Tag Archives: truth

John McTaggart

Nothing is true merely because it is good. Nothing is good merely because it is true. To argue that a thing must be because it ought to be is the last and worst degree of spiritual rebellion–claiming for our ideals the reality of fact. To argue, on the other hand, that a thing must be good because it is true, is the last and worst degree of spiritual servility, which ignores the right and the duty inherent in our possession of ideas–the right and the duty to judge and, if necessary, to condemn the whole universe by the highest standard we can find in our own nature.

John McTaggart, ‘The Necessity of Dogma’, International Journal of Ethics, vol. 5, no. 2 (January, 1895), p. 150

David Edwards

If the propaganda model suggests that modern society will be flooded by a version of reality closely conforming to the requirements of state and corporate interests, then it is essentially suggesting that modern society will be flooded by a necessarily irrational version of reality. It comes as no surprise, then, to find that modern society takes a hostile position to the very existence of truth itself; if inconvenient ideas are dismissed as ridiculous, or ignored through an absence of comment, then so too will the search for truth itself. Today all truth is deemed to be relative. Any discussion of truth is made out to be a metaphysical concern, and the conventional wisdom is that anyone talking in terms of wanting to discover the truth is somewhat unsophisticated. This modern relativism is based on the extraordinary notion that all truth is somehow a matter of opinion and that it is not possible to determine, for example, what is good and bad for people, because everyone is different. Again, this involves a fantastic distortion of the scientific method (which accepts the impossibility of absolute certainty, but operates on the assumption that a good hypothesis is often adequate to the task).

David Edwards, Burning All Illusions: A Guide to Personal and Political Freedom, Boston, 1996, p. 55

Alfred Hitchcock

To put a situation into a film simply because you yourself can vouch for its authenticity, either because you’ve experienced it or because you’ve hear of it, simply isn’t good enough. You may feel sure of yourself because you can always say, “This is true, I’ve seen it.” You can argue as much as you like, but the public or critics still won’t accept it. So we have to go along with the idea that truth is stranger than fiction.

Alfred Hitchcock, in François Truffaut, Hitchcock, New York, 1985, p. 203

David Edwards

[C]ertainly [people do not opt out of the system] because they’re smarter than other people. Maybe it’s courage, being willing to face the possibility that your life so far has been a waste of time. Maybe it’s faith in the idea that truth—however frightening it might seem—will always bring benefits.

David Edwards, ‘Nothing To Lose But Our Illusions’, The Sun, June 2000

Friedrich Nietzsche

Kommt es denn darauf an, die Anschauung über Gott, Welt und Versöhnung zu bekommen, bei der man sich am bequemsten befindet, ist nicht viel mehr für den wahren Forscher das Resultat seiner Forschung geradezu etwas Gleichgültiges? Suchen wir denn bei unserem Forschen Ruhe, Friede, Glück? Nein, nur die Wahrheit, und wäre sie höchst abschreckend und häßlich.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Brief an Elisabeth Nietzsche, Bonn, 11. Juni 1865