Friday, June 05, 2009

What CC's brain starts to do when she has been looking at lexis-nexis for too long

1. Hypocrisy is acting in contrary to your stated beliefs or feelings.
2. All people are hypocritical sometimes.
3. Therefore, people who delight in running around pointing out the hypocrises of others and condemning them are the biggest hypocrites of all, as their hypocrisy is doubled since they have both the normal human share of hypocrisy and this added tendency to condemn others for hypocrises when they themselves commit them.
4. Either that, or I'm the biggest hypocrite of all since I am condemning people for condemning people so my sins are triple.
5. Yes, my post about San Francisco counts under (3)


Ps. I don't think (4) is true, primarily because I see hypocrisy as an irritation, not a sign of particular moral defectiveness, as pretty much all of us can concieve behavior superior to our own and sing its praises and bemoan evil behaviors that we also have committed, and I don't think we necessarily owe our audience a moral audit when we do either. But it's still fun to mock Rush Limbaugh.


Eve said...

Not sure if I agree with #1. If you say "I love Mexican food" and then decline the offer of a taco, you would fit the definition in #1, but I don't think you'd necessarily be a hypocrite. You might not be hungry, you might not find that particular taco appealing, you might be honestly mistaken about what constitutes "Mexican food," or you might be in the earliest stages of gradually realizing that you don't love Mexican food as much as you used to.

I think the sting of an accusation of "hypocrisy" comes from an implication of knowing deceit. As Merriam-Webster puts it, "a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not." And if that's the definition, I think there are a number of people in the world who aren't hypocrites, because they never intentionally deceive others as to who they are or what they believe.

PG said...

I think your SF post just makes an erroneous assumption, to wit, that requiring a homeless guy to get a permit for a street business -- just like all other street businesses are required to do -- indicates a hostility to the homeless that is at odds to SF's claimed hospitality to the homeless.

Desmond Ravenstone said...

Hmm ... As I see it, the problem with #1 is that it neglects the factor of knowingly doing one thing while saying/believing another.

A person can believe in tolerance and diversity, yet still fall into the trap of stereotyping folks outside of her or his "in" group. Does that make her hypocritical, or merely not fully aware of her attitudes and actions?

With that in mind, there are ways of raising awareness of how a person's actions contradict their beliefs without necessarily condemning or labeling them.

Yes, we all contradict ourselves. It is how we respond when we are made aware of those contradictions which really test us.

Robin Edgar said...

"It is how we respond when we are made aware of those contradictions which really test us."

That is a test that U*Us quite consistently fail at when their numerous "contradictions" are pointed out to them time and time again. . .