Truth Quotes

collection begun at Knatz.com 1998 09 18

People demand their right for self-delusion, particularly when the truth is ugly.

Piers Anthony

Swearing “to tell the truth” does not make the truth tellable.

As scarce as truth is, the supply is always in excess of the demand.

Josh Billings

We talk; the truth is silent.

Truth prevails only so far as we make it prevail.

Brecht’s Galileo

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth.

George Carlin

The truth cannot be established where it conflicts with our prestige.

You can’t handle the truth.

A Few Good Men

Believing that there is such a thing as truth is distinct from believing that humans can know what it is. Believing that humans can know what truth is is distinct from believing that humanm can communicate it with humansn,o,p….

The truth … has never been of any real value to any human being — it is a symbol for mathematicians and philosophers to pursue. In human relations kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths.

Graham Greene

There are no (revealed) paths to truth; only paths shown to avoid known errors.

[They interrogated him] for minor inconsistencies, for small glitches, as if they wanted the lint of the operation and not the truth.

Stephen Hunter Point of Impact

The truth is unutterable.

(The truth may also be multiple.)

It isn’t true unless it makes you laugh.

Illuminatus!

It isn’t true unless it’s paradoxical.
(at least not deeply, and certainly not macroinformationally).

Truth does not rely upon the popularity of the proposition, it relies upon it’s substantiation.

No culture will admit a truth if that truth is embarrassing to that culture.

Priests have never been great men for the truth.

The Last Kingdom

The truth is the truth. The truth doesn’t need any God to administer it.

Why should I tell you the truth? Who are you, Bertrand Russell?

Peter O’Toole

The truth doesn’t need to be proved. It’s lies that need proof, lies that get it.

If you tell the truth it’s going to be funny.

Richard Pryor

Some things must be true — we’re just not very reliable at knowing what.

If you love the lie, stick to the state as your cover. If you love the truth, you have to find it outside the halls of power.

Lew Rockwell

People try on the truth like hats.
If they don’t like how they look, they don’t buy it.

To suppress one truth is to suppress alltruth, for truth is a coherent whole.

Leslie Stephen

All things are true — only in the world of pathology.

The truth wears longer than all the gods; for it is only in the truth’s service, and for love of it, that people have overthrown the gods and at last God himself. “The truth” outlasts the downfall of the world of gods, for it is the immortal soul of this transitory world of gods; it is Deity itself.

Max Stirner

Telling the truth has little effect if the public mythology and the truth are incompatible.

“‘Rain, Rain, and sun! a rainbow on the lea!
And truth is this to me, and that to thee;
And truth or clothed or naked let it be.'”

Tennyson (on Merlin’s “riddling triplets of old time”)

The truth doesn’t register on our vanity mirrors.

None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.

Mark Twain

The truth matters: permanently. What everyone says is the truth matters only temporarily.

He won’t rest in peace until the truth is told.

Under the Flag of the Rising Sun

We map the truth; we never “have” it.

I cannot tell a lie.

George Washington
(Note the meta-lie.)

“God” is our name, in English, for an entity we conceive of which is capable of “knowing” something we call “the truth.”

The things one feels absolutely certain about are never true.

Oscar Wilde

“Truth: is our word, in English, for a quality that you nor I are reliable about, but that “God” will be absolutely reliable about.

The truth is out there.

The X Files

The truth is too corrosive for any human institution to repeat let alone preserve. Evolution can and has produced individuals, would-be saviors, who can semiotically model the truth, but the model will not transport. It’s like the physicist’s plasma: we can make it but we can’t hold it. Like plasma, the truth has no container.



The truth doesn’t need our permission to be true.

Human politics doesn’t control which fossils get left, but does control how fossils get read.

I can live without God; but not without truth.

Crucifying truth tellers is built into the nature of society.

Truth telling won’t help a society that lacks truth hearers.

The Truth has to simply accommodate itself (with Christ) to the perennial civilized (ie. kleptocratic) invariance that lies get the lion’s share of the budget.

It doesn’t matter what the truth is; people will still only see what they want to see (except for that small portion capable (part time) of a little honesty, a little science).

Truth: Whatever the group about to burn you at the stake
Is saying it believes at that moment.

Truth, God, justice, law … are whatever the groups with the most power and the fewest scruples want them to be.

Telling the truth is not any good when the truth is against the religion of the tolds.

Whoever’s model of reality is least distorted, then, however flawed that model may be, that’s who’s telling “the truth.”
Then there’s also the question of how deliberate our distortions are.The truth will never be acknowledged by humans. Humans will never cooperate in finding themselves guilty.

Knowledge is not necessarily truth.
(Knowledge requires agreement merely with current theory; truth requires agreement with the actual universe.)

If something is true but unflattering to the group’s image of itself, then it will be nigh impossible to tell that truth to the group: however well this genius or that saint understands it.

There’s a truth that cannot be edited, will not cooperate with makeup and wardrobe … will not take direction.

Never mind “God,” think “Truth”: when the truth catches up with us, it will be better to have been among the crucified than among the crucifiers.

Seventy-two years old, broke, censored, my domains still destroyed, I sure wish I knew when the truth would catch up to us. I hope, but don’t expect, to see it: it’s vanity that has the enduring budget among kleptocratic humans.

The truth is told: all the time; but humans collectively, humans with institutions, don’t support it, won’t repeat it.

The truth will trump sentience (God, man, Washo) every time.

(But the truth will never trump my god: because my god and truth are the same thing!)

Anyone will stand up for truth when it’s cheap to do so,
who’s still standing as the cost soars?

In the end, the truth will count. In the end, only the truth will count.

What right do passive morons have to the truth of anything?


Truth has no allies.

Truth is a word: the meaning of the word is not a word.

That which is apparent isn’t necessarily true.

Email exchange:
Did the umpire call an out because the runner was out, or was the runner out because the umpire said so?

The runner is out because the umpire says so. The truth isn’t the judge.

The truth doesn’t need to reference your opinion, or mine: opinion and truth may however to some extent correspond!
(so long as logical type is honored: map / territory, semiotic type, existential type.)


Compulsion and truth don’t go together.

Paradoxical Truth:
Once upon a time logician Raymond Smullyan was going through some argument and eliminated some feature on the basis that it couldn’t be true because that would involve a paradox. We weren’t in a class room: we were in my wife’s family cottage: a cottage that Raymond and I were competing squatters in: I’d first started using it in the winter time as a ski lodge; next thing I know Raymond, my mother-in-law’s brother-in-law, is there year round. Anyway, I said, “I don’t believe a thing can be true unless it’s paradoxical.” Raymond whirled on me, fixed me like an Inquisitor, and demanded, “Where did you hear that?” I was perhaps twenty-five. Raymond was … older than that: thirty-something, perhaps forty. “What do you mean, ‘hear it’?” I snorted resentfully. “I just thought it. I just said it.” (Actually, I’d long thought it.) Raymond was mollified: slightly. Ah, he seemed to be thinking, even a monkey can randomly type a seeming coherent phrase. He was, after all, a real thinker; whereas I was just an English major: his brother’s wife’s daughter’s yo-yo esthete and bed toy. Raymond seemed always to be highly suspicious of any intelligence not his superior (by being older: Bertrand Russell could be OK; I could Not be) nor his subordinate (as in: his student).

2002 07 28 Rereading Illuminatus! I come upon Celine’s V reasons the “Illuminati” have not “dominated the world”: … IV: They’re decadent, they don’t want to; V: “The Illuminati do rule the world and everything that happens, happens by their sufferance.”
“Those reasons contradict each other,” said George.
“That’s the nature of logical thought. All propositions are true in some sense, false in some sense and meaningless in some sense.” …

I have no idea when I’ll feel that I’ve digested, let alone evaluated what Celine tells George here, but I read it in because one thing is clear: our arguments relate in some way.

Do you want to know the truth about Jesus? Don’t expect to find it in records kept by the Temple! Neither should you expect it in records kept by the Romans. (Least of all would I trust records kept by people who make pronouncements about who’s saved.) (Gee, that eliminates me!)
(Eliminate white people, eliminate civilized people … eliminate educated people …)

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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