Even when man is scrupulously being on the path of honesty, he can be hoodwinked by lies-incognito and be made to feel comfortable with them though he is not conscious about such quick conditioning he undergoes. This thought struck me when I came across the news that North Korea had hacked the Pfizer computer systems to get access to the vaccine secrets. In the news, I could not see the word: steal or its synonyms, with the the explicit tenor being trivialising the issue, as well as glorifying North Korea’s hacking abilities. So I was initially comfortable with the news and did feel praiseful of North Korea’s hacking prowess. Then, it suddenly flashed my mind that I was being okay with the news of stealing — beautifully masked in the term: hacking. The most common forms of lies-incognito that try to sway us are favours, sycophancy and convenient-thinking.
Favors are takeaways or giveaways that defy natural reasoning. In the context of favour, reasoning has two dimensions — natural reasoning: credits go to where they are due; and preferential reasoning: credits go to where the giver’s preferences point him/her to. So favours are the outputs from the triumph of man’s partiality over natural justice. Let me bring in God, the embodiment of natural justice, into the picture and illustrate an imaginary situation as follows;
There are ten candidates for one job position, and out of the ten, five are believers. All the believers prayed to Him before the interview. Now, whom will God prefer for the job? The believers? If yes, which believer? Or, will He prefer non-believers? Or, will God do nothing and let the natural reasoning of the most meritorious candidate take home the job? Whatever be your answer to these questions, it is to be noted that God is truth and justice, hence, an edifice of natural reasoning.
Favors are lies sweetened enough to fail us in discerning the preferential reasoning behind them. But if you think a bit deeper, then you will realise that sweetness begins at the point where bitterness ends. Hence, it is not impossible to pause and take a bitter call on favours.
Sycophancy is serving a man’s false-pride through lies which comprise both non-existing facts amd inflated or deflated facts. Lying is of two types: telling things which are diametrically or partially opposite of the existing facts; and manufacturing lies and presenting them as facts. Sycophancy is different from praising which works on the basis of cause and effect, meaning for every praise a man gets, there is a compelling and deserving reason behind it. On the other hand, sycophancy does not have a corollary reason for its existence. It stagnates a man because it feeds his false-pride which is a bigger hindrance to progress in life. False-pride is the inability of a person to accept reality and behave, accordingly, prompting the person to over do beyond the wherewithal in his/her possession. A man of pride will not tolerate sycophants around him, but one with false-pride fails to discern them. Unfortunately, we have more people possessing false-pride than those who hold pride.
We have a proclivity to convenient-thinking. Given a few choices, most of us will choose the one that is convenient and advantageous for us. Although the argument of being rational can be put forth, we often fail to discern facts in such situations. I will illustrate this with an example: Suppose that you have got a PCR positive result in a Covid-19 test and that you are completely asymptomatic so have decided to quickly do another PCR test that gave a negative result. Between the two diametrically opposite test results, it is highly likely that you will accept the negative result because that is convenient and advantageous for you. And in this process, you fail to think in this way: one of the test results was wrong; which one was wrong, the first result or the second one? Unlike favors and sycophancy that are external, convenient-thinking is an endemic flaw of our character, hence, does need a lot of recalibration in our thought-process to overcome it.
Why do lies come incognito? In other words, why do lies-incognito have acceptability? The single most overriding reason is that they have a facade of semblance of truth, hence, can be perceived as truth, thereby tricking even an honest man to accept them as truths. Lies-incognito are flavoured lies and very attractive but not irresistible as many honest people repudiate them. And, how do they save themselves from getting tricked by these truth-resembling lies? In their thoughts, they remove the top layer of flavours covering the lies and discern the lies lying flat on the back. Unless this thought-process happens, it is highly likely that even an honest person can be tricked into by the lies-incognito. It is difficult but not impossible to lead an honest life, and that difficulty is exacerbated by the unseen enemy called lies-incognito. Beware of lies-incognito!
This is my 100th blog, and I am thankful to all the visitors to and readers of my blog.