We should not defend lying in PR, Marketing, Advertising, or Salesmanship

No, it is not OK to lie, and it is not OK to be lied to. If we decide to lie, but call it

Public Relations,
Marketing,
Advertising, or
Salesmanship

that doesn’t change anything. To pretend it does is just covering our lies with a lie to ourselves.

But our society is used to thinking that, if done under one of these names, lying isn’t lying. It is OK. We think it is OK to be lied to in the name of one of these causes, and it is OK to lie in one of these causes. We don’t feel offended if advertisers lie to us. We don’t feel like we have been treated dishonestly. We feel it has justification simply because it was an advertisement, or public relations.

In fact, we defend their lies. If I say a corporate public relations statement is a lie, someone else might say “Well, come on, you can’t expect them to just fess up to the truth.”

But we should expect the truth. We shouldn’t lie, and we shouldn’t defend lying.

The commandments do not say “thou shalt not lie except for commercial gain or public appeal”. We are commanded “thou shalt not lie”. Quite a few of the lists of who will suffer in hell include the liars. It really is one of the commandments.

The Book of Mormon warns that in the last days there will be many who will say lie a little, dig a pit for your neighbor, there is no harm in this. But it warns that these are ideas inspired by the adversary, designed to lead men to destruction.

We should not be OK lying. We should not be OK with being lied to.

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