I was doing some moral thinking, and a question that I’ve had for a while popped into my head: is it wrong to choose not to tell someone something to protect them?
I believe that withholding information is a form of lying, because even though a person isn’t saying anything, they’re allowing a misconception to be accepted rather than correcting it. But if revealing the information saves someone a lot of trouble and doesn’t have other direct negative effects, is that wrong?
For example, a couple of months ago, I took a trip alone to meet up with some internet friends of mine in LA, and I was to get off at the bus station and wait for one of my friends to come with their car and pick me up. My mom was worried that if I walked to where I’d be meeting up with them, I’d be going through a bad neighborhood, possibly putting myself into a bad situation. What ended up happening was that two of my friends picked me up at the station, and we all walked to where we were going, which would worry my mom if she knew. It had completely slipped my mind at the time, and it was only after that I’d realized that we had walked instead of taking the car, and my dad suggested I not tell my mom so as to not make her uncomfortable.
I feel like if this kind of thing is wrong, then there’s a good way to go about it that keeps everybody better off, but I can’t think of what the best alternative would be. In my case, if I had just mentioned to my mom that we had walked, she would be worried, despite the fact that everything ended up okay. So what is the best course of action in these situations?