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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 86, Issue 1, Winter 2012

Christopher Kaczor
Pages 97-109
DOI: 10.5840/acpq_2012_5

Can it be Morally Permissible to Assert a Falsehood in Service of a Good Cause?

This paper examines three arguments that are meant to show that all intentional false assertions are intrinsically evil. The first argument holds that lying is intrinsically evil, all false assertions are lies. The second argument is that all intentional deception is intrinsically evil, and all false assertions are attempted deceptions. Finally, I explore the argument that false assertions are intrinsically evil because they are a violation of self-unity and unity with the community. Each of these arguments, I hold, fails to demonstrate the conclusion which, nevertheless, may be true for other reasons not examined in this paper.

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