I am glad this got bumped, because it does raise an issue many non-religious people face. My situation is very different, but there is a parallel. I live and work in Africa, amongst some of the poorest and most oppressed people there can be. Many will die of AIDS and TB. I am a dyed-in-the-wool atheist, but it is my personal policy to keep that to myself and externally profess sympathy with their religion because it is for many their only support. I know religion is a false hope, but I believe having a false hope is better than having no hope at all. So I admit to being externally dishonest to my beliefs, and I hope convincingly so. It is an act, but I believe that it is not my feelings that matter as much as the feelings - the hopes - of others.
GaryTheHuman I noted also advocated pretence. The issue is ‘qui bono’? Who or what benefits if you pretend, who or what benefits if you stick to your principles? Who are you trying to help? Humanism is about concern for others. If a white lie or a little pretence is more helpful than otherwise, I would (and do) lie and pretend. The little ‘pain’ I get from ‘compromising my principles’ is exceedingly small (it my even be even non-existent - in any case it soon passes), far less than the pain the truth could bring to others.
In Jeciron’s shoes I would have acted my socks off to give the old girl what she wanted from me. At such times it’s too late for the truth to matter.