I think if we try to stop punishing for deception altogether, we are missing on a good solution for the prisoner’s dilemma.
It’s reasonable (though not obvious) that we don’t punish for unconscious deception. And you also make a good point that we shouldn’t punish for self-awareness.
But I think, an important distinction has to be made between self-awareness and self-control. I am aware of many things, but I don’t necessarily have active control over all of them, mostly because it would require a different level of mental energy.
In my books, a controlled and deliberated lie is much worse than an unconscious one or even a lie you are simply aware of.
You could say that a “lie” is as bad, as little mental effort it would require of the “liar” to avoid it.
The “common weirdness generator” hypothesis seems quite off to me.
If the individual weird characteristics are independent as random variables, that would correlate with rareness of them occuring in a single species, which we do observe in this case.
If those weird characteristic were actually correlated, that would increase the likelihood of their cooccurance, and make creatures as weird as naked mole rats more common.
So, observation of uniqueness should lead us to believe that they are more likely to be uncorrelated.