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If A, consciously, reports false data to B, and B (or anyone else) has no way to verify, then no one can make the statement, "A lied". So, there exists no such person with respect to whom A lied.

Hypothetically, in a system, if we can inject synthetic data, and make everyone believe in its truth, what happens to the idea of 'lying'? Doesn't it become a sort of Truth if we can effectively manage people to believe in it? It seems to me, no matter how hard, it should be possible to create a web of false beliefs where everyone believes in something synthetic.

Can this be done to machines?

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    What does it mean for a machine to believe? And in your scenarios A knows (s)he lied, or it wouldn't be a lie, and so do "we". On realist conceptions the truth is verification-transcendent, so it makes no difference even if no one can claim "A lied" (let's say A got amnesia), A lied anyway. – Conifold Feb 4 at 7:26
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    Yes we can make computers lie. And this kind of undetected lie is what history is made of. Look up the term 'gaslighting'. It's not often reported that the Persians promised to sack Athens.. and did. What's reported is the battle of Thermopile. Grand.. undetected lies are more common than truths by my estimation. – Richard Feb 4 at 10:26
  • So you've discovered the secret to politics? They'll be coming for you. - But seriously, A is still someone who can report the lie therefore the 'truth' is not beyond dispute within the domain of interest. – christo183 Feb 4 at 17:05
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    But you say A knows he is reporting false data. He knows that data are false. Therefore, it seems wrong that no one else can can verify the statement. But the last question is some kind of plot twist. – rus9384 Feb 5 at 12:30
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This is an interesting question but there are, I think, a number of loose ends.

Definitions

   L1. Lying can be a matter of knowing something, typically a statement or set of statements, S1, to be false and intending by the actual use of some means of communication to deceive another person into believing that S1 is true.

   L2. Lying can also be a matter of believing something, typically a statement or set of statements, S1, to be false and intending by the actual use of some means of communication to deceive another person into believing that S1 is true. Or to forestall objections turning on the distinction of knowledge and belief :

   L3 Lying is a matter of either knowing or (if there is no knowledge but only belief) believing something, typically a statement or set of statements, S1, to be false and intending by the actual use of some means of communication to deceive another person into believing that S1 is true.

I’ll work with 3.

Verificationist theory of truth

   1.Are you assuming that if B (or anyone else) has no way to verify what A has reported, then since truth is verification-dependent in the manner of logical positivism or of Dummett’s more sophisticated anti-realism, A has not said anything with a truth-value – true or false ? But in that case, since nobody, even A, can verify what A has reported, it has no truth value and what A has said cannot ex hypothesi be false. A cannot have reported false data under the conditions of the truth theory you are using.

   2.On such a truth theory, if lying involves an intention to deceive, and not necessarily success in deception, then A can still have lied to B. A might not know that the data s/he has reported is incapable of verification, so even if A cannot make a false statement, A can still intend to deceive B – hence lie.

   3.In a web of false beliefs, it would still be possible for A to intend to deceive B, and so lie, if A intended to cause B to have a false belief about a false belief.

Realist theory of truth

   4.On a realist theory of truth, on which truth is verification- independent if A, either knowing or (if there is no knowledge but only belief) believing something, typically a statement or set of statements, S1, to be false and intending by the actual use of some means of communication to deceive another person into believing that S1 is true, then A lies ex hypothesi regardless of whether S1 is verifiable in fact or in principle.

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Let us first define lie, and determine what does and what does not count as a lie. In order for one to lie, one must report false data and they know that they are reporting false data.

One is not lying if one thinks that they are saying the truth.

I think that answers your question, A is lying if A is reporting false data and A knows that.

Which implies that A is lying with respect to A. Since they cannot lie without knowing that they are lying.

Sure one can be wrong and report false data without knowing it, but that does not count as a lie, since lying is a deliberate act.

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If A, consciously, reports false data to B, and B (or anyone else) has no way to verify, then no one can make the statement, "A lied". So, there exists no such person with respect to whom A lied.

Just because no one can verify something doesn't mean it didn't occur.

No one can verify your thoughts, so does that mean you never think?

If you know you lied, then you can make the statement "I lied". Whether you say that out loud or not, the person you lied to is still a person.

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