Now, be honest here. In your honest opinion, can you believe what I read? It’s honestly quite disturbing. According to Johnson…
A behavioral scientist at Harvard Business School who is considered to be one of the leading scholars on honesty has been accused of fabricating data in multiple studies, reports Science. Francesco Gino has been called out by three peers in behavioral science at the data investigation blog Data Colada, per the Harvard Crimson. The trio says they have found evidence so far of bogus data in four studies, but "we believe that many more Gino-authored papers contain fake data," they write. One is a famous 2012 paper asserting that people are more likely to be honest when filling out tax and insurance forms if they are asked to attest to the truth of their statements at the top of the form rather than the bottom.
The odd thing is that the paper already had been retracted because of fraudulent data by another of its co-authors. But Gino's contribution to the paper is now in doubt as well, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. "That's right: Two different people independently faked data for two different studies in a paper about dishonesty," write Uri Simonsohn, Joseph Simmons, and Leif Nelson in their Data Colada post. Gino is now on administrative leave and has not commented on the controversy. Nor has HBS.
"It's obviously something that is very sensitive that we can't speak to now," a man who identified himself as Gino's husband told the New York Times by phone. The controversy has rocked the academic world of behavioral science because Gino has "so many collaborators, so many articles, (and) is really a leading scholar in the field," says Maurice Schweitzer at the Wharton School. Schweitzer himself is now going over eight studies he co-authored with Gino, and other scholars in the field are doing the same.
The honest truth is that all of this is more than a little troubling. One small error in research might be considered an honest mistake, and thus forgivable. But honestly, dishonesty in four different studies relating to honesty? The poor academician would have been far better off to do an honest day’s work rather be dishonest in is research.
At least that way, even with the name of Francesco, he would still be considered an honest John! And whatever he got in remuneration for his work, at least it would have been considered an honest buck!
Now, be honest, at this point, are you tired of all the honesty puns? I honestly hope so, because at this point, I have all but exhausted my phrase thesaurus of honesty idioms!
And yet, I must say it one more time. If you are honest, you are probably not only tired of the honesty puns here, but also of the headlines being filled with stories just such as this one documenting the impugning of honesty in modern culture!
Let’s be honest! Dishonesty has become almost as prevalent, if not more so, than honesty itself. Far too many in the field of research lie. Far too many in the field of media lie. Far too many in the field of politics lie. Far too many in the field of academia lie. Far too many in the field of politics lie. Far too many in the field of jurisprudence lie. Far too many in the field of commerce lie. Far too many in the field of athletics lie. And sadly, if we would be honest, far too many in the field of religion also lie.
It is as if the practice of dishonesty has become an art form; and we seem to pride ourselves on our ability to distort the truth with the subtlest of methods and in the most delicate of ways. And yet, if we would but honestly be honest with ourselves, all of this is done to our shame!
You see, there was a time in Western Civilization when virtue reigned supreme. When it did, the pursuit of truth was paramount among those virtues, and considered commendable among all. Would that our world still believed this! Alas, the almost universal embracing of dishonesty has all but vanquished the telling of truth!
But whether or not the world any longer embraces the truth, those of us who follow Jesus Christ do. And indeed, we must! For it is in the Word of God that we read such fundamental admonitions as these:
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16)
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching.” (Proverbs 6:16-20)
“Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.” (Proverbs 12:22)
“A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28)
“Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.” (Proverbs 19:1)
“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.” (Proverbs 11:3)
“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” (Ephesians 4:25)
“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.” (Colossians 3:9)
“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:10-12)
And above all, what we read in Philippians 4:8-9...
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Now, be honest… In light of all these things, should not we who follow Jesus Christ practice more honesty in our dealings with others, with ourselves, and with our God?
I, for one, honestly think we should!
Honest, I do!