you could call them lies. but maybe another way to think about it is by using the phrase 'metaphorical truth'? not sure if i'm using it correctly, i just heard someone use that phrase before. i'll give an example:chewybrian wrote: ↑March 10th, 2019, 7:17 amThere is no question this practice is widespread. We tell fables, withhold unpleasant truths, and tell outright lies for many different reasons.
How do we justify these lies? Don't we owe them the truth, so they can make an accurate assessment of their situation and their options, and learn as much as possible? How could we expect them to become the best they can be if everything begins with lies? How can we expect them to honor and respect the truth when they grow up if they realize that people have routinely lied to them? When we feel justified in these lies, aren't we giving them the message that the end justifies the means? Shouldn't the default position be to tell them the straight truth, right down the line? If so, then strong justifications must be needed to make lying to them the ethical choice in certain situations.
So, please explain why lying to children might be correct and when it is correct (if it ever is).
Since definitions always seem to be necessary here, let's define lying as any intentional misrepresentation, in whole or in part, including but not limited to fables, euphemistic stories, partial truths, withholding essential information with the intention of leading them to false conclusions, or any outright lies, no matter their intended effects. We could exclude fiction if it is clear to the child that it is fiction.
So, for the purpose of this discussion, my assertion is that anything but full disclosure of the truth to children is a lie, and immoral, and I am asking you to prove or assert otherwise if you think this is not so. What justification do you or others have which makes this ethical behavior?
'an apple a day keeps the doctor away'
this statement is not necessarily true. however, there is a nested truth which is the fact that eating apples is good for your health. surely there is something valuable here. if you believe that an apple a day will keep a doctor away, you will end up healthier than if you did not believe it was true. there are many concepts which are too complicated to explain to children, so simplifications are necessary. as we grow up, we intuitively realise that some things are not true, or we are told that they aren't true. for example, i assume you do not believe in santa claus or the tooth fairy anymore. kids cant be expected to 'make an accurate assessment of their situation', since at an early age they lack the cognitive faculty to do so.
1. some 'lies' hold a metaphorical truth that leads you to be in a better position than if you didn't believe them.
2. kids cannot understand many complex concepts, meaning that simplifications are necessary.
3. people don't really respond to facts. the best way to compel someone to do something is by appealing to their emotions.
3. kids grow out of the 'stories' they are told, and as far as i know there are no major negative consequences.