Quotes about fake

A collection of quotes on the topic of falseness.

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W. H. Auden photo
Hannah Arendt photo

„The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i. e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i. e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.“

—  Hannah Arendt, book The Origins of Totalitarianism

Part 3, Ch. 13, § 3.
Source: On the subject the ideal subjects for a totalitarian authority. Source: The Origins of Totalitarianism, published in 1951. As quoted by Scroll Staff (December 04, 2017): Ideas in literature: Ten things Hannah Arendt said that are eerily relevant in today’s political times https://web.archive.org/web/20191001213756/https://scroll.in/article/856549/ten-things-hannah-arendt-said-that-are-eerily-relevant-in-todays-political-times. In: Scroll.in. Archived from the original https://scroll.in/article/856549/ten-things-hannah-arendt-said-that-are-eerily-relevant-in-todays-political-times on October 1, 2019.

Robert A. Heinlein photo

„The hardest part about gaining any new idea is sweeping out the false idea occupying that niche. As long as that niche is occupied, evidence and proof and logical demonstration get nowhere.“

—  Robert A. Heinlein, book The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

Gwen Novak (Hazel Stone); chapter 18, p. 230
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (1985)
Context: The hardest part about gaining any new idea is sweeping out the false idea occupying that niche. As long as that niche is occupied, evidence and proof and logical demonstration get nowhere. But once the niche is emptied of the wrong idea that has been filling it — once you can honestly say, "I don't know", then it becomes possible to get at the truth.

Homér photo

„He knew how to say many false things that were like true sayings.“

—  Homér Ancient Greek epic poet, author of the Iliad and the Odyssey

Shams-i Tabrizi photo

„The salat can be made up for, but there is no making up for false show or outward worship without presence.“

—  Shams-i Tabrizi 1185-1248, spiritual instructor of Mewlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhi. 1185 - 1248

Me & Rumi (2004)

Adam Weishaupt photo
Jiddu Krishnamurti photo

„But even when the choice is made, you must still remember that of the real and the unreal there are many varieties; and discrimination must still be made between the right and the wrong, the important and the unimportant, the useful and the useless, the true and the false, the selfish and the unselfish.“

—  Jiddu Krishnamurti Indian spiritual philosopher 1895 - 1986

§ I
1910s, At the Feet of the Master (1911)
Context: In all the world there are only two kinds of people — those who know, and those who do not know; and this knowledge is the thing which matters. What religion a man holds, to what race he belongs — these things are not important; the really important thing is this knowledge — the knowledge of God's plan for men. For God has a plan, and that plan is evolution. When once a man has seen that and really knows it, he cannot help working for it and making himself one with it, because it is so glorious, so beautiful. So, because he knows, he is on God's side, standing for good and resisting evil, working for evolution and not for selfishness.
If he is on God's side he is one of us, and it does not matter in the least whether he calls himself a Hindu or a Buddhist, a Christian or a Muhammadan, whether he is an Indian or an Englishman, a Chinaman or a Russian. Those who are on His side know why they are here and what they should do, and they are trying to do it; all the others do not yet know what they should do, and so they often act foolishly, and try to invent ways for themselves which they think will be pleasant for themselves, not understanding that all are one, and that therefore only what the One wills can ever be really pleasant for any one. They are following the unreal instead of the real. Until they learn to distinguish between these two, they have not ranged themselves on God's side, and so this discrimination is the first step.
But even when the choice is made, you must still remember that of the real and the unreal there are many varieties; and discrimination must still be made between the right and the wrong, the important and the unimportant, the useful and the useless, the true and the false, the selfish and the unselfish.

William Wilberforce photo

„Christianity is not satisfied with producing merely the specious guise of virtue. She requires the substantial reality, which may stand the scrutinizing eye of that Being “who searches the heart.” Meaning therefore that the Christian should live and breathe; in an atmosphere, as it were, of benevolence, she forbids whatever can tend to obstruct its diffusion or vitiate its purity. It is on this principle that Emulation is forbidden: for, besides that this passion almost insensibly degenerates into envy, and that it derives its origin chiefly from pride and a desire of self-exaltation; how can we easily love our neighbour as ourselves, if we consider him at the same time our rival, and are intent upon surpassing him in the pursuit of whatever is the subject of our competition?
Christianity, again, teaches us not to set our hearts on earthly possessions and earthly honours; and thereby provides for our really loving, or even cordially forgiving, those who have been more successful than ourselves in the attainment of them, or who have even designedly thwarted us in the pursuit. “Let the rich,” says the Apostle, “rejoice in that he is brought low.” How can he who means to attempt, in any degree, to obey this precept, be irreconcilably hostile towards any one who may have been instrumental in his depression?
Christianity also teaches us not to prize human estimation at a very high rate; and thereby provides for the practice of her injunction, to love from the heart those who, justly or unjustly, may have attacked our reputation, and wounded our character. She commands not the shew, but the reality of meekness and gentleness; and by thus taking away the aliment of anger and the fomenters of discord, she provides for the maintenance of peace, and the restoration of good temper among men, when it may have sustained a temporary interruption.
It is another capital excellence of Christianity, that she values moral attainments at a far higher rate than intellectual acquisitions, and proposes to conduct her followers to the heights of virtue rather than of knowledge. On the contrary, most of the false religious systems which have prevailed in the world, have proposed to reward the labour of their votary, by drawing aside the veil which concealed from the vulgar eye their hidden mysteries, and by introducing him to the knowledge of their deeper and more sacred doctrines.“

—  William Wilberforce English politician 1759 - 1833

Source: Real Christianity (1797), p. 257.

Robert K. Merton photo

„The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come "true".“

—  Robert K. Merton, book Social Theory and Social Structure

Source: Social Theory and Social Structure (1949), p. 477 (1968 Enlarged edition)
Context: The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come "true". This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali photo

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Jacque Fresco photo
Elliott Smith photo
Margaret Mead photo

„It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary… to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.“

—  Margaret Mead American anthropologist 1901 - 1978

As quoted in Teacher's Treasury of Stories for Every Occasion (1958) by Millard Dale Baughman, p. 69
1950s

Denis Diderot photo

„He does not confound it with probability; he takes for true what is true, for false what is false, for doubtful what is doubtful, and probable what is only probable. He does more, and here you have a great perfection of the philosopher: when he has no reason by which to judge, he knows how to live in suspension of judgment…
The philosophical spirit is, then, a spirit of observation and exactness, which relates everything to true principles…“

—  Denis Diderot French Enlightenment philosopher and encyclopædist 1713 - 1784

Article on Philosophy, Vol. 25, p. 667, as quoted in Main Currents of Western Thought : Readings in Western European Intellectual History from the Middle Ages to the Present (1978) by Franklin Le Van Baumer
Variant translation: Reason is to the philosopher what grace is to the Christian. Grace moves the Christian to act, reason moves the philosopher. Other men walk in darkness; the philosopher, who has the same passions, acts only after reflection; he walks through the night, but it is preceded by a torch. The philosopher forms his principles on an infinity of particular observations. … He does not confuse truth with plausibility; he takes for truth what is true, for forgery what is false, for doubtful what is doubtful, and probable what is probable. … The philosophical spirit is thus a spirit of observation and accuracy.
L'Encyclopédie (1751-1766)
Context: Reason is to the philosopher what grace is to the Christian.
Grace causes the Christian to act, reason the philosopher. Other men are carried away by their passions, their actions not being preceded by reflection: these are the men who walk in darkness. On the other hand, the philosopher, even in his passions, acts only after reflection; he walks in the dark, but by a torch.
The philosopher forms his principles from an infinity of particular observations. Most people adopt principles without thinking of the observations that have produced them, they believe the maxims exist, so to speak, by themselves. But the philosopher takes maxims from their source; he examines their origin; he knows their proper value, and he makes use of them only in so far as they suit him.
Truth is not for the philosopher a mistress who corrupts his imagination and whom he believes to be found everywhere; he contents himself with being able to unravel it where he can perceive it. He does not confound it with probability; he takes for true what is true, for false what is false, for doubtful what is doubtful, and probable what is only probable. He does more, and here you have a great perfection of the philosopher: when he has no reason by which to judge, he knows how to live in suspension of judgment...
The philosophical spirit is, then, a spirit of observation and exactness, which relates everything to true principles...

Socrates photo

„False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.“

—  Socrates classical Greek Athenian philosopher -470 - -399 BC

Phaedo 115e
literally: 'For know well', he said, 'o dearest Kriton, that to not speak well is not only sinful by itself, but lets evil intrude into the soul.'(εὖ γὰρ ἴσθι, ἦ δ᾽ ὅς, ὦ ἄριστε Κρίτων, τὸ μὴ καλῶς λέγειν οὐ μόνον εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο πλημμελές, ἀλλὰ καὶ κακόν τι ἐμποιεῖ ταῖς ψυχαῖς.)
Plato, Phaedo

Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi photo
Hans Reichenbach photo
Greta Thunberg photo
Alexander Fleming photo
Lotfi A. Zadeh photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“