Invention of Lying

The “Invention of Lying” is a movie about people being brutally honest with others. Everyone tells the truth and nothing but the truth. The main character is an average overweight man with nothing going right in his life. One day he lost his job and got kicked out of his apartment because he could not pay the rent. That day he went to the bank to get all of his money out. With three hundred dollars left in his account, he told the bank teller that he actually had eight hundred dollars committing the first lie. The teller assumed that the bank must have made the mistake and he received the eight hundred dollars. From then on he continued to lie which brought him fortune and fame.

The movie brings up the ethical problem of lying and does it in a humorous way. Throughout the whole movie, people hold nothing back. If you’re ugly, people let you know. If you’re beautiful, people let you know. Everything in society seems to be a lot more boring than real life society. The movie mainly shows the life of someone who is average who lies their way to the top.

It made me think of the Enron case and Mike Daisy’s monologue. The heads of Enron lied about the earnings they were making to the general public. When profits were declining, they promised they were going up.  They paid off their auditors to lie about the numbers on their books. If there was a world where lying didn’t exist, would Enron have been around?

Mike Daisy lied during his monologue, which he promised to be true initially. Many people became enraged at his publicity on This American Life. Would Mike Daisy’s name even be known if lying didn’t exist?

Even though this movie was entertaining in the way it was made, it would be interesting to see the same idea for a movie dealing with corporations and how they would be run differently.



3 responses to “Invention of Lying

  1. I definitely think that this pop culture reference is spot on. I remember seeing this movie and it definitely made me laugh, especially with the addition of Ricky Gervais in it. The point you make is a great one though and the link with Enron is perfect. To answer your question, in my opinion, I don’t think Enron would have existed as a company for sure, but would not have grown to be as well known as it was without lying available. I’m sure this would be true for many other companies to date.

  2. This is a great example of a the extreme sets of standards by which a society could live. In this film, society’s extreme truth telling is at one end, whereas the protagonists lies are at the opposite end. Unfortunately, the real world is not so simple, and humans are not very good judges of all that gray area in between. This is where our problem with business ethics lies.

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