Quotations about   sincerity

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Better a false “Good morning” than a sincere “Go to Hell.”

Other Authors and Sources
Yiddish proverb
Added on 10-Apr-17 | Last updated 10-Apr-17
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The only guide to a man is his conscience, the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and the sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British statesman and author
Eulogy for Neville Chamberlain (1940)

In The Second World War, Vol. 2: Their Finest Hour (1949)
Added on 1-Nov-16 | Last updated 1-Nov-16
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There are few mortals so insensible that their affections cannot be gained by mildness; their confidence by sincerity; their hatred by scorn or neglect.

Johann Georg Zimmermann (1728-1795) Swiss philosophical writer, naturalist, physician
Aphorisms and Reflections on Men, Morals and Things (1800)
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Added on 17-Aug-16 | Last updated 17-Aug-16
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He who is mistaken in an action which he sincerely believes to be right may be an enemy, but retains our esteem.

[Celui qui se trompe dans une intention qu’il croit bonne, on peut le combattre, on ne cesse pas de l’estimer.]

Jules Verne (1828-1905) French novelist, poet, playwright
The Mysterious Island, Part 3, ch. 16 (1874)
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Added on 20-May-16 | Last updated 10-Oct-19
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It is when the sentimentalist turns preacher of morals that we investigate his character, and are justified in so doing. He may express as many and as delicate shades of feeling as he likes, — for this the sensibility of his organization perfectly fits him, no other person could do it so well, — but the moment he undertakes to establish his feeling as a rule of conduct, we ask at once how far are his own life and deed in accordance with what he preaches? For every man feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action; and that while tenderness of feeling and susceptibility to generous emotions are accidents of temperament, goodness is an achievement of the will and a quality of the life. Fine words, says our homely old proverb, butter no parsnips; and if the question be how to render those vegetables palatable, an ounce of butter would be worth more than all the orations of Cicero. The only conclusive evidence of a man’s sincerity is that he give himself for a principle. Words, money, all things else, are comparatively easy to give away; but when a man makes a gift of his daily life and practice, it is plain that the truth, whatever it may be, has taken possession of him.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) American diplomat, essayist, poet
“Rousseau And The Sentimentalists,” North American Review (Jul 1867)
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Added on 10-Aug-15 | Last updated 10-Aug-15
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There is no better way to convince others than first to convince oneself.

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
(Attributed)
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In Martin Luther, Table Talk (1566) [tr. Smith & Gallinger (1915)].
Added on 16-Jul-15 | Last updated 16-Jul-15
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More important than any belief a man holds is the way he holds it. Any fool or fanatic can embrace a doctrine. Even if true, it remains a dogma unless it is evaluated in the light of its alternatives, and the relevant evidence for them.

Sidney Hook (1902-1989) American philosopher
Political Power and Personal Freedom, ch. 28 “Socialism Without Utopia: A Rejoinder to Max Eastman”(1959)
Added on 17-Apr-15 | Last updated 17-Apr-15
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Ah! how many Judases have we in these days, that kiss Christ, and yet betray Christ; that in their words profess him, but in their works deny him; that bow their knee to him, and yet in their hearts despise him; that call him Jesus, and yet will not obey him for their Lord.

Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) English Puritan divine, writer
Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, “A Word to the Reader” (1652)
Added on 12-Nov-14 | Last updated 12-Nov-14
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It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
Man and Superman, “Maxims for Revolutionists: Stray Sayings” (1903)
Added on 30-Jul-14 | Last updated 30-Jul-14
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Sincerity is the foundation of the spiritual life.

Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) Alsatian theologian, philosopher, physician, philanthropist
Out of My Life and Thought, ch. 21 [tr. Campion (1933)]
Added on 23-Jul-14 | Last updated 23-Jul-14
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Bolsheviks are sincere. Fascists are sincere. Lunatics are sincere. People who believe the Earth is flat are sincere. They can’t all be right. Better make certain first you’ve got something to be sincere about, and with.

Tom Driberg (1905-1976) British journalist and politician
Daily Express (1937)
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Added on 16-Jul-14 | Last updated 16-Jul-14
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Let us speak, though we show all our faults and weaknesses — for it is a sign of strength to be weak, to know it, and out with it — not in a set way and ostentatiously, but incidentally and without premeditation.

Herman Melville (1819-1891) American writer
Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne (29 Jun 1851)
Added on 9-Jul-14 | Last updated 9-Jul-14
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Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Autobiography, Virtue #7 “Sincerity,” 1784 (1798)
Added on 2-Jul-14 | Last updated 2-Jul-14
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You can be as sincere as hell and still be wrong.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Small Favor (2008)
Added on 17-Jun-14 | Last updated 17-Jun-14
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