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Analysis of Lying

            "We survive only if protected from harm as children." As children our parents protect us from harm through teaching, influence, and perhaps through violence and deception. Paternalistic lies are the lies that none of us can avoid. The lies are mostly used to protect us from reality.
             The lies we are told as children range from fairy tales to being shielded from bad news. Lying to children is often justified by saying it was for their own good. The need for some paternalistic lies is clear. These lies reduce the amount of danger we encounter. Human beings, even when there are laws meant to protect them, still do not avoid danger. There is a need to regulate and change our activities and actions.
             The problem with paternalistic lies is that the children may "confuse fiction and jokes and all that departs from fact with lying." It is not right to lie to people just because they are children. The assumption that children can't handle the truth is wrong. Lying to your children about major things will cause mistrust. If a loved one was to die and a child told they were sleeping they may have trouble accepting death when they are older. When my grandfather died I wasn't even told and I made the unintentional mistake of asking my grandmother when he was coming over. Paternalistic lies are wrong because they allow too many lies to go unquestioned. .
             Take a case of a boy who has only one kidney as a result of cancer as a baby. His parents decided to protect him from the fear that cancer presents by telling him his sister was watching him once and he fell. The fall caused the need for the kidney to be removed. When the boy grew older he wanted to play contact sport but he couldn't because he had only one kidney. He resents his sister for this and his sister feels extremely guilty. If the parents really wanted to keep the cancer from the boy they should have left his sister out of the lie. Not only does this lie damage the boy but also it causes the sister to feel guilty for something she didn't do.

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