This is the topic for a debate i am attending in a few days.I am to contend with the view that ,"it is not fair to be honest in the midst of utter corruption".
I read a beautifull quote by Chanakya which says, "never be too honest, for, the tallest of trees are cut first, and, the most honest people are the first to fall".
Please help me support my view!...
I am in an urgent situation!!
Being honest, in the current political environment, can immediately put you at a disadvantage. Walter Mondale told us he would raise taxes to pay for the deficit in 1984, and he was thumped in the election. Ron Paul sticks to his philosophical guns, whether you agree with him or not, and he is continually shunned by the media and the Republican establishment for it. We are often a fickle society that votes emotionally instead of practically or rationally, and irrational voters often do not reward honesty.
This debate topic seems a bit confusing to me in the way that it is worded. "It is not wise to be honest in the midst of utter corruption" or "It is not fair to demand honesty in the midst of utter corruption" seems to make more sense. I guess the idea of the debate is that being honest in the midst of corruption places one at a disadvantage.
I don't agree with that philosophy, but for the purpose of your debate, consider this analogy. For a game to be fair, everyone must play by the same set of rules. A corrupt person plays by a different set of rules--his own--or no rules at all. An honest person, then, plays with a definite disadvantage. While he is restricted in following all the rules, the corrupt person is bound by no restrictions at all. It is not a level playing field.
When speaking of corruption, we can take many areas of consideration int account, a popular one being law enforcement. When an individual is arrested and charged with a crime, it is common that they are treated in an unfair way regardless of how innocent or how honest they may be in explaining their situation to the arresting officer. Depending on the officers mood, experience and level of ethnics and morality, a person relating honest events leading to the arrest may unwisely be giving information to be used later on against them in court. There are countless situations like this where lawyers have advised clients to keep silent. Officers could lie about the situation, fabricate evidence, blackmail witnesses all of which could lead to an unfair conviction. This is only one example of how honesty can affect a person in an unfair way.
In response to post #4, it is worthwhile to note that a game is defined by the rules of the game. If no player follows the rule of the game, they are not playing the same game. They are engaging in some other activity. Similarly when everyone in the society engages in only corrupt activities, the society will not exist.
When some people cheat, it is an unfair game. When everyone cheats, it is not the same game at all. So if you want to play a game it is best to try and find ways of eliminating or, at least, reducing cheating. Of course, there are persons who have interest in only winning and no interest in playing the game. Everyone must choose for himself what he or she wants - just win or enjoy a game.
A very interesting topic for discussion.
I am not sure if Chanakya really said what is attributed to him in the post #1. Chanakya is known more for his advice on controlling corruption rather than promoting corruption. Focus of Chanakya was on assuring effective administration of affairs of state for well being of the state as a whole. If everyone in the society followed the advice sch as "never be honest", it will lead to destruction of society. If every one steals steals food from others, and no one produces any food, then there will be no food available for stealing, and the whole society will die of hunger.