Is Silence a Lie?

Is being silent the equivalent  to lying? Recently I got into an argument with a friend. They said that if asked a question, and one chooses not to answer in any way, then they are lying. I opposed this statement. If an individual doesn’t say anything about a particular subject, then they did not put out any information- yet they did not make a false statement. It’s fair to say, though, that maybe this person is hiding something, however that is not an acted false statement.  I still stand for my word, but I can stand corrected with the right explanation. However, I decided to turn to all of you- is silence a lie?


10 thoughts on “Is Silence a Lie?

  1. If you say nothing you are possibly guilty of a sin of omission.If you tell your friend something you don’t really mean then it becomes a sin of commission;a lie.Your silence possibly irritated your friend because he/she wanted bobble head agreement.Some questions neither require or deserve an answer.Such as the old”When did you stop beating your wife?”I don’t consider silence a lie;I consider it more an act of diplomacy.If this person is truly a friend they will get over it,if not;so it goes.

  2. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”-Abraham Lincoln

  3. this is not entirely true, when my wife and I get into a verbal conflict, I often choose not to go there, I do not believe that because one wants to fight that both should engage in such an act, so I go silent. when she says “oh, you didn’t answer the question so it must be true” … I usually say, “no, you should know the answer and you ask it so you can push my buttons”, so it really depends on the topic. Our battles our mostly over the kids, never over infidelity, or jealousy, but if that is the topic and some one does not answer then maybe they are hurt becaue their love is shoved into the un-trusting catagorie… just a thought, so much depends on the type people and the situation. good food for thought (~_~)

    • so, by saying it is not true, you mean to support my statement as to when one chooses not to answer it is not considered lying? Or is this the other way around?

  4. i believe that silence can be a lie when a statement is mixed with the omission of an important fact/opinion – such as telling one part of a story and being silent about other things that happened, or withholding a part of your opinion.

    However, if you say the bare minimum or nothing at all… its kind of like pleading the fifth. you’re not giving the other party ammunition to attack or aid your stance.

  5. I don’t think silence is a lie unless you could have saved a life if you didn’t keep silent. Sometimes silence doesn’t only protect yourself but can protect somebody else. If, however, you’re asked about the truth that involves the person who asks, then silence is a lie.

  6. we have different interpretations when it comes to “silence.” Some says that it means “yes” while the others said that it’s a lie.

    For me, silence is the best thing to do if you know that you have nothing good to say. Instead speaking out your mind, you’ll just keep silent coz you know deep inside the person that asked you the question would regret why she asked you after hearing your answer.

    Basically, silence has broad interpretation which it comes with different meaning depending on the situation. 🙂

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