Difference between Honesty and Truthfulness

Key Difference: Honesty is defined as the quality of being honest. Honesty brings out the traits of truthfulness, straightforwardness and worthiness of being depended on, whereas truthfulness can be described as a quality of being truthful. It is defined by characteristics like telling or expressing the truth.  Therefore, we can say they are both used in context to each other.

Honesty always holds the traits of truth, and as it is said ‘Honesty is the best policy’, it focuses on traits of morally correct values. For example, a person is considered to be an honest person if he does not steal or cheat. The person is not engaged in any kind of bribery and is straightforward. A person with these traits qualifies as a dependable candidate. One can depend on such persons as they will never cheat or betray. If a person does something that is morally wrong or hides his wrong actions, then it is clear that the person is not honest. Honest people possess a reputation in the society and this quality is considered as a very important quality of a human being. An honest person is always appreciated by good people and is generally rewarded by appreciation or some other means.

Truthfulness defines the characteristic of being honest and telling the truth. It corresponds to reality and reality is perceived to be the truth. Truth is pure and cannot have even a minute lie attached with it. Truthfulness can also be defined as being honest in your words as well as actions. Truth means no lie in whatever situation you are. Truthfulness stays away from gossip and prejudice. A truthful person makes his own opinion after seeing or analyzing the things himself. Truthfulness also builds trust. A truthful person knows how to distinguish between fantasy and reality. He does not try to exaggerate or impress others. Many times truths are bitter but still the quality of truthfulness supports truth and is always ready to bear the consequences.

As already defined, they are connected traits guided by each other. Honesty is all about truthfulness of anything, whereas truthfulness directly deals with honesty. Both are used in order to explain each other. Thus, it is clear that these both virtues cannot exist in independence. A person who is honest will be definitely truthful and similarly a truthful person will possess honesty. Both are traits of a trustworthy human being. An honest person always supports truth. Some people assume that they both can be different and they explain it with examples like; if your friend asks you about her dress and you did not like it at all. You may say that it is a nice dress and I like it. You say it because you do not want to hurt the feelings of your friend and consider it as honesty on behalf of your friendship. But, still for this particular statement you are being dishonest. Thus, we can conclude that for the same thing both traits cannot exist with different notions.

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Comments

There has to be a difference between Honesty and truthfulness. Both seems to be defined as actions that can lead to an emotion of trust. Being honest is not telling a lie, but can still be deceitful. Truthfulness includes honesty but includes all the known facts. One might be trusted because they are honest. However, if other facts are reviled and it is found out the trusted one knew of these facts she would still be honest but not completely truthful. The feeling of trust is broken not by the honesty but but the lack of truthfulness. I think I understand this more. Thank you for the space to write.

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