Lying is untrue, contrary to the truth. The phenomenon of lies has four main aspects: epistemological, logical, moral and political. The epistemological aspect of lies is based on the conditions of cognition, under which there is a distortion of information. The latter can occur for objective reasons – due to the nature of physical objects and subjective reasons – due to the nature of human consciousness and thinking.
In logic, the concept of “lie,” like the concept of “truth,” is used either as a predicate, that is, as a property of an utterance, or as an object-one of the truth values attributed to a statement, or as a unary operator in constructing the “logic of lies.” In the latter case, this operator has defined axiomatically. In classical logic, the concepts of “lie” and “truth” are equal (dual), because the negation of truth is a lie and, conversely, the denial of lies is the truth. But already in some non-classical logics, this is not so. For example, this is not the case in many-valued logics, where “degrees of truth” appear. In fact, the inequality of truth and falsehood manifests itself already in the use of these concepts in natural language, as evidenced by the famous “liar paradox,” in which the notion of lies, not truths, makes the situation paradoxical.
The paradoxical nature of the phenomenon of lies is manifested regarding morality. Conscious lies, like deception, have a negative meaning, and deceit is a vice. But at the same time, the philosophy of morality also raises the question of the necessity of lying. For example, in extreme cases to save someone’s life. And then the lie turns out to be a virtue.
The lie acquires particular character and special significance in the sphere of politics. Achieving the good goal by all possible and impossible means is immoral. In these cases, the goal, however beautiful it may be, conflicts with the means and the latter become the goal itself. This is what happens in developed totalitarian countries, where the primary means to achieve the goal is a lie. To remove the contradiction between goal and means, a totalitarian state is compelled to resort to total and systematic terror. The functional significance of lies here is so great that it is possible to build unique types of states where lies materialize in all manifestations of human life.