Originally posted by Doward
If a friend (say a woman) asks how she looks in a particular dress, and you say "great" but she really looks quite slutty (you lie to spare her feelings), and unbeknownst to you she is leaving for a job interview. She is denied employment because the hiring manager felt that she dressed unprofessionally for the interview. She should have been told the truth regardless of her feelings.
There are many ways of answering the question "how do I look?" without either lying or giving offence. For example, one could say "that blue dress suits you better", or "what are you dressed for?".
Some years ago I spent an extended time in Japan, and in our orientation period we were told that Japanese people generally do not like to say "NO", especially when it can be construed as criticism, rejection, or anything that would make the enquirer "lose face".
So, after having been told that the correct cultural behaviour was to bring a present (always confectionery!) when visiting someone, one day I wanted to bring the host's wife flowers instead of the prescribed sweets. I asked several people whether it would be socially acceptable for me to bring flowers. Without exception, everyone answered "it is better to bring sweets". NOBODY said "No, you should not bring flowers"!.
I haven't got an answer for the dilemme of P and S and people possibly dying. This is probably similar to AliG asking the vegetarian whether he would eat a KFC chicken. After a vehement "NEVER!" the question was: "What would you do if I told you to eat the chicken, and if not, I will kill THIS chicken!"
Bottom line: Honesty is always
the best policy.
Except when it is not....