# tadasdatys comments on Social Insight: When a Lie Is Not a Lie; When a Truth Is Not a Truth - Less Wrong Discussion

7 11 August 2017 06:28PM

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Comment author: 11 August 2017 07:17:16PM 0 points [-]

Can you say it again while tabooing "lie?"

My guess is that you're saying that if X says something that they know will be interpreted as abc, then it is a lie even if abc is true, if X personally interprets the statement as xyz, or perhaps if the "true" meaning of the thing is xyz instead of abc

Comment author: 11 August 2017 07:48:26PM 0 points [-]

Case 1: Alice tells Bob that "X is true", Bob then interprets this as "Y is true"

Case 2: Alice tells Bob that "X is true", because Bob would be too stupid to understand it if she said "Y is true". Now Bob believes that "X is true".

These two cases are very different. You spend the first half of your post in case 1, and then suddenly jump to case 2 for the other half.

Comment author: 11 August 2017 09:28:30PM 0 points [-]

Supposing that Y is the correct answer to a question, but you are incapable of communicating it to Y, some kind of less or differently true substitute must be used, in terms of the language that they speak and understand

Comment author: 12 August 2017 06:36:39AM 0 points [-]

Sure, and if X really is the best approximation of Y that Bob can understand, then again Alice is not dishonest. Although I'm not sure what "approximation" means exactly.

But there is also a case where Alice tells Bob that "X is true", not because X is somehow close to Y, but because, supposedly, X and Y both imply some Z. This is again a very different case. I think this is just pure and simple lying. That is, the vast majority of lies ever told fall into this category (for example, Z could be "you shouldn't jail me", X could be "I didn't kill anyone" and Y could be "sure, I killed someone, but I promise I won't do it again").

In general, the problem is that you didn't give specific examples, so I don't really know what case you're referring to.