are offering is a possibility of saving your life at the expense of your friend's life -- some friend you are.
  • What is ignored is that you can refuse to answer. Sure, he might shoot, but that was already a possibility regardless of your answer.

Lying is a sin. There is no such thing as a good sin. Nor is sin justified because some good is claimed to come from it. "And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"? --as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just" (Romans 3:8).

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