The goal of this article is to show that a lie cannot exist without normative principles of truthfulness as its opposite. Moreover, the ethical dimensions of the lie mentioned in the title would be impossible to determine if it weren’t for this reference. In this article we first specify the nature of the lie and its relation to truth and truthfulness. Next, we show the ethical dimensions of the lie, such as the opposition between the lie and truthfulness, allowing for an understanding of the values of truthfulness, defensive lies and lies contained in artistic creation (fiction). In this last dimension of the lie, many times the artist or thinker reveals more truth than common social discourse is able to tolerate.
The lie is a complex phenomenon, ambiguous and dependent upon many factors, such as motivation, social sensitivity and situational context. Despite the fact that it stands in opposition to truth and truthfulness, it remains, however, related to both values.