And so we jump feet first into moral skepticism, the intellectual quagmire in which I have been stuck waist-deep for a few years. My arms are outstretched, if any theorists from other moral schools care to grasp them in a bid to free me from my prison. I invite you to heave-ho and extract me from this intellectual quicksand in the comments, though I suspect my colleague Marcus will likely try sabotage your efforts.
If you want to escape the quagmire then you might want to consider the consequences of moral skepticism.
Hume’s law challenges us by asking, “how exactly can an ‘ought’ be derived from an ‘is’?” Some accept the premise that the natural world fails to provide us with a definite method of justifying any system of morality. Even if we cannot derive “ought” from “is” we certainly can derive “is” from “ought”. Our moral principles determine how we treat others and how we treat ourselves.
If we are not given the freedom to write our own “ought statements” then we will never internalize the reality created by the “ought statements” given to us by society as our own. Our “is” will always belong to someone else, we will never own our reality and because we don’t own the reality that we live in, we reject the consequences associated with our actions when we rebel against what we “ought” to have done.
Perhaps the way one justifies a lie is when the individual feels that they “ought” to stand up for themselves and such an “ought” is greater than the “ought” imposed by others that was never internalized by the individual as being true. We must own the “ought” if we are to accept the “is”. We are willing to accept the consequences for our actions when our actions contradict the principles that we created to govern ourselves. We realize that our failure to live up to our own standards should produce unfavorable consequences. We are more willing to accept these consequences when we break the social order if we are given the opportunity to uphold the norms and values we institute for ourselves.