Philalethes. What is the use of grounds of consolation and peacefulness over which is constantly hanging the Damocles-sword of deception? Truth, my friend, truth alone holds firm, endures and stays steadfast: truth’s consolation is the only solid consolation: it is the indestructible diamond.
Demopheles. Yes, if you had truth in your pocket to favour us with on demand. But all you have are metaphysical systems about which nothing is certain but the head-cudgelling they cost. Before you deprive someone of something you must have something better to put in its place.
—Schopenhauer (‘On Religion: A Dialogue’, trans. R.J. Hollingdale)1
- With Mrs. R. Dircks for the first sentence spoken by Philalethes, which Hollingdale omits. [↩]