The Nature of Truth

The Best of Ogden Nash


by Ogden Nash


When speaking of people and their beliefs I wear my belief on my sleeve;

I believe that people believe what they believe they believe.

When people reject a truth or an untruth it is not because it is a truth or an untruth that they reject it,

No, if it isn’t in accord with their beliefs in the first place they simply say, “Nothing doing,” and refuse to inspect it.

Likewise when they embrace a truth or an untruth it is not for either its truth or its mendacity,

But simply because they have believed it all along and therefore regard the embrace as a tribute to their own fair-mindedness and sagacity.

These are enlightened days in which you can get hot water and cold water out of the same spigot,

And everybody has something about which they are proud to be broad-minded but they also have other things about which you would be wasting your breath if you tried to convince them that they were a bigot,

And I have no desire to get ugly,

But I cannot help mentioning that the door of the bigoted mind opens outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly.

Naturally I am not pointing a finger at me,

But I must admit that I find any speaker far more convincing when I agree with him then when I disagree.

HT: Ogden Nash

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2 responses to “The Nature of Truth

  • Elwood Perry

    It seems to me that we in the west have never gotten over our Greek-Roman roots. The Greek philosophers waxed eloquently about their understanding of truth, but if you look back at what they believed to be true, much of it was wrong. When it comes to spiritual truth, applying too much Greco thinking is dangerous. Applying no Greco thinking is also dangerous. Accepting that truth exists is certainly true, and seeking it is necessary and good. but too much theology is chasing after the wind. God’s ways are not our ways.


  • John Paine

    To say I was previously disinterested in philosophy, theology and doctrine would be an understatement. But the more I work at studying the Christian faith, the more interesting it becomes. We (typical congregants) aren’t exposed to much church history, doctrine, or even challenges to our faith from the typical pulpit. That Christianity works on both very simple (“What must I do to be saved?”) and very complex levels (e.g. Calvinism vs. Arminianism or covenant theology vs. dispensationalism) is truly awesome. However, Christianity ultimately works because it is built on truth. There are limits to our understanding, and we cannot begin to fathom God–but He really wants us to try. While deeper thinking tends to divide us over smaller details, in some respects it’s analogous to appreciating our individual identities and characteristics. Sometimes it does indeed seem like logic chopping and navel gazing, but sound doctrine leads to good theology and philosophy. Bad doctrine leads to one mess after the other. Anyway, thanks for commenting Woody!


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