A virtue in process of becoming – Such assertions and promises as those of the antique philosophers concerning the unity of virtue and happiness, or the Christian ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you’ have never been made with total honesty, and yet always without a bad conscience: one has advanced such propositions, which one very much desires to be true, boldly as the truth in the face of all appearance and has felt in doing so no religious or moral pang of conscience – for one had transcended reality in honorem majorem of virtue or of God and without any selfish motive! Many worthy people still stand at this level of truthfulness: when they feel themselves selfless they think they are permitted to trouble themselves less about truth. Notice, however, that honesty is among neither the Socratic nor the Christian virtues: it is the youngest virtue, still very immature, still often misjudged and taken for something else, still hardly aware of itself – something in process of becoming which we can advance or obstruct as we see fit.”

Nietzsche, from ‘Daybreak’


“Honesty is such a lonely word.

Everyone is so untrue.

Honesty is hardly ever heard.

And mostly what I need from you.”



Billy Joel, ‘Honesty’

And there you have it.