The Truth About Lying

Cognitive intelligence isn’t the only kind.


John Stonestreet

Several years ago, a New York Times headline read, “Is Your Child Lying to You? That’s Good.” Parents, the author said, shouldn’t be upset about their young fibbers because studies show that kids who lie are more intelligent and “socially adept” than those who don’t. 

And for children who aren’t quite so good at lying, parents can “speed up the process” through training exercises. If, as the author claims, lying is good for your brain, then the sooner kids start lying, the better. 

I wish I were making that up, but I’m not. The author’s argument is fully consistent with a worldview that sees cognitive ability as the highest quality we should value and cultivate in children. 

But cognitive intelligence isn’t the only kind. There’s also moral intelligence—knowing the right thing to do in a morally charged universe. And there’s relational intelligence—knowing how best to live in relationship with others, for their good, not just our own. 

And never forget, “studies” and “research” are never neutral …   

This Point was originally published on January 19, 2018.  


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