Abstract: The view that lying is morally worse than merely misleading is a very natural one, which has had many prominent defenders. Nonetheless, here I will argue that it is misguided: holding all else fixed, acts of mere misleading are not morally preferable to acts of lying, and successful lying is not morally worse than merely deliberately misleading. In fact, except in certain very special contexts, I will suggest that – when faced with a felt need to deceive – we might as well just go ahead and lie.
Comment: This text can be used to inspire a discussion on general ethical issues and the practical application of moral theories. It is particularly useful in teaching applied professional ethics. It works well when used together with Clea F. Rees' "Better Lie!"