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Honesty

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Also: Truthfulness, Candor

Honesty is saying what we know or suspect to be real, even when we don’t like the consequences. It is also much more.


Because most deception is actually self deception, true honesty requires that we recognize our natural human penchant for fooling ourselves. In particular, honesty requires that we guard against self-serving biases: our tendency to seek confirmation for what we already believe while ignoring contradictory evidence; our tendency to put blame on others and take credit for ourselves; our tendency to think that what is good for us is good for the world and even to make the gods themselves in our own image.


Honesty is a lifetime process of catching ourselves in falsehood and, however reluctantly, turning away from it.

Honesty