Walk with a real man one hundred yards and he’ll tell you at least seven lies.~Hagakure
We all lie. Many of us lie about even the truth of that.
What becomes important, and with the theme of reference points and effectiveness, is the lies we tell and to whom, when, and how “big” those lies are etc.
With addicts “non-addicts” can draw the line quite easy, and this is somewhat fair in relation to trust or “predictability”. We need a certain reasonable amount of probability of certain outcomes to consider certain co-operation gainful. People that lie a lot and especially in big ways don’t fulfill this requirement.
It is quite reasonable then from this perspective for “non-addicts” to stay away or shy away from addicts (and even past addicts).
But from the perspective of someone that has fallen from their own or social ills, this might not only be not unfair and unhelpful but also damaging for the society as a whole.
I have read quite a few admissions from addicts and watched enough documentaries that I think I can say an addicts goal isn’t to lie or steal, but rather to get high. It seems to me if you give an addict money they won’t steal they will go get high. It seems to me their lies and especially in relation to their morality is quite related to whether or not they think what they say will allow them to get high, or continue to get high.
As of yet I am not sure how deep these lies can even go, although many people will suggest addicts are brilliant liars, I think I have some ideas of how we really just trick ourselves into thinking they are brilliant (much like our pets that stumble upon some silly pet trick).
Then is there really a fear of an addict lying in an unpredictable fashion? If there were clean and safe houses to use, cheap drugs, and abundant “money”, would addicts still steal and lie in a way that is so damaging we would still have to distance ourselves from them?
An addicts reference point for life is certainly off. It is difficult to put them back on since life is supposed to be subjective in some sense, this is what freedom to choose is. But when an addicts reference point is off we should understand lying as a symptom of the problem and not so much something that must be morally realized, dealt with, and shunned.
This is very relevant to some of the connected and fundamental causes of falling to addiction I think I can eventually levate. But the simple point here is how useful “group” therapy is to have “liars” or past addicts addressing this unfortunate fact (of people distancing themselves from addicts as if they have or ever had a “contractable” disease called “addiction”). However we must really realize here how important it would be if both groups “non-addicts” and “past-addicts” could understand this issue together and spend time in dialogue about it.
And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.
Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.