1.) "If you believe that deceivers are colorful folk who mislead with elaborate lies and tall tales, you are greatly mistaken."

2.) "If you yearn for power, quickly lay honesty aside, and train yourself in the art of concealing your intentions."

Hey guys, I was unable to understand what this one author meant by these quotes, even as directly stated. I was wondering if you're able to explain.

For the first quote, does it mean that Deceivers do not try as much when deceiving, as in telling a simple lie, Rather than taking the time and wasting their time in coming up with a perfect detailed lie? Does he intend to say that the best deceiver is the one that gets to the point and keeps things quick resulting in better success rate of his own interests? Or could it mean that the best deceivers lie by not telling the whole truth resulting in my next question..

2.) Although overall, it's a bad case to be caught lying. What do you think of not lying, yet not telling the full truth either? Is this another alternative? Is there a certain term for this?

I would appreciate some feedback.

closed as primarily opinion-based by tchrist, Hot Licks, JHCL, Mitch, JEL Oct 20 '15 at 4:07

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Just a random thought, but if #1 had been “… just or simply colorful folk …” then for me it would be clear that it’s “just/simply” the author saying that such people aren’t to be viewed as “colorful folk,” but rather as something worse (evil people, perhaps ?). Even without “just/simply,” however, I still read it like this, as if the “just/simply” are still there and “simply/just” ellipted. – Papa Poule Oct 18 '15 at 17:37
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    Can I request that you edit the title of your question? "Is there an art to lying?" might be an interesting topic, but would be thoroughly opinion-based and therefore off-topic. I don't think that's what you're asking though, so it would be a good idea to clarify. – JHCL Oct 18 '15 at 17:54
  • I agree, the title must be changed. It has nothing to do with what he put in his question body... – Nihilist_Frost Oct 18 '15 at 18:49
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    I frankly can't tell what you're asking. If there is a question there, it is exceedingly broad. – Hot Licks Oct 18 '15 at 21:15
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    @HotLicks He seems to be bringing up three different questions under one umbrella... – Nihilist_Frost Oct 18 '15 at 22:57

Regarding the title; yes, an art of lying exists, one of the many arts of deception. Danny addresses the title nicely.

First sentence means that deceivers are much more subtle than you think, and not like the classic ridiculous, tall-tale-telling liar.

Second sentence means that honesty and other "honorable" traits don't get you very far in a world of dirty tricks, questionable decisions, loads of big secrets, etc. and so you should learn how to play with such tricks, decisions and secrets in order to prosper.

And for

2.) Although overall, it's a bad case to be caught lying. What do you think of not lying, yet not telling the full truth either? Is this another alternative? Is there a certain term for this?

The term for this is half-truth.

  • Nice answer, I'll wait and see if there are more opinions, and if not, then up vote yours – rhondyharrisbitch Oct 18 '15 at 21:14

According to Sam Harris, lying is a form of deception, but not all deceptions are lies. Men deceive with Just For Men facial hair coloring. But this isn't a lie. Many deceptions are not explicit lies. Furthermore, any intent to falsify the listeners reality is a lie. I would read Sam Harris' Lying and Frankfurt's On Bullshit for an amazing treatise on lying and bullshiting.

  • To answer your question, there is an art to lying. But the art of deception has greater depth and dynamics. – Danny Rodriguez Oct 18 '15 at 21:24

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