The True Value of Honesty

Oghenovo Obrimah, PhD
6 min readJan 4, 2020

You likely are familiar with the cliche, which declares:

Honesty is the best policy.

With the cliche in tow, honesty appears an unconditional virtue. Well, let us explore this notion of Honesty as an unconditional virtue.

First, let us consider context of Events. Within context of events, when a person is honest, inclusive of their very own actions, they recount what already has happened exactly as it transpired.

It is straightforward to see Honesty has nothing to do with the quality of an event, only with accuracy of rendition of an event. We have then that a recount of a murder by a murderer can be as honest as a recount of how a stranger jumped into a raging river for saving of a child. Regardless of the quality of the two events, there is feasibility of an honest recount of the event.

But which honest recount is appealing to society? The honest recount of saving of a child, or that of a grisly murder? We can go further, assert that society would be satisfied with proof of guilt, would eschew arrival at a honest recount of all of the grisly details of the murder.

Absent prior knowledge of quality of an event, the assertion that there was arrival at an honest account of the event does not induce deduction of the quality of the event.

There exist contexts within which a honest recount of details of an event is abhorrent to society.

It would appear that Honesty is not an Unconditional Virtue.

In context of a response to others, people who are honest state exactly what is in their minds. If they deem their wives fat, they state so, and damn the consequences. Suppose the deeming of a wife to be fat is in fact consistent with the evidence, meaning persons who are objective and who respond to an anonymous third party unanimously agree that a honest person’s wife indeed is fat.

Consider that the declaration by the honest person that his wife is fat merely acknowledges a status, does not embed any response from the honest…

Oghenovo Obrimah, PhD

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos