Lies and Lying

Sunday, November 10, 2013 – Lies and Lying

The most common lie is that which one lies to himself; lying to others is relatively an exception. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

All truth is simple… is that not doubly a lie? ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The rulers of the state are the only persons who ought to have the privilege of lying, either at home or abroad; they may be allowed to lie for the good of the state. ~ Plato

Perhaps we have been guilty of some terminological inexactitudes. ~ Winston Churchill

Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he’d lie just to keep his hand in. ~ Harry S. Truman

Clinton lied. A man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is. ~ Barbara Bush

The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way. ~ Samuel Butler

Lying has a kind of respect and reverence with it. We pay a person the compliment of acknowledging his superiority whenever we lie to him. ~ Samuel Butler

I do myself a greater injury in lying than I do him of whom I tell a lie. ~ Michel de Montaigne

It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentionally lying that there is so much falsehood in the world. ~ Samuel Johnson

Heaven lies about us in our infancy and the world begins lying about us pretty soon afterward. ~ Ambrose Bierce

I have always loved truth so passionately that I have often resorted to lying as a way of introducing it into the minds which were ignorant of its charms. ~ Giacomo Casanova

Lying just for the fun of it is either art or pathology. ~ Mason Cooley

On the whole, lying is a cheerful affair. Embellishments are intended to give pleasure. People long to tell you what they imagine you want to hear. They want to amuse you; they want to amuse themselves; they want to show you a good time. This is beyond hospitality. This is art. ~ Isabel Fonseca,

Lying is an elementary means of self-defense. ~ Susan Sontag

Lying increases the creative faculties, expands the ego, and lessens the frictions of social contacts. ~ Clare Boothe Luce

Politeness is half good manners and half good lying. ~ Mary Wilson Little

If an ordinary person is silent, it may be a tactical maneuver. If a writer is silent, he is lying. ~ Jaroslav Seifert

The camera lies all the time. It’s all it does, lie, because when you choose this moment instead of this moment, when you… the moment you’ve made a choice, you’re lying about something larger. ‘Lying’ is an ugly word. I don’t mean lying. But any artist picks and chooses what they want to paint or write about or say. Photographers are the same. ~ Richard Avedon

George Washington, as a boy, was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie. ~ Mark Twain

The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept. ~ George Carlin

I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me. ~ S. E. Hinton

The truth is always an insult or a joke, lies are generally tastier. We love them. The nature of lies is to please. Truth has no concern for anyone’s comfort. ~ Katherine Dunn

Fiction was invented the day Jonah arrived home and told his wife that he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale. ~ Gabriel García Márquez

To pretend, I actually do the thing: I have therefore only pretended to pretend. ~ Jacques Derrida

Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true. ~ Yogi Berra

I know, brother, that you are a straightforward man, and that you pride yourself on it. But put one question to yourself: why in fact should one tell the truth? What obliges us to do it? And why do we consider telling the truth a virtue? Imagine that you meet a madman, who claims that he is a fish and that we are all fish. Are you going to argue with him? Are you going to undress in front of him and show him that you don’t have fins? Are you going to say to his face what you think? Well, tell me!’ / His brother was silent and Edward went on: ‘If you told him the whole truth and nothing but the truth, only what you really thought, you would enter into a serious conversation with a madman and you yourself would become mad. And it is the same way with the world that surrounds us. If I obstinately told a man the truth to his face, it would mean I was taking him seriously. And to take something so unimportant seriously means to become less than serious oneself. I, you see, must lie, if I don’t want to take madmen seriously and become one of them myself.’ ~ Milan Kundera, Laughable Loves

The wise thing is for us diligently to train ourselves to lie thoughtfully, judiciously; to lie with a good object, and not an evil one; to lie for others’ advantage, and not our own; to lie healingly, charitably, humanely, not cruelly, hurtfully, maliciously; to lie gracefully and graciously, not awkwardly and clumsily; to lie firmly, frankly, squarely, with head erect, not haltingly, tortuously, with pusillanimous mien, as being ashamed of our high calling. ~ Mark Twain, On the Decay of the Art of Lying

The highest perfection of politeness is only a beautiful edifice, built, from the base to the dome, of graceful and gilded forms of charitable and unselfish lying. ~ Mark Twain, On the Decay of the Art of Lying

You think it’s because they’re lying? Nonsense! I like it when people lie! Lying is man’s only privilege over all other organisms. If you lie – you get to the truth! Lying is what makes me a man. Not one truth has ever been reached without first lying fourteen times or so, maybe a hundred and fourteen, and that’s honorable in its way; well, but we can’t even lie with our own minds! Lie to me, but in your own way, and I’ll kiss you for it. Lying in one’s own way is almost better than telling the truth in someone else’s way; in the first case you’re a man, and in the second – no better than a bird! The truth won’t go away, but life can be nailed shut; there are examples. Well, so where are we all now? With regard to science, development, thought, invention, ideals, aspirations, liberalism, reason, experience, and everything, everything, everything, we’re all, without exception, still sitting in the first grade! We like getting by on other people’s reason – we’ve acquired a taste for it! Right? Am I right? ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The slickest way in the world to lie is to tell the right amount of truth at the right time – and then shut up. ~ Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

There were people who lied for gain, people who lied from pain, people who lied simply because the concept of telling the truth was utterly alien to them… and then there were people who lied because they were waiting for it to be time to tell the truth. ~ Stephen King, Needful Things

Don’t forget that we lawyers, we’re a higher breed of intellect, and so it’s our privilege to lie. It’s as clear as day. Animals can’t even imagine lying: if you were to find yourself among some wild islanders, they too would only speak the truth until they learned about European culture. ~ Yevgeny Zamyatin

If we suspect that a man is lying, we should pretend to believe him; for then he becomes bold and assured, lies more vigorously, and is unmasked. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

When the sky’s falling, I take shelter under bullshit. ~ Scott Lynch

Christians don’t tell lies – they just go to church and sing them. ~ A. W. Tozer

Without language, they have no lies. Thus they have no future. ~ Ursula K. Le Guin, Changing Planes


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