Many of you want to know what is the meaning of convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies is by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.
This is definitely an authentic quotation by Nietzsche.
“Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“Überzeugungen sind gefährlichere Feinde der Wahrheit als Lügen.” (German)
(Human All-Too-Human: A Book For Free Spirits, PArt I By Friedrich Nietsche, Translated By Helen Zimmern, With Introduction By J. M. Kennedy, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1915, Ninth Division, Man Alone By Himself, 483, The Enemies Of Truth, P. 355)
(The quote is also found in: Nietzsche: Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits By Friedrich Nietzsche, Translated By R. J. Hollingdale, Introduction By Richard Schacht, Cambridge University Press, 1996, 9, Man Alone With Himself, 483, P. 179)
(The quote in German is found in: Menschliches, Allzumenschliches: Ein Buch Für Freie Geister By Friedrich Nietzsche, Neutes Hauptück, Der Mensch Mit Sich Allein, 583, P. 169)
(The quote in German is also found in: Menschliches, Allzumenschliches: Ein Buch Für Freie Geister By Friedrich Nietzsche, Die Sammlung Hofenberg, BoD – Book On Demand, Nordestedt, 2016, Neutes Hauptück, Der Mensch Mit Sich Allein, 583, P. 221)
Convictions Are More Dangerous Meaning
To understand the meaning of this quotation, you focus on these key words:
‘Convictions‘ and ‘More Dangerous Enemies‘.
Firstly, you need to know the meaning of ‘convictions‘.
A conviction means a firmly held belief or opinion.
‘A firmly held belief’ means it is a belief which you strongly hold on to it.
It means, your convictions are unquestionably absolute.
You will not give them up easily.
In other words, this quote is saying one’s fixed beliefs are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.
Now let’s find out more about truth and lies.
When you say something is a truth, it means you believe or accept it to be true.
What you take to be true is what you firmly believe it to be.
Once something has become your accepted truth or belief, it is rather difficult to be disputed or challenged by other people.
One good example is the belief in God.
Whereas for lies, they usually can be overturned by exposure to the facts or evidences.
So, it is comparatively easier to defeat lies, than to override the truth, which you strongly believe in.
What Friedrich Nietzsche said is convictions are enemies to both Truth and Lies.
But then Nietzsche stressed that convictions are ‘More Dangerous‘ enemies of Truth than Lies.
Why is it that your conviction or belief is a more dangerous enemy of Truth than Lies?
What happens if, your so-called Truth turns out not to be actually true.
As I have explained earlier, you won’t easily give up your belief.
You will still insist your belief to be the ultimate truth.
You won’t budge or yield to the actual fact.
That’s where the trouble lies.
In this quote, it is called ‘Enemies‘.
The one which can cause harm.
As you know, there are folks who are ready to fight or even die for their convictions, even though they may be misguided.
To put it in another way, your unassailable beliefs can cause more harm to truth than lies.