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Society Without Lies: Thought Experiment

Philosophy : Thought Experiments

Johnno sat there nice and smug, his feet up on the table sipping a warm mug of tea and dunking a biscuit. At last policing and justice would be flawless, 100% correct, and never go wrong.

He had just overseen the installation of compulsory chips in all people that lit up a small LED either red or green. Green when they told the truth, and red when they lied. Perfected over many generations, the technology now had a 100% success rate. Monitoring heart rate, sweating and other physiological factors that could not be trained to confuse the equipment, lying was now a thing of the past.

Whether it was domestic arguments about whether someone was having an affair, or a murder case and finding out if someone was guilty or not, all you had to do was ask the question and there was the answer.

Granted private detectives weren't happy - no stalking secret lovers, as you just had to ask your partner if they were cheating and the LED would do the rest. But that was a small price to pay for justice and honesty, thought Johnno.

A couple of weeks later, Johnno was back in his office scratching his head. There had been uproar over the device, there were more arguments than ever and people said it was unworkable. Was this just a minor blip whilst people got used to the change? Johnno was convinced it was and in a few months the world would be a much better place for everyone.

Yet, he had to admit, his own LED had caused him a couple of embarrassing moments - and there were a few other questions he hoped it never occurred to his wife to ask him! It seemed everyone wants to know if others are telling the truth or not, but find it rather unconvenient when that standard is applied to them too.

By: Dan

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