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On Keeping Secrets -- My Philosophy On It -- Why Secrecy is Moral

Updated: Feb 22

A man walking closely to the endpoint of a room.

(Note: In this context, "philosophy" refers to my thoughts. Thoughts enforced by reason. It does not matter if they're opinions or not. It matters if they make sense enough, and can be verified, to be true).


The Weight of Secrets: A Moral Imperative In the absence of dire circumstances, one's most challenging moral decisions often arise from the responsibility of keeping secrets. These secrets are entrusted to you by individuals who have placed their faith and trust in your discretion. A secret, by definition, is information purposefully concealed from others, a form of exclusive knowledge. While a paywall (like the one I have here) also leads to exclusive knowledge, the reason of concealment is not trust but monetary gain. Secrets are to be kept in the name of psychological safety, mainly.

Should you betray this trust and reveal their secrets, their respect for you will crumble, and you will be perceived as less trustworthy. Therefore, there exists a social and moral obligation to guard entrusted information, especially if you desire the respect of others. Complying to this also serves as a testament to your integrity and ability to uphold promises.

Throughout my life, I have been entrusted several, each shared with me by different individuals. To this day, I have never revealed these secrets to anyone, nor do I harbor any intention to do so. The fact that I no longer maintain contact with some of these individuals is irrelevant to my commitment to be a man of my word.

I am aware that if I were to expose the secrets entrusted to me, it would eradicate my confidence in my ability to be a man worthy of trust and respect. As such, I view secret-keeping as an obligation that should be honored whenever the situation arises. A vow, like the one presented in the Samurai's Bushido code. This obligation extends not only to myself but also to my reputation as a public figure, someone who has a responsibility to preserve and nurture his audience's trust.

The Charm of Secrets: Uncovering the Human Need to Share

Humans possess an inherent desire to tell secrets to others, to share their deepest thoughts and experiences, even at the risk of exposure. This inclination stems from an innate need for connection, validation, and emotional relief. The act of exposing secrets, when done with discretion, fosters a sense of intimacy and trust, providing a greater sense of security to the secret-keeper, and less loneliness.

This is also how loneliness can be a liability, when the people you've trusted, failed to be trustworthy in practice. Unburdening oneself to a trusted confidant offers a sense of security and credibility. If you need to do it, do it with people who care for you enough as to not betray you so easily. Those who ghost easily for example, are cowards, and cowards are not trustworthy for they can easily betray you.

The secret-teller feels validated, knowing that their thoughts and experiences are not confined to the depths of their mind but are acknowledged and respected by another. This shared vulnerability strengthens the bond between the individuals, fostering a deeper level of intimacy.

However, the decision to disclose a secret should not be taken lightly. The choice of a confidant must be made with prudence. Imparting sensitive information to a stranger or an acquaintance is a gamble, filled with the potential for betrayal and exploitation. Hence why knowledge is power. Sometimes, not even a family member is trustworthy enough!

Secrets possess inherent power, and entrusting them to another individual grants them a degree of influence. Therefore, you should feel grateful when you are given a secret, because secrets grant you power. Abuse that power, and you might be as morally-depraved as a merciless, third-world country dictator. Would you be able to live it through without feeling any regret?

While family members, psychologists, or mentors may offer a safe haven for secrets, it's crucial to recognize that not everyone in our lives possesses the integrity to safeguard confidential information. The temptation to reveal a secret for personal gain or even for amusement can be overwhelming, as many temptations are, especially amidst social pressures or personal conflicts.

Maintaining secrecy requires a strong sense of self-respect and personal integrity. Betraying a confidence not only damages the trust of others but also undermines one's own moral compass. The weight of a secret can induce a form of "anxiety," a constant awareness of the responsibility to uphold one's word. Not everyone has the guts to endure it, so they may be tempted to spill the beans. Thus, it's crucial to reveal secrets to people posessing the following traits:

* Trustworthy-ness

* Resolve against cowardice

Accepting the responsibility of keeping a secret demands self-assurance and a commitment to long-term confidentiality. Secrets are not mere playthings to be discarded; they represent a "sacred" trust of sorts that reflects one's character and values. You know, it's quite hard to get along in this world if people find it hard to depend on you.

As individuals accumulate the trust of others, their own self-trust deepens, reinforcing a virtuous cycle of integrity and reliability. That's because when someone trusts you, you feel like you are appreciated enough, and cared enough, to not be betrayed by these people.

Navigating Trust and Deception: A Call for Integrity

If you're going to use your given power badly, then I hope your deception will be revealed, before it's too late. Or people are going to be dissapointed. Heartbroken. Sink into despair and lose faith in humanity.

Because of all of this, I won't tell these secrets to anyone. If expected me so, it would only be natural to expect the same thing from others as well. If you want to improve your confidence with others, ask yourself if they deserve to be trusted. If they do not have a hidden agenda, or an ulterior motive. If someone has a hidden motive to his or her actions, I would not reccomend entrusting secrets with them. After all, that motive is hidden, unknown. What if that motive is something that might go against you?

Why do you think I am so open in my writing? That is because I have little fear of things that are not malicious. I refuse to be malicious, I prefer to be decent. It's not my fault, for example, that I was born with Asperger's. Because of that, I feel little shame when I tell the world that I have it. There shouldn't be a fault in it, because autism isn't bad by default. Some people will make you feel bad for being autistic. But there isn't anything "sinful" in being born an autist. Why would there be? Some people are just socially incompetent by nature. However, others are more fearful than me, as they are more afraid of what the world will say about them. Therefore, even if the secret is about something that isn't their fault, that isn't a "sin", they will nonetheless keep it in private, in the hope that it won't go out publicly. All because they're afraid of external perception.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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