Quotations about   lying

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Of course I lie to people. But I lie altruistically — for our mutual good. The lie is the basic building block of good manners. That may seem mildly shocking to a moralist — but then what isn’t?

Quentin Crisp (1908-1999) English writer and raconteur [b. Denis Pratt]
Manners from Heaven: A Divine Guide to Good Behavior (1984)
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Added on 19-Oct-17 | Last updated 19-Oct-17
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Villainy, when detected, never gives up, but boldly adds impudence to imposture.

Goldsmith - impudence to imposture - wist_info quote

Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774) Irish poet, playwright, novelist
“A City Night-Piece,” The Bee, #4 (27 Oct 1759)
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Added on 3-Jun-16 | Last updated 3-Jun-16
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You must not tell lies because if you do you will find yourself unable to believe anything that is told to you.

Shaw - lies - wist_info

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism, and Fascism, ch. 74 (1928)
Added on 4-Nov-15 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
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Lying is done with words, and also with silence.

Adrienne Rich (1929-2012) American poet, essayist, feminist
“Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying” (1975)
Added on 21-Oct-15 | Last updated 21-Oct-15
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The more lies are told, the more important it becomes for the liars to justify themselves by deep moral commitments to high-sounding objectives that mask the pursuit of money and power.

Bertram M. Gross (1912-1997) American social scientist, academic, bureaucrat
Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America, ch. 9 (1980)
Added on 30-Sep-15 | Last updated 30-Sep-15
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The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
The Way of All Flesh, ch. 39 (1903)
Added on 23-Sep-15 | Last updated 23-Sep-15
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I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
The Note-Books of Samuel Butler, ch. 19 [ed. Festing-Jones] (1907)
Added on 16-Sep-15 | Last updated 16-Sep-15
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One lies more to one’s self than to anyone else.

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) English poet
Journal (6 Dec 1813)
Added on 9-Sep-15 | Last updated 9-Sep-15
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An Ambassador is an honest man, sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.

[Legatus est vir bonus, peregrè missus ad mentiendum Reipublicae causâ.]

Henry Wotton (1568-1639) English author, diplomat, politician
Reliquiae Wottonainae (1651)
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Wotton wrote in an apology to Velserus in 1612, that during his travel through Augsburg in 1604, "This merry definition of an ambassador I had chanced to set down at my friend's, Mr. Christopher Fleckamore, in his Album". It seems to have been intended as a pun when translated to English.Sometimes translated as "An ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country."
Added on 23-Mar-15 | Last updated 23-Mar-15
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A man who himself does not believe what he tells another … has even less worth than if he were a mere thing. For a thing, as something real and given, has the property of being serviceable. … But the man who communicates his thoughts to someone in words which yet (intentionally) contain the contrary of what he thinks on the subject has a purpose directly opposed to the natural purposiveness of the power of communicating one’s thoughts, and therefore renounces his personality and makes himself a mere deceptive appearance of man, not man himself.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) German philosopher
Metaphysics of Morals [Metaphysik der Sitten], “The Doctrine of Virtue [Tugendlehre]” (1797) [tr. Gregor (1964)]
Added on 20-Feb-14 | Last updated 25-Sep-15
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By a lie a man throws away and, as it were, annihilates his dignity as a man.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) German philosopher
Metaphysics of Morals [Metaphysik der Sitten], “The Doctrine of Virtue [Tugendlehre]” (1797) [tr. Gregor (1964)]
Added on 13-Feb-14 | Last updated 25-Sep-15
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The worst of all deceptions is self-deception.

Socrates (c.470-399 BC) Greek philosopher
In Plato, Cratylus (c. 360 BC)
Added on 10-Dec-13 | Last updated 21-Aug-14
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The cruelest lies are often told in silence. A man may have sat in a room for hours and not opened his teeth, and yet come out of that room a disloyal friend or a vile calumniator.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Scottish essayist, novelist, poet
Virginibus Puerisque, “Virginibus Puerisque,” sec. 4 (1881)
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Added on 2-Oct-08 | Last updated 21-Oct-15
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A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.

H. H. Munro (1870-1916) Scottish writer [Hector Hugh Munro; pseud. Saki]
“Clovis on the Alleged Romance of Business,” The Square Egg (1924)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 31-May-17
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The truth is often a terrible weapon of aggression. It is possible to lie, and even to murder with the truth.

Alfred Adler (1870-1937) Austrian psychologist
The Problems of Neurosis, ch. 2 (1929)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Jun-17
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Get the facts first. You can distort them later.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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