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OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow said:
Ummm... yes it is. By definition. It might also be a tool but it is still a lie. Don't mean to be confrontational but if you say your name is something it's not, then you are lying.
No it isn't. An author who uses a name purely for identifying their written work is not lying. They are not pretending to be another person in real life. A lie is a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth. A pen name is their WRITER'S name. Tell it to Dr. Seuss - his real name was Ted Geisel and he wasn't a Doctor.
 

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OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow, it's fine if that's what you want to believe, but I do notice you use a screen name here and not your real name. There are authors here who have their name and link to their books on the Amazon store.  So you are choosing to be more anonymous than that and they are showing more transparency.  I realize you aren't trying to sell us something so perhaps you see that as different.  But I would think you would at least on some level understand someone wanting to have a degree of anonymity since you practice that yourself in certain situations.
 

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OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow said:
Sorry, but no. Would you like me to look up the instances of morality and laws not conforming? You name the era and I would be happy to list the atrocities. Arguing that the law is the gold standard for morality would condone everything from genocide to genital mutilation.

It's not my personal morality that calls lying wrong ... its thousands of years of humanity. It's threaded through our society from when we give testimony about our crimes all the way to our interactions with our loved ones.

Is a pen name a lie? I say yes.
I didn't say it was just the legal system that said it was okay. I also said it has an accepted practice in pretty much every society with any kind of literary tradition for centuries. It isn't considered a lie, any more than a DBA or stage name is a lie. Practically every society in the world disagrees with you. That's your prerogative, but to claim it's a lie and immoral when everyone else in the world across the boundaries of many different cultures and backgrounds disagrees with you? Eh, knock yourself out. You can be the lone wolf crying in the wilderness. :D
 

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DarkScribe said:
No it isn't. An author who uses a name purely for identifying their written work is not lying. They are not pretending to be another person in real life. A lie is a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth. A pen name is their WRITER'S name. Tell it to Dr. Seuss - his real name was Ted Geisel and he wasn't a Doctor.
Would you enjoy me quoting names of those that don't use pen names? Would that prove that you're wrong? A writer is a person. If they want their work under another name they could adopt the same standards of others and clearly state that in their profile. Many don't because they are trying to deceive others into believing that is their given name. To say they do it merely identify their work discards those that use them to profit from the deception.

A lie is a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth.

If I say my name is Jake Strong, then I have deviated from the truth. Dr. Seuss did indeed deviate from the truth but he never intended to deceive anyone as to his real name. No one would rightly believe that was his name.
 

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JWright said:
OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow, it's fine if that's what you want to believe, but I do notice you use a screen name here and not your real name. There are authors here who have their name and link to their books on the Amazon store. So you are choosing to be more anonymous than that and they are showing more transparency. I realize you aren't trying to sell us something so perhaps you see that as different. But I would think you would at least on some level understand someone wanting to have a degree of anonymity since you practice that yourself in certain situations.
An ad hominem attack. I refuse to attack you in the same way. I'm interested in the reasons behind this particular inquiry. If a murderer say that it's wrong to kill does that make the statement any less true? Does the character of a man dictate the truth of his words or must his words be weighed on their own.

The answer to your question is that no one would ever think this is my name, there is no deception in using a handle that is obviously not my real name. Everyone can take my words for lies or truth as they please knowing I am nothing more or less than an anonymous person on the internet. My credibility is zero ... just like everyone's else's.
 

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OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow said:
An ad hominem attack. I refuse to attack you in the same way. I'm interested in the reasons behind this particular inquiry. If a murderer say that it's wrong to kill does that make the statement any less true? Does the character of a man dictate the truth of his words or must his words be weighed on their own.

The answer to your question is that no one would ever think this is my name, there is no deception in using a handle that is obviously not my real name. Everyone can take my words for lies or truth as they please knowing I am nothing more or less than an anonymous person on the internet. My credibility is zero ... just like everyone's else's.
Well, it wasn't an attack in any way. You can choose to be anonymous. I just thought perhaps at some level you would understand the need for anonymity at times since you use it yourself.

Anyway, I don't see the point in going round and round. We have different beliefs.
 

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I second JWright here.

How is someone using a fake name on a public internet forum, and a fake avatar that looks nothing like the person, any different than using a pen name and pen persona?

Both practices are arguably a form of misrepresentation of someone to the public. 

In my view, if it's associated with creative art, there's a grey area.







 

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OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow said:
Would you enjoy me quoting names of those that don't use pen names? Would that prove that you're wrong? A writer is a person. If they want their work under another name they could adopt the same standards of others and clearly state that in their profile. Many don't because they are trying to deceive others into believing that is their given name. To say they do it merely identify their work discards those that use them to profit from the deception.

A lie is a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth.

If I say my name is Jake Strong, then I have deviated from the truth. Dr. Seuss did indeed deviate from the truth but he never intended to deceive anyone as to his real name. No one would rightly believe that was his name.
You are pedantic. Ok, let's say my real name was Stephen King and I wanted to write horror stories. Would it be a "lie" if I changed it to Stephen McIntyre (McIntyre might be my mother's maiden name)? Or, to conform with your rigid criterion re lying, should I be "honest" and publish as Stephen King and perhaps reap some sale benefit from the ensuing confusion?
 

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OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow said:
An ad hominem attack. I refuse to attack you in the same way. I'm interested in the reasons behind this particular inquiry. If a murderer say that it's wrong to kill does that make the statement any less true? Does the character of a man dictate the truth of his words or must his words be weighed on their own.

The answer to your question is that no one would ever think this is my name, there is no deception in using a handle that is obviously not my real name. Everyone can take my words for lies or truth as they please knowing I am nothing more or less than an anonymous person on the internet. My credibility is zero ... just like everyone's else's.
That was NOT an ad hominem attack. It was making a pertinent point.
 

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KelliWolfe said:
I didn't say it was just the legal system that said it was okay. I also said it has an accepted practice in pretty much every society with any kind of literary tradition for centuries. It isn't considered a lie, any more than a DBA or stage name is a lie. Practically every society in the world disagrees with you. That's your prerogative, but to claim it's a lie and immoral when everyone else in the world across the boundaries of many different cultures and backgrounds disagrees with you? Eh, knock yourself out. You can be the lone wolf crying in the wilderness. :D
I'm hardly the only one saying so. In fact I think the past few posts show more than words can why more people don't talk about it. But if I was that bedraggled dog in the wilderness howling my truth, I'd be happy I wasn't part of the flock... Although I do feel a certain amount of pleasure in being called a lone wolf by a person with wolf in their name.

Lie
noun
1: a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
2: something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture:

When seek to deceive you are lying. When you create a stage name that everyone knows is a stage name you are not attempting to deceive or create a false impression. I keep coming back to the same question, why is a pen name not a lie? So far I've heard because the government supports it. That literary traditions back it. And that I won't find a society in existence that isn't okay with it. Yet, I haven't heard one word on why it's not a lie. Only that its accepted.

Would you like me to state the lies that have been accepted the world over? Or the poisoned morality that backed them?
 

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DarkScribe said:
That was NOT an ad hominem attack. It was making a pertinent point.
A pertinent point can still be an attack. Sigh. Good luck, I'm done with this. Arguing with four people about morality is certainly not how I wanted to spend a Saturday and I don't appreciate being called names or being attacked for my beliefs. I've given my reasons and articulated my argument to the best of my abilities all without calling into questions either the morality of the others or resorting derogatory statements.

I may use an avatar here but I still try to interact with people in a civilized manner. That means I don't call them names or disparage them.
 

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OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow said:
Lie
noun
1: a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
2: something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture:
Ok. If you insist that anything but raw truth is a lie, then every woman who wears makeup, a Bra, Spanx, hose, perfume or heels is lying to the world about what she really looks like. Are most women liars? :eek:
 

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DarkScribe said:
Ok. If you insist that anything but raw truth is a lie, then every woman who wears makeup, a Bra, Spanx, hose, perfume or heels is lying to the world about what she really looks like. Are most women liars? :eek:
Probably not, but it appears that George Orwell and Mark Twain were liars.

So I guess it is time to toss those books and delete them from my Kindle. :)
 

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Okay. It's a lie. It's a big, fat, dirty, completely untrue lie.

...So?

Why do we owe perfect strangers the truth about ourselves? Personally I don't think I owe anybody my truth. I don't know these people and they don't need to know me.

I'm selling a product that's fiction in it's entirety. It's a story. It's make believe. It's not real. Why is it so important that I'm real?
 

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I like reading author bio's. It's fun. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are dull as dishwater. I don't give a monkeys if they are true, I prefer the funny ones.

I write under two names, and the author bio's read completely differently, but they are both still me, just different parts of me. One talks about where I live and my family and the other talks about what jobs I've had and what qualifications. Both true but totally different information.

Apart from the cat.

The cat is dead, long live the cat!

 

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sandysocks said:
Okay. It's a lie. It's a big, fat, dirty, completely untrue lie.

...So?

Why do we owe perfect strangers the truth about ourselves? Personally I don't think I owe anybody my truth. I don't know these people and they don't need to know me.

I'm selling a product that's fiction in it's entirety. It's a story. It's make believe. It's not real. Why is it so important that I'm real?
In fairness to some here, some authors perhaps put so much of their own experiences into their fiction that total 'persona' integrity is highly important. If I was in that position, perhaps I'd feel the same way.

But not all of us write that way. Probably the majority of us write light fiction which intent is to merely entertain, and nothing more. We're just trying to turn out something that reads professionally, makes a few sales if we're lucky, and entertains people.

Most readers probably don't care who actually wrote the books they read, unless it's somebody already famous. I'm sure they don't care about what is in the bio in most cases, especially with indie authors. They just want to be entertained.

But in some genres or subgenres maybe it has a more serious tone to it. Some fiction has a more serious edge to it drawn from certain experiences in life. In cases like that, perhaps using a real name may give the fiction itself more integrity.

It just doesn't apply to everyone.
 

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Russ Munson said:
Uhh..cuz I'd prefer not to read a book about brain surgery written by a brick layer.
Me neither, but what difference does the pen name make? If someone's real name was Hilary Clinton (name already taken) and they loved and wanted to write about goldfish breeding because that was their passion, it would make no difference if they wrote under the name Goldie Fish. Would their writing on goldfish be less credible? I think not.

Eric Blair wrote fiction and nonfiction under the pen name of George Orwell. Does that discredit his nonfiction? No, I don't think so.
 

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NedMarcus said:
Me neither, but what difference does the pen name make? If someone's real name was Hilary Clinton (name already taken) and they loved and wanted to write about goldfish breeding because that was their passion, it would make no difference if they wrote under the name Goldie Fish. Would their writing on goldfish be less credible? I think not.

Eric Blair wrote fiction and nonfiction under the pen name of George Orwell. Does that discredit his nonfiction? No, I don't think so.
Agree. The name itself makes little difference. It's the experience that matters. I don't think someone writing nonfiction under a pen name would be less credible, provided he or she could establish credibility without using their real name--which might be more difficult to do.
 

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OnlyTheGrotesqueKnow said:
A pertinent point can still be an attack. Sigh
This is a major problem with the world today. "I don't like your fact" is not the same thing as "you attacked me, how dare you."

Facts you don't like are still facts. You may feel "attacked" by the fact, but that doesn't change it or make it less true.


edited, PM if you have questions -- Ann
 
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