Lying usually means telling something we know is not true, or concealing what is true, in service of our personal gain or interest. Liars want, through their lie, to get ahead by looking more accomplished than they are, to flatter others, to protect themselves, to manipulate others, or for financial gain, among other rationales. Lying is deception, and is usually considered unethical, though some consider it a lesser evil to lie to protect others from harm. Lies undermine relationships, both close relationships and the network of relationships we call society.

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All … religions show the same disparity between belief and practice, and each is safe till it tries to exclude the rest. Test each sect by its best or its worst as you will, by its high-water mark of virtue or its low-water mark of vice. But falsehood begins when you measure the ebb of any other religion against the flood-tide of your own. There is a noble and a base side to every history.

— Thomas Wentworth Higginson

If there were no falsehood in the world, there would be no doubt, if there were no doubt, there would be no inquiry; if no inquiry, no wisdom, no knowledge, no genius; and Fancy herself would lie muffled up in her robe, inactive, pale, and bloated.

— Walter Savage Landor

The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf.

— Will Rogers

As hypocrisy is said to be the highest compliment to virtue, the art of lying is the strongest acknowledgment of the force of truth.

— William Hazlitt

The truth will out.

— William Shakespeare

Men lies about that,
Some of ‘em cries about that,
Some of ‘em dies about that,
Everybody fightin’ about a spoonful,
That spoon, that spoon, that.

— Willie Dixon, Spoonful

I will fight for my country, but I will not lie for her.

— Zora Neale Hurston
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