Truth

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

Quotations about truth.

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Arranged alphabetically by author
  • 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)]
  • To say of what is, that it is, or of what is not, that it is not, is 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.
  • Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few.
  • Truth makes on the surface of nature no one track of light — every eye looking on finds its own.
  • Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
  • Truth will triumph. It always does. However, I figure truth is a variable, so we're right back where we started from.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Actions are the fruit of all truth, it is by your words you may be heard, but by your actions you will be judged.
  • 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.
  • It is a fool's prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Your [God's] word is truth.
  • When truth cannot make itself known in words, it will make itself known in deeds.
  • A liar is one who is too good to be true.
    • Leonid S. Sukhorukov, in All About Everything
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, in "Phrases and Philosophies for the use of the young" om The Chameleon (December 1894)
  • Pure truth no man has seen, nor ever shall know.
  • 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!

Unsourced

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  • Truth is truth.
  • Truth is absolute.
    • in "K-PAX"
  • There is some fiction in your truth, and some truth in your fiction. To know the truth, you must risk everything.
    • The Animatrix ( collection its from named, but needs an author)
  • It does not require many words to speak the thruth.
  • Any fool can be honest, for it is only what he knows. A wise man is aware of when to share the truth.
    • Vedran Empress Yoweri XXIII, CY 2932.
  • Lies, however numerous, will be caught by truth when it rises up.
  • Look within for truth, look without for reality.
  • One man's truth is another man's lies.
  • The most difficult thing in life to do is explaining truth.
  • The voice of truth is easily known.
  • Mankind will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.
  • The opposite of a correct statement is an incorrect statement, but the opposite of a profound truth is another profound truth.
  • Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
  • Truth — Something somehow discreditable to someone.
  • Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
  • To me, truth is not some vague, foggy notion. Truth is real. And, at the same time, unreal. Fiction and fact and everything in between, plus some things I can't remember, all rolled into one big 'thing'. This is truth, to me.
  • One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, 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.
  • The quest to abandon illusions about our condition is also a quest to abandon conditions which support illusions.
  • Show up & choose to be present, pay attention to what has heart and meaning, tell the truth without blame or judgment, and be open rather than attached to the outcome.
  • I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
  • 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.
  • Tell the truth and run.
    • Serbian proverb
  • The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.
  • Truth would quickly cease to become stranger than fiction, once we got as used to it.
  • I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.
  • Truth has rough flavours if we bite it through.
  • A man protesting against error is on the way towards uniting himself with all men that believe in truth.
  • Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than from the arguments of its opposers.
  • I don't give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it is hell.
  • Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.
  • There are truths that are not for all men, nor for all times.
  • There are no whole truths. All truths are half truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.
  • I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him.
  • Perhaps, moreover, he whose genius appears deepest and truest excels his fellows in nothing save the knack of expression; he throws out occasionally a lucky hint at truths of which every human soul is profoundly though unutterably conscious.
  • Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
  • The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility. And vice versa.
  • In a time of universal deceit — telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
  • Yet the deepest truths are best read between the lines, and, for the most part, refuse to be written.
  • As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand.
  • It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.
  • It is easier to find a score of men wise enough to discover the truth than to find one intrepid enough, in the face of opposition, to stand up for it.
  • From error to error, one discovers the entire truth.
  • Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth.
  • Chase after truth like hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat-tails.
  • Propaganda must not serve the truth, especially insofar as it might bring out something favourable for the opponent.
  • The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.
  • The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.
  • Man is fed with fables through life, and leaves it in the belief he knows something of what has been passing, when in truth he has known nothing but what has passed under his own eye.
  • My convictions, positive and negative, on all the matters of which you speak, are of long and slow growth and are firmly rooted. But the great blow which fell on me [Huxley's little son had died some days earlier] seemed to stir them to their foundation, and had I lived a couple of centuries earlier I could have fancied a devil scoffing at me and them — and asking me what profit it was to have stripped myself of the hopes and consolations of the mass of mankind? To which my only reply was and is — Oh devil! Truth is better than much profit. I have searched over the grounds of my belief, and if wife and child and name and fame were all to be lost to me one after the other as the penalty, still I will not lie.
  • All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
  • No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth.
  • I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself 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.
  • There are but few saints amongst scientists, as among other men, but truth itself is a goal comparable with sanctity.
  • Basically, I have this theory that there are five kinds of truth. (This is Joe's Theory of the Five Truths.) There is the truth you tell to casual strangers and acquaintances. There is the truth you tell to your general circle of friends and family members. There is the truth you tell to only one or two people in your entire life. There is the truth you tell to yourself. And finally, there is the truth that you do not admit even to yourself. And it's that fifth truth that provides some of the most interesting drama ...
  • Nothing is true. All is permitted.
    • Last words of Hassan i Sabbah; this also occurs in the Thomas Common translation of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
  • You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.
  • The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple
  • I have said to you to speak the truth is a painful thing. To be forced to tell lies is much worse.
  • Honesty is the best policy, therefore by the process of elimination, dishonesty is the second best policy.
  • Believing something that is not truth is a waste of time.
  • When it comes to the truth, you can never be too honest.
  • If a man tells a lie, thinking it is the truth, does that make him a liar?
  • Between the truth and the search for truth, I choose the latter
  • The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth.
  • Not to oppose error is to approve of it, and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and, indeed, to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is not less a sin than to encourage them.
  • It's not a lie if you believe it.
    • George Costanza, in Seinfeld (advice on lying effectively)
  • If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
  • There are always four sides to a story: your side, their side, the truth and what really happened.
  • You need not tell all the truth, unless to those who have a right to know it all, but let all you tell be truth.
  • The truth is so simple that it is regarded as a pretentious banality.
  • You're never terrified when you say what you mean — are you?

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