Thursday, September 15, 2011
Liar, liar, pants on fire! This succinct bit of doggerel was a favourite when I was a child as siblings or classmates told a fib. Apparently we all lie and if we say that we don't then, well, we're liars. Even though we exhort our children to tell the truth, hardly a day goes by when we don't engage in some form of deception, dissimulation, or avoidance in the form of lies. Some of them are relatively small: "yes, you look great in that!" or "cute baby!" or "nothing to declare." But people regularly engage in the biggies which bring down careers and destroy relationships. We do seem programmed to be less than honest.
I saw the other day that a new technology has been unwrapped in Britain, which is being called an emotion detector. Not a motion detector, that annoying sensor that activates a light with every passing racoon in your neighbours backyard, or a polygraph machine which police sometimes use. This gizmo can read faces:
We give our emotions away in our eye movements, dilated pupils, biting or pressing together our lips, wrinkling our noses, breathing heavily, swallowing, blinking and facial asymmetry. And these are just the visible signs seen by the camera. Even swelling blood vessels around our eyes betray us, and the thermal sensor spots them too.
God help us! Of course in the New Testament book of Ephesians we're told: "So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbours, for we are members of one another." When we lie we break down trust in our relationships, including with God, which can't always be repaired.
So, what are your thoughts on lying. The truth now!