According to an article in Wikipedia,
The philosophers St. Augustine, as well as St. Thomas Aquinas and Immanuel Kant, condemned all lying. However, Thomas Aquinas also had an argument for lying. According to all three, there are no circumstances in which one may ethically lie. Even if the only way to protect oneself is to lie, it is never ethically permissible to lie even in the face of murder, torture, or any other hardship. Each of these philosophers gave several arguments against lying, all compatible with each other. Among the more important arguments are:
- Lying is a perversion of the natural faculty of speech, the natural end of which is to communicate the thoughts of the speaker.
- When one lies, one undermines trust in society.
I think lying is one of humanity's greatest crimes. Yet there are situations where I would lie.
Chief among these is self-preservation. For example, if someone attempts to mug me, I might tell them that I have a gun (even if I don't).
I also believe in fighting fire with fire. If someone wants to make up stories about me, I'll smear them in return. To put it another way, I don't care to play games where I'm forced to play be the rules that everyone else breaks. If the government and media are going to lie, I have no objection to using strategic lies to attack them in return.
Another example is warfare. You don't tell the enemy you're going to attack Point A at noon on Monday. You falsely claim you're going to attack Point B on Wednesday.
What notable philosophers or philosophical doctrines support my view that lying is acceptable or even necessary under certain circumstances?