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263 of 6,095 quotations related to Truth and Honesty, showing Amiel to Jefferson

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Amiel, Henri Frederic
A belief is not true because it is useful.

1872 - from Amiel's Journey
Civilization is first of all a moral thing. Without truth, respect for duty, love of neighbor, and virtue, everything is destroyed. The morality of a society is alone the basis of civilization.

Aquinas, St. Thomas
Count not the authorities, but weigh their truth.

Arendt, Hannah
As witnesses not of our intentions but of our conduct, we can be true or false, and the hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil, but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.

1968 - from On Revolution
Auden, W.H.
Only the free have disposition to be truthful, only the truthful have the interest to be just, only the just possess the will-power to be free.

Avram, Kevin  
Throughout history, great men and great women have not always been those who have been stronger, smarter, faster, or wiser. Some have been weak, challenged with infirmity, or disadvantaged in some other way. The quality that drove them was a set of convictions or guidelines that had been seared on their consciousness -- principles of truth, right and wrong that literally held on to their hearts and defined their lives. The birthing of great nations and great things have been presided over by such people. People of conviction are always present at such events.

Bacevich, Andrew J.
'Globalization' today has become the functional equivalent of the phrase 'Free World' during the 1950s and 1960s. It contains an important truth, but vastly oversimplifies that truth. It implies mysteries grasped fully only in the most rarified circles of government. It suggests the existence of obligations to which ordinary people must submit. It is a powerful instrument of persuasion, the rhetorical device of last resort, to which--not unlike 'diversity' in the realm of domestic politics--there is no counter.

Jun. 01, 1999 - from his essay "Policing Utopia", published in The National Interest
Bacon, Sir Francis
Men on their side must force themselves for a while to lay their notions by and begin to familiarize themselves with facts.

Truth itself is always the highest and best goal of human effort.

... no pleasure is comparable to standing upon the vantage ground of truth ... and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below.

1597 - from his essay Of Truth



Baldwin, Stanley
A platitude is simply a truth repeated until people get tired of hearing it.

1924
Balfour, Arthur
It is unfortunate, considering that enthusiasm moves the world, that so few enthusiasts can be trusted to speak the truth.

1918 - from a letter, quoted in The MacMillan Dictionary of Quotations
Berger, Peter L.
Intellectuals do aspire to Enlightenment ideals progress, reason, scientific truth, humanistic values. But they also desire at least some of the traditional virtues that modernity has undermined collective solidarity, transcendence of individualism, and, last but not least, moral certainty and ultimate meaning. Marxism has plausibly offered this curious melange of modern and counter-modern appeals from its inception. It should not surprise that intellectuals have been particularly prone to go for it.

1987 - from The Capitalist Revolution, Gower, Aldershot
Bierce, Ambrose
Truth: An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Cynic: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.

1906 - from The Devil's Dictionary
Billings, Josh
As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand.

Bloom, Alan
The real community of man, in the midst of all the self-contradictory simulacra of community, is the community of those who seek the truth.

1987 - from The Closing of the American Mind
Bradlaugh, Charles
Without free speech no search for truth is possible... no discovery of truth is useful... Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people, and entombs the hope of the race.

Bradley, Ben
 We don't print the truth. We don't pretend to print the truth. We print what people tell us. It's up to the public to decide what's the truth.

Brandeis, Louis Dembitz
[Public openness] Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.




The logic of words should yield to the logic of realities.

If we would guide by the light of reason we must let our minds be bold.

Brown, H. Jackson
Remember that all important truths are simple.

from Life's Little Instruction Book
Brownson, Orestes Augustus
My sect is now the world, my party is everywhere, my creed truth wherever I can find it, and under whatever name it may come.

Jan. 1830 - from an essay in the Free Enquirer
Burke, Edmund
The resources of intrigue are called in to supply the defects of argument and wit.

But whoever is a genuine follower of Truth, keeps his eye steady upon his guide, indifferent whither he is led, provided that she is the leader.

from A Vindication of Natural Society
Carlyle, Thomas
Nothing that was worthy in the past departs; no truth or goodness realized by man ever dies, or can die.

Carman, Bliss  
What are facts but compromises? A fact merely marks the point where we have agreed to let investigation cease.

Chapin, Edwin Hubbel
Neutral men are the devil's allies.

Chesterton, Gilbert K.
Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.

Apr. 19, 1930 - from a column in the Illustrated London News



Churchill, Sir Winston
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. Ignorance may deride it. But in the end, there it is.

Clinton, William Jefferson
The road to tyranny, we must never forget, is the destruction of the truth.

Oct 15, 1995 - from a speech at the University of Connecticut
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
The heart should be fed upon the truth, as insects on a leaf, till it be tinged with the color, and show its food in every minutest fibre.

Confucius
Promote the honest over the crooked, and the people will obey. Promote the crooked over the honest, and the people will not obey.

from Analects 2.19
Cooper, James Fenimore
Systems are to be appreciated by their general effects, and not by particular exceptions.

Cronkite, Walter
In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.

1992 - quoted in Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World, by Edythe Draper
Darrow, Clarence
Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coattails.

Dickens, Charles
There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth.




Diefenbaker, John George  
My friends, you say, 'Give 'em hell, John!' I never do that. I tell the truth and it sounds like hell. It simply sounds that way to the Grits.

Mar. 13, 1963 - speech in Moncton, New Brunswick
Einstein, Albert
Tell the students of the University of Toronto this from me, simple, but perhaps helpful to some, I say to them: Be above mere authority in matters of the mind; they must, in the last analysis, follow their own judgment-their own feeling of truth. I tell those students this-they must profess no belief without conviction. To conform, means often death; to non-conform-in this is often life, often life eternal.

Jan. 27, 1934 - quoted in the Toronto Star in an interview by R.E. Knowles
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

The search for truth is more precious than its possession.

from an essay in The American Mathematical Monthly Vol. 100, No. 3
Eliot, George
Human beliefs, like all other natural growths, elude the barrier of systems.

Eliot, Thomas Stearns
It seems to me that in a healthy society, there will be a gradation of types between thought and action; at one extreme the detached contemplative, the critical mind which is concerned with the discovery of truth, not with its promulgation and still less with its translation into action, and at the other extreme, the N.C.O. of politics, the man who in spite of relative indifference to general ideas, is equipped with native good sense, right feeling and character, supported by discipline and education. Between these two extremes there is room for several varieties and several kinds of political thinking; but there should be no breach of continuity between them.

from his lecture "The Literature of Politics"
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it.

Fisher, Douglas  
The finest aspect of the parliamentary system of government for the executive in office ... is its penchant for systemic secrecy.

Feb. 6, 2000 - from "Stewart spared to save face", published by Sun Media
Franklin, Benjamin
Like a man traveling in foggy weather, those at some distance before him on the road he sees wrapped up in the fog, as well as those behind him, and also the people in the fields on each side, but near him all appears clear, though in truth he is as much in the fog as any of them.

1790 - from his Autobiography
Friedman, Milton
The two ideas of human freedom and economic freedom working together came to their greatest fruition in the United States. Those ideas are still very much with us. We are all of us imbued with them. They are part of the very fabric of our being. But we have been straying from them. We have been forgetting the basic truth that the greatest threat to human freedom is the concentration of power, whether in the hands of government or anyone else. We have persuaded ourselves that it is safe to grant power, provided it is for good reasons.

from Free to Choose



We have been forgetting the basic truth that the greatest threat to human freedom is the concentration of power, whether in the hands of government or anyone else. We have persuaded ourselves that it is safe to grant power, provided it is for good reasons. Fortunately, we are waking up. We are again recognizing the dangers of an overgoverned society, coming to understand that good objectives can be perverted by bad means, that reliance on the freedom of people to control their own lives in accordance with their own values is the surest way to achieve the full potential of a great society.

from Free to Choose
Frost, Robert
For, dear me why abandon a belief, Merely because it ceases to be true? Cling to it long enough, and not a doubt It will turn true again, for so it goes.

from "The Black Cottage"
Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor.

Fuller, Max
All truth is safe and nothing else is safe, but he who keeps back truth, or withholds it from men, from motives of expediency, is either a coward or a criminal.

Men in earnest have no time to waste in patching fig leaves for the naked truth.

Fuller, Thomas
Even doubtful accusations leave a stain behind them.

1732 - from Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs
Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get them, get them right, or they will get you wrong.

Seeing's believing, but feeling's the truth.

1732 - from Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs
Gandhi, Mahatma Mohandas
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.

Truth never damages a cause that is just.

1948 - from Non-Violence In Peace and War



Gide, Andre
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.

1891 - from Le traite du Narcisse
Gordimer, Nadine
The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.

May, 1963 - from "A Bolter and the Invincible Summer", published in London Magazine
Gospel of John
You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

from 8:32
Graham, Katharine
Truth and news are not the same thing.

Griswold, Alfred Whitney
Liberal learning is both a safeguard against false ideas of freedom and a source of true ones.

quoted by John F. Kennedy in a speech at Yale University, Jun. 11, 1962
Gross, Martin
At Yale, a student publication, Light and Truth, drew on the college catalog to shape an entire four-year course of study without any academic base – from ‘Intermediate Yoruba’ to ‘Troubadours and Rock Stars’ – one that the administration confirmed would lead to a bachelor’s degree.

Blatantly irrational behavior is rapidly being established as the norm in almost every area of human endeavor. There seem to be new customs, new rules, new anti-intellectual theories regularly foisted on us from every direction. Underneath, the nation is roiling. Americans know something, without a name, is undermining the nation, turning the mind mushy when it comes to separating truth from falsehood and right from wrong. And they don't like it.

1997 - from The End of Sanity
Guinness, Os
... far from ushering in a brave, new world of enlightenment and freedom, the radical skepticism of today's new sophists actually sounds the death knell of Western civilization... Postmodernism's current assault on truth is the cultural vanguard of developments that amount to a profound crisis of cultural authority in the West - a crisis in beliefs, traditions and ideals that have been decisive for Western civilization.

Feb. 2000 - from Time for Truth, quoted in "Skepticism as society's 'death knell'" by Ian Hunter, published in the National Post
Truth matters supremely because in the end, without truth there is no freedom. Truth, in fact, is essential to freedom; it is freedom, and the only way to a free life lies in becoming a person of truth and learning to live with truth.

Feb. 2000 - from Time for Truth, quoted in "Skepticism as society's 'death knell'" by Ian Hunter, published in the National Post
Gunter, Lorne  
... the embarrassing fact is that very few people are involved in the [United Nations movement towards a globally-powerful People's Assembly]. Believing in the nobility of their intentions, however, most [global] civil society actors are convinced they speak for 'the people'. Suffused with their own magnanimity, they justify their lack of a popular mandate by claiming their actions are what the people would choose for themselves if conservative governments and transnational corporations were not keeping the truth from the masses.

28-Aug-99 - from "Whose world is it, anyway?", published in the National Post newspaper



Hand, Learned
Nothing is more commendable, and more fair, than that a man should lay aside all else, and seek truth; not to preach what he might find; and surely not to try to make his views prevail; but... to find his satisfaction in the search itself.

1939 - from a speech upon receiving an honourable degree, quoted in The Spirit of Liberty
Hare, Julius
The greatest truths are the simplest, and so are the greatest men.

1827 - from Guesses at Truth
Heinlein, Robert Anson
Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.

1959 - from Starship Troopers
...the slickest way to lie is to tell the right amount of truth - then to shut up.

1961 - from Stranger in a Strange Land
Herrnstein, Richard
The ideology of equality has done some good. For example, it is not possible as a practical matter to be an identifiable racist or sexist and still hold public office. But most of its effects are bad. Given the power of contemporary news media to imprint a nation-wide image overnight, mainstream political figures have found that their allegiance to the rhetoric of equality must extend very far indeed, for a single careless remark can irretrievably damage or even end a public career. In everyday life, the ideology of equality censors and straitjackets everything from pedagogy to humor. The ideology of equality has stunted the range of moral dialogue to triviality. In daily life-conversations, the lessons taught in public schools, the kinds of screenplays or newspaper feature stories that people choose to write-the moral ascendancy of equality has made it difficult to use concepts such as virtue, excellence, beauty and-above all-truth.

1994 - from The Bell Curve, The Free Press, New York (with Charles Murray)
Hitler, Adolf
The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one.

Hobbes, Thomas
Such truth as opposes no man's profit, nor pleasure, is to all men welcome.

from Leviathan
Holmes, Oliver Wendell
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. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment.

1919 - from the decision Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 630
Hunter, Ian  
When truth is dethroned, only power remains.

Mar. 15, 2001 - from "Skepticism as society's 'death knell'", published in the National Post
Today political correctness imposes a more stifling conformity on the school system that religious fundamentalists ever did. The sad truth about the Scopes trial [the "Monkey Trial" of 1925] is that we learned so little from it.

Jul. 22, 1999 - from "The evolution of PC teaching", published in the National Post newspaper



Huxley, Aldous
An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling lie.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

from Proper Studies
Huxley, Thomas Henry
Ecclesiasticism in science is only unfaithfulness to truth.

1893 - from Collected Essays II: Darwiniana
History warns us that it is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions.

1893 - from Collected Essays II: Darwiniana
The scientific spirit is of more value than its products, and irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.

1893 - from Collected Essays II: Darwiniana
There are men ... to whom the satisfaction of throwing down a triumphant fallacy is as great as that which attends the discovery of a new truth; who feel better satisfied with the government of the world, when they have been helping Providence by knocking an imposture on the head; and who care even more for freedom of thought than for mere advance of knowledge. These man are the Carnots who organise victory for truth, and they are, at least, as important as the generals who visibly fight her battles in the field.

1893 - from Collected Essays III: Science and Education
It is not a question whether one order of study or another should predominate. It is a question of what topics of education you shall elect which will combine all the needful elements in such due proportion as to give the greatest amount of food, support, and encouragement to those faculties which enable us to appreciate truth, and to profit by those sources of innocent happiness which are open to us, and, at the same time, to avoid that which is bad, and coarse, and ugly, and keep clear of the multitude of pitfalls and dangers which beset those who break through the natural or moral laws.

1893 - from Collected Essays III: Science and Education
In an ideal University, ... the force of living example should fire the student with a noble ambition to emulate the learning of learned men, and to follow m the footsteps of the explorers of new fields of knowledge. And the very air he breathes should be charged with that enthusiasm for truth, that fanaticism of veracity, which is a greater possession than much learning; a nobler gift than the power of increasing knowledge, by so much greater and nobler than these, as the moral nature of man is greater than the intellectual; for veracity is the heart of morality.

1893 - from Collected Essays III: Science and Education
All truth, in the long run, is only common sense clarified.

1893 - from Collected Essays III: Science and Education
That one should rejoice in the good man, forgive the bad man, and pity and help all men to the best of one's ability, is surely indisputable. It is the glory of Judaism and of Christianity to have proclaimed this truth, through all their aberrations. But the worship of a God who needs forgiveness and help, and deserves pity every hour of his existence, is no better than that of any other voluntarily selected fetish.

1893 - from Collected Essays V: Science and Christian Tradition



The development of exact natural knowledge in all its vast range, from physics to history and criticism, is the consequence of the working out, in this province, of the resolution to 'take nothing for truth without clear knowledge that it is such'; to consider all beliefs open to criticism; to regard the value of authority as neither greater nor less than as much as it can prove itself to be worth.

1894 - from Collected Essays VI: Hume, With Helps to the Study of Berkeley
Truth is great, certainly, but, considering her greatness, it is curious what a long time she is apt to take about prevailing.

1894 - from Collected Essays VII: Man's Place in Nature
It is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions.

1880 - from The Coming of Age of The Origin of Species
Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.

Time, whose tooth gnaws away everything else, is powerless against truth.

1893 - from Collected Essays I: Method and Results
Who shall count the host of weaker men whose sense of truth has been destroyed in the effort to harmonize impossibilities...

1893 - from Collected Essays II: Darwiniana
Ibsen, Henrik
A man should never put on his best trousers when he goes out to battle for freedom and truth.

1882 - from An Enemy of the People
Jablokov, Alexander
The road to truth is long, and lined the entire way with annoying bastards.

from The Place of No Shadows
Jampolsky, Gerald
The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.

Jefferson, Thomas
The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer the truth than he whose mind is filled with errors and falsehood.