15 Versions Of The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth

15 Versions Of The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth

Truth is defined as being that which is in accord with fact or reality.

The commonly understood opposite of truth is falsehood, which can be assessed according to a number of criteria – logical, factual, or ethical.

The concept of truth is explored in several contexts, including philosophy and religion. Many activities depend upon the concept including science, law, and, even, everyday life. Scholars, philosophers, and theologians debate incessantly the subject of truth and there are differing claims on what constitutes truth.

A major source of contention is how to define and identify truth.

The essential issue is whether truth is subjective or objective, relative or absolute. In a well known paraphrased dialogue with Socrates, Protagoras said: “What is true for you is true for you, and what is true for me is true for me.”

Friedrich Nietzsche had a different view when he claimed “All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth”.

Here are some other interpretations:

Arthur Conan Doyle:

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact

Buddha:

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

Marcus Aurelius:

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

Swami Vivekananda:

Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true.

Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways

Mark Twain:

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

Winston Churchill:

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

Stephen King:

Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.

George Orwell:

In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

pinocchio telling the truth is a revolutionary act

Albert Einstein:

Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.

Winston Churchill:

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

Oscar Wilde:

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

The truth is rarely pure and never simple

Aesop:

Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either.

Arthur Schopenhauer:

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

ridiculous truth

James A. Garfield:

The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.

Arthur Conan Doyle:

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

So, is truth relative or absolute? It probably all depends on the circumstances.

To quote well known columnist H.L. Mencken, “It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.”

And that cynical observation says it all. Or does it? What do you think?

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