Brandon Nguyen AP English Lang. Comp., Period 2 Mrs. Spencer April 8, 2014 The Insufficiency of Honesty, Reader’s Response Brief Summary In Stephen Carter’s essay, The Insufficiency of Honesty, Carter describes what integrity is. He says that we confuse integrity with honesty, because we speak the truth we deem ourselves having integrity. He describes this in three portions: identifying right and wrong, acting on what we see that is right or wrong while knowing we are at disadvantage, and letting others know what how we act on what’s right or wrong. Based on examples that Carter provides, integrity has nothing to do with honesty. Honesty and integrity are two different things but can complement each other sometimes. The reason why we confuse honesty with integrity is because of the motive to tell the truth. Through examples that he uses he demonstrates that although we tell the truth for the sake of being honest, how does it uphold integrity at the cost of someone’s feelings? We may be honest but we are hurting someone else. Integrity would not be demonstrated on our part.
Questions How do we express true integrity then if it is not through honesty? So is it ethical to hide the truth from others for the sake of their feelings?
Significant Quotation “As my mother used to say, you don’t have to tell people everything you know.” (351).
I chose this quote because it leads on to how lying and disclosing information is ethical under these circumstances. Normally we would see those two acts being unacceptable and dishonest and confuse it with not having integrity, but in this case it is the opposite according to the author. It’s just weird to consider that lying would be good after being taught that lying isn’t good no matter what. No matter what circumstance always tell the truth was what I was taught, so seeing this essay was contradicting to what I have been made to believe.
Additional Class Notes
A Reader's Response on The Insufficiency of Honesty by Stephen Carter.