quotes and an essay on lying--an obstacle to living life …
Essay "On the Decay of the Art of Lying," by Mark Twain
I would crave leave to ask your lordship, were there ever in the world any atheists or no? If there were not, what need is there of raising a question about the being of a God, when nobody questions it? What need of provisional arguments against a fault, from which mankind are so wholly free, and which, by an universal consent, they may be presumed to be secure from? If you say (as I doubt not but you will) that there have been atheists in the world, then your lordship’s universal consent reduces itself to only a great majority; and then make that majority as great as you will, what I have said in the place quoted by your lordship, leaves it in its full force; and I have not said one word that does in the least invalidate this argument for a God. The argument I was upon there, was to show, that the idea of God was not innate; and to my purpose it was sufficient, if there were but a less number found in the world, who had no idea of God, than your lordship will allow there have been of professed atheists; for whatsoever is innate, must be universal in the strictest sense. One exception is a sufficient proof against it. So that all that I said, and which was quite to another purpose, did not at all tend, nor can be made use of, to invalidate the argument for a Deity, grounded on such an universal consent, as your lordship, and all that build on it, must own; which is only a very disproportioned majority; such an universal consent my argument there neither affirms nor requires to be less than you will be pleased to allow it. Your lordship therefore might, without any prejudice to those declarations of good will and favour you have for the author of the “Essay of Human Understanding,” have spared the mentioning his quoting authors that are in print, for matters of fact to quite another purpose, “as going about to invalidate the argument for a Deity, from the universal consent of mankind;” since he leaves that universal consent as entire and as large as you yourself do, or can own, or suppose it. But here I have no reason to be sorry that your lordship has given me this occasion for the vindication of this passage of my book; if there should be any one besides your lordship, who should so far mistake it, as to think it in the least invalidates the argument for a God, from the universal consent of mankind.
Here are answers to the most common questions parents ask about lying
§ 15. To conceive rightly of moral actions, we must take notice of them under this two-fold consideration. First, as they are in themselves each made up of such a collection of simple ideas. Thus drunkenness, or lying, signify such or such a collection of simple ideas, which I call mixed modes, and in this sense they are as much positive absolute ideas, as the drinking of a horse, or speaking of a parrot. Secondly, our actions are considered as good, bad, or indifferent; and in this respect they are relative, it being their conformity to, or disagreement with some rule that makes them to be regular or irregular, good or bad: and so, as far as they are compared with a rule, and thereupon denominated, they come under relation. Thus the challenging and fighting with a man, as it is a certain positive mode, or particular sort of action, by particular ideas, distinguished from all others, is called duelling: which, when considered in relation to the law of God, will deserve the name sin; to the law of fashion, in some countries, valour and virtue: and to the municipal laws of some governments, a capital crime. In this case, when the positive mode has one name, and another name as it stands in relation to the law, the distinction may as easily be observed, as it is in substances, where one name, v. g. man, is used to signify the thing; another, v. g. father, to signify the relation.