As humans we like to think of ourselves as exalted creatures -the chosen ones from amongst all of God's creation!
We have the faculty of intelligence, consciousness, and rational thought that we communicate with the use of our divine faculty of speech. And of course, not to forget - the opposable thumb in humans, which according to Newton is a dead giveaway of man's divinity in the absence of all other evidence.
So as 'human beings,'either consciously or un-consciously, our quest is to realize that divine spark and constantly evolve to realize the potential within us to the fullest extent possible. Which is what it is supposed to be anyway? At least that's what most wise men, religions, philosophers, and men of God down the ages have been telling us.
It is all very well for us to call ourselves divine and lord it over the rest of the animal kingdom just because we are able to move our mouths to speak and have television and other pastimes like sending probes out into deep space.
In all this, we quite forget the animal instinct within us which surfaces and surprises us from time to time with its stealth and fixity of purpose. It is then that we realize that "we may be human, but we are still animals." Divinity is but a distant dream and a farce that we have allowed our collective imagination to conjure up. So, this dichotomy about who we are supposed to be and who we are is what makes life extremely interesting to live. This is the life lesson that we come to the earthly plane to learn, as to who we really are and what we are all about. Yes, human beings secretly lie, cheat, and steal. We even have a proverb condoning our actions - "to err is human, to forgive divine!"
So, what is it that makes humans secretly lie, cheat, or steal?
If it is the divinity within us which makes us perform deeds ranging from the good to the heroic, then is it our animal natures which is responsible for the other side of things? So if we were so divine then why do we even need laws to mind us?
And where is that divine spark when I am contemplating on cheating my neighbor? So does that mean that we have a duality within us, which very few of us are conscious of?
So, essentially, humans only like to look at the rosier or divine side within them and completely ignore the animal or perhaps "the only human" side within. What does that make us? Semi-divine hypocrites!
So while we claim our bliss from attending prayer meetings and donating to the aid of charities, we believe that will bring us closer to this obscure almighty God! In this, we conveniently forget to return the extra note that the bank teller unconsciously passed on to us. How about the dozens of occasions when you choose to lie through your teeth rather than get caught!.
Some people may be extremely frugal where telling the truth is concerned. They probably do it to save themselves from trouble or maybe because telling the truth is not convenient. Haven't we been taught that telling lies is extremely sinful? More so if you happen to be in the witness box and could get a perjury rap if you are caught out. Don't some of us behave in ways that Moses and his commandments would thoroughly disapprove? Then why do we do it?
For the thrill of it!
Some people are born cheats while others may cheat due to certain compulsions or situations, while there are still others who cheat just for the thrill of it. Take the case of high-profile kleptomaniacs. Some of them are that rich that they could buy out a retail store if they so wished. But instead what thrills them is the fact that they can easily shoplift a handbag and sneak it past the counter. So, here the main motive is not stealing, but an intense craving for excitement and an abnormal craving for adventure. Same goes for the faithfully married man who actually dotes on his wife, but for the sheer thrill of it, decides to have a clandestine affair with his secretary. So human craving for adventure and suspense can make him act contrary to what he normally is.
To gain competitive advantage.
Humans are extremely competitive animals (correction- divinely competitive animals), who wouldn't mind bending the rules if that gained them an advantage over their fellow men. So when we choose to exaggerate or blow things out of proportion while talking about ourselves, it is just another form of lying. We are attention-seekers by nature. Just take a look at two guys competing for the same girl and you will know why they make allowances for proverbs like - 'All is fair in love and war.' It is all to gain a competitive advantage.
The primal instincts!
The human brain may have evolved much since our caveman days, but we haven't quite ditched the finer qualities of deceit and stealth which helped our early ancestors deal with enemies and predators. Well, nothing really changes now, does it? We still make enemies and we still prey upon others(in a more civil way, of course). Though moral principles would not allow us to take unfair advantage of a person in need, our primal gene is probably licking its chops at the prospect of notching up a victory. Just as the caveman hunted down prey using his instincts and cunning, we display that from time to time in the corporate jungle.
When the law isn't looking.
Laws and codes of behavior are the basic fundamentals of a civil society. Most people uphold the law and abide by its tenets as there is a fear of punishment for disobedience. Take this fear away and you have on your hand a criminal and a sinner. What if there were no laws, either civil or criminal or social or moral? Would man's original divinity then come forth or would there be anarchy and misery? So if one were to find a bag full of money lying abandoned on a park bench and there are no CCTV cameras then what choice would that person exercise? Would his church record and law abiding citizen status come in the way of his natural desire to return the money to its rightful owner? Or would he just be 'more human than most' and keep it all to himself.
Thus most humans who claim to follow the Ten Commandments could well be following the most important eleventh one- Thou Shalt Not Get Caught!