I think the best “what is truth quote” comes from the Bible.
If it were not such a pivotal scene it would make us laugh.
In the light of day, the irony of it all makes it look tragic though…
Here’s the scene.
Jesus has been arrested. He is being questioned, and nobody can find anything that he has done wrong. Finally he is brought before Pilot.
John 18:33-37 (emphasis mine):
Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world,
that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
Jesus literally claims to be the conduit to the world for “truth.”
(He’s either an insane fool or the very truth he claims to be.)
And how does Pilot respond?
Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.
You can almost hear him saying it with a smirk…
It’s true though. The basis of things like law, equality, and justice have to be grounded in something! Right?
Or it’s relativism.
- Equality by what standard?
- Justice for who?
- By what measure?
- And why is equal under the law important anyway?
Understand: Truth is important if…
Of course, type in “truth” on the search bar to the right and you will get a lot of other good quotes too.
But whether the fear is of losing or of winning wrongly, it has, for Hutchins and Adler, the same foundation: their belief that the Western democracies do not understand what democracy is or why it is valuable, and are therefore in danger of being deprived of it. Hutchins continues his questioning: “What is the basis of these principles of law, equality, and justice? In the first place, in order to believe in these principles at all we must believe that there is such a thing as truth and that in these matters we can discover it.”