Saint Augustine affirmed that it would be unmoral to lie in any case, even if you want to rescue another life or to save one's own life. As we see he was not the supporter of lying. He supposed that the action with an evil moral object is never justified in any case.
Saint Augustine distinguished such types of lying:
- lies in religion
- lies that only damage and benefit nobody
- lies that damage other people and benefit somebody
- lies told for the delight of lying
- lies told to satisfy others
- lies that are harmful to nobody and that benefit someone
- lies which are not harmful that save someone's life
- lies that damage nobody and that save someone's “chastity”
Saint Augustine concludes that it would not be moral to lie in any circumstance, not even to save an innocent life, and not even to save one’s self from rape. Even dire circumstances do not justify lying. In terms of the three fonts of morality, i.e. intention, moral object and circumstances, Saint Augustine says that an evil act is never justified by any circumstance.
A good intention does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. He states that intrinsically disordered acts (or evil acts) cannot be justified by any intention.
A lie consists in speaking a falsehood and even without the intention of deceiving, lying is a wrong thing. Many persons take the position that it would be impossible to determine whether a lie is morally evil without knowing the intention and the circumstances, i.e the totality of the foreseeable good and bad consequences. This position is rejected as an evil moral object makes an act immoral, regardless of intention or circumstances, since lying is an evil and evil acts are always immoral, regardless of intention or circumstances.