What is honesty? What is dishonesty? Definitions change with reference to context. Do we not say sometimes if being dishonest is to prevent someone getting hurt then maybe a bit of dishonesty is required? Again do such dishonesty need to be clarified with time or that dishonest act or word be allowed to remain forever so? Say a school student is appearing for his final exams in his hostel and his mother or father has died. The living parent may decide to hide this fact for such period till his exams are over knowing that if the truth comes to be known the son will not complete his exams and all efforts will go waste? Many will agree that dishonesty in such cases may be allowed.
So everything boils down to context, time and need to be dishonest. Here in my blog I shall try to explore the realms of honesty and dishonesty and so obviously part-1 means I am planning to share all my thoughts on this subject further. When the next part will come? Who knows. Let’s see as we flow.
Today I shall discuss Desire, because desire is something that comes first only then the question of being honest or dishonest comes. Just like Desire is the driver for being dishonest if so decided, NEED is also another cause of dishonesty. So NEED or DESIRE are all clubbed under one group for the purpose of my essay, thogh need is different from desire and shall be discussed separately. Desire is a much stronger word and actually more harmful too most times and hence the most common driver of dishonesty in all human beings. Let us see how and how desire is related to honesty or dishonesty.
“If someone desires something because of some reason and adopts some means to attain that desire can the desire be dishonest if either or both the reason and the means adopted are dishonest means?”
This is something biting me for a long time because some of us tend to mix the three : DESIRE, REASON AND MEANS.
I think desire by itself cannot be qualified as honest or dishonest. Desire is desire. It can be plain wrong at its most simplistic levels or unethical or immoral or harmful at its most serious levels. But desire cannot be dishonest and is always honest because desire arouses in a person’s mind and he or she is by acknowledging this desire is being honest to himself or herself. It does not follow, however, that by pursuing this desire will also be right and cannot be wrong. I desire to kill my boss in office because of all legitimate reasons- his harassing me, he being a sexual predator (me being a woman say) but actually killing him is not right it is wrong. Accepting my desire is being honest.
REASONS for this desire can be wrong or right. Reasons need to be probed to understand why this desire arose before we can stamp desire as wrong or right. One may even conclude that the arousal of desire was right but actually pursuing the desire was not right. And again depending on circumstances even that may be right.
However when we talk of honesty or dishonesty in life we actually are referring to the MEANS we adopt to achieve our desires. The MEANS means adopted can be honest or dishonest.
And if the means are dishonest or improper, the result can be improper and harmful. But that does not make the desire dishonest.
But yes we can call such desires as undesirable- one that should not be desired as it causes harm. I think it is just a matter of English word usage and anyone just using the words Honest and Dishonest in any particular context, is actually not using the words correctly. So when someone does something wrong, he is called dishonest. What is meant is his means are dishonest and his actions are wrong and he has harmed someone or society in the process. His desire need not be wrong. It depends on the circumstances.
Am i right I wonder now. Readers should think deeply with examples in their mind what I mean to say. And wait till I come back with more…