On the Decay of the Art of Lying

Now let us see what the philosophers say. Note that venerable proverb:
Children and fools _always_ speak the truth. The deduction is plain
–adults and wise persons _never_ speak it. Parkman, the historian, says,
“The principle of truth may itself be carried into an absurdity.” In
another place in the same chapters he says, “The saying is old that
truth should not be spoken at all times; and those whom a sick
conscience worries into habitual violation of the maxim are imbeciles
and nuisances.” It is strong language, but true. None of us could _live_
with an habitual truth-teller; but thank goodness none of us has to. An
habitual truth-teller is simply an impossible creature; he does not
exist; he never has existed. Of course there are people who _think_ they
never lie, but it is not so–and this ignorance is one of the very
things that shame our so-called civilization. Everybody lies–every day;
every hour; awake; asleep; in his dreams; in his joy; in his mourning;
if he keeps his tongue still, his hands, his feet, his eyes, his
attitude, will convey deception–and purposely. Even in sermons–but
that is a platitude.

Download the rest of On the Decay of the Art of Lying

  • Sponsored Links