Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lies -

It is easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than to believe a fact that no one has heard before.

False in one thing, false in everything. --Legal maxim

People everywhere enjoy believing things that they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know. --Brooks Atkinson (1894-1984) _Once Around the Sun_ [1951], "February 2nd"

Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.-- Dostoevsky

The important thing is to stop lying to yourself. A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself as well as for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love and, in order to divert himself, having no love in him he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest forms of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal, in satisfying his vices. And it all comes from lying- lying to others and to yourself. FYDOR DOSTOEVESKY, The Brothers Karamazov

Man's mind is so formed that it is far more susceptible to falsehood than to truth. ~ Erasmus, Praise of Folly, ch.45

It is in the ability to deceive oneself that one shows the greatest talent.---Anatole France

Well, sure, the government lies, and newspapers lie, but in a democracy they aren't the same lies. -- Alexis Gilliland

Lie not, neither to thyself, nor man, nor God. It is for cowards to lie.--George Herbert

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr

Dare to be true: nothing can need a lie;
A fault which needs it most, grows two thereby.
George Herbert. 1593-1632.The Church Porch

The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies. Thomas Jefferson

He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truth without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr (August 19, 1785)

He [Johnson] would not allow his servant to say he was not at home when he really was. "A servant's strict regard for the truth must be weakened by such a practice. A philosopher may know that it is merely a form of denial; but few servants are such nice distinguishers. If I accustom a servant to tell a lie for -me-, have I not reason to apprehend that hewill tell many lies for -himself-. Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

Men who cannot deceive others are very often successful at deceiving themselves. - Samuel Johnson: Rambler #31

Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are your own fears. Rudyard Kipling

Poor Bonar can't bear being called a liar. Now, I don't mind.--David Lloyd George, letter, 22 October 1923, on the new Prime Minister, Andrew Bonar Law. Presumably one thought he was not a liar while the other knew it was fair comment.

Lying is a hateful and accursed vice. We have no other tie upon one another, but our word. If we did but discover the horror and consequence of it, we should pursue it with fire and sword, and more justly than other crimes.--Montaigne

If falsehood, like truth, had but one face, we would be on more equal terms. For we would consider the contrary of what the liar said to be certain. But the opposite of truth has a hundred thousand faces and an infinite field. -- Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592)

People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to. --Malcolm Muggeridge

The most common sort of lie is the one uttered to one's self. --Nietzsche

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett, _Hogfather_,

The gain of lying is, not to be trusted of any, nor to be believed when we speak the truth. --Sir Walter Raleigh

People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I've learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrender's one's reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one's master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person's view requires to be faked. And if one gains the immediate purpose of the lie--the price one pays is the destruction of that which the gain was intended to serve. The man who lies to the world, is the world's slave from then on.-- Hank Rearden, a hero in Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957 Part Three, "A is A", Chapter IV, "Anti-Life"

The lie is the death of man, his temporal and his eternal death. The lie kills nations. Through their lies, the most powerful empires of the world were laid waste. History knows of no more unsettling spectacle than the judgment which comes to pass when the men of an advanced culture have rejected the truth, and are now swallowed up in a sea of lies. As was the case with fading pagan antiquity, where this happened, religion and law, poetry and philosophy life in marriage and family, in the state and society, in short, one sphere of life after another, fell sacrifice to the power and curse of the lie. Where man can no longer bear the truth, he cannot live without the lie. Where man, even when dying, lies to himself and others, the terrible dissolution of his culture is held up as a glorious ascent, and decline is viewed as an advance, the like of which has never beenexperienced.- Hermann Sasse's Christ and His Church -- Union and Confession, Concordia Publishing House, #S14934, page 1

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!
Sir Walter Scott. 1771-1832. Marmion. Canto vi.Stanza 17.

Lying is like alcoholism. You are always recovering. -Steven Soderbergh

The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world. -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

The cruelest lies are often told in silence. --Robert Louis Stevenson, 1881

You don't tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive. --Margaret Thatcher

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