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Is not telling the whole truth, morally the same as lying ? For example. Most priests and clergy, in the mainstream churches, if not on the evangelical fringe, learn a lot about the history of the bible during their training. Such as the fact, not disputed by the mainstream churches, that the gospels were originally anonymous, the names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John only being added after two plus centuries, for no good reason, and moreover, based on no good evidence.

Yet how many people sitting in the pews, are aware of that, fairly important you would think, bit of history about their holy book, and more importantly, how often do the clergy attempt to tell them ? Therefore I ask. Does silence and inaction, when you can correct misunderstanding, equate morally to lying ? Especially when you stand to gain (money in the plate, nice easy job of work, cute choir boys, nice art in the workplace etc. ) from it.

And does a con stop being a con after eighteen centuries ?

Fernapple 9 Apr 9

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There is a lot of deception perpetrated by the clergy. The Gov't should prosecute their crimes.


Let's pare it down and talk about where we think the line in the sand is where we determine that betrayal stops being betrayal. Distorting truth by omitting information or telling an outright lie all boil down to influencing someone to believe something that is not true. Where's the line we can draw to determine when it's moral to do or not do this?

Deb57 Level 8 Apr 17, 2021

Many priests and other clergy men are not there for any truth but for the glory, power and money and a very nice lifestyle, thank you very much.


I first heard the expression "I am not lying just being economical with the truth " being spouted by a Westminster politician, and I think it would fit the stuff spouted by the clergy as well.


In my most honest opinion, just like Politicians, Lawyers and the like, Priests could NOT tell the TRUTH even IF their lives depended upon it.


i think the problem might be that you only start talking about forgery once you have insisted upon a literal reading, and looking for facts, like the (other kind) of believers do? So you end up being a believer yourself, of an opposite sort/fact, right?

So, if you can examine why you prefer to believe what you do, it might be a little clearer why it could be a good idea to let believers be believers; we likely have really only the thinnest of veneers of civility on our behavior as it is, and anyone who believes that they might become an immortal--pretty gratuitous, you gotta admit eh--just prolly doesn't have your moral compass yet?

i mostly wonder what the author might say to someone who acknowledges right up front that the bible is mythology, and is not even trying very hard to be a literal history book, but rather a store of wisdom

The next time you read some sportsing story about a team getting "annihilated" or "massacred," understand that you are equally being "lied to" ok

It is fine to regard it as metaphore, but is it fine to not be truthful about how you regard it.

@Fernapple well i guess it might seem that way, only it is prolly not that simple, and preachers are just conflicted ppl who have kids too, gotta eat too, etc. And who prolly realize the dangers of telling white ppl the truth, to boot. Seems weird, i know, but telling ppl (who are not ready) the truth is a bad idea, usually anyway

so what about when you got a bunch that want to be lied to, what then? Plus i imagine that most of the gnostics expressing some knowledge--k copeland et al--prolly actually believe their own bs anyway lol

same goes for scribes, who have translated our bibles into english. They were of course all staunch "believers," even chosen based upon that metric, and this is reflected in their poor choice of xlations, as any lexicon quickly makes clear; "lord" is an Englyshe land-holder, and possibly the very worst xlation for Yah, etc


...same as lying? Short answer: essentially yes. And passage time alone solidifies the con, quite the opposite of helping it melt away.

i dunno, could a site like "" even have flourished 50 years ago, in America? France maybe. Imo if you reveal too much to believers you're just gonna get some other religion anyway, fascism prolly, which i guess is gonna happen anyway, but an important point might be that you saw the con, right, i see the con, the con is easy to find in the bible even ("shearing sheep," etc), so while it might sound weird i suggest that this "con" actually makes an agnostic life much easier maybe. Sheep need a religion imo, at least until they don't; or, what @xenoview is saying, below?

are you "pisteuo" elsewhere, bac?

@bbyrd009 your response made me realize my answer is not correct in every situation. I still picture scenarios in which it is, but that depends in part on how one means "the whole truth." By some measures, there are countless layers of knowledge and understanding, and therefore the "whole" truth is impossible to reach. Similarly, "truth" implies more than factual reality, because it connotates some value-laden meaning, which has to agree with factual reality but also adds to that subjectivity in the form of those values. In these cases, my former statement is wrong.

But these cases are not what I was referring to. I meant intentionally attempting to distort and mislead through omission of known factual knowledge, with the understanding that will lead to an altered conclusion. Similarly, omitting certain known facts because they incon-veeen-iently contradict your own pet narrative....THAT is equivalent to a con job or propaganda.

@MikeInBatonRouge word
not sure that a hypocrite is even able to see their hypocrisy most of the time tho; iow they likely believe their own bs most times? dunno


. . . a very good read :



The con never stops being one just because it's very old. Some people will lie when the truth would be better. They lie because it benefits them.

I suppose it would depend on why. If you're not telling the whole truth because it's not relevant and is nobody's business, then it's fine. If you're withholding information for your own benefit, that someone needs in order to make a decision regarding their own well being, then that's dishonest and despicable.

@Deb57 and if you are not trying to present literal facts at all, but rather telling a deliberately fictional story--a la Dao or something--in order to make a point or embody some cultural wisdom, only ppl insist upon reading it literally, what then, iyo?

how is it you did not know I was not talking about bread?

@bbyrd009 If that's what one is doing, then it would benefit them to be honest about the fact that they are relating fiction.

@Deb57 well, you say "fiction," when it is maybe possible/likely that it is more like exaggerating to make a point? Or, i have also heard that under Roman rule the authors had to be more circumspect, and use terms that locals would get while Romans would not, hence "mule" for Vespasian (known as "the muleteer" ) and etc

so, to a contemporary, "Jesus" (the most common male name then) "...of Nazareth" (which was unpopulated at the time) would have surely been heard completely differently by a local than we regard it now

but also you might consider that a contemporary audience just would have read those differently, having a diff perspective; if i were to write "The Red Sox annihilated the Yankees yesterday" and you found out later no one actually died, was i "lying" to you?

Conquest genre was the norm then i guess, OT, and ppl understood how to read it; iow making statements like "this is fiction" would have been pointless at the time, just like if you added that to the sportsing thing there above maybe

@bbyrd009 I think most literate people, assuming they are sharing fluency in a common language, can make the distinction between hyperbole and a deliberate untruth. Let's hope so, anyway. Dynamic goalposts aside, dishonesty for the purpose of deception is never okay.

@Deb57 oh, i dunno; im pretty sure i could imagine a scenario in which you would agree the deception was totally ok?

@bbyrd009 wishing you luck in the attempt. Honesty is a biggie with me.

@Deb57 well, to be relevant to the point here i guess it would involve someone, some pastor, who has basically been lied to all through seminary, coming to the realization himself, only maybe not having the same conviction we do yet, tried telling the truth once and lost a bunch, etc, something like that

@bbyrd009 that's regrettable. I have actually known of people who have chosen the clergy as a profession and lost their belief. They had to make a moral choice: keep lying for money, or find another means of support. Living with truth can sometimes be the harder journey, but it's seldom the wrong one.


If your intention is that someone should believe that which is untrue, and your actions are intended to bring that about, then you are being dishonest.

How, fundamentally, can "I want him to believe X even though it's not true - so I will tell him X is true" be inherently different to "I want him to believe X even though it's not true - so I will fail to tell him X isn't true"?

This "silence isn't a lie" position is not really meaningful. It's an excuse. A deliberate fraud. It's purpose is to allow the dishonest to be dishonest, while allowing them to be dishonest about their dishonesty.

Yep, that is how I see it.

Well said.

again, that only works if one is seeking literal facts, like believers do
but sure

@bbyrd009 But then you have, as often happens with religion, stuff that is not 'literal fact' being presented as literal fact.

Back to the original post - the 'Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John' are actively presented as being literally the writings of four known people called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

That is not honest.

@ToakReon ok, but "actively presented" by whom? Run from those ppl imo, he who says that he knows anything, does not yet know as he ought

@bbyrd009 Being actively presented by a church that knows it isn't true, and has known for centuries.

@ToakReon ah, well then why call it a "church?" just bc the deceived do?

@bbyrd009 I used the word 'church' because that is the commonly accepted term for a christian gathering or entity.

@ToakReon sure, i understand; it just kinda forces an airing of the scriptural def of church, which is not that, wadr

and fwiw the Bible is very plain about those who will come in and corrupt, I know the wolves will rush in as soon as I leave, not sparing the flock et al


All for the love of money and power


It seems to me to equate with the zero-sum (winning and losing ) game and by omitting information it is ensured that the other party are losers. The ancient Egyptian priests were able to observe the rising water levels in underground wells and thereby they could predict a flooding of the Nile and elevate themselves to the status of godlike figures in the minds of the rest of the population.

There are those who can always find ' reasons ' for not disclosing information to others, however, it seems to me that whatever way you cut it, it remains an act of deception. The only exception that I can think of is a government withholding secrets from it's citizens in times of war.


for that imo you would have to be in possession of the information that has been omitted, or at least be able to characterize it; are you able to do that?
No son of man may die for another's sins
No one has ever gone up to heaven
There is only one immortal
He who seeks to save his soul shall lose it
All go to the same place


As a general question, I think the morality of not telling the whole truth depends on the intented outcome. Someone could withhold telling something embarrassing about themselves or someone else. Not every detail of someone's life needs to be exposed for all to see.

With the church, however, I had similar questions after reading several of Bart Ehrman's books addressing the issues you mention. Learning these details in seminary were part of his deconversion from fundamentalist Christianity. I would have to say that the opportunities of educated clergy would have plenty of opportunity to reveal the information in question, so their deception of parishioners would have to be an ongoing one - not just one falsehood but many over a long period of time. This is a different story.

however "telling people the truth" usually doesnt work out so good i guess


If they conceded that, they would be forced to also concede that there is precious little historical evidence for Jesus. So they have chosen the path of fantasy history.

Which they then present as real history, to the victims sitting in the pews.

@Fernapple well, you found--ok, you rejected the lie, if you have not found the actual truth yet--and many others have rejected it, and the bible itself is plain enough on the matter, to anyone who reads it, so maybe victims just need to be victims a little longer?

I mean by all means rip on reality for as long as you need to ok, i see maybe fiveten more years of this for you? But reality is not going to change imo, all that will change is that the entire congregation of your last "church" will have turned over, prolly, and a new crop of "believers" will be listening to the same stories without hearing them, too

fishermen are like the least religious ppl ever eh, try selling fishermen that yack lol


When I was younger it was generally assumed that the gospels were written by their namesakes. Likewise it was assumed that Moses, Abraham, and David were real people. Today none of that holds up. Is the clergy lying? Yes, but they always did lie. It's just a bit harder to get others to believe the lies today.


A con is a con, no matter how long it lasts, or how many people believe the lie.

Personally, I find the entire concept of religion to be inherently immoral.

Stupid and ridiculous as well!!


The whole Christian religion is based on a lie. I think priest believe it. They've been indoctrinated since birth.

Yes, but do they, they are in many ways the best informed people about religions history. They must surely to some degree be doing a tapdance around the truth they do not want out in the open.

@Fernapple They believe what they've been taught to believe is true.

ALL religions. No exceptions.

ha but what happens when you tell (white) people the truth lol?

@CuddyCruiser rolleyes bc hindus and daoists are just terrible right lol

@barjoe "They believe what they've been taught to believe is true."
wadr preachers figure it out all of the time, too, and either gloss it to keep their comfy lives, or start telling the truth and lose their congregations (usually), and narf there is even a passage for this in the Bible

@Fernapple "They must surely to some degree be doing a tapdance around the truth they do not want out in the open."
ha who gonna pay 10% (meant for the community storehouse anyway) of their income for "No one has ever gone up to heaven?" The very best cure for suckers is to get fleeced i guess
weird, i know

aight, my apologies for spamming your thread out lol, peace

@bbyrd009 You aren't making any sense. I hope you have a nice day at church tomorrow.

@barjoe well wadr i'm maybe not making any sense to you, but then you could ask clarifying questions if you really wanted to get at the sense, could you not?
As to your second sentence, talk about not making any sense! 🙂
but assuming you meant "in church tomorrow," "Church" is not a place anyway i guess, like believers think it is, but regardless i hope you have a nice day "in church" tomorrow too, if that is your thing

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