10k Truth Quotes
About the Truth
you need that five-to-nine-a-day!
By the Babe
By Emil Zatopek
Most Valuable Quotes
you've heard someone say with conviction, "There are
two kinds of truth...." You might have even said it
yourself. What usually follows is a another sip of whatever
you're drinking and then the definitive explanation of the
two kinds of truth. Something like (swallow): "there's the
truth that hurts us and the truth that hurts others" or
"there are truths of reason, and truths of fact"
or, maybe, "there are absolute truths and then there are
relative truths..." (as Vizzini said to the Man in Black,
"Wait till I get going! Where was I?") There is
"the truth of the intellect and the truth of the heart,"
"the small truth and the great truth," and don't forget
"the literal truth and the poetic truth." We've
even been told of "the cold truth and the hot truth" and
the "truth of names and the truth of things," but the
best one we've come across goes like this: "There are
two kinds of truth, the truth you can read in a book and
the truth that any fool can see." Actually, if you
think about it long enough, it makes no sense to say there
are two kinds of truth, and why not? The Maverick
is an enemy, even to its owner.
Knowledge is a friend, even to its hater.
Ignorance hates knowledge because it is too pure.
Knowledge fears ignorance because it is too sure."
happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!
Sir Henry Wotton, A Happy Life
is a lie which makes us realize the truth."
intelligence is imperfect, surely, and newly arisen; the ease
with which it can be sweet-talked, overwhelmed, or subverted
by other hardwired propensities -- sometimes themselves disguised
as the cool light of reason -- is worrisome."
Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, 1992
cannot kill truth; you cannot kill justice; you cannot kill
what we are fighting for."
never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's
sea-sand and sorrow:
What are brief?
to-day and to-morrow:
What are frail?
Spring blossoms and youth:
What are deep?
the ocean and truth.
Christina Rossetti, Sing-Song
to be true: nothing can need a lie;
A fault which needs it most, grows two thereby."
Herbert, The Church Porch
saying is both true and terse:
There's nothing bad but might be worse."
Thornton W. Burgess, Bowser the Hound
you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will
eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only
for such time as the State can shield the people from the political,
economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes
vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to
repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie,
and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the
Joseph Goebbels (Propoganda Minister)
contest follows, and much learned dust
Involves the combatants; each claiming truth,
And truth disclaiming both."
William Cowper, The Task and Other Poems
to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths;
Win us with honest trifles, to betray us
In deepest consequence."
William Shakespeare, Macbeth
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. "
Charles Churchill, An Epistle to William Hogarth
not trouble yourselves about standards or ideals; but try to
be faithful and natural: remember that there is no greatness,
no beauty, which does not come from truth to your own knowledge
of things; and keep on working, even if your work is not long
William Dean Howells, Literature and Life, Entire
truth is found when men are free to pursue it."
Franklin D. Roosevelt
springs up, and flowers, and bears no seed,
And feeds the green earth with its swift decay,
Leaving it richer for the growth of truth."
James Russell Lowell, Prometheus
'truth' that guided the Founders was 'that men were corruptible
and that power always corrupted.' They believed that 'greed
and lust for power ... were inquenchable in mortal men.' ...
The great concern of the Founders was tyranny. After all, they
had just barely escaped the clutches of King George ... The
last thing they wanted was a power-hungry president, a domestic
King George ... The Founders did not trust
men's natural inclinations.
... (they) envisioned a supreme legislative branch as the heart
and soul of America's central government. They assumed that
Congress, drawn from all parts of the country, would initiate
bills, set budgets, approve wars, provide national leadership,
and if necessary, impeach and toss out a wayward president.
After all, who would give supreme powers to one man, or woman?"
- From The
Christian Science Monitor, "To the Founders, Congress
was king," by John Dillin (1/20/05) quoting from Dr.
Carol Berkin's book, A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the
truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted."
am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can
be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point
is to bring them the real facts."
is the glue that holds government together."
Gerald R. Ford (from a speech succeeding Richard Nixon as president,
is nothing as powerful as the truth and often nothing as strange."
taste is simply saying the truth before it should be said."
you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey."
will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth
as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to
the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the
rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders
from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook
or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful
or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit."
Motto of The Texas Observer
"Truth is the
best armour to fight evil in life. I will tread the path of life
with the torch of truth ever ablaze in my hand. From dawn to dusk,
I will be true both in words and in deeds."
dies more quickly in the war of words than one of swords, and
the more emotional the debate, the quicker the death."
Bode Olakanmi, "Truth: the first real casualty in any war,"
The Daily Iowan (2/27/03)
"But the involuntary
tricks of memory and the voluntary ones of imagination make always
such terrible havoc of facts that truth, be it ever so much sought
and cared for, appears in history and biography only in a more
or less disfigured condition."
"The truth that's
told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent."
have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable,
must be the truth."
point of view is the only point of view from which one is able
to look at the world in its truth."
Ortega y Gasset
"Truth is mighty
and will prevail.
There is nothing the matter with this, except that it ain't so."
"Truth is such
a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it."
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-
"Truth is, you're
always going to lose when you play a game of cat and mouse with
"Losing an illusion
makes you wiser than finding a truth."
"It is one thing
to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession
of the truth."
Integrity without knowledge
is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous
"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."
"A lie can travel
halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
"If you tell the truth,
you don't have to remember anything."
more readily from error than from confusion."
Sir Francis Bacon
truth must be recognition that in every man, in every child is
the potential for greatness."
"The pure and
simple truth is rarely pure and never simple."
"I never give
them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell."
"Truth stood on
one side and Ease on the other; it has often been so."
"And let the truth
be your delight...Proclaim it..., but with a certain congeniality."
Caterina Benincasa (1347-1380)
"The pursuit of
truth shall set you freeeven if you never catch up with
"It is error alone which needs
the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."
"It is easier for a
king to have a lie believed than a beggar to spread the truth."
Robert Strecker, MD
"During times of universal
deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
"The most dangerous
untruths are truths slightly distorted."
G. C. Lichtenberg
only falsehood has to be invented."
"Truth is beautiful,
without doubt; but so are lies."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"There are truths
which can kill a nation."
"The truth is
violated by falsehood but outraged by silence."
"All truth passes through
three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently
opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
"When one has
one's hand full of truth it is not always wise to open it."
thing about the quest for truth is that you find it."
Remy de Gourmont
"Time is precious,
but truth is more precious than time."
"Truth is what
stands the test of experience."
"If you are out
to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor."
"How often have
I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever
remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Sign of Four"
"Truth is always
Henry David Thoreau
"It is not by
the sword or the spear, by soldiers or by armed force that truth
is to be promoted, but by counsel and gentle persuasion. "
Saint Athenasius, (293-373) Bishop of Alexandria
"The least initial
deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold. "
"The sad truth
is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds
to be good or evil. "
truth so much as authority."
Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472)
"Say not unto
thyself, Behold, truth breedeth hatred, and I will avoid it; dissimulation
raiseth friends, and I will follow it. Are not the enemies made
by truth, better than the friends obtained by flattery?"
"Evil people hate
the light because it reveals themselves to themselves. ... They
will destroy the light, the goodness, the love in order to avoid
the pain of self-awareness. ... [E]vil is laziness carried to
its ultimate, extraordinary extreme."
Dr. M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled (1978)
to be possessors of absolute truth degrades us: we regard every
person whose way of thinking is different from ours as a monster
and a threat and by so doing turn our own selves into monsters
and threats to our fellows."
Octavio Paz (1914-1998)
"Such is the irresistible
nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty
of appearing. "
Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man Introduction (1792)
"The opposite of a
correct statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound
truth may well be another profound truth."
Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
"We shall some
day catch an abstract truth by the tail, and then we shall have
our religion and our immortality."
Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918)
"There is a tragic
clash between Truth and the world. Pure undistorted Truth burns
up the world. "
is a lifelong process of replacing lies with truth."
"The dream begins,
most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs
and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking
you with a sharp stick called truth."
a new truth more than an old error."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"Why tell me that
a man is a fine speaker, if it is not the truth that he is speaking?"
"A lie has speed, but
truth has endurance."
Edgar J. Mohn
"Truth isn't always
beauty, but the hunger for it is."
"Truth we learn
in pain and sighs..."
George William (A. E.) Russell, Collected Poems by A.E. (1913)
"Did I follow
Truth wherever she led, And stand against the whole world for
a cause, And uphold the weak against the strong? If I did I would
be remembered among men..."
Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology
"Where thou art
Obliged to speak, be sure speak the Truth: For Equivocation is
half way to Lying, as Lying, the whole way to Hell."
William Penn (16441718). Fruits of Solitude (The Harvard Classics,
Reason more Right, than the Coolness of those that offer it: For
Truth often suffers more by the Heat of its Defenders, than from
the Arguments of its Opposers."
William Penn (16441718). Fruits of Solitude (The Harvard Classics,
"If you seek Truth,
you will not seek to gain a victory by every possible means; and
when you have found Truth, you need not fear being defeated."
Epictetus (c.A.D. 50c.A.D. 138). The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
(The Harvard Classics, 190914)
the dictum that truth always triumphs over persecution, is one
of those pleasant falsehoods which men repeat after one another
till they pass into commonplaces, but which all experience refutes.
History teems with instances of truth put down by persecution.
If not suppressed forever, it may be thrown back for centuries."
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
"He who tells
the truth must have one foot in the stirrup."
"In the mountains
of truth you never climb in vain. Either you already reach a higher
point today, or you exercise your strength in order to be able
to climb higher tomorrow."
"It is terrible
to die of thirst in the ocean. Do you have to salt your truth
so heavily that it does not even-quench thirst any more?"
"The poetry of history
lies in the quasi-miraculous fact that once on this earth, on
this familiar spot of ground walked other men and women as actual
as we are today, thinking their own thoughts, swayed by their
own passions but now all gone, vanishing after another, gone as
utterly as we ourselves shall be gone like ghosts at cockcrow."
"The theory of
a free press is that truth will emerge from free discussion, not
that it will be presented perfectly and instantly in any one account."
Walter Lippmann (also the Motto of the Grants Pass Daily Courier,
in Grants Pass, Oregon, that just canned Dan Guthrie, award winning
columnist, for a column in which he charged Bush with cowardice.)
"There are always
in life countless tendencies for good and for evil, and each succeeding
generation sees some of these tendencies strengthened and some
weakened; nor is it by any means always, alas! that the tendencies
for evil are weakened and those for good strengthened. But during
the last few decades there certainly have been some notable changes
for good in boy life. The great growth in the love of athletic
sports, for instance, while fraught with danger if it becomes
one-sided and unhealthy, has beyond all question had an excellent
effect in increased manliness. " -
Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life (1900)
"If you wish to
experience peace, provide peace for another. If you wish to know
that you are safe, cause [others] to know that they are safe.
If you wish to better understand seemingly incomprehensible things,
help another to better understand. If you wish to heal your own
sadness or anger, seek to heal the sadness or anger of another.
Those others are waiting for you now. They are looking to you
for guidance, for help, for courage, for strength, for understanding,
and for assurance at this hour. Most of all, they are looking
to you for love."
"I am aware that
I shall be told that the work of thought which I have insisted
on is difficult, that to collect and concentrate the mind for
the truth is harder than to toil with the hands. Be it so. But
are we weak enough to hope to rise without toil? Does any man,
laborer or not, expect to invigorate body or mind without strenuous
effort? Does not the child grow and get strength by throwing a
degree of hardship and vehemence and conflict into his very sports?
Does not life without difficulty become insipid and joyless? Cannot
a strong interest turn difficulty into pleasure? Let the love
of truth, of which I have spoken, be awakened, and obstacles in
the way to it will whet, not discourage, the mind, and inspire
a new delight into its acquisition."
William Ellery Channing, On the Elevation of the Laboring Classes:
"All sports and
exercises shall be a part of his study; running, wrestling, musicke,
dancing, hunting, and managing of armes and horses. I would have
the exterior demeanor or decencie, and the disposition of his
person to be fashioned together with his mind: for, it is not
a mind, it is not a body that we erect, but it is a man, and we
must not make two parts of him. And as Plato saith, They must
not be erected one without another, but equally be directed, no
otherwise than a couple of horses matched to draw in one selfe-same
teeme. And to heare him, doth he not seeme to imploy more time
and care in the exercises of his bodie: and to thinke that the
minde is together with the same exercised, and not the contrarie?"
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Of the Institution and Education of
Children To the Ladie Diana of Foix, Countesse of Gurson (From
Literary and Philosophical Essays. The Harvard Classics. 190914)
It is no proof of
a mans understanding to be able to affirm whatever he pleases;
but to be able to discern that what is true is true, and that
what is false is false, this is the mark and character of intelligence.
"The soul is the
perceiver and revealer of truth. We know truth when we see it,
let skeptic and scoffer say what they choose. Foolish people ask
you, when you have spoken what they do not wish to hear, 'How
do you know it is truth, and not an error of your own?' We know
truth when we see it, from opinion, as we know when we are awake
that we are awake."
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays and English Traits (From. Essays VIII.
The Over-Soul 1841)
"It's not what you
don't know that hurts you. It's what you know that just isn't
"Mother always told
me, if you tell a lie, always rehearse it. If it don't sound good
to you, it won't sound good to no one else."
wrote was true because I believed what I saw."
"Truth never damages
a cause that is just."
"In the struggle for
existence, it is only on those who hang on for ten minutes after
all is hopeless, that hope begins to dawn."
"You cannot grow a
beard in a moment of passion."
"One must keep
repeating the Truth."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"Truth is for
lags behind, limping along on the arm of Time."
"Follow not truth
too near the heels, lest it dash out thy teeth."
"The exact contrary
of what is generally believed is often the truth."
Jean de la Bruyère
"I cannot comprehend
how any man can want anything but the truth."
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
"There's a little
truth in all jive, and a little jive in all truth. "
"No one is entitled
to the truth."
E. Howard Hunt
"Crazy that you are,
why do you promise yourself to live a long time, you who cannot
count on a single day."
A warning sign in the Catacombs beneath the streets of Paris,
(Woe to the vanquished.)
Titus Livius Livy
"Life is pleasant.
Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome."
"Tell troth and
shame the devil."
"I have discovered
the art of deceiving diplomats. I speak the truth, and they never
Camillo di Cavour
"A kiss may not
be the truth, but it is what we wish were true."
"Truth, like a
torch, the more it's shook it shines."
"Believe those who
are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."
"Three things cannot
be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth."
"I see the truth
Paul Muad'Dib in Frank Herbert's Dune
"Never tell the
truth to those unworthy of it."
"The Truth against
"Man will occasionally
stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself
up and continue on."
want the truth? You can't handle the truth."
Jack Nicholson's character to Tom Cruise's character in the movie,
A Few Good Men
want the truth? No truth handler, you. I deride your truth handling
Sideshow Bob, The Simpsons