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263 of 6,095 quotations related to Truth and Honesty, showing Schweitzer to Wilson-Smith
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Truth has not special time of its own. Its hour is now - always and indeed then most truly when it seems unsuitable to actual circumstances.
Scott, Sir Walter
O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.
The philosopher, in Plato's characterisation, awakens the spirit of inquiry. He helps his listeners to discover the truth, and it is they who bring forth, under his catalysing influence, the answer to life's riddles. The philosopher is the midwife, and his duty is to help us to be what we are - free and rational beings, who lack nothing that is required to understand our condition. The sophist, by contrast, misleads us with cunning fallacies, takes advantage of our weakness, and offers himself as the solution to problems of which he himself is the cause. There are many signs of the sophist, but principal among them are these: mumbo-jumbo, condescension and the taking of fees.
Aug. 11, 1997 - from "The Return of the Sophist", published in the London
The sophists are back with a vengeance, and are all the more to be feared, in that they come disguised as philosophers. For, in this time of helpless relativism and subjectivity, philosophy alone has stood against the tide, reminding us that those crucial distinctions on which life depends - between true and false, good and evil, right and wrong - are objective and binding.
Aug. 11, 1997 - from "The Return of the Sophist", published in the London
... in philosophy ... truth is all-important, and determines the structure of the discipline.
1994 - from
, Penguin Books
Service, Robert William
A promise made is a debt unpaid.
The Cremation of Sam McGee
Shaw, George Bernard
All great truths begin as blasphemies.
The truth is the one thing that nobody will believe.
Shelley, Percy Bysse
Truth has always been found to promote the best interests of mankind...
...this is precisely the purpose of censorship - not only to block unwanted views, but to keep people who are unhappy from knowing how many millions of others share their unhappiness; to keep the dormant opposition from awakening to its own developing strength.
Smith, Joseph F.
The knowledge of truth, combined with the proper regard for it and it's faithful observance, constitutes true education.
It is in the nature of democracy that we are constantly being called upon to act before we have all the facts. It should not surprise us that writing about democracy is as incomplete as its subject. Journalism, after all, is to thought and understanding as the indictment is to the trial, the hypothesis to the truth, the estimate to the audit. It is the first cry for help, the hand groping for the light switch in the dark, the returns before the outlying precincts have been heard from.
Shadows of Hope
Snow, Charles Percy
The only ethical principle that has made science possible is that the truth shall be told all the time. If we do not penalize false statements made in error, we open up the way ... for false statements made by intention.
1959 - from
The Two Cultures
It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes. It may even lie on the surface; but we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones.
1973 - from "Peace and Violence" in
Solzhenitsyn: A Documentary Record
, Leopold Labedz, ed.
In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.
Truth seldom is pleasant; it is almost invariably bitter.
Jun. 8, 1978 - from his speech "The Exhausted West", delivered at commencement at Harvard University
Sommers, Christina Hoff
Men and women died courageously fighting the Nazis... Because brave people took risks to do what was right and necessary, Hitler was eventually defeated. Today, with the assault on objective truth, many college students find themselves unable to say why the United States was on the right side in that war. Some even doubt that America
in the right. To add insult to injury, they are not even sure that the salient events of the Second World War ever took place.
Mar. 01, 1998 - from an essay in
One of the problems with the market from the standpoint of those who think they are the brightest, the best, and ought to be telling the rest of us groundlings what to do, is that the market allows ordinary people to go out there and make their own decisions. And people who think they have the Truth and the Light don't want that; they want no part of that. It's really what they hate most, I think, about a market system.
Dec. 01, 1980 - from an interview published in
People have been lying for centuries. What makes their statistical lies so dangerous today is that so many people in the media are ready to accept and broadcast statistics turned out by activist groups with an axe to grind -- when those groups share the liberal-left orientation of the media. ... Whole organizations and movements are in the business of trying to alarm the public -- radical feminists, environmental extremists, race hustlers, "consumer advocates" and many more. Wild statistics help them get free publicity in the media and help stampede politicians to "do something," usually by spending the taxpayers' money to deal with a manufactured "crisis." ... The one thing that all these distortions and falsifications of statistics have in common is their thrust in the direction of creating artificial "problems" and "crises" to be dealt with by imposing government "solutions."
Jun. 28, 2001 - from "Lying Statistics", published by Creators Syndicate Inc.
There seems to be no getting people to accept the truth, which is yet conspicuous enough, that the welfare of a society and the justice of its arrangements are at bottom dependent upon the character of its members; and that improvement in neither can take place without improvement in character.
Statutes of Nova Scotia
It shall be the duty of every (school) teacher... (5) To inculcate by precept and example a respect for religion and the principles of Christian morality, and the highest regard to truth, justice, love of country, loyalty, humanity, benevolence, sobriety, industry, frugality, chastity, temperance, and all other virtues... (8) To reimburse the trustees for any destruction of school property by the pupils which is clearly chargeable to gross neglect or failure to enforce proper discipline on the part of the teacher...
1884 - from Chapter 29, Section 74,
The Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia
The right to enjoy property without unlawful deprivation, no less than the right to speak out or the right to travel, is, in truth, a 'personal right.'
1972 - from
Lynch vs. HFC
Newspapers, television networks, and magazines have sometimes been outrageously abusive, untruthful, arrogant, and hypocritical. But it hardly follows that elimination of a strong and independent press is the way to eliminate abusiveness...
Fear is not in the habit of speaking truth. When perfect sincerity is expected, perfect freedom must be allowed; nor has anyone who is apt to be angry when he hears the truth, any cause to wonder that he does not hear it.
The Apostle, John
The truth shall make you free.
, John 8:32
It is not true that everyone can reach the same academic standards if provided with adequate opportunities, and the heritability of IQ is a partial measure of that untruth.
1973 - from an essay in the journal
Since the sixties, college professors have taken up political causes as a profession, using the classroom to denounce falsehood and injustice while teaching that truth and justice are illusions.
from "The Sixties Are Dead: Long Live the Nineties", a presentation at Hillsdale College
A good argument diluted to avoid criticism is not nearly as good as the undiluted argument, because we best arrive at truth through a process of honest and vigorous debate. Arguments should not sneak around in disguise, as if dissent were somehow sinister. One should not cowed by criticism. In my humble opinion, those who come to engage in debates of consequence, and who challenge accepted wisdom, should expect to be treated badly. Nonetheless, they must stand undaunted. That is required. And that should be expected. For it is bravery that is required to secure freedom.
Feb. 13, 2001 -
from his Francis Boyer Lecture to the American Enterprise Institute
Dissent ... is a right essential to any concept of the dignity and freedom of the individual; it is essential to the search for truth in a world wherein no authority is infallible.
Thoreau, Henry David
Any truth is better than make-believe... rather than love, than money than fame, give me truth.
... governments ban the keeping of ethnic data in relation to crime, educational attainment or family breakdown, and journalists are generally pleased to accept these conditions because they, too, fear the scourge of racism and do not want to play any part in contributing to it. Understandable as this is, it is a mistake, especially for journalists. It is the very purpose to report the whole truth about significant social, economic and political events. Had we decided 25 years ago that the truth about conditions on native reserves and territories was "too hot to handle" - in effect, that the public cold not be trusted with the truth - we would have been cruelly derelict in our duty to Canadian society, including the aboriginals.
Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.
I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.
Truman, Harry S.
I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.
Familiarity breeds contempt. How accurate that is. The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it.
1898 - from a notebook
Truthful words are not beautiful, beautiful words are not truthful.
A lie has speed, but truth has endurance.
attributed to Edgar J. Mohn
A half truth is a whole lie.
The open-minded see the truth in different things: the narrow-minded see only the differences.
All extremes are error. The reverse of error is not truth, but error still. Truth lies between extremes.
attributed to Cecil
It is easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than to believe a fact that no one has heard before.
Old truths, old laws, old boots, old books, and old friends are the best.
Truth is by its very nature intolerant, exclusive, for every truth is the denial of its opposing error.
attributed to Luthard
He who knows nothing, doubts nothing.
Speak the truth, but leave immediately after.
If you torture data long enough, it will tell you anything you want.
What you don't see with your eyes, don't invent with your mouth.
He who tells the truth needs one foot in the stirrup.
A thousand probabilities don't make one fact.
With lies you may go ahead in the world, but you can never go back.
You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts.
Veith, Gene Edward
Where there are no absolute truths, the intellect gives over to the will.
Although postmodernists tend to reject traditional morality, they can still be very moralistic. They will defend their “rights” to do what they want with puritanical zeal. Furthermore, they seem to feel that they have a right not to be criticized for what they are doing. They want not only license but approval. Thus tolerance becomes the cardinal virtue. Under the postmodernist way of thinking, the principle of cultural diversity means that every like-minded group constitutes a culture that must be considered as good as any other culture. The postmodernist sins are “being judgmental,” “being narrow-minded,” “thinking that you have the only truth,” and “trying to enforce your values on anyone else.” Those who question the postmodernist dogma that “there are no absolutes” are excluded from the canons of tolerance. The only wrong idea is to believe in truth; the only sin is to believe in sin.
[Commenting on the 1999 federal budget by Liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin, in which a projected $11.7 billion surplus evaporated in an orgy of spending] ... more than anything else [the budget] has cinched our finance minister's reputation for being as slick with the truth about money as Bill Clinton is with the truth about sex.
Feb. 26, 1999 - from a column in the
Principles ... are becoming corrupt, deeply corrupt; and unless the progress of corruption and perversion of truth can be arrested, neither liberty nor property, will long be secure in this country. And a great evil is, that men of the first distinction seem, to a great extent, to be ignorant of the real, original causes of our public distresses.
... all history is a witness of the truth...that good morals are essential to the faithful and upright discharge of public functions.
Every one wishes to have truth on his side, but it is not every one that sincerely wishes to be on the side of truth.
Whitehead, Alfred North
Apart from blunt truth, our lives sink decadently amid the perfume of hints and suggestions.
1966 - quoted in
The Viking Book of Aphorisms
, Auden and Kronenberger, Viking Press, New York
Whittier, John Greenleaf
The plot has exploded - we've found out the trick; / The bribe goes a-begging; the fusion won't stick. / When the Wide-awake lanterns are shining about, / The rogues stay at home, and the true men are out!
from "The Quakers Are Out"
If one tells the truth one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.
1894 - from
Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young
It starts with something that seems little and meaningless. In the grand scheme of things, what could it possibly matter if I do this or that? Shading the truth here and adding to the story there to make your point. That couldn't make a difference. Pretty soon, we're confused about right and wrong. Right and wrong implies some standard... some truth... something non-negotiable. And this is a negotiable world. Everything is up for debate today. There's your truth and her truth and my truth. And what's true for me today might not be true for me tomorrow. Before we know it, we are so far down the road that where we are in no way resembles where we were not so long ago.
from his radio show
No one who has read official documents needs to be told how easy it is to conceal the essential truth under the apparently candid and all-disclosing phrases of a voluminous and particularizing report....
The silly notion underlying [the Liberals'] institutionalized fibbing and historical revisionism is that politics is a blood sport, in which any admission of error, or credit to the opposition, demonstrates mortal weakness. In fact no one expects others - especially not polititicans - to be perfect. And a whole-hearted apology goes a long way towards quelling controversy.
Feb. 26, 2001 - from "The politics of fibbing",