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So, riffing off this question, who would be the best at lying (not getting caught) in a culture where lying is a way of life? What strategies would an individual use to effectively get away with deception, given such a culture?

In cultures where we roundly condemn lying, we actually lie a lot and then lie about the fact that we lie. In this culture, they acknowledge that lies are social grease--they expect people to exaggerate things and make themselves look better. They expect merchants to lie to them, and they expect to have to call them on it (if it effects the price). This is not to say that they are dishonest about everything, but they treat lying as a skill--not something you should always do, if truth would better serve, but something that you should teach your children to do well, so they can get on in the world.

Here are the techniques I have so far, for our master liars in a culture of lies:

  • Establish yourself as not creative enough to lie, or not bright enough to. Choose carefully when to lie and do it well when the time comes.
  • Establish yourself as a bad liar with lots of tells, purposefully getting caught on most lies, until such time as you need to be believed.
  • Tell the truth, but make sure that it seems as though you are lying, either through careful use of sarcasm ("Yes, I have the criminals right here, hiding in my root cellar.") or seeming insanity, or that you are trying to make yourself more important than you are. If they expect everyone to lie, sometimes the truth isn't believed. The master liar works with that.

NO, it is not a duplicate. In THE OTHER question, I asked how a culture that expects lying might be viewed by other cultures that see lying differently. In THIS question, I ask: who would be the best at lying (not getting caught) in a culture where lying is a way of life? What strategies would an individual use to effectively get away with deception, given such a culture? WHICH IS NOT THE SAME. I threw in a quote from the first question to explain the culture.

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  • $\begingroup$ @SandyBeach NO, it is not a duplicate. In THE OTHER question, I asked how a culture that expects lying might be viewed by other cultures that see lying differently. In THIS question, I ask: who would be the best at lying (not getting caught) in a culture where lying is a way of life? What strategies would an individual use to effectively get away with deception, given such a culture? WHICH IS NOT THE SAME. I threw in a quote from the first question to explain the culture. Please delete your comment that it's a duplicate. $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Jan 12 '17 at 1:11
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    $\begingroup$ Then someone will invent the perfect lie, the truth, becasue nobody will believe it is the truth. $\endgroup$ – John Jan 12 '17 at 1:18
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    $\begingroup$ Lying is good... for backache I swear! $\endgroup$ – user6760 Jan 12 '17 at 1:59
  • $\begingroup$ If you are voting to close this as a duplicate of a question by the same user who clearly states that this is a followup to the other question (in the original edit, too), then you are improperly using your close voting authority. Please read questions more carefully before voting to close. That being said, there is an argument to be made that this question is too broad... $\endgroup$ – kingledion Jan 12 '17 at 2:03
  • $\begingroup$ @kingledion There is, if you are looking at the way we lie in standard cultures--trying to get a bead on what, specifically, might be different for good liars in a culture of where lying is expected. How could they get away with it and not get caught lying given this framework of expectation? What would they do differently/better than standard liars in regular culture?So far, nobody's come close to answering it. This isn't a question of how to get away with lying in a standard culture. Then it would be too broad. If you think it would all be the same, then, yes. $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Jan 12 '17 at 2:50
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I once tried to create a similar culture to the one you describe, and the only way I found that allowed it to "work" (such that it was still possible for people to trust each other enough for society to function) was if many of the lies were truths stated deceptively. The person who can deceive another by stating the truth is a master liar.

In our own cultures this is fairly simple, because people are quite trusting, but a society that expects lies would be harder to deceive. If ability to mislead is seen as an admirable trait, there would be a great amount of tolerance for creativity in speech; a lie that consisted of the truth would naturally need to be more indirect and meandering than an earnest truth, and so the key would be to always speak in such a way that you could be lying in this manner. That way, nobody would notice when you started lying with the truth. Direct answers would most likely be rare, and the mark of a simpleton. The best liars would be those who sounded slightly dubious all the time, even when telling you the time. This would not even seem remarkable in a society where people expect to be lied to.

We can see analogues in our own societies. You mention merchants, and if you read any press release by a company you'll most likely find it to be suspect, but won't find anything strange about that. These press releases generally use language in such a way that they're actually pretty opaque -- you couldn't say without any other information whether one was truthful or not. In fact the expectation that merchants must be held to a basic standard of honesty is extremely recent in human history, and by no means universal.

Edit: I just want to clarify my last point. Merchants have always been held to a very basic standard of honesty, as early law codes pay lip service to this notion, but it seems they were free in every practical sense to make all sorts of false claims about their products. This still happens in marketplaces all over the world.

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Incorporate as much truth as possible, but be misleading instead of outright lying, use double entendre wherever possible and broad terms. Use weasel words to add to the obfuscation further.

"I think that we should consider the possibility of hiring another person like mr smith immediately as this could actually help fight questionable hiring practices and create a greater synergy as we need to be proactive rather than reactive because at the end of the day, if we move the goalposts back, we can actualize our achievement matrix"

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  1. Abuse confirmation bias, tell them a story that they want to be true. These are always the most believable lies, it's very hard to convince people they're not true, as we know from current news stories. A quirk is that people who have swallowed the lie wholeheartedly will often become even more convinced of its truth if shown that it is false.

  2. Tell the most outrageous stories, people know they're lies but they're too much fun to look into too much.

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It seems that in a culture of liars, anyone who wanted to be believed would have to constantly produce evidence, alibis, confirmations from third parties. So a master liar would be someone who has a good social network of people willing to help him (e.g. to confirm his lies), access to resources he could use as evidence, be good at twisting evidence to fit his lies and be good at coming up with lies that fit the so-called evidence while still serving his purpose.

Ironically, the people he needs to help him have to be people he can trust, so he needs to be good at using the usual means of controlling people (bribes, bullying/intimidation, emotional blackmail, deal-making, etc.)

He might also be good at manipulating people into receiving his false information without actually outright telling them (e.g. tricking them into thinking they figured it out for themselves), again using his resources to plant false evidence. People are more likely to believe something if they think they know it thanks to their own ingenuity in figuring it out.

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I would say all of them, different people would do it differently. Just look at our society. Some people lie by being very charming, others answer truthfully but leave out the truth such as "No i did not eat that apple" (as i cant eat an apple in a photograph).

I would look at people in our world and what they do, google con artists and "cowboys" who con people, that would be a good start to get an idea of where a master like this would come from.

i don't think so, the way i see it is if everyone is always lying and being dishonest then it would be unlikely to meet people who are naive and could easily be conned.

I think there would be some more easily conned but your find some more paranoid than others, perhaps other people do everything in writing so if someone lies you can go "here i have your email / signed document saying you agreed to do XYZ for me". The society could become very lawyer and contract facing and even with contracts people could easily deceive someone with long winded contracts or "miswordings" ;)

I don't think people would be easier to con as most would expect some sort of deception, its just perhaps the lies are grander and better for some, its an interesting question though.

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  • $\begingroup$ I know what those people do--and have looked through the various cons such as the Fiddle Game and the Glim Drop, may be worked maybe a little differently in this society, because these people EXPECT lies all the time. That's what I want answered. The two mentioned actually count on the mark being dishonest...as most cons do, but in this culture, they expect lying, so would they be harder to con in the first place? $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Jan 11 '17 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ @ErinThursby i don't think so, the way i see it is if everyone is always lying and being dishonest then it would be unlikely to meet people who are naive and could easily be conned. I'll update my answer with more detail. $\endgroup$ – Sandy Jan 11 '17 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ There's an old saying in con-artist circles "You can't con an honest man" which works on longer cons but not on shorter ones. $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Jan 12 '17 at 18:03

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