A: Because in lying either to yourself or to others, you're trying to fake reality -- and reality will always be avenged. Says Ayn Rand on this point:
The essence of a con-man's [or a politician's] lie -- of any such lie, no matter what the details -- is the attempt to gain a value by faking certain facts of reality.Note that by this reasoning the harm you do in lying is not just to others, as conventionally thought, but also to yourself and to your own grasp of existence. The "obligation" of honesty arises because human survival -- our own individual survival and flourishing -- requires an unswerving reality focus that we undercut by our own dishonesty, however small, and by our own evasions, however trivial.
Now can't you grasp the logical consequences of that kind of policy ? Since all facts of reality are interrelated, faking one of them leads the person to fake others; ultimately, he is committed to an all-out war against reality as such. But this is the kind of war no one can win. If life in reality is a man's purpose, how can he expect to achieve it while struggling at the same time to escape and defeat reality?
The con-man's lies are wrong on principle. To state the principle positively: honesty is a long-range requirement of human self-preservation and is, therefore, a moral obligation.
So if even small lies commit you to an all-out war against reality, what then (Gus van Horn wondered yesterday) about this effort: "a propaganda effort that makes Michael Moore seem like a piker" -- a god damned "Creationist Museum" complete with a special-effects theater "with vibrating seats meant to evoke the flood, and a planetarium paying tribute to God's glory while exploring the nature of galaxies." " [New York Times story here.]
Just what the fuck kind of war against reality does something like this represent? To say nothing of the implications of the post below this one ...