In many cases, one of the most effective ways to find out the truth involves the use of deception. Spying on people, pretending to know more about a situation then you really do (bluffing), asking people questions you already know the answers to – are all common ways that people use lies to expose the truth. The Atlantic just published an argument against using deception, even in science, in our quest for the truth.
“Deception, like truth telling, can be habit forming. The more frequently we engage in dishonesty, the easier and more natural it becomes. Do we really believe that the practice of deception can be safely contained in the lab? Are we ready to sacrifice the standard of truthfulness and the habit of honesty for the sake of a seriously misguided conception of scientific progress? Scientifically sanctioned deception, we must accept, is inherently incompatible with the pursuit of truth.”
The full article can found here.