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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Fortunately there have always been men whose larger minds could adapt themselves to the truth instead of narrowing the truth to them.

— Thomas Wentworth Higginson, The Sympathy of Religions

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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