I just finished a book called “Frozen Sun” by Stan Jones. I don’t know if it was intended as a lesson in human behavior, but I got one. In the book, if anyone had believed in what was said by a main character, at any point in the character’s life, the story would have been entirely different. I won’t say whether there was any truth to the character’s statements. You may wish to read the book. But it got me thinking about all the times that someone who has been shown to lie once, is considered to be discredited forever.
I don’t know if you have lied. I certainly have. In fact, I don’t believe that there has ever been a person who has not lied. Some lies are automatic. “Did you do your homework?” “Yes.” That’s just one that most children have told. But there are many others, an infinite variety, many perfectly innocent, or meant to protect feelings. Things you answer to your partner of your views about another, possibly a competitor. The seriousness of a lie depends on its motive, its impact, and how normal it is. Disqualification from being believed in the future, or about any other topic is probably silly, and potentially very harmful.
In literature, and probably in real life, telling a lie to a law enforcement officer is taken to be an admission of guilt. The only reasonable response when confronted with such a situation, and a response that will be promptly ignored, is “haven’t you ever lied?” Think about it.