Truth

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Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction. ~ Lord Byron

Truth is a term used to indicate various forms of accord with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. Derived from Old English tríewþ, tréowþ, trýwþ, Middle English trewþe, cognate to Old High German triuwida, Old Norse tryggð; both it and true can indicate "having good faith or Loyalty. The opposite of truth is falsehood, which, correspondingly, can also take on logical, factual, or ethical meanings. Language and words are a means by which humans convey information to one another in semiotic associations, and the method used to recognize a "truth" is termed a criterion of truth. There are differing claims as to what constitutes truth, what things are truthbearers capable of being true or false, how to define and identify truth, the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play, and whether truth is subjective or objective, relative or absolute.

Quotes[edit]

Arranged alphabetically by author
Truth is strong enough to overcome all human sophistries. ~ Aeschines
Relations between States and within States are correct to the extent that they respect the truth. When, instead, truth is violated, peace is threatened, law is endangered, then, as a logical consequence, forms of injustice are unleashed. ~ Pope Benedict XVI
Truth draws strength from itself and not from the number of votes in its favour. ~ Pope Benedict XVI
Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived. Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. ~ Pope Benedict XVI
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth. ~ Pope John Paul II
Every truth—if it really is truth—presents itself as universal, even if it is not the whole truth. If something is true, then it must be true for all people and at all times. ~ Pope John Paul II
Truth can never be confined to time and culture; in history it is known, but it also reaches beyond history. ~ Pope John Paul II
The general rule is, that Truth should never be violated, because it is of the utmost importance to the comfort of life. ~ James Boswell
They tell me that truth lies somewhere at the bottom of a well, and at virtually the door of our home is a most notable if long dried well. Our location is thus quite favorable, if we but keep patience. ~ James Branch Cabell
The very Truth has to change its vesture, from time to time; and be born again. ~ Thomas Carlyle
The search for the truth is the most important work in the whole world — and the most dangerous. ~ James Clavell
No virtue ever was founded on a lie. The truth, then, at all risks and costs — the truth from the beginning. ~ Dinah Craik
Truth at last cannot be hidden. Dissimulation is of no avail. Dissimulation is to no purpose before so great a judge. … Nothing is hidden under the sun. ~ Leonardo da Vinci
A small truth is better than a great lie. ~ Leonardo da Vinci
When a great truth once gets abroad in the world, no power on earth can imprison it, or prescribe its limits, or suppress it. It is bound to go on till it becomes the thought of the world. ~ Frederick Douglass
When life is true to the poles of nature, the streams of truth will roll through us in song. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Great is truth, and mighty above all things. ~ 1 Esdras
Do not try to bend the spoon; that's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth: There is no spoon. ~ Young boy in The Matrix
A very great deal more truth can become known than can be proven. ~ Richard Feynman
Reason is man's instrument for arriving at the truth, intelligence is man's instrument for manipulating the world more successfully; the former is essentially human, the latter belongs to the animal part of man. ~ Erich Fromm
It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope and pride. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. … For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. ~ Patrick Henry
We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it. ~ Thomas Jefferson
Truth advances, and error recedes step by step only; and to do to our fellow men the most good in our power, we must lead where we can, follow where we cannot, and still go with them, watching always the favorable moment for helping them to another step. ~ Thomas Jefferson
Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; [..] she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them. ~ Thomas Jefferson
Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ~ Jesus
Nothing is sacred but the truth, and by truth I mean what a man sincerely and honestly believes. ~ Robert G. Ingersoll
What does truth require? It requires us to face the facts as they are, not to involve ourselves in self-deception; to refuse to think merely in slogans. … let us deal with the realities as they actually are, not as they might have been, and not as we wish they were. ~ John F. Kennedy
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. ~ John F. Kennedy
Love comes first. … What is known is not truth. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
Truth cannot be sought; it comes to you. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
You can go after only what is known. When the mind is not tortured by the known, by the effects of the known, then only can truth reveal itself. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
Truth is not of the past or the present, it is timeless; the man who quotes the truth of the Buddha, of Shankara, of Christ, or who merely repeats what I am saying, will not find truth, because repetition is not truth. Repetition is a lie.] ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
Truth makes on the surface of nature no one track of light — every eye looking on finds its own. ~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. ~ Bruce Lee
To love truth for truth's sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues. ~ John Locke
It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of the truth. ~ John Locke
There are very few lovers of truth, for truth's sake, even amongst those who persuade themselves that they are so. ~ John Locke
No man can teach another self-knowledge. He can only lead him or her up to self-discovery — the source of truth. ~ Barry Long
The only way we can ever get through to the truth is by finding out what we are not. We do that by looking, by observation. ~ Barry Long
Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet ’tis Truth alone is strong,
And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng
Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong. ~ James Russell Lowell
Who speaks the truth stabs Falsehood to the heart. ~ James Russell Lowell
Never a truth has been destroyed;
They may curse it, and call it crime;
Pervert and betray, or slander and slay
Its teachers for a time.
But the sunshine aye shall light the sky,
As round and round we run;
And the truth shall ever come uppermost,
And justice shall be done. ~ Charles Mackay
Accept the truth from whatever source it comes. ~ Maimonides
At times the truth shines so brilliantly that we perceive it as clear as day. Our nature and habit then draw a veil over our perception, and we return to a darkness almost as dense as before. ~ Maimonides
The truths should be at one time apparent and at another time concealed. ~ Maimonides
The knowledge of the truth removes hatred and quarrels, and prevents mutual injuries. ~ Maimonides
Tell the truth and fear no man. ~ Edward R. Murrow
Truth will triumph. It always does. However, I figure truth is a variable, so we're right back where we started from. ~ Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore)
Such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. The sun needs no inscription to distinguish him from darkness. ~ Thomas Paine
Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. ~ Psalm 85:11
Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution. ~ J. K. Rowling
The truth as always is simultaneously better and worse than what the popular myth-making has it. ~ William Saroyan
Time's glory is to calm contending kings,
To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light. ~ William Shakespeare
The end will show the whole truth. ~ William the Silent
Happy is the man that has found wisdom … It is a tree of life to those taking hold of it, and those keeping fast hold of it are to be called happy. ~ Solomon
Truth is elusive to those who refuse to see with both eyes. ~ Stargate SG-1 Season 10 episode 10 "The Quest Part 1"
All truths wait in all things, They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it... ~ Walt Whitman
Truth, like a woman, must be wooed and won — and this only through the purity of mind and the heart’s deep love. ~ David Zindell
  • Truth is strong enough to overcome all human sophistries.
  • Time, beneath whose influence the pyramids moulder into dust, and the flinty rocks decay, does not and cannot destroy a fact, nor strip a truth of one portion of its essential importance.
    • Anonymous statement, quoted in The Homilist; or, The pulpit for the People (1873) edited by David Thomas, p. 55.
  • The national argument right now is, one, who's got the truth and, two, who's got the facts… Until we can manage to get the two of them back together again, we're not going to make much progress.
    • Michael Adams, lexicology professor at North Carolina State University, discussing the neologism "truthiness", defined as "the quality of stating concepts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than the facts" in "Linguists Vote 'Truthiness' Word of 2005", AP via Yahoo! News, (6 January 2006)
  • Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.
    • Theodor Adorno in Minima Moralia (1951), as translated by E. Jephcott (1974), § 143, p. 222.
  • To say of what is, that it is, or of what is not, that it is not, is true.
  • Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
  • Not being known doesn't stop the truth from being true.
  • You must be ever vigilant to discover the unifying Truth behind all the scintillating variety.
  • What is truth? said jesting Pilate, but would not stay for an answer.
  • But no pleasure is comparable to standing upon the vantage ground of truth.
    • Francis Bacon, Essays, Of Truth; reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 603; in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 818.
  • Yes, there is a Divinity, one from which we must never turn aside for the guidance of our huge inward life and of the share we have as well in the life of all men. It is called the truth.
  • Nothing is wholly obvious without becoming enigmatic. Reality itself is too obvious to be true.
    • Jean Baudrillard, The Perfect Crime (1993), as translated by Ian Michel and William Sarah (1995).
  • Relations between States and within States are correct to the extent that they respect the truth. When, instead, truth is violated, peace is threatened, law is endangered, then, as a logical consequence, forms of injustice are unleashed. These form boundaries that divide countries far more deeply than the frontiers outlined on maps and are often not only external but also internal.
  • Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth. Each person finds his good by adherence to God's plan for him, in order to realize it fully: in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:32). To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. Charity, in fact, “rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6).
  • Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived. Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love. It falls prey to contingent subjective emotions and opinions, the word “love” is abused and distorted, to the point where it comes to mean the opposite. Truth frees charity from the constraints of an emotionalism that deprives it of relational and social content, and of a fideism that deprives it of human and universal breathing-space.
  • The Church does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim “to interfere in any way in the politics of States.” She does, however, have a mission of truth to accomplish, in every time and circumstance, for a society that is attuned to man, to his dignity, to his vocation. Without truth, it is easy to fall into an empiricist and sceptical view of life, incapable of rising to the level of praxis because of a lack of interest in grasping the values — sometimes even the meanings — with which to judge and direct it. Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom (cf. Jn 8:32) and of the possibility of integral human development. For this reason the Church searches for truth, proclaims it tirelessly and recognizes it wherever it is manifested. This mission of truth is something that the Church can never renounce. Her social doctrine is a particular dimension of this proclamation: it is a service to the truth which sets us free. Open to the truth, from whichever branch of knowledge it comes, the Church's social doctrine receives it, assembles into a unity the fragments in which it is often found, and mediates it within the constantly changing life-patterns of the society of peoples and nations
  • Two sorts of truth: profound truths recognized by the fact that the opposite is also a profound truth, in contrast to trivialities where opposites are obviously absurd.
    • Niels Bohr, As quoted by his son Hans Bohr in "My Father", published in Niels Bohr: His Life and Work (1967), p. 328
    • Unsourced variant: The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
    • As quoted in Max Delbrück, Mind from Matter: An Essay on Evolutionary Epistemology, (1986) p. 167. It is the hallmark of any deep truth that its negation is also a deep truth.
  • Without free speech no search for Truth is possible; without free speech no discovery of Truth is useful; without free speech progress is checked, and the nations no longer march forward towards the nobler life which the future holds for man. Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day; the denial slays the life of the people and entombs the hope of the race.
    • Charles Bradlaugh, Speech at Hall of Science c.1880 quoted in An Autobiography of Annie Besant; reported in Edmund Fuller, Thesaurus of Quotations (1941), p. 398; reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
  • The world is made up, for the most part, of fools and knaves, both irreconcilable foes to truth.
    • George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, "Letter to Mr. Clifford, on his Human Reason"; also in The Works of His Grace, George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham (London: T. Evans, 1770) vol. 2, p. 105.
  • We talked of the casuistical question, Whether it was allowable at any time to depart from Truth? JOHNSON. 'The general rule is, that Truth should never be violated, because it is of the utmost importance to the comfort of life, that we should have a full security by mutual faith; and occasional inconveniences should be willingly suffered that we may preserve it. There must, however, be some exceptions. If, for instance, a murderer should ask you which way a man is gone, you may tell him what is not true, because you are under a previous obligation not to betray a man to a murderer.' BOSWELL. 'Supposing the person who wrote Junius were asked whether he was the authour, might he deny it?' JOHNSON. 'I don't know what to say to this. If you were sure that he wrote Junius, would you, if he denied it, think as well of him afterwards? Yet it may be urged, that what a man has no right to ask, you may refuse to communicate; and there is no other effectual mode of preserving a secret and an important secret, the discovery of which may be very hurtful to you, but a flat denial; for if you are silent, or hesitate, or evade, it will be held equivalent to a confession. But stay, Sir; here is another case. Supposing the authour had told me confidentially that he had written Junius, and I were asked if he had, I should hold myself at liberty to deny it, as being under a previous promise, express or implied, to conceal it. Now what I ought to do for the authour, may I not do for myself? But I deny the lawfulness of telling a lie to a sick man for fear of alarming him. You have no business with consequences; you are to tell the truth. Besides, you are not sure what effect your telling him that he is in danger may have. It may bring his distemper to a crisis, and that may cure him. Of all lying, I have the greatest abhorrence of this, because I believe it has been frequently practised on myself.'
    I cannot help thinking that there is much weight in the opinion of those who have held, that Truth, as an eternal and immutable principle, ought, upon no account whatever, to be violated, from supposed previous or superiour obligations, of which every man being to judge for himself, there is great danger that we too often, from partial motives, persuade ourselves that they exist; and probably whatever extraordinary instances may sometimes occur, where some evil may be prevented by violating this noble principle, it would be found that human happiness would, upon the whole, be more perfect were Truth universally preserved.
  • Questions don't change the truth. But they give it motion.
  • Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again;
    The eternal years of God are hers;
    But Error, wounded, writhes with pain,
    And dies among his worshippers.
  • Truth makes on the surface of nature no one track of light — every eye looking on finds its own.
  • For truth is precious and divine;
    Too rich a pearl for carnal swine.
  • 'Tis not antiquity, nor author,
    That makes truth truth, altho' time's daughter.
  • 'Tis strange—but true; for truth is always strange,
    Stranger than fiction.
  • You touch on a disheartening truth. People never want to be told anything they do not believe already.
  • They tell me that truth lies somewhere at the bottom of a well, and at virtually the door of our home is a most notable if long dried well. Our location is thus quite favorable, if we but keep patience.
    • James Branch Cabell, The Silver Stallion (1926), Kerin, in Book Seven : What Saraïde Wanted, Ch. XLII : Generalities at Ogde.
  • Where this will end? In the Abyss, one may prophecy; whither all Delusions are, at all moments, travelling; where this Delusion has now arrived. For if there be a Faith, from of old, it is this, as we often repeat, that no Lie can live for ever. The very Truth has to change its vesture, from time to time; and be born again. But all Lies have sentence of death written down against them, and Heaven's Chancery itself; and, slowly or fast, advance incessantly towards their hour.
  • The search for the truth is the most important work in
the whole world — and the most dangerous.
  • I smile when I'm angry, I cheat and I lie. I do what I have to do to get by. But I know what is wrong and I know what is right, and I'd die for the truth in my secret life.
  • They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in it.
  • Let every one of us cultivate, in every word that issues from our mouth, absolute truth. I say cultivate, because to very few people — as may be noticed of most young children — does truth, this rigid, literal veracity, come by nature. To many, even who love it and prize it dearly in others, it comes only after the self-control, watchfulness, and bitter experience of years.
    • Dinah Craik, A Woman's Thoughts About Women (1858), Ch. 8.
  • No virtue ever was founded on a lie. The truth, then, at all risks and costs — the truth from the beginning. Make a clean breast to whomsoever you need to make it, and then — face the world.
    • Dinah Craik, A Woman's Thoughts About Women (1858), Ch 11.
  • The wayfarer,
    Perceiving the pathway to truth,
    Was struck with astonishment.

    It was thickly grown with weeds.
    "Ha," he said,
    "I see that none has passed here
    In a long time."
    Later he saw that each weed
    Was a singular knife.
    "Well," he mumbled at last,
    "Doubtless there are other roads."
  • If the truth were a palpable object, it would be a modeling clay.
    • André Dahmer, in the Brazilian webcomic Malvados
  • Fire destroys falsehood, that is sophistry, and restores truth, driving out darkness.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), X Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations, as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Fire may be represented as the destroyer of all sophistry, and as the image and demonstration of truth; because it is light and drives out darkness which conceals all essences [or subtle things].
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), X Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations, as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Fire destroys all sophistry, that is deceit; and maintains truth alone, that is gold.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), X Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations, as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Truth at last cannot be hidden. Dissimulation is of no avail. Dissimulation is to no purpose before so great a judge. Falsehood puts on a mask. Nothing is hidden under the sun.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), X Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations, as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Fire is to represent truth because it destroys all sophistry and lies; and the mask is for lying and falsehood which conceal truth.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), X Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations, as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Truth here makes Falsehood torment lying tongues.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), X Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations, as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Truth was the only daughter of Time.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), XIX Philosophical Maxims. Morals. Polemics and Speculations., as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • To lie is so vile, that even if it were in speaking well of godly things it would take off something from God's grace; and Truth is so excellent, that if it praises but small things they become noble.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), XIX Philosophical Maxims. Morals. Polemics and Speculations., as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness; and this truth is in itself so excellent that, even when it dwells on humble and lowly matters, it is still infinitely above uncertainty and lies, disguised in high and lofty discourses; because in our minds, even if lying should be their fifth element, this does not prevent that the truth of things is the chief nutriment of superior intellects, though not of wandering wits. But you who live in dreams are better pleased by the sophistical reasons and frauds of wits in great and uncertain things, than by those reasons which are certain and natural and not so far above us.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), XIX Philosophical Maxims. Morals. Polemics and Speculations., as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Man has much power of discourse which for the most part is vain and false; animals have but little, but it is useful and true, and a small truth is better than a great lie.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), XIX Philosophical Maxims. Morals. Polemics and Speculations., as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things.
  • Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
    • Philip K. Dick, How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later (1978).
  • Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —
    Success in Circuit lies

    Too bright for our infirm Delight
    The Truth's superb surprise

    As Lightning to the Children eased
    With explanation kind
    The Truth must dazzle gradually
    Or every man be blind —

  • If anyone could prove to me that Christ is outside the truth, and if the truth really did exclude Christ, I should prefer to stay with Christ and not with truth.
    • Fyodor Dostoevsky, in a letter To Mme. N. D. Fonvisin (1854), as published in Letters of Fyodor Michailovitch Dostoevsky to his Family and Friends (1914), translated by Ethel Golburn Mayne, Letter XXI, p. 71.
  • Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
  • For truth has such a face and such a mien,
    As to be lov'd needs only to be seen.
    • John Dryden, The Hind and the Panther (1687), Part I, line 33.
  • The enemy is subtle, how be it we're deceived? When the truth's in our hearts and we still don't believe?
  • Truth is an arrow and the gate is narrow...that it passes through
  • Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
  • Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated.
    • Albert Einstein, in "My Credo", a speech to the German League of Human Rights, Berlin (Autumn 1932), as published in Einstein: A Life in Science (1994) by Michael White and John Gribbin, p. 262.
  • If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.
  • Epicurus spoke of all perceptible things as true and as beings. For there is no difference between saying that something is true and saying that it is real; hence, too, in delineating the true and the false he says “That which holds in the way in which it is said to hold is true,” and he says “That which does not hold in the way in which it is said to hold is false.”
    • Sextus Empiricus, paraphrasing and quoting epicurean description of truth and falsehood in "Against the Mathematicians" (Adversus Mathematicos) II, 9.
  • Great is truth, and mighty above all things.
    • I Esdras 4:41; this is often quoted in the Latin: Magna est veritas et praevalet.
  • Reason is man’s faculty for grasping the world by thought, in contradiction to intelligence, which is man’s ability to manipulate the world with the help of thought. Reason is man's instrument for arriving at the truth, intelligence is man's instrument for manipulating the world more successfully; the former is essentially human, the latter belongs to the animal part of man.
    • Erich Fromm, The Sane Society (1955), Ch. 3: The Human Situation, Sect. E "The Need for a Frame of Orientation and Devotion — Reason vs. Irrationality”
  • I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance. That is my religion, and every day I am sorely, grossly, heinously and deeply offended, wounded, mortified and injured by a thousand different blasphemies against it. When the fundamental canons of truth, honesty, compassion and decency are hourly assaulted by fatuous bishops, pompous, illiberal and ignorant priests, politicians and prelates, sanctimonious censors, self-appointed moralists and busy-bodies, what recourse of ancient laws have I? None whatever. Nor would I ask for any. For unlike these blistering imbeciles my belief in my religion is strong and I know that lies will always fail and indecency and intolerance will always perish.
    • Stephen Fry, in his "Trefusis Blasphemes" radio broadcast, as published in Paperweight (1993).
  • Truth is cosmically total: synergetic. Verities are generalized principles stated in semimetaphorical terms. Verities are differentiable. But love is omniembracing, omnicoherent, and omni-inclusive, with no exceptions. Love, like synergetics, is nondifferentiable, i.e., is integral.
    • Buckminster Fuller, Synergetics : Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking (1975) 1005.54.
  • The highest of generalizations is the synergetic integration of truth and love.
    • Buckminster Fuller, Synergetics : Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking (1975) 1005.56.
  • Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realizing Him.
    • Mahatma Gandhi, as quoted in Young India (8 January 1925); also in The Essential Gandhi : An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work and Ideas (1962) edited by Louis Fischer, p. 174.
  • A man of truth must also be a man of care.
  • An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self sustained.
  • Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. I must continue to bear testimony to truth even if I am forsaken by all. Mine may today be a voice in the wilderness, but it will be heard when all other voices are silenced, if it is the voice of Truth.
  • It is a fool's prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.
  • What is true is already so. Owning up to it doesn't make it worse. Not being open about it doesn't make it go away. And because it's true, it is what is there to be interacted with. Anything untrue isn't there to be lived. People can stand what is true, for they are already enduring it.
  • Truth is always late, last to arrive, limping along with time.
    • Baltasar Gracián, Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia, § 146 (Christopher Maurer trans.).
  • All truths are not to be told.
  • That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.
  • In this life-long fight, to be waged by every one of us singlehanded against a host of foes, the last requisite for a good fight, the last proof and test of our courage and manfulness, must be loyalty to truth — the most rare and difficult of all human qualities. For such loyalty, as it grows in perfection, asks ever more and more of us, and sets before us a standard of manliness always rising higher and higher.
  • And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
  • Truth will do well enough if left to shift for herself. She seldom has received much aid from the power of great men to whom she is rarely known & seldom welcome. She has no need of force to procure entrance into the minds of men. Error indeed has often prevailed by the assistance of power or force. Truth is the proper & sufficient antagonist to error.
    • Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Religion (October 1776), published in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson : 1816–1826 (1899) edited by Paul Leicester Ford, v. 2, p. 102.
  • Well aware that the opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds; that Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraint; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord both of body and mind, yet choose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to exalt it by its influence on reason alone; that the impious presumption of legislature and ruler, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time: That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical; … that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; and therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust or emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religions opinion, is depriving him injudiciously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow-citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emolumerits, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminals who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, … and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
  • No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.
    • Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Judge John Tyler (June 28, 1804); in: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition (ME) (Lipscomb and Bergh, editors), 20 Vols., Washington, D.C., 1903-04, Volume 11, page 33.
  • I agree … that a professorship of Theology should have no place in our institution. But we cannot always do what is absolutely best. Those with whom we act, entertaining different views, have the power and the right of carrying them into practice. Truth advances, and error recedes step by step only; and to do to our fellow men the most good in our power, we must lead where we can, follow where we cannot, and still go with them, watching always the favorable moment for helping them to another step.
  • We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.
  • Yet ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
  • I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
  • Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
    • Jesus in John 17:17 - 19.
  • You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.

One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may . . . let it come from whence it may . . . We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up, or we shall not come out true Mormons.

  • But at the end of the day, the truth is not determined by what makes you feel warm and safe. It is not determined by what gets you the most friends. It is not determined by what makes people be nice to each other. It is not determined by a cost-benefit analysis of holding a certain belief. It is determined by reality. And those who willingly compromise their understanding of reality still have to live in it. They just might find themselves without a decent map.
  • Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
  • I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally.
  • Our minds and hearts are filled with other things than understanding of "what is". Love and mercy, kindliness and generosity do not cause enmity. When you love, you are very near truth. For, love makes for sensitivity, for vulnerability. That which is sensitive is capable of renewal. Then truth will come into being. It cannot come if your mind and heart are burdened, heavy with ignorance and animosity.
  • To follow implies not only the denying of one's own clarity, investigation, integrity and honesty, but it also implies that your motive in following is reward. Truth is not a reward.
  • Truth does not belong to an individual.
    • Jiddu Krishnamurti, 10th Conversation with D. Bohm, Brockwood Park, UK and Gstaad, Switzerland (27 September 1975).
  • Man has throughout the ages been seeking something beyond himself, beyond material welfare — something we call truth or God or reality, a timeless state — something that cannot be disturbed by circumstances, by thought or by human corruption. Man has always asked the question: what is it all about? Has life any meaning at all? He sees the enormous confusion of life, the brutalities, the revolt, the wars, the endless divisions of religion, ideology and nationality, and with a sense of deep abiding frustration he asks, what is one to do, what is this thing we call living, is there anything beyond it?
  • What can a human being do — what can you and I do — to create a completely different society? We are asking ourselves a very serious question. Is there anything to be done at all? What can we do? Will somebody tell us? People have told us. The so-called spiritual leaders, who are supposed to understand these things better than we do, have told us by trying to twist and mould us into a new pattern, and that hasn't led us very far; sophisticated and learned men have told us and that has led us no further. We have been told that all paths lead to truth — you have your path as a Hindu and someone else has his path as a Christian and another as a Muslim, and they all meet at the same door — which is, when you look at it, so obviously absurd. Truth has no path, and that is the beauty of truth, it is living. A dead thing has a path to it because it is static, but when you see that truth is something living, moving, which has no resting place, which is in no temple, mosque or church, which no religion, no teacher, no philosopher, nobody can lead you to — then you will also see that this living thing is what you actually are — your anger, your brutality, your violence, your despair, the agony and sorrow you live in. In the understanding of all this is the truth, and you can understand it only if you know how to look at those things in your life. And you cannot look through an ideology, through a screen of words, through hopes and fears.
  • In seeking there are several things involved: there is the seeker and the thing that he seeks after. When the seeker finds what he thinks is truth, is God, is enlightenment, he must be able to recognize it. He must recognize it, right? Recognition implies previous knowledge, otherwise you cannot recognize. I cannot recognize you if I had not met you yesterday. Therefore when I say this is truth, I have already known it and therefore it is not truth. So a man who is seeking truth lives a life of hypocrisy, because his truth is the projection of his memory, of his desire, of his intentions to find something other than "what is", a formula. So seeking implies duality — the one who seeks and the thing sought after — and where there is duality there is conflict. There is wastage of energy. So you can never find it, you can never invite it.
  • Questioner: Can one love truth without loving man? Can one love man without loving truth? What comes first?
    Krishnamurti: Love comes first. To love truth, you must know truth. To know truth is to deny truth. What is known is not truth. What is known is already encased in time and ceases to be truth. Truth is an eternal movement, and so cannot be measured in words or in time. It cannot be held in the fist. You cannot love something which you do not know. But truth is not to be found in books, in images, in temples. It is to be found in action, in living. The very search for the unknown is love itself, and you cannot search for the unknowable away from relationship. You cannot search for reality, or for what you will, in isolation. It comes into being only in relationship, only when there is right relationship between man and man. So the love of man is the search for reality.
  • You cannot find truth through anybody else. How can you? Surely, truth is not something static; it has no fixed abode; it is not an end, a goal. On the contrary, it is living, dynamic, alert, alive. How can it be an end? If truth is a fixed point, it is no longer truth; it is then a mere opinion. Sir, truth is the unknown, and a mind that is seeking truth will never find it. For mind is made up of the known; it is the result of the past, the outcome of time — which you can observe for yourself. Mind is the instrument of the known; hence it cannot find the unknown; it can only move from the known to the known. When the mind seeks truth, the truth it has read about in books, that "truth" is self-projected, for then the mind is merely in pursuit of the known, a more satisfactory known than the previous one. When the mind seeks truth, it is seeking its own self-projection, not truth. After all, an ideal is self-projected; it is fictitious, unreal. What is real is what is, not the opposite. But a mind that is seeking reality, seeking God, is seeking the known. When you think of God, your God is the projection of your own thought, the result of social influences. You can think only of the known; you cannot think of the unknown, you cannot concentrate on truth. The moment you think of the unknown, it is merely the self-projected known. So, God or truth cannot be thought about. If you think about it, it is not truth. Truth cannot be sought; it comes to you. You can go after only what is known. When the mind is not tortured by the known, by the effects of the known, then only can truth reveal itself. Truth is in every leaf, every tear; it is to be known from moment to moment. No one can lead you to truth; and if anyone leads you, it can only be to the known.
  • Truth is not something in the distance; there is no path to it, there is neither your path nor my path; there is no devotional path, there is no path of knowledge or path of action, because truth has no path to it. The moment you have a path to truth, you divide it, because the path is exclusive; and what is exclusive at the very beginning will end in exclusiveness. The man who is following a path can never know truth because he is living in exclusiveness; his means are exclusive, and the means are the end, are not separate from the end. If the means are exclusive, the end is also exclusive. So there is no path to truth, and there are not two truths. Truth is not of the past or the present, it is timeless; the man who quotes the truth of the Buddha, of Shankara, of Christ, or who merely repeats what I am saying, will not find truth, because repetition is not truth. Repetition is a lie.
  • Please let us be clear on this point — that you cannot by any process, through any discipline, through any form of meditation, go to truth, God, or whatever name you like to give it. It is much too vast, it cannot possibly be conceived of; no description will cover it, no book can hold it, nor any word contain it. So you cannot by any devious method, by any sacrifice, by any discipline or through any guru, go to it. You must await it, it will come to you, you cannot go to it. That is the fundamental thing one has to understand, that not through any trick of the mind, not through any control, through any virtue, any compulsion, any form of suppression, can the mind possibly go to truth. All that the mind can do is be quiet but not with the intention of receiving it. And that is one of the most difficult things of all because we think truth can be experienced right away through doing certain things. Truth is not to be bought any more than love can be bought.
  • Accept the truth from whatever source it comes.
    • Maimonides, Introduction to the Shemonah Peraqim, as quoted in Truth and Compassion: Essays on Judaism and Religion in Memory of Rabbi Dr. Solomon Frank (1983) Edited by Howard Joseph, Jack Nathan Lightstone, and Michael D. Oppenheim, p. 168
    • Unsourced variant: You must accept the truth from whatever source it comes.
  • At times the truth shines so brilliantly that we perceive it as clear as day. Our nature and habit then draw a veil over our perception, and we return to a darkness almost as dense as before. We are like those who, though beholding frequent flashes of lightning, still find themselves in the thickest darkness of the night. On some the lightning flashes in rapid succession, and they seem to be in continuous light, and their night is as clear as the day. This was the degree of prophetic excellence attained by (Moses) the greatest of prophets, to whom God said," But as for thee, stand thou here by Me" (Deut. v. 31), and of whom it is written" the skin of his face shone," etc. (Exod. xxxiv. 29). [Some perceive the prophetic flash at long intervals; this is the degree of most prophets.] By others only once during the whole night is a flash of lightning perceived. This is the case with those of whom we are informed," They prophesied, and did not prophesy again" (Num. xi. 25). There are some to whom the flashes of lightning appear with varying intervals; others are in the condition of men, whose darkness is illumined not by lightning, but by some kind of crystal or similar stone, or other substances that possess the property of shining during the night; and to them even this small amount of light is not continuous, but now it shines and now it vanishes, as if it were" the flame of the rotating sword."
  • My object in adopting this arrangement is that the truths should be at one time apparent and at another time concealed. Thus we shall not be in opposition to the Divine Will (from which it is wrong to deviate) which has withheld from the multitude the truths required for the knowledge of God, according to the words, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him." (Psalm 25:14)
  • If men possessed wisdom, which stands in the same relation to the form of man as the sight to the eye, they would not cause any injury to themselves or to others, for the knowledge of the truth removes hatred and quarrels, and prevents mutual injuries.
  • Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.
  • There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn't work.
  • Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion.
  • Just gimme some truth — all I want is the truth.
  • Truth certainly would do well enough, if she were once left to shift for herself. She seldom has received and, I fear, never will receive much assistance from the power of great men, to whom she is but rarely known and more rarely welcome. She is not taught by laws, nor has she any need of force to procure her entrance into the minds of men. Errors, indeed, prevail by the assistance of foreign and borrowed succours. But if Truth makes not her way into the understanding by her own light, she will be but the weaker for any borrowed force violence can add to her.
  • He that would seriously set upon the search of truth, ought in the first place to prepare his mind with a love of it. For he that loves it not, will not take much pains to get it; nor be much concerned when he misses it. There is nobody in the commonwealth of learning who does not profess himself a lover of truth: and there is not a rational creature that would not take it amiss to be thought otherwise of. And yet, for all this, one may truly say, that there are very few lovers of truth, for truth's sake, even amongst those who persuade themselves that they are so. How a man may know whether he be so in earnest, is worth inquiry: and I think there is one unerring mark of it, viz. The not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant. Whoever goes beyond this measure of assent, it is plain receives not the truth in the love of it; loves not truth for truth's sake, but for some other bye-end.
  • It is a little known fact that truth cannot be memorized. Truth has to be discovered now, from moment to moment. It is always fresh, always new, always there for the still, innocent mind that has experienced life without needing to hold on to what has gone before.
  • Truth does not need argument, agreement, theories or beliefs. There is only one test for it and that is to ask yourself 'Is the statement true or false in my experience?'
  • The truth is that once you discover something is false you lose interest in it. Man no longer treasures what he thought was genuine once he discovers it is false. In this way truth is its own solution. Self-knowledge is the discovery of the false. You do not have to find what is true: when the false is discarded truth is there. It always was. Just keep observing the fact and the change will come automatically and will he lasting.
  • They may veil their eyes, but they cannot hide
    The sun’s meridian glow;
    The heel of a priest may tread thee down,
    And a tyrant work thee woe:
    But never a truth has been destroyed;
    They may curse it, and call it crime;
    Pervert and betray, or slander and slay
    Its teachers for a time.
    But the sunshine aye shall light the sky,
    As round and round we run;
    And the truth shall ever come uppermost,
    And justice shall be done.
    • Charles Mackay, Legends of the Isles and Other Poems (1851), "Eternal Justice", Stanza 4.
  • Truth is a very difficult concept, many faceted.
    • Ian McDonald, senior Ministry of Defence Civil Servant, giving evidence to the Scott Inquiry on (6 October 1993), quoted in "Faded idol returns with same old song" by Joe Joseph and Michael Dynes The Times (7 October 1993).
  • The Ultimate Truth is called God. This one can realize in the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. A circle can have only one centre but it can have numerous radii. The centre can be compared to God and the radii to religions. So, no one sect, no one religion or book can make an absolute claim of It. He who works for It gets It.
  • Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth.
    • Isaac Newton, Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae [Certain Philosophical Questions] (c. 1664).
  • Suppose truth is a woman, what then?
  • The "general welfare" is not the sphere of truth; for truth demands to be declared even if it is ugly and unethical.
  • What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and; anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding.
  • At every step one has to wrestle for truth; one has to surrender for it almost everything to which the heart, to which our love, our trust in life, cling otherwise. That requires greatness of soul: the service of truth is the hardest service. What does it mean, after all, to have integrity in matters of the spirit? That one is severe against one's heart...that one makes of every Yes and No a matter of conscience.
  • The errors of great men are venerable because they are more fruitful then the truths of little men.
  • I think that natural truths will cease to be spat at us like insults, that aesthetics will once more be linked with ethics, and that people will become aware that in casting out aesthetics that they also cast out a respect for human life, a respect for creation, a respect for spiritual values. Aesthetics was an expression of man's need to be in love with his world. The cult of ugliness is a regression. It destroys our appetite, our love for our world.
  • To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.
    • George Orwell, Collected Essays, Vol. IV. In front of Your Nose.
  • Truth will triumph. It always does. However, I figure truth is a variable, so we're right back where we started from.
  • Such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. The sun needs no inscription to distinguish him from darkness.
  • Those philosophers who believe in the absolute logic of truth have never had to discuss it on close terms with a woman.
  • Gentlemen, that is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don't know what it means. But we have proved it, and therefore we know it must be the truth.
    • Benjamin Peirce, on Euler's identity, e^{i \pi} + 1 = 0. \,\! as quoted in notes by W. E. Byerly, published in Benjamin Peirce, 1809-1880: Biographical Sketch and Bibliography (1925) by R. C. Archibald; also in Mathematics and the Imagination (1940) by Edward Kasner and James Newman.
  • The truth isn't easily pinned to a page. In the bathtub of history the truth is harder to hold than the soap, and much more difficult to find...
  • Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
  • Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt, radio address 26 October 1939, as reported in The Baltimore Sun (27 October 1939).
  • I believe that love of truth is the basis of all real virtue, and that virtues based upon lies can only do harm.
  • Truth is a shining goddess, always veiled, always distant, never wholly approachable, but worthy of all the devotion of which the human spirit is capable.
  • The truth is cruel, but it can be loved, and it makes free those who have loved it.
  • Everything and everybody is sooner or later identified, defined, and put in perspective. The truth as always is simultaneously better and worse than what the popular myth-making has it.
  • Die Wahrheit kann warten: denn sie hat ein langes Leben vor sich.
    • Translation: The truth can wait, for it lives a long life.
    • Arthur Schopenhauer, Willen in der Natur in the chapter Einleitung (1836).
  • When truth cannot make itself known in words, it will make itself known in deeds.
    • Roger Scruton, "Should he have spoken?", The New Criterion (September 2006), p. 22; also in The Roger Scruton Reader (2009) edited by Mark Dooley.
  • To thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
  • If circumstances lead me, I will find
    Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
    Within the centre.
  • Tell truth and shame the devil.
    If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
    And I'll be sworn I have power to shame him hence.
  • But 'tis strange:
    And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
    The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
    Win us with honest trifles, to betray's
    In deepest consequence.
  • Methinks the truth should live from age to age,
    As 'twere retail'd to all posterity,
    Even to the general all-ending day.
  • Happy is the man that has found wisdom, and the man that gets discernment, for having it as gain is better than having silver as gain and having it as produce than gold itself. It is more precious than corals, and all other delights of yours cannot be made equal to it. Length of days is in its right hand; in its left hand there are riches and glory. Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its roadways are peace. It is a tree of life to those taking hold of it, and those keeping fast hold of it are to be called happy.
  • The word "truth" applies to a man's dignity.
  • The truth comes as conqueror only because we have lost the art of receiving it as guest.
    • Rabindranath Tagore in The Fourfold Way of India (1924); this has become paraphrased as "Truth comes as conqueror only to those who have lost the art of receiving it as friend".
  • It takes two to speak the truth — one to speak, and another to hear.
  • This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    • William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British poet and dramatist. Hamlet (1600-02), Act I, sc. iii. (Polonius giving advice to his son Laertes, departing for France).
  • Truth is elusive to those who refuse to see with both eyes.
    • Osric played by Rod Loomis in Stargate SG-1 season 10 episode #10 The Quest Part 1 (22 September 2006) written by Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie.
  • Truth eludes he who does not seek it with both eyes wide.
  • I believe in evil. It is the property of all those who are certain of truth.
    • Edward Teller, as quoted in The Martians of Science : Five Physicists Who Changed the Twentieth Century (2006) by Istvan Hargittai, p. 251.
  • Boris asked him to tell them how and where he got his wound. This pleased Rostov and he began talking about it, and as he went on became more and more animated. He told them of his Schon Grabern affair, just as those who have taken part in a battle generally do describe it, that is, as they would like it to have been, as they have heard it described by others, and as sounds well, but not at all as it really was. Rostov was a truthful young man and would on no account have told a deliberate lie. He began his story meaning to tell everything just as it happened, but imperceptibly, involuntarily, and inevitably he lapsed into falsehood. If he had told the truth to his hearers — who like himself had often heard stories of attacks and had formed a definite idea of what an attack was and were expecting to hear just such a story — they would either not have believed him or, still worse, would have thought that Rostov was himself to blame since what generally happens to the narrators of cavalry attacks had not happened to him. He could not tell them simply that everyone went at a trot and that he fell off his horse and sprained his arm and then ran as hard as he could from a Frenchman into the wood. Besides, to tell everything as it really happened, it would have been necessary to make an effort of will to tell only what happened. It is very difficult to tell the truth, and young people are rarely capable of it. His hearers expected a story of how beside himself and all aflame with excitement, he had flown like a storm at the square, cut his way in, slashed right and left, how his saber had tasted flesh and he had fallen exhausted, and so on. And so he told them all that.
  • Do not try to bend the spoon — that's impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth: There is no spoon.
  • In order to be effective truth must penetrate like an arrow — and that is likely to hurt.
  • There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.
  • All truths wait in all things,
    They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it
    ,
    They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon,
    The insignificant is as big to me as any,
    (What is less or more than a touch?)
  • Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.
  • If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out.
    • Oscar Wilde, "Phrases and Philosophies for the use of the young", in The Chameleon (December 1894).
  • Those who say that all historical accounts are ideological constructs (which is one version of the idea that there is really no historical truth) rely on some story which must itself claim historical truth. They show that supposedly "objective" historians have tendentiously told their stories from some particular perspective; they describe, for example, the biasses that have gone into constructing various histories of the United States. Such an account, as a particular piece of history, may very well be true, but truth is a virtue that is embarrassingly unhelpful to a critic who wants not just to unmask past historians of America but to tell us that at the end of the line there is no historical truth. It is remarkable how complacent some "deconstructive" histories are about the status of the history that they deploy themselves.
  • A further turn is to be found in some "unmasking" accounts of natural science, which aim to show that its pretensions to deliver the truth are unfounded, because of social forces that control its activities. Unlike the case of history, these do not use truths of the same kind; they do not apply science to the criticism of science. They apply the social sciences, and typically depend on the remarkable assumption that the sociology of knowledge is in a better position to deliver truth about science than science is to deliver truth about the world.
  • Truth conceived as God is of course the Absolute. Truth perceived by man must always be relative, changing according to human contacts developing as men understand better each other, their circumstances and themselves. Gandhi never set out to develop a fixed and final doctrine, but emphasized that his practice of ahimsa, or nonviolence, was always experimental, that his political struggle like his personal life was part of a continuing quest for Truth as manifested existentially, a quest that could never end because human understanding was incapable of comprehending the Absolute.
    The identification of Truth as the goal of political action, as well as of religious devotion, and the refusal to distinguish between religion and politics, form the background to the great divergences between Gandhi's revolutionary ideas and techniques and those of other contemporary revolutionists. … Unorthodox though he might be, Gandhi fitted into the traditional pattern of the sanyassi who practices non‑attachment in the search for Truth; he was the karma yogin, the man who perfects and purifies himself through action. Yogic disciplines of all kinds are held in India to confer power over destiny, and Gandhi believed that positive action — love and nonviolence — could intangibly influence men and therefore events. With Truth as the goal and at the same time as the principle of action (for in Gandhian terms ends are emergent from means and hence virtually indistinguishable from them), there was no place in Gandhi's idea of revolution for conspiratorial methods or guerrilla activities.
  • I believe that in the end the truth will conquer.
    • Statement to the Duke of Lancaster (1381), as quoted in Champions of the Right (1885) by Edward Gilliat, p. 135
    • Variant: I believe that in the end truth will conquer.
    • As quoted in Great Voices of the Reformation : An Anthology (1952) by Harry Emerson Fosdick, p. 37.
  • Pure truth no man has seen, nor ever shall know.
  • Truth never was indebted to a lie.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VIII, line 587.
  • Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best!
  • These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates
    • bible, Zechariah 8:16.
  • love the truth and peace
    • bible, Zechariah 8:19.
  • Truth, like a woman, must be wooed and won - and this only through the purity of mind and the heart’s deep love.
  • Tell the truth, then run.
    • Yugoslavian proverb, as quoted in The 2548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said (2001) by Robert Byrne.
  • There are cases when the simple truth is difficult to tell,
    When 'tis better that the truth should not be known,
    So we'd better leave her lying at the bottom of the well,
    And agree to let both truth and well alone.
    • Unknown, quoted in Under Queen and Khedive : The Autobiography of an Anglo-Egyptian Official (1899) by Walter Frederick Miéville.

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)[edit]

  • Hell is truth seen too late—duty neglected in its season.
    • Attributed to Tryon Edwards; in Edwards, A Dictionary of Thoughts (1891), p. 225.
  • I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our Government but civilization itself. That bond, though strained, is unbroken at home and abroad.
    • Gerald R. Ford, remarks on taking the oath of office, August 9, 1974. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Gerald R. Ford, 1974, p. 2.
  • Another one of the old poets, whose name has escaped my memory at present, called Truth the daughter of Time.
    • Aulus Gellius, The Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius, trans. John C. Rolfe (1927), vol. 2, book 12, chapter 11, verse 7, p. 394–95.
  • Persecution cannot harm him who stands by Truth. Did not Socrates fall proudly a victim in body? Was not Paul stoned for the sake of the Truth? It is our inner selves that hurt us when we disobey it, and it kills us when we betray it.
    • Khalil Gibran, The Secrets of the Heart, trans. Anthony R. Ferris (1947), p. 157.
  • It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth—and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
    • Patrick Henry, speech to the Virginia Convention, Richmond, Virginia (March 23, 1775); in William Wirt, Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (1836, reprinted 1970), 9th ed., p. 138. Language altered to first person.
  • We should face reality and our past mistakes in an honest, adult way. Boasting of glory does not make glory, and singing in the dark does not dispel fear.
    • Hussein I, king of Jordan, remarks during a conference of Arab chiefs of state, Khartoum, Sudan (August 30, 1967), as reported by The New York Times (August 31, 1967), p. 6.
  • The most violent revolutions in an individual's beliefs leave most of his old order standing. Time and space, cause and effect, nature and history, and one's own biography remain untouched. New truth is always a go-between, a smoother-over of transitions. It marries old opinion to new fact so as ever to show a minimum of jolt, a maximum of continuity.
    • William James, "What Pragmatism Means", Pragmatism (1931), p. 60–61. Lectures delivered at the Lowell Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, December 1906, and at Columbia University, New York City (January 1907).
  • Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record
    One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the Word;
    Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,—
    Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
    Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

    New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth;
    They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Truth;
    Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! we ourselves must Pilgrims be,
    Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the desperate winter sea,
    Nor attempt the Future's portal with the Past's blood-rusted key.
    • James Russell Lowell, "The Present Crisis", stanzas 8 and 18, The Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell (1978 [originally published in 1844]), p. 68..
  • You'll never get mixed up if you simply tell the truth. Then you don't have to remember what you have said, and you never forget what you have said.
    • Sam Rayburn, private conversation; in W. B. Ragsdale, "An Old Friend Writes of Rayburn", U.S. News & World Report (October 23, 1961), p. 72.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 818-22.
  • Some day Love shall claim his own
    Some day Right ascend his throne,
    Some day hidden Truth be known;
    Some day—some sweet day.
  • Yet the deepest truths are best read between the lines, and, for the most part, refuse to be written.
  • How sweet the words of Truth, breath'd from the lips of Love.
  • To say the truth, though I say 't that should not say 't.
  • La vérité n'a point cet air impétueux.
  • Le vrai peut quelquefois n'être pas vraisemblable.
  • Think truly, and thy thoughts
    Shall the world's famine feed.
    Speak truly, and each word of thine
    Shall be a fruitful seed.
    Live truly, and thy life shall be
    A great and noble creed.
  • Magna est veritas et prævalebit.
    • Truth is mighty and will prevail.
    • Thomas Brooks is said to have been the first to use the expression (1662). Found in Walter Scott, Talisman, Chapter XIX. Bishop Jewel. Purchas, Microcosmus. William Thackeray, Roundabout Papers. "O magna vis veritas." Found in Cicero, Oratio Pro Cœlio Rufo, XXVI.
  • Se non è vero, è molto ben trovato.
    • If it is not true it is very well invented.
    • Giordano Bruno, Degli Eroici Furori. Cardinal d'Este, of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso.
  • Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again;
    The eternal years of God are hers;
    But Error, wounded, writhes with pain,
    And dies among his worshippers.
  • Truth makes on the ocean of nature no one track of light—every eye looking on finds its own.
  • Better be cheated to the last,
    Than lose the blessed hope of truth.
  • More proselytes and converts use t' accrue
    To false persuasions than the right and true;
    For error and mistake are infinite,
    But truth has but one way to be i' th' right.
  • No words suffice the secret soul to show,
    For Truth denies all eloquence to Woe.
  • A man protesting against error is on the way towards uniting himself with all men that believe in truth.
  • Truths turn into dogmas the moment they are disputed.
  • When fiction rises pleasing to the eye,
    Men will believe, because they love the lie;
    But truth herself, if clouded with a frown,
    Must have some solemn proof to pass her down.
  • Qui semel a veritate deflexit, hic non majore religione ad perjurium quam ad mendacium perduci consuevit.
    • He who has once deviated from the truth, usually commits perjury with as little scruple as he would tell a lie.
    • Cicero, Oratio Pro Quinto Roscio Comœdo, XX.
  • Natura inest mentibus nostris insatiabilis quædam cupiditas veri videndi.
    • Our minds possess by nature an insatiable desire to know the truth.
    • Cicero, Tusculanarum Disputationum. I. 18.
  • For truth is unwelcome, however divine.
  • But what is truth? 'Twas Pilate's question put
    To Truth itself, that deign'd him no reply.
  • Nature * * * has buried truth deep in the bottom of the sea.
    • Democritus, quoted by Cicero, Academic Questions, Book II, Chapter X. C. D. Yonge's translation. Credited to Democritus by Lactantius, Institutiones, Book III, Chapter XXVIII.
  • The first great work (a task performed by few)
    Is that yourself may to yourself be true.
  • Truth is immortal; error is mortal.
  • Truth has rough flavours if we bite it through.
  • The greater the truth the greater the libel.
  • When life is true to the poles of nature, the streams of truth will roll through us in song.
  • The nobler the truth or sentiment, the less imports the question of authorship.
  • Though love repine and reason chafe,
    There came a voice without reply,
    "'Tis man's perdition to be safe,
    When for the truth he ought to die."
  • Vincer veris.
    • I am conquered by truth.
    • Erasmus, Diluculum.
  • But above all things truth beareth away the victory.
    • I Esdras, III. 12. Inscription on the New York Public Library.
  • Si je tenais toutes les vérités dans ma main, je me donnerais bien de garde de l'ouvrir aux hommes.
    • If I held all of truth in my hand I would beware of opening it to men.
    • Fontenelle
  • Truth only smells sweet forever, and illusions, however innocent, are deadly as the canker worm.
  • Lest men suspect your tale untrue,
    Keep probability in view.
    • John Gay, The Painter who Pleased Nobody and Everybody.
  • Alius quidam veterum pœtarum cuius nomen mihi nunc memoriæ non est veritatem temporis filiam esse dixit.
    • There is another old poet whose name I do not now remember who said Truth is the daughter of Time.
    • Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticæ, XII. 11. Par. 2. Veritas temporis filia. Found on the reverse of several coins of Queen Mary I.
  • Her terrible tale
    You can't assail,
    With truth it quite agrees;
    Her taste exact
    For faultless fact
    Amounts to a disease.
  • Truth like a torch, the more 'tis shook, it shines.
  • One truth discovered is immortal, and entitles its author to be so: for, like a new substance in nature, it cannot be destroyed.
  • Dare to be true, nothing can need a lie;
    A fault which needs it most, grows two thereby.
  • Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day, like a foot-ball, and it will be round and full at evening.
  • But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas—that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.
  • Nuda veritas. (Nudaque veritas).
    • The naked truth.
    • Horace, Carmina, I, 24, 7.
  • Quid verum atque decens curo et rogo, et omnis in hoc sum.
    • My cares and my inquiries are for decency and truth, and in this I am wholly occupied.
    • Horace, Epistles, I. 1. 11.
  • Ridentem dicere verum,
    Quid vetat.
    • What forbids a man to speak the truth in a laughing way?
    • Horace, Satires, I. 24.
  • Things are true or false in themselves. Truth cannot be affected by opinions; it cannot be changed, established, or affected by martyrdom. An error cannot be believed sincerely enough to make it a truth.
  • The truth shall make you free.
    • John, VIII. 32.
  • There is no truth in him.
    • John, VIII. 44.
  • Le contraire des bruits qui courent des affaires ou des personnes est souvent la vérité.
    • The opposite of what is noised about concerning men and things is often the truth.
    • Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, XII.
  • La vérité ne fait pas tant de bien dans le monde, que ses apparences y font de mal.
  • Veritatem laborare nimis sæpe, aiunt, extingui nunquam.
    • It is said that truth is often eclipsed but never extinguished.
    • Livy, Annales, XXII. 39.
  • The best way to come to truth being to examine things as really they are, and not to conclude they are, as we fancy of ourselves, or have been taught by others to imagine.
    • John Locke, Human Understanding, Book II, Chapter XII.
  • To love truth for truth's sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.
    • John Locke, letter to Anthony Collins, Esq. (Oct. 29, 1703).
  • When by night the frogs are croaking, kindle but a torch's fire;
    Ha! how soon they all are silent! Thus Truth silences the liar.
  • Who dares
    To say that he alone has found the truth?
  • Get but the truth once uttered, and 'tis like
    A star new-born that drops into its place
    And which, once circling in its placid round,
    Not all the tumult of the earth can shake.
  • Put golden padlocks on Truth's lips, be callous as ye will,
    From soul to soul, o'er all the world, leaps one electric thrill.
  • Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust,
    Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 'tis prosperous to be just;
    Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside,
    Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified.
  • Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet ’tis Truth alone is strong,
    And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng
    Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong.
  • Truth forever on the scaffold. Wrong forever on the throne.
  • Children and fooles speake true.
  • But there is no veil like light—no adamantine armor against hurt like the truth.
  • Veritatis absolutus sermo ac semper est simplex.
  • Pericula veritati sæpe contigua.
  • Truth, when not sought after, sometimes comes to light.
  • Not a truth has to art or to science been given,
    But brows have ached for it, and souls toil'd and striven;
    And many have striven, and many have fail'd,
    And many died, slain by the truth they assail'd.
    • Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), Lucile (1860), Part II, Canto VI, Stanza 1.
  • Truth is as impossible to be soiled by any outward touch as the sunbeam.
  • Ev'n them who kept thy truth so pure of old,
    When all our fathers worshipp'd stocks and stones,
    Forget not.
  • I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little the more as I grow older.
  • For oh, 'twas nuts to the Father of Lies,
    (As this wily fiend is named in the Bible)
    To find it settled by Laws so wise
    That the greater the truth, the worse the libel.
  • I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
  • In the mountains of truth, you never climb in vain.
  • We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.
  • Naked Truth needs no shift.
  • Ego verum amo, verum volo mihi dici; mendacem odi.
    • I love truth and wish to have it always spoken to me: I hate a liar.
    • Plautus, Mostellaria, I. 3. 26.
  • When truth or virtue an affront endures,
    Th' affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours.
  • Farewell then, verse, and love, and ev'ry toy,
    The rhymes and rattles of the man or boy;
    What right, what true, what fit we justly call,
    Let this be all my care—for this is all.
  • Dum omnia quærimus, aliquando ad verum, ubi minime expectavimus, pervenimus.
    • While we are examining into everything we sometimes find truth where we least expected it.
    • Quintilian, De Institutione Oratoria, XII. 8. 3.
  • Let us seek the solution of these doubts at the bottom of the inexhaustible well, where Heraclitus says that truth is hidden.
  • Die Treue warnt vor drohenden Verbrechen,
    Die Rachgier spricht von den begangenen.
    • Truth warns of threatening crimes,
      Malice speaks of those which were committed.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlos, III. 4. 124.
  • Involuta veritas in alto latet.
    • Truth lies wrapped up and hidden in the depths.
    • Seneca, De Beneficiis, VII. 1.
  • Veritatem dies aperit.
    • Time discovers truth.
    • Seneca, De Ira, II. 22.
  • Veritatis simplex oratio est.
    • The language of truth is simple.
    • Seneca, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XLIX.
  • Veritas odit moras.
    • Truth hates delays.
    • Seneca, Œdipus, 850.
  • And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
    And captive good attending captain ill.
  • Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
    Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
    But best is best, if never intermix'd.
  • When my love swears that she is made of truth,
    I do believe her, though I know she lies.
  • The end will show the whole truth.
    • William the Silent, To his brother Louis, commenting on The Count of Egmont's visit to Philip II about the problems in the Netherlands, 1565, as quoted in William the Silent (1902) by Frederic Harrison, p. 22.
  • All great truths begin as blasphemies.
  • My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world.
  • Truth and, by consequence, liberty, will always be the chief power of honest men.
  • Tell truth, and shame the devil.
  • Veritas visu et mora, falsa festinatione et incertis valescunt.
    • Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay: falsehood by haste and uncertainty.
    • Tacitus, Annales (AD 117), II. 39.
  • Truth-teller was our England's Alfred named?
  • And friendly free discussion calling forth
    From the fair jewel Truth its latent ray.
  • It takes two to speak the truth—one to speak, and another to hear.
  • Tell the truth or trump—but get the trick.
  • There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.
    • Voltaire, letter to Cardinal de Bernis (23 April 1761).
  • There is nothing so powerful as truth; and often nothing so strange.
    • Daniel Webster, Arguments on the Murder of Captain White, Volume VI, p. 68.
  • I have ever thought,
    Nature doth nothing so great for great men,
    As when she's pleas'd to make them lords of truth.
    Integrity of life is fame's best friend,
    Which nobly, beyond death, shall crown the end.
  • It is one thing to wish to have truth on our side, and another to wish sincerely to be on the side of truth.
    • Archbishop Richard Whately, Essay on some of the Difficulties in the Writings of the Apostle Paul, No. 1, On the Love of Truth.
  • The sages say, Dame Truth delights to dwell
    (Strange Mansion!) in the bottom of a well:
    Questions are then the Windlass and the rope
    That pull the grave old Gentlewoman up.
  • Truths that wake
    To perish never.

The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)[edit]

Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 240-242.
  • Truth is the same in all persuasions.
    • Jefferies, C.J., Titus Oates' Case (1685), 10 How. St. Tr. 1262.
  • Truth and falsehood, it has been well said, are not always opposed to each other like black and white, but oftentimes, and by design, are made to resemble each other so as to be hardly distinguishable; just as the counterfeit thing is counterfeit because it resembles the genuine thing.
    • Cleasby, B., Johnson v. Emerson (1871), L. R. 6 Ex. Ca. 357.
  • There are various kinds of untruth. There is an absolute untruth, an untruth in itself, that no addition or qualification can make true: as, if a man says a thing he saw was black, when it was white, as he remembers and knows. So, as to knowing the truth. A man may know it, and yet it may not be present in his mind at the moment of speaking; or, if the fact is present to his mind, it may not occur to him to be of any use to mention it. For example, suppose a man was asked whether a writing was necessary in a contract for the making and purchase of goods, he might well say "Yes," without adding that payment on receipt of the goods, or part, would suffice. He might well think that the question he was asked was whether a contract for goods to be made required a writing like a contract for goods in existence. If he was writing on the subject, he would, of course, state the exception or qualification.
    • Lord Bramwell, Deny v. Peek (1889), L. R. 14 Ap. Cas. 348.
  • The interests of truth and justice must be allowed to prevail.
    • Erie, C.J., Bartlett v. Lewis (1862), 12 C. B. (N. S.) 249.
  • Truth is the thing that we are enquiring after; and this is the thing we would have prevail, and I hope shall in all cases.
    • Pollexfen, L.C.J., Sir Richard Grahme's Case (1691), 12 How. St. Tr. 799.
  • Ingenuity is one thing, and simple testimony another, and plain truth, I take it, needs no flowers of speech.
  • We live in an age, when truth passes for nothing in the world, and swearing and foreswearing is taken for a thing of course. Had his zeal been half so much for truth as it was for falsehood, it had been a commendable zeal.
    • Jefferies, L.C.J., Case of Braddon and another (1684), 9 How. St. Tr. 1198.
  • Every one disguising the truth from a man who has a right to the truth is wrong, and ought not to be encouraged.
    • Burnett, J., Chesterfield v. Janssen (1750), 2 Ves. 125.
  • God forbid the truth should be concealed any way.
    • Wright, L.C.J., Trial of the Seven Bishops (1688), 12 How. St. Tr. 310.
  • Veritas nihil veretur nisi abscondi: Truth fears nothing but concealment.
    • 9 Co. 20.
  • Fiction is never admitted where truth may work.
    • Hoibart, C.J., Wright v. Gerrard (1617), Lord Hobart's Rep. 311.
  • Ay, ay, let truth come out, in God's name.
    • Jefferies, C.J., Lady Ivy's Case (1684), 10 How. St. Tr. 582.
  • Plain truth, dear Murray, needs no flowers of speech.
  • It seems to have been supposed, at one time, that saying, 'Tell the truth' meant, in effect, 'Tell a lie.'
    • Willes, J., Reg. v. Reeve and another (1872), L. R. Crown Cas. Res., Vol. 1., 363; in regard to the admissibility of certain evidence of confession.
  • Truth, like all other good things, may be loved unwisely — may be pursued too keenly — may cost too much.
    • Knight-Bruce, V.-C, Pearse v. Pearse (1846), 1 De Gex & Sm. 28, 29.
  • We know that passion, prejudice, party, and even good-will, tempt many who preserve a fair character with the world to deviate from truth in the laxity of conversation.
    • Laurence, J., Berkeley Peerage Case (1811), 4 Camp. Rep. 411.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)[edit]

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • Truth does not consist in minute accuracy of detail; but in conveying a right impression.
  • How sweet the words of truth breathed from the lips of love!
  • Give us that calm certainty of truth, that nearness to Thee, that conviction of the reality of the life to come, which we shall need to bear us through the troubles of this.
  • We must not let go manifest truths because we cannot answer all questions about them.
  • The golden beams of truth and the silken cords of love, twisted together, will draw men on with a sweet violence whether they will or not.
  • The deepest truth blooms only from the deepest love.
  • Dare to be true; nothing can need a lie;
    A fault which needs it most grows two thereby.
  • Pray over every truth ; for though the renewed heart is not " desperately wicked," it is quite deceitful enough to become so, if God be forgotten a moment.
  • Stick to the old truths and the old paths, and learn their di- vineness by sick-beds and in every-day work, and do not darken your mind with intellectual puzzles, which may breed disbelief, but can never breed vital religion or practical usefulness.
  • Truth is a very different thing from fact; it is the loving contact of the soul with spiritual fact, vital and potent. It does not work in the soul independently of all faculty or qualification there for setting it forth or defending it. Truth in the inward parts is a power, not an opinion.
  • The advent of truth, like the dawn of day, agitates the elements, while it disperses the gloom.
  • Truth will ever be unpalatable to those who are determined not to relinquish error.
  • No truth can be said to be seen as it is until it is seen in its relation to all other truths. In this relation only is it true.
  • He who seeks truth must be content with a lonely, little-trodden path. If he cannot worship her till she has been canonized by the shouts of the multitude, he must take his place with the members of that wretched crowd who shouted for two long hours, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians!" till truth, reason, and calmness were all drowned in noise.
  • There is an inward state of the heart which makes truth credible the moment it is stated. It is credible to some men because of what they are. Love is credible to a loving heart; purity is credible to a pure mind; life is credible to a spirit in which life beats strongly — it is incredible to other men.
  • In all matters of eternal truth, the soul is before the intellect; the things of God are spiritually discerned. You know truth by being true; you recognize God by being like Him.
  • It is perilous to separate thinking rightly from acting rightly. He is already half false who speculates on truth and does not do it. Truth is given, not to be contemplated, but to be done. Life is an action — not a thought. And the penalty paid by him who speculates on truth, is that by degrees the very truth he holds becomes a falsehood.
  • Truth is the most powerful thing in the world, since even fiction itself must be governed by it, and can only please by its resemblance.
  • We must never throw away a bushel of truth because it happens to contain a few grains of chaff.
  • Just as soon as any conviction of important truth becomes central and vital, there comes the desire to utter it—a desire which is immediate and irresistible. Sacrifice is gladness, service is joy, when such an idea becomes a commanding power.
  • Truth does not require your painting, brother; it is itself beauty. Unfold it, and men will be captivated. Take your brush to set off the rainbow, or give a new tinge of splendor to the setting sun, but keep it away from the "Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley."
  • Truth is the shortest and nearest way to our end, carrying us thither in a straight line.

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