Which one of the following, if true, would most help to make the suggestion in passage A that a harmless pathological...

Manvir on October 20, 2019

Why is D wrong?

Could you please explain why D is wrong? Doesn't can't say right does not mean duty? And passage A does say that you have aright to lie to the pathological liar, but you shouldn't?

1 Reply

on October 23, 2019

Hello @manvir,

First, let's discuss what makes these two concepts incompatible.

About the pathological liar, Passage A says that there is not sufficient reason to lie to him. This means that his status as a liar does not give someone else the right to lie to him. Try to understand "right" in the context of the passage. We are talking about a moral right, not a right of free speech. In this sense, one does not have a right to lie.

The first paragraph of B says the opposite. A rational being invites their immoral actions onto themselves. In other words, a liar would grant others the right to lie to him. Kant does not say anything about duty. We need to stick to the Kantian argument from the first paragraph. We are only talking about rights, so D does not resolve this dispute.

Now, under what circumstances can these seemingly conflicting arguments agree? If a pathological liar cannot be considered rational. If that is the case, Kant's argument no longer applies. Kant might agree that there is no right to lie to the pathological liar, just as passage A does.