Tuesday, February 5, 2013


My apologies.  The post below was published a couple of years ago, but I recently reverted it to draft status by mistake.  I am now re-publishing it.

Many dishonest people (i.e., the religious) seem to think that honesty is stupidity and that being dishonest is a sign (if not THE sign) of being intelligent.  Now, while possessing intelligence will make one better at almost everything one does, what one chooses to do is a sign of one's character--not intelligence.  Dishonesty (even successful dishonesty) is not a sign of intelligence but a sign of bad character.

Why do the dishonest think this way?  Because they often get away with it--for a while.  They take advantage of the honest, trusting nature of others.  Anyone can do this, all one has to do is move on to new victims once the old victims have figured out that you cannot be trusted.  One must also be impervious to the feedback that one gets from those who have figured it out.  Most dishonest people are suffering from some combination of egotism, narcissism, and psychopathy, so the feedback simply bounces off their defense mechanisms.

One of the reasons dishonest people think that lying is proof of their intellectual superiority is that they often do get away with it more than other people would.  But, it is not intellectual superiority that enables them to do this--it is a lack of conscience.  This lack of conscience enables them to act the part flawlessly. 

The human brain is finely attuned to the nuances of human behavior.  The vast majority of people can sense when someone feels uncertain or guilty about what they are saying.  An honest person attempting to lie will give himself away by small signs of discomfort at having to lie.  A person who possesses little or no conscience will not show the same signs of dishonesty.  Consequently, his or her audience is more likely to believe the lies.

I have found that dishonesty and especially the attitude that it is some form of intelligence are often signs of pathological narcissism.  When observed in a religious person it should be taken as a serious warning regarding that person's utter lack of moral and ethical character.

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