Truth is a term used to indicate various forms of accord with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. The opposite of truth is falsehood, which, correspondingly, can also take on logical, factual, or ethical meanings. Language and words are a means by which humans convey information to one another in semiotic associations, and the method used to recognize a truth is termed a criterion of truth. There are differing claims as to what constitutes truth, what things are truthbearers capable of being true or false, how to define and identify truth, the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play, and whether truth is subjective or objective, relative or absolute.

Truth is strong enough to overcome all human sophistries. ~ Aeschines
The truth which makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear. ~ Herbert Agar
A legitimate, registered, multi award-winning media organisation and its editor have legally published the truth about the biggest superpower in the world... and exposed them for wrongdoing... The whole exercise has been set up to smear and silence the truth... ~Christine Assange
You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way that we can get anywhere. Because any decision-making that is based upon lies or ignorance can't lead to a good conclusion. ~ Julian Assange

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  • The first steps of the slaveholder to justify by argument the peculiar institutions is to deny the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence. He denies that all men are created equal. He denies that he has inalienable rights.
  • 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.
  • Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.
    • Theodor Adorno in Minima Moralia (1951), as translated by E. Jephcott (1974), § 143, p. 222.
  • Truth is strong enough to overcome all human sophistries.
  • The truth which makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.
  • Time, beneath whose influence the pyramids moulder into dust, and the flinty rocks decay, does not and cannot destroy a fact, nor strip a truth of one portion of its essential importance.
    • Anonymous statement, quoted in The Homilist; or, The pulpit for the People (1873) edited by David Thomas, p. 55.
  • Truth is the ultimate end of the whole universe.
  • To say of what is, that it is, or of what is not, that it is not, is true.
  • Why, then, does truth generate hatred, and why does thy servant who preaches the truth come to be an enemy to them who also love the happy life, which is nothing else than joy in the truth - unless it be that truth is loved in such a way that those who love something else besides her wish that to be the truth which they do love. Since they are unwilling to be deceived, they are unwilling to be convinced that they have been deceived. Therefore, they hate the truth for the sake of whatever it is that they love in place of the truth. They love truth when she shines on them; and hate her when she rebukes them.
  • First of all, there is undoubtedly a Truth one and eternal which we are seeking, from which all other truth derives, by the light of which all other truth finds its right place, explanation and relation to the scheme of knowledge … Secondly, this Truth, though it is one and eternal, expresses itself in Time and through the mind of man; therefore every Scripture must necessarily contain two elements, one temporary, perishable, belonging to the ideas of the period and country in which it was produced, the other eternal and imperishable and applicable in all ages and countries.
    • Aurobindo, Collected Works of Sri Aurobindo: Essays on the Gita , 1997: 4). in Malhotra, R., & Infinity Foundation (Princeton, N.J.). (2018). Being different: An Indian challenge to western universalism.
  • These bitter accusations might have been suppressed, had I, with greater policy, concealed my struggles, and flattered you into the belief of my being impelled by unqualified, unalloyed inclination; by reason, by reflection, by everything. But disguise of every sort is my abhorrence. Nor am I ashamed of the feelings I related. They were natural and just.


They speak falsely who say that truth is the daughter of time; it is the child of eternity, and as old as the Divine mind. The perception of it takes place in the order of time; truth itself knows nothing of the succession of ages...The progress of man consists in this, that he himself arrives at the perception of truth. ~ George Bancroft
Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction. ~ Lord Byron
Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived. Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. ~ Pope Benedict XVI
Daily practical wisdom consists of four things: To know the root of Truth, the branches of Truth, the limit of Truth, and the opposite of Truth. ~ H. P. Blavatsky
The general rule is, that Truth should never be violated, because it is of the utmost importance to the comfort of life. ~ James Boswell
  • Change in our views seems to be the only permanent phenomenon, and in no science has the maxim: "Much arises which has already perished, and what is now honored is already declining," attained such extended verification as in the very science of medicine. Even so in this same science has been proven the truth of that other saying: "As long at man struggles he errs". To err in its struggles after the truth is, however, according to the resigned expression of Lessing, the portion of humanity, and absolute truth is of God alone.
  • You must be ever vigilant to discover the unifying Truth behind all the scintillating variety.
  • Not being known doesn't stop the truth from being true.
  • The logic now in use serves rather to fix and give stability to the errors which have their foundation in commonly received notions than to help the search for truth. So it does more harm than good.
  • What is truth? said jesting Pilate, but would not stay for an answer.
    • Francis Bacon, Essays 1: Of truth.
  • But no pleasure is comparable to standing upon the vantage ground of truth.
    • Francis Bacon, Essays, Of Truth; reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 603; in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 818.
  • There is no finality in the presentation of truth; it develops and grows to meet man's growing demand for light.
  • Certain great concepts are firmly grasped by man. Certain great hopes are taking form and will become the pattern of man's living. Certain great speculations will become experimental theories, and later prove demonstrated facts . . . A great stirring and moving is going on.
    • Alice Bailey, A Treatise on the Seven Rays: Volume 5, p. 77, (1960)
  • The problems confronting us should be faced with courage, with truth and understanding; as well as with the willingness to speak factually, with simplicity and with love in the effort to expose the truth and clarify the problems which must be solved. The opposing forces of entrenched evil must be routed before He for Whom all men wait, the Christ, can come.
  • All right ideas are temporary in nature, and must eventually take their place as partial rights, and give place to the greater truth. The fact of the day is seen later as part of a greater fact. A man can have grasped some of the lesser principles of the Ageless Wisdom so clearly, and be so convinced of their correctness, that the bigger whole is forgotten and he builds a thought-form about the partial truth which he has seen, (and) which can prove a limitation and keep him a prisoner and hold him back from progress. He is so sure of his possession of the truth, that he can see the truth of no one else. He can be so convinced of the reality of his own embodied concept of what the truth may be, that he forgets his own brain limitations, and that the truth has come to him via his own soul, and is consequently coloured by his ray, being subsequently built into form by his personal separative mind. He lives but for that little truth; he can see no other; he forces his thought-form on other people; he becomes the obsessed fanatic and so mentally unbalanced, even if the world regards him as sane.
  • You must never run away from the truth, Jake, however unpleasant. Because once you begin running, you can never stop.
  • They speak falsely who say that truth is the daughter of time; it is the child of eternity, and as old as the Divine mind. The perception of it takes place in the order of time; truth itself knows nothing of the succession of ages.
    • George Bancroft, Address The Necessity, the Reality, and the Promise of the Progress of the Human Race to the New York Historical Society (20 November 1854), later published in Literary and Historical Miscellanies (1855)
  • The progress of man consists in this, that he himself arrives at the perception of truth.
    • George Bancroft, Address The Necessity, the Reality, and the Promise of the Progress of the Human Race to the New York Historical Society (20 November 1854), later published in Literary and Historical Miscellanies (1855)
  • Yes, there is a Divinity, one from which we must never turn aside for the guidance of our huge inward life and of the share we have as well in the life of all men. It is called the truth.
  • Unfortunately, truth is neither a listable nor a decidable property; nor is the truth of a statement of arithmetic. The American logician John Myhill has used the term 'prospective' to characterize those attributes of the world that are neither listable nor decidable. They are properties that cannot be recognized by the application of some formula, made to conform to a rule, or generated by some computer program. They are characterized by incessant novelty that cannot be encompassed by any finite set of rules. 'Beauty', 'ugliness', 'truth', 'harmony', simplicity', and 'poetry' are names we give to some of the attributes of this sort. There is no way of listing all examples of beauty or ugliness, nor any procedure for saying whether or not something possesses either of those attributes, without redefining them in some more restrictive fashion that kills their prospective character.
  • [T]he single equation of nature, aimed at by Lagrange and Hamilton, by Weber and Maxwell in their several ways, has... reached a more profound significance and now even holds dynamics, awkwardly it is true but none the less inexorably, in its grasp. That it is not complete, that it never can be complete, is admitted (for the absolute truth poured into the vessel of the human mind would probably dissolve it); but that it is immeasurably more complete to-day than it was yesterday is as incontrovertably true as it is inspiring.
    • Carl Barus, "The Mathematician in Modern Physics" (Nov. 20, 1914) Science Vol. 40, Jul-Dec 1914, p. 727.
  • Science leads to great achievements, which, quite rightly, fill of joy those who seek the truth, but if pursued, teaches us that we must seek other sources of ultimate truth and find answers to existential questions about the meaning of life and the mystery of death.
    • Franco Bassani Knowing the universe. For whom? at the XXVII edition of the “Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples”, Rimini meeting 2006, (23 August 2006)
  • Nothing is wholly obvious without becoming enigmatic. Reality itself is too obvious to be true.
    • Jean Baudrillard, The Perfect Crime (1993), as translated by Ian Michel and William Sarah (1995).
  • There is a reason that truth is considered to be a fundamentally different category than the beautiful or even the good. Sometimes, the truth can be ugly indeed, but even the ugliest truth is of intrinsic value.
  • Relations between States and within States are correct to the extent that they respect the truth. When, instead, truth is violated, peace is threatened, law is endangered, then, as a logical consequence, forms of injustice are unleashed. These form boundaries that divide countries far more deeply than the frontiers outlined on maps and are often not only external but also internal.
  • Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth. Each person finds his good by adherence to God's plan for him, in order to realize it fully: in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:32). To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity. Charity, in fact, “rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor 13:6).
  • Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived. Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love. It falls prey to contingent subjective emotions and opinions, the word “love” is abused and distorted, to the point where it comes to mean the opposite. Truth frees charity from the constraints of an emotionalism that deprives it of relational and social content, and of a fideism that deprives it of human and universal breathing-space.
  • The Church does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim “to interfere in any way in the politics of States.” She does, however, have a mission of truth to accomplish, in every time and circumstance, for a society that is attuned to man, to his dignity, to his vocation. Without truth, it is easy to fall into an empiricist and sceptical view of life, incapable of rising to the level of praxis because of a lack of interest in grasping the values — sometimes even the meanings — with which to judge and direct it. Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom (cf. Jn 8:32) and of the possibility of integral human development. For this reason the Church searches for truth, proclaims it tirelessly and recognizes it wherever it is manifested. This mission of truth is something that the Church can never renounce. Her social doctrine is a particular dimension of this proclamation: it is a service to the truth which sets us free. Open to the truth, from whichever branch of knowledge it comes, the Church's social doctrine receives it, assembles into a unity the fragments in which it is often found, and mediates it within the constantly changing life-patterns of the society of peoples and nations
  • The aim of life is inquiry into the Truth, and not the desire for enjoyment in heaven by performing religious rites, Those who possess the knowledge of the Truth, call the knowledge of non-duality as the Truth, It is called Brahman, the Highest Self, and Bhagavan.
    • Bhagavata Purana 1.2.10-11, translated by Daniel Sheridan 1986, p. 23
  • Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believed.
    • William Blake, Proverbs of Hell, Line 69, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790–1793)
  • What is Truth? asked Pilate of one who, if the claims of the Christian Church are even approximately correct, must have known it. But He kept silent. And the truth which He did not divulge, remained unrevealed, for his later followers as much as for the Roman Governor. The silence of Jesus, however, on this and other occasions, does not prevent his present followers from acting as though they had received the ultimate and absolute Truth itself; and from ignoring the fact that only such Words of Wisdom had been given to them as contained a share of the truth, itself concealed in parables and dark, though beautiful, sayings.
    Jesus says to the "Twelve" -- Unto you is given the mystery of the Kingdom of God; but unto them that are without, all things are done in parables, etc. (Mark iv. II.)
    This policy led gradually to dogmatism and assertion. Dogmatism in churches, dogmatism in science, dogmatism everywhere. The possible truths, hazily perceived in the world of abstraction, like those inferred from observation and experiment in the world of matter, are forced upon the profane multitudes, too busy to think for themselves, under the form of Divine revelation and scientific authority.
  • The best possession of the man of clay is health; the highest virtue of the man of spirit is truthfulness
    ... Daily practical wisdom consists of four things: To know the root of Truth, the branches of Truth, the limit of Truth, and the opposite of Truth. (February)
    ... Let a man overcome anger by love, evil by good, greediness by liberality, lie by truth.
    ...Truth is brighter than the sun; truth is the sunny day of Reason, and falsehood the mind’s dark night
    ... All has an end, and will away. Truth alone is immortal, and lives for ever.
    ... The light of all flesh is the sun; the light of the soul — truth everlasting. (March)
    ... There is more courage in facing the world with undisguised truth, than in descending into a wild beast’s den. (May)
    ... Many a man will follow a misleader. Few will recognize truth at a glance. (July)
    ... He who has been once deceived, dreads evil, and suspects it even in truth. (August)
    ...By truth alone is man’s mind purified, and by right discipline it doth become inspired. (November)
  • Two sorts of truth: profound truths recognized by the fact that the opposite is also a profound truth, in contrast to trivialities where opposites are obviously absurd.
    • Niels Bohr, As quoted by his son Hans Bohr in "My Father", published in Niels Bohr: His Life and Work (1967), p. 328
    • Unsourced variant: The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
    • As quoted in Max Delbrück, Mind from Matter: An Essay on Evolutionary Epistemology, (1986) p. 167. It is the hallmark of any deep truth that its negation is also a deep truth.
  • We talked of the casuistical question, Whether it was allowable at any time to depart from Truth? JOHNSON. 'The general rule is, that Truth should never be violated, because it is of the utmost importance to the comfort of life, that we should have a full security by mutual faith; and occasional inconveniences should be willingly suffered that we may preserve it. There must, however, be some exceptions. If, for instance, a murderer should ask you which way a man is gone, you may tell him what is not true, because you are under a previous obligation not to betray a man to a murderer.' BOSWELL. 'Supposing the person who wrote Junius were asked whether he was the authour, might he deny it?' JOHNSON. 'I don't know what to say to this. If you were sure that he wrote Junius, would you, if he denied it, think as well of him afterwards? Yet it may be urged, that what a man has no right to ask, you may refuse to communicate; and there is no other effectual mode of preserving a secret and an important secret, the discovery of which may be very hurtful to you, but a flat denial; for if you are silent, or hesitate, or evade, it will be held equivalent to a confession. But stay, Sir; here is another case. Supposing the authour had told me confidentially that he had written Junius, and I were asked if he had, I should hold myself at liberty to deny it, as being under a previous promise, express or implied, to conceal it. Now what I ought to do for the authour, may I not do for myself? But 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. Besides, you are not sure what effect your telling him that he is in danger may have. It may bring his distemper to a crisis, and that may cure him. Of all lying, I have the greatest abhorrence of this, because I believe it has been frequently practised on myself.'
    I cannot help thinking that there is much weight in the opinion of those who have held, that Truth, as an eternal and immutable principle, ought, upon no account whatever, to be violated, from supposed previous or superiour obligations, of which every man being to judge for himself, there is great danger that we too often, from partial motives, persuade ourselves that they exist; and probably whatever extraordinary instances may sometimes occur, where some evil may be prevented by violating this noble principle, it would be found that human happiness would, upon the whole, be more perfect were Truth universally preserved.
  • Without free speech no search for Truth is possible; without free speech no discovery of Truth is useful; without free speech progress is checked, and the nations no longer march forward towards the nobler life which the future holds for man. Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day; the denial slays the life of the people and entombs the hope of the race.
    • Charles Bradlaugh, Speech at Hall of Science c.1880 quoted in An Autobiography of Annie Besant; reported in Edmund Fuller, Thesaurus of Quotations (1941), p. 398; reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
  • For Darwinism there is nothing in the world like value or good or evil. Anything implying evolution, in the ordinary sense of development or progress, is wholly rejected. But... there is a coincidence between that which prevails and that which satisfies. ...Whatever idea satisfies or prevails (no matter what else it is) is true.
    Darwinism often recommends itself because confused with a doctrine of evolution which is different radically. Humanity is taken in that doctrine as a real being, or even as the one real being, and Humanity advances continuously. Its history is development and progress to a goal because the type and character in which its reality consists is gradually brought more and more into existence. That which is strongest on the whole must therefore be good, and the ideas that come to prevail must therefore be true. This doctrine, which possesses my sympathy, though I certainly cannot accept it, has, I suppose, now for a century taken its place in the thought of Europe. For good or evil it more or less dominates or sways our minds to an extent of which most of us, perhaps, are dangerously unaware.
    • F. H. Bradley (1846 –1924) "On Some Aspects of Truth," as quoted in Bradley, Essays on Truth and Reality (2011)
  • Questions don't change the truth. But they give it motion.
  • “Then how about truth!”
    “There are many truths, Tkett. Countless vivid subjective interpretations will thrive in a future filled with staggering diversity.”
    “Subjective, exactly! That’s an ancient and d-despicable perversion of the word truth, and you know it. Diversity is wonderful, all right. There may indeed be many cultures, many art forms, even many styles of wisdom, But truth should be about finding out what’s really real, what’s repeatable and verifiable, whether it suits your fancy or not!”
  • He said true things, but called them by the wrong names.
    • Robert Browning, "Bishop Blougram's Apology", line 996, in Men and Women (1855).
  • Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again;
    The eternal years of God are hers;
    But Error, wounded, writhes with pain,
    And dies among his worshippers.
  • The world is made up, for the most part, of fools and knaves, both irreconcilable foes to truth.
    • George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, "Letter to Mr. Clifford, on his Human Reason"; also in The Works of His Grace, George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham (London: T. Evans, 1770) vol. 2, p. 105.
  • Certainly civilization cannot advance without freedom of inquiry. This fact is elf-evident. What seems equally self-evident is that in the process of history certain immutable truths have been revealed and discovered and that their value is not subject to the limitations of time and space. The probing, the relentless debunking, has engendered a skepticism that threatens to pervade and atrophy all our values. In apologizing for our beliefs and our traditions we have bent over backwards so far that we have lost our balance, and we see a topsy-turvy world and we say topsy-turvy things, such as that the way to beat Communism is by making our democracy better. What a curious self-examination! Beat the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics by making America socialistic. Beat atheism by denying God. Uphold individual freedom by denying natural rights.
  • It is as much an error to take truth for lies, as lies for truth.
  • Truth makes on the surface of nature no one track of light — every eye looking on finds its own.
  • For truth is precious and divine;
    Too rich a pearl for carnal swine.
  • 'Tis not antiquity, nor author,
    That makes truth truth, altho' time's daughter.
  • 'Tis strange—but true; for truth is always strange,
    Stranger than fiction.


The very Truth has to change its vesture, from time to time; and be born again. ~ Thomas Carlyle
The search for the truth is the most important work in the whole world — and the most dangerous. ~ James Clavell
No virtue ever was founded on a lie. The truth, then, at all risks and costs — the truth from the beginning. ~ Dinah Craik
  • They tell me that truth lies somewhere at the bottom of a well, and at virtually the door of our home is a most notable if long dried well. Our location is thus quite favorable, if we but keep patience.
    • James Branch Cabell, The Silver Stallion (1926), Kerin, in Book Seven : What Saraïde Wanted, Ch. XLII : Generalities at Ogde.
  • Song is but the eloquence of truth.
  • Where this will end? In the Abyss, one may prophecy; whither all Delusions are, at all moments, travelling; where this Delusion has now arrived. For if there be a Faith, from of old, it is this, as we often repeat, that no Lie can live for ever. The very Truth has to change its vesture, from time to time; and be born again. But all Lies have sentence of death written down against them, and Heaven's Chancery itself; and, slowly or fast, advance incessantly towards their hour.
  • "...The virtue of truth gives another his just due. Truthfulness keeps to the just mean between what ought to be expressed and what ought to be kept secret: it entails honesty and discretion. In justice, "as a matter of honor, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth.
  • Whoever desires that his intellect may grow up to soundness, to healthy vigor, must begin with moral discipline. Reading and study are not enough to perfect the power of thought. One thing above all is needful, and that is, the disinterestedness which is the very soul of virtue. To gain truth, which is the great object of the understanding, I must seek it disinterestedly. Here is the first and grand condition of intellectual progress. I must choose to receive the truth, no matter how it bears on myself. I must follow it, no matter where it leads, what interests it opposes, to what persecution or loss it lays me open, from what party it severs me, or to what party it allies. Without this fairness of mind, which is only another phrase for disinterested love of truth, great native powers of understanding are perverted and led astray.
  • Before all other things, man is distinguished by his pursuit and investigation of Truth. And hence, when free from needful business and cares, we delight to see, to hear, and to communicate, and consider a knowledge of many admirable and abstruse things necessary to the good conduct and happiness of our lives: whence it is clear that whatsoever is True, simple, and direct, the same is most congenial to our nature as men. Closely allied with this earnest longing to see and know the truth, is a kind of dignified and princely sentiment which forbids a mind, naturally well constituted, to submit its faculties to any but those who announce it in precept or in doctrine, or to yield obedience to any orders but such as are at once just, lawful, and founded on utility. From this source spring greatness of mind and contempt of worldly advantages and troubles.
  • If we have truth, [it] cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not truth, it ought to be harmed.
    • J. Reuben Clark, as recorded by D. Michael Quinn, J. Reuben Clark: The Church Years. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1983, p. 24
  • There is one river of truth, which receives tributaries from every side.
  • 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.
  • Truthiness is tearing apart our country, and I don't mean the argument over who came up with the word. I don't know whether it's a new thing, but it's certainly a current thing, in that it doesn't seem to matter what facts are. It used to be, everyone was entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. But that's not the case anymore. Facts matter not at all. Perception is everything. It's certainty. People love the president because he's certain of his choices as a leader, even if the facts that back him up don't seem to exist. It's the fact that he's certain that is very appealing to a certain section of the country. I really feel a dichotomy in the American populace. What is important? What you want to be true, or what is true?
  • Language has always been important in politics, but language is incredibly important to the present political struggle. Because if you can establish an atmosphere in which information doesn't mean anything, then there is no objective reality. The first show we did, a year ago, was our thesis statement: What you wish to be true is all that matters, regardless of the facts. Of course, at the time, we thought we were being farcical.
  • Truths … are too often considered as so true, that they lose all the power of truth, and lie bed-ridden in the dormitory of the soul, side by side with the most despised and exploded errors.
  • They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in it.
  • It is not truth that makes man great, but man that makes truth great.
  • Let every one of us cultivate, in every word that issues from our mouth, absolute truth. I say cultivate, because to very few people — as may be noticed of most young children — does truth, this rigid, literal veracity, come by nature. To many, even who love it and prize it dearly in others, it comes only after the self-control, watchfulness, and bitter experience of years.
    • Dinah Craik, A Woman's Thoughts About Women (1858), Ch. 8.
  • No virtue ever was founded on a lie. The truth, then, at all risks and costs — the truth from the beginning. Make a clean breast to whomsoever you need to make it, and then — face the world.
    • Dinah Craik, A Woman's Thoughts About Women (1858), Ch 11.
  • 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."


Human thought will never go backward. 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... Now that it has got fairly fixed in the minds of the few, it is bound to become fixed in the minds of the many, and be supported at last by a great cloud of witnesses, which no man can number and no power can withstand. ~ Frederick Douglass
  • Chase after the truth like all hell and you’ll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails.
    • Clarence Darrow The Sign (May 1938) This has been misquoted as: The pursuit of truth will set you free; even if you never catch up with it.
  • Neither the sword of popes, nor the cross, nor the image of death — nothing will halt the march of truth. I wrote what I felt and that is what I preached with trusting spirit. I am convinced that after my destruction the teachings of false prophets will collapse.
    • Ferenc Dávid's last words, a message he carved onto the walls of his dungeon cell, as quoted in For Faith and Freedom (1997) by Charles A. Howe; also quoted on their web page about the Transylvania Unitarian Church by the Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston.
  • If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things.
  • It is a truth very certain that, when it is not in our power to determine what is true, we ought to follow what is most probable
    • René Descartes (1596–1650). quote reported in: S.H. Wearne (1989) Control of Engineering Project. p. 125.
  • Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
    • Philip K. Dick, How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later (1978).
  • Wine in; truth out.
  • 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 —

  • 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.
  • If he will not tell the truth, except when it is for his interest to do so, let us make it for his interest to tell the truth. We can do it by applying to him the same principle of justice that we apply to ourselves... At this point I have one certain test. Mankind are not held together by lies. Trust is the foundation of society. Where there is no truth, there can be no trust, and where there is no trust, there can be no society. Where there is society, there is trust, and where there is trust, there is something upon which it is supported.
  • Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
  • For truth has such a face and such a mien,
    As to be lov'd needs only to be seen.
    • John Dryden, The Hind and the Panther (1687), Part I, line 33.
  • 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


When life is true to the poles of nature, the streams of truth will roll through us in song. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • When we get to the point, as we one day will, that both sides know that in any outbreak of general hostilities, regardless of the element of surprise, destruction will be both reciprocal and complete, possibly we will have sense enough to meet at the conference table with the understanding that the era of armaments has ended and the human race must conform its actions to this truth or die.
  • Such a reaction is natural enough—when someone insists a thing has to be true and you are a jerk, a reactionary, a traitor to the species, and worse for not seeing its truth right away, you tend to back off, to put it mildly. But the reaction is in some ways unfortunate. The truth of an idea is not a function of its proponents’ manners. In all fairness, an idea should be evaluated solely on the twin bases of the evidence pertaining to it and its usefulness in uncovering further truths (a theory need not be true to be valuable—it need only lead to truth).
  • The finding of one generation will not serve for the next. It tarnishes rapidly except it be reserved with an ever-renewed spirit of seeking.
  • If our so-called facts are changing shadows, they are shadows cast by the light of constant truth. So too in religion we are repelled by that confident theological doctrine... but we need not turn aside from the measure of light that comes into our experience showing us a Way through the unseen world.
  • Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
  • Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated.
    • Albert Einstein, in "My Credo", a speech to the German League of Human Rights, Berlin (Autumn 1932), as published in Einstein: A Life in Science (1994) by Michael White and John Gribbin, p. 262.
  • Whoever is careless with truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs.
    • Albert Einstein as quoted in Albert Einstein: Historical and Cultural Perspectives by Gerald James Holton, Yehuda Elkana p. 388
  • Epicurus spoke of all perceptible things as true and as beings. For there is no difference between saying that something is true and saying that it is real; hence, too, in delineating the true and the false he says “That which holds in the way in which it is said to hold is true,” and he says “That which does not hold in the way in which it is said to hold is false.”
    • Sextus Empiricus, paraphrasing and quoting epicurean description of truth and falsehood in "Against the Mathematicians" (Adversus Mathematicos) II, 9.
  • Then the king and the nobles looked at one another; and he began to speak about truth: “Gentlemen, are not women strong? The earth is vast, and heaven is high, and the sun is swift in its course, for it makes the circuit of the heavens and returns to its place in one day. Is not the one who does these things great? But truth is great, and stronger than all things. The whole earth calls upon truth, and heaven blesses it. All God’s works quake and tremble, and with him there is nothing unrighteous. Wine is unrighteous, the king is unrighteous, women are unrighteous, all human beings are unrighteous, all their works are unrighteous, and all such things. There is no truth in them and in their unrighteousness they will perish. But truth endures and is strong forever, and lives and prevails forever and ever. With it there is no partiality or preference, but it does what is righteous instead of anything that is unrighteous or wicked. Everyone approves its deeds, and there is nothing unrighteous in its judgment. To it belongs the strength and the kingship and the power and the majesty of all the ages. Blessed be the God of truth!” When he stopped speaking, all the people shouted and said, “Great is truth, and strongest of all!”
    • 1 Esdras 4:33 - 41; this is often quoted in the Latin: Magna est veritas et praevalet.
All of humanity is in peril of extinction if each one of us does not dare, now and henceforth, always to tell only the truth, and all the truth, and to do so promptly — right now... ~ Buckminster Fuller


A very great deal more truth can become known than can be proven. ~ Richard Feynman
  • The semblance of absolute truth is nothing but absolute conformism.
  • It is not a lie to keep the truth to oneself.
  • People want the truth. Even if they can't handle it, they want it. They may want to look at it as a story or music so they can distance themselves from it, but they want it. That's why people watch the news every night. There's nothing good on the news. They'll throw in a little "good news" near the end, like something about a cat being saved from a tree. But before you hear about that cat, you're going to learn that someone got shot and killed, an earthquake killed a couple of hundred people, and that whatever war is going on at the time is still going on and going hard. And you still watch. Why? Because you want the truth.
  • "[A]greement with observed facts" never singles out one individual theory. There is never only one theory that is in complete agreement with all observed facts, but several theories that are in partial agreement. We have to select the final theory by a compromise. The final theory has to be in fair agreement with observed facts and must also be fairly simple. If we consider this point, it is obvious that such a "final" theory cannot be "The Truth."
    • Philipp Frank, Philosophy of Science: The Link Between Science and Philosophy (1957) p. 356.
  • Mankind naturally and generally love to be flatter'd: Whatever sooths our Pride, and tends to exalt our Species above the rest of the Creation, we are pleas'd with and easily believe, when ungrateful Truths shall be with the utmost Indignation rejected. "What! bring ourselves down to an Equality with the Beasts of the Field! with the meanest part of the Creation! 'Tis insufferable!" But, (to use a Piece of common Sense) our Geese are but Geese tho' we may think 'em Swans; and Truth will be Truth tho' it sometimes prove mortifying and distasteful.
  • I've lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing Proofs I see of this Truth — That God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that except the Lord build the House they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this, — and I also believe that without his concurring Aid, we shall succeed in this political Building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our Projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a Reproach and Bye word down to future Ages.
  • Being true is different from being taken as true, whether by one or by many or everybody, and in no case is it to be reduced to it. There is no contradiction in something's being true which everybody takes to be false. I understand by 'laws of logic' not psychological laws of takings-to-be-true, but laws of truth. ...If being true is thus independent of being acknowledged by somebody or other, then the laws of truth are not psychological laws: they are boundary stones set in an eternal foundation, which our thought can overflow, but never displace. It is because of this that they have authority for our thought if it would attain truth. They do not bear the relation to thought that the laws of grammar bear to language; they do not make explicit the nature of our human thinking and change as it changes.
    • Gottlob Frege, Basic Laws of Arithmetic (1893) Introduction, English Tr. (1964) Montgomery Furth
  • Reason is man’s faculty for grasping the world by thought, in contradiction to intelligence, which is man’s ability to manipulate the world with the help of thought. Reason is man's instrument for arriving at the truth, intelligence is man's instrument for manipulating the world more successfully; the former is essentially human, the latter belongs to the animal part of man.
    • Erich Fromm, The Sane Society (1955), Ch. 3: The Human Situation, Sect. E "The Need for a Frame of Orientation and Devotion — Reason vs. Irrationality”.
  • I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance. That is my religion, and every day I am sorely, grossly, heinously and deeply offended, wounded, mortified and injured by a thousand different blasphemies against it. When the fundamental canons of truth, honesty, compassion and decency are hourly assaulted by fatuous bishops, pompous, illiberal and ignorant priests, politicians and prelates, sanctimonious censors, self-appointed moralists and busy-bodies, what recourse of ancient laws have I? None whatever. Nor would I ask for any. For unlike these blistering imbeciles my belief in my religion is strong and I know that lies will always fail and indecency and intolerance will always perish.
    • Stephen Fry, in his "Trefusis Blasphemes" radio broadcast, as published in Paperweight (1993).
  • Truth is cosmically total: synergetic. Verities are generalized principles stated in semimetaphorical terms. Verities are differentiable. But love is omniembracing, omnicoherent, and omni-inclusive, with no exceptions. Love, like synergetics, is nondifferentiable, i.e., is integral.
    • Buckminster Fuller, Synergetics : Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking (1975) 1005.54.
  • The highest of generalizations is the synergetic integration of truth and love.
    • Buckminster Fuller, Synergetics : Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking (1975) 1005.56.
  • All of humanity is in peril of extinction if each one of us does not dare, now and henceforth, always to tell only the truth, and all the truth, and to do so promptly — right now... The nearest each of us can come to God is by loving the truth... It is the integrity of each individual human that is in final examination. On personal integrity hangs humanity's fate. You can deceive others, you can deceive your brain-self, but you can't deceive your mind-self — for mind deals only in the discovery of truth and the interrelationship of all truths. The cosmic laws with which mind deals are noncorruptible.


Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
  • Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realizing Him.
    • Mahatma Gandhi, as quoted in Young India (8 January 1925); also in The Essential Gandhi : An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work and Ideas (1962) edited by Louis Fischer, p. 174.
  • A man of truth must also be a man of care.
  • An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self sustained.
  • Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time. I must continue to bear testimony to truth even if I am forsaken by all. Mine may today be a voice in the wilderness, but it will be heard when all other voices are silenced, if it is the voice of Truth.
  • It is a fool's prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.
  • Alius quidam veterum poetarum, cuius nomen mihi nunc memoriae non est, Veritatem Temporis filiam esse dixit.
    • Another ancient poet, whose name I have forgotten, said that Truth is the daughter of Time.
    • Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, XII, 11, 7.
  • What is true is already so. Owning up to it doesn't make it worse. Not being open about it doesn't make it go away. And because it's true, it is what is there to be interacted with. Anything untrue isn't there to be lived. People can stand what is true, for they are already enduring it.
  • [T]ruth is the ground and condition of freedom. Unless it is true that human beings deserve to have fundamental liberties respected and protected, the tyrant does no wrong in violating them. Relativism, skepticism, and subjectivism about truth provide no secure basis for freedom. We should honor civil liberties because the norms enjoining us to respect and protect them are valid, sound, in a word, true.
  • Believe those who seek the truth, doubt those who find it; doubt all, but do not doubt yourself.
    • Croyez ceux qui cherchent la vérité, doutez de ceux qui la trouvent; doutez de tout, mais ne doutez pas de vous-même.
    • André Gide, Gallimard, ed. (1952), Ainsi soit-il; ou, Les Jeux sont faits, p. 174 
  • The Lecturers appointed shall be subjected to no test of any kind, and may be of any denomination, or of any religion or way of thinking, or as is sometimes said, they may be of no religion, or they may be so-called sceptics or agnostics or free-thinkers, provided only that they be reverent men, true thinkers, sincere lovers of and earnest enquirers after truth.
  • I don't think there is any truth. There are only points of view.
  • Without form or comeliness, and nailed to the cross—thus is truth to be adored.
    • Guigo I, The Meditations of Guigo I, Prior of the Charterhouse, as translated by A. Gordon Mursell (1995), #5
  • Truth isn't truth.
  • Nothing is great but truth, and the smallest truth is great. The other day I had a thought, which I put like this: Even a harmful truth is useful, for it can be harmful only for the moment and will lead to other truths, which must always become useful, very much so. Conversely, even a useful error is harmful, for it can be useful only for the moment, enticing us into other errors, which become more and more harmful.
    • Goethe, letter to Charlotte von Stein (1787) in Goethe’s World View: Presented in His Reflections and Maxims (1963), Edited with an Introduction by Frederick Ungar, Translated by Heinz Norden, pp. 72-73, Frederick Ungar Publishing Company, New York.
Wars produce many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  • Truth is always late, last to arrive, limping along with time.
    • Baltasar Gracián, Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia, § 146 (Christopher Maurer trans.).


Not curiosity, not vanity, not the consideration of expediency, not duty and conscientiousness, but an unquenchable, unhappy thirst that brooks no compromise leads us to truth. ~ G. W. F. Hegel
It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope and pride. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. … For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. ~ Patrick Henry
  • All religions are incorporated in the principle of Truth, Simplicity and Love.
  • We do not dwell in the Palace of Truth. But, as was mentioned to me not long since, "There is a time coming when all things shall be found out." I am not so sanguine myself, believing that the well in which Truth is said to reside is really a bottomless pit.
  • Philosophie ... hat zwar ihre Gegenstände zunächst mit der Religion gemeinschaftlich. Beide haben die Wahrheit zu ihrem Gegenstande, und zwar im höchsten Sinne - in dem, daß Gott die Wahrheit und er allein die Wahrheit ist.
    • The objects of philosophy, it is true, are upon the whole the same as those of religion. In both the object is Truth, in that supreme sense in which God and God only is the Truth.
  • Nicht die Neugierde, nicht die Eitelkeit, nicht die Betrachtung der Nützlichkeit, nicht die Pflicht und Gewissenhaftigkeit, sondern ein unauslöschlicher, unglücklicher Durst, der sich auf keinen Vergleich einläßt, führt uns zur Wahrheit.
That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. ~ P. C. Hodgell
  • Metaphysics reflects on the nature of the existent and on the nature of truth. Metaphysics lays the foundation of an age by giving it the basis of its essential form through a particular analysis of the existent and a particular conception of truth. This basis dominates all the phenomena which distinguish the age. Conversely, it must be possible to recognize the metaphysical basis in these phenomena through sufficient reflection on them. Reflection is the courage to question as deeply as possible the truth of our own presuppositions and the exact place of our own aims.
    • Martin Heidegger M. Grene (1976) "The age of the world view". In Boundary. 2, 1976.
  • Any concepts or words which have been formed in the past through the interplay between the world and ourselves are not really sharply defined with respect to their meaning: that is to say, we do not know exactly how far they will help us in finding our way in the world. We often know that they can be applied to a wide range of inner or outer experience, but we practically never know precisely the limits of their applicability. This is true even of the simplest and most general concepts like "existence" and "space and time". Therefore, it will never be possible by pure reason to arrive at some absolute truth.
    The concepts may, however, be sharply defined with regard to their connections. This is actually the fact when the concepts become part of a system of axioms and definitions which can be expressed consistently by a mathematical scheme. Such a group of connected concepts may be applicable to a wide field of experience and will help us to find our way in this field. But the limits of the applicability will in general not be known, at least not completely.
  • All truths are not to be told.
  • ..this was inspired by the principle - which is quite true in itself - that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie... It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.
  • That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.
  • If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.
    • Earliest attribution located is The Yogi and the Commissar by Arthur Koestler (1945), p. v. Koestler prefaces it with "My comfort is what Einstein said when somebody reproached him with the suggestion that his formula of gravitation was longer and more cumbersome than Newton's formula in its elegant simplicity". This is actually a variant of a quote Einstein attributed to Ludwig Boltzmann; in the Preface to his Relativity—The Special and General Theory (1916), Einstein wrote: "I adhered scrupulously to the precept of that brilliant theoretical physicist L. Boltzmann, according to whom matters of elegance ought to be left to the tailor and to the cobbler." (reprinted in the 2007 book A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion: The Essential Scientific Works of Albert Einstein edited by Stephen Hawking, p. 128)
  • In this life-long fight, to be waged by every one of us singlehanded against a host of foes, the last requisite for a good fight, the last proof and test of our courage and manfulness, must be loyalty to truth — the most rare and difficult of all human qualities. For such loyalty, as it grows in perfection, asks ever more and more of us, and sets before us a standard of manliness always rising higher and higher.
  • History warns us … that it is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions.
    • Thomas Henry Huxley, "The Coming of Age of the Origin of Species" (1880). In Collected Essays (1893), Vol. 2, 229.
Polycarp replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, "Do you know me?" "I do know thee, first-born of Satan." Such was the horror of the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth. ~ Irenaeus
We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it. ~ Thomas Jefferson
Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; [..] she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them. ~ Thomas Jefferson


  • Polycarp replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, "Do you know me?" "I do know thee, first-born of Satan." Such was the horror of the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth.
    • Irenaeus, Against Heresies Book 3, Chapter 3 from Readings in World Christian History (2013), pp. 58-99
Nothing is sacred but the truth, and by truth I mean what a man sincerely and honestly believes. ~ Robert G. Ingersoll
  • It is not necessary to seek truth among others which it is easy to obtain from the Church.
    • Irenaeus, Against Heresies Book 3, Chapter 4 from Readings in World Christian History (2013), pp. 58-99
  • And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.


Truth will do well enough if left to shift for herself... Truth is the proper & sufficient antagonist to error. ~ Thomas Jefferson
  • Truth of our mental operations must always be an intra- experiential affair.
    • William James. The Meaning of Truth: A Sequel to ‘Pragmatism’ . London: Longmans, Green, 1909.p 133
  • The truer is the one that pushes farther; so we are ever beckoned on by the ideal notion of an ultimately satisfactory terminus. .
    • William James. The Meaning of Truth: A Sequel to ‘Pragmatism’ . London: Longmans, Green, 1909.p 159
  • Truth will do well enough if left to shift for herself. She seldom has received much aid from the power of great men to whom she is rarely known & seldom welcome. She has no need of force to procure entrance into the minds of men. Error indeed has often prevailed by the assistance of power or force. Truth is the proper & sufficient antagonist to error.
    • Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Religion (October 1776), published in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson : 1816–1826 (1899) edited by Paul Leicester Ford, v. 2, p. 102.
  • Well aware that the opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds; that Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraint; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord both of body and mind, yet choose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to exalt it by its influence on reason alone; that the impious presumption of legislature and ruler, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time: That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical; … that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; and therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust or emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religions opinion, is depriving him injudiciously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow-citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emolumerits, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminals who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, … and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
  • No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.
  • It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more compleatly deprive the nation of it's benefits, than is done by it's abandoned prostitution to falsehood. Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live & die in the belief, that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time; whereas the accounts they have read in newspapers are just as true a history of any other period of the world as of the present, except that the real names of the day are affixed to their fables. General facts may indeed be collected from them, such as that Europe is now at war, that Bonaparte has been a successful warrior, that he has subjected a great portion of Europe to his will, &c., &c.; but no details can be relied on. I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.
  • I agree … that a professorship of Theology should have no place in our institution. But we cannot always do what is absolutely best. Those with whom we act, entertaining different views, have the power and the right of carrying them into practice. Truth advances, and error recedes step by step only; and to do to our fellow men the most good in our power, we must lead where we can, follow where we cannot, and still go with them, watching always the favorable moment for helping them to another step.
  • We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.
  • Yet ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
  • ... because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
  • I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
  • Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
    • Jesus in John 17:17 - 19.
  • Then said Jesus...If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
    • Jesus in "John" 18:31-32.
  • You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.
  • Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.
  • But at the end of the day, the truth is not determined by what makes you feel warm and safe. It is not determined by what gets you the most friends. It is not determined by what makes people be nice to each other. It is not determined by a cost-benefit analysis of holding a certain belief. It is determined by reality. And those who willingly compromise their understanding of reality still have to live in it. They just might find themselves without a decent map.


Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. ~ Anthony Kennedy
What does truth require? It requires us to face the facts as they are, not to involve ourselves in self-deception; to refuse to think merely in slogans. … let us deal with the realities as they actually are, not as they might have been, and not as we wish they were. ~ John F. Kennedy
The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. ~ John F. Kennedy
You can go after only what is known. When the mind is not tortured by the known, by the effects of the known, then only can truth reveal itself. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
Truth is not of the past or the present, it is timeless; the man who quotes the truth of the Buddha, of Shankara, of Christ, or who merely repeats what I am saying, will not find truth, because repetition is not truth. Repetition is a lie. ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • The function of the modern artist was not to convey beauty, but to convey new truths.
  • There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn't work.
  • Beauty is truth, truth beauty, — that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
  • Had those who drew and ratified the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment known the components of liberty in its manifold possibilities, they might have been more specific. They did not presume to have this insight. They knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom.
  • Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication.
  • Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication.
  • We welcome the views of others. We seek a free flow of information across national boundaries and oceans, across iron curtains and stone walls. We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
  • The crowd is untruth. Hence none has more contempt for what it is to be a man than they who make it their profession to lead the crowd. Let some one approach a person of this sort, some individual—that is an affair too small for his attention, and he proudly repels him. There must be hundreds at least. And when there are thousands, he defers to the crowd, bowing and scraping to them.
  • When the question of truth is raised in an objective manner, reflection is directed objectively to the truth, as an object to which the knower is related. Reflection is not focused on the relationship, however, but upon the question of whether it is the truth to which the knower is related. … When the question of truth is raised subjectively, reflection is directed subjectively to the nature of the individual’s relationship; if only the mode of this relationship is in the truth, the individual is in the truth even if he should happen to be thus related to what is not true.
  • Most people, at a certain point in their search for truth, change. They marry, and they take on a certain position, in consequence of which they feel that they must in all honor have something finished … and so they think of themselves as really finished. … Living in this manner, one is relieved of the necessity of becoming executively aware of the strenuous difficulties which the simplest of propositions about existing qua human-being involves.
  • You must distinguish between truth and falsehood; you must learn to be true all through, in thought and word and deed. In thought first; and that is not easy, for there are in the world many untrue thoughts, many foolish superstitions, and no one who is enslaved by them can make progress. Therefore you must not hold a thought just because many other people hold it, nor because it has been believed for centuries, nor because it is written in some book which men think sacred; you must think of the matter for yourself, and judge for yourself whether it is reasonable. Remember that though a thousand men agree upon a subject, if they know nothing about that subject their opinion is of no value.
  • I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally.
  • Our minds and hearts are filled with other things than understanding of "what is". Love and mercy, kindliness and generosity do not cause enmity. When you love, you are very near truth. For, love makes for sensitivity, for vulnerability. That which is sensitive is capable of renewal. Then truth will come into being. It cannot come if your mind and heart are burdened, heavy with ignorance and animosity.
  • To follow implies not only the denying of one's own clarity, investigation, integrity and honesty, but it also implies that your motive in following is reward. Truth is not a reward.
  • Truth does not belong to an individual.
    • Jiddu Krishnamurti, 10th Conversation with D. Bohm, Brockwood Park, UK and Gstaad, Switzerland (27 September 1975).
  • Man has throughout the ages been seeking something beyond himself, beyond material welfare — something we call truth or God or reality, a timeless state — something that cannot be disturbed by circumstances, by thought or by human corruption. Man has always asked the question: what is it all about? Has life any meaning at all? He sees the enormous confusion of life, the brutalities, the revolt, the wars, the endless divisions of religion, ideology and nationality, and with a sense of deep abiding frustration he asks, what is one to do, what is this thing we call living, is there anything beyond it?
  • What can a human being do — what can you and I do — to create a completely different society? We are asking ourselves a very serious question. Is there anything to be done at all? What can we do? Will somebody tell us? People have told us. The so-called spiritual leaders, who are supposed to understand these things better than we do, have told us by trying to twist and mould us into a new pattern, and that hasn't led us very far; sophisticated and learned men have told us and that has led us no further. We have been told that all paths lead to truth — you have your path as a Hindu and someone else has his path as a Christian and another as a Muslim, and they all meet at the same door — which is, when you look at it, so obviously absurd. Truth has no path, and that is the beauty of truth, it is living. A dead thing has a path to it because it is static, but when you see that truth is something living, moving, which has no resting place, which is in no temple, mosque or church, which no religion, no teacher, no philosopher, nobody can lead you to — then you will also see that this living thing is what you actually are — your anger, your brutality, your violence, your despair, the agony and sorrow you live in. In the understanding of all this is the truth, and you can understand it only if you know how to look at those things in your life. And you cannot look through an ideology, through a screen of words, through hopes and fears.
  • In seeking there are several things involved: there is the seeker and the thing that he seeks after. When the seeker finds what he thinks is truth, is God, is enlightenment, he must be able to recognize it. He must recognize it, right? Recognition implies previous knowledge, otherwise you cannot recognize. I cannot recognize you if I had not met you yesterday. Therefore when I say this is truth, I have already known it and therefore it is not truth. So a man who is seeking truth lives a life of hypocrisy, because his truth is the projection of his memory, of his desire, of his intentions to find something other than "what is", a formula. So seeking implies duality — the one who seeks and the thing sought after — and where there is duality there is conflict. There is wastage of energy. So you can never find it, you can never invite it.
  • Questioner: Can one love truth without loving man? Can one love man without loving truth? What comes first?
    Krishnamurti: Love comes first. To love truth, you must know truth. To know truth is to deny truth. What is known is not truth. What is known is already encased in time and ceases to be truth. Truth is an eternal movement, and so cannot be measured in words or in time. It cannot be held in the fist. You cannot love something which you do not know. But truth is not to be found in books, in images, in temples. It is to be found in action, in living. The very search for the unknown is love itself, and you cannot search for the unknowable away from relationship. You cannot search for reality, or for what you will, in isolation. It comes into being only in relationship, only when there is right relationship between man and man. So the love of man is the search for reality.
  • You cannot find truth through anybody else. How can you? Surely, truth is not something static; it has no fixed abode; it is not an end, a goal. On the contrary, it is living, dynamic, alert, alive. How can it be an end? If truth is a fixed point, it is no longer truth; it is then a mere opinion. Sir, truth is the unknown, and a mind that is seeking truth will never find it. For mind is made up of the known; it is the result of the past, the outcome of time — which you can observe for yourself. Mind is the instrument of the known; hence it cannot find the unknown; it can only move from the known to the known. When the mind seeks truth, the truth it has read about in books, that "truth" is self-projected, for then the mind is merely in pursuit of the known, a more satisfactory known than the previous one. When the mind seeks truth, it is seeking its own self-projection, not truth. After all, an ideal is self-projected; it is fictitious, unreal. What is real is what is, not the opposite. But a mind that is seeking reality, seeking God, is seeking the known. When you think of God, your God is the projection of your own thought, the result of social influences. You can think only of the known; you cannot think of the unknown, you cannot concentrate on truth. The moment you think of the unknown, it is merely the self-projected known. So, God or truth cannot be thought about. If you think about it, it is not truth. Truth cannot be sought; it comes to you. You can go after only what is known. When the mind is not tortured by the known, by the effects of the known, then only can truth reveal itself. Truth is in every leaf, every tear; it is to be known from moment to moment. No one can lead you to truth; and if anyone leads you, it can only be to the known.
  • Truth is not something in the distance; there is no path to it, there is neither your path nor my path; there is no devotional path, there is no path of knowledge or path of action, because truth has no path to it. The moment you have a path to truth, you divide it, because the path is exclusive; and what is exclusive at the very beginning will end in exclusiveness. The man who is following a path can never know truth because he is living in exclusiveness; his means are exclusive, and the means are the end, are not separate from the end. If the means are exclusive, the end is also exclusive. So there is no path to truth, and there are not two truths. Truth is not of the past or the present, it is timeless; the man who quotes the truth of the Buddha, of Shankara, of Christ, or who merely repeats what I am saying, will not find truth, because repetition is not truth. Repetition is a lie.
  • Please let us be clear on this point — that you cannot by any process, through any discipline, through any form of meditation, go to truth, God, or whatever name you like to give it. It is much too vast, it cannot possibly be conceived of; no description will cover it, no book can hold it, nor any word contain it. So you cannot by any devious method, by any sacrifice, by any discipline or through any guru, go to it. You must await it, it will come to you, you cannot go to it. That is the fundamental thing one has to understand, that not through any trick of the mind, not through any control, through any virtue, any compulsion, any form of suppression, can the mind possibly go to truth. All that the mind can do is be quiet but not with the intention of receiving it. And that is one of the most difficult things of all because we think truth can be experienced right away through doing certain things. Truth is not to be bought any more than love can be bought.


Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. ~ Bruce Lee
To love truth for truth's sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues. ~ John Locke
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
There are very few lovers of truth, for truth's sake, even amongst those who persuade themselves that they are so. ~ John Locke
No man can teach another self-knowledge. He can only lead him or her up to self-discovery — the source of truth. ~ Barry Long
The only way we can ever get through to the truth is by finding out what we are not. We do that by looking, by observation. ~ Barry Long
Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet ’tis Truth alone is strong,
And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng
Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong. ~ James Russell Lowell
Who speaks the truth stabs Falsehood to the heart. ~ James Russell Lowell
Truth makes on the surface of nature no one track of light — every eye looking on finds its own. ~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • It is not enough for a wise man to study nature and truth; he should dare state truth for the benefit of the few who are willing and able to think. As for the rest, who are voluntarily slaves of prejudice, they can no more attain truth, than frogs can fly.
  • People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it's served up.
  • The true value of a man is not determined by his possession, supposed or real, of Truth, but rather by his sincere exertion to get to the Truth. It is not possession of the Truth, but rather the pursuit of Truth by which he extends his powers and in which his ever-growing perfectibility is to be found.
  • … we like and require truth — always supposing and allowing that the said truth interferes neither with our interests nor our inclinations.
  • The awakening after such sleep is one of the most dreadful moments in life. A consciousness of something terrible is upon even the first sensation — a vague idea of the truth comes like the remembrance of a dream ; involuntarily the eyes close, as if to shut it out — the head sinks back on the pillow, as if to see whether another dream would not be a happier one. A gleam of light, a waving curtain, rouses the sleeper; the truth, the whole terrible truth, flashes out — and we start up as if we never could dream again.
  • Tell him anything so long as it's the truth.
    • William D. Leahy, in a reply to George Elsey when the latter asked the former about Truman. As quoted by Henry H. Adams in Witness to Power: The Life of Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy (1985), p. 334
  • Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion.
  • Just gimme some truth — all I want is the truth.
  • 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.
    • Abraham Lincoln, Letter to Allen N. Ford (11 August 1846), reported in Roy Prentice Basler, ed., Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings (1990 [1946])
  • I know there is a God, and that He hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming, and I know that His hand is in it. If He has a place and work for me — and I think He has — I believe I am ready. I am nothing, but truth is everything. I know I am right because I know that liberty is right, for Christ teaches it, and Christ is God. I have told them that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and Christ and reason say the same; and they will find it so.
    • Abraham Lincoln, Anecdote recorded as something that Lincoln said in a conversation with educator Newman Bateman in the Autumn of 1860, in Life of Abraham Lincoln (1866) by Josiah Gilbert Holland, Chapter XVI, p. 287
  • Be a master everywhere and wherever you stand is your true place.
  • 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.
  • He that would seriously set upon the search of truth, ought in the first place to prepare his mind with a love of it. For he that loves it not, will not take much pains to get it; nor be much concerned when he misses it. There is nobody in the commonwealth of learning who does not profess himself a lover of truth: and there is not a rational creature that would not take it amiss to be thought otherwise of. And yet, for all this, one may truly say, that there are very few lovers of truth, for truth's sake, even amongst those who persuade themselves that they are so. How a man may know whether he be so in earnest, is worth inquiry: and I think there is one unerring mark of it, viz. The not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant. Whoever goes beyond this measure of assent, it is plain receives not the truth in the love of it; loves not truth for truth's sake, but for some other bye-end.
  • It is a little known fact that truth cannot be memorized. Truth has to be discovered now, from moment to moment. It is always fresh, always new, always there for the still, innocent mind that has experienced life without needing to hold on to what has gone before.
  • Truth does not need argument, agreement, theories or beliefs. There is only one test for it and that is to ask yourself 'Is the statement true or false in my experience?'
  • The truth is that once you discover something is false you lose interest in it. Man no longer treasures what he thought was genuine once he discovers it is false. In this way truth is its own solution. Self-knowledge is the discovery of the false. You do not have to find what is true: when the false is discarded truth is there. It always was. Just keep observing the fact and the change will come automatically and will he lasting.
  • The fear of falling a prey to error must never prevent us from getting to the full truth. To overstep the limit, to go beyond, would be to err through excessive daring; but there are also errors of timidity which consist precisely in stopping short, never daring to go any further than half-truths.

    Love of truth never goes without daring. And that is one of the reasons why truth is not loved.

    • Henri de Lubac, Paradoxes of Faith (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1987), p. 101.


Never a truth has been destroyed;
They may curse it, and call it crime;
Pervert and betray, or slander and slay
Its teachers for a time.
But the sunshine aye shall light the sky,
As round and round we run;
And the truth shall ever come uppermost,
And justice shall be done. ~ Charles Mackay
Accept the truth from whatever source it comes. ~ Maimonides
At times the truth shines so brilliantly that we perceive it as clear as day. Our nature and habit then draw a veil over our perception, and we return to a darkness almost as dense as before. ~ Maimonides
The truths should be at one time apparent and at another time concealed. ~ Maimonides
The knowledge of the truth removes hatred and quarrels, and prevents mutual injuries. ~ Maimonides
Tell the truth and fear no man. ~ Edward R. Murrow
  • The acquisition of the most elementary truth does not devolve upon the individual alone: it is pre-effected in the development of the race.
  • We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, “that Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the Manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable; because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds, cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also; because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him.
    • James Madison, "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments" (1785)
  • The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.
    • James Madison As paraphrased in The Great Quotations‎ (1960) by George Seldes, p. 460; this paraphrase has for some time become the most widely quoted form of Madison's statement.
  • And men with false reputation of learning will contract Truth and the old will betray the senselessness of the young, and the young will betray the dotage of the old. And cowards will have the reputation of bravery and the brave will be cheerless like cowards... men will cease to trust one another... full of avarice... sin will increase and prosper, while virtue will fade and cease to flourish. Men will ... become omnivorous without distinction, and cruel in all their acts... Urged by avarice, men will, at that time, deceive one another when they sell and purchase. And when the end of the Yuga comes, urged by their very dispositions, men will act cruelly, and speak ill of one another.. people will, without compunction, destroy trees and gardens. And men will be filled with anxiety as regards the means of living... overwhelmed with covetousness, men will kill... and enjoy the possessions of their victims ... Friends and relatives and kinsmen will perform friendly offices for the sake of the wealth only that is possessed by a person... When the end of the Yuga comes, men abandoning the countries and directions and towns and cities of their occupation, will seek for new ones, one after another. And people will wander over the earth, uttering, 'O father, O son', and such other frightful and rending cries.
  • One should speak truly, whether his words be good or bad, hateful or pleasing….
    • Mahabharata, "Vidura to Dhritarashtra in Udyoga Parva: Roy, The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa", 4:68 As quoted from Malhotra, R. (2021). Artificial intelligence and the future of power: 5 battlegrounds. New Delhi : Rupa, 2021.
  • Accept the truth from whatever source it comes.
    • Maimonides, Introduction to the Shemonah Peraqim, as quoted in Truth and Compassion: Essays on Judaism and Religion in Memory of Rabbi Dr. Solomon Frank (1983) Edited by Howard Joseph, Jack Nathan Lightstone, and Michael D. Oppenheim, p. 168
    • Unsourced variant: You must accept the truth from whatever source it comes.
  • At times the truth shines so brilliantly that we perceive it as clear as day. Our nature and habit then draw a veil over our perception, and we return to a darkness almost as dense as before. We are like those who, though beholding frequent flashes of lightning, still find themselves in the thickest darkness of the night. On some the lightning flashes in rapid succession, and they seem to be in continuous light, and their night is as clear as the day. This was the degree of prophetic excellence attained by (Moses) the greatest of prophets, to whom God said," But as for thee, stand thou here by Me" (Deut. v. 31), and of whom it is written" the skin of his face shone," etc. (Exod. xxxiv. 29). [Some perceive the prophetic flash at long intervals; this is the degree of most prophets.] By others only once during the whole night is a flash of lightning perceived. This is the case with those of whom we are informed," They prophesied, and did not prophesy again" (Num. xi. 25). There are some to whom the flashes of lightning appear with varying intervals; others are in the condition of men, whose darkness is illumined not by lightning, but by some kind of crystal or similar stone, or other substances that possess the property of shining during the night; and to them even this small amount of light is not continuous, but now it shines and now it vanishes, as if it were" the flame of the rotating sword."
  • My object in adopting this arrangement is that the truths should be at one time apparent and at another time concealed. Thus we shall not be in opposition to the Divine Will (from which it is wrong to deviate) which has withheld from the multitude the truths required for the knowledge of God, according to the words, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him." (Psalm 25:14)
  • If men possessed wisdom, which stands in the same relation to the form of man as the sight to the eye, they would not cause any injury to themselves or to others, for the knowledge of the truth removes hatred and quarrels, and prevents mutual injuries.
  • They may veil their eyes, but they cannot hide
    The sun’s meridian glow;
    The heel of a priest may tread thee down,
    And a tyrant work thee woe:
    But never a truth has been destroyed;
    They may curse it, and call it crime;
    Pervert and betray, or slander and slay
    Its teachers for a time.
    But the sunshine aye shall light the sky,
    As round and round we run;
    And the truth shall ever come uppermost,
    And justice shall be done.
    • Charles Mackay, Legends of the Isles and Other Poems (1851), "Eternal Justice", Stanza 4.
  • Religion does not mean to surrender to dogmas and religious scriptures or conformity to rituals. But my religion constitutes an abiding faith in the perfect values of truth and the ceaseless attempt to realise them in the inner most part of our nature.
  • If any man seeks for greatness, let him forget greatness and ask for truth, and he will find both.
  • En el periódico, en la cátedra, en la academia, debe llevarse adelante el estudio de los factores reales del país. Conocerlos basta, sin vendas ni ambages; porque el que pone de lado, por voluntad u olvido, una parte de la verdad, cae a la larga por la verdad que le faltó, que crece en la negligencia, y derriba lo que se levanta sin ella. Resolver el problema después de conocer sus elementos, es más fácil que resolver el problema sin conocerlos.
    • Newspapers, universities and schools should encourage the study of the country's pertinent components. To know them is sufficient, without mincing words; for whoever brushes aside even a part of the truth, whether through intention or oversight, is doomed to fall. The truth he lacks thrives on negligence, and brings down whatever is built without it. It is easy to resolve our problem knowing its components than resolve them without knowing them.
    • José Martí, "Nuestra América" (1891), first published in La Revista Ilustrada de Nueva York (1 January 1891), translated as "Our America" (online text)
      • Variant translation:
      • In the newspapers, lecture halls, and academies, the study of the country's real factors must be carried forward. Simply knowing those factors without blindfolds or circumlocutions is enough — for anyone who deliberately or unknowingly sets aside a part of the truth will ultimately fail because of the truth he was lacking, which expands when neglected and brings down whatever is built without it. Solving the problem after knowing its elements is easier than solving it without knowing them.
  • No one can define or measure justice, democracy, security, freedom, truth, or love. [...] But if no one speaks up for them, if systems aren't designed to produce them, if we don't speak about them and point toward their presence or absence, they will cease to exist.
  • The long duration of a belief, he thought, is at least proof of an adaption in it to some portion or other of the human mind; and if, on digging down to the root, we do not find, as is generally the case, some truth, we shall find some natural want or requirement of human nature which the doctrine in question is fitted to satisfy: among which wants the instincts of selfishness and of credulity have a place, but by no means an exclusive one.
  • Satyameva Jayate. (Truth alone triumphs.)
    • Part of a mantra from the Mundaka Upanishad. It was adopted as the national motto of India.
  • 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).


Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth. ~ Isaac Newton
Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things. ~ Isaac Newton
  • 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.
  • Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth.
    • Isaac Newton, Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae [Certain Philosophical Questions] (c. 1664).
    • Variant translations: Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my best friend is truth.
      Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — truth is a greater friend.
    • This is a variation on a much older adage, which Roger Bacon attributed to Aristotle: Amicus Plato sed magis amica veritas. Bacon was perhaps paraphrasing a statement in the Nicomachean Ethics: Where both are friends, it is right to prefer truth.
  • Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.
    • Isaac Newton, Cited in Rules for methodizing the Apocalypse, Rule 9, from a manuscript published in The Religion of Isaac Newton (1974) by Frank E. Manuel, p. 120, as quoted in Socinianism And Arminianism : Antitrinitarians, Calvinists, And Cultural Exchange in Seventeenth-Century Europe (2005) by Martin Mulsow, Jan Rohls, p. 273.
    • Variant: Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.
      • As quoted in God in the Equation : How Einstein Transformed Religion (2002) by Corey S. Powell, p. 29
  • 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.
  • I think that natural truths will cease to be spat at us like insults, that aesthetics will once more be linked with ethics, and that people will become aware that in casting out aesthetics that they also cast out a respect for human life, a respect for creation, a respect for spiritual values. Aesthetics was an expression of man's need to be in love with his world. The cult of ugliness is a regression. It destroys our appetite, our love for our world.
  • There are most certainly two distinguishable kinds of truths, “truths of reason” (that two plus two equals four) and “truths of fact” (that the sky appears blue). By his resort to his daimon Socrates added the class of “truths of self,” personal truths.
    • David Norton, Personal Destinies: A Philosophy of Ethical Individualism (1976), p. 7.
  • Concerning the truth at hand he [Socrates] was saying, yes, surely, it is a truth a reason or a truth of fact, but before I offer it I must discover whether it is a personal truth and a part of myself, for otherwise I must leave its enunciation to others.
    • David Norton, Personal Destinies: A Philosophy of Ethical Individualism (1976), pp. 7-8.
  • All truth is ancient. The enticement of novelty lies only in its expressive variations. The greater the contrast in outward appearance, the greater the joy of recognition.
    • Novalis, Novalis Schriften, Volume 2 (1907), p. 146


A great nation doesn’t shy from the truth. It strengthens us. It emboldens us. ~ Barack Obama
  • To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.
  • Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible... If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened — that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death? And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed — if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past. And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. 'Reality control', they called it: in Newspeak, 'doublethink'...
  • The past, he reflected, had not merely been altered, it had been actually destroyed. For how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside your own memory?... To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself... That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.


Truth will triumph. It always does. However, I figure truth is a variable, so we're right back where we started from. ~ Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore)
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. ~ Thomas Paine
The first duty is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth! ~ Jean-Luc Picard
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth. ~ Pope John Paul II
Every truth—if it really is truth—presents itself as universal, even if it is not the whole truth. If something is true, then it must be true for all people and at all times. ~ Pope John Paul II
False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. ~ Plato
  • I have a hard time with historians because they idolize the truth. The truth is not uplifting; it destroys. I could tell most of the secretaries in the church office building that they are ugly and fat. That would be the truth, but it would hurt and destroy them. Historians should tell only that part of the truth that is inspiring and uplifting.
    • Boyd K. Packer Quinn (ed), Faithful History: Essays On Writing Mormon History, p 103, fn 22
  • Truth will triumph. It always does. However, I figure truth is a variable, so we're right back where we started from.
  • 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.
  • For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
  • This is fine and acceptable in the sight of our Savior, God, whose will is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.
  • Those philosophers who believe in the absolute logic of truth have never had to discuss it on close terms with a woman.
  • Gentlemen, that is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don't know what it means. But we have proved it, and therefore we know it must be the truth.
    • Benjamin Peirce, on Euler's identity, as quoted in notes by W. E. Byerly, published in Benjamin Peirce, 1809-1880: Biographical Sketch and Bibliography (1925) by R. C. Archibald; also in Mathematics and the Imagination (1940) by Edward Kasner and James Newman.
  • The science of Logic is said to have been originated by Aristotle. ...actual reasoning is little dependent upon a knowledge of this science. Some of the greatest feats of reasoning which history records occurred before Aristotle was born, before logic was recognized as a science. Logic enables us to compel assent to propositions, rather than to discover truth. In other words, it too often constitutes merely a training in the art of disputation.
  • The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth! It is the guiding principle on which Starfleet is based! If you can't find it within yourself to stand up and tell the truth about what happened, you don't deserve to wear that uniform!
  • We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies. If he only shows in his work that he has searched, and re-searched, for the way to put over lies, he would never accomplish anything.
    • Pablo Picasso, "Picasso Speaks," The Arts (May, 1923) Vol. 3, ed. Marius de Zayas, pp. 315-329. Reprinted in Alfred Barr, Picasso, (1946) pp. 270–271.
  • Are you not ashamed that you give your attention to acquiring as much money as possible, and similarly with reputation and honor, and give no attention or thought to truth and understanding and the perfection of your soul?

* False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.

  • The truth is so lovable that it has only to be known to be embraced.
    • Plutarch as quoted by ** David Allyn Gorton, The History of Medicine, Philosophical and Critical (1910) Vol. 1
  • Truth is a liberal value, and it is a conservative value, but it is not a leftist value.
    • Dennis Prager, Why Most Jews Aren't Bothered By The Times' Anti-Semitic Cartoon, The Daily Wire, 4 May 2019
  • The truth isn’t easily pinned to a page. In the bathtub of history the truth is harder to hold than the soap, and much more difficult to find...
  • “We are armed with the truth. What can harm us if we are armed with the truth?”
    “Well, a crossbow bolt can, e.g., go right through your eye and out the back of your head,” said Sergeant Colon.
  • “Granny was certainly not telling the truth,” said Agnes.
    “Of course she wasn’t, she never does,” said Magrat. “She expects you to work it out for yourself.”
  • Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
  • You are near, O Jehovah, and all your commandments are truth. The very essence of your word is truth, and all your righteous judgments endure forever.
  • Superman: I’m here to fight for truth, and justice, and the American way.
Lois Lane: You’re gonna end up fighting every elected official in this country!
The Truth is from thy Lord, so be not of the disputers. ~ Quran


  • The Truth is from thy Lord, so be not of the disputers.
  • Such then is Allah, your true Lord. And what is there after the truth but error? How then are you turned away!
  • (Muhammad), ask them, "Can any of your idols guide you to the Truth?" Say, "Only God guides to the Truth." Is the one who guides to the Truth a proper guide or one who himself cannot find guidance unless he is guided (by others)? What is wrong with you that you judge (so unjustly)?
  • And how many angels are in the heavens, whose intercession avails naught except after Allah gives permission to whom He pleases and chooses. Surely those who believe not in the Hereafter name the angels with female names. And they have no knowledge of it. They follow but conjecture, and surely conjecture avails naught against Truth.


Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution. ~ J. K. Rowling
New times demand new measures and new men;
The world advances, and in time outgrows
The laws which in our father's times were best;
And doubtless, after us, some purer scheme
Will be shaped out by wiser men than we,
Made wiser by the steady growth of truth. ~ James Russell Lowell
  • It is extremely easy to find people who speak pleasantly. But it is rare to find people who speak and hear true words even when they are not pleasing to hear.
    • Ramayana, Ramayana 6.16.21 and also Ramayana 3.37.2. as quoted from Malhotra, R. (2021). Artificial intelligence and the future of power: 5 battlegrounds. New Delhi : Rupa, 2021.
  • See they conducted experiments on convicts ... I don't know on what grounds they reason a man in jail is a bigger liar than one out of jail ... The chances are telling the truth is what got him there ... It would be a big aid to humanity, but it will never be, for already the politicians are up in arms against it ... It would wreck the very foundation on which our political government is run ... If you ever injected truth into politics you'd have no politics … Even the ministers are denouncing it now … Humanity is not yet ready for either real truth or real harmony.
    • Will Rogers Nationally syndicated column number 31, A Few Shots of Scopolamin (15 July 1923), after meeting Robert E. House, who had proposed the use of scopolamine as a truth serum, in The Use of Scopolamine in Criminology (1922).
This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly ... Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.
  • Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt, radio address 26 October 1939, as reported in The Baltimore Sun (27 October 1939).
  • Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any other controlling private power.
    The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living. Both lessons hit home. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.
  • These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men...This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.
  • Lack of strength and lack of courage and unfit men for self-government on the one hand; and on the other, brutal arrogance, envy -- in short, any manifestation of the spirit of selfish disregard, whether of one's own duties or of the rights of others, are equally fatal... There must be ever present in our minds the fundamental truth that in a republic such as ours the only safety is to stand neither for nor against any man because he is rich or because he is poor, because he is engaged in one occupation or another, because he works with his brains or because he works with his hands. We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less... Finally, we must keep ever in mind that a republic such as ours can exist only by virtue of the orderly liberty which comes through the equal domination of the law over all men alike, and through its administration in such resolute and fearless fashion as shall teach all that no man is above it and no man below it.
  • Happiness can not come to any man capable of enjoying true happiness unless it comes as the sequel to duty well and honestly done. To do that duty you need to have more than one trait... Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground. Be truthful; a lie implies fear, vanity or malevolence; and be frank; furtiveness and insincerity are faults incompatible with true manliness. Be honest, and remember that honesty counts for nothing unless back of it lie courage and efficiency.
  • If in this country we ever have to face a state of things in which on one side stand the men of high ideals who are honest, good, well-meaning, pleasant people, utterly unable to put those ideals into shape in the rough field of practical life, while on the other side are grouped the strong, powerful, efficient men with no ideals: then the end of the Republic will be near. The salvation of the Republic depends the salvation of our whole social system depends upon the production year by year of a sufficient number of citizens who possess high ideals combined with the practical power to realize them in actual life.
  • In the history of the world some of the men who stand high who stand in all but the very highest places are those who have not possessed any wonderful genius in statecraft, war, art, literature in whatever calling; but who have developed within themselves, by long, patient effort, resolutely maintained in spite of repeated failure, the ordinary, everyday, humdrum qualities of courage, of resolution, of proper appreciation of the relative importance of things; of honesty, of truth, of good sense, of unyielding perseverance. We can each one of us develop to a very high degree these qualities; and if we do so develop them, each one of us is sure of a measure of success
  • Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood—the virtues that made America. The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, Letter to S. Stanwood Menken, chairman, committee on Congress of Constructive Patriotism (January 10, 1917). Roosevelt's sister, Mrs. Douglas Robinson, read the letter to a national meeting, January 26, 1917. Reported in Proceedings of the Congress of Constructive Patriotism, Washington, D.C., January 25–27, 1917 (1917), p. 172
  • The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
  • I believe that love of truth is the basis of all real virtue, and that virtues based upon lies can only do harm.
  • When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only: What are the facts, and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted, either by what you wish to believe, or what you think could have beneficent social effects if it were believed; but look only and solely at what are the facts.
  • Truth is a shining goddess, always veiled, always distant, never wholly approachable, but worthy of all the devotion of which the human spirit is capable.
  • New times demand new measures and new men;
    The world advances, and in time outgrows
    The laws which in our father's times were best;
    And doubtless, after us, some purer scheme
    Will be shaped out by wiser men than we,
    Made wiser by the steady growth of truth.
Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped. ~ Edward Snowden


The truth as always is simultaneously better and worse than what the popular myth-making has it. ~ William Saroyan
Time discovers truth. ~ Seneca the Younger
Time's glory is to calm contending kings,
To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light. ~ William Shakespeare
Happy is the man that has found wisdom … It is a tree of life to those taking hold of it, and those keeping fast hold of it are to be called happy. ~ Solomon
Truth is elusive to those who refuse to see with both eyes. ~ Stargate SG-1 Season 10 episode 10 "The Quest Part 1"
  • Galileo's head was on the block... The crime was looking up for truth... And then you had to bring up reincarnation... How long 'til my soul gets it right... Can any human being ever reach that kind of light...
  • The truth is cruel, but it can be loved, and it makes free those who have loved it.
  • I would not care whether truth is pleasant or unpleasant, and in consonance with or opposed to current views. I would not mind in the least whether truth is, or is not, a blow to the glory of my country. If necessary, I shall bear in patience the ridicule and slander of friends and society for the sake of preaching truth. But still I shall seek truth, understand truth, and accept truth. This should be the firm resolve of a historian.
    • Sir Jadunath Sarkar, Quoted in Meenakshi Jain, "Flawed Narratives – History in the old NCERT Textbooks" (2001) [3], and quoted in R.C. Majumdar, The History and Culture of the Indian People, Vol. 7, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, 1984, pp. xiii (quoted from a Presidential speech given at a historical conference in Bengal, 1915).
  • Everything and everybody is sooner or later identified, defined, and put in perspective. The truth as always is simultaneously better and worse than what the popular myth-making has it.
  • To be a philosopher, that is to say, a lover of wisdom (for wisdom is nothing but truth), it is not enough for a man to love truth, in so far as it is compatible with his own interest, with the will of his superiors, with the dogmas of the church, or with the prejudices and tastes of his contemporaries; so long as he rests content with this position, he is only a φίλαυτος [lover of self], not a φιλόσοφος [lover of wisdom]. For this title of honor is well and wisely conceived precisely by its stating that one should love the truth earnestly and with one’s whole heart, and thus unconditionally and unreservedly, above all else, and, if need be, in defiance of all else. Now the reason for this is the one previously stated that the intellect has become free, and in this state it does not even know or understand any other interest than that of truth.
    • Arthur Schopenhauer, “Sketch for a history of the doctrine of the ideal and the real,” Parerga and Paralipomena, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, pp. 21-22.
  • Die Wahrheit kann warten: denn sie hat ein langes Leben vor sich.
    • The truth can wait, for it lives a long life.
    • Arthur Schopenhauer, Willen in der Natur in the chapter Einleitung (1836).
  • Truth that has been merely learned is like an artificial limb, a false tooth, a waxen nose; at best, like a nose made out of another's flesh; it adheres to us only because it is put on. But truth acquired by thinking of our own is like a natural limb; it alone really belongs to us. This is the fundamental difference between the thinker and the mere man of learning.
  • When truth cannot make itself known in words, it will make itself known in deeds.
    • Roger Scruton, "Should he have spoken?", The New Criterion (September 2006), p. 22; also in The Roger Scruton Reader (2009) edited by Mark Dooley.
  • Contra primus itaque causas pugnare debemus; causa autem iracundiae opinio iniuriae est, cui non facile credendum est. Ne apertis quidem manifestisque statim accedendum; quaedam enim falsa ueri speciem ferunt. Dandum semper est tempus: ueritatem dies aperit.
    • The cause of anger is the belief that we are injured; this belief, therefore, should not be lightly entertained. We ought not to fly into a rage even when the injury appears to be open and distinct: for some false things bear the semblance of truth. We should always allow some time to elapse, for time discloses the truth.
      • Seneca the Younger, Moral Essays, De Ira (On Anger): Book 2, cap. 22, line 2. English translation of quotes by Aubrey Stewart
    • Alternate translation: Time discovers truth. (translator unknown).
  • A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is 'merely relative,' is asking you not to believe him. So don't.
  • To thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
  • If circumstances lead me, I will find
    Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
    Within the centre.
  • Tell truth and shame the devil.
    If thou have power to raise him, bring him hither,
    And I'll be sworn I have power to shame him hence.
  • But 'tis strange:
    And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
    The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
    Win us with honest trifles, to betray's
    In deepest consequence.
  • Methinks the truth should live from age to age,
    As 'twere retail'd to all posterity,
    Even to the general all-ending day.
  • This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    • William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British poet and dramatist. Hamlet (1600-02), Act I, sc. iii. (Polonius giving advice to his son Laertes, departing for France).
  • One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may . . . 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.
  • Different views of the same truths are seldom disagreeable to men of taste, and are equally useful to beginners with the writings of different authors upon the same subject.
  • I did not reveal any US operations against legitimate military targets. I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, and private businesses because it is dangerous... All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.
  • Seeing someone in the position of James Clapper - the Director of National Intelligence - baldly lying to the public without repercussion is the evidence of a subverted democracy. The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed... Unfortunately, the mainstream media now seems far more interested in what I said when I was 17 or what my girlfriend looks like rather than, say, the largest program of suspicionless surveillance in human history... Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it.
  • Truth it has been said is the first casualty of war.
    • Philip Snowden, in the Introduction to Truth and the War, by E. D. Morel (July 1916)
  • In a comparison of the Soviet and Nazi regimes, the political theorist Hannah Arendt wrote in 1951 that factuality itself "depends for its continued existence upon the existence of the nontotalitarian world." The American diplomat George Kennan made the same point in simpler words in Moscow in 1944: "here men determine what is true and what is false." Is truth nothing more than a convention of power, or can truthful historical accounts resist the gravity of politics? Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sought to master history itself. The Soviet Union was a Marxist state, whose leaders proclaimed themselves to be scientists of history. National Socialism was an apocalyptic version of total transformation, to be realized by men who believed that race and will could slough off the burden of the past. The twelve years of Nazi and the seventy-four years of Soviet power certainly weigh heavily on our ability to evaluate the world. Many people believe that the crimes of the Nazi regime were so great as to stand outside history. This is a troubling echo of Hitler's own belief that will triumphs over facts. Others maintain that the crimes of Stalin, though horrible, were justified by the need to create or defend a modern state. This recalls Stalin's view that history has only one course, which he understood, and legitimates his policies in retrospect.
    • Timothy D. Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, New York: Basic Books, 2010,
  • False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
  • Happy is the man that has found wisdom, and the man that gets discernment, for having it as gain is better than having silver as gain and having it as produce than gold itself. It is more precious than corals, and all other delights of yours cannot be made equal to it. Length of days is in its right hand; in its left hand there are riches and glory. Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its roadways are peace. It is a tree of life to those taking hold of it, and those keeping fast hold of it are to be called happy.
  • The word "truth" applies to a man's dignity.
  • What matter that the man stands for much I cannot love—the moment he touches the realms of truth he enters my world and is my friend.
  • In the same way as you know that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles: that this is sufficient, will be denied by no one whose brain is sound, and who does not go dreaming of evil spirits inspiring us with false ideas like the true. For the truth is the index of itself and of what is false.
  • If you want truth to go round the world you must hire an express train to pull it. But if you want a lie to go round the world, it will fly; it is light as a feather and a breath will carry it.
    • Charles Spurgeon, Sermons delivered in Exeter Hall, Strand, during the enlargement of New Park Street Chapel, Southmark, (1855)
  • Truth is elusive to those who refuse to see with both eyes.
    • Stargate SG-1 Season 10 episode 10 "The Quest Part 1" (September 22, 2006) written by Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie.
  • Truth eludes he who does not seek it with both eyes wide.
    • Stargate SG-1 Season 10 episode 10 "The Quest Part 1" (September 22, 2006) written by Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie.
  • Violent zeal for truth hath an hundred to one odds to be either petulancy, ambition, or pride.
    • Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Religion (1765, published posthumously)


I never gave anybody hell. I just told the truth and they think it's hell. ~HarryTruman
Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it. ~ Mark Twain
  • 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".
  • The present article is almost wholly devoted to a single problem—the definition of truth. Its task is to construct—with reference to a given language—a materially adequate and formally correct definition of the term 'true sentence'. This problem, which belongs to the classical problems of philosophy, raises considerable difficulties. For although the meaning of the term 'true sentence' in colloquial language seems to be quite clear and intelligible, all attempts to define this meaning more precisely have hitherto been fruitless, and many investigations in which this term has been used and which started with apparently evident premisses have often led to paradoxes and antinomies (for which, however, a more or less satisfactory solution has been found). The concept of truth shares in this respect the fate of other analogous concepts in the domain of the semantics of language.
    • Alfred Tarski, "The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages" (1931) in Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics: Papers from 1923 to 1938 (1956) Tr. J. H. Woodger.
  • I believe in evil. It is the property of all those who are certain of truth.
    • Edward Teller, as quoted in The Martians of Science : Five Physicists Who Changed the Twentieth Century (2006) by Istvan Hargittai, p. 251.
  • It takes two to speak the truth — one to speak, and another to hear.
  • 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.
  • My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth there's hardly any difference.
    • Harry Truman, as quoted in Esquire, Vol. 76 (1971), also in Truman's Crises : A Political Biography of Harry S. Truman (1980) by Harold Foote Gosnell, p. 9; sometimes paraphrased: Being a politician is like being a piano player in a whorehouse.
  • I never gave anybody hell. I just told the truth and they think it's hell.
    • Harry S. Truman, quoted in My Fellow Americans : The Most Important Speeches of America's Presidents (2003) by Michael Waldman, p. 137
  • When in doubt, tell the truth.
    • Mark Twain, Following the Equator (1897), Wilson's New Calendar, Ch. II
    • Not in the text, but added by many sources is the sentence: "It will confound your enemies and astound your friends." Compare this line to the advice attributed to Henry Wotton (1568 - 1639) to a young diplomat: "to tell the truth, and so puzzle and confound his enemies." E.g., Vol 24, Encyclopedia Britannica of Arts, Sciences, and General Literature, page 721 (9th Ed. 1894)
  • “The Redhead is so careful of the truth,” observed one writer of MacPhail, “he used it very sparingly.”
    • Jules Tygiel, Baseball’s Great Experiment (revised edition 1997), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-510620-2, p. 69
The world... is ruled by insiders... insiders do not tell outsiders the truth, and they do not turn against other insiders... ~Yanis Varoufakis


Truth at last cannot be hidden. Dissimulation is of no avail. Dissimulation is to no purpose before so great a judge. … Nothing is hidden under the sun. ~ Leonardo da Vinci
A small truth is better than a great lie. ~ Leonardo da Vinci
  • Fire is to represent truth because it destroys all sophistry and lies; and the mask is for lying and falsehood which conceal truth.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), X Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations, as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Truth here makes Falsehood torment lying tongues.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), X Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations, as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Truth was the only daughter of Time.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), XIX Philosophical Maxims. Morals. Polemics and Speculations., as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • To lie is so vile, that even if it were in speaking well of godly things it would take off something from God's grace; and Truth is so excellent, that if it praises but small things they become noble.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), XIX Philosophical Maxims. Morals. Polemics and Speculations., as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness; and this truth is in itself so excellent that, even when it dwells on humble and lowly matters, it is still infinitely above uncertainty and lies, disguised in high and lofty discourses; because in our minds, even if lying should be their fifth element, this does not prevent that the truth of things is the chief nutriment of superior intellects, though not of wandering wits. But you who live in dreams are better pleased by the sophistical reasons and frauds of wits in great and uncertain things, than by those reasons which are certain and natural and not so far above us.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), XIX Philosophical Maxims. Morals. Polemics and Speculations., as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Man has much power of discourse which for the most part is vain and false; animals have but little, but it is useful and true, and a small truth is better than a great lie.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), XIX Philosophical Maxims. Morals. Polemics and Speculations., as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Tell the truth boldly, whether it hurts or not. Never pander to weakness. If truth is too much for intelligent people and sweeps them away, let them go; the sooner the better.


The milder virtues of the heart are highly respected by a society whose liberal principles must be founded in the immediate laws of truth and justice.
All truths wait in all things, They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it... ~ Walt Whitman
The end will show the whole truth. ~ William the Silent
  • I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my Country can inspire: since there is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness, between duty and advantage, between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity. Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.
    • George Washington, First Inaugural Address (30 April 1789), published in The Writings of George Washington, edited by John C. Fitzpatrick, Vol. 30, pp. 294-5
  • We have abundant reason to rejoice, that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart....Your prayers for my present and future felicity are received with gratitude; and I sincerely wish, Gentlemen, that you may in your social and individual capacities taste those blessings, which a gracious God bestows upon the righteous.
  • In order to be effective truth must penetrate like an arrow — and that is likely to hurt.
  • Just as a vagrant accused of stealing a carrot from a field stands before a comfortably seated judge who keeps up an elegant flow of queries, comments and witticisms while the accused is unable to stammer a word, so truth stands before an intelligence which is concerned with the elegant manipulation of opinions.
  • There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.
  • All truths wait in all things,
    They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it
    They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon,
    The insignificant is as big to me as any,
    (What is less or more than a touch?)
    Logic and sermons never convince,
    The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.

    (Only what proves itself to every man and woman is so,
    Only what nobody denies is so
  • As the [nineteenth] century progressed, we find that truth itself tended to be regarded no longer as eternal and changeless but as time-dependent. Attention came to be focused on the historical process rather than on an eternally valid, unchanging order of things. In other words, interest was transferred from the 'thing completed' to the genetic process, that is, from 'being' to 'becoming'. This radically new point of view received its extreme formulation in the philosophy of the 'modern Heraclitus', Henri Bergson... for whom ultimate reality was neither 'being' nor 'being changed' but the continual process of 'change' itself, which he called la durée.
  • Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.
    • Warren Wiersbe, Listen! Jesus Is Praying: An Expository Study of John 17 (1982), p. 120
  • [S]ome scientists focus on ideal beauty, others on empirical truth. My own approach, following a great tradition going back to Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler, has been to use beauty as a guide to truth.
    • Frank Wilczek, "Beautiful, Impractical Physics" (Oct. 29, 2020) The Wall Street Journal.
  • 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, "Phrases and Philosophies for the use of the young", in The Chameleon (December 1894).
  • The end will show the whole truth.
    • William the Silent, To his brother Louis, commenting on The Count of Egmont's visit to Philip II about the problems in the Netherlands, 1565, as quoted in William the Silent (1902) by Frederic Harrison, p. 22.
  • Those who say that all historical accounts are ideological constructs (which is one version of the idea that there is really no historical truth) rely on some story which must itself claim historical truth. They show that supposedly "objective" historians have tendentiously told their stories from some particular perspective; they describe, for example, the biasses that have gone into constructing various histories of the United States. Such an account, as a particular piece of history, may very well be true, but truth is a virtue that is embarrassingly unhelpful to a critic who wants not just to unmask past historians of America but to tell us that at the end of the line there is no historical truth. It is remarkable how complacent some "deconstructive" histories are about the status of the history that they deploy themselves.
  • A further turn is to be found in some "unmasking" accounts of natural science, which aim to show that its pretensions to deliver the truth are unfounded, because of social forces that control its activities. Unlike the case of history, these do not use truths of the same kind; they do not apply science to the criticism of science. They apply the social sciences, and typically depend on the remarkable assumption that the sociology of knowledge is in a better position to deliver truth about science than science is to deliver truth about the world.
  • Truth conceived as God is of course the Absolute. Truth perceived by man must always be relative, changing according to human contacts developing as men understand better each other, their circumstances and themselves. Gandhi never set out to develop a fixed and final doctrine, but emphasized that his practice of ahimsa, or nonviolence, was always experimental, that his political struggle like his personal life was part of a continuing quest for Truth as manifested existentially, a quest that could never end because human understanding was incapable of comprehending the Absolute.
    The identification of Truth as the goal of political action, as well as of religious devotion, and the refusal to distinguish between religion and politics, form the background to the great divergences between Gandhi's revolutionary ideas and techniques and those of other contemporary revolutionists. … Unorthodox though he might be, Gandhi fitted into the traditional pattern of the sanyassi who practices non‑attachment in the search for Truth; he was the karma yogin, the man who perfects and purifies himself through action. Yogic disciplines of all kinds are held in India to confer power over destiny, and Gandhi believed that positive action — love and nonviolence — could intangibly influence men and therefore events. With Truth as the goal and at the same time as the principle of action (for in Gandhian terms ends are emergent from means and hence virtually indistinguishable from them), there was no place in Gandhi's idea of revolution for conspiratorial methods or guerrilla activities.
  • I believe that in the end the truth will conquer.
    • Statement to the Duke of Lancaster (1381), as quoted in Champions of the Right (1885) by Edward Gilliat, p. 135.
    • Variant: I believe that in the end truth will conquer.
    • John Wycliffe as quoted in Great Voices of the Reformation : An Anthology (1952) by Harry Emerson Fosdick, p. 37.


  • Pure truth no man has seen, nor ever shall know.


  • Truth never was indebted to a lie.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VIII, line 587.


Truth, like a woman, must be wooed and won — and this only through the purity of mind and the heart’s deep love. ~ David Zindell
  • 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!
  • These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates
  • Truth, like a woman, must be wooed and won - and this only through the purity of mind and the heart’s deep love.
  • If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.
    • Émile Zola, as quoted in Dreyfus : His Life and Letters‎ (1937) edited by Pierre Dreyfus, p. 175.


  • Tell the truth, then run.
    • Yugoslavian proverb, as quoted in The 2548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said (2001) by Robert Byrne.
  • There are cases when the simple truth is difficult to tell,
    When 'tis better that the truth should not be known,
    So we'd better leave her lying at the bottom of the well,
    And agree to let both truth and well alone.
    • Unknown, quoted in Under Queen and Khedive : The Autobiography of an Anglo-Egyptian Official (1899) by Walter Frederick Miéville.

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)

  • Hell is truth seen too late—duty neglected in its season.
    • Attributed to Tryon Edwards; in Edwards, A Dictionary of Thoughts (1891), p. 225.
  • I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our Government but civilization itself. That bond, though strained, is unbroken at home and abroad.
    • Gerald R. Ford, remarks on taking the oath of office, August 9, 1974. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Gerald R. Ford, 1974, p. 2.
  • Another one of the old poets, whose name has escaped my memory at present, called Truth the daughter of Time.
    • Aulus Gellius, The Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius, trans. John C. Rolfe (1927), vol. 2, book 12, chapter 11, verse 7, p. 394–95.
  • Persecution cannot harm him who stands by Truth. Did not Socrates fall proudly a victim in body? Was not Paul stoned for the sake of the Truth? It is our inner selves that hurt us when we disobey it, and it kills us when we betray it.
    • Khalil Gibran, The Secrets of the Heart, trans. Anthony R. Ferris (1947), p. 157.
  • It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth—and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.
    • Patrick Henry, speech to the Virginia Convention, Richmond, Virginia (March 23, 1775); in William Wirt, Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry (1836, reprinted 1970), 9th ed., p. 138. Language altered to first person.
  • We should face reality and our past mistakes in an honest, adult way. Boasting of glory does not make glory, and singing in the dark does not dispel fear.
    • Hussein I, king of Jordan, remarks during a conference of Arab chiefs of state, Khartoum, Sudan (August 30, 1967), as reported by The New York Times (August 31, 1967), p. 6.
  • The most violent revolutions in an individual's beliefs leave most of his old order standing. Time and space, cause and effect, nature and history, and one's own biography remain untouched. New truth is always a go-between, a smoother-over of transitions. It marries old opinion to new fact so as ever to show a minimum of jolt, a maximum of continuity.
    • William James, "What Pragmatism Means", Pragmatism (1931), p. 60–61. Lectures delivered at the Lowell Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, December 1906, and at Columbia University, New York City (January 1907).
  • Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record
    One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the Word;
    Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,—
    Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
    Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

    New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good uncouth;
    They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast of Truth;
    Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! we ourselves must Pilgrims be,
    Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the desperate winter sea,
    Nor attempt the Future's portal with the Past's blood-rusted key.
    • James Russell Lowell, "The Present Crisis", stanzas 8 and 18, The Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell (1978 [originally published in 1844]), p. 68..
  • You'll never get mixed up if you simply tell the truth. Then you don't have to remember what you have said, and you never forget what you have said.
    • Sam Rayburn, private conversation; in W. B. Ragsdale, "An Old Friend Writes of Rayburn", U.S. News & World Report (October 23, 1961), p. 72.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 818-22.
  • Some day Love shall claim his own
    Some day Right ascend his throne,
    Some day hidden Truth be known;
    Some day—some sweet day.
  • Yet the deepest truths are best read between the lines, and, for the most part, refuse to be written.
  • How sweet the words of Truth, breath'd from the lips of Love.
  • To say the truth, though I say 't that should not say 't.
  • La vérité n'a point cet air impétueux.
  • Le vrai peut quelquefois n'être pas vraisemblable.
  • Think truly, and thy thoughts
    Shall the world's famine feed.
    Speak truly, and each word of thine
    Shall be a fruitful seed.
    Live truly, and thy life shall be
    A great and noble creed.
  • Magna est veritas et prævalebit.
    • Truth is mighty and will prevail.
    • Thomas Brooks is said to have been the first to use the expression (1662). Found in Walter Scott, Talisman, Chapter XIX. Bishop Jewel. Purchas, Microcosmus. William Thackeray, Roundabout Papers. "O magna vis veritas." Found in Cicero, Oratio Pro Cœlio Rufo, XXVI.
  • Se non è vero, è molto ben trovato.
    • If it is not true it is very well invented.
    • Giordano Bruno, Degli Eroici Furori. Cardinal d'Este, of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso.
  • Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again;
    The eternal years of God are hers;
    But Error, wounded, writhes with pain,
    And dies among his worshippers.
  • Truth makes on the ocean of nature no one track of light—every eye looking on finds its own.
  • Better be cheated to the last,
    Than lose the blessed hope of truth.
  • More proselytes and converts use t' accrue
    To false persuasions than the right and true;
    For error and mistake are infinite,
    But truth has but one way to be i' th' right.
  • No words suffice the secret soul to show,
    For Truth denies all eloquence to Woe.
  • A man protesting against error is on the way towards uniting himself with all men that believe in truth.
  • Truths turn into dogmas the moment they are disputed.
  • 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.
  • Qui semel a veritate deflexit, hic non majore religione ad perjurium quam ad mendacium perduci consuevit.
    • He who has once deviated from the truth, usually commits perjury with as little scruple as he would tell a lie.
    • Cicero, Oratio Pro Quinto Roscio Comœdo, XX.
  • Natura inest mentibus nostris insatiabilis quædam cupiditas veri videndi.
    • Our minds possess by nature an insatiable desire to know the truth.
    • Cicero, Tusculanarum Disputationum. I. 18.
  • For truth is unwelcome, however divine.
  • But what is truth? 'Twas Pilate's question put
    To Truth itself, that deign'd him no reply.
  • Nature * * * has buried truth deep in the bottom of the sea.
    • Democritus, quoted by Cicero, Academic Questions, Book II, Chapter X. C. D. Yonge's translation. Credited to Democritus by Lactantius, Institutiones, Book III, Chapter XXVIII.
  • The first great work (a task performed by few)
    Is that yourself may to yourself be true.
  • Truth is immortal; error is mortal.
  • Truth has rough flavours if we bite it through.
  • The greater the truth the greater the libel.
  • When life is true to the poles of nature, the streams of truth will roll through us in song.
  • The nobler the truth or sentiment, the less imports the question of authorship.
  • Though love repine and reason chafe,
    There came a voice without reply,
    "'Tis man's perdition to be safe,
    When for the truth he ought to die."
  • Vincer veris.
    • I am conquered by truth.
    • Erasmus, Diluculum.
  • But above all things truth beareth away the victory.
    • I Esdras, III. 12. Inscription on the New York Public Library.
  • Si je tenais toutes les vérités dans ma main, je me donnerais bien de garde de l'ouvrir aux hommes.
    • If I held all of truth in my hand I would beware of opening it to men.
    • Fontenelle
  • Truth only smells sweet forever, and illusions, however innocent, are deadly as the canker worm.
  • Lest men suspect your tale untrue,
    Keep probability in view.
    • John Gay, The Painter who Pleased Nobody and Everybody.
  • Alius quidam veterum pœtarum cuius nomen mihi nunc memoriæ non est veritatem temporis filiam esse dixit.
    • There is another old poet whose name I do not now remember who said Truth is the daughter of Time.
    • Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticæ, XII. 11. Par. 2. Veritas temporis filia. Found on the reverse of several coins of Queen Mary I.
  • Her terrible tale
    You can't assail,
    With truth it quite agrees;
    Her taste exact
    For faultless fact
    Amounts to a disease.
  • Truth like a torch, the more 'tis shook, it shines.
  • One truth discovered is immortal, and entitles its author to be so: for, like a new substance in nature, it cannot be destroyed.
  • Dare to be true, nothing can need a lie;
    A fault which needs it most, grows two thereby.
  • Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day, like a foot-ball, and it will be round and full at evening.
  • But 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.
  • Nuda veritas. (Nudaque veritas).
    • The naked truth.
    • Horace, Carmina, I, 24, 7.
  • Quid verum atque decens curo et rogo, et omnis in hoc sum.
    • My cares and my inquiries are for decency and truth, and in this I am wholly occupied.
    • Horace, Epistles, I. 1. 11.
  • Ridentem dicere verum,
    Quid vetat.
    • What forbids a man to speak the truth in a laughing way?
    • Horace, Satires, I. 24.
  • Things are true or false in themselves. Truth cannot be affected by opinions; it cannot be changed, established, or affected by martyrdom. An error cannot be believed sincerely enough to make it a truth.
  • The truth shall make you free.
    • John, VIII. 32.
  • There is no truth in him.
    • John, VIII. 44.
  • Le contraire des bruits qui courent des affaires ou des personnes est souvent la vérité.
    • The opposite of what is noised about concerning men and things is often the truth.
    • Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, XII.
  • La vérité ne fait pas tant de bien dans le monde, que ses apparences y font de mal.
  • Veritatem laborare nimis sæpe, aiunt, extingui nunquam.
    • It is said that truth is often eclipsed but never extinguished.
    • Livy, Annales, XXII. 39.
  • The best way to come to truth being to examine things as really they are, and not to conclude they are, as we fancy of ourselves, or have been taught by others to imagine.
    • John Locke, Human Understanding, Book II, Chapter XII.
  • To love truth for truth's sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.
    • John Locke, letter to Anthony Collins, Esq. (Oct. 29, 1703).
  • When by night the frogs are croaking, kindle but a torch's fire;
    Ha! how soon they all are silent! Thus Truth silences the liar.
  • Who dares
    To say that he alone has found the truth?
  • Get but the truth once uttered, and 'tis like
    A star new-born that drops into its place
    And which, once circling in its placid round,
    Not all the tumult of the earth can shake.
  • Put golden padlocks on Truth's lips, be callous as ye will,
    From soul to soul, o'er all the world, leaps one electric thrill.
  • Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust,
    Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 'tis prosperous to be just;
    Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside,
    Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified.
  • Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet ’tis Truth alone is strong,
    And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng
    Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong.
  • Truth forever on the scaffold. Wrong forever on the throne.
  • Children and fooles speake true.
  • But there is no veil like light—no adamantine armor against hurt like the truth.
  • Veritatis absolutus sermo ac semper est simplex.
  • Pericula veritati sæpe contigua.
  • Truth, when not sought after, sometimes comes to light.
  • Not a truth has to art or to science been given,
    But brows have ached for it, and souls toil'd and striven;
    And many have striven, and many have fail'd,
    And many died, slain by the truth they assail'd.
    • Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), Lucile (1860), Part II, Canto VI, Stanza 1.
  • Truth is as impossible to be soiled by any outward touch as the sunbeam.
  • Ev'n them who kept thy truth so pure of old,
    When all our fathers worshipp'd stocks and stones,
    Forget not.
  • I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little the more as I grow older.
  • For oh, 'twas nuts to the Father of Lies,
    (As this wily fiend is named in the Bible)
    To find it settled by Laws so wise
    That the greater the truth, the worse the libel.
  • 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.
  • In the mountains of truth, you never climb in vain.
  • We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.
  • Naked Truth needs no shift.
  • Ego verum amo, verum volo mihi dici; mendacem odi.
    • I love truth and wish to have it always spoken to me: I hate a liar.
    • Plautus, Mostellaria, I. 3. 26.
  • When truth or virtue an affront endures,
    Th' affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours.
  • Farewell then, verse, and love, and ev'ry toy,
    The rhymes and rattles of the man or boy;
    What right, what true, what fit we justly call,
    Let this be all my care—for this is all.
  • Dum omnia quærimus, aliquando ad verum, ubi minime expectavimus, pervenimus.
    • While we are examining into everything we sometimes find truth where we least expected it.
    • Quintilian, De Institutione Oratoria, XII. 8. 3.
  • Let us seek the solution of these doubts at the bottom of the inexhaustible well, where Heraclitus says that truth is hidden.
  • Die Treue warnt vor drohenden Verbrechen,
    Die Rachgier spricht von den begangenen.
    • Truth warns of threatening crimes,
      Malice speaks of those which were committed.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlos, III. 4. 124.
  • Involuta veritas in alto latet.
    • Truth lies wrapped up and hidden in the depths.
    • Seneca the Younger, De Beneficiis, VII. 1.
  • Veritatis simplex oratio est.
  • And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
    And captive good attending captain ill.
  • Truth needs no colour, with his colour fix'd;
    Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
    But best is best, if never intermix'd.
  • When my love swears that she is made of truth,
    I do believe her, though I know she lies.
  • All great truths begin as blasphemies.
  • My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world.
  • Honour sits smiling at the sale of truth.
  • The end will show the whole truth.
    • William the Silent, To his brother Louis, commenting on The Count of Egmont's visit to Philip II about the problems in the Netherlands, 1565, as quoted in William the Silent (1902) by Frederic Harrison, p. 22.
  • How dreadful knowledge of the truth can be
    When there's no help in truth!
    • Variant: Wisdom is a curse when wisdom does nothing for the man who has it.
    • Sophocles Oedipus Rex Line 316.
  • Truth and, by consequence, liberty, will always be the chief power of honest men.
  • Tell truth, and shame the devil.
  • Veritas visu et mora, falsa festinatione et incertis valescunt.
    • Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay: falsehood by haste and uncertainty.
    • Tacitus, Annales (AD 117), II. 39.
  • Truth-teller was our England's Alfred named?
  • And friendly free discussion calling forth
    From the fair jewel Truth its latent ray.
  • It takes two to speak the truth—one to speak, and another to hear.
  • Tell the truth or trump—but get the trick.
  • There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.
    • Voltaire, letter to Cardinal de Bernis (23 April 1761).
  • There is nothing so powerful as truth; and often nothing so strange.
    • Daniel Webster, Arguments on the Murder of Captain White, Volume VI, p. 68.
  • I have ever thought,
    Nature doth nothing so great for great men,
    As when she's pleas'd to make them lords of truth.
    Integrity of life is fame's best friend,
    Which nobly, beyond death, shall crown the end.
  • It is one thing to wish to have truth on our side, and another to wish sincerely to be on the side of truth.
    • Archbishop Richard Whately, Essay on some of the Difficulties in the Writings of the Apostle Paul, No. 1, On the Love of Truth.
  • The sages say, Dame Truth delights to dwell
    (Strange Mansion!) in the bottom of a well:
    Questions are then the Windlass and the rope
    That pull the grave old Gentlewoman up.
  • Truths that wake
    To perish never.

The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)

Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 240-242.
  • Truth is the same in all persuasions.
    • Jefferies, C.J., Titus Oates' Case (1685), 10 How. St. Tr. 1262.
  • Truth and falsehood, it has been well said, are not always opposed to each other like black and white, but oftentimes, and by design, are made to resemble each other so as to be hardly distinguishable; just as the counterfeit thing is counterfeit because it resembles the genuine thing.
    • Cleasby, B., Johnson v. Emerson (1871), L. R. 6 Ex. Ca. 357.
  • There are various kinds of untruth. There is an absolute untruth, an untruth in itself, that no addition or qualification can make true: as, if a man says a thing he saw was black, when it was white, as he remembers and knows. So, as to knowing the truth. A man may know it, and yet it may not be present in his mind at the moment of speaking; or, if the fact is present to his mind, it may not occur to him to be of any use to mention it. For example, suppose a man was asked whether a writing was necessary in a contract for the making and purchase of goods, he might well say "Yes," without adding that payment on receipt of the goods, or part, would suffice. He might well think that the question he was asked was whether a contract for goods to be made required a writing like a contract for goods in existence. If he was writing on the subject, he would, of course, state the exception or qualification.
    • Lord Bramwell, Deny v. Peek (1889), L. R. 14 Ap. Cas. 348.
  • The interests of truth and justice must be allowed to prevail.
    • Erie, C.J., Bartlett v. Lewis (1862), 12 C. B. (N. S.) 249.
  • Truth is the thing that we are enquiring after; and this is the thing we would have prevail, and I hope shall in all cases.
    • Pollexfen, L.C.J., Sir Richard Grahme's Case (1691), 12 How. St. Tr. 799.
  • Ingenuity is one thing, and simple testimony another, and plain truth, I take it, needs no flowers of speech.
  • We live in an age, when truth passes for nothing in the world, and swearing and foreswearing is taken for a thing of course. Had his zeal been half so much for truth as it was for falsehood, it had been a commendable zeal.
    • Jefferies, L.C.J., Case of Braddon and another (1684), 9 How. St. Tr. 1198.
  • Every one disguising the truth from a man who has a right to the truth is wrong, and ought not to be encouraged.
    • Burnett, J., Chesterfield v. Janssen (1750), 2 Ves. 125.
  • God forbid the truth should be concealed any way.
    • Wright, L.C.J., Trial of the Seven Bishops (1688), 12 How. St. Tr. 310.
  • Veritas nihil veretur nisi abscondi: Truth fears nothing but concealment.
    • 9 Co. 20.
  • Ay, ay, let truth come out, in God's name.
    • Jefferies, C.J., Lady Ivy's Case (1684), 10 How. St. Tr. 582.
  • Plain truth, dear Murray, needs no flowers of speech.
  • It seems to have been supposed, at one time, that saying, 'Tell the truth' meant, in effect, 'Tell a lie.'
    • Willes, J., Reg. v. Reeve and another (1872), L. R. Crown Cas. Res., Vol. 1., 363; in regard to the admissibility of certain evidence of confession.
  • Truth, like all other good things, may be loved unwisely — may be pursued too keenly — may cost too much.
    • Knight-Bruce, V.-C, Pearse v. Pearse (1846), 1 De Gex & Sm. 28, 29.
  • We know that passion, prejudice, party, and even good-will, tempt many who preserve a fair character with the world to deviate from truth in the laxity of conversation.
    • Laurence, J., Berkeley Peerage Case (1811), 4 Camp. Rep. 411.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • Truth does not consist in minute accuracy of detail; but in conveying a right impression.
  • How sweet the words of truth breathed from the lips of love!
  • Give us that calm certainty of truth, that nearness to Thee, that conviction of the reality of the life to come, which we shall need to bear us through the troubles of this.
  • We must not let go manifest truths because we cannot answer all questions about them.
  • The golden beams of truth and the silken cords of love, twisted together, will draw men on with a sweet violence whether they will or not.
  • The deepest truth blooms only from the deepest love.
  • Dare to be true; nothing can need a lie;
    A fault which needs it most grows two thereby.
  • Pray over every truth ; for though the renewed heart is not " desperately wicked," it is quite deceitful enough to become so, if God be forgotten a moment.
  • Stick to the old truths and the old paths, and learn their di- vineness by sick-beds and in every-day work, and do not darken your mind with intellectual puzzles, which may breed disbelief, but can never breed vital religion or practical usefulness.
  • Truth is a very different thing from fact; it is the loving contact of the soul with spiritual fact, vital and potent. It does not work in the soul independently of all faculty or qualification there for setting it forth or defending it. Truth in the inward parts is a power, not an opinion.
  • The advent of truth, like the dawn of day, agitates the elements, while it disperses the gloom.
  • Truth will ever be unpalatable to those who are determined not to relinquish error.
  • No truth can be said to be seen as it is until it is seen in its relation to all other truths. In this relation only is it true.
  • He who seeks truth must be content with a lonely, little-trodden path. If he cannot worship her till she has been canonized by the shouts of the multitude, he must take his place with the members of that wretched crowd who shouted for two long hours, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians!" till truth, reason, and calmness were all drowned in noise.
  • There is an inward state of the heart which makes truth credible the moment it is stated. It is credible to some men because of what they are. Love is credible to a loving heart; purity is credible to a pure mind; life is credible to a spirit in which life beats strongly — it is incredible to other men.
  • In all matters of eternal truth, the soul is before the intellect; the things of God are spiritually discerned. You know truth by being true; you recognize God by being like Him.
  • It is perilous to separate thinking rightly from acting rightly. He is already half false who speculates on truth and does not do it. Truth is given, not to be contemplated, but to be done. Life is an action — not a thought. And the penalty paid by him who speculates on truth, is that by degrees the very truth he holds becomes a falsehood.
  • Truth is the most powerful thing in the world, since even fiction itself must be governed by it, and can only please by its resemblance.
  • We must never throw away a bushel of truth because it happens to contain a few grains of chaff.
  • Just as soon as any conviction of important truth becomes central and vital, there comes the desire to utter it — a desire which is immediate and irresistible. Sacrifice is gladness, service is joy, when such an idea becomes a commanding power.
  • Truth does not require your painting, brother; it is itself beauty. Unfold it, and men will be captivated. Take your brush to set off the rainbow, or give a new tinge of splendor to the setting sun, but keep it away from the "Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley."
  • Truth is the shortest and nearest way to our end, carrying us thither in a straight line.

See also

External links

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