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Sometime, somewhere 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 Philosopher knows...

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"Ignorance 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."
Sri Chinmoy

How 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

"Art is a lie which makes us realize the truth."
Pable Picasso

"Our 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

"You cannot kill truth; you cannot kill justice; you cannot kill what we are fighting for."
Jean Dominique

I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell."
Harry Truman

What are heavy?
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

"Dare to be true: nothing can need a lie;
A fault which needs it most, grows two thereby."
Herbert, The Church Porch

"This saying is both true and terse:
There's nothing bad but might be worse."
Thornton W. Burgess, Bowser the Hound

"If 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 State."
Joseph Goebbels (Propoganda Minister)

"Great contest follows, and much learned dust
Involves the combatants; each claiming truth,
And truth disclaiming both."
William Cowper, The Task and Other Poems

"Oftentimes, 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

"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. "
Charles Churchill, An Epistle to William Hogarth

"Do 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 remembered."
William Dean Howells, Literature and Life, Entire

"The truth is found when men are free to pursue it."
Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Evil 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

"...the chief '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 American Constitution.

"The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted."
James Madison

"I 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."
Abraham Lincoln

"Truth is the glue that holds government together."
Gerald R. Ford (from a speech succeeding Richard Nixon as president, August 1974)

"There is nothing as powerful as the truth and often nothing as strange."
Daniel Webster

"Bad taste is simply saying the truth before it should be said."
Mel Brooks

"When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey."
Arab Proverb

"We 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."
Zarathustra

"Actually, truth 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."
Frederick Niecks

"The truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent."
William Blake

"...whenever you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
Sherlock Holmes

"The individual 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."
Mark Twain

"Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it."
Emily Dickinson

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-
Emily Dickinson

"Truth is, you're always going to lose when you play a game of cat and mouse with the cat."
Cory Eberhart

"Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth."
Ludwig Borne

"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

Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
Samuel Johnson

"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."
Samuel Johnson

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
Mark Twain

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."
Mark Twain

"Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion."
Sir Francis Bacon

"The greatest truth must be recognition that in every man, in every child is the potential for greatness."
Robert Kennedy

"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple."
Oscar Wilde

"I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell."
Harry Truman

"Truth stood on one side and Ease on the other; it has often been so."
Theodore Parker

"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 free—even if you never catch up with it."
Clarence Darrow

"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."
Thomas Jefferson

"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."
George Orwell

"The most dangerous untruths are truths slightly distorted."
G. C. Lichtenberg

"Truth exists, only falsehood has to be invented."
Georges Braque

"Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"There are truths which can kill a nation."
Jean Giraudoux

"The truth is violated by falsehood but outraged by silence."
Old adage

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
Arthur Schopenhauer

"When one has one's hand full of truth it is not always wise to open it."
French proverb

"The terrible thing about the quest for truth is that you find it."
Remy de Gourmont

"Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time."
Benjamin Disraeli

"Truth is what stands the test of experience."
Albert Einstein

"If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor."
Albert Einstein

"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 paradoxical."
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. "
Aristotle

"The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil. "
Hannah Arendt

"Nothing overshadows 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?"
Akhenaton

"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)

"Believing ourselves 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. "
Nikolay Berdyayev

"Spiritual maturity is a lifelong process of replacing lies with truth."
Kurt Bruner

"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."
Dan Rather

"Nothing hurts 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?"
Thomas Carlyle

"A lie has speed, but truth has endurance."
Edgar J. Mohn

"Truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is."
Nadine Gordimer

"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 (1644–1718). Fruits of Solitude (The Harvard Classics, 1909–14)

"Nothing does 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 (1644–1718). Fruits of Solitude (The Harvard Classics, 1909–14)

"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. 50–c.A.D. 138). The Golden Sayings of Epictetus (The Harvard Classics, 1909–14)

"But, indeed, 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."
Armenian Proverb

"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."
Friedrich Nietzsche

"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?"
Friedrich Nietzsche

"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." -
G.M. Trevelyan

"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."
Dalai Lama

"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: Lecture I

"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. 1909–14)

“It is no proof of a man’s 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.”
Emanuel Swedenborg

"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 so."
Satchel Paige

"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."
Satchel Paige

"Everything I wrote was true because I believed what I saw."
Jack Kerouac

"Truth never damages a cause that is just."
Mahatma Gandhi

"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."
G.K. Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion."
G.K. Chesterton

"One must keep repeating the Truth."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Truth is for the minority."
Baltasar Gracián

"Truth always lags behind, limping along on the arm of Time."
Baltasar Gracián

"Follow not truth too near the heels, lest it dash out thy teeth."
George Herbert

"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. "
Leonard Barnes

"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, France.

"Vae victis." (Woe to the vanquished.)
Titus Livius Livy

"Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome."
Isaac Asimov

"Tell troth and shame the devil."
Ben Jonson

"I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I speak the truth, and they never believe me."
Camillo di Cavour

"A kiss may not be the truth, but it is what we wish were true."
Steve Martin

"Truth, like a torch, the more it's shook it shines."
William Hamilton

"Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."
Andre Gide

"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth."
Buddha

"I see the truth of it!"
Paul Muad'Dib in Frank Herbert's Dune

"Never tell the truth to those unworthy of it."
Mark Twain

"The Truth against the world."
Druid maxim

"Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on."
Winston Churchill

"You 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

"You want the truth? No truth handler, you. I deride your truth handling abilities."
Sideshow Bob, The Simpsons


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   Date and time page last updated: 08/11/2007 9:27 AM