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A noble lie is a myth or untruth, often, but not invariably, of a religious nature, knowingly told by an elite to maintain social harmony or to advance an agenda. The noble lie is a concept originated by Plato as described in the Republic.
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- To grasp the boundaries of reason - now, that is real philosophy ... Why did God reveal himself to humanity? Would God have done something superfluous? People cannot figure out what is good and evil on their own, that is why God taught them his will ... Moral: priests do not lie, - there is simply no room for lying about 'truth' or 'untruth' in the sorts of issues priests talk about. This is because you cannot lie unless you can decide what is true. And this is impossible for human beings to do; which means that the priest is only a mouthpiece of God. - This sort of priestly syllogism is not at all exclusive to Judaism and Christianity: the right to lie and the shrewdness of 'revelation' belong to the priestly type, the priests of decadence as well as the pagan priests (- a pagan is anyone who says yes to life, who sees 'god' as the word for the great yes to all things). - The 'law', the 'will of God', the 'holy book', 'inspiration' - All these are just words for the conditions under which priests come to power and maintain their power, - these concepts can be found at the bottom of all priestly organizations, all structures of priestly or philosophical-priestly control. The 'holy lie' - this is common to Confucius, the law book of Manu, Mohammed, and the Christian church: and it is not absent from Plato either. 'The truth is there ': wherever you hear this, it means that the priest is lying.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ (1888), 55.