Looking for an Honest Person
It was the famous Greek philosopher and cynic Diogenes who went around the streets of Athens, lantern in hand, looking for an honest person. This was over two thousand years ago, but I presume that Diogenes would have as little success in his search today. Lying seems to be an integral weakness of mortal character – I doubt that few human beings would be so brash as to claim that they have never in their lives told at least a partial untruth. Indeed, one philologist goes so far as to theorize language must have been invented for the sole purpose of deception. Perhaps so. It is certainly true that animals seem somewhat more honest than humans, maybe because they are less gifted mentally. Why do people lie? To increase their sense of importance, to escape punishment, to gain an end that would otherwise be denied them, out of long-standing habit, or sometimes because they actually do not know the differences between fact and fancy.