Why do honest people have a lot of difficulties

"Everyone lies several times a day"

Doctors newspaper:"You shall not give false testimony about yourself against your neighbor" is the eighth commandment. Is that still up to date?

Christian Winkel: At a time when standards of value are increasingly being lost, it would be nice if we could become more aware of such a code of conduct. And that regardless of the religious orientation. Watering down values, brutalizing the language, something that already seemed to have been overcome is becoming socially acceptable again. We can orientate ourselves on binding values. Of course, people have always lied. Lying is a strategy for gaining a survival advantage. Lying can even help to connect groups in society more closely. So the lie is a kind of adaptation strategy - even with children.

Don't children lie much less often than adults?

Depends on. At the beginning of the 20th century, the psychologists Clara and William Stern undertook research into the development of child lying behavior based on observations made by their own children. For example, they assumed that children often only lie because their parents do not adequately explain what lies actually mean. You could also say: We raise our children to lie.

Even though we keep preaching to them to be honest?

For example, if the mother is depressed, you don't have to tell the child that everything is fine. That's a lie. Even if children have difficulty classifying complex issues and negative experiences, parents should help them understand these things, trust them more and be more open. This also helps to raise children to be honest people.

In the past, prominent liars, once convicted of cheating, publicly showed remorse. Today they often accuse their accusers of lying - can they get away with it?

This is not really a new story, the powerful in particular have always done it. In the age of the Internet, however, we are confronted with strategies of lies much more intensely than before. Today one can create more confusion and thereby lower inhibition thresholds. Generally speaking, pathological liars actually get away with their lies most of the time. Maybe this has something to do with a human weakness, our predilection for lies. If they come across as exciting and possibly personable, we tend to accept the lie as truth rather than question it.

So we like to be dazzled?

Clear! Just think of Captain von Koepenick. A uniform and his convincing demeanor were enough to follow him unconditionally. A white coat or the smart suit of an insurance agent also serves the same purpose. Although we can check almost anything these days, we still fall for lies. Appearance is often more interesting than being. We also love to lie to ourselves.

For what motives?

Mostly to maintain the image we have of ourselves. Due to a limited sense of self-worth and the associated lack of self-criticism, people tend to sell themselves mistakes as successes. Then others are quickly blamed for their own failure or others are accused of lying.

Is it correct that everyone, without exception, lies?

Yes, several times a day. Some lie out of necessity, others out of politeness, still others because of the pressure to conform within groups.

Then isn't every lie sinful?

No. First of all, we need to distinguish lies from false statements, as not everyone who makes a false statement is aware of it. Then we have to question the motives. If someone lies with the intention of manipulating another in order to gain advantage from it, then that is more reprehensible than if he wants to spare someone by lying.

What skills does a person need to be a good liar?

US researchers investigated the question of what distinguishes "liar brains" from "normal" brains and came to the exciting conclusion that pathological liars apparently have less gray matter in the prefrontal cortex than others. The prefrontal cortex is known to be our control over actions, decisions and morals. On the other hand, the "liar's brains" also had significantly more white matter - the connecting substance of the neurons, so to speak. Due to the larger network of cells, these people are apparently better able to make associative connections.

So good liars are more creative than others?

Yes, but of course not all creative people are good liars. Just as one cannot infer one's morality from one's intelligence and vice versa.

"Lies have short legs," is the popular saying. But doesn't the example of many a contemporary teach us, on the contrary, that lies are definitely worthwhile?

It is interesting that all major religions regard lies as reprehensible and harmful to humans. Even the expulsion from paradise was the result of a lie. In psychopathology one looks more at the background, the learning experiences, the behavior, the intention as well as the state of consciousness and mental state from which one lies. As already said, lies help people and groups to enforce their more or less selfish interests, but they also promote cohesion and can even comfort. For example, as a psychologist, if I want to help a client get over the loss of a close relative, I assure them that after a period of grief they will be better off when they return to life. Here you can ask yourself the legitimate question, how do I think I know that. Maybe going to the monastery would help him better.